MLAHA Tailings - March 2023

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we speak HORSE ARENA etiquette

the road to CENTER RING

VIRTUAL showing Calling


tips from a PROFESSIONAL

Connect with MLAHA



Sue Rich, President

Charleene Naughton, VP

Jean Zabriskie, Treasurer

Rae Rankin, Secretary

Joan Banahan, Director

Cheryl Hansen, Director

Vacant, Director

Valerie Baker, Youth Director

AHA Delegates: Lisa Garrison, Joan Banahan

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7158 Auburn, CA 95604-7158


I’m hoping as you are reading this, you are all staying safe and warm. California has had quite a fun of crazy weather lately. These fast few seasons have been challenging for both people with horses due to fires and high temperatures in summer to extreme cold, snow, big rain totals, and power outages this winter.

We hope you like our horse show themed issue of Tailings. We have some amazing contributors this month including Janet de Acevedo Macdonald from Arabian Horse Travel and Heidi Adams who is sharing tips for calling dressage tests - her focus is on Western Dressage, but many of these tips can be applied to calling a Classical Dressage class. Please reach out if you would like to write an article for us in the future.

We are looking forward to our 44th Annual Fuzzy Wuzzy Open Schooling Show on March 19 and we’re hoping you will either show your horses or come out and volunteer. We have a great time meeting and helping horse owners with our same interests. Plus

it will be fun to see whose horse is the fuzziest during the Fuzziest Pony Class during the lunch break.

We have worked hard to make preregistering for the Fuzzy online easier this year. Check out the complete class list in the magazine. Contact show manager, Cheryl Hansen at if you have any questions.

Our next meeting is May 17 at El Agave Taqueria. 1285 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn. Join us at 6 pm as we have dinner and recap of the Fuzzy Show.

If you have events, news, or photos you would like to include in the Tailings, please forward them to the editor at

Be safe out there and hope to see you at the Fuzzy.

March 2023 | TAILINGS | 3
| President’s Message |
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Our cover image this month is courtesy of National Horseman Arabian and features Rachel Nelson and Marwana Marquesa.
March 2023 | TAILINGS | 5 March 3 President’s Message IT’S SHOW TIME! Sue Rich Show Preparation 6-9 WE SPEAK HORSE Janet de Acevedo Macdonald Western Dressage 10-14 CALLING TIPS FROM A PROFESSIONAL CALLER Heidi Adams Horse Events and Meetings 14-15 SPUR HAPPENINGS Judges School 16-18 THE ROAD TO CENTER RING Kathryne Baldwin Online 20-23 VIRTUAL SHOWING Rae Rankin Fuzzy Wuzzy Open Schooling Show 24-25 44 YEARS IN THE MAKING Show Season 26-27 SHOW RING ETIQUETTE AHA Programs 28 DRESSAGE AWARDS 2023
Photo courtesy of Tom Hansen from the 43rd Annual Fuzzy Wuzzy Open Schooling Show.

We SpeakHorse


I love going to horse shows. At the larger shows, I stroll by the large barns, fascinated at all the work that goes into what real estate agents call ‘curb appeal.’ I love the smell of fresh shavings, warm water and shampoo, detangler, finishing spray, and all the sights, sounds, and smells that tell me horses are nearby. Horse people are my people. I believe, and I think you’ll agree that we communicate in a common language centered around our love of horses.

A few years ago, pre-pandemic, my husband Ian and I were visiting Paris walking along the famous Champs Elysees boulevard toward the Louvre museum. As we strolled between the Beaux-Arts-style Grand Palais and Petit Palais I said to Ian, ‘I smell shavings and horses!” But we’re in central Paris where wafts from fresh baguettes would be more usual. Not a half block later, we spotted temporary stalls, wash areas, and warm-up spaces busy with grooms, riders, and les chevaux (horses). It was a sold-out, multi-day FEI jumping event so I breathed deeply thinking “You cannot make this stuff up,” and we kept our Louvre date. In the coming days as we enjoyed the city on foot, we learned this FEI event was quite the equestrian soiree. Throughout the city, each neighborhood had a designated park set up with screens live broadcasting the competition. It

was springtime in Paris with marvelous weather, so Parisians and les touristes alike watched the classes, as children played, all cheered, ate, toasted, and marveled at the athletes. Won’t it be fun to watch the Summer Olympic equestrian events next summer as Paris hosts the 2024 Games?!


As an adult amateur of a certain age, my jumpingover-fences years are behind me. I loved it in my teens, but now the horses are too tall, the fences are too high, the courses seem more complicated, and the ground far too hard. And to be honest, this horse-crazy girl hopped on, and off we went. I don’t remember many lessons. I cleaned stalls for free so that I could ride. Those were wonderful years, and I wouldn’t give them up, as much as I’d love to be able to add in equitation. No doubt, I’d have found it boring, but how I love to watch a steady rider with his or her hands well placed, with good leg and upper body position, and a solid seat. To me, the best horse/ rider connection looks as if they are one creature - a centaur. Or another image, not as mythical, is of the swan gliding effortlessly on a pond while paddling madly beneath the surface. Both analogies are apt, and as riders, we can attest to the fact that the horse is not doing all the work.

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| Show Preparation |
“As we strolled between the Beaux-Arts-style Grand Palais and Petit Palais I said to Ian, ‘I smell shavings and horses!’”

