Welcome to C4 Belts blog
Katharine “Kate” Cassidy is a NAYRC Bronze Medalist, USDF Silver and Bronze Medalist, and USDF Silver Freestyle bar recipient from San Diego, California. For the majority of her equestrian career, Kate has ridden dressage, but she has also dabbled in hunter/jumpers, equitation, and many forms of western riding.
Kate’s first dressage horse, Aavignon Andante, was far from destined to be in the big dressage ring. However, Kate was able to transform her seven-year-old Saschen Anhaltiner hunter prospect into a respected, national FEI small-tour competitor. They finished the 2015 season with an invitation to compete at the USDF US Dressage Finals for the Open Fourth Level Freestyle and CDS FEI Jr/YR Champions.
Kate was paired up with Pellegrini, a Hanoverian gelding, in 2013 and finished their 2015 season as the USDF Region 7 Young Rider Champions with a 69.342%, CDS FEI Jr/YR High Point Champions with a 67.063% and CDS FEI Young Rider Champions with a 66.389%.
Recently, Kate acquired a lease with Donna Richardson’s Welt Erbe (“Velt Er Ba”) and the pair worked diligently to secure a position on the 2016 Region 7 Young Rider team. At the conclusion of the 2016 season, the combination is ranked 11th in the nation, 142nd in the world and received a bronze medal at the NAJYRC.
Kate rides with USDF Gold Medalist Tina Caldwell and attends clinics with world-renown clinicians like Charlotte Bredahl, Jan Ebeling, Jane Weatherwax, George Williams, and Paul Belasik on a semi-regular basis. Along with catch riding horses for her trainer, Kate is also a full-time student at the University of California, San Diego, studying chemistry and molecular cell biology, and intends to pursue a graduate level education. Additionally at her university, Kate competes with the UCSD Equestrian Intercollegiate Hunter/Jumper team.
Looking toward the future, Kate hopes to find a partner for her FEI Under 25 Grand Prix dreams and intends to always pursue competitive dressage.
At the start of 2016, Kate secured partnerships with popular brands like Romfh Equestrian Apparel, Schockemöhle Sports, PDS Saddles, and, of course, C4 Belts. These relationships are just the start for her equestrian career and provide a network that has proved to be invaluable.
You can keep up with Kate on her Instagram account @_kate.cassidy_
I started riding when I was two years old, begging my mom to take me anywhere and everywhere that had a horse. Initially I started with Western lessons, but I transitioned to English riding when I was six years old. My heart wanted to pursue jumping; however, my mom urged me to develop my technique through dressage so that I would be safer and more prepared for jump courses. Reluctantly, I fell into dressage as I just wanted to be near horses. My competition career began when I was ten on my first pony Zippity Do-Dah. From there, I started to realize how fun dressage could be and I was addicted to learning how to direct my horse and communicate with him without using words. I truly fell in love with and began to dedicate myself to the sport at the age of 16.
I do not own any horses at this time, but I am currently schooling and showing a horse named Beowulf or "Rogan" (owned by Edward Fischer of San Diego, California). Ro is a 14 year old bay Hanoverian gelding with more heart than any horse I have ever known. He is so friendly, kind, and has a personality that fills arenas.
My recent Bronze Medal at the NAJYRC is definitely at the top of my list! That day was so surreal and standing on the podium with some of the best riders in North America as my amazing support team watched was one of the best moments of my life. Welt Erbe and I went on to compete in all three phases of the championships, placing 11th overall.
Past NAJYRC, I have been able to claim multiple championship titles including 2015 Region 7 FEI Young Rider Champion, 2015 Southern California FEI Young Rider Champion, Overall FEI Jr/YR Champion, and FEI High Point Champion, 2014 Southern California Overall FEI Jr/YR Champion and FEI High Point Champion. Last year, I also qualified for and was invited to the United States Dressage Finals for the Fourth Level Open Freestyle after finishing in the top five of my championship class at the Region 7 Finals. However, the arduous trip to Kentucky in the middle of my fall semester was not something I could accommodate.
