December 18, 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-

I Don’t Wanna and You Can’t Make Me!

stubborn horse“I don’t wanna and you can’t make me!” Has your horse ever said this to you? I know mine have! They stop, go sideways, back-up, even run away. It’s called Avoidance Behavior…

            Avoidance behavior is anything a horse does instead of what they are supposed to be doing. Let’s say you are taking your horse “Duke” to the wash rack for a quick hose down. Once you have passed the paths to the turnout, barn and arena, Duke has figured out where you are headed and he’s not impressed. The last bath he had was just before a show and took hours! By the time you finished clipping, braiding his mane, giving him a bath, wrapping his legs and put his blanket on, Duke was thoroughly fed up. He is not looking forward to a repeat session, so he stops cold in his tracks. Let the avoidance behavior begin!

            You step back to his shoulder and encourage him forward again. Now Duke has realized you are in earnest so he starts to back up. Slowly at first, but increasing the pace as you get more animated in your attempts to stop him and get him moving forward again.  The next thing he does is try to spin around away from you. Now you are chasing him around in a circle wondering how things got so crazy so quickly? All you wanted to do was a quick rinse off and it’s become an all out war.

            How about this one- My school horse’s favorite- If the rider asks for anything more taxing that a shuffling amble, the horse moves closer and closer to the rail until the rider is so afraid for the wellbeing of their leg, all thoughts of trotting have gone out the window. The rider watches that fence like it’s going to take on a life of its own while desperately pulling on the inside rein in an attempt to move away. Sometimes they even lift their leg up over the saddle in order to prevent it from being squished. The horse has changed the riders entire focus with a minor avoidance behavior such as moving toward the rail.

            So what’s a rider to do? How do you deal with this kind of behavior without risking life and limb? Let’s take scenario #1- The Wash Rack Walk- As soon as Duke stopped you should have stopped also and determined that there wasn’t a legitimate reason for his behavior like a bear lurking behind a bush.  Nothing? Ok, now ask again for the walk, making sure your are cueing correctly i.e.. walking at his shoulder, facing forward, using your body posture, voice and hand to move Duke in the correct direction. If he still refuses, it’s time to get serious. I usually give several quick hard jerks on the lead rope. If that doesn’t do the trick, I will use the long end of my lead rope to tap him on the rump or anything I can reach that is behind his shoulder. Make sure you are still facing forward while you do this. Not only will your body language match your other cues, you will be in a safe position in case Duke decides to make a break for it and runs or jumps forward. Also, if the correction works, you are prepared for a nice quiet walk forward.

            Now let’s assume Duke has made a run for it- backwards! The first thing you need to do is get him stopped. That is usually best handled by the firm use of your stopping word first (Whoa, Ho, Peanut Butter, whatever!) along with some quick, hard jerks of the lead rope. Never try to out-pull a horse. Unless you are a bigger horse, it simply won’t work. 1000 lb. horse beats the 150 lb. human every time. You need to outsmart him. He can only pull against steady pressure, so don’t give him any. Pull, release, turn or push. It all works eventually. If you can’t get him stopped, turn him until he is backing in the direction you wanted to go in the first place. If he won’t walk there, back him there. If he stops, resume your usual cue for forward and make him miserable until he complies. I’m not talking abuse here, just lots of short jerks, taps with the lead rope, pulling into tight circles, backing up,  yelling. Whatever he doesn’t like, until he moves forward again. Reward the forward steps with a quick “good boy” and perhaps a pat on the neck.

          Always remember to quit on a good note. Even if it means you don’t get all the way to the wash rack today. Might not be a bad idea to skip the hose-down anyway. It will just put more bad memories on the old ones. If you get him to the wash rack, reward him and take him away. Now do it again. And again. And again. As many times as it takes until he walks up willingly and quietly, without a fuss.

