Archive for the ‘NOVA’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Parelli Adventure-Jenny & Nova / Tony & Powder

Pat Parelli invited the Vaught family to come and ride with him for an entire month this summer in Colorado.  All the extended family are thrilled that the Vaughts have this great opportunity.  This is just thrilling.

The 2013 Spring went by and the great adventure was thought about.  Finally, real plans were in the working and finally, the making!  They left near the end of July and the first day of riding with Pat started July 24th.  I am very blessed that Jenny and Tony decided to take Powder and Nova with them along with four other horses.  They have to compete in the Missouri Fox Trotter 2013 Celebration.  They have to be ridden.  Working with Pat Parelli coaching them on cow work is my version of an a staggering opportunity for my horses.

The six horses get to stay in a small pasture that contains meadow and mountain.  It’s a long way from the Vaught RV.  The whole family is going to get a 30 day high altititude  workout in their riding and fetching horses to and fro.  Pat is a workaholic and so are the Vaughts. When they return from Colordao, they will be so physically fit and able to jog a full marathon everyday, but why would they want to?

On the morning of  their second day, the Vaughts were headed out on a conditioning trail ride in the mountains.  Pat Parelli was up and about riding.  He asked if they would also gather the cattle..all 64 of them including three bulls.  How fun can it get!

Nova and Powder were part of the group.  Nova has been a little nervous about being on the trail, and now she gets to be on A TRAIL.  Nova led and followed on the mountain trail.  And, of course Tony has to break the trail riding rule.  He and Powder leave the group.  Nova got a little ancy when Powder left, but Jenny managed to convince her that she was safe.

Then the cow gathering was implemented.  They found nearly all the herd and started gathering them back to the ranch.  Nova was placed in position and away they ambled.  All the cows decided they didn’t want to amble back to the ranch.  Instead they decided to head off in the direction that Nova was guarding.  All the cows turned and started on a direct line to Nova.  Nova is experienced with ten or so cows, maybe as many as 15.  Sixty four cows heading straight at her made her think, ” I want out of here!”  She telegraphed her desire to Jenny.  Jenny is a horse whisperer and read Nova’s thoughts loud and clear.  In her horse whisper voice, she told Nova, “Nova, you can do this!  Just put your ears back and look fierce!”  Nova trusted Jenny.  She put her ears back, way back.  Her head was ready to snake and mouth ready to eat any cow that had the audacity to even think about coming her way.  The cows thought… ooooooh.  That horse is not to be fooled with.  Let’s head the way that she wants.  The cows resumed their slow amble to the ranch for a day of cow work.

That evening started cow play with Pat coaching the Vaughts.  First Nova and Jenny worked with the electric cow…the one that runs up and down the string.  Nova has played with this kind of cow all winter.  The idea is that’s it’s the horse’s idea to follow the cow.  The rider’s job is to provide help with the speed, not help with the reins/mouth.

Pat decided Jenny was doing too much with the reins, so he had her close her eyes.  Can you imagine riding your horse with your eyes closed?  Pat has done this for a long time.  He has people ride at all speeds with their eyes closed.  He says it really helps to improve your balance.

Jenny used to have us ride with our eyes closed in our group lessons.  We never went faster than a walk.  Much time has passed and I think she forgot that training lesson.  Well, she had a great opportunity to learn it again.  This winter, Pat had her ride one of his cutting horses when cutting cows.  We have a video of that.  The one where it looks like Jenny is jerking around in the saddle…  She really did have her eyes closed, riding a top cutting horse, while cutting a cow.  my thought is “EEeeek!”  But I digress

Pat had jenny ride Nova with her eyes closed, while Nova was cutting the electronic cow.  When he was happy with that, he had Nova and Jenny go into the cow herd.  Usually the rider focuses on the cow to be cut out from the herd.  But Pat always has a better idea.  His idea is to let the horse pick the cow!  Nova went into the herd, put her ears back and snaked her herd at certain cows that interested her. Then Nova got to follow that cow and cut them out of the herd.

Oh the fun. On Thursday morning, the Vaughts were planning on heading out on their conditioning trail ride with their new job of gathering the herd.


PostHeaderIcon 2013 Celebration High Point and World Grand Champion Winners


Youth Versatility:

Pleasure & Speed High Point: Toddy’s Velvet Perfection; Nichole Copple for Susan & Terry Engle, Pleasant Hill Mo

Working Horse High Point
: Co-High points
Toddy’s Velvet Perfection, Nichole Copple for Susan & Terry Engle, Pleasant Hill MO
Nathan’s Ovation, Caitlyn Vaught for Susan & Terry Engle, Pleasant Hill MO

Youth Versatility World Grand Champion
Toddy’s Velvet Perfection, Nichole Copple, Fair Play Mo for Susan & Terry Engle, Pleasant Hill Mo
Youth Versatility Reserve Wold Grand Champion Playboy’s Lookie Here Now, McKenna Flory, Wallsburg UT for Stephen’s Foxtrotters, Wallsburg UT
3. Nathan’s Ovation, Caitlyn Vaught, Fair Play MO for Susan & Terry Engle, Pleasant Hill Mo
4. The Kansas Kowboy D., Issabella Brandreth, Canton GA for John & Samantha Brandreth, Canton GA
5. Cash’s Ashley Renee, Johanna Merk, Bavaria Germany for Harry Patterson, Wichita Falls TX

Amateur Versatility:

Pleasure High Point- Co High Points- New York City Slicker, Gertrud Merk, Bavaria Germany for Waland & Lynne Burger, Stockton MO
Sunrise Temptation W, Susan Breau for Susan Breau, Peculiar MO

