Giving Honor To Whom Honor Is Due

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The weather may be dreary, but my spirit is brightened when I reflect on our client’s victories in 2014.   All three of Kroniek’s offspring, bred while on lease to Lazy J Sporthorses, had a fruitful year in the show ring.  Faberge Blue by Contango (owned by Lara Mitchelson ) debuted and won at training level under Michael Bragdell with scores to 78.4%.  Full brothers Grafiet Gabriel and Hancock by Rousseau, earned 8th and 10th place respectively in the Dressage at Devon breed show making their owner Cindy Mattern very happy!

Not to be outdone, full sisters BW-Callista and BW-Corabelle by Contucci and out of Ariane -/*/*, also strutted their stuff in grand fashion.  BW-Callista (owned by Leslie Valente) laid down solid PSG tests under Jen Griger, at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby and the Global Dressage Festival with scores to 65.3%.  BW-Corabelle and her new owner Elizabeth Richards, debuted at Training Level and brought home a High Score Oldenburg award.

BW-Randino (Royal Prince x SPS Danina) continued his winning ways under Donna Davies earning scores to 70.4% at First Level.  BW-Reganino (Regazzoni x SPS Danina), under Emily Alvarez and owned by Anne Maffey, won more blues in the 3’ Children’s Hunter 15-17 division, than I can list.  Tiamo’s Royal Reid (Tiamo Trocadero x SPS Danina) is continuing to develop beautifully under Ken Borden.  Cappuccino Royale BW (Contucci x SPS Danina ) flourished under Debra MacMillan’s stewardship. This lucky boy will be living in Bermuda next winter, with his new owner Kathryn Maderios.

BW-Tristan (Tantris x Another Gel) at the grand age of 18, continued to dance down center line at PSG and I1 under Colleen Gray.  Zahra La Zingara (Royal Appearance x Bit A Luck -/*/*) and Caitrin O’Shea moved up to Training Level and laid down solid runs at Silverwood Farm Horse Trials, Otter Creek Fall Horse Trials and Hagyard Midsouth Three Day Event and Team Challenge.

We had the great privilege to present three of our client’s horses at Dressage at Devon all of which showed their great character and exciting potential.  Waterford Blu, owned by Leslie Valente, showed beautiful relaxation and lofty steps, earning 5th place in the Yearling Colts and Geldings class.  Doxology, owned by Teri Beste, was the epitome of grace, and brought home 8th place in the Fillies of 2014.  Wassail, owned by Lynn Schriver, showed her beautiful type in the Fillies of 2014 class.

They say it takes a village and I could not agree more!  I thank Martina for keeping the barn running so smoothly; our farriers, Jim Salve and Desmond Hewitt for keeping our horses comfy on their feet and our vet Jenny Wright for keeping everyone healthy.  I thank body worker and horse whisperer, Donna Kurylak for working all the kinks out.  Richard Malmgren, Emily Craig Donaldson, Michael Bragdell, Roddy Strang and John Beachel helped me take big strides forward in Raina and Raphael’s training.

Monitoring Your Horse’s Vital Signs and Administering Medications Safely


I assembled this collection of veterinarian produced videos, to help you gain confidence monitoring your horse’s vital signs and administer injectable and oral medications safely.  By gaining these skills you will be better prepared to evaluate your horse in an emergency and convey key information to your veterinarian.  As always, be sure to consult with your vet before commencing any treatment. Continue reading

God Will Preserve Your Dreams During A Season Of Caregiving

My hope today, is to encourage those in a long season of caregiving.  Your riding goals may seem a distant memory, but they are not forgotten by God.  He greatly honors your commitment to care for your loved one.  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”  Matthew 25:40.   In such a season myself, the Lord is teaching me to rely upon His provision rather than exhausting myself overthinking every challenge.   Continue reading

Hope For Your Challenges

“My horse would be further along with another rider” is a sentiment I hear all too often from clients and friends.  This thought tends to coexist with the belief that their horse would have a better life with a better rider.  This grieves me because the truth is, horses don’t care if they’re at training level or FEI so long as their needs are being met and they’re stewarded with love and respect.  Through the Lord’s divine providence, He brought you and your horse together to learn, grow and enjoy each other richly.  Continue reading

Tristan Tucker Clinic

Tristan Tucker, Indoor Brabant, March 2014

Tristan Tucker, Indoor Brabant, March 2014

I have been using elements of John Lyons style groundwork for years, but have had difficulty transferring that work to the saddle in a way that is compatible with the dressage training scale.  Last weekend I had the good fortune to attend a clinic with Grand Prix dressage trainer, Tristan Tucker, based in the Netherlands.  His “conditioned response system” was developed out of an eclectic background as a games, eventing and jump rider and working alongside his mom in a racing barn before relocating to Europe.  His program progressively raises a horse’s tolerance for pressure, improves their proprioception, enhances suppleness and improves their fore and hind limb range of motion.  Tristan worked with each horse/rider combination 1 hour per day which began with mobility work then transitioned to de-spooking exercises where standing still was the correct response and finished with fore and hind limb range of motion exercises.  I found his communication style to be especially effective and was impressed how much he accomplished in a short time frame. Continue reading

Train your eye to better identify lameness in your horse

I came across this well done, five part video series, that helps us better identify lameness in our horses.  This first video discusses how lameness is diagnosed and the next four videos are actual case studies.  Each video is 1.5 to 4.5 minutes in length and was prepared by Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.  Enjoy! Continue reading

On your mark, get set, breed show!

Ariane -/*/* Dressage at Devon Produce of Dam Champion (83.5%) in 2004 and Reserve in 2003.

Ariane -/*/*, Dressage at Devon Produce of Dam champion (83.5%) in 2004 and reserve in 2003.

Last week I discussed whether breed shows could benefit your youngster.  This week, I will help you prepare for your first show!  One month prior:

1.     Familiarize yourself with the USEF 2014 rule book (pages 91-100) and the competition prize list.

2.     Acclimate your 2-year-old to working in a bridle.  For help Continue reading