January 16, 2018

A Day of Equine Education!

SEPTEMBER 21, 2013

“A Day of Equine Education”

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Great Speakers!
Group Riding Lessons
Private Lessons
Networking Opportunities!
Silent Auction

What is it?- An educational event with Speakers, Riding Demonstrations, Silent Auction, Vendors and Private Riding Lessons

Where Is It? PepperGlen Farms 3563 Pedley Ave. Norco, CA  92860.

Who Can Attend?- Anyone who loves horses!

Who can ride in the lessons & demonstrations? Riders must be at least 9 yrs old, bring your own horse & tack and be able to ride a walk, jog/trot and lope/canter.

How much does it cost?- Spectator Pre-sale tickets $40.00 w/lunch included. Children under 14 years $25.00. At the gate tickets $45.00/$30.00 no lunch. Riders are $25.00 per lesson or $110.00 all day in addition to spectator fee. Stalls $10.00-20.00 per day. Private lessons $25.00/30 min. Lunch tickets $8.00.

How do I sign up?- Spectators may purchase tickets at www.Eventbrite.com. Search for “CHA Conference”. Pre-sale ends September 15, 2013 @ 6:00 pm or when sold out.

Riders must contact Cheryl R. Kronsberg directly. Rider spots and stalls must be paid in advance.

 For More Information-  714-693-4886    

Or to register-      http://crktrainingstable.com/cha-conference-2013/conference-registration/


“A Day of Equine Education”

Speaker and Demonstration Schedule

8:00 -8:30– Registration and Introductions.

       Silent Auction and Vendor Booths Open

Main Arena Riding Demonstrations-

8:30-9:30How to “Open the Doors” for Riding Success- Dallas McClemons- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

 9:45-10:45-“Sideways”-Teaching Sidepass and Pivot to riders and horses- Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg-CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

11:00-12:00Canter/Lope- From first time to lead changes-  Christy Landwehr- CHA Chief Executive Officer, Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

12:00-1:00- Lunch- Included in pre-sale ticket price!

1:00-2:00Extension and Collection at all gaits- Theresa Kackert- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

2:15-3:15How to Conduct a Safer Trail Ride– Dallas McClemons- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

3:30- 4:30Riding Hunter Courses– Theresa Kackert- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

All Day-  Private lessons– Sign up with your favorite instructor. Only $25.00 for 30 minutes.

Lecture Area-

8:30-9:30–   What Would You Do?- An Interactive First-Aid Experience-  Dr. David Treser, DVM-

9:45-10:45How to Save $$ on Your Taxes- Rebecca Bambarger E.A

11:00-12:00– California’s Dual Agency Law in Horse Transactions- Lisa Lerch, Esq.    

12:00-1:00- Lunch- Included in pre-sale ticket price! Keynote speaker- Christy Landwehr- Certified Horsemanship Association C.E.O., Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

1:00-2:00Bits & Bitting Demystified- Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

2:15-3:15Risk Management for All Equestrians- Christy Landwehr- CHA C.E.O.,  Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

3:30- 4:30How To Make Your Business Famous!- Suzi Carragher

4:30-5:00- Make your final silent auction bids!

5:00- Close Silent Auction & Award Trivia Contest Prizes

5:30- CHA Region 10 Meeting

For More Information-  714-693-4886    or

Or to register-      http://crktrainingstable.com/cha-conference-2013/conference-registration/

Are you ready to canter?

            As my students progress through our lesson program they always want to know when they can canter or lope. At the first interview, they usually ask when they get to run or gallop, which shows their lack of experience. As their instructor I have to give them an answer. When is a student ready to canter or lope? What skill set do they need to possess in order to safely and effectively begin learning canter?  How do you know if you are ready to make this all important leap into the next gait? Here are the skills I require of my students before I allow them to begin learning how to canter.

1. Students must have a basic understanding of the nature of the horse. That is- prey vs. predator animal.  Why- Because this will help them watch for situations that could put them in danger, such as a plastic bag blowing around the arena. I expect my students to always be in the position to protect themselves.

2. Students must be at least 6 years old and able to follow instructions given to them in a timely manner.   Why- This has to do with a riders strength, size and basic ability to ride the horse. I am not certified nor insured to teach less than able-bodied and able-minded  riders and therefore; don’t teach them. My insurance also limits me to riders 6 years old and up.

3. Students must be able to groom and saddle their horse. Why- I’m happy to help lift the saddle or bridle for the little ones, but otherwise they have to handle these tasks on their own.  If a student doesn’t take care of their horse, they miss out on the opportunity to master the horse from the ground. This will greatly reduce their mastery of the horse from the saddle.

4. Students must be able to ride proactively at walk and trot. Why- I insist that the students make the switch from reactive rider to proactive rider before they speed things up. This means they are actively steering and cueing the horse, not just responding to whatever the horse does or does not do. Once they make this change, they will progress quickly and have more control. Increased control will give them additional confidence. You must have a great deal of confidence in order to convince most school horses to canter. Without it you are doomed to failure before you start.

