Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Picture (Sharon Gates and "Running With Wolves" Picture by Tracy Edie-taken from Sharon's website)

Sharon Gates, reining trainer, and owner of Wildwood Reining Horses, in Hanceville BC, is hosting 2 clinics. The first is with herself as the clinician and the second is with reining trainer VERN SAPERGIA. This will be the third year in a row that Sharon has convinced Vern to come to the Chilcotin to offer up his expertise. You can check out the details on her website, (look under the "Events" page) as well as download registration forms.
Her clinic will be the weekend of May 5th/6th, and Vern's will be the weekend of July 28-29th. Last year, Elli took part in Vern's clinic, and the year prior, Casandra also had the opportunity to participate. You can see info and posts about those clinics on my prior blog posts.

Casandra and Jewel with Vern Sapergia (2010) 

Nicole Brown Reining Clinic

Picture: Taken from 
Nicole Brown Reining/Western Horsemanship Clinic
Vanderhoof Arena is booked for June 1-3 for Nicole's clinic.
Cost: $275 per rider
A $135 non refundable deposit is required BEFORE May 1st.
Contact Juanita if you are interested.
250-631-6736 or leave a message.

Check Nicole out at
Here, in part is her biography:
Nicole first entered the reining pen in Saskatchewan in 1997 aboard Sterling Image, her long time Arabian partner in the open show circuit, and then on Moon Red, her first 3 year old.  Nicole’s total Equistat lifetime earnings now exceed $80,000.
Locke & Deb Duce of High River, AB, were instrumental in enabling Nicole to become more ‘reining specific’. Other people to influence Nicole are Don Rudko of Dugald, MB, and Shawn Flarida, Andrea Fappani and Duane Latimer, whose words of credit and advice have been very encouraging and helpful.  Nicole also holds high regard for those Canadians, especially fellow Saskatchewanians, who continue to be international leading names in reining.
In 2000, while working with Don Rudko, Nicole successfully showed TT Tivios Twist (Rat) in Manitoba.  Rat went on to have a very successful career as a youth horse, frequently finishing in the Top Ten, or Reserve, in the NRHA Youth 13-and-Under.
Check out her cool "Superman" Freestyle!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Friday

Found these gorgeous images on a site called "Be Western". I'm not sure who the photographers are but these are awesome! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Reining 101-Andrea Fappani

 Pictures: Andrea Fappani and Big Chex 2 Cash-screen shots taken from Youtube video

Top reining trainer Andrea Fappani goes through all the basic maneuvers of reining, what to look for in a reining horse, and talks a bit about what to wear in this little YouTube clip. It's a nice little intro to reining. But what I love the most about this video is the eye candy-and I'm not talking Andrea-OMG I love that stud. Big Chex 2 Cash is drop dead gorgeous!! (and talented too...)

Needing a Coach?? How about a VIRTUAL" experience?

I posted a link this week on our Facebook Page, to a short video clip showing some exercises on moving your horses' body around in leading up to teaching the lead change. The clip is from Denna Lally, and is part of her Virtual Coaching program that she offers through her web site.
Here is how she explains her program.

The concept for Virtual Riding Coach was born out of necessity. People are having a tougher time travelling these days for the traditional in-person sessions with a frequency great enough to make progress. While one-on-one live instruction is still the best tool a student can utilize, virtual coaching can fill the void for those who want more affordable help between sessions, or for those who can’t feasibly travel.

What a great idea and marketing strategy! Her rates are very reasonable-starting at 19.95 a month. If the video clip I posted on FB is any indication, she does a great job explaining a complex exercise so us non pros can understand.

Buyer Etiquette and Responsibility

Picture: (Screen Capture from "Sliding On Top Performance Horses" Website)

I really like this write up in Sliding On Top Performance Horses website. Anyone planning on buying a horse, or sending their horse into training should read and understand this...I think all their comments about buying a horse are spot on, but I particularly like their comments (see highlights below) in regards to what to expect -or not expect-when bringing a horse home from a trainer...

Comments? Personal insights? Feedback? What do you think??

