Saturday, November 16, 2013

Relief 4 Kate Silent Auction Items

B Thank you to all of the donators and people who have bid on items already! 
Your support means more than you know!

This is a master list of auction items. Bidding is now open and closes Monday at 11pm. Each item will say Open or Closed so you know what to bid on and to keep checking FB for bidding. 

When you win the bidding you will go to the GOFUNDME website and click DONATE. You will then pay the amount of your bid and write in the comment section what item you won. 
I will then notify the donator that you are the winner of the item. 

I will try and keep the highest bid with the persons name listed and up to date on each item below. 

Canadian Olympic Three Day Eventer lesson package. 2 lessons valued at $85 each donated by Hawley Bennett
Value $170
Bid starts at $50

Congrats to Mary Mck for winning the bid on Canadian Olympic Eventer Hawley Bennett lessons! Thank you to you both for your support!!

Fleeceworks dressage and cross country fleece pads. These pads are state of the art in design and technology! Top of the line pads that are therapeutic to your horses back. 
Dressage pad valued at $280
Bid Starts at $75
Cross Country pad valued at $280
Bid starts at $75
Open currently Dressage $235 Trisha Schmid PAID
                         XC $225 Kris Terris PAID

FEI passport completion by Dr. Emily Sandler. Be assured that when you make that important decision to obtain an FEI passport that you have the best in the business complete and fill it out. 
Valued at $300
Bid starts at $100
Open currently at $300 Heather Bailey

US Team short listed rider Robyn Fisher-Nash has generously donated a coaching weekend valued at $200 AND
2 lessons valued at $85 each lesson. 
Coaching Valued at $200
Bid starts at $50 currently at $100 Maralee Paul PAID

2 lessons valued at $170
Bid starts at $50
Open currently at $120 Tami Pacho PAID

Ride on Video has generously donated a weekend videoing package 
Valued at $185
Bid starts at $75 
Open currently at $250 Jessica Burch PAID

Weekend Braiding donated by Shirley MCCune! Will include weekend of braiding for one horse at Copper Meadows or Galway Downs. 
Value $70
Bid starts at $25
Open currently at $60 Jessica Burch PAID

Newly approved American Trakehner stallion "Semper Fidelis" breeding has been donated by the generous Gary &  Brenda Mittleider and Kim Hunter. 

Semper Fidelis, Snapper to his friends and family, is a 2009 fully approved Trakehner stallion. He is a full brother to the lovely young Trakehner mare, Sayyida, who is being competed by Jen Carter, and a paternal half brother to Harry Houdini who is competing in eventing with Sara Mittleider.

Snapper began his eventing career this season and is showing his talent for the sport. He earned a couple of second place finishes and completed his season by winning the Novice division at Twin Rivers. He earned a couple of year end awards for the state of Idaho as Novice Champion. He will easily be moving up the levels in eventing.

He has a 100% conception rate with AI and has two lovely foals who were born in 2013, a filly and a colt. 

This is an exciting young stallion!

Good luck and let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.
Kim Hunter

Value $1200
Bid starts at $350

YS Nutrition has generously donated an 8 month supply of Equine D by Keith Manfield
Equine-D™ is produced from Nature's Ultimate Super Food - 'The Mushroom'. This proprietary, all natural, organic blend of various edible medicinal mushrooms provides multiple health benefits for horses.To read more please click on link below: 
Value $220
Bid starts at $50
Open currently at $90 Karen Farmer PAID

Twin Rivers Entry generously donated by Connie & Andrea Baxter. 
Value at $230
Bid starts at $75
Bid Closed at $230
CONGRATS Ronnie Thielmann!!
Congrats to Ronnie Thielmann the winner of the Twin Rivers Entry! Thank you Connie Baxter and Andrea Baxter for your generous donation!!!

