Spring Down Low Down Newsletter
The newsletter of Spring Down Equestrian Center
Vol.11,Issue 2 Winter 2014
2014 is coming to an end, but don’t finish out the year without being aware of all
of the great things happening at Spring Down Equestrian Center!! Our very popular
Holiday Camps will be up and running soon, so sign your child up NOW to secure a
Week 1: Dec. 22,23,24,26
Week 2: Dec. 29,30,31, Jan2
There will be no camp on either Christmas Day, or New Years Day.
Carol Goodstein will also offer two of her most popular clinics one more time this
year: “Switch it Up”, and “Hunt Seat Equitation.” Come ride with Carol to expand your
knowledge about riding. Equitation is the foundation of exemplary riding, and necessary
for jumping, as well as perhaps riding in drill team. Riding different horses will always
teach you a myriad of skills—it is one of the best ways to improve your riding ability.
Hunt Seat Equitation: December 24th
Switch it Up: January 2nd
Visit our website:
HORSE SHOW UPDATES
Spring Down hosts four horse shows a year. Carol Goodstein, Spring Down’s
CEO, will always consider it extremely important to be able to provide her clients the
opportunity to participate in quality horse shows for a reasonable price. Doing four
shows a year also affords people the opportunity to ride and show different horses—and
as we all know, we learn something unique in regard to horsemanship and riding
technique from each and every horse we ride. Spring Down would like to reach out to
our local horse community as well—because we do not put our shows on solely for our
SD clients!! Our shows are open to everyone—so even if you are not a SD client, come
ride in one of our four fun, fabulous, and family friendly horse shows!!
Congratulations to the High Point winners at the September and December shows!!!!!
Begiinner Reserve: Sarah Massoudi
Junior Advanced: Julia Ford
Senior Advanced: Justine Efcavitch
Beginner: Tilly Newland
Junior Advanced Reserve: Michelle Morfin
Senior Advanced: Sarah Griner
Reserve (tied): Allison Conrad and Rachael Howard
Spring Down also took a contingent of riders to the SMCHA show at the Horse
Park in August. All the riders did extremely well, and lots of fun was had by all. We will
plan to go to one or two outside shows in 2015 as well, so if you are interested, you
must be an intermediate/advanced rider with some good showing experience already at
Spring Down. You must also get the approval of your instructor, and that of Carol
Goodstein as well.
HORSE SHOW INS AND OUTS…..
So have you wondered why some folks win ribbons in the flat classes
and others don’t? A lot depends on the category of class in which you are
entered. In any flat class that is an EQUITATION class, the judge is
looking primarily at the rider’s position and technique. Some of the things
the judge will consider are the following: having your eyes up and looking
ahead, having your shoulders back, a good posture with a straight back,
elbows at your sides, palms facing each other with thumbs up, fingers
closed on the reins, seat in the center of the saddle, heels down, and a
straight line from your shoulders to your hips to your heel. Also, it is very
important to be on the correct posting diagonal, or the correct canter lead,
b/c that is critical for the balance of the horse and rider.
In the HUNTER UNDER SADDLE classes, the judge is primarily
judging the horse’s movements and manners. The rider’s equitation is
important here because it will influence the way the horse goes...but the
judge is really judging the movements and manners of the horse related to
how well you are riding him.
WELCOME TO NEW HORSES AT SPRING DOWN!
KALIN: Fran Goodzeit
MAGIC: Sarah Griner
TREVOR: Caroline Warde
ANGEL: Caroline Warde
WELCOME TO NEW BARN CATS
Dracula: Dracula is a 7 or 8 year old black cat who is extremely friendly
and cuddley. He will be a very good addition to the Spring Down barn cat
society. He gets his name because he has two very large teeth in his lower
Tigger: Tigger is a very sweet, orange kitty who was found underneath a
truck one day. The Nine Lives Foundation saved him, and we decided to
adopt him to become a Spring Down barn cat:) Please say hi to Tigger next
time you see him!
