Royal Winter Fair Results – November 4, 2016

royal agricultural winter fair
result entry # horse / owner rider
1 2 Fernhill Wishes
Kirk Hoppner & Karl Slezak
Karl Slezak
2 10 Cruising Guy
Shawn Ferguson
Michael Jung
3 5 RF D’Orbalia
RF D’Orbalia Syndicate
Kendal Lehari
4 3 Irish Rhythm
Rachel McDonough
Rachel McDonough
5 1 Uptown Girl
Linnea Given
Selena O’Hanlon
6 8 Abbey GS
Charlotte Schickedanz
Jessica Phoenix
7 7 Manny
Diana Burnett & Aaron McDonald
Diana Burnett
8 6 Autorytet
Dasha Ivandaeva
Dasha Ivandaeva


result entry # horse / owner rider prize
1 81 Dixson
Susan & Ariel Grange
Ian Millar
2 83 Heros
AMMO Investments
Amy Millar
3 82 Bonzay
Isotropic Networks
Jonathon Millar
4 78 For Freedom Z
Angelstone Partners
Keean White
5 88 Gasper Van Den Doorn
Chadburn Holdings, Inc.
Mac Cone
6 106 Carimba B
Looking Back Farm
Erynn Ballard
7 87 Aldine
Sved Stables: 541601 Ltd
Jordan MacPherson
8 68 Calgary 56
Quincy Hayes
Quincy Hayes
9 90 Granturo
Western Sales & Development
Hyde Moffatt
10 103 Grand Cru VD Vijf Eiken
Vanessa Mannix
Vanessa Mannix
11 98 Canberra PJ
Sarah Jane Franklin
Sarah Jane Franklin
12 94 Airborne
Julie Firestone
Hugh Graham
13 84 Count Me In
Sandy Lupton
Beth Underhill
14 70 Zindiloma
Foxridge Farms
Sean Jobin
15 96 Braque de Villa D’Arto
Anne Sophie Milette
Anne Sophie Milette
result entry # horse / owner rider prize
1 51 Williamstown Guidam
Bronte Gray-Rochon
Bronte Gray-Rochon
2 56 Qrishna Van De Smiss Z
Jennifer Buchan
Jennifer Buchan
3 46 Caliana
Knightwood Stables
Jeff Brandmaier
4 60 Egano Van Het Slogenhof
Kingsfield Farm
Susan Horn
5 47 Heat Wave 3E
Sierra Mark
Sierra Mark
6 52 Alaska K
Ashley MacDougall
Ashley MacDougall
7 65 Raphaella M
Jennifer Macpherson
Alex Jamael
8 64 Chacco Prime
Coraline Thibault
Alexanne Thibault
9 54 Cardoso
Valhalla Equestrian
Christine Carlsen
10 49 Cassano Z
Jerome David
Jerome David
11 48 Quidam’s Caprice M
AEI Corp
Veronica Bot
12 50 Carlisco
Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc
Lexi Ray


result entry # horse / owner rider prize
1 601 Hitch-Brand AAA Cattle Co
Robert Brander
Pat Stokes
2 868 Hitch-Lynden Manor
John Borer & Lynden Manor
Dan Barron
3 692 Hitch-Westwind Farm
Kim Smith
Don Lowes
4 800 Hitch-Stocrest Percherons
William Stokes
Mike Stokes
5 626 Hitch-Gregglea & Alamar Clydes
Steve & Beth Gregg
Jason Gregg
6 652 Hitch-McKeown Frams
McKeown Farms
Trevor McKeown
7 809 Hitch-Ryanday Farms
Robert Black
Robert Black
8 865 Hitch-Grier Family Percherons
Todd Grier
Todd Grier
9 558 Hitch-Peak and Valley Farm
David Zister
David Zister
result entry # horse / owner rider prize
1 508 Storm Trooper
Lloyd Nugent
Carolyn Nugent
2 526 De Facto
Denis Robert
Lucie Croteau
3 501 Out Of Trouble
Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas
4 518 Girl Crush
Jim McKague
Jan McKague-Weishar
5 525 Rachel Lauren
Sebastien Hebert
Evelyne Binette
6 519 Checkmate
Penny McKee
Penny McKee
7 522 Road Tour
Glen Downey
Brittney Downey
8 506 Postmaster Mike
Yannick LaFlamme
Melanie Parenteau




November 9, 2016 |

Lindsey Partridge sets records in Kentucky


Lindsey Partridge of Pontypool, Ontario, is the first equestrian ever to win two champion titles at the International Thoroughbred Makeover.