5. Students must be able to ride the extended trot, sitting, with control, balance and without holding on to the saddle or mane. Why- Many school horses don’t like to canter. Most will, at some time, get into an extended trot, either while attempting the upward transition or coming down from the canter. If the rider isn’t confident in the extended trot, they will be unable to safely get past it to a more manageable speed. They will grab the saddle and no longer be in control of the horse. While a rider is trying those first, early attempts to get the horse to canter, the gait is often obtained from the extended trot. While this is far from the ideal scenario, it happens all the same. The rider must be able to deal with it. And, of course, a rider must never post into the canter. Ever. Posting in of itself is a trot cue. You can’t cue for trot and canter at the same time and expect a good result.

6. Students must be able to stop the horse from any gait, at any time, with control and without hurting the horse. Why- If the rider is not confident that they can stop the horse, they won’t be willing to go faster. Without that confidence, they won’t get the canter in the first place. Often, horses will fall out of canter before the rider asks for it, therefore; the rider must be able to control the situation by stopping the horse. Confidence in their skills is what helps riders not be fearful.

7. All students must be able to post the trot. Knowing diagonals is good, but not necessary for canter.  This applies to Western riders as well as English ones. Why- If you never post into the canter, why do riders need to know this skill? Well, first of all, it helps the rider get in tune with their horse. It also helps with their timing for cues. Most important, if the horse fall out of canter into some crazy, horrible, bouncy, fast trot, the rider can simply post until they are able to slow the horse down and get things back into control.

8. Students must be able to ride all gaits up to an extended trot, in control, without stirrups, at least one entire lap of the arena. Why- Because riders lose stirrups. We don’t really plan it, but it happens. You certainly don’t want your student to panic, quit riding and grab the saddle just because they lost a stirrup. If the horse is already in canter, you could very quickly have a run-away on your hands. Riders who aren’t comfortable with no-stirrup riding will grab with their legs in their quest to hang on. This new “cue” tells the horse to go faster and most are happy to oblige. This will quickly escalate to a run-away situation that will, at best, cause your student to never want to attempt canter again, or at worst, cause a fall or injury. Hardly the desired outcome for the lesson.

9. Students must be able to regain lost stirrups while at the extended trot. Why- See number 8.

10. The rider must truly want to canter and not be overly fearful. Why- If the rider does not want to canter, they will do their best to not make it happen. They will cue wrong, they won’t cue firmly enough, or they just won’t cue at all. They say they are trying because they don’t want to admit the truth- that they are just not ready, emotionally. I always tell my students in advance that next lesson they can begin cantering. This gives them time to prepare mentally. I also give them a choice to attempt it or not. Some riders need encouragement, but you should never push a rider who is not ready.

            How far into your riding career were you before you cantered? Was it on purpose? Was it successful? What advice do you have for others out there who are beginning their equestrian journey? We welcome your tips, stories and advice.

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. Cheryl graduated from Rawhide Vocational College and Fullerton College. She is also an AQHA Professional Horsewoman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years, training students from beginner up to world level competition. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted. For more interesting articles from Cheryl go to www.crktrainingstable.com


Who should give my child riding lessons?

           Do I need to hire an expensive, certified instructor for my child? My friend’s daughter, Megan, has been riding her whole life. She has a great horse named “Bleu” in her back yard that she has owned for years. Megan’s in college now and doesn’t have much time to ride, so she wants to use Bleu to teach some lessons when she is home on the weekends. Plus, she only charges $15.00 an hour! She is perfectly capable of teaching my daughter to ride. My daughter, Olivia, is 10 years old and idolizes Megan. They have so much fun together; it just seems like a perfect fit for everyone. Olivia gets to learn how to ride. Megan makes some extra cash. Megan’s horse gets some exercise. I get to save some money. Win, win, win, and win!

            Ok everyone. Is this a winning scenario for everyone involved? Or have I described the perfect set up for disaster?  Let’s discuss a few different ways this could play out.

Scenario #1     Olivia is ready for her first riding lesson. Megan got Bleu out and saddled him up.  Olivia is riding in Megan’s saddle because it’s the only one they have. The stirrups are too long and the seat is too big, but she said it’s no big deal. Olivia’s mom doesn’t need to waste money on a helmet when she can borrow Megan’s old one. It’s only 10 years old and is a little big as well, but it’s better than nothing.  It’s a perfect crisp, Saturday morning and Olivia is ready to hop on Bleu and start her lesson. Bleu hasn’t been out all week since Megan had mid-terms. Megan will start the lesson once they get to the arena, but Olivia really wants to ride so she legs her up, hands her the reins and off they go.

