“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Those are the words of American author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau. They also beautifully describe equine enthusiast and rider Ema Klugman. Klugman is so busy with her life as a fierce competitor, editor and coach that she doesn’t let her success define her. It only drives her to be better.
Klugman recently was the youngest rider to complete at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event 5-Star. She did so on her 19-year-old horse Bendigo and was elated to complete her first 5-star event.
“It was my first time competing there and my first time at the 5-star level. My horse was great, and I was super happy with him. The course was really difficult, so it was a great feeling to finish it clear. We had a great week. It is good to get one under my belt since I’m looking to get more competitive. I think just finishing the event actually was just my goal this time because it’s such a high level of competition. I ended up being the highest-placed youngest rider, so that was kind of a cool award, and I’m excited to do it again and be better prepared,” she said.
Preparing for the next big thing is something Klugman’s been doing her entire life. She started riding and learning about horses as a youth with her involvement in the Pony Club in Nairobi, Kenya, and she has never looked backed, staying involved with the Pony Club when she moved to Maryland with her family as young teenager. She is one of only two riders to have earned three A level ratings – traditional, show jumping and dressage –in the U.S.
In addition to competing and training with top level trainers like Packy McGaughan and Marilyn Little, Klugman also coaches and trains riders and horses in the sports of jumping and eventing. She has a client base near her family’s Snowy River Farm at Clarksburg, Maryland, but also travels across the country to put on clinics for individuals and Pony Clubs.
As a graduate of Duke University with a degree in pollical science and history, Klugman is preparing to enter law school this fall at The George Washington University in Washington D.C. She also is the editor of Jumper Nation and writes for other political and economic outlets. However, she said her passion always comes back to the horses.
“The horses. They are why we all do what we do in the end. I set my sights on a goal and go for it. I never thought five years ago, I would do the Kentucky 5-Star. It’s kind of cool that you don’t have to have extreme athleticism. This is more of a skill-based sport, but your horse has to be incredible. An ordinary person can ride and compete if they have the right skills developed,” she said.
Developing her skills and caring for her horses is second nature. She said she stays physically fit merely by riding and caring for her horse daily. Mental preparation for the shows includes keeping a journal that includes detailed records of events during training rides and practices so she can look back to what has happened in the past to get ideas to help her and her equine partner succeed.
To keep her horses at the top of their game, she said it is best to keep them comfortable and “let them be horses” in between competitions. She likes to turn them out to relax and give them time to themselves. And she likes to make sure they are feeling their best and getting a good diet. She keeps them feeling good and helps their soundness with Hyaluronex® Joint, a completely hydrated, oral, liquid supplement that allows for quick absorption and maximum efficacy to promote joint, bone, soft tissue, and cartilage health.
“I’ve been using Hyaluronex for a while now. I think that the horses feel really great on it. I use it on my 5-Star horse (Bendigo), who is an older horse; he’s actually 19 years old. And so, anything we can do to keep him comfortable and feeling loose and supple is really helpful. I also like that it is so easy to feed – just one squirt on their feed. My horses don’t mind the flavor, and it is helping them stay comfortable. That is pretty powerful,” Klugman said.
Hyaluronex provides natural ingredients and the most researched hyaluronic acid available, MHB3® Hyaluronan, for total support of your horse’s joints and soft tissue health throughout performance, recovery and aging. MHB3 Hyaluronan, a proprietary ingredient, has been scientifically proven to be bioavailable, well absorbed, efficacious, and safe. It confers greater and more consistent results than any other product in both short- and long-term care. MHB3 has been awarded eight U.S. Patents. In addition, Hyaluronex contains hydroxytyrosol and astaxanthin, two natural ingredients that help support exercise recovery and a healthy inflammatory response.
With horses that can run and jump freely and her own high level of work ethic and personal dedication, the sky is the limit for Klugman, who says ultimately, she’d like to compete in a world championship or the Olympics someday, representing her native Australia. But as with successful people, she will continue with her busy lifestyle, working toward her next goal. She’s definitely one to watch in the equine arena.