Tuesday, July 5, 2011

One week in KY: Caitlyn & Abigail McCord

TVPC member Caitlyn McCord was kind enough to send us this report of her and her sister Abigail's recent experience with Rally, Midsouth Pony Club Horse Trials and the Midsouth Horse Management Seminar. Thank you, Caitlyn, and congrats to both of the McCord girls for their representation of TVPC!

Caitlyn writes:

Abigail and I both thoroughly enjoyed our five days in Kentucky. Abby was on a scramble team of Middle Tennessee, Huntsville, and Tennessee Valley Pony Clubs. She had a great experience. While she was apprehensive about being on a team with people she had never met before, she made some great new friends. Being on a scramble team is something both Abby and I would recommend. Of the seven times I have been to Rallies and Championships, six of them have been on a scramble team. I am still great friends with the people I was on a scramble team with for my first Rally when I was 11 years old.

While Abigail was competing in Rally (where her D-2 team finished in second place), I was participating in the horse management seminar. Because I have been to Rally so many times, the seminar was not a big help to me; however, my mom loved it. I would highly recommend it to new pony club members because it gives them a look into what Rally is all about. We were able to watch tack room set ups, required equipment checks, formals and the goings on of the vet box. I really wish I had attended something like it before I went to Rally for the first time. It would have been a wonderful prep. My mom has been doing pony club rallies for years and she was happy to see how it all really works since parents are not usually allowed in the barns during competition. It would be advantageous for both parents and pony clubbers to attend in the future, especially if they are interested in any discipline of Rally.

The whole trip was a success. Abby attended her first eventing rally (she had previously been to polocrosse rally as a D-1 but it is much more laid back) and had a blast with her new friends on her team. I took my horse to the Horse Trials sponsored my Midsouth Pony Club and also had a great time. It was my horse’s first event and he did extremely well, finishing in fifth with some stiff competition. I would definitely recommend Rally, the Horse Trials, and the Horse Management Seminar to ALL pony clubbers and their parents. Next year we should hope to have more than one member of our club representing TVPC at Rally. It is a really fun and interesting experience that pony club offers.

Caitlyn & Charlie doing their dressage test.

Caitlyn & Charlie going cross-country.

Abby before dressage.

Abby receiving her formal inspection while horse management seminar participants watch.

Monday, June 27, 2011

MidSouth Region MegaRally

This past weekend, the 2011 MidSouth MegaRally took place at the Kentucky Horse Park. Tennessee Valley had one of its own members representing the club, Abigail McCord. Aboard her mount Starry Starry Night, Abigail helped to lead her team to an impressive 2nd place finish in the D-2 eventing rally. Big congratulations, and thanks for representing TVPC so well!! Another congrats is in order to a member of our neighboring LakeWay Pony Club: Heather Sparks and her mount Liberty were part of the winning D-3 eventing rally team. Well done, Heather!

If you've ever participated in a Pony Club rally, you know that they're HARD WORK. That's because in addition to riding, you're also being judged on your horse management skills. You've got to take a written exam that tests your equine knowledge, and you've got to keep your horse, your tack and your stall spotless at all times, especially during inspections. You're also not only competing as an individual but also as a team, which can feel like a lot of pressure. Is it easy? No. Is it always fun? Probably not. But Pony Clubbers know that when you work hard, the end result is always that much sweeter and more rewarding.

This weekend at rally, I had a chance to sit down with this year's team of horse management judges (including TVPC/LakeWay graduate-turned-Midsouth Horse Management Organizer Dalles Lee, second from right) and get the inside scoop on what the fuss over horse management is all about and why going the extra mile is worth the trouble. Please excuse all the giggling:)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Melanie Smith Taylor clinic: Success!!

The 3'6" group gathers around Mrs. Taylor's expanation of riding theory.

Pony Clubbers got sent home with plenty of homework after the Melanie Smith Taylor clinic at Penrose Farm. The exercises she set up emphasized rideability and precise responses to the riders' aids. Riders and spectators alike benefited from her encouraging yet demanding teaching style and her wealth of experience and knowledge concerning the correct training of the horse. The clinic left everyone feeling ready to improve as a rider and horseman.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TVPC camp is underway!!

