As vacation nears, California's top riding camps prepare for this summer's experience. Here are some of the best!
Rawhide Ranch has been a Southern California camp tradition since 1963. Overnight one week or multi-week summer camp sessions are available, as well as a Winter Camp week. Week-long camps feature Western riding lessons, animal and horse science classes, animal care, vaulting lessons (gymnastics on horseback) and much more. The programs are great for beginners and are ACA and CHA accredited.
In addition to our week-long summer camp, special programs are offered throughout the year at Rawhide Ranch, including its “Girls-Only” Equestrian Experience Workshop, Spotlight Weekends and Family Camp. Three-day Camps are for school groups, and weekend programs for youth group are also available September through May. Call (760) 758-0083 for more information or to reserve your spot!
Bree Hokana adds reining title to Temecula family's successes
TEMECULA – Last year, when Bree Hokana had her goal in hand, it had been a long time coming.
After all, the 2010 American Quarter Horse Association High Point Youth Reining Championship is no quick achievement — it takes a year’s worth of competing across thousands of miles to earn the nation’s highest point total of all riders 18-under in the popular class. She committed to the goal after a monstrous 23-point showing on her SCF The Night Train at the Sun Circuit early last year, but the fire to win the nation may have kindled five years earlier. That’s when she watched her older sister, Brook, accept the same award at the AQHA Youth Banquet.
Spencer Rose Litwack has ridden a childhood passion for trick roping to the Cavalia center stage
BURBANK – Of all tricks Spencer Rose has done on horseback, she still remembers her first one in front of a crowd.
She was 12, and her folks were among parents gathered to watch their daughters as they revealed what they had learned during a week-long trick riding camp at the Riata Ranch in Exeter. The routines were simple, slow and very safe – but still quite challenging for a girl who had ridden for the first time that week.
Shadow Hills, CA
The smart horse owner will make his/her spouse No. 1 on Valentine’s Day, if only for the sake of harmony! Just think of the number of times one can get a free pass to the barn by being thoughtful when it counts.
I plan to show my horse LOVE this Valentines Day by making her a special bran mash with grated carrots and molasses and maybe I will add a drop or two of red food coloring!
San Clemente, CA
Clinics are great because you get to meet a lot of new people who are interested in the same thing you are. At the recent Reined Cow Horse Benefit Clinic for Grant Berg at Casner’s, it was good because there were several different trainers so you got insight from each one individually — Russell Dilday, Todd Crawford, Don Murphy and Jake Gorrell.
I think the most valuable thing I take away from a clinic is experiencing different perspectives, techniques, and exercises to incorporate into my daily riding routine. There are many wonderful teachers and so much helpful information readily available to us. Everyone should take advantage of the “clinic” opportunity. I like to go gather information from all disciplines and combine it into a program that works best for myself and my horses! By far my most memorable clinic I participated in was taught by Susie Hutchison. To most, she is known as a world-class hunter/jumper rider — but the knowledge she offers is diverse and crosses over into all disciplines. Best of al,l the lessons learned are lasting. It’s been an honor to learn from such a special horsewoman.
In each of her four years with Cantano, Susan Hutchison has taken him a step up
His rider, Susie Hutchison, is confident the 11-year-old Holsteiner stallion owned by the El Dorado 29 partnership is set for success in 2011, too. Actually, it’s their teamwork that appears ready as they head into the upcoming HITS Thermal campaign.
“Right now, we are in such synch,” said Hutchison, a former AGA Rider of the Year and four-time World Cup finalist who has been bringing Cantano along four years now.
An opportunity to grow the sport he loves in a new world takes Tim Shelley to Japan
TEMECULA – Trainer Tim Shelley has always enjoyed the bringing along of a horse or rider. Now he is in Japan, bringing along a new culture into the world of Western riding.
Shelley, who left behind him last fall a legacy of good riders he taught across the Southern California landscape he has called home for three decades, now resides at the doorstep of Mount Fuji in Yamanashi, Japan, at the Paddyfield Riding Club. He accepted the position to direct it for owner Chihiro Niwata, whom Shelley met when the Japanese horsewoman came to the U.S. more than a year ago looking for a good reining horse.
With municipal budgets shrinking, volunteer mounted patrols are needed more than ever
LOS ANGELES — In today’s economy, most of us are aware that funding for both local City Parks, County Parks and State Parks have been cut severely. Agencies are suffering for funds for maintenance, security and other routine patrol functions. For the equestrian, this is a fine opportunity to step up, help out, and polish the image of horses and equestrian contribution in both urban and rural communities.
In many Southern California cities, our western heritage and the role of the horse has been forgotten by many urban dwellers. Equestrian volunteerism works well from a public relations prospect — the horse is in the public eye, as is its importance to the rural lifestyle and also to the general public.
Golden State heroics at NRHA Futurity start with Spooks Gotta Whiz winning NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity title
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The 2010 National Reining Horse Association $170,000 added National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Open Futurity Finals brought an exciting end to the NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Show at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This year’s riders were mounted on world-class reining horses all aiming for the $125,000 championship purse and their share of NRHA Corporate Partner and Futurity Sponsor awards.
Jordan Larson and Spooks Gotta Whiz were crowned the 2010 Level 4 Open Futurity champions. The duo scored a 227 in the finals and a $125,000 check for the win. The stallion, by Spooks Gotta Gun out of Prettywhizprettydoes, is owned by Michell Anne Kimball of Encinitas.
Arcese Quarter Horses USA owns the Wimpys Little Step stallion that recently competed at the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games. The six-year-old won the Team Bronze Medal with Stefano Massignan in the saddle and has more than $55,000 in NRHA lifetime earnings. Fappani is a perennial finalist at the NRHA Futurity, NRHA Derby, National Reining Breeder’s Classic and other NRHA major competitions. Fappani became the only European rider to win the NRHA Futurity’s Open Division in 2001.