2019 Officers and Board Members
San Hunsaker Bluholeranch@yahoo.com
Resides in: Walterville, Oregon
Horses: Missy (Sheza Foxy Dixon) is a 27 yr old Paint. She is a lovely lady that is retired to the position of herd boss. Dune (Dun N Style) is a 12 year old brown dun Quarter Horse gelding with cool zebra stripes on his legs. Mr. T (Fabs Tyza Titow) is an 11 year old light colored red dun Quarter Horse gelding. I call T my square horse as he is heavy muscled with a short neck but such a sweet face. My geldings are good trail horses and both have been through the Bill Ritchie Police Academy De-Spook clinics. They will both walk over fire and escort a police car with lights & sirens.
Why I ride Cowboy Dressage: I think Cowboy Dressage is perfect for me. I do not come from a show background. The only showing I have ever done was 4-H steers. This is a perfect arena to improve my horsemanship and the partnership with my horses. I love that it is open and welcoming to all ages and experience. The tests give me a measure to check my own progress with soft feel and partnership being a big part of the score.
Additional Tidbits: I rode in a number of clinics with John and Josh Lyons and went through the Josh Lyons Accreditation Program. I’ve had horses most of my life but working with the Lyon’s group started me on a journey to keep improving my horsemanship. I work as a private instructor out of my barn with good horsemanship from the ground up as my focus. I have worked a lot with middle aged riders that are mostly trail riders and are having problems or struggle with confidence. A lot have been hurt in the past. It is very rewarding to see leadership, confidence and harmony return. They can go on to do anything they want.
Catherine (Kit) Thienes
Resides in: Walterville, Oregon
Horses: Lily, is a 12 year old quarter horse, she is a very strong, dependable partner. She is excellent with children and is very willing to play. Kohanna is a 15 year old Kieger Mustang. Her name is Sioux, meaning Swift. Kohanna definitely lives up to that name in her sensitivity and athleticism. I have had the honor of starting both of these horses and we have learned a great deal from one another. My horses have taught me that horsemanship includes consistency, balance, and persistence. Which flows into every aspect of our lives. Lily and Kohanna are certified in Basic Mounted Posse Rescue. They are gaining great strides in their Cowboy Dressage and continue to keep me on my toes with their training.
Why I ride Cowboy Dressage: I fell upon Cowboy Dressage through the interest of my dear friend San Hunsaker. I audited a few clinics and really enjoyed what I saw. I was looking for a way to improve my skills and communication with my horses, as well as increase their training. In auditing the clinics, I met welcoming people. I saw respect for quality horsemanship over awards. I saw achievable patterns for someone with zero show experience and an environment that supported learning and growth for the rider and horse. With each Cowboy Dressage Gathering I have participated in, I continue to be amazed at the outpouring of support, friendship, and encouragement that this club demonstrates. This literally flows from co-riders, to support staff, to judges. I continue to learn with each experience, and come away feeling very inspired, looking forward to the next Gathering.
Additional Tidbits: I live in the Eugene area. San Hunsaker and I travel to the Molina area each month to participate in the Cowboy Dressage board meetings. It’s pleasing to have a chance to participate in bringing this experience to more people. I greatly encourage anyone who is unsure, to audit a clinic or watch a Gathering. I do not have any show background, and have done only little more than back yard trail riding. I knew I wanted improved communication with my horses and improved riding skills. I knew I wanted to keep busy during the winter months where trail riding wasn’t possible. I also needed something affordable. This venue is the perfect combination of those things. I look forward to more youth being exposed to this venue, as it is the perfect positive environment for horse and rider.
Resides in: Leaburg, Oregon
Horses: Butch is a 15 year old Polish Arabian gelding, who I have owned for 11 years. He is my only horse. He and I have been a team who have learned much about each other over the years. At 4/12 years when I first got him, he was green and I was wanting to learn how to go about continuing his training and mine in a safe and take your time way and build confidence in both of us. Being my only mount Butch gets to take me down the trail, around the pasture, play with cows occasionally, work in arena settings and he has met all those challenges. Some easier than others. I owe a lot to San Hunsaker, of BluHoleRanch horse training. I started working with San several years ago and with her guidance and support Butch and I have become a better team. So much that we went through the Bill Richey Police Academy De-Spook Clinic for 3 days. Butch with little hesitation walked through fire, smoke bombs, sirens blaring and police dog barks, plus all the other horses there and their reactions So on days when riding something new may be challenging to us both, I remind us that we walked through fire.
Why I ride Cowboy Dressage: At one of my lessons with San Hunsaker, she told me about going to audit a cowboy dressage event and how much she liked it. I thought it sounded like a good fit for me also. Learning better horsemanship, connection and wanting to try something new with my gelding I was excited to give it a try. My first Cowboy Dressage Gathering was in 2015. I had never shown in a horse show before, so I did not know what to expect of my horse or myself. But I had been given tools to use while practicing cowboy dressage with my friends. Plus having my riding friends there who also were starting on this new CD adventure and having a riding friend being the test caller there I was nervously excited to enter the ring. Dee Meyers was the judge for this first time ride. Butch and I rode 2 tests that day. We did it. The judges comments were both supportive and informative to help us to improve our rides for the next gathering. Since that time I have worked with a few Cowboy Dressage Clinicians which was so very helpful. I have gone to several more CD Gatherings and each time it gets a little better. The support from all the other riders and volunteers and judges at the gatherings makes it such a pleasure to be there. I learn so much by watching others ride too, as we are all on the same journey.
