July 2021 - Day Creek Ranch West & Silver Crest Stable Welcomes Kamila Dupont Dressage
Written by by Kamila Dupont
Friday, 02 July 2021 02:29

by Kamila Dupont

I started riding as a kid with a horse in Florida. As a teenager, I moved to Westchester County NY with my family, and joined Pony Club at Sunnyfield Farm. The seed for Dressage was sown when I began lessons with a German Riding Master, Richard Waetjen.

It was to be years later, watching Hilda Gurney ride in the Montreal Olympics that the buried dream became a full-blown reality. I started training with Hilda in the early 1980’s. I went professional and got sponsors and was fortunate that they provided wonderful horses for me to compete. In 1983, I received a USET European training grant and went to Germany for the first time. What a mind-expanding trip that was! In 1984 I competed in the Olympic Trials. By 1990, I felt I needed help with our horse Nebelhorn and wanted to train in Europe, specifically Germany. Fortunately, I was able to work with the legendary Herbert Rehbein. Not only did I learn how to ride better, I was able to see the reason for their success in equestrian sports. It is a combination of the depth of their breeding programs, their work ethic and a national program to educate and promote youngsters in all the disciplines. Every small village has a riding hall where children learn the classic principles of riding, and every big town has facilities where there are schoolmasters who can bring them into the more serious sport of Dressage. I stated riding dressage when I was 15, some of the Germans start when they are 10, hey! even 5!     

Kamila and Perignon last summer, Intermediare 1

Short version, I had two extended stays in Germany, the first one for two years, the second one for 5 years, separated by 7 years in-between in Florida and California.

I made the “A” List for the USET and was allowed to compete for the US in International Competitions in Europe from 2001-2005 as well as German National Tests. In 2006, when my contract with my sponsor was up, I chose to return to California. Re-inventing myself took a while, but my hard work has paid off and I continue to show and train partnerships to the USDF Medal Levels.

Teaching was always a personal passion, hopefully I will continue to educate and inspire others on their journeys. My latest project is called Wellness Through Dressage. Helping horses and rider maintain radiant health throughout life is the focus of my daily work. In the past, I was driven to succeed in competition, now I have a reached a point where my goal is the long term well-being of myself, my students and their horses.  

To reach that goal, I dreamed of a facility where I could bring this lifestyle to fruition. As fate would have it, Hunter/Jumper trainer Shauna Pennell had a dressage arena at her new barn and invited me to join her.  A philosophy we share is that Life is all about balance. The right amount of work, rest and play is at the heart of happy horses and humans.  Collaborating with trainers from other disciplines is always rewarding and I’m looking forward to being at Day Creek Ranch with Shauna.  

Visit www.KamilaDupont.com for more information.


July 2021 - Dropping Stirrups
Written by by AQHA Professional Horseman Lynn Palm with Christine Hamilton
Friday, 02 July 2021 02:08

by AQHA Professional Horseman Lynn Palm with Christine Hamilton

Learning to ride without stirrups is a huge confidence builder as a rider.It’s a way to gain a deeper seat and better balance through your seat without squeezing your thighs or legs.

When you first start to ride, you want a shorter stirrup so you have a tighter leg. But as you get to be a better rider, you want to elongate your leg so you can sit deeper in the saddle to get a full swing and more use of your leg and foot. That’s true whether you are riding English or western events. Riding without stirrups will help you achieve that.

It also helps your confidence and skill if you lose your stirrup or stirrups in a class or in a maneuver. With or without your stirrups, you know how to maintain your balance as a rider.

To practice riding without stirrups, you can cross your stirrups over your horse’s withers so they don’t flop around and hit your foot. You do that also in a class if the judge calls for an entire pattern to be ridden without stirrups. If you are asked to drop your stirrups on the rail or if you are asked to do only part of a pattern without them, don’t cross them over.


Troubleshooting Dropped Stirrups

When you drop – or lose – your stirrups, one big problem can be picking them back up - especially with an English stirrup. When a rider cannot pick up a stirrup, it’s usually because she is lifting her leg as she tries to pick up the stirrup, bending the knee.

In a western saddle, you can lift your leg up to pick up your stirrup because that nice, big, thick western fender of leather keeps the stirrup in place.

But put a rider in an English saddle with that little-bitty stirrup leather, and if she lifts her leg, it releases the stirrup leather and the stirrup moves around.

To do it right, keep your leg in the correct position and just move your ankle. When you drop a stirrup, you have to turn your toe out and let the stirrup out. When you pick it up, you simply turn your toe in, grab the stirrup with your toe and wiggle it into position at the ball of your foot.

If you feel like you are losing your balance, a common instinct is to squeeze or grip with your legs. But when you do that, it pushes your weight upward and you’ll have a harder time maintaining your balance. Instead, lengthen your leg.
Rider’s Tip

If you want to be a better western rider in dropping and picking up your stirrup, put yourself in an English saddle and that will really teach you the art of picking up your stirrups without changing your leg position.
How To

As a beginner riding without stirrups for the first few times, you should probably work on a longe line with an experienced person helping you.

