"The Clarity Herd": Our Foundation Members

Here it is...finally.
The history, in photos and words, of our foundation members.
I will not be updating this page any more, as I already have too much on my plate.
But, I know that there is enough material here, to give you an excellent and exhaustive review, of our foundation members.
All the best to you and yours, Clare
PS.  The order of horses and riders is completely random.

I know it might appear that our group of sale & barn horses has gotten smaller, but, the fact is...our group has gotten bigger!

Many sale horses, CPHS buyers, and Clarity Performance Horses students and horses in training have become 'forever' horses and clients/students!

Therefore, I started a new page titled:  "The Clarity Herd": Our 'forever' horses and humans.

Within, I describe each horse & human, with photos and videos.
Feel free to join our wonderful, delightful, charming, sweet and fun, 'herd'!
These members include, but are not limited to:
***Proud members of the Clarity Herd!***

Our Foundation Members

Bill & Sequoia-Updated August, 2014
Ames & all-Up now
Mary, Elaine, Apollo, Dolce & Cody-Updated September 2014
Peggy & Dusty-Updated August, 2014
Whitney & Dom-Updated August, 2014
Dana & Dolce-Up now
Hailey & all-Up now
Tyler & all-Updated September 2014
Kat & Tinsel-Updated September 2014
Our Professionals:

Adam of Dunaway Farrier Service
Artaurus Veterinary Services
Alisha Robinson Transportation/Annie Zurth
Dr. Carrie of Circle Oak Equine
Dr Steve Wood of Pacific Coast Veterinary Services
Our members:


And you all know all about me, Clare, currently 'more horse than human'.

To all the rest of you out there.

You have always been there for me:  loyal, faithful, supportive,  full of encouragement, and trust.

You, and your horses, are all the backbone of "The Clarity Herd".

My eternal thanks and gratitude.


***Sweet note***

May, 2014

"...I'm so glad I met you and have had the pleasure to work my horse the Clarity way.

Proud to be a Herd member!"  K

***Below are our foundation members***


Peggy & Dusty

Dusty came to us as a sale horse.
She is a 6 year old, 14.3hh, buckskin AQHA mare.
Bred for the cutting horse world.
Raised for trails.
Her owner had purchased one of my other sale horses, "Beau",

which sort of bumped Dusty out of her owner's group.
Not enough room for all of them.
Dusty was a bit of a challenge at first.

She has quite the strong personality, and definitely wants things to go her own way. 
Mare much?!?  Got mare?!?
The most beautiful side effect about Dusty's training was that she forced me to start riding again.
After 3 years retired from the saddle, I found myself back up on Dusty, to figure her out myself, and to work through some of her 'stuff'.
That was about 4 months ago.
 Currently, I am full speed ahead, as I was for most of my life, doing 8-9 horses and/or lessons a day, dang near every day.
Everyone out there knows how much a love it, and I love my life, although at the end of the day I am certainly tired!
I am no spring chicken any more!
So...long story short, I painlessly and pretty easily got Dusty where we wanted her, obedient and sweet, but with all her spice and pizzazz still intact.
And wonderfully, the Horse Gods sent us Peggy.
(Thank you eternally Horse Gods!).
Peggy actually came to me looking a Dolce as a lease option.
Although it turns out that Peggy remembered me from way back in my horse past, when her beloved Kayanne was only a yearling, and I was training out of Marsha's place in Novato (Circa 1990?).

Anyway, my conversation with Peggy quickly turned to Dusty.
And that, my dear friends, is the start of a beautiful relationship.
Dusty, Peggy and myself clicked, and Peggy bought her.
Peggy and Dusty are an integral, core part of our Clarity Herd.
I think of Peggy as family.
Peggy has done a fantastic job with Dusty.
They are going very nicely, quietly, and obediently walk, trot and canter in the arena, and nicely out around the barn and on the perimeter paths.
Dusty is learning how to 'round off' in the bridle, and to conquer her concerns with water,

And platforms,
and to have a sense of humor about all the silly things that Clare does to her, such as, gloves on her ears!

Peggy is the perfect person for Dusty, and Dusty is, in turn, perfect for Peggy.
A match made in Horse Heaven!

I will keep you posted on Peggy and Dusty's continued progress!

***August 2014***

Dusty has come along so well in her training, that she and Peggy have, for all intensive purposes, Graduated from beginner 101 of the Clarity Training Program.
Congratulations Dusty and Peggy!

Dusty and Peggy are now comfortable out on the barn 'galloping' paths, in tack and bareback.
Dusty free schools beautifully, and goes sweet and obedient and happily under saddle: walk, trot and canter.
She has transitioned nicely from the round pen, into the riding arena.
She is brave, confident, and focused enough to handle, (in the arena under saddle): baby horses romping, protective baby horse moms, cones, flags, platforms, etc.
Dusty has muscled up so nicely, and is super shiny and fit.
She has learned how to be supple laterally and longitudinally.
She understands how to go 'on the bit', and has a marvelously soft  mouth.
Dusty is sensitive, and responsive to the aids as well.

Now, on to more advanced stuff!
Continuing to work on Peggy's approach, position, effectiveness of aids, and how to walk that tightrope between assertiveness and leniency.
With Dusty, continuing to work on 'bomb proofing', keeping her attitude good, and her assertiveness and bossyness in check.
Also, continuing to work on her consistency 'on the bit'.
Looking forward to lots more successful training and time spent together!


Whitney and Dom

Whitney is also an integral, invaluable part of the Clarity Herd.
She is a lovely person, and a compassionate and talented horsewoman.
I am also lucky enough to be able to call her a friend.
Whitney came to me looking at a sale horse that we all know and love:  Sheriff (now known as Apollo).
Even though she thought he was wonderful, she decided that Sheriff wasn't quite tall enough for her height.
But, Whitney and I had met, and destiny took over.
Whitney told me she wanted to work with me, regardless: Consultation for the horse she will own, lessons, training, etc.
We started the process of hunting for Whitney's perfect horse.
Meanwhile, Mary bought Sheriff,
my favorite horse on the planet,

and my good luck charm,

changed his name to Apollo,
and put him up for half lease, because...
Mary lives in San Francisco, so she wanted Apollo to get love, exercise, and attention more often than she could get to the barn, which was 3 days per week.

