Author Archive

Gulf Wars XX – 3/13/11-3/20/11

January 11th, 2011 Comments off

Baron Conal on Chappy

CAID is not a principal kingdom at Gulf Wars.

For more information on Gulf Wars equestrian activities please visit

King’s Arrow Ranch in Mississippi

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Darach Rider Champions Veterans

October 26th, 2010 Comments off

Congratulations to Lady Tedi with her latest new feature regarding her work with veterans. The original story can be found at:

Horses provide therapy for veterans
By Justin Cowles

September 3, 2010

A Moorpark equine specialist is using horses to help returning veterans who suffer from severe battle-related stress.

Tedi Tate, owner of two horses used for psychotherapy, helps veterans and their families at the Swan Hill Ranch in Moorpark. Her program is called the Caballine Alliance.

Tate said the way the two horses relate will affect patients differently.

“There is a very clear dominance pattern between the two horses,” Tate said. “For some people, that (pattern) will remind them of a relationship in their life very quickly. The relationships between the horses and the activities that the horses demonstrate will bring up different things for people.”

The most common problem for soldiers returning from war is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This anxiety disorder can develop from exposure to severe psychological events, like the constant threat of death.

Tate talked about an instance where a young paramedic almost made a life-threatening error, which caused him to freeze up during his training.

“We had the young paramedic come out and do a field exam on my thoroughbred,” Tate said. “The horse tolerated it very well. At first, the young paramedic was very nervous, but it worked out. This unusual approach helped him get unstuck. He has completed (his training) and is now on the job.”

During each session with the horses, an equine specialist and a psychotherapist are present. In Moorpark, Tate teams up with Barbara Levine, who’s been an equine-assisted psychotherapist for six years and has a private practice. She said patients in that type of therapy progress further and faster than with traditional techniques.

“(There is) a huge difference,” Levine said. “Typically, in an office, people come with a lot of defenses and it can take maybe months to get to the meat of an issue. I have often found that what I can see happen in the arena can be profound and happen more quickly than what can happen in the office.”

The equine-assisted therapy program is used alongside traditional office therapy. Patients use the horses to complete activities, which give the patients insight into their problems. As an adjunct to traditional therapy, the equine assistance aims to create self-produced results.

“We try to avoid pointing things out,” Tate said. “People do have the answers to their own problems; it’s just often buried under a lot of defense mechanisms. This type of therapy has a very blame-free way of doing that. To set up exercises where they can find their own answers works beautifully.”

For more information, visit home.html

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Darach Rider Featured in Local News

October 26th, 2010 Comments off

Congratulations to Lady Stacy on her recent news feature. The original story can be found at

Taking the Medieval World by Storm
By: Cynthia Shaheen
October 25, 2010

Moorpark horse trainer Stacy Tanner and her equine partner are a winning team in Middle Ages re-enactments.

Wielding sword and shield, the brave knight of the medieval era charged headlong into fierce battles atop his mighty war horse. This heavily armored duo drew upon experience gained from intense training practices, or games, designed to increase horsemanship and combat skills.

Today these games live on for medieval re-enactment enthusiasts such as Stacy Tanner, horse trainer at Moorpark’s Swanhill Farms.

“I’ve just always had a fascination for the era,” said Tanner, who blends her natural horsemanship training techniques with fast-paced sword wielding, jousting and lancing.

Since 1996 Tanner and her equine partner, Storm, have been winning top honors at medieval re-enactment events held across California.

“Storm was just six months under saddle when I took him to his first event,” she recalled. “Two months later we won our first event and have since continued to win nearly every event we enter.”

The events Tanner and Storm participate in are organized by the Society for Creative Anachronism Inc., an international organization with more than 30,000 members “dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe,” according to its website. The group offers members authentic tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing and various classes and workshops based on Middle Ages practices.

The Society’s regional groups are divided into “kingdoms” with the Kingdom of Caid covering Southern California, Southern Nevada and Hawaii. Within the kingdom, smaller groups form such as Tanner’s Ventura County chapter dubbed the Shire of Darache. Equestrian members of the shire meet every other Friday night at the Waverly Arena in Thousand Oaks to hone their skills.

“Practicing the knight’s combat games improves our horsemanship, while increasing agility and focus,” Tanner said.

“Trust between horse and rider are essential,” and often tested by devices such as the quintain, a jousting target that rotates when struck with the lance as the horse and rider charge past, she said.

Various games do the same. One such game is reeds, which involves an alternating course of posts with wooden dowels of different lengths affixed on top with velcro. The horse charges down the center of the course while the rider swings his or her sword from side to side, attempting to knock off the dowels.

Training a horse for these types of activities requires a great deal of patience and consistency.

“I start horses, I don’t ‘break’ them,” explained Tanner.

She employs the partnership method of training, starting on the ground and building a relationship of respect between horse and rider. And she does not believe in using aids to get there.

“Bits, spurs and whips only seek to break a horse’s will and undermine trust. I spend a lot of time fixing past damage from these aids, and rehabilitating horses who’ve been abused by them,” said Tanner.

She also works with horses rescued from inhumane care and trauma.

While desensitizing horses is a specialty of Tanner’s, a great deal of her work consists of building confidence in riders.

“I work with a wide variety of people who want, or need, to build their horsemanship skills,” she said.

One group in particular, actors and actresses, can take advantage of Tanner’s Hollywood for Horses educational program designed to enhance an actor’s resume with equine experience.

Tanner offers a variety of programs for riders of all levels. Additional information and insight into her training philosophy can be found on her website. To learn more about Storm and his many accomplishments with the Society for Creative Anachronism, read his Wiki page.

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Calafia Equestrian Championship – 2/5/2011

June 21st, 2010 Comments off

Calafia’s premier baronial equestrian championship was a success.

Autocratted by Tierrynna & Reina, the event was held on Saturday, February 5, 2011. (An earlier date was rained out.)

A crowd of around 40 people gathered at the El Capitan Equestrian Center on Willow Road in Lakeside, CA, to witness the event.

Participants enjoyed a beautiful day complete with a delicious breakfast and lunch, some fantastic riding, and great weather. The final round was a 3 way ride between Gabriel MacMahan on
Falcon, Lyssa on Spirit and DeAnna on Andy.  After a challenging and technical course was run between our finalists, Gabriel MacMahon emerged as Calafia’s premier champion, with Lyssa as our reserve champion.


Thank you to Ariadne do Glevo for the gorgeous saddle blanket for our
new champion and to Dame Arabella da Siena for bringing down gear and loaning the beginning set to the Barony.

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Altavia Equestrian Practice Cancelled on 10/1/2009

October 2nd, 2009 Comments off

Please note that this week’s Altavia Equestrian practice in Thousand Oaks has been cancelled due to the untimely death of our member Kolfinna to illness. We extend our heartfelt thanks to her for all that she did for us for achiving kingdom and society level recognition of our equestrian sport and in donating so much time and effort to our website and publicity. We’ll miss your smile.

Thousand Oaks practices will resume Friday October 16, 2009 from 6:30 PM-9:30 PM.

Kolfinna at the Spring 2009 Queen's Equestrian Championship

Kolfinna at the Spring 2009 Queen's Equestrian Championship

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