Clinics That Click

By Zazou Hoffman

One of the benefits of participating in a clinic is that you learn new exercises that help you and your horse. You also realize that there is no “one“ correct way. Horses and riders will respond differently to different training methods.

An Opportunity
In 2005, shortly after I started in the Children’s Jumpers, I learned of the organization West Coast Active Riders. At the time, Grand Prix rider Gabriella Salick was the president. She arranged for many outreach programs. Among them was an essay contest for a free space in the Leslie Burr Howard clinic. Leslie Burr Howard is a two-time Olympian, has competed in numerous World Cups and also won the Maclay medal. An amazing teacher, Leslie tailors her training methods to the individual horse and rider. I was fortunate enough to win the contest because Leslie liked why I wanted to participate – “What sparked my interest in Zazou is her attention not only to riding and competing, but her interest in preparation and strategy.”

The Clinic Format
The first day of the clinic was flat work. We worked on shortening the horse’s stride over cavelletti. Leslie got on all 18 horses so that she could individualize her comments. The second day we continued to work on adjustability over low jumps, bending and slicing. The third day we worked over a course of twelve fences. The clinic concluded in a competition over a jump-off course. The main theme of the clinic was the need to be able to lengthen and shorten the frame of your horse. Leslie emphasized that whether you are a soft rider or a strong rider, you need to be able to do the opposite while riding a course. She quoted U.S. Olympic Team Chef d’Equipe George Morris “Your strength is your weakness”. Mr. Morris reiterated this in the Horsemastership Sessions. What he means by this is that you must practice what is least comfortable to you.

The Stride Game
In my mind it all hinges on adjustability of horse and rider. When I am at home with my friends and in lessons with my trainer, Meredith Bullock, we play “The Stride Game”. You begin by setting a pole in an open area and establishing the number of canter strides you want to put in before you go over the pole. Each rider calls and counts the number of strides as they canter to the pole. Every time you miscalculate you have to drop out. We practice off of both leads. We learn about lengthening or shortening accurately, preparing ourselves for those tough jumper or equitation courses, especially for lines that are set short or long or on the half-stride.

It’s interesting to note that each horse is an individual and what works for one may not work for another. There are lots of clinics being offered and they can be expensive. Do your homework – make sure that you choose the one that will most benefit you and your horse. If you can’t attend as a rider, ask if you can audit as a non-rider, or as a volunteer to help set jumps. It’s a great way to learn. Some of my favorite clinicians are: Joe Fargis, Kathy Kusner, Richard Spooner, Archie Cox and George Morris (pass on this if you are a super sensitive person, can’t tolerate criticism, or tend to cry easily).

Zazou Hoffman is a 16-year-old from Santa Monica, CA. As a 13-year-old, having only shown locally, she decided to apply for the Ronnie Mutch Working Student Scholarship. She won, which led to working with respected East Coast trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan. Through hard work and commitment, by Jan. ’07 Zazou was one of seven elite riders chosen to work with Olympic Chef d’Equipe George Morris in Wellington, FL. She has competed in the Medal Finals for the past three years. She counts her win at the Maclay Regional, her 4th in “the Medal” at Harrisburg, her 5th in the USET Talent Search East at Gladstone, and her 3rd in the WCE amongst her notable accomplishments.

EquestriSol News: March 29, 2007

From custom ad design and placement to developing copy, we can handle every aspect of your advertising campaign. Our equestrian experience is an asset in understanding the look and feel our clients seek in print advertising and the results speak for themselves. Look for EquestriSol designed ads in current and upcoming issues of The Chronicle of the Horse, Show Circuit Magazine and in horse show programs around the country. Contact us for more details.

