The Event at Rebecca Farms is all in the family for Earl, Jen and Taylor McFall. Together, the trio will be heading to Montana July 24 to compete at the popular event.
Top photo of Taylor McFall and Kilbarry Prince courtesy of Lisa Davis.
Last week, we learned more about how Jen came to discover the Fleeceworks technology, leading to her sponsorship by the company.
11-year-old Taylor McFall, recently began learning the ropes of eventing, and she leases a Connemara pony named Kilbarry Prince, who has helped her move from Beginner Novice to Novice. The McFall’s lease on Prince ends in November, and Jen told her daughter that the pony would be moving on to a new home because they did not have the money to purchase him.
Not at all discouraged, Taylor immediately put her entrepreneurial spirit to work, coming up with a business plan to raise the money she needed to buy her pony. “She’s always kind of been an entrepreneur,” Jen said. “I remember being at an event one time and she was selling rocks to people! And they were buying the rocks from her!”
Enlisting the help of family friend and husband to coach Hawley Bennett-Awad, Gamal, Taylor plans to offer truck washes, tack cleaning services, and homemade “Pony Puffs” to patrons of Rebecca Farms.
The idea has gone viral on social media, and Taylor already has hundreds of Pony Puffs on order, and plenty of customers lined up to utilize her services in Montana. “I tried to think of what people needed at shows,” Taylor said. “Truck washing and tack cleaning take time and no one wants to do that.”
Working won’t be the only thing on Taylor’s mind in Montana, however. She still has a pony to compete in the Junior Novice division, and she’s been working hard to be able to compete at this event. “I’ve always wanted to ride there,” she said. “I’ve always watched my mom ride there and I never thought I’d be riding too. I’m really excited.”
Taylor works hard in her lessons at home with coach Cori Davis and also receives help at shows from Hawley Bennett-Awad and Lauren Billys. “Hawley has really helped me not be afraid of the jumps. If I don’t focus on the jumps and just do it, then I can focus more on making good turns and keeping the speed right,” Taylor said. “Lauren helps me a lot with my dressage. She helps me with keeping (Prince) straight and bending the right way, and she’s a big reason why I have been getting better scores. And Cori is really fun. She isn’t too easy and not too hard on me, but she pushes me and helps me get better everyday.”
Taylor says her goals for the weekend are to get a good dressage score (she achieved her first sub-40 score last time out at Copper Meadows), leave all of the stadium jumps up, and go clear on cross country. “I think if I can do that, I’ll be good to go.”
Meanwhile, Jen will be riding her upper level partner, High Times, in his first big run since completing Rolex Kentucky in April. Jen brought “Billy” out for an Intermediate run at Copper Meadows in June, which he won handily. “Rolex was big, and he was pretty green for it, so I just wanted to make sure he still felt good about himself,” Jen said of her run at Copper Meadows. “He felt like a total champ, which makes me confident for taking him in the CIC3* at Rebecca.”
Since Rolex, Billy has displayed more confidence in himself, which pleases Jen. “His dressage is more settled now, and he just jumps like a tiger. We’ve been doing our gallops with Cori Davis and her horse, A Golden Effort. They’ve always galloped together, and A Golden Effort is a fast horse. Apparently Billy has decided that ‘Ty’ is his personal trainer now, and ever since Rolex he tries to beat him. He’s seriously the most chill horse, but now he’s so competitive. He’s a tough guy now!”
The McFalls will head to Montana on July 18, where they will rent a house near the event and spend the week there after a grueling daylong road trip from California. “There’s so much to do there that we just stay for a week so we can enjoy it,” Jen said. “You can literally go to Rebecca Farms and not even go to the event because there are plenty of other things to do! It’s great for spouses or non-horse people.”
Jen will be packing plenty of Fleeceworks gear when she packs her trailer for Montana. “I have to wonder if the Fleeceworks pad that Taylor just got had to do with her lower score at Copper,” Jen said. “The pad really helps the saddle fit better, which in turn makes the horse move better. The pad has really helped Prince. For Billy, I think it makes a huge difference. I use the pad under my saddle pad and it makes a world of difference in all of my horses. Since Billy is a Warmblood, he runs a little hot and the pad makes a big difference in cooling out time. His back is much less sore than it used to be. It used to be kind of a problem, but now it isn’t.”
Jen rides with a fleece half pad with shims when she jumps Billy and a regular fleece pad without shims in his other saddles. The great thing about the Fleeceworks pads are the fact that they can be fitted with or without shims to ensure the best possible fit for your horse.
Taylor rides in a pony sized half pad, and Fleeceworks manufactures pony sized half pads, baby pads, and has a cross country pad forthcoming this year. The half pads are available in both wool and sheepskin.
From the Fleeceworks website:
Fleeceworks patented FWXK technology provides comprehensive wither relief. Cross elastic allows for vertical give of the pad through the topline. Anatomically correct top line. Specific cut to fit the staight edge of dressage saddles. The piped edge blends discretely when worn on top of a quilted pad. If used directly on the horse it does not disturb the drape of the square pad. For extremely high withered horses we recommend our Perfect Balance technology.