Lauren Brooke has generously donated a 3 pack of sport psychology sessions. Get cutting edge information on how to cope with performance anxiety, nerves, and take your competitive edge to the next level. Sessions can be on person or Skype. 
Value $200
Bid starts at $50
Open currently at $200 Dayna Lynd-Pugh PAID

Kerrits Apparel has generously donated a coaches coat. This could be a great way to stay warm and dry or a great Christmas gift. Any color or size available. 
Value $199
Bid starts at $50
Open currently at $165 Jennifer Taxay PAID

Sheryl North has donated 4 bottles of an incredible herbal anti-inflammatory, anti-aging supplement called Protandim.  The 4 bottles can be packaged as a two month supply for two people so that will be two separate items to bid on.  Each two month supply is valued at $100--$50 per month.  For information on this supplement, I recommend this ABC Primetime Investigative Report: 
or Google Scholar.

Value $200
Bid starts at $50
Open currently at $50 Tamie Smith PAID
Donald Trotter & Pam Duffy have generously donated one custom jump designed and built by Sunsprite Jumpworks. Anyone can have their barn name, company....whatever. 2 standards and 4 rails.
Don has built jumps for several area VI events including the American Eventing Championships! Very hardy and long lasting quality jumps!!!
Value $2000
Starting bid $500
Open currently at $1750 Cary & Jessica Burch PAID

Karen Krueger has generously donated 5 equine body work sessions can be donated separately or as a bundle.  Tina Hoover and Pam Duffy are references.
Value $100 each or $500 total
Bid starts at $50 for one or $150 for 5
Open currently at $150 Pam Duffy PAID

Barbara from Horse & Rider has generously donated a gift certificate to her high end tack store. 
This is where I bought my dressage and jumping boots from. She has everything from tack, apparel and really cool clothing. 
Value $150
Bid starts at $40
Open currently at $150 Karen Keyser PAID

Sabrina Miller has kindly donated a 8x10 acrylic or pencil, portrait, dog or horse. She can work off of photos.
Value $350
Bid starts at $85
Open currently at $200 Vicky Conway PAID

Jessica Bortner-Harris as generously donated a breeding to Fuerst Rendition, 2004 Hanoverian stallion.  16 hands.  Black.  By Fuerst Heinrich out of Gueldensandt (Gesandt).  Has evented through Preliminary.  An injury sustained as a foal makes it difficult for him to go any higher.  Lovely mover, very good jumper.  Christian Schadt of ISR/Old said he is the epitomy of the modern event type.  He stamps his babies with his beautiful movement and head and his laid back personality.  For more information on him and photos of his babies:  
Stud fee is normally $1,000.  Winner of auction would be responsible for paying collection and shipping.  Feel free to e-mail me at if you have any further questions about him.  

Value $1000
Bid starts at $300

Massage by Gamal 
Gamal has generously donated a 1 hour massage. 
Value $130
Bid starts at $50
Open currently at $60 Vicky Koss PAID

Cary Burch has graciously donated 2 beginner polo lessons. 
Cary is one of the best polo players around and a wonderful teacher!
Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!
Value $300
Bid starts at $100 
Open Currently at $250 Frankie Theriot PAID
2 Individual lessons - same day as pkg above. 
Scrimmage & BBQ to follow after lessons

Value per lesson $150
Bid starts at $50
Lesson 1: $60 Gina Econimou PAID
Lesson 2: $150 Ashlee Bond PAID

Staci Hill has generously donated 3 Reiki sessions. Reiki helps with mind, body and spirit to help with pain management & mental health. 

Value $200
Bid starts at $50

Pamela Duffy of Sunsprite Warmbloods has generously donated a breeding to the #1 ranked eventing stallion Chilly Morning.
Frozen semen is currently located in So. Calif.
Value $1450
Bid starts at $500
Open currently at $1010 Frankie Theriot PAID

Sue Church donated her famous spur straps. Add a little pizazz to your wardrobe. 
Custom made, you choose color.
Value $ 45
Bid starting at $20
Open currently at $75 Connie Bowman PAID


Hit Air Protection Vest

Kimberely has generously donated a child's Hit Air Vest. 
Multiple colors to choose from and in addition to the donated vest, for every Hit Air vest purchased from now until the 29th of November, Hit Air will donate $75 per vest towards Kate's relief fund.
Value $419
Bid starts at $150
Open currently at $150 Taeko Saito PAID