TVPC ... get it?!? From L to R: Kathleen Kelly, Caroline Jansing, Molly Brewster and Rachel Geissler
Summer Camp is off to a HOT start this week at Penrose Farm. Temperatures in the mid-90s aside, the campers seem to be having a really great time and are learning alot between lessons, demonstrations and unmounted horsemanship sessions. Thanks to the organizers, instructors, chaperones and Penrose Farm for making camp possible--and to the campers themselves for being such troopers in this heat! Keep drinking water and slathering on the sunscreen:)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pony Club camp schedule

Camp co-organizer Alex Green just issued this schedule for next week's TVPC camp and it looks like TOO MUCH FUN!! Remember, even if you're not registered for camp, you're welcome to stop by and check out a lecture or horse management lesson. I'll be stopping by on Tuesday and/or Wednesday to meet you guys and do a little eavesdropping myself (I'm totally jealous). - Leslie
7am: Barns open, morning check
Dressage lessons start at 8am:
8am: Group 1 (be on by 7:45am and lightly warmed up) (Horton, Rowan, McMillan)
9am: Group 2 (be on at 8:45am and lightly warmed up) (Edwards, Monnig, McNair, Brewster)
*** Group of 4 will have a little bit longer of a lesson.
10:15am: Group 3 (be on at 10 am and lightly warmed up) (Wells, Lucas, Harrigan, Miller)
*** Group of 4 will have a little bit longer of a lesson.
11:30am: Group 4 (be on at 11:15am and lightly warmed up) (Geissler, Kelly, Jansing)
--Lunch will be provided--
1:30pm-3:30pm: Horse management lesson, stall cards
3:30pm- Lecture from Sommerville Harris
4:30pm- Grand Prix test ride by Sommerville
5:30-6:30pm- In barn inspection

7am- Barns open, morning check
8am- Show jump lessons start
I will organize the show jumping groups once I get to talk personally with the girls and get to know what level they feel comfortable jumping at.
8am-10am: Show jump lessons for Harrigan, Lucas, McMillan, Miller, Wells, Kelly
10-11:15am: Cross country lesson (Rowan, Horton, McNair, Edwards)
11:15am- 12:30pm: Cross country lesson (Monnig, Brewster, Geissler, Jansing)
1:30pm- 3:30pm: Horse management lesson
4:00pm- 5:00: Goal setting talk and competition focus lecture with Alex Green
5:00pm- Jog outs
5:30pm-6:30pm: In barn inspections
7am- Barns open, morning checks
8am- Course design lecture with Deb Wilson
9am- Walk the Derby course with Deb
11am- Group 1 Derby course lesson (Horton, Rowan, McMillan)
12pm- Group 2 lesson (Edwards, Monnig, McNair, Brewster)
1pm- Group 3 lesson (Wells, Lucas, Harrigan, Miller)
2pm- Group 4 lesson (Geissler, Kelly, Jansing)
---Lunch will be available during lessons
3:30pm- Awards
4:30pm- Cool out scenario

With a little help from...
...upper-level event riders/TVPC senior members like Ashley Allen...

...and Alex Green...

...and Grand Prix dressage rider/ TVPC grad Sommerville Harris...

...this might be YOU by the end of 2011 Pony Club Camp!!!

Meet TVPC member Annie Bailes

Annie riding Her (well, Kate Wooten's) Tiny Pony at River Glen.

Name: Annie Bailes

Age: 15

Rating: Unrated

TVPC Member Since: October 2010

Favorite Discipline: Eventing

Barn Where I Ride: McCord Farm

Favorite Horse: A little pony I used to ride, Holly. 

Fun Fact About Yourself: I also play volleyball.

Fun Fact About Your Horse: He LOVES Chick-Fil-A!

Best Moment On A Horse: My XC lesson on my horse Fresca at camp last year!

Scariest Moment On A Horse: When Nikki Klein and I had to gallop back to the barn bareback whenever a huge storm hit us while we were taking the horses swimming!

Riding and Pony Club Goals: My riding goal is to do at least 2 or 3 BN events this year, and my Pony Club goal is to get my C-1 soon. 
Thank you so much, Annie, for getting the ball rolling on TVPC member profiles!! That's definitely weird that your horse likes Chick-Fil-A:) To other TVPC members, we want to hear from you: Send your profiles to Leslie at lwylie82@aol.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

TVPC Member Profiles: Send yours in!

One of the greatest parts of Pony Club is becoming friends with riders from all over the area whom you might not otherwise have an opportunity to know.

Let's get the introductions started right here online. Please take a few moments to complete this simple questionnaire about yourself and your horses, then email it to Leslie at lwylie82@aol.com to be posted on TVPC's website. Be sure to include a picture so that we can put a name with a face!


Q: Who is this TVPC member?
A: Noelle Herrera!!!
Q: Why is she smiling so big?
A: Because she's riding in a TVPC x-c clinic!!!

Q: Who is this horse?
A: It's Noelle's horse Waylon!!!