    As they are walking to the arena, the family dog runs up and startles Bleu. Bleu then begins to trot down the path. Olivia wasn’t ready for the sudden change of gait and is thrown back in the too big saddle. Her feet aren’t in the stirrups because they don’t reach, so she wraps her legs around Bleu and squeezes while holding on to the saddle horn with both hands. After a few more good jumps, Megan’s too big helmet falls down over her eyes. Now Olivia can’t even see where she is going.  A few more strides of Bleu’s bouncy trot are all that is needed to completely unseat Olivia and she falls off.

     Now Olivia is lying on the ground in a heap, trying hard to keep back the tears. Megan remembers her Dad always saying, “If you fall off a horse, you have to get right back on.” so she tells Olivia the same thing. Olivia is afraid to get on so Megan tells her if she doesn’t get back on, she can’t ride anymore. Olivia’s Mom now steps in and takes her to the doctor where it is revealed that she only has scrapes and bruises. But now she is afraid to ride.  How would this have been different with a certified riding instructor?

     Well first of all, a properly prepared horse that was good with beginner students would have been used. Bleu had only one rider for years and hadn’t been out for at least a week. Second, the saddle and helmet would have been the proper size for the rider. Using the wrong size tack prevents the rider from developing a correct seat and riding posture; plus it can be downright dangerous. Third, the rider would have been given some instruction when she first mounted so she would have at least known how to stop the horse. And some instruction would have been given before the rider was allowed on the horse at all. Fourth- The rider would have been in an arena, not a back yard with dogs or other distractions. Fifth- The instructor would know how to properly handle a fallen rider and have first aid training so she could correctly care for her student. Sixth- The instructor would know how to encourage the rider so she wouldn’t end up fearful.  Seventh- Proper liability insurance would have covered the medical bills.

Now let’s look at scenario #2-

     Suppose things go along just fine. Megan has been teaching Olivia every weekend for almost a year. They use Megan’s saddle and helmet even though they are too big for Olivia. Olivia is now trotting around the arena and has started to canter. Its summer now and Megan is home from school but has taken a summer job and can’t continue Olivia’s lessons. So Olivia and her Mom make the decision to pay the “big bucks” for the Certified Instructor now that Olivia knows the basics and is ready to move up to a “real trainer”. 

     An appointment is made for an evaluation lesson. Olivia begins like she always has at Megan’s. She selects a helmet that is too large, but the instructor corrects that mistake. The evaluation lesson continues with the usual questions, most of which Olivia can’t answer or doesn’t even understand the terms being used. When she is asked to trot, Olivia struggles to keep her feet in the stirrups because she hasn’t been using stirrups. She also has a hard time keeping proper riding posture because Megan’s huge saddle always put Olivia in the wrong position, so she wouldn’t have been able to correct it if she wanted to.  Olivia is not asked to canter at all, because her skills are at such a low level, it just wouldn’t be safe.

     After the lesson, the instructor explains that Olivia has learned so many things the wrong way, she now has to un-learn them before she can learn the correct way. She needs to be riding correctly at walk and trot before she is ready to canter. Also, her riding theory and knowledge of correct terminology is completely non-existent.  She is well behind where she should be after riding for nearly one year. For the most part, Olivia will be starting completely over or worse, needing to break bad habits before she can learn the correct ones.

     This last scenario is one I have personally seen many times over. The entire year of lessons, money and time were pretty much a complete waste. Olivia would have been better off not riding at all because she wouldn’t have so many bad habits to break. Had she started with a good instructor to begin with, Olivia would be well on her way to becoming an accomplished equestrian. Instead she is in for many months of frustration while she breaks bad habits and catches up with the skills, terminology and theory she should have learned long before now. Many riders at this point will give up riding altogether rather than face such a daunting task. Another rider is lost because they didn’t do things the correct way. Or because they wanted to save a little money.

We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted.  Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also an AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA.


Happy Holidays!

Gift Certificates 10% Off!

During the month of December you may purchase a $100.00 gift certificate for only $90.00! That’s a 10% savings! Gift certificates may be used for lessons, training, trailering or many other horse care services. However; they may not be redeemed for cash or used to pay board. Give the gift of riding this year! Buy a CRK Gift Certificate Today!

Blow Hard

            As winter begins its usual course here in Southern California I am always asked how weather affects the horses. The cold days will cause our horses to kick up their heels some, but our winters are mild, no snow or freezing temperatures. Rain can be a problem, causing muddy stalls and wet arenas. Rain will cause us to cancel our riding plans for a few days but usually nothing more than that. Our stalls are all fully covered, so the horses don’t get wet. Our arena was carefully engineered so it drains well. It also has excellent footing that doesn’t get muddy. We are usually back to our normal riding schedule within 24 hours after the rain stops so not much of a problem there.  However; we do get some wind…
            Now when I say wind, I’m not talking about a little breeze here or there. We get winds that are so strong they have a name. The Santa Ana or Santana Winds. These winds are famous. They have caused wildfires so widespread they can be seen from space. They have many references in song, movies and television. The National Weather Service defines Santa Ana winds as:

“Strong down slope winds that blow through the mountain passes in southern California. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 mph, are warm and dry and can severely exacerbate brush or forest fires, especially under drought conditions.”

