Joie Gatlin & Clients European Takeover is One for the Bucket List



In August, professional rider and trainer Joie Gatlin of Joie Gatlin-Morley Abey Show Jumping, Inc., based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, and a gaggle of clients and horses went on the adventure of a lifetime. They took a European trip that included horse showing in four countries. We caught up with Joie and her team to hear all about it. 

Fleeceworks: Woah! You traveled to 5 countries and 4 different horse shows in August. How did this trip come about and how did everything fall into place to make it possible?

JG: The trip came about during our client meetings. Because we are a goal oriented barn, we hold goal meetings every December/January to check in with our clients. Europe proved to be a big goal for several clients! There was a lot of paperwork! Everyone had to organize. Morley Abey (The farm's co-owner and Joie's business partner) and Darren (Dagwood) Roberts were both a huge help with the scheduling and general details. Chandler Meadows graciously helped plan hotels and meals, and our head groom, Lisa did an outstanding job making sure no piece of equipment was left behind.  Once we were in Europe, Darren functioned as our barn manager and our "stand-in Morley" to keep everything going smoothly.  

FleeceworksHow many horses and riders went?

JGThree riders, Laura Hite, Chandler Meadows and myself along with seven horses. I had three horses for myself, Laura Hite had two, and Chandler Meadows had two but picked up a third for the final two weeks of the trip. (Joie's rides included Kimmel SCF,  Bellator HVF, Calypso V/D Zuuthoeve).

FleeceworksWhich Fleeceworks saddle pads did you pack and how did they hold up over the duration of the trip? 

JG We always use our Easy Care Bamboo Quilted pads in the show ring. We never leave home without our Easy Care Bamboo baby pads for hacking. The majority of our horses go in the sheepskin FXK technology half pad with rolled edge and two go in the sheepskin perfect balance pads with inserts.  Because of the high quality of the pads, they held up extremely well from Thunderbird to Spruce Meadows and all the way through Europe and returned home looking good as new!

Fleeceworks: Awh, shucks! Thanks Joie! Make sure you clean those pads now that you're home. Look for tips on keeping your sheepskin pads in excellent condition here.

Fleeceworks: Tell us the important stuff. Where did you most enjoy the food?

JG: *Laughs* I think Italy was where we gained the most weight. The food offered in the VIP lounge at Jumping de Valence was a very close second!

FleeceworksWhere did the horses feel most comfortable?

JG: All the horses went along like seasoned travelers even the young ones!  I think they enjoyed where we first laid over in Europe, Stal Linssen.  It had been a long trip from Thunderbird to Spruce and then to finally arrive in Europe and be able to settle into such a beautiful facility was nice for them. We had great stabling at San Giovanni in Italy, where the horses seemed to really enjoy the views from their stalls. Valence had nice grass accommodations which was nice for getting the horses turned out for awhile when they were not competing or being ridden.

(Above:  "My oh my! Our European team had American domination today in the 1.40m! Joie rode Kimmel SCF to the win, Laura Hite and Solo’s Consept were 3rd and Chandler Meadows with Damian were 5th 👊🏼 High Five HVF was also the winner of the 6 year olds with Joie in the irons," a road report from the Facebook page of the Joie Gatlin Morley Abey Show Jumping page.)

FleeceworksWhat advice would you give a trainer or young professional on taking a trip like this? What tips do you have on planning and packing for a trip like this?

JG: Be very prepared!  Make sure you map out your schedule of shows to help you prepare before heading to Europe.  For us, we attended a week of Thunderbird and three weeks of Spruce Meadows which were both great shows to help us prepare for the high level of competition that we were also going to experience in Europe.  Also talk to people that have done similar trips or are familiar with showing abroad.  Shows in Europe are run very different than shows we experience in North America, especially when it comes to the warm up ring and pre-loading.  As for packing and planning, less is more!  When traveling abroad it’s important to pack as light as possible because most things are charged based on weight.  Make sure you aren’t bringing excess equipment that you know you won’t be using.

FleeceworksWhat did you learn that you didn’t know before you went?