I contacted Whitney, asked if she was interested, and she jumped at the opportunity!
So officially, Whitney came to me as Apollo's sponsor, and as a student.

It was clear to me, from the get go, that Whitney would soon 'graduate' to wanting her very own horse.
And Dominic arrived, for sale, into the Clarity Performance Horse Sales program.
I knew, the moment I met him, that he was perfect for Whitney.
Dominic had Whitney's name written all over him.
It was obvious to me, Perfection for a perfect match made in Heaven.
As Whit was out of the country, 'expanding her soul', I had 2 weeks to get to know Dom.
Every moment I spent with him, it became clearer that he was the one for Whit.
Whit arrived home, met Dom, and the rest is history.
As you can see, Dom was young and a bit scrawny, no muscle, no weight, no substance.
I assured Whitney that would change dramatically.
And now, 4 months later, I hardly recognize him in these earlier photos!
Weedy, gaulky teenager stage, wow!
But still, so cute, so endearing, so adorable.
And in these photos, already starting to fill out a bit...

Whit and Dom 3-12-14
Trying out their new beautiful saddle, and transforming!
(Check out the difference in the derriere, from the photo above, Dom's, not Whits!)

Stay tuned for lots more photos of Whit and Dom, as they grow together, and Dom continues to fill out and bloom!

***August 2014***

Whitney and Dominic have come along so well in their training, that they, like Peggy and Dusty, have, for all intensive purposes, Graduated from Beginner 101 of the Clarity Training Program.
Congratulations Whit and Dom!

Whit and Dom are now comfortable out on the barn 'galloping' paths, in tack and bareback.
Dom is spectacular under saddle in the arena.
He has had excellent Western Pleasure and Reining Training in his past, and has continued to improve upon that training with Clare.
Dom feels fantastic when I ride him.
He has become super supple longitudinally and laterally.
He has become very strong over his topline, and in his 'carrying' muscles and ability.
He has also become much more consistently 'on the bit', and in his rhythm.
He stays in each gait better, and is much less reactive and steadier.
He has also learned patience, and waits for my request, rather than guessing and anticipating what I am going to ask for.
The hardest challenge for Dom was transitions between and with-in the gaits.
Going from canter to jog trot to walk to halt, rather just slamming the brakes on every time from canter to halt.
Dom's ability to do that is very impressive, but I also love his new ability to 'sit' and 'carry', using his topline and belly and hind end muscles.

Speaking of muscles:  Dom's are wow!
He is super shiny and fit, and probably twice as big, in mass and bulk, as he was when he came to us a year ago.
Talk about filling out!
(I will get some current photos of Dom next week, and paste them here, so you can see his astounding transformation!)
Currently, I school Dom twice a week, which works perfectly to keep him supple, and, well...schooled.
Whit continues to enjoy him tremendously all the other days of the week.
Whit and I share a full and complete admiration and adoration for Dom.
He is an exceptional horse, in every way.
He is sweet, and charming, and beautiful, and fun as heck to ride.
He gives you a spectacular feel in the bridle, and over his back.
On the trails, the Thoroughbred half of Dominic's breeding tends to, no pun intended, 'rear' it's challenging head.
He can be  a bit hot, and go-ey.
He also is not the bravest horse on the planet.
Whitney continues to whittle away on these issues, keeping in mind that, trail riding will never be Dom's forte, and will always be an exciting challenge and endevour.

Looking forward to lots more successful training and time spent together!

Groomed at the pole:

Looking like the cutie that he is!

Clare schooling Dominic at Stable Acres:

Preparing to ride:  September 2014


Katrina is also an integral, invaluable part of the Clarity Herd.
She is a lovely person, and a compassionate and talented horsewoman.
I am also lucky enough to be able to call her a friend.

Katrina has been with us since quite a ways back.
Originally, Kat connected with Amy and I through the Amazon and Living Social deals we did back in 2012.

Here is the email I received from her, in reply to our announcement that we were moving from Stable Acres to a stable in Sebastopol, Circa October, 2012:

Does that mean you are now in Sebastopol ??!
Would love to come use my living social lesson voucher very soon!"  Katrina

At this point, as I try to recall, I still don't think we had even met her!

I do recall, however, that she was a Pilates instructor, and she was hoping to perhaps trade riding lessons for Pilates sessions.
All of you that know me are aware that at the end of my day of riding/working/playing with horses, 8-9 hours per day, everyday, are aware that I don't have the energy to do anything but fall into bed asleep.
So, I politely declined.
However, I did tell Kat that I was happy to utilize her for horse help, and, to send our clients her way for her Pilates Program.

Soon after, Kat came to the Sebastopol barn for a lesson with Amy on our lesson horse Norman.

I guess that went well, because shortly after, Kat had volunteered as a working student!

I believe, (I apologize, but that whole time is a blur in my mind!), Kat came one or two days a week, helping us with our sale horses and horses in training, in return for riding time and coaching her in the saddle.
Kat was very helpful, and soon I had 'stolen' her from Amy completely, and absorbed her into my part of the program.
The Sebastopol barn was a disaster, so, after just 3 miserable months, we left the first of January, 2013.
At that point, in desperation, we had to send many horses home, or give them away to fantastic forever homes.

Amy was ready to strike off on her own, which I strongly encouraged and promoted.
In my opinion, it was time for Amy to leave the comfort and protection of the 'nest', and spread her wings and fly.

This was a really neat process to experience and to be part of.
I was, and will always be, incredibly proud of Ames!
There will be a big section about her later on this, the 'Clarity Herd' page.
Amy, (Ames to me)...