            These winds can and do affect the horses in a very negative way. It is the policy of CRK Training Stable to cancel all riding lessons during Santa Ana Wind conditions. While everyone understands why lessons are cancelled during the rain, wind is another matter. I often have clients show up for lessons while the wind howls around us. They just don’t understand what the wind does to the horses. Perhaps this will help you understand why the wind affects the horses in such a negative way.
            In the wild, horses are flight prey animals. Simply stated that means they run away so they don’t get eaten. Horses don’t hunt other animals, they get hunted. In order to survive they run or flee. Horses will only fight when they have no other choice. Flight or running away is always their first choice for survival. Horses depend on their senses to tell them when to run. Let’s start with vision or eyesight first. In the wild, if a horse sees a bush or tree moving, a predator might be hiding inside it preparing to pounce. Or let’s say some brown object is moving quickly toward a horse. In the wild, it’s probably some animal that wants to catch and eat the horse. In both cases the horse runs away to save its life. Now, you take your kind, gentle trail horse “Scooter” out on a windy day. What does Scooter see? Bushes and trees moving all the time. Brown tumble weeds are running at him. Or (horror of horrors!) plastic grocery bags.  Does Scooter understand that it’s only the wind causing these things? NO! Scooter sees a threat and runs away. If you’ve got a great seat and are lucky, you get to go along. If not, well… Scooter is long gone and you’re walking home with hopefully only a bruised pride.
            Now we all know that horses have more than one sense, just like we do. So how about hearing? Horses depend very heavily on their hearing to access danger. Horses listen for threatening sounds. Their ears can swivel around to pinpoint where a sound is coming from. Often the first clue a rider gets that a horse’s attention has drifted is from the ears. I teach my students to watch horse’s ears as the first sign of what the horse is thinking about.
          Horses spend their whole lives learning sounds just like we do. At my barn, they all know the sound of the feed tractor being started. Or the sound of carrots being poured into a bucket. Some of my boarded horses can even identify the sound of their owner’s car pulling into the parking lot. These sounds are good and not scary. During Santa Ana Winds, the horses can’t pinpoint the source or type of the sounds caused by the wind. It’s all around them. If the horse can’t identify the sound as friendly then Noise = Danger.  The scary sounds are all around them so the horse no longer knows which way to run.  Remember when they can’t run away, they fight. A horse that feels surrounded by danger may fight. They will fight you, the hose, the dog, a chicken, your child, or anything they deem to be a threat. Also during strong winds, Scooter might not be able to hear your verbal cues.  You can cluck, kiss and say whoa to your heart’s content and that sound may never get into those lovely, expressive ears. It’s carried away by the wind. My students can’t hear my instructions either. It is really difficult to teach when you have to keep stopping the lesson to give instructions and corrections. If I can get them to stop at all.
            What can you do for your horse when the winds start to howl? Put on a fly mask to keep blowing debris out of their eyes. Check the water buckets often and remove leaves and other refuse you may find. Keep an eye out for anything blown into the stall that your horse might eat. Horses have been poisoned by plants that were blown into the stall and ingested. Check him over carefully for cuts, especially on the lower legs. Horses may run and spin in their stalls causing them to cut themselves with their own hooves or the stall walls. If possible, move him inside. Just make sure it is safe to move him at all.  
Remember- When the wind comes around, stay on the ground. When Santa Ana’s are here, put away your gear. If the winds attack, put your tack back.  Stay safe. It is never worth getting hurt for a ride. Keep that in mind the next time the winds kick up.
Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also a registered AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but all rights to this article are restricted.






What IsYour Riding Dream?


      What will you do today to improve yourself, your situation, your riding? Will you surround yourself with those people who will help you achieve your goals? Or will you stay with the same ole’ same ole’?  So many of us go by the old adage- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But maybe you just haven’t realized that it’s broken. Someone defined insanity as -Doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome. Are you doing the same things with your horse and expecting a different outcome? If you want your riding/horse/training/show results to change you have to change something you are currently doing.

      One of my long-time students was having fun with her horse. Every lesson focused on learning an entertaining new skill. She could do many things with her horse- canter leg-yield, flying lead changes, jumping, trail obstacles, etc. She was a jack-of-all trades but master of none. She had also had a great deal of success at small, local shows. She had taken herself and her horse far and wanted to move up to a higher level of competition. So she packed up her trailer and off she went to one of the big, breed shows. Unfortunately, her results weren’t that great. So she tried again with the same result. After yet another less than stellar show she decided it was time to make a change. She wanted the focus of her lessons to be fine-tuning her horse for the show pen. So we looked for the areas she needed to fix. We decided on some short-term and long-team goals. Then we got to work. Her lessons got hard. We no longer had the light-hearted lessons that were fun but didn’t get her to her goals. She worked hard during her lessons and I gave her homework. Her next show was better. The changes were working. She was getting closer to her goals, but was not quite there yet. With more time and hard work she will go far, but she needed to make some changes. And she is having a lot of fun now that the program is getting her to her goal.  

