December 15, 2017

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 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-


“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-

CRK Training Times June 2013

CRK Training Times

Bits of News For Horse People

 June 2013

summer horse

Important June Dates~

June 6- YLCR Show

June 14- Flag Day- Lessons as usual

June 16- Fathers Day- No Lessons

June 21- Summer Solstice

Important July Dates!

July 4- Independence Day- No Lessons

July 14- YLCR Final Show

 No Lesson Days~

No lessons will be held on the following days. Your account will be credited. Please make a note of it. Thank You!

June 16- Father’s Day

July 4- Independence Day 

CHA Clinic~

          CHA Clinic~

            As a Certified Horsemanship Association Clinic Instructor, Cheryl sometimes heads out to places far and wide to certify riding instructors.  This will again be the case in June. Cheryl will be leaving the week of June 17-21 and heading to Pine Springs Ranch in Mountain Center, CA. If Athena is available your lesson will be with her. Otherwise, we will contact you to reschedule your lessons or you may opt for a credit. Thank you for your understanding. 

  Save The Date! ~

           As you may know, Cheryl is the CHA Region 10 director. This means she is in charge of the Region 10 Conference this year! This year’s conference will be held locally so SAVE THE DATE! SEPTEMBER 21, 2013! At the conference you’ll learn loads of new stuff, bid on cool silent auction goodies, enjoy some tasty food and ride with some amazing CHA Certified Instructors! Sound like fun? You bet it does! Stay tuned for more information coming soon, but for now SAVE THE DATE! SEPT. 21, 2103!

study guideYour Study Guides are Here!

            The new Study Guides will help you learn everything you need to know to pass your level tests. They are easily completed in one sitting. The answers can be found in the CHA Horsemanship Manuals. Once you have completed the study guide, you can check your answers in the CRK Office.

            To access the study guides, just go to the CRK web site- and click on the tab labeled “Study Guides” You can then scroll down to the one you want. They are numbered. The first one- Level One, Lesson #1 is accessible to the public. The successive ones are password protected. You must be a current CRK Training Stable client to receive the password. Passwords will be included with your statement and change monthly. Passwords are case sensitive.  If you don’t get your password or forget it, please contact Cheryl. Happy Studying!  

Lesson Horse Grooming~

          As we get into the warmer summer months, our trusty school horses are going to be sweating more and more.  After a workout it is normal for a horse to be sweaty around their ears, under the tack, on the flank or neck. Sweat left on the coat will cause it to fade, become dull and is downright uncomfortable for the horse. It also makes much more work for the next person who is grooming that horse.

            Our horses deserve the best care we can give them.   If your horse has sweat marks after your ride, be sure to use a wet sponge to wash those areas down before you put them away. Sponges and buckets can be found in the tack room. If the sweat has already dried, use a stiff brush or curry to remove it completely.  While I hate to make consequences, if your horse is put away sweaty or dirty you may have to leave your next lesson early for some extra grooming practice. Our horses are literally the life blood of our business. Please give them the care they have earned!  

           Also, many students use the wash-rack area to groom. As this area will be used more for washing horses in upcoming months, it become more important to keep it clean. If you leave any dirt or other debris, please remember to sweep the area before you leave. This includes manure, bedding and arena sand from the hooves. Please DO NOT USE THE HOSE TO WASH DOWN THE CEMENT.  It clogs the drain area and wastes water. Always use the broom provided to sweep the area clean. Thank You for helping us keep CRK Beautiful!  

Here are some RIDING RULES for Not-So-Young Horse Women:

* We DO NOT need to show up with our hair combed, make up on and wearing a clean shirt.

* Moaning, groaning and complaining about aching muscles is perfectly acceptable, as is taking Motrin (or something stronger) prior to a ride.

* Helping someone on or off the horse does not mean the rider is an invalid. It only means the horse got taller overnight.

* No one will comment about how big someone’s butt looks in a saddle.

* When a horse is acting up we will accept that the horse is just having a bad hair day and it is not the rider’s fault.

* Mentioning it is too hot, too dry, too humid, too wet, too buggy, etc., is considered self expression, not whining.

