Strafford Saddlery Sponsored Riders

Ariel Grald rides in Stubben Saddles

Rider Ariel Grald
Formerly of Randolph, VT, now based in Vass, NC at Setters' Run Farm

Ariel grew up around horses and her mother put her on a horse before she could walk. Her family moved to a farm in New Hampshire when she was just a couple years old and she was lucky to be able to care for and ride horses at home. After riding her pony at local hunter/jumper shows, Ariel tried eventing and quickly developed a passion for the sport. She grew up riding at Hitching Post Farm where she was fortunate to gain mileage through the preliminary/one-star level and competed at the 2014 North American Young Riders' Championships. Ariel then went to work for Sue Berrill and brought along her homebred gelding, Practically Perfect. That pair competed through the intermediate level while Ariel began training his half- sister LBF Oleagh's Image "Leah", purchased as a weanling by Ariel's mother, Carol Rittenhouse.

Ariel continued to ride and compete while attending the University of Vermont, focusing on bringing "Leah" along through the levels. Upon graduation, she began a laboratory research job but soon decided to commit to riding and competing full-time in order to achieve her upper-level eventing goals. Shortly after moving to Southern Pines, NC in the winter of 2012, she started working for Annie Eldridge. Along with competing two of her own horses, Ariel was fortunate to train and compete several of Annie's as well. Eventually Ariel also earned the ride on four of Ann Getchell's horses. After winning several intermediate and two-star events and being named to the 2014 USEF Under 25 Developing Riders List, Ariel and Leah moved up to Advanced in the spring of 2015, winning the Carolina International Horse Trials. Since then Ariel has produced several horses to the two-star and Advanced levels, with her eyes set on moving up to the three-star level. Currently, Ariel has an exciting string of horses, thanks to wonderful owners Annie and Ann. In addition to several promising youngsters, she competes Leamore Master Plan and Monbeg Nola at the two-star level and GHF Jonah at Advanced. With a talented string of horses and a supportive group of owners and people behind her, Ariel looks forward to pursuing her goal of competing at the four-star level.

"I love shopping at Stafford Saddlery because the staff truly cares about each individual rider & horse. They take the time to help you find the products you & your horse need!"

Rider Daryl Kinney
Based out of Southern Pines, NC

Daryl Kinney is originally from Michigan, but moved to the east coast to attend college and then started working for Denny Emerson, upon graduation. Daryl attended Johnson & Wales University, graduating with a B.S. in November of 2007. While in college, she rode with, and worked for, Tom and Joan Davis at Flatlands Equestrian Center. While there, Daryl started her teaching career, and was able to become a Massachusetts Certified Riding Instructor. With the education and experience she learned there, she was able to go to Belgium for 3 months to work with Karin Donckers, a top FEI event rider. There, Daryl was able to gain experience riding upper level event horses and grooming at FEI competitions. Upon return from Belgium, Daryl resumed working at Flatlands, while finishing up her degree. In the summer of 2007, Daryl was presented with the opportunity of going to the German National Riding School at the Westphalian State Stud in Warendorf, Germany. Through Johnson & Wales University, Daryl was able to attend the Riding School for her co-op and the completion of her college degree. While at the German Riding School, she was able to ride many of the state stallions and receive lectures from top German vets, judges, and riders.

When Daryl finished her co-op in Germany, she flew back to the U.S. And started working for Denny Emerson. She has spent the last 9 years working and training with him at Tamarack Hill Farm. During this time, Daryl has competed several of Denny's horses, bringing them up through the levels. In 2015, Daryl and longtime partner, Union Station, were able to make the move up to Advanced. Currently, Daryl has a string of Denny's horses competing through the Intermediate level.

Ever since Daryl moved to Vermont, almost 10 years ago, she has relied on Strafford Saddlery for her equestrian needs. "Strafford has everything you could ever need and if they don't have it, they are happy to order it for you. The staff is incredible, all riders first, so they really know the products they are helping you with. It really is the best tack shop around!"