Lately, to better prepare me I’ve taken to dressage. I didn’t like it at first. I wanted to do rail classes, but I found those exhausted me and I was embarrassed that during downward transitions I would fold in the middle, and at the canter, I couldn’t keep my butt from bouncing around on the saddle. I also felt bad for my beautiful horse that stood quietly in the lineup as all others were called before we were. I went from main ring competitions to sport horse disciplines and learned that in French ‘training’ translates to ‘dressage.’ Yes, there are the Sport Horse Under Saddle classes and I expect I’m a bit more glued to the saddle than before. However, for me, competing alone in the 20 x 60-meter dressage arena with the judge and scribe seated behind C, and receiving a report card afterward is fantastic! OK, it’s not really a report card, but that’s how I explain score sheets to nonhorse people. What I truly like is that I compete against myself using my last score from an earlier ride at the same level and test as a measure. This year, I’m riding Training Level Test 3. My goal is to

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Photos courtesy of Janet de Acevedo Macdonald

ride well enough to consistently score in the 70s with comments from the judges that compliment the connection I have with my horse.


Did you know there are horse brushes made for sensitive horses? I didn’t until I was looking up which grooming brushes are the best (horsehair), how many I need (two, face and body), and how to care for them (horse shampoo, hot water, rinse well, and air dry thoroughly). My horses aren’t sensitive but cheaply made brushes could have your horse fidgeting in the crossties.

Confession: I buy shower caddies from Walmart and use these to carry grooming tools. At less than $6 each (versus $12-$20 for a ‘horse grooming tote’) I have several to help me stay organized. At the beginning of each show season, I empty the huge Craftsman toolbox on wheels we use as our show tack/grooming box and shake, toss, refill, or replenish every item new - from shampoo to

detangler, to hoof polish, sunblock, towels, Ibuprofen (for humans), and bug spray. Once repacked, I make sure to check it again a day or so before we leave for a show, just in case. I also buy new rubber bands and toss the ones I hadn’t used from the previous season. I’m not the best at braiding. I start out nicely behind the ears but as I go down the neck, so does the neatness. I’ve tried, but I’m hopeless at running braids, too. For me, there is nothing more nerve wracking than to have rubber bands that snap and break one after the other as I’m standing above my horse’s neck, running my test pattern in my head while managing show nerves and getting ready to show.

I’m also a sales watcher. I don’t do this to brag about how cheap I am - I’m not, I like well-made things for me and my horse, but I work at staying in my lane for what I can afford. That, and I like a good deal. I subscribe to my favorite online saddlery shops and I shop the clearance. I’ve also become a whiz at finding good buys on eBay. A neighbor has the loveliest

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Photos courtesy of Janet de Acevedo Macdonald

Albion dressage saddle that suits me as a rider, but I needed a 17.5-inch, medium size with a narrow twist to fit my Arabian horses. I set up a filter on eBay some months ago and last month a used Alibion that met all of my criteria at $500 + shipping came my way. Another eBay filter I set up two weeks ago netted me a pair of darn-near-new Le Mieux splint boots for $9 from a fellow equestrian living in the heart of Florida’s horse country, Wellington.

Another type of deal shopping that I do is with equestrian trainers and coaches that are active on social media. I developed this skill through my Google searches. When I looked up info about a dressage term or command/complaint/cue from a coach, I noticed a handful of online trainers had YouTube or Vimeo videos or blog posts answering my question. Perfect. I watch their playlists and determine if their teaching style suits me. If it does, I subscribe to their channel or sign up for their newsletter. Many also have courses behind paywalls, but I haven’t purchased any yet. For me, still, very much the dressage novice, if I am to buy online coursework it will most likely be from Amelia Newcomb Dressage. I find Amelia to be incredibly generous with what she offers for free. I value and respect that.


I’ve been a member of the Arabian Horse Association since 2006, and when I can I’m an active volunteer with my local club. Amazingly, I’m still learning about programs or aspects of AHA programs I compete in that I didn’t know about. It’s crazy to me, but sometimes I only read far enough to answer my specific question. For instance, there’s a Frequent Rider Program that costs $25 for tracking noncompetitive rides. I love that and why wouldn’t Ian and

I do that with our Arabians that we trail ride?

Of course, if you compete in the Arabian breed shows in addition to annual membership fees paid to the national association and local club, you’ll purchase an AHA competition card plus join the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). I realize the USEF’s SafeSport component can feel like a chore, but there’s a lot to be learned from it, and this is a true case of when it’s 100% better to be safe versus sorry.

With an active local club and regional AHA association, you will have a lot of opportunities to show with just those purchases. To wring the most out of the memberships I buy, I look for opportunities to give back through volunteering because it’s good for all involved. Sometimes you or your horse aren’t ready to show or you choose to only show once or twice during the season. Fine, that’s how life is for 95% of horse people that show. It’s about choices around our horse passion. I encourage you to volunteer at your local and regional shows. It’s fun. Volunteers make the horse show go around. And, these are your people - our people. Because of our passion, we all speak horse - some fluently, some haltingly, and some of us are flat-out beginners. You know the love we have. You know the smells. You know you’re one of us if you point out the car window and say, “Oh, look horses!”