This is Ames and her favorite sale horse "Glorious aka Glory".
And, believe it or not, this was the mare's real name.
Fitting, don't you think?
Isn't she, (yes, the human and the horse), gorgeous!?!

We sold Glory out of the beautiful "Willowbrook Farms in Petaluma, Circa 2010

This is Ames, with myself and my son, age 4ish!
That is how long Ames has been with us.
Definitely family!

Ames and I the first time around at Stable Acres, with sale horse Princeton.
Yes, you are right, I have lost a lot of weight.

But, I digress.
Like I said above, there will be a big section on Ames exclusively, so, back to the Kat story, and our departure from the Sebastopol barn, (which, by the way, was a wonderful barn, but with an owner, that, stated as simply as possible,  "we couldn't see eye to eye with".)
  We were only there 3 months before we fled, picking up the pieces as best as we could in the process, not a happy memory, so, that is the end of that subject, and that difficult time in out lives).

Nika @ Sebastopol barn

Korri @ Sebastopol barn

So...of course, Kat came with us, helping and supporting us along the way.
Nika, Zipper, Beau, & Leo, all needed full care and riding, which Kat was a part of:




We ended up first at Freddy's (thank you tremendously Freddy for taking us in, in our time of need!)

We were at Freddy's for one month. 

I apologize for not having a photo of Freddy, for shame on me!, But here is a photo of one of her favorite pinto ponies Daphne:

At Freddy's, Kat helped with full care and riding.

Beau @ Freddy's

Here are my 2 favorite mini donkeys at Freddy's:
Pumpkin & Puca

Than we were on to Black Sterling Friesians in Sonoma, with a bunch,
And still Kat hung on!

Wouter @ BSF

From there, to Brian's lovely private barn in Sonoma,

Brian and Klara



My favorite baby Jacob's sheep, Boots

And super cute mini Brahma bull calf Hope
and my very favorite camel friend Sahara:

and then to Marilyn's Barn

At Marilyn's, Kat sponsored/leased with the option to own:
 Master aka Indigo:

And finally, back to our 'tried and true' Stable Acres.

Confusing and difficult, yes?!?

But quite wonderful, in the journey, and all along, our fantastic and loyal humans like Kat stuck with us, supporting and encouraging us along the way.
Kat was, and still is, one of our best!

At Stable Acres, Kat met her great love:

was owned by myself and Bill, aka CPHS.
Bill found him on the internet, and, after lots of phone conversations, we 'acquired' him.
Tinsel was sort of a rescue, not on his way to the auction, but not in a great situation either.

His owner felt that she couldn't give him what he needed and deserved, and kindly, made him available to, and brought him to us.
We welcomed him in, and 'stashed' him at our friend Betsy Bueno's rescue and rehabilitation barn for a month, till space opened up for him at Stable Acres.

I will try to locate a 'before' photo of him, from that time.
But, regardless, he was about one half of what he was, 3 months later:

6  months later:

February 2014
When he arrived with us originally, he had zero muscle, zero fat, and very little sense or training.
He was, however, huge on charm and sweet, and 'try'.
Betsy allowed him into her barn, as a big favor to us, and as a rescue.

*  Side note:
Please support Betsy, any time possible!
She is a generous, amazing, incredible person, who devotes countless hours to rescuing and rehabilitating, and loving horses in drastic, life threatening need.
She is one of the first responders, to the worst of the rescue, abuse situations.
She is often literally the link between life and death for our extraordinary, suffering, and needy equine friends.
She does what I can not.
Gets down in the trenches and saves their lives.

(Taken word for word from Betsy's website):

"Lost Hearts and Souls Equine Rescue is a Sonoma County-based not-for-profit who's goal is to provide sanctuary, rehabilitation and placement for horses that have been abused, neglected or abandoned.   We assist all Northern California Animal Control Departments and the DA's office with criminal cases, providing temporary homes and emergency care for horses seized as a result of neglect or abuse.  We work in collaboration with other local and regional rescues to acquire and rehome "feed lot" horses otherwise bound for Canadian slaughterhouses.  In addition, we assist families in economic distress and provide temporary assistance with feed and veterinary care and provide placement for those horses in need of new homes.  For horses that cannot be placed due to age, health or behavioral issues we provide a loving, caring and safe environment for them to live out their years. "

After less than a month of learning about the herd in the pasture at Betsys: (equaled lots of owwies, cuts, scrapes, bruises), we moved Tinsel to Stable Acres.
I changed his name from Colman to Tinsel, to give him a new identity and 'lease on life'.
My son Tyler, by blending the 2 names, nicknamed him "TinMan", also a fitting name for this steel grey, wonderful horse!
(Leave it to my son to be witty and clever!)
Many more photos of Ty will be on the Tyler Clarity Herd page:
Ty and Epic: March 2014

Bill and I started the process of training Tinsel, and conditioning him physically.
As you can see from the photos, he blossomed!

He was introduced to Kat, and, as they say, that was 'all she wrote'.

We started him from scratch, and he proved to be an excellent riding horse.
He evolved from western, baby horse tack, and the round pen:

 to dressage tack, the arena and the trail.

Kat and Tinsel are perfect for each other, and love each other desperately.
It has been my pleasure, and privilege, to watch and personally, physically, experience their growth together.
PS and FYI:
Just in case you didn't know:
Kat has a very silly side to her as well!
Here are a couple of photos of her at the barn, on a wet, rainy, muddy day:

Please stay tuned for lots more photos of Tinsel and Kat, as they continue to grow together, and Tinsel continues to fill out and bloom!

