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Giddy-Up! BCRA Monthly Newsletter - June 2022

Summer is here!

With the start of June, we have some more great news out of the Bell Canyon Riding Academy! We are excited to announce that Tara Calig is joining our team as the BCRA Administrative Coordinator. She will be overseeing administrative functions, serving as the hub of our BCRA (and some of the BCEC) operations, and she brings with her a wealth of professional horse experience and administrative knowledge. Welcome, Tara! Dakota Hokanson, our Curriculum Coordinator, will continue to oversee all aspects of the Riding Academy program, work with riders and their parents, teach classes and lessons, and manage horse care. We are thrilled to have such a dynamic duo leading our Riding Academy!

The theme for this month is Rhythm, not only as we get into a groove of a new program and a new season, but also as it pertains riding. Trainers will be introducing aspects of what rhythm means for the horse and rider and how to establish it in order to build better balance and establish consistency at each gait and in exercise.

Upcoming June classes and opportunities for Academy students:



Horse Anatomy I: Rerun

This class covers parts of the body and basic anatomy, such as shoulder, point of shoulder, whither, hock, knee, ribs, dock, girth, stifle, poll, croup, stifle, point of buttock, haunch, etc.


Tack + Equipment I: Saddle Up

This class covers parts of the saddle, how it’s built to fit the horse, related equipment such as girth types and different kinds of saddle pads, and when/why we use them. Tack cleaning basics and care for the saddle, stirrup, and girth will also be covered.

Questions: Why is it important to know the parts of the saddle and take care of our tack?


Showmanship II Recommended: Showmanship I

This class serves as a continuation of Showmanship I and covers halting, turning, backing, maneuvering, and working with the horse around obstacles.


Intro to Course Design

This class covers how to build and set jumps in the arena from the ground up to prepare for lessons or schooling as well as height measurements, pole setting, setting cross rails, verticals, and oxars. Students will learn how to ‘set’ jumps for a full course and what it means to be part of a jump crew.


6/1, 6/8, 6/15, 6/22, 6/29

Barn Rats Night

Come watch group lessons and hang out at the barn with friends and trainers from 4 - 6:30 PM. Join in for extra grooming, tacking, or learning opportunities; hang in the club house and meet other riders; or help with jump crew in the arena at the end of lessons.

6/10, 6/17, 6/24

Trainers Train (no signup needed)

Sapling students are welcome to join this activity; a parent must accompany Sapling students at all times

Come watch our trainers train their own horses, either in a lesson with other professionals or as a group together, and learn what they are currently working on with their own horses.

For classes and activities, sign up sheets will be on the board next to the Hitching Post (our clubhouse room).


Summer Camp 2022: There are just two spots left, one in School's Out Week 2 (6/27 - 30) and one in Hot to Trot Ponies Week 1 (7/11 - 14). You can sign up at

Riding Academy Curriculum

The wait is over! Inevitably, there have been shipping delays for the Academy binders and lanyards, but the Progress Journal is finally here and our instructors will be distributing them next week! Dakota will also continue to reach out to parents this month for conferences. Be on the lookout for texts from her to talk about your young rider and their goals and dreams!

Contact Information

Need to contact a program leader directly? Now you can! For administrative questions or concerns about boarding, full care, or a la carte horse care, you can reach Tara at To discuss Academy or Sapling student progress, curriculum questions, or other riding-related issues, check in with Dakota at As always, for general questions, lessons scheduling, or feedback, please don't hesitate to email our instructors at If you need to text or call about scheduling, the BCRA phone number remains 818-917-3599.

Please stay tuned for next month's newsletter and updates on events! Thank you for supporting the Bell Canyon Riding Academy and Equestrian Center Community. Happy Summer - it’s time to have a lot more fun and enjoy the beautiful Canyon and our horses!

Happy riding,

The BCRA Team

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