The Thoroughbred Makeover is held at Kentucky Horse Park and took place October 27-30 in Lexington, Kentucky. The competition requires competitors to take a retired Thoroughbred racehorse, and retrain them for a different discipline. Thoroughbreds tend to have a stereotype of being hot, hard to handle and only good at racing and this competition aims to show just how versatile Thoroughbreds are.  More than 300 horses were competing in the 10 different disciplines including Polo, Barrel Racing, Cow Ranch Work, Trail, Hunter, Show Jumping, Eventing, Field Hunter, Dressage, and Freestyle. Total prize money available to be won at the competition is $100,000. Trainers have from January 1st until the time of the competition in October to take a retired racehorse and train for the competition.

Last year, Lindsey Partridge won the overall title of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred with her horse Soar, after taking first  in Trail and third in and second in Trail and tenth in Freestyle with Lion of Wallstreet.

lindsey partridge

Soar and Lindsay at the 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover

This year, she went back to defend her title, but also try something new. She competed in Trail with both Trivia Time and Pentland, Freestyle with Trivia Time, and Field Hunter with Pentland. She had never competed in Field Hunter before.

Partridge made history when her horse Trivia Time won two disciplines – Trail and Freestyle. It is the first time anyone has won two titles. She also made history when her other horse Pentland also qualified for finals and placed third in both Field Hunter and Trail – making her the only trainer to have two horses compete and place in the top three for both their disciplines.

It’s easy to see why she won the freestyle with Triva Time.  Lindsey demonstrates just how much of a bond her and Trivia time has as she rides with no saddle or bridle through a series of obstacles that would scare most horses, culminating in Trivia Time lying down while being completely covered with a massive tarp.

lindsey partridge

Lindsey and Trivia Time

For more information please call 416-571-5914 or email, or check out her website

November 4, 2016 |

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2016

royal agricultural winter fair

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair kicks off November 4th in downtown Toronto.  Whether you have attended every year since you were a child or this is your first time, there is always something new and fun to experience.  Here are some of the things you must do at the Royal this year.

Horse show (obviously!)

If you purchase a ticket to the evening horse shows, your general admission to the fair is included. Do not worry if you only have a general admission ticket though. You can upgrade to a horse show ticket at the fair entrances.  The Royal showcases a number of disciplines from western/rodeo, dressage, hunters and jumpers, indoor eventing, and entertainment such as Sylvia Zerbini and the Canadian Cowgirls.

royal agricultural winter fair

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Even if you do not purchase a horse show ticket, you can still experience horses at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Take a walk through the barns to see the horses up close and maybe meet your favourite rider. Check out the line classes in the Horse Palace ring or grab a bite to eat at the Hitching Ring where you can watch the horses warm up while you enjoy a drink at the bar.

royal agricultural winter fair

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Agriculture affects everyone’s lives since we all have to eat! Along with the traditional foodcourt (the apple dumplings are one of my Royal traditions!), check out cooking demos from top chefs, food and drink contests such as the Royal Wine Competition, the Ontario Craft Beer Awards, and the Ontario Cider Awards.


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If you love local, check out the Food Sampling Pavilion to get tastings from local farms, artisanal products and new creations.  For those that like to play with their food, the butter sculpting competition is always a highlight and don’t forget to see the larger than life giant vegetables!

royal agricultural winter fair

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There are other animals besides horses at the fair. The Royal Ring of Excellence will see the world’s best livestock competing for coveted awards. Everything from cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, rabbits, fowl, and more will be on display.

royal agricultural winter fair

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New this year, KX Country presents the Royal Roadhouse. On Wednesday November 9th, get the real country road house experience complete with live entertainment featuring country/rock band Colt Walker, line dancing show, $5.00 beer & wine bar rail service and surprise guest appearances.

boots and hearts

Country music festival Boots and Hearts is also hosting a music showcase featuring Robyn Ottolini, Jesse Gold and winner Vanessa Marie Carter. Don’t miss this free performance Saturday November 12th from 7-9pm. Only 500 wristbands are available and all you need to get one is your general admission ticket.