***August and September 2014***

Katrina and Tinman continue to progress beautifully.
Tinsel is nicely on the bit: walk, trot, the canter, and his 'on the bit-ness' is coming along very well.
He actually looks like a Holsteiner when he is on the bit, round and supple.
Tinsel is an excellent mover:  elastic and expressive.
3 very good gaits.
Kat's riding skills are improving dramatically, every day.
Kat now understands, and is on her way to mastering, the very challenging concept and technique for putting a horse 'on the bit'.
Of course, that idea and skill is made even more challenging by the fact that she is learning on a 'spirited albiet charming, generous, safe and wonderful' young Thoroughbred, who is, with the aid of Clare's training, just in the process of learning to go on the bit himself!
They are a fantastic team though:
Katrina very patient, calm, gentle and persistent, Tinsel super careful not to hurt Kat, and trying his very best every moment that they are working together.
Once they have it, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with!

For our Barn Open House, Katrina did a wonderful Pilates demonstration:

Please join us for our Open House/Barn Warming Party!‏

Are you looking to increase your core strength to find a more stable seat and a way to clarify your aids?


offered by reBalance Pilates Master Trainer- Katrina Charmatz

Pilates is a core and full body conditioning program that:
-Improves flexibility
-Creates the ability to have a deeper seat.
-Enhances back suppleness and hip independence
-Builds muscle strength, and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back.

Pilates puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core or center. Pilates improves riding skills, coordination, posture and balance creating a longer and leaner look in the saddle.

Pilates allows for different exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises. Pilates is beneficial to people with lower back pain, osteoporosis, arthritis and scoliosis.

 Katrina Charmatz
 re•balance Pilates-Director/Master Trainer & Dressage rider
 One Alta Drive
 Petaluma, Ca. 94954
 Mobile studio 415•235•5551

Later, she and Tinsel posed with her Pilates banner:
Super nice!

At the new barn, Kat has been extremely helpful, really invaluable.
She cleans and feeds 3 days a week, and is extremely instrumental in projects, repairs, improvements, events, parties, etc.
Here is Kat at Kadance's 8th Birthday Party:

And here she is with Mary, right after we got the barn:

Sweet scratching session at the new barn!

Mellowing out, and bulking up
(Tinsel, not Kat!)

Wow, that feels good!

And here is Tinsel "testing the waters" with our mini stallion "Dancer"

Isn't this spectacular?!?

Even though they were too rowdy and played too rough, I am delighted that we put them together for a few minutes, so I could get this photo.
We separated them a moment later.
I would have loved for them to live together, but I was afraid that Dancer would get hurt.
Oh well, it was worth a try!

Kat & Tinsel-Pilates

Kat & Tinsel-Christmas 2014

Mary and Elaine

(With Dolce)
(Mary and her 'Sun God', worshiping the sun.
One of my all time favorite photos!)

Mary came to us in the pursuit of Apollo, Sheriff at that time.
As you all know, Sheriff, now Apollo, is my very favorite horse.
Yes, it is true.
I love and worship all 'my' horses, but I love and worship Apollo most of all!
Mary has fantastic taste, and had to have him.
After some financial wiggling, and some real life negotiating, Sheriff was her's!
Circa July/August 2013

Sheriff had been in the CPHS program, to sell.
He is a 7 year old, 15.2hh, palomino Ranch bred Quarter Horse gelding.
His owner, Kirsten, is a friend of Clare's.
Kirsten is a spectacular Equestrianne: rider, handler, breeder, Holsteiner enthusiast.

("Croc"-An example of Kirsten's gorgeous horses)

Kirsten had purchased Sheriff
and Sargent
(6 year old, 15.2hh, palomino ranch bred Quarter Horse gelding)
as parade horses for herself and her brother.
Eventually, reality set in, and Kirsten realized that it didn't make sense to have these 2 awesome horses, only for a handful of San Francisco parades each year.
Kirsten contacted Clare, and Sheriff and Sargent found their new, wonderful forever homes, through the CPHS program.
Thank you Kirsten for giving us the opportunity!

Mary had been searching for just the right horse.

Her wonderful daughter, Elaine,

had been riding at a therapeutic riding school elsewhere.
They owned a lovely mare, who was featured in that program.
But, Mary and Elaine were ready for a change.

Enter, CPHS and Sheriff.

Mary, Elaine and Clare hit it off beautifully, and the rest is history.
Mary and Elaine are, perhaps, the most important, invaluable, and integral part of the Clarity Herd.
Clare definitely considers them family!

They are, part of the foundation, the backbone, of the whole group.

After purchasing Sheriff, they changed his name to Apollo, the Greek Sun God.
Very fitting for a horse such as this!

Now, a horse for Elaine.

I thought we should wait, as Apollo was in full training, and we were all getting to know each other.
But, as those who know Mary know, she is stubborn, willful, and pushy, in the best of all ways.
Mary wanted a horse for Elaine, now, and there was no stopping or slowing her down.
So, enter Rocky aka Dolce.

Mary found Rocky, on her own, with the 'yes' from Clare.
She and Elaine met him in Cotati, just around the corner from the barn in Petaluma, where Apollo lives, and had to have him.
The next thing Clare knew, Mary had purchased Rocky, and he was on his way.
Rocky is a 9 year old, 15.2hh, chocolate and silver Rocky Mountain gelding.
Gaited, of course, for the comfort of Elaine on his back, and sweet as heck.

Mary changed Rocky's name to Dolce (as in, Dolce and Gabana)...
Dolce had been hanging out in pasture, so he needed a bit of a tune up.
And Clare needed to get to know him.
So, into full training for a month.
Off goes the full bridle with the shank, (yuk and unacceptable, Dolce hated it, as do all horses, I believe), and in with the simple snaffle.
Voila, happy Dolce.

*Note:  in my opinion, Gaiting is natural, no need for a mean bit.
In my opinion, all gaited horses, be they Tennessee Walkers, Missouri Fox Trotters, Rocky Mountains, Peruvian Pasos, Paso Finos, Marchadors, gait simply and happily, in a snaffle.
Since we are on the subject of snaffles:
Dolce's past owner told Mary he would only gait with the shanked bit (looks like this):

Not true.
When I got on him, he was miserable in the hand, and refused to connect in any way to the bridle.
I told Mary I refused to ever ride him in the shanked bit again.
Off goes the full bit, on goes the snaffle.
Happy gaiting horse!

