Monthly Editorials
October 2019 - Editor’s Notes
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 04:01

editors

After spending much of August working from a quiet family cabin in Northern Idaho, coming home to the beginning of medal finals season and various league wrap-ups was a bit of a head-spinner.

While going to press for this issue, I jumped back into the whirlwind with a weekend at Blenheim EquiSports’ International Jumping Festival in San Juan Capistrano. It was one-stop shopping for the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals and the EMO Insurance/USHJA’s 3’3” Jumping Seat Finals Medal Finals, won by Emma Catherine Reichow and Nicole McMillion, respectively. Not to mention the five North American League jumpers and hunter finals for the West Coast and the final round of the Markel Insurance Grand Prix league before the finals at the Las Vegas National next month.

 

 
October 2019 - What's Happening
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 00:48

whats happeningCalifornia Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Does your special event deserve special coverage in California Riding Magazine’s What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!

 
September 2019 - What’s Happening...
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 17:29

whats happeningCalifornia Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Does your special event deserve special coverage in California Riding Magazine’s What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call her at 949-644-2165.

Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by October 1st for the November issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!

 
August 2019 - Dressage News & Views
Written by by Nan Meek
Friday, 02 August 2019 01:43

dressage news

On with the show!

by Nan Meek

There’s a dressage show almost every weekend within reasonable driving distance of the little patch of paradise I call home, most of them organized by either a professional show manager or a commercial equestrian center.

These days, most of those dressage shows are “three-star,” meaning they are recognized by CDS, USDF, and USEF (officially, California Dressage Society, United States Dressage Federation, and United States Equestrian Federation). A few of them are “one-star” shows, recognized only by CDS.

 
August 2019 - Thoroughbred Makeover: California Contenders
Written by by Kaitlyn Zaleski
Wednesday, 31 July 2019 20:41

tbmakeover

Eight California Thoroughbred trainers headed for Kentucky this fall.

by Kaitlyn Zaleski

Hot summer days and a busy schedule while getting ready for my wedding at the end of July led to a quiet month for Hula’s Thoroughbred Makeover training. Considering the very active spring and early summer that we’ve had, I think this has actually been the perfect excuse to give Hula some down time. We did recently take one trip into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada for the day to do some hill work. She has become such a pro at hauling that the trip required zero training moments and was just pure fun! She even expertly navigated three different water crossings, something we’ve struggled with in the past.

 
August 2019 - What’s Happening...
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 17:01

whats happening

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Does your special event deserve special coverage in California Riding Magazine’s What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by September 1st for the October issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!

 
July 2019 - Editor's Notes
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Monday, 01 July 2019 02:57

editors

This was a heartbreaking month. On June 23, Don Trotter passed away after a short illness. Partner with his wife Pam in Sunsprite Warmbloods, Don touched many lives on the West Coast eventing scene and well beyond. He was a special advocate of volunteering and led by his own example in many ways, over many years, at many events and on a nationally impactful level. He was kind, wise, joyful, positive and funny. He will be mourned and missed but not forgotten because of the indelible impression he made on many hearts. We re-arranged our lay-out at the last minute to place his farewell on page 47, next to pictures of this year’s Area VI Young Riders heading to Rebecca Farm for the NAYC. You know he will be cheering you – and the rest of us – on in spirit.

 
July 2019 - What’s Happening...
Written by CRM
Saturday, 29 June 2019 04:13

whats happening

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Does your special event deserve special coverage in California Riding Magazine’s What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by August 1st for the September issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!

 
June 2019 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 02:48

fc

Farewell Maggi McHugh

Maggi McHugh passed away in early May after many years in and of service to the California equestrian world.

This obituary was provided by the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association, for whom Maggi was an administrator for 25 years.

 
June 2019 - A Damn Fine Hand
Written by by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 02:40

adamn

Installment #12, Pneumonia.

by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018

The veterinarian euthanized Pax Kristi by feed time. Her body was taken to the racetrack hospital for a necropsy and the barn was on lock down waiting for the tests to come back. Needless to say, the word was already out, grooms were thinking about looking for other jobs and trainers were lurking around thinking about picking up the barn’s clients as soon as Jude Keenan’s business was officially kaput.

 
May 2019 - Editor's Notes
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 01:05

editors

After a recent work-out, my swim coach validated my enthusiasm for this issue’s annual celebration of riding programs and events that open the horse world to new people. She was fresh from a Saturday afternoon watching Grand Prix jumping at a Blenheim EquiSports show in San Juan Capistrano.  “The jumps were so big,” she said with wide eyes and a big smile. “The horses were so big! And we got to pet about 10 of them!”

