BW-Callista Returns!

Last month, we welcomed BW-Callista to our farm. It has been 13 years since Leslie Valente purchased her as a yearling, and devoted herself to methodically developing Callista into a highly successful FEI horse. Callista finished growing in the Hilltop Farm Raising Program and was started under saddle by Michael Bragdell. Under Tami Glover, Callista became the 2006 USEF/Markel 4-Year-Old National Champion with an overall score of 9.0; earned an ISR/Oldenburg Premium Mare award and won her MPT; was the 2006 GAIG/USDF Region 1 Training Level Champion; and the 2006 USDF All-Breeds Awards (ISR/Oldenburg) 4-Year Old Mare Materiale Champion. Leslie then moved Callista to Florida and into the training program of Cathy Morelli who competed her successfully through 4th level with scores upwards of 68%. Cathy’s assistant trainer, Jen Griger, continued competing Callista successfully at 3rd level through PSG and also earned impressive scores. Through all of Callista’s competitive years, Leslie was an integral part of her riding and training program. Next year, Callista will enter a new season of life as a broodmare and we are so honored to be part of the journey! Callista is now with her mom, Ariane; and Raphaela, her former stablemate in Florida; in the field of her youth. So exciting indeed!

Reflecting on 2015

2015 was marked by new beginnings.  I immersed myself in the study of nutrition and microbiota health, for both people and our equine friends. You can read a bit more about this here.  We welcomed Rachael Clawson and her beloved Domino to Blue Waters.  Rachael serves as Stable Manager at Hassler Dressage.  We also welcomed back Cory (Gregory) O’Connor and Wylie.  Cory was a long term intern at Blue Waters and is now a very successful professional trainer and owner of Elimika Sport Ponies.  We welcomed Teri Beste’s, Dubonnet into our training program and Lynn Schriver and Kara Buttimer into our teaching program.  We all benefitted immensely from biweekly long line clinics with Richard MalmgrenContinue reading

Why I Am So Excited About Microbiota!

E. coli bacteriaDid you know that your intestines are home to a complex and fascinating community of microorganisms including eukaryotes, archaea, bacteria and viruses?  In fact there are ten times more bacteria in our bodies than cells.  These microorganisms account for 1-3% of our body mass.  In healthy people, these microbes exist in harmony within our bodies serving essential functions such as synthesizing certain vitamins, breaking down and extracting nutrients from the food we eat, train our immune systems to recognize invaders, produce anti-inflammatory compounds, and balance our brain chemistry.  A growing body of research suggests illness, stress, poor diet and certain medications can adversely affect our microbiota, potentially causing disease1.  On the upside however, it may also be possible to heal disease by rebalancing our gut environment.  Continue reading

The Elusive Pursuit of Straightness

In the classical riding schools, riders begin their education on the lunge line astride well-trained school masters to develop correct and effective positions.  In the U.S. however, this is rarely the case.  Most riders are trying their very best to make progress with challenging horses, limited financial resources,  limited time and limited access to instructors with school masters. This can feel endlessly frustrating.  I have prepared four articles to help and encourage you. Continue reading

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! Continue reading

Monitoring Your Horse’s Vital Signs and Administering Medications Safely

equine-vet-examining-horse

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