Does YOUR horse love his bit?

About the Spring/Summer Dressage Shows

The year 2018 will be our 24th annual Spring Dressage Show at Horse Amour, and 6th ever Summer Dressage Show. Dressage is the basis for all correct riding and the foundation for all other equestrian competitions. The horse needs a period of rest from the physical demands of jumping, and riders need a time to come back to the basics with correct flatwork. Our Spring Dressage Show is the grande finale for all our winter Dressage schooling. But April is early! We have added a Summer Show to further enjoy dressage! Dressage is great fun when combined with music, teamwork and the incredibly enjoyable creativity and talent that our competitors bring to this show!


Classes Available:

Intro Level Test B

Intro Level Test C

Training Level Test 1

Training Level Test 2

Training Level Test 3

Leadline Test

Western Dressage & Test of Choice

Musical Freestyle Intro Level

Musical Freestyle Training Level

Musical Freestyle First Level

Pas De Deux/Pas De Trois

Quadrille Intro Level

Quadrille Training Level

Quadrille First Level

Quadrille Freestyle (used in our shows)

Quadrille Guidelines


Click the entry form link to print a copy of the entry form.  All of the tests have a link as well, and can be printed from here. Western patterns, as well as first level and above, are your choice, please make arrangements with staff(test of choice class). Be aware that we usually do the entire show in our small dressage arena.

The Vintage Rockers AC/DC Quadrille 2007.

Horse Trials 2018

July 1—July 22—August 12—October 7


2015 Intro Test B

Fences not to exceed 20”


Puddle Jumper  

Beginner Novice TestA 2018

Fences approx. 2


Beginner Novice:
2018 Beginner Novice Test B 

Fences not to exceed 2’6


2018 Novice Test A 

Fences not to exceed 2’9


Also offered at each event: 

*Dressage Division— ride just a test, or tests, or a test in addition to your 2 or 3 phase entry

*2-Phase Divisions. Ride a test of your choice, and a stadium jump course of your choice. Or ride a test, and cross country round without stadium.

*"mix & match" division, choose your test and fence heights. Test must be of equal or higher level that jump heights. For example: BN Test A, & grasshopper jumps.

*team challenge; 3 riders who team up for the event and have lowest total cumulative scores as a team at the end of the day will win great prizes! You must be at least participating in 2-Phase to enter.

*High point dressage of the day award.



Horse Amour Horse Trial Rules

1. Proper headgear is required at all times when mounted. ASTM certified helmet with secure harness. Equestrian protective vests required for the jumping phases. (Available in our Tack Shop for sale)

2. Current Negative coggins and proof of rabies required. Signed entry and release form required. ENTRIES CLOSE THURSDAY PRIOR TO EVENT DATE. Late fee: $25.

3. Calling of test to 2-phase or 3-phase riders is discouraged, however it is a schooling show and will be allowed with permission from the show secretary, calling will be permitted for Judged Dressage. No unauthorized assistance on Cross Country, no calling of stadium fences. Calling of course will be penalized by 20 penalties per call.

4. After a third refusal, move on to the next fence. If you make a fourth attempt you will be asked to discontinue. Other than this there will be no elimination, unless safety of horse or rider is in question, or in case of the fall of a horse, or second fall of a rider on the same course as first fall. Schooling by permission at conclusion of event, for anyone with a trainer and/or schooling issue on course. Schooling will be permitted for anyone for an additional fee.

5. No martingales in Dressage. Snaffle bits required, alternative bits must be approved by Horse Amour staff prior to beginning competition, and may carry an additional penalty from judge. Safety is our priority, pelhams, wonder bits, kimberwickes allowed for X/C with permission, alternative bits may be permitted by management w/prior declaration and approval.

6. Refunds before closing date less $20. After closing date no refund. In case of cancellation of competition, full refund.

7. Change of horse for year end points will be allowed only if the horse becomes unsound or is sold. Points may not be transferred to a different division. Enter"mix & match" division if you think you will be surfing the divisions throughout the season.

8. Overnite stabling or paddocks may be available, contact staff for availability & prices. There is not always availability for stabling.

