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Valley of Rediscovery

Since its early days as a Spanish rancho, horses have been part of this North San Diego County town’s fabric. They still are — in exciting new ways.

By AUDREY PAVIA for the Horsetrader - February 19th, 2015

1502BwpcoverSAN MARCOS — Times are challenging for horse people in desireable places with natural beauty, accessiblity and a perfect climate. Competition for land and local government attention can be brutal as population increases while available property does not. Some California horsetowns are seeing a reduction in equine activities, and even less people owning horses within the community. But in the San Diego County town of San Marcos, horses still reign supreme.

One reason for San Marcos stability as a horse community is the dedication of horse people within the Twin Oaks Valley, the northernmost section of town. Equestrian properties line the nearly 10-mile long Twin Oaks Valley Road, and are thriving.

WCRHA opener is a wet one

From Horsetrader staff reports - February 19th, 2015

Raney Fichtner slides to a 73 and the Intermediate Open title on her BP Gallardo at the WCRHA Affiliate 1 show Feb. 5-8 at the Murieta Equestrian Center.

Raney Fichtner slides to a 73 and the Intermediate Open title on her BP Gallardo at the WCRHA Affiliate 1 show Feb. 5-8 at the Murieta Equestrian Center.

John O’Hara photo

RANCHO MURIETA – Rain couldn’t dampen spirits at the West Coast Reining Horse Association’s Affiliate No. 1 show, as reiners of all ages and levels kicked the 2015 show season into gear Feb. 5-8 at the Murieta Equestrian Center.

Mike Boyle rode Vicki Dias’s I Spook to the respective Open and Prime Time Open titles, marking a 73 that tied for the event’s high score with Intermediate Open champion Raney Fichtner on her BP Gallardo.

The next WCRHA Affiliate Show will be the Rein For The Roses on Kentucky Derby weekend, April 30-May 3 at Brookside.

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Before Steffen Peters competes this winter in Los Angeles and San Juan Capistrano qualifying events for the 2015 Reem Acra World Cup of Dressage in Las Vegas, he took a cross-country trip to Florida — and won the hearts of East Coast fans.

At the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Peters rode Rosamunde to a first-place finish in the FEI 3* Grand Prix with a 71.3 percent, and Legolas 92 to a 71.2 percent in the FEI 5* Grand Prix. The top-ranked FEI rider also received the People’s Choice award, presented by Ann-Louise Cook, for his riding skills and contributions to dressage.

A Will and a way

Simpson has a six-pack of HITS grand prix wins

From Horsetrader staff reports - February 19th, 2015

THERMAL — Will Simpson took one more HITS Desert Circuit Grand Prix win on Sunday, Feb. 8, on Monarch International’s Katie Riddle in the $30,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. The victory marked Simpson’s sixth Grand Prix win so far at HITS Thermal. Simpson topped a field of 41 riders – including eight others who made it to the jump-off – going double-clear and completing the second round in 43.203 seconds to claim the victory at HITS Desert Horse Park.

A correct match between horse and rider is the difference-maker

By SHERYL LYNDE - Horsetrader columnist - February 19th, 2015

SherylLynde_170pxIt’s been my experience starting colts and working with problem horses that 99 percent of the problems are a result of the rider. Problems range from bucking to bolting, but these behaviors are a symptom. If the cause isn’t addressed, then the issues will continue to progress over time.

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Board of Directors expressed anger and disgust after reports of three equine fatalities occurred at a national Concours Endurance Nationale (CEN) event held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Jan. 31.

Introducing the harness…piece by piece

By PATRICIA DEMERS - Horsetrader columnist - February 19th, 2015

PatriciaDemers_170pxEighth in a series

I like to introduce the harness a few pieces at a time in this order: saddle, back strap with crupper, then the breeching. This just seems to make sense to the horse, and it’s less overwhelming to his senses. You want to introduce the harness piece by piece, so they won’t get frightened.

Training Your Hands: Part 2

By LES VOGT - Horsetrader columnist - February 19th, 2015

LesVogt_170pxNinth in a series
Last issue, Les started an in-depth look at how to use our hands. We pick up with more keys to communication.

Another thing you’ll need to work on is to develop your hands’ “neutral” position, which needs to become one where there is no contact with the bit. Our goal is to have a horse that yields quickly and smoothly to any pressure—ideally to just the feel of you taking the slack out of the reins—and if you’re used to having contact with the bit all the time, you’ll never get there.

Hit the historic trail with De Anza Trail Caballeros in April

From Horsetrader sales staff - February 19th, 2015

The De Anza Trail Caballeros welcome “gentlemen on horseback,” for their 77th Annual De Anza Trail Ride, scheduled for April 12-18 from Calexico to Riverside. This men-only event commemorates and honors the historic achievement of Juan Bautista De Anza, who blazed the first overland trail from Mexico to the Northern California coast and who encouraged the development of the saddle horse for pleasure riding. Make your plans now, and contact Gary Etchandy at (951) 677-5291 to reserve your spot! See the ad on page 66, and visit www.DeAnzaRide.org for details.

Ready for Scottsdale

40th Annual SEAHA Show reveals regional talent on eve of Arizona event

From Horsetrader staff reports - February 5th, 2015

1502AwpcoverNORCO – With the 60th Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show on the horizon, Southern California competitors stormed to the Ingalls Park Equestrian Center Jan. 23-25 for the popular Sierra Empire Arabian Horse Association Show.

Each year – for 40 years now – the SEAHA event serves as a valuable tune-up before heading east for the Scottsdale show that gives trainers, exhibitors and owners of all levels a preview of potential rivals for the fall’s Arabian Horse Association National Championships. This year’s edition, with numbers slightly up, marked its second year in its new home in Horsetown USA.