Begin by dropping and picking up your stirrups while standing still at least five times after you mount. Do this in an arena without looking down or using your hand to help your foot find the stirrup.

Then, graduate to dropping and picking up the stirrups at a walk. When you can do that, progress to the sitting trot, posting trot and then the canter.

For a fun training exercise in dropping your stirrups and picking them back up, try this: Ride a figure 8, but not a lazy 8 – it’s more like two circles with a straight line in the middle. Drop your stirrups at the center of the figure eight and ride one circle without them, then pick them up again at the middle to ride the next circle with your stirrups.

Or to really challenge yourself, drop your stirrups at the center line and pick them up at the first quarter of the circle, drop them again at the half-circle mark, then pick them up at the three-quarter-circle mark and then drop them at the center line again.

Another variation would be to pick up your stirrups or drop them every five strides. Count out loud as you do it. When you get this down, you know you have it mastered.

Start all of these at the walk, then progress to the sitting trot, the posting trot and the canter. Make sure your circles are fairly large – at least 70 feet in diameter or larger.


July 2021 - Windsor Welcomes Laura Guajardo Brown
Written by by Cheryl Erpelding
Friday, 02 July 2021 02:24

by Cheryl Erpelding

Windsor Equestrian Center in East San Diego County underwent a change of ownership two years and ago and is steadily making improvements to the grounds and building its riding school and training program.

Last month Laura Guajardo Brown joined the team as the head trainer. She is a lifelong horsewoman and was born in Mexico where she learned to ride and came up through the levels in three day eventing even making the Mexican Three Day Equestrian Team for the 1987 Pan Am Games. She flew with the team to the event, but was pulled from the squad at the last moment for another male military rider. If she had competed with the team, she would have been the first female rider and civilian to have done so. She went clear at the event and rode as an independent international rider. Laura also competed in the 80s at Rolex at the Advanced level under her former married name Laura Antmann. She has also completed many FEI level courses and has taught and trained in Mexico several Olympic level horses and riders.

Laura also is a huge fan of Friesians and owns a stallion named Camelot De Audibert. He is a five time world champion whom Laura adores and loves to perform with.

Laura brings a lifelong experience in the horse world and enjoys bringing horses along. She is currently training some of the Windsor horses that are for sale and she enjoys teaching the riding school riders.

Windsor offers lessons in both English and Western on quality lesson horses. The facility also has several nice horses for sale.


Laura enjoys performing with her 5 time World Champion Friesian Stallion Camelot. Visit her website: www.FriesianStallionCamelot.com

Laura competed at the Advanced Three Day Level at Rolex back in the 80s under her married name Laura G. De Antmann on Agamernon. She previously competed a stallion named Fina Estampa as Laura Guajardo Brown in 1986. Laura competed for 20 years in eventing and has trained five horses to the advanced level.

Laura rode as an international rider at the 1987 Pan Am Games, but not as a member of the Mexican team.

Laura Guajardo Brown with the Mexican Olympic Team in 1987. Although she made the team as the first female and civilian, she was pulled out at the last moment by the Chef d'Equipe for another Mexican rider.

Laura schooling a nice mare that will be offered for sale soon in Windsor's large lighted arena.

Windsor Equestrian has a busy riding school program with solid lesson horses to help new riders learn how to ride both English and Western style of riding.

Windsor has undergone many improvements including this nice clubhouse for the facility.

Laura Guajardo Brown bringing along a green prospect that will be offered for sale soon.

February 2021 - Tammy Chipko and Shelburne Farms
Written by by Cheryl Erpelding
Tuesday, 02 February 2021 21:10

Off to Nice Start of 2021 with USEF Small Hunter HOY Award

by Cheryl Erpelding

When hunter/jumper trainer Tammy Chipko received the USEF email saying she had won the 2020 Small Hunter Horse of the Year on Santanita LS, she emailed them back saying, “There must be a mistake.” USEF replied, “We don’t make mistakes.” The struggle to show in 2020 with the Covid19 outbreak curtailed many horses’ trips in the show ring, so Tammy’s successful rounds at Thermal’s hunter/jumper winter shows landed her with the year end coveted top prize. The 13 year-old La Silla mare (a Mexican Sporthorse) whom she had originally bought for the jumper ring from Simon Nizri seven years ago, was intended for the jumper rings, but Tammy soon realized she was really better suited for the hunter ring. Winning champions and reserves in the five weeks of the popular h/j circuit in 2020, it was all that was needed to seal the USEF HOY title. Santanita LS was purchased by the Coopers and Zeppelin Farms this past year.