Speed High Point-
Ferrari’s Red Ruby, Montye Mickelson for Montye Mickelson, Kissee Mills MO

Working Horse High Point
- Co-High Points- New York City Slicker, Gertrud Merk, Bavaria Germany for Waland & Lynne Burger, Stockton MO
JJ’s Sweet Dream, Nadaja Mayer, Stutensee Germany for Waland & Lynne Burger, Stockton MO

Amateur Versatility World Grand Champion
New York City Slicker, Gertrud Merk, Bavaria Germany for Waland & Lynne Burger, Stockton MO
Reserve Amateur World Grand Champion- JJ’s Sweet Dream, Nadaja Mayer, Stutensee Germany for Waland & Lynne Burger, Stockton MO
3.Gold Digger’s Dusty Son, Lynne Burger for Waland & Lynne Burger, Stockton MO
4. Dollar’s Platinyum Plus, Alexis Zastoupil for Linda Shaddy, Grovespring MO & Carilee McNeil, Fair Grove MO
5. Ferrari’s Ruby Red, Montye Mickelson for Montye Mickelson, Kissee Mills MO

Open Versatility:

Pleasure & Speed High Point- Stroker’s Pepper Shaker, Janlyn White, Wallsburg UT ofr Stephen’s Foxtrotters, Wallsburg UT

Working Horse High Point
- Nathan’s Ovation, Jennifer Vaught, Fair Play MO for Susan Engle, Pleasant Hill MO

Open Versatility World Grand Champion
- Nathan’s Ovation, Jennifer Vaught, Fair Play MO for Susan Engle, Pleasant Hill MO
Reserve World Grand Champion- Stroker’s Pepper Shaker, Janalyn White, Wallsburg UT for Stephen’s Foxtrotters, Wallsburg UT
3. A Thrill A Minute, Sally Scott for Sally Scott, Rogersville MO
4. Arizona’s Outlaw MR, Julie Moore, Rogersville MO for Lothar Rowe, Scottsdale AZ
5. Arizona’s Outlaw Kachina MR, Julia Schaefer, Graben-Neudorf Germany for Lothar Rowe Scottsdale AZ

Amateur Ranch Horse World Grand Champion
Toddy’s Velvet Perfection, Nichole Vaught, Fair Play  for Susan & Terry Engle, Pleasant Hill MO
Reserve Amateur Ranch Horse World Grand Champion Attu, Caitlyn Vaught for Caitlyn Vaught, Fair Play MO
3. JJ’s Sweet Dream, Nadja Mayer, Stutensee Germany for Waland & Lynne Burger, Stockton MO
4. Baron’s Gold Dolly, Lexi Farrar, Liberty Hill TX for Kirsten Klindworth, Liberty Hill TX
5. Queenie Rose, Ty Fergeson, Liberty Hill TX for Kirsten Klindworth, Liberty Hill TX

Open Ranch Horse World Grand Champion
Nathan’s Ovation, Jennifer Vaught Fair Play Mo for Susan Engle, Pleasant Hill MO
Reserve Open Ranch Horse World Grand Champion A Thrill A Minute, Sally Scott for Sally Scott, Rogersville MO
3. JJ’s Platinum Champagne Doll, Tony Vaught Fair Play Mo for Susan Engle, Pleasant Hill MO
4. Stroker’s Pepper Shaker, Janalyn White Wallsburg UT for Stephen’s Foxtrotters, Wallsburg UT
5. He Is Bodacious, Brad Flora, Koshkonong MO for Tina Stumpf, Columbia IL

PostHeaderIcon Ava-Day One a Huge Success

Day one, Showmanship started the day off right!  Jenny and Nichole won the open and youth showmanship classes!  Nova and Velvet were in show horse success mode.

Tony and Powder joined in the next events and the ribbon sunumi started.  The Vaught family flooded me with ribbons.  Blue was the main color.  In the youth events, Nichole and Velvet mostly won the blue ribbon followed by  sister Caitlyn riding Attu.  In the open events Jenny got most of the blue ribbons with Powder and Tony getting many second place ribbons and a few third place ribbons.

I have this great chair with the shade top.  Today, it became the ribbon chair.  At the end of the day, it was also the garland chair.  Jenny and Nova won the Open Versatility Garland and Nichole and Velvet won the Youth Versatility Garland.

Pictures are on Facebook . At the moment, I can’t upload pictures here.  Later…

We had friends show in the various events.  Susan Breau showed in Western Pleasure and won the class.  She was so excited and so happy to get that win.  Before the class, she was bubbling over with excitement and nerves.  She has also lost weight this winter and looked stunning in her show clothes with her shining happiness bubbling all over us!

Hope Kahout has to be the best dressed Western Pleasure rider ever.  I will post her picture and you can vote for Hope as most wondrous.  She rides a dark gold palomino and wore a turquoise outfit.  Boy Howdy.  Hope placed in the class and was a happy versatility evener!

Powder looked great in her new bridle.  Last year her whiteness faded out her face.  She needed a bling black bridle so we would see her beautiful green gold eyes with the black makeup.  Oh she is stunning, especially with her cowboy rider dressed in a dark red shirt.  It took a lot of finesse to get the cowboy rider to accept a bling bridle.  Whew  Powder is coming along looking improved over her three year old first season.  Powder is four years old and is in the beginning of her illustrious show career.

