Monday, March 18, 2013

The Road To The Horse

Yesterday was a soggy, rainy day.  I couldn't ride and we couldn't take photos...  or could we!   Thanks to Fran Jurga posting on Facebook about The Road To The Horse as well as another FB friend Marti McGinnis (owner of HappyArt), I felt the urge to go.  So I dragged Matt out to the Kentucky Horse Park.  He had no idea what this was all about.

We ran into a few friends and clients with their families.  It was going to turn into a fun filled afternoon!

The only trainer of the four in the competition that we were familiar with was Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship.  We had met Dan James at the Steeplechase last year where he performed a demo.  I  had never seen anything like it!  He and his horses were incredible!  Here's a photo from his demo at the Steeplechase.


Here is Dan during the Road To The Horse...  His horse (everyone had an unbroke 3 yr old gelding) was difficult and probably needed a slower pace for learning things.  He gave a lot of double barrel kicks in protest.  Dan pretty much had to lead him through the entire obstacle course that he had written on his shirt so he wouldn't miss anything.

I soon learned the other trainers were amazing as well!

Probably the trainer with the most PR was Obbie Schlom.  Obbie is an 18 yr old girl with the wisdom of an 81 yr old horse trainer.  She's incredibly mature for her age and amazing in her talents as a trainer.  Watch her videos and friend her on facebook!  You just have to love a girl whose personal ride is a mule...

The other US competitor was Sarah Winters.  Some of you may be familiar with her Dad, Richard Winters.  He has a show on HRTV and offers his own horsemanship clinics as well.  Sarah was excellent!  I think I liked her training style the best although I have to say I liked all of them.  Her horse performed very well!

Her horse was such a curious thing and wanted to smell and eat most everything he came across during the obstacle course.  But he did everything except going up on the platform.  Also, she was the only trainer to ride using a halter instead of a bridle.

Lastly, was the eventual winner.  Guy McLean from Australia was amazing!  He was great with his horse, added a lot of humor for the audience and he built up his horse's confidence as the ride went on.  I loved it!  So did the crowd and the judges. 

The order of finish for the competition was 1st place, Guy McLean; 2nd place Obbie Schlom; 3rd place, Sarah Winters; 4th place, Dan James.  But everyone was a winner, especially the horses and it was a treat for all of us in the audience to see such excellent horsemanship!

As a final note, and to end on a bit of equine humor...  please watch Guy McLean on his A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. horse Spinabbey  (the Seabiscuit part and the show jumping are my faves)...


  1. You got some wonderful pix, Wendy! I'm so glad you went! This post is a great recap. I absolutely loved the whole thing!!

  2. Wow, what a great synopsis! Thanks, Wendy! Now I feel like I was there after all! You're the best!

  3. Oh my goodness, that video was fabulous! I can't even begin to imagine what goes into training a horse to respond like that. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Wasn't Guy McLlean the feature performer during the break at Dressage at Devon recently? I watched something on USET live stream (including the dressage freestyle that you linked in a recent column where six musicians recording the music for the rider's DVD--from Tommy, I think). The half-time performer worked with several horses at liberty. At any rate, fantastic--all of it!