SPRING DOWN STARS
AVAILABLE NOW!! - New cards for new SD horses and felines!! The
STARS of Spring Down who work tirelessly, patiently and lovingly to teach our
riders how to ride. We couldn’t do what we do without our horses! They are
trained to do a special job here, keeping new or experienced riders safe, as well as
patiently guiding us to new challenges in the arena. Spring Down trading cards are
now available: 2 for $5, and a complete set for $120.
HORSE SHOW INS AND OUTS
There often is confusion about what equipment is allowed at Horse Shows. Let’s
try to cover some of the basic rules here. SDEC follows all of the rules dictated by the
USEF, and we are going to talk mainly about equipment that is used by SD horses.
For the basic bridle, most SD bridles are OK as they are. Snaffles, and Pelhams
are bits that are fine to use at a show. If your horse wears a flash noseband, like
Sally,does, that is not allowed. Standing martingales are allowed, but germans are
not—so you will notice that all horses who have a german will change to a standing for
the show (and also the week before the show so they get used to it.) The reins need to
be changed to a braided leather rein with no D rings.
NO martingales are allowed in flat classes, or any class with a flat component
such as Hunter Hack.
All adult saddles are assigned to prevent mayhem the day of the show. If your
horse has an Equipedic pad, it should be used because the horse’s back will be most
comfortable for the long show day. No blue cotton pads should be worn. A flat leather
girth should be used, but sometimes we make exceptions for certain horses.
The horse should not wear any boots or wraps on their legs. It is OK to wear
these for warm-up, but not for your show classes.
DRILL TEAM UPDATES
Spring Downs’ Rhythm and Blues Drill Team is now looking for new
members for both the A and B teams!! Drill Team riding is a fabulous way to hone
your riding skills, b/c riding to music makes everything better:) Keeping the
rhythm and trying to follow patterns while riding just makes the other equitation
skills fall into place more easily.
The B team is a preparatory team, with riders who are generally less
advanced and experienced. We do have a few very experienced riders, on the team
though, who love to ride and share their skills with others!!
The A team consists of more advanced riders, and for the most part drill
experience is needed to be on this team. A few exceptions will be made for riders
who have achieved a certain level of general riding expertise.
A great preparation for drill team is coming to one of Carol Goodstein’s
Hunt Seat Equitation clinics. These clinics are very popular, so do sign up early to
reserve your spot!! During these clinics, Carol reviews in great detail all of the
skills needed to ride your horse correctly, with proper equitation being stressed
throughout the clinic. To ride drill team maneuvers well, all of the basic equitation
skills are needed—so come join Carol in her next clinic over the Christmas
Holidays. Please see the Spring Down office ASAP to sign up for this fabulous
TACK - UP LESSONS
Spring Down will be continuing to offer group tack-up lessons as often as
possible. The lessons are scheduled on a Sunday, at noon, for one hour.
"Why take this lesson?," you may ask. At Spring Down, we teach
comprehensive horsemanship, not just horseback riding. A very important
component of horsemanship is understanding the equipment you are using on any
given horse: both how it is put on, and how and why it works. The group tack-up
lessons will allow time both for demonstration of the equipment that we use, and
hands on practice with someone standing by for instruction and assistance.
General grooming and equipment used for grooming will also be taught in
the tack-up lesson. And, of course, as we are very safety conscious here at Spring
Down, techniques for keeping both you and your horse safe will be taught so that
everyone is safe and comfortable during the grooming and tacking-up procedures.
Please see the office to schedule yourself into one of these tack up lessons. If
you are unable to make the group lessons, a private lesson may be arranged. The
group lessons are preferable, because the hour time will allow you to become
familiar with more different types of equipment and also allows for more time to
practice. A private lesson is the next best thing, however, if that is what your
schedule will allow.
It has always been a SD rule that, if you are about 12 years old or over, and
you are capable of tacking up your horse, then you need to take a tack up lessons to
learn how to do it safely. If you fit these requirements, but you chooses not to tack
up for whatever reason, then you will be charged an additional $10 for tacking and
also untacking your horse.
