Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013!!!

So grateful for the way 2012 ended because the beginning and mid way through wasn't the way I had planned! But is anything the way we plan it? Not usually!

2012 brought many new relationships that I'm so grateful to have and a few new horses that I can't wait to have relationships with!

Team USA has a new coach and the changes that seem to be happening are very exciting for all of us who aspire to ride for Team USA and those who want Team USA to be the best!!

As far as my plans I'm very excited to be sitting on several nice horses right now. I have my tentative plans on what and how I'm going to improve on my horses both on a personal level as well as a competitive level.

Receiving the Rebecca Broussard National Developing Grant put so much inspiration in me! I have always been pretty determined and focused, however this just gave me a nudge that is truly going to help me become even better because of the financial boost!

Receiving a 15k grant to better myself is such a wonderful and amazing opportunity. I sat down and realized that I will be able to be more consistent in my training as well as more thorough in my competitions due to not having a financial constraint.

I have already been in full force and its paying off. I've been down to Stefen Peters to work on my dressage and be able to watch the master ride!
Lane Clarke has been out to teach me on all of my horses to perfect my show jumping. Niki Hall has been my dressage instructor that I have ridden with for over 5 years now and has been out weekly to help me on my horses.....and Allen Clarke has helped me all around with all of the horses especially the horses that need that extra attention to detail. I really feel like I have a great team and we all work so well together.

I have a very busy year ahead of me as well as NLE. I'm really excited about everyone and there plans for the future.

NLE has expanded beyond my expectations and I couldn't be more thrilled. Every student, owner, parent, sponsor & horse is an important part of the success of NLE and I'm so excited for what the future has in store!

With everything that happens to us in our lives we can only take our experiences and let them teach us and allow them to make us better. The strong and determined allow this to happen and when we do that it makes us that much better. It prepares us for greatness.
I'm really looking forward to 2013, and I am so excited for the future of everyone involved with my program! It's very inspirational to see each and every horse and rider improve daily! To see the enthusiasm surrounded around our team is such a great feeling and really keeps each and everyone of us wanting to strive to get better!

I'm wishing all of my friends, peers, colleges and team mates a wonderful 2013 and I hope you find your inner competitive desire to be the best in everything you do!!!

Cheers to SUCCESS & Kickin Butt!!!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Finding the ONE!

Someone asked me how do you know when you look at a horse if it has what it takes to be a winner.
I thought about the question and thought to myself.....I don't know. There are so many ingredients that go into producing a winner and just when you think you have the answer and you show up to the jog at Rolex all of your answers are proven wrong. helps but some of the most winning horses have terrible confirmation. I think it's desire and heart. The want to keep going and the heart to go and try harder when the going gets tough.....and most importantly the partnership. I just recently took a clinic from a very good friend of mine and he said to me.....Tamie don't forget about how much you love riding. How much you love your horses. You get caught up with running your business that it seems as though you forget about the important piece to riding and that's compassion.
It immediately broke my heart. I thought to myself I do love my horses, and I do love riding. But he was right.....I have a very compassionate side to me as well as a very competitive side. I have to remember the one key ingredient to becoming successful and that is a great partnership. I had a wonderful partnership with a horse by the name of Pavarotti. A Trahkehner stallion that at the beginning of our partnership was very difficult. As time went on he became one of my best friends. He accomplished things because of his heart and my compassion for him. We had a wonderful understanding. And because of his extraordinary effort to please me, I had more trust in a horse than I have had in a long time. I recalled my partnership with him because that horse was 10 years old and never jumped with a rider on his back before He came to me. He went from standing as a stallion on a small farm to the 2* level in a little over a year with the help of Allen Clarke, an Australian horse trainer like no other. His ability to learn was like no other horse I have met, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to ride such a wonderful horse.
That partnership took us to top 5 placings in almost every event we entered. I always knew I could count on him and he always knew he could trust me.
So when someone asks me next time how do you know when you have a winner, I will say, when you have a horse with a heart to try and a desire to push through difficult tasks it gives you the most unimaginable partnership. That's how you know you have one that has what it takes!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eventing's Future!