I love C4 because I am a huge advocate for self expression. I have always worn bright colors in the warm up ring, even wearing a purple shadbelly in a few CDI's and Championships. C4Belts allows each person to discover what they like and make a statement about it; the belts give me the freedom to be me. Prior to discovering C4Belts, I always had belt marks on my whites from my leather belts that were IMPOSSIBLE to get out. Now, I don't have to worry about the leather bleeding because of the animal friendly material C4 uses. I also love and appreciate how C4 gives back to charities with their belts. It creates a community and encourages people to be charitable and gracious.
Don’t ever give up. Honestly, I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. You can do this. You just need to put in the work and you’ll get there. Both life and equestrianism is a process and a journey and you need to enjoy all the troubles that you go through because that is what shapes you to be the person you’re meant to be. I owe a lot of my skills to my previous horse, Pellegrini; on the ground, he was the sweetest horse and loved to follow me around in pasture. When I got on his back, however, Pellegrini spent every moment testing me, asking if I was sure that I wanted to half pass or if I /really/ wanted that flying change. Every time I would let go of my seat, Pellegrini was convinced I wanted a walk break and would promptly walk, even if we were in the middle of a movement. He taught me humility, respect, determination, and, eventually, confidence. He taught me to trust in myself and my own ability and how to problem shoot in the middle of a test when his hind leg would shut down. Pellegrini wasn’t the traditional ‘horse of a lifetime’, but I wouldn’t trade the three years I had with him for anything else in the world.
I have two favorite quotes that I think would be pertinent to mention. The first was said to me personally at a clinic with Paul Belasik. He said to me: “it’s a duet… That is what [dressage] is about. This is teamwork.” I love this quote because it highlights that behind the good, the bad, and everything in between is a partnership that needs to be cultivated with mutual respect and understanding.
The second quote comes from the fifteenth century from Antoine de Pluvinel, and I believe that it relates nicely with the quote from Paul Belasik. “You can never rely on a horse that is educated by fear! There will always be something that he fears more than you. But, when he trusts you, he will ask you what to do when he is afraid.” It is impossible to build a healthy relationship with any being, whether it be animal or human, based off of fear. Fear is an emotion that elicits the fight or flight response, and this reaction is triggered when the creature is under pressure. By building a partnership based off of trust, mutual respect, understanding boundaries, and not pushing limits, your horse will understand that, with you, there is nothing he can’t do.
I have been riding all my life due to my mom being a trainer. When I was 3 yrs old I went to my first show and was champion in the cross-rail division. I am a hunter/jumper rider although I mainly compete in the jumper divisions. I have recently started competing in Grand Prixs and have pinned 2nd in two of them, 6th in another and 9th. I had a pony jumper this past year that I took to the 2016 US Pony Jumper Championships and finished 4th overall in the nation. My main goal is to become a top jumper rider resulting in the worldcup completions and possibly the Olympics some day.
I own three horses/pony. My main horse is St. John 10:9 and he is my Grand Prix horse. He is a KWPN ands was originally imported from Europe. I got him from Florida after being a working student at the barn he was at. He is very petite being only 16 1/8H. He is a bay with a blaze and multiple socks. He is approximately 10 years old and I have owned him for a year. I got him to be a 1.10m-1.15m High Children's horse and just kept moving up until our first Grand Prix together where we pinned 2nd. He is a complete "dork" and lets me ride him around bareback in a halter and lead rope outside of the show ring even though he has a lot of "blood" or is very "hot" and strong in the show ring.
Having worked with such talented horses thus far in my career, it is very difficult choosing a favorite accomplishment. Being 2nd in my very first Grand Prix as a 14 year old is definitely one of the top favorite. Also taking a sale barn pony and being 4th in the nation after less than a year of training is high up there.
When I was 10 I won the TIP award on my TB mare. Also when I was 10 Bernie Traurig made a comment comparing me to Margie Goldstein saying I was the next Margie Goldstein in the making. the list could go on and on because to me even the littlest thing such as jumping a single clear round or just schooling at home can be viewed as a massive accomplishment.
I love the style of the C4 belts and the simplicity of them. I love how no matter the outfit I wear I can have a matching belt. I think I have personally changed buckles and straps about 10 times at this show this past week alone. everyone is always complementing how well my bely matches my outfit and I love how cute C4 belts make any outfit. I think everyone needs a few buckles and straps to add to their wardrobe. I personally think it is mandatory to complete any look!
