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!!!














Gina Miles on Pony Club

Last year eventing website http://www.threedaysthreewaysblog.com/ published a Q&A with Olympic silver-medal event rider Gina Miles. Gina, who conducted a clinic with TVPC last year, is a graduate "A" Pony Clubber and National Examiner. I wanted to share some highlights from her commentary about the rewards of being in Pony Club, thoughts on forging relationships between Pony Club and other organizations, and why she'll never have a groom who hasn't gone through the PC ranks!

Gina with TVPC members in 2010.
From Gina: 
Did you do Pony Club?
Oh yeah. I grew up in Davis, California and I actually had a Pony Club in our area. I must have read about it in a magazine. A flyer got posted at a barn that was about half an hour away. I wanted to be involved with other kids my age with horses. I was older when I joined, about fourteen. My mom ended up founding the Penache Pony Club which is still active there. I loved doing Pony Club and my first couple rallies were on scratch teams at Games and Dressage rallies. Any Pony Club competition I could do I did like Know-down and fox hunting and everything. I went through my A rating. I’m actually national examiner now trying to help and give back when I can. Fit that in among all the other crazy things!

Being involved in Pony Club helps you so much in life even if you choose to keep horses as a recreation.... What really struck me about these young people [in Pony Club] was the people skills they develop. You have to present yourself to the examiner, get feedback about your riding, learn public speaking, and how to express opinon to an adult or person of authority. It develops character and integrity. I preach to all my students to go through Pony Club. The USEA and Pony Club could work together more and help each other out.

I do know that in our area our Young Rider program is really successful and we’ve sent teams to the one- and two-star championships. We’re also trying to fill needs of the beginner novice and novice rider. That’s where I think Pony Club and Young Riders can work together. Pony Club already has that figured out. I kind of think adults have to get out of the way and work together. People involved can feel threatened. People need to put those aside and work together. I don’t know how it’s gonna work but whether it’s opening membership to camps or having a cooperative membership or to join as affiliate or an open door and invitation type policy. No sense trying to recreate the wheel and make more work for everybody.

Any good tips for Pony Clubbers out there for games or getting a perfect turnback score?
I can remember still as clear as a bell the first year I went to championships. We worked so hard to qualify. It’s a big deal to get teams from Califonia to Kentucky. I made dressage but wasn’t good enough to make any other team. I wasn’t good enough for the eventing team!

Our coach, Loris Henry, was president of the USEA about 10-15 years ago and her daughter was on the team. Oh my god did she whip us into shape! We had perfect scores on formals and horse management. I remember getting in there with a toothbrush and saddle soap and toothpicks to clean the stitching. Polishing all of the metal. Attention to detail is so important. When you’re cleaning your tack for the Olympic Games that’s pretty much how you want it! Sarah Williams grooms for me at all the top competitions and we went through Pony Club together. I don’t want a groom that hasn’t been through Pony Club and suffered through formal inspections! There are some things that are a little ridiculous like with the plastic bags over the boots before formals, that might be over the top. But I think they should know how to put in that kind of elbow grease and take pride in what they’re doing.

You can read the interview in its entireity at http://www.threedaysthreewaysblog.com/2010/03/29/olympic-silver-medalist-gina-miles-on-pony-club-family-and-twilight/.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Melanie Smith Taylor clinic

Don't miss this opportunity to clinic with an Olympic gold medalist!
Just a reminder that Melanie Taylor Smith will be conducting a clinic at Penrose Farm on Friday, June 3. Originally from Tennessee, Melanie is an internationally prominent show-jumping trainer and Olympic gold medalist. It is truly an honor to have her here in Knoxville for a clinic! So far, eight TVPC members have signed up. The clinic was originally set up for upper-level members who were actively jumping at least 2’6”, but we have been able to expand it to the lower levels and a few places remain open.

WHAT: Show-jumping clinic with Melanie Smith Taylor

WHEN: Friday, June 3

WHERE: Penrose Farm

HOW MUCH: $200/ride. Current Pony Club members and sponsors may audit for free.

FOR MORE INFO: Contact Christen Khym at 865.250.5462

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MidSouth Region Upper Level Clinic at Penrose Farm

If you're a C-level or above Pony Clubber interested in rating up this year, you won't want to miss this upcoming prep clinic to be held at Penrose Farm. If oversubscribed, priority given to upper-level candidates. Emphasis on grids, coursework, dressage and core strength on the lunge.

WHAT: MidSouth Region Upper Level Clinic

WHEN: June 11-12, 2011 (Entry deadline: June 4)

WHERE: Penrose Farm

CLINICIANS: Deb Wilson and Karine Gordy

COST: Clinic is $100 (payable to MidSouth Region). Stabling is $25/night (payable to Penrose Farm).

FOR MORE INFO: Complete information and downloadable registration forms are available at http://www.midsouthponyclub.org/.

Are you ready for some summer reading?

2011 MidSouth Region Mega Rally

Interested in attending MidSouth Region Mega Rally this year? If so let Mardi know ASAP (mardi.craig@maryvillecollege.edu) as closing date for entries is next Tuesday, May 24.

WHAT: MidSouth Region Mega Rally

WHEN: June 21-26, 2011

WHERE: The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY

COMPETITIONS OFFERED: Tetrathlon, Show-jumping, Dressage, D1 Combined Test, D2/D3 Eventing, C-Rally and Horse Trials

FOR MORE INFO: Complete rally info and downloadable entry forms are available at http://www.midsouthponyclub.org/.

Go win some blues for TVPC!!

TVPC 2011 Camp

Time is running out to register for TVPC's annual camp!!!

WHAT: The TVPC summer camp is available to all Pony Clubbers who have a horse and are ready to learn and have fun.

WHEN: Monday, May 30 thru Wednesday, June 1, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Check-in is on May 29.

WHERE: Penrose Farm in Knoxville, TN.

CAMP CLINICIANS: Campers can expect quality instruction from developing young riders and nationally-ranked Pony Clubbers like Alex Green and Ashley Allen as well as top dressage trainer Laura Wolf, event trainer Emilie Finstead, and USPC National Examiner Debbie Wilson.

COST: $250 per camper.

WHAT TO BRING: Visit Ponyclub.org and check out the rally checklist for basic needs for tack/equipment only. First aid kits and other kits will be available during camp.

8 am.: Check-in/Drop-off
9-12 a.m.: Morning lessons + group ice-breakers and horse management lessons
12 a.m.-1 p.m.: Horse cool-off/tack cleaning
1-4 p.m.: Group hacks or jump lessons
5-6 p.m.: In-barn inspections and barn closing

FOR MORE INFO: Contact Alex Green at 865.437.8766 or alexgreen02@hotmail.com, Ashley Allen at 865.621.9513 or Mardi Craig at mardi.craig@maryvillecollege.edu.

A few scenes from last year's camp:

Welcome to the new TVPC website!!

Tennessee Valley Pony Club will be using this blog to keep you up to date on the latest club news and upcoming events. We recommend signing up for the "Follow By Email" option, located on the right sidebar, so that you will receive an alert straight to your inbox when we announce important news via blog posts. Also, be sure to follow TVPC on FaceBook.

We'll be in touch!!