NEWS FROM THE OFFICE
Please remember that Spring Down has a strict 24 hour cancellation policy.
If you do not cancel with 24 hours notice, you will be charged for your lesson. This
means that, if you have a lesson at 12 noon on Wednesday, you need to cancel
your lesson by 12 noon on Tuesday. If you call to cancel at 4PM on Tuesday, you
will still be charged a late cancel feel. This policy exists because we need to plan
our instructors and horses schedules in advance. We have reserved your teacher's
time for you, your horse's time for you, and very often the horse has been tacked
up by one of our grooms. Making an appointment for a lesson is a firm obligation,
so please consider it as such, and give us a minimum of 24 hours notice if you are
not able to attend your lesson.
When requesting a specific horse for a lesson, everyone needs to understand
that it is just that: a request. The office will make every effort to honor that
request, but sometimes we have ten requests for the same horse in a given day.
Also, all the horses at Spring Down need to get exercise each and every day, so it
is our responsibility to make sure that each horse gets ridden by someone (and that
one horse doesn't get ridden too much). We try to match the horses and riders as
best as possible, but please remember that each horse can teach you some new and
different skills. Be flexible, and you'll be surprised at how many new horse friends
you will acquire by branching out a bit...and at how much you will learn.
SPRING DOWN CALENDAR
HORSE SHOW DATES: (2015)
NICK CLINICS: (2015)
June 30, July 1,2
SIGN UP NOW!!!!!
WEEK 1: Dec. 22,23,24,26
WEEK 2: Dec. 29,30,31,Jan. 2
(There will be NO camp on Christmas Day or New Years Day)
WINTER CAMP: (2015)
SPRING CAMP: (2015)
NEWS FROM THE OFFICE
MINI CAMPS - Our new monthly program "Crazy About Horses" has been quite
successful for those that only have a day to spend with horses and get their "boots wet." It is a
perfect option for the parent, friend, or grandparent to ride along with their horse crazy kid.
The camp is from 10 AM - 2PM covering many aspects of horsemanship: safety around horses,
horse management and care, grooming, understanding how to put on special equipment, a live
demonstartion, and of course, RIDING! Be sure to sign up early as this program is very popular!
2015 DATES: March 14
GIRL SCOUT "HORSE RIDER" BADGE PROGRAMS- We've been working
with the Girl Scouts of Northern California as an approved vendor. The standard Horse Rider
badge is $45 per rider. We currently offer the Horse Rider and now Horse Fan badge to all
troops. Each troop can earn 2 badges in one visit for a special price of $70 per rider. For the
Brownies, we are offering the Horse and Pony Try It patch for those young scouts! Check our
web site at http://www.springdown.com/groupevents/girlscouts/
15 FOR 15- Do you finally get in the groove after the first half of your lesson, and need just
a little more time to figure out how to get things right? We are offering, during the slower times
of the day (Mon - Fri, 9AM - 2PM) 15 extra minutes of lesson time for $15 dollars. If your
instructor is availlable, the extra time can be just the ticket to boost your confidence. Contact the
office within 24 hours of your lesson to see if the 15 for 15 is available for your next lesson!
The Holidays are Coming……
Please ask in the office about the “Holiday Grooms Fund.” This is a
fund organized by Diane Allison, to help thank and support our fabulous
and wonderful staff of grooms at this holiday season. Contribute a little
or a lot, but do help because these guys work tirelessly all year long to
take care of the wonderful horses that you ride and love.
THANK YOU TO OUR GROOMS!!!
SPRING DOWN EMPLOYEES -
Spring Down wants to acknowledge our primary part-time instructor staff—because all
of these wonderful folks help to keep our lesson program strong and vibrant. Thanks to Sarah
Griner, Cherie Hammer, Megan Nicholls, Erin Pittock, Taylor Ford, and Kore Chan…..and a
great big WELCOME to our newest instructor, Melanie Norris! You are all fabulous, and Spring
Down would not be the same without you!! To schedule a lesson with any of these terrific
instructors, please see the Spring Down office for their availability.