Donated by Ashlynn Meuchel & Family a Rebecca Farm Horse Trial Entry & Stabling and a week stay in a Bed and Breakfast located just 10 minutes from the horse park. (Sunday-Sunday)
Value $1300
Bid starts at $350
Open currently at $830 Lea Wilson PAID


Rebecca Farm FEI or 3 Day Entry plus stabling generously donated by Sarah Broussard. 
Value $800
Bid starts at $150
Open currently at $600 Frankie Theriot PAID


Heivi Kim, owner and creator of the Soless Visor has generously donated 5 visors. The visors are newly designed, and allow you to be protected as well as see while wearing your visor. They will also not blow away while galloping or if its windy. 
Value $79.99
Bid Starts at $40 for each visor 
1. $60 Tonje Kearney PAID
2. $50 Bec Braitling PAID
3. $40 Shirley McCune PAID
4. $65 Jessica Burch PAID
5. $65 Jessica Burch PAID


Ian Stark private lesson graciously donated by the famous Ian Stark himself!
Lesson can be redeemed at any Galway Downs International event or at the annual fundraiser clinic. 
Value $300
Bid starts at $75
Open currently at $210 Gina Econimou PAID


Massage by Mary
Mary has generously donated 3 massage sessions along with PEM treatment for your horse. 
Pulsed Electronic Magnetic Therapy is the latest in technology in treating sport horses. Mary currently works heavily in the dressage and show jumping world and has been instrumental with improving how your horse will perform. 
Value $195
Bid starts at $50
Open currently at $50 Deanna Lestina PAID


Niki Hall Clarke & Dressage Unlimited has generously donated 2 lessons. Niki is a top rider here in Southern California and has a unique ability to teach any rider at any level and make huge improvements. She currently coaches Tamra Smith, Hawley Bennett, and many of their students, as well as other top professionals. 
Value $85 each
Bid starting at $40
Lesson 1: $75 Stacy Williams PAID
Lesson 2: $75 Stacy Williams PAID

Ashlee Bond-Clarke has generously donated a private lesson. Ashlee has been on multiple Nations Cup Teams and has won more Grand Prix classes than most her age. She is known for her ability to be an amazing competitor and the best part is she just married the best farrier in all the land! 
Value $85
Bid starts at $40
Open Currently at $110 Mary Mck PAID


A hour facial graciously donated by Karen Farmer. I can attest to Karen's facials. Very high quality sessions that help your skin look younger and healthier. 
A glycolic facial with the brand new  personal ZO skincare line from the guru of skin health DR Zein Obagi.
Value $135
Bid starts at $50
Open currently at $75 Judith McSwain PAID


Hair by Val - Val has graciously donated a cut and color. Val is the best hair stylist around! You name it shes cut there hair!
Value $200
Bid starts at $60
Open currently at $125 Vicky ConwayPAID

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Horsemanship Unlimited.....

Wow it has been a busy summer......I guess a busy year!! It has been very exciting traveling and competing all over the country. My horses are going well and I'm so excited to have the young horses coming along. 

I had a great weekend at Woodside this weekend and couldn't be more proud of Sunsprite's Romany. He really stepped up to the plate and was my favorite cross country ride of the day! This horse shows a ton of talent and I am crossing all of my appendages that he goes where I think he can! 

Dempsey competed and WON his first event this weekend and I am having so much fun with him. His cocky attitude makes me laugh constantly. He swears he knows everything about everything....until he doesn't! Then he just pretends like something is going to eat him. I'm looking forward to seeing his progress over the next year and all of the excitement he has brought to NLE already!!

Riding Lynn Carlson's mare this weekend was a real treat! She did her first training level since Lynn 
bought her and she couldn't have been better. She answered all of the questions we were asking to make sure the move up to training would be a smooth one! Looking forward to watching these two compete at Galway! 

Gandolf, whom I just won on this past weekend in his 2nd training level is one of the most improved horses I think I have.....he was quite the project when he came to the barn and was shipped quickly off to Allen Clarke at Horsemanship Unlimited. Allen is a few blocks from my facility and has been instrumental in the success of my riding for many years now. He is very well known in the show jumping industry and has helped train horses for several top professionals in show jumping, dressage and three day eventing. He has been a huge asset to my program and his ability to think outside the box is incredible. 