Now that Clare and Dolce know each other, onward and upward to lessons with Mary, and with Elaine:

Currently, Mary and Elaine both ride Apollo and Dolce.
Apollo has proven to be a bit easier for Elaine;  and Dolce, a very fun riding horse for Mary.
Mary continues to progress in her riding and skill as an Equestrianne.
Walk, trot, canter on Apollo, who is learning how to round off, and go 'on the bit'.
Apollo is fantastic on the trails, safe, fun, and straight forward.
Dolce is also fun on the trails, albeit a bit more of a challenge.
He is not sure about cows, or Canadian Geese, but is learning to be braver.
At this time, Dolce has one sponsor, Dana, with another on the way, Rosa.

There will be a separate profile on Dana, later on this page.

Please stay tuned for lots more photos and details about Mary and Elaine, Apollo and Dolce, as they continue to grow together, and progress.

***September 2014***

Wow, a tremendous amount has happened since I last updated Mary and Elaine's Profile.
First and most important...
Mary bought a barn!

Amazing!  Spectacular!
We got the most perfect barn in Petaluma, Westside!
Mary had been looking for a barn, in the Sonoma County area.
She and her family were ready to move out of San Francisco, where they had been most of their lives, actually all of Elaine's life, she was born and raised there!
The right barn came along and...poof!
The Strong Family now live and run a barn in Petaluma.
This was/is a dream for Mary, it is so very exciting for Mary to be living her dream.
I was, of course, fully involved in the barn selection part of it.  Yay!
Mary saw the barn on a Sunday, and asked me if I would come and see it on the following Tuesday.
I was skeptical  that it could possibly be 'the one'.
When I arrived, I discovered that I had been at the barn, many times in the past.
And, it was perfect.
Definitely in need of a pretty extravagant facelift/makeover, but still perfect.
The home, wonderful, and already complete with certain features, such as a walk in tub, that was great for Elaine.
And every room overlooks the barn/facility, as do all the decks.
After combing through the barn, paddocks, arenas, etc. with Mary and her delightful realtor, Tim, I declared the property 'perfect', with absolutely:
"all Pros and no cons"!
I strongly encouraged, more specifically said, "Mary, you need to get it, now, do anything you can to get it", and...she did!
Congratulations Mary, job extremely well done!
The sale of the barn closed on June 15th, 2014, and the sale of the Strong's house in the city just prior.
The timing and rhythm were divine, the whole thing worked out so beautifully that it just had to be "meant to be"!
Of course from there on out, it was obviously a flurry, a whirlwind of action.
Fixing fencing, adding a perimeter path, making it sweet and beautiful, putting in new paddocks with new shelters, working on the footing, painting the house and the barns, fixing up the tack rooms, decorating, buying necessary tools and equipment, creating Release Forms and Barn Rules, and all the other things that a barn requires and that makes a barn your own.

All the photos and information can be seen on the:

***Brand New Boarding, Training, Lessons & Sales Barn!***Page:


Mary and I seem to be an excellent team.
We got through the stress and strain of starting a new barn, and have gelled really well.
Luckily, we usually think alike, and support each other with a common love and passion:
 the new barn and the horses.
Of course we are lucky to have the support of our wonderful families as well.
Everyone has been incredibly supportive and encouraging.
Our Team is tremendous and awesome.
Thank you everyone!
Needless to say, the barn is fabulous and brilliant and spectacular and every other superlative!
The Barn Warming/Open House party was fantastic!
Hi everyone,
we are so very excited about our new barn!
Please join us for our Open House/Barn Warming party!
It promises to be a wonderful "get together", with lots of delightful horse people.
All welcome.
The more the merrier!

Sunday, August 17th, 2014.
771 Liberty Road
Petaluma, Ca.

Refreshments and tastys will be offered.
Also, featuring a Pilates Demonstration for Riders by one of our lovely boarders, and my friend/student: Katrina.
Below is information about herself and the services she provides.

Feel free to go to the website for lots of details and photos of the new barn:


Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday!
Clare, Mary, Bill, Katrina, Elaine, Dana, and the rest of the Strong Stables/Liberty Lane Team

It is now 2 months later, the end of September, 2014, and we are over full.
Even our new spots are full!
The new horses and boarders are marvelous, and we look forward to many years of lovely horse time together.
So, now, to Mary and Elaine (aka Lanie) and the horses!
We bought a new horse for Lanie!
After ploughing through well over 300 sale horse prospects on line, I found Cody, and knew he was perfect.
Cody is an 11 year old, 14+hh, Pinto small horse gelding.

(I will get a current conformation photo ASAP, and insert it here)

Cody and Lanie are wonderful together, definitely "a match made in Heaven".

(Cody with Lanie and her friend Frederick)

Lanie works beautifully with Cody, and does a fantastic job riding him.
Cody, in turn, works beautifully with Lanie, and does a fantastic job with her on his back.
The perfect combination of horse and rider!
They do a lesson a week with Clare.

When Lanie is not riding Cody, she is enjoying all her new friends, 2 and 4 legged, at her barn.
They are, after all, literally in her back yard, not too far a commute!

Here is Lanie enjoying time with a new barn student Kadance,

and helping to create our delightful 'new' planters and Clarity flowers:

Which are, incidentally flourishing:

And with her friend Lauren, Mom, and one of our new barn creatures, Dancer:

We love our new creatures!
And they all get tons of TLC and attention from both Mary and Lanie.

This is "Dancer"

With my son Tyler

And "Precious"

And Cookies & Cream

Me relocating Cookies to his new area at the barn:

PS.  There will be a whole separate section on the Minis and the baby goats on the "Critters" page!

So, I think that is a pretty good update for Lanie.
As for Mary:
How wonderful for her to have all of this in her back yard, yes?!?

