Despite the howling winds, the riders at Pretty Pony Pastures had a great time at our Annual Awards Ceremony. As the families arrived, the tables filled with delicious food to share. This year our cook-off was a bake-off and our judge got a sugar high tasting the scrumptious desserts that were brought it.

Once everyone got a plateful of food, our ceremony began. This is the time that our riders get certificates that show their progress in our riding program. Most riders move up one level, but there are always a few surprises – like Laina James who moved from Beginner Rider – Level 2 last year to Novice Rider – Level 3 this year! Way to go Laina!

The highlight of the event is the presenting of the Grand Champion ribbons. The scores of the riders who participated in the Giddy-up Go Horsey Show in August are tallied after the show. Each rider is awarded points based on their placement in the class and the number of participants in that class. Then, the top six riders are presented with their Grand and Reserve Champion ribbons at our Awards Ceremony.

This year our Champions were:





Horse Stew

109 Nora Kreft 5 5 3 1 14
114 Kaitlin Maloney 6 4 3   13
108 Callie Keller 5 6     11
105 Emily Kinser   2 4 4 10
110 Morgan Nimmo 4 1 2 2 9
102 Rylee Schomberg 2 2 1 3 8


Grand Champions - Callie, Nora, Rylee, Morgan

Way to go riders!






Our volunteers - Gloria, Eva, Callie, Riley

Next we honored our volunteers. Our therapeutic riding program and our Scout sessions could not take place if it weren’t for our dedicated volunteers. We thank all of you for so generously giving of your time to our facility and supporting our programs.




Cathy Capozzo - Dessert Cook-off Winner

The grand finale of the day was selecting the winning desert. Congratulations to Cathy Capozzo for her delicious dessert – Green Slime! Cathy received half the entry fees for the Cook-off.


We added a new class to our Giddy-Up Go Horse Show this year – Mom (or Dad) and Me!  A Mom or Dad who had never ridden a horse could take part in the trail class – and be led by their daughter or son, if they chose.  This gave the parents a chance to see and feel what it’s like to be on a horse.

Leading Mom over the bridge.

Leading Mom over the bridge.


Our first rider was Carrie led by her daughter, Riley.  This was a big step for Carrie.  Riley has been riding with us for two years, but Carrie had never even been near a horse before her daughter decided to learn how to ride.  Because Riley was under six when she started to ride, Carrie needed to be with her in the arena.  It was a mother/daughter learning experience from how to groom to how to saddle and how to lead.  Riley is now an Intermediate rider and wants to learn how to jump!  Mom is happy that she overcame her fears and was able to walk Stella through the obstacles in the trail class.


Leading Dad over the pole.

Leading Dad over the pole.

Our next entry was Matt led by his daughter, Riley.  (No confusion or relationship here.  We have two Riley’s in our classes, both of whom had a parent riding.)  Matt claims that he didn’t even know he was entered until the day of the show.  He has always been very supportive of his two daughters taking riding lessons, but never knew what it took to actually ride a horse.  After completing the class, Matt remarked that riding was a lot harder than it looks and has to give his daughters a lot of credit for what they have accomplished.  Both Riley and her sister Callie are Intermediate riders in our riding program.


Both parents received participation ribbons for taking part in the class.  Perhaps next year a few more parents will want to try to ride!

Our second annual horse show was scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2009, but apparently mother nature had different ideas on when we should hold our show.  As the riders and guest gathered, so did the thunderstorms with torrential downpours!  The horses started acting a little jittery, and since we don’t ride during thunderstorms, we decided to postpone the show until Sunday.

Sunday was a bright and hotter day.  We actually tied the record high of 92 degrees!  None-the-less, 20-some riders and their families reconvened at our facility.  The show started promptly at 11:00 am and continued, despited the heat, until 7:00 pm.  Not bad.  No heat exhaution, we kept the arena fans going and water flowing, everyone, including the horses survived.

The show was divided into three three sections – showmanship, equitations, games.

Only five riders participated in the showmanship class.  Each followed the pattern with the horse rather nicely.

The equitation classes consisted of two parts – an equitation pattern and a trail class.  In the equitation pattern class, the rider was judged on his or her form.  Heels down, eyes forward, ability to keep the horse on the rail, whether the reins were too loose or too tight, etc.  The trail classes judges the riders ability to maneuver the horse through obstacles.  This year our riders had to cross a bridge, walk over a star-burst AND keep the horse in the center of the poles, walk through a gate, through an L set up with poles, trot the long wall or at least walk it AND either do a two-point or stand in the stirrups when crossing the pole that was about half-way down the long wall, make a tight turn, grab a ring from a cone, then set the ring on a spindle.  We did practice in class before the show so no one got butterflies from not being sure of either pattern!