As I sit here and reflect on 2012, it reminds me that throughout life we all have our tragic and triumphant moments which define us. Each moment is somewhat life changing… molding us into what makes us who we are and ultimately what helps turn us into champions if we allow it to.

I recently received my Eventing USA issue seven and had mixed emotions when I saw it lying on the coffee table. I couldn’t help but feel a bit melancholy. As everyone knows my last 12 months, although very educational, have been a bit rocky. I took a big gulp and decided to pick up the magazine to share in our nation’s successes—to hopefully become inspired and feel happy for other people’s successes. Unfortunately I was sadly discouraged.

I went directly to the playback of the Olympic Games written by Captain Mark Phillips to read about what we learned from our experience. I was surprisingly disappointed in the negative commentary.

I grew up riding in a three-day event barn where everyone loved our sport. We were a team, and there was a sense of pride to ride for the USA. Although Captain Mark Phillips might feel his brutal honesty will somehow wake us up and make us different, I can’t help but feel like it’s our support system that needs a wake-up call. Is it not so evident that with negativity comes failure? Use our recent results at Burghley as an example. Obviously I wasn’t there first hand to experience the feeling that our U.S. riders had going into Burghley, but I’ve had enough education and enough experience to know it was what they all needed to push them to excellence. They had a nation rooting for them, and specifically a couple of them.

I’ve had many conversations with friends about how we’re going to be better… why are we so far behind? And honestly I wonder if it’s much more simple than we make it out to be. We have great competitors in this country with super horses. We spend countless hours riding, practicing, teaching, learning, and traveling to competitions all to become our best, and just when you feel you are on your plan, someone comes over with a needle and pops your balloon.

Now, there are the sayings: Only the strong survive; Every man for himself. But when do we all just look at the tremendous talent we have and decide that a positive approach might go a long way?

I have a dear friend who completed her first Burghley in the top half of the field this year who has basically been told to quit riding her horse and give the ride to someone else. The sad part is that she actually thought about it. But she is tough, and when the going got tough she got tougher. Still, how tragic it would have been. It is her horse, her hard work producing it from a yearling, and their partnership.

Medals have been won by average riders and/or horses with exceptional partnerships and support systems. Medals have also been lost by world class riders and horses; some of the best in our country. So really what’s the missing link? Why can’t the USA succeed? In my opinion several reasons: Lack of teamwork and negativity!

I understand that everyone wants to win! I myself want to win at everything! It is what makes competitors competitive! It takes a special ingredient to be able to handle top level pressure for both a horse and rider. For me, that is what makes the top of the sport so much fun! That challenge of keeping it all together! But USA needs a leader, someone to guide and channel our talent so we can strive and accomplish great things. I’ve watched the European riders; they have some amazing horses and riders. And so does the USA! Sometimes it seems like we just don’t believe it. Do we not believe in ourselves, our programs, or our riders?

Today is September 11th. It is a great example of the USA coming together with compassion, teamwork, sorrow, hope, and triumph. We have all of those things in us; it is what makes us human. If we could stop pointing fingers at the person who didn’t step up to the plate or the person who was only “so-so,” or just plain no good, then maybe we would have half a chance to shine. Why does “home court advantage” exist? Because having a stadium of support creates extraordinary power. I believe positivity and teamwork can makes miracles happen.

So maybe someone could write about how great Eventing is in the USA and what a bright future we have. That we have people like The Broussard’s from Rebecca Farm supporting up and coming riders to put depth into the top level of the sport starting from the Young Rider program. We have organizers who continue to provide first class international events to help qualify our top riders to be able to better themselves for team competition. Or what about the companies and private owners who donate their time, product, and hard earned cash to help riders like myself strive to be on Team USA someday? What about the thousands of USEA members who compete for the love of the sport and do it for just that and actually have no clue who Mark Todd or Ginny Leng are, or even that Mike Huber was the youngest rider on the youngest horse to ever win a gold medal for our country. What about U.S. selectors who donate their time to watch, critique, and decide who represents our country knowing their heads are on the chopping block if it all goes wrong? And what about all of the people who donate countless hours on committees to improve our sport and our sport’s image? Look at what we have done to improve the image of eventing!

