2007 Equine Extravaganza
VSH was also excited to be staging a nightly performance in the Parade of Breeds. Our own Seamus and Fiona performed nightly, representing the VSH Shire Sport Horse breeding program.
Also in attendance was be Tullymor's Ned Devine, our registered Connemara Stallion, Aislin, and VSH Indy Prince, as well as several of our pure bred Shire broodmares.
2006 Virginia Equine Extravaganza
VSH is proud to have been invited to provide horses for the Virginia Equine Extravaganza East Coast Trainers' Challenge in both 2006 and 2007. This year three of our signature Clydesdale crosses (Flash, Aramis, and Brogan) were trained live each day as three of the Top Natural Horsemanship Trainers competed for the title of East Coast Champion.
Flash was the Champion of the 2007 East Coast Trainers' Challenge, along with trainer Ed Dabney. Ed is a 5th generation horse trainer who was also the Champion of the North Carolina Trainers' Challenge. Flash was trained in front of a live audience in 3 one hour sessions. Ed made significant use of a well trained pony horse and spent a lot of time desensitizing Flash to ropes, rain coats, tarps and various objects on the ground. He was ground driven and taught to give to the bit and yeild to pressure prior to being backed. Ed was riding Flash about one hour into the competition and cantering him around the arena with plastic signs moving in the wind and a PA system anchored to the arena walls.
At one point Ed and Flash "raced" Kenny Harlow and Brogan from one end of the arena to the other. For the grand finale, Ed roped a plastic steer from Flash's back, put on and took off a yellow slicker, approached 3 barking dogs on a leash, walked over a narrow bridge, through a hay bale aisleway, over a tarp and a pile of poles.
Ed and the moderator, syndicated natural horsemanship Trainer Julie Goodnight, had many positive comments to make about Flash, as did Woodside Equine Veterinarian and Judge Katherine Burke. Julie commented that she wondered if that "little black and white (currently standing 15.2H) would fit in her carry-on bag."
All three participants, Aramis, Flash and Brogan (Brogan's video clip) were complimented by the clinicians as well as many audience members.
Julie Goodnight also commented that when she heard that the horses that were to be in the Trainers' Challenge were half Clydesdale, she expected them to be much more drafty in appearance. She then spent quite some time explaining exactly what a "warmblood" is and the characteristics of hot and cold blooded horses with respect to training aptitude and sensitivity.