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Stephanie J. Corum Named Editor-In-Chief of Arabian Finish Line May 27, 2014

The following is a copy of a press release sent out last week. I’m very excited for this new adventure but I will continue to work with the horses and blog about it. That part is too much fun to give up!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2014

The Arabian racing industry suffered a significant blow with the unexpected passing of Bobbi Patscheider, longtime editor of Arabian Finish Line and staunch racing supporter. However, earlier this year, she had begun discussions of turning the magazine over to Stephanie J. Corum, and this transition is now occurring. The magazine will change its base of location from Summerfield, FL to Frederick, MD and continue to be a monthly print publication with plans to go digital in the future. Finish Line also publishes an annual Stallion Guide which will be in both print and digital formats.

Corum has been a regular contributor for Arabian Finish Line since 2000 and she has over 25 years of experience in Arabian and thoroughbred racing. She is a familiar, well-respected face in Arabian racing and suited to take the reins of the publication. “While I am very excited for this new challenge I wish it were under different circumstances. I would like Bobbi here to help with the transition, but her husband Don and daughter Judy have been very gracious and helpful. Everyone I have spoken to are enthused that the magazine will continue and are very supportive of my role in it. I see great things ahead for Arabian Finish Line, and it is my goal to make Bobbi proud.”

Corliss Hazard, another longtime member of the Arabian racing industry and media professional, has been named Director of Marketing. “I am very excited about Stephanie’s vision for the magazine and quite honored to be associated in her leadership for Arabian racing’s foremost publication.  As she takes over the reins from the revered Bobbi Patscheider, we all find ourselves guardians of a proven winner- a magazine as enduring as the horse it represents.  Positioned for its best years yet, exciting changes are about to happen. Arabian Finish Line is set to launch an impressive drive, and the avid support of everyone involved with purebred Arabian racehorses will lift this industry to the next level of growth and participation.  You will see changes that will elevate your spirit. The new marketing focus of Arabian Finish Line is to provide enhanced results for advertisers by reaching out to a greater audience, and in turn growing a grand, legitimate marketplace for the magnificent race-bred Arabian horse.”

The next issue will be a combined June/July issue and then will resume its monthly schedule. Advertising and content deadline is the tenth of every month.

The new contact information is as follows:
Arabian Finish Line
7820B Wormans Mill Road, Suite 253
Frederick, MD 21701
240-344-1462
sjcorum@arabianfinishline.com
www.arabianfinishline.com

 

Bahea Goes to a Horse Show May 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 1:58 pm
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One of the “tests” that remained with Bahea was how she would be at a horse show. This Saturday I took her to a small schooling dressage show and did training level test 1. Prior to the show, she bathed fine and clipped fine after giving her a few moments to remember what the clippers were. Then she tried to eat them and kept wiggling her muzzle while I was clipping it. She loaded on the trailer perfectly and (along with my horse Nadia) off we went!

Now I decided to show both of the horses on the same day because in that way I was taking up one weekend day instead of two. Good idea in theory, but the girls were definitely more worried about where each other was. Thank goodness that Plantation Valley Stable allowed me to use 2 stalls and my friends Carol and Deb were available to help me. If it weren’t for that I don’t think I would’ve been able to manage them.

Bahea warmed up like an experienced show horse and she stood outside the arena like she’d done it many times before. I’m not sure when her last show was, but it’s been years. Still, she obviously remembered what the scene was all about. Alone in the arena, however, she got nervous and tense. She started grinding the bit and wanted to look around a lot. She tried to be a little extra exuberant in the canter. But overall, she behaved herself well and acted how I expected her to. She scored a 61.45% which was lower than I would have liked but good enough to win her class. Good girl!

Storm clouds rolled in soon after we were done. During a break in the showers we loaded the horses up, but the rain started again soon afterwards. I had the misfortune to drive back to the farm in what felt like a hurricane. It was not a lot of fun and the horses were not happy. It started thundering by the time I arrived at the barn so I quickly managed to unload and get them in before it got too bad. Bless little Bahea’s heart she fell asleep in her stall about 15 minutes later. It was a tiring day for the girl.

Of course, in trying to just get the horses, myself and all our stuff, I completely forgot to take any pictures at the show. Sorry about that folks. But, believe me, she was a cutie all cleaned up!