Show Circuit Magazine
• Spring Issue – Space reservation deadline: 3/31

Chronicle of the Horse – published weekly
• Deadline: 2 weeks prior to the pub. date

USEF’s Equestrian Magazine
• May Issue – Deadline: 4/15/07

California Riding Magazine
• May Issue – Deadline: 4/15/07

Hunter Jumper Magazine
• May Issue – Space reservation deadline: 4/15/07; Ad deadline: 4/25/07

Sidelines Magazine
• May Issue on stands 4/21 – Deadline: 4/4/07

Fundraising Fun at Horse Shows in the Sun!
More than 300 people came out on Saturday, March 10th to raise money for West Coast Active Riders at the 2007 WCAR Annual fundraising party “Casino Night.” The lively event, raised upwards of $50,000 to support Show Jumping on the West Coast. Live auction prizes included a CWD saddle, a French Bulldog puppy, a week at a beachfront home in Hawaii including airfare, and a weekend of training and socializing with World Cup veteran, Will Simpson. The silent auction featured everything from exotic weekend trips to VIP boxes at concerts and horse shows to a Prada handbag and riding gear. Sponsors for the event were J-2/Rolling Meadows, CWD, Camelot Homes, Nate Nathan and Associates, and Stateside Farms, Inc.

Congratulations to the winners of the other fabulous fundraising efforts at HITS:
WCAR Raffle: Mickey Hayden won the fabulous red golf cart generously sponsored by the Buie’s & Fairbanks Valley Farm. Over 200 tickets sold!
WCAR Young Riders Membership Drive: “The KB Girls” (Tina DiLandri, Hannah Selleck and Natasha Traurig) won the course walks with Bernie Traurig at the upcoming 2007 World Cup Finals in April. Over 75 memberships sold!
WCAR Barn Fundraising: When barns were pitted against each other with the group raising the largest total cash donation winning stabling and entry fees for one horse at next year’s HITS Thermal Circuit, donated by HITS, Inc. along with six plaza level tickets to the World Cup, sponsored by Bernie & Caitlin Traurig and Mike & Christa Endicott, Willow Tree won with Acres West coming in second. Over 10 teams participated raising ~$50k.

Spruce Trials Begin
Good luck to the sixty competitors vying for one of 16 positions on the WCAR Spruce Prix de Nations Teams.

WCAR Prix de Nations
With fourteen teams of four and a number of individual rides, the first round of the Prix de Nations had over eighty competitors jumping at the 1.10m, 1.20m, 1.30m, and 1.40m levels. Not only did the class offer riders a unique opportunity to compete on a team, it was also the first selection trial for the WCAR Spruce Meadows Prix de Nations teams heading to Canada this summer. Forming a star-studded line-up for the evening was Chef D’Equipe Craig Starr, with Kelli Johnston, Barbara Ellison, Morgan Taylor and Maile Rehnberg, who collectively had just 5 faults for the win.

On a beautiful course under the lights of the Del Mar Arena, the $50,000 Antarès Grand Prix had eight horses jump the Michel Vaillancourt designed course clean in front of a cheering crowd of thousands. John Pearce and Archie Bunker were the first to ride the jump off, setting a seemingly unbeatable time. Numerous riders tried but victory appeared to be Pearce’s, until second-to-last in the ring Chris Pratt on C&S Partnership’s Live Fire shaved milliseconds off Pearce’s time for the lead. Stable mate Conquest of Paradiso ridden by Richard Spooner was the last to go. They beat the time but with two rails. Victory went to Live Fire & Pratt.

EquestriSol News: August 8, 2006

EquestriSol Welcomes Rebecca Johanson-Hofmann
We recently asked Rebecca to join the EquestriSol team. She’s had a busy summer, not only is she assisting us but we would like to recognize her recent success showing young horses in Germany – great work!

West Coast Active Riders
A big giant congratulations to ALL WCAR Teams! 
The Spruce Prix de Nations Teams were stars and according to team organizer Tammy Chipko were champions in & out of the arena.

The four women WCAR European Team of Joie Gatlin, Francie Steinwedell, Susan Artes and Jenni Martin with Bernie Traurig as Chef d’Equipe have completed their first international stop in Royan, France.   Day one results included Joie and Suncal’s King winning the 1.5m class and finishing 4th in the very fast 48 starter speed class on Cruisemaster.  Jenni and La Pinto were just barely edged out of the ribbons.  Francie was 5th in the 1.45m on day two and in the Grand Prix on the final day Francie was 2nd, Joie 6th and Jenni 12th.  And to top it off, Joie was awarded Leading Female Rider.  Magnifique!

