Neue Schule has had a busy month at the Colorado Horse Park. As the Official Bit of the USEF, Neue Schule has been presenting its fan-favorite Neue Schule Best Hands Award at the newly renovated Colorado Horse Park, which is home to hunter/jumper, dressage, and eventing shows. This June, three riders— Hanna Holik, Kamryn Steel, and Annie Kartsotis— all received the Neue Schule Best Hands Award ribbon and Verbindend bit to acknowledge their superb communication with their horses.
Neue Schule developed the Best Hands Award to recognize riders who display soft and effective connection between their hands and their horses’ mouths. One of the company’s core principles is to make sure that horses’ comfort is kept at the forefront of training and competition. By using innovative designs and advanced materials, Neue Schule has been successful at creating bits that are effective for the rider and safe and comfortable for the horse.
Hannah Holik of Jackson, Wyoming was the first rider to win the Best Hands award during the 2016 Summer in the Rockies show series at the Colorado Horse Park. Holik, who has been riding for 14 years, was piloting her own Cupido de Laubry in the Amateur Owner Jumper Classic when horse show officials noticed her subtly effective aides and presented her with Neue Schule Best Hands Award. “I have practiced a soft and effective feel for a long time, and I’ve found that maintaining this type of contact does not interfere with how the horse naturally wants to go,” said Holik. “Since winning this award, I have used my new Neue Schule Verbindend bit on some of my horses at home, and they consistently have positive reactions to the mouthpiece. They tend to soften in the bridle earlier in their flat work,” she explained.
Seventeen-year-old Kamryn Steel was the next Neue Schule Best Hands Award winner. Steel doesn’t have to go far from home to compete at the Colorado Horse Park. The Parker, Colorado native was riding her own Catrina B in the 15-17 Equitation division when she was presented with the award. “It’s really gratifying that I won this award because I have been working really hard on accomplishing soft and consistent contact,” Steel explained. “I used to be stiff if Catrina felt strong; it required a lot of time and effort to break that bad habit.”
The most recent award winner was Annie Kartsotis of Texas, who was competing her new six-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Stallone, in the Adult Hunter division. Her trainer Julie Clevland-Beam of Hillcrest Farm in Argyle, Texas said, “Annie has been with me for two years, and we went to Europe and bought Stallone as a project six months ago. He has come along quite nicely with Annie’s patient rides. We have high hopes that he will become a nice derby horse one day.”
Kartsois, who hopes to become a professional trainer herself one day, was excited to receive this award with her new horse. “I work hard to be patient because patience is applicable everywhere,” she explained. “Bringing along a young horse is a key step in being a professional, and I am excited we are giving off a good impression.”
The Colorado Horse Park is the largest equestrian venue west of the Mississippi River. Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Horse Park provides a world-class facility for equestrians on the west coast of the United States. The facility features more than 40 events per year. With 11 competition arenas, 100 boarding stalls, two covered arenas, 300 permanent stalls, portable stalls for more than 1,000 competing horses, and an RV park, the facility is quickly becoming a jewel in equestrian sports.
Riders that are interested in Neue Schule bits can learn more about what makes these bits so unique at the on-site Colorado Horse Park Feed and Supply Store. Many popular Neue Schule bits are available at the Colorado Horse Park Feed and Supply Store, including the new Hunter D bit, which is designed specifically for the horses that compete in hunter and equitation divisions.
To learn more about Neue Schule bits and their North American distributer Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, visit www.BitByBitUSA.com or call 631-252-5574.
Photo: Hannah Holik of Jackson, Wyoming was the first rider to win the Best Hands award during the 2016 Summer in the Rockies show series at the Colorado Horse Park (photo courtesy of the Colorado Horse Park).