In the President’s Choice Animal Theatre, catch horse breed and discipline demos, the famous Superdogs, rabbit jumping, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair mascot, Turbo the goat!

royal agricultural winter fair

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To find out more about the fair, the schedule of events and to purchase tickets, visit their website at


November 3, 2016 |

Hamilton Hunt Schooling Shows

hamilton hunt club

Hamilton Hunt Club hosted its 2016 Horse Show End of the Year Banquet on October 21 at the lovely Grand Olympia in Stoney Creek. The 2016 year was full of success.

Hamilton Hunt Club installed two large 100 by 235′ sand rings for the 2016 horse show series, along with a spectators berm for families and friends to watch the show from above.

hamilton hunt club

Hamilton Hunt schooling shows include a division for our “grasshopper” competitors. This division includes fun walk/trot classes which are completed on lead line. The next step up is our beginner division which has very inviting fences, simple courses to remember, and lots of opportunity for warm ups with your coach in the ring and is open to any rider in their first two years of showing.
The big arena had a bit of an overhaul. They like to use this ring as a “transitional ring”. The courses were set the same as they were at their Trillium show. There are lots of flowers and traditional hunter jumps. Again, there are lots of opportunities to see the jumps in scheduled schooling times, with your coach in the ring, as you choose.
Finally, since their focus is on learning, for both newer riders and or horses, they feel everyone should set their own goals as that is what makes the day successful.  Sometimes you “win” just by getting to the show, dressed and ready to go. They believe everyone’s a winner. At our shows, everyone gets a prize upon entry to a division. We do however, honour our Champion and Reserve Champions, in the traditional way. Participant Prizes will be different at every show.

They also announced the addition of a Jumper series to the summer fun! With class heights for everyone as well as an Adults “happy hour” division (2’0-2’3).

For any questions about the Hamilton Hunt schooling shows, please feel free to contact:
Diane Griffett, HH Horseshow director

Chelsey Overell, HH horseshow director: 905-869-3099


Find full results from the schooling show series here:

hamilton hunt club

Team Southern Cross (left to right) Top: Aurora Denis , Isobel Bishop, Maddi Lynn, Leah Van Bradt, Madison Gough, Hannah Devries, Colleen Adlam, Emilee Maltby, Middle: Coach Fiona Borbely, Elizabeth Crymble, Dakota Cipriano, Ashley McEnhill, Ava Hall, Isabelle Leona, Vanessa Brudz, Kirstie Dufrat. Bottom: Aleah Beck, Aidan Stevens, Sophie Leone, Maggie Spiers, Ivy McCreary, and barn owner Brenda Gough.


hamilton hunt club

Team Avery Hill Top left to right : Coach Stefanie Ellul, Felicity O’Neil , Jennie Robinson , coach Amy Cleva, Ada Winegard, Rachel Unger, Simone Itte, Nieve Komadan, Melissa Shaw, Mackenzie Pusey, coach: Becky Menard. Bottom: Alexandra Cleva, Olivia Cleva, Tyson Menard, Heidi Shaw


hamilton hunt club

Jumpers 2’0: Laura Shaver, Molly Sheehan, Claudia Aguliera, Maddy Pottruff, Lauren Barr, Mya Reid, Mollie Hrycay, Dakota Cipriano , Madelyn Dillabough.



hamilton hunt club

Lead line Grasshoppers: Paige Ribey, Alexandra Cleva, Megan Johnson, Sophie Leone , Jordyn Elliott, Liana Spies, Tyson Menard , Heidi Shaw



hamilton hunt club

Abbey Road Stables: Emma Lyall, Mia Sylvester, coach Chelsey Overell, Mya Reid



For more information about the Hamilton Hunt Club shows, check out their website at

The Hamilton Hunt Club will hosting be hosting a Halloween hunter pace this coming weekend. Find all the details on the flyer below.

hamilton hunt club

October 28, 2016 |

Starting Your Own Business


Starting Your Own Business

Can’t find the job you want? Create it by starting your own business!


