THE GOOD HORSE -“Romanov” January 2018 HOM
Jan07

THE GOOD HORSE -“Romanov” January 2018 HOM

“Romanov” By Jennifer Djavadi For submitting Romanov, Jen has won a gracious prize from Calabasas Saddlery. Julie and her crew come through yet again.  “I submitted my horse Romanov because not only is he a once in a lifetime horse for anyone, he’s REALLY a once in a lifetime horse for me! Romanov was imported from Europe as a 3 year old.  My dear friend Marilyn Meadows Bernstein bought him from the stallion testing.  Over the years, she trained and competed on him through Prix St. George.  Marilyn and I had met over 30 years ago and we reconnected about 10 years ago.  When Marilyn’s back went out, she had to quit riding.  Romanov was to be sold.  As much as I wanted Romanov, I unfortunately could never afford a horse of this quality and training, but fate intervened.  Marilyn wanted him to not only go to a home where he would be properly ridden, but most importantly where he would be loved.  She knew that I could provide that home and made it possible for him to be my forever horse! Romanov is a Danish, Warm blood by Michelene.  He’s a half brother to one of the horses that was on the British 2012 Olympic gold medal team.  You will never meet a sweeter or kinder soul.  Sure, he’ll spook at anything and everything; and frankly, at times, without any logic!  Large rumbling trucks?  No problem, he’s got those.  A leaf falling across the street?  Holy cow, time for a melt down!  Piaffe, passage, one tempi’s?  No problem for Romanov.  Which is why I feel completely safe putting my son, who doesn’t ride very often, on him to just putz around the arena. Romanov is thoughtful and careful with whoever is riding him. He’s a fan of watermelon, chocolate and P&J sandwiches too! Romanov has taught me more than I imagined.  Not only am I a better rider because of what he’s taught me, but he’s also trained me to partner with him and trust my gut.  From him, I have learned that on some days you need to modify the plan to fit into what the horse is thinking. Being flexible and not just sticking to what my plan is.  He’s taught me that some days you just need to slow down and go for a walk. And above all else, be present and live in the moment. Romanov is now 20. He is still works 6 days a week, either in the arena or on the trails.  I know that I will have other horses in my lifetime, but I can confidently say that none will ever be the...

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Everyday Wisdom – Horses Bring Out Our Best
Dec23

Everyday Wisdom – Horses Bring Out Our Best

By subscriber/ contributor Nona Green I don’t generally go out of my way to speak with my neighbor.  We are from different sides of the track:  She with her leaf blower, me with my aversion to the ruckus and fumes.  Yet, the fires have me concerned about our horses – she who does not have a trailer may need a hand given that half of Los Angeles County is on fire.    “I’m worried about the fires,” I say as I ride by on my horse.   “Me too,” she replies. “I’ve hooked up my trailer in case WE need to evacuate,” I reassure her as I klippity-klop along.   A common sense of responsibility breaks the ice. It is no coincidence that the areas of LA and Ventura counties plagued by the most out-of-control wildfires are all equestrian zoned.   Where horses are kept, drought-stricken fire fuel is found.  And horse people are helping each other in selfless ways. Just as the most massive fire, nearly 100,000 acres as I write, was burning Santa Paula and Ojai, and another fire was raging in the Shadow Hills, Sunland area, my Equestrian Trials International Corral #36 was convening for their annual Holiday Party at Saddle Peak Lodge in Monte Nido.   Some of the would-be revelers were noticeably absent.  “Dan is transporting horses from the fire zone”; “Julian is putting out hot-spots in Kagel Canyon”.  “Victoria is at Pierce College volunteering to help horse burn victims.”  Was I the only one at the party feeling guilty that I wasn’t out there hauling horses from the fire zones? I have “liked” many Facebook pages devoted to the equestrian lifestyle.  I am “friends” with enough horse owners to be our own country.  I see post after post after post of people offering to take-in evacuated horses; folks are opening their hearts and homes to virtual strangers that have in common the concern for an animal’s well being.   Donations are pouring in to the various sites hoping to help victims with relocation and medical expenses – many of them say they exclusively help the displaced and injured horses. The tragedy of the fires hit the equestrian community the hardest.  The support amongst the herd of horse owners towards each other is humanity at it’s finest.   Best, Nona Nona Green Associate Broker CalBRE #0069231 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 818 426-2292 www.agourahorseproperty.com “horse people helping horse people”...

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Equine Benefits- Gifts for the Equestrian in your life
Dec18

Equine Benefits- Gifts for the Equestrian in your life

 Can never get enough chocolate around the holidays? Well,   Harbor Sweets and the Calabasas Saddlery can solve that problem. Not only is the chocolate first rate but almost always comes in a beautiful box. So even if the chocolate disappears the box endures. In need of a good read? Author Linda Ballou put together some of her favorites: Also, look for Linda’s books on audio. Perfect for those long hauls and you want to keep in touch with your horsey roots. As we are now having cooler weather, nothing works better than layers. Our favorite this season has been the Joules’ line. These coats are not only beautiful, but they are waterproof! We use them as a great insulator over t-shirts and sweatshirts. The caps are great too! The Joules line is used by a lot of equestrians and these particular styles can be special ordered by Calabasas Saddlery. Happy Horsing! Alice  ...