The WCAR Euro Team finished 4th in the Nations Cup in Gijon, Spain, the second leg of their European Tour. “The Spanish course builder, Avelino Rodriquez Miravelles set a course that asked all the questions of a top test for both horse and rider. Gijon is yet another beautiful facility and the crowds are incredibly large and enthusiastic, especially as you can wager on the riders here. It’s top competition and just getting in the victory gallop is quite a feat.” commented Chef d’Equipe Bernie Traurig.

Ads and More
Look for the latest issue of Show Circuit Magazine available this month ~ we are pleased to present Creative Saddlery, Willowbrook Stables & introducing Stillwater Equestrian.

Chronicle of the Horse – Published weekly, dated Friday
Advertising Deadline: Two weeks prior to the publication date
Junior Showcase Issue Advertising deadline: August 11th

California Riding Magazine – September Issue
Advertising Deadline: August 15th

Horse Connection – September Issue
Advertising Deadline: August 15th

Need a professional look? Ready to advertise?

Union Jack Stable & Garden
EquestriSol is happy to introduce you to Union Jack – “American Distributor of fine imported stable forks and garden tools”. As the exclusive US distributor of the British Fyna-Lite Stable Forks, Union Jack offers a range of products to suit every barn’s pick-up needs.  With serious tools made for serious work consider two popular and purposeful solutions – the Multi-Mucka for use on ALL beddings and the Rubber-Matting Fork made specifically for stalls with mats. Winner of the Innovation Award at BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) the unique Rubber-Matting Fork design won’t damage rubber mats. The Shaving Fork Line offers light, top quality, durable forks designed with flexible spring steel wire tines to glide quickly and easily over any floor bed effortlessly returning into place.  The beauty of this fork line gets even better – start promoting a sense of responsibility in young equestrians with the Junior Funky Fork! This super light, compact and perfectly balanced PURPLE fork makes mucking out stalls a fun and tolerable chore for young helpers.

Client News and Results

Big Congratulations to:
Brookway Stables – Archie Cox:
Santa Barbara National Horse Show: Chance – Champion Regular Conformation Hunters (Annette Peterfy); Unlimited – Champion Green Conformation Hunters (Archie Cox); Sherman Way – Reserve Champion Green Conformation Hunters (Peter Lombardo); Unlimited – Champion 1st Year Green Working Hunters (Peter Lombardo, rider); Archie Cox – Winner Trainers Equitation Classic; Chance – Champion A/O Hunters (Annette Peterfy); Stiletto – Champion Large Junior Hunters (Chelsea Samuels); Fernando – Reserve Champion Large Junior Hunters (Chelsea Samuels); Unlimited – Champion Small Junior Hunters 15-17 (Jo Cho); Sherman Way – Reserve Champion Small Junior Hunters 15-17
July Theme Show: Mandarin – Champion Amateur-Owner Hunters 18 & Over (Jane Fraze); Archie – Reserve Champion Amateur-Owner Hunters 18 & Over (Jane Fraze); Stiletto – Champion Large Junior Hunters (Chelsea Samuels); Galahad – Reserve Champion Large Junior Hunters (Carolyn Jennings); Beringer – Champion Large Junior Working Hunters 14 & Under (Gabbi Langston); Mactier – Champion A/A Hunters 18-35 (Erin Chiamulon); Out of Bounds – Champion Second Year Green Working Hunters (Archie Cox); Mandarin – Reserve Champion Regular Conformation Hunters (Peter Lombardo); Times Square – Reserve Champion Green Conformation Hunters; Times Square – Reserve Champion Modified Amateur Hunters (Erin Chiamulon); Times Square – Reserve Champion Small Junior Working Hunters (Carolyn Jennings); Stiletto – Reserve Champion Regular Working Hunters (Peter Lombardo)
Oaks Blenheim Red, White & Blue Classic: Fenwick – Champion Regular Conformation Hunters (Amy Brubaker); Mandarin – Reserve Champion Regular Conformation Hunters (Jane Fraze); Fenwick – Champion Low A/O Hunters; Chance – Reserve Champion Low A/O Hunters (Annette Peterfy); Stiletto – Champion Large Junior Hunters (Chelsea Samuels); Fernando – Reserve Champion Large Junior Hunters (Chelsea Samuels)

Crystal Image Farms – Denize Borges:
Oregon High Desert Classic I & II
Great job to Kelly Sabiel on her new horse Success! Living up to the name, Kelly & ‘George’ garnered numerous ribbons at their first two horse shows in Bend, OR, including 1sts, 2nds & 3rds in their Pre-Children’s Division.
Katie Parker and La Dolce Rita brought home championships in Short Stirrup Eq & Short Stirrup Hunters, plus a Reserve in Schooling Working Hunters, ridden by Jennifer Williams.
Erika Dickinson and Silver Dollar came home with quite a few ribbons as well, including Champion in the Pre-Adult Equitation Division.