Strolling around the versatility arena, I was asked if I “bought” all those ribbons.  ”Yes, I did in the entry fees!” I said!  Another person asked me if I was sorry to be winning all the blue ribbons.  I replied, “No Way!  I’m happy that my horses are winning all those blue ribbons!”

I love the people in the versatility arena.  They aren’t just people, they are my family twice a year.

Tomorrow is Ranch Horse Day.  All three of my horses are entered in every event.  There is only open Ranch Horse classes. This means that Nichole and Caitlyn are competing along with the adults.  I predict that Nichole and Caitlyn will place higher in some classes than some of the adult riders.  I’m glad not to be competing against Nichole and Caitlyn!

Report tomorrow.  Pictures on Facebook.  Rain missed us all day and hit us right before the horse show this evening. But as I look out McDonald’s window, the skies are blue.  Happy to be dry riders are riding in the performance arena right now and the versatility people are watching and thinking about hitting the mattress!


PostHeaderIcon Ava Pre-Day

Two hundred miles flew by and I entered the time zone known as Ava!  The golf cart guy met me at the entrance.  I found Nova, Powder and Velvet and the Vaught family.  Life is good.  I beat a lot of people here.  There are still parking spaces available if you want to run on down to Ava!

We had fun times at the office getting everyone signed up and ready to go tomorrow.  Everything went smooth as silk.  Everyone has numbers and even better, safety pins to attach the numbers to the saddle pads.  I chatted with everyone in the office.  They all were excited to see me and vice versa!  ha

I got Powder a duplicate set of registration papers as I misplaced her original papers.  I tell you this so that you will be as astonished as I was to receive a duplicate registration certificate for her with a solid gold seal.  I tried to buy a few more duplicate registrations, but it’s not allowed.  $20 for a gold seal is darn amazing!

We watched Caitlyn and Izzy riding in the Kid’s Day trail class with expert coaching from Steve Atkinson, a handsome young guy wonderful horse trainer, who never ages.  Ann Compton came strolling by with some serious fox trotter bling.  Ann is a young blond with bling.  She is covering the Kid’s Day.  Look for the Online Newsletter to see some of her pictures and stories about the day.  I do have a complaint about Kid’s Day.  The kids all got tie dye fox trotter T Shirts.  And my complaint is…where is my tie dye T Shirt?  Kid’s only, drat it.

We took a break and dispersed.  I went on my daily run to WalMart and my annual drive around town to see what is new.  Currently I’m sitting in the wonderful True Brew Coffee and Sandwiche Show.  It’s wonderful in here.  I’m having tea and a scone.  I have WiFi.  It’s better than McDonalds where I normally hang out to publish the news of the show!

Tomorrow is a full day of every versatility class you can think of.  We have Open and Youth events tomorrow. Everyone shows in something tomorrow!  It’s going to be a long day.  Some of the day might have some moisture coming from the clouds.  Hopefully it waits until we are done.

True Brew is open from 6:00-6:00 and to 8:00 on weekends.

Gotta run!  Gotta find everyone and watch everyone practicing to get ready for tomorrow!

Oh, and another thing….  the book, Susan FoxTrotter is on sale at the Fox Trotter Shop.  Buy a copy there, find me and get your book autographed if you are on the grounds tomorrow and Thursday.

PostHeaderIcon 2011 World Celebration Versatility Blog

This is the 2011 blog from the World Missouri Fox Trotter Celebration.  I posted the stories as I lived them when I could.  They will go away soon this year tom ake way for the 2012 blog.  I want to keep them forever.  I am honored to have been “the versatility blogger” two years in a row!

Reflections and Stories September 14th, 2011 |

Nova has improved quite a bit over last year. This year I caught on to the need for slow and steady, quiet hands, the head position that has her gaiting the best and my communication between her and I.  Poor Jenny, my trainer, has been trying to get me to understand my role for two years.  I think it’s sunk in now.

 Tony Vaught tried to get me to understand my body’s role in the reining horse spin and the slide stop this year.  I did fairly good in the spins because Nova is so awesome.  Maybe next year I will understand my role in the slide stop.
Here’s Tony and Jenny talking about their favorite student, me! 
Just when ARE we going to get Susan to play with Cows? 

Speaking of an awesome slide stop. This is Jennifer Vaught and Big Barn’s Slinger, as perfect as any horse can get in a slide stop:  STICK THIS!

 I was glad to discover that my brain had a fine time remember the versatility patterns. They were crystal clear in my brain.  No dementia for me this year!

 I was thinking about all my fellow competitors.  Everyone who got a higher placed ribbon that me, deserved it. Well Mostly!  ha!
Here’s the three great amateur riders that “dusted me” and Nova all week. They are all terrific people and I love them greatly:

 51 Tequila’s Montana Sunrise, Robert Womack, for Robert Womack, Missoula MT
10 Jake’s Elvis J., Robynn Gabel, for Robynn Gabel, Lander WY, Jaquelynn Dahlstedt, Lander WY

11 City Girls Bud, Ricka Mathews, for Ricka Mathews, Humansville MO, Bill Mathews, Humansville MO.

 I asked Jane Zubia why she came all the way from Wyoming to the Celebration.  It was after a big long day of amatuer and open classes. She paused and quietly said, “Someone has to!”  That was a deep thought with few words.

 Our youth from Utah were heavy into it.  I had two days of writing these winning names.
42 Cloud’s Eldorado, Abbirose Buckley, for Abbirose Buckley, Mapleton UT
43 Sunrises Gold Patriot, Stephanie Harper, for Stephen’s Fox-Trotters LLC, Wallsburg UT.
Every amateur and open competitor is glad that the Youth have their own classes. Otherwise they probably would just beat the socks off  us.  I know they would beat my socks off!