Buyers have an obligation to represent honestly their skill level and intentions. Buyers who don’t take the time and trouble to learn good horsemanship ruin good horses quickly.  Remember no horse is ever “finished.” They are sensitive creatures that continue to learn new behaviors throughout their lives.  A novice horse person will “undo” professional training in a matter of minutes. At Sliding On Top Performance Horses we don't want to sell you an unsuitable horse. Help us help you with accurate representation of your riding limits, experience and goals. If a horse’s price is more than you want to spend, ask whether it’s negotiable before you make an appointment. If the answer is no, there's no point wasting each others time. The turnover rate for sales horses at Sliding On Top Performance Horses is very rapid due to the pricing structure. Please wait to inquire until you are ready to acquire a horse rather than just beginning to shop. Otherwise inquisition is pointless and the horses you inquire about will likely be sold before you have a chance to see or consider them. If you need to sell your existing horse before acquiring a new one, please address that issue first. If you are serious about one of our horses consider putting a deposit to hold or buy yourself first right of refusal to avoid the heartache of finding out your ideal horse has sold out from under you. This seems to happen way too often and can be heartbreaking for the seller too if the more appropriate or worthy prospective owner misses their chance. Another important realization is that our horse prices can increase every month in direct proportion to the cost of full care, training and competition. Expect that the horse will perform better for the professional trainer it has bonded to than will be the case with you. Subtle differences in riding technique produce very different responses from the horse.  It may just be a matter of time and a little professional help before you and your new horse become a team, do not expect it immediately, they are live animals.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Reiner Magazine

Have you seen the digital edition of REINER magazine? It is a monthly publication that is absolutely free. Usually it is over 300 pages long, and is filled with articles on reining events around the world, training advice (this month's article is called "Taking off the Training Wheels", and discusses allowing your horse to make mistakes, so you know what to correct, instead of constantly "babysitting" him) and lots of "eye candy" advertising...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Al Dunning-Steps to the spin

Pictures: Top 2- Jewel and Casandra spinning at Prince George
                 Bottom 2-Jewel and I spinning at PG (same weekend)

What do you notice between the quality of the 2 spins (between Casandra and myself-hint-think head set...) 
NOTE-I am actually pretty pleased when I look at my hands in these pictures-they are "in the box" and relatively even :)

I have discovered a new favorite website. It is "TeamAD international", the AD standing for legendary horse trainer, Al Dunning. The site has training videos, a blog, and a forum. The following is a blog post, talking about cadence in the spin. I have been focusing on the spin since my tune up with Casandra last week, when it became apparent that I was doing it all wrong-hands all over the place, not setting her up to go into the spin, not cueing correctly, etc. I have got it "right" (I think...) a few times now, and see a big difference in the quality of Jewel's spins as a result. I am so consistently amazed at the patience that she displays with me as I fumble around on top of her trying to figure things out!! :)

Here is Al's post:
Steps to a Spin
Have you watched a finished reining horse spin with his front legs crossing then uncrossing with a fast step? To watch a horse do this correctly is a beautiful thing.  Getting your horse to cross over properly is an important part of obtaining a flawless turnaround, and something many riders have difficulty with.  There can be several reasons why your horse may not be crossing over properly.  These can include:
-Rider pulling too much on the reins
-Rider not being balanced
-Rider not using legs properly
-Horse not moving his feet or turning his shoulder properly
-The start of the turn may be too forward or too far back
-Lack of rhythm
-Lack of collection

A term I like to use a lot is that horses are “bilateral”. This means that sometimes the front turns one direction and the rear-end goes in the opposite.  It would be like a board held in the center.  When turning one end to the right, the opposite end goes left.  When horses do this I call it “energy escaping from the off side”.  The horse is turning left and his ride side is bowing out.  This creates a shorter outside front leg movement/stride which results in the horse not crossing over.  Instead, the result is usually a banging of the legs or crossing under the inside leg.
The fix is to add forward motion and to encourage the outside ribs of the horse to not bow out.  Keeping the horse straighter also helps.  Lightening the sides of the horse and the mouth will assist in controlling the straightness while increasing a slight forward motion.
I trot hundreds of small circles to develop the “forward and round” shoulder movement.  I want the inside front leg to pick up and move back, out of the way so the crossover step is easier.  I never want my horse to fall back and step his outside hind leg away from the turn.  This action causes an unstable step and changes the dynamics of the stride.  A horse must stand his shoulder up, turn his front, maintain an inside pivot foot, and have cadence.
 If you study this, you can understand why trotting collected circles is so important.  Proper body alignment will create the step you want.  Speed is easy to add when form is correct.  Now is the time to “step up”!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Entry forms for ROCKSLIDE now available

