Skye Valley Show – October, 28 2012

What an AMAZING way to finish up the show season for our Kelly Maddox Riding Academy students. Students, Nell Cook, Kate Lafayette, Emilia Vegas, and Elisabeth Delpouys had a great day at the Skye Valley Show on Sunday, October 28, 2012. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and the riders and horses looked great!

Emilia rode extremely well in the Periwinkle Walk/Trot division. Emilia, riding dear, sweet Lizzy, accomplished a goal and won her first BLUE ribbon to date. Then, in her next class, received a second BLUE ribbon! An excellent day for her, congratulations!

Kate, riding our lovely Jewels, demonstrated excellent riding skills and confidence in all her classes. She also had a very successful show day in the ring and came home with a TOP RIBBON in every class. You’re looking great Kate! Keep up the good work.

Nell, aboard Mona, made her debut into the show ring on Sunday, and did she ever look amazing! She rode in the Aquamarine division to get her feet wet in the world of showing. Nell was poised, utilized her riding skills perfectly and had an amazingly successful day. It was a clean sweep for her! Nell WON EVERY CLASS! All that hard work in your lessons has been paying off Nell, great job!

To finish out the day, Elisabeth, and dear sweet Cupcake, strutted their stuff in the costume class. Their costume was a devilish mix of good and bad! It was a very clever outfit Elisabeth, love your creativity!

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Emma for helping me out in the morning with the horses and riders! Congratulations again to all our riders! Here’s looking forward to what next year brings. 🙂

Happy Showing!

NorCal Medal Finals Show, October 2012

What a fantastic week in Sacramento we had! Sorry this update is a bit late, but better late then never. This was our last NorCal show this year, but we are already planning for next year…yeah!!!

Abby Pratt and Mr.Bingley had a rock’n week! Not only were they CHAMPION in the Low Child Hunters, but they were CHAMPION in the Low Child Equitation…Wow! Abby is so ready to move into the 3′ ring!!! Congrats Abbs!

Amanda Rael and Almost Famous looked beautiful this week. Such beautiful rides made this team CHAMPION! What a great year for you both…and a big thanks to Amanda for being the ‘Barn Designer’…THANK YOU!

Emma Tyrrell and Palladium also had a fun week riding in the NorCal Medal Finals…congrats on qualifying…and really nice riding during the finals! There was a huge group in the finals. Emma’s second round was beautiful…coming home SEVENTH! I also think Emm was having a great time in the Junior Hunters…lots of SECONDS and THIRDS🙂 I think Jerry liked the hunters too…and he is really learning how to jog appropriately;-)

Alexis Cristiano and Stoneridge are really coming together and looking fantastic! It is really fun to watch them work together. Alexis played in the Children’s Hunters…a big division here. They got great ribbons and looked awesome. Baby Lewis is growing up and Alexis is doing a super job showing him the way!

Emily Johnson and Tapatio were looking really good this week…love this team! They had an amazing week…CHAMPION in the Low AA Hunters. They are definitely ready to ‘jump to the next level’…congrats Em!!!

Love Amanda!

Super Team:-)

So pretty!

Emily and TT

Working on our serious modeling poses:-)

Happy campers!

Look at those cute dapples

Lots of grass for the horses = happy horses

Thank you and congrats to all on a great year!!!

McGinnis Meadows Ranch, Libby Mt

Article written by Tyson West, KMT Rider

McGinnis Meadows Cattle Ranch is based on the Buck Brannaman style of horsemanship – McGinnis is a working cattle ranch set in stunning meadows with postcard views. The ranch itself has beautiful cabins (ours was 2 stories with sitting room and fireplace), delicious food and best of all – unlimited wine/beer. Everything from the western saddles to the horses are top notch. I had a lovely 4-6 year old bay quarter horse who could easily do a leg yield with no contact and a light shift of my seat. My friend rode a big 12 year old who had all the fancy bells and whistles. ALL the horses were soft supple and well trained. I cannot recommend the ranch enough…nothing compares to coming back to the ranch exhausted from graze or clinic – sitting in the lodge with friends, a glass of wine and feet propped up in front of a fireplace.

Here’s a quick look at the week. The first morning at the ranch is groundwork – the head wrangler flags the client horses for the week in the arena as a group. Think of 20 horses in an indoor arena while one mounted wrangler with a flag works behind them. They do this to set the horses attention on the wrangler and get the horses to work as a unit – no biting, kicking etc. After the first day you have different options – you can do horsemanship (basically clinic) with Shane or Randi or go out to graze (rounding up cattle, hunting for cattle, doctoring, moving or sorting cattle). While you do ride with a wrangler there is NO head to tail riding – they discourage it. My friend and I went out the last day to graze and moved 250 cattle from one pasture to another – about 5-7 miles. It was 4-5 hours of riding and lots of fun (particularly if you had a rogue calf who would take off and you had to wrangle it back to the group).

Of the the 14 guests for the week – all but 4 of the guests were seasoned riders. Six of us were english riders – who were separated out and put thru the wringer. This ranch is not for the faint of heart – if you can’t take criticism or are passive on a horse – this is NOT the place for you. I’m not going to lie there were a few very frustrating days were I felt like a total beginner during a clinic. McGinnis’s top priority is their horses – they want their training to stay consistent and they are not about to let you ride them incorrectly (same goes with groundwork). Halting, backing and leg yields are done a million times a day…all with NO contact. I’ve never felt a horse be as light off their front feet as I felt my horse after I was able to back opening my legs with no contact. They believe NO contact and absolutely NO squeezing/tapping (this was pretty tricky for us english riders). Shane said to me “how many english horses do you see where there is no LIFE in their horses – the rider is just sitting tapping, squeezing, pulling, tapping squeezing, pulling – horse is so dulled to the leg and mouth…it’s just rude”. We were taught the importance of leg yielding – how it teaches the horse proper head position (rolling the jaw under) which are so important for softness, getting leads etc.