Here is Mary with Katrina, as we started setting the barn up, (that is Sequoia 'photo bombing' in the background):

And here is Mary officiating over the birthday party for one of our new students "Kadance"

Mary has been extremely hard at work; not only improving the new barn, but improving her riding skills as well.
Dolce and Apollo continue to progress dramatically.

Mary rides Dolce occasionally, but she rides Apollo regularly.
Dolce is currently being especially enjoyed by Robert and Laurie, 2 of the Clarity Performance Horses lesson program students.

Here is Laurie with Dolce

And Robert (Dolce looks great, yes?)

And here is a current headshot of Dolce, enjoying his time in his paddock

As you can see, Dolce has really filled out since we got him about a year ago.
He has also, as you can see, not missed any meals!
Happy horse!

Apollo is currently learning how to go 'on the bit'.
We are not sure if he and Mary are going to go the Dressage route, or the Western Dressage route.
Either way, we are shooting for a schooling show summer of new year, 2015.

ASAP, I will get photos of Apollo in his Dressage tack (My saddle of course!),
 and in his Western dressage tack, and put them here.

For now, here are some photos of Apollo enjoying the new barn:

Apollo fascinated by the 'neigh'bors:

To digress, here are some of my favorite photos of Mary and Apollo from when we were still at Stable Acres:

Our vaccination/Easter party @ Stable Acres:
April, 2014

Apollo is helping with the formal "toast":
 Martinelli's Sparkling Cider of course!

Mary and her new 'baby' Olof:

More from the Easter Party:

Apollo drinking "Champagne" aka Martinelli's Sparkling Cider:

This is my favorite picture of Mary!

So, Mary and Elaine have their wonderful 3 horses, and their wonderful new house, and their wonderful new barn.
What a dream!

***October 2014***
So far, that new barn is a complete success!
We have built 2 new paddocks, and have 2 more on the way.
The barn is just about finished!
It looks, and feels, fantastic!
Great energy: peaceful, calm, serene and tranquil.
Such an extremely wonderful and happy group of humans and horses!
And, we are currently, completely booked!
Both the barn, and myself for training and teaching!
We are welcoming people onto the waiting list for the barn.
 I am (my schedule is) simply full, actually over full.
Booked indefinitely...
How lucky are we?!?
Here is our current group at the barn:
Bill and Sequoia
Mary and Apollo and Dolce
Elaine and Cody
Belinda and Caruso
Barbara and Sarai
Kerry and Essie
Katrina and Tinsel
Tina and El Siguro and Zee
Clare and Sasha
Clare and Thunder
Clare and Candy
Robert and Dolce
Laurie and Dolce
McKenna and Cody
Carol and Cody
Carol and Weltprinz
Kyra, Kadance and Chance and Cody
Laurie, Jayden and Bryce, and Empiro, Buster and 5 Card
Cookies and Cream

I'll be in touch with Updates!

Tyler & All

My perfect son.
He was raised at the barn, with the horses.
Learned to crawl in the arena, naps in the horse trailer.
First time on a horse at 2 weeks.
First show at 17 months.

Here is the story of the horse part of his life, depicted through my favorite photos, in chronological order.

I hope you enjoy them, as much as I do.

Ty modeling Warmblood sized horse shoes at Flying Cloud

Ty kissing Babe at Lavignas

Ty leading Babe at Lavignas

Ty riding Babe at Lavignas

Ty training Lucitano colt at Lavignas

Ty and his 'brother' Foster at Lavignas

Ty and his best friend Emily and Cassie at Lavignas

Ty showing Cassie at Woodbridge

Ty, Clare and our favorite person Ames at Woodbridge

Ty and Mom loving on some beautiful American Cream Drafts at the Butter and Egg Days in Petaluma

Ty at horse show at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds, competing in the leadline class for trainer Jamie Thatcher

Ty years later at Lavignas with Fozzy

Baby Fozzy

Best teen age Tyler strolling with Daniel

Best teen Ty helping Mom with Epic

How Ty really feels about being made to pose for Mom!

And most current photo of Mom and T on Mother's Day

***Summer of 2014***

Wow!  Check out this transformation!


Dana & Dolce

Good morning everyone,
here is our newest, delightful member of The Clarity Herd.
Dana came to us a few months ago, already 'Sold' on us and our program, interested in sponsoring Dolce, Mary and Elaine's  sweet Rocky Mountain Horse.

Dana had already fully researched us, and already knew all about myself and our program.
In truth, although we had not yet met, Dana was definitely, already, a proud member of The Clarity Herd.
Dana called me, and the rest is history.
We got together at the barn, met Dolce, and it was love at first sight.
Our relationship was a smooth as a hand in a worn glove.
We clicked.
Dana had been away from horses for 35 years, wow!
She had been raising her children, being the perfect wife to her husband, and holding down, what I call, 'a real job'.

Dana had decided that now was her time to get back into her passion, horses.
When we met, she told me that, often, she had wanted to reach out to me, but had resisted, until now.
Here is a portion of the email she sent me:

 "Hello there ! I have been watching your request for a sponsor for Dolce (who looks like a dream-boy ) and the pull has been too great !!!  I have had horses myself but long ago... Sponsoring would be a solution for me . But I would like to ride with others and hope the stable Dolce is in has riders interested in buddy or group rides. Also, is Dolce used to being lunged before a ride ?I am a young 66 ,take classes at the J.C. and have always been "horse crazy".  Dolce looks so sweet, and I love his " DO" in the photo. Please send me more information.
         Thank you ,

Love it!
So, Dana met the rest of the crew, and settled into a twice a week schedule.
First, just handling Dolce, and the "Horsemanship" portion on my program, the same as any new student does.
We reviewed:  Proper leading, knowing the basic parts of the horse and of the tack, grooming, tacking up, free schooling.
Then, onward and upward to the riding.
Dana was like a 'fish to water', with all of the above.
She is a  remarkable Equestrianne, and a fantastic student.
Dana never failed to 'do her homework'.
Quickly we progressed to the point when Dana could, flying solo, do all the preliminary work, up to the riding.
 She would arrive at the barn up to an hour before her ride time, to make sure that Dolce was properly prepared, with lots of TLC, time and effort.

