April/May 2014

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a r a b i a n SPORT HORSE APRIL/MAY 2014




The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine


a r a b i a n


a r a b i a n SPORT HORSE




entice design publication


12 breeder Q&A: LAURA GORDON

22 Al-marah swift: aha horse of the year Publisher Cassandra Ingles Editor Peggy Ingles Advertising (410) 823-5579

26 make the transition: 1st to 2nd level

34 cover story: lauren kieffer

48 perseverance & determination

52 coltrane: A mighty arabian cross Website TheArabianSportHorse.com

56 the tale of a tail, pt ii

60 hermano rojo

64 urban legend



Submissions & Story Ideas Welcomed!

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.


Bits and Pieces


Conformation Clinic


Markel Dressage Clinics


Century Club


White Line Disease


Calla Lilly






Working Hunters


Service Listings

The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

BITS and pieces

AM Chance Command

DRESSAGE NEWS Several Arabians competed at the Global Dressage Festival over the last two months in Wellington.




Gaby Stephens and Glenlord’s Mystique strutted their stuff. Kate Knick and Half-Arabian SPYDERMANN LA (Staccato {KWPN} x LA Shanghai Lilly), owned by Liberty Arabians, earned 2 first places in Open Training Level-Test 2 (70.714%)

Laura Killian and her Half-Arabian MS SPANISH LEGACY (Saphi-

and Open First Level-Test 1 (67.931%) and two 2nd places in

ro {Lusitano} x Legacy Of Ariston) finished in second place twice

Open Training Level-Test 3 (69.400%) and Open First Level-Test

in Fourth Level. The also competed at the White Fences show

2 (64.459%).

and won their Third Level Freestyle tests with a 64.333% and 66.167%.

Katie Lang and her Half-Arabian FA PATRIOT (Flurry Of Ca-Lyn {Friesian} x LA Sada Mega) were first in their FEI Junior Musical

Meredith Matte homebred Arabian mare MCM AHLIANA (SF Ai-

Freestyle (142.125), and 3rd in both of their FEI Junior Team Test

konfess x TA Alexafire by Safire). They won their Training Level-Test

(67.297%) and their FEI Junior Individual Test (67.303%). We

3 Adult Amateur class with a 63.8%, more than 3 points ahead of

should expect to see them at the NAYJRC this year!

second place. You can read more about Meredith in this issue.

Sherri Booye and her Half-Arabian MC ENDLESS ECHO (MC

Al Marah Arabians took AM CHANCE COMMAND (AM Power

Zoulou x Echo {Hanoverian}) placed in 3 Adult Amateur classes.

Raid x Al-Marah Chanel) to two weeks of the Festival where he was

They were 1st in First Level-Test 3 (63.919%), 3rd in First Level-

ridden by Keeley Clark. Their first week, they won twice in Second

Test 2 (58.514%) and 4th in First Level-Test 3 (60.806%).

Level-Test 3 with 62.6% and 62.9%. They also placed 1st and 2nd in Third Level-Test 3 with 61.9% and 63.4%. The second week, they were 1st in Second-3 with a 65.4%, 2nd twice in Third-3 with 63.9% and 64.1%. In their Third Level Freestyle, the pair finished 3rd with a 61%. Keeley also competed on her own Half-Arabian, KHEMO CENTAURI (Kkhemos Centurion x Angel {QH}), placing 1st twice in First-3 (66.4% and 69.1%) and 2nd twice in Second-3 (64.2% and 59.7%). In their second week there, they earned a 1st in First 3 (67.7%), two 2nds in Second-3 (61% and 59.7%) and another 2nd in their Second Level Freestyle (65.8%). Al Marah’s dressage trainer, Kassie Barteau, showed their HalfArabian BECCA-BELLA GP (Al-Marah Quebec x Darjean {Trak}) to a 1st and 2nd in First-3 (69% and 70.1%) and a 1st and 2nd in Second-3 (62.1% and 62.3%). In the end of March, at the USDF-rated March Magic Open Dressage show held in Williamston, NC, three Arabian-bred horses

DRIVING NEWS The Half-Arabian mare ARIELLA ASI (Maestro John Ballantrae {Hackney} x SH Asali), owned & driven by Marjas Becker competed in March’s Kingdom Of The Sun CDE. This is their first year of competition, they are already at Intermediate level, and were 6th in dressage and 2nd in cones! At Nature Coast in January, they won the Preliminary division. At Live Oak International CDE, a beautiful Arabo-Friesian pair, owned and driven by Weibe Dragstra, were in 1st place after Dressage in Intermediate Pair Horse at the Live Oak International CDE. They finished in second place overall. Half-Arabian ANDY GO DANDY (Sultan’s Great Day {ASB} x Colleen V) and Margy Cox finished in 9th place in Intermediate Single Horse at Live Oak. Andy & Margy are reigning Nat’l Champions in Carriage Driving Pick Your Route. We featured Andy’s story in our Aug/Sept issue here: http:// bit.ly/1pwoxqe

April/May 2014




BITS and pieces

SDF Entourage “Marley”


Show Of Faith & Jillian Li Hardin and Carol Steppe, Showkayce’s owner.

Anglo Arabian LOOPING DE BUISSY (42.63%) with Sidney Du-

She competed at Scottsdale a couple of times, placing well

fresne finished fourth at the inaugural Devoucoux International

in hunters and earned Pacific Slopes Champion in Green Working

Indoor Jumping Derby at Bordeaux.

Hunter. Faith earned 2 Top Tens in the GREEN AND regular Working

Bred by Elevage De Buissy, the 1999 gelding is by Quercus Du

Hunter in addition to winning the Hunter Classic at the 2010 Sport

Maury and out of Cannelle d’Aubrie, he normally competes at the

Horse Nationals. Jennifer Halpern bought her in 2011, showing

3* level. Video of their fun course: http://on.fb.me/1faa9ys

her to a Champion in .90m Jumpers at the Memorial Day Classic

One of the winningest horses at the 2013 Sport Horse Nationals is now garnering attention on the open hunter circuit! SDF EN-

the following year in addition to another Pacific Slope Championship.

TOURAGE (OKW Entrigue x Chrysalis {Hanoverian by Carismo})

In mid-February, Jillian and Faith earned a Championship at

was bred by Katie Wojcieszek to be an upper level dressage horse,

HITS Thermal in the Modified Childrens/Adult Jumpers at .90m.

but the exuberant chestnut had other ideas. He was a beautiful

“It’s been an awesome year with Faith. She taught me a lot and

mover for sure, but “Marley” REALLY loved to jump! “At a young

made me such a better rider because she is very forgiving. She is

age, he would jump the arena fence to come visit us when he was

super fun to ride especially to jump because she loves to go and

bored. I started putting him through a jump chute, and he just ex-

has a round jump. At shows she is perfect and if we don’t knock

celled. He would get really excited to go through the chute and

down a rail she is usually always placed at the top of the class,”

always came right back to me wanting to do it again,” says Katie.

says Jillian.

With some lessons and training from Kristin Hardin when he

Her trainers, Peter Breakwell and Ruben Arce, were not con-

came of age, Katie and Marley enjoyed great success in hunters.

cerned at all with Faith’s breeding, instead considering her ability

They came home from Sport Horse Nationals with 2 National

as a jumper to be most important factor. “She’s the only Arabian in

Championships, a Reserve and four Top Tens! Just recently, Marley

the barn and everyone loves her,” adds Jillian.

was purchased by Canadian Anna Hunt-Binkley as an open hunter.

Kristin Hardin & Half-Arabian ABILITY (MHR Nobility x Nikita

Ridden by professional Nick Haness, Marley debuted at HITS

{KWPN}), who was Champion 1.15m Jumper at the Scottsdale

Thermal, with some decent ribbons in the Pre-Green Hunter divi-

Spring Classic open show in March. Ability is owned by Gregg &

sion. The last 3 weeks are the most heavily attended, and with

Nancy Shafer.

49 entries in Pre-Green, Marley went Champion two weeks and Reserve the final week. A little over a year ago, 16-year-old Jillian Li’s dream came true when she bought her first horse. She had been riding for a while, but hadn’t competed much. One day, on Dreamhorse.com, Jillian came across a gray Anglo Arabian listed for sale. SHOW OF FAITH (Showkayce x Victoria {TB}), was owned and bred by Kristin

The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

BITS and pieces



Orient Des Touches & Reagan LaFleur

Oz The Tin Man & Katy Groesbeck

EVENTING NEWS Lots was going on down south during February despite the snow and ice craziness. The Ocala Horse Properties Winter 2 Horse Trials featured 2 Anglo Arabian sired entries and one Half-Arabian. ORIENT DES TOUCHES and Reagan Lafleur earned a 33 in dressage to be tied for 9th, then moved up throughout the show to finish in second place in Junior/Young Rider Open Preliminary with double clears in both cross country and stadium. HALIMEY GO and Michael Pollard were in first after earning a 24.80 in dressage, but had 8 jump faults in stadium and 4 time faults in cross country to finish 3rd in Open Preliminary. 15-year-old Gaby Stephens and GLENLORDS MYSTIQUE started out strong in dressage with a 36.40 for 4th, but had a bit of trouble in stadium but pulled a double clear on cross country to finish 15th. At the Rocking Horse Winter 2 Horse Trials, in the Advanced was Katy Groesbeck and her Anglo OZ THE TIN MAN, they pulled a 34.10 in dressage for 2nd, had an unfortunate rail in stadium but sailed around cross country double clear for a 2nd place finish! Lauren Kieffer and Anglo VERMICULUS earned a 33 in dressage, tying them for 13th in a huge Open Preliminary division. With double clears on both stadium and cross country, they finished 7th overall! Anglo sired ORIENT DES TOUCHES and young rider Reagan Lafleur won the Preliminary Rider division, starting with their impressive dressage score of 26.50 thanks to double clear in stadium and just .80 time penalties on cross country. GLENLORDS MYSTIQUE and junior Gaby Stephens finished in 6th place overall in Junior Training Rider division, adding no penalties to their dressage score of 36.40. This pair is gaining lots of experience spending the winter in Florida!

February 19-21, Joa Sigsbee and her Half-Arabian IB KESTREL (Karneval {Trak} x Bella Gold) completed their first Intermediate level event at Pine Top, finishing 5th overall. The first two weeks of March were chock full of eventing in the warmer climates, and the Arabian-bred horses were represented very well. At Rocking Horse Winter 3 Horse Trials, young Gaby Stephens competed in her last Florida event and her first at Preliminary with her Half-Arabian mare GLENLORDS MYSTIQUE (Bridon Glenlord {RID} x Mlladyoftheknight). They finished 11th in a very competitive division. Also at Rocking Horse, Arabian gelding STATTOK (AAF Solitaire x ZF Desiree) and 13-year-old Kanyon Walker placed fourth in Junior Novice. They finished on their dressage score of 37.0 with double-clears in stadium & cross-country. At the Red Hills International Horse Trials, Anglo Arabian VERMICULUS (Serazim x Wake Me Gently {TB}) with Lauren Kieffer finished 17th after a double clear on cross country. This was the horse’s first 1*. The division had 57 entries! In the CIC3*, Katy Groesbeck and her Anglo OZ THE TIN MAN (Sidi Of Magic x Regalbatim {TB}) were in 4th before cross country, but had a refusal on the tough course that eliminated 18 riders. They added some time penalties to finish 15th out of 48 entries. Katy had this to say about their round, “Unfortunately a bad decision at the double up bounce banks left Wort with no gas to continue up the steps. He went extremely well and honest everywhere and I am very happy with him.” Anglo-sired ORIENT DES TOUCHES (15%, by Quatar De Plape) and Jr/YR Reagan LaFleur were in 7th after their dressage earned a 46.60. They finished in 4th place in the CIC1* after 2 double clears in stadium and cross-country. HOUSTON (Reputed Testamony {TB} x Amnesty {AA}) and Daniel Clasing have set their sights on Rolex 2014! They prepped at

April/May 2014


BITS and pieces

Riesling De Buissy

Kestrel & Joa Sigsbee Full Gallop, finishing 4th in Advanced Intermediate, their second outing since Rolex.

Anglo Arabian QUICKNESS and Mathieu Lemoine (photo at top) finished in 5th, quite a move up after placing 13th in Dressage.

Also at Full Gallop, Half-Arabian PL LUCKYS EMPRESS (It’s The

Anglo QATAR DU PUECH ROUGET (46.26%) and Eric Vigeanel

Luck Of The Irish {Irish Draught} x PL Indian Queen) and owner

were right behind them in 6th place, having been in 3rd place be-

Louisa Woodville finished 12th in Beginner Novice. This was just

fore pulling 2 rails in stadium.

both of their second event . Their first was at Sporting Days Farm HT on March 1st, where they finished 12th. The Carolina International CIC and Horse Trials had a few Arabian-breds competing.

OPIUM DE VERRIERES (20.94%) and Maxime Livio finished up in a final 8th place, a move up from 27th after dressage thanks to a great run cross country and a double clear in stadium! The Anglo from Spain, JUNCO CP and Carlos Diaz Fernandez

The Anglo Arabian RIESLING DE BUISSY (27.18%) and rider

were 37th after dressage, but went double clear on cross (one of

Will Faudree sewed up first place in the CIC* division, in this their

only a handful to do so) but caught one rail in stadium to finish

first run since a tendon injury in 2013. They were 4th after dres-


sage, then had double clears in both stadium and cross country to finish on top. Great return for them!

Lauren Kieffer and her Anglo Arabian VERMICULUS (Serazim x Wake Me Gently {TB}) took on their first Intermediate at Rocking

In the CIC2*, Anglo-sired HALIMEY GO (29.91%) and Michael

Horse Spring HT, where they finished in 6th overall. Lauren said he

Pollard were sitting in 4th after dressage, went double clear in

was “saucy” in the dressage, but jumped great all weekend. This

stadium to move up to 2nd, then jumped clear cross country but

horse is amazing!

picked up 4.8 time faults to finish 2nd, only .3 points behind the winner. Only 3 horses made the time on that challenging course! In the Advanced, Daniel Clasing and Anglo HOUSTON had a tough day but still finished in 18th of 36 entries, up from 32nd after dressage and stsadium.

Also at Rocking Horse was Arabian STATTOK (AAF Solitaire x Z F Desiree) and 13-year-old Kanyon Walker, won the Junior Novice Rider division. They had the best dressage score of the entire event (21.0%)! Gaby Stephens rode her Half-Arabian GLENLORD’S MYSTIQUE

And last but not least, Stephen Bradley and UK-bred MARBLE

in the Preliminary division at Texas Rose Horse Park – only their

ARCH (Silver Whirlwind {Half Arabian} x Maximillian Mystikio

second time at Prelim. They finished in 11th having pulled only 1

{Trak}) was 2nd after dressage, had one rail in stadium and 8 time

rail in stadium but a lovely double clear on cross country! This was

faults on cross to finish 7th in the Open Preliminary division. This

despite Gaby cutting her hand before jumping, which required

pair had an awesome year in 2012 at Prelim.


Anglo Arabians had a stellar showing March 19-23 at Fontaine-

At the Morven Park Horse Trials, Half-Arabian PL LUCKYS EM-

bleau in what they called “The Crazy Ride” eventing competition.

PRESS (Its The Luck Of The Irish {Irish Draught} x PL Indian Queen)

In the CICO3*, 5 Arabian-bred horses placed in the top 12 out

and Louisa Woodville won a 7th place in Beginner Novice after

of 69 entries. QUORIANO ‘ENE HN’ (22.88%) and Arnaud Boiteau placed 3rd overall. They were 11th after Dressage and 7th after Cross Country but jumped clear for 3rd.

double clear rounds in both stadium and cross country.



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Markel Performance Series Dressage Clinics Markel Insurance is sponsoring the Markel Performance Series Dressage Clinics on May 23-25th at two locations. USDF Gold Medalist and Certified Instructor Stacey Hastings

and horses in advancing from Training to First Level. This clinic is being held in conjunction with Georgia Arabian Horse Association.

will be at Chesapeake Training Center in Rocky Mount, North

One youth rider at each location will be awarded a grant by

Carolina. Her focus will be based upon understanding the train-

Markel to pay for their participation. Participants at both clinics

ing scale, identifying riders’ goals and helping them to focus on

can also register to win a custom pet portrait by Suzanne Econo-

achieving them. Chesapeake trainer Virginia Godwin will also be


available for private lessons throughout the weekend. Julie Shannon will be the clinician at her Shannondale Farm

Riders are limited to eight per day at each location. Auditors are $25/day or $40/weekend and includes a catered meal.

in Alpharetta, Georgia, where she will focus on facilitating riders

For more information and to register, visit: http://www.arabianhorseinsurance.com/Pages/UpcomingEvents.aspx

ABOUT THE CLINICIANS JULIE SHANNON A former hunter/jumper and eventing rider, Julie has trained in Dressage for 20 years, several with Steve Martin, a former pro-

Julie says, “Arabians are quick, sensitive and smart! They have a great capacity for learning dressage skills as long as riders keep them interested and engaged.”

tégé of Michael Handler of the Spanish Riding School. She also rode with Gunnar Ostergaard for seven years. Today, Julie owns and operates Shannondale Farm located in Alpharetta, Georgia.

STACEY HASTINGS Stacey Hastings is a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist, a

Arabian horses have played an integral part in Julie Shannon’s

USDF Certified Instructor Training through Fourth Level, a USDF

equine education. In the mid 1980s, Julie was offered a job by

L Graduate and FEI Competitor, Trainer and Coach. She has been

Lasma Arabian’s racing division at Pompano Park as a groom and

training and competing in Dressage for almost 30 years. She is

gallop girl. She quickly moved into the traditional show horse di-

a long time student of Olympic Bronze Medalist Michael Poulin.

vision working with both English and Western horses.