            Scenario #2- The Wall Flower- When you ask for a jog, your horse, Flower, moves closer and closer to the rail until your leg is in genuine jeopardy. How do you fix this one while keeping your leg intact? Flower uses this behavior to get out of working. It usually happens by accident at first, but if it works out well, Flower learned a new trick! Again, you need to catch this one before your limb is at risk. Always make sure you start well off the rail, so you have some room to react and correct the problem. As soon as you cue for trot, Flower starts moving sideways instead of forward. This is where you need to catch it, at that first sideways step. Immediately cue with the outside leg to direct Flower forward. If she continues to move sideways, give a firm kick or two with the same outside leg. Resist the urge to pull on the inside rein as this will push Flowers rump into the rail more quickly. Use the inside rein instead by moving your hand up and across the withers toward your inside hip. This will bend Flower’s neck and head into the rail which is not where she wants to be, its where she wants you to be. If she straightens out and moves forward, continue with your trot cue. Give her a pat on the neck when she complies correctly.

             If she does succeeds in getting your leg all the way into the rail, it’s game over time. No more Mr. Nice Guy! Using your outside rein, pull her directly into the rail until she is facing the rail. Now stop and back her up very firmly. Once you are a safe distance from the rail, turn to the original direction and start over.  You can also turn a complete circle, thus moving Flower away from the rail and starting over. Just remember to make these little side trips unpleasant ones. After all, she started it! I like to use firm kicks and perhaps some taps with a crop or whip if I happen to have one handy. You may have to repeat your actions several times before the message is received. Be persistent and you will prevail.

            The most important thing to remember is what you expect of your horse. Never accept anything less than that. Any avoidance behavior can be corrected if caught quickly enough. That first stop or sideways step needs to be corrected quickly before it gets out of hand. Don’t wait until the horse has total control of the situation. By then it’s too late. Always remember your expectations and accept nothing less.

            You can never expect more than what you accept.  If you accept these kinds of naughty, avoidance behaviors, you can expect your horse to repeat them. If you don’t accept them and expect good behavior, you will get that as well. Happy Riding! unstubborn horseCheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor, Clinic Instructor and AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl graduated from Rawhide Vocational College and Fullerton College. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 35 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

Ride the Horse and Ride the Exercise


            There is an ancient story of a rich and powerful King who gathered all the wisest men in his kingdom and asked them to take on a quest. The King asked them to search the world for something that was true… always and forever TRUE. The King wanted to know that there was at least one thing he could always count on, so he would always feel secure.

            The wise men traveled the earth and conferred with other wise men. They searched and they pondered. They meditated and they discussed. They gathered all the information and experiences they could, and finally came up with only one answer.

            The wisest of the wise men approached the King and informed him that they could only find one thing in the universe that was ALWAYS true. With great anticipation and longing the King asked what it was.. The wise man looked at the King and said, “The only thing that is always true, is that everything changes.”

            This is so very true with horses and riders. Our horses are always evolving and changing. As riders we must keep up. My lesson students are always looking for something they can hang their hat on. Such as if they want to trot they would always squeeze their legs against the horses sides while making a clucking noise and the horse would always trot off. While I instruct them in the correct cues, horses can sometimes get rather opinionated about what the rider can and cannot make them do. Therefore; all riders must do at least two things- Ride the exercise and ride the horse.

            Let’s assume the exercise we are trying for is trot. The normal cue for your horse is squeeze your legs against the horses sides while IMG_0418_cropmaking a clucking noise. Well in reality that should work because that is how the horse is trained to respond. However; even the best behaved horse may be distracted by a scary bag blowing across the arena or a giant bird that just landed on the rail. In that circumstance the cue may be entirely different. You may need to get the horses attention with your reins, voice, seat or legs first. You may even need to turn the horse away from whatever is grabbing his attention. Then you can start all over with your cue, but you may have to increase the intensity of your cue all the way up to kicking or tapping with a whip.

            If the horse is just not being a willing participant in today’s little jaunt, they may require an entirely different set of cues before you can get the requested response. Using the previous example, you have used the usual cue for trot and the response was something like this- Your horse raised its head and stopped completely. Or perhaps they turned around and headed toward the gate. That horse may need to be corrected before you can get back to asking for the trot. You may need to turn the horse in a tight circle to get his feet moving again. Then you have to get the horse walking in the direction you first intended to go before you ask for the trot again.  My mantra here is the horse must be “Framed, Forward and Straight” before you can ask for a more forward gait. The horse must be-Framed– The horse should be moving in whatever frame you usually keep him in. Forward– moving willingly forward, not stopping or slowing down. Straight– not turning right or left with either his head or body. If you don’t have those three things, you chance of success goes down considerably.