Janet de Acevedo Macdonald lives and rides in southeastern Arizona. When she’s not learning new dressage patterns, she dabbles as a freelance travel writer. You can read more about her here: http://

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| Show Preparation |
“Because of our passion, we all speak horse - some fluently, some haltingly, and some of us are flat-out beginners.”
-Janet de Acevedo Macdonald
Janet trail riding with her stallion Legacys Renoir.
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Photos courtesy of Heidi Adams



A VERY important member of your Western Dressage Support Team is your Caller. This position is very near and dear to my heart for the following reason:

I LOVE calling Western Dressage tests.

Ok - I can see some of you rolling your eyes - She just likes to hear herself talk. Those that have heard me call would say “having the whole neighborhood” hear herself talk!!

Actually, a dressage ring is a very quiet place with not a whole lot of energy to pick up on for the horse & rider. It is also a scary place - out there all alone so that mistakes stand out for all to see. The rider is worrying about their abilities AND will their horse listen to them and perform to the best of their ability as well. Will they forget the pattern and a hundred other thoughts running through their minds.

That is where the Caller comes in AND the reasons, I LOVE calling Western Dressage tests.

The Caller adds energy to the ring and lets their team know they are there for them 110%. Seeing the confidence in each riders face as they start their test knowing I’m with them every step of the way.

The Caller is their team’s road map and rock so that worry is non-existent and that team can and will perform to the best of their abilities.

The Caller is there to make sure when a mistake is made that the team gets back on track, leaves the mistake behind, and moves forward confident in the rest of their ride.


Once you start calling the only words out of your mouth can be the directives from the tests. AND not the words in parentheses ( . . .).

Before I start calling a test, I always ask the rider if they are ready. This gets the rider out of their head, allows them to settle into their saddle, take a breath, and connects them to me.

The caller can only call a directive once. UNLESS the rider hasn’t heard and looks for the directive again. Then the caller can repeat that directive.

Emphasis here is important. I always emphasize the movement and the direction. My husband is hard of hearing and dyslexic. Sometimes he hears RIGHT and can’t help himself but goes LEFT. The judge rings or whistles and he gets back on track. Remember it is only two points, which doesn’t really change the percentage that much. Don’t let an error shake you. As a caller you can reread the directive where the

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| Western Dressage |

judge wants the rider to begin. Do so with emphasis.

98% of the time I will wait until the rider can see the letter of the next maneuver at least out of the corner of their eye. This allows them to see the letter and only worry about the cue they’ll need when they get there. Not worry about where the letter is and what they have to do when they get there.

I’ve seen a number of posts about calling further ahead. In my experience this puts the rider in their head about what they have to do and think about where the letter is and what to do when they get there. By seeing the letter the rider stays connected to their horse and prepares better for their next maneuver and the breath and settle they will take before that next cue.

I always call in cadence with the rider. This allows the rider to stay in the cadence of the test in their head, settle into their saddle and take a breath before each cue. Sometimes I even throw a big breath in hoping that the rider will take my cue!

For halts I wait until the halt before calling the rest of the directive. Again, this allows the rider to settle and take a breath instead of marching off before the required time limit of the halt. So many points are lost by not finishing a maneuver and rushing out of it to the next gait. A hesitate, settle, and take a breath only takes a few seconds and is not a halt. You will not lose but gain points with that hesitation.

Always, Always, ALWAYS project your voice to the rider. Not to the paper in front of you. This comes from the diaphragm not your throat. Project NOT Scream!! One show I had laryngitis and was still able to call 50 out of 60 tests. I have called for long time English riders that have told me that for the first time in their lives they heard every directive. I can’t emphasize enough projecting your voice to the rider. I used to try

to lift the roof but at the Lazy E the roof is a long way away. Pretend you are on a stage, and you are trying to connect to one person in the front row of the balcony. Project your voice from your diaphragm directly to that person. This is not raising your voice but PROJECTING and there is a big difference between the two.

If you have a great caller and what you are doing together works – don’t change a thing!! Your caller is there to support, guide, and ride with you through the test. Family member, coach, trainer, friend, you must have confidence in that caller, that they will be with you from beginning to end. A great caller / rider relationship is built over time and honed to perfection. Riders, if you’re not getting what you need from your Caller, please let them know what they need to do different.

Callers, tune your eye to see the partnership and how horse and rider flow together. Pay attention to the

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Western Dressage |

“Callers, tune your eye to see the partnership and how horse and rider flow together. Pay attention to the horse’s conformation and talents and help your rider bring out the best of that horse and their partnership.”

horse’s conformation and talents and help your rider bring out the best of that horse and their partnership. You both need to be brutally honest with each other between shows. Callers don’t let your riders continue to make the same mistakes. Riders if you need something different to help your test flow better let your caller know. Remember the caller/rider team is just as important and the rider/horse team. Make those teams the best that they can be.

One of the ladies I called for last year told me “You do so much more than call the test. Your voice brings a sense of calm to a tormented mind as well as the voice inflections to tell us when to have energy when to smile, all of that.” This is the highest compliment possible to a caller. This is what I strive for each time I enter the side of a dressage ring and take a rider into my hands.

Calling Western Dressage tests is not just about reading the words - Anyone can do that – It’s about adding all the other things - Energy, Confidence, a Road Map and Rock, the High 5’s, and participating in their Journey Through Life.