Stacey has also produced many successful students at all lev-

Julie also worked for Oak Knoll Arabians, owners of OnyxFire-

els including FEI. 
Most recently, in 2013, Stacey qualified 10th

Bak who came from Onyx Arabians local to her. In late 1990, Julie

in the nation on her horse Lysias and competed in the national

was approached by Carolyn Jacobsen to ride her stallion, Ma-

young horse championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center in

rouf’s Hafid. Carolyn shared a passion for dressage, as did Julie.

Illinois. Lysias was also ranked 2nd in the nation for USDF All

Julie trains horses of all breeds. She believes that all horses

Breeds for FEI 6 Year Olds.

can benefit from dressage gymnastic exercises. Riders benefit by

In 2013, riding Iva Knapp’s Emilio BFA +/, Stacey was USEF Na-

learning the refined communication needed to perform dressage

tional Champion Arabian Third Level Open and National Reserve

movements with an end result of greater harmony between rider

Champion Arabian Fourth Level Open. Stacey also won USEF Na-

and horse.

Continued on page 25

April/May 2014


You’re Invited Markel Performance Series Dressage Clinics May 23 – 25th, 2014 Event Details: • Limit 8 riders per day at each location

Stacey Hastings and Lysias Owned by Lauren Asher

• Audit for $25/day (includes catered meal) • Audit for $40/weekend (includes catered meal) • Register to win Suzanne Economopolous custom pet

portrait at each location

Julie Shannon and Sure Shot of Shannondale Farm

• One youth rider will be paid for by Markel at each location.

*To enter for your chance to win a Markel sponsored youth ride at one of these clinics, please visit www.arabianhorseinsurance.com. One youth rider will be selected from each clinic and paid for by Markel

Stacey Hastings Clinic (NC) Location: Chesapeake Training Center in Rocky Mount, NC www.chesapeaketrainingcenter.com RSVP: Kimberly Douglas at 804-527-3869 or kdouglas@markelcorp.com Note: Virginia Godwin will also be available for private lessons.

Julie Shannon Clinic (GA) in conjunction with Georgia Arabian Horse Association (www.georgia-arabian.com) Location: Shannondale Farm in Alpharetta, GA www.shannondale.com RSVP: Nan Harley at 770-252-2705, cell 404-281-1751 or email nan_harley@yahoo.com


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

PUTTING THE “Whoa” ON WHITE LINE DISEASE by Richard Snead, Dynamic Shoeing

What is White Line Disease? White line disease, also often referred to as seedy toe, is an insidious deterioration of the inner layer of the hoof wall. The white line is the non-pigmented area of the hoof wall where the outer “dead” wall and the inner sensitive tissues of the hoof meet. In the early stages, there is a change in the ground surface of the hoof noticeable as a separation between the hoof wall and sole. This deterioration allows bacteria and fungus to enter at the separation at the white line. Once this happens, these pathogens will slowly destroy the inner wall of the hoof. White line disease is most prominent in hot and humid regions but has more recently been seen all over the United States.

Horse with a specialized shoe that had to have hoof debrieded. A more normal white line disease case.

What to look for The “white line” should be flush with the hoof wall and sole

sole, a dish or bulge in the hoof wall, poor hoof wall consistency,

with no separation. If it is concave and flaky, that could be the

or slow growth of the hoof wall. Another sign that you may have

beginning of an infection. The early warning signs include ten-

a problem is toe cracks. A simple crack is often more than what

derness in the sole when hoof testers are used, flattening of the

you can see on the surface, and it could be the result of white line disease. If you suspect a problem, call a knowledgeable farrier as soon as possible. To catch this disease in its early stages, it is crucial to have your horse’s feet regularly maintained by a quality farrier. Most of the time, the horse will move soundly until the disease is in the advanced stages. Once white line disease had progressed, treatment must be much more aggressive, and recovery is much longer.

Prevention The number one prevention for white line disease or seedy toe is proper hoof care and routine maintenance. This includes A: Where more hoof wall should be resected to check for infection. B: Small cracks like this one can be the sign of white line disease. C: Make sure no small crevices are overlooked.

a regular visit from your farrier every 5-6 weeks, as well as daily cleaning and inspection of the hoof by the horse owner. Look for subtle changes in consistency, texture and smell. Noticing small changes and treating this disease early is the best preven-

Continued on page 24

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The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

laura gordon Laura Gordon would have been named the USEF Half-Arabian Breeder Of The Year in both 2012 and 2013, but a mistake in her two horses’ recording information listed the stallion owner rather than herself as the breeder, which has since been corrected.

How, when and why did you get in- When you decided to breed Arabianvolved with Arabians? cross horses, what were your goals? I became involved with Arabians as a result of encourage-

My goal in breeding Arabian-cross horses was to develop a

ment from my trainer Cynthia Cubbage who had recently started

horse that I could enjoy and show even at this later time in my

training and showing Arabians and thought I would enjoy the

life. At the time of breeding, I was in my late 50s, but I certainly

experience. I had worked with Cynthia for a number of years,

wanted to breed so that I, as an amateur, could ride the offspring.

spending many long hours at hunter shows, and thought it would



indeed be fun to try something new! My Hanoverian-Holsteiner mare whom I showed in Adult Equitation and hunters was aging, and it seemed logical to breed her to an Arabian, which I did for the first time in the mid 2000’s, and then one year later, I bred her again to the same sire. I hadn’t ever thought I would embark on the breeding process, as I had three children and a busy professional life. Having lived in the Northeast for most of my life, I foxhunted and showed a bit as a child, but I did not pursue equine activities of any sort during my young adult years. No time! However, we moved to Aiken in 1994, and I started riding as a result of my husband’s urging. I met Cynthia, started working with her as my trainer and, subsequently, became interested in Arabians after attending several horse shows. I wanted to do this!

Have Enough, Supreme Champion Sport Horse In-Hand at 2013 Sport Horse Nationals.

April/May 2014 DON STINE PHOTO

I am not much of a watcher when it comes to


breeding for the purpose of following careers; I want to help the babies develop, participate in the learning process, and then get on them. At the time, I was determined that I would be able to show them as well! I decided to breed Arabian crosses because I wanted to breed my lovely mare that had all the traits one would want in an amateur horse—patient, kind, wonderful attitude, good mover and jumper, and all-around great mare. She was also a big mare, and as I wanted good-sized offspring, it seemed logical to breed for crosses.

What has been the greatest reward from breeding horses?

Cynthia Cubbage on Have Enough (left) and Laura Gordon on Have

I have been rewarded in so many ways as a result of breed-

Another at 2013 Sport Horse Natonals. dling and management. She was the individual who first pointed out to me the utility of breeding my mare to Shugak, the sire of both Have Another and Have Enough, and why this would be a

ing. The major one is that two wonderful colts, full-brothers, were

good match, given my goals.

born in two years, I was present at their delivery and have en-

development, which I continue to enjoy even today. I knew noth-

What do you consider your greatest achievement in breeding horses?

ing about working with weanlings and gained so much help from

The greatest achievement in breeding is the result! Both colts

Harriet Delaney and Cynthia Cubbage during these early years.

have been amateur-friendly horses, both have been fun to inter-

I learned so much myself and especially appreciate the impor-

act with as weanlings, colts, and now adults, and both have been

tance of early handling. Being a clinical psychologist, my inter-

very successful in the national arena. I suppose I would be remiss

est in development of humans and the process of development

if I didn’t say that my greatest achievement, in addition, has just

throughout life naturally transferred to a curiosity with young

been the opportunity to breed, an activity which was not previ-

horses and ongoing willingness to learn and do what is necessary

ously on my to-do list. I had never even considered the possibil-

joyed more than anything observing their learning process and

to yield wonderful adult horses. I cannot ignore the obvious reward of the success that these horses have achieved. Consistent and slow handling of the babies with no rushing has resulted in horses that are comfortable at horse shows and rideable by amateurs. I enjoy the idea that good breeding and management have resulted in horses that are highly competitive at large national shows.

Who was your biggest influence regarding your breeding decisions? Cynthia Cubbage has been involved every step of the process from deciding on the appropriate sire to decisions regarding han-

Have Enough as a foal.


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine ity, but now having done it, I am so glad to have had this chance.

decision should be made carefully after considering all options

Such fun!

and characteristics and seeking advice from knowledgeable and trustworthy professionals.

What characteristics do you consider “must haves” in a breeding animal? What advice would you give to someone considering breeding AraThe dam must have all the characteristics which I want her offspring to have—first and foremost are temperament and atbian sport horses?

titude, then size and style of movement. Medical history is also of great consideration. The sire must be a good mover and, prefer-

If the breeder is a first-timer, I would urge consultation with

ably, if not well known to the breeder must also be a good match

a knowledgeable and trustworthy professional who knows you

for the activities in which the offspring is eventually going to par-

well, appreciates one’s goals, understands your knowledge base,

ticipate. In short, good track records for both.

financial situation, and any other variables which significantly

When matching a stallion to a mare, what do you consider their most important attributes in order to produce a successful sport horse?

affect one’s ability to make good breeding decisions. I have ob-

See above. In addition, it is helpful to know what kind of ba-

pect, and the new breeder needs to be well-informed and ready

bies the mare and stallion have had. For example, when bred to

to go the mile. One must be ready for “whatever can go wrong

an Arabian, Shugak throws off little Arabian foals. When bred to

might,” and though I am sure that most of the time the process

a non-Arabian, his offspring has been quite big. It is important to

is easy, sometimes things are not so. Breed based on one’s goals

know this so one’s objectives can be met, especially if the desire

for that new horse, and make decisions all the way through the

is to produce a successful sport horse. It is also important to con-

process with this in mind.

sider who the offspring is destined for. It is nice to breed a dream

Since your mare is retired from breeding, do you have any plans to acquire another to breed? If so, what type and why?

colt, but if it is supposed to be for an amateur and yet does not turn out to be a good match for an amateur in the time frame desired, it is not the best idea. Style of movement, show history, temperament and attitude, medical history of sire and dam—all of these are important when matching a stallion to a mare. The

served the results of good breeding practices and less effective breeding practices, and perhaps the most important advice I can give is that one cannot rush the development of young horses. Breeding and handling foals requires more time, more money, more patience, and more knowledge than most people might ex-

I have no plans to acquire another mare to breed. I am heavily involved in showing and just purchased a purebred Arabian as a yearling. Though I am not his breeder, I am enjoying getting to know him, teaching him what he needs to know at this time in his life, and greatly looking forward to riding him at some point in the future.

Have Another as a foal.

Bonn-Fyre Farms

April/May 2014



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The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine


Stillness & Movement - Getting “Plugged-In” Forty years ago, Mary Wanless set out to discover what makes someone “talented.” Now with six books, multiple DVDs, and clinics worldwide, her “Ride With Your Mind”TM (RWYM) method of rider coaching explains how we can shape the horse’s athletic use of his body like talented riders do. Her pioneering work has seeped into that of many others who refer to “rider biomechanics.” Wanless’s strategies can be understood most clearly from the source.

assignments—two mounted exercises and one un-


mounted. One is Mary Wanless’ concept of “plugging”

In walk, when a rider’s muscles are not strong enough—or she

the seat bones into the long back muscles running

is intentionally “relaxing,” we see her body move as if it is made

on either side of a horse’s spine. Putting this concept

of disconnected parts rocked on a stormy sea. We see the horse’s

into practice was a big breakthrough in my battle to

back movement disorganize the rider: her upper torso will often

keep my left hip engaged. In my lesson with Lisa, she

lengthen in front and shorten in back, sending her chest upward

explained that it is not only following the movement

while her shoulders move backward and behind the motion of the

of the back, it is using your (body) to lead the horse’s

horse. Her mid-torso typically folds open and closed at the waist,

back movement. When accomplished, the rider can

alternating between rounding and hollowing at the waistband.

influence the horse’s stride—long, short, halt. Amaz-

Her pelvis may wiggle in many directions, or rock forward and

ing!” - RWYM student Nancy S.

back as if her pelvis is a rocking chair.

“I came away from my lesson with three homework

Often, the rider with the rocking pelvis is actually matching


the hop of a rabbit rather than the walk of a horse. Both of her

In an effort to use a “deep seat” and “drive the horse forward”

seat bones move forward & back together as if hopping. If there

some riders with high muscle tone jostle the horse by adding

were an arrow through her from back to front, we’d see the tip of

shoves and pushes to their movement in the saddle. In contrast,

the arrow bob upward and downward in the walk. When she hops

riders with low muscle tone are typically jostled by the horse’s

forward, the point bobs toward the sky. When she lands and push-

body mechanics. Riders with adequate muscle strength may be

es off again, it points to the ground. (Now is the time to try it—go

jostled due to their effort to follow commands to “relax,” “go

on, no one is watching—get up and hop!) In contrast, the actual

with” or “follow the horse’s movement.” Problems with balance

equine walk is so similar to ours that people relearning how to

or tense joints also cause disconnection between the rider’s seat

walk benefit from simulation aboard a therapy horse.

and the horse.

Imagine the loose toddler on your shoulders. For today, lets say she is balanced from side to side. But, when you take a step

April/May 2014

Wobbly rider. forward, she momentarily falls behind your center of gravity. As

muscles and joints? Yes! Here’s what that means. By “plugging in”

if a wave knocked you a bit backward, you have to balance not

to match the movement of the horse, we connect the rider to the

just yourself but also pull her forward to take the second step.

horse’s center of motion. Rather than allow her body to become a

When a horse carries a wobbling or shoving rider, the horse is

consequence of the horse’s movement, the rider becomes still in

forced to compensate. The horse’s balance is affected like that of

relation to the horse. She is then in a position to intentionally set

an adult who gives a shoulder ride to a loose or shoving toddler.

his tempo—to lead the horse with her body.

The horse’s tempo is likely to be too slow or too quick. The sensitive or anxious horse will often move too fast. The sympathetic or


quieter horse may slow down in order to stabilize his rider. We of-

Each individual horse and rider pair have their own unique

ten see riders punish horses that are instinctively slowing down

combination of conformation, patterns of body movement, flex-

in an effort to make their rider more balanced. When those riders

ibility in particular joints, strength or weakness in different mus-

stabilize themselves the horse typically responds with greater

cle chains. So, solutions are individual.

freedom and activity. There is a way to be of more help to the

Here are just two RWYM strategies that work for many people:


1) The brain more easily gains awareness of what we are doing when we experiment by over-exaggerating our movement.


Once the shoving rider becomes aware of how she is shoving, she

Doesn’t the rider need to follow the movement with relaxed

Still rider.

Continued on page 25


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Working Hunters Put Your Best Foot Forward By Beth Thomas DON STINE PHOTO


As Arabian owners and riders we work hard to get our horses

This leads me to the other reasons for lack of success in the

recognized by others as the wonderful and athletic partner we

open venue. Open exhibitors assume our horses are the hunters

all know. Many have gone out into the so-called open world and

we see in the main ring pleasure classes. These horses, though

proved it by doing well and winning at the big AA hunter shows.

lovely in their own right, generally do not move or are not ridden

These riders have shown it can be done and have set a fine exam-

in a way that is expected for the open world. They are viewed as

ple of success, but the question remains why others meet it with

china dolls to be kept on a shelf and polished only to be taken


down and pranced around the ring looking like an explosion is

I am writing this totally from the perspective of working

about to happen. As sport horse owners, we know that is not true,

hunters and hunt seat equitation. The same problems do exist to

and getting our horses out into the open world and being suc-

lesser and perhaps greater extents in dressage and even western,

cessful is the only way to disprove this myth.

but I do not have the experience to expound on those disciplines.

When we get our horses out there, it is up to us to present

There are so many talented Arabian horses out there that will

them in a way that makes them fit in and only stand out due to

never get the chance to reach the highest peaks of open success

superior performance. Sadly, I have seen many a nice Arabian at

for many reasons. One, of course, is funding. Not everyone has

open venues who were dirty, thin, messy in turnout, poorly rid-

the disposable income to get to the top shows or the time that

den and perhaps poorly trained. Perhaps even a combination of

it takes. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and kudos to

all. Not a good impression to make!

those who do. Some owners have made major sacrifices in their lives to do it and, again, awesome for them and congratulations!

Obviously, one must have the right horse for the job—one that can jump well and move well. Many Arabians can.

April/May 2014



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine Next, the talented horse must be trained well, and that is where we run into problems. Many open trainers are not interested in working with Arabians, mostly due to myths and horror stories handed down by the ill informed. Most Arabian trainers have no experience working with over fences horses, and there are very few Arabian trainers that do over fences work.


For lessons, clinics, and shows, it is up to you to be the ambassador of the breed. Groom your horse and groom him well. Make sure his white

I see the same thing with hunt seat equitation. What the Ara-

is sparkling white, have him trimmed neatly and, preferably, his

bian trainers generally teach is not correct for the open hunt seat

mane pulled. (If you cannot bear to part with that hair, braid it

world, and those riders are sorely disappointed when they go to

tight and neat into a running braid. Long manes get tangled in

national shows and are faced with hunter rated judges.

fingers and do not look good on a working hunter.)

