Monday, February 20, 2012

A Better Horse There Has Never Been

Dragonfire Kublakhan is the best horse that has ever graced this planet. Period. He has been a mentor to a conflicted teenaged girl, he has been a fierce competitor that knew no bounds despite his ignorant rider, and he has been a babysitter to every tiny tot that has come along in our Academy including the third generation Dragonfire Lady Rider, Taylor McFall. Kublakhan transcends all expectations of his breed and size, and instead simply reflects the purity of his creation which has no knowledge of boundaries. He has done what no one thought he could do in competition, and yet his greatest success must be his his ability to reach the heart of all who know him. Watching him still, at 29 years of age, takes my breath away.

Khan and Jennifer Wild Horse Valley Ranch circa 1994

Khan and Jennifer Ram Tap Horse Trials circa 1991
Khan and Jennifer at his Morgan Medallion Hall of Fame induction

Here's Khan and Taylor at the 2011 Motherlode Horse Show in their first Dressage Test together

This is Khan at 22 years of age being inducted into the Morgan Medallion Hall of Fame

                        Taylor's first video she edited: Khan playing at 29 years young


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Academy @ Dragonfire Is The Place To Achieve

The Academy @ Dragonfire, headed up by the exceedingly charming and talented, Melissa Votaw, is the place to be if you have a youth interested in riding. The Academy offers fun and comprehensive lessons in Horsemanship beginning with the youngest rider on up to advanced international competitors.

Your child's education shouldn't be limited to the classroom. Melissa will not only teach them to ride beautifully, she will teach them how to interact with horses, what makes them tick, handling horses safely, rider and stable etiquette. Through her lessons and other activities at Dragonfire, children and adults alike learn both individual goal achievement as well as how to work and succeed as a team. Her primary focus is personal growth, and in this her students consistently excel.

For those who are looking for a challenge, Dragonfire offers Academy Shows throughout the year. Riding in shows gives the students a goal to work toward with their (or a Dragonfire) horse. Equine competition is one of the rare and unique sports that is not just about winning. With Melissa's guidance, they will learn that it's about working for your personal best, learning to win and lose graciously, learning sportsmanship and team spirit, using a disappointing defeat to climb to greater heights, and overcoming performance anxiety. Showing is a vehicle for building self-esteem and learning valuable life lessons for young and old.

Melissa encourages individuality, as seen here with Taylor's salute at her first Dressage show in Rancho Murieta.

Melissa preparing Taylor for her victory pass after winning a Reserve Championship in Santa Barbara.
The top contenders at an Academy Show @ Dragonfire anxiously await the announcement for the grand prize (a new saddle!).
Don't hesitate to call us and enroll in The Academy. You will be glad you did!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Higher Please

Watch High Times as he tackles his first Open Intermediate course with great success! Ridden by Jennifer McFall, Billy put forth a great effort over the Galway Downs track. He certainly showed that he wants more!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Perfect Horse For Your Child To Succeed On

Sugar is no stranger to success
Everybody knows that a girl's best friend isn't diamonds, but a HORSE! Sugar is just the horse to teach your child the equestrian ropes and keep them focused on achievement outside of the classroom. Sugar's sweet personality will win you over, and her smooth gaits and great training will keep your child in the blue ribbons for years to come. She is young, sound, a proven winner, AND a proven can't lose!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fleming Earns 2011 AMHA Accolades

Barbara Fleming and her partner, Alias
Barbara Fleming and Alias are no strangers to success in the Dressage court. They have been steadily climbing up the levels, with many wins along the way, from Open Dressage shows to the Morgan Grand National in Oklahoma City.  2011 marks the milestone of earning their AMHA Bronze Medallion together, in which they needed eight scores from at least five shows and five separate judges. At least two of the scores had to be from Second Level, with the rest being from First and Training Level. A great accomplishment indeed!