You can get my calling audios at https:// ozyjFdFx

I have calling audios available. Listen to my audios ALL THE TIME. Even in your car. Envision the ride, the cadence, settling in and taking a breath before the cues. The halts and relax, take a breath, and cue.

Above all the cadence. Find relaxation in the cadence and ground yourself through your horses and support them. This is not a time to be in your head, it’s a time to be open to what your horse needs in cadence and support. Do not overpower them. Ride slightly behind, relaxed, and supportive. Feel the cadence through your body and your cues will be timed perfectly. Good Luck and Have Fun my friends on this next step in your Western Dressage Journey.

It is my hope that these ideas and tips help you to become better Callers and Partners.


I am only a caller but . . . . . Friends I apologize for the drama this post has created. I work very hard and spend days on each post making sure that my thoughts and ideas are brought forward properly. With every post I hope to instill a grain of wisdom that will grow within your mind and make your western dressage journey grow in ways you never dreamed possible. A year and a half ago one of my posts was viciously attacked for suggesting that a working jog

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courtesy of Heidi Adams
| Western Dressage |

and a working trot were not the same thing. My heart overflowed with joy at last year’s worlds seeing beautiful working jogs from every horse there. Yes, there is a difference and every one of you got it! Because of the drama my posts seem to create I have limited them. This is definitely a case in point and believe me it is not because I have nothing more to say.

There are many callers that workday in and day out with their riders. They see the improvements and mistakes. To say they is just wrong. They are a team who have grown together in this discipline

To say they are not capable of making comments, or should keep their opinions to themselves is just disrespectful of the time, effort, and energy they have contributed.

Western dressage is the most friendly and supportive discipline ever and that is why people are flocking to it and the growth has been so explosive. Not everyone has a coach because of location, affordability, or choice. There are no tricks to Western Dressage. The basic fundamental of this discipline is that each horse is judged first from their conformation and talents. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your horse is not able to do Western Dressage or will only be able to do Intro or Basic. That you need a coach or trainer in order to properly show in this discipline. There are many individuals that work at home with their friends and do very well. If this discipline ever gets so big and advanced that a coach is required in order to “properly” show I guarantee you that the number of people leaving the discipline with be astounding. We are all here for the best of our horses and ourselves. To actually partner and support one of the most incredible animals God ever put on this earth. To develop a deeper relationship than anyone ever thought possible and take that partnership to new heights never even imagined. That is Western Dressage. If I have to stand back and watch a horse and rider fight over 1” of a leather throat latch that their coach doesn’t see because it would be rude to say anything, while watching that same horse and rider go on to ruin the rest of their show and hurt their partnership into the future. That is just wrong, and I will step up every time.

Club Event

This article was originally posted online. Reprinted with permission.

March 19

44th Annual MLHA Fuzzy Wuzzy Open Schooling Show

Triple Crown Equestrian Center

Lincoln, CA

April 19-22

AHANC/Pacific Slope Championship

Murieta Equestrian Center

Rancho Murieta, CA

April 1-3

Golden Gate AHA 66th Annual Horse Show

Pleasanton Fairgrounds

Pleasanton, CA

May 5-7

Comstock Spring Fiesta Arabian Value Show

Reno Sparks Livestock Events Center

Reno, NV

May 17

MLAHA Board Meeting @ 6 pm

El Agave Taqueria

Auburn, CA

May 18-21

Diablo Arabian Horse Association

Spring Horse Show

Brookside Equestrian Center

Elk Grove, CA

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Western Dressage |

Spur Happenings

May 18-20

Region 3 Sport Horse Championships

Brookside Equestrian Center

Elk Grove, CA

July 13-23

Youth and MidSummer Nationals

State Fair Park

Oklahoma City, OK

July 19

MLAHA Board Meeting @ 6 pm El Agave Taqueria

Auburn, CA

Editors Pick

July 29

The Tevis Cup

Western States Trail

Auburn, CA

August 16-19

Canadian National Show

Location TBA

August 27-Sept 2

AHA Region 3 Championships

Reno Sparks Livestock Events Center

Reno, NV

September TBA

Ranch Horse Championships Location TBA

September 11-16

Sport Horse Nationals

World Equestrian Center

Wilmington, OH

September 20

MLAHA Board Meeting @ 6 pm

El Agave Taqueria

Auburn, CA

September TBA

Distance Nationals Location TBA

October 19-28

National Championships

Tulsa, OK

November TBA

Arabian Horse Association National Convention Location TBA

November 15

MLAHA Board Meeting & Officer Elections @ 6 pm

El Agave Taqueria

Auburn, CA

Do you know of an upcoming horse related event not listed here? Email mlahanewsletter@ to add it to the list!

March 2023 | TAILINGS | 15
| Calendar of

The Road to Center Ring

Each year, the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) hosts its annual Judges School and Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona. The event is

open to individuals looking to get their judge’s card and any AHA members who just want more information about a judge’s perspective and the rules governing exhibition of the breed. Many close friends and mentors of mine have their judge’s cards and frequently describe what an amazing experience it is. Since watching classes is one of my absolute favorite pastimes, participating in the judge’s school in December 2022 was a dream come true, more than 28 years in the making.