JG: This was my first trip to Europe in a while where I would also be training clients. I was thrilled with how amazing our horses and riders performed.  I went with little to no expectations because this was our clients' first time showing abroad, and I wasn’t sure what to expect with the combination between nerves and the excitement of so many new experiences. Everyone was as well prepared as they could be and ended up exceeding all expectations. Now I know how everyone handles international competitions.

FleeceworksTell us about a snafu and how you recovered - travel related or riding related, what didn't go as planned?

JG: Luckily we didn’t really have any major snafus!  Ahead of leaving we were unsure about some of our show entries.  It is common in Europe to not know whether your entries have been accepted for a competition until one or two weeks prior. For us this was the case with San Giovanni and Valence. Fortunately, we were accepted into both shows and our tour was able to go as planned!

Fleeceworks: Any big takeaways for Team Joie & Morley? 

JG: Our staff was outstanding in their care of our horses and always had them where we needed them, when we needed them. Darren was a great manager and co-trainer when I was unavailable to be at a client’s ring due to my own riding conflicts.  It was a very educational trip where we got to see some of the top competitors in the world and even compete against them!  We are all ready looking forward to and planning for a 2019 tour and we are very excited about that.  It was a super trip all in all!


  • Elizabeth Howell

Rider Danielle Poulsen Shares Her Tricks for Beating the Summer Heat

Across the country, temps and humidity are OFF THE CHARTS. Are you still able to get in a daily ride? What about horse shows? What do you do if it's 95 degrees and your hunter derby or dressage test is scheduled for noon? Ugh! We called on Fleeceworks riders Danielle Paulson and Sara K. Murphy to hear how they make the most of the day in high heat at Sara's Overlook Farm in Berryville, Virginia.

Fleeceworks: What's your best strategy for keeping your horses going in the heat?
Danielle: We start early! On hot days, we are in the barn by 5 a.m. and aim to be finished with all of the riding by 11 a.m.
Fleeceworks: Woah! That is early! What time do you go to bed?
Danielle: We head to bed pretty early and are passed out by 9:30-10:00 p.m.
Fleeceworks: When you look at the string of horses you have in training, how do you decide who gets ridden in the early morning and who can wait untill a little bit later?

Danielle Paulson
Danielle: We try to ride the upper level horses and any that need to work longer or harder first. We are comfortable doing the younger ones and the lower level horses a bit later in the morning, since they don't usually need to work more than 30 minutes and the work isn't as demanding physically.
Fleeceworks: What does the rest of a really hot day look like in the barn?
Danielle: We like to finish riding and lunch chores by 1 pm. We take a break in the hottest part of the day and do evening barn chores later. If we have more horses that need to be ridden, we save that for the late evening.
Fleeceworks: Are they any redeeming moments to "doing horses" on hot summer days?
Danielle: Ha! It is nice to have the barn quiet for a few hours in the afternoon and know that the horses are happily munching hay with the fans blowing. (Check out that pic, they do look pretty content).
Fleeceworks: What other stable habits do you keep when it's really hot?
Danielle: We do turn the horses out really late, sometimes not until 7 or 8 p.m. when the sun starts to go down.
Fleeceworks: In that heat, and with all of the physical activity, you need to be careful about your own health and hydration as well as the horses. How do you manage that?
Danielle: Well, on hot days you hardly ever want to eat anything since the humidity is out of this world. We are REALLY into popsicles and watermelon. That's one of those nice little things that keeps us going and helps us stay hydrated. Sara isn’t as into the popsicles. Wink.
Fleeceworks: Any other advice for good summer horsemanship?
Danielle: Yes! One thing that Sara is adamant about is sunscreen--for both us and the horses! It's huge for her and we've all learned from her how important it is to apply several times a day. She sets the example by applying it right before she rides or teaches, and we do apply it to our horses pink noses at least 3x a day. 
Fleeceworks: Thank you Danielle!
Danielle rides in a variety of Fleeceworks pads, including the Easy Care Bamboo eventing trifecta. Quilted, easy care bamboo pads for dressage, cross country and stadium jumping. ($69)
Danielle also rides in a Sheepskin Perfect Balance Halfpad with a rolled edge ($244). You can check that out here. Danielle uses front memory foam inserts to get the perfect fit. 
You can follow Danielle on Instagram @Danielle.Poulsen and follow us @fleeceworks
  • Elizabeth Howell