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The Closest I’ll Get to Competing at Rolex April 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 3:14 pm
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I was so excited to see Lauren Kieffer finish second in the Rolex 4-star event. I’ve never met Lauren, but guess what – Bahea has! In addition to her Rolex partner Vironica, Lauren is well known for her accomplishments on the now retired Anglo-Arabian Snooze Alarm and his brother Vermiculus. Both of these talented horses and Bahea as well were all bred by Lawson and Jeannie Williams. I remember Lawson telling me about Snooze Alarm many years ago so I always kept an eye on him. He has also been keeping me apprised of her advances with Vermiculus.

It seems Lauren knew Bahea when she was in dressage training in Indiana. She recalls her being a solid, talented horse. It’s wonderful to have Lauren be a positive spokesperson for the Arabian breed and have such great success on Anglo-Arabians. I hope she will continue to do so. And congratulations must go out to Lawson and Jeannie (who have since gone their separate ways). They bred some outstanding sport horses and I’m pleased to be riding one of them. I hope that perhaps one day I’ll get to meet Lauren and her horses. For right now I’m excited to know someone who knows her!

To learn more about Lauren Kieffer and her horses, go to http://www.laurenkieffer.com. The photo below is of Lauren and Vironica after finishing their stadium jumping round at Rolex.

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Finally a video! April 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 1:33 pm
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With better weather finally the opportunity came to shoot some video of Bahea. You can view it by clicking on the link above. It is unedited and gives a good representation of where she is. She knows a variety of movements, but she obviously still needs to build a lot of strength and suppleness, especially in the canter. Under saddle I’m taking the advice of Cheryl Swing…do 20 to 30 minutes of correct work and quit before she gets too tired. With Bahea’s strong work ethic, she will keep on going even after fatigue has set in. Cheryl also suggested doing some canter leg yield, which is really helping her canter improve.

On the ground, Dr. Deb of PECTS has been doing some massage/chiropractic work focused on her hind end to help loosen and stretch Bahea’s tight muscles. We are also doing hind leg stretches before and after her rides, and I can definitely feel a difference. It’s only a little bit at a time, but slow and steady wins this kind of race.

I’m entering her in a small schooling show on May 10 doing training level. I’m looking forward to her return to the show ring!

 

Bahea the Professional Mare March 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 2:04 pm
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I’m so pleased with Bahea’s progress back to fitness. Her hay belly is going down and her topline is filling in so she looks less like a broodmare that’s been out in the field for a few years and more like a riding horse. My plan of joint supplement and slow, steady work (and let’s face it, warmer temps) has reduced her stiffness and the fluid on the front of her hocks. Focusing on her balance in walk and trot has definitely helped the balance in her canter. It still needs work but I’m at least able to play with it a little bit.

For fun last week I first tried some walk/canter transitions. She took a couple of trot steps then went right into canter. I feel like with a little practice she will be back to having those spot on. Then, since her canter was feeling pretty good, I thought to myself “Why don’t we go across the diagonal and ask for a flying change.” So I did. And she seemed to have no idea what I was asking her to do. She didn’t get upset or fussy – she just kept cantering. So I quickly changed plans. “Okay, let’s see if she can counter canter.” And she did so pretty easily through the short side of the arena. I came across the next diagonal to get back onto the true lead and praised her highly. She didn’t need to know that I asked for a flying change and got no response. She did a good job at counter canter. So I got going the other direction and did the same pattern only skipping asking for the change. Her counter canter going to the right was more difficult for her, but she tried hard and stayed true. What a good girl.

The lessons here? Ones you’ve probably heard before. Have a plan. But when that plan doesn’t work that day, be ready to change it immediately to what the horse needs. Don’t be afraid to play with other skills – like the flying change. But at the same time, don’t punish your horse if he doesn’t do it right or not at all. Remember, you are just playing and any attempt is worth praising. And in my case I figured out right away that Bahea doesn’t know a change so there was no way I was going to get after her. She does, however, counter canter so I praised her for that.