The best advice I can give anyone at any level of this sport is just few few simple words. HAVE FUN! horseback riding is about having fun. Although winning is nice think about why you started in the first place. Was your first thought when you first wanted to sit on a horse "I want to win" or was it "I want to ride because it seems fun"? No matter how the day goes just think about why you started in the first place. I promise you the person is last place had just as much fun riding as the person in first, whether they admit it or not. I also want to stress the importance of horsemanship and sportsmanship. Your horse is a living creature with thoughts and feelings. Praise him or her for all the good they do. spend some time with them. share secrets, sing to them, read to them, be a dork with them. the closer the bond between horse and rider the better! They aren't just a horse, they are in-fact the best friend you will ever have! and for sportsmanship, be kind to others. congratulate and wish luck to your fellow competitors. Most importantly, be a gracious winner and an even more gracious "loser" even though there is no such thing as a loser in this sport as long as you're having fun! :)
I am an equine photographer! I take photos at all the local horse shows with my co-photographer Chanelle Martin. We own Soundproof Photography!
I've been riding for 4 years, I started off volunteering with a therapeutic riding program and soon moved on to lessons. After a year of lessons I started training a 3yo mare as a jumper. I trained her for 2 years and was sold to a hunter/jumper barn. I now ride/train/coach at my current barn, I do eventing at the Training level, jumpers at the 1m/1.10m, and first level dressage!
I work for 2 leases, my eventing/jumper horse is named Cruz he's an 19yo Thoroughbred gelding. And my dressage horse is named Allie and she's a former young rider mount, she's competed in 2* eventing, 1.30 jumpers, and 4th level dressage, she's 21 and has had 9 babies.
Getting to eventing championships this year, and being in first in a local eventing point system.
They are long lasting, have lots of use for them, and colourful!
If you want extra time in the saddle, work for it! Best thing that's happened to me, I've never had to pay to ride any horse.
I started riding in late September 2011 at Misty River , when I started we rode western but fast forward a couple of lessons the trainer asked if I wanted to try English. As much fun as I had western, I fell in love with English from the first time I tried it. so I decided that I wanted to ride English full time, and in May 2012 I made the switch to a eventing trainer-- I had no clue what eventing was, so she invited me out to watch /help her at Mill creek pony club horse trials and instantly I was hooked. In June 2012 we started a lease on my first horse Maximus, he ended up being my birthday present on July 27! Then my family and I moved far away from Misty River, so max moved with us. In October of 2012 I joined pony club and in November I passed my D1. Max moved to my house with me in January, so I started riding all the lesson horses. On January 26, 2013 I went to my first horse show on lazer ,In February I passed my D2 HM. I went to two more horse shows that spring on Ranger, then on Toby, attended my first USPC show jump rally on Toby. In October 2013 I went to my last show on Toby and won my first blue ribbon. In November 2013 this red roan Quarter horse who at the time was name Crawford showed up and I started riding him, needless to say it was not love at first sight but I renamed him Romeo. I passed my D3 HM and D2 riding on him in November 2013, then he ended up being my Christmas present in 2013. We spend all of 2014 and most of 2015 trying to figure each other out, going to local Dressage shows, riding bearback. Then finally in winter/spring 2015 we clicked and really started having fun with each other! Went to my first H/J show on Romeo in May 2015. Then in June 2015 my family moved down to the ozark. That fall I joined Heritage livestock Riding Center(pony club) and started taking lessons with Mariellen Raucher and Cynthia Wiseman. In January 2016 I passed my C1 HM with 7 exceed standards. That spring I started doing Dressage with Claudia Misner. And finally in May 2016 the dream was fulfilled and I got to ride in Mill Creek Pony club horse trials finishing on my Dressage score getting 3rd! I've gone to several local jumper shows this past summer and I'm looking forward to this fall.
I own two horses. Cape cod Grey aka Maximus, a faded dapple grey 16 year old off the track thoroughbred.
I Love C4 belts Because of all the awesome colors. They're super comfortable and adjustable and work perfectly for grab straps on cross country.