For those thinking about attending judge’s school, the trip starts months ahead of time and can require some tricky navigating. The licensing

body is actually the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), so one needs to begin the application or “checklist” process with them. Applicants must complete a background check and attend a webinar on diversity, equity, and inclusion. USEF relies on AHA for the educational component for new judges - hence the judge’s seminar. Only after those administrative items are complete with USEF and you have attended judge’s school with AHA are you eligible to begin learner judging.

The first two days of the seminar were spent in the classroom. The AHA executive committee members rotated presenting on various disciplines, discussing what they are looking for and common mistakes seen in the arena. As an exhibitor and a “layperson” judging from the rail, my focus was 100% on an

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| Judges School |
“My advice to all exhibitors after being in the middle of the arena on foot is to channel some of that energy into simply being visible.”

individual horse’s performance during a particular class. However, in the classroom portion, I learned how important the class specifications are to judges and how they differ among various classes. For example, the class specifications for hunter pleasure open are judged in the following order: manners, performance, suitability as a Hunter, quality, and conformation. Those specifications are different in a hunter pleasure junior horse class, which has the following specifications, in order: quality, performance, suitability as a Hunter, manners, and conformation. Having this broken down over the course of two days by some of the most knowledgeable individuals in the Arabian industry gives attendees a much more sophisticated understanding of how classes are judged. If you are interested

in learning more about the classifications for your class, check out the USEF Handbook “AR” section, available online, governing Arabian classes.

Following the classroom portion, participants at the Judge’s School had the opportunity to attend the Desert Classic Charity Horse show. The Desert Classic is a wellattended, rated show at Westworld - the same venue that hosts the legendary Scottsdale Arabian show. In groups of roughly 10-12 people, attendees were able to stand in center ring with a member of the executive committee and see classes from a completely different perspective. Standing in the dirt in the Equidome - a beautiful arena I have shown in many times - drove home the importance of perspective. As an exhibitor, I realized I can become

hyper-focused on my own and my horse’s performance; my advice to all exhibitors after being in the middle of the arena on foot is to channel some of that energy into simply being visible. Back numbers are very difficult to see and even harder to write down when there are groups of horses coming in.

Following the morning session

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March 2023 | TAILINGS | 17
Photos courtesy of Kathryne Baldwin
18 March 2023 | TAILINGS | 17

at the Desert Classic show, participants were bussed to the beautiful Sahara Scottsdale facility nearby. Sahara Scottsdale is run by partners with an uncompromising eye for stunning halter horses. The quality of its program is evident from the moment one enters the facility. The awards room is packed to the brim with domestic

particular, were some of the most beautiful I had ever had the opportunity to stand next to; I had to remind myself to focus and redirect my attention to looking at these beautiful horses as critically as I could. Undoubtedly, my experience at Sahara was one of the more memorable of my life.

Kathryne Baldwin

and international awards and the barn itself looks more like it is cut from the pages of a magazine than an actual working barn with live horses living inside.

The Sahara staff took the time on a drizzly Scottsdale afternoon to present halter horses and performance horse halter horses to our class. In groups, we took the time to walk around each horse and do our best to award points according to the AHA scorecard. Members of the executive committee explained their reasoning and challenged us to give points candidly according to what we saw. The Sahara horses - each one prettier than the last - challenged our ability to differentiate between a 19 and a 19.5 (on a 20 point scale). The Sahara horses, the mares in

At the judge’s school, I found myself surrounded by Arabian enthusiasts who had given up a weekend in December to learn more about the breed and work towards a new way in giving back to the horses that have given us all so much. At the core of the curriculum for new judges, you will find the spirit of the Arabian breed is central. In its own academic approach, the judge’s school has somehow found a way to quantify and explain the intangible effect Arabians have on our psyches and our souls. One of the presenters, talking about the attitude specification in country English pleasure, explained, “At the end of the class, a horse with a good attitude is wearing an expression that says, ‘I really had a good time doing that. Do you want to go around one more time?” I smiled to myself and got a little choked up as I realized that each person present knew what that felt like. I was sure each of us called to mind a different Arabian who had given us that feeling. And that at one time or another, each of us had answered and said, “Yes. Let’s go around one more time.”

Kathryne Baldwin lives in Lockeford, California with her husband, dog, and three Arabians: Psax+++/ who she shows in Western pleasure, Concertina NNW (“Sophie”) who she shows in hunter pleasure, and Psaxamillion (Psax x Concertina NNW) who she plans to debut in halter at this year’s AHANC/Pacific Slopes show. A two time national champion hunt seat equitation rider as a teenager, Kathryne also has multiple wins showing in halter, reining, ranch horse, sidesaddle, and showmanship.

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“Yes. Let’s go around one more time.”
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March 2023 | TAILINGS | 19


Although virtual horse shows have been around for quite a while, the virtual aspect of showing has made a huge leap in popularity during and after the COVID pandemic. Many riders were looking for an outlet when they couldn’t show in person, and virtual showing filled the needed gap. One thing is certain, virtual shows provide a lower-cost way to supplement the in-person show, provide practice for in-person shows, get feedback from rated judges prior to going to the rated shows (especially for those riding Classical and Western Dressage), or to just get your feet wet in the horse showing world.