      Now is the time to look at your riding program. Are you reaching your goals? Or are you just having fun but not making any progress? Not that there is anything wrong with having fun, but it’s possible that will not be enough for long. If you have a trainer you are already working with, perhaps it’s time to ask them to change your program. Re-define your goals with them and create a plan to work toward those goals. As a trainer who has some very long-term clients I know the lessons can get stagnant over time. I often find myself looking for fun new ways to keep these riders engaged and learning new things. I always ask my clients what they want to do that day as well. Is there a particular thing they want to work on like leg-yield, side-pass, canter transitions, recognizing leads, etc? When was the last time your trainer asked you what you want to learn? Yesterday, last month or ever?

      If your trainer has reached the limit of their knowledge, look elsewhere for help. If the knowledge is there, but they aren’t sharing it with you, something is wrong. You are paying them to teach you. You deserve to get what you are paying for. Your lesson dollar is hard earned, don’t waste it. Ask them what you should be learning to get to your goal. No goal? FIND ONE! If you don’t know, ask your trainer. It’s their job to help you define your goal and help you reach it. After you reach that goal, dream up a new one! Just like my student, she had a goal- to have fun learning new things. Her goal changed so the focus of her lessons did as well. Her dream changed.

      Your trainer should be a dreamer who has their feet firmly planted on the ground. Your trainer should be helping you reach your dream, not their dream for you. Well, actually, both you and your trainer should have the same dream for you.

  I welcome your comments and questions about lesson goals or other topics. You may attend my discounted lessons during November to try some different riding ideas.  Go to the events page to see dates and details of upcoming classes. Feel free to share this article with your friends! Enjoy the Ride!





October Newsletter CRK Training Times

 Sign up for the CRK Club to get this free email newsletter every month.  

Fall Is Here!

 Important October Dates~

         Oct. 9- Highland Riders Show

            Oct. 10- Fall Session Begins

            Oct. 23- Mira Loma Schooling Show

            Oct. 31- Halloween- No Class

Important November Dates~

         Nov. 6- Daylight Savings Ends

            Nov. 24-25- Thanksgiving Holiday- No        lessons.

Important December Dates~

            Dec. 24- Christmas Eve- No Lessons

            Dec. 25- Christmas- No Lessons

CHA Conference~

          The CHA conference is now history and it was a great success! We had riders from as far away as Mountain Center and spectators from Reno, Nevada! Everyone enjoyed the lessons and speakers. Many got amazing deals on silent auction items, including Hunter! Cheryl purchased Hunter a new dog toy for only $3.00! If you missed it, you missed out on a great time! Better luck next year!

            We would like to thank all our wonderful speakers for giving us their time and knowledge.


            Dr. David Treser. E.V.A. 714-777-3942

            Steve Vaughan, Farrier 714-812-8671

            Lisa Lerch, Esq. Legal Equestrian


            Suzi Carragher, Marketing


            Christy Landwehr, Arena Exercises

            Lori Hall-McNary- Gymkhana

            Don Kleckner- Trail & Round Pen

            And special thanks to Yorba Linda Feed Store for donating lots of items for our silent auction.

It’s My Birthday, But You Get The Present!

Cheryl’s Birthday is during the month of October. As a special thank you to all our loyal clients, she is giving you a present! October specialized riding lessons are 50% OFF! Bring your horse and enjoy a specialty lesson with Cheryl. Learn something new. Or try something just for fun! At this price you don’t have much to lose and lots to gain! Only $20.00 for a 60 minute group lesson.  School horses may be available for an additional fee. All lessons will be held at CRK Training Stable.

 Lessons topics & times:

Improve Your Control- Mondays 10:00 AM

Intro to Showing – Fridays 4:00 PM

Intro to Jumping- Saturdays 10:00 AM

Trail Obstacles- Sundays 3:00 PM

Drill Team- Sundays 4:00 PM

 Space is limited, so reserve your lesson today! Call for details. All horses not living at CRK Stables must have proof of current vaccinations. All riders must complete liability releases.

Fall Class Special~

          CRK Stable is offering a new, exciting Fall Horsemanship Program. This program will include either private or semi-private lessons along with Horsemanship (non-riding) classes. A CHA Level #1 Book is also included! Buy the package and you will save over $200.00!

            Here’s a bonus for my Current Clients- You may join the Horsemanship classes for only $160.00 for all 8 classes. That’s half price! These classes are designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need to pass the level #1 practical and written tests. Also, If you have your own horse and refer a friend to the program, you will receive 4 free group lessons! If you don’t have a horse, and you refer a friend, you will get an additional $80 discount for the classes. That’s only $12.50 per class!

For info, please check the website or ask Cheryl.

 Blanket Service~

Blanket service will be available beginning October 1, 2011. If you sign up for blanket service, CRK staff will manage your horses blanketing needs. CRK Training Stable staff blankets according to the temperature, not according to the clock. Blankets are put on or taken off when the temperature is approximately 60 degrees. Blankets will be left on or off as weather conditions warrant.