My advice would be to just have Fun with it, because if your not having fun with it what's the point of doing it at all. Also never give up, stay determined and thing will work their way out.
I've always loved horses but it wasn't until I was 12 that I got my first opportunity to really ride. Since then I have been riding for 5 years. I've been in several different barns and have tried a few different disciplines. A year ago I fell in love with cross country. It was the most exciting thing I'd ever done and from then on I knew I wanted to event. This year we went Entry and are about to move up to Pre-Training with the hopes that by the end of next season we'll be going Training.
Throughout the past 5 years I've owned several young horses. As of right now I only own one. Rocket, is a 7 year old gelding, 16hh Oldenburg x TB, dun. I bought him when he was 5 and had to retrain him from being a hunter/jumper to an event horse.
I feel that my riding abilities have grown hugely in the last year. I'm proud that I've helped train my horse and gotten to ride other youngsters along the way. My horse is extremely sensitive and is a hard ride for most so I'm very proud I've learned to ride him as well as I do. In one year we've gone from schooling cross poles and 2'3 to jumping 3'3 courses and 3'6. This spring we brought home a 5th place medal in an event we went to which for me, made me feel like all the hard work and training is paying off. I'm proud that we've done as well as we have since this is Rockets second year of Eventing. Most of all I'm extremely proud that we've been moving up the levels so quickly and by the end of this season we will have a Pre-Training event under our belt as well.
I love C4 belts because they are unique and fit to your body type! Before I tried C4 I never even wore belts because I didn't like them. Then I saw them in the store and new I had to try one! I loved them! I use them to match my cross country colours and I never ride without one!
It's not always about competing! Sometimes you have to realize that it's better if you go to your events for schooling purposes and to have fun then to always be in the ribbons! Don't worry if your not in the top riders, every mistake you make is something that you can learn from. Focus on your own journey and your own horse and try not to get caught up in what everyone else is saying and doing. Always remember to have fun! Another piece of advice is: don't make goals that you or your horse can't accomplish. Set reasonable goals and then as you reach them you can make another goal and eventually you'll be able to make big goals that you know you can achieve!
"I've been riding for a little over 11 years now with my start in 4-H. I competed up through 3rd level in dressage and then made the switch to 3-Day Eventing about 5 years ago. I currently compete at then CIC* level with aims this year of completing my first CCI*."
"I currently own two. Burned You Too "Maggie" is my 7 year old TB who I event at the CIC* level. Flower Addie "Flo" is my 5 year old OTTB whom I'm retraining to be an eventer. She will be competing starter this year."
"I recently finished 3rd in the open prelim division at Otter Creek Spring horse trials moving up 16 places form 19th to 3rd! 2016 was my second year grooming for Rachel McDonough at Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event.. It was such a blast being on the backside and what a wonderful person Rachel is! Also, Maggie and I are changing roles in two weeks and we are competing in the $5,000 Jumper stake at the Minnesota state fair. Time to win back some money!"
"I love C4 belts because I get to express my style. I don't wear crazy patterns or large logo attire so being able to wear a belt that is simple and professional is so great! Also they are so easy to clean.. I use my dishwasher!"
"Don't be afraid of losing. Chances are if you finish last you made a minor mistake and that's okay! Knowledge is an invaluable asset and every mistake is a learning experience."
Abby began riding when she was 4 and became hooked on jumpers when she accidently jumped a jump during her first riding lesson! She began with hunters but now rides jumpers and eventing.
Abby currently owns two horses. Gordon's Sunny Day Surprise, otherwise known as Surprise, is a quarter horse mare. She also owns a Westphalian gelding named Perpetual Motion but goes by Westy at the barn.
Abby has done extremely well in mini Prix's and USEA sanctioned events but she says her biggest accomplishment isn't winning ribbons but was rescuing Westy. Westy was in a bad place during a flood a few years ago. The person who bred him loved him but gave him to someone else to take care of him for a few months. He ended up in bad shape, almost 200 pounds underweight. Abby and her trainer nurtured him back to health and worked on his fearful state. He had 30 days of professional training and now Abby continues to train him. While Westy is still fearful, he is very loving and is winning mini Prixs and doing exceptionaly well in the eventing world.