There were a lot of things said at the ranch that made me really stop and think..HMMMM…..interesting. Things like “your horse will always start where you last left off” so if you missed a soft transition you can bet your horse is not going to start up soft for the next transition. And they talk about a “Triangle”…envision a triangle – the top being your horses pole, and the withers being the 2 sides. Your horse needs to be in the middle of the triangle. The younger the horse the wider the triangle. Interesting concept to think about to keep the horse straight and in front of your leg. Before I left one of the wranglers said to me…why put a noseband on a horse – you’re tying the horses mouth shut – you never give the horse the opportunity to make the decision to close their mouth and be soft. What do you think one day you’ll take it off and poof your horse will go soft with it’s mouth closed. Not one of their horses went around chomping the bit – all their horses go soft in a snaffle – no nosebands. We were taught how to deal with a spooking horse – working around the scary object while still allowing the horse to see it. Shane worked a horse until he was able to go right up and stand next to someone with a chainsaw – yes that was powered on cutting thru the arena fence (it was loud and super scary). His horse got to the point were he could stand NEXT to the running chainsaw relaxed and confident. There was so much more said and done but it’s too much to blog. I was particularly pleased to find how well the horses were treated – grained twice a day, groomed and older horses were all given supplements/injectables and light work schedules. They did have a number of client horses who were taken out on graze and worked in the arena’s. If I ever have a young horse who needs to be started this is where they will be sent – the kindness and patience by the wranglers (who I must say were amazing riders) was unparalleled.

For anyone that might be interested in going here is the important info. How fun would it be to take a big group of hunter/jumper riders?? Just sayin!! Capacity at the ranch is around 20 people – the week we were there (Oct 7-13) there were 14. Weather was 68 and lovely – tho quite chilly in the morning (20-30 degrees..brrr). Rates for the week are between $2100 (lodge) – $2300 (cabin) with airfare around $230 round trip from Oak to Kalispell. Those rates include everything – food, lodging, wine/beer, horses, transportation and clinics for the week. Here is the ranch website –

>>>I think this looks like a fantastic trip for 2013! Thank you, Tyson, for sharing.

KMT Medal Finals, October 2012

What a great show Team KMT had. Our riders all rode great. Thanks to Lexi for being my assistant for the day and of course a HUGE thanks to Emma and Alexis for schooling all the wild ponies.

Elisabeth and Cupcake are building such a great relationship. Elisabeth rode so well and keeps learning at each show. Elisabeth was the year end pile of poles RESERVE CHAMPION.

Catie and Lizzy made such a great team. They were looking sharp and have come a long way. Catie came home with some GREAT RIBBONS.

Nadia and Belle did a great job in the walk trot poles. Nadia received a FIRST in the under saddle class out of twelve horses. What an accomplishment!

Jenna and Mona looked great in the poles as well. Even though Mona was feeling great and very energetic, Jenna rode fantastic, coming home with MANY RIBBONS!

Isabel and Cocoa were at their first show together. Isabel was a bit nervous, but held it together and finished the day with a COUPLE OF FOURTHS!

Jessica and Belle were RESERVE CHAMPION in the KMT medal class and absolutely loved the victory gallop. Woo Hoo!

Emily and Lizzy did a great job in the X-Rail Division. Emily came home with a couple of THIRDS AND FIFTHS. Way to go Emily!

Charlotte and Sunshine were CHAMPION of the X-Rail KMT Medal Class and also year end CHAMPION of the X-Rail Division. Way to go Charlotte! I can’t wait to see you show next year.

Neal and Sunshine started their day a few steps behind, but ended up THIRD in the 2’3 KMT Medal Final and year end RESERVE CHAMPION!

The ribbons and sashes were so pretty!

Alison is organizing the awards…nice:-)

Tommy and Lesley setting up the office…thanks!

Thank you to County Saddlery for sponsoring!

Alison and Kelly starting the day:-)

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Medal Finals Prizes were AWESOME!!!

Sunny looks as happy as his Mom’s!

What a great way to end the year. I can’t wait for next year.

Amanda de la Rosa

Go Team KMT!

IEA SHOW, Sept 2012

We all had so much fun at our first IEA horse show. The weather was perfect, the horses were great and the riding was fantastic. This was such a great experience for our first show.

I asked the girls a couple of questions about their experience and here were their answers…..

Alexis Cristiano

“The most exciting part of the IEA show was picking your horses. Even though almost all of the horses would be good picks, it was still exciting to see which one you would get.”

“The most challenging part was entering the ring for the first time on my over-fences horse. It is hard to get on a horse and not even be able to walk until it’s your time to go into the ring.”

Sierra Hoadley

“The hardest thing about the iea show was riding horses you didn’t know and you had to figure them out right then and there and geta feel for them. But, this was also the most exiting, as you didnt know who you were going to ride.”

Emma Tyrrell

“One of the most exciting things during the IEA show was not knowing what horse you were draw. Seeing the horses warm up in the morning…many people had and idea of what horses they want and and it was exciting to see which one you would get.”

“One of the most challenging things was not being able to warm up before you go in the ring. You were allowed to have two warm up jumping in the show ring then you went in and did your course.”

Super riding girls! And thank you Amanda de la Rosa for leading the way!!!