Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog, and for those of you who have read my blogs in the past, welcome to the blog’s new home. And just to set the record straight, lest the rumour mill start grinding away (just one peek at the CoTH Forum will confirm that the horse world is not immune to gossip or rumour-mongering), let it be known here and forever after that the blog has moved to this site with all parties remaining on good terms. I continue to write monthly columns and articles for the Gaitpost, and I count Christine and Gary Mazur among my friends. The move to www.horse-canada.com is motivated entirely by positive events. I am very excited to have an opportunity (and the obligation which will guarantee my follow-through) to keep blogging on an ongoing basis.

A bit of background on my blogaholism: my first venture into the cyber-world of blogging was during the WEG in Aachen, 2006. Since then I have kept a blog every time I attend a major championship or an event like the Global Dressage Forum. In Hong Kong last summer, a chord (or nerve, depending on your point of view), seems to have been struck when I allowed myself to share my personal opinions – about the dressage judging especially. See, that’s the beauty of blogging. My journalistic ‘day job’ is to write fair and balanced articles for magazines. Inevitably, there are things that take place and words that get overheard that are interesting and relevant, but just not suitable for magazine reports which depend largely on advertising (and therefore a certain degree of political correctness) for their existence. Also, I consider it my duty as a journalist to refrain from allowing my opinions too much influence on the colour of my reporting. The blog is my personal outlet, the place I can say what I really think and to share stories that may provide an extra dimension, or at least a bit of entertainment.

To put it another way, I have discovered that blogging gives me my own voice. Not everyone likes what I write; I don’t expect everyone to agree. That would be boring. And apart from a recurring mild nightmare about lynch mobs peopled with FEI judges, I find it truly enjoyable to share my impressions of equestrian sport (not just dressage, either) in the atmosphere of the blog. I hope you will enjoy it too.

2009 promises to be a great year for blogging, with the recent turbulent events in the international dressage world in particular. From time to time I will check in with members of the interim Working Group to find out how they are progressing in their enormous task to give the sport a moral colon cleanse. It will be very interesting to see how much HRH Princess Haya participates in the process, and even more interesting to discover at the next FEI General Assembly (in November) who is to become the next Dressage Committee. Closer to home, I will be hanging out in Florida for a few days at the start of February, and strange things always happen in Florida. Even stranger things are sure to happen at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in April. A few friends and I plan to attempt a repeat performance of our free RV camping in the Thomas & Mack parking lot – no traffic jams for us! If you are heading to Vegas and you don’t believe me, look for a motor home rented from El Monte RV in the day lot. That’ll be me.