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Ashlee Bond, Cadett 7 take back-to-back Grand Prix wins

By DANIEL K. LEW / Horsetrader staff - September 17th, 2009

Ashlee Bond and her Cadett 7, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Little Valley Farms, take consecutive victories at the $40,000 Summer Classic Grand Prix on Aug. 22 and $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark on Aug. 29.

Daniel K. Lew / Horsetrader photo

Ashlee Bond and her Cadett 7, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Little Valley Farms, take consecutive victories at the $40,000 Summer Classic Grand Prix on Aug. 22 and $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark on Aug. 29.

DEL MAR — Californians Ashlee Bond and Richard Spooner competed as part of the U.S. Nations Cup team against some of the world’s best in Europe this past summer–and that experience proved to prepare them and their horses well for Grand Prix events upon returning to the United States.

In their first competitions back in California, Bond of Santa Monica, Calif., and her Cadett 7, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Little Valley Farms of Calabasas, Calif., took consecutive victories at the $40,000 Summer Classic Grand Prix on Aug. 22 and $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark on Aug. 29. Both of the events were managed by Blenheim EquiSports and held at Del Mar Horsepark.

Earlier, Spooner of Agua Dulce, Calif., won the $25,000 Blenheim Summer Classic I Grand Prix riding Conquest of Paradiso within days of coming back on Aug. 9 at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano. Spooner and Conquest of Paradiso followed up with a second-place finish Aug. 15 at the $35,000 Blenheim Summer Classic II Grand Prix.

Chics Magic Potion wins, retires after World’s Richest Stock Horse contest

Bob Avila takes stallion to $300K mark after NSHA showdown

From Horsetrader staff reports - September 17th, 2009

Almost six years to the day of winning his first event on Chics Magic Potion, Bob Avila strikes the champion's pose on the stallion for the final time after winning the 2009 NSHA World's Richest Stock Horse competition.

Daniel K. Lew / Horsetrader photo

Almost six years to the day of winning his first event on Chics Magic Potion, Bob Avila strikes the champion's pose on the stallion for the final time after winning the 2009 NSHA World's Richest Stock Horse competition.

PASO ROBLES — Minutes after their roar in the night air of the Chumash Arena, spectators filed from the grandstand, right past him. Bob Avila sat on Chics Magic Potion near the gate, thanking by-passers for their congratulations after a textbook, 225 fence work had left the rider atop the talented field of the 2009 National Stock Horse Association’s Golden Hills Auto World’s Richest Stock Horse Competition.

There, Avila and the horse stood, awaiting their queue to return to the arena for a line-up trophy photograph. Then quietly, casually he said this would be the “Magic’s” final competition.

“He’s been a great winner, and I want him to go out a great winner,” said Avila, whose last win on the 9-year-old stallion came six years almost to the day of his first one — the 2003 NRCHA Cow Horse Classic. “He’s done so much for me. I’ve had him since he was a 2-year old. I want him to retire when he’s on top.”

Ingalls tops USEF National Jr. Hunter Championships – West Coast

Special to the Horsetrader - September 17th, 2009

Caroline Ingalls (second from left) and Small Town win the USEF National Junior Hunter Championships--West Coast Overall title. They are congratulated by Monarch International representatives Joe Thorpe and Keri Kampsen, owner Elizabeth Reilly, and trainer Hap Hansen.

Captured Moment Photography

Caroline Ingalls (second from left) and Small Town win the USEF National Junior Hunter Championships--West Coast Overall title. They are congratulated by Monarch International representatives Joe Thorpe and Keri Kampsen, owner Elizabeth Reilly, and trainer Hap Hansen.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Caroline Ingalls and Small Town earned the Overall Champions title at the 2009 U.S. Equestrian Federation’s National Junior Hunter Championships–West Coast, hosted by Blenheim EquiSports, held Aug. 11-12 at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.

More than 40 juniors from various West Coast locales hunted their horses for two days of competition and exhibitor parties under cloudless skies.

