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Ryan’s return

A life-threatening disease has only made Ryan Melendez take the reins of his life even more firmly in hand

From Horsetrader staff reports - June 16th, 2016

1606BCoverDEL MAR — Born into the family of a top Arabian horse trainer, Ryan`Melendez didn’t have long to wait before finding himself in the saddle.

“I am sure my dad had me on horses as soon as I could sit up by myself,” Ryan, who’ll turn 18 in July, says of Bill Melendez. “I remember riding like six or seven horses a day, and it was a lot of fun.

“He didn’t always put me on the best of the best horses,” he adds. “I felt like he put me on horses that were going to teach me how to learn to ride — that’s probably the best thing that he could have done because to be a really good rider, I wasn’t going to get there by riding just the easy horses.”

His main ride, a mare named AM Liberty Parade, tried to buck off the 7-year-old Ryan in their very first horsemanship class, a 10-under test at the Scottsdale Arabian Show. They stayed together and years later, in 2014, they won an Arabian Horse Association Youth Nationals Championship in Horsemanship.

“That’s my most memorable, best championship,” Ryan says. “Years and years of hard work. In the beginning, she definitely was not happy with being out there. One year at Youth Nationals, she actually flipped over on me, and then we went in the class and got Top 10. I like challenges — what’s the point, if you are not going to work hard for it?”

Right Price

Friends and family make for a success story at Region 1

From Horsetrader staff reports - June 16th, 2016

DEL MAR — Sisters share a special bond, and when you add a horse — well, good things happen.

That’s the case with Ashley and Samantha Price and Dress Blues, a trio whose history together goes back several years and whose immediate past is terrific: a fresh pair of championships and a reserve at the 2016 Arabian Horse Association Championship Show, held May 18-22 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The gelding was foaled on Memorial Day in the backyard of Molly Jenks, a family friend of the Price sisters and their trainer mom, Debbie Price of Priceless Arabians in ALta Loma. When Molly brought Dress Blues, named in part for her husband, a former U.S. Marine, to Priceless Arabians to present to potential buyers, Ashley was anything but in the market, as she has just lost her own horse after 13 years of riding together. However, “Trooper,” as he would soon be called, turned the ehads of a couple others — namely Debbie and Samantha.

A little wine, a lot of jump

- June 16th, 2016
Wine is for horse-lovers.

Wine is for horse-lovers.

Deb Dawson photo

The Paso Robles Horse Park came to life recently, as two weeks of the 2016 Spring Central California Horse Show Series were filled with trainer and exhibitor parties, complimentary wine tastings — and great competition. John French topped the field of competition in the USHJA International Hunter Derby Presented byCross Creek Farm, and Guy Thomas overcame a tricky course to be the only clear round and take home the blue in the CWD Grand Prix of Paso Robles Presented by Travel Paso.

“Congratulations to everyone on a successful two weeks of competition,” said Adrienne Karazissis of West Palms Events. “Thank you to all our sponsors, trainers, competitors, owners and spectators for supporting the Central California Horse Show Series! Don’t forget to join us this Summer in Huntington Beach!”

Wild Cards

4-year-old futurities,non-pro action enliven newest Brumley reining

By Christy Egan / For the Horsetrader - June 16th, 2016
Gabe Hutchins and Wallawhizagun too the $37,500-added Open 4-Year-Old Futurity title in Levels 3 and 4.

Gabe Hutchins and Wallawhizagun took the $37,500-added Open 4-Year-Old Futurity title in Levels 3 and 4.

Waltenberry photo

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The Wild Card Reining Challenge made a complete set of the Brumley Management Group’s annual offering of reining shows, as the inaugural five-day Memorial Day event filled the South Point Equestrian Center May 25-29.

The Wild Card is aptly named — a departure and step outside the box for the reining industry  — first, with its spotlight on 4-year-olds instead of 3-year-olds. The concept allows equine athletes a chance to mature physically and mentally, prior to the extreme stress in competition.

Actually, the Wild Card show was largely geared toward newness, from innovative ideas to continuing education and the future.

The show overall had a nice complement of non pro competition. With a 72, Robyn Schiller posted Wednesday’s high score of the day with CD Star Commander, winning the Wild Card Reining Challenge 1 Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro and the Novice Non Pro Levels 2 and 1.

Easiest way to break bad habits: Create a new one!

By Sheryl Lynde / Horsetrader columnist - June 16th, 2016

Trainer TipsAs you improve your horsemanship skills, there will be habits that need breaking. The easiest way to change one pattern of behavior is to replace it with a new one. When a horse spooks or threatens to bolt or buck, the safest way to keep yourself and your horse safe is to use one rein and bring your Horse’s nose to your toe and disengage his hips. If you have practiced disengaging hips safely at home at all gaits, you and your horse will be better prepared to manage unforeseen situations that arise away from home. However, for many people their first impulse is to tighten up on both reins and pull. They feel a sense of security by pulling on both reins at once, but by doing so, this pulls the rider forward lifting their seat out of the saddle causing their legs to extend behind their body close to the horse’s flanks. When they become unseated, they clamp on with their legs and if they are wearing spurs, this can escalate into a more dangerous situation in a hurry.

Driven Dressage: What’s it all about?

By Patricia M. Demers / Horsetrader columnist - June 16th, 2016

About DrivingWhat is driven dressage, and WHY are so many drivers intimidated by it?

Dressage is a systematic training for every horse and discipline through progressive exercises. I believe that many people are confused about the concepts and how it can help them achieve their goals in competition. The structure of the levels – training through advanced – is meant to guide the horse through its training in a progressive manner, and every horse should be give the time to work honestly through these steps. Taking shortcuts means skipping or failing to develop any one of the qualities in the training scale. Shortcuts result in the improper physical and mental development of the horse. One way to help is by following the German Training Scale, as explained later in this column.

Why hip control is so important

Les Vogt for the Horsetrader - June 16th, 2016

More With Les graphicHaving control of the horse’s hips will prove to be quite critical for almost all of your reining maneuvers. You’ll need it for departures, lead changes and turnarounds particularly. Since many of the body control exercises that we’ll be working on in the next level will require you to have some hip control, you need to get started on it early in the program.

Point to Remember:
On this and most other things, you teach your horse. We’ll never be strong enough to make a horse do anything, but we can be smart enough to make him want to do it, and that’s what riding is all about.