Fresno County Horse Park Continuous Drive
The Continuous Drive hosted by the Central Valley Harness Association on February 28th to March 1, 2015 was quite a hit with 29 entires. What a great event to start the driving season. With the help of Linda Fairbanks (Brass Oaks Driving Society). Lois Patten and Phyllis Rumley organized the two day event. Those of you who are not aware, the old Ram Tap venue is now called, Fresno County Horse Park and it is better than ever. The cross country course is ideal for the marathon (GREAT water hazards). There is plenty of space for cones, dressage, parking, camping, and nice barn stalls for the horses.
This format is perfect for busy people who can’t commit to a full time three day CDS and it is a lot less expensive, not to mention, a lot less stressful. Competitors can do one day or both with the caveat that one part of the day is spent driving and the other part of the day is spent volunteering. The drivers (and riders – we had two!) do a timed 2K course with two hazards, then report for a dressage test, after dressage they move back over to the cross country course for another timed 2K course with two different hazards. The last option is the cones course. There were many opportunities to win ribbons as placings were from first through fifth place in each class in addition, a Best Overall in each Division was awarded. There were VSE’s Training, Preliminary, Intermediate – horses, ponies and pairs. Pam Miller from Whip’r Snappers won Best Overall for the two days with her Haflinger pony. Diane Kastama was Reserve Champion.
Ronda McPherson was the dressage judge. She did a very thorough job and was quite helpful with her comments. Ann McClure and Diane Kastama Judged cones. Trish Demers seemed to be everywhere helping people and being the safety check person. Linda Fairbanks kept everyone on track with the driver schedule, and Phyllis Rumley kept us laughing.
Next up is the Brass Oak Continuous Drive at Twin Rivers May 23rd and 24th. Call Linda Fairbanks at (805) 237-8476 for more information.
Article by Louise Kennard
Photos by Deb Hilberg Equine Photography
If you have an event you would like to highlight on Horse Connection Center, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the information and some photographs.
Upcoming HCC Educational Events
Horse Connection Center will be bringing in various educators to “help you, help yourself”. That translates to providing information that you can use to help transform not only your knowledge base and relationship with your horse, but yourself as well. Although we spend a fortune on “stuff” we rarely are spending in the right way. Work is currently underway, so check back for exact dates. In the mean time here is what is already in store.
The Equestrian, Neurofascia, and The Melt Method
No mater what the sport, an athlete needs to be in the right physical condition to participate at their best and reduce risk of injury. The equestrian is no different. Someone who doesn’t ride may make the observation that the horse is the athlete, but anyone who rides knows that the rider is just as much an athlete and they require a certain level of fitness, including strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, proprioception (body awareness) and precision. On top of this, the rider must be able to communicate effectively with the horse through their body. Please see the complete article and class registration information regarding the “Melt Method”. Introductory classes scheduled for 5/9/15 in Atascadero and 5/16 in San Luis Obispo.
Horses Inside Out will be coming in the fall of 2015 for their first American tour. Currently there are 5 days planned in NJ and 3 days planned in CA. Tentative time table for NJ is 10/16 to 10/22 and CA 10/24 to 10/26. The CA classes will include a two day Anatomy/Biomechanics class and a 1 day Equine Digestion class. Take a look at their website to get a peak at what this fantastic program provides.
If you are aware of a program or person that brings enlightenment on a variety of levels, please contact me with the information. I would love to hear about it.
HCC Site Update and Changes
Horse Connection Center has a new phone number (805) 286-4271. To contact me by email, please use
The Classified section has undergone changes and will continue to undergo changes until such time it is truly a user friendly product. Please note that classified ads are no longer free. There is a $25.00 charge for a 120 day ad. If you have any trouble at all or need help placing your ad, please contact me. I will be happy to input the information. I expect the classified section to be complete and not only to have a great look, but be easy to use no later than 5/1/15.
Business listings will be undergoing the most significant change. First, a Business listing will be charged $50.00 for a 1 year listing. You can list under two categories and post one picture per category. Each additional listing will be an additional $10.00. Current businesses on HCC will be informed of the change and be given the opportunity to re-list or drop off. The area of coverage will be broken down into Central Coast (North/South) and Central San Joaquin Valley (North/South) verses the current town by town breakdown. Letters informing current HCC businesses of the change will start going out the last week of March.
Banner advertising is available with several advertising options and prices. Please contact me directly to receive a price list.
Get the App for that……
Those of you who know me already are aware of my addiction to Apps. I am a self proclaimed appaholic. There are some useful, fun, and interesting Apps out in cyber world for the horseaholic. What could be better than putting two addictions together. I’ll be providing information about Apps, doing a review, and making sure you have the information you need to decide if this is an App for you. First review will be up by 4/1/15.
Have an App you want me to check out. Let me know and I’ll get working on it.
