KMT Tri-Valley Classic, June 2012

What a great day we ALL had at Heather Farms this past Sunday! Thankfully there was lots of shade and a nice breeze to keep things cool. Of course, the day ran very smoothly, thanks to Alison, Kelly, Kate, Leslie and Amanda R. A HUGE thank you to Emma for being my assistant for the day… are the best!! Also, thank you to Sierra for schooling Mona in the morning and holding the ponies.

Elisabeth and Jewels rode in the walk/trot pile of poles division. This was Elisabeth’s first ‘away’ horse show. Despite Jewels with her horse show anxiety, Elisabeth kept her chin up and finished her day RESERVE CHAMPION!

Charlotte and Mona rode in the X rail division. Charlotte has been working hard on building a relationship with Mona. Charlotte and Mona were CHAMPION of the X rail division….way to go Charlotte!!

Neal and Sunshine rode in the 2″3 division. These two were kicking butt…..they WON ALL five of their classes…..I couldn’t have been happier for Neal and Sunshine!!! CHAMPIONS!!!

Way to go team!!!!! I love being a part of such a fun, supportive family!!

I can’t wait for the next KMT horse show!






Karen Healey Clinic, June 2012


Just a couple weeks ago, Emma Tyrrell, Sierra Hoadley and myself had the opportunity to ride in the Karen Healey Clinic held at Hunterville Stables, thanks to Patty Ball. It was a fantastic clinic, heat and all. As a trainer, I pick my clinics wisely. It is important to me to come home with a couple extra tools to put in my toolbox. Furthermore, I want my students to feel inspired and motivated to work hard when they return home. Karen Healey provides fantastic feedback and is an instructor that gets ‘to the point’…I love that!

Below are some notes that my riders and myself took away from the clinic…ENJOY!!!

Emma Tyrrell, “​I learned a lot with Jerry over the clinic and it was nice to get a different perspective on things. One thing that Karen Healey had us do was have an opening outside rein over the jumps. This got our horses on to our outside aides to create more balance. This was also helpful in keeping the rhythm consistent throughout the course. Karen emphasized that the transitions between lengthening and collection should be seamless; the horse’s balance should stay the same”…”discipline should be a key factor in decision making while on course. This means that you should not take the first path, distance, or stride that comes along and have discipline” and be flexible in your decision making. “Having more discipline produces more accuracy and a better quality jump. This was important because it made me think about my quality of canter and making decisions rather than just letting jumps happen”

“We also learned about having a big range of stride. Having a range of stride is helpful because when you are in a situation where you have a line on the longer stride and a collected line right after, your horse can easily collect up and get a better quality jump”.

“One of my favorite things that Karen said was to show the judge that you know the question that’s being asked. If you have a line that walks on a very collected stride followed by a line that walks on a forward stride, you should come in collected to the first part and show a lengthening in the second part so you can show the judge that you know what they are looking for. This also applies if you have a very forward line followed by a collected one. On the out of the forward line, you don’t want to continue on the same stride and jump the out of the collected line and get a chip, you want to try to balance with collection and get the best jump possible. This really helped my to be constantly thinking about every part of my course and how my pace, rhythm, balance, path, and distance affected everything”.

Sierra Hoadley, “The Karen Healey clinic was awesome. No one was perfect so everyone had different things to work on which allowed you to learn so much even by just watching others. I was working on not over riding to my jumps and being patient to them. “The jump is just another stride.”

Karen Healey always talked about how you rode to the jump, and the path you took and not how the distance was. ‘Pace, impulsion, track, and the jumps happen.’ There were many other things like closing my fingers, flat back, and heels down that she said. I know that Kelly and Amanda say those things to me everyday, but hearing it from someone else from a different perspective makes you realize how much you need to fix it.

Karen Healey said to everyone that she didn’t care how much you paid for the horse, because the horse doesn’t make the jumps happen, you do. Timing is very important in riding, when to take and when to give, because the ‘distance fairy’ isn’t always so good to you. She didn’t focus on roundness; it was balance that she wanted. She wanted you to work within your horses’ rhythm, and not against it. I also loved how when a rider didn’t understand what she was talking about, Karen would get on their horse and show everyone what she meant. Goose was awesome and he jumped all the jumps, even the bank without a problem. He’s such a good boy. I had a blast at the clinic and I learned so much!”

I (Kelly) always enjoy working with another respected professional. Even as a trainer, I am always striving to improve and grow in this sport. From the trainers perspective we worked on allowing my horse to make mistakes so that he could learn from them. I am a perfectionist! But, sometimes, it is important not to protect your horse at the jumps, allowing my horse to create a better quality of jump by doing it wrong.

There were a few additional quotes from Karen that I really enjoyed hearing while watching the clinic:

“Don’t be afraid to let the dog of the leash”…in other words, get out of your comfort zone.

“Horses do what you tell them to do OR what you allow them to do”…I love this quote!

“Impulsion is a horse thinking forward”…not just going forward.

THANK YOU Karen Healey and Patty Ball…we all learned a lot…lost a few pounds in the heat…and had a great time!!!






Beach Party Horse Show, May 2012

The Beach Party was a super fun horse show, with Flamingos and Palm Trees everywhere. We had beachy weather with lots of sun and wind. On top of that, we have the most amazing BRAIDER, Vanessa Dahl…thanks for Tio’s beautiful flowers:-)

Emily Johnson and Tapatio looked super this week! Emily was RESERVE CHAMPION in the Flamingo Equitation Classic…a 3 phase class with about 24 riders…nice riding Emily!!! Emily’s other highlights were when she WON one of her hunter classes and the SECOND she received in the CCEA Medal class. They are becoming such a nice team together:-)

Olivia Hill and Hijinx spent their time speeding around the jumper ring…that little horse is fast! Olivia rode great and rode in some very large classes. On Saturday they were SECOND in one of their jumper classes and they ended the week THIRD in the $1000 Jumper Stake…whoop whoop!!!

A BIG thanks goes out to Emily for allowing me to ride the awesome Tio in the Trainers Equitation Classic. You and your assistant, Connie, make great trainers too…THANK YOU!!!

Lastly, we must not forget to thank Giovanni for always taking such great care of our horses…Giovanni rocks!!!

Check out Emily’s lovely flamingo…thanks to the creativity and Martha Stewart abilities of Amanda Rael…so pretty!