* We will acknowledge that horses are very strange animals and sometimes for no reason at all we fall off of them. If this happens to any rider the other riders will ascertain that the person is okay and then not mention the incident to another living soul, especially husbands and significant others.

* We will acknowledge, without apology, that riding more than 6 hours increases our grumpy level far more than any ego benefits we may get from riding longer.

* Looking at my bouncing fat is NOT an acceptable way of determining if I have a good seat. My fat always bounces, thank you. It is cushion I carry in case I fall off.  (author unknown)

Vacation Credits~

          As spring and summer vacation time is upon us, please take note of the CRK Stable vacation policy. As soon as you know your vacation schedules, please contact us so we may give you the proper credit. That way, you won’t lose your lesson spot as you are enjoying your time away from home.

                                                    Cancellation & Vacation Policy

No Refunds, credits or discounts will be given for lessons cancelled by clients. Cancelled lessons must be rescheduled or forfeited.

            Cancelling & Rescheduling Lessons–             In the event that a rider is unable to attend a scheduled lesson, notice must be given at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the start time of the lesson in order to reschedule it. Cancellation messages may be left on the office answering machine or emailed. You must contact us to reschedule your lesson. One reschedule is allowed per lesson. If you cancel your rescheduled lesson, you forfeit that lesson. No more than two replacement lesson days and times will be offered. If you decline both, you forfeit that lesson. You may reschedule only one lesson per month. The replacement lesson must be scheduled within 30 days of the cancelled lesson or the lesson will be forfeited. We will make every attempt to reschedule lessons, but do not guarantee that everyone’s schedule can be accommodated.

            Vacation Credit- Students may take have 4 weeks of vacation credit annually. During the month of your vacation you will not be charged for the lessons missed. Lesson spaces will be held for students during vacation breaks. Vacation credits will not be granted over the phone. All vacation requests must be made by email or in writing at least 30 days in advance of the vacation. Thank you.

 Hot Weather Tips~

          As we get further into summer, the day will be getting much warmer. Some days will be downright HOT! Lessons will run as usual on hot days, so be prepared. Bring some water and wear a hat while grooming. If you want to reschedule your normal lesson time for a cooler part of the day, please do it now. Lesson won’t be rescheduled on the day of the lesson because it is hot. You may also opt for an un-mounted lesson  instead. Multiple topics are available,  just ask! A favorite on hot days is horse bathing. Just make sure you have clothes you can get wet!

            Please remember that closed shoes must always be worn when walking in the barn areas. This includes any area north of the asphalt driveway. This rule applies to everyone, parents included! If you forgot to change out of your flip-flops, for your own safety, please remain in the parking lot or the spectator area behind the arena. Thank You!

It’s Getting Busy~

          As we get into our busy season of the year be sure to hold your lesson time by paying for your lessons in advance. Pay-per-ride lesson spaces will be harder to come by as the season advances. Also, remember that if your payment is not received by the last day of the month prior to the one you are paying for, we do not guarantee your spot will be held for you. We currently have students on a waiting list for certain lessons days and those student may be given your spot if your payment is not received.  Make sure your horse and instructor are waiting for you by always paying on time. Thank you for your understanding.

 Quotable Quotes~

          “Choices are the hinges of destiny.” – Pythagoras

          “A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

       That’s all folks!

CRK Training Times June 2012

Bits of News for Horse People

Important June Dates~

June 4-8- Palomar Clinic-No Lessons

June 10- YLCR Show

June 17- Father’s Day

June 20- Summer Solstice

Important July Dates~

July 4- Independence Day- No lessons

July 9-13- Summer Camp

July 15- YLCR Horse Show

July 16-20- Summer Camp


 No Lesson Days~

Cheryl will be working the Home Schooling Expo in Long Beach on May 25 & 26. She will also be conducting a clinic June 4-8.  All lessons will be cancelled during these times and your account will be adjusted to reflect this change. If you would like to reschedule your lesson, please call Cheryl ASAP, before all the lesson times are taken. Thank you for your understanding.   

