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!
L.A. teen on Nemo 119 in 'surreal' $200,000 grand prix victory
THERMAL — From winning last year’s $25,000 California Horsetrader Junior Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic to taking this year’s richest grand prix on the circuit, Lucy Davis has enjoyed 12 remarkable months.
The 18-year-old Davis, riding Old Oak Farm’s Nemo 119, scored the crown jewel of the 2011 HITS Desert Circuit March 13 when they captured the $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix of the Desert, presented by Lamborghini of Newport Beach.
BOSSIER CITY, LA – Southern California horsewoman Janet (Newcomb) Van Bebber made history March 15th when the former youth champion in the show ring became the only woman trainer in Quarter Horse history to have won 1,000 races.
Van Bebber, daughter of well-known judge Judy Wright and sister of veterinarian Dr. John Newcomb of San Diego County, notched her milestone win at Louisiana Downs with Playthegame Withease, owned by Robert Latham. She accomplished the feat as a single mother, raising her daughter, 13-year-old Taylor, and training race horses on her own since her husband, Steve, died in late 2000.
DEL MAR – Through three days of the California Dressage Affaire CDI, the nearly 300 horses from four states and three nations provided a spectacle for dressage fans, but one particular entry caught the eye and hearts more than most.
Guenter Seidel, a three-time Olympian from Cardiff who was severely injured last June from a fall in Germany on UII, made his return to the arena on the talented horse and won the Grandprix Freestyle with a 71.900% performance that electrified the grandstand.
Southern California Reined Cow Horse Assn. kicks show season into gear at Casner Ranch
The event hosted SCRCHA and National Reined Cow Horse Association classes, as well as American Quarter Horse Association cutting classes.
Trail Trials gives riders the next step to compete
PALMDALE – Equestrian Trails, Inc. may be in its 65th year, but the group’s energy is more like a young colt.
One of ETI’s most active corrals, ETI Corral #138, held a Trail Trial April 3 from the new Barrel Springs Arena in northern Los Angeles County, and 45 riders competed at the fun, well-attended event.
“Trail Trials are a fun competition on the trail that friends and family can do together,” said organizer Kimberly Dwight, adding that judging is based on safety and control in negotiation of 10 obstacles. “You’ll also learn lots about your relationship with your horse and how he responds to your cues.”
San Diego County
Los Vaqueros Group Horse Camp
This group horse campground is available by reservation from mid May until mid September. You may make reservations by contacting Reserve America.
The group horse camp is located on Los Caballos road, about two miles east of Highway 79, inside Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The park offers over 100 miles of hiking trails with pine and oak forests, meadows, streams, ocean and desert views.
DEAR VICTORIA: A horse is over-bridling his head when he carries his head extremely bridled and behind the vertical position. When he is over-bridled the horse will often arch his neck or throat latch giving him an unnatural look. Many horses carry their head and neck this way because they are afraid or intimidated. Although I also want to stress that many times horses have learned to over-bridle, and even if you do everything right, it may have become a habit for him. It can be complicated!
The 13th Annual Fiesta Charity Spectacular and Horse Show will bring to life the Los Angeles Equestrian Center May 4-8 with an exciting display of events with a heartfelt cause – to raise funds for much-needed research to stop cancer. This five-day event also honors horses and people steeped in rich tradition and has provided an array of entertainment, as well as awareness and knowledge on cancer in the community. The Spectacular will be held on Saturday, May 7 and will showcase an enchanting multi-cultural “Broadway Style” Equestrian and Musical Spectacular – a dazzling display highlighted by Latin, Mariachi, and other music, as well as Flamenco and Folkloric dancing. Performances will also demonstrate the agility of many breeds of horses that date back to the original Spanish bred horse brought to American in the 1400′s. The Fiesta Charity Multi-breed Horse Show will be held on May 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th, and will be free to the public. A Dressage show will be featured on Wednesday, May 4th and an Open Driving Show on Thursday, May 5th. These days will also showcase Andalusians, Lusitanos, Pure Raza Espanola, Friesians, Paso Finos, Peruvian Pasos, Gypsy Horses, Plantation Walking Horses, and Open classes. See the ad on page 96 for more information, or call (818) 842-8444.
Ribcage & Hip Control on the fence
The Brace Rein
Remember how you used your rein to move the horse’s shoulders? First making light contact for bend, then lifting your hand and moving over to direct the shoulders?
Well the brace rein is the same concept, except rather than using it to move the horse’s shoulders, you’re just asking him to keep them out of the movement by just maintaining a slight bend with his neck. Whenever you are using the brace rein, you want to make sure that your other rein is way away from the horse’s neck.
When would we use a brace rein? We’ll use it in exercises three and four, which we’ll start in this lesson, and after that, mainly for lope departures and lead changes. In exercise number four, which is for hip control, when you want to move your horse’s hips to the right, you will use a brace rein to make sure his shoulders stay to the left
or at least straight, so that you isolate only the hip with the movement. If you’re not effective at keeping the shoulders out of the way with your brace rein when you use your leg in the back, or hip, position, the energy will most likely come out the shoulders instead.
As we start to move the hips and ribs, learning to keep the shoulders out of the way while keeping life in your hands will take a little practice, but the better you get it here, the easier you’ll get along when we progress to correct lope departures and lead changes.
Being able to move the horse’s ribcage has a lot of benefits. For one, if you get a little resistance in the horse’s mouth when you ask him to give laterally, you can help create the bend in his body by pushing his ribs over. This can be especially helpful if you’re riding in one hand. Rather than having to bump the horse straight back you can work at softening him by pushing him back and forth between your legs. You can push the ribs out to increase the size of your circles.
Editor’s Note: More with Les is a regular California Horsetrader column. Les Vogt has won more than 15 World Championships, including two wins at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Although Les still rides and occasionally shows, his focus is giving clinics around the world and developing products for the performance horseman. To learn more about Les and to see his clinic schedule, visit www.lesvogt.com
You can read previous More with Les columns at: http://news.horsetrader.com