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Fellers and Flexible take Del Mar

Experience, athleticism prove a winning combo for tandem

From Horsetrader staff reports - May 20th, 2010

DEL MAR – After he clinched a jump-off spot on Flexible at the $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar, Rich Fellers found a seat. Scheduled last in the 10-horse jump-off, he watched the first entries in the final round, Helen McNaught on Caballo and Guy Thomas on Carino. It made all the difference.

“She rode a beautiful round – a really class jump-off round — and her horse jumped super,” Fellers, three weeks removed from the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final, said of McNaught. “She set the time right there.”

That front-running time was still standing when Fellers and Flexible took the course nine horses later. With McNaught’s turns and strides indelibly in mind, Fellers composed a go that Flexible executed perfectly.

Peters, Ravel in winning form at Del Mar

Special to the Horsetrader - May 20th, 2010
Steffen Peters and Ravel at Del Mar

Patti Newton photo

Steffen Peters and Ravel at Del Mar

DEL MAR — In their final CDI event before July’s selection trials to this fall’s Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, Steffen Peters and Ravel won the Grand Prix Freestyle on May 1 — and thrilled their hometown crowd.

The competition in the Del Mar Arena highlighted the dressage portion of the 65th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show, and it demonstrated Ravel’s preparedness for the big stage ahead in 2010. Peters and Ravel scored 81.300 percent, almost 10 points beyond the field, in what may have been the last of the pair’s performances to “Cold Play.” New choreography is under way, he said.

Fellow San Diego County riders Guenter Seidel (Encinitas) and Elizabeth Ball (Rancho Santa Fe) rounded out the top three, respectively, with Seidel and U scoring 71.850 and Ball riding Orion to a 66.700.

Deja vu — Doug Williamson, Smart Miss Merada win Hackamore Classic

Special to the Horsetrader - May 20th, 2010
Like they did in this 2009 photo, Doug Williamson and Smart Miss Merada won the 2010 NRCHA Hackamore Classic in Paso RObles April 25.

Primo Morales photo

Like they did in this 2009 photo, Doug Williamson and Smart Miss Merada won the 2010 NRCHA Hackamore Classic in Paso RObles April 25.

PASO ROBLES — For the second straight year, Doug Williamson and Smart Miss Merada won the Open Championship at the National Reined Cow Horse Association Hackamore Classic, held April 25 at the Mid-State Fairgrounds.

The Hackamore Classic is unique among the family of NRCHA Premier Limited Age Events in that it requires an entry to only be shown in the hackamore, while other events also allow for a snaffle. The challenging event celebrates the second stage of the traditional vaquero style of training cow horses.

“It’s really awesome to win this event back-to-back on the same horse,” said Williamson, who co-owns the mare with his wife, Carol, and took home $14,480. “Her heart is as big as can be – she will dig in and get you a win.”

On the first day of competition, Williamson and Smart Miss Merada (Leo Merada x Uno Smart Lady x Smart Little Uno) tied for the lead of the herd work with a 147. That was followed with a 144 in the rein work, and another 147 in the cow work. “She was solid the whole way through. She’s such a great little mare.”

Trailer Savvy

Before you hit the road this summer, we asked your local trailer dealers what they thought were most important concerns for the safety of you – their horsepeople customers. Here are their answers and where you can find them for more info.

Edited by Horsetrader staff - May 20th, 2010

Patrick LyonsSouthwest Trailer Sales, Ramona
Makes: Cimarron, Lakota, Bison, Trails West and Classic
See ad on Page 29
Safety. I would strongly suggest horse owners have an annual inspection done on their trailer. Some states require it by law. Due to the economic conditions over the last two years, many people have postponed their trailer maintenance. The age, condition and proper inflation of tires is a big one. Just because a tire looks good does not mean it is safe. Brakes, bearings and floor boards are also critical. A failure of any of these items can cause anything from an inconvenience to a major catastrophe.

Also, make sure their tow vehicle, hitch and equipment are all properly rated to be pulling the gross vehicle weight rating (GVRW) of the of the trailer they are pulling. California is starting to set up check points for trailers to make sure the tow vehicle, it’s hitch and other equipment are properly rated. Many receiver hitches are under rated for pulling dual axle trailers without the use of a weight distribution hitch. Get caught without out one and your trailer just might be impounded.

Tom Foran and Crome Plated Step go ‘Hollywood’

2010 charity reining attracts top talent

Special to the Horsetrader - May 20th, 2010
Tom Foran and Crome Plated Step won both the Open Derby and the Intermediate Open Derby at the 2010 Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center April XX-May XX.

Jim Naismith photo

Tom Foran and Crome Plated Step won both the Open Derby and the Intermediate Open Derby at the 2010 Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center April 28-May 2.

BURBANK – Tom Foran and Crome Plated Step captured the Open Derby and Intermediate Open Derby reining classes to highlight the 20th Annual Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, held April 28 – May 2 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

Highlighting the Non-Pro competition was Kirsten Booth, who rode Don’t Jac With Me to Derby title in both the Non-Pro and Limited Non-Pro Derbies. Don’t Jac With Me is owned by John Booth.

For the past 20 years, William Shatner has spearheaded the HCHS to raise money for a worthy children’s charity, bringing together world-class reining horses and riders. Then, as the sun sets, the much anticipated auction and music show — put on previously by headline groups such as Brad Paisley, Ben Folds, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and Randy Travis — kick off right after the show. This year’s musical guest was Sarah McLachlan.

