Friday, January 23, 2015

Stable Management Lab.

As part of the Equine Business Management class this semester students are required to write one blog post about some aspect of our program. Shannon Hahn chose to write about Stable Management Lab. 

With the start of the new spring semester here at St. Andrews, we are pleased to see the new students in the stable management lab here at the barns.  The first class meeting was a nice chilly 30 degree day.  The students were assigned their horses for the semester and participated in a silly ice breaker that involved many laughs and creative descriptions of common horse items such as a side rein (or dog lease/belt/miniature pony lead rope/etc) and a grazing muzzle (spaghetti strainer).

The second class meeting was met with slightly warmer weather.  The students were able to work with their horses during the class for the first time!  The instructors set up a mini obstacle course with four obstacles to take their horses through: weaving the horse through a few cones, walking their horse to a stall and backing them in, jogging in an arc to a mounting block, and then finally walking to a gate, opening the gate, walking through, and closing the gate when they were finished.  Many laughs, and sighs of frustration, were had when some of the horses refused to be backed into the stalls.  The same feelings were felt again when some of the horses refused to stand at the mounting blocks, pointedly telling us that they did not want to be ridden at that point in time.  It was a successful exercise and also told the students how well, or not so well, their horses stood in one spot waiting for their turn.

The students have also learned a lot about the feeding that goes on at the barns.  They discussed in length the different types of hay that are fed and why the horses receive what they do.  They also learned about the different types of feed that are available, the nutritional value of some of them, and how different mashes are mixed for feeding.  They were also taught how to clean the sheath of their gelding, and spent part of a class period doing that.  They will get to spend many hours working with their horses and caring for them throughout the semester.

by Shannon Hahn

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tentative Spring 2015 Events Schedule

W   7                      Classes begin
F     9                      Lessons begin (Monday lessons will be held this Friday)
M  19                     Martin Luther King Day of Service – no lessons
Th-Su                    Raleigh Spring “A” Show
M  26                     RLAK Lessons begin
Sa  31                     Tournament of Champions at St. Andrews
Sa  31                     IHSA Western Show at Campbell University

Su   1                      IHSA Western Show at Campbell University
Sa   7                      IHSA Hunter Seat Show at UNC-Wilmington
Sa   14                    IHSA Hunter Seat Show at St. Andrews
Sa  14                     IDA Show at Averett
Sa   21                    IHSA Hunter Seat Regional Finals at St. Andrews             
Sa   28                    Open House
Sa   28                    IHSA Western Show at Old Dominion Ag Center

Su   1                      IHSA Western Regional Finals at ODAC
Fr-Su 6-8              PATH Region 3 Conference at St. Andrews
Fr-Su 6-8              Triangle Farms Indoor “C” Show in Raleigh
M-F  9-13             Spring Break
Th-Su                    Raleigh Spring “A” Show
Fr-Su 20-22         IHSA Western Semi-Finals in Florida
Sa   21                    Open House
Sa  21                     IDA Show at St. Andrews
Fr-Su  27-29        IHSA Zone Finals at Goucher College
Su  29                    RLAK Horse Show

F   3                        Easter Break
F  10                       Showing Under the Stars
S  11                       RLAK Volunteer Picnic
Tu-Su 14-19        ANRC National Championship at St. Andrews
Th   23                   Last day of classes
F-Su 24-26           IDA Nationals
Sa-Th 25-30         Exams
Su  26                    Riders Roast  M-M 27-4 IHSA Nationals in Springfield, MA

Monday, November 24, 2014

Dressage Show November 22.

We were lucky with the weather for our IDA show on Saturday. The sun shone and the temperatures were very tolerable. The dressage team led by Bridget Newman (who is doing a practicum this semester) and Dressage Show Chair Claire Pollard put on a fabulous show. The team worked together to prepare the horses, set the ring, and help one another with their tests. Bridget served as show secretary and show manager collecting entries, putting the program together and organizing all the details such as shipping horses from the lesson barn, picking up pizza for lunch and organizing parade riders. Claire recruited students from the hunter seat and western teams to hold horses, work the gate and run tests to the scorer. We received many compliments on the show from the visiting schools.