The job of the rider who wants to be successful over fences

Here is where you also do not want a tail dragging on the

with their Arabian is to find someone who is willing to help them

ground. That can actually get caught on a jump cup and pull a rail.

and to work with their horse. Sometimes that trainer may tell you

A conservative pad for lessons is ideal although not manda-

that your horse is not the right one for the job, and that is where it

tory, but again for lessons and clinics stick to plain. At shows, the

gets tough! Are they saying that because they have a warmblood

only ones that will do are the fitted, snowy white ones. Brown

for sale that would be “perfect,” because they just do not want to

tack is the norm for hunters, and of course a jumping saddle of

give your Arabian a chance, or because your horse really is not a

some kind. If your horse goes well, he is not going to lose be-

good prospect for over fences?

cause you are not riding in a French saddle or have a $500 bridle,

One needs to do some serious homework at this point.

but both must fit well with no flapping keepers or overly long

I suggest, if there is not a good Arabian hunter trainer in your

snaffles are the norm these days in the hunter ring, but again,

area or a more open-minded trainer, that you sit down and look at

you will not lose because it isn’t. Pelhams are fine but must have

a lot of videos of winning working hunters and equitation rides

two reins—no converters. There are few bits that not allowed

both Arabian and open. Read books, look at photos, and then get

but many that are considered “unconventional,” including My-

someone to video your horse in action and compare.

lers and kimberwicks, and a judge may penalize you for them. No

stirrup leather ends. Your tack needs to be clean of course, with a shiny bit. D-ring

Now, you must be very honest with yourself. Just because he

drop or figure eight nosebands, and rubber reins are not a good

jumped out of the pasture or happily free jumps a huge verti-

idea! Standing martingales or no martingales or also the norm.

cal does not make him a top hunter prospect. He must have the

It’s your choice.

correct style, form and rideability to do the job well. Take him to

honest because he isn’t trying to sell you a horse! If you choose a

Now that your horse is looking awesome, you need to as well!

trainer, be sure to stand your ground and tell him or her you want

Again the hunter world is conservative, and if you wear some-

an Arabian that can do working hunters, not another breed, and

thing out of the norm, you better be laying down an unbeatable

he or she may then be more fair to your horse. Be warned though

round! You do not have to spend tons of money on the latest and

that the trainer may still not like your horse, and then you should

greatest apparel, but you do want to wear what is correct. Bling

ask what your Arabian is doing wrong and why: is it lack of train-

and crystals are for the park and western classes.

some clinics or a trainer and get opinions. A clinician may be more

ing or lack of talent?

You must wear an approved helmet with chin straps fastened.

Once the right horse and trainer is established, then you need

Black is the color of choice. Navy or brown is ok if you are going to

to look the part! You can have the “10” mover with a back crack-

have more than one, but you can’t go wrong with black. You need

ing bascule and knees up to his eyeballs, but if he is not looking

black boots, field boots being the most popular but dress are fine

the part, you may be over looked! It does not cost extra to be

Continued on page 24

April/May 2014

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The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine





2013 AHA Horse of the Year



ometimes in breed-

star was foaled in 2008, sired by dressage

ing horses, they go

star Al-Marah Quebec+, Reserve National



Champion Fourth Level Dressage and the


first Arabian to be Trakehner approved

when you can begin

in this country. His dam is Reem Al Fala,

to doubt yourself. It’s not always easy to

an AM Gypsy Vision daughter bred by Al

Tankersley originally bred him to be an endurance horse, as his pedigree seemed to predict.

wait for the “swan” to emerge. This year’s

Marah. Her offspring include four-time

Instead, he has blossomed into a great

AHA High Point horse, Al Marah Swift, em-

National Champion SHIH Al-Marah Jessica

hunter. With their breeding program fo-

bodied that tale, and to see him now, you

(by Bremervale Andronicus) and National

cusing on disposition and trainability, it

wouldn’t believe it.

Top Ten Sport Horse Show Hack Crymson

is no surprise that everyone loves him.

Tyde (by *SA Ika).

Owner Mark Miller considers Swift to be



The beautiful bay stallion with a big

April/May 2014


Quebec’s best offspring. “He’s been my

nadian Nationals winning two Champi-

At this year’s Scottsdale show, he won

daughter’s favorite ever since he was

ons, two Reserves and a Top Ten. At Sport

the in-hand stallion championship as well

born. I love that he’s one of the best hunt-

Horse Nationals, Swift was the most win-

as under saddle and working hunter, a

ers out there and especially because he’s

ning Arabian overall. With Championships

great start on 2014.

a Quebec son. He’s the great grandson of

in Green Working Hunter, Working Hunter

my Indraff daughter that I had in 1960

14.2 & Under, Hunter Hack Jr. Horse and

and here we are 50 years later,” said Mark.

Sport Horse Under Saddle Jr. Horse, a Re-

Swift was a yearling, breeding manager Jerry Hamilton decided it was in the colt’s best interest to “hide” him from Mrs. T.

serve in Open Working Hunter and Top

the ground, the oldest being two-year-olds.

Tens in Open and Amateur In-Hand and

He will be standing in Arizona for the

Open Sport Horse Under Saddle, that

breeding season and will follow that up

came as no surprise.

with trips to Canada and/or Idaho for Na-

He apparently may have been gelded

Throughout the season, he had been

had she seen him. Jerry and Mark both

piloted mostly by Kristin, who met Al

agreed that he just needed some time,

Marah at the shows, but then took him

and they were right.

home to her farm in California from mid-

A month later, Swift competed in Trail at US Nationals and again brought home


summer through Sport Horse Nationals.

out and Swift earned his first of many

“Kristin is a big part of the reason Swift

National Championships, the 2-Year-Old

won so much. She’s a great trainer and she

Arabian Sport Horse In-Hand. He went

absolutely gives you back a better horse

on to amass an impressive list of wins

than the one you gave her. To me, that’s

in-hand, then under saddle and even in

the true mark of a great trainer.”

dressage before starting in Hunter Hack

sings his praises, saying, “Swift is the ultimate show horse, his mind is a steel trap. He walks in the ring to win and understands the game. Because he is so smart, riding him is a dream. The only thing he doesn’t like is if I am holding a ribbon, but roses around his neck are a-ok!“

Horse Nationals that year, earning two Top Tens, but also did two Trail classes at US Nationals, winning two more Top Tens! Swift hit the road in late March of 2013, throughout the year attending Championships in Regions 1, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14 and Pacific Slopes where he garnered a total of 21 Champions and Reserves. He only just started in working hunter in June, as he had gotten kicked on the walker and required some stem cell treatment on his hock. Swift’s first over fences show at Region 13 was also the first time Kristin Hardin rode him. In August, Swift made his way to Ca-

roses in his near future.

two Top Tens, ridden there by Brooke

When he came two, Jerry brought him

in 2012. He not only competed at Sport

tionals. It’s a safe bet that there are more



Swift has 10 foals on


Al-Marah Swift, 2014 National Champion Purebred Green Working Hunter, with Kristin Hardin.


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Putting the “Whoa” On White Line Disease Continued from page 10 tion. Try your best to provide your horse with clean, dry places to stand. This is especially important in areas with high heat and humidity. Stay out of the mud!

Treatment White line disease treatment will depend on the severity of the damage to the hoof. If caught early, white line disease can be stopped and managed until new hoof grows out normally. Treated early, the horse will not suffer any lasting effects, and the rider’s schedule is not altered! If white line disease becomes severe enough and progresses unchecked, the horse can ultimately

A horseshoe nail is often used to carefully check depth of seedy toe of separation.

become laminitic, need corrective shoeing, time off, or maybe

of hoof wall to nail to. I would also recommend a pour-in pad in

even protective boots.

these circumstances for more overall support following the hoof

Once damage to the hoof wall is severe, often the affected area of hoof wall is removed so that the diseased tissue is elimi-

wall resection. You, your farrier and your veterinarian team are all an integral part of stopping white line disease.

nated. The anaerobic bacteria and fungi that play a role in white line disease cannot further grow in crevices where the hoof wall

Dynamic Shoeing operates out of the

has been damaged when the area is debrided and opened up to

Raleigh NC area. Rick Snead believes

the air. After your farrier or veterinarian has debrided the area

in a team approach when address-

and removed diseased tissue, I recommend a simple treatment of

ing soundness issues and the overall

straight bleach to flush and cleanse the affected areas every tree

wellbeing of his equine clients. Rick

days and make sure the area is clean and dry when you apply the

has been a Farrier for almost a dec-

bleach. Don’t soak the hoof in bleach; just treat the specific area

ade. He stays on the cutting edge of

of concern and keep the horse in a dry, clean place.

technological advances in shoeing

When working with severe cases like the one below, make

through specialized continuing edu-

sure you contact both your veterinarian as well as your farrier. A

cation trainings and partnerships with veterinary professionals. Rick

shoe will need to be placed on the hoof before the wall is resect-

enjoys his horse Rain (qh) & Mustang Katie who is care leased to a 6

ed, as it may be difficult to do this after the resection due to lack

y/o who is enjoying her first shows with her.

Working Hunters Continued from page 20

Some have subtle plaid or stripes. You want the coat to fit neatly,

and zippers or not. Get ones that fit nicely and are not too short

and they are easy to get tailored to fit you well.

or too baggy. Of course, they will need to be very clean and shiny!

If you wear spurs, be sure they are clean, correct on your boot,

Wear tan or beige or greenish beige breeches and there are

strap ends facing the outside without being too long, and buckles

lots to choose from in all price ranges. A belt is something that

in the center of your instep. No slip on spurs, please, or the color-

just should be worn, as it looks so much more finished. Shirts

ful plastic ones. A black or brown crop is fine, but be sure it is

have lots of variety these days, and if you are going for just one,

neither too long nor attached to your wrist with a strap.

white is best or a pale pastel. There are lots of neat colors and

Some will say that the hunter world is too stuffy and uptight,

patterns which are all acceptable, but again, if you get too far

but it is what it is, and it is best to fit in in such a way that your

outside the box, you want your rides to be worthy! A navy coat is

horse is the focal point so he shows the world how talented and

the number one choice but black, tan, and grey are also suitable.

wonderful the Arabian is!

April/May 2014

Biomechanics Continued from page 17


covers control of the horse’s tempo by leading it with her seat.

can fairly easily not shove. The rider with less muscle strength

• • •

can over-exaggerate her wobble to discover where she lacks strength. As she gradually builds strength around the waist and

Nancy: “As always, I couldn’t wait to get back home

pelvis, she’ll gain control that will allow her to match the horse’s

and try the exercises out on my own two horses. Lad


has a beautiful walk—when I am not on his back! I

2) Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Engage

worked with Lad while riding out in the pasture. One of

abdominal and back muscles to help your torso remain erect.

my goals is to create that same walk when I am riding

Imagine a carousel pole keeping you upright and straight. ‘Walk’

him. I engaged my seat bones and worked on changing

forward, traveling through space on your seat bones. Your ribcage

the stride. I could feel a big difference when I applied

and shoulders can be still, floating above the movement of your

the new information on using my seat. I felt like I was

walking pelvis. You will pivot very slightly leftward and rightward

riding the horse! With Secret, who is less sensitive and

around your imaginary pole.

not very forward, I felt the walk/stride work encour-

The efficient, organized walk of an athlete has little extrane-

aged her to move with a more marching walk. Both are

ous movement. Body parts stay balanced one over the other as

accomplishments in our riding partnerships! My time

they move. Notice how you walk when you are on your own two

with Lisa always flies by! Riding is like a big puzzle,

feet. Watching your own walk in a mirror (or visually recorded)

and I gain at least one new piece to my puzzle every

will increase your awareness. The imaginary point of the arrow

time I work with Lisa.”

that comes out of your belly stays level with the ground, pointing slightly left when your right foot steps forward and slightly right when your left foot steps forward.

We can use our own anatomy to communicate to the horse a streamlined framework for movement. Find out more about these

Mount up and find the match with your horse’s back move-

strategies for using the brain to communicate with horses through

ment. The imaginary carousel pole extends from your head down

behavioral science and biomechanics! There’s a wealth of informa-

through you into the middle of the horse. To prevent snapping

tion at www.Mary-Wanless.com including coaches worldwide—with

it in two, you won’t rabbit hop. Instead, your body now pivots

five in the USA at www.RideWithYourMindUSA.com and two in Can-

slightly left and right as your right and left seat bones walk for-


ward. You are not folding at your waist and hopping like a bunny!

Lisa May, the first accredited US RWYM coach has been working

A “plugged in” rider’s underneath is molded to a consistent sur-

with Wanless since 1997 and Horseman Mark Rashid since 2000

face in the saddle. She looks still because her movement and the

www.MarkRashid.com. Also a Professional Association of Therapeu-

horse’s movement match. Her torso acts as a solid but malleable

tic Horsemanship International instructor, she travels for clinics from

block that influences the horse without unbalancing him. When

her home in Maryland and assists riders anywhere by way of video

the rider controls the movement of her pelvis and torso, she dis-

critique. www.IdylwildFarm.com.

Markel Dressage Clinics Continued from page 8

jntje v.d. Bokkefarm was First Place USDF All Breeds at Training

tional Reserve Champion Half-Arabian Fourth Level Open and

Level. Trijntje also won two World Championships and the BLM

6th place USEF National Half-Arabian FEI Combined Open with

Championships. Stacey is this year’s recipient of FHANA’s Presi-

Iva’s Kameram Rhapsody+ and 3rd place USEF National Half-Ara-

dent’s Award.

bian Third Level Open as well as 13th place National Half-Arabian Fourth Level Open on Iva’s Kameram Beringer.

 Also with Stacey, Mark and Karen Gueraa’s Friesian Mare Tri-

Stacey’s training method is kind and methodical, sticking to classical principals and the training scale. Stacey enjoys working with riders of all levels and horses of all breeds.


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Make the Transition

First to Second Level by Mary Flood with Stephanie J. Corum Photos courtesy of Laine Sklar


you feel that you and your horse are stuck at

strength to maintain your own balance independent of the horse?

First Level? Do you wonder how to move up to-

Developing a seat independent of your hands and learning to

ward the elusive collection that is required at

feel the three types of seat (neutral, driving and allowing) takes

Second Level and above? The answer to moving forward is actu-

time. I find many riders have a tendency to either have a driving

ally going back and answering the following questions. But you

seat or a passenger seat. Understanding what type of seat you

have to be honest with yourself. Any denial will prevent you from

currently have starts with body awareness. Seat work on a good

making the progress you desire.

lunge horse is invaluable and a critical part of your advancement. It takes practice to be balanced enough to have a neutral seat

1. Take a good look at your position. What needs to be changed?

most of the time because you need good core strength and sta-

2. Does your horse have a poor response or lack of response

bility. The two other seat aids are the momentary driving seat to

to your aids? And when he does respond, how do you handle

bring the horse into better balance and the allowing seat, which

his reaction?

gives the horse the chance to step forward from behind. You have

3. Can you feel when your horse is out of balance?

to be able to control your own balance before you can change

4. Do you have difficulty adjusting your horse longitudinally

where you want the horse to go.

(back to front)?

Only when your balance is stable can you give effective aids.

5. Does your horse respond easily to your lateral requests?

But it takes more than just riding to improve your balance and

6. Do you feel your horse is one sided?

strength. Stay aware of good posture throughout the day. Im-

7. Are you getting low scores at First Level? Do you keep get-

prove your fitness and flexibility by doing other types of exercise

ting the same comments about lack of engagement, horse is

such as Pilates, yoga, stretching, running, swimming, or cycling.

on the fore hand, and not enough impulsion?

What other activities you do are less important than finding one

8. Are your goals realistic for you and your horse?

you enjoy and sticking to it.

Now that you’ve answered these questions, let’s take a look at some solutions.

THE HORSE’S RESPONSE TO YOUR AIDS I find that one of the biggest mistakes riders make is not re-


quiring an answer from the horse for a request that is made. If you barely touch the horse with your leg, do you get the response

Your horse is your mirror. Listen to what he is telling you. Are

that you want? Do you know what you want? Have you gotten no

you lacking vertical balance? For example, are you twisting your

reaction or too big of a reaction from your horse? Initially, any re-

spine or lifting your right hand and losing contact when you go

action to a request is on the right track. Once you have a reaction,

left. Are your legs in front of your seat and do you have the core

then you have to clarify what response you want from the horse.

April/May 2014 Consistency in your training is critical. Without consistency, your

ture and, most importantly, maintain his confidence in what you

horse will remain confused and your aids will get lost in transla-

are asking. A partnership with your horse enables him to give you

tion. Some horses will shut down, ignore you or just get heavy


and dull. Some will become tense, over reactive, or run away from the aids. Ask yourself how the horse translated your request. I


find that some riders have a tendency to try to pull the horse into

You need a plan for every part of your riding, from warm up to

a round frame without understanding the thoroughness needed

cool down. You also need to set short term (next 6 months) and

to connect all parts of the horse. They are randomly giving and

long term (more then 6 months) goals. But then you also have

taking without requiring the horse to give first before rewarding

to understand that these goals must be flexible based on your

with a softening hand. It takes a long time to develop the feel

horse’s feedback.

necessary to maintain a complete circuit from the hind leg energy to the bit and back to you.


EXERCISES FOR DEVELOPING YOUR HORSE THE SECOND LEVEL Above all else, when working your plan, keep these three categories in mind: Where - accuracy of your schooling figures.

Have you been getting away with mediocre scores at shows?

When – For example, when your horse goes from trot to canter,

Do you make excuses for your horse when he scores low? I per-

was he balanced, did he ignore your request, or did he over re-

sonally want to be scoring consistently around 65% and above

act? Your horse needs to be obedient to your aids. He needs to

before I move up a level at shows. I want to be schooling a level

respond when you ask, not two strides later. How - how is the

above what I am showing. If you want to show First Level then

horse’s connection, relaxation, energy, and balance. The Where

your horse should easily be schooling above those requirements.

can help the When and How.

Success builds more success. Do you know the training scale and do you keep it in mind in

Warm Up

your daily training? This information will keep you on track when

Whatever level you are riding, a correct warm up is critical to

things start to go wrong. By setting the right goals you can pre-

the success of further training. I find that many riders do not re-

vent your horse from getting you side tracked. Your daily riding

ally have a plan for their warm up and may start schooling move-

should improve your horse’s way of going, develop his muscula-

ments before recognizing what part of the training really needs

Working Trot

Lengthened Trot



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine to be addressed that day. Warm up gives you the chance to improve your awareness skills and increase your sense of feel for how your horse is actually moving and responding.