Champion reining mare Rona Doc dies at age 30

From the Newstrader - May 20th, 2010
Rona Doc with Jim and Roberta McCarty last year.

Photo courtesy Residual Ranch

Rona Doc with Jim and Roberta McCarty last year.

AGUA DULCE – Rona Doc, one of California’s most consistent performers during reining’s rise in the region’s show scene, passed away April 30 on the ranch of her longtime owners, Steve and Georgiana Rodrigues.

For a generation, Rona Doc, who was originally bred, owned and trained by Jim and Roberta McCarty, made a habit of finishing at the top or near it of reining competitions from Del Mar to Santa Rosa. No where else was the mare’s consistency more noticed than the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association Jack Baker Classic, where Georgiana showed her for 11 years, winning it once and placing in the top 10 in all but one year.

“She was willing, talented, pretty – all the things you’d want in a very nice horse,” said Roberta McCarty, who sold Rona Doc to Georgiana as an 8-year old. “She made a great horse for Georgiana.”

Back Country Horsemen campaigns for new local groups

From the Newstrader - May 20th, 2010

Back Country Horsemen of America, one of the nation’s leading organizations in saving public lands trails for equestrian use, are ready to assist interested horsepeople with local programs.

Formed in the 1970s, the BCHA urges horse people with concerns of losing trails and trail access to act promptly and organize.

“There’s nothing wrong with riding clubs focused on enjoying our beautiful landscape from the back of a horse, but BCHA is dedicated also to preserving our opportunity to have that experience,” said BCHA publicist Sarah Wynne Jackson. “BCHA membership is not for everyone — but if you’re ready to pick up the reins to join the hard hitters and the big players in the effort to preserve our right to ride, you may be ready to accept the responsibility of BCHA membership.”

Learn what’s new – and save BIG, too, at the 2010 Expo!

From Horsetrader sales staff - May 20th, 2010

The Western States Horse Expo arrives at the Cal Expo in Sacramento June 11-13, and our next issue (June 3) will be in demand there! This will be our 12th straight year of sponsorship the Expo, and this year we’ve got some great new things going – bringing “buyers and sellers together.” We think both readers and advertisers will be winners! Our “Expo Shopper’s Guide” will be in print AND online (www.horsetrader.com) for everyone to read through and find from the vendors themselves what their hot, new items are. Plus, we’re offering vendors the chance to add a coupon to (in print AND online)their Shopper Guide listing. On top of it all, we’ll be sending to our email recipients a link so they don’t miss this special info! Our June 3 issue is a “don’t miss” issue – one of our most popular of the year. For more info on advertising, call Lori today (760-546-1184) or email to lori.wilson@horsertader.com. Deadline is Monday, May 24!

Training Your Hands

Resistance and pull are key communication points

By LES VOGT / Horsetrader columnist - May 20th, 2010

Next in a series
After getting relaxed in the saddle last issue, we focus on the reins

Every time you ride, be conscious of whether you’re letting your horse pull on your hands or not. There are two situations where you will feel resistance and you need to train yourself so that alarms go off in your head when they happen. First is when you pick up on a rein and feel resistance; that is, your horse doesn’t give right away to the pressure; and second is when the horse takes the slack out of the rein and starts leaning on you. Any time you feel resistance, you need to instinctively start working the snaffle in his mouth, until the resistance goes away and he gives his head with a soft poll. You don’t have to tug or pull, just move the snaffle back and forth with enough pressure to remind your horse it’s in his best interest to give to you and soften his poll.

Since this may be a new concept to you, it’s important that you stay at it until your response is instinctive. Compare it too the way you first learned to shift your car. At first you had to think about putting in the clutch, then shifting the gear, then releasing the clutch, all without giving yourself whiplash! But after a while you were just shifting gears without really thinking about it. Until your hands respond like this to pressure from your horse, you don’t want to move ahead into any of the next levels. Keeping your horse’s neck soft and supple at all times is a cornerstone of this program, and if your horse is leaning on your hands when you ask him to do something, you need to work the bridle until he yields to the pressure, and then make sure to reward him with slack.

Dear Dana: Help! My horses doesn’t transition well on a loose rein

By DANA HOKANA / Horsetrader columnist - May 19th, 2010

DEAR DANA: I am having problems with my lope transition. My horse’s first inclination is to not push with her hindquarters, but to pull her forehand up and round out to go into the lope. I worked most of last summer on this and what I do is pick up the reins and drive her into the lope. I’m not feeling that these transitions are getting much better, and she doesn’t go into it properly on a loose rein. Should I continue on the path that I’m taking, or is there a better exercise to work on this?
–Charlene Smith

DEAR CHARLENE: My goal is to be able to control the flight and step of the hock with my outside leg.  I do a lot of exercises to move my horse’s hindquarters over with my leg, but I hold and push with my leg or spur until my cue and his step get together.  That way, I can leg my horse into the lope and not release until he is committed into the lope.  With this in mind, try again and see if you are missing it by releasing too soon, or if he is laying on — or ignoring — your leg. 
Another exercise I do is to back squares.  If I’m working on the right lead departure for example, I will back him in a square off of my left leg, and when I can feel his acceptance and willingness, I will then do a 180-degree turn on the haunches toward the right or into the direction I want to lope off.  This will often get him off of his front end and it also demands that he move over off of your leg.  Plus, it builds acceptance and strengthens him for the departure.  Try this and it should help a lot!

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