          In case you forget which day lessons will or won’t be held, consult our web site- for all lesson information. You can find more information about all our events as well.

 Summer Bits and Pieces~

Schedule Changes~ Summer always bring lots of changes here at the ranch. Clients go on vacation, summer campers arrive, new clients start, others take the summer off and show season kicks into high gear. Due to all these issues Cheryl must make some changes to the summer lesson schedule. Here are some of the changes that will begin in June.

Cancelled – Friday 4:00 pm Show Group
Cancelled – Saturday Intro to Jumping 10:00 group
Added- Level 2+ Group- Saturdays 9:00 am
Added -Level 3+ Group- Mondays 4:30 pm
If you wish to join one or more of these new groups, please contact Cheryl ASAP. We still only have 2 school horses, so you better be quick if you ride Holly or Lace!
Vacation Requests~
If you will be leaving on vacation this summer please give written notice as soon as possible. Include your name, the student’s name, the dates you will be gone and whether you wish to make-up the lessons or receive vacation credit. You may have 4 weeks of vacation credit per year. We reserve the right to deny a vacation credit, only allow lesson make-ups or charge a re-billing fee if vacation notice is received after statements are emailed on the 20th of the month.
Ranch Attire~
I know it gets really, really hot during the summer but please remember to wear correct attire when visiting the ranch. The safety of our clients is always our first priority. Therefore; sandals, flip-flops and clogs are not permitted in the barn areas at any time. Non-riders wearing sandals will be directed to the spectator areas behind the arena.
Riders must always wear sleeved shirts, long pants and riding boots. Tank tops, shorts and Capri pants are not acceptable riding attire. If you show up to ride in this attire, you will be denied a lesson that day.  Thank you for your understanding.


Shows 2012 ~

Our first show of the 2012 season was a great success! Sherry Shih & Holly come home with 3 firsts, 2 seconds and English W/T High Point. Athena Williams took home 3 firsts, 3 seconds and a third for Reserve English High Point. Sheridan Pipkin (riding in her very first show ever) and Holly, took several thirds and a fourth.  Way to go everyone!

We are looking forward to the June 10th YLCR show and hoping Caroline Ong & Chewie will be well enough to compete. Be sure to sign up early if you want to attend.

June Trivia Challenge!

Can you name 10 things your equine caregiver should know when you are away on vacation? Answers may be found on in the blog post Summer Vacation Tips.  Answers to last month’s Trivia Challenge-

Can you name these equine body parts?

1. The top of the neck. Crest

2. The pointed joint on the hind leg. Hock

3. The lowest joint of the leg. Fetlock

4. The highest part of the back. Withers

5. The lowest part of the back. Back

6. The part of the horse we sit on. Back

7. The measurement around the horse just behind the front legs. Heart Girth

8. The top of the head. Poll

9. This part swivels and tells us what the horse is thinking. Ears

10. This part moves to help keep flies away. Tail or skin.


We Need Your Help~
Helpers are needed for our upcoming Summer Camp. We need teachers for crafts, horse science and ranch life. We also need 1 counselors for each group of 6 kids. Counselors must be 16 years old, have horse experience and be able to help groom, saddle and unsaddle horses each day. Teachers may be 14 or older. High School age helpers will receive Community Service hours for their time. You must be available both weeks from 7:30- 12:30 Monday – Friday. 

            YELP, YELP! If you are a yelper, please put an endorsement for CRK Training Stable on our Yelp! page. Thanks! ___________________________________

How Can We Help You?

            Please take a moment to email Cheryl about lessons, programs, clinics or camps you would like to participate in at CRK. We all get in a rut sometimes and would greatly appreciate your input.

            Be sure to like our Facebook page, CRK Training Stable, to get the most current blog posts, training tips and event news. Cheryl also has a page on LinkedIn.


That’s All For Now~

We hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. If you have contributions for the news letter, contact Cheryl by E-mail at:

or snail mail at:

18245 Bastanchury Road

Yorba Linda, CA 92886

or phone (714) 693-4886

That’s all folks!

Are You Worth It?

