Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
This is what a white New England Christmas looks like.
Here I am refreshed and revived after a nice night at the Wentworth by the Sea.
Here is Jamie overlooking the 8" of snow that fell during our stay.
My husband and I got away for a few days and went to Maine for Christmas with his family and to have a few days away for our anniversary. We stayed at the Wentworth by the Sea and had a beautiful New England Christmas with tons of snow! We drove up to LL Bean in Freeport to get a few presents and have sushi with our niece, Joann. We met one of Jamie's best friends, Webber and his wife in Portland for drinks and hear stories of Jamie and Webber's exploits. Then we had a big Christmas with Jamie's family and all the nieces and nephews on Saturday. Lots of great food and conversation. We went skiing at Sunday River Ski resort. It was awesome. We skied all day, had a great lunch at the Shipyard Ale House and there was hardly anyone there. (With 130 trails it felt like we were alone!) We figured it would be really busy, so we got to the mountain at 7:30am. We were the first in line for tickets and gear. It was cool to go skiing with the family, Mike, Sue, Lynn, Michael, Sheila, Chris, Alex, Andy, Austin, Colleen, Danny and Katie. I just want to say thank you to Jamie's Mom and Dad for putting everything together and making it a wonderful Christmas for us. Love you and Merry Christmas.
We returned home on Christmas eve to spend Christmas with Tommie, the horses, our doggies, and the girls. (Lori and Giddy) Here is Tommie, trying to guess the present before he opens it.
Merry Christmas! karen
Monday, December 24, 2007
Here is Matt with his brother, Olissio.
Here is the Zoppe family performing at Arabian Nights. Here is Matt and Olissio along with Timi Loyal, Christine Drentwett, Joanne Mintel and other talented bareback riders during our "Extreme Horsemen" shoot.
Here is Matt alongside my brother, Tommie. We will miss you Matt.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Here is my brother, Tommie jumping his roman riding team of Joker and Ace over fire at a show. He has such confidence in his horses. I'm there standing next to the jump. I'm there for safety to set the jump, light the jump, and extinguish the jump. Tommie, Joker and Ace look awesome as ever!
This is the first shot I've ever seen of Tommie during his comedy act, "the Riding Instructor", where it was taken from behind. Tommie parts the tail and enters from under Pokerjoe and in between his legs. A lot of people are amazed by Pokerjoe's quiet stance. It is just very basic horsemanship of de-sensitizing and trust, NOT of bombproofing where the horse is oblivious of what's going on. We want horses to be horses and coherent to the outside world. We want them to "spook", because when they do we want them to look to us for safety and guidance. The trust is developed when we are consistant with the training and teach them to come to us. They learn to look to us for safety instead of running off or knocking us down. We teach a lot of this in our clinics and demos.
Here's a great shot of the arena during the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento. The Saturday Night Showcase was the biggest and most attended show they had ever done. Wayne Williams announced and Jamie, my husband ran the technical aspects of our acts. Hope to find more photos for you. Until then, Ride Fast... Take Chances!
Here is a photo of Tommie and Ace from the Ocala Equine Capitol Horse Expo taken by Steve Priest. Steve has been taking photos of Tommie for about 10 years now.
The Ocala show went very well. We set up our 40x40 tent and had our own "compound" at the Post Time Event Center. Josh and Jana Lyons were there as well. Tommie and Josh did their demos back to back, having lots of fun as well. They remind me of 2 little boys trying to out-do or make the other flub up. They are best friends and had a great time. People say it was the most entertaining demo they had ever seen at an expo. In addition to Tommie and Josh, Matt McLaughlin, Stacey Westfall, Pat and Linda Parelli, and Jimmy Driver were on hand to give really nice educational and entertaining demos. The Dinner in the Dirt was held Friday Night and was exciting as always. Tina puts the audience in the arena and we do the entire show around them. Tommie did his 4 acts, plus Lori skied behind Ceaser and Jon Wearley and I did the Chariot Race. We planned it all down to the wreck at the end. The entire show went off without a hitch. Tina bills it as "extreme" and "dangerous", but don't worry, we know exactly what we are doing. Many many years in the stunt business makes sure that you are prepared. We looked at every position and found the safest way to perform each act. We just make it look dangerous. We would never put our horses lives or other peoples lives in danger for a "show". We are entertainers, not daredevils. Thanks to Tina and Gordon who put on this event for their incredible hospitality. This is our 5th year working with Tina and we love every show we do with her. We are now back in Sterling for much needed rest from the road as we prepare for 2008. Sorry for the being so late in posting. I'll try to add to this more often, now that I'm home.We've got so much going on from the Rocky Mountain Horses, Mustangs, Chariot racing horses, and more! Clinics coming for 2008! Ride Fast... Take Chances! karen
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I wanted to thank our newest sponsors. Extend-a-Cool will be along with Tommie in 2008. We got the crew together and posed for this photo in front of Tommie's new rig for the 2008 Tour through out the US and Canada. Tommie also picked up 3 beautiful Rocky Mountain Horses from Van Bert Farms, KY to start working with. Tommie was looking for a friendly, good looking, and simply ridable horses to have for trail riding and pleasure. These Rocky Mountain Horses will be perfect for this endeavor. We'll track their progress as Tommie gets them ready for riding, liberty, and traveling. We've got lots of new and exciting things lined up for next year as well, so get ready to come by and say hi when we come to your area! Ride Fast... Take Chances! karen
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here is Gaylord with Chief Bear Paw III. Gaylord was an incredible horse trainer. They don't make them like him anymore. Tommie and I learned alot about horses and the business from Gaylord, just being around him and how he kept his eye on his horse, the audience, and could roll with whatever happened. He will certainly be missed but not forgotten. Every time we hit the stage, we will always think of Gaylord Maynard. God Bless. See you on the other side.