We ought to think about changing the way we operate our team or we might always have the same results. It’s not because of lack of talent or that we are too busy trying to run our businesses; I believe we are not having success because negativity breeds failure!

So maybe Mark Phillps’ column in Eventing USA should talk about what a bright future Team USA could have and how were going to improve, or maybe even that we are that much more bent on to kicking everyones’ butts in Rio! That might inspire the next junior to be excited about our sport and how wonderful it is, instead of making them feel like there is no chance because if Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton couldn’t get it done then who can?

I learned a lot from receiving a grant from the U.S. Olympic Committee to go to Boekelo last year. I learned what it took to be a champion by rubbing shoulders with champions. I got to see Team USA have that positive teamwork at the Pan American Games, and they won by a landslide. I have hope for team USA’s future, maybe because I am hopelessly optimistic. I only hope that we turn 180 degrees and start becoming the champions we are capable of becoming. I don’t think that will happen until we start believing in ourselves, in each other, and start working together as a team.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hey everyone,

NLE News

- We will be schooling at 3 Day Ranch this Thursday afternoon. If you want to join us please let me know and I will put you on the schedule.

- Copper Meadows & the Area VI Championships are coming up soon. Please make sure you have entered! Looking forward to seeing you all there.
- Twin Rivers entries are due
- I go for my Ortho appt. tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed I get my cast off and get to start at least riding on the flat!!!!
- Kelly is back from her few weeks off so she is helping at the barn, however she still has a few more weeks before she is walking around.
- I would like to give a huge THANK YOU to Amy, MacKenna, Kelly, Tori and all of my friends who have helped while I've been off. I can't thank everyone enough for their support!!!

I'm back teaching alot so anyone who wants to come for a lesson please call and schedule!!

Hope to see you all soon!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Focusing on the positive....

What a last month it has least restful. That's the positive way to look at my time off. My leg is on the mend and I'm feeling ready to go.

Since my leg injury I've heard it all....from....."when the going gets tough....the tough get going", "everything happens for a reason", "there's always a silver lining".....and the list goes on. This injury really made so many things much clearer. Sitting back watching the Olympics was one of those eye opening moments that almost feels like someone hit me over the head with a frying pan. I have for years now been determined to ride for my country. But now more than ever the final pieces to the puzzle are filling in. I have to say that after my trip to Europe last year it really brought out a lot of holes I realized I needed filled. In my everyday training, my competition performances, and the team of horses I'm training to bring up the levels. I realized that in order to compete with the best, you have to be your best. Every step, every second you train. Is it difficult to be that disciplined? Not if you want to beat the best. Hard work just isn't enough.

This time off has made me hungrier than ever, but in a good strong way. In a way that makes me feel confidently determined. I want to be the best! I want to compete in Europe and be a contender that wins. It's attainable I know. We Americans right now feel a bit defeated.....the Weg was difficult and now the Olympics. It's a gut wrenching feeling to watch the people who you are routing for not have the results they want or we want for that matter. But unless your there you never know what they are experiencing. I can't wait to see the US after our makeover. We have so many riders who are hungry and excited for the "new" way of Team USA and I'm one of them!

I feel like the Eventing community as a whole is such a wonderful team already. We have excellent resources to make us better. We just need to utilize making our future brighter.

My unexpected vacation from riding has only made me stronger, hungrier, and more determined to being superior to "good". Because good isn't good enough!

We.....the USA did not have the best performance at the Olympics, however it's about what we as a Nation learn from each games and figure out how to improve and aspire to perform better. Change is a must! I don't think that buying trained, expensive horses is the always helps to be sitting on expensive horse flesh....however the partnership between a horse and rider is unexplainable. When you find that special partnership I believe that's what is unbeatable. Time again we've seen Olympic Gold Medalist not necessarily be the best riders in the world.

So as Team USA has some time off to reflect on how to become superior, every rider aspiring to ride for Team USA or their own country should keep striving and working hard to be that next Olympian. You just never know what partnership you can develop with hard work!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The calm AFTER the storm

Well it's been a long past couple of weeks! The good news is that I'm virtually pain free and things at NLE have changed significantly.