Tri-City Horse Sports sponsor Lynn Whetham of Stepright Capital ( interviews equestrian entrepreneur Michelle Carter, who shares her experiences and advice regarding starting your own business and finding your niche. Michelle has started a number of businesses, both equestrian-related and not, and the number just keeps on growing.

Check out a previous interview Tri-City Horses did with Lynn regarding financial planning for equestrians:

More information about Lynn and Stepright Capital can be found on their website ( If you wish to get in touch with Lynn to discuss your plans, you can contact her at or 1-866-218-6467.


October 24, 2016 |

Charlotte Dujardin Clinic – Day 2

charlotte dujardin

Janet Rowe has graciously submitted her notes from the past weekend’s clinic with Charlotte Dujardin at the Caledon Equestrian Park.  It sounds like this wasn’t a clinic to miss and there was tons of information to take away (so much in fact, that we had to do a separate post for day 2’s notes!) If you would like to submit clinic experiences, horse show results or local stories, please email them to

Charlotte Dujardin Clinic Day 2 Notes

This day saw horses further along in their training – Prix St Georges, Int 1-2 and Grand Prix. Notes address issues found as well as basic work. The day began with some reiteration of themes from the first day, namely education of the young horse. Take them out to see the world! So many people are afraid to EDUCATE the horse. Take them out to places, shows, events to get them comfortable there. You don’t have to show;p just let them SEE. When you do show, whether or not you have a bad or a good test, take them back to the warm up and stretch them out. Let them relax and end on as positive a note as possible. Learn from it. It doesn’t matter about mistakes; learning is what matters.

In the leg yield in the canter, play with the aspects of it. How much flexion, bend, steepness, etc. Again, not one way only of doing things. Play with it and make it malleable. Keep your reins short and your hands in front. RIDE FORWARD.  Collect the horse, then FORWARD, always emphasizing the ability to go FORWARD at any given moment.  It does not matter if they make a mistake or if you do. Try again and praise the try. Play with the movement. Collect – forward – collect – forward… The poll is always the highest point and hands are pushing towards the mouth. Push the neck away and do not scrunch him up to his chest; out and away.

When going around your corners, keep the poll UP. It is easier to go steep in leg yield than in half pass. You MUST be straight for the changes.  Work in travers for a test to see how flexible you are. There is always a stronger and weaker side and the weaker side ALWAYS gets worked more. You are always going for straightness and evenness on both reins.

For the working pirouette, the hip is pushed in on the circle. DO NOT SLOW DOWN! Keep the rhythm quick and forward as slowing down means you will get the bouncy up and down rocking horse. Keep them round and forward, massage the bit in their mouth and don’t let yourself get holding. Keep your weight in your seat bone in the direction of travel. COLLECTION DOES NOT MEAN SLOW DOWN. Ride shoulder fore to travers to shoulder fore and go back and forth. The quality of the canter will improve. The half pass is collected and of course, able to go FORWARD.  In the working pirouettes, the shoulders are in front and they must move quicker. Always look around your turns.  Keep freshening the forward. At any moment you want to be able to GO! Do not let them drop down on you (on a horse that had a tendency to curl and not take the weight onto the hind). If your canter gets slow, freshen it again by going FORWARD with alacrity within the gait. Half pass to X then shoulder fore to corner with the shoulders FIRST then the hip comes in for half pass to X. You must have control over every step and every part of their body, equilaterally.

The canter to walk posed some problems on day 2 as well. Most riders had the canter stall into the walk rather than a step forward INTO the walk from canter. Part of this was likely due to our innate human lazy factor when we go to walk, it’s a break and the horse flops along with us 😉  For the school master, it is important to keep him thinking and working so he does NOT anticipate as these fellows KNOW their job and try to take over.  Throughout training, keep playing with the collection and forward in all movements. This keeps them from getting stale and keeps them interested in their work.

When giving the rein to test for self-carriage, the rhythm should not change. They stay in the same outline and do not fall forward. Ensure you are not carrying the horse yourself by having him lean on you. They must do the work and you must always think uphill.  Push between your changes (for 6s and 4s). Again, do not worry about making a mistake, just find the answer. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH MAKING MISTAKES. Everyone goes through the same issues with their horses. Horses are NOT being naughty when they anticipate. They think they are helping. Do not tell them off for this. Thank them and ask again for the correct answer.  Use the corners and short sides as preparation for your movements.