Cheryl & Christy Landwehr, CHA CEO

            I just got my contract for my next CHA Riding Instructor Certification Clinic! Every time I get contracted to facilitate a new clinic I get pretty excited. I learn so much from all the participants and enjoy their energy. It revitalizes my teaching and gives me some great new ideas for my program. 

            Of course running the clinics is also hard work. The hours are long, sometimes the weather is an issue and the participants are always stressed. They have usually traveled a long distance and paid a lot of money to be there. Most have left their jobs, families and homes behind for the week. Some, like me, had to close their business and entrust the care of their animals to others. Plus, just the process of getting a CHA Certification is stressful. There are written tests, classes to attend, new concepts to grasp and lots of evaluations from the staff and other participants. It seems like everything they do is being judged and commented on. Or they are doing the judging and commenting. All the participants are trying to get the highest level of certification they can, so they work very hard to impress the staff. Sometimes the stress gets to them. Very often, someone will end up in tears. Some of the participants are there because attendance is a requirement of their employment. Some of these participants are resentful of being put through this extremely stressful process but others are grateful for the opportunity.  After all is said and done and they have time to reflect on the process, most of the participants will be extremely happy they came.

            So why do people put themselves through this? Would you spend your hard-earned money and time to be stressed, judged, and pushed by people you don’t even know? Does certification really make a difference? After all, everyone has a driver’s license and there are plenty of bad drivers out there. So what difference does a piece of paper really make? I can only speak to my experience, but this is what it did for me…

            Certification tells the world that I am serious about my job. I’m not just someone who hung out my shingle proclaiming to the world that I know how to teach riding. I didn’t get into teaching because I needed some extra cash, own a horse, took lessons as a kid or because I couldn’t get a job anywhere else. I’m not doing it to pay the bills until I can get my real career on track. This is my career. I want to be the best instructor I can be and certification helps me be just that.

            Being CHA Certified tells the world that not only do I think I’m good at the job, but really talented, experienced instructors do as well. At least 2 clinic staff had to agree that I have the necessary skills, education and talent to teach riding at the level of certification I received. Plus, all the other participants got to give their opinions as well. For my certification I taught eight lessons- six mounted and two un-mounted, lecture-type lessons. Every lesson I taught was evaluated by 11 people. That’s a lot of feedback! All the feedback was greatly appreciated, but the constructive critiques helped me the most. I had to teach many different levels of students and topics correctly. Teaching riding requires a very unique type of person with a very specific skill set. Not everyone can do it well. I am a great riding instructor and I have the piece of paper to prove it! 

          Participating in a CHA Certification Clinic improved my education and ability to teach. During the clinic I had to take classes on many different topics crucial to being an excellent instructor and business person. Since my certification I have had to keep taking classes every year to keep my certification current. As a Clinic Instructor I teach those same classes, so I have to to really understand the curriculum. I have since researched these topics further and created interesting ways to bring the information to the participants. I also keep on taking classes and attending clinics to fulfill the continuing education requirements my certification requires. 

          Being a CHA Certified Instructor proves that I am willing to invest in the most important asset my business has. If I was going to buy a school horse, I would take plenty of time to decide what type of horse best fits my needs. Once I found a prospect, I would do lots of research into the horse’s training, background, temperament, health, etc. I would try the horse out on several different occasions, perhaps even bringing it to my barn for a trial period. Then I would spend my hard-earned money on a vet check before I spent even more hard-earned money on the horse itself. I would do all that because a good lesson horse is an important asset for my business. When I got my CHA Instructor Certification I invested the time, money and effort in myself because I am the most important asset my business has. Unless I am the best instructor I can be, all the horses, or saddles or facilities won’t make any difference.  I don’t sell T-shirts or saddles or even horses, I sell my knowledge and skill. My ability to impart that knowledge to my students is my product. CHA Certification has improved my product beyond measure. I am a better instructor because of it. I know it was one of the best things I ever did for myself and my business.  

          Do you believe you are worth investing in? Do you want to be the best instructor you can be? If so, then you deserve to be certified by CHA. Go to to find a certification clinic near you. Or you can come with me to the Palomar Christian Conference Center in June. We’ll have a great time!