Blanket service is billed on a monthly basis only. Partial months will be charged $3.00 per day. To request blanket service for your horse(s), please fill out a blanket service request form and place it, with payment, in the payment mailbox. The appropriate charge will then be added to your next statement.

Full service: $60.00 mo. -Includes putting the horse’s blanket on in the evening and removing it in the morning.($30.00 if the horse is in full training.)

Partial service: $40.00 mo. – Includes removing the blanket in the mornings OR putting it on at night. 

Vacation blanketing: $3.00 per day (am & pm)

Emergency blanketing or removal $5.00 per incident. (You must call to request emergency blanket service.)

            CRK Stable reserves the right to charge extra or deny blanketing service for difficult or uncooperative horses. An extra charge may also apply to train horses to stand to be blanketed.

Vet Schedules~

          Cheryl’s horses are due for their fall shots, are yours? Please be sure your horses are up to date so you don’t get charged a “Late Vaccination Fee”. Please keep in mind that some vaccines must be given twice a year. Some are only once a year. Most people give the 2X a year shots at the same time they give the annual ones, and that’s fine. That’s what I do. However; if you are late with the twice a year ones it doesn’t change the due date for once a year vaccines. Now you must give shots three times a year to keep up to date, since you no longer are giving the annual and semi-annual ones at the same time. Here is an example: Let’s say you give all the shots in June 2010 (West Nile, Rhino, Tetanus, WEE, EEE and Flu). Your semi-annual shots are due in December 2010 (West Nile, Rhino & Flu), but you forgot and didn’t do them until April 2011. Your annual shots(WEE, EEE and Tetanus) are still due in June 2011!! Your semi- annual shots are now due in October 2011. That’s 3 vet calls during 2011(April, June & October) because you forgot. I know we are all trying to save money on vet calls, but please don’t compromise the health of all the horses here at CRK for a few dollars. Plus, the late vaccination fees will cost more than the vet call charge would have been. 

           Now would be a good time to update your worming program as well. Let’s keep them all happy and healthy this fall!

Horse For Lease~

            Doc’s Holly Smoke aka Holly is available for half lease. Riders must be capable of walk, trot and canter as well as complete grooming and saddling in order to lease a CRK horse. Lease includes 2 days of independent riding per week and one group lesson.  Use of CRK tack is not included. If you are interested in leasing Holly, please contact Cheryl.

Final 2011 Horse Show~

            The final horse show of the 2011 season will be held at the Mira Loma show grounds on October 23rd. If you are interested in attending this show, please watch for the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board. This is a schooling show. Show clothes and fancy tack are not required, but you do need a horse! Lessons will be cancelled if we decide to go to this show. As a service to my clients, costs for this show will be greatly discounted.

Trailer fee $40.00 per horse.

Trainer fee $25.00 per client.

CRK Horse & Tack use $50.00.

+ your entry fees.

Let me know if you want to go!

 Testimonials & Questions~

Please take a moment to leave a comment, question or testimonial about your experience’s at CRK Training Stable. All comments and questions must be approved before they will appear on the web site. Thank You!

Quotable Quotes~

The horse knows how to be a horse if we will leave him alone… but the riders don’t know how to ride. What we should be doing is creating riders and that takes care of the horse immediately. ~ Charles de Kunffy

Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction. ~ Cowboy saying

That’s all folks!

Are you ready?

I was asked to speak at the local riding club meeting a few weeks go and something interesting happened. I never got to the topic I was asked to speak about.

I introduced myself and explained some of the exciting programs I have coming up at our ranch. I also gave some information about my background, experience and such. You know
the usual stuff. Just as I was about to jump into my  topic for the evening, it happened…

Someone in the audience asked a question.  The question was about my riding program.

“How is your program different from all the other camps out there?”

An interesting question to be sure. Am I different? I believe so and here’s what I told them. I explained that I am a Certified Riding Instructor and that I went through a 40 hour testing process to get that certification. I explained that there were two people evaluating me on my personal interaction with students, teaching lessons both mounted and on the ground, horse knowledge and riding ability.  I also had to take a written test. The clinic included some classes on teaching techniques, professionalism and other topics important to riding instructors. I explained the certification levels, how they are attained and what level I received.

Next, I told them that at CRK Training Stable we use a nationally recognized program to help our students learn correctly, quickly and safely, while always keeping it fun and interesting. This program is separated into 4 different levels. Students ride in lessons and study from the manuals before taking 3 tests for each level, written, practical and riding. If they pass the tests they receive a certificate and patch and advance to the next level.

 Well, one questions led to another and before I knew it my time was up. What an amazing evening! Everyone wanted to know what I did to make my riding programs better than the others. I guess these experienced, horse-owning people were surprised that there were better options out there for people to learn to ride. Or to improve their riding skills or their horses training.