Nobody can really prepare for when something like this happens but it's great that I've received the amazing out pour of support from everyone!
I can't thank everyone enough for all they have done. My owners, clients, colleagues, friends, family and people I barely know have been so supportive and it's truly flattering and a humbling feeling.

So as I heal I find myself with an entirely different plan than I ever expected.

With my sudden change in plans Makenna Shea and Kelly Loria will be joining forces with NLE and helping me ride everyday. Amy Fox is still the head honcho and she really has developed into a great rider and barn manager. I have a feeling she will appreciate the extra help! ;) Although Amy's time is not entirely permanent she is committed to staying with us until I get back on my feet which will help keep NLE running smoothly.

I expect its not going to be an easy transition to transform from horse rider/trainer to solely coach/instructor.....however I have to thank everyone who has stepped up to the plate! Work is harder and responsibilities are more strenuous and seeing everyone step up to the challenge has been rewarding for me and I hope it will be rewarding for everyone else. They will get taught nearly everyday on every horse and I am looking forward to watching everyone improve.

I now have a permanent cast on my leg. The plan right now is that I will be wearing my cast for the next 6 weeks and then re-evaluating my plan for the fall.

As always, I'm overly optimistic and have a great rehab plan to get myself 100% in record time.

So with that said........... I'm really really really having a hard time with the fact that I can't ride. It's effected me and hit me harder than I thought (tears in my eyes) it really gives me an appreciation for doing what I love.

However, I mustn't focus on those details.....and just focus on healing and keeping my horses going the best they can with the wonderful resources I have.

With that said, it's onward and upward and I can see that small little light at the end of the tunnel.

Keep kicking and lets go TEAM USA!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Still determined!!!

I want to start this blog out with a very positive outlook......The event at Rebecca Farm was a huge success for NLE and everyone is better for their experience no matter what the outcome....and that does include me.

It is unfortunate that my leg is broken but things happen for a reason and I'm looking at the positive that came out of this weekend.

I was leading the 2* with Krystie Bush's horse Top Secret, affectionally known as Sai. He had a great dressage test and a double clear cross country round. Jumped around like a champion! Being in first after dressage was such a huge accomplishment for all of us. It really was a huge accomplishment as well as knowing we have a super horse that ate up the cross country!
Boomerang was brave and such a good boy. I was thrilled with him as well as Fleeceworks Cinco and Irish Blend in the USEA Young Event Horse.
Cinco won and Peanut was 3rd. The weekend was going great! All of my horses were in the top 5 going into show jumping.

Everyone that was riding this weekend from NLE was super and I was really thrilled with everyone's progress.

Brigit Rossbach rode around the 1* course like a seasoned professional! I was so proud of her and all of her hard work.

Alex Cline came back from a fall at her last event and rode smart and got her mare around a challenging course finishing as the top Irish Horse for the weekend.

Kelly Loria was able to conquer some challenges she has been having with her horse and made huge steps to improving their partnership!

Erin Hoffman had a stellar weekend with her lovely horse we call, the "Pineapple". They came so far in such a short amount of time! From training to a 1* and consistently improving at every show.

Kevin Baumgardner gets the award for the weekend for the most improved without any practice. He and Jeff looked fantastic and anyone that watched them could see their progress.

Val Ferraro was awesome and galloped around with 3 solid performances. Watch out for her in the future shes on a mission!!

Joseph Buckley rode amazing all weekend and I think is probably getting very close to moving up to Training level. They have improved so much!

Nicole Mussell gets the worst luck for the weekend.....her horse Mike ended up coming all the way to Rebecca Farm to compete in the Training Level 3 Day and ended up with an abscess, which caused tremendous heal pain and they had to withdrawal after the first jog.

Some people might wonder why we all do "Eventing". But the biggest reason is because not only is the sport challenging....we have the best people around!

I can't tell you all the support I've received. Everyone from friends I barely know on Facebook to truly good friends picking up the phone and offering to help me ride while I'm down.

