As an older and wiser rider, I’ve sometimes struggled to stay involved with horses. I’m not so interested in showing any more (maybe western dressage some day) but I am very interested in having simple fun again, like I did when I was riding just for the joy of it, as a kid.
With that in mind, I recently purchased a Haflinger mare who looks like the perfect equine partner to help me rekindle the simple pleasure of riding I knew before life- and riding- got so complicated. Lia is compact, point-and-shoot simple to ride or drive, and she’s so cute she makes me grin every time I see her peeking through her Goldilocks blonde forelock at me.
The challenge now is to merge my busy adult life with reliving my childhood dreams. So, my New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to ride my little mare at least once a week (she’s used for lessons to get her exercise and training while I’m tending to grown-up responsibilities) and to haul out to explore a new area on horseback at lease once a month.
Happy New Year from Suzi Vlietstra and ‘Lia’ Aurelia of Genesis
–Suzi, Chino Hills
Use them more.
I am currently a member of the Cabazon Mounted Posse with the Riverside Sheriff’s Department. My New Year’s resolution is to qualify both my two horses so I can best service my community.
Enjoy the sweet moments of pleasure with her each and every day. Re-enforce how dear she is to me. Always give her high-quality feed and lots of trail exercise. Allow more time to listen and watch my mare, so I will improve my communication skills and continue to give her precious lovings.
“I like boarding at Heartland Ranch in East County. It’s not as congested with traffic and has lower population density than other areas. The natural beauty of this part of San Diego is appealing to me. I also love the equestrian center where my horse lives as the owners are very proactive in keeping the amenities in great condition and adding new amenities.”
On Valentine’s Day, like every day, I will show my 18-year-old Quarter Horse love by giving him exercise, supplements disguised as a treat, a clean stall, and a good scratch in just the right place. The greeting he whinnies before I can even get through the gate beats roses or chocolates any day.
– Beverly Walters
For the big players in the jumper equestrian world, the goal will be to qualify for the World Equestrian Games, held in Normandy. I believe the riders will be chosen from the computer ranking list instead of any Trials. This will allow riders who are stationed in Europe to be eligible to be qualify to be on the team.
Generally speaking, horse-and-rider combinations that are planning on trying to qualify for the WEG will not be going or trying to qualify for the World Cup Finals this year. It will be very exciting to have the World Cup Finals back in Las Vegas in 2015. Riders like Reed Kessler, Richard Spooner and Laura Kraut are showing in Europe most of the time. Europe seem to be the trend.
What is YOUR favorite horse story shared with your mom?
Born with manure in my hair…
My mom gave me the love of horses at an early age. She was an avid horsewoman who told me I was born with manure in my hair. She had my sister and I on horses before we could walk — one in front and one in back…out on the trail we would go! My mother fox-hunted and did the open jumpers in her day. She literally rode up until the day she went into a coma and passed away. My favorite memory with my mom was to watch the grand prixes…every one we could get to!
If you ask California's leaders, the answers ring positive
Non Pro competitor
NRCHA Board Member
There will be more stability in the horse industry in 2012. Horse prices appear to be improving, especially if the larger auctions in the performance horse industry are indicators. This should allow breeders to be more energetic when it comes to breeding more aggressively, thus making more stock available for the future — especially with upper-end horses. In turn, trainers will see more horses in their programs and more riders in training. I think the participation level at most shows will be up in most disciplines, especially working cow horse, cutting, reining, ranch sorting, barrel racing, etc. Since this is an election year, the government will do everything in its power to get people out and spend money – with tax cuts, etc. – and since the horse industry is fueled by discretionary income, this should all help add up to a better more stable year. The key for all of us is to keep on doing what we love…and get out and ride and compete! The end result will be a positive year for the equine industry.
What is YOUR favorite horse story shared with your dad?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Response to our Father’s Day eArena question was remarkable! To read all answers, please visit our eArena!
Los Angeles, CA
My dad was anxious to cure me of horse fever when I was about 4 or 5 years old. He took me to the pony rentals and told the man “strap her on tight and run the pony until she cries.” Well, of course I never cried. I just laughed and smiled. Dad finally surprised me with a horse when I turned 14 years old. Schroeder was waiting in our backyard when I got home from school on my birthday!
Newport Beach, CA
We had a local stable less than a mile from the house and everyday I would beg my dad for a horse. When I was 9 my parents went through a horrible divorce, and I cried everyday. One day my dad came and picked me up and took me to Chino, Calif., to look at a young horse (three — looking back I cannot believe it!). We bought him on the spot and trailered him to Fullerton — the Lucky Copper Corral! That, I can honestly say, was the best day of my life and it saved me from my sadness! I now have four horses in my backyard and I owe it all to my dad! I love you, Dad…I miss you!
What is YOUR favorite horse story shared with your mom?
She never missed a class…
I don’t have a specific story about my Mom…I just am so lucky that I had such a great Mom. She never missed a class, came to most of my lessons and was supportive in every way. I was a very lucky kid.
Crisis, and the best time ever…
Our first trip with the truck and trailer to Des Moines, Iowa, for the POA International Sale and Futurities. One blow out, two leaking tires, a 2-year-old with stitches, buying five horses and only having a three-horse trailer AND an insane freak storm with lightning, hail, and black ice…yet having the best time ever!
It's time to hit the trails! Spring is here with warmer (and drier!) weather and longer days...
MY FAVE: Montana de Oro in Los Osos! It is 8,000 acres of beauty with MILES of trails — both in the mountains and on the beach. Doesn’t get more varied than this wonderful place!
BEST BECAUSE: Always something to explore. The trails are beautifully varied, with lots of eucalyptus trees and ocean/beach access. The highest peak you can ride to is 1,347 feet, and to ride to the top of that and overlook the ocean is very peaceful and breathtaking. You can walk, trot, canter and gallop over a lot of the trails and work on endurance and great conditioning for your horses, too.
I START FROM: There are several different places along the road you can park, from a dirt lot to a sandy parking lot covered with trees. Very nice all around!