            Here’s another example- Suppose the horse is cantering and you want to down transition to trot. The cues would be entirely different than trotting from walk, but the end result would be the same, a trotting horse. In this case, you might use your seat to get behind the horses motion. Or perhaps you would begin riding as if the horse was trotting. For most of my school horses, simply taking your legs off while speaking the word “easy” would be enough to make them break gait, but unless you put some leg back on after the break, you’ll be walking or maybe even stopped before you say “trot”! But, if you put too much leg back on once they break, they might just pop back up into a canter again. However; if my trusty school horse had a few days off due to rain or it’s a breezy, cold day, some pulling on the reins in addition to the other cues may be needed before you get the desired response. Posting too soon after the transition may also cause a return to canter, so it may be best to sit a few strides before you begin to post again. Of course it’s also possible that the horse is a little slow that day and wanting to walk. In that case, posting right away will get him moving out quicker and perhaps prevent a break all the way to walk.  Wow! So much can happen when all you wanted was a trot!

            Regardless of the desired outcome you must remember that every exercise with horses comes with options. You have to be willing and able to change your cues. Sometimes the cues may change every stride depending on how the horse does or doesn’t respond to them. A good rider will make the necessary adjustments to their seat, hands, legs and voice every time the horse moves. This will keep the horse moving in the desired direction, frame, speed, collection and gait. Ride the horse and ride the exercise. Being flexible and responsive will help you become the best rider you can be. And always remember what the King learned- “The only thing that is always true, is that everything changes.”changes

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 Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 35 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





Curry On!









Curry? It’s a spice. Or a tasty, exotic dish served with rice. While that might be true, but it’s also a very important equine grooming tool. Often refered to as a Curry Comb although it is not a comb at all. Curries are often overlooked, misused or deleted altogether. Currying is a very important step in keeping your horses clean and healthy. What do you need to know about curries? Here are some tips to help you on your way to not only a cleaner horse, but a healthier one as well.

Metal or Spring Curry


From top to bottom- Curry w/ handle, Jelly curry, Rubber curry

Which curry works best? Here at CRK Stable only rubber curries are used on horses. Metal or spring curries are never used on horses. Metal curries are simply too sharp, stiff and harsh for most horses. They will cut the hair coat and may even cut the horse too. They do work well to clean saddle pads though. Use them to remove the horse hair and dried sweat that accumulates on the bottom before you wash them. Other than that, keep them far away from the horses.

            Rubber curries come in many shapes and sizes so pick one that fits your hand well and will do the job. I like the ones with a handle strap that I can put my hand through. I find it easier to hold and do a good job with this type.  Sometimes we will use a soft Jelly Curry on sensitive areas. These types of curries are soft and conform to the hand and area being groomed. They work well and aren’t too harsh on faces, lower legs, flanks and bellies. They are also very useful when bathing your horse. Make sure that any curry you choose has some teeth to it but that they are soft and give easily. This will keep the horse relaxed and not make them cranky about being groomed.    

         Why do we curry a horse? Currying is the first step in the grooming process and the most important. Even clean, short coated horses will benefit from the use of a curry, but you may need to use it more gently than on a horse with a long coat. Plus, some horses just simply love to be curried! They will lean into the curry, raise their heads and maybe even stick out their upper lip when it is used on particularly itchy spots. This gives the horse a very good feeling about being groomed and they will come to look forward to it.


Fungus infection on the hind cannon

         Currying will loosen the dirt, mud, dead hair and skin that builds up on the coat and skin. It will also give your horse a nice massage. This massaging action increases blood flow to the skin, distributes natural oils and exposes any sensitive areas. Fungus infections that cause hair loss can be reduced or eliminated by currying. It will remove the dead hair and scabs, allowing air to get to the damaged skin. Many fungus infections need an anaerobic (without air) environment to grow, so exposing the skin to the air will greatly reduce the infection if not kill it off altogether.