Training Exercises With the training scale always in your mind, work the schooling figures from Training Level, which include 20m circles and

The beginning portion of your ride should also be about you

simple transitions. If your horse cannot maintain relaxation and

finding your own alignment. If you start telling your horse what

self-carriage in the basic movements then he is not ready to start

to do before listening to him first you may not make the most

the First Level requirements. Once the basic gaits feel loose and

appropriate choices in what exercises you will include in your

balanced, begin the transitions within and between the gaits.

training session that day. In general, allow at least 10 minutes at

This is where you will begin to develop collection. When school-

walk before picking up the reins. Then pick up enough contact to

ing transitions within the gaits begin with only a small difference

communicate and do a series of walk exercises that include vari-

in changing the length of stride. When the horse can successfully

ous circles sizes and patterns. Keep in mind to ride opposite your

stay balanced in small changes, increase both ends of the scale.

horse’s tendency, which means if your horse is on the lazy side

Ask for longer steps into shorter steps, then even longer and even

do long forward lines. If the horse likes to rush, ride soft round

shorter. Lengthening and shortening on a circle is very helpful in

circles. If the horse carries his head too low, ride him higher, and

improving the support phase and the thrusting phase of a horse’s

vice versa.

stride. This is an invaluable exercise for improving thoroughness.

When you are satisfied with equal contact from a marching

The quality of transitions between the gaits is very impor-

hind end, go to the trot and allow the horse’s neck to reach to the

tant. Ride a slight shoulder fore position, but more to the effect

hand. Work circles and straight lines in both directions until the

of where the inside hind leg is, as it should be slightly in between

horse is relaxed but responsive. Ideally the poll should be about

the lines of the front legs. Transitions must be done with a lot of

level with the withers in the working gaits. Stay aware of how

feel for balance and that the hind legs step toward your hands.

responsive your horse is to both waiting and sending aids. Then

For lateral suppleness, check the horse’s response with some

work canter in both directions, starting with the horse’s easier

simple turns on the forehand. The horse should be very in tune to

side. Focus your attention on the feedback the horse is giving

the slightest aid you can give. If the horse is slow to respond or

you, instead of what you are telling the horse. Then give your

does not respond at all, reinforce your request by increasing the

horse a break on a long rein.

volume with a kick or tap of the whip. If a horse can feel fly feet, expect them to respond to that level of reaction. When you have that prompt response, expect the horse to stay responsive in the

Working Canter

Lengthened Canter

April/May 2014 When these transitions are balanced, you can continue around the corner is counter canter. This exercise will really let you know how effective your aids are and how balanced your horse really is. Without good balance your horse will not be ready to continue to develop toward collection. This development takes time, but when the basics are good then the transition into the more collected gaits becomes attainable. When your transitions are balanced between the gaits then it is time to begin leaving out one of the gaits, for example trot to halt, halt to trot, walk to canter, canter to walk. Your proof of collection will be when your horse has clear balance in the canter to walk transitions.

MISSING LINKS 1. Developing feel takes a lot of practice. Stay aware that the timing of your aids is critical to the success of your training. If you give an aid at a time when your horse physically cannot respond Shoulder-In lateral work. To further improve suppleness, ride transitions in

then he has to either ignore you or over react. Respect the feedback your horse gives you.

your lateral work. For example, trot/walk/trot or shorter trot/big-

2. Enlist help from an experienced, qualified instructor whose

ger trot/shorter trot while in shoulder in. You will see a definite

strengths are teaching and not just riding. Learn the biomechan-

improvement in your horse’s balance and obedience.

ics of the horse and how they apply to training.

Shoulder-in is the foundation exercise of collection. Unfortu-

3. Know the requirements of the level you are showing. For

nately there is a tendency for riders to ride the position of shoul-

example, showing a clear difference between a lengthened trot/

der in but not ride the requirements of shoulder in, because they

canter and working trot/canter is expected at First Level. When

lack the necessary collection. The Glossary of Judging Terms from

you can show a definite difference with balance you are well on

the USDF Directory defines collection as: “Increased engagement

your way to riding your horse in a more uphill manner.

and lifting of the forehand, with shorter steps relative to the oth-

4. Learn the purpose of each exercise that you choose. Be

er paces of the gaits, while maintaining energy and self-carriage.

willing to change the exercise if the one you are doing is not

The horse’s outline becomes shorter from bit to hip, with the

working. Each horse learns differently. Respect his conformation,

neck and withers stretched and arched upward. (Note: It is a com-

awkwardness, mistakes, and lack of understanding.

mon misconception that the hind legs step further forward under the body in collection. This is not consonant with the shorter

5. Be honest with yourself. Are you willing to put in the work that is required to ride successfully at Second Level and above?

strides required in collection. At the trot and canter, the hind feet are picked up relatively sooner after passing under the hip, and spend relatively longer on the ground (support phase) than in the other paces of the gait.)”

OVERALL THOUGHTS In general, you and your horse should continue to improve throughout your ride. The exercise itself is not the goal; the feel-

At canter begin with shallow loops on the long side. When the

ing of the exercise is. Make sure your horse is working harder

horse can stay in balance, increase the bending line. One exercise

than you are. If that is not the case, take time to evaluate what

that is very helpful is for the rider is to ride the short ends in trot

you are doing. If you give too much aid for too long you do not

and the long side in outside canter lead, then trot again before

realize how strong it is. At the end of the day, do you have a happy

the corner and through the short side, then canter outside again.

horse? You should be proud of yourself if you can answer yes.



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Conformation With Elaine Kerrigan, Lynn McEnespy, and Peter Mileo

Purebred #1


from point of shoulder to elbow. Hindquarters have good angulation and size. Hocks a bit camouflaged by color and picture but appears a bit sickle hocked. Front pasterns are slightly short and a bit steep but the feet appear quite good. Overall impression is of a good sport horse type, with an elegant front end and, hopefully, the power and elasticity behind to match.

Peter Mileo Neck is well shaped but appears to be a bit short for her. Shoulder is of acceptable length and angle. Wither should hold a saddle. She looks waspy through the flank and coupling. I think she is also weak in the loin. Her hip is peaked with a short croup that

Elaine Kerrigan

falls off. I also think her hind quarter could have more length and

Pleasant expression though a rather straight profile. Fairly well

depth. I’d like to see larger joints and shorter cannons and lower

shaped neck, though a little thick in the throatlatch, blending

set hocks.

into a nicely sloped shoulder. Adequate length of humerus, how-

Purebred #2

ever would like to see a more open angle to the shoulder. Pectoral muscles appear to be a bit over developed. Withers should provide a secure saddle position and provide a good placement for a girth. Loin shows some positive development in connecting the back’s topline to the hindquarters, though the point of croup is prominent and back is a little long. Complimentary hip angles and quarters tie well down into the gaskin. Leg joints appear clean with appropriate angles, though a little more bone and a little larger hoof would be ideal.

Lynn McEnespy

Elaine Kerrigan

The overall impression is of a nice sport horse type and looks

Photo angle does not allow a profile view of the head. The photo

well suited for dressage. Dapple grey is not easy to judge from

angle also may distort the view of the neck, though from this

photos as the coloring disguises some things. Not quite “classic”

view, the neck appears to be nicely shaped and of good length,

head for a purebred but as a sport horse it is attractive. Well

tying smoothly into a nicely angled shoulder and withers. Good

shaped neck and good attachment. Fairly smooth, well shaped

length of humerus with open angle to the shoulder. Wither

withers for a good saddle position but she needs a smoother

placement provides a good saddle and girth position. Strong

connection over loin and croup—maybe a hunter bump? Very

loin with a smooth connection of the topline of the back into the

good shoulder with good muscle, angle and length particularly

hindquarters with good length of hip. Hip angles compliment the

April/May 2014 shoulder angles and create a nicely balanced body. Quarters tie

for the topline of the back to the hindquarters. Would like to see

adequately deep enough into the gaskin. Leg joints appear clean

a little more length to the hip. Quarters tie deep enough into the

with good bone and good size of hoof. Elegant horse.

gaskin, but needs to develop muscling. Leg joints appear clean with adequate bone and hoof, though pasterns are long. Beauti-

Lynn McEnespy

ful turnout.

Another lovely dapple grey with a positive first impression as a very nice sport horse. The position makes it hard to assess the

Lynn McEnespy

head but it appears quite attractive. Well shaped neck and well

Superb grooming and presentation! Obvious Arabian influence

set on with a smooth topline and saddle position. The shoulder is

and a good sport horse type. Smooth overall development with

quite good (the picture makes it hard to see if the elbow is a bit

particularly good feet and legs. Withers a bit prominent with a bit

close though). The croup is slightly short but the angulation and

of a dip in front but smooth connection to back for a fairly good

size of the hindquarters is good. Quite good bone and the feet

saddle position. Top of neck could be a bit better developed but

appear to be very good, too. This type should do well at both the

the attachment to shoulder is fairly good. The shoulder is a bit

hunter and dressage sport horse disciplines.

straight and open angled but quite acceptable. Smooth topline and connection across loin area. The hindquarters are arguably a

Peter Mileo

bit light compared to the shoulder with the croup a bit short, but

Lovely neck which comes out of his shoulder and wither nicely. H e

she is also a bit lighter in type overall.

has a usable wither too. Lovely shoulder, short back, strong loin and coupling and good hind quarter that shows good depth ty-

Peter Mileo

ing in to his gaskin. I also like his angles, cannon bone and low

Neck is lacking shape, shoulder is too straight, good wither. Loin

hocks. A very nice horse. How can I get my hands on him!!!!

appears weak and the coupling is long. The hindquarter is short

Half-Arabian #1

and lacks depth. I’d like to see more bone with larger joints and shorter cannons and lower-set hocks.


Half-Arabian #2

Elaine Kerrigan Pleasing head set on a neck of appropriate length, though would like to see better development of its topline and less of the

Elaine Kerrigan

underline. Neck ties in a bit low at the withers. Shoulders steep

Attractive head set on a neck of fair length. Would like to see bet-

in angle. Fair length of humerus with enough of an open angle to

ter development of the topline of the neck and less of the under-

the shoulder. Withers prominent and back drops a bit steep from

line. Adequate angle of the shoulder of good length and open hu-

the withers. Saddle position and girth placement may be placed

merus angle to the shoulder. Fairly good saddle position and girth

a little more forward than ideal. Loin shows a strong connection

placement. Loin bridges the topline of the back to the hindquar-



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine ters with enough strength and hip is of good length and angles. Fairly good tie in of the quarters to the gaskin with fairly good muscling. Photo gives the impression of the balance of this horse to be downhill. Adequate bone and hoof, however looks tied in at the knees. Also, could be the stance, but the right hind fetlock is significantly dropped and the left front shows a propensity to be dropped.

Lynn McEnespy The picture being quite dark makes it a bit hard to determine some

Submit Your Horse Would you like to enter your horse into our free Conformation Clinic? Please email your submission to: info@thearabiansporthorse.com Subject: Conformation Clinic Submissions will be featured at our discretion. Photo credit must be provided.

points, especially behind. The head is not quite “classic” for an

feet look quite good but the hind pasterns look a bit short and the

Arabian but quite acceptable for a sport horse with an alert, pleas-

right hind actually looks a bit club footed in this picture.

ing expression. The neck is a bit developed on the underside and slightly low set. The withers are bit steep into the back and needs

Peter Mileo

a smoother connection for a good saddle position. The highest

Her neck lacks shape, shoulder is straight, acceptable wither. I’d

point of croup is a bit far back and should be more over the point

like to see a shorter, stronger loin and coupling. The hindquar-

of the hip for stronger loin area. The croup is a bit short and steep

ter could be longer though it does appear to tie in to the gaskin

and the femur is a bit short for desired sport horse reach and free-

OK. Short cannons, low set hocks. It appears she is either over at

dom behind in the gaits. Legs have sufficient bone but appears a

the knee or had some type of trauma to her left knee. I can’t tell

bit sickle hocked (tail is in the way of the left side but shows in

about the right knee..

right leg) and left knee appears to be a bit enlarged (injury?). The

About Elaine Kerrigan

About Lynn McEnespy

About Peter Mileo

1970 saw the beginning of Kerrigan

I currently live in California and breed

Peter Mileo has been breeding Arabian

Bloodstock, with the goal of producing Ara-

warmbloods including standing an elite

horses since 1990. He started with Fadjur

bian sport horses. With that I pursued dres-

Hanoverian stallion, Waterford (imported

line horses and evolved toward CMK horses.

sage, endurance and a little jumping. With

from the Hanoverian State Stud in 2006). I

After several conversations with Sandy War-

a special interest in the bio-mechanics of

am a “r” USEF Dressage Sport Horse judge

ren of Warren Park Stud hoping to breed a

horses and riders, I also have an extended

and have attended several seminars in

mare to Aulrab he discovered a coming 2

education as a large animal veterinary tech-

sport horse judging and breeding including

year old colt by the name of Magic Aulrab

nician and as a graduate of the USDF judges

the Hanoverian Breed Orientation Course

and purchased him. After a short show ca-

learner program. KB Omega Fahim++++//

in Germany. I have judged sport horses in

reer they started riding endurance where

is a stallion of my second generation. He

hand and under saddle at several Arabian

Peter feels he learned about what makes

has achieved 4 USDF National Champion

shows including Championships as well as

a good horse. “Regardless of bloodline or

awards at FEI level dressage, and 4 AHA

recognized dressage shows. I am also a “R”

even breed a horse needs to have balance,

Sport Horse National Champion awards

dressage judge and have judged for several

well let down legs and solid legs and feet.”

at FEI level dressage. He has offspring that

years including state and regional champi-

Peter has studied many videos of horses

have also attained USDF and AHA Sport

onships and at CDI’s.

under saddle and at liberty from Arabs,

Horse National Championship awards. KB

I have ridden and competed several

Warmbloods and the great Standardbred

Omega Fahim++++// has been inspected

horses in dressage, hunter/jumpers, and

mare Monimaker. This has given him a well

and approved for breeding purebred Shag-

combined training for many years and have

rounded knowledge of what a good athlete


competed several horses to the FEI levels .

is and why.

April/May 2014


presents for your consideration: CLEOPATTRAA “The Perfect Pony” June 15, 2007 • *Granizar x *Jezabel SSB+// Tied for Reserve Champion Mare, SHN Futurity, 2009

CLEOPATTRAA is by *GRANIZAR, sire of CZANTIAGO, and out of the famous *JEZABEL SSB+//. *JEZABEL SSB+// earned all the points for her Legion of Excellence from Hunter and Jumper classes, the first Arabian horse to accomplish this goal. She also earned many many points in Sport Horse under Saddle and Equitation classes. CLEOPATTRAA has been to SHN twice. She earned a Top Ten in-hand in the two year old Futurity, and tied for Reserve Champion Mare. At the 2012 SHN, CLEOPATTRAA earned two more Top Tens, in Hunter Hack Junior Horse and A/H/AA 14.2 and under Working Hunter.

BARBARELA May 7, 2006 Wradar (bay) x Jialeah (bay) Distance riding and jumping lines, with a strong dressage component

BARBARELA is beautiful, kind and very talented. She will not let you down. Ready to finish out for the upcoming season, “Barbie” clearly has talents in several directions, depending on the rider’s focus of study. BARBARELA should produce an excellent foal from CZANTIAGO+//.

ANGEL SO FAR May 4, 2005 Classical Spanish Arabian *S S Orion x *Jezabel SSB+// ANGEL SO FAR’s sire is *S S ORION, bred by Yeguada Flor de Lis, Madrid, Spain. *S S ORION was Region III Third Level Musical Free Style Dressage Champion. CZANTIAGO++/ has produced two outstanding daughters to ANGEL’s sister, BEL STARR (ABDULLAH, Trakehner, x *JEZABEL SSB+//, GAAJA and HAVAANA NIGHTS. ANGEL SO FAR should produce a spectacular foal by CZANTIAGO++/.

w w w. s t a n l e y r a n c h . c o m








an off the track Thoroughbred when she

chestnut Anglo-Arabian gelding at the

fers gave their

was ten. The Eventing bug bit her at the

barn, there for training. Because her



tender age of 12, and the Kieffers moved

trainer was pregnant and unable to ride,

ren, riding les-

Lauren to the Evansville, Indiana barn of

the task fell to Lauren. It was not love at

sons at the age of six, little did they know

Susannah Lansdale, 45 miles from where

first sight, to put it mildly. Snooze Alarm

what a life-changing experience they

they lived in southern Illinois.

was not cooperative; he had his own ide-


were embarking on. Like most un-horsey

It was there that Lauren bought an-

as of how his training should progress. “I

families, they figured that the lessons

other Thoroughbred, Cardinal, and be-

hated him,” says Lauren. “He bucked me

would give their little girl an important

gan competing in Novice Level events.

off every day!” But she persevered and

set of skills.

Because of Cardinal’s limitations, the Ki-

eventually earned his trust and respect.

Lauren started her equestrian career

effers were in the market for a new part-

The Kieffers bought Snooze Alarm

riding hunters and competing at local

ner for Lauren to move up on, to a more

from his breeders, Lawson and Jeanne

shows. Her parents leased an Appaloosa

difficult level of competition.

Williams, as a five-year-old in 2002. “I

gelding for a while before buying her

At the same time, there was a cute

asked my father to buy him, and he said

‘No!’” remembers Lauren, but she somehow wore him down. Once Lau-

Arabian!” she says.

school. Lauren suffered a compression

Snooze and Lauren did a

fracture of her vertebrae but wasted

ren spoke Snooze’s language, he learned

few Training Level events

no time in asking the doctors when she

quickly, with his love of cross country

with success, but as the level

could ride again. She was supposed to

jumping becoming obvious. “He was very

of difficulty increased, so

wait three months before getting on a

peeky with stadium jumps, but over the

naturally did they face

horse again, but she was back to it in

some problems as a

eight weeks or so. “We got the call from

more natural obstacles he was great.” The 15.3-hand gelding, by the Arabi-


her doctor clearing her for light riding

an stallion Serazim, and out of the Thor-

About this

while on our way to a show,” recalls Lau-

oughbred mare Wake Me Gently (hence

time, Lauren

ren’s mom, Jo. “We just said ‘Sure, we’ll

the name Snooze Alarm), was mistaken

and Snooze had

for a small Thoroughbred more times

a bad fall at a dou-

Due to their success, they were able

than Lauren can count. “I just loved to

ble bank during

to move up to Preliminary Level, quite

see their faces when I tell them he’s half

a cross country

an accomplishment in a short time. Since

do just 15 minutes today.’”

