Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2009 DASC Year End Awards

Team Symphony attended the DASC Year End Awards Banquet on Saturday, January 9th. Not only did we have a great time with all of our show friends, but we walked away with several awards!!

Trainer of the Year:
Chemaine Hurtado

Student of the Year:
Monika James

Highest Median Score for Training Level Open:
Chemaine Hurtado with Amazingh Welcome (owner Molly Cope)

Reserve Highest Median Score for Training Level Open:
Chemaine Hurtado with Winter Nebel (owners Chemaine & Jan Handlers)

Reserve Highest Median Score for First Level Freestyle AA:
Monika James with General Lee

Reserve Highest Median Score for Second Level Freestyle Open:
Chemaine Hurtado with The Bennett (owner Karen Mitchell)

Highest Scoring Dutch Warmblood:
Amazingh Welcome ridden by Chemaine Hurtado (owner Molly Cope)

Highest Scoring Quarter Horse:
General Lee ridden and owned by Monika James

Additional Year End Breed Awards, Hanoverian Division:
Paolo ridden and owned by Jen Nunes
Winter Nebel ridden by Chemaine Hurtado (owners Chemaine & Jan Handlers)

Message from Chemaine-
“Thank you all for your help and support in making this happen for me and for Monika! I always try to remember why Anne Safchik created DASC, because of the limitations and politics of other organizations. Let's try to keep her memory and ideals alive!”

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Featured Horse For Sale: Wilbrod

Willie is a confident gelding with both dressage and jumping ability. He has big, elastic gaits and performs all lateral work and flying changes with ease. With Chemaine, Willie has successfully shown through Third level dressage and is continuing his training towards Fourth level. He is still owned by his breeder, Marsha Alstot, and has always been well cared for - one owner, one trainer! Willie will make a fantastic prospect for any amateur or ambitious junior/young rider.

For more information about Willie, please visit our website at, or contact Chemaine at
(805) 340-3246.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Training Quote

" Do you use your reins to collect a horse? Not really. You might sit against them, but you don't pull backward with the reins..that's not quite right. You are always riding from the back of the horse to the front of the horse. So if you want to use your reins, you have to use your reins by pushing your back into them, pushing your back into your hands - don't pull your hands into your back."

- Catherine Haddad, from her training video presented by Dressage Training Online.

You can find this video and others at

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tip of The Week From Dressage Radio

I would like to share a Tip of the Week from one of my favorite podcasts, The Dressage Radio Show. This week, they featured a tip from Lisa Wilcox.

"When we get busy with competitions coming up, we kind of get in a hurry with our work, and... the need to be warming our horses up and very well cooling our horses down... I think that it takes joints quite a bit of time to build up that synovial fluid that lubricates them through walking and trotting and cantering. And so my tip of the week would be, really pay attention to your warm ups.. before you get busy, give your horses a good 10-15 minutes of walking before you get to trotting.. really appreciate the size of your horses, the function of tendons, joints and ligaments, blood flows through to give it more elasticity, and how that all works together. So really take your time warming up. I warm my horses up within the length of the neck, long and low, nice elastic bending, starting out on big circles, then slowly spiraling down. And just as important as warming up, when you're done with all your hard work, and your collection work and your movements, its just as important to take that time to stretch those muscles back out and have them cool down properly- you don't want them to cool down in a knot. These types of movements that we are asking them to do require a lot of positive tension in those muscles to carry themselves, and now we have to do like a gymnast and stretch out after all the back handsprings we've been doing. So take your time in your warm up, take your time in cooling out, and you will have a friend for life."

If you would like to hear this podcast and others from previous weeks, you can listen in at, or subscribe to The Dressage Radio Show on iTunes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 DASC Championships

Team Symphony had a blast this year at the Championships. Chemaine got to show off her new talented young horses and the show team had some amazing freestyles to present to the judges! We all had fun "camping out" together in Santa Barbara and always work as a team to prepare each other for the show.

And now for next year! Team Symphony's goal: USDF Regional Championships!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sonja Vracko Clinic

We had a very fun & successful weekend with Sonja Vracko! In fact, we loved Sonja so much that Chemaine ended up being signed up for more lessons than she bargained for - she ended up riding 5 times on 4 different horses during the weekend!

The main focus of the clinic was fine tuning the basics and improving weak points in our tests, which was perfect preparation for the next weekend - the DASC Championships! During Chemaine's ride on Mazie, Sonja was able to point out that Mazie always threw her haunches to the left in the halt. With just a few simple adjustments with the seat and leg, Chemaine's halt went from a "6" to an "8"!

Chemaine and Monika were also able to present their musical freestyles to Sonja, and recieved valuable feedback on both the technical and artistic points of the freestyle. After re-working some of the choreography in Chemaine and Winter Kiss's freestyle, you really began to hear the "oohs" and "aahhs" when the movements synced up perfectly with the rhythm of the music.

We had a wonderful experience working with Sonja and look forward to working with her again in the future. Now on to the Championships!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

News Update

Team Symphony is busy preparing for the upcoming DASC Championships! We have a full schedule planned for the next few weeks leading up to the big show:

* Horse Show at Intrepid Farms in Moorpark, CA - August 29-30

* Chemaine & Mazie will be attending the Dutch Keuring at DG Bar Ranch - September 4-5

* Sonja Vracko Clinic at El Sueno Equestrian Center in Somis, CA
(Auditors Welcome!) September 12-13

* Team Symphony will be having a mock show at Dreamweaver to prepare for the Championships, feel free to come by and have fun with us! September 19 - 20

* 12th Annual DASC Championships! September 25 -27

We look forward to seeing you at the showgrounds! Good luck to all competitors!