          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. 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







To Groom Or Not To Groom…

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
– Winston Churchill

A few years ago I was conducting a CHA Riding Instructor Certification Clinic. During these clinics, the 2 staff members watch and evaluate four lessons taught by each of the participants. Three lessons are mounted, but one lesson is an un-mounted or “ground” lesson. The participants may choose the topic for their lessons from a list we provide to them. Each instructor has 15- 20 minutes to complete their lesson. One of our participants at this clinic chose Grooming for her ground lesson. This can be an easy option or extremely detailed and complex depending on how it’s taught.

On this day, our participant/instructor got out her demo horse and a bucket of items to conduct her lesson with. With the entire group playing the role of her students, she proceeded to explain the particulars of grooming a horse. She carefully selected her first tool- a dandy brush. She then explained that you begin using the brush at the top of the withers, continue down the back, move along the side of the barrel and finish with the girth area, just behind the front legs.  Next, she selected a large, plastic comb which she used to groom the mane. She then concluded her grooming demonstration with 15 minutes to spare.

Well, the other Clinic Instructor and I just looked at each other with a baffled expression.  We never know exactly what we are going to get, but this lesson definitely fell short of our expectations. Not to worry, we knew what to do next, ask questions to try to draw out some more information from our instructor. So let the inquisition begin!

Q- What other tools do you have and what are they used for?
A- I have a rubber curry, soft brush and a hoof pick.
Q- When do you use a rubber curry?
A – We only use a curry if the horse is really muddy.
How about a soft brush?
A- We sometimes use that on the face.
Do you brush the tail?
A- No, we don’t allow the students to brush tails because it’s too dangerous.
What about cleaning the hooves?
A- We don’t allow the students to clean hooves because it’s too dangerous.
Q- Ok, well can you show us how you would clean a hoof?
A- If you need me to. The instructor then correctly picked up and cleaned one front hoof.
Q- What about the hind hooves?  Could you clean that one?
A- I don’t know how to pick up a hind hoof because it’s too dangerous.

We tried a few more questions to pull some more information out of her, but to no avail. It became apparent that her experience was quite limited. Of course we used this opportunity to fill in the missing pieces of her grooming puzzle. But the interesting thing about this encounter was not her lack of knowledge (although that was a little alarming considering she was employed as a riding instructor), but that she had been taught this grooming method by her instructor. Now she was going to pass that same misinformation on to her students. However; since she was taught the correct method at the clinic, we hope she changed how she teaches her future students, but old habits die hard.

That brings me to a similar event that happened at my barn recently. A new student came to take lessons after she recently moved to our city. She had been taking lessons for quite some time where she used to live. When she was grooming, she pulled a dandy brush over the saddle area and cleaned the hooves. She was then reaching for the saddle pads before I stopped her and requested that she finish grooming. She stated that at her previous barn her instructor “Didn’t want them to waste their time grooming.” The student then asked why it mattered if she groomed the whole horse instead of just the saddle area. She simply didn’t know why using a curry, mane & tail brush or soft brush was important.

These events, along with many others just like it, bring me to believe that proper grooming is becoming a thing of the past. Now I readily admit that if I never groomed another horse again, I wouldn’t miss it much. But that doesn’t stop me from doing a good job every time I pick up my grooming box. I just made sure I learned how to do it correctly and quickly! Heck, it feels like I’m cutting corners if I skip the dandy brush during the summer.

I know that grooming helps keep my horse’s coat clean and shiny. But beyond the obvious reason of cleanliness, grooming forces me to really look at and feel my horse’s coat, skin, legs, and body. It is during grooming time that I’m going to find that bug bite, cut, hair loss or sensitive spot that may need attention. Grooming also gives me a really good insight into my horses’ attitude that day. I can tell if they are edgy and need to be lunged. Or they are lethargic from the heat or a previous workout. These are all good things to know before I climb into the saddle. These are just some of the things that would easily be missed if I rushed through grooming. It also gives me a chance to either develop a deeper bond with a horse that has some trust issues or establish some boundaries with the ones that are a little too pushy.

