SVT Schooling Show Update, March 25th, 2012 by Amanda de la Rosa

What a blast Sunday was. Arriving at the barn ready for a day of showing, I was so excited to see the beautifully painted jumps, with lots of glitter and butterflies. A great way to start a successful day of showing.

Team KMT had eight riders showing, with a couple of riders showing for the first time. There were lots of smiles and some nerves, but at least the rain held out until the end of the day.

Kate L. And Cocoa did a wonderful job. This was Kate’s first horse show. She was very excited and wasn’t nervous at all. She rode in the lead line division and received a FIRST, SECOND, THIRD and a FOURTH.

Jenna and Jewels competed in the pile of poles division. This was also Jenna’s first horse show. Despite being a little nervous, Jenna rode so well and proved she is ready for competition. Jenna received a FIRST, SECOND and a THIRD.

Hallie and Lizzy also competed in the pile of poles division. This was also Hallie’s first horse show. Hallie looked great and showed how hard she has been practicing in her lessons. Hallie received a FIRST, SECOND and a THIRD.

Elisabeth and Jewels also rode in the pile of poles division. Elisabeth is a true competitor. She always looks great in the show ring. Elisabeth came home with a SECOND, THIRD and two FIFTHS.

Emily H. And Lizzy were in the pile of poles division as well. Emily has come a long way since the last horse show. Emily received a SECOND, THIRD and a FIFTH.

Catie C. and Belle also rode in pile of poles. These two were looking sharp and came home RESERVE CHAMPION. Way to go Catie!

Jessica and Belle looked amazing in the cross rail division. I think Jessica WON all of her classes coming home with a CHAMPION neck sash!!

Charlotte and Cocoa were in the 2′ division. Charlotte has improved so much in her riding over the past couple of months. This division had at least 13 riders in it. Charlotte received a FIRST, SECOND and two THIRDS. I’m pretty sure they were RESERVE CHAMPION.

A huge thank you to Alison for being my side kick, Alexis for leading Kate, Emma for schooling the ponies, Kelly for giving us support and Sierra, Abby, Lauren, and Ally for helping us through out the day. You guys are ALL AMAZiNG!!!!

I am so proud of all of our riders. I had so much fun and am looking forward to the next horse show!

Amanda

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You Need to Practice to Progress

We must not forget that riding is a sport. To progress and grow, you MUST practice. I was watching The Voice last night and one of the competitors said that she thinks of singing as a sport. She talked about exercising her vocal cords and being able to breath while on stage. She would get up in the morning and stretch her vocals and practice practice practice. I love this!

Often in this sport, new riders will take one lesson per week and wonder why they are not strong enough to start jumping or even progressing. As a trainer, safety is so very important. In order to be safe, we must be strong. In order to grow, we must practice practice practice.

As a young rider, I lived at the barn. I struggled, I worked, I cleaned stalls, I braided and I rode every horse possible . I didn’t care if it was a school horse, a grumpy pony or a wild ride. It was important to me to learn how to ride every kind of horse. It was also important for me to be strong so that I could compete in the Big Eq classes, as these were my goals.

Not every rider is going to have the same goals as I did, but your rate of growth will always depend on how much effort and practice you put into your riding. It is so important to goal set and to set expectations.

If you are only able to ride once per week, then your goals should reflect that. With this amount of riding, the rider should expect to work on flatwork and maybe some pole work. Strong flatwork is the foundation you will need for safe and quality jumping technique. If you don’t have a solid position on the flat, you will struggle over fences and often make your horses job more difficult.

Those riders that want to grow and move to the next level, jumping up to 2′, will then have another set of goals and expectations. This rider should expect to ride at least two times per week, preferably three. Typically, this is the level that school horses are comfortable at. A rider at this level should feel comfortable lengthening and collecting their horses gaits, have a solid jumping position on the flat and feel comfortable cantering.

Heading into the 2’6″ ring! This is the time a rider should begin to 1/2 lease a horse/pony or purchase one. This rider needs to become even stronger in their position. A rider at this level may begin riding in rated shows and should feel comfortable doing flatwork without irons, understand counter canter work and lateral movements.

The big step into the 3′ ring! Riders at this level will get pushed much more in their riding. It is now time to full lease or to purchase a horse. This rider should be riding at least four days a week, preferably five to six. This rider also needs to have a clear understanding of the previous flat movements, but should now be able to jump a small course over fences without irons, understand the quality of their horses canter and how it impacts the jumps. The list gets longer!

The giant leap into the 3’6″ ring and up! Now your riding in the big leagues and you will either be full leasing or purchasing a quality horse. At this level, riders will typically have multiple horses so that they can practice even more. Unfortunately, one horse can not handle hours and hours of practice. For the rider with one horse, as I was, my recommendation is to beg for extra horses to ride and practice on. As the jumps get bigger, there is less room for error. This rider really needs to develop a relationship with their horse and trainer to make sure that there is clear communication in regards to their horses health, fitness and soundness.

Hopefully, you have set your 2012 goals and set expectations that match your level of commitment along with the abilities of your horse.

So, PRACTICE AND PROGRESS and have fun doing so!

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Northern Winter Classic, 2012

Our week started out with some crazy weather! We came from a hot week at home in the 80’s and landed in Sacramento with rain and 30’s…burrr! Luckily, the weather departed when all the clients showed up and the sun came out…a beautiful weekend:) Team KMT had a super successful week and a great kick off to the year.

Starting with Alexis Cristiano and Regalmann (Max)…they had an amazing week showing for the first time in the Modified Junior Hunters…WINNING 4 out of 5 classes, WOW! And yes, they were CHAMPION! They started out the week RESERVE CHAMPION in the Children’s Hunters. Super week Alexis!!!

Emma Tyrrell and her new horse Palladium (Jerry) also had a super fun week getting to know each other. This was their first time together in the Big Eq ring…and they looked so nice together! My favorite medal was Emma’s CPHA round. They came into the work-off sitting 3rd and was the only rider to nail the forward 5 stride…loved it…ended SECOND! The Big Eq ring has tough competition and is super challenging…Emma fits right in! Emma got great ribbons in all of her medals…on her way to qualify for FINALS…yippee!!!

Amanda Rael and Almost Famous (Polly) started out the week ON FIRE! This was Amanda’s first show competing at the 3’3″ level and they started out the week by WINNING the Horse and Hound Medal and the Hudson & Co Medal…what a start to the year!!! Already qualified for two finals…AWESOME Amanda!!! Polly also had her 1st Year debut…such a good girl…worked very hard and got great ribbons in some stiff competition…love her! Amanda also competed in the Modified Jr/Am’s…WINNING another class there!

Alexis, Emma and Amanda…you all rock! It is so much fun horse showing with you all…great attitudes, so supportive of each other and you truly care about your horses…thank you!

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