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Canadians go 1-2-3; Susie and Cantano return to San Juan

From Horsetrader staff reports - April 15th, 2010

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – As eagerly awaited as the swallows, the Blenheim EquiSports Spring Tournament returned Easter weekend, launching a fresh season of Blenheim show jumping while winding up FEI World Cup qualifiers with the $50,000 Orange County Register CSI-W Grand Prix.

The April 2 Friday night headliner class, the final West Coast qualifier for the 2010 FEI World Cup Finals in Geneva, Switzerland, April 14-18, went to the Canadians. Riders John Pearce, Karen Cudmore and Chris Pratt went 1-2-3, respectively, with Pearce and Chianto the only ones managing a clear round on Olaf Petersen Jr.’s challenging course.

Calizona ApHC group is exemplary again!

Regional club earns national competition for the third straight year

From the Newstrader - April 15th, 2010
For the third straight year, Calizona ApHC won the Exemplary Appaloosa Regional Club Award, announced recently. Some members and friends of the group include (from left) Debbie Herzman, Erin Kortum, Patti Hiebert, Melissa Hiebert, Club President Leslie Foxvog, Cindy Raysser, Toni Dean, Pat Stauffer, Madelyn Raffesberger, CJ Brooks, Pam Hargesheimer, Stephanie Vrabel, Dean Hargesheimer, McKinley Shanks, and Terri Hart.

Photo courtesy Calizona Horse Club

For the third straight year, Calizona ApHC won the Exemplary Appaloosa Regional Club Award, announced recently. Some members and friends of the group include (from left) Debbie Herzman, Erin Kortum, Patti Hiebert, Melissa Hiebert†, Club President Leslie Foxvog, Cindy Raysser, Toni Dean, Pat Stauffer, Madelyn Raffesberger, CJ Brooks, Pam Hargesheimer, Stephanie Vrabel, Dean Hargesheimer, McKinley Shanks, and Terri Hart.

MOSCOW, Idaho – For the third straight year, the Calizona Appaloosa Horse Club has been named the Exemplary Appaloosa Regional Club, an honor developed to recognize regional clubs that go above and beyond when promoting the Appaloosa breed.

Founded in 1953, the 70-member Calizona group documented its annual activities in a scrapbook. The effort had to meet 28 criteria set up by the ApHC, with points awarded in categories like shows, trail rides, parades, membership increases, youth programs and other activities. Regional Clubs had a Jan. 30 deadline to submit entries for the previous year.

“The award recognizes a very active club which promotes the Appaloosa breed both within and outside,” said Leslie Foxvog, a 12-year Calizona member who has been club president since 2000. “To win this award takes planning and a team effort.”

In both 2008 and 2009, Calizona won the national honor by virtue of meeting 26 of 28 scoring criteria.

“We don’t know our point totals yet this year, but we are proud to have met that many categories,” said Foxvog.

Calizona’s enthusiastic, eager membership is refreshing in the face of tough economic times. The group makes it a point to work together.

Memories of 40 years of Norco ‘Horseweeks’

Horsetown USA celebrates horse and communitiy April 16-25

From Horsetrader staff reports - April 15th, 2010
Visit norconow.com for a full event schedule.

Visit norconow.com for a full event schedule.

What is “Norco Horseweek”? If you are familiar with “Horsetown USA,” you realize that there are 52 horse weeks a year in Norco. However, for 40 years now, “Norco Horse Week” is something more — a celebration of a lifestyle that is appreciated by this town’s residents and visitors alike. Fund-raisers, the rodeo, the chili cook-off, the parade, the dance — and don’t forget the rides! There’s much to see and do doing Norco Horse Week.

Click here for a full Norco Horseweek schedule and read residents’ favorite memories of events past.

Nominations for Norco Hall of Fame are now

Organization is looking for a few good champions; application is online

From Horsetrader staff reports - April 15th, 2010

The Norco Hall of Fame is looking for a few good champions to call its own. Nominations for 2010 inductees are under way, and the first step in the process is to obtain the induction application from the organization’s website, http://www.HorseTownUsaHallOfFame.com. Deadline for applications is June 7.

