August 2008


It was time to break out the fancy camera and brush up on my photography. What better subject than Mr. Photogenic himself – Jasper! It was an overcast day which was actually beneficial for his color. I’m truly amazed at how much he has filled out. My little guy has grown up!

Head shot of Jasper running around the arena

Head shot of Jasper running around the arena

You can see how much he has filled out!

Bigger and better!

Lunging Jasper over the trotting poles has been a challenge, depending on what type of mood he is in. But let him loose in the arena and he sails over all four of them like they are 3ft jumps,

Jumping Over Trotting Poles

Made it

Then turns around…

Brake!

Brake!

And does them all over again…just for fun!

Airborne!

Airborne!

Complete with a buck…

or two….

Okay, I’m done now..

Urm, maybe one more round…

I think I shall ponder life for a little while…

Get a load of me!

Check out those dapples!

Get a load of dem dapples!

Hope you enjoy them!

See an update to my previous post regarding Ashley Holzer competing in the Olympics

Pop Art is one stunning horse. Okay, I’m a canuck so I’m a little biased! Canada may actually have a shot at something with this combination…unless the judges go for the flashier but less correct riders <cough>rollkur <cough>.

Here’s a recent video from June 25th at the qualifier in Blainville, Quebec in which they received 77.150%, the highest score in three days of competition at the CDI-W Blainville Summer Classic.

What do I notice in this clip? First of all, he is not behind the vertical. Second, he has a wonderful self-carriage. For the piaffe, his back legs are positioned nicely underneath him, he is nicely balanced uphill, his back looks supple and his head is in a nice frame. This is a perfect example of a classical correct piaffe.

Who doesn’t love a fair? This was my first time attending the Equine Extravaganza at the Sonoma County Fair and my husband and I were looking forward to watching the show. There was no actual competing at this event, just demonstrations and I love getting a chance to see other styles of riding and just seeing local clinicians and riders in action.
First up were a couple of riders demonstrating trail competition. I don’t know much about this but it looked like a lot of fun. Kind of like having to ride through an obstacle course.
Part of the test was dragging a log behind your horse. This young girl was really good.

Drag the Log

Drag the Log

Then you had to open a cooler, on top of a barrel, while on your horse. Without losing your lunch, of course!

Get Your Lunch

Get Your Lunch

A group of kids did some barrel racing and pole bending demos. Some of these girls were so tiny – but could they ride!

Barrel Racing

Barrel Racing

Pole Bending

Pole Bending

There was a drill team as well. That looks like a lot of fun…and you get to wear pretty outfits 🙂

Drill Team

Drill Team

I was enjoying the show so far… but I could not stop staring at the gorgeous horse being warmed up off in the distance:

Who is THAT?!?

Who is THAT?!?

And out came this gorgeous piece of horse flesh named Verso, a 17 hand buckskin Lusitano stallion! <drool> <drool> Only my dreamhorse!

Verso

Verso

His coat was so bright, I was glad I was wearing shades!

Golden Boy

Golden Boy

A little girl named Violet literally stole the show. I think she is 9 or 10 years old. Oh my goodness. Riding on just a bareback pad, she had her own 20 minute routine and was riding a 5 year old Mustang that had only been under saddle a year.

She went over several jumps balanced on her knees!

She went over several jumps balanced on her knees!

My knees hurt just looking at that picture!

Then stood up on him, all while trotting around the arena!

Then stood up on him, all while trotting around the arena!

Expect to see this kid working for Cavalia very soon! And what a sweet and tolerant mustang. Next up were a group of kids from a ranch that trains mustangs and rescues. All these kids were Parelli Level 2 or higher. I was pretty amazed at how they started the demo. At first I thought all hell and broken loose and the horses had taken off. But I soon realized that they meant to do that 🙂

Stampede!

Stampede!

One by one, each of the kids was able to walk up to the herd, look at their horse and the horse would latch on to them and follow them at liberty. Some horses took longer than others but they all eventually joined up with their human. Pretty amazing.

This horse was just gorgeous, and totally in tune with his young owner

This horse was just gorgeous, and totally in tune with his young owner

They spent the next half hour playing games in the arena, some at liberty, others on leads, some riding.

Playing games

Playing games

Pedestal

Pedestal

Sideways on the barrels

Sideways on the Barrels

Lungeing Carousel

Lungeing Carousel

Stacey Westfall, eat your heart out!

Stacey Westfall, eat your heart out!

My one complaint was I wish that all of the kids were wearing helmets, but all in all, it was a lot of fun to watch and I was inspired by the great relationship they each had with their horse.