She has also had a ride-changing experience with the Stubben German EZ Control D-ring bit for Cross Country. "The first time I used it was just jumping in the ring, I absolutely loved it! Union was very responsive and was cantering much more up, which allowed me to be softer and release more in the air. At my first event at Plantation, We ended up jumping clean in stadium and cross country. I couldn't have been happier with the bit! Instead of his usually downhill pull in the gallop he was up and light, and I didn't have to pull and fight with him! With the combination of the softer mouth piece and me being able to release more (because he isn't pulling until the last second), he is jumping much rounder over the fences! Thanks Annie for the bit suggestion!"

Rider Anna Loschiavo
Lucky Light Eventing based out of Chase Hollow Farm, Bradford, VT and Ocala, FL

Anna Loschiavo operates Anna Loschiavo Eventing out of Chase Hallow farm which is based in Bradford, VT in the summer and Ocala, FL in the winter. Anna is passionate about the sport of Eventing and committed to helping riders of all levels develop their skills and cultivate their own special equine partnerships. She competes all over the east coast on horses from Beginner Novice to the International levels.

With proper equipment being important at any level Anna is a stickler for making sure horse and rider equipment needs are properly met. Anna says, "A key find for me this year has been my Shires ARMA cross country boots that are light weight, breathable and equipped with high impact protection through ARMORTEX strike pads. They provide the protection my horses need while keeping the tendons as cool as possible. For myself, my boot find has been the beautiful Tredstep Ireland Medici dress boots that are soft and flexible with a beautiful silhouette." Anna loves her Kerrits Riding Apparel as it provides superior cooling technology to give the perfect combination of performance and style. Stübben Saddles have surpassed Anna's expectations in quality and design to provide freedom and comfort for her horses while giving her the connection and balance she needs with her horses. She rides in the Zaria Optimum jump saddle and the Serenity dressage saddle.

"Whether I need new technology therapy care for my horses like the IceVibe boots or horse equipment, saddles, rider apparel, you name it; I can find it all at Strafford Saddlery."

Rider Madison Gallien
Based at Hurricane Hill Farm, Chichester NH

"I am a two star event rider based out of Hurricane Hill Farm in Chichester, NH. I manage the farm, run a training program and compete in Area 1 and down the East Coast. I started riding before I could walk, and shared my family's passion for horses. That translated into a career with horses. Creating good foundations in horses and riders for a safe and harmonious partnership is what drives me as a professional horse person. The reward for that work is being able to display that in competition. Two of my own horses I've brought up through Intermediate/2* level in Eventing. In 2015 I represented Area 1 in the North American Young Rider Championships with Beau Voyageur whom I've completed several other two star events on finishing in the top 20. I brought along my mare Over The Moon from Beginner Novice to Intermediate. I am striving to compete at Advanced with the hopes to sometime run at the three star and four star level. "

Rider Lori Berger
Western Dressage

Calyxa ("Lexi") and I have been together about 10 years. When I purchased her I was looking for a "traditional" (read: "warmblood") type horse to bring along in dressage; I was skeptical about looking at a mixed-breed (Shire/TB/Saddlebred) horse, but when I saw her, I knew I was in BIG trouble. She looked like a living Breyer model, and when I sat on her, she instantly "picked up the phone," my shorthand for a horse that you can literally hear ask you questions about what you want as soon as your butt hits the saddle. She was an unbroke 4 year old, and it was like piloting a drunk Winnebago, but she tried to do everything I asked.....when I got off, I asked the owner if this was typical of their rides so far; she replied, "Oh, no one's ever trotted her before." Lexi kicked butt the first several years I showed her. She is half Saddlebred, and has that "look at me" Saddlebred attitude. She also has a killer work ethic, which was how I knew when something had gone dramatically wrong. About 6 years ago, Lexi had a bad reaction to an intranasal vaccine and developed a sinus infection, which left her with ideopathic headshaking syndrome. A previously confident mare, she became terrified of noise and light and reactive to the tiniest changes in her environment. She stared obsessively a spots in the arena, on the ground; clumps of grass.....The sound of Velcro would cause her to fly backwards in terror. She would fling her head so violently when being ridden that I thought she would fall down. Dr. Lamb tried everything he could think of, but nothing seemed to make a difference. We struggled to master 3rd Level, unsure of which problems were training issues or medical ones. We had a disastrous show season, followed by a winter in which Lexi became increasingly depressed, lethargic, and anorexic. I stopped schooling her, and dragged her to various vets. I began to think of her problem as "horsey migraines," and tried to come up with less stressful approaches that were less likely to create tension. I researched photophobia in horses and found a special UV blocking eye mask (it makes her look like The Fly) that made a HUGE difference in her sensitivity to light. Ultimately, though, I realized that if I wanted to keep her, I needed to radically change my thinking about the training process, and to consider a different job for her. Enter western dressage.

