January 2019 - Van Vleck Sporthorses

cover story

Joy of the process drives top hunter/jumper team.

by Kim F. Miller

The Van Vleck name is as recognizable as the broad-brimmed sun visor Kelly Van Vleck wears everywhere on the hunter/jumper A circuit, except at awards banquets. The double Vs have graced many year-end honors since the Sacramento-area native turned professional in 1993. But, to Kelly, Van Vleck is more brand than name and more reflective of her entire team than of any one individual, especially herself.

January 2019 - A Horse Owner’s Day at the AAEP

news & features

The American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention was meant for vets, but had a lot to offer a layperson.

article & photos by Kim F. Miller

We greatly enjoyed being among the 5,100 plus to attend the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention held in San Francisco in early December. I am not an equine practitioner and could only spend one day there, but as a proactive horseman it was a day well spent and much enjoyed.


January 2019 - Parent’s Perspective

news & features

Putting teens on horses is the best RX for surviving the high school years.

by Alice Chan

I’ve heard it said that parenting toddlers and parenting teens is not so different. Each age group is struggling for its independence. Each wants you, but needs to push you away for their own development. Each has a hard time regulating their emotions. And they are deep in their experimenting phases.


December 2018 - Sanctuary: Ventura non-profit to the rescue.


The Humane Society of Ventura County is one of many organizations to open its doors wide to dogs, cats, horses and other domesticated animals in need of sanctuary from November’s wildfires.

December 2018 - Big Horse Feed & Mercantile


Temecula institution offers a wide array of horse keeping staples, everyday and special occasion apparel, plus gifts, gear and surprises.

by Kim F. Miller

“Wow!” is typically the first thing a new customer says when they enter Big Horse Feed & Mercantile in Temecula. It looks like a sizable place from the outside, but the sight of 8,000 square feet of merchandise still surprises. On a closer look, it’s not only the quantity that boggles the mind, it’s the quality and scope of the inventory. There are items for horses, people, dogs and cats and for a long list of activities and interests that comprise the equestrian and/or country lifestyle.

December 2018 - Horses – The Ultimate Healers


Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center’s Operation Saddle Up Changes People’s Lives

Mike, a retired Army Major and Green Beret, had his life drastically change when he was injured while saving a fellow soldier during a parachute training exercise. His chute tangled during the rescue which caused him to fall 400 feet to what should have been his death. A son of a minister, he asked God to save him and miraculously he survived.

Catastrophically injured, he was “given a mountain of prescription drugs” which led to addiction. When his dad confronted him about his addiction, which was causing anger, depression, and hopelessness, Mike knew he needed to get help. A doctor referred him to Operation Saddle Up, a project of Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center in San Diego County’s Ramona, where his road to recovery really began.

January 2019 - Golden Opportunity with Katie Prudent

news & features

Star show jumper headlines USHJA Gold Star clinic January 17-20.

Living legend show jumper Katie Prudent is the featured clinician for the California leg of the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s second Gold Star clinic. Part of the USHJA’s Emerging Athlete Pathway, the clinic is set for Jan. 17-20 at the HITS Thermal venue. Riders earn spots through Zone Jumper Championships and a few wild card options, and auditing is free, open to all and highly recommended.

January 2019 - Leaning Toward Limitless

news & features

Educational opportunities are as important as saddle time on the road to show jumping dreams.

by Amelia Enzminger

Horses have always been a part of my life, whether mucking a stall or feeling the rush of the show ring, this sport has shown me the importance of holding onto the childlike excitement that struck me the first time I climbed into the saddle. As a first generation show jumper starting around the age of 10, my riding journey didn’t begin with trainer parents or posting the trot before


January 2019 - The Five Figure Sale Danger Zone

news & features

An “as is” bill of sale in not sufficient protection on its own.

by Armand Leone, Leone Equestrian Law

Looking back over “horse deals gone bad” in both my personal and professional career representing horse owners and trainers, the most difficult disputes to resolve are those when the price of the horse and the cost of litigation are the same.


December 2018 - How To Help


Once again, wildfires spark equestrian community’s remarkable generosity.

Myriad efforts to help equine and human fire victims exist throughout the state and beyond. Individuals have started GoFundMe pages, equipment drives and other efforts for specific barns or people. Tack and feed stores throughout the state welcome donations that can be put toward helping horse owning fire victims with whatever supplies they most need. Those caring for evacuated horses concur that monetary donations are the best way for out-of-area horse people and the general public to help.

December 2018 - Gaining The Edge in NCEA Recruiting


Collegiate equestrians share three tips for standing out in a competitive field of candidates.

by Alex Riley

The path to a spot on a National Collegiate Equestrian Association level program’s roster is different for every rider. Two things are constant in the recruiting process – many athletes are trying to reach the sport’s highest collegiate level and space is extremely limited.

NCEA equestrian programs have a maximum of 15 scholarships at their disposal, but some carry more than 60 athletes at a time. Most riders do not receive a full-ride athletic scholarship, instead using a combination of athletic, academic and personal money to cover the costs related to school. In fact, some riders do not receive any athletic financial aid at all, joining a program as a walk-on, but they still receive the same benefits.

December 2018 - Fires Everywhere


Wildfires spark crisis, courage & kindness from fire-weary California equestrians.

by Kim F. Miller

The death toll in Northern California’s Camp fire neared 80, with 1,200 still missing, at presstime, and the Woolsey fire had laid waste to most of Malibu and many homes and stables in a wide swath of the surrounding area.  Once again, stories of the equestrian community’s preparedness and willingness to risk all for horses and their people bring some solace to heartbreaking tales of lost lives, property and worldly possessions.

Here are a few of their stories from both ends of the state. This reporting was done the week of Nov. 12, and mostly refers to events during the fires’ immediate outbreaks. The status of evacuations, stables, etc., has likely changed since then.

For suggestions on helping those affected, see story in this issue.

Page 2 of 36