Ride Fast... Take Chances. karen
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
We've got lots going on here at the Wahl Equestrian Center with the Haunted Corn Maze, Pumpkin Patch, Barrel Shows, Wahl Winter Series, and with the upcoming tours to Arizona and Florida. Well, gotta run while I can.... Ride Fast... Take Chances!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
We are ready to roll. Tommie will be performing 4 acts, a demo, and a special in the "wild west show." Our interns are having fun too. It's a lot different than Las Vegas that's for sure, but the common bond is the horse. They are truly universal. Gotta sleep. See you tomorrow.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Ride Fast... Take Chances!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Ride Fast... Take Chances!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Thanks to Kay Fellows for the great photos. I was too busy to take photos. Thanks girls for the help and to all the participants I hope this helped you understand your horse and reach a few more goals. Set your horse up for success. Remember, with horses it is not a race, small steps and small victories is what makes success! Ride Fast.. Take Chances!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tommie is in Salt Lake City. He just did a rodeo in Nephi, UT and said the rodeo was great and the commitee was awesome. He said they treated him like one of the family. When your on the road for a long time it is nice to be around friendly and accommodating people. As you might know Tommie loves to skydive. At the Folsom rodeo a guy landed in the middle of the rodeo. His name is Mark Schlatter. Tommie had to meet this guy, so he went over to talk to him. I thought Tommie has a lot of jumps with 125, but this guy has like 6000+ jumps. That is amazing. Tommie sent me some photos. He swooped in with this big american flag as you can see in the photo. Tommie was very impressed.
Tommie heads back to California next week for more rodeos with Flying U, then it's back here to the Wahl Equestrian Center for a show on August 25th. Come see us have fun and welcome Tommie back home. Ride Fast... Take Chances!
Saturday, July 07, 2007
The first is our zebra. I call her Popsi. She is less than a year old and is really adorable. She may look like a horse, but has a very different personality and disposition. We are hoping to work with her and make her one of the family. Here is a picture of Jesse and our zebra.
Here is our intern from Australia, Giddy. When she was here she took care of the Sherman, our visiting kangaroo. He was born in the US and has been hand raised. He is less than a year old also. He is a very interesting character who loves carrots. We are learning a lot from him too. I want to thank Kay Fellows for the great photos.
I'm getting ready for our upcoming show tomorrow with the Whiteside County Mounted Patrol. It is a Horse show with all types of classes. Then we have our clinic on July 21 and 22. I'll be working with people to help them gain confidence and learn how to get over spooky obstacles. We'll be working in a safe environment and I'll get to see first hand any problems the horse and rider may have and help fix it. In my experience, it is usually just a few little steps you need to take to get over the "hump" or fear. Once you achieve this, you will be on your way to enjoying the summer riding and having fun with your horse. Ride fast... Take Chances! karen
Monday, July 02, 2007
When Tommie got back from Australia, he didn't waste any time. After flying for over 20 hours and getting home at 1am, we were loaded up and headed to Sacramento at 6am. Tommie was booked for the expo to do demos and to show them the excitement which can be created with a night show of top notch entertainment. Tommie and I did a little teaser on Friday night during the Mangificent 7 show, which was a competition with reining horses and cutting cattle. Come Saturday Night it was a full house! The line to get into the show was wrapped around the fairgrounds as people came to see the show. Our show went perfect. Tommie and Pokerjoe was the hit of the show. They even had a Jumbotron TV to show everything up close and personal. It was a madhouse after too. Everyone lined up to get Tommie's autograph and a photo. We had a bunch of videos and shirts for sale and Tommie stayed until he signed and talked to every last person in line. It was a fantastic turn out and show of support. Tommie and I grew up around these parts, so we love to come back here. Thanks again to Miki and the crew for all their help. What a great show. We'll see you next year!Here are photos of Tommis during one of his demonstrations with Joker, the 2006 Breyerfest Breyer Model Horse. Tommie talking with Linda Parelli during the expo. NOTE: People email and ask me "what is the WAHL on Tommie's shirts?" Well, it is non-other than the best grooming clipper company in the world. It is WAHL Clippers. Their corporate headquarters are in Sterling, IL and we reside and manage the WAHL Equestrian Center in Sterling. They are a corporate sponsor of Tommie and our facility. They are the best clippers I have found. The new Switchblades are my favorite. They cut through everything on our horses and stay nice and cool and quiet! I hope that answers a few questions. Though, someone thought it was a Radio Station WAHL fm. Thanks for the emails and comments. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ride Fast... Take Chances! karen
