Archive for July, 2009

Rena had her first lesson with Kim Barone at Raven Ridge Farm. She looked great in her Ariat duds!  It was a  DSC_0139phenomenal summer day to be outside enjoying the view from the outdoor arena. Cain was a sweetheart as always. Thanks to Anne Healy for lending him to Rena for Ariat Jumping with the Stars! Thanks to Kate Leis and Mary Laurie for demonstrating how it is done!
By the end of the lesson Rena was trotting down the longside on the correct diagonal! Yeah! Afterwards Kim introduced Rena to some of this year’s babies, including Astin’s (Dixie Chick) baby, Woodrow. What a cutie pie.

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DSC_0008-4web On Wednesday, the 21st of July, Rachel had her first lesson at Alpine Farms with trainer, Sue Kyllonen.DSC_0018 She looked great in her well-fitting Ariat boots, breeches, polo and Troxel helmet. Stanley, the horse Rachel will ride in Ariat Jumping with the Stars! had thrown a shoe. Many thanks to Julie Schlossberg who offered her quiet, young quarter horse, Gesture. Rachel used to ride quarter horses more than twenty years ago. Gesture has that familiar sweet quarter horse temperament. Sue put Rachel through her paces. She had a great lesson, remembered how to post on the correct diagonal and demonstrated a lovely posture and leg. Rachel is one to watch!


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On Wednesday, July 15th Matt Blair was the first of the “Ariat Jumping with the Stars” celebrities to take DSC_0089the plunge and take his first lesson with trainer, Heather Parish at Spring Meadow Farm. It was a gorgeous day.  Mary Jo Cody, Spring Meadow Farm owner and MHHS committee member was on hand providing the most gracious hospitality. Heather grew up with MHHS. Her parents ran the show for many years.

DSC_0026Matt is an amazing athlete and looked fantastic in his new Ariat breeches, polo, boots and 1/2 chaps. He finished his first lesson posting and steering with the most incredible posture and soft hand. He had a huge smile on his face and kept asking, “When can we jump?” Afterwards, Matt watched intently as Alyssa Franz took a jumping lesson from Heather. Matt could really be good at this! Look out you other stars! Special thanks to Laura Jeanne Critchett for the use of her wonderful horse, Rolly. DSC_0131

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Rusty meet Barney. Barney meet Rusty.

Rusty meet Barney. Barney meet Rusty.

What's wrong with this picture?

What's wrong with this picture?

7/23/09 10:30 am; Wild Oak Farm, Delano, MN. Rusty Gatenby came to Wild Oak Farm this morning for his first riding lesson with Gail Nederostek. He brought along a film crew and after some interviews with Brad Thorsen, executive director We Can Ride, and Gail, he proceeded to take a lesson. Beginning on the lunge line, Gail quickly had him in the correct position, and it was only a matter of minutes before we was off the lunge line and walking around the arena. Next came trotting. He first sat the trot, then began to post. He very quickly got the hang the of the rhythm and soon was cruising around the arena!

We know that the trainers are already comparing notes about how their students are progressing, and the competition is already heating up! The Ariat Jumping with the Stars! celebrity event is sure to be blast!

So far, Matt Blair has had two lessons, Rachel Blount has had one, and Rusty has had one. Rena will have her first lesson tomorrow (7/24) and Bill Keller will have his first next week.


NOTE: KSTP TV will air the first segment of Rusty’s interview on Monday, 7/27, between 5 and 9 am on channel 5; and between 7 and 9 on channel 45. Also check out KSTP.com. They’ll post the segment there as well. Once we get a copy of it, we’ll post it on the MHHS website

(www.minnesotaharvesthorseshow.com) and on our Facebook group

(www.facebook.com or our Fan page). Stay tuned!!  DSC_0325

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Ariat jumping with the Stars! is off and running. Here is the lineup:


Kim Barone and Rena Sarigianopoulos from KARE 11


Renee Lenkart and Bill Keller from KMSP Fox 9


Sue Kyllonen and Rachel Blount from the Star Tribune


Gail Nederostek and Rusty Gatenby from KSTP TV News


Heather Parish and Matt Blair, former Minnesota Viking

Blair took his very first riding lesson yesterday, Thursday, 7/16. As a former Minnesota Viking, Matt is not your average rider. We found a gentle giant of a horse for him, 17+ hands. And thanks to Ariat and Troxel, he is suitably outfitted for the lesson. From the moment he swung his leg over the horse, it was clear that Matt was no ordinary student. After only 15 minutes on the longe line, he was ready to go solo. Within the first lesson he learned how to steer, stop and post – no small feat for an adult beginner!
Matt has a great personality and is so game. He kept asking when he was going to get to jump!

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