Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hannah's First XC school!

Hannah has been a student of mine since October of '08; All of her hard work paid off at her first cross country school this last Tuesday. Congrats Hannah and thank you for all the help so far this year!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fair Hill XC schooling and starter trial

I will be at Fair Hill on the 28th for anyone interested in cross country schooling.

Also I will be at the Fair Hill starter trial beginning of May if anyone is interested in coaching.

Good Luck!


May 11th and 12th in Palo Alto, Ca at Stanford University.
Email Meg Finn

May 13th and 14th in the Central Valley (Fresno, Clovis, Sanger).
Email Molly Rosin


Monday, April 20, 2009

Havarah students looking great in California!

Photo credits to Dr. Liz Bracken DVM and Billie Gentzler

Lauren Billiys finished 2nd at Twin Rivers in Paso Robles, Ca in the Training level. At Ram Tap in Fresno, Ca Val Burch rode in the Sr. Beginner Novice (qualifying for Area VI's championships!!), Jestine Burch-Butts putting a very polished ride, and Alyssa Hatai finishing her very first event with her lovely new young horse from the east coast... John Marshall also rode in this event with some pictures in an earlier blog, winning the sr beginner novice and qualifying for championships!

** Salt Water Spa **

Charly received tremendous care all weekend from his sponsors, The Fair Hill Therapy Center ( ). After a great run on Fair Hill's Advanced cross country track Charly had a well deserved Salt Spa treatment on Sunday night and Monday morning. Charly is a horse of a lifetime and it's exciting for me to have this great group of people to help me keep Charly in the best shape possible. Charly also began his Aqua tred training this morning; I'm really excited about being able to use this as a work-out back-up when the ground gets too hard for gallops this summer. Many thanks to Bruce and Amy Jackson and all the staff at the Fair Hill Therapy Center for all their generosity!

The Spring Fair Hill

Photo credits to Steve Berkowitz and Nestor Torres

This last weekend I competed Havarah's Charly and The Red Baron at the Spring Fair Hill event in Elkton, Md. The Red Baron is quickly becoming quite the crowd pleaser at these events; he completed his first training level this last weekend and had one of the largest fan clubs around. "Rudy" is a pleasure to train, compete and apparently watch! Rudy handled the increased height and technicality with complete ease, I'm very proud of this guy :)

Havarah's Charly and myself completed our third Advanced event and seem to be on a good track to our spring three day events. I feel like I know what I need to work on in order to produce some better scores in the dressage phase and I feel like Charly and I are really becoming a good team in the jumping phases. I trust Charly more than ever and if he could talk I think he would say the same.

This weekend was especially great as I was able to share it with many of our friends from the East Coast. Many thanks to Ann de Matteo, John, Bryce, Rosella, Nial, Moureen, Jane, Chuck, Steve B., Vance, Claire, Bruce, Amy, Traci, Caroline, Nestor, Christie, Becky, Connie, Hannah, Pattie and all the rest of our cheer squad!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center *New Sponsor*

Havarah's Charly and myself are proud to have a new sponsor added onto our team!

Taking care of an Advanced level event horse is much like keeping a human athlete at the top of their game; to keep them at their best it is important to do preventitive therapy and every once in awhile injuries occur and it's important to treat them immediately.

The "Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center" is a state of the art facility with equipment that helps to keep sport horses at their peak and help them return to competition after an injury.

I plan to use cold saltwater spa with Charly as an after work-out therapy. I have grown quite used to the standard ice boots and knee tubs but after having Charly use the saltwater spa today, I don't think anything will quite be the same! This spa is able to reach temperatures far lower than normal ice water and the salt water is helpful in reducing any inflammation that could have occurred from the work-out.

One of the best attributes of this therapy center is the highly trained staff that is there handling the horses. I was extremely impressed with the methodical and effective handling that Charly received today, I definitely would feel at ease leaving any horse there for a length of time.

This Friday evening the Therapy Center will be hosting an open house for all of us to learn more about the different therapy equipment that they have to offer. Please visit the site and if you are in the Elkton, Md area come over for a visit!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Havarah excitement back home in California!

It appears that many of my original Havarah students in California were out making me proud at the Ram Tap horse trials.