Additional Tidbits: I was born with the horse gene, like so many others I know. I really just trail rode, and tried a little gymkhana when I was a teenager. I finally got my very own horse when I was 12 years old. I have had a horse ever since. I have had a couple injuries over the years from falls. I now like that I have learned to have a better connection with the horse I ride and have learned so much about how to be a rider, not just a passenger. Cowboy Dressage has tests I like to ride, I can pick one and then move on to the next as my horse and I feel ready. CD is open to all ages and abilities, I hope more riders will come and try something new like I did.
Resides in: Leaburg, Oregon
Horses/Mules: My equine partner for the past 8 years is a big mule out of a Thoroughbred mare and Mammoth jack named GUS. I have had horses all my life and he is my first mule. Gus has taught me to be a bertter rider, to be humble and realize what I thought I knew about riding (and I apparently had an over inflated opinion of what I knew) amounted to nothing! So our journey began…Lynda Edwards, my riding partner and friend for 35 years, told me about a wonderful trainer she was going to not far from where we lived. The trainer was San Hunsaker @ Bluhole Ranch. Gus and I started riding with her and she quickly became a great friend as well. Under San’s guidance Gus and I have sorted cows, worked on trail obstacles and gone through the police academy de spooking clinic which was sensory overload for all involved.
Why I ride Cowboy Dressage: I was told by San Hunsaker about a riding group that was so friendly and supportive and above all fun to be with. She and a mutual friend, Kit Thienes, had been auditing and going to a few clinics and were very excited about what they saw. So Gus and I tagged along and what we experienced was the most welcoming, supportive and loving group of people I have ever experienced in the horse world. We were hooked! We could show and receive encouragement and support and learn from all the other riders. I treasure the friendships I have made in this journey.
Additional Tidbits: I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 43 years and we have 2 daughters and are also grandparents of 2 boys and a newborn girl. Horses were a family event for us. My husband realized very soon that having 2 girls meant more horses, pack trips, 4-H, trail rides and any event they could use a horse for they did.
As for me, I got my first horse when I was 8 and not having a saddle I did everything bareback. When I was 11 I got a saddle and did 4-H for a couple of years. As the years went by horses were always part of my life. Trail riding, schooling shows, showing my Morgan in driving classes and the event I loved the most was team penning, which I did for several years. Now I am learning how to ride, who knew there was so much to it, but the more I learn the more I realize how much I do not know. So I will be spending the rest of my life learning, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than with the Cowboy Dressage family.
General Board Member/Volunteer Coordinator
Resides in: Salem, Oregon
Horses: I was born and raised in northern Illinois. My passion for horses began at an early age. Fortunate enough to get a horse of my own when I was 10, I joined 4-H and began my horsemanship journey. When I was 12 I bought a 2 year old registered Morgan with my own money (and the generosity of a very kind breeder). I trained and showed him to multiple championships in 4-H and open shows both English and Western. Unfortunately, college called, and my partner and I had to go separate ways.
Why I ride Cowboy Dressage: Horsemanship is my passion, and I take it seriously. I am humbled and honored that these magnificent creatures allow us to participate in their lives. I am drawn to Cowboy Dressage because it honors the horse and all equines. The emphasis on partnership and soft feel is the kind of horsemanship I seek. I participated in my first CD Gathering last year, 2018. What a terrific supportive community.
Additional tidbits: My husband, Jerry, and I moved to Salem, Oregon, in 1979 with a Morgan mare. Soon we added a Morgan gelding. Jerry and I participated in a few Morgan shows, but whenever we could, were out on the trails exploring our beautiful state.
My current partner, Rohan Yulmath (Yul; yes, another Morgan) are looking forward to meeting many of you soon and seeing old friends again.
General Board Member
Lives in: Lake Oswego, Oregon
Tell us about your horse: 16yr old Paint gelding named “Cool-Man” that Thomas says is “as sweet as they come.” Cool-Man & Thomas ride Western & Cowboy Dressage along with participating in Civil War reenactments & the North Western Calvary Group.
Additional Tidbits: Thomas is retired from the Air Force and thoroughly enjoys history.
General Board Member
Resides in: Creswell, Oregon
Horses: Katie (Miss Quincy’s Reward) is a 15 year old APHA. This mare is awesome. She’s taught me a lot about myself as well as nutrition. I discovered shortly after purchasing her that she is PSSM. Managing her comfort is a work in progress. Her biggest asset is her heart. She tries so hard and is super patient. Sequoia (Sequoia Ben’s Miracle) is my beautiful 18 year old AQHA gelding. He has a heart of gold and the funniest personality. We’ve done so much with him. Our daughter used him for gaming, drill and some team penning a few years during OHSET. But most of all he is an amazing drill horse. We take both of our horses camping and trail riding and they love getting out as much as I do.
Why I ride Cowboy Dressage: After years of focusing on our daughter showing it was my turn to get back into riding more and maybe competing. I learned of Cowboy Dressage through San Hunsaker. I immediately was intrigued. I love the soft feel. I love how it can be the foundation for all disciplines. The community has been and is so welcoming and open.
Additional tidbits: I’ve had a horse in my life since I was 2 years old. My first was a Mini I named My Size. My grandpa purchased me a pony for my 9th birthday and her name was Windy. That’s when I really started riding. About the time I was 10 my mother purchased my heart horse. She was purchased along with her dam and sire at 6 weeks old and I named her Cherish. I had her up until March of 2017 when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 35 years of age. We did lots of trail riding, 4-H and in her late 20’s she learned team penning and gaming. She raised me, our daughter and I am grateful she got to spend some time with our granddaughter. I think my favorite thing we did was when she was about 25 years old we won our first trail competition. I was so proud of her.
I really enjoy making mohair cinches, leather work, trail riding and camping. My husband and I do a lot of DIY on our property. We are constantly building, fixing and redoing. It’s been super gratifying.