We first dipped our toe in virtual showing in early 2020 with a show that was put on to benefit a Midwest horse rescue offering classes in halter, showmanship, and rail in both English and Western disciplines. My daughter, Elizabeth, entered several Western rail, halter, and showmanship classes to prepare for an upcoming FFA Horse Show. The show also offered a parent showmanship class – which we show moms did (it was quite fun – although the judge said I was

being too showy – as if!) Later Elizabeth and several of her equestrian teammates competed in Dressage and Western Dressage through the US National Dressage Classic Series hosted by Spotlight Horse Shows.

As a show mom, I became very adept at filming virtual classes. Here’s some advice:

• Always read the show rules including the show filming requirements. Some are different.

• Practice filming. Film lessons or practice sessions to get a feel for how to keep everyone in frame.

• If you are filming a pattern class or showmanship class review the test pattern provided by the show or in the case of dressage – just so you know where the horse/rider are going to be during the test.

• If you are filming a dressage test, you must film from C. If you are filming a western dressage horsemanship pattern, you will be filming at A

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| Online |
“One thing is certain, virtual shows provide a lower-cost way to supplement the in-person show, provide practice for in-person shows, and get feedback from rated judges prior to going to the rated shows.”

(or the starting point of the pattern). Rail classes can be filmed from the middle of the ring. Showmanship is filmed from the point where the handler and horse set-up for the judge, because you will need to do the judges inspection of the four quarters. TIP: Walk the quarters wide so you keep the horse and handler in frame. Halter classes are also filmed where the horse is set-up, although you may need to step back to keep the horse in the frame.

• I use my phone to film. If your phone has a sport setting, I recommend using it plus make sure to use video stabilization. I then upload the videos to YouTube, set the video for public (made for kids), and use the link to submit the entry. Remember if you are doing Freestyle (which I highly recommend trying at least once), in the YouTube description give credit to the music artist so that it doesn’t get taken down.

• I recommend tucking in your arms tight to your sides to help steady the phone and twisting at the

• Film the ride in the landscape position. You can use a tripod, but I have not found it useful. Remember the rider must be always in frame. This is hard when filming a dressage test from C. I recommend stepping back, if possible, from the arena to get more of the rider in frame. Even if it means carrying a set of pruning shears in your pocket to make yourself a spot in a bush to film. (Yep, did that). If you can’t get back far enough, make sure you get as much of the rider in the frame between H and M.

• Nearly all the virtual shows require a new video for each class. Most provide a sign with the date of filming, class, name of rider, and name of horse that must be held up at the beginning of the class. I find it easiest to use a clipboard to hold up the sign when filming.

Continued on page 18

March 2023 | TAILINGS | 21
waist to move the camera with the motion of the rider. This also helps keep the camera steady.
Photos courtesy of Rae Rankin

• The filming must be continuous. Show the sign at the start, film the class, and if required film the equipment check and dropped bit, do not pause the video before filming the equipment check. Keep the audio on during filming. Don’t worry, the judges are used to the background noiseincluding the clucking chickens!

• Speaking from experience (yep, we forgot to remove a tail bag), make sure your rider removes polo wraps, tail bags, and other equipment that is not allowed by rules (running martingales, etc.). As the person who is filming, you see the things that the rider or trainer missed because their focus is on the ride and horse.

• Be prepared. Phones get hot while filming and quit recording. Have a back-up plan and make sure your rider knows their is always a possibility of a restart!

Where do you find virtual shows? There are several Facebook Groups for virtual showing including Virtual Western Dressage Shows and Kaysinger Horse Show Circuit. Or just Google virtual horse shows

22 | TAILINGS | March 2023
Photos courtesy of Rae Rankin
“Virtual showing has given those riding therapeutic and coached classes a wider range of access to horse showing.”
| Online |
-Rae Rankin

and a bunch will come up. If you belong to a horse association (such as Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA), Arabian Horse Association (AHA), etc.) check their websites. Many of them offer a virtual show series. If you are riding dressage/western dressage, I recommend exploring the National Dressage Classic Series hosted by Spotlight Horse Shows

For our Arabian riders, AHA’s virtual show offers rail classes, halter, and showmanship. To find a list of classes, visit competition/virtual-shows.html.

Don’t forget to check to see if your association offers virtual high point awards. In 2022, the California Western Dressage Association added a high point for virtual shows and is continuing it in 2023.

Last but certainly not least! Virtual showing has given those riding therapeutic and coached classes a wider range of access to horse showing. And the comfort of doing it from your own arena!

Give virtual showing a try! I bet you will love it.

Rae Rankin is the current editor of Tailings Magazine, Webmaster for the Mother Lode Arabian Horse Association (MLAHA), and sits on the board of directors of MLAHA as Secretary.

She is also an award-winning children’s book author and has a series of books featuring horses and kids.

She has spent the past few years being a horse show mom for her daughter Elizabeth, who has participated in both in person showing and virtual showing riding Honey’s Diva, an Arabian mare who is owned by Jean Zabriskie and Gerry Alexander - both members of the Arabian Horse Association/MLAHA.

More information on Rae can be found on her website

March 2023 | TAILINGS | 23
|Online |

Fuzzy Wuzzy Open Schooling Show |

44 Years


For 44 years, the Mother Lode Arabian Horse Association (MLAHA) has been hosting it’s Annual Fuzzy Wuzzy Open Schooling Show. Even in 2020, when faced with a global pandemic, MLAHA managed to host a show in August rather than their normal March. That was the year the horses weren’t so fuzzy!