9. Contesting scores: you have 30 minutes to file a complaint after scores have been posted. Jump judges will remain available for this time. All judges decisions are final. Our fence judges are volunteers who help make this competition possible. Please be kind and appreciative.

10. Minimum time for Cross Country will be determined and posted before the event, and will be very reasonable. 10 penalties per minute will be accrued by riders exceeding the time limit. Not all Trials are timed. We will let you know.

11. Absolutely no unnecessary roughness or abuse of animals will be tolerated.

12. Judged Dressage and 2-Phase will be scored in penalty points to accomodate all divisions.

13. Copies of tests available on the website (

14. This is a horse trials-- please make other arrangements for your dog.

15. We cannot prearrange fair weather. Our events will be held rain or shine, if weather becomes dangerous (i.e. lightening, hail) temporary delays will be enforced.

16. We are not governed by the rules of any equestrian associations. Our rules are our rules only. 


Join us for friendly, laid back schooling competitions!


In May 2008, a wayward woodchuck made it’s way to Horse Amour. 8 year old Betsy discovered our cat circling something behind our pond, and upon investigating, found that he was stalking a tiny woodchuck. True to her nature, Betsy rescued the nearly helpless little creature, and it spent the night n a box by her bed while we researched the internet on what to do with an orphaned woodchuck. The next morning we purchased puppy milk replacer, and bananas, and the rest is history.

There are times in a true animal lover’s life, that require difficult decisions. Keeping wild animals in captivity is not only illegal, but there is a reason for that law; they do NOT make good house pets! But when the survival of a tiny, helpless creature is in your hands you have to make decisions. At the time of discovery, the baby woodchuck was still crawling, which aged her at about 5 weeks. There were no signs of woodchucks in the vicinity of discovery, so how she came to be where we found her is a mystery. Putting her back there would have been the end of her. Nursing her along became quite an adventure…

In the photo above, Dandelion had only been with us a few days. We fed her from an eye dropper, which from the start she grasped very strongly and suckled from vigorously. The eye dropper did not last long; even when only able to consume a few ounces, she had a voracious appetite. She moved quickly on to a syringe used for vacinnating horses, because her woodchuck teeth just did not work with a bottle. Before long she was eating bananas, clover, dandelions and Queen Anne’s lace. In a house with children, she was offered quite a variety of cuisine and was encouraged to follow nearly any culinary whim or curiosity. She loved sweets…thinking of all the woodchucks out there who have never know the bliss of a Milano cookie is so sad.

Dandelion was walking within a week, and within a month had adopted the charming woodchuck waddle that would be her permanent gait.

This is Dandelion in early August, at about 14 weeks of age. She is very cute as you can see, and had become willing to go outside in the grass to forage a little bit. Our heavy summer horse show schedule and her petite size and need for frequent feedings of milk, prevented us from constantly pursuing her possible desires to find a home out of doors. Her typical woodchuck skittishness of everything, and her attachment to us and her home made it become impossible. She made her home on the back porch that summer, in an old cooler with a planter on top. She also used a long PVC pipe to hide and play in. I bought an elaborate ferret habitat, however she did not care for that at all. When school started and the kids were gone during the day, I had a bit more time for Dandelion’s education, and spent hours most days taking her out. She enjoyed going to the clothesline with me, and playing under the porch when I was in the yard. But the minute I went into the house, she was on my heels if not diving through the door ahead of me.

As the nights got colder, Dandelion took up residence in the kitchen, where she found a small gap in the cupboard molding, you can see her in the photo above this one, with her head sticking out. She decided to make a “nest” in there, and took anything that caught her fancy that was not nailed down or put out of her reach. Stuffed toys, newspapers, grocery bags, the noiser the paper, the better. Every once in a while she would kick something out that she no longer wanted, and take something different in. She continued this until she grew too large to comfortablely squeeze into the hole. That became very entertaing to watch, since she continued to force her way in long past what could have been comfortable!

Although woodchucks are normally solitary creatures when not mating or raising young, Dandelion was remarkably gentle and loving. She would climb up my legs when she would find me sitting at my office desk, and insist on crawling up my lap to my face, where she would delicately groom my eyebrows and eyelashes. I never felt anything but trust during these brief, but seemingly important sessions. She would also groom my hairline, and feel my face with her little hands. She certainly knew the difference between affection and play; she was a strong and painful nipper of hands and feet during playtime.