So the next time you are getting ready to ride, do both yourself and your horse a favor. Put the time and effort into properly grooming your horse. It won’t take that long and you will both be better off for the effort. Be an optimist! Don’t consider the difficulty. See the opportunity!

Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Certification 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. 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

About Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill was an extraordinary British prime minister; he laid the groundwork for welfare in England, helped set the boundaries in the Middle East, became a symbol of the resistance against the Nazis in Europe, and was a central force in the Allied victory in World War II. He was born in 1874 near Oxford. He was known for his courage, his stubbornness, and his powerful personality. He was also an accomplished painter and writer. He died in 1965



Happiness Is…

Happiness is…

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” – William Butler Yeats    

           How will you grow? A few weeks ago I choose to do some growing by attending the Horse Expo in Pomona. There were going to be several speakers that sounded good. I also usually spend a day or so working in the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) booth. And, of course, I shop! Now, I’m not one to collect lots of things, but I always have a craving for knowledge!

            This is the first time the Horse Expo has been held at the LA Fairgrounds. For as long as I can remember, Equine Affaire had the “honored” Super Bowl weekend spot. This year, they gave it up and Horse Expo stepped in to take their place. I wasn’t sure if the change would be good or bad, so I decided to check it out for myself and see.

            The first change was downgrading from 4 days to only 3- Thursday, Friday & Saturday. I guess they decided not to try competing with the Super Bowl. It did make the event a much smaller one. I don’t know if the booth prices reflected that change or not, but I hope so. The daily ticket prices were comparable and parking was the same as previous years. The next change I noticed was being greeted at the entrance by riders on horseback. Every day a different group took the greeters role. The first day it was the Project Cowboy cowboy’s. Their friendly “Howdy ya’ll,”  filled the air as their horses stomped hooves and chomped bits in the early morning sunshine. The only downside was that they seemed to have forgotten to have a clean-up crew on hand. While it’s true that most horse people don’t mind a little fertilizer lying around, but it did put a damper on the effect I believe they were going for. Especially since you had to walk directly through the horses to get into the Expo. I wasn’t wearing my barn boots that day, so I was not prepared to “tiptoe through the tulips”, as it were. A situation I’m sure I shared with many others in attendance.

            The plan for that Thursday was for me to work in the CHA booth and team-teach a lecture with CHA CEO Christy Landwehr.  While I stayed at the booth, Christy went to the lecture venue to set up our PowerPoint presentation. Upon arrival there, she discovered that nothing was available for the PowerPoint. No computer, screen or projector. Only a microphone. Another downside to the venue is that it was outside, making it nearly impossible to see pictures on a screen in the bright sunlight.  Christy quickly scrambled to make other arrangements and moved the lecture to a private booth sponsored by Farnam. We waited at the official venue until most of the spectators gathered and then we marched them all to our alternate location. The lecture then went off without a hitch, but the Horse Expo powers-that-be were none to pleased. They promised the problem would be fixed before Christy’s lecture on Friday.  The rest of the day went well with lots of good visitors to the CHA booth. I worked with my Co-Regional Director, Lori Hall-McNary. We spent the day chatting with those who came by, imparting information about Riding Instructor Certification and all the other programs CHA offers.

            Friday dawned clear, sunny and warm. This day we were greeted by the Cowgirl Drill Team all decked out in their flashy red, white and blue sequined outfits. We were also greeted with the same manure problem as well. Alas, some things take time… I spent this day watching some speakers and checking out the vendors. I always try to find someone who is standing in a booth sponsored by some big feed or veterinary company. They are usually bored because they aren’t selling a product at the expo. What they are GIVING AWAY is great information. Be sure to take the time to wander up to their booth and ask them what’s new in their industry. You are sure to come away with first-rate updates on all the latest trends. This is an oft overlooked opportunity for personal and professional growth, so be sure to take advantage of them.   