The mission of the Horsetown Hall of Fame is “to honor the trainers, breeders, riders and horses from Norco who have achieved championship status.”

After 16 inaugural Hall of Fame members were inducted in 2008, 13 were added last year.
Fund-raisers for the Hall include the upcoming Horsetown Hall of Fame Gold Tournament on Saturday, April 25. The shot-gun start, best-ball tourney has some great prizes, including $10,000 in cash and a pair of week-long trips — one to Hawaii, one to Las Vegas. It starts at noon at Paradise Knolls.

Norco ranch tour fund-raiser set for May 22

Participants sample the finest of life in Horsetown USA

Special to the Horsetrader - April 15th, 2010

This marks the fifth year that the community will host a tour of Horsetown USA’s finest ranches, with proceeds benefitting the Norco Regonal Conservancy “Friends of Norco Hills” open space project.

The Fifth Annual Norco Ranch Tour will include stops at DeBruce Mini Ranch, Cutting Horse Ranch, refreshments at S&Z Ranch, White Farms and its Peruvian Pasos, and more for a $10 donation. A view of the Norconian Hotel from Red Cloud Stables and a trip to the Norco High School Ag and FFA departments are on the trip, too.

For more information, contact Norco Horseman’s Association President Danny Azevedo at AZrider@sbcglobal.net.

More than 500 ‘gamblers’ make Casino Night a hit

From Horsetrader staff reports - April 15th, 2010

The Norco Horsemen’s Association turned Nellie Weaver Hall into an Old West Gambling Hall April 10, and more than 500 folks came to play. The big winners were the FFA students at Norco High School, which awards 10 $500 scholarships from this annual fund-raiser.

“It was a great turn-out this year,” says Denise Shoemaker, who helped her husband, Vern, lead the 19-member Casino Night committee for the second straight year of the event’s 14 years. “We’re looking forward to next year!”

What should I be looking for when
I’m selecting a new horse ‘partner’?

By RAY ARISS / Horsetrader columnist - April 14th, 2010

HEY RAY!: As a mounted posse member, I need a clear picture of what to look for in a horse when I’m selecting a partner for this kind of work. Do you have any suggestions for people in my situation to make the right choice?
— Kim Amerman, Wildomar, Calif.

HEY KIM: Anytime you deal with a horse, it’s always good to have a clear picture of what you want before getting started. So, you’re off to a good start. The qualities that should be important for a mounted police horse should be the standard for all horses. Security and dependability are two elements that go a long way any time you need to rely on any partner in a relationship.

That’s where we should start. When you stand in front of the horse you are considering, ask yourself: “How do I feel about this horse?” When you look into his eye, does he settle you or does he make you uncomfortable? In this moment, you need to trust your instincts. It’s so easy to be distracted by a pretty face, a beautiful color, fancy movement or maybe even a great education. Just because a horse has been taught to do something, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be willing to do it for you. It’s not to say that the qualities mentioned above are not important, I just believe that a sweet, willing and predictable horse should be at the top of the list. So look for that intention of being able to S.W.A.P. through every phase of the evaluation while going down your list of standards.

The standard should not be gauged by what they are able to do, but rather on how they actually do it — and how you feel about the horse’s intention. You can expose a horse to flags, bags, tarps, smoke and even gunfire, but all of this would be of no value if the horse was not accepting of it. I’ve talked about tolerance versus acceptance in previous columns, and acceptance is a must. A “barely tolerant” horse can still be unpredictable and therefore dangerous. So look for a horse that shows “try” as opposed to “fight.” It will make the whole difference in the future of your relationship with him. Because a perfect horse does not exist, you need to look for a horse that has the ability to learn with ease. If you don’t trust your own judgment, then find someone’s judgment that you do trust to help you.