Loosen the hair and dirt

Loosen the hair and dirt

            How do you use a curry? A standard rubber curry should only be used on the heavily muscled parts of the horses body, never on bony or sensitive areas like the lower legs and face. Begin by placing your hand through the handle and gripping the curry gently in your hand. Start just behind the left ear on the neck. When working near the horses head, it is often a good idea to keep your free hand on the halter so you don’t get nipped.  Working in circles, groom the horse from top to bottom, front to back, making sure to stop just above the knees and hocks. Then repeat on the second side. Take extra care over the withers, hips bones, flanks and under the belly as these are sensitive areas. Vigorous currying may cause some discomfort to your horse, so pay attention to their behavior. Watch for pinned ears, dirty looks or threats in the form of lifted hooves, stomping or mini kicks. These may be signs that your are being too enthusiastic or the horse may have a sore spot. If your horse shows signs of sensitivity, go over that area again with your bare hands, checking carefully for any cuts or sores.


She looks dirtier than before we started!

            You are finished currying your horse. Congratulations on a job well done. Both you and your horse will appreciate it! Now, on to the Dandy Brush…


About The Author- 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 Horseman. 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

 curry on



Once Upon A Time…

What’s the most important thing to teach your horse? In my humble opinion it is to stop when asked. The all important Whoa. Or Ho. Or Stop. Or you can even say Snicklefritz if you want, as long as your horse knows that means they have to stop moving. As in stop moving their feet/legs/ neck/ body/ all of the above. It’s the first thing I teach all my riding students. I always teach stop before I even teach them the go cues. I want all my horses to stop when asked without question. I want all my students to know how to stop a horse and that they have the right to stop that horse any time they feel they need to.

Why is stop so important? Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time in the far away land of Yorba Linda, there was a smart, beautiful, young horse named KT. KT was a very special horse therefore; she had two very important people in her life to attend to her every need; a Kind and Loving Owner and a very Talented Rider. Now, being so young, KT hadn’t been to lots of shows, but she still thought they were fun. Horse shows were something her Kind, Loving Owner and her Talented Rider liked to do. Because KT worked really hard at the shows, sometimes her back got sore. But KT’s Kind and Loving Owner was very attentive to KT, so she had the Talented Rider dismount between classes so KT wouldn’t get sore. One day while KT was between classes, her Talented Rider had dismounted and they were both standing in a group of other horses and riders. While they were all standing there enjoying a much needed break, KT felt a trickle of sweat run down her side causing an itch, so she reached her head around to scratch it. It was just than that the Wicked Stirrup Iron saw it’s chance and grabbed KT by the lower jaw and refused to let go!

Now KT wasn’t the type of horse to panic, but the Wicked Stirrup Iron was cackling, “Now I have you! You’ll be mine forever! HaHaHaHa!” as it held fast to KT.

In typical young horse fashion, KT tried to run away from the Wicked Stirrup Iron. When KT tried to run, all the other horses that were standing nearby ran away too. But KT’s Talented Rider had a good hold on the reins and KT, being the good horse that she is, didn’t go far. She just spun in circles trying to get away from the Wicked Stirrup Iron that had a hold of her.

Meanwhile, KT’s Kind and Loving Owner was watching some other horses and riders in the nearby Warm-Up-Arena-Land. As soon as she realized that KT was in trouble, she raced to her rescue. “The Wicked Stirrup Iron has my horse! I must save her!” she said as she ran.

 Of course, the Kind and Loving Owner had to fight her way through all the other panicked horses and riders who were running away from KT and the Wicked Stirrup Iron. After what seemed like ages, the Kind and Loving Owner was still far away, but was close enough to KT to yell out – “KT Whoa!”