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“Evan” – December’s GOOD HORSE
Dec04

“Evan” – December’s GOOD HORSE

By Subscriber/Contributor Sarah Phillips Sarah has won a generous Gift Certificate from the World Famous Calabasas Saddlery where Julie and her expert team have no trouble finding you the perfect gift for the horse person in your life.   I bought Mr. Evan several years ago as a jumper.  While I loved his personality, I found that I did not enjoy riding him.  He was difficult off of your leg, he didn’t like to go into corners, and you couldn’t have any sort of consistent contact.  I started to think about selling him to someone with more skill than I. On a whim – I decided to try one last thing: dressage. I told my two girls that I was sending Evan to boarding school. Jackie Stoutenburg, my trainer, has not only changed his life, but also mine.  All that I asked was to have a more ridable horse, and last month we competed in our first dressage show!  Not only is he now very responsive to my leg, but we are learning all of these cool new moves (to someone who has never studied dressage) – side passes, shoulder in, haunches in, and he’s even started to learn some passage. I have to say, I’ve never had so much fun learning and riding. A dream came true and last month I got to move Mr. Evan out of his training barn, and to my home where he hangs out with my two geldings, and retired mare. I wasn’t sure how he was going to like the home life, but he has been nothing short of awesome. We trailer to meet my trainer 4 days a week – and even get to go out on trail several days per week.  He has turned out to be the “a bit of everything” horse that I’ve always dreamed of owning. Happy Holidays and Happy horsing! Sarah    ...

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REC RIDE 2017
Nov13

REC RIDE 2017

Photos courtesy of Julian Watkins Located at the Calabasas and Malibu Border, the Rec Ride, co-founded by horsewoman Ruth Gerson some years ago, is an annual event hosted by Malibu Valley Farms Equestrian Center. The ride is almost always held in October and attracts different riders through out Southern California. The beauty of this ride is you don’t have to be a horse owner although there are plenty of those that attend (including yours truly.)  You DO need to be a horse enthusiast though and have a profound love of nature as there are three different rides in this event: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. All three rides feature beautiful,  scenic views and at least a couple of hours of great horsing! Rental Horses are provided for non-horse owners by Rocking K Ranch every year to encourage the public to get out and horseback ride. Every year Ruth Gerson honors someone who has a served in the effort to preserve the environment we all hold so dear and our horsey life style here in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains. This year’s honorees were Mr. Richard Bruckner, Former Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, and Ms. Nicole Englund, Chief of Staff for 3rd District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. The day may start with the ride but ends with a Barbecue/picnic  provided by Calamigos and a very generous raffle with plenty of good loot! For next year’s ride, contact Ruth Gerson ruthgerson@aol.com  to find out in advance how you can sign up, but be aware that the beginner ride which takes place at King Gillette Ranch is the easiest and most well-rounded. The intermediate and advanced rides head into Malibu Creek State Park and on to the Reagan Ranch; both are fast paced and more for advanced riders and the gaited horse community. See you next year!...

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Equine Benefits: Linda Ballou hits the trails in Ecuador
Nov13

Equine Benefits: Linda Ballou hits the trails in Ecuador

World travel author and equestrian Linda Ballou shares her most recent riding adventure in Ecuador. Finding the Real Gold in Ecuador  “Have you ever dreamed of galloping across the top of the world beneath the bluest of skies plumped with billowing clouds? Imagine green and gold spires poking through those clouds and a wild wind whipping your spirits as you canter- on with a racing heart. Now, breathe in crystalline air as you fall in sync with the rhythm of your horse’s hoof beat and let your mind go sailing. Thanks to Sally Vergette, this ride is waiting for you in the northern highlands of the Andes in Ecuador. Possessed of sparkling energy and deep love for the horses she provides, Sally loves sharing the less-traveled “paremo”-the unique Andean grasslands of the high country. The journey from hacienda to hacienda along the slopes of sacred Umbabura Volcano begins in the Otavalo valley, one the last strongholds of indigenous peoples famous for their weaving skills. Our group of nine equestriennes stopped at the Otavalo Marketplace where we bargained for ponchos and scarves for the ride. The scent of pigs roasting and the colorful displays of handcrafted goods, not to mention bargain prices, made for an exciting bizarre. We spent the first night at Hacienda Pensaqui, an oasis nestled among humble villages. There we enjoyed a delicious meal and local Andean musicians. Chamber maids lit warming fires in our rooms, turned down our comfy beds, and slipped a hot water bottle between the sheets for good measure. In 1540 Spanish conquistadors came to this land of extremes in search of gold. With just 2,000 soldiers they conquered the Incas and native tribes living in the tranquil valleys framed by majestic volcanic peaks. The conquerors were granted huge plots of land by the Spanish crown. Lavish haciendas with elaborate gardens, elegant furnishings, paintings, sculptures and murals sprang up across the land. After 300 years of tyrannical rule, the Spanish were ousted and Ecuador claimed its independence. Today these haciendas are being restored and serve as gracious quarters for travelers. Our first day of riding began on narrow track overlooking a gulch lined with eucalyptus trees. We climbed ever higher until the bustle of the villages fell away and we could see Lake Pablo glistening in the distance. Soon we were greeted by Santiago and his charming wife at their ranch overlooking the valley far below. We arrived 45 minutes after their mare had given birth to a foal who was struggling to take his first steps. Santiago led our band of merry ladies up still higher on a track he had cleared...

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