In 2017, I uploaded more than 100 videos that add up to over 1,500 minutes of content. That’s a lot. Looking back over the past year, its fun to see which videos earned the most attention. Check out my top ten most-watched videos of 2017. Any surprises? Do you have a video that didn’t make the list? Let me know in the comments below.
10. Jog Up at the Badminton Horse Trials
Despite some pretty significant disappointments, my trip to compete at the Badminton Horse Trials was still a major highlight for me. There’s no competition footage in this video, but you do get to see some of the prep involved on site, the jog, and a cross country walk with my good friend Lainey Ashker.
9. Retired Racehorse Project 2017
It’s not surprising that this video made the top ten. The Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover is one of my favorite events all year. As in all my vlogs, I like showing behind the scenes at major events while also describing some of what going on with the horse and inside my head during the competition itself. At 15 minutes, this is a longer vlog than usual, but I go through every phase of every division in which my two horses, Vidicated (aka Vinny, owned by Leigh Ann Bachus) and Fly With Me (aka Lear, owned by Michelle Chisholm), competed.
Experience is what you get the moment after you needed it. I took some time away from vlogging after my fall at the last fence at the Badminton Horse Trials. It was important for me to focus on Johnny’s health and to reflect on myself as a rider. This was a difficult video to make, but it was honest. I hope that my experience, and what I subsequently learned about the importance of magnesium in the diet of high performance horses, can be a help to others.
7. Hemet Cam from the Wellington Eventing Showcase
This was my first helmet cam on the season, at an important event for Johnny and me as we prepared for Badminton. I published a popular vlog about the Wellington Eventing Showcase as well, which you can watch here.
6. I fell off at the first fence!!!
It happens to everyone. No one is perfect. Once you know that you and your horse are okay, it’s best to brush it off and have a sense of humor. I posted this video because I feel like its important to be vulnerable sometimes, especially as an upper level rider. There are a million and ten ways to get eliminated in eventing and falling off at the first fence is certainly a memorable one!
5. Helmet Cam from the Carolina International Horse Trials
People really love seeing cross country from the perspective of the horse and rider. You get a different sense of the scale of the jumps and combinations. You get to hear the horse’s breath, see their ears flicking back and forth, and listen to the conversation between horse and rider. It’s awesome to see how an amazing horse like Simply Priceless aka Johnny, handles complex questions with ease. He just loves cross country and you can really tell in every one of his helmet cam videos.
4. Helmet cam from the Sporting Days Horse Trials
A helmet cam video doesn’t need to come from a four star horse to be entertaining. Looking at the comments on YouTube, you guys saw the progress Lear had made since the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover, but you also giggled with me as this talented newbie horse struggled to maintain focus. Again, its easy to put too much pressure on ourselves and our horses to be too perfect, too soon. Focus on the fundamentals, and remember that you’re learning together. Cross country is FUN! I could watch this video over and over again. Lear just cracks me up!
3. A Horse Named Seven
In one of my first vlogs of 2017, I show off some liberty work with Henri (aka ‘Heron’s Waltz’) and work with Corteo to overcome his fear of cows. I was really proud of Indy (aka ‘Indiana Chrome’) here, as he showed maturity in learning how to deal with new environments. I also introduced a horse named Seven, who was a very fun sale horse (he ended up selling as a very successful hunter and equitation horse 🙂 )
2. A RIOT BROKE OUT!…and that’s not a practical joke
This video was super exciting, as it introduced my latest upper level prospect, Riot Gear. An 8 yo 16.3 hds Oldenburg — actually 60% thoroughbred and 40% Irish and Holsteiner — gelding owned by Steve and Vicki Sukup. He had previously competed up to Training level with Eileen Kenney, and earned a 5th place finish at the Young Event Championships. This guy has upper level potential written all over him and he proved that this season WINNING 4 out of his 6 events (he also earned one 3rd place finish, and an 8th place finish in a CCI* division with 92 other horses!) So excited to have this horse in my string and looking forward to 2018 being a big year for Riot Gear!! Checkout his full playlist on YouTube here.
1. Ocala Jockey Club Helmet Cam
It is remarkable that this video tops the list, since it was posted so late in the year. But Johnny was incredible around this tough track. It was also a little bit of redemption, with this course being Johnny’s first big test since Badminton. He smoked it! He felt the best he’s ever felt and recovered amazingly. Giving me a huge sense of confidence heading towards the 2018 season. The course was beautiful, and the super wide angle hi res footage taken with my GoPro HERO5 Session is superb. The fact that we went double clear and finished in the top ten and was second highest placed thoroughbred didn’t hurt either.
Thank you to everyone for watching my videos and following along with me in 2017. 2018 is going to be even better, with weekly vlog episodes, more helmet cam videos, training tips, and more. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and be notified the moment I upload new content.
Happy New Year, Everyone!