KMT Tri-Valley Classic: May, 2013

Thank you Kelly and Alison for another very successful show. I couldn’t have done it without the help of Katie Voss and Alexis Cristiano….Thank you two very much!!

Michelle and Joe were fabulous in the 2’3 jumpers, WINNING both classes. What a great way to spend her last day on Joe! We will miss you Michelle!

Isabel and Amour have really started to build a nice relationship. These two went into the poles division with a few nerves, but came home as CHAMPION! I cant wait to see these two in future horse shows. Way to go Isabel and Amour!

Catie and Lizzy had their debut in the cross rail division. After a few practice jumps they looked fantastic. This was the largest division with the hardest competition. Catie came home with a FIRST, SECOND, THIRD and they WON the hunter over fences.

Jessica and Mona debuted in the 2′ division. After Jessica cooled her self down, she made her way around all three courses. She decided that it wasn’t difficult enough just going in and jumping the jumps. So she dropped her irons and did the first course without them. Mona gave her a few challenging rides, but Jess rode amazing and made me very proud! Jessica came home with a FOURTH and a THIRD.

Charlotte and Sunshine looked great in the 2′ division as well. Although sunshine did not like the KMT plank jump, they came home RESERVE CHAMPION!

Keira and Waffle looked great in the 2′ division as well. Keira tried out a jumper class as a warm up and had a blast. These two are so much fun to watch. They have already developed a great relationship. Keira and Waffle were CHAMPION of the 2′ division.

Leif and Lizzy were led to victory in the lead line class. This was Leif’s first time riding at a show and about his third lesson.

I believe we all learned it’s not always about the ribbon, but the experience we gain.

I can’t wait for the next show!

Amanda de la Rosa

Love’n Joe!

Thanks Katie!!!!

A very proud Mom!


Buck Brannaman Clinic: April, 2013

Whenever I go to a Clinic, I go with an open mind. My hope is that I come home with a ‘nugget’ of information that I can put into my tool box. Buck surprised me more than most clinicians. I came home with more than a ‘nugget’, I came home with a chest full!

I have always believed in creating a bond with horses, in learning how to communicate in a more effective way. I truly believe that horses are a gift.

Buck Brannaman spoke to me internally. When Buck strolled in on horseback, there was a calmness about him…about the way he moves and the gentle way he communicates with his horses. You can call it whatever you want, a horse whisperer, natural horsemanship…I call it effective communication between man and his horse.

It is refreshing to see training that starts from ground zero. Buck doesn’t skip a step, plug an ear, drug them or exhaust them into submission. In our world (hunter/jumper) there are gadgets, drug recipes and methods that are used to create show horses that can quickly go to the ring. I don’t believe horses are machines, but often they are treated as so. In this industry, it has gotten so competitive that some trainers are compelled to do whatever it takes to make their horses and riders, WINNERS! What do I think a winner is? I think that a winner is a horse that loves his job and working for his rider. A rider that grows with their horse and learns how to effectively communicate and not just sit pretty on their mechanical horse.

Buck, “If a horse is dull to your leg, he will NEVER be light to your hand. And a horse that is light to your leg MAY be light to your hand.” Buck uses words like ‘weightless‘, ‘life‘, light‘ and ‘soft feel‘ to describe the feel between horse and rider. What a great goal! Now, how do we get that? Most of us are not rich enough to just buy that perfect horse…and what fun would that be anyways? Let alone, if you can afford that ‘perfect’ horse, you will more than likely make it less than perfect.

“Offer the good deal first”…Buck repeats over and over and over. Think about it! Do YOU offer your horse the ‘good deal’? Do you know what that even is? I promise you that’s it not a bite of grass when your horse wants to go eat it. See the words in the above paragraph. Do you offer a soft feel or light leg? Don’t get it wrong, Buck isn’t a softy, but in my words, just a really good parent. He ALWAYS offers the good deal first, but is quick to correct if the good deal is not taken. Buck’s horses are light, full of life and live to make him happy.

At the clinic, we discussed timing in relation to a horses balance, “like a good dance partner”. Learning to be a good dance partner takes years and years of experience. Timing can be very difficult to teach, but Buck has come up with some great exercises to help you better understand the movements of your horse:

1. Untracking the hind end was greatly emphasized and helped riders to truly feel the engagement of their horses hindquarters. As this is the engine!
2. Awareness of your position will greatly affect your horse…using it to free your horse forward and to encourage them to move backwards.
3. Elevation and flexibility at the pole of your horse will help with balance in the neck and front end
4. Very specific awareness of how their legs are moving while drifting their hindquarters on a circle or doing short surpentines by untracking the hind end or by doing 1/2 turns into a leg yield.

Honestly, I could go on for hours!

Buck’s clinic was amazing! He is a truly talented horseman and he put my mind to work. In the end, my young horse, Albert, came home with a better mind and WE have found an even clearer approach to communication.

Thank you to Emma Cook for introducing me to Buck.
Thank you to Tina Corish for working so hard at putting together this clinic.
And a HUGE thank you to Buck for showing me that I am on the right path…and now I have an even better relationship with my young horse!

Albert is very curious…’what’s’ going on out there?

Our first day…fun!

Learning is FUN!

Beautiful hat Emma:-)

Such a smart horse…

And Albert can back up in light feel…

About 27 rider/horse combos in each group…