With the combination of Allen, his son Lane Clarke, who is also a very successful Grand Prix show jumper and Nicolia Clarke, who is a very successful Grand Prix dressage rider, I couldn't be in a better place to receive the best help. 
They are a part of my team and not only help me, but help my students as well. I really feel lucky to have these people helping me produce my string of talented young horses. 

With all of the success that has happened this year I really credit receiving the Rebecca Broussard Grant. Becoming the recipient of a grant where people believe in you really made me realize that I needed to study and become better. Not only because I want to be one of the best, but because a committee of well respected people have put their stamp of approval on me. I really have felt like that catipolted my riding. I have had several people ask me why I have had more success this year, and after really thinking about it, I really decided to focus more than I ever have. To create a team that had the same desire and passion as I do and practice perfect on every horse. 

Kate (my right hand) and now the big boss of NLE, has been my saving grace. She makes me focus on my riding. Takes my phone away from me when I get on a horse, demands perfection while I'm riding and her horsemanship and management skills are second to none. It's truly been a wonderful asset to myself and my program and were all so happy she is a part of the team!!

MacKenna Shea & Katie Yozamp are a huge asset to NLE and their hard work is prevalent everyday. They have both helped with competing the younger horses and ride my experienced horses while I'm traveling. They also help while on the road as well and are learning what it takes to run a professional business. Olivia Loaicono has also been a huge asset in helping with riding while I've been traveling. Now with the new addition of Kendra Robison, I feel as though we have the perfect team! 

So often you hear it takes a village to become successful. That saying is so true! My village is more like a small city but it's the best place ever and every single person who is a part of my team is a part of my success. 

I hope to keep improving my riding and ride for Team USA and look back someday and say, I remember when..........until then my team and I will continue to strive for excellence and enjoy the journey! 

Thank you to everyone who continues to support NLE! We truly are a family and I couldn't do it without all of your support!! 


Sunday, October 6, 2013

The American Eventing Championships!

It was the first year the AEC's were moved closer to the west coast and located more central in Texas. 
It was quite the facility they found in Texas Rose. A first class facility with huge stalls, wonderful footing and true championship cross country courses. 
I was very happy we made the trip! Not only to compete at our championship, but to support the sport we all love! 
We live in a country that has a huge amount of land and therefore we have to drive. For a west coast competitor that comes with the instead of complaining we jumped in head first! Much to our delight we had a great time and I couldn't have really asked for anything more. 
My horses were all fantastic and I am so happy to be sitting on some great horses right now. Sunsprite Syrius won the Open Training division and it was icing on the cake to be presented with my award by Kevin Baumgardner and Brian Sabo. 
London Calling OHF performed fantastically and I couldn't be more pleased with his progress. He came to my barn at the beginning of the year never have shown and now he is ready to move up to preliminary. He has won a handful of events, including Rebecca Farm and I'm really looking forward to seeing how he steps up to the challenge at Galway Downs. 
It's been a very busy year for NLE, we have travelled farther than we ever have before and been on the road a lot with some great successes. I'm thrilled to be this busy and so grateful for the team I have. 
I've said it before and I will say it success is only because of the wonderful help and team I have. My success is because of my wonderful supporters and owners. We are like family and we all support each other 110%. It's the best feeling ever. My team at home of Kate Gillespie, MacKenna Shea, Katie Yozamp & Kendra Robison is the dream team and the barn runs like a well oiled machine because of each of them. 
I don't have an upper level horse at the moment as I made the decision to sell my advanced horse due to financial reasons and my 2* horse was injured and therefore it has sidelined my ability to be in the big ring. But the satisfaction I have received in riding and producing young talent has been an experience I have loved. I really have learned to understand that there is something about a partnership between a horse and rider. That ingredient is a must to be successful at the top. 
It has been a patience learning exercise, however I have developed relationships with each of the horses I ride and I couldn't be happier to be forming those partnerships. 
It is always difficult to watch your peers riding at the advanced level, but I just keep knowing that I will be back there soon!
So if your are wondering if the AEC's is worth the trip......the answer is YES!!!! 
The facility is top notch, the footing is superb, the organizing crew and everyone involved was very helpful and friendly, and best of all the prizes are incredible!!!!!! 
Now we are off to Woodside Horse Trials!! 
Hang on!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