 
May 2019 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 00:47

fc

Flying Changes welcomes your submissions. Please tell us about what’s happening in your life and/or at your barn: births, deaths, engagements, job changes, new hires, marriages, new management and barn moves. Send your reports to Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Photos welcome!

 

 
May 2019 - A Damn Fine Hand
Written by by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 00:35

adamn

High Fever: Installment #11

by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018

Before the first break, Roxy and Ann had gotten eight horses to the track. Each horse trained smoothly and the girls laughed and joked like 12 year old girls riding at summer camp. The barn was running like a well-oiled machine. They were in the office planning the next sets when Jude Keenan stormed in. He refused to acknowledge Roxy’s presence and directed his comments but not his gaze to Ann while opening and closing the drawers on his desk, banging around as if to look for something.

 
April 2019 - Editor's Notes
Written by CRM
Friday, 29 March 2019 00:05

editors

Even though the eight weeks of HITS Coachella hunter/jumper competition are already over, the start of the Del Mar National Horse Show always feels to me like the real start of the show season. Maybe it’s because the show includes three disciplines: dressage, western and hunter/jumper. Or maybe I’m showing my age in that my heyday as a junior competitor coincided with the Del Mar National being an all disciplines-rolled-into-one-affair and it was a big deal for us NorCal riders to trek south to be part of it.
I’m super excited to see the pageantry of dressage Freestyles, Night of Horse during Western Week, and the Grand Prix of Del Mar in early May. Hope to see many of you there!

 
April 2019 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Friday, 29 March 2019 00:00

fc

Olivia Frost Joins Hansen Dam

Southern California equestrian hub, Hansen Dam Horse Park, adds another spoke of activity in welcoming dressage trainer Olivia Frost to its roster of resident professionals. Since taking over the Horse Park in late 2017, Managing Director Larry Langer has prioritized working with trainers who share his goal of bringing high-quality equestrian experiences to new and existing enthusiasts throughout the region.

 
October 2019 - Dressage News & Views
Written by by Nan Meek
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 02:46

dressage news

Volunteer Road Trip: 16,000 steps, worn-out socks, and even more fun than expected at California Dressage Society Championships.

by Nan Meek

“Let’s volunteer at Championships!” said the text message from my friend. Why not, I thought. We weren’t showing this year, so we wouldn’t be competing. And we both know how much volunteers are needed, difficult to get, and even more difficult for a show to run without – especially a championship show.

The Great American/United States Dressage Federation Region 7 & California Dressage Society Championship Show (aka “Championships”) was held this year on Sept. 19-22 at the Murieta Equestrian Center near Sacramento, a two and a quarter hour drive away.

 
September 2019 - Editor’s Notes
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 22:00

editors

August is vacation month for much of the world, but not for many West Coast-based equestrians. Through late July and August, our region’s riders contributed to great results at the Pan American Games and the North American Youth Championships. You’ll find reports on all those competitions in this issue, along with coverage of the many and diverse shows and events in California – from the Hansen Dam Summer Junction’s chance to dabble in different disciplines to Dancing King Farm’s celebration of the P.R.E. horse. Enjoy!

 
August 2019 - Editor’s Notes
Written by CRM
Friday, 02 August 2019 02:40

editors

This month I am particularly struck by and grateful for the work of our California Riding Magazine contributors, “old-timers” and newbies alike. Our longtime Dressage News & Views columnist Nan Meek not only wrote about the Herculean logistics involved in staging a dressage show, she helped to actually stage a CDS show during this issue’s deadline and wrote the “heroic” cover story about the WHOA! Woodside Day Of the Horse in such a way that I am already making plans to experience the October event myself. Who could resist such horsing around?

 
August 2019 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 31 July 2019 22:11

fc

Flying Changes welcomes your submissions. Please tell us about what’s happening in your life and/or at your barn: births, deaths, engagements, job changes, new hires, marriages, new management and barn moves. Send your reports to Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Photos welcome!

 
August 2019 - A Damn Fine Hand
Written by by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 22:03

adamn

Installment #14, Metta.

by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018

Mary and Colette had three things in common. They were 14 years old, they were crazy about horses and both had attempted suicide in the last year.

The girls came together at the ranch. Mary was the tiny, quiet one with a calm exterior and an artist’s temperament. She had Mediterranean skin and short, thick course black curls. She was what the adults called “an old soul.” The kids called her “helpful” “sweet” or “too quiet, maybe she’s kinda stuck up.”

 
July 2019 - Thoroughbred Makeover: Hitting The Trails
Written by by Kaitlyn Zaleski
Monday, 01 July 2019 03:06

tbmakeover

Building mental fitness by heading out of the arena.

by Kaitlyn Zaleski

The Thoroughbred Makeover is less than four months away, and soon we will be faced with the decision of which disciplines we will compete in. Each competitor or team is required to compete in one discipline, but may compete in two.

