Chat Transcript – Kim Vinoski

EquiStaff — Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Equisearch chat. Tonight we have the pleasure of chatting with champion three-day rider Kim Vinoski. Kim is currently short-listed for the USET Three Day Event team heading for the World Equestrian Games in Spain. She won the Rolex Three Day Event in Kentucky in April — a major win for Kim and Winsome Adante, a nine-year-old English Thoroughbred. Kim is sponsored by SmartPak Equine.

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EquiStaff — Thank you for joining us tonight, Kim.

KimVinoski — Happy to be here!.

lena — Hi Kim.

KimVinoski — Hi!

EquiStaff— Welcome lena and jeb. Please feel free to ask Kim any questions you may have.

KimVinoski— Anybody got any questions for me?

jeb — Hi Kim, I’m a big fan. I have an older horse (17) who has competed up thru Int. Any tips on keeping the older horse going?

KimVinoski — Don’t overdue jumping and galloping. Make sure you use the jumps you have wisely.

lena — Hi Kim, what is your pre-WEG schedule?

KimVinoski — My pre-WEG schedule is Dan (Winsome Adante) and Vennie (Royal Venture) are both scheduled to go over the walls in Advanced and after a week of team training in Middleburg we have a final outing there before they fly to England on the 22nd of August for final selection.

txeventer — What type of training schedule do you follow while conditioning your event horses?

KimVinoski — TXeventer, with the final preparation being the last months before a three-day event, they will gallop every fifth day with the alternate days doing dressage, show jumping or trot sets.

txeventer — okay

jeb — Best of luck to you Kim at WEG! Will be rooting for you! I’m so impressed with your steady performance. What are some of the things you do that you’ve found to help keep both your mind and horses’ minds fresh?

KimVinoski — Jeb, for my horses, that they live out 24 hours a day and I don’t drill them–they might do dressage once a week and maybe show jump once a week. For myself, I guess I’m one of the people who thrives on having a hectic schedule, so fortunately it works out for me.

jeb — Thanks for the advice Kim!.

lena — If all goes well and you are selected, what do you do between Aug and the start of WEG?

KimVinoski — Lena, if all goes well and I’m selected, we have the final team training in August and the horses fly out on the 22nd to England, Vennie is going to Burghley and Winsome Adante will just have team training in England from the 25th through the fifth of September, when they fly to Spain from England.

KimVinoski — That’s the plan, unless the selectors change their minds and want to keep Vennie as an option, and then he wouldn’t do Burghley.

txeventer — Kim, how do you start your beginning event horses? Like a four year old with some jumping experience that hasn’t started competing.

KimVinoski — Txeventer, do you mean start event horses from babies?

KimVinoski — Tx eventer, generally I would take a 4-year-old and school him on a cross country course. Start little and pop him around and see what you think. Basically if they will jump everything on first try, and a ditch or something on second try, I would consider that with another cross-country school or two, they would be OK to go out and jump around a Novice, barring any other problems in their training.

KimVinoski — Usually, I like to get them as 5-year-olds, and they’ve shown that they are competent to jump at a novice horse trials, I’ll do a couple of novices and a few Trainings, probably in their first year. Then in their 6-year0old year I would consider doing a Prelim with them in the spring or fall. Depending on their maturity level.

txeventer — okay.Thank you very much.

jeb — Kim, how did you go about getting your first sponsors before you won some “big time” events…..

KimVinoski — Jeb, regarding sponsorship: My first sponsor was Linda Wachtmeister. I started working for her and we became friends and had a good solid basis. From there, a good solid sponsorship evolved.

Betty — Hi kim, is there any particular breed or breeding you prefer?

Betty — What are the top traits you look for in a young event prospect? What turns you off when evaluating a horse?

KimVinoski — Betty, regarding breed of preference, a Thoroughbred of any nationality, really. If it is English or Irish, it would have to be one of their lighter types, but generally I would stick with a Thoroughbred.

Betty — Thanks, any particular bloodlines?

KimVinoski — Betty, regarding bloodlines: I don’t pay any particular attention to bloodlines.

KimVinoski — Betty, top traits for me: they have to be a good mover. They have to be brave and careful to the jumps. Basically they have to be conformationally correct, but I don’t put a huge emphasis on conformation alone.

KimVinoski — Turnoffs would be if a horse more than twice knocks down the same fence, no matter whose fault that is! Just basically a horse that wouldn’t suit me–too big or too small. Also, it matters to me that the groom or whoever takes care of the horse likes him.

Betty — Would you expand on ‘good mover?” In the hunter sense?

KimVinoski — Betty, regarding a “good mover”: It doesn’t matter if it’s a more hunter or dressage type mover, as long as it is appealing to the eye.

Dakota1991 — Way to go, Kim! I was at Rolex and the weather was unbelievable. You had an incredible ride. ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE!.

txeventer — Kim what was your focus during Rolex??? Were you looking to win or just looking to make it around.

KimVinoski — Txeventer, my focus during Rolex was just concentrating on each part of the competition that I was doing at the time. I was focusing on being in a competitive frame of mind.