The games were pole-bending and pony express.  Our pole-bending was more like cone bending.  Yes, if the cone got knocked over, you would have time added to the score and there were only four cones instead of the traditional six.  Pony Express was a modified barrel racing game but instead of three barrels there were four barrels and a cone (start/end designation) and instead of a cloverleaf the rider made a star with all right turns in the pattern.

At the end of the show, ribbons were awarded to the show Grand Champion and five Reserve Grand Champions.  This year we had a tie for First Reserve Champion!

This our show winners were:

Alex, Eva, Linda, Callie, Riley (not pictured Bowen and Shelby)

Alex, Eva, Linda, Callie, Riley (not pictured Morgan, Bowen and Shelby)

Grand Champion – Shelby Krohn – riding Stella
First Reserve GC – Eva Aguilar – riding Lu-Rain
First Reserve GC – Morgan Nimmo – riding Slick Chick
Second Reserve GC – Alex Aguilar – riding Lu-Rain
Third Reserve GC – Callie Keller – riding Slick Chick/Leslie
Fourth Reserve GC – Bowen Waltz – riding Slick Chick
Fifth Reserve GC – Riley Redmond – riding Leslie

All of the riders did an excellent job of showing off their riding skills.  We hope they all come back next year for the third annual Giddy-Up Go Horsey Show!

Congratulations to all of our riders!

It’s time to start practicing for our annual horse show.  The show typically consists for four classes: Showmanship, Equitation, Trail, and Games.  We try to practice the trail class a couple of times before the show so that the riders are comfortable with the pattern and the obstacles.  Some years they have to get mail out of the mail box; others they are moving something from one barrel to another.  This year, I introduced “the gate” to the class.

First time through I let them try to figure out how they should remove the rope to open the gate.  Some have a very hard time figuring it out; others are quicker.  Lu-Rain decided that since her rider wasn’t sure how to maneuver her up the the rope, she would take matters into her own hands, er, mouth.Lu-Rain Opens the Gate

First she stopped short of the rope.  She’s no fool.  She wasn’t going to touch the hot wire!  Then she crept closer to determine if it really was a hot wire.  It wasn’t, so she promptly grabbed the rope in her mouth, then dropped it so her rider could cross through the gate.  She did have that look about her that seemed to say – I did good.  I opened the gate for you!

It was a very wonderful and informational week-end.

We were invited to participate in the North American Horse Fest.  I was thrilled that we were asked to come and demonstrate therapeutic riding with one of our horses.

The first decision was – which horse should we take.  Our horses are out in the paddock 24/7 and knowing that who ever I took would be in a stall for almost three days, I had to make the right decision.  Stella could go.  She wouldn’t care about being in a stall, she had been stalled before.  Lu-Rain is a seasoned show horse.  She is not only used to being stalled on occassion, but also has the right attitude about being in public.  Poppie might be able to do it, but we haven’t had her long enough to know how she would react to the crowd.  As we sorted through, we decided that our seasoned show horse, Lu-Rain, would represent both the breed and therapeutic riding the best.

quinn-at-nahf-croppedNext decision – which riders should be selected?  They ALL want to go…but who would best represent our facility?  I sent out an e-mail to the families , asking who would be interested in attending.  Two of the responses came from riders that I know would be right.  Quinn, who just recently turned three, and James, one of my teen riders, who is also deaf.  This was a great combination.





james-in-arena-at-nahf-croppedBoth riders did well.  Both performed at the show exactly like they do in the arena.  And Lu-Rain, who could ask for more?  During the day, she would stand quietly in the stall, but, when children approached, she came up to the grate asking for a pet.

On the last day, one of the presenters asked if she could be used to demonstrate desensitizing.  He made sure that Lu-Rain had been sacked out and was generally a calm horse.  We assured him that she would do fine.  Oh, she did better than fine.  She was completed unphased be anything that he brought out, including a leaf blower!  I should have told him that we use a blow-dryer on our horses if they get too wet!

Here are the links to the condensed video of Lu-Rain and riders.

Quinn riding

James riding

Lu-Rain desensitizing demo