Dandelion had amazing little hands. As nimble as a monkeys, and as soft and leathery as can be imagined. Her feet were the same, but very elongated like a bear. She had long claws, but used them like fingers. She learned at a very young age to sit upright and eat her food with two hands while balancing on her hind legs and short tail. She had incredible balance.

As fall went on, Dandelion got fatter.

And fatter! And lazier.

Whatever do wild woodchucks do without ice cream cones? If only they knew! Dandelion would go crazy if she heard the wrapper of a Schwan’s ice cream sundae cone. And you had better give it to her, or she would take it. She devoured many of these and never left a drop or crumb.

Playtime with legs and feet. Ouch! The tail always indicated the mood. This is playful tail.

A big yawn. Then asleep in front of her plate.

So Dandelion lost her baby look, and packed on the pounds. She weighed 11 pounds during her winter with us. Her urge to go out went from somewhat interested, to absolutely NOT. After she began “nesting” or hoarding every peice of paper she could get her hands on behind to huge pallets of bit wipes in my cellar, I resigned to the fact that she would winter in the house and we would revist outdoors in the spring.

Even during the winter, Dandelion was governed by the weather. She slept most of the time, but would groggily emerge occasionally. She finally settled in a pet bed in the laundry room after several arguments about the bit wipe pallets. She still ate fairly regularly, but there were days when she remained asleep around the clock. Dark or light did not seem to matter, she would sometimes appear at my feet upstairs when I was watching tv, or she would climb up my legs when I was on the computer downstairs late at night. I’d hear her little snuffles and purrs, and she would come shuffling in. During the deepest of cold snaps, she was much less visible.

Our winter was uneventful with her, although her discovery and destruction of all of my Christmas wrapping supplies attested to the fact that she was about at times that the family was asleep. I hoped that the adventurous attitude would lead to her going out and becoming a “real” woodchuck in the spring.

In the spring of 2009, I began to think that she (Dandelion) might be a "he", due to the appendages developing in the posterior area and the musky smell around the head. Dandelion spent much time rubbing his head on doorways and favorite areas, which looked like marking behavior usually seen in males of all species. I made a supreme effort during the month of April to get Dandelion outside. I left the basement ground level window open, despite freezing my family and running up our fuel bill, so that Dandelion could come and go as he pleased. He rarely went, but did enjoy sitting in the window gazing out and sniffing the air-- you could see him experiencing the call of nature, however he would generally scurry back in quickly. When we went to an activity one Sunday, we left very early and Dandelion was still sleeping behind the dryer, I left the window open as usual and did not return until nearly dark. Dandelion was nowhere to be found. I walked all around the house, and didn't find him. The next morning, no Dandelion. Betsy went to school with a sad face-- Dandelion had never disappeared other than one nearly fateful fall into the outhouse. When I went up to the barn to do chores, there sat Dandelion on a old woodchuck excavation next to our dressage ring! Overjoyed, I went up and greeted Dandelion, who was quite happy to see me and groomed my hairline while chuffing his approval. But very dirty and busy with his excavation, he let me know in his way that he had no intention of leaving the burrow. He did not finish any of the tidbits I brought him later. Within a few days, Dandy vacated that perfect location to move up into the hedgerow northwest of the barn, at the edge of the property. Less thrilled with that location, I went up faithfully to visit and found evidence of an entire colony of woodchucks. This may well be where Dandy came from... On my last visit Dandelion gratefully accepted a honey bun, only to eat a few bites and cast it away. He was chattering and chuffing continuously, and wagging his tail like a dog. He talked and talked to me, but did not want to be picked up, and was obviously very busy-- rubbing against all the little stalks and rocks around his new burrow under a dead log. That was the first week of May. I have not seen Dandelion for several days now, although I look almost daily. After spending nearly a year looking after this little creature, I can say that I do miss him and worry about his welfare. It is my dream come true that he would not only go about the business of being a woodchuck, but that he would join a colony of woodchucks in a safe place. Will he come back when the male wanderlust ebbs away? Who's to know-- but whenever I see a woodchuck darting into the hedgerow I feel a little thrill for Dandelion, the little woodchuck that once lived in our house. And I'm still leaving that window open...

