Issue # 10


May 2000


From the Editor

Happy One Year Anniversary to The Mane Bit! We didn't put one edition out every month, so we're only at Issue #10, but that means we can also say we've made it into the double digits!

Thanks to everybody who came out to help at the Open House. We had fun with a horse costume Joan Follat had made a few years back for Hallowe'en, and we used it as a spokesperson on the corner of Mt. Albert and McCowan.

The tack room has had a facelift, thanks to Vuokko, Krysta, Erica and Sharon. It's been painted a peachy shade, and we cleaned out some of the excess tables, so it's looking downright "purty"! The bathroom has also been fixed-up by Lynda Fitzgerald, who added a beautiful trellis with butterflies. How many insects and hummingbirds can you find?

We'd also like to thank Carolyn Clarkson, a frequent judge at the Harrogate shows, who gave us the information for the article on equitation and pleasure classes.

Michelle Colpitts


The New Field

Little Cheyanne heading for greener grass in the new field

On April 24th, the fencing around the field behind the muck pile was completed. The gate from the 'big field' was opened (the metal one at right angles to Legacy's stall) and the horses entered. Surprise, surprise, Willie was the first in; it was really an amazing sight: Duchess led everyone on a canter around the field, and all the horses looked quite eager to go for a run. Even Big Cheyanne was cantering along (until she realized there was grass to be eaten), and Willie kept cantering and bucking long after everyone else did. Unfortunately, poor little Heather was far behind the others, and had to be led to the gate, where she walked hesitantly until she got through the chute and hit the grassy field.

This paddock has been set-up to let the grass in the big field get a chance to grow back, and to get the camp lessons away from the huge, rumbling (and very scary) trucks that pass by during July and August. More fences are being made in the big field, so who knows where we'll be riding this summer!

Although many people helped out with the new field, the main ones have been Janet & Chris Dalby, Randy, Carol and Ashlynne Bugg and Russ Glaeser. It was Randy Bugg's ability with the Bobcat auger which allowed us to clear the chute of all debris.


More on Harrogate Shows: Equitation and Pleasure

In Hunter shows, some classes are called equitation and some are called pleasure. Most people know the difference between the two, but we'll go over it just as a reminder. The main difference is that in Equitation classes, the riders are being judged on their position, feel and response to the horse and their control. In Pleasure classes, the judge is watching the horse, who should be relaxed, ears forward (showing a good disposition). Manners are more important than movement in these classes. The only obvious thing the rider has to do is smile and make it look like this is the perfect, pleasure- able horse for an hour long hack. The Pleasure class requires the least contact on the horse's mouth.

When you enter a "Hunter Over Fences" class, it's the horse's manners, way-of-going and general form that decide who gets the red ribbon. For tie breaking here, it will be the horse's movement. "Equitation Over Fences" focuses on the rider, and how he/she negotiates the course, and the accuracy of take-offs. The rider should have a little more contact, and the horse should leave a little deeper, or closer to the jumps. It's precision that counts in this class!

The Low Hunter classes are an "Under Saddle" class. This means the rider should have medium to light contact with the horse's mouth, and the horse should be flowing freely through the shoulder. Turnout (coat, mane, braids, etc.) is taken into consideration when there is a tie between two equally well-moving horses. So remember: a well-groomed horse can't hurt, but it's your riding skills that will get you the ribbons. In the Hack Division, the rider should have medium contact, but it is the movement and partly the manners of the horse that the judge is looking for. When jumping the single fence, the objective is to show the ability of the horse and again, an element of manners.


From Pat to Michelle

As the editor of the Mane Bit noted, this is the one year anniversary edition of the Harrogate Hills newsletter. In case anyone isn't sure, the driving force and creative energy behind this newsletter comes from one primary source and that is Michelle Colpitts. For a year now she has put unsurpassed quality and effort into this newsletter. Not only is she responsible for much of the writing, many of the themes and most of the ideas, she also has to put up with trying to get me to read the 'just before print' edition so that she can get it out on time. Sometimes I imagine that is the most trying part of her effort but thankfully, she is as good natured as she is persistent!

Due to her hardwork and dedication , I personally think that the newsletter she produces is one of the finest I've ever seen and I just want to say: Congratulations Michelle on a great first year and thank you!! May your ink run out before your great ideas do!


Did you know?

In Arabic tribes, it was the Arabian mares, not stallions, who carried warriors into battle. Also, in the U.S., the first place ribbon is blue (ours is red).


 Harrogate Horses

Three Caravans

Kerry, a chestnut gelding, was acquired by Pat in 1991 at age 14. He has enjoyed his life at Harrogate, working a school horse to both beginner and advanced riders for many years now. We all remember him in his fast days, and many kids from about 5 years ago remember his speed, and ability to spook people more than spook other horses. You see, when he was startled, or just feeling lonely, he took off quite fast, by dropping down, squealing and spinning 180o. Luckily he's starting to slow down nowadays.

Did you know he used to be a racehorse, and was one of the fastest quarter horses around at a sprint? He raced at Picov Downs, and was still fast when Pat got him. She once said she'd never seen a horse move faster than Kerry when he galloped from one side of the ring to the other at Gormley.

Recently, Kerry was out of commission due to a considerable cut on his lower lip.

Willy, Behave!

In 1992, Pat received Willie through a friend, at the age of three. He had tried and failed at a career as a racehorse, and although riders at Harrogate are impressed with his ability, he was just not cut out for the turf life. Still, this bay loves to run whenever possible, and seems to soar over fences (he still has a "young-horse" attitude).

One day, when Willie was at Gormley, he escaped from his field. In an effort to 'help' him, people from an adjacent farm on riding lawn-mowers tried to 'herd' him back to the field. Needless to say, this did not work out, and merely resulted in Willie galloping onto the road and getting hit by a large Mac truck! He was very cut up, but luckily the major arteries were missed, and only his jaw was broken (in two places, which is why he has that lump on the side of his face). Because of his injury, though, his training was postponed for quite some time. That's one reason he's still so frisky. (Thoroughbreds also don't mature as fast as other breeds). Also, interestingly, he has the same birthday (April 18th) as Pat!


Harrogate Horse Search

Can you find all your favourite school horse's names in the box below? All names go on the diagonal or up or down. (None are backwards.)