Melanie is a lovely young lady who trained originally at Spring Down Equestrian
Center!! After going off to school, she is now back at home in California—here to help all of
you learn about the wonderful world of equines!! Please check with the office for Melanie’s
schedule, and come and take a lesson with her.
One other person who continues to deserve accolades and recognition is Jennifer Dekker,
the office manager at Spring Down. Jennifer is one of the folks that helps to hold Spring Down
together, doing an extremely difficult job every day. Running the office at Spring Down can
often be a tiring and thankless job, and the details that need to be managed can seem never
ending. Jennifer does her job with skill, grace, and humor, and we thank her very much for all of
her hard work!
SPRING DOWN HORSE’S AGES
Everyone has a favorite horse at Spring Down, and here we will mention some of these favorite horse’s ages:
SPRING DOWN NEWS & NOTES
MOMMY AND ME:
This program has turned out to be a smashing success. It is a series of 3
classes designed to introduce the smallest member of your family to horses while
spending some quality time with Mom or Dad. As a group, you'll be introduced to
safety, horse's ground manners, and you will get comfortable around horses. We'll
teach you all about their special equipment, grooming and tacking up, and learning
to ride. Each class may include the use of a vaulting horse, grooming, a riding
lesson, and a special lesson about some aspect of horsemanship, geared to the little
ones.. The series is a scheduled class, so look for upcoming dates!
Please see the office for more info.
2015 DATES: Jan 6,13,20
This class is scheduled from 10:00AM to 11:30 AM. You may have the option to
sign up for this program through Park and Rec—so check your local town to see if
Spring Down offerings are available. Otherwise, you can just sign up through the
Spring Down office by calling (650) 851-1114.
NINE LIVES FOUNDATION
The Nine Lives Foundation (where Spring Down got Dracula and Tigger) is
a non profit community-based organization dedicated to rescuing cats and kittens
from high kill shelters and at risk situations throughout Northern California, and
placing them in permanent, loving homes. In addition to saving cats from
senseless euthanasia, Nine Lives Foundation focuses on providing low cost
spay/neuter surgeries for the community and other cat rescue organizations and
supporting TNR (trap-neuter-return) of ferals and strays to reduce the number of
unwanted cats and kittens born in our neighboring communities and consequently
entering the Bay Area’s over-crowded shelters.
The Nine Lives Foundation also provides low cost vaccination services,
microchipping, and dental cleanings for cats only.
Come and visit The Nine Lives Foundation and give a wonderful cat or
kitten a forever home!!
3016 Rolison Road
Redwood City, CA 94063
Are you ready to join a group?
A frequently asked question is " When will I (or my child) be able to join a group?" There is no one answer to that question, because every person, no matter how young or old, learns skills at a different rate. In my experience as an instructor, the time may vary from just a few months, to over a year or more. But, there are a few key criteria from which we instructors judge whether or not joining a group is feasible:
1) Can you get your horse out of the stall to the arena, and back again after the lesson SAFELY AND CORRECTLY? Parents, a hint to expedite this process for your smaller child is to learn how to do this too so that you can assist your child. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes with a hard toe so your feet will be safe as well when assisting your child. There can sometimes be 6 or 7 folks in a group, and one instructor can not help everyone in the group to and from the stall.
2) You must be able to check and tighten your girth, and also adjust your stirrups MOSTLY BY YOURSELF. This does not mean that your instructor will not help you at all, but it DOES mean that you must make a good effort to get as much done by yourself as you can.
3) You must have good skills at mounting the horse safely.
4) You must be able to do a posting trot ON THE RAIL BY YOURSELF WITHOUT MUCH ASSISTANCE. This includes being able to start, stop, and steer by yourself.
5) Do you know how close you can safely get to the horse in front of you? Do you know what to do if you think you will get too close, i.e. pass safely, cut across the arena, or circle safely? Your instructors can assist with your refining these skills, but the basic knowledge and ability must be there.
6) A basic understanding of posting diagonals is necessary. Of course, your instructor will continue to help you with this skill, but it must be understood by the rider.
