- About WHOA!
- What We Are Doing
- Day of the Horse
- Woodside is Horse Country
Reining is a western riding competition for horses where the riders guide the horses through a precise pattern of circles, spins, and stops.
It is often described as a Western form of dressage riding, as it requires the horse to be responsive and in tune with its rider, whose aids should not be easily seen, and judges the horse on its ability to perform a set pattern of movements. The horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. A horse that pins his ears, conveying a threat to his rider, refuses to go forward, runs sideways, bounces his rear, wrings his tail in irritation or displays an overall poor attitude is not being guided willingly, and is judged accordingly.
Thoroughbred Horse racing is a sport that has been practiced over the centuries; the chariot races of Roman times are an early example, as is the contest of the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. It is inextricably associated with gambling. The common sobriquet for Thoroughbred horse racing is The Sport of Kings.
Show jumping, also known as "stadium jumping" or "jumpers," is a member of a family of English riding equestrian events that also includes dressage, eventing, hunters and equitation. Jumping classes are commonly seen at horse shows throughout the world, including the Olympics. The rules of stadium jumping are very simple - leave the fences up! What makes the test difficult, are the height, width, and combinations of the fences coupled with speed. Horses must be extreme athletes with stamina, scope, and intelligence. The partnership with the rider must be one of trust on both parts.
Hunters should display the manners and qualities best suited for a ride to the hounds. A Hunter course is designed to simulate stonewalls, hedges, post and rail fences, and other obstacles found in the hunting field. The horse should be attractive with correct and proportional conformation. Horses are perfectly turned out with their manes and tails braided. The horse’s movement is an important part of the presentation. He should move freely with little action or bending of the knees, be light and graceful across the ground, and look relaxed with a long, low neck, ears forward and alert.
Judging a Hunter begins the moment the horse and rider enter the ring and continues until they leave. This is his “ round.” During a horse’s opening circle the judges get their first look at the horse. The original turnout is very important.
Dressage is a path and destination of competitive horse training, with competitions held at all levels from amateur to the Olympics. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, it can smoothly respond to a skilled rider's minimal aids by performing the requested movement while remaining relaxed and appearing effortless.
Although the discipline has ancient roots, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit in the West during the Renaissance. The great European riding masters of that period developed a sequential training system that has changed little since then. Classical dressage is still considered the basis of trained modern dressage.
It is an event which comprises dressage, cross-country and show-jumping.
This event has its roots as a comprehensive cavalry test requiring mastery of several types of riding. It has three main formats, the one day event (ODE), two day event and the three day event (3DE). The sport was once referred to as "Militaire", and there is such a format that riders complete all three events in one day, called a "horse trial".
Cutting is an equestrian event in the western riding style where a horse and rider are judged on their ability to separate a single animal away from a cattle herd and keep it away for a short period of time.
The sport originated from cattle ranches in the American West, where it was the cutting horse's job to separate cattle from the herd for vaccinating, castrating, and sorting. Eventually competitions arose between the best cutting horses and riders in the area. Rules were added, and in 1946 the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) was formed, which today is the governing body of the sport.
Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a clover-leaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time. Though both boys and girls compete at the youth level and men compete in some amateur venues, in collegiate and professional ranks, it is primarily a rodeo event for women. It combines the horse's athletic ability and the horsemanship skills of a rider in order to safely and successfully maneuver a horse through a clover leaf pattern around three barrels (typically three fifty-five gallon metal or plastic drums) placed in a triangle in the center of an arena.
Barrel racing originally developed as an event for women. While the men roped or rode bulls and broncs, the women barrel raced. Not much is known about the exact dates and details of barrel racing developments. It is believed that Barrel Racing first saw competitive light in the state of Texas.
For general donations or Day of the Horse sponsorship you may process the payment online through the Woodside Community Foundation - the fiscal umbrella for WHOA!
(for Day of the Horse sponsorship, please put "DOTH" in the message field on the form)
WHOA!'s pinup of the year, head trainer Daniel Zilla and Conti, one of the Holsteiner breeding stallions of Branscomb Farm. On 74 coastal acres near Woodside, Branscomb Farm offers pasture-raised and carefully started young horses of the finest German bloodlines as well as young horse training, boarding and equine repro services.
Many boarding opportunities exist, ranging from small private facilities to larger and public options.