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April 2009 Newsletter

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April 2008 Newsletter

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Hoof Beats The Newsletter of the Montana Hunter Jumper Association

April 2009

 President's Letter:

 News, Tidbits, Gossip and Rumors:
 Missoula trainer/competitor Drue Kerns and her husband, Matt, welcomed
 Cash Alexander Kerns on March 25, 2009 at 3:51 AM. Cash foaled out at
 7 lbs 11 oz and was 21" long.

 Clinics are popping up everywhere.
 This in from MHJA member Michele Koenig:
 Tri-H stables in Bozeman will host Gerd Heuschmann from Germany on May
 13/14 and May 16/17. Learn more about him at
 Olympic jumping star Greg Best will be giving a clinic a Copper
 Springs Ranch May 29- 31. Find out more at
 Jennifer Roth will be giving a dressage clinic in Stevensville, June
 9-10. Roth, who has 30 years of dressage behind her, is an S judge. To
 learn more about her go to www.lipizzansanddressage.com. To register
 for the clinic call Nancy Johnston at 777-0178 or e-mail her at

 Need to make a little money for show season? Need to clean out your closet?
 Crazy Horse Consignment shop in Lolo is eager for English clothes and
 tack. Their supply is low, and English stuff sells out quickly.
 Everything is welcome except for low-quality saddles, the kind with
 stiff leather. For more information call 273-4226 or go to


 Calling all Junior and Amateur Equitation riders: The United States
 Hunter Jumper Association wants you to ride your hunt-seat best and
 get a medal for it.
 USHJA has launched an equitation awards program for riders who compete
 at the local horse show level. You will see at several shows this
 season Medal Finals classes. To participate, you MUST be a paid member
 of USHJA BEFORE the show—i.e., you can’t register at a show and
 compete in the class.
 High-point winners will be honored at year-end, and a photo of the
 riders will be published in an annual USHJA Affiliates Award Yearbook.
 To learn more, go to www.ushja.org/affiliates/OutreachMedalsFinals or
 Interested? Fill out the application form found in this newsletter.

 Heads Up: Potomac Fever Has Come West
 Our friends at the Mission Valley Back Country Horsemen association
 share some disturbing news. Emery and Sheryl Tegelberg of Arlee lost
 their Morgan/Arabian stallion, Stetson, on Nov. 9 to this disease. It
 was thought this fever was not active in our area, but the Tegelberg’s
 learned differently. The couple sought care and information from both
 Dr. Hoversland and Dr. Beth Blevins. The vets said confirmed there
 have been isolated cases in the valley, and some in the Bitterroot
 Sheryl has done a great deal of research since the death of their
 horse and discovered there is a vaccination available that needs to be
 administered in doses similar to the West Nile vaccine. The vaccines
 must be administered in early summer to be effective.
 Please consult your veterinarian for more specifics.


 New MHJA Logo Contest
 Enter to win $200.  The MHJA Board met in January to launch our
 activities for the New Year.  One proposal met with broad support – to
 update the MHJA logo.  As MHJA celebrates its fifteenth birthday in
 2009, the board thought it would be a good idea to look for a new logo
 that can take us into our next fifteen years.  We would put the new
 logo on our apparel and other official MHJA material.
 Many members have artistic talent and/or experience in graphic design.
  And we all know non-members with similar skills.  So we’re launching
 a contest for anyone interested in submitting one or more new designs
 for our logo.
 MHJA’s current logo is found at our website www.mhjanews.com.  Other
 logos can be seen at www.ushja.org, www.fei.org and other
 horse-related websites.  It’s important, though, that any proposed
 design respect the copyright of other designs.
 The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2009.  Contestants should
 send their designs, preferably via e-mail, to Joanna Shelton or as a
 hard copy mailed to MHJA c/o Joanna Shelton, 46451 Schoolhouse Lane,
 Moiese, MT 59824 (406) 644-2090.
 Members will have a chance to vote for their favorite logo (including
 the current logo) before the year-end meeting and awards banquet in
 November.  The winning design will be unveiled at the banquet and the
 winning designer will be presented with a check for $200.  Please
 enter or encourage your artistic friends to enter.