Competitively the highlights of our day were Bridget breaking a string of 4th places at first level to plance 2nd in First Level Test 2 with a score of 68.784%. Claire placed 3rd in Training Level Test 2 with a score of 72.143% which just goes to show the quality of the rides in her division. Elizabethe Weeks earned 3rd place in Training Level Test 1 with a score of 67.5% and Geneva Masak was 4th in the same division with 66.458%. At Introductory Level Test B Sarah Lishen was 4th with 62.813% and Nina Jurac riding for the team for the first time placed 6th with 60.983%

In the Dressage Seat Equitation classes Bridget was 3rd in first level. I training level Courtney Anderson was 2nd, McCall DiMarco 3rd and Natasha Worker 4th. At the Intro level Sarah Lishen and Sarah Hartley were 2nd in different classes and Nina Jurac was 4th.

I was very pleased with the way the show ran as I had turned it completely over to the students. Individually we had some good scores. Team wise we tied with Longwood for 3rd place the tie is broken by overall percentage where they beat us by just over 1 percentage point. Congratulations to Averett and NCSU for their 1st and 2nd placings. 

Show Manager and Show Secretary Bridget Newman riding Astaire in the First Level Dressage Seat Equitation Class

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Horse Show Updates

Last weekend the Western Team traveled to West Virginia to compete in the Mountaineer Invitational finishing in second place overall. “We were the only southern team to compete,” said Coach Carla Wennberg. “I am very proud to have the opportunity to compete my team against teams we don’t have the chance to compete with until spring at the Semi-Finals Competition. This tournament gave us the opportunity to see where we are midseason and what we need to improve on.” Click here for results and more information on this competition.

At home this Saturday we hosted IHSA Hunter Seat. The show was well organized by the Equestrian Program students and staff with St. Andrews earning 2nd place and maintaining the Regional lead by 18 points. ECU coached by Alumna Alie McGraw took the Championship Ribbon and UNC - Wilmington coached by Alimnus Rob Jacobs was third. A good weekend for St. Andrews overall! Click here for more news on this show.

This weekend the IHSA Hunter Seat team travels to ECU and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association team hosts is first home show of the 2014/2015 season. The dressage show begins at 10:00 a.m. with First Level Test 2 and concludes around 4:00 after four divisions of tests and 6 classes of dressage seat equitation which is new for our IDA region this year.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dressage Team Travel

The St. Andrews Dressage Team traveled to Averett University this weekend for 2 days of showing. This year in addition to the team competition our IDA region is running a dressage seat equitation (DSE) competition with a Regional Championship planned for the last show of the season to be hosted by St. Andrews on March 21, 2015. In Dressage Seat Equitation the riders show together in a group in the dressage ring. As in all equitation classes DSE is judged on the rider’s position and effectiveness. “This is wonderful addition to IDA competition,” said Coach Jackie Dwelle. “Ginger Henderson who coaches for Averett and I are developing this competition with the hope that we will have divisions of DSE at Nationals in a couple of years. NCSU Coach Jan Jacobson who is also an “R” judge said that regular dressage competitions are adopting more DSE classes so we are staying abreast of changes within our sport.” At the conclusion of the class the judge speaks to each rider individually telling them what they need to work on to improve their position which in turn will improve the quality of their ride."

The DSE story for Saturday was Sarah Hartley’s first place in the Intro Level class. This was Sarah’s first show ever! A large number of family members were present to make this victory even more special.

Saturday’s team competition demonstrated the quality of dressage in our IDA region. Our riders rode well but were bettered by teams from Averett, NCSU and Longwood. Saturday evening was spent strategizing and watching videos of the rides. Sunday the mental preparation showed with improved placings. Claire Pollard came up with what has become our Regional motto as it is a sentiment shared by all of the coaches in the region. “We are not here to lose, we either win or we learn.” This sums up very well the lessons that intercollegiate competition offers. 