West Coast Dempsey Syndicate

First let me thank each and every one of you for joining Dempsey and I on a very fun filled journey. I say that because he has quite the personality. Very sweet by nature with a mixture of deceitfulness. His personality is such that makes him fun to be around and under saddle he has quite the expression and confidence.  He's very proud of himself!! 
This week we travelled to Twin Rivers to get him qualified for the 5 year old Championships and I was extremely pleased with his performance.  He scored a 81% which is a very good score as he needed to score at least a 75%.
Dempsey did his dressage and was very perplexed by the judges box, AND that they had judges in them. It was much to my surprise that he simply decided be a grown up and go into the ring and perform a very nice first dressage test. With over 15 entries in the class, Dempsey scored the best over all in the dressage and confirmation. I was very pleased!! Much more than I ever expected as he is very green for his age and has never been to a show. 
The jumping phase was challenging in many ways and was a true test of his  willingness to trust me. Only knowing me for the last month he had quite the leap of faith. 
I was so thrilled that he went around the show jumping and jumped beautiful and effortless. He had a green moment at the first cross country jump, but once he jumped it he galloped around the course like he had been doing it his entire life. Over the mound to a jump, jumping a log into water and out of water. He was very brave!! 
It is very exciting that he really stepped up to the plate. 
I decided to take him with me to Texas to fast track his education of learning to be a successful show horse. He is in great company with Syrius, Milton, Jefferson, and Metro. It is very cute to see Milton and Jefferson schooling him a bit in the trailer. If Dempsey were human he would be that kid who asks a million questions. 
So we arrived to Texas Rose, the American Eventing Championships and I am very excited to be here. 
Dempsey has learned to travel and be compliant thanks to Jeff and Milton. 
I will continue to keep you all updated on Dempsey's progress!

Looking forward to some fun and exciting times!

All the best!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Eventing in the Northwest

The Northwest has to be my favorite place to event in the country now. I admittedly have always wondered what attracted people to the "dreary northwest" and now I can see the attraction. You get the feel of Europe without the cold. The people are friendly, and the cross country is the way it truly was meant to be......with terrain, several natural hazards and did I say terrain?

NLE made a decision this spring that competing in the Northwest would be scheduled into this summers season. We have several up and coming youngsters as well as needing to get qualified for the Gold Cup at the American Eventing Championships. 

So off we went to what everyone in the country knows is an amazing event; Rebecca Farm. Just like every year they did not fact they had more entries than I have ever seen at an event and its a testiment to the entire team that they not only allowed all of us to come and compete, but that they were able to run so smoothly. After a very successful run at Rebecca Farm we went home for a month and back up to the Northwest to Caber Farm this past weekend. 

Most of you know John Camlin. That is if you've evented on the team back when they had black and whites for photos and natural ditches without groundlines.
John owns and operates Caber Farm along with his wonderful wife Cindy, & right hand man Marc Grandia.
John made nearly 20 advanced horses in his day and was short listed for the team a few times. Helped prepare riders for their first 1*, 2*, 3* & 4*. Competed at Rolex several times as well as Europe and now gives back to the sport of eventing by keeping the theories of James Wofford and Jack LeGoff alive. 
John has been a staple in the sport of eventing on the west coast and the one thing you can count on is that John will always provide a helping hand whenever your feeling a little in need in the warm up....his antimidating demeanor is truly a fasod and not far behind that serious look on his fiercely competitive face is a kind and caring man.....who probably loves eventing more than anyone I know. 

Caber Farm gave you a feel of being a bit on the east Richland Park with a European feel. It reminded me so much of Boekelo with a family run atmosphere. They had so many volunteers that they didn't need everyones help. Since when do you see that at an event these days.