Transitions into corners, they learn to wait for you. Walk into corners, then trot out, forward and then to a walk. DO NOT PULL. You ease them back smoothly and then push them forward. Do not allow the back to drop. The downward transitions usually ended up with the “Slap the rider, pat the horse” comment as the riders did not hold the horse and push them forward into a walk. Common issue with them all.

Extensions and changes across the diagonal is PUSH, PUSH, PUSH the whole way. Don’t peter out after X. Keep the same rhythm the whole time; do not get slower. *IT MUST BE SAID THAT CHARLOTTES COMMENTS ARE WONDERUL. SHE IS POSITIVE, ENCOURAGING BUT DOES NOT PULL PUNCHES WITH ANYONE, INCLUDING OUR OWN OLYMPIC RIDERS.      Don’t be afraid of making mistakes (again a theme).  We cannot let them get too strong. Keep the bit moving in their mouth so they do not get static and pull, and so WE don’t get static and pull.

A lazy horse must do many transitions within the gait as well as between gaits. They must be kept CRISP off the leg.  In shoulder fore in canter on the circle, the hind leg must come strongly under the tummy.  You can correct the horse after about 2 mistakes (school master) – they know their job.

In the half pass, the shoulders lead. Steady and hold with your seat and legs NOT our hands (an established half halt is obviously required *my addition) Give with the hands regularly to test for self-carriage.  One always wants the muscles behind the saddle to keep moving. In stallions, their tension tends to come through an open mouth/gaping.

When the horse has done something well, let them have a breather, stretch them or give them a walk break. Very important in the youngsters/greenies. Keep them happy!! We as riders MUST be disciplined to ride EVERY step. You are ALWAYS riding, even at a breather walk. WE MUST BE DISCIPLINED!!! We cannot expect every ride to go well. Bad rides can and do affect our lives off the horses. Try to take a positive out of every ride by trying to learn WHY it was bad. Learning from the issues we have is the POSITIVE in a bad day. Remember this. IF I DON’T WIN, I DIDN’T LOSE, I LEARNED.  We cannot take everything so seriously… Remember why you do this, because we LOVE IT.  (questionable sometimes haha! *my addition*)

Work forward and back within exercises. Travers, renvers etc.  Pirouettes again, don’t just finish the pirouette and ride out of it, make it smaller, bigger etc. Keep them round and SOFT. Weight in the direction of travel and don’t pull back!  Keep them round and soft working over the back to keep the tension out. Tension equals getting to UP and the rocking horse. There should be 7-8 steps in a pirouette – Edward Gal gets them in 6, so I am still catching him up (CD).  Control the quality and keep it from getting too slow and against the hand. Keep the contact and push the neck down, ride it big, then small, then big, then small. Think ROUND in the pirouettes. RIDE THE QUALITY. THINK ABOUT YOUR TRANSITIONS!! Short bursts in passage; keep it quick in the hind – quick and round. The neck must be in the correct position to PUSH. Keep them soft in the hand and soft in the rein.  Each leg yield must be equal to the other side in depth, steepness etc.

Zig zag – They are not just sideways; think shoulders over first. Same amount of bend both ways down the centre line. Be brave and take risks!! EXPRESSION!! “He is going to the loo… he’s a man, can’t do two things at once” (horse pooping in the ones lol) When the horse wants to take over, shoulder in, round and loose in front of the saddle but using shoulder in, they must step further underneath themselves more. Turn from the outside – 2 reins and push them round. Keep wiggling the fingers to keep them from holding against you.  RIDE WITH YOUR HAND BRAKE OFF! There must be bend in the pirouette towards the movement but it must not be too climby. Over collection results in the climbing and up/down rocking horse. Make it easier and break it down for them. Keep them on/in contact on 2 reins equally. Travers on a diagonal line is essentially a half pass. Push the neck away. Keep on making transitions within the elements/movements. Shorter vs more forward, larger passage etc. Ride the speed control in the passage; it MUST be small to transition to piaffe.

100s of transitions in any ride, speed, forward, quicker, longer etc.