The entry forms for Peninsula Reining Club's ROCKSLIDE are now available on their website. They have an exciting lineup of classes, as well as ferry incentives. I am particularly excited about their "BIT AND BRIDLE EVENT", which is a class designed specifically for us beginners. The class uses WCRA pattern C, (no lead changes and 2 handed optional) and combines your score in this class with your best score from the other available beginner classes.  Top prize is a Bit and Bridle. They have a similar class for non pros where top prize is a Bob's Duane Latimer reining saddle and a pair of western boots!! WOW!
Entry deadline for this show is April 18th 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"It's An Addiction"

(Photos-Screen capture from NRHA"s promo video)

...and I'm an addict..
Check out the new NRHA's promotional video!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Check Out Eagle View Equestrian's Center's Calendar!

Picture -Eagleview's indoor arena (taken from the website)

I was just on Eagleview Equestrian Center's website, and noted their VERY FULL CALENDAR OF EVENTS Schedule, including a cattle sorting buckle series staring this February, a trail challenge play day this February, veterinarian seminars, and cattle sorting clinics with James Allan in April! And that is just the beginning! Check it out! Located just outside of Williams Lake, it is easy to get to and just about one hour from 100 Mile.

An evening social and change of executive...

Sliders members got together last night to hang out, finalize some of our CRUZ CLINIC details, and to elect a new president, as our current president, Dawnna Robertson decided it was necessary to step down, due to the heavy demands of her current schedule. We would like to extend a big thank you to Dawnna for filling our president role for the last two years, and welcome Elli Meinert  into the position.  
Our new president, Elli Meinert
Elli has been a club member since our inception and will serve as a great ambassador for our club. She has been increasingly involved in the sport of reining, and has worked with a number of outstanding professionals to build her own knowledge base. Elli competes at many of the major reining shows throughout the province, and has recently purchased a young mare from Websters Performance Horses, to show in reining and working cow. We are all excited to see her and "Porsche" in the show pen this year.
Elli's new show prospect, Porsche

Elli also helps in the day to day operation of her family's EASY GO RANCH in Lac La Hache, and as a club we have been able to benefit from using their beautiful facilities to host a number of clinics. As well Elli and her mom have launched a new business this year in 100 Mile. THE LOG HOUSE, (website still under construction) tack, harness and western ware store opened it's doors in November.
It is a beautiful log house, and they carry all the popular western styles, quality tack, western decor and have great prices. If you are traveling through 100 Mile House, be sure to stop in!

RHSF Rookie Days presented by Classic Equine

Picture: Screen Capture form NRHA's Rookie Day Video

Here is a program offered through NRHA.The WCRA is an NRHA affiliate and offers 3 affiliate shows for members: Rockslide, West Coast Classic and Riverslide. Maybe this is something we should consider incorporating into one of our shows??

Check out the Vimeo Video at the bottom of the page

Here is the program outline:
For Riders: RHSF Rookie Days are a unique opportunity for NRHA members to receive training from local professionals combined with an actual class all in an effort to help beginner reiners prepare for the show pen. Riders will be critiqued and educated on how they were scored and have an opportunity to win some pretty cool prizes.

For Affiliates: Each year, the RHSF encourages affiliates to host Rookie Days presented by Classic Equine to raise money for the Crisis Fund. RHSF offers incentives and assistance for affiliates to host a RHSF Rookie Day. Rookie Days are great member recruitment tools for affiliates and a portion of the proceeds from each event will go back to the affiliate and planning support will be given to each host.

Most importantly though all the funds from this event go to help support the RHSF Crisis Fund and NRHA members in their time of need.

