Sunday, March 22, 2009

Clinton Jones Wins Natural Horse Vet Natural Horsemanship Trainer's Challenge

Even though Saturday morning was cold, the competition was hot at the Natural Horse Vet Natural Horsemanship Trainer's Challenge held at Stoner Ridge Farm. Clinton Jones, Tim Scarberry, and Chris Tipton were all charged with the task of starting three Merry Go Blue two year old geldings. The challenging part, was that they only had a total of three hours to start their horse and build enough foundation that would allow their horse to be ridden successfully through a trail obstacle course. It was amazing what all three trainers were able to accomplish! When time was up, it was unbelievable what these horses could do. The trainers had to ride their horse at a walk, intermediate gait, and canter, pick up all four feet, back, weave through cones, walk over ground poles, step over an elevated pole, and drag a bag. For additional points their horse had to push a 6' ball out of a circle. An additional element was the free style where trainers choose skills to show what their horse had learned. Chris played polo with Rainy Day Blues while Tim Scarberry had Singing the Blues up on a six foot wooden box - then he turned a leaf-blower on his new equine friend with no resistance. Clinton Jones, however, had the most extensive free style. He began with a spray bottle and moved on to cracking a whip while standing on his horse's back. He also used a chain saw (with the chain removed) to demonstrate his horse's trust. Finally, he rode Maximum Blue bareback with an 8' x 10' tarp spread over him - he rode with only one lead rope as a rein. Wow! It was too cool. We really appreciate the great turn out and all our sponsors! Yee Haw - if you weren't here you really missed out on a great opportunity to learn about different colt starting styles and seeing these excellent trainers in action. The point spread was within 14 out of about 700 points possible. The guys were totally awesome! Be sure to check out the newsletter that will be posted on the web site on April 1st for additional photos and more detail about this great competition.

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