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Country & Stable Moments Carol McKibben and Aramis

Posted by Carol McKibben on 15th Jun 2016

This is the first in a new series of riders and their horses. If you would like to be considered for publication, please drop us a photo and a note to  of what you were thinking when it was taken to us at countrystableusa at

- Thanks!

This photo was taken during the "honor round" at the Dressage Association of Southern California Championships several years ago. Aramis and I had taken the Reserve Championship at Second Level. I was elated because it was our very best Second Level Performance.

We moved on to showing Third Level and are the 2015 Ventura County California Dressage Association Champions at that level. We are currently training to move up to Fourth Level.

The DASC Show is the regional championships before State. It's always held at an equestrian center in Southern California. This one was at El Sueno Equestrian in Somis, Calif. Aramis (whose registered show name is Wabe Fan De Praktyskoalle) is also the current I.F.S.H.A. Friesian World and Grand National Prix St. Georges (PSG) Champion with my trainer, Pam Wangenheim Hawkins. They also are the Reserve Champions for the DASC All-Breeds Awards at PSG. Unfortunately, I'm not that advanced yet!

What were you thinking in this photo: I knew we had a good ride. When I came out of the ring, Pam, my trainer, told me that it was the best second level test I had ever ridden. I was edged out of the championship by one of my riding buddies, so we were all happy.

In dressage, you are judged for each movement. Second and third levels are difficult because that's where everything starts to advance. The movements become more difficult for horse and rider. Aramis loves the honor rounds so that he can really strut his stuff! He gets very excited, and we both just want to gallop around the arena. Unfortunately the horses are all quite hot. They know they've done well, so they are ready to jump out of their skins. I had to hold Aramis back in this photo because he wanted to brag a little bit. I was laughing because I could feel how proud he was of us.

Carol McKibben is a writer, and rider, in Los Angeles, California. Her favorite splurge at Country & Stable are the Caldene Ladies Casoria Boots.