I was so happy we made the drive to this event.....not only to support a friend, but to see how the Northwest does it. What a treat it's such a great feeling to see that the west coasters have everything it takes to prepare for the big time as well. From the kid who was clearly competing in their first event, the adult amateur who was out for the weekend to have a good time, to several Northwest professionals competing, it was a very intertwined mix of competitors that made it what eventing was for me as a kid. The old school way of eventing. Lots of OTTB's, some draft crosses as well as warmbloods were all around. 

The show photographer was exceptional as well...I had many photos to choose from on all of my horses and surprisingly enough not one of them was bad. The overall vibe was refreshing and fun and so nice to have that feel at an event. 

Every morning the fog would rise right above the cross country jumps and give a feel of tranquility. 

Caber Farm was extremely well ran, with a friendly atmosphere. Challenging but rewarding cross country courses and the show jumping was very rewarding if you rode your lines correctly. All of my horses finished the weekend feeling like
they gained months of training and I can't tell you how pleased I am with all of their progress. 

An event that everyone should come and see. I'm really looking forward to attending Aspen Farms owned by John and Susie Elliott in two weeks! 



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ashlynn Meuchel & NAYRC

Boy how time flys!!! It seems like yesterday that I was nervous and unable to sleep wondering if I would make my areas young rider team.....and now I'm headed off to Kentucky to coach Ashlynn Meuchel from Area VII at her first NAYRC. 
It's such a great time in life watching and mentoring these kids...for some this might be their career highlight and for others, just a stepping stone of riding accomplishments. It is the start to having our youth "think" and "dream" big! 
I met Ashlynn a few years ago when she and her father drove down from Washington State determined to find the next "superstar" for her to pursue her upper level riding career. They rode several horses at different farms in the area but would decide on the purchase of a talented, but quirky Irish horse by the name of Morning Star aka Tyson. 
I was a bit skeptical of the partnership as Tyson had a shady past. One that some would easily compare to the fighter Mike Tyson......and we cautiously joked about this several times. A common criminal with a lot of talent. But something happened between a girl and her horse. 
Tyson hadn't quite found what makes him happy before he met Ashlynn......and in fact his current owner and I conferred that a lengthy trial period to determine if the horse was suitable was required......several wonderful riders would see the talent he exuded however his personality would just deter them from pursuing a career with him......until Ashlynn. 
I would describe Ashlynn as a mellow, witty, intelligent girl who has a very natural gift of riding. A bit of a Tomboy but a "girl" when you get to know her. She loves her family, her friends and animals and is strong minded. Secretly she is stubborn which makes her a fierce competitor and she will be able to pursue what ever her heart desires. Whatever Ashlynn decides to do, she will be great at it. 
Ashlynn has reluctantly been separated from her family at age 18 to become a working student for me the last 5 months in preparation for the biggest competition of her life. North American Young Rider Championships! She has ridden several horses a day, worked endless hours, and all with a smile.....whether it was fabricated or real she was taught well by her parents to grin and bare it. Having multiple lessons a day.....riding hours without stirrups, Ashlynn rarely complained even when she was at her all time low of home sick. 
She learned to be more attentive about turning out horses.....the care and first aid that is required from a farm of 30 + horses and to treat ever horse as if it were her own. She learned how to get her horse fit for a three successfully compete at the Intermediate Level and improved on her seat and technique in dressage, cross country and show jumping. From saddle fitting, when to ice, nutritional program to treating scratches, Ashlynn will take home with her an experience that has helped shape her riding career. 
I'm not certain if the sweet marshmallow (Tyson) will show up to Young Riders and corporate with Ashlynn's desires. He just might be the gangster we've seen him be in the past, but what I do know is Ashlynn deserves a huge congratulations for preparing herself and her horse to the best of her ability. She took a tough horse and learned to ride him. She has sacrificed being away from home and missing some of her senior year activities to commit herself to her championship. It's a rare trait to find in our youth these days the commitment and dedication it takes to be the best and I just wanted to share with the rest of the world that there are riders out there who still have that "True Grit" (by Denny Emmerson) and dedication it takes to compete and be great. 
So whatever the outcome of Ashlynn's first North American Young Rider Championships, she has prepared the best she can....she's a fierce competitor and now it's all up to the criminal or the marshmallow and that thing called luck to how it all turns out. 
Regardless, Ashlynn has already won in my eyes!! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Eventing......we wouldn't live any other way!