The trained horse will probably be more expensive than the trainable one, but he will probably not be necessarily better. If money is no object, you should start off with the most trained horse you can find that fits the bill. Now, how do you know that the training that he purportedly has is actually in him? My suggestion to you is to ask the seller to leave the horse in the stall until you get there. Try to get a feel for this horse from the moment the seller approaches the horse in the stall, halters, leads, cross ties, grooms, cleans his feet, saddles, cinches up, bridles, leads out to the arena, lunges, mounts, rides through any and all of your requests and requirements, dismounts, unsaddles, showers and returns to the stall. This is going to come down to a judgment call on your part that shouldn’t be stated until you get home. You need to ask yourself, do I still feel like he is “the one?” If the answer is “yes,” make an appointment to see him again. This time, it’s your turn. If all goes well, try not to be too excited and negotiate down. Make sure you leave with him; he’s the horse of your dreams. So, Kim, especially in your case, you will need to trust your instincts and think safe.


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!

Dear Dana: How can I help my horse
be less scared of other horses?

By DANA HOKANA / Horsetrader columnist - April 14th, 2010

DEAR DANA: My mare is 5 years old. I was told that before I bought her she had been “beaten up” by other horses. Now I am trying to do drill with her, but she flinches and tries to get away as quickly as possible when another horse comes near her. She is so scared of other horses, even if they just look at her with their ears pinned or swish their tail. How can I break her of this? She is fine on trail rides, just as long as another horse does not turn their behind toward her.
–Rachel Pritchett, Brentwood, Calif.

DEAR RACHEL: In the past, I’ve trained horses with the same problem, and I was able to get them “over it” enough to become show horses. Some of them overcame it completely, while some stayed a little apprehensive of other horses — especially if those other horses were swishing their tail or moving fast around my horse. The mare was probably the bottom of the pecking order in the pasture, and those horses can be a little more timid or sensitive. But even though we didn’t reach perfection, the horses were greatly improved.

What I did to help my horse overcome her fear was to build positive experiences around other horses. Since I have access to other horses, I am able to do this, but you may have to enlist other people and their horses. With time and patience, you can help her through this.

First, pony her off of other horses. I would pick a safe, quiet horse that I knew would not kick or frighten her. Start at the walk, stopping often to pet her on the face, neck, and shoulders.

Every time I pulled her toward me on the other horse, she would be afraid, but I would pat her and talk to her. She gradually became willing and happy to walk up to me sitting on a horse because each time the experience ended positively.

This is one of the keys to overcoming her fear. Build each negative experience into a positive one and don’t quit until you have some improvement. I had one mare that was so afraid that it took me hours the first time I did this exercise — but I was patient and I kept at it. I also talked to her often while I was ponying her, as the human voice can be a soothing reward to horses.

The next step is to ride her and pony other horses off of her. You’ll need to make sure the mare doesn’t kick at the other horses, of course. In fact, use discretion here — if she is aggressive and prone to kick, you may skip this exercise altogether. Also, control or limit the horses touching noses or one another. This will reduce the amount that they “argue,” so to speak, and kick out at one another. That could turn your forward progress backward quickly! Also, remember that when you turn her nose or face toward the horse, then her hindquarters move away, so by controlling her front end, you control her hindquarters!

Next, sit on the mare and have people ride around and up to you, then pet her and talk her from their horse. This really helps a lot because she starts out afraid of a horse approaching her, but ends positively by getting petted and talked to! In my training, I would also tie her in my arena and ride up to and around her, cautiously. If the mare gets afraid or pulls back, it could make it worse.

I would also get people to ride next to me and also with me. I also found it helpful to take the horse to a lot of shows to ride around crowds of horses.

One thing to be mindful of is this: Don’t put her in a situation that would leave her more fearful. At the shows, I would ride defensively, and if some of the other horses looked out of control, I would keep her away from that horse. I would do nothing to make it worse, if possible!

Good Luck, and with time and patience and positive exposure to other horses, you can improve her!


Have your own question for Dana? If so, click here! If your question is used in “Dear Dana”, you will be entered into a monthly drawing for a FREE “Winning Strides” DVD!

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Meeting May 4 for Norco’s neighbor Chino Hills on development

Horsetrader staff reports - April 14th, 2010

Equestrians and residents in Chino Hill’s English Road area have expressed concerns about a proposal to build a large church in their neighborhood. The proposal seeks a Conditional Use Permit for a church at the intersection of English Road and Peyton Drive with a 297-seat sanctuary, 110 parking spaces, offices, and group assembly rooms in the midst of the city’s unique Equestrian Overlay area.