Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Passing of Margaret Dorrance

It was sad to hear of the passing of Margaret Dorrance, 16 October 2018, wife of Tom Dorrance who we revere as the founder of the "Natural Horsemanship" movement.

Tom preceded Margaret, passing in June 2003, but not before he and his brother Bill Dorrance brought forth their observations and lessons on communicating and working with horses that will live on through the ages through their mentoring of people whose names are fixtures in modern day horsemanship like Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman, Bryan Neubert and many, many others. They simply show us the way, and Margaret was a steadfast fixture in this movement, managing Tom's legacy until the end. Now they are united in Heaven, where we hope God saw fit to include horses as well.

Both Tom and Bill Dorrance has several products, DVD's and books, still available. These are available from Eclectic Horseman. Perhaps the best lesson you'll get from their knowledge is just how big of holes you have in yours - that way for me anyway.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Results of the 2018 4th Annual Functional Horsemanship Arena Obstacle Challenge

We have concluded the 2018 4th Annual Functional Horsemanship Arena Obstacle Challenge which saw another rise in the level of  competition, both numbers of riders and skill demonstrated, with 43 entries who competed over 6 different divisions.

Trotting circles and squares; negotiating hairpin turns around upright roles; transitions at different gaits; turning with forward momentum in an 8 foot turn around box; doing roll backs; turns on the hocks; side passes; backing straight or in a "L fashion; backing a circle; opening a gate; throwing head and heel shots on a dummy; dragging a heavy log; pulling a bag of cans; passing through a cowboy curtain; retrieving a tennis ball and placing it on a traffic cone; demonstrating backing your horse from the ground; and ground tying your horse and walking away were most of the obstacles each rider and horse had to perform.

Photo at left  - Mark Schleicher closing the gate.

The winners of the 2018 4th Annual Functional Horsemanship Arena Obstacle Challenge, their home state and point total are as follows:

Stockhorse Division
1st - LuAnne Santiago (TX) 423; 2nd - Don Carpenter (TX) 415; 3rd - Mark Schleicher (CO) 399; 4th - Linda Seeds (TX) 392; 5th - Trudy Kremer (CO) 372; 6th - Laurie Esparza (TX) 370.

Open Division
1st - LuAnne Santiago (TX) 557; 2nd - Kit Tielker (NM) 539; 3rd - Laurie Esparza (TX) 516; 4th - Trudy Kremer (CO) 504.

Intermediate Division
1st - April Salazar (TX) 565; 2nd - Mark Schleicher (CO) 559; 3rd - LuAnne Santiago (TX) 521; 4th - Marianne Bailey (NM) 515; 5th - Gena Blankenship (NM) 498; 6th - Jessica Bailey (NM) 489.

Novice Division
1st - Angelina Joseph (TX) 492; 2nd - Nikol Endres (TX) 475; 3rd - Rachel Meza (TX) 461; 4th - Melisa Gardea (NM) 422; 5th - Angela Beltran-Flores (TX) 407; 6th - Imara Jackson (TX) 364.

Youth 13-16 years old
1st - Paige Arthur (TX) 330; 2nd - Abigail Hinkle (TX) 328; 3rd - Glaive Arthur (TX) 307.

Youth 12 and under
1st - Viviana Garza (NM) 421; 2nd - Izabel Garza (NM) 413; 3rd - Marius Herbin (NM) 411; 4th - Lilliana Garza (NM) 373; 5th - Teagan Arthur (TX) 366; 6th - Calysha Jackson (TX) 240.

The Horsemanship Award awarded to the rider and horse who best exemplified unity between horse and rider, and voted on by competitors and the judges, was awarded to Linda Seeds. She could have been giving clinics on doing roll backs along the fence she was that good riding her mare Annie in rommel reins. Linda also makes tack and repairs saddles and tack. She made several braided para-cord reins for bridles and also a beautiful set of spur straps for the prize table. The photo at right is Linda starting to transition from the trot to a stop before she executes a roll back along the fence.

Special mentions:

Don Carpenter impressed everyone with his flawless and quick gate opening and closing, then throwing a heel scoop loop - rapidly recoiling his rope - then throwing a head shot on the roping dummy. He followed that with an impressive log drag where his horse collected up nicely and pulled with his back end in a textbook fashion. It was nice to see that. Although there are rumors that his daughter Debby Hale named the roping dummy after one of the judges - I'm still trying to track that down.

Jessica Dixon entered with an Arabian mare who was kicked two days before the competition and still had a hematoma on her belly which precluded a cinch. So she rode bareback and impressed everyone.

The Gardea-Garza family, with three young girls competing, has to be mentioned for raising the absolutely most polite children in the world, and they can ride too - Viviana won her division. That's a photo pf her at the top of this article.

Imara Jackson, who at 17 years old, rode with the adults and just performed well taking 6th place in Novice division. That's Imara in the photo at right performing a turn around with forward momentum in the 8 foot around box. Jessica Bailey needs to be mentioned as she took 6th in Intermediate and also competed in Stockhorse on Harri, a Gypsy Vanner horse.

One of the big draws to this competition is the lunch that is provided after awards, although it was closer to supper time by the time the competition ended. Street tacos, rice, beans, chile verde queso, deserts and a special treat as Rita and Tanya Benally came down from the Navajo Nation to make Indian fry bread. My wife Susan, the ramrodded the feeding efforts, also told me that we went through almost 300 bottles of water and several gallons of ice tea and orange juice.

Photo at right is LuAnne Santiago who cleaned up with first place finishes in both Stockhorse and Open.

The prize table was the biggest we've had with over $3,000 of prizes going to the competitors. The Cashel Company by far provided the largest donation with some exceptional headstalls, reins, sports boots, fly masks and other items. Other supporting companies included Tractor Supply Company on TX Hwy 20; Hoof Wraps; Eclectic Horseman; and, Diamond Bar V Horseshoeing. We finished the day with a raffle that supported Perfect Harmony Horse Sanctuary and Rescue. We raffled off a framed Karmel Timmons print which was won by Cindy Lang of Cashel Company which was appropriate due to their support. Charlie Walker Iron Artworks and local artist Marta Nelce donated items for the raffle as well.

Lastly, but certainly not least, we could not have held the event without Chief Judge Vicky Maly of VCM Equine Management presiding over the judging.