Team A 5th

First Level Test 2
4th Bridget Newman60.811%

Training Level Test 3
4th Megan Pustarfi 61.2%
5th Claire Pollard 60.4%

Training Level Test 1
3rd Geneva Masak 64.375%

Introductory Level Test B
2nd Victoria Smith64.375%
5th Sarah Lishen 58.438%

Dressage Seat Equitation
Training Level A
4th Courtney Anderson

Training Level B
2nd Natasha Worker
4th McCall DiMarco

Introductory Level
1st Sarah Hartley
2nd Nina Jurac

Team  A 3rd
Team B 4th

First Level Test 2
4th Bridget Newman 67.027%
5th Alex Varisco  64.495%

Training Level Test 3
2nd  Claire Pollard 69.4%
4th McCall DiMarco 67.0%

Training Level Test 1
3rd Geneva Masak 69.4%
6th Elizabethe Weeks 67.0%

Introductory Level Test B
2nd  Sarah Lishen 64.063%
5th Victoria Smith 62.5%

Dressage Seat Equitation
Training Level A
4th Courtney Anderson

Training Level B
4th Natasha Worker

Introductory Level A
2nd Nina Jurac

Introductory Level B
3rd Sarah Hartley

Introductory Level C
1st Sarah Lishen

Team A 3rd 11 points
Team B 6th 10 points

First Level Test 1
4th Bridget Newman 66.034%

Training Level Test 2
1st Claire Pollard 76.429% High Point Rider
6th McCall DiMarco 71.786%

Training Level Test 1
6th Geneva Masak 61.667%

Introductory Level Test B
1st Victoria Smith 70.625%
4th Sarah Lishen 64.063%

Friday, October 24, 2014

What have we been doing?

Once again, time has flown by without a blog post. We have had horse show, riding open house, fall break and are gearing up for the next round of shows.  The Hunter Seat team placed third at our home show Oct 3rd behind NC State and Duke but rallied back at UNC Wilmington to win. The dressage team had its first outing at NCSU Oct. 18th finishing with a 3rd place overall. Senior Claire Pollard earned the high point rider ribbon with a score of 76.429% in Training Level Test 2.

While I was traveling with the dressage team, the rest of the equestrian staff worked hard to put on a wonderful riding open house for prospective high school seniors. Friday night we hosted an information session and dinner on campus. Heather led a crew to decorate the patio by the lake which looked amazing. Administrators and members of the Faculty joined us to talk about the program, answer questions and visit with families. Lots of contacts were made with future students and we all came away thinking that the future of St. Andrews looks great. On Saturday, Seniors rode for the Equestrian staff and Juniors joined the staff at the Equestrian Center for tours and information. The feedback we have received from our guests has been fabulous. Several people commented on how our current students genuinely care for the horses.

Looking forward to this weekend, teams will be doing the fall clean up of Hasty Road on Saturday, the IHSA hunter seat team heads out on Sunday for a show hosted by UNC Chapel Hill and Duke and the entire dressage team travels with Liz and I for 2 shows at Averett University, leaving at o’dark thirty tomorrow. Next week, Pebbles and Liz and two students fly to California for the Path Int. conference. At home we are excited to be hosting a clinic with Bernie Traurig next weekend. 

Claire with her High Point Ribbon

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kris Hamilton Clinic - Sept 27, 2014

Kris Hamilton was here last Saturday to work with the dressage team. 12 riders participated and several other students audited the clinic. The clinic started with a theory session from what Kris is calling “The Toolbox Series”. The balance of the horse was the focus and Kris made it easy and fun to understand by encouraging students to always start with something nice when riding and to seek the horse’s approval in all things. “Simplify” was something that she repeated over and over to encourage rider’s to not complicate their riding technique. She taught the group that balance is a product of a clear, steady rhythm. Using balance at the trot we as an example we discussed how scores of 7 – 10 were earned and how scores of 4 – 6 might be assigned. Kris’s message was one of a simple formula of energy and contact to create suppleness and therefore balance.

When we moved outside to the ring these concepts were put into practice by the riders in 3 mounted sessions at various levels. Riders experimented with their horse’s natural energy before taking up their reins and learning about “neck flip”. Riders in the first group worked on their trot and trot lengthenings to show harmony with the horse. Canter circles were taught to another group and the final group, having switched horses just for fun, ended up riding a drill team style pattern demonstrating how riding with a partner helps to motivate both horse and rider. 

Overall, the clinic was very successful for all participants and for the group of students who came out to learn from the sidelines. 

Claire and JB

Drill Team Group

Riders allowing their horses the freedom to simply walk. Kris is explaining to the auditors what is going on.

Kris showing Liv how to "flip" Frampton's neck