Jenni Martin Enterprises:
Before Jenni took off for Europe in July, she did some winning in New Mexico including the $25,000 Sandia II Classic Grand Prix on V de Pomme. In mid-July, Jenni and V de Pomne plus two more horses joined up with Joie, Francie and Susie to represent WCAR on the Euro Tour. They competed in Royan, FR and Jenni garnered a 5th in the Small Grand Prix on Spy Girl and a 12th in the 1.5m Grand Prix on V de Pomme. Meanwhile Kris & Martina have been holding down the fort at home, surviving the desert heat and winning ribbons at multiple horse shows.

Susan Artes Stables:
Spruce Meadows CONTINENTAL: Presto B & Susan Artes – 2nd, $25,000 DEVON CUP
NORTH AMERICAN: Susan Artes – 3rd, $75,000 Sun Life Financial Reach for the Sun – 1.5m
SKYLINER: Susie was also Chef d’Equipe for the 1.10m PRIX de NATIONS WCAR Team assisting the team in placing 2nd! Susie is now in Spain representing WCAR on the Euro Tour with Jenni, Joie and Francie.

Waldenbrook Farm – John French:
The Country Classic: Congratulations to Vida Blue & John French on winning the $10,000 Northwest LegUp Hunter Classic. The pair received a pair of 95’s in the first round and a 90 & 95 score in the second round.
Oregon High Desert Classic I: Lucky Brown – Champion Open Working Hunters (John Frencr); Vivid – Champion Pre-green Hunters 3’3″ (John French); Inquisitive – Champion Non-TB Working Hunters (John French); Vida Blue – Champion A/O Hunters (Lesley Bulecheck)
Oregon High Desert Classic II: Vida Blue – Champion Second Year Working Hunters (John French); Vida Blue – Champion A/O Hunters (Lesley Bulecheck)

EquestriSol News: December 2005

West Coast Active Riders
EquestriSol is excited about working with Dale Harvey and the WCAR Board as well as taking on the responsibilities of marketing, advertising and project management for WCAR. Gaby has done a fabulous job managing this organization for the past two years and we will strive to continue the spirit of her efforts. If you have a question or concern, please send an email to

Important ! WCAR Meritorious Rider Scholarship Program applications are now available! Applications have been distributed via email and snail mail to many West Coast barns. This wonderful scholarship will award two deserving, well-rounded equestrians a total of $4,000 for showing and stabling fees at horse shows run by Dale Harvey and West Palm Communications, Robert Ridland and RJ Brandes at Oaks Blenheim, Larry and Marnye Langer of Equestrian Sports, Inc., and Tom Struzzieri and HITS.

Applications are due on or before JANUARY 9th, 2006. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Nicki Fraioli at (619) 200-3463 or by email at

EquestriSol News: March 2005

West Coast Active Riders
The West Coast Active Riders Organization is hosting its Party in the Desert fundraiser on Friday, March 11th, 2005 in La Quinta, CA. Come enjoy a fun and exciting evening with dinner, dancing and fundraising all for the benefit of West Coast Active Riders. Visit the WCAR website or contact Gaby Salick at for more information.
Have you visited yet? If you haven’t listed your sale horse, you’re missing out. New sale horses are added daily making it the best site to find your next hunter, jumper or equitation horse.

Published Articles
Look for our article on Mandy Porter, featured in the February 18th issue of The Chronicle of the Horse. Also, look for a column written by us in the March issue of USEF’s Equestrian Magazine on Hunter/Jumper websites.

Ad Campaigns
EquestriSol specializes in creating effective, custom, integrated marketing solutions. To learn more about our services and what they can do your business, e-mail us at