December 2015 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Saturday, 28 November 2015 00:23

Karen Healey Scales Back

Last month’s Las Vegas National was the last show for Karen Healey Stables. One of the winningest equitation, hunter and jumper trainers in the country, Karen is closing up shop at Whitethorne Ranch in Somis as of December 1.

She will focus her coaching and training talents on giving lessons and schooling riders at shows. It’s a sad moment, she admits, but what she wants to do is teach and to keep spreading George Morris’ classical horsemanship as far and wide as she can and without the financial obligations and logistical burdens that come with maintaining a barn. She will continue her involvement with horse sales and purchases, working with Whitethorne’s Georgy Maskrey-Segesman.

Karen worked with the legendary horseman before moving out to California from her native East Coast in 1981. “I always have his voice in my ear,” she told us. She spread George Morris’ teachings to hundreds of her own students and to many others as a key player in creating the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s Trainers Certification Program. In addition, she has served on many committees over the years, contributing to the sport in an unending list of ways.

George, meanwhile, will give his last clinic for Karen’s program on Dec. 11-13, as planned, at Whitethorne. Karen Healey Stables stable equipment will be for sale during the clinic, that is if it hasn’t been spoken for through her Facebook page.

Karen’s longtime assistant and barn manager Melissa Jones plans to continue training on a freelance basis. Assistant trainer Tasha Visokay plans to start her own business at Shelburne Farms in Hidden Valley, where Karen was based for many years.

We wish all the best to Karen!

Sonoma Valley Stables’ Hope Glynn was the featured speaker at the grand opening for Dover Saddlery’s newest retail outlet in the East Bay Area’s Moraga. A reception the night before the Nov. 13 opening drew 400-plus people and featured lots of great prizes and discounted products.

Farewell Monsieur

Dressage rider and coach Charlotte Bredahl made the difficult decision to put down her beloved Monsieur on Saturday, Oct. 17. Here is her Facebook account: “The last few months his legs were having trouble carrying his enormous 17.3hh body and when he coliced Saturday night I knew it was time to let him go. I bought him in a partnership when he was a gangly and unruly 5-year-old and had him until he was 35.

“The last time he had a saddle on was 15 years ago when I retired him after 10 years at Grand Prix. Had I known he would live another 15 years I might have kept him in work a bit longer. For the past ten years he lived in pasture always with a tub of soup (liquid hay pellets) in front of him. He outlived three different pasture mates (polo ponies) who also lived into their thirties.

“He was truly ‘the wind beneath my wings.’ He carried me to shows all over the US and Europe, he carried me to an Olympic Team Bronze in Barcelona (1992), he taught me more life lessons than any person could have ever done.

“Dear Monsieur, I am forever grateful for having had you in my life. I will always love you and never forget you.”

Flying Changes welcomes your submissions. Please tell us about what’s happening in your life and/or at your barn: births, deaths, engagements, marriages, new management and barn moves. Please 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!