Over the years the show has featured halter, English, and Western rail classes and in recent years have added Ranch Rail to the mix. Fuzzy Wuzzy continues to be a popular start of the show season here in the Sacramento area and the team, led by Show Manager, Cheryl Hansen, work hard to prepare a great show.

This years show is scheduled for Sunday, March 19, 2023 with classes starting promptly at 8 am. Class fees are $4.99 each with a $15 office fee if registered prior to 3/15/2023. The show, held at Triple Crown Equestrian in Lincoln, also celebrates the clubs iconic Arabian Horse with the Arabian-Only Classic Head Class. As an added bonus, the Fuzzy High Point Award is returning for English and Western, Adult and Junior.

The MLAHA Board has voted to continue the yearly rotation of English/Western classes after Halter to give both disciplines the opportunity to have the early classes.


1. Halter (All Breeds) 2 & Under

2. Halter Mares 3 & Over (All Breeds)

3. Halter Geldings or Stallions 3 & Over (AlL Breeds)

4. Halter Arabian Stallions 4 Years & Over (perpetual trophy)

5. Showmanship 18 & Over

6. Showmanship 14 – 17

7. Showmanship 13 & Under

8. Halter Color Class

9. Classic Head Class (Arabians & Half/Anglo Only (perpetual trophy)

10. Western Pleasure Walk/Jog – 18 & Over

11. Western Pleasure Walk/Jog – 14 -17

12. Western Pleasure Walk/Jog – 11 thru 13

13. Western Pleasure Walk/Jog – 10 & Under (Never to have shown at a canter/lope)

14. Western Equitation Walk/Jog – 18 & Over

15. Western Equitation Walk/Jog – 11 – 17

16. Western Equitation Walk/Jog – 10 & Under

17. Western Pleasure Walk Only – All ages never to have loped

18. Western Pleasure Walk/Trot – Pairs

19. Western Pleasure Jack Benny Rider – Open 45 & Over

20. Western Pleasure – Jr Horse (5 Yrs & Under)

24 | TAILINGS | March 2023 |

21. Western Pleasure Rider 18 & Over

22. Western Pleasure Rider 14 thru 17

23. Western Pleasure Rider 11 thru 13

24. Western Pleasure – Maiden Horse or Rider

25. Western Pleasure – Arabian & Half/Anglo –Open


$2.00 Entry Fee

27. Lead Line English/Western Rider 2 – 6 Years

28. English Pleasure Walk/Trot – 18 & Over

29. English Pleasure Walk/Trot – 14 thru 17

30. English Pleasure Walk/Trot -11 thru 13 (Approved ASTM Helmet w/chin strap)

31. English Pleasure Walk/Trot – 10 & Under (Never shown @ canter/lope, ASTM Helmet w/chin strap)

32. English Equitation Walk/Trot 18 & Over

33. English Equitation Walk/Trot – 11 thru 17

34. English Equitation Walk/Trot – 10 & Under

35. English Pleasure Walk Only – All ages never to have loped

36. English Pleasure Walk/Trot – Pairs

37. English Pleasure – Junior Horse (5 & Under)

38. English Pleasure Jack Benny Rider – Open to riders age 45 & over

39. English Pleasure – Rider 18 and over

40. English Pleasure – Rider 14 thru 17

41. English Pleasure – Rider 11 thru 13 (APPROVED ASTM HELMET w/chin strap)

42. English Pleasure –Maiden Horse or Rider

43. English Pleasure Arabian & Half/Anglo Open

44. Ranch Riding Rail – Open

45. Adult Amateur Ranch Riding Rail– 18 and over

46. Junior To Ride Ranch Riding Rail – 17 and under

Save money and time by preregistering online at or by scanning the QR code or register on site the morning of.

March 2023 | TAILINGS | 25
Photo courtesy of Tom Hansen

Arena Etiquette

1. Put your horse’s needs first. Make sure they have plenty of water at shows especially if it is hot or you have a lot of classes.

2. Read the show rules.

3. Do not block the entry or exit gate. When entering or exiting do so with purpose.

4. Keep a safe distance between your horse and other horses. A good rule of thumb is at least one-horse length.

5. Look behind you before you stop or back-up.

6. If you are traveling in opposite directions, pass left shoulder to left shoulder.

7. If you need to pass another horse traveling in the same direction, do so on the inside at a safe distance.

8. In the warm-up arena, be conscientious of other riders in the ring who may not be moving as fast or as slow as you.

9. If possible, practice at home or at your stable in an arena with other horses.

10. Follow any instructions given by the judge, ring master, announcer, or other show staff.

11. Be respectful of other competitors and show staff.

12. Lunge your horse in designated areas only.

13. Use the entire ring unless the judge tells you otherwise.

14. If your horse is causing a disruption, ride into the middle and request permission from the judge to be excused from the ring. Exit the ring at the exit gate.

15. Avoid circling in a class. If you must circle to find space, make sure you have plenty of room around yourself and your horse.