AMHA also recognized these two as the Overall Second Level Open Competition Champions for 2011. To win this, horses have to go to four competitions open to all breeds and submit scores for their level, including at least one test score coming from the highest test offered in the level. Barbara and Alias scored a whopping 71% in Second 3, and had an overall median score of 65.789% to win the award. Dragonfire is so proud of our resident DQ's...keep up the good work!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Return Dates For Hawley Bennett-Awad Scheduled

Did you miss out on our last clinic with Hawley and regret it terribly? After the great experience that all of the participants had last time, I don't blame you. Here's your chance to redeem yourself and sign up for a return clinic March 10 and 11. We won't see her again this year, given her very busy schedule this season with the Olympics coming up and two of her horses listed for the team. Don't miss out and have to live with the regret again!

Dragonfire is most pleased to be hosting a Hawley Bennett-Awad clinic March 10-11. With her extraordinary accomplishments on all of the Canadian Teams including the Pam Ams, WEG's and the Olympics, this elite equestrienne hardly needs an introduction! Her drive and her youthful energy is not only unsurpassed in the industry it is also infectious as she has had a hand in several top young rider's careers.

With her keen eye and direct teaching style, Hawley will undoubtably give you a clinic to remember.

The clinic fee is $215 for two days of intimate sized groups that will guarantee that Hawley will be able to give you the attention you need to improve. The Dragonfire facility also boasts a fantastically large ring with several types of stadium and cross country type obstacles that will give you the challenge you desire. Auditors will be just as pleased with the large seating area on the raised berm and a sound system to hear all of Hawley's instruction. The auditing fee is $10 per person for both days.

Be a part of this sensational rider's team as she continues to set the international scene on fire and learn from her vast experience. Send payment to Dragonfire to reserve your spot now, along with your experience level. Limited stabling is available for those traveling over distance for $30. 

Galway Gets Us Going

A couple of us girls showing off our new cross country gear!

The 2012 show season kicked off for Dragonfire with the Galway Winter Horse Trials down in Temecula, CA. With a sense of adventure we headed to this show to move up in Eventer speak, or to head into deeper and unknown waters in other words. I am proud to say that we all (equines included) rose to the occasion and had a fantastic weekend! We also had a new rider join our DF Team, Claire Jan and her darling Morgan, Artistic Flaire. Her family was a joy to be around and her solid training with Mallory Mignot showed. Next up... Twin Rivers!!!

Natalie Jensen and Wrigley with a clear round Preliminary
Natalie and Wrigley

Caroline Dein and Lucid Opposition
Caroline and Lucy fly around the Training course with a clean round
Merissa Underwood and Danny California show us how to do a narrow out of the sunken road
Merissa and Danny having fun Preliminary
Claire Jan and Artistic Flaire are clean around the Training course
Claire and Ace show what Morgans are made of
Jennifer McFall and High Times held their own against the four star horses in the big kids' class
Billy took his first Intermediate seriously and had a clean round
Down the drop
across in four

and out over the corner

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2011 Student Of The Year: Merissa Underwood

In what seems to be a family tradition, another Underwood has been chosen as a Dragonfire Student of the Year. Christina shall be passing this great honor down to her daughter, Merissa, who has earned the title with determination and the true guts of the event rider she is.

Living proof that hard work pays off.

Last year's struggles for Merissa would have discouraged a lesser individual. Faced with difficult rides, injuries, and trainers that demanded she take a season to relearn the basics, Merissa kept her chin up and  resolved to improve her skills and forget the ego. If Merissa felt frustration on this long road, we were unaware, because all she expressed was the desire to improve.

Merissa displays a beautiful position coming into the sunken road.

Truly impressive is her ability to just keep showing up. All those long hours on her journey to get to Preliminary will not come to an end now that she has reached her goal, but are yet another set of bricks in her foundation to continue her upward momentum. If there is one thing that Merissa has shown us over the course of 2011, it's that there are no limits to what she can do. Congratulations Merissa!!


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Wilton, CA
A full service equestrian facility offering lessons for all ages, training, showing, breeding and sales.

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