 Our Open riders showed how it’s supposed to be done. The rest of us just look on in amazement when they ride

 My extended Vaught family daughters, Caitlyn Vaught won Ranch Horse Reserve World Grand Champion and Nichole Copple won the Ranch Horse and Versatility Youth World Grand Championships.  We went home a happy extended family!

 I realized that Nova is not a Showmanship kind of girl.  She’s supposed to stand still and let people gaze at her perfectly lined up, saddleless body.  Her idea of a good time is to take a forward step..or a sidestep. She’s an outgoing extrovert and she wants to move. sigh  I’ll just say this once…if you’re going to have a horse, you’re supposed to ride. Sorry, that just slipped out.

 Then I have two stories to tell.

 Robynn Gabel told me this story about Elvis, her grand horse. Back when Robynn was a beginning adult rider, she bought the wrong horse.  Many of us adult riders buy the wrong horse when we start out.

 Battles occurred and it was a nightmare. Robynn ended up having a wreck with that horse and getting badly injured. Time passed and the injury healed.  Her special husband told her he wanted her to go look at a horse.  The bitter Robynn said,”Why would I want to look at a horse?  I’m not going to ride a horse ever again.  I’ve had it!”  But, that curiosity must have peaked and she thought it amazing that her husband would do this. So she went to see the horse.  The owners did everything with that horse to show how tame he was.  They probably rode him, slipped underneath him and stood on him.  “Well fine!” Robynn said, but I’m never going to ride another horse and she stalked out.  She heard horse footsteps behind her. She turned in alarm because her own horse would have followed her and bit her.  Robynn turned. Elvis walked up to her, put his head over her shoulder and hugged her.
I’m glad to have met Elvis in the arena.  Elvis went into the Costume class too, dressed as… ELVIS!  

Elvis is retired as of the end of the Celebration.  A grateful family awarded Elvis a special plaque for his role in making children’s lives better. Robert Womack, my best friend Bob, is from far away Montanna also.  (The Montana stories are just piling up this Celebration.)  You remember Bob was voted the most fun rider in the versatility arena when he purposely knocked all the poles down…just to show us it could be done.

 So, I asked Bob why he was here.  He said that his son was supposed to come  to the Celebration and he was a smokin’ rider.  But the son was just called up for duty in Afghanistan and couldn’t come and ride in the Celebration.  So, Bob decided he would come and try to fill his son’s shoes.  Bob came and won about everything. Bob is the Versatility Amateur World Grand Champion!  He did his son proud! Tequilla’s Montana Sunrise did the Womack family proud!

 I just might be done now with the Versatility Blog.  It was an awesome week.  We had a great turn out in all the classes.  I’ll just close with a prayer of happiness for the great time I had watching my grand horse, Velvet, and Jennifer Vaught in the open Ranch Horse classes.  Oh my stars! Thank you Jenny for all the great performances at the Celebration…for they were performances. 

This is Missouri Fox Trotter ROPING! 
Rope Floats to the Cow! 
Let’s Get that little doggie to run a Figure 8! 


Keep up with my real life blog in the Missouri Fox Trotter Connection:
Susan’s Viewpoint Stop in and enjoy my horse life From Splat to Bridleless 

September 11th, 2011 | Author: Susan

Dawn Young of Free Rein Design made Banners to post around the grounds and at the Versatility Arena.  Not everyone that visits the Headquarters Show Ground comes down to visit the Versatility Arena, so those people that hung their banners in the versatility home did so knowing that the audience would be limited.  They put their banner in the versatility arena because of their belief in our versatility part of the fox trotter “pie”.  Part of the  cost of the banner raised money for the versatility events. 

The 4 P’s Ranch and Boss man Saddles 
Big Barn Ranch-Versatility and Competitive Trail Horses 
A most amazing wonderful Champion horse for sale-Does It All 


Vote Fox Trotter on America’s Favorite Trail Horse! 

OK, this wasn’t a banner, but it’s time to talk about America’s Favorite Trail horse.  We have more than one Missouri Fox Trotter that made it to the finals!  This is huge.  One vote per email address is allowed. We want everyone to vote for one of the Missouri Fox Trotters!  Here’s what I’m going to do.  I’ve got an “AOL”,  “Yahoo”  and (Google) “gmail” email adress.  I’m going to get a “ymail” address.  I’ll be looking around for other free email accounts and then I’m going to use all those accounts and vote!  I urge you to do the same.  I met J.W. Hendrix at the Versatility arena.  He is a wonderful person. 

Boss Man Saddles – Harry rides his saddles in the events and the saddles are great! 
September 10th, 2011 | Author: Susan

Let’s see…Friday was a big day!  Velvet and Jennifer Vaught won Reserve World Champion. Susan (that’s me) and Nova won two Reserve World Championships. 


Nova and Velvet gave the crowd their best ever performance in the Ranch Horse Pleasure and Ranch Horse Versatility classes.  That was awesome. 

Nova and I defeated the tire in 2011.  We pulled the darn heavy thing! We pulled it at a fox trot.  The tire defeated us in 2010. We got Nova’s feet messed up in the out of control long rope.  This year, I dallied the entire loose end of the rope around the saddle horse and took off fox trotting! 