 
July 2019 - A Damn Fine Hand
Written by by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018
Monday, 01 July 2019 02:50

adamn

Installment #13, The Ranch.

by Joell Dunlap - all rights reserved by the author 2018

The Ranch.

She wasn’t sure that she wanted to be there. And yet it was as close to home as she could imagine.

Kids everywhere. She never did like kids. But she had to admit, these kids were pretty cool. They all worked hard for the privilege of riding at the Ranch. Dee made sure of that. If you didn’t work hard, you didn’t last at the Ranch. Kids who wanted to go to fancy shows moved on, kids who didn’t want to get dirty left. What remained was a group of kids, age eight to 19 that weren’t afraid to dig in and do what needed to get done. Yeah, she had to admit, these kids were okay. Dogs, barn cats and those damn goats. Dee called it “Ann’s junkyard” because so many of the lifelong residents of the Ranch had come from her barn at the track.

 
June 2019 - Editor's Notes
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 02:49

editors

This past month was an especially fun 30 days to be the editor of a multi-discipline equestrian magazine in California. That’s true year-round actually, but seemed especially so this past month, starting with my first experience volunteering as a dressage scribe.

 

 
June 2019 - Dressage News & Views
Written by by Nan Meek
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 02:44

dressage news

The Perfect Horse.

by Nan Meek

You know that fizz of delight you get when something comes full circle? That’s the fizz I got when I saw the May 6 & 13 dressage issue of the respected sport horse magazine, The Chronicle of the Horse.

 
June 2019 - What's Happening
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 02:08

whats happening

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Copper Meadows Fundraiser Clinic
June 1-2 in Ramona

Copper Meadows offers a great chance to advance all three phases of eventing skills while supporting the good cause of helping the Ramona venue maintain and upgrade to the highest standard. The fundraiser will work similarly to Copper Meadows’ Sun Series one-day show format with dressage tests, show jumping rounds, and cross-country rounds available all day Saturday and Sunday.

 

 
May 2019 - Dressage News & Views - Dressage Technology
Written by by Nan Meek
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 01:01

dressage news

Distance learning has a valuable place in our sport.

by Nan Meek

Dressage principles stretch back in time to Xenophon, the Greek general and student of Socrates who wrote the first surviving manual of horsemanship, The Art of Horsemanship. With the assistance of technology, the study of dressage can now stretch across space and time … or at least, across geography and time zones.

 
May 2019 - Thoroughbred Makeover: Weekend Adventures
Written by by Kaitlyn Zaleski
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 00:40

tbmakeover

Getting out & about with Hula brings big benefits.

by Kaitlyn Zaleski

After several months of what has felt like a “three steps forward, two steps backward” dynamic, it’s finally starting to feel like we are making consistent progress with Hula. She has become so sweet to be around and easy to handle. When it comes to riding, we are starting to be able to build on previous rides each time rather than feeling like we have to start from scratch every time we sit on her back. I attribute most of this “slow” progress to her age and immaturity, and less so to the fact that she was a racehorse.  Ultimately, it’s a combination of both.

 
May 2019 - What’s Happening...
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 00:18

whats happening

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

Does your special event deserve special coverage in our What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by June 1st for the July issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!

 

 
April 2019 - Thoroughbred Makeover
Written by by Kaitlyn Zaleski
Friday, 29 March 2019 00:02

tbmakeover

From the Ground, Up
KZ Equestrian is taking the “race” out of the racehorse by focusing on going back to basics.

by Kaitlyn Zaleski

As I mentioned in my introductory column last month, I have a particular ‘soft spot’ for Thoroughbreds. As such, I’m sure it’s not surprising to hear that my Makeover horse, Hula, isn’t the only one that I own! I also have a 9-year-old bay gelding named Harley (Jockey Club Name: Compratore). He was retired from the racetrack as a 7-year-old, and, to my good fortune, found a second career in the jumper arena and a new home at KZ Equestrian last year. The most common question that I get when someone finds out that I am competing in the Thoroughbred Makeover is: “Why are you competing with Hula instead of Harley?!”…

 
April 2019 - Winner's Circle
Written by CRM
Thursday, 28 March 2019 23:58

wc

Ronnie Mutch Run Away Win

Emma Pacyna continued an awesome year, winning the R.W. Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship at HITS Coachella March 16 by a whopping 19.5 points. Riding her trainer Georgy Maskrey-Segesman’s Constantinos, Emma topped runner-up Augusta Iwasaki and Emma Catherine Reichow. As a trainer’s daughter and working student, Emma wasn’t phased by the Mutch Championship’s requirement of walking the course and warming up her horse on her own, with just a groom to help set jumps. Self-sufficiency has been a hallmark of her whole career.

 
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