Our group was represented by Val Burch, Jestine Burch-Butts, Alyssa Hatai and John Marshall. From the sounds of it everyone had a great time, rode well and even brought home some nice ribbons! GO TEAM!! :)

Personal congratulations to John Marshall and his fabulous horse Cutamo on a win in the senior beginner novice.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Plantation Field Spring Horse Trials

I thought after enduring many wet and muddy days at horse trials this winter I had done my time; Yet again we had to bring out the trusty Dubarry boots and sludge through the mud. The gound was so wet that all the rigs had to be towed into and out of the parking lot!

The Red Baron competed in the open novice division as well as John Nunn and his horse Smiley. Both of the horses were saints and dealt with the conditions very well; Smiley pulled off both front shoes and still looked very elegant out there. John has been working diligently with this lovely TB, I'm quite proud of this combination. The Red Baron was hoping to use this weekend at novice as a preparation for his first training level next weekend at Fair Hill, but due to the deep going I decided to scratch from the jumping phases of the event. John and I both love riding at Plantation so we were both disappointed to not be able to take these young horses around this event. Rudy's owner and I were in agreement that the negative chances were too high to take the risk.

Next time!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

End of winter '08

After a great weekend in North Carolina at the gorgeous "Fork" facility I am home in Maryland and re-capping some of the great moments I had this last winter. It was wonderful for me to once again have a barn of horses in training, something I realize that I had really missed while I was earning my keep as an exercise rider at the track. I wouldn't give back any of the time I've spent with the racehorses; I feel like that has helped me in so many ways as a rider. However, I am excited to push forward and once again have an event horse and rider training and selling operation. I think having multiple horses to jump and compete really hones your skills and helps you become much more at ease on course.

Over the winter I was fortunate enough to work with Boyd and Silva Martin who are both fantastic riders. Watching them compete and school horses has been very beneficial for me. I think it's important to place yourself around riders and programs that you believe in and that will encourage you to strive for better out of yourself. I was also around Phillip Dutton and his program a substantial amount and am just amazed at the amount of product this business produces in such a short time; I definitely have high regards to Phillip and all that he has created.

I was also part of the developing riders program which I firmly believe helped me raise my standards to a whole new level. Captain Mark Phillips has trained many of America's best riders and I am very proud to be one of his current pupils. Whenever under Mark's guidance I felt not only the need to be great but the ability to find that path... Mark is a great coach and gives you the tools you need to find your way. This program is also great as it is helping those of us out that are on our way to the top instead of just the current team members being recognized. The Aiken Horse has some good articles and pictures of the developing riders, you can find them online at

Facility and support groups- definite must haves. Peter Barry built a lovely facility in Aiken that gave the horses true comfort which I think was vital to Charly's happiness! Peter also employs a fabulous rider/manager (Colleen) who was great to be around and work with day in and day out. Yoga yoga yoga. I definitely need to find a yoga facility and get onto a program here in Baltimore! It's amazing how you can take body awareness in a workout class and apply it to yourself while you are on a horse, I'm a total fan.

My last weekend down south was spent at The Fork with Charly competing in the Advanced division. I had a great warm up and really felt ready to go in an ride a powerful and accurate test; we achieved this at the trot scoring mainly 8's with a nine and a seven and then had not as great of canter work... All in all I still thought this was our best advanced test to date (only the third one) and we scored a 32 with change which put us tied for 5th place out of a challenging field of great combinations. The cross country was designed by Mark Phillips and had nearly all the same combinations on it as the three star, which made it a challenging course for Charly and I. Having said that I took three long routes, incurring some time faults but had the greatest feeling on course having a brave and honest true advanced competitor. Charly came off of the course really well and on Sunday morning put in a super show jumping round. The show jump course had been proving a difficult one to make the time and keep all the rails up; it was the first time on a show jump course that I really trusted Charly to send him really forward on the open sides knowing he'd come back in time to make a tight turn to a huge fence. It was thrilling to say the least! We ended up in 6th place behind famous pairs such as Stephen Bradly and Brandenburg's Joshua and Phillip Dutton with Connaught. I still can't believe I was in the same class as these super stars!