Nova jumped the log in the Versatility Ranch class and I stayed in the saddle.  We were clipping along at a nice fast canter and sailed over the log.  I think everyone in the crowd was amazed that I was still on the top side of my horse after that jump.  And then we had to immediately slow down into a fox trot and trot over some sand embedded poles.  Nova was sort of strong on continuing our strong canter, but she obeyed at the last moment before we stepped over the first pole. 

We had to do all that and then do a mini reining pattern!  Nova and went so fast, she blew my hat off.  Luckily, I have a stampeded string.  I’ve never learned how to keep a hat on my head at any gait other than a walk. 


The Budweiser Horses in their three semi trucks pulled into the headquarters of the Missouri Fox Trotters and gave an earth pounding demonstration of eight beautiful horses pulling a wagon. Boy Howdy! 




Our great Versatility committee planned a great award ceremony where Velvet and Nova won 4th in the world in their respective events.  High Point Fourth in the world for both my great horses. Thanks to Jennifer Vaught for making this a special story to add to the journal of Velvet’s amazing life.  How that horse has enriched so many thousands of people is a whole separate story.  I don’t exaggerate. 

We ended our great time with a catered BBQ dinner. The versatility competitors, workers, volunteers and friends all sat around and ate some darned good food. We had a raffle. We poked fun at each other.  we told lies and stories. What an amazing group of people gathered together on Friday early evening to end a great time. 

September 8th, 2011 | Author: Susan

Cutting, Roping and Working Cow horse is the most exciting events in the Versatility Arena and it lived up to it’s name. We got the top horses, the top riders and the best youth in the World.  It’s a World Show and we have the best. 

I got to sit on the sidelines and cheer on the riders.  Our cutters controlled the cows.  We had some lively cows and a few that weren’t crazy about going anywhere.  It’s the luck of the draw in ranch horse events with cows. They have their own agenda and usually it’s not the same agenda as the rider. 

The winners are all announced on Twitter at MOfoxtrotter. 

Lynne Burger and Jodie Styron decided to make a food event happen.  A whole bunch of amazing food was cooked to feed horse back riders at a horse show (and the watchers).  They brought the food out, the hungry people hovered around while pictures were taken. Finally, pictures were done and thecrowd descended on the food making it disappear.  Look for the food article in the journal!  I’m excited about that.  They might try for other horse magazines and there will be fox trotters in the pictures. 

The Ava 2nd grade came to visit today and they got to see the amateur and youth cutters.  As they filed along the side of the arena, the crazy cow decided not to go along with them.  That rider g0t another ride as it was thought that the string of kids might have affected the cow’s desire to run into the pen. 

Some cows in the cutting class understand about the pen and they go down the side of the arena, maybe too easy if the rider has a great horse.  If the horse and rider are inexperienced, having a cow that understands about going to the pen is lucky.  That’s what you have in Ranch Horse Event…luck and skill. 

Tony Vaught, open rider, has won the roping class three years in a row.  That’s outstanding.  Sally Scott won the Working Cow Horse event and I bet the score sheet was close.  Suzanne Nebeker, Janet Johnson et all were great.  That’s what the crowd pays for to watch this event.  I heard one woman sitting beside me say, “I forget how much I love it down here in the Versatility Arena.  I love to sit here and watch these horses and riders. 

Lisa Petty started showing today.  I’ve watched her horse improve year after year into a formidable competitor in every event from jumping, racing and cow events.  Her horse is a fabulous cow horse.   Lisa has this horse for sale. 

The youth were great in all three events.  I don’t believe any youth roped their cow, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying.  Nichole Copple and her horse Dusty were going about a hundred miles an hour in the working cow event, trying to beat turn the cow on the run down the fence. The cow tripped at the end of the arena and fell. Dusty tripped over the cow and fell against the gate.  Nichole held on even though her leg was slammed into the gate.  Dusty got up and kept on trucking and Nichole jumped off and checked him out.  Ended up that neither Dusty nor Nichole were hurt.  Where this all happened is where a bunch of us were sitting.  SCREAM 

Waland Burger won the amateur roping and that was fun to watch. 

Jennifer Vaught rode my horse, Velvet, in the Ranch Horse events today. Velvet and Jenny were awesome and both looked like they were the horse and rider on the best professional Horse Magazine.  If any of you are reading this and want a beautiful picture, I highly recommend contacting Jenny Vaught and Velvet!  But then I’m a tad prejudiced. 

Yesterday, Harry Patterson told me that I was the most improved rider in the classes.  I immediately pronounced him to be my #1 Boyfriend.  Today was a sad day as Harry was disappointed to find I wasn’t a real cowgirl participating in the cow events.  I hate to disappoint my new #1 Boyfriend, so this coming year will be one of Susan and Nova meets the cows.  Maybe next year Harry will find out I’m a real cowgirl 

Harry rode in each event and did good.  He wasn’t up there in the winner’s circle, but it wasn’t for lack of a good try! 

Friday, I have three events!  Come and watch the Versatility Arena at 9:00am 

September 7th, 2011 | Author: Susan

Today was another fun day in the Versatility Arena.  We gpt to see our new and furture champions. We got to watch our three year olds and four year olds perform everything!    Today we had the 3 Year Old Boss Man Versatility Futurity and the Boss Man Versatility Derby (4 year olds). 

Our future is assured by all these wonderful young horses.  The results of today were posted on the official Missouri Fox Trotter Twitter account which is MOfoxtrotter.  Find that Twitter and read the results of the classes almost before they are announced.  HA! 

Janet Johnson won the Boss Man Versatlity Derby and Brent Ratlif won the 3 Year Old Boss Man Versatility Futurity.  Congrats to both and all the riders that participated. 

