Downeast Medal Finals

June 2017

September 14-17, 2017

Visit our website for more information about Downeast Medal Finals. We welcome all questions, suggestions, and sponsorship: please email Ginger at

Downeast News
Attention All Children's Pony and 2'6" Junior Riders!

Downeast Medal Finals is pleased to announce a new division: The Special Children's Hunter division. This new division will blend the Children's Ponies (sm/med to jump 2' and larges and horses to jump 2'6") with horses. Open to Junior riders who have never competed over 2'6" at a recognized show. The Medal class for this division is the DMF Mini Medal, proudly sponsored by Poulin Grain. Any points accrued by Children's ponies thus far will be applied to qualifying for the DMF Mini Medal. We are very excited to offer this opportunity and look forward to seeing everyone in Skowhegan this September!

Reminder for 2017: Long stirrup is now open to adults!
Also: the Amateur Adult Medal will now be 2’6″ to make it more inviting to all.

Horsemanship participants, this year's questions will be taken from articles in the newsletter and the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Study Guide which can be found at

American National - Farm Family


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Our general coverage options include liability for certain horse-related activities and participants at shows, exhibitions, and events and property coverage for residences and households contents, farm products and supplies, barns, farm machinery, and more.

Our equine-package policy enhancements allow you to select additional coverages that can include protection for computer equipment to non-owned tack and liability coverage for horse show judges and more. You can also choose coverage for other people's horses that are in your care.

Give me a call at 207.622.4646 and we can talk about how you can choose a flexible and tailored equine insurance for your farm or horse operation.

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Lead Changes Part 1

“Control of the pieces”

By Scott Laffey

“What is a good lead change?”  I was once asked while teaching a clinic, by a rider whose horse was extremely unbalanced and disconnected. As a trainer and judge, I like to see the horse traveling in a straight line, with neither the shoulder nor hip following in or out. The horse should be moving forward in an even collected rhythm, and without an elevation from the shoulders or hips. The horse should shift their weight onto their new outside hind leg, allowing them to smoothly change from one lead to another, with the hip leading the change.  A lead change is a very satisfying movement to train under saddle. Taught correctly this will stick with a horse for life.  To teach a lead change, you don’t need a ring or fancy jumps.  I have successfully taught many horses to change leads in an apple orchard, where I was able to canter straight between the trees with nothing in the way.  

There are two types of lead changes, impulse change and a controlled change.  For an impulse change, picture a rider cantering away from a fence, and, with a kick, is hoping that the horse is carrying itself fast enough and balanced enough to change leads. On the other hand a controlled lead change is performed on a straight line, the rider asking for a small amount of collection, shifting their hips and legs slightly and the horse changes leads. The question is how do we get there…

First, have the basics. You and your horse should be confident at transitions as well as extension and collection.  No lead change can occur unless you have control of all the pieces of the horse: shoulder, rib cage, and hip.  Your horse should yield each piece softly off your aids when asked, without any resistance or apprehension.  Your horse’s response to these yields there does not need to be a huge movement-it can be a small shift in the horse’s weight.    

Once you have an understanding of lead changes, and you and your horse have these basics in place, you can move forward with schooling the lead change, which will be covered in Lead Changes Part 2.         

In addition to being the show manager of Downeast Medal Finals, Scotty is USEF “r” judge, and an associate trainer for Over the Oxer in Rye, NH.          

Upcoming Shows with Downeast Qualifying Classes

June 3   Senator BellChester, NH

June 4   Different Drummer FarmCandia, NH

June 10  NHHJATack Shack, Fremont, NH

June 11  Cornerstone FarmHaverhill, MA

June 11  High Standard StableWells, ME

June 16-18  Downeast Horse Show CongressSkowhegan, ME

June 18  NSHAEvenstride, Byfield, MA

June 24  NHHJASenator Bell, Chester, NH

June 25  Lucky Clover StablesSanford, ME

June 25  NSHASenator Bell, Chester, NH

June 25  SeaHorse StablesBelfast, ME

July 4   NHHJA Summer FestivalFieldstone, Halifax, MA

July 15  Touchstone FarmTemple, NH

July 16  Cornerstone FarmHaverhill, MA

July 21-23  Mainely Hunters & JumpersSkowhegan, ME

July 29  Touchstone FarmTemple, NH

July 30  Lucky Clover StablesSanford, ME

July 30  Lupine FarmVassalboro, ME

July 30  Seacoast Hunter JumperGreen Acres Stables, Madbury, NH

July 30  NSHASenator Bell, Chester, NH

Become a Downeast Medal Finals Sponsor for 2017:
All levels accepted and appreciated! 
Visit our website for more information.

For more information, to list your show with Downeast qualifying classes, to be featured as a Downeast spotlight rider, or to become a sponsor, please email Ginger at