My parents and sister are almost at the facility. They are 90 miles away. They are driving up from Orlando for the summer and they are bringing my favorite horse, Dolly. She is retired now, but she was my trick riding horse at Arabian Nights in Orlando. She was born in 1982 and worked at Baseball and Boardwalk before she was bought by Arabian Nights in 1988. She performed every night for 15 years until her retirement from showbiz, which was in 2002. My parents took her in and have been letting her live her life just being a horse. They have taken her to events like the Mardi Gras at Universal Studios and have ridden her in many parades. She loves to work and be with people, but she also has earned her time to sit and eat grass all day in a pasture. What keeps a horse going is having a job and Dolly is a prime example of a horse doing something she loved to do. We don't want her to over do herself now, so we limit her "performing" time, but she just brightens up when ever she gets in front of a crowd. To me she is a star in her own right. She is a true performer. I can't wait to see her. Below is a photo of Dolly and Kim Cincotta, who also an amazing performer at Arabian Nights. Here is me and Dolly after the show. I would do alot of trick riding on her and really get her going, so after the show I made sure I took good care of her. They used our photo during Breyerfest for the card and we are also featured by Brandy Parfum. Fred Pignon (of Cavalia)also did a wonderful drawing of me and her in action that I cherish. I've got lots of carrots for her too when she gets here. Welcome Dolly! Ride Fast... Take Chances! karen
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Pokerjoe and me getting the lighting and sound ready. then Larry joins in to set the shot.Pokerjoe and Larry nuzzling each other.
Larry and Joe take direction from the director on how to play the scene.
Larry nuzzles with Pokerjoe (or his movie name: "Buttercup")
Here is a full shot with the sound and lighting crew, while Larry takes the saddle off of Pokerjoe.
It was a lot of fun and lots of time on the set. We shoot more in June. Ride Fast... Take Chances!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This is me roman riding during the roman poste. I race the other 2 guys (Eric Martonivich and Ricky Suarez) and then Eric gives me the lines to his team and I race around the stage and jump them over a 3' high jump. Bandit and Hollywood are my team. They were so awesome. Bandit was the bad boy and Holly was the sweatheart. It was a lot of work training them. I'll have to put some video on Youtube of the training it took to open Cavalia.
Here is the trick riding portion. You can tell its me by my call. When you hit the stage it was like a bolt of lighting hitting you.
Here is video of me teaching roman riding during Cavalia. It takes a lot of balance, not mention confidence and control to keep the horses going where they are supposed to go. This is lots of fun. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9-03V1xf-s
To answer a few questions, I was with Cavalia from the start in Shawinigan, Canada. I was the Quarter Horse trainer and helped set up the Roman Poste, Voltige en Round and Trick Riding. I brought Ricky Suarez, a friend and fellow equestrian up to Cavalia with me (at the time the show was tentatively called "Voltige".) to train horses. After a month of starting horses we moved to an ice hockey rink in Shawinigan where we practiced as the built the tent and set up the technical aspects of the show. The cast arrived and we started building the show. It was an incredible experience working with Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado. I had worked with them at Arabian Nights in Orlando and this project was a massive undertaking. In August we performed our first shows and them hit the road. We opened in Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco, Glendale CA, Seattle, Berkley, San Diego, and Santa Monica. After 300 plus shows I left to pursue what I am doing now. As you can see, things haven't slowed down a bit! Tommie is on his way to Australia for a show, I am working horses in a movie tomorrow with Larry the Cable Guy, we are hosting a Jr. Rodeo at our facility this weekend, and I just started training this beautiful Friesan horse named Eve. Good thing it's a slow week. Well, gotta prepare for the shoot tomorrow. Keep the questions coming. I'd love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com. Ride Fast... Take Chances! karen
Monday, May 21, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Here is Tommie with one of our interns, Holly. She helped Tommie lay down Ace in the demo. Our interns were an integral part of the show. They make sure all the props are set and help keep us moving forward. Thanks Holly and Cambria! I'll have more photos of Lynn Palm and Stacey Westfall driving our Chariots during Tommie's demo in a few days too. That was a lot of fun! Lynn rode with me and she did really good.
Tommie takes time to meet and talk to everyone at the expos. He will stay after the shows and sign autographs until everyone is gone. Some nights we are there for hours waiting for Tommie, but he wouldn't do it any other way. "If people are willing to wait just to say hi or shake my hand, I will stay as long as it takes. It is my way of saying thank you to them for their support." He really does appreciate the fans and supporters. That is what being in entertainment is all about. Without the fans you are just an exhibitor. Thanks a millions Syracuse! See you next year. Ride Fast.. Take Chances! karen