I am a history buff, and teach equine/equestrian history at Vermont Tech, where I have been an adjunct professor for 11 years. I have spent literally hours explaining the common roots of modern equitation, the evolution of the disciplines from the Spanish schools, etc. When I heard about western dressage it made perfect sense to me, and seemed like it might be a lower-stress way to ride Lexi yet continue to build on the dressage foundation we had in place. I began playing around with borrowed tack at the end of summer 2015, and squeezed in 3 shows that resulted in 2 year-end awards from Champlain Valley Schooling Series. We were onto something!

In the last 2 1/2 years I have learned more from this horse than I have at any time in the previous 37+ of riding. She has been CDSS High Score Western and Overall High Score champion for 2 years running, and last year claimed 3 World titles and a Top 10 finish at the Western Dressage Association World Championships in OK. I only wish that I had figured out what really "cranked her tractor" a few years earlier. In addition to my journey with Lexi I have worked as a professional horseman/educator/instructor since 1987; I have an academic background as well as an equestrian one, and have been teaching in Vermont Tech's equine studies program since its inception 11 years ago. I have my own facility in Tunbridge, VT and accept a limited number of seasonal boarders. Dressage and biomechanics are my passion, but I love all things equine and am always interested in broadening my knowledge.

Rider William Jarrell

My name is William Jarrell, and I am 16 years old. I started riding horses when I was 3 years old, and I love it. For the first several years, I thought of horseback riding as a fun hobby, but as I began to appreciate the rewards of developing a partnership with a horse and working together to develop new skills and achieve goals, it became a main focus in my life. I have been fortunate to work with amazing trainers from the beginning of my riding career. Kathryn Cecere, who owns and is the head trainer at Harmony Horse Stables in Littleton, MA, where I ride, gave me a great foundation in both riding skills and horsemanship. She also made sure that I was exposed to and got to work with an amazing array of horse professionals – including Denny Emerson, Michael Page, Mark Russell, Sinead Halpin, Tik Maynard, and Suzi Gornall. I learned a ton from each of them! Working with Tik Maynard, in particular, got me really interested in Natural Horsemanship and ways to incorporate it into performance training. Those experiences really transformed my perspective on my riding, showing me how to deepen my bond with my horse, and use that to achieve new goals.

Tik also introduced me to my upper level horse, Grey Area (aka "Skippy").Skippy is an 11 year old dapple gray Irish Sport Horse. Skippy is a super talented athlete. What makes him a once-in-a-lifetime horse for me, though, is that he is also unusually communicative and expressive. Some people describe him as grumpy because he doesn't love to be groomed and will pin his ears and try to bite you if you annoy him. But he's also incredibly playful and affectionate when he wants to be – even letting me play "catch the tongue" and other silly games. He's equally clear about how he feels about my riding. If he disagrees, for example, with how I ask for a transition in a dressage test, he might toss his head or make a face. If I get it right, however, I get the most gorgeous extended trot around and a clear "Now THAT's what I'm talking about, Human" message. Skippy and I have been a team for just about one year, and in that short time, we have progressed all the way from Novice to the CCI1* level! I am so excited and honored that we have been selected to represent Area 1 at the CCI1* level at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships in Montana in July 2017.

Facebook  Instagram