Dear Golden State Members,

Welcome to 2022 and Happy New Year! New Year’s Resolutions are a time-honored tradition, existing in our country as far back as the late 17th century. Most historians believe Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions about 4,000 years ago. Resolutions are often thought of in terms of “goals.”

Do you have goals for the coming year? Maybe you want to make new friends and be more social. Don’t miss the Golden State Annual Luncheon and Awards event Jan 29. Do you want to get people in your barn or family/friends involved in Versatility? Check out the February Introduction to Versatility Clinic for both youth and adults. Are you determined to conquer show nerves and fear? Read Sandy Collier’s piece on how to “reframe fear.” Do you want to support some youths in your sphere of influence? Tell them about Tony Agredano’s generous offer to sponsor four lucky youth for his March show. In this issue, all of this, plus 2021 Western States Division winners, Golden State participation at the Art of the Cowgirl, and the “Quote of the Month,” will be found.

Maybe your goals are a little closer to home–more efficient cuts, more accurate circles, better stops, the ability to read the cattle more effectively, getting over those dratted poles cleanly, smooth transitions, etc. Whatever it is, remember the most important goal of all . . . to have fun!

Bookmark this link to the Golden State Calendar. Lots of fun planned for VRHA in 2022, don’t miss a bit of it!

Dawn Poston


Send comments, concerns, & ideas to

Annual Luncheon and Awards

New Venue

The Golden State Annual Luncheon/Awards Ceremony will be held January 29, 2022, 11:30-3:00 at the Bayonet & Black Horse Pub & Grill in Seaside, CA. This event will be FREE to members and $30 per person for guests. We need to get menu choices (there’s everything from salad to sandwiches on the menu) no later than January 22nd. If you didn’t get an email with menu choices and opportunity to sign up, contact Board Member Meghan Carr at or 831-594-3034. Contact Dawn Poston ( or 831-601-9064) for any other information you might need.

Besides great social time, good food, and award presentations, there will be nifty door prizes. For example, two gift certificates for a 10# tub of Platinum Performance will be given to two lucky winners. Please come join us for a great kick off to the new year of showing.

An Opportunity for Beginners

Introduction to VRH Clinic for Youth & Adults

“Introduction to Ranch Versatility,” a clinic for those new, or newish to versatility, will be held February 19, 2022, 9am-3pm, at Ember Ridge Ranch Equestrian Center, Moss Beach, CA. Sarah Clifford and Kathy Torres will be the clinicians. They will cover Reining, Ranch Riding, Ranch Trail and Flag Work. The cost is Youth-$125 (includes GSVRHA membership,) Adult members $150, non-members $190, Audit fee $35. Bring your own lunch and beverage, as none are available at the venue.

One can sign up at or mail completed entry to GSVRHA, c/o Marty Raynor, POB 620477, Woodside, CA 94062. For more information contact Marty at or 650-722-2115.

This event will fill quickly so sign up now!

Four Youth Entries Sponsored

Atta Boy Tony Agredano

Tony Agredano really knows how to step up to the plate! He has offered four scholarships to cover four Youth All Around entries to his March Cinch Up Productions Show (March 19-20). Two of the scholarships will be presented at the February “Introduction to VRH” clinic. The remaining two will be presented at the March show. We are calling all youth competitors, and would be youth competitors, to participate in the clinic and enter the show to have a chance at a fully paid entry. Please spread the word. Contact Dawn Poston at if you have questions.

Wisdom from Sandy Collier

Is It Fear or Is It Excitement?

As you walk into the show pen are you sometimes nervous or fearful? In the following, legendary Sandy Collier teaches us how to “reframe” fear.

Sometimes the feelings of being scared and excited can elicit the same physical response in our bodies. When new challenges and opportunities show up in our riding lives, we may think we are feeling scared when what we really feel is excited. We might not have been taught how to welcome the thrill of a new opportunity, so we back off, feeling anxiety instead of awakening our courage to take on a new challenge.

The butterflies in our stomach, or a rapidly beating heart, are not necessarily signs that we are afraid. Those very same feelings can be translated into excitement, curiosity, and passion. There is nothing wrong with being afraid as long as we do not let it stop us from doing the things that excite us.

Most of us assume that brave people are fearless, but the truth is that they are simply more comfortable with fear because they face it on a regular basis. The more we do this, the more confident we get, and the more we feel excitement in the face of challenges rather than anxiety. The more we cultivate our ability to move forward instead of backing off, the more we trust ourselves to be able to handle the new opportunity, whether it’s going to a show, riding a colt for the first time or going down the fence.

When we feel our fear, we can remind ourselves that maybe we are actually excited. We can assure ourselves that this opportunity has come our way because we are meant to take it. Framing things just a little differently can shift our mental state from one of resistance to one of openness. We can practice this new way of seeing things by saying aloud: I am really excited showing this horse for the first time! I am excited to go down the fence! Or, I am excited to have the opportunity to do something I have never done before.

As we do this, we will feel our energy shift from fear, which paralyzes, to excitement, which helps us direct that energy into growing and learning. Soon you’ll find yourself saying, “I can’t wait to go in the show pen and show my horse!”

Golden State Finished Strong

Western States Year End Division Winners

Open Champion & Reserve
Sarah Clifford – Cee My Foolish Tangy
Bob Grant – Caymus Pepto

Advanced Amateur Champion & Reserve
Dawn Poston – Fresnos Plain Peppy
Jennifer Harden – Sanjo Lights

Limited Champion & Reserve
Bev Sparrowk – Gatalata Nicker
Diana Rickter – Kaweahs Pepinic

Intermediate Champion & Reserve
John Fisher – Roosters Reminicgold
Lisa Clapp – Smarty Pantz

Novice Champion & Reserve
Jessamy German – Docs Bugs Buddy
Peter Smoot – Starlight Dillon

Walk/Trot Champion & Reserve
Leigh Barthon – Jheart Dun Driftin
Jayme Williamson – Boons Royal Remedy

Youth Champion & Reserve
Kirra Hicks-Starlights – Lil Royal
Laureen Morris – Snickers

Golden State & Nevada Well Represented

Art Of The Cowgirl

Golden State will be represented at the prestigious “Art of the Cowgirl” World’s Greatest Cowgirl event in Queen Creek, AZ by trainers Jennifer Ray and Sarah Clifford, and Amateurs Jennifer Harden and Ella Young. Renee Jackson, also an amateur, will represent Nevada in the Ranch Team competition. World’s Greatest Horsewoman, Ranch Team competition, vendors, art, music, cow dogs, horse sale–it’s all there! Tickets are available at the web site There will be many Golden State cowgirls in attendance cheering on the home team.

Quote of the Month

Author Unknown

“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.”