Women LUV Horses

On December 5-7, 2008 RMQHA member and AQHA Professional Horsewoman, Margo Ball, was invited to participate in Lynn Palm’s Women LUV Horses retreat in the City of Industry, California.  The event is described as “a magical equestrienne retreat” and is truly one of a kind event in that it is just for women.  The retreat builds upon the values of today’s modern woman with a family, career, horses, and the challenges of finding enough time and balance for each.  The clinicians and female equine experts represent the best in the industry.  This list includes Sharon Camarillo, Cynthia Cantleberry, Sandy Collier, Jane Savoie, Barbara Schulte, Margo Ball, and 2007 AQHA Professional Horsewoman of the year Lynn Palm, host of this unique event.

The event featured the debut of two new competitions.  The two competitions were judged by multi-disciplined judge Margo Ball along with the other clinicians alternating judging duties depending on the event.  The Supreme Horse Woman Contest featured the talents of ten West Coast Women Mustang Trainers as they competed in five events for prizes of over $10,000 and the title of “The Supreme Horse Woman Champion.”  The competition is an invitational event that is offered to women who have participated in an Extreme Mustang Makeover during the previous year.  The Mustangs ranged in age from three to eleven years and had four to nine months of training by these incredible women trainers that ranged in age from their 20’s to 60’s.  This was truly a showcase of the ultimate connection between horse and rider showing the communication skills and horsemanship ability of these talented women.

“It was the most incredible event to judge because the mustangs performed in trail/obstacle courses, agility Course-in hand, equestrienne equation/reining pattern, musical freestyle showing their talents.  These mustangs were amazing to watch as they did sliding stops, spins, performed flying lead changes, two tracked, sidepassed, and backed showing a good degree of difficulty in their maneuvers - Some were ridden bareback.  All of this with four to nine months of training” states Margo.

The second event making its debut was the All Around Bridleless Championship.  In the spirit of Lynn’s Bridleless expositions she offered the girls the ultimate opportunity to show their bridleless skills for a chance to win the title of “All Around Bridleless Champion” and over $5000 in Prizes.  The three events featured were the Bridleless trail, pleasure, and musical freestyle.  A gaited horse, an Arabian, a mule, and of course the mustangs were represented in their outstanding performances.  The mule shown by Linda Laird won the Freestyle contest with her perfectly choreographed performance and was Reserve overall Champion in the Bridleless division.

In addition to the competitions, the clinics were fabulous and a truly great educational experience.  In addition to her judging duties, Margo participated in the round table discussion which offered the clinicians and participants a chance to interact on a more personal level.  Margo states “I have never seen such sportsmanship in the competitions.  The comradely and support among the contestants, participants as well as the clinicians was unparallel.  I felt so honored to be amongst the great group of women.”

In addition to a great trade show on Friday evening the vendors featured a “Fashion for Fillies Show” showing the latest in western, hunt seat, and dressage outfits for the show ring.  On Saturday evening the event hosted a “Cowgirl Party Charity Event with dinner, equestrienne performers, great horsey stories and dynamic silent auction for horse charities.

Becky Dunning was the announcer for the event and the Fund Raiser Chairman.  Margo Ball spoke on behalf of the AQHA Professional Horsemen and the Professional Horsemen Crisis Fund.  About $15,000 was raised for the AQHA America’s Horse Cares, AQHA Professional Horseman’s Crisis Fund, Wrangler Tough Enough to wear Pink, and the APHA Foundation.  One of the most touching and memorable stories of the evening came from Janet Titus a finalist in the Supreme Horsewomen Competition and a breast cancer survivor.

All of the top six finalists had wonderful stories about their experiences and their mustangs.  Interestingly enough the “Supreme Horsewoman was won by Corinne Elser on “Dolly” the youngest horse in the competition at three years old.  Wylene Wilson was Reserve Champion on a four year old.  Madelyn Wagner was third on “Handy Hank” an impressive four year old she rode with a serape made out of dozens of ten cans strung together for her freestyle.

Margo said, “This was one of the most incredible, educational, and fun experiences a horsewoman could have and I encourage women of all ages, disciplines, and skill level to participate in this amazing retreat.”  The next retreat is April 3-5, 2009 in Ocala, Florida once again hosted by Lynn Palm and will have a similar format.  Please visit Lynn’s website at www.lynnplam.com for more information.  You may also visit www.ballquarterhorses.com to view more pictures of this event.  It is an impressive collection and you won’t be disappointed.

Photos courtesy of Brooks Photography

Barbara Schulte, Margo Ball, Lynn Palm, Corinne Elser (Supreme Horsewoman)