Proceeds benefit the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund and the Hosting Affiliate.
$200 for Adult Rookie Riders $100 for Youth Rookie Riders

The reining world loses a superstar

The following information is taken in part from Stacy Westfals Horse Blog. You can read the whole story by clicking the HorseBlog Link.

Heaven’s remuda improved by one fine mare on February 8, leaving this planet one short, with the passing of Roxy (aka Whizards Baby Doll), best known as horsewoman Stacy Westfall’s bareback and bridleless mount.  She sustained traumatic injury after apparently becoming cast in her stall sometime during the night of Feb. 5. Many will best remember Roxy from a video that went viral on the Internet in which Stacy rode her with no bridle or saddle, winning the Freestyle Reining Championship at the 2006 American Quarter Horse Congress.  The performance, coming less than a month after Stacy’s father passed away, touched an appreciative audience worldwide.  One person quite moved by the ride was TV personality Ellen DeGeneres, who invited Stacy and Roxy to appear on her show.  Roxy, ever the lady, gave Ellen a memorable ride, and charmed the live studio audience by coaxing peppermints from Stacy. 
A registered American Quarter Horse, Roxy (by Whizard Jac out of a daughter of Gunners Rambo) leaves behind a legacy of four offspring, all of whom were carried by recipient mares.  But perhaps her greatest legacy is the glimpse of what is possible between a horse and a human — the image of she and Stacy, forever imprinted in the minds of those who have been lucky enough to witness them — two creatures, human and horse . . . bound by trust and love.

“What made her special was that she was willing to give so much of herself,” says Jesse Westfall.  “She allowed herself to be developed into an amazing partner, a work of art.  Not many horses, or people, are willing to do that.”
You can watch Stacy and Roxy's famous performance here

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Funny

Picture (screen capture from you tube clip)

Not really reining related, but great for a laugh! Check out this cute clip I found...and enjoy the Superbowl commercials this weekend (is there really any other reason to watch??)

Les Vogt Clinic-focus TURN AROUND

Picture (taken from Les Vogt's website)

Here is a you tube link I found on a clinic with Les Vogt helping participants on working their horse in the spin. Some good advice, and I like this clip because you get to see a variety of riders and horses. It's a bit long (just over 10 minutes), so may take a bit to upload, but worth the wait. Would love some comments on this one!! Love the opening segment too! You can visit Les's website for more information on him and his program as well as get access to more free reining training clips

Friday, January 27, 2012

Looking for a little CRUZ Control??

100 Mile Sliders proudly offer a TEAM CRUZ reining/horsemanship clinic, APRIL 14-15, 2012, at the beautiful FOOTHILLS EQUESTRAIN CENTER in 100 Mile House.

Marcel and Amie Cruz burst on the reining scene in BC in a big way last year, and are making their mark both in BC and internationally.
Here is their Bios taken from their website:
Marcelo Cruz started breaking horses as a young boy on his family's ranch in Brazil. Competing in several disciplines as a youth such as Classic Jumping and Manga-Larga gated ponies. At the age of 16, he attended his first reining clinic and was hooked. Over the years, he has studied under top class reining trainers including Casey Hinton, Pete Kyle and Pierre-Luc Phaneuf. Showing under the guidance of Phaneuf, Marcelo was the Limited Open and Rookie Professional circuit champion.  
Amie Cruz started off her career in the hunter ring at the age of 8. In 2001 she developed an interest in reining and in 2003 she was offered the opportunity to work for Roberta McCarty where she achieved success in the show pen. Amie's resume also include top trainers Pete Kyle and Pierre-Luc Phaneuf. Amie excels in the coaching and training of riders and their horses, from a beginner level to the advanced non-pro competitor.

Check out the CRUZ CONTROL VIDEO LINK IN YOUTUBE, including this amazing 75 score run from last years WWC on CHICS LOADED GUN


Three Committed Sliders

It was a COLD and BLUSTERY night last Sunday, but it didn't stop 3 girls and their horses. (It stopped me...I just went and took pictures-wrapped in Dawnna's horse fleecy :) )
Good job, girls-your dedication is admirable...
 Tanya and Monty

Dawnna and Moke

Courtney and Dallas

West Coast Classic Wine Auction

Here is a message sent to all WCRA Members from our club president:
Hello WCRA members,

Show season is almost upon us and it's time to start getting the horses in shape and conditioned for all the big events and riding fun!