It's towards the end of spring and the season is going fast! 

The ups and downs of our sport are so wonderfully high and so incredibly low. I think the strategy of success is to not let them get on either end of the spectrum and to try and keep them right in the middle. When you think about our sport, it's bipolar enough to make anyone crazy. Ultimately like the written passage Denny Emerson wrote have to have "true grit"! And if you don't have it......which most normal people don't,  your not going to last. 
As an up and comer to International Eventing the best advice I can think of giving to people who are trying to "make it" is that every achievement is a huge accomplishment and to cherish every moment. Because ultimately you are going to have way more setbacks than successes to become great!!

MacKenna Shea went to the east coast her first time this May and proved to have what it takes to play with the big boys landing herself in first place after the dressage in the CCI3*. She had a wonderful round cross country only to be spun in the second jog on Sunday morning. Very unfortunate for all involved! 

MacKenna would then make the trek home and reflect on the highs of her weekend and ultimately the lowest part with not being able to finish. 

The best part of this entire experience is that Kenna has the right attitude, a great ability, and this is just one of many bumps in the road of her very long career in the sport of eventing. I feel old when I say that but it's so true. 

So now it's time to sit down and plan what's next for these two as well as the young horses coming up the levels! 

I feel very fortunate to have the people I have that help me strive for excellence and the wonderful people around me on their own journeys as well! 

Life can change in an we have watched with the people affected in the Oklahoma tornados. It puts things like what happened with MacKenna in perspective. Although her heartbreak is still very significant, we know that Landioso and MacKenna have a very bright future ahead of them. 

So no matter what your disappointment is with your horse..... a result at a recent event, your financial situation, not having the right horse or having a lame horse.......remember to never give up your dreams. Because with hard work and the right horse you can achieve your goals & dreams whatever they may be. 

Keep dreaming and working hard!! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lane Clarke Show Jumping Clinic

This weekend Tamra Smith's, Next Level Eventing benefited from riding in a clinic with Grand Prix Show Jumper Lane Clarke. 

Lane brings a slightly  different approach to his clinic than most. Firstly most of his lessons are private lessons specifically working on you and your individual horse. It's a great way to make huge improvements in just one weekend.

He also focuses greatly on the flat. Making sure that each horse is supple, relaxed, and in front of your leg. 
These are key components to the success of creating a good jump from your horse. 

Every time I start to feel my horses not jumping in great form I know it's time to have Lane out for a tune up. 

The common denominator with each student was the quietness of your hand and body and to let your horse do his job. We would start out by trotting a vertical or oxer with placing poles on both sides of the jump. Lane carefully accessed each horse and it was remarkable his ability to pick out what each horses strengths and weaknesses were. 

By the end of the first day each horse was jumping around their jumps and in great form. 
I particularly love riding with Lane because he trains people the way we should train horses. Reward when it's good and be tough when it's bad. It's simple thinking and produces amazing results. 

I am currently riding several young horses that I'm producing that are green however fairly broke for their respective levels. It was very educational to watch how Lane addressed straightness to the horses jumps by using placing poles and  not having the rider fix the straightness issues with their hands. He focused on keeping the horses relaxed through their bodies and when riders would use there hands to fix the straightness so often the horses jump would become tight, flat, and without shape. 
In addition to straightness Lane focused on how your body can help with helping your horse wait to the jump and therefore helping the arch of each jump. That leg doesn't always create a good jump and that sometimes too much leg can cause the horse to become tense. My horse Milton was especially effected by the amount of leg I did use. As the jumps got bigger and eventually to the top of the 6 ft standards Lane made it very clear that I was not to put too much leg on my horse, but I should just have a relaxed feel. Of course the first couple of times was strange for me and I did not benefit from the quality of jump that my horse produced after cantering down to this oxer with a relaxed and loopy canter. 
The second day all of my horses went much better and each of them were light years better than the day before. It was great to feel them getting better each day. 
I've known Lane for several years and have ridden with his father Allen Clarke who specializes in fixing and improving on horses with their performance, manners, connection issues, and ridability issues. Lane brings a wonderful mixture to the table by understanding the philosophy that his father trains with and his extensive experience and wins in the Grand Prix ring. 
I feel very fortunate to have the people I have that help me with my dressage as well as my day to day training. I can feel my horses improving more than ever before and it has so much to with everything I have surrounding me. 
I wanted to share how important it is to have trainers continue to receive training and to know that you can never stop learning. I think that is what sets the best apart from the rest. 