With an overall three-phase adjusted score of 251.6, including impressive Classic scores of 88, 86 and 88, Ingalls riding Small Town, a Large Older Junior Hunter Hanoverian gelding, owned by Chris Iwasaki, took home the Monarch International Perpetual Award for the West Coast and a gift certificate for The Clothes Horse. The Overall Reserve Champion was a Small Junior Older Hunter, Pringle, ridden by Amber Henter and owned by Ashley Pryde.

Show-jumping horse ‘Summer’ retires after successful
Grand Prix career

Honors include PCHA Horse of the Year and competing in two World Cup Finals

By DANIEL K. LEW / Horsetrader staff - September 17th, 2009

Summer, a Grand Prix show-jumping horse, retires during an Aug. 29 ceremony at Del Mar Horsepark. The 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare is accompanied by rider Mandy Porter, owner Barb Ellison and groom Cece Ratz.

Daniel K. Lew / Horsetrader photo

Summer, a Grand Prix show-jumping horse, retires during an Aug. 29 ceremony at Del Mar Horsepark. The 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare is accompanied by rider Mandy Porter, owner Barb Ellison and groom Cece Ratz.

DEL MAR — After a decorated show-jumping career, Summer, a gray 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, entered the show ring for the last time Aug. 29 for her retirement ceremony. Summer and her long-time rider, Mandy Porter of Encinitas, Calif., have won numerous Grand Prix events, and competed at prestigious events, such as the 2007 and 2008 FEI World Cup Jumping Finals. Summer was also honored as the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association 2006 Horse of the Year.

Summer’s retirement was held at Blenheim EquiSport’s All Seasons Summer Tournament at Del Mar Horsepark, prior to the $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark, the first in a series of World Cup Qualifiers for the 2010 FEI World Cup Jumping Finals. The evening of Summer’s retirement marked the end to her Grand Prix and World Cup career, but it was the start of competition for next year’s World Cup hopefuls.

More with Les: The Five Easy Pieces

Exercises to move and take control of your horse’s different body zones

By LES VOGT / Horsetrader columnist - September 17th, 2009

Continuing in a Series
In the next few installments, Les Vogt takes you through exercises of his Five Easy Pieces. When you’ve mastered them, you should be able to put any part of your horse’s body where you want it, without resistance. This time, we introduce Exercise No. 2: Shoulder Control.

Up until this point, we’ve primarily focused on influencing the horse’s head and neck through lateral and vertical flexion. In this lesson, you’re going to move back a zone and learn to control the shoulders. Once you can do that, it opens the door for many of the maneuvers that you’ll be working on in the future.

Ella Norwood Benefit Horse Show helps raise $30,000

From the Newstrader - September 17th, 2009

Bill and Kelli Norwood, with their daughter Ella, thank supporters of the Ella Norwood Benefit Horse Show.

Courtesy photo

Bill and Kelli Norwood, with their daughter Ella, thank supporters of the Ella Norwood Benefit Horse Show.

TEMECULA — The horse community came out to support the Norwood family at the Ella Norwood Benefit Horse Show on Aug. 29 at Casner Ranch. Friends of Bill and Kelli Norwood organized the fund-raising horse show, auction and dinner to help pay for medical costs of their daughter, Ella Maree Norwood, who at just 5 weeks old this past April, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer. After a successful surgery at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, doctors reportedly are confident they were able to remove all of the tumor. However, insurance coverage is limited, and hospital bills are high.

Horses find refuge from fires at evacuation sites

From the Newstrader - September 17th, 2009

About 90 horses evacuating from fires found shelter at Los Angeles Pierce College's Equestrian Center.

Pierce College photo

About 90 horses evacuating from fires found shelter at Los Angeles Pierce College's Equestrian Center.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA — Eight different wildfires in California from August through September forced the evacuation of horses throughout the state. The biggest one, called the Station fire in Los Angeles County, has consumed more than 160,000 acres. Many Southern California horses took shelter at major evacuation sites, such as Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster, and Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills.

By the beginning of September, about 90 horses found safe haven at Los Angeles Pierce College’s Equestrian Center, which has accommodations for up to 200. Most of the horses came from the evacuated areas of Tujunga and Acton.

How do I get back in the saddle again when I’m paralyzed with fear?