Dana's riding is exemplary.
She is a natural, lovely horsewoman.

This is the first time that Dana rode Dolce.

As you can see, Dolce is not posing his prettiest, but Dana certainly is!
But...my other photo option was not much better, with him looking away from the camera (unacceptable!).

I assure you, there will be many, many, more photos of Dana, over the next terrific years to come.
Dana would have been 'up front and center' for our photos for the Easter party as well, but she was delayed with a Church event.
She did arrive, fashionably late as she had foretold, with lots of fantastic energy and charm, and bearing delicious, tasty treats.
Dana is a big occasion person, extremely organized and well versed in potlucks, parties, and get togethers, both formal and informal.
I'm certain we will be appreciating her, immensely!
We have now had the pleasure, and the distinct privilege, of working with and beside Dana, for 3 months now.
We look forward to three more decades, at least!
We love you Dana!
Welcome to the group!

Here is Dana riding Dolce at the new barn


Ames & All

As you all know, Ames is my 'second hand girl'.
Definitely family, through and through (Actually, she has been mistaken for my daughter...compliments to me!).
Ames has been with me for the last 14 years, (since she was 13 years old!), by my side, through thick and extremely thin (those who know me from many years past, know what I'm talking about)!

In actuality, Ames literally saved my life, for which I will be forever eternally grateful.

She has helped me raise my perfect son, who worshiped her as a youngster!

Ames continues to 'look after' him when my husband and I are out of town!

This is what Ty looks like July, 2014:

And to take care of our 'puppy', Jet, who in this photo is relaxing at Mary's new barn:

Here is an article I wrote for The Examiner, about Ames, years ago.
I still feel passionate about every word I wrote:

Amy Savage started riding at Novato's Morning Star Farm with Kevin and Vicky Byars and Anne Felix (her maiden name) at the age of 8. At Morning Star, Amy learned the basics of riding and caring for horses, and jumping horses to a height of 3 foot.

At the age of 13, Amy started riding with Clare Long of Claritydressage at Lavigna Ranch in Petaluma. While working with Clare, Amy sponsored an Arabian mare named "Ono", a Morgan gelding named "Oliver", with whom she received many blue ribbons competing at Training Level, a Holsteiner mare named "Bacall", who she successfully competed with at First Level, and a Hannoverian mare named "Siena", who she succeeded with at 2nd Level.

As the years passed, Amy blossomed into a lovely and talented rider. She became indispensable and invaluable to Clare, as an assistant, working student, and friend.

After high school, Amy attended Santa Rosa Junior College, and then Sonoma State University. All the while she was attending school and pursuing her degree, she continued to spend much time with the horses and the Claritydressage gang. Amy actually took a semester off of college to focus on her riding skills, devoting intensive amounts of time and energy towards her riding passion and ambition.

In 2010, Amy continued riding with Clare at Willowbrook Stables in Petaluma, where Clare has wonderful horses in training to sell. There, under Clare's supervision and guidance, Amy rode and worked with Judith Chapman's horses "Teal" and "Glorious", and Danielle Price's Grand Prix Hannoverian gelding "Mason".

Clare states that, "it has been a pleasure and a privilege knowing and working with Amy. She is a true gem, unusual in her abilities, technique and skill, and as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Amy is not only an excellent rider, but looks lovely on horseback as well. Amy has a way of making any horse she rides look wonderful, and the horses love to be ridden by her as well. She is a skilled and tactful equestrianne, and I am happy to consider her family".

Amy has transitioned into being Clare's 'rider', as well as assistant, confidante, and friend.  If you go to Youtube, searchword: claritydressage, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcRlHtq-XaI, you will see many photos and videos of Amy riding a variety of fantastic horses.

In 2011, Amy graduated from Sonoma State with a degree in American Multi Cultural Studies. For her graduation ceremony invitations, she was photographed by Scott Manchester of Petaluma, with her favorite horse, the glorious "Glory".

Amy says, "I am so grateful for the people that have been brought into my life who have helped me to pursue my passion and dream of becoming a horse trainer despite my family's financial restrictions. Vicky and Kevin Byars as well as Clare Long have been monumental in guiding me and providing me with numerous opportunities. I cannot imagine my life without horses. I wake up every morning with excitement of what new concepts I will learn from the horses and horse people that I encounter during my day. I am ecstatic about my future working with horses and I am content in knowing that I will be doing what I love.""

-Article Written by Clare Long for Examiner.com

(Below is an excerpt from Ames website:)

Amy Savage grew up riding at Morning Star Farm in Novato, Ca.  When she was 13 years old, she began riding with Clare Long of Clarity Dressage (www.claritydressage.com) in Petaluma, Ca.  Amy quickly fell in love with the art of Dressage, and became Clare's working student and eventually her assistant.  

In 2012, Clare and Amy created Clarity Performance Horse Sales (http://sites.google.com/site/clarityperformancehorsesales), working with and selling horses of all ages (youngsters to schoolmasters), breeds (Warmbloods, Friesians, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Morgans, Arabians, Drafts, Ponies), and disciplines (Dressage, Jumping, and Western).  All the while, Amy has been working toward her USDF Bronze Medal and only needs her 3rd Level scores to complete this goal.

(Myself and Ames with sale horse "Princeton" at Jodi's barn in Petaluma, Ca)

(Ames, myself, and my son age 4 (Circa 2003)

Ames is a fantastic rider, and rode all of our sale horses, for the 3 years that I was temporarily retired from riding.

(Schooling our sale horse "Glorious", at Willowbrook Farms in Petaluma, Ca.)

