Archive for the Trainers/Clinicians Category

Thank You WEG!

Posted in Events, Horse Lovers, Horse Park, Kentucky, Rolex, Special Events, Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 12, 2010 by martimu

The outdoor arena waits for its next big event

Are they really over? Has the last competitor really been loaded into a trailer, onto a plane and zoomed far, far away?

Yep. Four years’ worth of personal blog build-up and now it’s over. But I will never, ever forget how these Games touched my soul.

All the planning. All the parties. All the announcements, hoopla and happenstance. Below is a video “Thank You” I composed using the footage I grabbed with my iPhone while on duty and little camera during my free times.

I kept my participation out on the edges and I think it was a truly wonderful vantage point to soak in everything that was so right about the WEG. And while I may have been just a rake and pitchfork wielding extra let me tell you, these duties gained me access to everything I could have hoped to have been a part of and gotten to witness firsthand and so up close I would find the bits of dropped carrots the competitor horses accidentally dropped from their groom’s, rider’s and trainer’s hands as they made their way out of the arena.

This one was painted with a sort of equine topographic map of some of the noteworthy farms of the Bluegrass region.

One of MANY painted ponies in the Alltech pavilion

The final tally had well over 60 countries represented as competitors or visitors to the Commonwealth of Kentucky an honor indeed.

So many participating countries!

Fuego XII enters the practice ring

One of my favorite equine athletes was the Spanish horse Fuego XII who danced and pranced under the worthy guidance of his capable rider, Juan Munoz Diaz. Maybe not as technically accomplished as Edward Gal and his stallion Moorlands Totilas but as accomplished and joyful as any horse and rider ever was.

One of the Entryways

So Now Kentucky — and I — are getting back into our normal routines. We miss everyone who gave of themselves during these amazing Games. We thank the sponsors, the athletes, their retinues, the volunteers, the clinicians, the exhibitors, the breed demonstrators and everyone else who played a role in making these such a memorable, fulfilling and happy experience. Well done to everyone and Thank you WEG!



WEG At the Wire

Posted in Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 10, 2010 by martimu

So it’s come down to the final two hours at the World Equestrian Games. I couldn’t bring myself to attend the closing ceremony. I hate goodbyes. It would depress me to see all the clinicians, exhibitors and trade fair participants closing up. I will miss them and when they’ve had time to recoup from the energy they spent getting and being here for 16 days I hope they come out happy to have been a significant part of this amazing experience. I know not all made a ton of money, but the thing about exhibitions of whatever size and caliber with the right attitude there is never a ‘bad show’. Connections were made throughout these games that will last a lifetime.

So let the final pomp and circumstance unfold and let Normandy France step up and claim these reins. I think as this first ever American world horse party comes to a close just as soon as people catch up on their sleep, reclaim their calendars and unpack their travel bags they will be filled with a warm and satisfying glow. They will reflect on the people they met, the sights they saw and the absolute stellar performances of the athletes they witnessed. For many of us this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime happening and we will review our keepsakes, potos and memories for years to come. For others the quick march of four years’ preparation will flow quickly and before they know it they’ll be repeating and surpassing their performances here in new ways in France.

And to all of us all I say bravo!

And for the record I have more info, images and video to assemble and post so WegWag will live on at least for the next little while as we all wind down from this whirlwind world class set of wonders.

The Equine Village at the WEG – Paso Finos!

Posted in Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , on October 8, 2010 by martimu

Amazingly gifted and dedicated riders and their horses who have wowed the global stage with their accomplishments in the official competitions of the World Equestrian Games over these past weeks. But the fun hasn’t stopped with them. Oh no ma’am. Not by a long shot! Throughout other venues more celebrations, demonstrations and clinics have been going on day in and day out. It’s as though the fun has been never ending – the things to do and see relentlessly taking a hold of sanity and causing people to spend hour after hour engaged in all things equine. Here is a quick look at a show in the Equine Village highlighting the fun that is the experience of the Paso Fino horse.

In addition to the marvelous array of activities at the Kentucky Horse Park, there have also been three other major venues associated with this big festival including the International Festival of the Horse in downtown Lexington, Spotlight Lexington featuring Kentucky arts and music and the tents in Georgetown highlighting even more activities and trade fair exhibits. If any horse lover walks out of here with any money left at all it will be a miracle! If they leave with hopes unfulfilled I think it may only be because they ran out of time or money. I know I did.

It takes a village to put on a show like this.....

WEG News Update

Posted in Events, Horse Park, Kentucky, Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games on September 3, 2010 by martimu

2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games News:
Safeguards for International Shipment of Horses

Tick Took its Toll on World Equestrian Games’ Timing

Top Eventing Rider Townend Opts Out of WEG

Meet the Horses of the United States Para-Equestrian Team

WEG Cuts Budget; Alltech Steps in

Horse Enthusiasts Needed for WEG’s Opening Ceremony

Equine Village at the Kentucky Horse Park to Host Largest Gathering of World-Class Equine Clinicians and Entertainers in U.S.