Young Riders Not the Only Ones Excited for Rebecca Farm & Montana

July, 2018--Nine young eventers, including Fleeceworks rider Maddy Tempkin are making a return trip to Rebecca Farm in Montana in just a few weeks to represent Are VI in the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships, known as NAJYRC. Congratulations to Brianna Maroney, Kaitlin Vosseller, Rachel McGregor, Sophie Tice, Lisa Takada, Kaley Sapper, Maddy Tempkin and Delaney Vaden. Fleeceworks is proud to support the Area VI team.

It’s no small task to keep horses healthy and safe while traveling and competing at this level and handling the summer heat.

We’re heading to Montana too in support of Halt Cancer at X and to enjoy the great competition. Long trips with horses require good planning and packing! Here are a few Fleeceworks items to consider to make your next long horse haul easier and safer: Easy Care Bamboo Leg Wraps ($26), Halter Fleece available in 4, 6 and 9 piece sets ($52), Easy Care Bamboo Baby Pads for a cool, quick-drying layer next to your horse’s skin ($28) and Easy Care Bamboo slippers for comfort at the end of a very long day ($10)! To field a team of four intermediate level young riders to represent each area of the country at the two-star level at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championship.



    “I went to Young Riders as a groom in 2014 and then went the following year and competed on the 1* team, finishing fifth individually. I also went last year, 2017, and competed on the 2* team finishing fourth individually. I was lucky enough to be able to compete at both of these championships on my horse of a lifetime, Kingslee. Being apart of our Areas Young Rider program has been a big part of who I am today. I have met wonderful lifelong friends and made so many lasting memories. It is an incredible program with not only incredible people involved, but incredible people who run it.”

    spring event at woodside this May in the open intermediate division

    Source: June Newsletter AreaVI 

    Within the past year, the Area VI selectors have been deciding which riders will travel to Montana for this year’s NAYRC competition. Their decisions were based off of many different categories including the individual’s performance in competitions, their horse soundness, and their willingness to help in Area VI’s fundraising. With much consideration, Area VI will be sending a very talented group of girls for both the CCI1* and the CIC2** divisions. The team members and individual competitors will be decided after the first horse inspection in Montana. Listed below are all of the girls who are planned to travel this year to Young Riders and a few words that they have regarding the program. CCI* Competitors Rachael McGregor riding C

    PC: Callan Weiss

    The North American Junior & Young Rider Championship (NAJRYC) Discipline of Eventing (now known as the North American Junior Championship (NAJC) and CICOY Nations Cup), takes place July 18-22, 2018 at the Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana.

    About the Young Rider Program
    The Young Rider program is offered through the USEA for riders twenty-one years of age and younger of all levels of riding. The purpose of the program is to encourage our younger members to become involved in the sport of Eventing and continue this involvement into their adult lives. Our organization seeks to promote a love of the sport, as well as an appreciation and understanding of the horse while fostering the wonderful relationship that can develop between horse and rider. Further, involvement in this program helps to instill important moral values, such as responsibility and work ethic, as young riders grow into mature adults.


    • To encourage and support the sport of eventing in competitors twenty-one years of age and younger.
    • To make young riders aware of educational opportunities - coaching, course walks, clinics, camps, etc.
    • To promote good sportsmanship and the facilitation of working as a team member.
    • To develop respect for the horse, without whom the sport is not possible.
    • To field a team of four intermediate level young riders to represent each area at the two-star level at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championship.
    • To field a team of four preliminary level young riders to represent each area at the one-star level at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championship.
    • To field teams to compete at other Young Riders national championships.
    • To field a national team to represent the United States, through the NGB, at the European Young Riders Championships.
    • To develop camaraderie among young riders, thus, hopefully, developing life long friendships and a commitment to the sport, which will be carried on as members of the US Team, volunteers at local events, coaches, trainers, competitors, and consumers of equine products.

    For more information visit USEA.