Piaffe – when learning let them travel a bit and keep it easier for them.  Always praise, don’t tell them off… keep them happy in their work. Better to make a mistake while being forward!  Keep them straight; head and neck in front of their chest (this seems straightforward but is deceptively hard! *my addition).  When you ride, have a PLAN. Don’t just go ride test movements, GP movements etc. all the time, the horses won’t last. Think about the future and school them with the thought of years ahead. MAKE THEM LAST BY KEEPING THEM HAPPY.

Straightness – use the wall to help them be straight, then on the diagonal they should stay straighter.  When riding a test, make a good first impression. Forward into a square halt makes the judge start you off with good marks and keep wanting to give them to you.  Core is where your control is. Stay in control of the shoulders. If you back off something and worry about your mistakes, you will never fix them.  Changes are a personal thing. Charlotte can’t get them on Carl Hester’s horses and Carl can’t get them on Charlottes. Nothing inherently bad about this, it just IS.  YOU CAN RISE TO THE TROT ANY TIME YOU LIKE. It gets you off the back, the horse more forward and rising to the trot in half pass is FINE. Dressage is not about the “tricks”, it is about the suppleness, submission, straightness, bend and collection. If you can do that, the tricks are easy.

Rising trot – relaxes them, bend them and move them around. Keep them happy and relaxed (this was in regards to E Strasser’s horse who was getting very tense and tight). Open the rein to keep them bent around your inside leg. Keep pushing the neck out to take your hand.  Vary the stretch: pick them up, stretch them down, pick them up, stretch them down. Up to bit, think forward, then stretch down to hand.  If they get tense and tight, go rising trot. Play with them and take all the pressure off. It may not be expressive, but it will be more correct and the horse will relax.  Emphasize going back to the basics to reassess and to deal with any tension in the horse. Go back and make sure it is correct and not just flashy.

charlotte dujardin

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October 20, 2016 |

Charlotte Dujardin Clinic – Day 1

charlotte dujardin

Janet Rowe has graciously submitted her notes from the past weekend’s clinic with Charlotte Dujardin at the Caledon Equestrian Park.  It sounds like this wasn’t a clinic to miss and there was tons of information to take away (so much in fact, that we have to do a separate post for day 2’s notes!) If you would like to submit clinic experiences, horse show results or local stories, please email them to

Charlotte Dujardin Clinic Day 1 Notes

Forward, forward, FORWARD is the theme of the education. When you put your legs on the horse MUST react by going FORWARD.  The main job for a youngster is to learn to GO. You can let them learn about life by going to shows, hanging out, schooling in the warm up but they do not need to show to learn how to deal with the atmosphere of shows and to see the sights. Make it a good experience and they learn from that. A bad experience (such as going into the ring to show too soon) will decrease their confidence and create a bad experience which translates into further stress onto a youngster. Repetition = learning for youngsters. Do NOT tell them off, just carry on and let them learn via repetition and praise when they get it right. Give them a walk break after correct attempt. NO SITTING TROT ON YOUNGSTERS!!! They are not developed enough through the back and it hinders that all important FORWARD motion. You can sit later when they are stronger.  Let youngsters have lots of breathers and breaks. They are learning and need to stay relaxed and forward. Happy and forward equals no soreness and stiffness from overworking.

Downward transitions are STILL FORWARD MOVEMENTS.  GOOD transitions are the foundation.  Allowing sloppy transitions equals bad habits that will create holes that need to be corrected in the future. So do it CORRECT right from the start. TRAINING IS ALL ABOUT MISTAKES. MAKING THEM, CORRECTING THEM, LEARNING FROM THEM. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES.

It does NOT need to be perfect at this point, just forward. Keep the TRY and good feelings about their work, this will pay dividends later for you.  DO NOT ACCEPT BAD TRANSITIONS!! Not good? DO it again!!

Stay away from working on the walk with a youngster. They need to learn about moving forward and loose. To work on it too soon creates a pacey walk. Let them learn to WALK by hacking out and letting them use themselves over uneven ground etc.  20 minutes of work is PLENTY for a young horse. . You can warm up in canter if you like, doesn’t have to be trot or walk (NO SITTING TROT!!).