The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine they were both learning as they went along, it became necessary to JOSHUA WALKER PHOTO


seek some help working through some issues this team was facing.

It was then that Snooze and Lauren turned to the reigning king and queen of Eventing, David and Karen O’Connor. Lauren was given a session at the O’Connors’ Eventing Camp at their farm in Virginia in 2005 as a graduation gift from her parents. David recognized the gelding’s incredible jumping prowess. “He called Snooze a ping-pong ball!” recalls Lauren. “David took the horse out to school jumps on a longe line in order to build his confidence and teach him how to figure things out on his own.“ It was just the ticket for this determined pair. Lauren competed Snooze at the North American Young Rider Championship CCI* that year before going to become a working student with the O’ Connors, a position offered to only the most talented horses and riders. It was there that they both gained more training and experience riding many different horses and many different courses. From there, after high school, Lauren

Lauren and Snooze Alarm on cross country at Rolex

became their paid resident rider. “It really came down to being in the right place

support my competing,” recalls Lauren.

on upper level horses. It was a huge op-

at the right time. I was coming to the end

“At the same time, Karen and David were

portunity for me and really gave me the

of my parental funding with the horses

trying to take on less training and young

chance to ride as many horses as possi-

and starting to look into jobs galloping

horses, so it worked out perfectly for me


racehorses and other jobs that would

to start riding those while Karen focused

As a pair, Snooze and Lauren were

April/May 2014


accepted to the USEF’s Developing Rid-

view, Lauren talks about her career with

She also reminisced that Karen always

ers Training List three times, awarded

Snooze: “He is an amazing athlete with so

really liked Snooze but David did not start

to outstanding young competitors. This

much to offer as an eventer.”

out as his biggest fan. Before her first Ad-

requires completion of a CCI** and writ-

Lauren stated, “So many people in the US overlook the Arab type horses, but they have a lot to offer as eventers. They have a lot of endurance, they are super smart, and most are lovely movers. In Europe, the Arab cross has really done well.”

vanced, David jumped him in a lesson. He

ten recommendations from two CCI**** competitors. Lauren was also selected for the USEF High Performance training list in 2009 and the USEF Under 25 Developing Rider Program in 2013. During his career, Snooze Alarm has finished over 40 events in the top 10 (including 12 wins) at Training Level and above, including three CCI*, four CCI** and two CIC***, which are international-

got off, handed her the reins and said, “I wouldn’t take this horse Preliminary!” No worries, though, Snooze went on to be one of David’s favorites. And that brings us to Vermiculus, full brother to Snooze Alarm. Born in 2007 and registered as Boogie Board, Lauren bought him from the breeders and later brought him to Virginia to begin his career. Barely halter broke when he arrived, Lauren has

level three-day events. They also qualified for the American Eventing ChampionJOSHUA WALKER PHOTO

ships each year from 2004-2010. In 2009, they ran their first 3-star at Jersey Fresh, finishing 8th of 29 horses. It was after that the decision was made to compete at the “big show.”

And so it happened that in April 2010, Lauren and Snooze tackled the only 4* event on this continent, the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event. It was an amazing sight watching this pair motor around that huge cross country course, finishing double clear. Lauren and her boy finished in 29th out of 53 entries, a feat even more experienced horses and riders could not accomplish. That same year, Snooze made the shortlist for a grant to compete at Boekelo, although they chose not to attend. In 2011, a young rider competed Snooze a few times before he headed home to Illinois to retire from competition. In a recent Eventing Nation interSnooze Alarm and Lauren in stadium jumping at Rolex

brought him along to where he is consist-

into Preliminary,

ently placing at Preliminary.


“Vermiculus has better conformation



first at Rocking

and better gaits than his brother, but they


both have a very scopey jump,” says Lau-

Horse Trials last



“David loves him and is very excited for his future. He feels that it is well worth the time and commitment to campaign him to the top of the sport with the goal of representing the U.S.” During his first season in 2012, Lau-


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine






this their

first run in Prelim resulted in a 7th place. The next event was a CIC1*, their first, and


came out 17th of 57 entries.

ren moved him from Beginner Novice to

At the end of March, they moved up

Novice and finished in Training, includ-

again to Open Intermediate at Rocking

ing a win at Md. Horse Trials and several

Horse Spring HT, in horrible weather, and

high placings. Last season, after a couple

finished 6th. “He was saucy in the dres-

of Training runs, Vermiculus cruised right

sage but jumped great! We will be shoot-

ing for a 2* later this year,” said Lauren.

“He is the bravest horse I’ve ever ridden,” Lauren says of Vermiculus. “His future is so bright that I decided to syndicate him in order to ensure that he will be able to reach his full potential.” Today, while Vermiculus is out campaigning, Snooze grazes outside the Kieffers’ house, enjoying his retirement. Lauren’s mother, Jo, has begun training him for horse agility. “One day I saw a YouTube video about horse agility and loved it. I bought the handbook by Vanessa Bee and have been working with him on my own,” says Jo. “Because of all the natural horsemanship work Lauren did with him, the basics were already there. I am enjoying playing with him this way. I have started adding some obstacles, and the handbook shows some really fun ones to work up to. He’s so smart and seems to love having work to do.” Lauren has branched out on her

Snooze Alarm’s brother Vermiculus showing his amazing talent already


April/May 2014 own in the last couple of

against the Europeans on American bred

years. “I was riding more

horses. She is a great believer in Arabian

and more of Ms. Jacque-

blood and has used it in her breeding

line Mars’ young horses as

program and is also a huge supporter of

her breeding program con-


tinued to grow and Karen

Lauren now has an exceptional string

and David were downsiz-

of horses at all levels. She is based out of

ing. It made sense for me

High Acre Stables in The Plains, VA in the

to transition to a rider for

summer and Meredyth South Farm in Oc-

Ms. Mars, which again was

ala, FL in the winters. She received a Land

a huge opportunity and

Rover Competition Grant to compete in

couldn’t have happened

the Boekelo CCIO*** in the Netherlands

without Karen and David’s

last fall on Team Rebecca’s Veronica.


following her example we

In April, Lauren and Veronica will be competing at Rolex Kentucky 4* 3-Day Event, Lauren’s first time since sailing around there on Snooze in 2010 and making it look deceptively simple.

will raise the quality of

What a great person to have endors-

horses bred in the United

ing and competing Arabian horses at the

States and be able to win

international level!

It’s probably one of the best things that’s happened in my life,” says Lauren. “Ms. Mars’ unwavering support and commitment to this sport is undeni-


able. Hopefully by others


A huge crowd filled the Rolex stadium to watch elite horses and riders tackle this 4* jump course

The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Century Club The Century Club recognizes Dressage riders and horses whose combined age totals 100 years or more. Horse and rider perform a Dressage test of any level, at a Dressage show or event, and are scored by a Dressage judge or professional. Thank you to the Dressage Foundation for allowing us to reprint their Century Club riders’ stories. To find out more about The Century Club, visit www.dressagefoundation.org

Kate Champa I started riding when I was eight, went to a boarding school in

“Oh, to get her used to the leg, tie some lightweight tires to the

Virginia because it had horses and riding, and competed (and won

stirrups when lunging.” That resulted in a long walk for me down

occasionally) in the Hunter/Jumper world as a teenager. (I actu-

the local road to find her after she bolted, thankfully losing both

ally qualified for the Medal Maclay Championship at the National

tires. We survived that incident, and slowly each of us became

Horse Show but was not allowed to go because of school.) In the

more “clue-ful.”

dark ages of the fifties, we jumped “outside courses,” which is probably why I ended up as an event rider years later.

She soon had a successful career as a therapy horse, sweetly nuzzling the small children and tolerating long lining, balls thrown to the kids on her back, and for a short while teaching

when she was five. An unbacked (perhaps driven lightly) regis-

able-bodied children to ride. But she got bored with that. She per-

tered Arabian filly, she had been donated to Greenlock Therapeu-

fected the jog-trot runaway—carefully staying under the child on

tic Riding, where I worked. She was then a pinkish grey (hence

her back while paying no attention to any commands from said

the name Starfish) and very cooperative but clueless, as was I. It

child or those on the ground. Her first step into sainthood was the

was my job to turn her into a therapy horse. We went through

care she took of the kid she was not listening to. However, at that

the usual backing protocols and some not so usual. A friend said,

point she flunked out of therapy “horsehood.” AMANDA SYLVIA PHOTOGRAPHY

I met Limerok Risinstar (Aljo Ttafaaf x Rafzi), known as “Fish,”



Kate and Fish competing at the Stuart Horse Trials

Kate and Fish in their Century ride last year

April/May 2014

Century Club So, I acquired her as a second horse, thinking I would turn her

who helped us begin to understand dressage, Tom Davis, Ann

into a little beginner novice event horse and sell her on. B ut here

Hanscom, David O’Conner who taught us much about dressage in

we are 22 years later, and she is the Horse of my Heart and always

a show jumping clinic and made us go down the slide at Ledyard

will be. We have had many adventures. We evented together for

(scary but fun), Lynn Kimball Davis, Lucinda Green and many oth-

years, going to Virginia for the Chronicle of the Horse team cham-

ers generous enough to share their experience and knowledge.

pionships and having fun and winning ribbons throughout Area 1 (New England and NY). Fish loved eventing and still tries to lull me into inattention in our trips into the back field—waiting until she thinks she can sneak in a giant buck and be galloping wildly before I notice. Dressage is all right. She likes to show off and look beautiful, but running and jumping is where her heart is. In dressage, she tries hard, offers what she thinks I am asking for, and then teaches me how to ask properly. She never says no. And she immensely enjoyed our Century Ride, all dressed and groomed to the nines, with lots of spectators watching and cheering us on. She was so proud! Now we are still together, with our ages adding up to 100, and neither of us have any thoughts of retiring. It is amazing and wonderful and has happened only with the help and love of many friends, trainers and vets, especially Dr. Liz Maloney who has successfully brought Fish back from three potentially career-ending injuries. We ride consistently with Kathy Eidam, we have worked with Jane and Sibley Hannigan

Fish is a saint and a healer, and I am so blessed to have shared the past 22 years with her.


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Century Club





came back to the show ring and earned a Region 15 Champion-

born and raised

ship at Third Level and two Top Fives in Show Hack and Second


Level Dressage. With Dandy, Carol earned her First and Second


New York.


Level Rider Performance Certificate.

was horse crazy

After January 1, 2013, when June could officially compete in

as a child and

the Century Ride, Carol and June started looking for a suitable

rode as often as

show. June diligently rode Dandy all spring with Alethea Cowand,

her allowance al-

her instructor, to get him ready for the show.

lowed. After college, she married and moved to Michigan where

June and Dandy rode their Century Ride at Latta Plantation in

she had three children. Her daughter also loves horses, so they

Huntersville, North Carolina on May 4, 2013, at Lighten Up Dres-

began taking jumping lessons together. June was 44 at the time.

sage. They earned a 70% for their efforts at Introductory B. The

It was an adventure! She continued this for about 12 years and

judge, Stacy Hastings, wrote on the comments that “He has a lot

then went to another stable where she tried her hand at saddle

of spunk!”


June says, “It was all about Dandy. He’s a great little horse

In May 2001, June and her husband moved to North Carolina

and I know that Carol is very proud of him. I had a wonderful time

where she purchased her first horse Flare, at the age of 60. Flare

and have Dandy to thank for being so patient with me. It was an

was a 20-year-old Arabian gelding with a working knowledge of

honor to do this ride.”
June’s first love is still jumping, so she pur-

dressage. After it was determined that Flare could no longer jump

chased her second horse, Snowflake, an Arabian/Quarter Horse

because of his eyesight, June turned to dressage. It was at this

mix at the age of 70. He loves to jump and is learning dressage as

stable that she met Carol Wertz and her wonderful horse, Mydan

well. Life is good when you have a horse!

Mydandy+. Dandy was sired by Whitemark Elrey and out of Half-



Arabian GM Sugar Foot+ and had been owned by Carol since he was two. Carol became June’s mentor in many ways. It was Carol who first told June about the Century Ride, and she had hopes of riding Flare in this event. This was not to be—Flare passed away at the age of 30. Still determined, Carol offered her horse, Dandy, for June to ride in the Century Ride so when the ages added up, the time was right. Dandy is 30 years young and has been owned by Carol for 28 years. He is a Half-Arabian who has had careers in saddle seat, side saddle, native costume, hunter over fences and ultimately dressage. He competed at two Arabian Sport Horse National Championships, earning a Top Ten at Second Level in 2005. In 2009, he

June and Dandy completing their Century Ride

April/May 2014

Century Club

Mary Jane Scott Back in the Day, there was a little ditty we used to sing: “Hors-

nut gelding who had been a Champion Halter horse at two and

es, Horses, Horses. Crazy over Horses, Horses, Horses.” How true!

then had done well in the Western Pleasure Division. He moved

My parents had pleasure horses, and I still have the movie of

to Florida with me in 2000. Sadly, he colicked on his 24th birth-

me on the saddle in front of my father on his Tennessee Walking horse, Buddy. I was one year old. At six, I took lessons on Patsy, a 17-year-old chestnut Quarter Horse mare who, for some reason was always ridden with a Western bridle and an English saddle. I must mention that, somewhere along the line, my parents

day and to be put down. Centerline Farm, where I boarded with a Dressage minded friend, was definitely a Dressage barn. I was always of the mind that Dressage was a very boring activity, but

had given me a deck of cards, and there, on the back, was a pic-

when in Rome! Bruce Patti, a Dressage Trainer on the prem-

ture of the most beautiful horse I had ever seen: a chestnut with

ises, was offering free lesson in exchange for feeding his hors-

a flaxen mane and tail high and flowing, a blaze and four “high

es at night. Why not? After Val’s death, I had bought Raff-Sam

whites.” Undoubtedly, an Arabian Horse!

Hannah (Bali-Raff x Hifasa Trigo), a chestnut mare that was eight

Through high school, I rode Saddle Seat Equitation. My horses were always chestnuts, but they were not Arabians, yet.

years old. She had been ridden very little and then only on trails, Western. She had never been in an arena, and she did not know

After College, when I was living and working in Retail in New

her leads. Hannah and I began our Dressage career with Bruce. I

York City, I bought my first Arabian, an unbroken, two year old

felt as if I had never ridden before! Bruce explained, among other

colt, Shaml (Raml x Parvati). I broke and trained him on weekends

things, that there were four things done in close sequence to ask

at home in New Jersey. Eventually, we did the New Jersey, Pennsylvania show circuit. He was Champion Arabian Pleasure Horse gelding for two years running. He was also Reserve Champion Pleasure horse in New Jersey on points. My girlfriend, Gayle, and I, did this on a shoestring, with an old two horse trailer attached to her Jeep. We slept in our station wagons, which were stuffed to the gills with horse show stuff. Then came a twenty-year hiatus from horses due to business and personal circumstances. I still had that deck of cards. In 1986, I had my Real Estate license in New Jersey, where I specialized in small farms. I sold a farm to a couple who had Arabians, and that was all it took. I soon had an Arabian again, Val Vasco, (Fire Might x Sco-co Nightaire), a twelve-year-old chest-



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Century Club for the canter. I was accustomed to a light tap with the outside

When Mick got out in the real world where there were scary

heel! Come on! Who was he kidding? I was well in my sixties, and

things like anything that blew around, made noise, or nothing at

my body rebelled. Hannah was certain that there was no reason

all, he began to scare me with the constant spooking. If it was

for her to take her right lead. Ever.

windy, he was nearly unrideable for me. Jorge had moved away,

It was about this time that I read an article about the Century Club. An 85-year-old man had ridden a 15-year-old Arabian to

and I never had the nerve to show him. I gave him away to a fearless teenager.

the Award in Intro One. His comment for posterity was, “It wasn’t

Back on the road for my Arabian Dressage horse again! Re-

pretty, but we did it!” From that time on, I was determined. Han-

turning to Google, I typed in my perimeters, no grays, 15-plus-

nah and I were going to do our Century Ride and go down in his-

hands. My good friend, Lynn, drove us all over Florida. I was

tory. We had about ten years to go, but we would do it!

amazed by how many nice horses knew absolutely nothing, and

Bruce moved to Orlando, and Jorge Montalvo moved in next

even had to be run into a canter! I didn’t want to start training

door. Jorge had been the chef d’aquipe of the Equadorian Dres-

leads again. Been there, done that. Where was my Dressage Ara-

sage Team, and he was great. I would go over there for my weekly

bian, my Century Club horse?

lesson and complain about something Hannah had done or not

With no further restrictions except that he must be calm (a

done, and he would say, “I fix.” And he would! And then explain

three or less on that scale). I went back to Google. Up came a 14.3

it to me! We had graduated from Training Level by then, and we

hand flea bitten gray 17-year-old gelding. He was the perfect

were ready for first level, when Hannah hurt an annular ligament.

age! When he was 20, I would be 80. However, I dislike grays,

She was retired to grass and motherhood. A happy change for

especially flea bitten ones. Lil Sayre, his breeder who still owned


him because she really didn’t want to sell him, is a delightful per-

Now, I was on the hunt for my perfect Arabian Dressage horse.

son. HA Bold Flyer is the perfect horse for me. He is everything

All my horses had been chestnuts, and even without the flaxen

anyone could want in a horse, plus the Arabian looks and the Ara-

mane and tail; I loved chestnuts. I found Johari, a Half Arabian,

bian personality. He is 78% Crabbett (picture Bazy Tankersley’s

half Paint, online. She was chestnut, of course, 15.3, and she was

gray sport horses).

built! The judge might not realize she was an Arab. Yes, there are prejudices toward

The very best thing is that he wants to please. He tries so hard. I did all his training, from a trail horse who did not know

Warmbloods at every level in Dressage mostly because of the

anything at all about contact, to the soft, round Dressage horse

gaits. Jo was built! She had wonderful gaits. Maybe the Judge

he is today. I am far, far from any kind of trainer after basics,

would think that she was at least part Warmblood! Alas, I had for-

except for what I learned from Bruce and Jorge. Flyer is safe, and

gotten to ask Jo if she wanted to be a Dressage horse. Have you

although he can spook, he calms right down and fortunately, I

ever had a horse that didn’t want to be what you had decided for

haven’t lost my seat.

them? Especially a mare? It did turn out that Jo had a big jump

Lil had him on the market three years before I bought him,

in her, but I do not like to jump. I went in search of my Arabian

and I could have had him them if I had looked at grays. No Mick!