(Riding her leased show horse, "Dusan", in a lesson with Clare, at Kathryn's place in Cotati, CA.)

And below is what she has currently progressed to:
I am so extremely proud of you Ames!
You deserve every success.
Thank you for spreading the 'Horse Happiness' word and approach!
xoxo, Clare

(A photo I took of Ames and her group of students, hauling in to Marilyn's in Petaluma, Ca.)


We specialize in Dressage for juniors, children, and kids. Serving Petaluma, Novato, and the North Bay. 

Trainer Amy Savage works with students who are competing in dressage as well as beginners.  She uses cross training in Jumping, Western, and Trail riding to keep her horses physically and mentally fit and happy.  Whether your student is just getting started building their horseback riding skills or is ready to take the next step,  Amy offers private lessons and training tailored to each student's needs. 

Haul-in your horse or enjoy training on one of Amiable Sporthorse's wonderful, safe lesson horses.  Amy is a talented and patient horse trainer with a strong passion for working with young riders, ages 2 years old and up.  However, she does accept adult students, so please inquire.

Lessons can be booked either individually or in a package for discounted pricing.

We have WONDERFUL and SUPER SAFE lesson horses!

Each lesson is an exclusive, private session.

Amiable Sporthorse.
Feel free to contact Amy:
(707) 364-6954


Bill & Sequoia

Sequoia is a coming 3 year old, will be 16.2hh, chestnut Thoroughbred filly.
We found, and bought her at Golden Gate Fields.

Sequoia and Bill, falling in love at GG Fields...

She had no heart for running, had bowed both front legs, and had been in her stall for we don't know how long.
We brought her home, and we love her.

Our plan...to develop her into a wonderful riding horse.
After basic training?
Perhaps Eventing, Jumpers.
She loves to jump!
Sequoia is sassy, sweet, smart, silly, kind, loveable, willing, delightful.
She reminds me of a sparkly flame.
I will keep you posted on her progress!

Sequoia 'magic'

***August 2014***

Sequoia is coming along beautifully!
and both Bill and I are riding her consistently.
As usual, we started her in western tack, Spring 2014.
But now have evolved to dressage tack:
(Bill's first time up on Sequoia's back, Circa Spring 2014)

(Really coming along at the new barn, circa Summer 2014)
Amazing the way her body has developed, yes?
She has grown and grown, and continues growing in mass and height.
She is twice what she was in mass, and inches higher behind.
She will probably max out at 16.3hh.
Right now, she is very downhill as she continues to grow.
When she is 6 years old, my guess is that she will look much more like a Warmblood than a Thoroughbred.
I have her on an 'every other day' riding routine.
In between, we always free school her, and love on her.
Besides, Sequoia now lives in an absolutely enormous paddock, so she keeps herself moving around constantly.
We are comfortable hacking around in the round pen,

walk and trot, and are mastering our 'whoa'.
In the next few weeks, we will add canter in the round pen, and then start gradually transitioning over to the covered arena.
Sequoia is a very good girl, with a ton of character and pizzazz.
She is bold and confident, friendly, gregarious and vivacious.
She is very fun and exciting to work with, on the ground and under saddle, and gorgeous to boot!
We love her tremendously!
I will continue to keep you up on her progress...

***September 2014***
We have added canter under saddle!
What a good girl!
I have now ridden Sequoia walk, trot and canter in the round pen.
Super easy, super good.
Wonderful gaits and attitude.
I have officially graduated into the arena, walk and trot.
Soon to add the canter!
I will have photos and videos of our progress up, ASAP.
Bill has also graduated!
He is now exclusively in the arena as well.
No more round pen, yay!
Bill is also walking and trotting under saddle.
His riding is coming along extremely well.
Gaining understanding, balance, coordination, and riding muscle.
Sequoia handles his relative inexperience beautifully, with tons of patience and care.
They make a fantastic team!

***October 2014***
Bill is now cantering Sequoia under saddle in the arena as well!
It is going exceedingly well.
Sequoia is extremely generous and sweet, and is determined not to hurt or unseat Bill.
Bill is becoming a much better rider;  really developing his balance, coordination and position.
Bill & Sequoia worship eachother.
It is definitely a beautiful match "made in Heaven"!
Hailey & All

Hailey is our wonderful working student.
She is delightful and lovely.
(Hailey enjoying Daniel)

So sweet and fun to be around.
Exceedingly cute and pretty, on the outside and on the inside.
And, typical of a teenager, fills every spare moment with her iphone!

Hailey is definitely a horse crazy teenager.
She comes from the Hunter/Jumper world, and has spend years helping me ride my Sale horses, horses in training, and project horses.
You will see tons of videos of Hailey riding the sale horses, on our YouTube Channel:
If you scroll through, there are lots!
(Hailey enjoying over fences on Korri)

(Riding Nika first time bareback, Hailey's favorite way to ride!).

She has also spent countless hours hanging out with me/us at the barn, lending a hang grooming, tacking, showering, etc.
Hailey started with us at the barn in Sebastopol, and moved with us to the barns in Sonoma, and then to Stable Acres, Marilyn's and now the new barn, Strong Stables/Liberty Lane.
(Hailey teaching Prima how to read!)

Hailey's forte is definitely making her horses relaxed.
(Hailey on Nika)

All my horses are quiet and mellow when she rides them.

(Hailey on Prima)

I always can put Hailey on my most high strung horses, and know that they will 'chill'.
(With her favorite horse, Picasso)

Especially over fences, Hailey and my horses excel.
Her very favorite sale horse was Picasso:

 but she was especially close to, and fond of, Nika and Korri.

As you can easily see, Hailey is very much part of the backbone and foundation of The Clarity Herd!
And of course we love her! (how could we not?).
Perhaps most importantly, Hailey keeps me current on the important teenage girl topics.
I know of  "One Direction", (who is who and who has which girlfriend), what music is cool, (when Hailey is in the car, I always turn directly to 101.7, the local hip music station), etc.