Despite terrible weather on Monday and Tuesday, the skies cleared and we were able to host another superb long line clinic with Richard Malmgren. Returnees, Cordialle (owned by Martina Thiel-Poblotzki) and Doxology (owned by Teri Beste) had clearly retained their lessons from last month and newcomers Pendragon (owned by Teri Beste), Dornfelder and Hennessy each had a confidence building and edifying experience. Richard may return in April. We hope to see you then!
I am so honored to learn that BW-Raina */-/* (Royal Prince x St.Pr.St. Danina) was named ISR/Oldenburg N.A. East Coast Champion Mare and her score of 110 was the highest in the United States and Canada. She was also M.P.T. Champion at her inspection. I am so grateful to the Lord for smoothing out years of challenges enabling Raina and me to have a solid year of training with few interruptions. His hands on earth have been my trainer Jessica Fay; free-jumping coach Michael Bragdell; long line expert Richard Malmgren; decades-long mentor Karen Ramsing-Bixler; veterinarian Jennifer Wright; bodywork extraordinaire Donna Kurylak; farrier James M Salve; saddle fitter Theresa Keyes; bit consultant Florence Wetzel; Martina Thiel-Poblotzki who keeps every horse feeling their best and last but not least my Blue Waters family for all of your positivity and prayers 😘. In 2017, I presented Raina for inspection and she earned a respectable 101.5 and entrance into the Main Mare Book but because of the great gains over the past year, we were invited for reinspection garnering these results. I am just so, so grateful… ❤️❤️❤️
On October 25th, I had the great pleasure to welcome my friend Karen Ramsing-Bixler back to Blue Waters. As always, Karen did a superb job of listening and observing her riders and then crafting an attainable plan for improvement. All with a gigantic smile and heaps of encouragement!
Two riders brought their homebred youngsters; Julie Poludniak with Hennessey and Pat Chandler with Ellie. Both had superb first outings! Pat posted this report on her Facebook page: “What a great day! I rode Ellie off the farm today for the 3rd time ever in a clinic with Karen Ramsing-Bixler at one of my favorite local facilities, Blue Waters Farm! I was really excited to ride in Linda’s beautifully manicured outdoor arena on such a perfect fall day and I wasn’t disappointed. I told Karen I wanted to work on better connection in the canter work and we had enough of a good result (after working on the connection in walk and trot of course) that we were also able to work on shallow canter serpentines. Karen has a calm way about her that is certainly great for young horses and she was able to hone in on the best approach for a sensitive mare. So this was a super positive experience for Ellie and I enjoyed catching up with old friends including Linda who is always such a gracious hostess. I’m hoping it won’t be too long before we return to Blue Waters for a repeat performance”
First-time participant Michelle Burris and her beautiful Remi unlocked a few gears prompting this comment: “I cannot thank you enough for holding this amazing clinic. I had such an eye-opening learning experience! Karen helped me unlock my horse and gave me the best movement to date. I am over the moon right now”
Returning riders Kara Buttimer with Abigail, Martina Thiel-Poblotzi with her homebred Cordialle and my homebred BW-Raina all had excellent rides focusing on the requirements for moving up to the next competitive level.
We look forward to Karen’s return in 2019!
Pat and Ellie
Julie and Hennessey
We are always blessed when Richard shares his long line expertise with us and this past Wednesday was no exception. In the hands of a master, long lining reveals the horse’s inherent weaknesses and postural habits that riders often compensate for and in doing so, prevent the horse from being accountable for their own straightness and self-carriage. The gentle boundaries of the long lines along with Richard’s exceptional feel and the absence of rider interference allow the horse to explore and solidify a correct connection from their hind legs, over their back, and into the bridle. I always feel the improvement in the days following a long line session. We look forward to Richard’s return!
Cordialle bred/owned/trained by Martina Thiel-Poblotzki
BW-Raina bred/owned/trained by Blue Waters Farm
Irish owned by Erica Ringgold
Mac owned by Julie Emerson
Kevin owned by Teri Beste
Doxology owned by Teri Beste
Atlas owned by Aggie O’Brien
With BW-Raina’s (Royal Prince x SPS Danina) acceptance into the Oldenburg N.A. Premium Mare book, we completed the requirements for our third and final star in the Breeder’s Star Award program. In previous years we had satisfied the requirements for foal production and offspring performance but the third remained elusive as we had produced primarily geldings. BW-Callista, owned by Leslie Valente, was entered into the Oldenburg N.A. Premium Mare book in 2006. Twelve years later, Raina had the privilege of joining her!
Requirements for Star Awards for Breeders
- star: FOAL PRODUCTION:
5 premium foals with ISR-Oldenburg NA
- star: MARE/STALLION PRODUCTION:
2 ISR-Oldenburg NA premium mares or one ISR-Oldenburg NA approved stallion
- star: OFFSPRING PERFORMANCE:
3 ISR-Oldenburg NA registered offspring with performance success in any of the following (2-8) must be at recognized shows (placings 1st – 3rd required):
- Mare Performance Test score of 70% or higher
- Materiale Test score of 65% or higher
- Dressage competition score at 2nd level or above of 65% or higher
- Jumping competition placing in Preliminary or above
- Hunter competition placing in Regular Working Hunter or Pony Hunter or above
- Combined Training placing in Novice or above
- Driving placing in Combined Driving or Pleasure Driving
- FEI Dressage classes for 5 year old and 6 year old score of 65% or higher
We are so honored to be counted among these fifteen breeders that we so highly esteem. To see a complete listing of one and two, star award breeders, please click here.
||Ken Borden, Jr.
||Con Brio Farms, LLC
||Ilona S. English
||Hilltop Farm, Inc.