Dressage horse again.

Who knows to what heights we may have risen in the Dressage

With Jorge’s approval, I bought FSF Magic Charm (Enchanter

World? For the Century Award, we did Training II, and Flyer was a

Magic FHP x LLMaria Lania), an Arabian of top quality and confor-

real ham in the indoor arena at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in

mation—a bay gelding who had been shown to Championships

Wellington. He reveled in the applause and flashes, and so did I.

by Micheal Byatt and other top trainers. We decided to call him

It’s never too late! I finally have my Arabian Dressage horse!


April/May 2014



y l l i L a l l Ca

The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

From Survival to Prosperity by Carla Adams


orn in southeastern Arizona, Lilly’s life started

about a month and a half before Lilly could do more than walk.

much like any other young foal, however, at three

We began the halter breaking process because she really

months of age Lilly was attacked by a mountain

didn’t lead anywhere on her own—she just followed Chovella.

lion. The lion was able to peel the skin from the

When Lilly began to move into a trot, groundwork began in the

base of Lilly’s ears down to her upper lip, before her dam, Cho-

round pen on a longe line and in driving reins. Lilly got stronger,

vella, was able to get the lion off of her. Chovella stomped and

her coat got healthier and she really started to look like a well-

pawed the lion to the point that it wasn’t even recognizable ex-

balanced horse. It was then that I started to save money for a

cept for its tail. Tom Teskey DVM did a remarkable job of putting


her face back together. He actually had to stitch the skin of her

Caroline was a long-time Arabian breeder and Scottsdale at-

muzzle directly to the cartilage of her nostrils. Today, the scarring

tendee, so that was the show she suggested for Lilly’s debut. We

is minimal and almost all is hidden.

set out to get her as ready as we could, knowing that Scottsdale

Due to some unfortunate circumstances at 18 months of age,

features the best of the best. We knew we would get a couple of

Lilly and Chovella left their home and moved to TLC Arabians.

good evaluations for her. So, we started on the road of condition-

The two horses were rehomed in the vicinity about 3 months

ing for Scottsdale sport horse in-hand classes.


All was well and good until I took a spill off Lilly and broke 13

Later, due to health issues of the owner, Lilly at the age of eight and Chovella, now 28 years old, were again removed from a bad situation, this time a little worse for the wear. Chovella was a 1 and Lilly a 2 on the BCS (body condition scale). As near as we could tell, both horses had been living on dirt and rocks with some mesquite beans and thorns added to the mix. It was a long hard road back from the brink of starvation for Lilly. Caroline of TLC Arabians spent many hours monitoring both horses but Lilly especially. She was prone to colic so was very slowly and carefully handled. Colic for the first few months was an everyday, if not every hour, threat. After several weeks of careful feeding and almost daily baths (Lilly’s skin and coat were in terrible condition), she began to regain some strength. It took

Lilly colicking when she first arrived.

April/May 2014

Lilly after winning Champion SHIH at Scottsdale. vertebrae in my back on September 18, 2012 . I didn’t know if I

showed her next, and I thought he did a great job; I couldn’t wait

would even be able to get Lilly in condition or show her by Feb-

to see the scores! I will remember this always, and maybe some-

ruary. Caroline continued to work on Lilly’s conditioning when

day I will remember it without tearing up. I was on the phone

time allowed, and I was stuck on the bench for a couple of weeks.

with my sister in Arkansas (who also shows Arabians) telling her

I did eventually get cleared to do ground work with her as long

Lilly and I went 5th place in the ATH class. I was so excited to have

as I was careful and stayed in my not-so-comfortable body brace.

pinned in a class of great horses. While still on the phone with

So there we were, about a year and a half after rescue, taking

Marg, they posted the open scores, and Lilly had won the class

Lilly to the Scottsdale show! It was her first trailer ride of any dis-

with a score high enough to make her champion mare! My sister’s

tance (seven hours), her first show and the first time she had been

eardrums, along with those of anyone who was standing nearby,

totally away from her mother. To get Lilly used to everything that

are probably still ringing over a year later.

was going on around her, I think we must have walked several miles over the three days before her classes.

I couldn’t believe it. My little bay horse, that had been nearly killed and then almost died from starvation, had won a champi-

I was all prepared to show Lilly in ATH Sport Horse In-Hand,

onship at Scottsdale. I shouldn’t have been quite so surprised, as

and I had made arrangements prior to leaving for Scottsdale to

she has three half-sisters and a half-brother all sired by Paladinn

have a trainer show Lilly in Open Mares Sport Horse In-Hand. I

MA that have won champion or reserve championships, a few of

didn’t feel like I could trot her out well enough with having just

which were at Scottsdale. “Pal” is once again at TLC Arabians hav-

gotten out of my back brace. Unfortunately, that trainer had an

ing just been rescued himself and is looking for a good home.

emergency at home and didn’t make it to the show. Luckily,

I was truly blessed that day at Scottsdale. It never would have

we were stalled next to Joyner Arabians. I had met J.J Joyner at

happened without all of the dedicated help from Caroline, TLC

Scottsdale the year before and asked if he would be willing to

Arabians and JJ Joyner doing such a great job showing her. Thank

show Lilly in the open class for me. He had no horses showing in

you all, and thank you Lilly for being the tough little fighter you

the class, so he said he would.

are. Hopefully, we will be competing soon under saddle.

I showed Lilly and felt like I had a really good go with her. JJ



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine



Determination Story and Photos by Maurine L. Webb


hen you first meet Meredith Matte, you are struck by her energy and her knowledge of horses. She eats, drinks and sleeps horses. This is a literal impression, as she rises each morning at 2:00 AM to muck stalls

and groom other people’s horses, putting in long hours to earn a living. She returns home to care for her four horses, 26-year-old Arabian mare TA Alexafire and her three offspring. It is only then that Meredith gets to practice for competitions and work with her trainer. She hits her bed at

8:30 PM, if no emergency comes up with any of her charges. Often there is a sick horse, a lost blanket or maybe even a friend who is locked out of a gated community. Now it could be 10 PM, and still no sleep. You may ask yourself, “How does she keep going?” The answer is she loves horses. She talks enthusiastically about all aspects of Arabian Horses, fellow riders, owners, trainers and competitions she has participated in. Meredith’s journey with horses began when she was 10 years old, when as a Girl Scout they offered the “Horse Lover’s Badge.” That marked the end of Girl Scouts, and she has not left the barn since. Her riding career began as a hunter/jumper rider, but her horse was a stopper, so she moved into low hunters and equitation, then eventually dressage. Meredith and her family lived in upstate New York, and after the 1997 blizzard, she convinced her parents to move to Florida. They settled in Loxahatchee, on a seven-acre property originally used as a cattle ranch, which required a lot work to accommodate a family and four horses.

April/May 2014

Her love of Arabians began when she purchased TA Alexa-

hock and was not able to jump above three feet. They decided

fire (Safire+ x MSA Holly), who was seven at the time. Meredith

to breed the mare to Arabian SF Aikonfess (Aikon x SF Anisette),

said, ”I had known the mare since the age of five as she was part

a two-time National Champion in Western Pleasure. The result

of the hack line at an upstate resort where I was working.” The

was MCM Ahliana. Two years later, they bred to Arabian Fire An

resort owners were also breeders, and when the stock market

Ice (Gold N Ali x Tu-Flame) and produced MCM A Blessed Fire. The

crashed in 1988, they were forced to sell their horses. Meredith

next year they went back to Aikonfess, and the result was MCM

had bonded with the mare since the other cowboys were afraid


of her. “At the time, I knew nothing about Arabian bloodlines or

“We got the temperament, beauty and athleticism we hoped

conformation, I just knew that the horse had a great personality

for in all three horses,” said Meredith. Between them, the three

and showed great athletic ability.”

homebreds have earned five National Top Ten titles. Because

Meredith originally bought Alexafire to be used as a hunter/ jumper, but as it turned out, the mare had a bone spavin in her

they breed for their own use, none of these horses are for sale. Up until January 2009, Meredith’s life was going along well;



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine she was riding in major competitions, training and grooming horses. That suddenly and drastically changed when Meredith was involved in a major traffic accident that was not her fault. Her truck was totaled; she was left with multiple herniated disks, fractured ribs and a rotator cuff injury. These injuries have caused her chronic pain and a limited range of motion, yet, despite her injuries, she has persevered. In spite of all of this, Meredith has become a fabulous dressage rider in her class level and kept her horses well fed and cared for. In February 2014, I met Meredith, her mom Cheryl (a dressage rider in her own right) and their mare MCM Ahliana at The Adequan Global Dressage Festival. The mare was beautiful; she had a great disposition and conformation. We talked briefly as Meredith braided Ahliana’s mane in preparation for their Training Level-Test 3 Adult Amateur class. I photographed Meredith and Ahliana as they did their test. There were a few hesitations and a bit of stiffness in certain maneuvers, but they definitely deserved their score of 60.0% and their placing at the top of the class. (Ahliana was doing only one class per day, as her strength had not completely returned after suffering a miscarriage only two months before.) The following day, they rode the same test—this time earning a score of 63.8%, a first place again and a full three percent points ahead of their nearest competitor. Meredith attributed her increased score to the coaching of her trainer, Tara Stegen. Tara said, “I reminded Meredith that at training level it is about balance and swing; that will make the ride look easy to the judge.” Meredith is not certain what Ahliana’s next challenge will be. Besides dressage, she has done hunter pleasure, but added, “I think she wants to be a Western horse; she enjoys trail.” This year, Meredith plans on showing Ahliana at Regionals only; the Nationals in Idaho is too far (44 hours). Meredith’s mom then added, “Ahliana doesn’t like the cold, and we don’t either. That’s why we moved to Florida!” When asked what makes Meredith and her horses successful, even in open competition, Tara commented, “ I have been teaching and coaching Meredith since 2008. She is a highly dedicated rider and she works extremely hard to do the right thing by her horses. Due to her work schedule during the season, it is hard for her to get a lot of lessons in, on at least one or both of her Arabians. While on the phone, she has worked hard on her ability to

April/May 2014 explain what she feels about her test or what a judge has said about a test. I can’t always be at a show with her, but I can coach her on the phone and tell her what to fix for the next ride. She always follows my directions to the letter, usually increasing her score by 2–10 percent. One weekend, she went from 62% to 71%.”

Author’s Note: I want to thank Meredith, Cheryl and Ahliana for sharing two wonderful days with me. I also want to express my gratitude to the staff of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center for their hospitality. What a beautiful dressage facility you have; Mark Bellisimo and FTI Consulting should be proud. They have put the United States on the map as an international destination for competitive dressage.


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

COLTRANE A Dream and A Mighty Arabian Cross By Rebekah Simmons


grew up around horses at Stone-

be a working student but wasn’t permit-

working student for the O’Connors. I left



ted until I was 16 years old with a driver’s

high school in Pennsylvania and finished

where I am now based. I think

license. In the meantime, I would go just

my education through an online private

I was on a horse as soon as my

for a short period during the summer and

school. For quite some time, I was com-

mom could heave me onto one. My mom

would hop rides with other students or

pletely immersed in the day-in and day-

held many clinics at the farm throughout

employees. Anything was good enough

out activities of competing and managing

the years, so I had the opportunity from a

for me; I just wanted to be there!

upper-level horses. I spent summers in



very young age to ride with people at the

When I was 16 years old, I finally

Virginia and winters in Florida, traveling

top of the sport. I had such a desire to go

was allowed to move to Virginia to be a

all over the east coast to compete and BRANT GAMMA PHOTOS


Coltrane competing in Preliminary at South Farm Horse Trials

April/May 2014 pursue my dream. I really have had great ponies and horses to ride throughout the years. Some were easy enough to teach me a ton and some difficult enough to teach me a ton, but there are two that stand out that have been a major part of my success to this point. I was very lucky, when I was around the age of 15, to have been able to ride Guinness, an eight-year-old 15.2h Irish Cob that we leased for a summer and then eventually purchased through a lot of hard convincing of the owner to sell him. Through my working-student years, Guinness was my main man. I took him from my first training, got selected for the one-star team for Area II Young Riders and ultimately competed him at the two-star level.

EVENTUALLY, I DECIDED TO RETIRE GUINNESS FROM UPPER-LEVEL COMPETITION AND WAS THEN IN THE MARKET FOR A NEW HORSE. I was fortunate enough at the time to have the financial support of my parents and some truly amazing people who really believed in me. A group of individuals back in Pennsylvania put together “The Al-

Coltrane at the Stuart Horse Trials

liance For Rebekah Simmons” to help me raise funds. They organized interviews for

by a local tack shop. The combination of

is kind of a freak of nature. Karen knew

me with newspapers and television news

my parents’ contribution and the money

of Saxophone, later to be re-named “Col-

stations, all to publicize a fundraiser that

that was raised allowed me to search for

trane,” and thought he would be a great

they were putting on. The event was held

a new horse.

match for me. Turns out she was right! He

at a local country club where we had a si-

That is where Saxophone, a 15.3h

was just six years old with Intermediate

lent auction that helped to raise money



mileage under his belt when we bought

to put towards a new horse. There were

comes into the picture! He is an interest-

him from the lady who not only bred him

equine celebrity speakers and a fashion

ing horse because you don’t really look at

but also competed him up to that point. I

show for entertainment that was put on

him and think he can do what he does; he

took some time to get to know Coltrane



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine per levels, so after some time I decided to not travel much. I did some hunter/jumper shows in the area to get me better in the show jumping while I was taking this time away from the traveling and costs of the eventing. I figured it would give me time to focus on making my business something that could, hopefully, support my love for the sport and eventually make it easier to be out competing again. To be honest though, I’m not convinced that was the right thing to do. I look back and kick myself for missing that important time with Coltrane. I’d be lying if I said it still isn’t tough to balance both, but I’m pretty darn determined to get back out there again, and my business is

Coltrane competing in Preliminary at South Farm Horse Trials at the Preliminary level, but eventually I

hearts of gold.

starting to get to the point where it makes it a little more feasible. I have a group of

competed him through the two-star level

About six years ago, I moved back to

great students and clients who under-

and successfully completed the CCI two-

Pennsylvania to start my business out of

stand competing is part of the whole she-

star at Radnor.

Stonehouse Farm. I was fortunate to have

bang and that I might be gone on week-

I had a very successful competition ca-

that option available. However, I found it

ends competing or getting lessons for

reer with Coltrane, and he has taught me

quite tough to build a business and finan-

myself to further my own education. That

a lot. His dressage sometimes left a lot

cially keep Coltrane competing at the up-

is really important to me. After all, that is

to be desired, but every once in a while, I would be at my best and he would be at his, and we would put in a very competitive test together. It has been very character building! I suppose we really didn’t buy Coltrane thinking I would win in the dressage, but I knew he would continue to build my confidence over fences. He was not only as honest as they come, but he was safe as well. I think the biggest thing I had to get used to was his scope over fences. I guess that’s not really such a bad thing to have to get accustomed to! Guinness and Coltrane are small but mighty types, which is probably my favorite type of ride. Both are as honest as they come, have springs for legs and

Coltrane and Rebekah at Radnor CCI**

April/May 2014

Coltrane competing in Preliminary at South Farm Horse Trials why I initially got into this sport.

competing Coltrane up to the Preliminary

remains a learning experience for me, so


level just to keep myself tuned up. It still

I will keep doing that as long as I can.

He is 14 this year and has had some freak injuries throughout the years. Nothing that he hasn’t 100% recovered from, but I just want to make sure I am keeping his best interest in mind. That will always remain my main priority over any competition goals I might have. More than likely, I won’t compete Coltrane at the upper levels anymore. I have acquired a couple of young horses that I’m hoping will be able to pave that path again for me. Staying on Coltrane helps me though, even if it’s not at the same level as it once was. Over the past two years, I have been

Some of Coltrane’s career highlights: 2005: American Eventing Championships PYR - 15th 2006: Rubicon H.T. OP - 3rd out of 22 starters 2006: Maryland H.T. @ Loch Moy Farm II OP - 2nd out of 20 starters 2006: Fair Hill International OI - 4th out of 17 starters 2006: Kentucky Classic CIC**- 5th out of 29 starters 2006: Radnor Hunt CCI**- 17th out of 58 starters 2009: Fair Hill International OP - 1st out of 22 starters 2009: Virginia H.T. OP - 3rd out of 16 starters



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine



of a


Part II

by Karla Stanley

This is a tale of a little Half Arabian gelding named Scrimshah

Scrim in Charge

on his journey from the English show ring to the world of dressage.

He always was a puffed up little red rooster of a horse, and

Many riders had left their print on his training, and that—mixed

now Scrim was developing some pride in his work. As he became

with his hot, defensive nature—resulted in a kaleidoscope of train-

able to do what was required at the bottom to midpoint of the

ing issues as complex as the color of his coat. Part one of his story

training pyramid, in true Arab fashion, he began to offer some of

told of trainer Mimi Stanley learning how to reach him in a way he

the much more advanced movements. Thank goodness for Mimi’s

could accept. As he began to progress, he had a few things of his

experience with FEI training.

own to teach Mimi. Part I of this article can be found on page 26 in the December/January 2013 issue.

