BW-Raina */-/* ends out the year on top!

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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… ❤️❤️❤️


Thank you Richard Malmgren!

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!

Horse/Rider Participants:

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


Congratulations to Kara Buttimer and Kara Fanning!

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!

BW-Raina */-/* makes her mark


2017 Oldenburg N.A. Inspection, Hilltop Farm Inc.  Photo by William Alphin

It has been three years since I updated you on my journey with Raina and it feels timely to do so as we have made substantial progress!  In August 2017, I presented Raina to the Oldenburg N.A. registry for approval as a breeding mare.  Although Raina was approved by the American Hanoverian Society as a foal, I chose to move her into an Oldenburg book, because I just love them so much.  We’ve been with them since they came to North America and participated in their first inspection hosted by Hilltop Farm.  More than two decades later, they have blessed us immeasurably and been instrumental in maturing our breeding program.  Mares, three years old or older, may be eligible for one of the four mare books.  You can learn more about their requirements by clicking here.   Raina presented herself well and earned a score of 101.5 and was entered into the Main Mare book.  Although I didn’t think she was quite ready to participate in the Mare Performance Test (MPT), I made a firm plan to ready her for 2018.   The MPT  allows mare owners and the registry gain valuable information about their mares talents and weaknesses for performance and also aid in future stallion selection.  To learn more, please click here.

During the winter months, it became clear to me that I needed to make some equipment changes which included a new saddle, bit and saddle pad.  I will share more about this in the future but altogether these changes helped Raina feel more comfortable.  In April 2018, I hosted a Fix-A-Test clinic with Emily Donaldson.  Raina and I laid down a  solid 1st-2 test earning a 67.8%.   Encouraged by this outcome,  I continued focusing on her throughness and suppleness.


April 2018 Fix-A-Test Clinic, 1st-2.  Photo by William Alphin

Spring and summer passed quickly and MPT day finally arrived.  My girl was just a superstar and won the MPT with a score of 72.8!  We were also invited back for reinspection and Raina earned a score of 110, the highest score of the inspection, and placement into the Premium Mare book!

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my trainer Jessica Fay and free-jumping coach Michael Bragdell.  I am so thankful for Dr. Jennifer Wright and farrier Jim Salve for keeping Raina performing at her best and to Martina who keeps all the horses happy.  Last but not least, big hugs to my Blue Waters family for your support and prayers.

If you care to read about the beginning of our journey, please click on these links.  Chapter One,  Chapter Two,  Chapter Three,  Chapter Four