Now KT, being the smart, young horse that she was, knew what “Whoa!” meant and coming from her owner she knew she would be soon be saved from the Wicked Stirrup Iron. So KT planted her feet and waited for her Kind and Loving Owner to rescue her. All the other horses stayed far away while the Talented Rider and Kind, Loving Owner removed the saddle and released KT from the Wicked Stirrup Iron’s clutches. Then KT was carefully checked from the bottom of her shiny hooves to the well clipped tips of her beautiful ears. Other than a few minor bruises in her mouth, KT was declared fine and dandy and was able to finish the show. Many more awards and blue ribbons were won because the Kind and Loving Owner and the Talented Rider had saved the day! And because the smart and beautiful KT knew how to Whoa.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The End

So what is the moral of the story? If you are a horse, always, always listen to your Kind and Loving Owner and your Talented Rider because they will, for all time, do everything in their power to keep you safe. If you are a Kind and Loving Owner, always teach your horse to Whoa, because you never know when you will need it to save the day.

PS- This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. If you want to learn how to teach your smart, beautiful horse the all important Whoa or how to become a Kind and Loving Owner call Cheryl today.

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 by Cheryl go to


Dream a Lofty Dream

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall at last unveil.”

John Ruskin

Many years ago I had a client who was looking for a new horse for her daughter, Caren. Caren had been riding the family horse for a few years. She had gone from a complete beginner to an accomplished show rider. It was time for her move-up horse. We were looking for an all-around horse that would be competitive on the PtHA and APHA circuits. We had looked at several horses so far, to no avail. They were either too English, too halter or too western.

After several months of looking they called me to check out yet another prospect. Her name was Mel. Mel was 5 years old and had not been shown. She had been well started and ridden extensively on trails. She had the breeding and look we wanted, but could she perform in all the events we needed her to do? Upon arrival at the barn, we were given free rein to try her out. I went through my usual pre-purchase checklist. I checked her stall manners, ground manners, conformation and way of going. So far so good. She was kind hearted and willing. She had a halter horse conformation and good legs.  We then saddled Mel up and the owner showed us what she knew. After that, I rode her and finally I put my student up. All went well during the evaluation. Things were looking good.

During the ride home we discussed Mel at length. She was somewhat green and would need some time and work to get her ready to show. Caren was certainly up for the task and willing to put in the needed time and effort.  My only concern was that Mel would be a much better Western horse than an English horse. She wasn’t very tall and was very stocky. If Caren was ok with possibly having limited success in English events, Mel would be a good choice. During the pre-purchase consultation it is my job to give the buyers information, not make the decision for them, and that is what I did here. We had passed on other horses for this same reason so I just gave them as much information about Mel as I could and then left the decision up to Caren and her family.

The next day Caren told me they had decided to purchase Mel. She flew through the vet check without a hitch and was very soon parked in Caren’s barn. I designed a training program for Mel that would get them to the show pen as quickly as possible. I made sure the plan worked to Mel’s strengths and weaknesses. By really pushing this mare to work as an English horse, I did my best to make her the all-around horse her owners wanted her to be. I didn’t just work her western because I knew that is where she would excel. I worked her on both disciplines because that is what the owners wanted. They knew Mel’s limitations before they bought her and accepted them. It was my job to make Mel the best she could be at everything her owners wanted.

We started Mel off at some local shows. She needed to get in the show pen and figure out how things worked. She had great success at this level in both the western and English events. Hmmm, guess our training program is working so far. It was time to head to the big time! We entered Mel and Caren in their first PtHA show. She showed in all the youth events, both English and western. At the end of the day, Caren came home with many first’s, seconds and thirds. Looks like we found a winner. As time went on Caren and Mel continued to improve. Finally the day had come; we were off to the PtHA World show!

By the time the show was over, Caren and Mel had 6 World Champion titles and 4 Reserve World Champion titles. The classes were English and Western, youth and open. I was so proud of them, I could bust! But the most important thing was that we didn’t give up on Mel going English. In fact, we worked extra hard on her English skills and she overcame her physical limitations and excelled! Had I given into my initial thought that Mel wouldn’t do well English, she wouldn’t have. Because I listened to my client’s wishes for Mel and did what they wanted, despite my concerns for success, Mel turned out to be a great All-Around Horse. I made sure I did what my client was paying me to do, not just trying to prove that I was right. In so doing all our dreams for Caren and Mel came true. We dreamed a lofty dream and unveiled our vision.