KimVinoski — I’m always looking to win–at an event like that, you’d better be looking to win!

txeventer — does that work during all your competitions?

KimVinoski — Txeventer, no, focusing on each aspect of the competition doesn’t always work–otherwise I’d win all of them! You just have to focus to be competitive.

Sally — Have you spent time working on your mental preparation or has it just come naturally to you?

KimVinoski — Sally, re mental preparation, it is something we all deal with. We all have issues dealing with our mental capacity. It’s something I acquire and develop the more I compete.

Betty — Kim, any particular thoughts or preferences regarding tack, leg wraps?

KimVinoski — Betty, regarding tack and leg wraps: I try to stay as simple as I can in the bitting department. My horses always wear a breastplate when they’re in jumping tack–a pet peeve of mine!.

KimVinoski — We only use boots for schooling, unless a bandage is required if we have a rub. My horses never show jump in any boots, even in schooling.

JESUSRIDER — Kim, what are your goals now, as far as showing?

jeb — RE: Sponsors – anything you’ve found that works to keep your sponsors happy. And attract them in the first place?

KimVinoski — Jeb, to keep your sponsors happy, you need communication. It’s hard to find the time to do it, but you need to do it. You need to talk to them.

KimVinoski — Linda owns all my horses. It was building a good basis of respect and understanding with her that led to a successful sponsorship.

Sally — Had she sponsored other riders before?

‘Betty — Kim, to keep your horses in top conditions, what types of feed and supplements do you use?

KimVinoski — Betty, regarding feeds and supplements: I feed a low-protein (10 percent protein), high-fat Enduro-Event from Pennfields. For grain I try to feed as little grain as I can get away with. For instance, with Winsome Adante at Kentucky, got half a quart of grain morning and night. Period.

KimVinoski — As far as supplements go, I use SmartPak supplements because they are so incredibly easy to use. The basic supplements would be electrolytes, Vitamin E and selenium and a hoof supplement.

Betty — Free choice hay?

KimVinoski — Betty, because my horses live out 24 hours a day they get all the grass they can eat and if we need to feed hay on top of that, they get free-choice to an extent–low-protein hay.

Betty — OK Thanks!

jeb — Kim, all the best to you! Got to run, and thanks for the opportunity to chat with you!.

Sally — Has Linda sponsored other riders previously.

KimVinoski — Sally, regarding Linda’s sponsorship, no, she didn’t sponsor anyone before. She did interview a couple people before, but they didn’t take the job. For me, I took the job and then it grew into a sponsorship from there.

Sally — How long ago did that relationship with Linda develop?

KimVinoski — Sally, I’ve been with Linda for 6 years in November.

EquiStaff — Thanks for joining us, jeb. Check out the transcript of the chat tomorrow so you don’t miss a thing!.

JESUSRIDER — Kim, do you have any tips for somebody who is just starting out in eventing?

KimVinoski — Jesusrider, re tips for starting out: Don’t get frustrated! Take as many lessons as you can with reputable people.

JESUSRIDER — Thanks Kim!.

txeventer — okay.

Betty — Who have you trained with?

txeventer — kim, do you use Gymnastic training with your horses???

KimVinoski — Txeventer, re gymnastic training: In the wintertime, we do lots of gymnastics.

KimVinoski — Betty, I have trained with Bonnie Bonnello from Canada for dressage, I’ve worked with Nathan Martin from Arizona, I worked with Dale Irwin from Canada for jumping, with Uli Smidt from Arizon for dressage and of course Jim Wofford and Mark Phillips.

txeventer — Kim, do you take alot of dressage lessons and clinics to work on your dressage?

KimVinoski — Txeventer, re dressage: I had many, many lessons as a child and young adult in dressage, so because of the time constraint now, I mainly only work with Lark Phillips on my dressage.

cottontail — Sorry gang, this is too confusing for me! But Kim, I have enjoyed watching you ride.

JESUSRIDER — What about at the Rolex, when they were stalled? Did you feed hay then?

KimVinoski — Jesusrider, when my horses go to an event they will get as much hay as they can eat, unless they are on a diet.


txeventer — how did you start your eventing career??? Did you start young?

KimVinoski — Txeventer, when I was little I always wanted to jump, but I had to competently perform dressage movements before I could jump. When I was 12, my mom let me go to an event, and that’s how it all started.

JESUSRIDER — Do you take time out to relax with your horses sometimes, like going on trail rides?

KimVinoski — Jesusrider, pretty much the time I relax and reflect on my horses is after a three-day event. After you’ve done something that grueling it’s nice to take them out and relax and admire them. It’s only a short time, but it is worth it.

txeventer — Kim, I have a horse that doen’t really pay attention while we’re showing. Do you have any tips on how I can get his attention and keep it?

KimVinoski — Txeventer, always giving him something to do, i.e., circles, shoulder-in, bending, so you are always asking for his attention would be helpful.

txeventer — what would you say to aspiring riders that want to make it to the top?