So as I sit here on pain meds......and anyone who knows me knows I'm not good on anything besides caffeine and candy, I just would like to say a few thank you's!!!

Thank you to the Rebecca Broussard Grant Committee as well as Becky Broussard for her vision of bringing depth into the US International scene and allowing me to receive a travel grant as well as be eligible for "The Big Becky Grant". Thank you Mr. Jerome and Sarah Broussard for keeping Becky's vision alive and allowing riders like myself to have the chance to get the leg up we need to complete our education and help fill in the gaps to making us better candidates for Team USA!

Thank you to all of my close friends who are also my clients but really make my job of teaching, coaching, coordinating and training worth while. I'm really fortunate to have each of you apart of Team NLE!

Thank you to my husband Dave, Tyler and Lana B for being the best support system ever.

Thank you to all of my friends and family that reached out when they heard I was injured and everyone who is routing for me. It means the world.

Thank you to Alyssa Debrotin for stepping up to the plate and being a rockstar all weekend! You are the best head groom there is out there!

Thank you to John Camlin and his crew for stepping in and helping me while I was trapped in the hospital. John was there and coached all of my students as well as his own on Sunday never missing a beat!

And a huge thank you to Craig & Kelly Meuchel for opening their house to me and Brynn and Ashlynn for taking such great care of me. It's been an easy process thus far getting used to laying down with my feet up.

I am on to Plan E now....overly optimistic and never going to give up. I'm in this for the long haul and although my plans are changing I still have my eye on the prize!

Thank you all once again!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 2 of competition at Rebecca Farm

Well the games have begun and we are off to a great start!!

Fleeceworks Cinco won the 5 yr old division and Irish Blend was 3rd in the 4 yr old. I'm really having a blast producing these horses and very excited about their futures!!

Rebecca Farm incorporated a "HALT CANCER at X" program.
The riders are getting pledges to help raise money to fight cancer.

We all showed our support by wearing pink as well putting the pink cancer ribbons on our horses butts. We've been getting pledges as well and if you want to donate, let me know and we can arrange for your donation to be added.

Dressage was very good today. Raffy competed in the CIC1* and is places 2nd after day one.

Cinco was a bit on the muscle in the ring so he defiantly didn't get the score I was hoping for, however I'm thrilled with his progress and his ability to work through his tension.

The cross country courses are beautiful as always, but with Ian Stark as the new course designer there is another feel to Rebecca Farm. I'm so excited to go out there and gallop!

So tomorrow we have another day of dressage. I'm really hoping Sai puts all his cards on the table this weekend ....we have been working hard and I think Sai is ready to show what hes made of!

Its off to the shower and onto the RF cocktail party.

Here are a few pictures I've taken.

Let's hope for a great day tomorrow!


Sunday, July 8, 2012


Having a couple of days of relaxation before the games begin has been great!

This morning we took everyone for a little canter......they were all very fresh! Including Sai who is usually very mellow. He actually leaped in the air and took off with me! I had to laugh because any extra energy Sai has is great!!

All of the horses look and feel great! Brigit received news yesterday that they had to cancel the CCI 1* with steeplechase. There was a brief moment of panic and then we developed a plan so I think things are all going to work out.

Tomorrow we are heading over to Herron Park to school the babies and get one last outing before the show starts.

Every afternoon has consisted of going back to the lake house and either kayaking, swimming, or a boat ride.
The Meuchel's brought over their boat so we are planning a very fun filled week with water skiing and inter-tubing! So life is great!

Again a few pictures for your enjoyment.......and of course ours!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rebecca Farm WE ARE HERE!!!

Yay!!! We arrived last night! Can I just say its beautiful!!!!
Here are few pictures for you to see what a wonderful place this is.....Enjoy....we are!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 2 to Rebecca Farm...

We arrived in Ogden, Utah yesterday....Opps....I mean early this morning at about 3:30am.
Handed the lead rope of a horse I hauled up here to his owner and thankfully the girls had prepped all of our horses all we had to do is tuck 6 horses into bed. Sounds easy right. Well, its pretty easy when you have 6 people who know the ins and outs of horse stuff. It's a good thing my honey is hot and compliant! That's completely worth all of the exhaustion.