When working on flying changes, the horse must be straight and collected in the canter, quick and active in the hind leg. Think walk with the reins and canter with the legs.   When the horse does something correct, give them a breather. If they give you a great ride, don’t keep drilling, let them stretch then put them away. Keep a happy outlook in their work. Think UP and FORWARD. The same rhythm must be kept for the flying changes. No rushing into it, no speeding up, no slowing down. SAME RHYTHM and COUNT IT. 1 – 2 – 3 – CHANGE. This keeps the quality of the change.

Lateral work must have the same rhythm as other work. Do not lose the impulsion and FORWARD. Play with aspects of the angles, rhythm but always keep everything forward.  Shoulder in is the flexion through the poll, NOT the neck. Finish straight in the corners. Short reins to push towards, NOT to pull back with (“Short reins win gold medals”).

Leg yielding down the wall to teach the horse to get off the leg, then ask for the bend for the travers (haunches in). Always riding BACK to FRONT to push up into a contact is especially important in a horse that likes to be overly light in their contact.  You can vary the bend and the angle with lateral work, there are no set prescribed angles that you must hit. Play with it to keep it all interesting for the horse and keep him sharp.  Your corners and short sides set you up for everything!! Use them well!  If you need more bend, you can achieve it via an opening leading rein, NOT through pulling or pulling back.  Shoulders first (ride shoulder fore) then asking for hind end in half pass. DO NOT LOSE THE IMPULSION and keep your weight slightly in the direction of travel.  One has to ask for the half halt through the body, NOT through the reins (half halts are close to my heart, almost no one knows how to ride or install them properly *my add in*).

As you bend, always support though the outside and give the reins occasionally to ensure the horse is in self carriage.  LOTS of transitions (in and out of gaits) with lots of half halts to get them waiting and shifting their balance.  Use a vibrating rein, NOT a hold. Use the diagonal line to the wall to get a relaxed bend and not from the centre line and this will decrease resistance and stiffness in the horse.  RISING TROT TO REINFORCE FORWARD ALWAYS!  Again, think UP and FORWARD.

LOTS of posting, no sitting on youngsters or horses that have the tendency to suck back or curl up. LET GO AND GO FORWARD!! Many half halts to rebalance and continually get them to shift the weight to the hind legs.  On a horse that tends to lose balance on the laterals, use BOTH reins to *push* the shoulders off the track, NOT pull on one rein. This enhances the imbalance in the horse.  Uphill rebalancing is always half halt, half halt!! If the horse isn’t totally forward, install it. Leg equals GO!! If they start to ignore the leg, re-establish this, go for a YEEHAW and KICK!!! And GO!!!  A lazy horse needs to be ridden with legs OFF and a hot horse needs to be ridden with legs ON.  Riders need to be BRAVE enough to LET the horse go forward. Kick forward and LET THEM GO, don’t snatch them in the mouth, allow the forward.

Prepare the walk before the canter. All transitions (up and down) are all forward thinking. You only get the quality in the next gait, transition etc. if you set it up properly and RIDE.  Your legs are to be loose on the horse’s sides, but still THERE. Continually freshen up the gait by ensuring the horse is continually working forward. A horse that is built uphill and can curl, you can ride shoulder fore in the canter as this tends to push the bum DOWN. A good exercise for a horse like this is to leg yield in the canter to push his bum down. Push him away from the leg and get the forward helps collect the canter. Continue to freshen up the gait by working straight and forward, quick off the leg.  Canter to walk is to shorten the step, collect then allow them to walk FORWARD into the walk (evidenced to be much harder than it seems as all riders had issues with this and were *back* in their transitions downward). Let your hip go to your hand to encourage yourself to not be stiff.

***TAKE CREDIT AS A RIDER FOR YOUR FAULTS*** Work to correct them but do not be AFRAID of them. Correct WITHOUT HOLDING the horse.  NEVER BE SLOPPY. ALWAYS ride the quality. Horses get habituated to what we teach, and sloppy downwards end up with horses falling on their forehands and plopping out of the FORWARD we want.  Play between the half pass and leg yield, this keeps them bending and flexible. If the horse is not forward, go for the YEEHAW! WINNERS MAKE AND TAKE RISKS – BE BRAVE!!!!!

