KMT Tri-Valley Classic Medal Finals: September 2013

Team KMT had an amazing show this past Sunday at the KMT Tri-Valley Classic Medal Finals. A huge THANK YOU to Lexi, Sierra and Alexis for helping me school all of the horses in the morning. It was a long day, but worth it in the end. Everyone rode great and all the horses were on their best behavior.

Jessica and Belle rode to victory in the cross rail division. This is the best I’ve ever seen them look. Coming home CHAMPION and WINNING the Cross Rail Medal Final. Finishing with a no stirrup victory gallop. Way to go Jessica!

Charlotte and Sunshine were looking sharp in the 2′ division as usual. Finishing up as RESERVE CHAMPION and a Third in the 2′ Medal Final. Great job Charlotte!

Kiera and Waffle are such a lovey pair to watch. Making all of their strides, they came home RESERVE CHAMPION in the 2’3 division and received a Fourth in the 2’3 Medal Final. Kiera and Waffle were also the Year End 2′ CHAMPIONS!!!

Elisabeth and Cupcake have been working hard together and it’s paying off. These two came home RESERVE CHAMPION in the Pile of Piles Division. Can’t wait to see these two move up to cross rails next year.

Isabel and Amour were on point at this show. They have built a great relationship and I think Amour is getting used to the Livermore facility. They looked great, coming home Division and Year End CHAMPIONS!!!

Leif and Belle went in their first pile of poles classes. Leif has the most amazing heals and two point position. These two received TWO Thirds. Way to go Leif!!

I can’t wait until next year!!! GO TEAM KMT!!!

Amanda D.


Are YOU focused on the right things as a rider?

So many young, as well as adult riders, are preoccupied with ribbons, ‘how big was that jump’, what a fancy horse ‘Suzie’ has or can I go in more classes at the show. To grow as a rider it is important to redirect that energy in a positive direction.


With that in mind, recognize the capabilities of your horse. What is best for your horse? Often times we want to do more as a rider and don’t take the time to listen or recognize our horses limitations. Is your horse capable of more? It is easy to push a horse beyond its physical capability. When this happens your horse more than likely will start feeling sore, unhappy and may start refusing to do his job. Your trainer should help you out here, so, listen to your trainer for feedback and accept there input. Remember that you have hired a trainer for their expertise. In the end, if you want to jump/practice more than your trainer lets you, don’t blame your trainer, but think, maybe it’s time for a second horse. If owning a second (or more) horse is out of the question, than it is important to keep your expectations in check. YOUR HORSES well being comes first!

Next, do you hope and pray for blue ribbons? Would you rather receive a blue out of 3 riders or have the ride of your life and get no ribbon? If you just want the blue you may only be focusing on the end result. Don’t get me wrong, blues are great to get! BUT, learn to enjoy the process of riding. Riding is like playing a musical instrument. There are so many notes/details and so many pieces to put together to make your ride feel amazing. Enjoy the small moments of success; a beautiful lead change, an amazing jump, a light feel and an accepting horse.

This leads me to discuss a riders reactions to a particular ride in the ring. Just recently, I had a young rider come out of the ring miserable. She had a bad jump, yep, ONE really bad jump, but the rest of the ride was beautiful. Her comment was, “that round was horrible”! Hmmm, really? This rider could only see that one jump in her head. It is important to recognize the parts that felt amazing and remember them! Next, discuss what could have been done differently on that “horrible” jump so that you can have the tools to create a different outcome; Were you too slow? Was your horse balanced? Did you have the right amount of impulsion. After your discussion, LET IT GO and MOVE ON!

And about ‘Suzie’…you are not her! Every rider has limitations too. But, keep in mind that every rider has great qualities too, and not very often does one rider HAVE IT ALL! Some riders are calm and cool under pressure…some have an open check book…some have an amazing work ethic…some have that natural feel with a horse. Know your positive attributes and work even harder on the attributes you struggle with. I’ve had riders with amazing natural talent and no work ethic…riders that have an open check book, but struggle with a feel on the nicest of horses…and some with an amazing work ethic, but crack under pressure. Your trainer has seen it all! This isn’t bad news! I would not say I was a natural when I was a younger, but I had an amazing work ethic and a thrived under pressure! I rode every extra horse possible and with out irons. I studied the best riders when I was at shows for hours by the ring. In the end I developed a bond with horses that created a natural ease with them. Again, embrace your positives and find ways to enhance the other areas. For example, if you crack under pressure, there are several wonderful Sports Psycholgists that can give you mental strategies for mental toughness. This is a great discussion to have with your trainer, as they should really know you!

In the end, you will never grow as a rider without failure. Learn to turn failure into a positive! I love self talk. I feel like I get jumped loose…’I’m going to start doing my hacks without irons’. I go into the ring and my mind is a blank…’I’m going to close my eyes before each class and ride every piece of my course’. I rode perfect and didn’t get a ribbon…’I’m going to work even harder, cause nobody is perfect and I can always be better’.

Enjoy the process, practice, study and ask questions…and most importantly, remember that you and your horse are a team!!!

Strides & Tides: September 2013

What a fantastic week we had in Sonoma! The weather couldn’t have been any better and the competition was fierce at another SOLD OUT Sonoma Horse Show. Every time we come to this facility they have made more upgrades. On to the updates…

Kiera Hennigan and Mr. Bingley had an amazing show this week! They started out the week playing in the jumper ring…WON both classes and were CHAMPION! Then, she rocked her Eq classes…WINNING 3…and again, CHAMPION! Big congrats Kiera:-)

Rouie Shue and Winslow had their 1st rated show together and they just got better and better! They worked in control and being smooth…and they are looking good! One of my favorite rides was the Cloverleaf…ended SECOND and Qualified for Medal Finals…awesome Rouie!!!

Abby Pratt and Silouhette have been working very hard together and they really made strides at this show. Abbs came home with a bunch of THIRDS in some very big classes. Nice riding Fab Abb:-)

Alexis Cristiano and Lulu…well, the picture says it all! This team is ready for the JUNIOR HUNTERS next year! Lulu has grown up and these two look fabulous together…makes me smile. They both got great ribbons, but what I love about Alexis…she is way more excited about the feel of an amazing jump…and she had many!!!

Olivia Hill and Sensation rode in some huge classes! The competition in her AA Jumpers was awesome…and Olivia fit right in:-) Olivia received several THIRDS and FIFTHS in classes with 20plus riders…they looked great…congrats Olivia…I’m so excited for next year!!!

Sarah Levi and Finn Again had their first show together…and, they lit up the jumper ring…yep, Finn and Sarah can move! Sarah also showed in huge classes…SECOND out of 18 and FOURTH out of 27!!! So much fun Sarah:-)

Jodi Steel and CARLOS! Love this horse…and love watching him and Jodi as a team. They both had a super week…WINNING the Cloverleaf Medal, SECOND out of 19 riders in one class and SECOND out of 15 in another…such great rides and a fun week!!!


Just tak’n a little stroll…


Just look into my eye…

Never a bad pic from Olivia and Sensei…you rock!

Rebecca Heller and Utric. Utric sadly passed away last week. He was the horse of a lifetime. Utric had a huge heart and took our Becca to the Maclay Finals in New York. May he Rest in Peace, our sweet boy.

Team KMT