The Equine Village will showcase the largest gathering of the best known equine entertainers, clinicians and breed representatives ever assembled in the US. There are five different venues for the Equine Village with each providing its own unique entertainment.
The Equine Village will host many of our country’s most recognized breed associations. Each of these associations will have an opportunity to showcase what makes their breed unique. Whether it’s flying over jumps, pulling carriages or performing elegant dressage tests, these many breed associations are sure to impress with a multitude of presentations. Breed demonstrations will be held throughout the 16 days of the Games in two central arenas in the Equine Village.
Competition tickets and Grounds Passes will include the Equine Village and the following presenters:
Clinician’s Corral
Hosted by Rick Lamb, of RFD’s “Horse Show,” the Clinicians Corral will be the place to find America’s top name clinicians. Lamb will introduce the clinicians who will be demonstrating their training methods and philosophies throughout the Games. With seating along all four sides of the arena, there is not a bad seat in the house. Clinicians will be scheduled from 10am to 7pm every day of the Games. Clinicians are:
Aaron Ralston
Asbury University Police Mounts
ASVH Sport Horse Short-Course
Certified Horsemanship Association with Julie Goodnight
Clinton Anderson
Craig Cameron
Dan Grunewald
J.P. Giacomini
Jo-Ann Wilson, Equine Sports Massage
John Lyons
Lynn Palm
Mary Midkiff
Pat Parelli
Peak Performance Mental Coaching
Richard Shrake
Schleese Saddlery Service
Stacy Westfall
The Harness Horse Youth Foundation
Two as One Horsemanship

Parade of Breeds (Cavalcade of Breeds) and World of Horses
Horses of all colors, shapes and sizes will parade every morning through the Village Arena. This will be a good opportunity to have an “all at once” look at the wide variety of breeds represented in the Equine Village. Audience members can return to see their favorite breed’s feature presentation, which will be scheduled during the 16 days. Jumping demonstrations, equestrian entertainers, precision drill teams and much more will all be part of the World of Horses, including:
Arizona Mini Mystique Driving Drill Team
California Cowgirls Drill Team
Culver Academies Lancers and Equestriennes
Easy Riders Drill Team
United States Pony Club
Wells Fargo Stage Coach
Horses on Stage

These daily two-hour shows will be filled with fast-paced equestrian entertainment and will include America’s best professional performers. Dancing horses, stagecoaches and trick riders will all join together to perform:
Dan James
Dancing Morgans
Dianne Olds Rossi and “Fire Magic”
Eitan Beth-Halachmy
El Brio Vanner, LLC with Odd Job Bob
Erik Martonovich
Gudmar Petursson Icelandic Horses
Lizzy Traband
Mario Contreras Equestrian Fiesta
Mary Alice Malone
National Cutting Horse Association
Ramon Becerra
Tommie Turvey, Equine Extremist
United States Hunter Jumper Association
Field Sports
Those who have never had the opportunity to see some of the best equestrian field sports such as Polocrosse, Horse Ball, Tent Pegging or Mounted Games will do just that in the Field Sports demonstration. These sports are popular all over the world:
Federation International Horse Ball
Francesca Kelly, Marwari Breed – tent pegging
United States Mounted Games Association

Breed Organizations
American Connemara Pony Society
American Driving Society
American Hackney Horse Society
American Morgan Horse Association
American Paint Horse Association
American Saddlebred Horse Association
American Shetland Pony & Miniature Horse Registry
Arabian Horse Association
KFPS–Friesian Horse Association of Northern America
International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association
International Saddle Seat World Cup
International Saddleseat Equitation
Francesca Kelly-Marwari Breed
National Walking Horse Association
Nokota Horse
Paso Fino Horse Association
Rocky Mountain Horse Association
Spotted Saddle Horse Association
Swedish Warmblood ASVH Sport Horse
U.S. Trotting Association
Walkin’ on Ranch, Tennessee Walking Horses
Educational Booths
Akhal-Teke Breeder’s Co-op
American Association of Equine Practitioners
American Connemara Pony Society
American Driving Society
American Farriers Association
American Saddlebred Horse Association
American Shetland Pony and Miniature Horse Registry
BLM, Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program
Continental Studbook
Culver Academy
El Brio, LLC-ZipLine Entertainment
Friesian Horse Association of North America
Harness Museum
International Andalusion and Lusitano Association
International Equine Body Workers Association
Irish Draught Horse Society
J.P. Giacomini
Jo Ellard at EE Ranches
John Lyons
Kentucky Equine Education Project
Kentucky Equine Higher Education Consortium
Kentucky Horse Council
Lynn Palm and APHA
Mary Midkiff, Women and Horses
National Cutting Horse Association
National Reining Horse Association
National Walking Horse Association
Pat Parelli
Rocky Mountain Horse Association
Swedish Warmblood Association
T & N Custom Steel Buildings LLC
U.S. Eventing
U.S. Polo
United States Hunter Jumper Association
United States Mounted Games Association
United States Pony Club
Virginia Horse Industry Board
World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses
Irish Village
American Connemara Pony Society
B.W.Furlong & Associates, Equine Veterinarian
Goresbridge Horse Sales
Horse Sport, Ireland
Irish Draught Horse Association
Kids Appeal
American Vaulting Association
Haflinger Owners of Wisconsin
Molly the Pony
The Bandit and Melissa