Scrim knew that the counter-canter was, without a doubt, wrong. What show horse canters around on the wrong lead? It made him absolutely furious! Arguing with Scrim was not a good

The Next Step

idea, so Mimi cleverly hid the counter canter in his canter work

Scrimshah’s new balance and way of moving was having a magical makeover effect on his body. As his mind became calmer and more organized, his ability to carry himself increased, as did the strength that allowed it all to happen. The haunches were filling out, the loin was getting broader, his withers were becoming more pronounced, his shoulders were widening and the hollow in front of his wither was filling in. The low back and scrawny teapot neck was also disappearing—all at 13 years old. He was actually looking pretty pumped up! It was rewarding to have an increase in his rideability as he started to respond to the aids in a more predictable fashion. Up to this point, the rider’s aids were either ignored or Scrim overreacted to them, shooting his neck straight up while making his body and mouth as stiff as a piece of wood. We were grateful that he now had a shoulder-in from which to work. This enabled us to trade his Sprenger KK Correction Snaffle for something with more refinement. We opted for the new Sprenger Flex Control Snaffle, a mouthpiece with some flex limited by a rubber center allowing it to retain some of the mullen mouth action. Scrim loved it!

Scrim had four feet of tail on the ground.

April/May 2014

off the boards. Still, he could not be convinced to do enough of

extraordinarily long main-ring tail had to go. While it had been

it to manage a second level test. Scrim’s solution—the flying

carefully tended to for years, it was not an acceptable dressage

change—was executed with his own special flair. He never had

horse tail. The four feet of tail that touched the ground was care-

a late change, but instead, he often opted for the capriole. That

fully braided, and we all held our breath while Mimi snipped.

was exciting! Scrim’s adjustability was improving. Surprisingly, he was

After two days of instruction and pattern work with Schumacher, Scrim was much steadier in his connection and more

quite elastic as long as he was relaxed. He was showing talent in all of his lateral work, especially the half pass. The transitions to and from the medium trot were more challenging. As Mimi was working on keeping Scrim round, through and elastic in these transitions, out came Scrim’s solution: passage. So there it was— passage to medium trot and back to passage—Scrim style.

Enter Conrad Schumacher April is the month that Mimi has spring lessons with Conrad Schumacher. He comes from Germany to Tempel Lipizzans outside of Chicago where she meets him with her horses. She was able to get an extra lesson slot for Scrimshah. As we prepared him for his lesson, it was time to do the almost unthinkable. Scrim’s

Conrad Schumacher working with Mimi and Scrim.


The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine forward to the hand with better rhythm. Schumacher’s advice in

sights set on true third level test three work. Realistically, he

re-schooling an older horse with baggage was to stress the basics

needed a few more months to be confirmed. The setting of the

but not discourage the more advanced work that was offered. She

Canadian Arabian National Show is indoors with a crowded in-

was to keep him very busy and fresh in his work using a large

door warm-up like an Arabian main-ring show. Unfortunately, it

variety of figures. Schumacher showed Mimi how to better use

all triggered the old tension in Scrimshah. His test was good but

both the flying change and passage that Scrim was offering. He

not his best work. Scrim did earn a true Top Ten, and we were

also said that once his training was stabilized we should take him

proud given how far he had come. With more correct practice and

out in third level.

good experiences, we feel he will improve, but his old ways will accompany him. So it is.

Homework & On To Nationals Mimi and Scrimshah worked at home through the spring and

And So...

into the summer. We decided to take him to one USDF open dres-

That is Scrimshah’s Tale of a Tail from an English to a dressage

sage show in July at third level. We did not know if his dressage

horse. His retraining was a challenging yet valuable learning ex-

training would stay with him or if his main ring days would take

perience. In additional to being an exercise in skill and patience,

over. It was an outdoor venue with beautiful footing. He was

it was one of being open to exploring a different path of training

tense and distracted in his first class by the activity in an adjacent

while staying true to the essence of classical dressage. It was one

ring. The next day went great! He easily got his qualifying scores

of believing there was a way for Scrim to make this transition.

for the Canadian Arabian Nationals.

Mimi’s task was to find that way, and we look forward to our con-

As August came, his training was getting stronger with our

tinued progress together.



Scrimshah with his Canadian National Top Ten.

Happy 28


April/May 2014



RUSSIAN ROULETT+ (Wind Fortune x Muscatasha)

Now retired at Stone Hollow Sport Horses, Johnstown, PA

The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Hermano Rojo “Some things are just meant to be.” by Pip Sumsion


t’s funny how fate works. Is it just that there really are

and had kids and didn’t have the time for her anymore. He felt

no coincidences in this world or that the world is rapidly

she might be convinced to sell her. We made the deal and took

becoming so much smaller a place? With the Internet and

her on trial. I fell in love, and a lifelong partnership began!

social media, it’s possible to develop such a wide net-

Two weeks later, we got her registration papers in the mail.

work. T his is the story of how I found Bug, or Hermano Rojo+++//.

Imagine my father’s horror when he read: “Half Arabian.” Egads!

It starts quite a while ago. In fact, 35 years ago! I guess I can

Luckily, she’s already proved to us that the stereotype of all Ara-

trace it to my ‘heart’ horse, Luna Mia, a mare that we bought

bians was wrong! That mare took care of me, gave me self-confi-

without knowing her pedigree or background. I was 16, and we

dence and took me places I never thought I’d go. Because of her,

had just moved to Vancouver Island from Guernsey (Britain). My

I became involved in the Arabian showing world and rode in my

dad was always a Quarter Horse man, so we’d been in search of a

first Canadian Nationals in 1986 in the Northlands Coliseum in

Quarter Horse or QH cross for me. We shipped our QH stallion (a

Edmonton—a thrill I will never forget.

Poco Bueno grandson, my dad’s favorite lines) from Britain, but

I researched her bloodlines, got in touch with the owners of

he was a youngster and quite a handful so not suitable for me as

her sire and made many friends after being introduced to show-

a riding horse.

ing on the Arabian circuit in the 80s. She was by a stallion named

Our search led us to a dude ranch up island where there were

Khavalier with lines to Abu Farwa and Alla Amarward. We knew

some horses boarded. The owner told us of a forgotten chestnut

that we loved her temperament and conformation, so we decided

mare in the back field. She had been rescued as a youngster and

to breed her to keep those lines in the family. She was bred to a

subsequently well loved and trained, but her owner had married

stallion named Sir Drift, a Silver Drift son, with lines to Raktha



and Serafina. We vowed that if she had a colt, we’d sell it, but hoped for a filly to keep the bloodlines going. In May of 1987, Mia foaled Moondrifter+//(Squeak), a chestnut colt. He’s in my barn today at the age of 27. So much for the vow of selling. In 1990, we bred her again, this time to Sa’Ika, another Abu Farwa line horse with lines through Raseyn Gezan. This time, we would sell the foal if it was a colt and keep it if it was a filly. In 1991, Mia gave birth to FP Moondancer+/ (Wilf). He is down in the barn standing in the stall next to his brother. Sigh! We stopped breeding then, as we were running out of room! Mia lived to the ripe old age of 32, and despite giving me two fantastic sons to continue her legacy, I’ve spent my life trying to find another “her.” Fast forward to about 1997, in the early days of email and

Luna Mia – 1986 Canadian Nationals

Internet, and I found myself in a new job with access to a comput-

April/May 2014


er all day long. Of course, like any true horsy person, I searched

ment needed to move up to the National level. He was then sold

out the email lists. Back in the days of rec.eq, I connected with

on, and he disappeared.

a few people with like interests. I’d just started riding dressage

During this time, Edie lost her battle with breast cancer, the

with Squeak, and upon seeing a discussion with a woman named

farm was sold, and the remaining El Hermano horses were sold.

Jan Hellie who lived in California and rode Arabians in dressage, I

It was sad to see such a legacy disappear. Jan still owns three

jumped in. In talking with her, I learnt that her horse was by a

horses from El Hermano lines and is in contact with several other

stallion named El Hermano, owned by Edie Lehman. It turns out

owners, but quite a few of the others are “lost.”

El Hermano had direct lines to Abu Farwa, Alla Amarward, Rak-

In 2012, whilst idly surfing the For Sale sites whilst I was

tha and Serafina! How cool was that! All of El Hermano’s female

bored at work, I came across an ad for a chestnut gelding named

offspring had Mia in their names—Lenita Mia, Mia Mia, Margarita

Hermano Rojo. The name rang a bell, so I emailed Jan and asked

Mia, Zita Mia.

her if he was one of Edie’s. She emailed me back instantly, asking

There were many other similarities between us, so much so that it seemed almost more than coincidence that we had “met.”

where, and what and when. I sent her the address and asked her if she was anywhere near the location. She phoned me, said it was


two hours away, and she was on her way!

In chatting, we became firm friends and finally met in person at Sport horse Nationals in 2004 in Sacramento. There, I was fortunate enough to also meet, and become friends with, Edie Lehman and Shirley Koch who were showing some of their other El Hermano progeny with great success. Both are fantastic horsewomen with diverse backgrounds. It was fun to see all of these “relatives” spread across the country. It was a pleasure to learn about Edie and Shirley’s methods and how they had a working western background and used those influences to truly put an amazing start on their young horses. Over the years, I heard stories from Jan about the various horses that Edie and Shirley were breeding, training, and show-

Hermano Rojo with Rich Doran

ing. One of the last horses they bred and worked on together was

She found Rojo, well fed but doing very little, in a boarding

a chestnut ¾ Arabian gelding. Both Edie and Shirley felt he was

stable in Galt. His current owner had a new baby and two older

truly one of the best horses they had bred. He had a full sister

kids, several other horses, and little time for a rather opinionat-

named Coco Kiss. I had always drooled over her in the ads that I

ed chestnut gelding that was now 13 years old. His feet were in

had seen but just didn’t have the room for her at the time. Edie

rather scary shape, and we weren’t entirely sure if he would ever

and Shirley took the ¾ Arabian chestnut gelding and showed him

travel perfectly level, but Jan hopped on him and rode him and

in Sport horse In-Hand, a little bit of dressage, and a lot of West-

phoned me that evening. She was so excited.

ern Trail. His excellent western background made him a star on

ed to show mostly Western Pleasure, and he went to a different

She said, “It’s Rojo… he’s still in there. The training is there, you have to buy him!”

trainer to be immersed in a Western Pleasure show environment.

His price was low due to the economy and the fact that he

Then, after a few years and some success in the Western Pleasure

had done nothing for two years. So after an extensive vet check, I

show ring, it was realized that he probably didn’t have the move-

took the chance and bought him sight unseen. We’d recently suf-

the trail course, and his forever-active mind and sense of total confidence made him a natural. He was sold to a lady who want-

The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine fered the devastating sudden loss of my husband’s horse, and we

picked them up, he’d engage and move on. Today, if he is tacked

had an empty stall. I figured that this little horse might help fill

up in western gear, he will produce decent western gaits. Put the

the void, and maybe, if we could get him functionally sound, he’d

snaffle bit on him, and he’s a forward moving machine!

possibly make a great little trail riding horse.

I had a bit of an advantage. Even though I’d been riding dres-

In May of 2012, my husband drove down to California and

sage for over 10 years, the last five years had been spent working

picked up Rojo. He said that when he drove in the yard, he knew

with a western trainer—a reiner in fact.

exactly which horse it was. He reminded him so much of Mia and

the little bugger). I had my farrier trim him and assess him, and it

He had spent many hours getting me to “Let go! Quit fussing! Kick him!”

was agreed that his feet issues were mostly cosmetic and could

Yes, I can still hear him in my head. Sadly, we lost him to lung

Squeak. Rojo quickly became “Bug” (cute as a bug and also quite

cancer in November of 2012. Neil McDonald was a huge part in

be sorted out. The first time I rode him, I could feel a slightly odd stride at

giving me the tools to be able to work with Bug. He was a propo-

the walk, but when he trotted… good heavens! I wasn’t sure I

nent of Les Vogt’s methods, and we had many lessons where we

could ride the trot, it was so huge and bouncy! Then we cantered,

worked on suppleness, learning how to use seat and weight and

and I fell in love. After six weeks, his stride evened out, and I tried

no hand. The way you are supposed to work a dressage horse but


very few of us truly do! Bug was very good at reminding me of this. He had the selfcarriage of a western pleasure horse but had been allowed to use his hind end and keep the forward movement. He was overly responsive to the hand and would duck behind the snaffle bit occasionally, but keeping him forward and doing a ton of transitions solved that easily. He taught me that if I got too heavy with my hand, he would speed up and lean, and I had to learn very quickly to let go, even when my brain was screaming to hang on. Light contact was perfect, so I had to understand how to take the connection and truly feel it without demanding he give it. I also had to learn to trust him and let him “do his thing.” Once he understood what you wanted, he did not want to be over con-

Hermano Rojo competing in Trail BOBTARR.COM


moving him out more into a dressage stride versus a western pleasure jog/lope and, as my husband watched, all I heard (and felt) was “Wow!” Everyone who saw him move asked, “Why were doing western pleasure with this horse?” My husband rode Bug a few times, but it became apparent that Bug really was a oneperson horse, and for some reason I was that person.

Then began the business of convincing Bug to be a dressage horse. To tell the truth, it wasn’t hard. That big forward, float-y movement was in there, and he was happy to show it off when running free, but when he was tacked up, he reverted to Western Pleasure frame. It was fun, actually. If I dropped my reins, he’d jog. If I

Pip and Hermano Rojo at SHN 2012

April/May 2014 trolled. Set the task and allow it to happen. Making adjustments

stallion with lines to Abu Farwa and Alla Amarward. I bred her to

too often really offended him. At this point, I also started playing

stallions with Raktha, Serafina, and Abu Farwa lines.

with trail obstacles. I had no clue about trail, but Bug certainly

I met a lady named Jan Hellie who introduced me to Edie


Lehman who bred horses by El Hermano, a stallion who traces

The difference in his attitude was fascinating.

directly to Abu Farwa,Alla Amarward, Raktha and Serafina. All his

When working on dressage or new stuff, he would focus and

To satisfy my dad, Hermano Rojo does have some QH in him.

concentrate and listen until he figured it out and then try very

His QH granddam was a mare named Coco Bueno. You can guess

hard for me. When working on the trail course, he would tell me

who her bloodlines trace to.

to sit down, shut up and let me handle this! I had no clue how to ride thru a trail gate, but he just did it for me. The only problem

female progeny had Mia in their name (Lenita Mia, Margarita Mia, Zita Mia, etc.).

In 2012, I ended up with Bug. Sometimes some things are just meant to be.

we have with trail is his desire to rush thru the course, and his frequent little head tosses when he gets super frustrated with me!

2013 Accomplishments:

This is beginning to show up in the dressage ring now that he figures he is the expert. It wasn’t so much about retraining

• BCHAA Champion Half Arabian Sport Horse

a western pleasure horse to become a dressage horse as it was

• BCHAA Champion overall High Point Half Arabian

retraining the rider to appreciate the western aspect and use part

• Overall high percentage score from both Bronze and Gold level Mid Island Cadora Dressage Festival: High Point

of that training to advantage. For fun, we took him to a Class A show and did his first dressage tests. I didn’t have any expectations; we just went in to see what we had. After all, I had no idea what this horse would be like at a show. Would he be ring sour? Would he be hot? Would he be

Training Level gold show. High point First level Bronze show – open dressage • High Point Training Level Gold Show Capital City Classic – open dressage

totally unrideable? Whilst he certainly is no slouch about dem-

• Region 17 Champion Training Level Open

onstrating disagreement with you when he thinks you are com-

• Region 17 Reserve Champion Training level ATR

pletely wrong, he proved that he was the ultimate show horse.

• Region 17 Top Five First level ATR and Top Five Open

He won all three of his first dressage tests with no score lower

• Region 17 Champion SHIH-Dressage type geldings ATH

than 70%!

• Region 17 Top Five SHIH-Dressage type geldings Open

Since we were already taking another horse to Sport Horse Nationals that year and Bug had qualified so very easily, we took

• Region 17 Champion Half Arabian Western Trail – Open & ATR

him along in September 2012. After many years of exclusive

• Region 17 Champion Half Arabian English Trail - Open

western pleasure training and after only three months back un-

• Amateur Owned Trained and Shown Connection – Reserve

der saddle and learning how to move forward, Bug managed to earn two Top Tens in training level dressage! 2013 proved to be even more fun. Bug entered the world of open dressage and excelled there too. By the end of 2013, he had racked up quite a few awards. He earned his Legion of Merit, Supreme Honor and Excellence in this one season. One open show judge commented, “This is the type of horse every amateur rider

High Point half Arabian, and Champion Versatility Award • Vancouver Island CADORA (Canada’s biggest OPEN dressage club) Training level Champion (average 73%) • Vancouver Island CADORA First level Reserve Champion (average 69%) • CADORA BC Training AND First Level OVERALL CHAMPION for the whole Province – open and amateur riders, all breed • CADORA NATIONAL Training Level Fourth Overall (this is out

should have!” • • • So, I started back in 1979 with a mare named Luna Mia, by a

of the whole of Canada, open and amateur riders, he was the only non warmblood in top ten).



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Urban Legend

“Just” A Young Girl And Her Half Arabian By Amy Kerr


cademics have always disagreed on whether urban

classes. We proudly placed 8th in the trail class at the state level

legends are, by definition, at least partly based on

in saddle seat attire. I was hooked on trail classes and wanted

fact or too fantastic to be true. This legend begins

more. But all of that would change in an instant. In 2000, I had to

with a wild dream, a young girl and her drive to defy

say the hardest goodbye to my first Arabian. I will always remem-

the odds.

The summer of 1987 began my fate with horses. By chance,

ber how everyone loved her as much as I did, even if they weren’t into Arabian horses.

