Our new Area VII website is now up and running after much hard work by our volunteer tech team!  Our hope is to give it a new look and some pop, make it easy to find Area information and beyond, keep you posted on the latest news and updates for our region, and let you post  comments. It is a new very interactive design, hosted by WordPress, and we hope you like it. The site is still evolving and we want to add more useful links. A big one is adding Schooling Shows, Clinics, and Derbies to our home page calendar. It will ideally be a condensed calendar list of the most current horse activities taking place around Area VII.  I know I am always digging around trying to find the entry info for our One Day unrecognized Events, Derbies, and Clinics which are never in any one spot.  Many of these activities are held at our recognized Event sites that our generous organizers make available, often at a reduced cost for things like Pony Club benefits. We get to go out and dust the cob webs off with our going horses, introduce our young ponies to the atmosphere of a horse show, and get them accustomed to being in a group of horses or doing three phases in a more relaxed atmosphere. So Pony Club folks, Clinic and Derby organizers, click on the Calendar link, hit the comments button, and send us your info and we will post it and link it on the Area VII Homepage Calendar.  We just need the title of your activity, the date(s), and the connecting link.

I want to express my gratitude and many thanks to our Webmaster Lisa Den Beste and her able assistants, Web Manager Claudia Morgan, and Membership Coordinator Nancy Rodriguez.  They have taken on many new tasks to make my job easier in the spirit of teamwork. We would be lost without Lisa’s skills and cheery tutoring!  I would also like to extend a big thank you to Sam Bergin who will continue to run the Adult Riders web pages and to Debby Mudler.  Debby will also continue doing her fine job of managing and updating the Young Riders web pages. Both will be linked on our Area VII Homepage in their own special place.

Please remember to renew your USEA 2012 memberships so you are good to go for our recognized Events that start up in May.  This will also insure that you continue to receive your free subscription to Flying Changes.  Just go to our Area VII homepage and look to the right side of the page.  We have provided the link to the USEA Membership page.  You can also register any new horses that you plan on entering at any of this season’s Events.

I wanted to say a brief bit about our 2012 Area VII Event schedule.  NWEC is our lead-off horse competition May 18-20.  It has been moved back one weekend this year but will go back to Mother’s Day weekend in 2013. We end the season back at NWEC September 21-23rd.  Most Events have one or two weekends in between but the exceptions are WIPC Horse Trials and Rebecca Farm which are back to back in July for this year only, due to the 2012 Olympics in London and NAJYRC in Lexington.  The other exception is Young Riders and Stanton Farms, which are also  back to back in August for this year only.  On a final note the AreaVII Championships and Chronicle of the Horse Adult Team Championships will be held at Aspen Horse Trials in September.  We want everyone to get out to as many shows as the budget allows but let’s also make sure our horses stay happy and healthy for the whole season.  It should be an exciting year!

Melissa Beardsley



Adult Rider Camp
Even though I have officially retired from my Adult Rider Coordinator post I agreed to one more year as camp organizer- a labor of love for sure! I love making so many new friends in this fun educational activity. I have lost count of the number of camps we have had and there are a group that have been with me for most of them- must be doing something right? So one more year for me.
To update, there are still spots open for the Basic Camp package which includes 3 lessons, dinners, stabling and evening activities. You can also come on an A La Carte basis if you want to just haul in for a day or two. Camp is May 25-27th and will be at NWEC in Rainier. The clinicians are Sandra Connolly, Lesley Grant- Law and Jean Moyer. The added bonus is being able to watch Olympic gold medalist Leslie Law teach the simultaneous clinic (full with wait list). Camp is for ALL levels you must have some jumping experience but certainly don’t need to have ever evented.  It is a great place to get your feet wet if you are just thinking about trying this wonderful sport. It is also great for the more experienced to get some extra polish and be ready for the 2012 season. No horse- come watch!
I am working on getting some evening talks and there will be some fun games that are being concocted by my expert ‘Games Committee’!
Contact me for more information- Maggie Rikard magsnags@aol.com

Leslie Law Clinic
For the past few years we have convinced Leslie to leave his farm located in Florida to brave the elements of a PNW February. Well, he didn’t have to brave too much as we have a beautiful covered arena at Aspen Farms for him to stand in. But lashing rain and howling winds did still chill him and I see him investing in some warmer undergarments for next year! Although not sponsored by Adult Riders it still felt like an AR clinic with mostly members attending. Most participants had ridden with Leslie before so he was pleased to see improvements from last year.  We started with a limitted number of private or semi-private dressage lessons on Friday. I watched horse and riders improve during each session. I was lucky enough to have him ride my Prelim horse and got a better visual of what he wanted. The often repeated instruction,through out the day, was to not compromise your position and be patient but insistent that the horse go to, and maintain, the contact, instead of us taking back with the hands. When I got back on my horse I was able to produce a trot that I never knew my horse had! It is truely worth the price of admission  to watch Leslie ride, especially if it is your horse!
Friday evening we gathered in the lovely home of the Elliott’s for pizza. Saturday was group jumping starting with a BN group. My young horse provided the entertainment and I was glad the others in the group were all capable riders and able to keep out of my way. Once the jumping started he did settle down and I decided he wouldn’t be heading to the auction. The theme was to keep a good canter and maintain to the fences and not pick for distances. A good canter and your horse can work out the distance just fine!
Sunday, after a fun potluck the evening before, was more jumping, this time with some fun stuff like corners and skinnies. We had 2 BN groups, Tr/Pr group as well as 2 Prelim + sessions. We all did the same things with only height changes. Everyone had improved after the day before so the challenges worked well to build confidence.
I personally find the only thing that keeps me in the saddle and motivated during the winter is the thought of attending some good clinics early on. This clinic gave me confidence that I am on the right track and riding in a group with excellent riders, makes me step up my game.








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