charlotte dujardin

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October 18, 2016 |

5 Games Horses Play on a Road Trip

road trip

Anyone who competes on a show circuit or enjoys getting away and trail riding in new locations with their horse knows that this can lead to long, boring hours on a road trip. As a kid, my brother and I used to make up games to pass the time in the car (and to keep us from killing each other!)
Imagine if horses played games in the trailer to make the road trip go by quicker? What sort of games do you think they would make up? Need some inspiration? Read on!

road trip

1. Breed Game

For us humans, this game is usually played by counting the number of different car models you pass while driving down the highway. While I doubt many horses are car enthusiasts (although you never know!), one would imaging that horses have their own twist to this game. With every horse trailer that passes, they must accumulate the most number of breeds seen. Bonus points if they see horse the same breed as them!

2. Pranking The Sleeper

Some horses have no trouble falling asleep anywhere. At slumber parties, pranks are normally played on the first person to fall asleep. If your horse is a jokester, he would probably take full advantage of this on long trailer rides with buddies. Some tricks might be giving the horse beside him a wet willy (sticking his tongue in the sleeping horse’s ear), snapping back the halter or taking it off, pulling all of the hay out of the sleeping horse’s hay bag or pushing all of the poop to the sleeping horse’s side of the trailer.

3. “I’m Going to the Horse Show and I’m Bringing….”

This memory game goes by many names but most may know it as “I’m going on a picnic.” One horse would begin with “I’m going to the horse show, and I’m bringing an apple (or whatever).” Then the next horse would repeat the phrase, add their own item, and then repeat the previous one. It continues with each horse recounting all the items (in order) until someone misses one. Last one standing is the winner!

road tri

4. Horses

What horse doesn’t know how to play Horses!? On the road trip, when passing a field with horses in it, the first to announce and count the number of horses in the field gets to add that number to their tally. As the trip progresses the horses’ tallies start to grow; however, spotting and announcing a graveyard wipes out everyone’s tallies. Depending on how creative your horses are, they may add in extra points for donkeys, ponies, cows, etc.

5. Would You Rather

Based on the impossible question games for humans, horses can have their own version too. Would you rather have an owner who flops around a lot while riding but gives you lots of treats, or have the best rider in the world but you barely get groomed by them?

October 14, 2016 |

Ontario Xtreme Cowboy at the Ancaster Fair

ontario xtreme cowboy

This article was submitted by Jamie Newton. Jamie is the 2015-2016 youth director for OXC, 2015 youth champion and a rider in the pro division. If you would like to submit an article to us, please email

Waking up at 2:30 to load the horse trailer up to head to a horseshow sounds a bit ridiculous but, when you take part in OXC races it’s a normal to wake up that early.

This being the second race OXC has had at the Ancaster fair; the show ran as smooth as butter on biscuit. The Ancaster fair is held in a great location and is a popular fair for the Hamilton area. Starting the morning with a riders meeting at 8:45, and then straight to the walk through for youth and non pro class. With approximately 40 competitors in total for the race, it was an exciting and fast show.

ontario xtreme cowboy

Photo credit to Kay’s Jolly Photography

Out of all of the courses I’ve seen at the races I’ve participated in, the jump in between the two bobcats that had the buckets raised over the jump had to be one of the coolest jump ideas ever. Very scary for a few riders and horses but, overall I loved it.

ontario xtreme cowboy

Photo credit to Kay’s Jolly Photography

One of my favorite things to see as a competitor is the crowd cheering and clapping as we compete. Knowing that the crowd is enjoying the race makes me want to rock the course and be more interactive with the crowd, so as I run by them I give them a wave and a huge smile to encourage them more.

What’s even better is when you have good music to go with your ride. I personally hate having Taylor swift played during my rides but, when you get that one song where it’s too hard to stop yourself from bobbing your head to the beat or dancing in your saddle, that’s what makes your ride better. You relax more and start having fun with your run.

This year’s race had a good crowd, awesome music and was overall, one of the best races to date. The races have always gone so smoothly and were tons of fun at the Ancaster fair. This is one of the races I always look forward for this fair and can’t wait to go back.

ontario xtreme cowboy

Photo credit to Kay’s Jolly Photography

To find out more about Ontario Xtreme Cowboy, check out their website at or on Facebook at 

October 7, 2016 |
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