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If you have a horse, horse trailer and tow vehicle and have a desire to give back to your community, then the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Mounted Posse is looking for you.

The L.A. Sheriffs Mounted Posse seeks riders to serve as reserve deputies and civilian volunteers. Mounted Posse members support the department by patrolling rural trails, shopping malls, and participating in community parades and other community events. Requirements include being 18 years of age or older, having United States citizenship, residency in Los Angeles County or surrounding area, and passing of a background check. The stations that currently have mounted posses include the Altadena Station, the Industry Station, Malibu/Lost Hills Station, the Lomita Station, the Palmdale Station, the San Dimas Station, the Santa Clarita Station and the Temple Station. Equestrians interested in joining the Los Angeles Mounted Posse should contact the station nearest them:

ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Mounted Posse, an equestrian group that performs in parades throughout San Diego County and beyond, is looking for new members to expand its ranks.  To become qualified to ride in parades takes about two to three months, as each applicant must attend a Posse monthly meeting, a couple of training sessions and function as ground crew at a parade.  Prospects also must pass a horse-and-rider inspection, performed by the sponsorship committee.

Adding Vertical Flexion to Bend

32nd in a series

Les Vogt for the Horsetrader - February 4th, 2016

More With Les graphicSince in last lesson’s exercises we asked you to be conscious of the horse’s nose getting too far out in a turn, this exercise shouldn’t be new to you. But before, you only used the outside rein to correct problems; here I want you to use the outside rein consciously, as you ask the horse to really break at the poll and bring his nose toward his chest from the lateral flexion position.

Begin by walking a circle to the right, with light rein contact and your horse’s frame matching the circumference of the circle, just like you did in the last lesson. Now make contact with your left rein and very gently, with just your fingertips, work your hands back and forth until your horse softens his neck and starts to bring his nose in toward his chest. While you’re moving the reins, you’ll want to gently squeeze with your calves to encourage him to keep moving up over the bit rather than slowing down. As soon as your horse softens to your rein pressure and moves his nose in toward his chest, release your cues and reward him.

Colt Starting Challenge USA heads to Norco Feb. 26-27

From the Horsetrader sales staff - February 4th, 2016

Norco Colt Starting Challenge
Colt Starting Challenge USA is coming to Norco on Feb. 26-27! Horse lovers will enjoy the Challenge in Horsetown USA. Competitions match young horses that have limited handling or never been saddled nor bridled, with great horsemen and horsewomen to train them. Russell and Cristy Beatty founded the Colt Starting Challenge USA which takes place over two days and showcases some of the best trainers in the country. By the time the contest concludes on the second day, trainers will take their horses through a series of challenges to show just how far the animals have come in a short time frame. The trainers use Natural Horsemanship techniques, which utilize each animal’s natural instincts. Each trainer receives markings by judges to decide the winners of each competition. This isn’t the old-school style of breaking horses to work under a saddle, where cowboys would saddle a young horse, then ride through the bucking and kicking in order to teach the animal to work. Natural horsemanship allows each horse the opportunity to understand its surroundings while gaining confidence. That’s what makes it exciting, not only for the contestants but also horse owners and those viewing from the audience. For more information, see the ad on page 29. To register your horse, call (808) 269-3408 or email qualityhorse102@aol.com. The website is  visit www.ColtStartingChallengeUSA.com.

Susie shines in HITS start

Special to the Horsetrader - February 4th, 2016

THERMAL — Three top-fives in the first four days.
Not a bad start to the 2016 show season for Susie Hutchison, the Temecula-based trainer who enjoyed strong performances in a pair of events during Week I of the HITS Desert Circuit.

HITS hits it

Both amateur, open jumpers start year in high gear

Special to the Horsetrader - February 4th, 2016

THERMAL — A new year dawned at the HITS Desert Circuit, and both open and amateur jumpers looked sharp with the start of the big winter series.
The $15,000 UltrOZ™ Jumper class on Saturday and the $10,000 Junior/A-O Jumper Classic on Sunday at Desert Circuit I gave an indication of the intensity and competitiveness these riders have for their unfolding 2016 seasons.

In the $15,000 UltrOZ™ Jumper class, 19 entries navigated the 14-fence course by Olaf Petersen, Jr., and seven advanced to the shortened jump-off where Jill Prieto of Petaluma and Carlton Cafe, owned by Freestyling Farms, claimed the $4,500 prize in a fault-free 39.114 seconds. Susie Hutchison and SIG Firecracker, owned by SIG International, took second in 40.145 — her third top-three finish of the first week, after winning first- and second-place in the $5,000 Brook Ledge Open Welcome on Wednesday.