    Wildcats of the University of Kentucky Take on the Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

    by Anna Robinson
    Four horse and rider phenoms from the University of Kentucky Eventing Team  are at this year's Intercollegiate Eventing Championships held at the Virginia Horse Trials May 24-27. There is a fun team environment along with some serious skills within the UK Eventing team and they plan to carry that spirit and talent all the way to Virginia! Basketball isn't the only sport rocking the UK campus. The other secret weapon of the eventing team of KY Wildcats? Always bring a bit of the classic Southeastern Conference (SEC) tailgate atmosphere! Hey, it's important to have fun while representing the University to the best of their ability. Let's meet the equestrian  Wildcats that will be representing the University of Kentucky this year.
    Jackie LeMastus and Indian Mill aka "Monkee"
    First up is Jackie LeMastus on Indian Mill, known within the UK team as “Most likely to hit a buzzer beater," riding Indian Mill. This pair is in their first season together and has completed multiple events at the preliminary level, placing second at Pine Top and ninth at the 1* at Fair Hill in April. “Monkee” as he is known in the barn, is quite cheeky and has become a barn favorite known for being “smelly” as he bosses around his paddock mates and comes in filthy every morning. He previously competed through the 4* level with Paul Tapner overseas, and Jackie has competed through the 2* level with a previous NAJYRC mount, Tatton Winter. Jackie and Monkee’s goals this year are to build a strong partnership and complete their season at the Intermediate level. 

    Jackie LeMastus and Exmoor Denver aka "Dumpling"
    This pair has competed together for four years, completing multiple preliminaries and most recently won the prelim at the Jump Start Intercollegiate Challenge in the fall. Jackie and “Dumpling” as he is known in the barn, were members of the winning UK intercollegiate team at the Intercollegiate Challenge at Spring Bay Horse Trials in April and have competed for UK for two years. The pair's goals this year include a move back up to Preliminary and successful completion of a CCI* in the fall. 

    Elizabeth Silvia-Chanley "Most likely to be Coach Cal" and Lillith
    With five years together, Elizabeth and Lillith are one of the most seasoned pairs heading to nationals. They’ve completed multiple novice level events and were part of the winning UK team at FENCE horse trials. Their goals for the season include having safe, fast rounds leading them to the Training Three Day at the Hagyard Classic this fall. A special tradition for Elizabeth and Lillith are that they always end their XC warm up with a “pump-up” song to get in the zone. Elizabeth points out that the day she bought Lilllith was the day that she knew she wanted to be a competing member of the UK team. Lillith is a barn favorite and is known for being cuddly with a big personality.  

    Mia Fox, aka "Most Likely the Hype Man," and Her Horse Sport Tracker, "Trac"
    Mia Fox was just 11-years-old when she stumbled upon Trac, then a 5-year-old off-the-track thoroughbred (OTTB). They quickly became soulmates and have been together ever since. After competing in the hunter show circuit for a few  years, they decided to event. While eventing, they have successfully competed through the Training level, including a top 15 finish at The American Eventing Championships for three years in a row. They made their first appearance here at the Virginia Horse Trails last spring, earning a first place finish at the Intercollegiate Championships in the Training division. This pair will be making their Prelim debut this week, despite a health set backs with Mia recently having to undergo two surgeries during spring semester. Her goal for the weekend is to, "Get around clean and hope to stay on track with my goal of accomplishing a CCI* in the fall!"

    Shannon Mccall, Dubbed “Most likely to be the Playmaker” aboard Bam Bam
    Shannon Mccall and Bam Bam have been together for three years, marked by Shannon's conviction to map out a goal and then achieve it. With a successful year at training level, the pair moved back to novice to up the confidence level of horse and rider. This thoughtful approach by Shannon resulted in being part of the winning UK Intercollegiate Team at FENCE Horse Trials in the spring. Their goals include moving back up to training and ending the season on the training three day.
    Traveling along with the team this year is Bowman, our team mascot who is a Picolli Pony - gift from Fleeceworks.
    Editor's Note: At Fleeceworks, we had the opportunity to work with several members of the UK Eventing team during the Land Rover 3-Day Event at the horse park in Kentucky. These young women are intelligent, hard working and fun. They learned quickly, demonstrated excellent customer service and asked great questions about life as entrepreneur in the equestrian market. We couldn't have done it without their help and support!  In exchange for their help, Fleeceworks donated saddle pads to the team after analyzing the needs of the horses.