16. Don’t “shark” the judge.

17. Always ride like the judge is watching.

18. Be sure to thank the judge after the show.

19. Don’t forget to smile.

26 | TAILINGS | March 2023
| Etiquette |
It’s a great time to review good show ring etiquette with young, inexperienced riders as well as a refresher for those who have been in the ring for years.
March 2023 | TAILINGS | 27
Photos courtesy of Tom Hansen

Dressage Awards

AHA has two award programs designed to honor AHA members who show their Arabian and/or HalfArabian/Anglo-Arabians in dressage and western dressage at AHA shows or in the Open USEF/USDF/ WDAA circuit.


From Basic/Training through Fourth level, earn certificates or lapel pins, depending on your level of competition. After the initial enrollment, riders are eligible for an award once they earn two or more scores of 60 percent or better from two separate rides and two different judges. Only scores earned after enrollment are counted. The show secretary reports scores earned at AHA-recognized shows while riders report their scores from Open shows on the official Open Show Report Form.


• Basic/Training Level Certificate

• First Level Certificate/Pin

• Second Level Certificate/Pin

• Third Level Certificate/Pin

• Fourth Level Certificate/Pin

Enrollment requires a one time $55 fee per level of competition. Scores are accumulative and do not

need to be earned in the same year. The rider must have an AHA Membership with Competition Card to enroll in the program and have results recorded.


The United States Dressage Federation and the Arabian Horse Association have teamed up for the Dressage All Breeds Awards. Scores earned through USDF/AHA Recognized Shows or through USDF Open Shows can count toward the USDF All Breeds Awards. To be considered for this award, horses must be enrolled with AHA, prior to September 1. Any enrollments postmarked or electronic transaction dated after August 31 will be processed for the upcoming award year. Top horses will receive a certificate and other recognition.

Enrollment is just $45 if received before the first competition and $55 if submitted 30 days after the first event. The recorded owner of the horse must be a current Member of AHA. Your horse MUST be enrolled with USDF website for a $45 fee as well in order to participate in the All-Breeds program. Please contact the United States Dressage Federation for additional award requirements.

For more information, contact AHA at www.

28 | TAILINGS | March 2023
| AHA Programs|
Arabian Horse Association

Call for Submissions

Here’s a few things we are looking for:

• Horse Care

• Horse Related Activities

• Horse Related Gifts

• Showing

• Trail Riding, Area Trail Reviews

• Education

• Horse Shows, Clinics, Expos

• Horse Cartoons

• Cover Photos (must be high resolution)

Issue Schedule

May 2023: Meet an Arabian Horse Month, Kids Issue, Fuzzy Recap

July 2023: Beat the Heat

September 2023: On the Trail

November 2023: Winter Care, Gift Guide

January 2024: TBD

Guidelines can be found at

March 2023 | TAILINGS | 29
| Call for Submissions |
30 Welcome to the home of Douglas Tack & Apparel! Douglas Feed & Pet Supply has been operating in Granite Bay since 1980! Although the store has chan not chan 916.791.3204 / 5460 Douglas Blvd., Ste C • Granite Bay, CA 95746

R Enchanting Joy

Regal Actor JP x Enchanted Misst K

AHR #651630. Born 6/14/2010

Joy is professionally trained for halter and well started under saddle. She is a true 16.0 hands, rich bay, and a love to handle and ride. She is a successful brood mare and with one beautiful foal by The Seeker V. She is full of positive energy to continue her training as a Hunter Pleasure or endurance prospect.

Located in Grass Valley, California

Evaluation of R Enchanting Joy - by Cindy Reich, November 6, 2014

“This is a very tall, leggy, statuesque mare. She has exceptional length of neck with a very clean throatlatch. Her head is very pleasant and feminine. She is wide between the eyes with a large, dark, expressive eye, one of her finest features in both size and expression. Her shoulder is very long, well sloped and deep. She naturally lifts her neck and combined with its extreme length and excellent shape gives a very stylish and typey appearance. She has a great tail carriage and show attitude…very athletic and showed great ability to get her hindquarters underneath herself. I believe that this mare will really be valuable as a breeding mare...she combines the best of all the major types within the Arabian breed. This makes it easy to cross her in many different directions. She is a high quality mare that should excel as a breeding mare. Her strength of body, size and extreme length of neck, combined with her athletic ability also make her an excellent performance prospect. Her attitude and carriage as well as neck might skew her towards English. This mare is very eye appealing, striking in her size and stature.”

Joy’s sire, Regal Actor JP, has sired top champions, including Joy’s siblings Bey Ambition, Arbiteur, and Regal Actress.

Joy’s dam, Enchanted Misst K, Regional Championships in Western Pleasure, Country English, Show Hack and Hunter Pleasure.

Price $7,500

Contact Sue Rich (916) 826-1796

Grass Valley, California

March 2023 | TAILINGS | 31

Jean Zabriske

Gerry Alexander

Char’s Suds and More

32 | TAILINGS | March 2023
March 2023 | TAILINGS | 33 Classical and Western Dressage, Trail Riding, Western Pleasure, Sport Horse Under Saddle, Private Riding Lessons, Horsemanship, and Horse Training All Breeds Welcome Call us today to book a lesson! 818-326-5452 Valerie Baker, Trainer El Dorado Hills Rescue Placerville
34 | TAILINGS | March 2023
March 2023 | TAILINGS | 35
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