This day was a day of rest and emotional balance for me after the full day of showing in everything yesterday.  Thank Goodness.  Have I mentioned that every day of this horse show is like a month of living.  It’s that huge.  You never forget the experience and it makes you come back year after year. 

The Versatility area was filled with cars and golf carts today.  The stands had cheering people.  Horses and riders stood around waiting their turn.  Other horses and riders from all over the show grounds occasionally come down to visit.  We even had cows today. They all performed nicely.  

Overall it was a good good day and perfect weather continues. 

September 6th, 2011 | Author: Susan

The Versatility blogger is a tired puppy. Up at 6:30 after a fairly sleepless night, the day stampeded on. 

We had such a good turnout of amateur and open horses! Everyone is fun and pleasant to be around.
After a rocky Showmanship start with Nova (who can’t stand still)  in the morning, we did wonderful in all the riding classes.
Nova and I nailed the reining class. I had fun out there on the pattern. Some said that Nova and I looked sexy!  I surely felt sexy out there with that slow smooth canter. Boy Howdy, you have to experience something like this just once in your life!  When we came out of the arena, we got cheered.  Harry Patterson (one of my new #1 Boyfriends (in training) yelled, “That’s the Way It’s DONE!” 

Here’s Nova and I entering the “double”  box in the trail class. We had to go thru it, come back into it, turn a 270 to the right in one box and then a 360 in the other side of the box and exit. 

Double Box – Don’t touch the Poles! 

I’ll leave you with this picture-judges, great volunteers, DQP, helpers, judge and riders and horses all working together to make this a wonderful experience! 

Then Nichole and Velvet transformed themselves into a zebra and an African woman and wowed the crowd in the evening show Costume Class!!! 


Pictures later 

September 5th, 2011 | Author: Susan

we were treated just about everything today. The Novice classes are done. The Youth have all the Ranch Horse events on Thursday.
More open events were today. Well, just one but it was the English class with all the fancy braiding and little pieces of leather minus a horn pretending to be a saddle. 

The Youth Reining pattern was much more difficult to remember than the amateur pattern that we are riding tomorrow. I’m all in favor of young brains having to memorize more than us old folks! 

Tomorrow is the amateur and open versatility classes. I’m always glad that the open class is before mine. It helps me finally memorize the patterns! 

I met Ray Wilson today and we got caught up. I didn’t recognize him because he looks younger. We couldn’t figure out why. Maybe riding horses just makes us younger every day!  Ray is riding a beautiful palomino gelding that is for sale. Ray takes his horses everywhere and they have the correct gaits. Which leads me to a little speech on buying horses at the Celebration. You see people that you like, riding the smooth gaits. Ask those people if they have a horse for sale. There are several sales during the Celebration. There are dome been there done that horses that can put you in the show ring next Spring and the young pre-champions with proven bloodlines. Find one for yourself! 

Tomorrow night-Tuesday- is costume class. My horse Velvet will be in it with Nichole. Her sister Caitlyn is in it too. I can’t spoil the secret of the costumes! 

September 4th, 2011 | Author: Susan

I haven’t yet been able to leave the Versatility Arena today. We live it down here. Thus year we have the Youth Association B-B-Q to feed us. Yum 

The first day of Versatility has Janet Thompson and Kayley Watson winning multiple speed events. 

We have our very favorite rider now. He’s a crowd pleaser. Robert Womack is the crowd favorite. Robert was running the barrels as fast as lightning and knocked over the first couple of poles. Then he proceeded to knock over every pole, just to prove a point. And he did. The crowd cheered! Robert came right back in the Stake Race and he is the amateur World Champion! 

Karen Grady, our versatility show chair came out for the stake race. She demonstrated the pattern for us. She got a big cheer from the crowd! 

The winners from each class today are posted in Twitter MOfoxtrotter 

It was around a 100 degrees here yesterday with Missouri humidity. About 3:00, the cold front marched in. It started spitting little rain while we were having our show. Most of us got cold and we had to get jackets. It’s been so long since I’ve had a jacket on, I can barely spell the word. 

More from today later. Gotta run and watch the weanling model class. My stallion has a baby in the class! And he is cute! 


September 3rd, 2011 | Author: Susan

I’m here! No Problems getting here! Old truck and ugly ttailer made it fine! I pre entered and slick and efficient office staff got me set up in seconds! 

Everyone is here! Stalls are filled with horses. Trucks and trailers pulling it every minute. Golf carts are all here too! It’s a busy place! It feels like I never left last year.
All people were out tonight riding. It was just a little too hot this afternoon. 

Thank you Craig Dansie for letting Velvet and Nova stay in your stalls
Thank you Mary Nunnley for letting me hook up to your stalls electricity. Mary’s stalls are for sale in barn 17. She has 3 stalls for sale and they are wonderful.  It’s a quiet place, the view is wonderful and the people that live in the adjoining stalls are wonderful. 

KFC is closing. I got in right before they closed. It’s difficult to blog when eating chicken! 

Youth and Open Speed events tomorrow!!
Yee Haw!!! 

My re-learning lesson from today is that when you go to take your shower at night…after a sticky hot day…be certain to take clean clothes with you!  Putting your dirty, sweaty clothes back on after a shower is not a pleasant experience. 

September 1st, 2011 | Author: Susan

I use my 3 horse trailer once a year..maybe twice.  I use it at Ava because it’s a goose-neck and has a me-sized sleeping and dressing area.  It has air conditioning.  It used to be a nice looking steel trailer, but now it’s probably one of the worst looking trailers that will be at Ava. 