                                 Riding the Hunter Course
                           Tips from Ashley Wren, Rebel Sky Farm

 1.      Take your time. I have seen so many riders rush through their
 course. The idea of a hunter is to be graceful and perform like a
 waltz, with an even beat. During your courtesy circle establish your
 pace and kept it throughout the round. When you need to adjust for the
 distance, lengthen or shorten your stride. Simply speeding up or
 slowing down does nothing but make your round look choppy.
 2.      Use your ring. I see so many riders do tight courtesy circles.
 Sometimes even having to do multiple circles because their circles are
 too tight to even establish a canter. Turns are important too. Cutting
 turns after you fend often leads to incomplete lead changes or no
 change at all. Go to the rail and use your space you have available.
 3.      Use your leg through the jump process. This encourages the horse to
 use themselves, which creates a better picture. Also, by using your
 leg, the horse will pick up his feet better, be less likely to rub or
 knockdown fences.
 4.      Lead changes. Change your horse’s lead before the turn. Don’t give
 up or simply ignore. If your horse cannot do a flying change, do a
 simple change. Make your changes look organized, don’t run into them
 or try to throw the horse off balance with your body. If you do a
 simple change, make it quick, with just a few trotting steps.
 5.      The dreadful long approach to a single oxer on the diagonal. For a
 hunter course this jump seems to never work out. It is either a chip
 or a long fence, just to knock your placing down a bit. Typically,
 this is nothing but a psychological issue with us as a rider. We can’t
 make our minds. As we round the turn it starts there with our
 indecisiveness. Pick. Push. Pick. Push. You should already have a good
 pace so leave it alone. Make no decisions until four strides away. If
 you keep changing your mind you will cause your horse to fall on his
 forehand. This is the last thing you want as a rider. So remember to
 breathe and wait.

                                          “SETTING THE STANDARD”
                                       BY EDEE WEIGEL OF HUNTLEY, MT
 MARCH 2009
            When I attended the AHSA/USEF course designer clinics held
 at The Los Angeles Equestrian Center in the 1980’s, I was truly
 inspired listening to such horsemen as Olympic Course Designers Pamela
 Carruthers, Linda Allen, Pierre Jolicoure, and Brian Flynn.  It was so
 interesting to learn what these professionals felt was important.
 Each day they would have lectures on Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation
 courses and all of the details and dangers involved therein.
                 Every designer had their own set of Ideals and Rules,
 but they all agreed that the number one rule in course designing is
 safety.  The other subject they discussed daily is how difficult it is
 to set user-friendly courses for the lower level divisions!  This is
 becoming paramount in importance now in our industry, because
 over-facing horses and riders can have devastating results.
             Using these principles when I set the jumps for any class
 under 2’6”, I simply think to myself: “Could a green or timid
 horse/rider TROT this course?”  I have been designing courses since
 1980 and this one rule has helped me the most.  The horses are simply
 not faced with a huge effort of jumping if the rider makes an
 occasional mistake in the approach.
                   I was taught that the low level classes should be a
 gift to the riders, trainers, and most of all…OUR horses!  All of the
 turns need to be wide and gradual too.  When designing for BD&CT
 combined training test shows, wide jumps and combinations are not
 added until the higher divisions.  I have followed this general
 guideline as I set fences for our MHJA shows as well.  I do not add
 wide oxers or combinations of 1 or 2 strides until the higher level
             The USHJA has now set the national standard for safety
 with their Affiliate horse shows program Outreach Medals course
 requirements.  Course designers will need to conform to the Outreach
 Medal course requirements, which specify that no combinations of 24’
 or 36’ will be allowed in the 2’-2’3” Bronze Medal or 2’6” Silver
 Medal classes.
             For the low level classes, it is recommended to keep the
 jumps farther apart so the riders can get reorganized after each jump.
  Use distances between the fences of 72’ or 84’ whenever possible, so
 that short-strided horses or ponies can simply add a stride when
           Bending lines are also very user friendly to many different
 types of horses and can be ridden with an added stride if needed.  In
 hunter classes, the lines always begin with a vertical to an oxer; a
 single oxer on course can be used, but the first fence for hunters is
 always a vertical.
             In hunter classes a two-stride (36’) vertical to oxer
 combination is used for the higher hunter classes.  One-stride
 combinations (24’) are mostly used in the Jumpers and Equitation
 classes for the higher divisions.
            The USHJA Outreach Medals will be offered this year at
 some of our MHJA shows.  Riders that are Affiliate members of the
 USHJA can compete in these medals and receive national points!  The
 Medals start with 2’-2’3” courses, so there is something for everyone!
            Please look up the web site www.USHJA.org for all details
 to the requirements to compete in these new and exciting classes.
 Some equitation tests will be built into the first round of the
 Medals, so everyone will get a chance to show off their best
 equitation riding.  Be sure to review the USEF Equitation Tests to
 plan out your training and practice routines!
            I just watched a wonderful DVD called “Connected!”  This
 DVD will be used at the USEF/USHJA trainers and judges clinics.  I
 recommend that everyone get this DVD and review it often!  It is very
 well done and shows exactly the way riders should perform the tests.
 This DVD can be ordered from the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association
 at www.pchorseshows.org.

2009 MHJA Officers and the Board of Directors

Questions? Concerns? Suggestions? Contact your MHJA Board of Directors.
Have news to share for the next newsletter? Send it to Betsy