KimVinoski — Txeventer, take as many dressage lessons as you can fit in. That’s a key point. Don’t get discouraged. Keep hacking away at it.

txeventer — thank you.

JESUSRIDER — Kim, if a horse is a timid jumper, what would be some exercises to build up it’s confidence?

KimVinoski — Jesusrider, jump small fences many times throughout the week but limiting the number of jumps to no more than 15 per day. Keep them a very comfortable height for horse and rider so you can build their confidence.

JESUSRIDER — Thanks, I’ll try that!.

Sally — I think you are an “A” in Pony Club. I took my rating this past weekend. One of my examiners was Gina Miles who I really liked. How did you prepare for your A test. I could be wrong about the A though.

KimVinoski — Sally, I’m not an A, I’m a B, so I have no words of wisdom for the A!.

Sally — I am not an A yet ha ha.

KimVinoski — Sally, I’ll put in a good word for you with Gina!.

Sally — Thanks- The examiners suggested I work with a sports psychologist. I have read every book I can find already. It has helped alot but I guess not enough. Still need work without stirrups and I think I am going to take lessons with an equ. teacher.

txeventer — Kim, who was your favorite clinician???

KimVinoski — Txeventer, one of the people I really learned a lot from when I was younger was Ralph Hill.

JESUSRIDER — Do you still attend clinics?

EquiStaff — Kim, we had an earlier question via email: Do you have other interests or is your time entirely monopolized by eventing/horses?

KimVinoski — I have many other interests, I just don’t have any time to devote to them. I have played the violin for 12 years, and I wish I could devote more time to it, but right now I just can’t.

txeventer — Kim, how would you teach a horse to stop rushing fences?

KimVinoski — Txeventer, re rushing: rather than trying to address the problem on the approach to the jump, often doing a short turn on landing or halting and reining back are good ways to help with the problem, although cutting your turn on your approach is also a good way of helping the problem.

txeventer — okay thank you.

KimVinoski — Jesusrider, I usually attend USET clinics. On the rare occasion, I get to work with George Morris or somebody like that.

Betty — How do you stay fit?

KimVinoski — Betty, re staying fit, I ride. As with some horses, they are naturally fit, and I’m kind of like that!.

Betty — Lucky!.

‘JESUSRIDER — What do you enjoy most about eventing and riding?

KimVinoski — Jesusrider, I enjoy watching horses learn. I find it very interesting. As far as eventing, it involves every aspect of riding and general horsemanship. It’s very fulfilling in that respect.

Sally — Coop?

EquiStaff — How much time in the saddle each day, Kim?

KimVinoski — Regarding time in the saddle: On average, 3-4 hours–not as much as one might expect at this point. It used to be alot more.

Betty — Re rushing question: Would you clarify cutting your turn on the approach?

KimVinoski — Betty, having an approach that is no more than 6 strides away. The less time the horse has to rush the fence, the more you cut out the problem. In turn, you are avoiding pulling on the mouth as much as possible.

Betty — thanks.

JESUSRIDER — What kind/brand of saddle do you ride in?

EquiStaff — The end of our hour with Kim Vinoski is fast approaching. Last chance — please ask your final questions.

JESUSRIDER — Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with your on the learning, I love watching the babies mature!.

KimVinoski — Jesusrider, I ride in many different brands of saddles. I have one very favorite saddle–it’s an Amerigo close-contact. It’s just incredibly comfortable and I really like that saddle. I do ride in many others, though.

txeventer — have you ever done a clinic in North Texas??

KimVinoski — I use the Amerigo to go cross-country and show jumping in.

txeventer — Thank you very much for answering all of my questions Kim!.

amyc — Hey Kim It’s Amy Coffin.

KimVinoski — Txeventer, I have not done a clinic in north Texas yet!.

JESUSRIDER — Thanks. I’ve got to leave now, I still have to feed. Thanks for answering all my questions and I wish you the best. God Bless, Nikki.

KimVinoski — Hi Amy!.

amyc — I was just surfing and saw that you were doing a chat.

KimVinoski — That’s sweet. Thanks for coming, Jesusrider!.

Betty — Good luck Kim!.

txeventer — thank you Kim!!!!.

txeventer Good luck!!!!.

EquiStaff — Good luck with your upcoming competition.

Betty — Best of luck!.

Sally I would appreciate the word to Gina Thank you.

EquiStaff — A transcript of tonight’s chat will be available on the website to review the topics touched upon tonight with Kim. Thank you all and good night!.

KimVinoski — Thank you very much. It was nice chatting with you all. For everyone’s general information, my name will be appearing as Kim Severson-Vinoski through WEG and then after that Vinoski will be dropped. Just so I don’t confuse anyone!.

lena — Good luck!.

amyc — See you in the fall Kim.

KimVinoski — Good night, everyone!.

HoRsE_RiDa — That was cool.

Many thanks to Kim for being guest on this EquiSearch live chat, and thanks to SmartPak Equine for sponsoring the chat. Learn about SmartPak’s supplement system at

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