All of the horses were traveling well so it was a matter of hand walking this morning and getting back on the road.
We had about a 12 hour drive today with no incidents.....oh other than Brigit having a blowout......and other than that I can't tell you how happy we are that we have all arrived at the beautiful Rebecca Farm!!!!

It's the first time my family has come up with me and I think Dave is already in love! The drive is picturesque!!!

We are really looking forward to a great fun filled week and will continue to keep you updated!

I took a few pictures for you all to see! Tyler hand grazed Top Secret while we set up stalls!!! Sai is looking fit and ready!!!

NLE horses thank Fleeceworks for their halter fleeces! Everyone arrived rub free from using these wonderful fleeces.

We also love the Professional's Choice tail wraps! They are great preventing tail hair loss and rubs while traveling long distance and stay snug without circulation problems.

A few more pictures of the scenery just so you can see what this beautiful event is made of!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

We are officially on the road!

Finally!!! We have left Temecula and so far things are running smoothly. We arrive at Golden Spike, Utah late this evening. Luckily a cold front moved inland and so the hot part of the country which is Las Vegas is only in the mid 90's. Typically its well into the triple digits.
So some luck has come our way.....the horses all traveling well.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Rebecca Farm or Bust!!!!

How things change with a blink of an eye! Yes, that's basically what happened with our plans.

I would first like to say that I'm happy to be the entertainment of anyone who reads this blog. Get a drink....sit back....and enjoy!

Anyone who travels, goes to horse shows or is involved with horses, knows that there is never a dull moment. You would think that being a upper level event rider my life would be full of excitement, and honestly it is......but for some reason God has a sense of humor and likes to laugh a lot.

Where do I start?!

The plans of going to Rebecca Farms have been getting developed over months of preparation. Rebecca Farm is a destination event for NLE and usually everyone on the team try's to attend this special event along with incorporating some vacation time. There are so many things at Rebecca Farm that make this event so worth while no matter what chaos happens on the way.

I am grateful and very lucky to be a recipient of the Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant. This helps contribute to traveling to Rebecca Farm and becoming eligible for the International Grant to be announced in December. This program is instrumental in developing up and coming riders. I feel like the Broussard Family has not only helped the USET put more riders in the pool to help the future of Eventing with this grant but also with the high caliber event they produce at Rebecca Farm.

We started off wanting to have a family outing up in my family will all be coming to Rebecca Farm.

The last 3 years we have travelled to Caber Farm while in route to Montana and spent a few days getting aquatinted with the turf and of course enjoying John and his team.

Our plans were to leave this past Saturday to Twin Rivers. Compete at Twin Rivers one-day with everyone and then head up to Caber Farm arriving on Monday. We would stay until this coming Saturday and then head onto Rebecca Farm in Montana.

Dave had everything ready to go with the truck and trailer.......I was loaded to the ceiling with our dog "Diesel" in the passenger seat. Gave a kiss to the kids and Dave and was planning on picking them up from Portland Airport on the 4th (the 4th is today). This all sounded like the best plan ever......we had 12 horses traveling from California and another 10 or so meeting us in Montana.
I put the truck in reverse and I knew something wasn't right. I called Dave and knew that it couldn't have been what Dave was saying over the phone. I heard the words...."it sounds like the transmission". How is this possible?!!! Val's transmission is in the shop getting rebuilt, how could we have 2 trucks break before we even leave?!!!
All I could think of was......"at least were still home.....were not stranded in the middle of nowhere with a trailer full of horses!"

The chaos would continue.......
We decided that since we were planning on buying a new truck next year, maybe we needed to put the $ we would spend on a new transmission into a new truck. Sounds like a reasonable enough explanation and solution.....right?! Ok so problem solved! That's where this entire situation becomes comical. I say that because if I don't laugh then I will drive myself off a cliff.

