The fall season in Texas kicked off with the Sandhaven Fall Jumble on October 21, 2023. . Jumble is a word for “gathering” and gather we did in McDade, Texas (east of Austin) for a day of camaraderie and competition. Eighteen pairs rode down center line for Senior Judge Doreen Atkinson, competing at Introductory, Novice A, Intermediate A, and Intermediate B. Doreen is seeing improvements in the riders over time. She would like to see greater accuracy in the geometry of the movements, as well as better engagement and connection. Her tip was to imagine that we are getting ready to move up the levels and visualize what it will feel like and look like to get there. She commented that she could tell that the riders were really enjoying their ease of handling rounds and showed improvements from dressage to EOH.
Kris Blacklock of Wisconsin was the Technical Delegate. She commented that the performance levels and the four trials offer each horse-rider pair the opportunities to develop a dialog of trust, confidence, and harmony. Without connected communication, there is no relationship, and she encourages us all to ride softly, listen to our horse, and enjoy each stride in each ride.
Kellee Campbell, show manager and the owner of the venue, Sandhaven Performance Horses, is known for her beautifully decorated courses and this course looked lovely. Facility and barn manager Kiki Pantaze was everywhere and doing everything to welcome competitors, ensure the courses were laid out perfectly, and making the show run smoothly. Jennifer Hadley had her debut as a show secretary and kept all records up to date.
Competitor Pati Pierucci commented that she loved how well decorated the course was, and how it was set up to be a very user-friendly course for a young horse. Her horse was there for his first time off the farm and the course and the low key atmosphere contributed to a successful first outing. Competitor Deborah Campbell liked the course and said that she and her horse had their best ease of handling round ever! Competitor Erin Chapman brought out her young horse for his first-ever competition and was delighted with his round.
There are two more shows in Texas in 2023. In November, Highlander Ranch in Waco will host, and in December we will wrap up the season at Willow Draw in Weatherford.
Photos (all taken by Sharon Miesen)
- Show manager and property owner Kellee Campbell gets the course decorations just right
- Glenn Cochran on TCR Cyrus in Intermediate B in Spanish attire and tack
- Pati Pierucci on Octogon DC in Novice A
- Rhonda Pool on Plegario complete the speed phase in Novice A