Let Cheryl help you unveil your riding dream! Call or email today and start on the path to your vision!

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.



Aliens Invade Yorba Linda!


“We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.” – Calvin Coolidge


Aliens Invade Yorba Linda!


            I was going for a ride the other day. I had my paint mare, KT, all tacked up and ready to work. As is my custom, we walked into the arena and began doing a little ground work before I mounted up. As we approached one corner of my arena KT suddenly became a giraffe! Her head went to the sky, she started snorting and tried (in vain) to run away! Since I wouldn’t let her just bolt, she continued to dance in place while I looked around trying to figure out what had gotten her knickers in a bunch. Hmmm, the arena seemed the same as always, no rouge grocery bags or vicious bunnies lurking about. The small hill behind the arena likewise. Ah ha! Just then I spotted the cause of all the drama. A large, black trash bag filled with weeds was resting ever so innocently against the chain link fence that separated my property from my neighbors. In fact, a whole flock (3) of them had apparently invaded the neighbor’s yard and come to rest against that fence. It was Grover’s Mill all over again!           

        So now the time had come to try to “talk down” my 16.1, 1100 lb mare and convince her that those bags were not some new strain of horse-eating alien space predators that had come to earth just to make her their lunch. I would have loved to just hop on and continue with the lesson I had planned on for that day, but things had changed with the appearance of those bags. My lesson plan for the day was now gone. I needed to do something at once or my poor mare would lose her mind. I couldn’t do everything I planned at once, but I could do something at once.            

          The first thing I did was sacrifice myself to the alien gods. That is to say, I put myself between her and the bags.  Hey, better that only one of us becomes lunch, right?  Plus, I have already established myself as the alpha mare in this two critter herd so if I showed her that I wasn’t afraid, maybe she wouldn’t be either.   

           Next I got KT’s feet moving. I walked her back and forth, always keeping my body between her and the “aliens.” By making her move, I was negating her flight response. She would be less likely to bolt if she knew she could move and wasn’t trapped. Here is when being able to lead your horse from either side comes in handy. I needed to walk her both directions while keeping myself between her and the bags. If you haven’t taught your horse this skill, now isn’t the time, but it is a good skill to have.  With each pass I got gradually closer and closer to the invaders. As I did this, I was very careful to watch KT for signs that she was ready to stop and investigate the invaders. The signs include- her desire to stop walking, lowering of the head, twitching ears, and calmly looking away from the predators.  Once she showed me these signs, I moved on to the next part of the plan.      

        Let her stop and watch. Now this can sometimes backfire so you have to be sure of the timing here. You horse needs to be really, really ready to stop and the alien needs to be very, very still. If a sudden gust of wind had moved the bags, we would have been back to square one, but nothing like that happened this day. The slight breeze did cause the untied “ears” of the bags to wiggle a little. This was enough to keep KT’s interest, but wasn’t sufficient to invoke another panic. Lots of soft-spoken, encouraging words and stroking here will get you quickly to the next step.  

         Sacrifice your horse to the gods. Just like in some ancient cultures, it was time to sacrifice my 7-year-old virgin to the gods. I began walking in a circle again, but this time I kept KT between myself and the bags. I made her walk to keep the flight response in check, but she was also required to listen and respond to my normal ground cues while ignoring the bags.  And we walked circle after circle. Then we changed direction and walked more circles always getting closer and closer to the bags. After many circles, KT was responding normally and had overcome her fear of those trash bags. Now, that is not to say that the next time a bag shows up someplace else the process won’t start all over again, but for today we were ok. This whole process only took 15 minutes and was well worth the time invested. 

           I was then able to mount up and continue with my riding plans for the day. Well… I did ride, but the plan was different. The process starts all over once you are mounted, but that is a discussion for another day. Just remember to do what you can do at once, keep your wits about you and the “aliens” won’t get you. Or your horse.           

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.






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!