Busy March At Acreage Horseman’s Association


The Acreage Horseman’s Association is revving up its March 16 and April 27 shows, the last two shows of the hunter/jumper series at Nicole Hornstein Equestrian Park in The Acreage.

“We’re so excited to be adding dressage,” Director Anne Walker said. “Many of our members asked us to offer dressage, but because this was our first year doing the hunter/jumper shows, we had enough on our plate. Now that things are running smoothly, we decided it was time.”

The classes are: Western dressage: Intro and Basic; USEA: Beginning Novice and Novice; USDF: Training Level and Intro Level, A, B and C; and Prix Caprelli: Intro and Training. The judges are Jeny Kyte for March and Stephany Fish for April.

“We’re especially thrilled about the Prix Caprelli,” Walker said. “It’s dressage with jumps. The intro class is a walk/trot class with two cross rails, and the training is walk-trot-canter with three 2-foot verticals.”

She explained that because they’re using a smaller, 20- by 40-meter arena, this limited which classes they could offer. Interested riders can send their entries to Walker in advance. Classes are $15 each. You can pay the day of the show, but if you wait until the day of the show to enter, there’s an additional $5 fee.

“Both shows start at 9 a.m.,” Walker said. “The March show will be a double-point show. Everyone’s familiar with regular dressage, and Western dressage is a popular new discipline. We thought it would be a good fit for us, since we have so many Western riders in our community. This will give them something new and fun to try, plus it’s good basic training for horses. I think we’ll have a good response. And next year, when we start the new show series, we’ll be adding combined training divisions, which include dressage and jumping classes.”

Contact Anne Walker for dressage tests and entry forms at (561) 722-4804 or equinefool@earthlink.net. Remember to get your entries in early to avoid the late fee.

But wait, there’s more!

Sunday, March 23 is going to be a busy day out at Nicole Hornstein Equestrian Park, starting with a used tack sale and swap.

“It’s a community garage sale with a horsey theme,” AHA President Linda Rainbolt said. “Anyone’s welcome to come and set up a booth and sell whatever they’ve got — tack, equipment, whatever, equine-related or not. Even horses and trailers. Whatever needs a new home.”

Spaces at the event are $10 but are free to nonprofit groups. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We’re also holding a trail challenge clinic and competition the same day right there at the park,” Rainbolt said. “The clinic starts at 11 a.m., when riders can hand-walk their horses through the obstacles to get them used to it, then ride them through.”

There will be at least 18 obstacles, including hanging noodles, a mattress, a water hazard, a gigantic beach ball, a bridge and a dummy drag.

“The last time we did this, we had more than 60 participants. Everyone had a blast,” Rainbolt said. “You’d be surprised. Most of the horses do just fine. Maybe they see the other horses reacting calmly, so they do, too. It’s a great way to help desensitize a horse to things he might come across on a trail out in the real world. This a really safe way to help a horse overcome fears. Anyone can do it. There are always helpful trainers around to offer advice.”

The competition will begin right after the clinic, around 2 p.m. The fastest time with the fewest mistakes wins. Prizes may be halters, lead ropes or other useful items.

The clinic costs $10, and the challenge $3; free to riders 17 or younger. Everyone is welcome. You don’t have to be an AHA member.

“Everyone loves trail challenges,” Rainbolt said. “They’re a lot of fun to ride in and watch. Even if you don’t participate, you should stop by and take a look at it. It’s a great family outing.”

For more information, visit www.acreagehorseman.com.