On that note it's also time to start thinking about fundraising for West Coast Classic July 13-15, 2012.

This show is the WCRA members show! It takes effort from every member to make this show succesful. Without your help, support, fundraising, ideas and entries this show is not possible.....and that would be a great loss to the BC reining industry. West Coast Classic has come by leaps and bounds and is BC's PREMIER reining event to attend.

You may remember the newly added WINE AUCTON.....a new fundraiser we did last year held in conjunction with the silent auction. The wine auction was a huge success and went over very well with excellent feedback. With such great results we decided to bring the wine auction back again for 2012!

**If we can collect 1 bottle of wine from every WCRA member, that would make this years wine auction another huge success!!**

The wine auction will be held as part of the 2012 silent auction at the West Coast Classic Location: Chilliwack Heritage Park ~ 44140 Luckakuck Way Chilliwack, BC.  Bidding will be for individual collections of wine – not individual bottles
Two collections of wine :
Collection #1 ~ all wines in this collection valued at $25 and over
 Collection #2 ~ all wines in this collection valued under $25

*each bottle donated will have a tag attached identifying the donor – business cards are welcome.
*the price range of donated wines is up to the individual donor but no homemade wines can be accepted
*the WCRA West Coast Classic website will have a running tally of wine, total value & donors starting May 15th
*for those living out of town you can send us the name of the wine you would like to donate in your name, and applicable funds, and we will purchase the wine and add it to the collection or you can bring your wine to the show where bottles will be added to the wine collections until 10 a.m. Friday July 13, 2012
*the silent auction will commence at 11 a.m. Friday July 13, 2012
*all donors will be included on the website but only bottles received prior to July 8, 2012 can be guaranteed to be acknowledged on the website prior to the auction
*the silent auction will close on Sunday July 15, 2012 ~ exact time to be announced once show schedule is confirmed
*please call 250-819-1609 to arrange to drop off wine donations


*As for all other silent auction items, you can make your bid in person on the bid sheets on the silent auction table
*Bidders must be 19 years of age or older

*The wine must be picked up, by the winner or his/her designate, at the show grounds prior to 4pm Sunday July 15, 2012
*No one under the age of 19 can bid on, or pick up, the wine collection


Funds for wine donation purchases are payable to WCRA. Please mail to: WCC Wine Auction c/o Kim Stordahl Box 280 Pritchard, BC, V0E 2P0
For information or to drop off donations ~ call Kim @ 250-819-1609 or E-mail

Friday, January 20, 2012

Looking for some great FREE REINING TIPS?

Top-Screen shot from Wildwood Performance Horses Website
Bottom-taken from Wildwood Performance Horses Website

As we all are starting back in the saddle and gearing up for a new year, we are looking for new ideas, and inspiration. Check out Sharon Gates, of Wildwood Reining Horses for her free blog posts on Reining training tips. Sharon's straightforward explanations, photos and video clips make it very easy to follow along with her drills and techniques.
And best of all-Sharon is right in our own backyard, in lovely Hantzville, BC. Sharon annually hosts a reining clinic with world class reining trainer,  Vern Sapergia.

Brad Giesbrect Reining Clinic

The Thompson River Reiners (WCRA chapter), will be once again hosting a reining clinic this MARCH 24-25. You can contact WCRA president, Kim Stordhal for more details. This is the 3rd time the TTR's have brought Brad to town, and he is getting lots of repeat customers, so if you are interested, you should book your spot asap, as it will fill up fast. You can read more about Brad and his program at his website, BG Reiners.

We're on Facebook!

OK everyone-you can now follow us on Facebook!! Check out the link for all the latest info, and to stay in touch. If you have photos or videos of club members doing stuff, please add them to our FB page-Mandy-would love to have your PG runs as well,  as your Supreme video up there, and Nicole, some of Ronnie's pics from the BC summer games, as well as her trip back east would be fantastic...!!

Working Cow Horse or Working Horse COW?