I’m pretty proud of it. The rust is art-work is naturally beautiful.  The drop down windows in the horse compartment won’t stay closed, so I duct-taped them shut. The 3 slide windows still work, so the lucky horse can get plenty of air.  It’s a good thing my horse doesn’t understand how horrid her trailer looks. 

I take that back. She knows. 

I drove it down to a clinic this past spring when I needed to haul three horses.  Now, I’ve been used to hauling my nice two horse bumper pull trailer around.  It’s perfect and it still looks nice. 

When I pulled into my destination with the longer trailer, I sort of forgot that this three horse trailer was longer. The side of my trailer ran into this big steel post and sort of crushed / collapsed the front of the fender. Hay, it didn’t rip into the tire, so no fixing needed.  That post also ripped part of that rubber strip thing that goes down the side of the trailer. 

I folded up the rubber strip thing and wrapped it with a bungy cord so it wouldn’t attack cars on the road.  My husband promised that he would cut off that rubber strip, but he has forgotten.  It’s sort of ornamental. 

Nova really has never forgiven me for me running into that post.  She and I have words when I ask her to get into this trailer.  You see, she was in the trailer when we drove into the post. You can imagine the words she has for me when I asked her to get into that evil thing. 

The last thing I check before heading to Ava is the air conditioning.  I pulled the trailer up to an electrical outlet tonight and my air conditioner still works.  YAY! 

Velvet and I used to own a trailer without Rust! 

It rumbles and vibrates, so I’m thinking that there must be mud dobbers on the fan.  The weather forecast is for me to desperately need that air conditioning until Monday. 

Come on down and see my beautiful trailer.  Judge for yourself if it’s the worst looking trailer on the grounds! Vote for me! Find me on the south side of barn 18!  You will instantly know it’s my trailer. 

PostHeaderIcon Champion Pictures












PostHeaderIcon Thursday Spring Show

Thursday is Ranch Horse Day! Open, Amateur and Youth all compete together. We are waiting for cutting results.

Our most senior competitor, Sally Scott won. Our youngest competitor, Caitlyn on Atty, got second. Caitlyn has promised to help Tony and Jenny with their cutting horse skills!20120607-113817.jpg

Roping was next and Jenny and Raffle won 1st. Tony and Nova got 2nd!

Working Cow was won by Sally Scott. Tony Vaught and Nova got 2nd!

Tony and Nova win the National Ranch Horse Championship! Big Win

Vaught family had a great day. Youth And Open Versatility Championship awarded after trail and speed events on Friday20120607-180453.jpg





PostHeaderIcon Wednesday Spring Show

Caitlyn and Attu prepare for Showmanship.

It’s Showtime for Nichole and Velvet

Nichole got second in Youth Showmanship and Caitlyn got 5th20120606-105253.jpg
Nichole Copple and Velvet win a big first in Youth Western Pleasure!

Jenny and Raffle won first in Open Western Horsemanship. It was a big class.

Nichole and Velvet won 1st in Youth Western Pleasure. Caitlyn got 3rd! YeeHaw!

Open Reining: Tony and Nova 1st, Jenny and Velvet 3rd, Jenny and Raffle won third. This was a big class and big wins.

Youth Reining. Nichole and Velvet won 1st. Caitlyn and Attu won second.

Hunter Hack- Nichole and Velvet won 1st

Caitlyn and Attu are only pair with double bridle. She is the youngest rider in Open Hunter Hack



PostHeaderIcon Tuesday-Spring Show

No problem drive from home to Ava. That’s what happens when you don’t have a horse in the trailer. No breakdown guarantee!

I stopped at Gordon’s Feed Store off 60 Hwy east of Springfield. Bob is the new owner of the store. He apologized for not getting the big sign to say Welcome Fox Trotters. Store is very nice and well
managed inside.
When he was loading Nova’s feed into the trailer he said, Country Frank, and then apologized for being too presumptive. Country Frank!, I said. I’m riding the last son of Country Frank! Turns out Bob is Country Frank’s human uncle! I made him write down this link and promise to read this blog. Bob you need to follow the story of Country Frank’s Lucky Star!

I had been at show grounds for only a little while when Craig Dansie came riding up on a daughter of Country Frank. She is five and already 15.2 hands (4″per hand). Lucky Star must have escaped being tall, perhaps because he was a twin for a while.

It took a while for me to get unhitched from my trailer. I was starving, so I checked in at the Lion’s Club Food Stand and was greeted by my sparkling senior citizen, been there every year. I can’t remember her first name. Later
No food, just soft drinks today. Horse show starts tomorrow. Food starts tomorrow early for biscuits and gravy at Lions Club. Thank goodness I had triscuits and cheese spread.

In the evening, watched youth equine agility competition.

It’s just 9:00 and now eating supper. Where did time go

Here’s Nova after her show horse clipping. She is so awesome!



Lots of riders practicing in performance arena. Ride in the cool evening under the lights!


PostHeaderIcon Show Horse Day


What did Lucky Star think about the clinic and horse show?  Lucky Star recounts his first Horse Show  Story:

 ”It was an adventure!

My good friend Sheyna came to stay with me in the barn the might before the clinic and rode in the trailer with me to the clinic. That was fun.  I like Sheyna.

When I got there, I got to eat green grass.  That trailer parking lot was plush grass.  I liked that a lot too. After a while who shows up and parks right behind me?  My friends, Nova and Velvet showed up.  I tried to boss them around from where I was standing, but they ignored me. Tony and Jenny were there too and said hi to me. That was nice.   I continued to eat great green grass.  Yum!

