Jessica Cieri started riding horses at B’N’R Stables at the age of 7, immediately loving the excitement and connection with horses; her true passion was discovered! Over the last 15 years, she worked hard and made her way from weekly lessons to part boarding, and then showing at local shows and fairs on a number of different horses. This past year she, along with her coach, Brenda Langendoen, decided to take a big step to the next level of showing and compete in Ranch Riding at the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) shows, the highest level of showing in Ontario. The goal was to learn and gain experience with no expectations. To everyone’s surprise and delight, Jewel (the horse she leases from BNR Stables) and Jessica performed fantastic, coming home from every competition with 1st and 2nd placings.
Jessica thought the season was over until a notice was received that she had qualified for the Lucas Oil AQHA World Championships! It had always been a goal of hers to show at the AQHA level, but to qualify for Worlds in her first year was unbelievable!
Jessica and her coach, Brenda Langendoen recognized what a special opportunity this was and worked together to turn the trip into a reality! On October 30th, the 11 day journey began. So many wonderful experiences were had and it was an absolute dream come true for both Jessica and Brenda. Jess and Jewel were the only competitors in their classes from Canada and learned so much – such an incredible experience!
Jessica and Brenda would like so send a huge thank you to everyone that made this trip possible and to the entire BNR Stables’ family for all your support! This fantastic opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without you and we are forever grateful!
Western Riding is extremely versatile and fun with something for everyone! Whether you enjoy a relaxing trail ride, the speed of barrel racing, the precision of competitive trail courses, the thrill of working cattle or the excitement of a sliding stop in reining – western riding is for you! It is a style of riding that is very easy to learn the basics but which requires tremendous skill and dedication to master at its highest level.
There are a wide variety of disciplines associated with western riding but for the main part they all refer back to the skills that cowboys had to use in the course of their daily work. Because the daily work of rounding, sorting, branding and caring for cattle usually to happen on the open plains, cowboys needed a quick, nimble and intelligent horse that could reach top speed quickly, stop on a dime, and change direction in an instant. The horse needed to be controlled mostly by legs and weight, ridden with only one hand and a light touch on the reins so that cowboy’s attention could also be on their tasks. Since the cowboys were required to work long hours in the saddle, their equipment needed to be as safe and comfortable as possible. Therefore, the western saddle has a horn, high cantle and deep seat to provide the most comfort over long hours in the saddle over rough terrain.
Today, we do not have the same lifestyle as the cowboys out in the vast plains but the type of horse, training and events of today all relate back to these roots. There are numerous competitions for the western rider. Some of the main events, just to mention a few are: reining, pleasure, cutting, trail, team penning, halter, horsemanship, showmanship, barrel racing, pole bending, flag race and trail riding. There are events from beginner to advanced and from recreational riding to competition.
Here at B’N’R Stables we provide a strong start, both in and out of the saddle for all types of western riding. Our students all have different goals and dreams and we work to provide the knowledge, skills and support to reach these goals. Some students come once a year for their special week at camp, and others have become champions at various horse competitions. We recognize the incredible gift horses are and provide the best care and training possible, respecting their needs along with ours.
The Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Side of Riding, Driving and Ownership
By Katherine Blocksdorf, About.com Guide
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” – Sir Winston Churchill
From the outside horseback riding may look like just sitting and that all a rider has to do is give the horse some simple instructions like go, whoa, and turn. In carrying the rider the horse is doing all the work, right? Wrong. There is far more to horseback riding than the casual observer might expect. And, there are benefits beyond simple enjoyment; physically, mentally and emotionally.
Riding develops balance and coordination. The movements required to cue a horse require body awareness. Riding also uses many muscles; most importantly the leg, abdominal, shoulder and back muscles. Riding does not depend on strength alone, but strong flexible muscles aid in stability and coordination. Most new riders will find that their inner thigh muscle becomes sore, but the muscle will quickly become stretched and strengthened. Riding a horse at a walk stimulates the internal organs just as walking on
foot does. This aids in liver function and digestion, and makes riding a great therapy option for those in wheelchairs. You will be burning calories. According to the “Body For Life for Women”, by Dr. Pamela Peeke, General Horseback Riding accounts for 5 calories per minute for a 150 pound woman. Increase the speed and distance you ride and you‟ll increase the intensity of your work out.
Horseback riding is a sport that people of any age can participate in. As many people approach their middle years they may finally have the time and resources to realize their dreams of riding or owning a horse. With proper instruction and guidance there is no reason why people in their forties and beyond can‟t learn to ride or drive. Lots of seniors have ridden or driven into their „golden years‟ with a favorite equine companion.
As you groom, clean stables, carry saddles, equipment or bales of hay you are also doing weight bearing exercise that helps maintain bone mass. Although riding, grooming and mucking out is good exercise, many riders who wish to compete at advanced levels find it beneficial to lift weights and do core strength training such as yoga and Pilates.
At first you may feel that just learning to stay on and steer the horse is a challenge. When that becomes easy many more learning opportunities present themselves.. As you progress with riding and horse ownership you will always have questions and problems. Even the most experienced equestrian would admit there is always something new to learn. Research has shown that lifelong learning may prevent memory loss. Just like your
muscles your brain needs exercise to keep young and supple. Riding provides an active avenue for keeping your brain exercised. Riding can provide many opportunities for success. Whether you learn to post the trot or receive high marks in a dressage test, you‟ll feel good about what you are doing.
For many a horse is a connection with nature whether they ride in the ring or down the trail. Many people find companionship and solace while working with their horse. Although riding can present its frustrations and challenges most people find it a relaxing pastime. The camaraderie of people who enjoy similar activities is also appealing. It‟s fun to get together with friends for a lesson, team endeavor such as mounted games or drill riding, or a trail ride.
If you crave solitude, riding or driving can provide that as well. Many horse owners feel their horse is somewhat of a kindred spirit in tune with their own feelings and emotions; more so than any human companion. In times of stress a horse can be a quiet friend, who is without judgment or guile.