In addition, the Kentucky Horse Park will feature A Gift from the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse international blockbuster exhibition in the International Museum of the Horse.  A Gift from the Desert is a collection of 400 pieces of Arabian art and artifacts assembled from museums and private lenders around the world.  Admission to this world-exclusive exhibition is only an additional $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 7-12 during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Admission to the Equine Village is included with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games tickets, including the Grounds Pass (only $25 most days).  Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free of charge except on Endurance, Cross Country and Driving Marathon days.
For ticket information go to

Facebook WEG Connection!

Posted in Events, Kentucky, Trainers/Clinicians, Videos, World Equestrian Games with tags , on August 4, 2010 by martimu

As of today you can now start finding other WEG enthusiasts right from your Facebook page!

Wegwag's Facebook Logo

Click on the link to join the duscussions!

Natural Horsemanship – Parelli Style

Posted in Natural Horsemanship, Trainers/Clinicians, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2009 by martimu

As an inexperienced home hobbyist I have understood from the get-go that I would need to acquire a lot of practical knowledge to start my own riding horse. This is a commitment I spent a lifetime hoping to be lucky enough to make. On our ‘Horseman’s Journey’, Mu and I have spent time with the thoughts and practices of a variety of experts in equine training through books, disks and clinics.

The 4 "Horseanality" Archetypes - Original Painting avail. on Etsy

The 4 "Horseanality" Archetypes - Original Painting avail. on Etsy

Recently Mu and I attended a Level Two Clinic west of Lexington, featuring Parelli 3 Star Instructor Jesse R. Peters based out of Ohio. There are many nuanced pathways towards ‘natural horsemanship’, a phrase coined by Mr. Parelli sometime after his own  journeyman’s accomplishments impressed and initiated mentorship experiences with Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt and Ronnie Willis. Since the early 1980’s,  Mr Parelli has made a name for himself as a charismatic proponent for teaching people how to train horses safely and sanely with not a little bit of showmanship. Besides being personable, his methods work! An impressive rider and trainer himself the true gift of his talent lies in his ability to train others to apply the methods he’s embraced or invented. His wife, Linda Parelli, who has gone a long towards making Pat’s lessons accessible to distant learners through books, disks and online resources.

An Intention Extender

An Intention Extender (sold - but you can order your own!)

The icing on the cake for any Parelli enthusiast is to convene with the like-minded during a clinic usually conducted by a professionally certified Parelli Instructor. Though perhaps more of a freelance attendee, I enjoyed my experience being immersed in the Parelli Community for two days and learned to see through some of my own past mistakes, observe horse behavior from a new perspective (using the Parelli ‘horseanality’ chart) as well as observe and practice some of the gentle arts of the Seven Games a series of activities designed to lay a foundation for all subsequent interactions between horse and rider.

5 Interactive Zones (avail. on Etsy)

5 Interactive Zones (avail. on Etsy)

I appreciated Jesse’s talents as a communicator to both people and horses and celebrate the experience with a video I created using footage a clinic auditor and I snagged while participating. The mood of the piece is somewhat ethereal because it is with great reverence I hold such interactions between horses and humans. I find aspects of this hobby of mine to hold within them opportunities for great self-awareness and even inter-species  enlightenment.

The Goal: Partnership!

Besides Parelli, Mu and I have explored and embraced a variety of methods that help bridge gaps in our natural abilities to understand one another. I’ve observed and studied the horse training methods of John Lyons, Chris Irwin, Monty Roberts, Linda Tellington-Jones, Sally Swift, and Pat Parelli from the national level. From my local resources I’ve worked with Susanna Thomas (now Director at the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center), Todd Waronicki (Head of Riding Instruction at the KY Horse Park) and Rosemary Taylor who runs the Sunburst Horsemanship School a mile away. I’ve also made a layman’s study of applied animal behavior my entire life and am a happy practitioner of Karen Pryor’s clicker training methodology.

Balanced Partnership Click to enlarge

Balanced Partnership Click to enlarge

A wonderful resource for the collected consideration of natural horsemanship concepts and practitioners is: Miller, Robert M. and Rick Lamb. Revolution in Horsemanship Lyons Press, 2005.

Kids + Horse Riding!

Posted in Trainers/Clinicians with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2009 by martimu

There’s something so great about seeing a bunch of kids – some from the thick of Chicago, as well as a lucky one who lives on her own farm and has her own horse — interact with horses at a well run very lessons stable. Despite the disparity in accomplishment and experience, each kid had a great time — because for most of us there’s no such thing as a bad time spent with horses.

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