By RAY ARISS/ Horsetrader columnist - September 15th, 2009

HEY RAY: I’m a 52-year-old woman who has been crazy about horses since I was a kid! I presently own four horses, but I don’t ride. About a year ago, I had a bad fall and developed a tremendous fear that has kept me from riding. Before then, I rode every day and had so much fun. I considered myself a confident, good rider. My friends are trying to help me, but I just don’t trust them or the horses they want me to ride. What’s an ex-good rider to do?
-Barbra of Colorado Springs, CO

DEAR BARBRA: I’m happy to hear you’re OK, and that your instincts are still intact. They are – and will always be — the single most important element that any horseman can have. Of course, you should be afraid of getting back on your horse. You were hurt, and you’re not exactly sure what to do. It’s smart to do nothing until you are perfectly clear about what happened, and how you need to handle what has transpired.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

Instead of being hurt by your horse, let’s replace it with your car. If you had a bad accident while driving and got hurt because the brakes failed to work, it would be foolish to get back into that same car and drive away…right? It would only make sense if you either knew how to fix the brakes or had a mechanic to help you. The old saying…If you fall off your horse, you should get back on, only applies if it was your error …not the horse’s. If your accident happened because of a lack of balance, positioning or focus and the horse had no intention of hurting you, then yes, you should get back on. Make the adjustment and learn from the experience.

On the other hand, if the horse had issues or challenges beyond your ability or experience, then stay off. This is the wrong horse for you. Either get it fixed or find a sweet, willing and predictable horse to ride. I’ve seen so many people who try to be tough in dangerous situations, only to end up hurt.

So, good for you, for trusting your instincts and holding your ground. But my suggestion to you is to question yourself: “Should I be afraid of what I am about to do?” Listen to your instincts. If they make sense, then commit to yourself — and stay safe.

I hope you get back on, and if you do, start with baby steps. Do nothing differently than you would do if you were putting a child on a horse for the first time. The young rider, too, needs to be convinced that it will be OK. Then, follow these steps:

Step 1: Lunge the horse first, to get a sense of how the horse moves and acts.

Step 2: Have someone else ride first. This may give confidence to an insecure rider because, again, it may uncover fears or doubts about the horse.

Step 3: I commonly put my young children on our safe lesson horses in order to prove to insecure riders that they will be safe. When feeling safe, riders instantly feel willing to try.

What this will do, is reconcile your instincts to get back on with the reality of being in the saddle again. Sometimes our instincts are not in sync with reality because we are in a phobic state of mind. Until we make that adjustment, things will always seem worse then they really are.

So, before you put your foot in the stirrup, you need to convince yourself that what you are doing, is not dangerous or crazy. Getting back on the right horse, a safe horse, after a bad fall is simply scary. Remember you know how to ride. You have experience and knowledge. This is not about teaching you how to ride. It’s more about learning good judgment. So, simply ask yourself: “Is the horse I’m about to ride sweet, willing and predictable?” If the answer is no, don’t ride until he gets trained. If you don’t know, go through the steps above until you are convinced he is safe.

If the answer is yes, find somebody whom you trust and with whom you can communicate well. They will be handling the horse from the ground and helping you regain your confidence, one step a time. It should be somebody who understands the meaning of the word “stop.” What I mean by that is, when you become anxious or scared and you need a break, they need to allow you to stop instantly. Don’t rush this. The slower and the more breaks you take, the better.

I wish you well, Barbara. Always trust your instincts!

Ray

Horsetrader columnist Ray Ariss, husband to Pippa Ariss and father of six, shares his insight into the relationship of horseand human twice each month, in print and on www.horsetrader.com. He lives and trains in “Horsetown USA”, Norco, Calif., at his bustling Starbrite Riding Academy, where he currently has 50 horses in various stages of training, including Andalusians, Friesians, Quarter Horses, Paints, Thoroughbreds, Arabs, Mustangs and more. Ray attributes his training success to the support of his wife and partner, Pippa, and a system he calls S.W.A.P., to which he credits his multiple championships in several disciplines. His passionate understanding of the “human-horse” relationship was evident when he took on the challenge of training a wild Mustang and — in just 100 days — produced the highest-priced adopted Mustang ever — $50,000. Does your “horse-human relationship” leave you with a question for Ray? Click here to submit one!