CRHA show, Southwest Affiliate finals draw top reiners to LAEC
BURBANK — With the last big derby of the year, a tough pre-futurity and the NRHA Southwest Regional Affiliate Finals, it’s no wonder the Los Angeles Equestrian Center was at near-capacity for the California Challenge, held Oct. 22-26 by the California Reining Horse Association.
Perfect weather and good ground greeted a talented group of competitors from throughout California as well as five other states. CRHA officials said they sold a record number of stalls.
The futurity, always a big draw as NRHA Futurity hopefuls enter the show pen, showcased potential finalists for the Oklahoma City event Nov. 28-Dec. 6. Competing at home, Tom Foran took Gunnin For A Shine to the Open L4 Futurity Championship, topping reserve co-champions Tracer Gilson of Sanger on Gunna Spank You and Randy Paul on Gunnadeous.
Santa Ynez retains Western heritage for equestrians with plenty of breeds, trails
Located 140 miles from Los Angeles, 300 miles from San Francisco, and only 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Santa Ynez is a paradise for horses. With plenty of room for pastures, lots of trails for riding, and an Old West atmosphere, Santa Ynez is the town of choice for many equestrians.
How It Started
As with many of the horsetowns in the Golden State, Santa Ynez’s beginnings go back to the founding of a mission. Mission Santa Inés was the 19th mission established by the Spanish Franciscan missionaries who colonized Alta California. When they came to the Santa Ynez Valley in 1798, they found a thriving band of Chumash Indians, who were living close to the land. The mission was established in 1804, and many of the Chumash were converted to Catholicism. They maintained the mission’s horses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, as well as crops of wheat, corn and beans.
Plus, she just loves the 5-year-old gelding that carried her to unexpected heights this year, winning the California Reining Horse Association 2014 Reiner of the Year. Valenzuela, an Orange County native who learned to ride at the Ortega Equestrian Center, earned the award at the CRHA Challenge show Oct. 22-26. After qualifying for the special class by virtue of her success in her division at CRHA shows this year, she went head-to-head against other club members of all divisions – non pros, novice non pros, and all – and finished on top.
“I’m still in shock that I actually accomplished that,” says Valenzuela, who also claimed the Southwest Affiliate Reserve Championship in her Rookie Division.
Where does a successful and safe horse-and-rider relationship begin? In the very beginning, when the two are partnered up.
Correct partnering between horse and rider is essential to create a relationship in which both can develop confidence, expand their abilities and enjoy the experience. If you are looking to purchase a horse, do some soul-searching. Think about what discipline most interests you and complements your lifestyle, ability and budget. If you enjoy riding trail, look for an experienced trail horse, not a Thoroughbred off the track because he is pretty. It’s easy for color to draw your attention away from the original plan, too, and get you off course. That color may cost you down the road, either in training fees that you hadn’t budgeted for, doctor bills, or the emotional toll of losing your confidence and becoming fearful of being on the back of a horse — no longer a place of refuge, but a place of dread.
The Santa Ynez Valley in California has seen the some of the most serious and dedicated Arabian breeders of the last hundred years set up in its’ spectacular valleys and mellow climate. These natural advantages are hard to overlook in seeking a place of perfection for horse breeding, but so is the rich Arabian history, which provides a wealth of knowledge, both old and new. Knowing they inhabit a center of excellence with an unusual density of Arabian horses, Californian breeders have cooperated to form the Santa Ynez Valley Arabian Horse Association which has set up several unique initiatives in the last few years, dedicated to bringing the wonderful nature of the Arabian horse to the public.
Crabo wins first CCI3* at Galway Downs International
For Crabo, of Scottsdale, Ariz., Galway Downs was her first victory in a CCI3*, and for it she received a check for $7,000.
“I’m trying not to swear, but it feels awesome. It means the world to me,” said Crabo.
Crabo bred Eveready II, now 15 years old, was the first person to ride him, and is the only person to ever compete him. “We’ve been working together so hard and so long. I think, why couldn’t he be 11 now and not 15? But when he was 11 he was unrideable.”
With the second-fastest cross-country time on Copper Beech, Davidson put himself in position to win the CCI3* at Galway Downs for the second consecutive year. Davidson won the CCI3* in 2013 on Petite Flower.
WCRHA's year-end show, Northwest Affiliate Finals draws top talent
The WCRHA Year End Show, held in conjunction with the National Reining Horse Association Northwest Affiliate Championships, attracted top reining talent to the MEC for six days on competition. From David Hanson’s spectacular run in winning the Open Derby L4 Championship on Giselle Turchet’s Gotta Nu Gun to Ellie Madsen’s victory on her Taris Topsail for the 13-under Affiliate Championship, there were dreams come true.
One dream-maker was Maddox, Christian Rammerstorfer’s maturity horse that went home with five championships, including three NRHA Affiliate wins. In addition to winning the Select The Best Open 7-Up Maturity class, Maddox took the Novice Horse Open as well as affiliate titles in Open, Intermediate Open and Novice Horse Open.
When starting the equine, a controlled environment is necessary, such as a smaller arena or a round pen. This is where I like to introduce to the equine yielding to pressure; use of the whip and the vocal commands: walk, trot, WHOA. I use a combination of theories of ‘Natural’, ‘Resistance Free’ horsemanship and the German Training scale. There are other methods of training, and as with any type of training, you must choose what methods work best for you. For this portion of training, the horse can be “free lunging” with no equipment necessary. No harness is needed at this point in training, and we’ll introduce it and the blinders in time as we progress in the round pen.
Third in a series
Before entering the arena, we take a closer look at an important piece: snaffle bits.
Now let’s talk about snaffle bits. Snaffles come in an enormous variety of shapes and forms—fat or skinny, smooth or twisted, straight or curved, heavy rings or light rings, D-rings or O-rings, even inlaid and wrapped! And once you’ve decided on a particular bit, you can still change the response you get from it according to how high or low you place it in your horse’s mouth! So where do you start?
Choosing a Bit
On baby colts or fussy mouthed horses I always start with a medium-sized curved bar snaffle. As the horse progresses, you might find you’ll need to move to a straight bar snaffle to keep the horse’s respect and his attention on you.