            This is also when I will scope out the items I want to purchase. If you ask, you can often get a good deal and maybe some freebees thrown in for good measure. As with most of the shoppers, I will wait until the last day to make my purchases because that is when items will be at their cheapest. Many vendors don’t want to ship stock back home therefore it will be deeply discounted, often as much as half price. Of course you always risk the items being sold out if you use this method, but it’s a risk I’m usually willing to take.

            When the time for Christy’s next talk came around, I met her back at the booth to help run the PowerPoint Presentation. However, when we got to the venue we encountered most of the same problems. We did have a screen, but it was in the sun. We didn’t have a table for the projector, but we set it up on a bench. I ran the slideshow, but to no avail. It simply wasn’t visible in the bright sunlight. It turned out to be a positive turn of events however because it drove people back to the CHA booth to request a free copy of the PowerPoint Presentation to be emailed to them. This gave us the opportunity to chat with these fine folks. They were looking for some growth as well, and we gave them many opportunities. CHA is all about educating horse people and helping them grow as owners, instructors and facility managers.

            Saturday was much the same but I finally did my shopping! I didn’t buy much, but I did get some really good deals on the things I did buy. Overall I’d say Horse Expo was a great experience. I met some wonderful people, learned many, many new things and had fun. I was able to grow both my relationships and education. If that isn’t happiness, I don’t know what is.

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 rights to publish this article are restricted.

About William Butler Yeats-Irish author William Butler Yeats, known for his mysticism and Celtic imagery, won a Nobel Prize for his plays but ultimately achieved more renown as a poet. He was born in Dublin in 1865. Co-founder of the Abbey Theater, he served as its resident playwright and worked with actress Maude Gonne, who inspired the romantic longing expressed in many poems. He married at age 52 and co-wrote A Vision with his wife, a book with occult roots that explores the mythology in his poetry. He died in 1939.


It’s A “Bit” Confusing…

It’s A “Bit” Confusing…

     As some of you know, I am a CHA Clinic Instructor. What this means is that I go out into the horse community around the country and conduct Riding Instructor Certification Clinics. These clinics consist of 40 hours of testing, evaluating and teaching the instructors who are seeking certification. One of the required topics is Bits and Bitting. Sometimes my clinic staff partner or I will present this lecture. Usually, we will have a participant present it.  It is during these presentations that I have found what I consider to be the most common misconception regarding bits. The difference between a snaffle bit and a curb bit. Many people believe that a bit with a jointed or “broken” mouthpiece is a snaffle and a bit with a solid mouthpiece is a curb. Many of the tack catalogs illustrate and group bits that way. Many trainers and instructors explain it that way. I hear this over and over again at clinics and the many events I speak at every year. It is very frustrating to hear so many professionals giving out the wrong information.

What Is The Difference Between A Snaffle And A Curb Bit?

     A snaffle bit is a direct pressure bit. A curb bit is a leverage bit. That is the only difference. If you remember nothing else, remember this- It has nothing to do with the type of mouthpiece the bit has.  It doesn’t matter if the mouthpiece is jointed or not. A jointed mouthpiece bit can be either a snaffle or a curb. A solid mouthpiece bit can be either a snaffle or a curb. Some bits can be both a snaffle and a curb. Both English and Western bits can be curbs and/or snaffles. Bits with solid, ported mouthpieces can be snaffles.  Pretty crazy, huh? How do you tell them apart?

     You can tell the difference between a snaffle and a curb bit by how and where the reins attach to it. If the reins attach to the same ring as the mouthpiece, it is a snaffle. Keep in mind that the rein can’t be restricted by another ring or loop within or attached to the bit ring. It has to be the same ring and the reins must be able to slide on that ring. If the reins attach to a slot on the same ring as the mouthpiece, it’s probably a curb bit.  I say probably, because humans being what they are, the lines can get blurred sometimes. In an effort to make show horses look like they are working in a mild snaffle bit, some curb bits are made to look like snaffle bits. They aren’t snaffles but they look like they are. They have a hidden restrictor ring that the reins go through. This ring prevents the rein from sliding on the ring.