Addendum: Dandelion came back to living in the area of the barn and dressage arena at the end of May. He visited nearly daily, for a bit of domestic food and socialization. He was terribly skinny, and covered in scabs from probable fights with other male 'chucks. He was happy though. There are days when he was not visible, and I knew one day I wouldn't see him again. But when I see a woodchuck and yell “Dandelion, is that you?” and it pauses, I have hope.

Dandelion was an amazing little creature that enhanced the lives of my children and I, a wonder of nature! If I had called the Game Warden, Dandelion would likely have been disposed of, since the state considers woodchucks to be “nuisance animals”. I cannot say that they make good house pets and I would never “want” another one, but they are clean, smart, tough and comical little creatures that my girls and I will always see in a different light than before we knew Dandelion.

Bit Wipes

Does YOUR horse love his bit?

Horse Amour Peppermint Bit Wipes are an original equestrian product, circa 2004. Bit Wipes were created as a solution to the problem of proper bit care in a large lesson barn. As you can see by our website we are a full time operating lesson stable and boarding barn, not a commercial manufacturer. Although the finished product is assembled for us in Iowa, our Bit Wipes are handled personally in the basement of our house after chores each day, and shipped to retailers accross the country and to Canada.

Unloading our Bit Wipes at Horse Amour. Manufactured in the Midwest, but sold case by case out of my home in Vermont.

Since the addition of Bit Wipes in our barn, we have had great success with our horses taking the bit more readily and our students have an easy and fun way to take proper care of bits without the damaging effects of water on the bridle leather. Young horses who have been bitted from the start with regular use of Bit Wipes have quickly learned to reach for their bits, since they taste good! The wipes are also so gentle and refreshing that they are great for wiping around the muzzle and dock area as well, and for dirty hands and faces of riders. Peppermint is clean, fresh, 100% natural and has many health benefits attributed to it; from calming qualities for mental health to digestive benefits. With the 2007 addition of Golden Delicious Apple Bit Wipes, there is now a flavor alternative.

This is a shipment of Bit Wipes, packed up and ready to ship to our major distributor English Riding Supply.

Reducing the resistance of the bitting process has enhanced the horse/rider relationship in our barn and it can do the same in yours! A horse who looks forward to taking his bit is truly a pleasure, and is going to be more relaxed, leading to  a softer contact and connection with the rider.

The basement of my split level ranch is my warehouse!

I carry a canister in my truck to wipe the fuel from my hands at the service station, to clean hands after the drive-thru or concession at a horse show, to give a show ring shine to my horse’s muzzle and nostrils when ringside, or to do a last minute touch up to boots or stirrup irons. The wonderful natural scent of peppermint evaporates entirely, leaving only a fresh tingle and clean feeling behind. I can’t be at a horse show without my Bit Wipes! I’ve been laughed at a few times for carrying my bit wipes into the porto-potty at a horse show, but on a 90 degree day, trust me they are refreshing!

This is my basement from the inside. 1/2 full of Bit Wipes, 7 pallets worth.

Only triple distilled gourmet peppermint extract is used to flavor Horse Amour Peppermint Bit Wipes; the same peppermint used to flavor ice cream and candy. All ingredients are human-grade, not animal. The wipe itself is of the highest quality; they will not tear or leave fiber behind. There are 40 5 x 7” wipes in each canister. The canister is perfectly portable in any brush box, and is completely recyclable. All ingredients and parts are 100% MADE IN THE USA.

And the basement from the outside. Full with 14 pallets of Bit Wipes!

Bit Wipes are available at finer tack shops everywhere, and in all of the major equine retail catalogs. Horse Amour sells only to authorized retailers— if that is you, give me a call or send an email requesting dealer information.


We are always interested in our customers feedback, and enjoy hearing about the many uses our customers find for their Bit Wipes. Email us today at 



Po© Sue Cook 2015