    Is Fleeceworks Rider Matt Brown Eventing's Tim Ferriss?

    by Lyndsey Gruber

    Every year as January 1st approaches, people sit down and reflect on the past 12 months and resolve to be better in the months to come. New Year’s Resolutions are a tradition that dates back to the Ancient Babylonians some 4,000 years ago, and while their resolutions were probably less about watching reality TV and cutting gluten, the fact is that people from all over the world for thousands have years have used the calendar switching over as an opportunity for growth. Equestrians love a good opportunity for growth, and horse people of all stripes use this opportunity to set goals for the coming year, evaluate the progress they’ve made, and decide what steps they can take to be even better in the years to come.

    Setting goals is an important step on the path to achieving success. After all, the top riders in any discipline didn’t reach that level by accident. Years and years of careful planning go into every blue ribbon, and for Matt Brown, a four-star eventer based in Kennett Square, PA the goal planning process is one he relishes. “I’m really big on setting goals. And while I’m constantly evaluating my progress as well as that of my clients and horses, the end of the year is a great time to really sit down and focus on what I want to accomplish in the forthcoming season.”

    Matt Brown BCF Belicoso

    Matt Brown and BCF Belicoso on their way to a win in the 2017 USEA American Eventing Championships Advanced Gold Cup Final. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.  
    Brown and his wife, Cecily Clark, own and operate East West Training Stables, and their dedication to personal growth and progress has served them well. Brown and Clark have owned East West Training since 2004, moving across the country from California to Pennsylvania in 2015 with Brown’s eyes on becoming a part of the US Eventing Team. His dedication, hard work, and commitment to setting attainable goals and then doing what it takes to make those goals a reality secured him a spot as a reserve for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero with Super Socks BCF.
    “Setting realistic goals and then working every day to achieve them is important in this sport. It’s what separates the top riders from those who wish to be top riders.” Brown says.

    And whether your end goal is competing in the Olympics, successfully completing a clinic with your favorite professional, or just surviving your first horse show, setting goals and then dividing them into bite-sized daily tasks can make all the difference in the world. “When I’m setting goals, it’s important to me to take things in smaller, more manageable chunks. While It’s great to say ‘Okay, in three months I’m want to be able to run ten miles’, if you don’t make daily habits you’re going to give up on that goal a week in because you won’t be seeing any measurable results and human nature will get the best of you.”

    Brown’s advice to overcome this inevitable bump in the road? “At the outset of every year I’ll create a big, ambitious end result that I want to meet. Then I sit down with my coaches and Cecily and we break it down and talk about what it’s going to take to get there. Every three months I create goals for myself, my horses, and my clients. Once I have a specific goal to work towards, I create three daily habits that I review every night before bed and every morning. I also include weekly goals to keep myself on track.”

    For Brown, accountability is key to making sure goals are more than just scribbles on paper. “Get everyone you can involved. Tell your riding coaches, tell your personal trainer or yoga instructor. Having the feeling that your whole team is on the same page and working with you to make your dreams reality is powerful motivation. Letting yourself down is one thing, letting an entire group down is entirely different.”

    Writing your goals down can also make them seem more real and thus more difficult to push to the side. Get old school and grab a pen and paper, stick the paper to your mirror or your fridge and use it as a touchstone. Having that strong visual reminder can prove as inspiration when you’re dragging yourself to the barn in subzero temperatures, or when putting on workout clothes and driving to the gym seems insurmountable.

    Being goal oriented seems to run in Brown’s blood, but what do his clients think of this obsession with personal progress? “Some of them find it to be really painful at first! But I spend a day where I don’t teach lessons, and instead I just sit down with my clients and we go over goals for the season, the next three months, and their daily habits. They have to come to me and Cecily with a tangible list of written-down objectives and then I help them figure out what we can do as a team to get them to that point. Normally, even if they were dreading the meeting, by the time it’s all said and done they’re more excited than ever.”