We get the new truck. Get a good price on it.....and end up with more than we wanted so life is good. Mufflers West installs my trailer hitch the next day and were back on schedule. What's a trip without a little bump in the road........
The trailer gets hooked up and off we go to my house to make sure everything is running properly.
Now back to that "bump in the road".
I get home, after feeling like my trailer brakes locked up a bit....maybe had a bump in the road and as Dave is helping me back up into the driveway he says..."where is the side ramp?" What!? Side ramp? WTH are you talking about?!
I get out of the truck and my side ramp has been obviously ripped off my trailer. I look at Dave and start to a psycho. Defiantly not a laugh from humor. A laugh that is like Jack Nicholson from the movie "The Shinning!"

So after consulting Facebook.....(gotta love modern technology) I have several friends that offer contacts of where to go......who then gets me in touch with the best little aluminum welder ever! "Kenny"!
Kenny has saved the day! He gets my trailer......and in one day, repairs the impossible and remounts my trailer ramp.
He charged us $800. Dave gave him $900 in cash and a 30 pack of Bud Lite. I gave him the biggest hug and just when we thought everything in the world was right.......the new Dodge integrated trailer braking system is not capable with my Electric over Hydraulic braking system on my trailer.
No fear....Tamie the master of problem solving is here!
I called down to the dealer, spoke to the Sales Manager, Darren and he said we could come down and take out the braking system from our old truck.
So I head to the barn with trailer in tow to ride everyone, teach everyone and pray that Dave and Tim can miraculously install the old brake unit into our new Dodge and of course that it goes smoothly!
We are now onto Plan D and with the attitude "Rebecca Farm or Bust!"

Stay tuned we haven't even left Temecula yet...........

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tamra Smith & Next Level Eventing New location expands opportunities for top eventing program.

California Riding Magazine • July, 2012

Advanced level eventer Tamra Smith wasn't planning to move or expand her Next Level Eventing business, but when an opening arose at Tucalota Creek Ranch it just felt right. After several very content years at Liberty Oaks Ranch in Murrieta, Tamra welcomed the chance to cut her commute in half and to have room to take on more horses at the Temecula training facility. All of her students made the move with her and their horses, along with Tamra's, are now ensconced in the Ranch's main 32-stall barn, with room for a few more.

Formerly home to western legend Bob Avila's training business, Tucalota Creek Ranch has lots of room for schooling and conditioning. Tamra raves about the "huge" indoor arena, the full dressage court and the large jumping ring, which can double as a derby field. Owners Alan and Kay Little and stable manager Tim Schock have been super accommodating to Tamra and her team. "If you want to run the kind of training and performance program that we do, you need that kind of support behind you."

With a long list of successes since turning professional nine years ago, Tamra welcomes the opportunity to work with talented eventing horses of all ages, as well as quality young horses bound for other english disciplines. Her crew of students and supporters has grown along with her resume. This month, she expects to take about 15 horses to The Rebecca Farms event in Montana, four or five of her own rides and another 10 or 11 students' horses.

Kicking On

After being short-listed in the Pan Am Games team selection process last year, then opting to accept a United States Olympic Committee grant to compete at the Boekelo CCI Three Star in the Netherlands, Tamra is currently inbetween upper level horses. With nine years as a professional and a lifetime of accomplishments as a junior and amateur before that, Tamra accepts the sport's ups and downs. The upside for this year has been more time at home to focus on her considerable string of talented up and coming horses and her students.

She's riding two horses for sponsor Fleeceworks and another two for Sunsprite Warmbloods, two longtime horse sponsors for whom she is very grateful. And she's cautiously optimistic about an off-the-track Thoroughbred named Top Secret. Tamra has been working with him for about a year and hopes to move him to the Two Star level soon. "I don't know what his limit is, because you never know what that is until you go." Her dream of representing the United States at the Olympics, Pan Am Games and World Equestrian Games, feels within reach, she says, whether it's several years away on one of the youngsters she's developing now or whether it happens on a more experienced mount that could come her way any day.

The nature of any horse sport is such that the source of the next "horse of a lifetime" is rarely known in advance, but one thing for sure is the readiness of her Next Level Eventing team when an opportunity arises. Her students range from a few who are new to the sport to Advanced Level competitors. "My focus is the rider who really wants to get better," she explains. "It doesn't matter to me what level they are."