Thanks for reading! Til next time.....keep enjoying the journey of what horses does for us all! 

Monday, February 4, 2013


Dear Team NLE,

What an exciting year 2013 has already been! Quincy & Finesse went to the CDS Thermal Dressage Show and scored outrages scores winning their respective classes and having the dressage world wonder “when did Event Riders learn how to ride”!! We will be going back to show again at the LA Equestrian Center soon and looking forward to even better results.

Galway Downs was the first show of the season and NLE strikes again! Several wins and top 5 finishes were all over the leader board and I can’t tell you how excited I am to have the year start so great. Most everyone had personal bests in each of their areas they have been working on, and it is a testament to the outstanding training we continue to pursue.

I wanted to thank each and every one of you for being a part of the team and I can’t tell you how great it is to have such loyal supporters and great people associated with me.

Each of you have your own personal success at whatever level you ride at, but what we all have in common is a great team spirit and loyalty and it is infectious!

Seeing everyone in their NLE gear this weekend was awesome! Not only did everyone look amazingly stylish, you all bring a wonderful team spirit to the atmosphere and it makes for success!!!

So THANK YOU for coming out and showing your support, whether you were riding or not your presence was so important!! And THANK YOU for making my job such a pleasure. I’m looking forward to watching everyone surpass their goals this year!!


Monday, January 28, 2013


We have all been told that in order to achieve a goal you should have a short term plan and a long term plan. What I have learned is not only should we have these we should not set them in stone.

2013 marks change for me. I've decided that I not only owe this change to myself, I owe it to everyone involved with me and around me.

Everyone struggles with their competitive career. Whether your a professional or an amateur we all have our struggles. It's part of the cycle of competing. There are things you can control and there are things you cannot control.
It is as simple as that! You can control that you can develop a good canter but you cannot always control that your horse isn't going to knock down a rail.
So 2013 is a year that I have my short term goals and my long term goals but this time my goals are not set in stone. My horses will tell me whether my plans will be on time or if they will get pushed back a bit.

I understand that every time I put my foot in the stirrup it will be with me giving a 100%. If I'm in a hurry its better for me not to ride that horse then just ride it without thought and attention. I have made this very clear with the girls that work for me as well as all of my students. Just because your an amateur doesn't mean your not a horse trainer. You are either training the horse or your un-training it. Every rider has a personal responsibility to focus on what they can do to improve their horses and their riding and everyone can improve as long as they focus on the things they can control. Your position, your quality of gait, can you go forward and back without pulling back on the reins. Accuracy! Everyone can work on their accuracy AND you can do all of this on your own. Each one of my students understands their is a system and they have it reminded to them every time they have a lesson. Riding is about being patient, persistent, tough, and determined to get to excellence.
You will become better if you have a set program and if you put a personal responsibility on yourself you will have no choice but to get better.

Our first event of the season is this weekend and I am very excited to be competing again! My horses are feeling great and I can't wait to go out of the start box again!

So no matter what your level of riding is, remember you can improve yourself everyday if you focus on the things you can control and practice doing those things perfect.

I am looking forward to competing and giving every day 100%. Yes it requires a lot more detail, focus, and psychical fitness, but if I want to achieve my goals I have to put in the work that allows me to get where I want to go.

David O'Connor said it best at the USEA Convention, "Do you have what it takes!" We joke with each other and repeat that statement, but there is truth in that statement. Do you have what it takes? AND are you willing to do what it takes to become the best?

Wishing you all a successful 2013 and so excited to be back in action!!