7) Do you know how to dismount safely by yourself? Your instructor can not assist everyone in a group without taking too much time away from the lesson.
There are, to recap, lots of requirements for being able to join a group. The bottom line for the necessity of these requirements is to ensure the safety of all the riders. Remember, there is only one instructor in a group, so each rider must possess the basic riding skills to ride responsibly and safely.
Do You Want To Jump?
Our goal at Spring Down is to help people to acquire the skills to do whatever type of riding interests them. Jumping is one part of the equestrian experience, and although it can be very exciting, it is also very demanding and challenging.
It is essential that you have mastered your flat work before you start jumping. After all, jumping is really advanced flat work with obstacles. Having solid flat skills is vital for your safety and security.
The following guidelines provide the minimum essentials that are required before you are able to safely and securely start jumping:
1) Must be able to maintain good balance, steering, and control of the horse at all gaits: walk, trot, and canter.
2) Must be able to walk and trot without stirrups. The instructor should not notice any difference in leg position or effectiveness with or without stirrups.
3) Two-point seat must be strong and balanced, with the ability to do poles at the trot and canter.
4) Must be able to stay in two-point seat at the canter three times around the indoor arena, or one time around the big, jumping
5) Must be able to execute circles at the canter effectively.
6) Must be able to drop and regain stirrups at all gaits.
7) Must know diagonals and leads.
8) Must have a basic knowledge of simple and flying lead changes.
The more you use the reins, the less they use their brains!!
When you have a love for something, you want to share it with everybody!!
My love is for horses. I feel they are important to us. I want to see them go
on. There is something about a horse that brings out the best in people.
WE GET LETTERS
SMCHA’s 65th Annual Open Horse Show at the Horse Park in August was
a huge success because of your generous sponsorship. We could not have done it
without you! Your generosity toward the entire SMCHA club and equine
community are certainly appreciated. Of course, Carol, extra big thanks for the
English riding Clinic, which was thoroughly enjoyed by those that attended. You
are the best!!
SMCHA President and Horse Show Chair
Thank You for Joining Us!
Portola Valley Day of the Horse
We would like to give a hearty thanks to you all for participating
in Portola Valleys 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Horse on
Sunday, June 22nd, 2014. It was such a success, with lots of
people and– most important of all—families with kids.
We are so appreciative of you all, from the volunteers, the
exhibitors, our local vet, those who brought their equines to
show, and last but not least, to our dear town who supported us
intricate process to make the day a safe and fun experience.<
Thank you Carol, for Spring Down’s participation at our <
and guided us through the
event!!Your booth was a great success!!
Thank you so much for ensuring that Steffi had such a wonderful riding
experience during her visit to Portola Valley. She was so happy with her progress.
And, of course, she fell in love with Dina. She is eager to return.
It was a wonderful experience for me, too. It took me gack 40 years to the
days when YOU found Blackjack and you trained Liz and Danny. Thanks for all <
you did then, and thanks for the memories.
Fondly, Lina Swisher
We hope this note finds you well. We are writing to tell you that Abby and I
are profoundly grateful for six years of awesome riding and instruction at Spring
Down. Built with you, Abby’s foundation will always be strong in the saddle,
thanks to your guidance in Hunter Jumper principles.
All the Best, Abby and Rachael Ramsey
Thank You for Joining Us!
Woodside Day of the Horse
The tradition of great weather for the Bay Area's best
Progressive Ride and Horse Fair continued. Blue skies
welcomed the over 250 "RIDERS FROM AROUND THE
WORLD" and over 1000 fair attendees who all joined in
We are always grateful for your generosity which has allowed
WHOA! to support a growing list of projects and causes in the
area. Last year we donated to community groups that offer riding
experiences to under-served children and war veterans,
supported trail maintenance and more.
None of this would be possible without you. Thank you for
helping us sustain the vision of horses in the community for
generations to come.
Read the previous issue of the Spring Down Low Down: Summer 2014
Back to top of page ^