After a while my mom came back and saddled me up.  We got to go into a big building and there were a lot of other horses in there. Sheyna got to come too.  Nova came by me every now and then, but she didn’t try to boss me around.

I was a little bit concerned about stange looking ground on the outside of the arena dirt.  I tried not to get close to it.  My mom seemed to be concerned with me going along the rail.  I didn’t want to get close to the rail and that strange looking stuff. There were humans perched on top of this stuff too.  (Susan translation:  cement)

My mom wanted me to back thru a lot of things.  Well, I’m just OK with that.  I’m not excited about backing thru stuff, but my mom was asking me politly and I decided to comply.  She wanted me to sidepass over a pole too.  I decided to comply with that request too.  I didn’t eagerly move over the pole, but I did move. She seemed grateful for my generosity of movement.

I got to meet a mailbox. What a strange thing that is.  In fact, she petted the mailbox for a while, just like she rubs me.  I decided the mailbox wasn’t going to eat me.  Then I discovered that it opened up.  I was OK with that too.  Then I found out there was something inside of the mailbox.  It was yellow.  Mom took it easy with me.  I was a little leary about the yellow thing, but decided my mom was trustworthy, so I just stayed still but a little tense when she rubbed me with the yellow thing.  It didn’t hurt or try to eat me either.  Finally, I decided that mailboxes could be trusted.

We zipped around the arena at times and when I got a little out of breath, we played with the obstacles.  Oh I forgot. There were three poles sticking out of the ground in a triangle shape.  My mom wanted me to back thru the poles.  I had to turn around and back at the same time to back thru the other side of the triangle. What a wierd sensation that was.  I tried to back over the poles with my rear end, but my mom was insistent that I back thru, not over. humph.

I had a pretty good time in the arena and we left.  I got to be tied up again.  I had eaten all the grass, so I got to have my hay bag filled with delicious hay.  My mom loosened my girth and I got to eat.  People were buzzing around.

All of a sudden I looked up and there was a gorgeous human being that looked a lot like my mom. But she had on an outfit that blew me away.  Lordy, the cowboy hat was fabulous.  I liked everything a lot because her outside was the same colors as I am. Wowsa!

Mom looked ready to ride.  She got Kelley to hold the saddle while she mounted from the trailer living quarter.  Guess I’m short enough that she can get on from the door.  I wasn’t able to tell mom, but she didn’t tighten back up my saddle.  I decided to keep her balanced so she wouldn’t fall off.  I like her.

We stood around for a while and took pictures of all the other dressed up people.  It’s amazing how people can change their skin like that.

Mom decided to go check on the arena. She discovered that “my class” was next.  I wondered what a “my class” was.

All of sudden someone decided I was the first to go into the big place insomething they called Trail Class.  I zipped into the arena at a fine fox trot to find that it had totally changed.  I was headed right for a row of poles. They stuck straight out of the ground. I was going at my fastest fox trot.  WHOA…Whoa! What are those things!?  I slowed down to get a look at them.  I decided the poles weren’t going to eat me when mom decided to make a course change and we ended up weaving thru the poles.  That was above my pay grade and I argued about the direction changing on such a rapid gait.

We came out of the poles and mom charged me up into my flat foot walk.  After a while I let her think she had talked me into going at that speed when we came to some poles on the ground.  No problem here. We had practiced backing thru the “L”.  I did that pretty darn good and only touched the poles when my mom was celebrating me doing so well at the end. 

Now we turned  and went slowly to a pole laying on the ground. Mom told me she wanted me to sidepass over the pole and I did that pretty darn good. Good enough that she had me sidepass back over it again the other way.  I told my hind feet that they could bang into the pole right when she was thinking how perfect I had done.  I am only a beginner horse.  I don’t want mom to think that I’m perfect and stop practicing.  How dull that would be?

We turned to the back of the arena and there was the  mailbox in a new corner.  The mailbox was near that different colored ground (cement) and there was a dog sleeping on the ground. Good GAD! she wanted me to sidepass so she could touch the mailbox in this scary place.  I didn’t move for a while, but thought about it.  I decided that no one was going to eat me and decided to sidepass over to it.  I could tell this made mom really happy.  She took the yellow thing out and put it right back. That dog never moved.  We were done with mailbox!

Mom made me walk over some poles on the way to freedom out the door. Whew.  You know I was the only horse in that entire arena.  Why was that?

I stood there for a while with all the other horses and everything was nice and relaxed.  Mom was chatting chatting chatting and I got to flick my ears at all the other horses.

Later all the horses and riders went into the arena.  There was a bunch of noise from the riders and the people standing and sitting inside the arena.  Mom called it clapping. She clapped a lot too.  No one handed me a ribbon or clapped for me.  I was OK with that because the judge came over to tell me I was “coming along”.   He smiled and mom smiled so “coming along” must be a good thing!

We got to rest outside the arena again. Someone said Western Pleasure horses into the arena.  All the horses and riders single filed into the arena again. We zipped in. All that obstacle stuff was gone and the arena was wide open.  As we went down the side with the strange ground (cement), it looked more threatening and I veered to the inside.  The judge spoke to me about that as he might have been only about 6 feet from where I zipped.

I was pretty concerned about that different ground the entire time I was in the arena.  I tried really hard to keep myself as far to the inside as I could.

We lined up again and people clapped again.  My mom was happy and we left.

This is all that happened to me on this strange day called Horse Show. This is totally a different life from being a former pature ornament.  I like the excitement of this life!”


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