So that brings me back to my question- Are you ready to ride?

The CHA Region 10 Conference has opportunities for you to bring your horse and try several different Certified Instructors. See for yourself the difference between a certified instructor and one, um…,  shall we say…. un-certified. There is a better way for you to learn and improve both yourself and your horse. Try it out. At only $15.00 a lesson you don’t have much to lose and so much to gain!

It Happened Again…

           I did an evaluation lesson last week.  In case you don’t know, an evaluation lesson (“Eval”) is for those riders who have been riding on their own or taking lessons at another facility prior to coming to CRK Stable. These riders have differing levels of skill so an “eval” is necessary to determine which CRK level, class or program they belong in. Some have been riding for quite some time while others are still in the early stages of their riding careers. Either way, I bring them all in for an “eval”. After 90 minutes or so, I determine what their skill level is, what their goals are and what class would be best for them.

          During the “eval”, I ask loads of questions, watch them handle the horse and ride. Sometimes, I just get to ask questions and request certain things, like posting trot, left lead canter, back-up, side-pass etc. Other times their skills aren’t where they should be for the length of time they have been riding. At those “Evals”, I have to do lots of teaching.  

            At the end of the Eval Ride, I usually talk with the client and the parents involved and inform them of what I have seen, where the gaps in their skills are and why. I then proceed to give them our (the CRK) version of where they will need to go and exactly how I intend to get them there.  Usually several different lesson options are given, so the rider can choose which path they want to go down. Parents and rider alike are usually very appreciative of this process.  Sometimes, it is the first time they have been asked what their goals are. Often, they have no idea that there is a natural progression of the skills they should be learning. No one ever told them about it before. Some of these riders have been riding for many years and still haven’t been able to choose a goal for themselves. They have simply gone along with what they were told by their previous instructor. 

            So that brings me to what happened again. Just last week, I gave an eval lesson to a rider who had been taking lessons for several years. I asked the usual questions and observed the rider attempting several different skills, both on the ground and in the saddle.  Due to their limited skill, I had to do a great deal of teaching during the eval. At the end, I was explaining that despite the fact that the rider had been taking lessons for quite some time, they still lacked many of the basic skills necessary to move into group lessons. I offered them a private lesson program to bring them up to speed in the areas they were lacking. They quickly jumped at the chance. As we completed all the paperwork, they told me…

“I received more instruction during this one lesson than I have the entire time I was taking lessons at (insert facility name here).”

           Unfortunately, I hear this way too often. I think this is very unfair to those riders. They are paying for instruction they just aren’t getting. They don’t know that it should be different. They trust the people they are paying. It is not until they have spent many hours and many hundreds or even thousands of dollars that they figure it out and move on. Some just quit altogether, and that’s really sad. This shoddy way of doing business is bad for the industry. It gives horse people a bad name.

            So, if you are taking riding lessons somewhere, take a moment to think about why you started the lessons in the first place. What was your goal? Now, looking at that goal, are you making consistent progress toward it? Do you feel great after a lesson  because you just learned something new? Or maybe you finally mastered that skill you have been working on for awhile?  Or, are you feeling defeated, unchallenged and uninspired?

            Can your current trainer get you to your goals? If so, great! Hopefully they have the skills and experience to continue your progress. If it’s not going as you envisioned it would, have a chat with your instructor about your goals. Ask them how they intend to help you meet them. Just make sure they know what your goals are and that you are making consistent progress toward them. If not, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere. Don’t forget who is paying whom here. Your trainer works for you, not the other way around. You are paying for their advice, instruction, and help. They need to remember that and respect your wishes. Riding lessons are expensive. Make sure you are getting your monies worth.  

            At CRK Training Stable we use the Certified Horsemanship Association Riding program. This Internationally recognized program ensures our riders always know what they need to accomplish to progress to the next level. Written, practical and riding tests keep all our riders and instructors working toward the same goals. As a Certified Master Instructor, I am able to work with all levels of riders from beginners to very advanced. You can rest assured that your goals can and will be met at CRK Training Stable. And we always know who we work for-Our Clients!

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. Cheryl graduated from Rawhide Vocational College and Fullerton College. She is also an AQHA Professional Horsewoman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years, training students from beginner up to world level competition. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article in any format including digital and print are restricted. You must have written permission from the author to use this material.  For more interesting articles from Cheryl go to www.crktrainingstable.com

How To Choose A Riding Program, Part 3

More questions to ask before you sign up.

3. How many people will be in the same lesson?

Most beginners benefit from private lessons and will make the most progress that way. Very young riders (under 7 yrs.) should always be in private lessons for safety reasons. Intermediate to advanced riders may do well with the interaction of group lessons. A Group lesson should have no more than 6 students with one instructor or 10 riders with 2 instructors. All group lessons should be ranked according to the ability of the riders, not their age or size.  Also, any groups beyond basic riding should be separated according to riding style and the focus of the class.   