I’m very impressed with Bahea’s work ethic. She knows her job and does it. Work in the arena? Got it. Hack around the field on the buckle? Sure. Of course, I’m still waiting for the weather to improve enough to get her out on the trail, but I don’t know why she will be any different there. She is, after all, a professional Arabian mare.

 

Blogging on ANOTHER Snowy Day March 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 2:28 pm

This winter has been brutal for so much of the country! I’m starting to think that if spring doesn’t come soon everyone is going to “go postal”. Of course I’m watching it snow again from my little, warm apartment, but luckily I have been able to do some consistent riding and it’s starting to show with Bahea. Her back is filling in ever so slightly and her trot is becoming much smoother and more even. I’ve started adding some lateral work back into the routine – mostly leg yield and a little shoulder fore/shoulder-in. As soon as we start with it she curls and wants to get behind the vertical. My guess is that she was ridden in draw reins at some point so my goal is to encourage her forward, up and out (but not hollow) with her head and neck when we move laterally.

For a change of pace last weekend I put out ground poles. I figure she was fit enough to start doing them and I was curious to see how she’d react. Well, first time through she pricked her ears as soon as she saw them, broke into a canter and did a 2-stride bounce through the 4 poles. Ha ha! I was told she had jumped at one time. She obviously remembers it and liked it! It took a few tries to settle her down through the poles but once she realized that jumping was not part of the equation, she trotted through the poles nicely. Since she obviously enjoys that sort of thing I want to incorporate more poles into our work.

The last time I rode before the snow I actually rode in the outdoor arena. Hooray! Finally the snow and ice had melted and the footing thawed and dried enough to be in really good shape. Yes it was cold (30 degrees I think), but the sun was shining and I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity. This was the first time I rode her outside. She looked around at the horses turned out and made a sideways glance at a remaining snow pile, but otherwise was very good. It was nice to get her in a larger space (the indoor arena is the 20m by 40m) and to know that she is not easily distracted by the goings on around her. We finished with a walk around the grass jumping field. She stopped and stared at the horses who came over to the fence, but moved on when I asked. Riding outside was so enjoyable for both of us. I look forward to taking her out on the trail and seeing what she does there. In company I suspect she will be just fine.

So here’s hoping the snow melts quickly and warmer weather makes a return. Bahea and I are ready to go!

 

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Blogging on a Snow Day February 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 3:08 pm
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1546279_650273495341_1362278932_n (2)I’m blogging today. Why? Because we are having another significant snow event and we only own one reliable bad weather vehicle. Since my husband Donavon is the one with the fulltime job he gets the truck and I stay in the apartment. We live in Maryland. Who would’ve thought we’d have so many days where I was stuck in the apartment? Okay, whining over. Last week it finally started to warm up and the existing snow began to melt. Apparently that is why it is snowing again. We must have snow covered ground. At any rate, I actually managed a few good riding days.

Bahea seems to be happy with her new home and she’s starting to know me, or at least that I always have treats in my left pocket. I’m really starting to like Bahea. At 17 she is old enough to be settled, but chestnut mare enough to have an opinion. The first two times I rode her she tried spooking in a couple of different spots. Her methodology seems to be to stop dead and then shift quickly into reverse. However, it only takes mild encouragement for her to go forward, and I’ve found that she gives up quickly when she realizes it is not successful. Thus I really think the spooking is a test and once deemed worthy (or at least knowing what to do in case of rapidly backing horse) she will quietly accept you as the rider and one in charge.

Because it’s been years since she’s been in regular work I’m keeping things short and simple. We’re doing large figures and transitions at walk and trot on a light contact. Initially Bahea traveled with her head up and back tight but she quickly is offering to stretch out and down which is wonderful. That’s really all I want her to do right now. She has no topline muscle and quite the hay belly so doing this slow stretching work is a wonderful place to begin. She’s less fussy with her head since having her teeth done (duh) and quite amicable about being ridden. I have learned that she is a face scratcher. When we halt she really wants to rub her face on her right leg (and so far only the right leg). Other than that she is very polite.

While I was told she was an alpha mare with other horses, she has yet to work her way into the herd. She seems to still be biding her time. She stays on the outskirts of the other four, but when those girls move across the pasture and go by her, Bahea follows along, making it think it was their idea to include her. Smart girl. She is going to be a treasure for someone.