"I love C4 Belts because they are so versatile and unique." Abby says. She enjoys that the belts can be worn with anything, in and out of the arena, not to mention they offer several fun color combinations. Her riding outfit wouldn't be complete without one!
Abby says "Don't worry about winning! Let yourself feel prideful when you do win but that's not all that riding is about. You've got to have fun with the sport and fell in love with..."
Ellie Leonard is an entrepreneur from Skye Valley Training! She has several great horses that have helped her grow in her riding career and has a lot of great advice for her fellow riders that everyone should read about!
Ellie is not only a great rider but she's an inspiration to other riders. She has a great drive and work ethic that shows in her entrepreneurial skills. She sells her own homemade horse cookies to pay for horse shows! She makes peppermint flavored and oats & molasses flavored cookies. She tends to sell them at shows or her Instagram page @TheCookieGirll. She even takes photos at shows for her friends and peers. She loves it when they use her photos! "It's the greatest feeling when someone enjoys a special moment I captured on camera."
Ellie has been riding for 11 years under her trainer Jaimi Martin at Skye Valley Training. She is currently training in eventing, dressage and hunter jumpers.
Ellie owns several horses. She completes her two OTTB's - Jem (Unconscious Bets) and Bernie (Boo Radley). Bernie just turned 19 and Jem is six. Ellie named Jem herself after reading To Kill A Mockingbird. Ellie also owns a 24 year old Welsh Cob named BB (Ceiriog Freya). BB is Ellie's first pony that she took to her first shows. BB is now retired in Ellie's backyard. Ellie also competes a 12 year old Holsteiner mare named Aida with her brother at fourth level dressage. Ellie is working toward her last score for her bronze medal! Ellie even has her own miniature horse that she hooks to carts and does tricks with!
Ellie's favorite accomplishment would be training and showing Jem. "He's not the easiest horse to ride but it's so rewarding when we do well" Ellie says. She enjoyed finishing her dressage score at FCHP and says that was one of the best rides of her life. She has also obtained most of her bronze medal scores on a quarter horse named Bar Passers Vision. "She certainly wasn't the easiest body type for dressage but we worked well together and had some great rides."
Ellie says she is able to match them to her outfits easily. She also doesn't have to settle for a plain brown or black belt. "They are fun to wear and super easy to clean, which is perfect for me because I'm not very neat!"
"Try to focus on yourself and your own journey. It's easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, but at the end of the day as long as you're having fun and moving forward that's all that counts! Always be suuportive and encouraging to others, and always put your horse's well being ahead of your own goals." She also suggests that as a rider, you will always ride and/or own several other horses in your life and not to push a horse that cannot accomplish goals you would like to set. Your horse should enjoy the sport just as much as you do!
Delaney found her love for horses at the age of three but didn’t start her riding career until she was seven. She previously completed in the hunter jumper circuit for seven years until 2014 when she made the move to eventing.
Dutchess, Charmer, and Goober are Delaney’s three horses. Dutchess is Delaney’s most well known horse on Instagram. She is a 12-year-old buckskin American Quarter Horse mare that is currently eventing at novice level with a move up to training level this fall. Delaney plans to give Dutchess an early retirement out of eventing for upper level dressage due to her amazing movement for such a small horse. Charmer is a four-year-old OTTB gelding that left the track just a year ago. Delaney is currently restarting him to begin his beginner novice eventing career in August with future plans for the upper levels. She also says he is her dream horse! Goober is a 15-year-old homegrown Thoroughbred gelding. He has competed in the lower levels of eventing with his previous owners and took Delaney to her first three-day event in 2014. Goober is enjoying retirement but Delaney has plans to put him back to work in upper level dressage.
Some of Delaney's favorite accomplishments are: Qualifying for the American Eventing Champions for 2016, moving up the levels in eventing, and being able to bring Charmer through the levels.
“I love C4 belts because they are very comfortable and affordable. They make great combinations with any outfit!”
Delaney says that riders shouldn’t give up on their dreams and their goals. The correct timing is needed to be successful in eventing and in life. She says to make plans, start small, and work your way up. You’ll get there!