 Pictures: Screen Capture from You Tube clip

If you haven't seen this Youtube clip that's been floating around on FB the last few weeks, you gotta watch this. LOL! I think this cow has got this horse's number! Hilarious...

Not Really Reining Related but a feel good horse story...

Picture: Erin Bolster and "Tank" (taken from the article link below)

I came across this article this summer from a Facebook post. Here is part of the article. To read the whole thing click on the article link.

That's how she went to work that day: a young but seasoned pro rider on a new, huge and spirited horse, unarmed in the wilderness with eight dudes.
"It was a pleasant ride until we came around a corner on the trail and my horse stopped firm and wouldn't move," Bolster said. "He never refuses to go, so that caught my attention quick."
But not fast enough to avoid the spike white-tailed deer that burst out of the brush and glanced off Tonk's left front shoulder.
As Tonk spun from the impact, Bolster saw a huge grizzly bear crashing through the forest right at the group in pursuit of the deer. Horses panicked and guests grabbed saddle horns for the ride of their lives.
"No amount of training could keep a horse from running from a 700-pound charging bear," she said.
Seven of the horses sensed the danger, peeled out and galloped back on the trail toward the barn.
But Scout bolted perpendicular to the trail into the timber, packing the 8-year-old boy.
"The deer peeled off and joined the horses sprinting down the trail," Bolster said. "So the bear just continued running right past me. I'm not sure the bear even knew the roles had changed, but now it was chasing a horse instead of a deer."
The grizzly was zeroed in on Scout and the boy - the isolated prey in the woods.
Adding to the drama, the boy's father, an experienced rider, could not convince his horse that it was a good plan to ride to his son's rescue.
"The last thing he saw over his shoulder as his horse ran away was the grizzly chasing his boy," Bolster said.
With the bear on Scout's heels, Tonk's instinct was to flee with the group of horses. But Tonk responded to Bolster's heels in his ribs as she spun the big fella around. They wheeled out of a 360 and bolted into the trees to wedge between the predator and the prey.
"The boy was bent over, feet out of the stirrups, clutching the saddle horn and the horse's neck," she said. "That kept him from hitting a tree limb.
"But all I could think about was the boy falling off in the path of that grizzly.
"I bent down, screamed and yelled, but the bear was growling and snarling and staying very focused on Scout.
"As it tried to circle back toward Scout, I realized I had to get Tonk to square off and face the bear. We had to get the bear to acknowledge us.
"We did. We got its attention - and the bear charged.
"So I charged at the bear."
Did she think twice about that?
"I had no hesitation, honestly," Bolster said. "Nothing in my body was going to let that little boy get hurt by that bear. That wasn't an option."
Tonk was on the same page.
With a ton of horse, boulder-size hooves and a fire-breathing blonde thundering at it, the bear came within about 10 feet before skittering off to the side.
But it quickly angled to make yet another stab at getting to Scout and the boy - who had just fallen to the ground.
"Tonk and I had to go at the bear a third time before we finally hazed him away," she said.
"The boy had landed in some beargrass and was OK. Scout was standing nearby."
Bolster gathered the boy up with her on Tonk, grabbed Scout's lead and trotted down the trail.
"The boy was in shock," she said. "I looked back and could see the bear had continued to go away through he woods, but I had another five or 10 minutes of riding before I got back with the group."
Not until she reunited with her riders - all OK and standing in various stages of confusion with their horses - did she start to shake.
"I looked at Tonk, and he was wet with sweat and shaking, too," she said.
She was especially concerned for the boy's father, who probably suffered the most terror in the ordeal.
"He was fine, and I got my biggest tip of the season," Bolster said. "My biggest hope is that the boy isn't discouraged from riding. This was a one-in-a-million event."

What an awesome story! Then, a couple of weeks ago, I saw this link on David Letterman, who had also heard of the story and chose to interview her on his show. You gotta watch!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A little Inspiration?

Picture: Smokin Chic Olena (taken from Horse Courses On Line)

Looking for a little inspiration to get out and start riding? Have a look at this you tube video of Craig Johnson and and his APHA horse Smokin Chic Olena at the World Equestrian Games, doing a bridleless Reining Demo..Poetry in motion!