Temecula Grapevine

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Horses Head to Hoof II educates all things horses at Green Acres Ranch in Temecula Valley Horse Country

Draft Horse at Horses Head to Hoof, Green Acres, Temecula (c) Crispin Courtenay

By Dr. Silke Courtenay

The second annual “Horses Head to Hoof” event took place this past Sunday, April 13, 2014 at Green Acres Ranch on De Portola Road.

The Rancho California Arabian Horse Association (RCAHA) has organized this free event to the public as “a celebration of all things equine” to foster and promote camaraderie between local horse clubs, horse ranches and horse people. They were quite successful in meeting their goal.

Attendees wandered from booth to booth checking out a wide variety of equine related offerings ranging from horse feed, gear, jewelry, bath products, and arts and crafts to information on riding lessons and training.  (c) Crispin Courtenay

Attendees wandered from booth to booth checking out a wide variety of equine related offerings ranging from horse feed, gear, jewelry, bath products, and arts and crafts to information on riding lessons and training.  (c) Crispin Courtenay

 

The event was kicked off with a flag presentation by the Temecula Wine Country Cowgirl Color guard.

Throughout the day riders showed off different horse disciplines and breeds. Corine Ebert and Ally Meeks showed off their skills in jumping while Anna Burman showed her equitation skills over fences. Equitation judges the riders abilities and perfection in the saddle. Hope Adams showed off gaited horses.

Rachel Stokes presented the gracefulness of her Friesian, which resembles a draft horse measuring approximately 15 hands at the withers, yet appeared to float across the arena. (c) Crispin Courtenay

Rachel Stokes presented the gracefulness of her Friesian, which resembles a draft horse measuring approximately 15 hands at the withers, yet appeared to float across the arena. (c) Crispin Courtenay

Robb Wallen presented champion horse Intrepid Behold in driving. He looked very elegant on his pleasure driving cart wearing a dark suit and white fedora. Rob and Rachel later engaged in a friendly competition showing off their high stepping Saddlebred horses.

Kerrie Tuley discusses races of distance of 50 miles upcoming at Vail Lake (c) Crispin Courtenay

Kerrie Tuley discusses races of distance of 50
miles upcoming at Vail Lake American Endurance Ride (c) Crispin Courtenay

In contrast, Kerrie Tuley wears more comfortable clothes while she races horses over a distance of 50 miles demonstrating the endurance of both horse and rider. In order to win, the condition of the horse is checked at the end of the race by a veterinarian and only if the horse is shown to be in excellent shape health wise can a rider claim first place.

Other riders impressed in their elaborate costumes. Nicole Payne brought on dreams of 1001 nights dazzling in an Arabian Native costume on her beautiful Arabian stallion.

Nicole Payne brought on dreams of 1001 Arabian nights (c) Crispin Courtenay

Nicole Payne brought on dreams of 1001 Arabian nights (c) Crispin Courtenay

And if all the fantastic riding demonstrations are not enough, how about petting a horse the size of a large dog? Wallen West Farms’ mini horse “Blue Moon” is not only adorable he also attracted admiring on-lookers with his ability to bow, to guess someone’s age, balance on a stool, and play on a see-saw with excited kids.

Betsy Wallen showing off the skills of her mini, Blue Moon, Wallen West Farms & Riding Academy  (c) Crispin Courtenay

Betsy Wallen showing off the skills of her mini, Blue Moon, Wallen West Farms & Riding Academy  (c) Crispin Courtenay

Have you ever heard of a Knabstrupper?

Even among horse people this rare Danish breed with its telltale spots is not well known. But guests were able to see a riding demonstration on a Knabstrupper during the “parade of breeds”. Other breeds demonstrated were the Tennessee Walking horse, Mustang, Mule, Saddlebred, Rocky Mountain Horse, Arabian, Mini, Morgan and Peruvian Paso to name a few.

Knabstrupper - recently tamed wild Mustang (c) Crispin Courtenay

Knabstrupper  (c) Crispin Courtenay

But horse activities are not limited to demonstrate riding and driving skills – games on horses can add an extra element of fun and competitive spirit.

Cowboy riding mule (c) Crispin Courtenay

Cowboy riding mule (c) Crispin Courtenay

 

The Temecula Valley Polo Club gave a demonstration of the game with Geraldine Strunsky and Alvaro Tadeo in the saddle.

READ: Temecula Valley Polo Club enjoys record first season at Galway Downs 

Geraldine Strunsky of Temecula Valley Polo Club at Horses to Hoof, II (c) Crispin Courtenay

Geraldine Strunsky of Temecula Valley Polo Club at Horses to Hoof, II (c) Crispin Courtenay

 

In polo two opposing teams of four riders try to score a goal by hitting a small ball with a long wooden mallet while on ponies bred specifically for their agility and speed. The game was tight, but in the end Geraldine was able to win the fun match with a score of 2 to 1. The event closed with an equine soccer match with riders maneuvering their horses to kick a giant pink soccer ball.

All in all, a superb gathering of the equine minded for the second year running in Temecula horse country.

For more information, visit:

www.TemeculaValleyPolo.com

www.WallenWestFarms.com

www.GreenAcresRanchinc.com 

 

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About Ashley Ludwig

Ashley Ludwig is an Editor for Patch News, Orange County and Los Angeles. She is also an inspirational romantic suspense author.

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