The Equestrian and The Melt Method
No mater what the sport, an athlete needs to be in the right physical condition to participate at their best and reduce risk of injury. The equestrian is no different. Someone who doesn’t ride may make the observation that the horse is the athlete, but anyone who rides knows that the rider is just as much an athlete and they require a certain level of fitness, including strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, proprioception (body awareness) and precision. On top of this, the rider must be able to communicate effectively with the horse through their body.
Riders use particular muscles and movement patterns different from other sport – for example rider’s need a strong, yet relaxed upper body, arms and hands to control and communicate to the horse. Inner and outer thigh and back of the calves all work to stay on and control the horse. Low back, hips and neck can all suffer from excess tension and compression and even pain.
Just like other athletes equestrian’s can turn to exercise to improve their musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. Cross training with strength, endurance and flexibility exercise and regimes can all create an improved fitness level for equestrians. And yet, just as in other sports, there is a system of the body that is usually overlooked, that can be just as important for creating an optimal state of the body for athletic endeavors. New research has revealed the missing link in optimal functioning in the body: a balanced nervous system and healthy connective tissue. Until recently this system of the body – called the Neurofascia – was overlooked by science, medicine, and fitness and health practitioners. These two components work together to provide your body architectural support and optimal mind-body communication. Researchers have discovered that Neurofascia is the system of the body that actually supports, balances, protects and stabilizes the body and that this system is responsive, adaptable and renewable. Neuorofascia is, in fact, the largest sensory organ in the body – more so than all the other common senses combined.
So just what is Neurofacsia. First let’s look at connective tissue or Fascia. When we talk about the body being 70% to 80% water it is this system that we are talking about. Connective tissue is a fluid-based, 3-dimensional webbing that connects all the other parts of the body. It runs from just under the skin, around and through muscles, connecting into bones and organs. All parts of the joints are connective tissue such as: tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Connective tissue is even a part of the central nervous system and cardiovascular system as it is the outer membrane of nerves and vessels. Connective tissue also has a very strong connection to the central nervous system and all the other regulatory systems of the body as they all run through these tissue layers. Connective tissue is the medium of communication for all the other systems. This connection to the nervous system is what makes up the Neurofascia system.
It’s hard to believe that something that is so pervasive in the body and connects all the other tissues and systems could be considered unimportant for so long!
Unfortunately, because of our daily lives, this system can get all out of whack. As we drink less water and more of other types of not so healthy liquids, as we sit more and move less, as we create habits of repetitive movement patterns or we simply quite moving, or as we overdo exercise and training, this system becomes dehydrated and loses it’s ability to effectively stabilize, support, balance and protect us. The CT is composed of many layers, and these layers are meant to be able to slide and glide. With tissue dehydration these layers are no longer able to move and flexibility, mobility and support are all compromised.
So how does one treat the dehydration problem in this system. Regular exercise, water intake and diet can help but to directly affect the rehydration process in this tissue one must use gentle, easy pressure like one could find with a manual therapist. But now there is a simple, easy and effective tool that anyone can do for themselves, on themselves. It is called The Melt Method.
The Melt Method was developed by Sue Hitzman, a successful manual therapist in NYC. It was in her own quest to relieve pain she developed in her 20’s as a fitness instructor, that she became interested in manual therapy and the emerging science of Neurofascia. When a client asked how she could take care of herself between therapy sessions, the Melt Method was born. Over the last 20 years, Ms. Hitzman took what she had learned as a manual therapist and developed the first Hands-Off-Bodywork method for the general public as a self-care tool for anyone wanting to improve physical performance, live pain free and slow the signs of aging. By using small ball on the hands, feet and even face, and soft foam rollers on the body, anyone can rehydrate connective tissue, allowing the body to release tension, rebalance the nervous system regulators and boost the body’s natural healing and repair mechanisms. This method is simple and easy to learn and use. Melt creates results you can see and feel in the first session.
As an equestrian, if you wish to have better balance and coordination, if you want more flexibility and mobility in the body, if you want to fight compression, tension and pain in the neck and low back spaces of the body, if you want to feel more relaxed and centered in your body, allowing you better communication with your horse – the Melt Method is for you.
There will be two introductory classes taught by Leslie Otto, Certified Melt Instructor. Space is limited. You can get more information by going to the website at www.meltslo.com. Contact Leslie at (805) 801-0831 or email at email@example.com. Price is $25.00 pre-registration or $30.00 at the door.
May 9, 2015/12:00 to 1:30
Recovery Physical Therapy
4888 El Camino Real, Atascadero
May 16, 2015/12:00 to 1:30
Body + Balance Physical Therapy
1248 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, Ca.
Additional “Melt Method” Instructors: Santa Clarita/Santa Barbara – Gloria Stewart, 818-424-9269, firstname.lastname@example.org