"We are a competition-oriented barn and we go to a lot of different events each month, but a few of my students choose to show only twice a year, and close to home." Creating a team is a common denominator in Tamra's approach to training horses and riders and to running Next Level Eventing. "It's important to create confidence and harmony as well as an understanding between the horse and rider to create the results that everyone wants: to win and have fun!"

Tamra's personal coaches, working students, clients, sponsors and owners comprise Tamra's team. When her international dreams required extensive travel last year, Next Level Eventing maintained continuity in the training and lesson programs and students and sponsors cheered and supported her in every way.

Tamra's husband Dave, a Riverside Police homicide detective, is her most influential supporter. Their 16-year-old daughter Kaylawna was following in her mother's footsteps as a rider, but recently chose to focus instead on high school water polo, in which she is also very accomplished. The Smith's 8-year-old son Tyler has recently taken an interest in horses.

For more information on Tamra Smith's Next Level Eventing, visit or call 951-852-8062.

Let the adventure begin!

It is Friday afternoon at the Smith house and everyone at NLE is exhausted.....including me. Usually I'm the energizer bunny and keep going and going, but it has finally happened and I've hit a wall. That's ok though because we have delayed our trip by a few hours to get caught up on some sleep and to do some last minute errands.

We leave for Twin Rivers Young Event Horse competition and One-Day and I'm really excited to see how Peanut (the baby from Miss Congeniality) is going to do. She's such a nice horse......she has all the qualities of her mother and none of the hinderances....and I say that with all the affection in the world! Anyone who knows the Green Bean knows what I'm talking about! With that said I am enjoying producing this mare and can't wait for everyone to meet her!

So we are loading 11 horses today and heading North to Twin Rivers. We will stay over and compete tomorrow, have one last look over with our veterinarian Dr. Emily Sandler and off to Caber Farm.

We have already had some chaos happen with Val Ferraro's truck transmission blowing up. I said to Val the silver lining is that she is still home and not stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere! Thank god for that, especially because James and Taren Atkinson will not be following behind us on our journey so so saving the day from Team Fleeceworks this time!
Val, Cheryl and Nicole will be behind a day or so but soon to catch up to us.

I received news that I received some help for travel from the Rebecca Broussard Travel Grant and I am very grateful to be apart of this program. The Broussard's have been so innovative with this program and their support has stepped up the future of our sport. I'm excited to eligible for the International Grant as well and I'm looking forward to seeing how this grant helps give me the leg up I need to make it to that next level.

So here's to our up and coming adventure and trip to Rebecca Farm!!

Here we come everyone!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fleeceworks Fernhill AEC 2010

Fleeceworks Fernhill winning CCI1* at Rebecca Farm

Fleeceworks Fernhill CCI 1*

Dinero & I competing at Bromont CCI3*

The Peanut....aka Irish Blend; by Rascalino out of Miss Congeniality

Let's go Team USA!

Chomping at the bit.....

Chomping at the bit!!!

Well we are in June now and the last time I got a full nights sleep seems like eternity. Business is very good at NLE and everyone is and has been producing stellar results. I can't help but smile when I watch everyone's progress. It makes it so worth every bit of exhaustion and the endless hours!
This year has been about producing the young horse for me.....and I am really enjoying the process! It's put me a bit under the radar and that is a little tough after last years chaos, however I'm looking forward to producing some nice horses.
I've brought several horses along and when I look at the partnerships I developed during those times it solidifies my plan now.
I'm riding a good string of young horses and one OTTB that I'm competing in his first 2* next month. This horse has a special place in my heart. He has more try than any horse I've ever sat on and has to have the sweetest disposition ever. He makes me smile every time I see his face. There is never a day that goes by that he doesn't surprise me.
It's crunch time now getting ready for Rebecca Farms. It's been a good spring and I'm really excited to be traveling up to Montana. The entire family is coming along as well as most of the barn. I think everyone is really looking forward to a great experience and a top class event!
We will be regularly blogging so keep posted on our upcoming adventures!!
Til Saturday!!!