    Are you ready to start working on your goals list? Here’s an example of a realistic, attainable, but still ambitious goal that Matt has for the first three months of 2018: “I’ve had back pain that has taken me completely out of the sport in the past, and I’m obviously not wanting to repeat that. One of my main goals is increase my strength and flexibility, which will prevent injuries that might sideline me and make my ultimate riding goals near impossible to achieve. Every day I set aside 20-30 minutes for core exercises, I also set aside time to stretch before and after riding, which lessens the risk of injury significantly. I also make sure to learn a little more about physiology every day. The more I know about the human body the more successfully I can condition myself. Once a week I’ll take a yoga class or go to a physical therapy session to keep myself on track.”

    The moral of the story? Achieving ambitious goals isn’t going to happen overnight, so break them down into things you can achieve overnight. Crossing an item off your list every day will motivate you further and bring you one step closer to whatever end result you’re hoping to achieve!

    • Elizabeth Howell

    Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival Features Fleeceworks Prize Pads

    Fleeceworks is based in Ramona, California. Which means this January and February the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival (AWCDF) is practically in our back yard. NICE! These four new CDIs and national dressage competitions kicked off the 2018 show season on the West Coast, another great addition to the burgeoning FEI dressage calendar in the United States.

    The Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival circuit runs from Jan. 3 through Feb. 17 with a CDI competition at each of the four shows. Each competition also includes a U.S. Equestrian Federation-recognized three-star national show. 

    Annndddd, thanks to a teamwork trifecta of Fleeceworks, Mary's Tack & Feed and the AWCDF event visionary Scott Hayes of SH Productions, 200 winners at the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival--will receive a great prize: this Fleeceworks Easy Care Bamboo Quilted Dressage pad. Picture this pad--PLUS the super snazzy Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival logo. Now that's a PRIZE! We're so grateful to 

    Fleeceworks rider Niki Clarke, of Dressage Unlimited, was there for the first week of competition at Galway Downs with her horse Quincy, who was featured in an Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival video series "Meet the Horses." In this video, we learn that another Fleeceworks rider, Tamie Smith, gave Quincy the nickname "Hammy," when he first arrived, for his hamster-like characteristics of being round and squishy. Niki also won the coveted "Who Wore it Best?" award in the Shadbelly edition of this hotly contested Dressage competition, 'natch!

    (Left: Niki Clarke and Quincy from Dressage Unlimited competing at the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival. Photo credit: Terri Miller)

    Of course, the Festival features an extensive vendor row, because SHOPPING. Some of our very favorite Fleeceworks vendors are in the mix including Mary's Tack & Feed (which has a brick & mortar store in Del Mar, CA). Mary's has a wide range of Fleeceworks dressage pads in stock including the prize pad mentioned above which is part of the Fleeceworks Pads With Purpose. Buy a pad from the PWP program and Fleeceworks donates a portion of the sale to one of our partner charity: you choose!

    After Galway Downs, competitors at the Aqequan West Coast Dressage Festival move to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the remaing six weeks. Stabling opened Jan. 7, 2018.

    Saturday evenings will host FEI-level freestyles preceded by Master Classes conducted by equestrian team guests from the United States and other countries. Ummm, yes please?

    January 20, 2018 Laura Graves (Del Mar Fairgrounds)
    February 3, 2018 Helen Langehanenberg (Del Mar Fairgrounds)
    February 17, 2018 Charlotte Dujardin (Del Mar Fairgrounds)

    Check out the website for tickets, prices and VIP experiences. 


    Here's the schedule for the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival:

    AWCDF I, Temecula, Calif., Galway Downs, Jan. 3-7

    AWCDF II, Del Mar, Calif., Del Mar Fairgrounds, Jan. 18-21

    AWCDF III, Del Mar, Calif., Del Mar Fairgrounds, Feb. 1-4

    AWCDF IV, Del Mar, Calif., Del Mar Fairgrounds, Feb. 14-17

    For more information, visit is


    • Elizabeth Howell