||Suellen D. Myers
||George & Barbara Newtown
||Sheila M. O’Keefe
||Linda D. Santomenna
||Helmut & Margret Schrant
||John C. & Teri R. Vincent
After a trying week mitigating plumbing problems in my Mom’s 1939 home, I was able to break away for a few hours to attend “The Old Masters” featuring Hubertus Schmidt hosted by Avalon Farm. As always, Anke Ott and Jannika Gray along with their superb team presented a wonderful event. As an added blessing proceeds benefitted the Norma Pfriem Breast Cancer Center. Hubertus Schmidt is truly a Master’s Master. Always kind and respectful to his riders and horses he brought a bottomless bag of exercises to help each partnership. I particularly appreciated his outstanding ability to explain the principals and the application for everything he was offering. Jannike Gray who rode several horses for him prepared an excellent summary which I am copying in its entirety below. Thank you, Jannike!
- Warm up is everything, a 5-year-old or a Grand Prix horse should be warmed up the same.
- Walk, trot in a frame where the horse is stretching down and out to the bit in both directions on bending lines. There should be contact!
- Trot, canter, trot transitions with the goal of keeping the frame stretching to the hand. The gait shouldn’t change before the transition.
- The warm-up should be as short as possible but as long as necessary. The goal is to keep the energy for collection, but the horse must be swinging and stretching in all three gaits first.
- Once the warm-up is complete, begin in the easier gait.
- Most horses are stiffer to the left rein. We must supple this side of the jaw by slightly overbending, wait for the horse to give and then give our hand forward for the horse to reach out with the nose. The goal is to get more weight into the right rein and the horse softer on the left rein.
- Most horses are more supple right, so we must be aware not to overbend right, especially in lateral work.
- The rein is a direct line to that hind leg. If we hold too much left, we stop the left hind.
- The straightness and suppleness of the horse is of utmost importance. The suppler they are the more rideable they become, especially in the upper-level work. The goal needs to be creating an even left and right side of the horse.
- We must think about why we do each exercise, one must build to the next.
- In the canter work, the half pass is the best preparation for the pirouettes. The horse must collect and come back off the outside rein and stay supple to the inside leg and rein.
- When teaching the canter pirouettes, it is best to start on a 15m circle with haunches in, once the horse understands this you can come on the diagonal and do a full large working pirouette. The large working pirouette enables the rider to make adjustments and corrections to teach the horse the correct form. Beginning with a half pirouette leaves little room for adjustment. Once the horse can keep the frame, jump, and suppleness in the working pirouette the rider can do a half pirouette.
- The canter should not get smaller for the changes. Use the seat and leg to keep the horse round, while the quality of canter shouldn’t change.
- Your horse is more likely to be ready for the changes when he can do a L canter, walk, R canter straight down the centerline.
- A well collected canter has jump, ground coverage but is not running.
- A well collected trot has ground coverage, cadence, and suppleness. The shoulder in doesn’t need a ton of angle but needs to have correct flexion of the pole and bend through the body. Most of the time to the left we need more but only in the pole and to the right we need to be careful we don’t have too much bend.
- Corners are very influential! If you ride too deep into the corner it will upset the rhythm of the gait. This is not good. The corner should only be as deep as it is possible to keep the quality. Sometimes going deeper can help to rock the horse back and get more sitting, this can be a positive use of the corners as well.
- Voltes are a good test of the bending, suppleness, and rhythm of the horse in each gait., right, left, contact may make the horse look better for a moment, but it will not supple the horse or make them more through.
- The walk needs to be ridden like the trot and the canter. If the horse hurries in the walk you can use many walk serpentines to slow the walk without using the hand to stop the rhythm.
- Many walk breaks can be positive for the horse. It is not necessary to make them so tired. Most times a short break can be at the medium walk with contact. This keeps the horse focused but with a break and the ability to ride the walk. Longer breaks should be given on a long rein with attention to quality when bringing the horse back up into the collected walk.
- Temperament is 50% of the horse you’re riding. Good gaits are important but so is the temperament. In Piaffe work the horse should be able to go forward or stay on the spot. If they stay on the spot alone it is not good and will be difficult to make the passage transition.
- The passage is important to keep regularity. If the horse learns to step shorter or longer with a hind leg this can become a habit and difficult to fix.
- Keeping the horses healthy, happy, athletes is the top priority.
Rider and Horse Combinations:
- Jannike Gray and Frau Schufro (2010 M by Don Schfro, 4th)
- Alexandra Krossen and Damani (2005 G by Duvall, I1)
- Jannika Gray and Ravanti C (2009 M by Rubenstein, PSG)
- Molly Maloney and San Tome (2012 by Sir Donnerhall, 2nd
- Amina Bursese and Fiti AL (2004 S by Jondo, GP)
- Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel and LC Galanton (2007 by S Antonilla, 4th)
- Alice Tarjan and Harvest (2012 S by Connoisseur, 6-Year-Olds)
- David Collins and Bojing (2010 G by Benetton, I1)
It was a weekend of stellar firsts for two Blue Waters students at the Fair Hill International Starter Horse Trials on September 9th!
Kara Buttimer and her beloved Abigail, completed their first horse trial together. They earned 30.8 in dressage, ran clean on cross-country and after a small bobble on stadium, finished 3rd overall! Super job!
Kara Fanning, a seasoned eventer, and her heart horse, C’ode de Joy, completed their first Novice division together. They ran double clear on cross country and stadium and earned a 36.7 in dressage to finish 3rd overall. Joy was the first horse Kara started, and what an amazing job she has done. This is a pair to watch in the future!
It’s truly a blessing to work with such incredible ladies and have an opportunity to come alongside them and help guide them towards their goals. Gallop on!