     A curb bit will have reins that attach below the mouthpiece, usually at the end of a long piece called a shank.  A pull on the reins will apply pressure to three areas of the horse- the mouth, the curb groove (under the chin) via a curb strap or chain and on top of the poll via the crownpiece of the bridle. It is this increased number of pressure sites that drastically changes the way a curb bit works. Curb bits are usually considered more severe than snaffle bits due to this increase in pressure points. Due to the leverage these bits apply, the amount of pull a rider puts on the reins is increased. More pressure is put on the horse than the rider put into the reins. It is for these reasons that curb bits require more training for the horse and rider.

     Some bits have several different rings to attach the reins to. I call these combination bits.  These combination bits can be a snaffle, curb or both depending on how many reins you use and where they attach. These bits were designed to give the rider more versatility in the use of the bit. The same bit can be used for several different training levels for the same horse. It can also be used to move a horse from one type of bit to another, without having to buy multiple bits. English Pelham bits are a good example of this type of bit. A Kimberwicke is also a combination bit. I like these types of bits because they are so versatile. When I purchase this type of bit I get more “bang for my bit buck”.

     Here are some pictures of bits. Can you pick out the snaffle, curb and combination bits? I left the reins off so you will have to figure it out for yourself. You should have enough information now to do a great job. Check them out and do your best. Scroll down for the answers but don’t cheat!


Snaffle, Curb or Combination?







Answers- Left to Right

1. Combination   2. Snaffle    3. Curb

4. Snaffle            5. Curb        6. Snaffle

     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 rights to publish this article are restricted.


How to Choose A Riding Program, Part 2

Riding Style- Riding style simply means what type of saddle, clothing, and horse you use and what activities you are doing with that horse.  Different styles have varying levels of difficulty. Some people want to start with a very difficult style like Dressage or Reining. Others, might want to start off with an easier style to be successful early on. The best way to decide is to do a thorough analysis of yourself (or your child). What is your personality type? Will you do well with lots of challenges? Or do you need lots of early success to be happy? Also, talk with a professional instructor and ask their opinion. Most should be willing to give you some advice over the phone, if you know what questions to ask. It is very frustrating when people only ask  the cost of a lesson is then hang up. That is like calling a car dealer and asking how much a car costs. There are so many variables, you need details to narrow it down.  So here are some good questions to ask over the phone:

1. Who are the instructors and assistants?  What is their background and experience teaching riding? Are they certified? With whom?

Some trainers can train horses but are not so great at teaching people. Find out how long they have been teaching. Many barns hire high school or college students to teach summer camps or lessons. They may have no previous experience teaching riding at all. Who will be assisting? Some programs use other riding students or parents as “leaders” or “helpers”. This is simply not a safe practice. Everyone involved with the program should be experienced horse handlers, capable of handling an emergency. What will the 12-year-old child leading your child’s horse do if that horse spooks? Or Runs away? All teachers and assistants must be at least 16 years old. Head instructors should be at least 21 years old.

2. What is included? Are school horses available? What types of horses are they? What attire does the barn provide, if any?

Programs offering horses should also provide ASTM/SEI approved Horseback Riding Helmets. Bicycle helmets are not rated for horseback riding and should never be used.  Riding Boots should be required unless the saddles are equipped with safety stirrups. Fashion boots, hiking boots and some “cowboy” boots may not be good for riding. And, of course, tennis shoes or sandles are never acceptable.  School horses should be at least 7 years old, well trained, calm, gentle and experienced at teaching new riders.

Stay tuned for part 3…

How to Choose A Riding Program

How to Choose A Riding Program

By Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg, CHA Master Instructor

Take a moment and imagine yourself riding a horse. What do you see? Are you wearing jeans, cowboy boots and a 10 gallon hat? Or perhaps skin tight breeches, shiny, black knee-high boots and a black velvet helmet. Maybe you are jumping over a log or creek while galloping across country. Possibly, you are chasing a cow while swinging the rope that will soon catch him. Or just perhaps, jogging down a shady tree-lined trail along with some friends. All these things and more are encompassed in the equestrian world. You can take your place in that world with a little research, planning and attention to detail. Just follow these steps [Read more…]