 4. Are ground classes required? Are they included?

All programs should require one ground lesson before you are allowed to ride. More may be indicated depending on the student, but more than 2 or 3 shouldn’t be needed unless riders are very young or handicapped. Ground work can always be reviewed at the beginning of riding lessons as needed.

 5. What are the requirements for riders?

Ask about your particular situation such as age, height, weight, experience, riding style, able-bodied vs. handicapped, etc.

6. What level of riders do they teach?

Some barns only take advanced riders and do not teach beginners. Some are the other way around. If they teach advanced riders, does their certification match? Do they have horses suitable for your level of rider? How are riders advanced? Do they have a system in place to test students or is it arbitrary?

7. Are you insured?

Liability insurance is a must. Some barns will require you to have insurance as well, but usually only if you have your own horse.

8. What riding styles do you offer?

So many options here, but the basics are Western and English.  Western style-think western movies, cowboy boots, “ten-gallon” hats, jeans and the like. Western saddles are larger, heavier and provide more rider support. English style- Movies like National Velvet. Clothing- Hunt coats, breeches, black tall boots, velvet hunt caps. English saddles are lighter, smaller and provide less rider support.

9. Can I watch a lesson? Is an appointment required or can I just stop by?

If they won’t let you watch a lesson, continue your search elsewhere. But an appointment to watch someone at your level is a good idea. Also, some instructors are the only staff, so it may be necessary to make an appointment to discuss your situation. Don’t expect them to stop a lesson to chat with you. If they do take time out of a lesson for you, what does that say about their priorities? Will you be getting the lesson you are paying for if someone calls or stops by while you are riding?

10. How much do you charge? Do I pay per ride, buy a package, or monthly? Are there minimum requirements?

Be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Determine how much you are paying for each lesson, how long that lesson is and how much of that time is “horse” time. And remember, not all instructors are the same. Better instructors might charge more, but you may advance more quickly and therefore pay less in the long run. The cheaper instructor may not be the best deal after all.  In this area it’s best not to skimp. Pay for the best you can afford. Also, some instructors are capable of teaching from beginners to very advanced riders. If you choose one of them, you won’t have to change trainers to keep improving your skills.

Now that you have completed your research, it is time to visit the facilities you have chosen. If you have made an appointment, please be on time. Allow the staff to show you the facility while you observe. Is the facility clean and well cared for? Keep in mind that the instructor may not own the grounds and might not have any control over this aspect. Are the horses healthy? Is the Tack Room (horse equipment room) neat and well organized? Is the tack well cared for? Are the students properly supervised?  Is everyone- students, instructors and staff properly attired? (Long pants, boots, riding helmets when mounted, no baggy clothing) Do the students and staff seem happy?

Observe the lesson.  The instructor should greet all the students by their name, not the horses name. All tack (saddles & bridles) should be checked along with the riders attire. The lesson should include a warm-up for both horses & riders. Students should be engaged in the lesson. All students should be challenged, but not overwhelmed. Most important of all- The instructor should teach! That means they are talking the entire time, giving instruction not just on what to do, but how to do it. They should always be offering  position corrections while keeping a positive attitude.  The instructors should be attentive to the lesson at all times, not texting, talking on the phone or with people not in the lesson.  Assess the program  and decide if it is a fit.  If so…..

Speak with management and schedule a lesson. Understand that most first lessons are only on the ground and not riding. If that is not what you want, see if they can accommodate a change.  Confirm that you meet their requirements and determine what attire you will need to purchase. Some barns have very specific requirements, so make sure you get the correct items.  Fill out paperwork & make your payment in advance. That will save your spot and save time on lesson day.

Attend your lesson! Make sure it is everything you wanted it to be, but don’t be surprised if you feel nervous. If the lesson fell short was it the fault of the instructor? Or were your expectations too high?  Everyone wants to gallop off into the sunset, but those skills take time to achieve. Your first ground lesson should include- Safety around horses, catching the horse/putting on the halter, leading, stopping, turning, grooming, tying/untying, and putting the horse away. The first riding lesson should include-everything from the ground lesson plus Saddling, bridling, mounting, stop, go, turns, reverses, stop (lots of stops!), dismount. Anymore than that is usually too much. Less might be an indicator that the barn progresses it’s students very slowly.  Access the lesson and decide if you want to continue. If so, check out some package prices. They usually offer a better rate than the Pay-Per-Ride rate, but may have more restrictions. If the lesson wasn’t what you expected, be sure to tell the instructor and find out why. They should be able to explain why. If the explanation makes sense, give it another shot. If things still seem wrong, perhaps this place isn’t a good match for you. You shouldn’t have to talk yourself into it. It is either a good fit or it isn’t. After a few lessons you should know. If it doesn’t fit, look elsewhere. The right program for you is out there. You just have to find it.

The world of Equestrian Sports is challenging, wide-ranging and, at all times, exciting. You can always aspire to a higher level of riding, no matter what your discipline. You just need the right person to can show you the way.  Enjoy the Ride!