Archive for January, 2010

Kaylee Clark

Kaylee - Cowgirl Riding Kucha


Kaylee Clark, a mere slip of a girl now twelve and weighing ninety- five pound, with the widest smile full of braces, has come into her own.    Her first year riding with us, she traveled up week ends from Mass., once  summer came she went on the full summer camp program and she showed USDF Recognized show and got qualifying scores at introductory level, the following year she continued to travel weekends and a full summer program and showed USDF Recognized show and received qualifying scores at Training Level.  Then her parents decided it was time for her to move into the area so she could take full advantage of  riding.  They relocated her here.  So last year on the Aspirant Program she was able to advance in riding and acquire qualifying scores at first level.  This year she announced her goals to me,  She said, “I got introductory level qualifying scores at yrs old, training level qualifying scores at 10 yrs old. first level qualifying 

scores at 11 yrs old.  Now this is what I want to do,  get second level scores at 12 yrs old, third level scores at 13 yrs. old, fourth level scores at 14 yrs. old, Prix St George at 15, and Intermediare at 16, and Grand Prix at 17.”  I said, “that’s a lot to ask of  yourself and me.  But I’m up for it if you willing to put in the time.”  It really doesn’t matter if these goals are reached, but if she is inspired by them to work hard, she wins either way.  So, January 1, she talked her parents into letting her home school.  So now she is on the “Academy Program”, which means she rides all day every day now.  She rides a lot of horses each day and lectures everyday out of the German Equestrian Federation text books and studies the books I have written.  Besides becoming a sophisticated rider, I told her she needs to learn to be a cowgirl as well.  So last summer she galloped the fields with no stirrups and no reins.  This has made her a secure rider with real cowgirl skills.  The payoff came today, when her horse, Relan, a Lipizzan/Andulusian cross, fell to his knees coming around a corner in the canter, being as agile as he is, in a split second he was up and in the air, doing a capriole and came down to the ground and trotted off.  Kaylee never moved! Her seat stayed relaxed and she just rode through it and trotted to the bench, looking a little stunned, and said, “did what I think happen just happen?” I said “yes, and you rode it well.”  With a little wide eyed, misty bewilderment, off they went to do more work. 
She has trained Relan herself and shown him first level and is now schooling him second level in hopes that he will be ready to show by summer.  She rides Mirage a 4th level horse where she gets to feel what is needed to do flying changes and half pass.  She rides Galileo, who is schooling third level.  She rides Kucha, a second level mare, schooling third. She rides Sigma, a second horse she owns and is backing her this winter and progressing well.  She has a couple other horses that she is learning to work at liberty, and of course, she is learning to drive along with Angela.  If you want to follow Kaylee’s progress send us a comment.

Read Full Post »

I had Angela ground drive Elektra again in straight lines and in the end I took up the reins and asked for turn on the haunches again, which is really a half pass in place.  Then I asked for wider turns on haunches, as if there was a cart behind her.  Their lesson for the day was understanding the inside and outside rein and how to use each of them effectively in a turn on the haunches.  Both Kaylee and Angela asked lots of questions and understand it quite well now.   Photo insert is my son Justin who did a lot of driving with me when he was young.  He’s now grown, married and is an electrical engineer.

Read Full Post »

Well, I have decided to begin driving again.  Session One: Two of my students, Angela Bonacasa and Kaylee Clark, want to learn to drive.  Eleckra, whose dam was a thoroughbred and her sire was an Oldenburg/Cleveland Bay, a little driving blood there.  She was born 2003 and is the black horse pictured in the background of the picture of Deanna Thompson in the blog below, under “Deanna Lectures at the University of Maine.  She has had three sessions so far.  Session one:  At the Walk: Introduced her to the long-lines and she was undaunted by them and I went on to ask for changes through the circle and she did them quite well.  I had Angela take up the reins and try to steer her through the changes of direction, and she did quite well.  Session Two:  Walk and Trot:  Asked her to trot through the changes through the circle, at first she had difficulty maintaining the trot as she changed direction but she soon figured it out.  Session Three: Electra had already been ridden in a theater class with a lot of quadrille exercises, so for this session we only walked.  This time I walked around the arena, driving straight behind her and kept her straight on the rail and then straight accross the diagonal.  She did fine and I had Angela practice driving her and keeping her straight.  She did very well driving.  I took up the reins and asked Eleckra to do walk pirouettes and she quickly figured it out.  I will keep you posted on her progress if anyone is interested, please let me know.

Read Full Post »

I received a phone call from Deanna Thompson, a student from North Carolina, who graduated from the Isaac Royal Academy this past summer.  She says she is so happy that she attended the academy and that she is well on her way to her new career.  She is scheduled to judge every other weekend all summer long already and calls for judging are still coming in.  She has been requested to give a lecture to the Veterinary Program at the University of Maine next week.  That will bring her up from North Carolina and we will get to see her.   It feeds my soul to hear of the successes of my students.

Read Full Post »

Angela Bonacasa became a student of Isaac Royal Academy in January of 2009.  At that time I gave her Tonka for her project horse.  Tonka is a Belgium/Morgan and very safe even though he hadn’t been riden much.  Only had a canter on one side and not yet steering well and falling on the inside shoulder.  From there we began.  She is such a good student and follows instruction well.  First we changed her place of balance on a horse and then began.  He loves his work and is now sitting on the hind quarter and lifting into the canter from a walk with great elegance and grace.  He does beautiful canter corners and 10 meter circles are better and better each lesson.  Next week she will be flying out to teach in North Carolina for a month.  We and Tonka are going to miss her.

Angela and Tonka

Read Full Post »

My daughter has a baby

Lydia and Ivy

My daughter, Lydia, had a baby in Nov. 9, 09. My first grandchild and she is a beautiful addition to the family. We are all in love with her and wait for her each morning. She is such a good baby. Her favorite pass time is to listen to the Teddy Bear Picnic and wiggle to the music. Lydia is back riding again and has ridden her horse Valimar twice now, and is riding her Grand Prix horse, Vienna and refreshing all her work at Liberty.

Read Full Post »

Sandra Beaulieu Lecturing

This past weekend I attended The North East horseman’s Conference and Trade show, at the Augusta Civic Center.  There was a lot to see but the most inspiring for me was to see my long time student and graduate of the Isaac Royal Academy, Sandra Beaulieu, giving a lecture to a sizable audience about the judges program.  She was clear, articulate and easy to follow as she gave instruction that helped her audience understand what is expected by a judge at each level.  She passed out test sheets and then everyone got to practice judging and compare their scores with her assessment of each move.   She is very qualified because of her years of judging and she lectures in the Isaac Royal Academy two or three times a week to the student enrollment.  

Also my books were for sale at Sandra Beaulieu’s Equine Spirit Booth and numerous book were purchased.  I was able to be there for a book signing and to answer questions  about the technique.  A very pleasant week-end.

Read Full Post »