Action Rider of the Month – Melissa Vesterholm

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Melissa Vesterholm riding Isaiah Callaway, a Welsh Cob gelding.

Melissa Vesterholm lives and rides in Denmark. She has ridden and trained Isaiah Callaway, a six-year-old Section C Welsh Pony gelding. The Welsh Pony of Cob Type, Section C, is the stronger counterpart of the Welsh Pony, but with Cob blood. These ponies are surefooted and hardy, and used for many purposes.

Melissa is part of Russ-park.dk, a sports team in Denmark, where they train medium-size ponies for Tour-riding and Monté-riding, Trotting, Easy Dressage and Carriage Driving trials.

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Isaiah Callaway has a huge trot stride.

Melissa states, “Our latest star, Isaiah Callaway, has won ten out of fourteen starts in Pony-Monté in Denmark in 2015. Isaiah Callaway also received the award as “The Monté Pony of the Year 2015” for his outstanding achievements at the racetracks.”

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Melissa is also training several ponies for other people and chairs two clinics for disabled riders per week, where the students ride Icelandic horses.

Melissa explains, “Our ponies are all living barefoot with strong hooves and they are roaming around in Paddock Paradise the whole year in all kinds of weather. If necessary, we use Easyboot Gloves on the ponies hooves on long endurance rides.

“We coach our ponies in natural horsemanship with mutual respect and love. Therefore, they always are in top mental and physical form, but as we all know, summer and winter coats change a pony’s body shape.

“Therefore we searched, about 7 years ago, for a good treeless saddle for general purpose, and after many tests we chose the Barefoot Cheyenne Treeless Saddle, which we believe is a very good all-around saddle.

“Recently, we purchased the lightweight Barefoot Cheyenne model in the Dry Tex version, for which we are very happy, because it is a sturdy saddle in all kinds of weather conditions and has a safe seat for both beginners and experienced riders.

“In Denmark we have no tradition to use western fenders, but the Barefoot Cheyenne Saddle is also excellent with classic stirrups. Anyway, we are considering buying the new fenders with knee support to our Barefoot Cheyenne Saddle, which may give the rider more support for terrain riding and jumping.

“We have never had “saddle problems” since we went over to Barefoot Cheyenne Treeless Saddles.”

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