TheHorseStudio.com and Willowview Hill Farm International March 15th Just Ride clinic a huge success.
The first in this series of clinics was held March 15th and the riding hall was filled to maximum capacity. Following horrendous storms that flooded much of the Tri-State area travel was difficult with trees and power outages everywhere. As a result the clinic was moved from Millbrook, New York twenty miles south to Salem, NY, but this did not deter the sixty plus auditors who had signed up for this special "Givebackpayitforward" 2010 program.
Grand Prix trainers Tina Hammond and Paul Alvin-Smith presented two horses each through the evening. The focus for this first clinic was work for the entry level dressage rider. Keen enthusiasts traveled from as far away as two hundred miles to witness these two European trained and experienced FEI riders take two beautiful young warmblood horses through their warm ups and basic training. Paul's inimitable dry sense of humor had the crowd engaged and his three year old gelding was not always the best behaved.
" That was a great deal of fun and excitement. Perhaps a bit too much excitement! Everyone seemed to enjoy the exuberance of my horse. Still, once he settled down to the crowd he was a good boy. That's a lot to take in for a horse so young, but it gives riders a chance to see how to overcome focus issues of the horse and new environment issues. I had a gal come up to me a few minutes ago and tell me she had just those sort of issues and thanked me for helping give her the knowledge to solve them. That felt good, " Paul said after the event.
TheHorseStudio.com provided tasty healthy snacks and a bevy of warm drinks during intermission and also showcased their Spring 2010 line up of equestrian gear for horse and rider. The new riding mac was a big hit with its clever design that keeps the saddle and rider and back of the horse warm and dry while riding and the new high tech reflective piped Endura jacket that Tina jumped off her horse to model also looked a top seller. Other favorites were the RTF Fuzzy Logic riding pants and FITS breeches. When the FITS breeches came out Paul quipped " The FITS everyone raves about. I want to have my own fit and rave about a pair but they don't make mens yet. Can't wait for that!" A brief raffle was held with proceeds donated to charity to thank the guests for attending and TheHorseStudio.com generously donated a copy of European classical dressage rider Jenny Rolfe's new release DVD Ride from the Heart, two Degas bridles from their new ' Masters' line and several other door prizes. No-one went home empty handed.
After intermission though winds continued to howl outside the building, two new mounts were brought in for Tina and Paul to ride. Neither rider had even met the horses prior to meeting them in the arena at the event so this was a great test of their abilities to diagnose and settle horses to trust them. The first mount was a Quarter Horse that had experienced issues with connection and trust of the riders hand. Within ten minutes Tina had the horse stepping up to the bit and improving the swing of his back. " I'm working on breathing with him which is hard to do completely when I'm talking to you all," said Tina, " So Paul, you're up." Paul gamely mounted his new horse, an off the track thoroughbred, and set to work warming him up and it was clear this horse had another issue. He did not want to go forward at all.
" This horse thinks you are all monsters and we know he's right. So the best thing to do here is to ask him to step past you in a shoulder in position. As he doesn't seem to know this very well we'll have to be happy with shoulder fore but that's fine. This way his head is away from you but he can see you. My inside leg is firm against the girth and his head bent slightly left too, my weight is slightly weighted in the same direction. I am holding his rib cage softly with my outside leg but not pushing with my seat or leaning back. I'm also smiling. That's because I'm glad you are all here. No seriously, it's because that softens my jaw and relaxes the horse. If you've seen me grinning in competition now you know why." After three times around the arena the horse was moving forward confidently and the slightest verbal praise from his rider visibly relaxed him.
Afterward comments and questions were invited from the audience. Your reward for asking a question was a free 'surprise' item donated by TheHorseStudio.com handed out by Paul or Tina after the question was answered. There were so many hands in the air in a matter of seconds everyone was laughing and happily received key rings, horse stationery, books and even kids games for the younger audience members who were brave enough to join in. At the conclusion a vote was held based on the volume of audience applause to decide who had asked the best question based on four or five that were obviously well based and afforded an informative reply. The winner was Tina Fay ( no relation to the TV Star), who won a new black leather halter. Want to know the question and the answer? To learn more please visit http://www.willowviewhillfarm.com where a full article will be published by April 1st, 2010. You'll also find information on the forthcoming April clinic, so hurry in and sign up as places are limited.
" I'd also like to invite everyone to show their support for TheHorseStudio.com and their generous support today by stopping in their everything equine online ever expanding store. Currently they are running their annual Jump Into Spring contest where you don't need to buy anything to enter. You just register and write a short story about how you fell in love with horses. Prizes include one of the Degas bridles and leather leads you saw today and the brillaint new DVD release Imagine A Horse with Allen Pogue and Sue De Laurentis, Using Treats a Training Tool," stated Tina Hammond.
This is the first in a three part series. Look for the second ' Just Ride" clinic in April to be hosted by FEI coach Greta Kemmer, which will encompass jumping and dressage. The third clinic is yet to be announced.
ABOUT WILLOWVIEW HILL FARM INTERNATIONAL:
Willowview Hill Farm International was originally established in the Hudson Valley of New York in 1993 and is an experienced producer of international calibre horses for the dressage arena. Through importation of elite performance horses from Germany, Spain, Portugal and Britain and from their own breeding operation of Hanoverian and Baroque mares, Willowview Hill Farm has produced many notable horses over the years. Horses such as the FEI Prix St Georg horse Willowview Hill Balou ( Borneo x Wendekreiss), first class foundation mares such as Willowview Hill GemmaMaria ( Graf Gotz x Gimli) dam of several premium status progeny as well as providing European competition opportunities for students through their operations in Jerez, Spain and in collaboration with Greta Kemmer, FEI coach based in Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition Willowview Hill Farm is a producer of high quality organically grown horse hay. Tina Hammond has competed though Grand Prix in Europe as part of the Willowview Hill Farm International Team. Visit the new launch website this month at http://www.willowviewhillfarm.com for more info including news and articles on events such as these. Note: Willowview Hill Farm retains all rights on events including video and photographic coverage at hosted clinics. These events may be released for download in the future.
TheHorseStudio.com is an ever expanding everything equine online equestrian retail store that offers a wide selection of horse related products. Known as " The International Equestrian Shop," the store offers domestic & imported items including tack, artwork and collectibles, horse stationery and greeting cards, home decor and giftware as well as American and European Equestrian Couture Collections from the finest houses. In addition TheHorseStudio.com offers one of the widest selections of horse books and DVDs available online. Disciplines covered include dressage, driving, showjumping, eventing, polo, barrel racing, western pleasure, trail and endurance, vaulting, barrel racing, reining, cutting and horse racing. Since inception in April 2006, TheHorseStudio.com has offered frank reviews and extensive product testing of all items they market. The Horse Studio Team embraces experienced riders from many riding/driving disciplines who are well versed in the top levels of equestrian sport. In addition The Horse Studio Team encompasses personnel who are also published writers/authors plus executive management well versed in international trade.
Manufacturers, authors, publishers and production houses are welcome to submit their products for review and should forward free samples and/or catalogs to the address detailed below and/or email purchasing@TheHorseStudio.com.
For more information on this event and high resolution photographs of products showcased, please contact:
Nikki Brazier/PR Marketing Consultant
Tel: 607 652 9467
Fax: 607 652 9468
The Horse Studio
PO Box 404
Stamford NY 12167