Tammy has reestablished her professional training status in 2015 after competing successfully as an amateur and she has been riding and working out of her hunter/jumper barn in Hidden Valley just north of Los Angeles since 2002. Before she purchased the beautiful 20-acre farm, she and boyfriend Harvey Kallen were searching for a smaller 4-5 acre place, but the stars lined up and they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy the larger working horse farm, and there has been no looking back. The farm is quite a horse’s dream with all of its wonderful amenities and has been the home for several top h/j trainers for many years. The horses are able to be turned out all day and tucked in their stalls at night in one of the three barns. A galloping track, bridle trails, and four arenas give everyone room to work their horses in an inviting environment for both horses and riders.

Tammy didn’t show as a junior but was hooked on horses from the first time she got in the saddle at age three. She mainly rode her own backyard ponies in Agoura, where she paid $25 for a pen for the ponies and worked hard babysitting and washing cars to pay for the feed and care for them. She took care of their feeding and cleaning and learned the full spectrum of equine care while growing up.

Tammy went on to work at Raizy Goffman’s Camelot and worked under Mike Hebert. She also worked with Mike Edrick and has spent time at a hunter/jumper barn in Virginia. After working for Mike Edrick, Tammy took a 10 year break and worked as a software engineer recruiter. When she came back to riding she bought her first horse at age 30 and at first she rode with Mike Edrick for a couple of years. Then she made the decision to continue her education under Karen Healey. Her accomplishments under Karen’s watchful eye were so many including the World Hunter Championship Rider and a long list of many top awards.

Santanita LS and Tammy Chipko win USEF’s 2020 Small Hunter Horse of the Year. Photo: McCool Photography

Some of Tammy’s successes are as both a professional and amateur rider. She has won: World Hunter Championship Rider both Regional and National; USEF Horse of the Year; USHJA Horse of the Year; numerous Hunter Derby wins and Year End Awards; top placings and winnings up  through the Grand Prix Level including many top finishes in World Cup Qualifiers finishing 5th in Qualifier Standings. Some of her top winnings include: Friends of the Meadows Cup;  RSA Cup;  and Genoa Cup all at Spruce Meadows in Calgary. Tammy also has an accomplished background producing top young horses, bringing home Championships in the 4-year-old, 5-year-old and 7-year-old Jumper Finals. Tammy has great sponsors, Heritage Gloves and CWD Saddles and really appreciates their continued support.

Friends of Tammy that were looking for help with their horses eventually brought Tammy back to teaching and reestablished herself as a hunter/jumper trainer in 2015. Some of her clients shared their thoughts about Tammy and her Shelburne Facility.

Erin Prutow wrote: “Shelburne Farms is an absolutely stunning facility located in Hidden Valley. With decades of experience in the hunters, jumpers and equitation rings, Tammy Chipko is a seasoned professional who is more than capable of bringing your riding to the next level. Equally as adept at training as she is teaching, she brings horse and rider together in a fun and positive environment, ensuring each horse learns not only how to excel in the show ring, but also that each rider learns to maintain and sharpen their skills so that both can level up. There is no equivalent in the Los Angeles area that I would recommend more.” 

Karoline Sauls stated: “It is with much enthusiasm that I am pleased to recommend the training & care services of Tammy Chipko and Shelburne Farms for hunter/jumpers and equitation!!

Tammy was my first hunter/jumper trainer in the 90s when she was the assistant trainer at Camelot Stables, this is where we first met and became fast friends.  I’ve had my horses, sometimes as many as seven or eight, in her care at Shelburne Farms since they opened in 2002.  Needless to say, I’ve known her for a very long time and have trusted her with my ‘boys’ for many, many years.

Tammy is someone of high integrity, who puts the care, health and safety of the horses and riders above everything else and is highly knowledgeable in both holistic treatments, nutrition, and vet care of horses.  Not only are our lessons fun & challenging, but she also offers the most competitive rates in town!  We have several riding rings with great footing, and several large, modern, state of the art barns.

Tammy Chipko on Mini Coupe. Photo: Captured Moment Photography

Tammy is a great rider herself, who will bring out the best in your horse both at home and in the show ring.  She is extraordinarily talented in the hunter ring which is proven by her many championships in hunters over the past several decades, but has also competed in showjumpers to the World Cup level.
I’m happy to recommend Tammy for any level of riding – beginner to Grand Prix level jumping!”

Armita shared: “My daughter started training with Tammy Chipko when she was 13. We moved to Shelburne Farms because we wanted her to have an opportunity to grow, not just as an equestrian but also as a young adult. It was the best decision we ever made. Tammy has been an incredible mentor, she truly has a special gift for helping others reach their potential. Shelburne is an incredible facility with extraordinary people. We are so grateful to call this beautiful barn home.”

Tammy will be at the Thermal horse shows with clients this month showing and she will have some top level sale horses which can be seen at the show or viewed on her website, www.Shelburne-Farms.com. Tammy welcomes all levels of horses and riders and can easily help a rider at the local county shows, have fun at a home barn fun show, or go to the big A shows. She invites anyone that would like to tour the facility contact her and set up an appointment.


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