I was outside playing when a riderless horse came galloping

I left the Arabian breed for three years as I tried to teach

down the road. I did what any typical six-year-old horse-crazy kid

my new horse, a Saddlebred, how to do trail classes. Everything

would do: I got my parents to help catch the horse and return it

seemed to start off well, however, this horse only seemed to

to the owner. Every day I am thankful for that rider’s unfortunate

want to work under saddle when he felt like it. I struggled to find

fall, as it led me to my first riding lesson, my first Arabian and my

something he liked to do, and I found that he really seemed to

first show.

enjoy driving. So began our driving career, until a bad cart acci-

For the first six years of my riding career, I rode saddle seat at the farm where we returned the loose horse. Within the first

dent made me wake up and realize this horse was dangerous, and I couldn’t continue to put myself at risk.

four years of riding, I convinced my parents to purchase the most

In 2003, I sold that Saddlebred and began looking for another

beautiful horse at the barn—the only Arabian at an established

horse. A 4-H club member’s mother was looking to sell her Ara-

Saddlebred farm. My parents weren’t too concerned as they fig-

bian mare that was in foal to her Cremello Quarter horse stallion.

ured in a few years I would lose interest in horses as most teen-

I thought back to my first horse and how she willing she was. I

age girls do and would trade time with horses for time with boys.

jumped on the opportunity and was now the proud owner of my

Two years after the purchase of my first horse, we moved to a

next Arabian. As a plus, she was also in foal! I couldn’t wait and

different barn, and I began riding hunt seat. Again, I was the only

was hoping for a filly.

Arabian owner in a primarily Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred

July 5, 2004 I was blessed with a beautiful bouncing buckskin colt.

barn. For the next six years I enjoyed that horse every time I rode. We began trail riding and competing locally including 4-H trail

On the beach of Assateague Island, MD 2013. Shannon Ebert Photo.

April/May 2014

I had said to myself, since the day I purchased the mare, that

would compete over a new course of obstacles and then perform

if the foal was a colt I would sell it. As I gazed into those liquid

to a musical freestyle with one of the clinicians at the Expo. I had

brown eyes, this colt stole my heart, and there was no way I was

never been timed in a trail course before, but we were willing to

going to part with him. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to

accept the challenge. Together, we tried to perform a 360 in a hula

train him since I had never had a baby horse before, but I was

hoop, walk over a bridge, carry a flag, jump a fence, pass through

willing to give it a try.

a gate, drag a cone, lasso a standard, leg yield, toss a javelin onto

A wise horsewoman once told me, “Horses become what you name them, so name them well.”

a target, side pass, back through barrels and pick up a ring with

As I thought about it, I wanted a catchy show name that peo-

Later that year, we were back on the rated show scene, and

ple would remember. He wasn’t your typical buttermilk buckskin

we qualified for the East Coast Championships, so off to Virginia

but rather had a shimmery golden coat and four white feet. So, I

we went. I couldn’t believe we were going to be competing at

named him Urban Legend since he was, in my eyes, too good to

such a high level, and I wondered how we would compare. Bandit

be true. As far as a barn name went, I struggled. I almost named

was probably the youngest horse competing in the trail classes.

him after a Dunkin’ Donuts box, but Dunkin didn’t seem to fit.

In the end, even with such seasoned horses competing in the trail

Then, I thought of how he stole my heart. I also wanted to honor

classes, we still came out on top. We were Reserve Champion in

a former horse friend who had died in a car accident many years

the open English division and Champion in the amateur English

ago, so I named my colt after his horse, Bandit. From here on out,


Bandit would steal many hearts of young and old.

a stick. Although we had a great go, we missed the final three by half a point. I vowed that if the Expo would hold this event again, we would be back and ready to go.

2010 rolled around, and the Horse World Expo once again

Fast-forward three years, and I had done it: I had trained my

hosted the Wind Rider Challenge. We had been practicing the

first baby all by myself. He was now competing in the local 4-H

strange obstacles at home, and this time we were ready. To pass

production classes and qualifying for states each year. It was time

the time during the winter, I would drag sleds and sink basket-

to put my skills to the test, so we entered our first rated show. He

balls in hampers. My friends at the barn would practice our free-

was a true gentleman, and we placed in every class we entered. I was happy and felt he was ready to learn about the trail classes that I missed so dearly. In 2009, we decided to try competing openly in the trail classes. As fate would have it, the Horse World Expo was offering a trail class called the Wind Rider Challenge. This class tested riders and horses to work together as a team over a course of unusual trail obstacles. Bandit was only five years old at the time, but I thought we should give it a try. Each rider had nine minutes to complete 14 obstacles, and the top three competitors from the tryout would advance to the finals. In the finals, the remaining horses

East Coast Championships 2013, Lexington, VA. Amy Kerr Photo.



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine style ride together just in case we made the finals, and I knew we

front of a crowd to music; was I going to screw it up? Our pattern

had a good chance.

began with a left-lead small, slow circle, a change of lead in the

Once we arrived at the Expo, we realized that the rules for

middle and then a large, fast right-lead canter. From there, we

the challenge had slightly changed. There would be two days of

had to perform two full circles in a square of cones, pass through

trials, and the top three scores from the two days would be in the

a gate, jump a vertical, leg yield across the arena, back around

finals. A new addition to the challenge was that each rider would

barrels and carry a flag across the finish line. We completed our

get to perform the trail course twice and pick which ride they

course with next to no errors. I was proud of my boy regardless.

would like to keep without knowing which course was the higher

Now it was time for our freestyle, and we were taking it back

score. We went through our first course and only had a slight er-

to the 50s! We entered the arena carrying umbrellas, and Steuart

ror at the fence. They wanted us to trot the cross rail and land

and I performed shoulder-ins and shoulder-outs while carrying

trotting, but my six-year-old Bandit felt the need to canter after

these umbrellas. From there, we were rocking around the clock as

any fence jumped regardless of height. We nailed each obstacle,

we performed flying lead changes and extended trots. To finish

and I was ready for the second go.

our pattern, we backed away from each other while in the center

This time, he didn’t canter after the cross rail, and each obsta-

of the arena. I did miss part of my own pattern, but no one knew

cle seemed to be performed even better than in our first round.

it except Steuart.

I picked my second course, and I was right; we had the highest

with, and we got the opportunity to work with them on our pat-

At the end of the Wind Rider Challenge, we were unanimously named the 2010 Champions.

tern that night. I had drawn Mr. Steuart Pittman, who was a de-

In 2011, I got married but remained a horse crazy woman. I’ll

light to work with and willing to go along with my crazy ideas for

never outgrow horses. At this time, a wonderful 4-H member be-

my freestyle.

gan sharing my love of Bandit and was overjoyed in having the

score of both days’ tryouts. We made it to the finals! Names were drawn for which clinician we would be performing our freestyle

The next day, I began to get ready for my trail challenge but

option of half-leasing him. In the beginning of 2012, Taylor asked

was more worried about my freestyle. I had never performed in

if she could take Bandit to the Horse Expo and compete in what

Breed Demo Expo Exhibitors 2014, Harrisburg, PA. Cindy Jewart Photo.

April/May 2014 was now being called the Trail Champions Challenge. I agreed, as I wanted to see someone else enjoy trail classes with Bandit as

Could we compete with the best of the best?

much as I did. Yet again, the rules for the challenge had changed, and now there was only five minutes to navigate through a course

Eventually, Taylor convinced me that we should give it a try.

of obstacles that had gotten tougher. Also, there was only one

When were we going to have this opportunity again? So, we

day of the challenge and prizes would be awarded in different

saved our money and sent in our entries. First thing was first, though. We were heading back to East

divisions. I had no doubt that Taylor could pull it off with Bandit, and the

Coast. There, we competed in both the sport horse divisions and

two of them sailed through many of the obstacles. They had to go

the English trail classes. Taylor was named Champion in the Eng-

over a wooden bridge, metal bridge, trot over poles, walk through

lish Trail JTR class, and I was named Champion in both the open

a tarp, hula hoops, carry a pole in a circle, back through an “S” and

and amateur English Trail classes. We also performed incredibly

roll a giant ball. The only thing Taylor had trouble with was the

well in the sport horse in-hand and under saddle divisions. I

accuracy of the ball rolling, which ate away at her time. She was

couldn’t believe the horse I had raised!

at her last obstacle when they called time, and she would receive

Being our first time at Sport Horse Nationals, Taylor and I

zero points for it. Even still, she was incredibly happy with her

were in shock and awe at the amount of quality horses attend-

round. At the end of the day, Taylor and Bandit placed 5th in the

ing. Again, I questioned myself: how could a bunch of nobodies

English Division and 3rd in the Junior Exhibitor division.

from nowhere be competing at this level? I hated to call myself

We wouldn’t return to the East Coast Championships until

that, but in reality, we had no trainer, we weren’t part of a large

2012. Taylor was excited, as this was going to be her first year

show barn and our stall curtains were made from beach-themed

showing Bandit at the regional level, and she definitely had as

shower curtains. Regardless, from preliminary cut to semi-final

much of a passion for the trail class as I did. As a team with Bandit,

cut, we made it to the finals in every riding class we entered. Tay-

I was named Champion in the open English division, and Taylor

lor had also made it to her final in the Sport Horse Under Saddle

earned a Reserve Championship in the amateur English trail divi-

ATR class. I couldn’t believe it; my trail champion was at Sport

sion. We also competed in the sport horse divisions and weren’t

Horse Nationals, and he had made the finals!

doing badly in those either. In the beginning of 2013, Taylor and I were debating which rated



wanted to attend. We definitely wanted to go back to East Coast, but we also heard that Sport Horse Nationals would be held in Virginia that year. So many times, Taylor and I would go back and forth on whether we should go. Sport Horse Nationals 2014, Lexington, VA. Kathy Parrish Photo.



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine In our first final, Hunter Hack AAOTR, we were named Reserve National Champions! We came a long way from that five-year-

were intelligent, loving animals willing to do anything for their owners.

old that had to canter over every fence regardless of height. Our

As the Expo grew closer, I received a phone call that there

next final was the Sport Horse Under Saddle AOTR class. We had

was an opening in the Challenge, and I jumped on the opportu-

a wonderful go and received a Top 10.

nity. Taylor would come along with me to help me perform my

On the final day, we had three finals to get through, and we

“trick” for our breed demo and be my rock when I was trying to

were tired. It had been a long week, and we were ready to head

memorize the pattern. She had already done it and could give me

home. Taylor had her final in the ATR division, and she too earned

some steady advice. The rules were pretty much the same as they

a Top 10. Next was my Open final. We had an amazing go, and

were the year Taylor competed—five minutes to perform through

Bandit felt so wonderful. We waited in the group of the Top 10

the obstacles and awards for each division. They had also added

to hear who would be named Champion and Reserve. Looking

awards for the overall top six competitors. It wasn’t going to be

around me, I saw nothing but wonderfully well-built sport horses

easy this time; the obstacles had gotten harder, and increasingly

and wondered which one was going to take the Championship.

more competitors were practicing strange things at home.

When Reserve Champion was called, I pretended in my head

Thursday was the first day of the Expo, and Bandit loved the

that they would call us forward as champion, wondering what it

crowd on breed row. He proudly promoted his National roses,

would be like to receive those roses, knowing that this nobody

hammed it up for the camera and let all the little kids pet him. At

from nowhere probably wouldn’t ever get that chance. I was

night, we performed with three other Arabian breed enthusiasts.

happy with what I had already achieved and couldn’t have asked

Each Arabian performing at the Expo had its own special “trick.”

more from my boy. I listened to the announcer state that this year

Ours was that, with the help of Taylor, we would stand in a hula-

we have a new champion, and suddenly I heard Urban Legend be-

hoop and then Taylor would pick the hula-hoop up and run Bandit

ing read over the loudspeaker. No way!

and I through the hula-hoop. We would perform this trick on both

I galloped over to those roses hoping they hadn’t made a mistake and gave my guy the biggest pat.

Friday and Saturday night while dressed in a native costume. Friday came, the day we were to perform in the Trail Champions Challenge. We were 15th to go with 30 total for the day. Our first obstacle was to walk through a set of cones, continue to a

I will always remember making that victory pass. I felt as if I

mounting block and mount without the horse moving. The way

was making that pass for every rider that poured their heart and

the mounting block was set up, you either had to mount from the

soul into their horse on their own without the help of a trainer.

wrong side or turn your horse around. I had practiced mounting

But my day wasn’t over yet. We still had to perform the pit-crew

from the wrong side, so up I went.

of tack changes and prepare for the Sport Horse Show Hack class. At the end of the class, we again came out with a Top 10. “Where would we go next?” I asked myself. The Expo was still holding the Trail Champions Challenge, and we had to get back into the groove of trail classes. Unfortunately, all the entries were filled, and I wasn’t going to be able to compete in the class. However, I did sign us up on the wait list just in case an opening occurred. In the meantime, I offered to represent the Arabians during the breed demonstrations and wanted to show the public that Arabians

Picking up stuffed horse. Trail Champions Challenge 2014, Harrisburg, PA. Rachael Harze Photo.

April/May 2014 Next was to ride to a giant stuffed horse on the ground, dismount and place it on top of your horse. You would then have

like, but he just walked right on up and stood as I shook Larry’s hand.

to remount and carry the stuffed horse to a barrel, placing it on

On the next barrel, there was a rope and at the end a bag filled

the barrel. We nailed that one. Next was a turn on the forehand

with cans. We had to drag this down and around a cone and back.

in a hula-hoop – all the years of practicing had paid off and we

We began trotting and Bandit again surged forward. He stopped

impressed the judges with that one. Moving to the second hula-

and turned towards the sound, so I backed him until the cans

hoop, we had to get our hind feet in and perform a turn on the

were on the other side of the cone so he could see where the

haunches. Again, we excelled. Next was to walk through an “S”

sound was coming from. Then we began trotting again back to

of ground poles and then back out. We only touched one of the

drop off the cans. From there, we had to turn and canter on our


left lead in a circle, stop, turn and canter a right lead circle, halt,

As the crowd cheered, Bandit surged forward, and I did the one thing I told myself not to do.

dismount and run through the cones to stop the time. We completed our course in 4 ½ minutes. Each obstacle was worth up to 5 points. I felt it wasn’t our best go, but it wasn’t too bad either. We waited for them to post the results. They posted the

I cantered to the hard obstacle. It was a wooden white box with a black bull’s eye in the center filled with water. Next to the box was a barrel, and on the barrel was a talking fish. As we cantered to the obstacle I knew Bandit was going to question it. He stopped and refused to even sniff the box, strange since we practiced walking through baby pools at home. As he side passed left and right, he set off the talking fish and wanted to check that out. No Bandit, I thought, stay focused. As I tried again, I knew this obstacle would be eating away at our time. I could keep trying to make him go

Riding to “Larry.” Lindsey Ilgenfritz Photo.

over this obstacle or I could move on and gain points somewhere

names of those who would be receiving an award that night but

else without going over time. Hating to let him not do an obsta-

did not tell anyone who would be getting what. Our name was

cle, I moved on.

on the list! That night, I rode Bandit bareback into the arena and

We moved on to the metal bridge. This was no ordinary metal

waited to hear the results. They went through the riding divisions

bridge, as they dug out underneath it and placed a giant flashing

first. We placed 3rd in the English division and waited to hear the

light. Bandit took one step, the light flashed and he backed up. I

overall results. We ended up being 6th place overall for Friday

tried again, and this time he went. One foot, two feet, three feet

night in the Trail Champions Challenge. I was extremely proud of

and then four, we were over that and on to the next challenge. In

my boy for not only taking on the challenge but also being one of

front of us was “Larry,” a Santa Claus sitting on a dummy horse.

the great representatives for our breed at the expo.

We had to ride onto the bridge next to him and shake his hand. I thought this would have been the obstacle that Bandit wouldn’t

Bandit is truly my Urban Legend; he had defied the odds and made this little girl’s wildest dreams come true.



The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

Classifieds Absolutely, stunningly beautiful and flashy 6 yr old Registered Arabian Mare for sale. Four, matching white socks and a blaze. Top 5 in Class A in AATR SHUS and scoring in the 60’s at a dressage shows first time out. Incredible mover. Much potential! Healthy, sound, wonderful feet, has never had any injuries or blemishes. Stands for the farrier, loads, bathes, clips, ties. She has begun learning shoulderin, haunches in, leg yields, turns on the forehand, and more collection work. She backs readily. She learns new things easily and is a very willing worker. She has been on the trail several times alone and with a group. Very affectionate. Sweepstakes Nominated. Awesome broodmare potential as well. Zanesville, Ohio. More photos and videos are available upon request. $6,000. Phone number: 740-252-2584.

Tiz Dgf Acclaim, Arabian bay stud, $400 stud fee, plus shipping if needed. Lines to Don Fersheba and Indraff. Beautiful mover with a great mind. Great, floaty movement, hunter, dressage, western pleasure or endurance would be where I would put his babies. SCID, LFS and CA clear. His registration number is 520208. Call 419-203-0969 or send me an email at cgreutman@yahoo.com. Located in Northwest Ohio.

For sale: Grey half Arabian TB cross designer future sport horse Yearling. This guy should mature 16-16.2 Hh. This guy is smart and ready for an adventure, He leads, is friendly, and excellent moving. Will make an awesome dressage or hunter/jumper prospect. National Champion blood lines to Odyssey SC Grandson. Reasonably prices at $1,500. call 913-579-3772 or email arabarmi@yahoo.com

April/May 2014


Services Our Services Directory is available for just an annual fee of $25 (6 issues). Subject Headers created as needed. Not for Stallions or Horses for Sale.

FARMS ROZE ARABIANS • Angela White • Elizabethtown, PA • Breeders of Straight Egyptian Arabian Sport Horses Horses for Sale • Clinics • www.RozeArabians.com • RozeArabians@gmail.com • 717-585-0855 MYSTIC RANCH ARABIANS, Karen Ernst, Herald, CA • Breeders of Arabian Sport Horses www.MysticRanchArabians.com • mysticrch@softcom.net BLUE MOON FARM & TRAINING CENTER • Sophie H. Pirie Clifton • Training, Clinics, Instruction thru the FEI levels • Tryon, NC • sophie@montana.net

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