2022 Fall Issue - Experience Arabian Horses

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Pictured: Beautiful yearlings and 2-year-olds of Cedar Ridge Arabians. Owned by dedicated supporters of the Arabian breed, the Ames Family. www.Cedar-Ridge.com

From the editor ...

Thankful and Grateful for YOU!

Welcome to Experience Arabian Horses magazine, a publication designed entirely for people new to this breed, and horses in general.

Those of us that have already been found by these epic animals are grateful for them every day, and feel strongly about the need to share the gifts of this tremendous horse with the “outside world.”

If you have met the Arabian horse through this magazine at The Keystone Charity Arabian Horse Experience, an Arabian horse show, farm or lesson program, we are so happy to have you, and we all welcome you with open arms and hearts. We are grateful to have found you through our outreach magazine and look forward to engaging with you further so that our Arabian horses might impact your life for the better, like they have ours.

This magazine, along with other programs offered by the Arabian Horse Promotional Fund, can assist you in learning more about Arabian horses, and connecting you with farms near you!

Visit www.ArabianHorsePromotionalFund.com or view our Farm Finder at www.ExperienceArabianHorses.com to find a place to visit, program to join, or various educational opportunities and lesson programs near you.

We hope you will discover the blessings, and the passion for the beauty of these horses and all they can help you accomplish and appreciate in life. This season, and every season, we are thankful and grateful for both the horses and all of the many incredible people they bring to our lives.

Join us, and join them, for an adventure like no other! And welcome!

Mary Trowbridge

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CONTRIBUTORS: Lara Ames | Charlene Deyle | Jaime
| Cat
| Morgan Moore | Elizabeth Pizzonia Colleen Scott | Erin Strong | Jane Strong | Jenn Trickey | Ashley Toye | Mary Trowbridge PHOTOGRAPHY: Brandon Bessey | Kelly Campbell | Ashley Coleal | Braden Davidson | Ally Edwards Meaghan Estes | Mike Ferrara | Riyan Public Relations | Jeff Jansen | Cat McKenna | Rick Osteen Wendy Peterson | Brandy Phillips | Javan Schaller | Howard Schatzberg | Lluvia Sommer | Ashley Toye Jenn Trickey | Suzanne Sturgill | Indira Van Handel | Stuart Vesty | April Visel
EXPERIENCE ARABIAN HORSES is the official publication created and published by the Arabian Horse Promotional Fund (501c3) with the support of Arabian Horse Times, and is dedicated solely to spreading awareness of the incredible Arabian horse. SINCERE THANKS TO

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

Horses Who Help: Horses N Heroes And The Power of Equine Therapy

Variety Is The Spice Of Life! Stephen Bishop & Guinness

On The Bit, Inc: Choose Arabians
A Little “Tail” Of Hope: Project Hope Arabian Horse Ambassadors He Gave Me The
to Dream The Versatile
Farm Directory
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No Age Limits: Adult Riding Lessons
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PA Phoenix Kid Proudly bred & owned by Palmetto Arabians of Timmonsville, SC 2013 Bay Stallion Sire of National Champions Sundance Kid V x Pamila www.PalmettoArabians.com
taken by Javan Schaller Our Cover ...
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Experience | Fall 2022 | 9

Scottsdale, Arizona holds a very special crown jewel at the base of the McDowell Mountains. It is called WestWorld and is home to the most exciting and prestigious equestrian event in the world, the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Scottsdale is well known for its beautiful resorts and movie-worthy landscape but, more specifically, as the Mecca for the Arabian Horse. “The West’s Most Western Town” is the perfect fit for the Arabian horse and the largest equestrian event in the world. The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is the celebration of modern America and western tradition—the perfect place to experience the passion of the Arabian horse. Celebrating 68 years of competition February 16-26, 2023, the event will be sure to bring together cowboys and high-end collectors to admire the beautiful Arabian horse.

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A Glamorous Tradition - the Arabian Horse in Scottsdale!

The adoption of the horse was the single most important discovery for early human societies and has been responsible for the advancement of human civilization. The Arabian horse is where this story starts. Originally bred as war horses, the Bedouins considered Arabian horses to be sacred, treasuring them like family. The popularity of the Arabian’s confident and caring disposition generated global recognition during the Crusades, and countries around the world sought them out for their cavalries. The Arabian horse was responsible for the domestication of the horse. History had a special appreciation for their loyalty, versatility, and stamina. Arabians made their way to America in the 1700s where they were instantly woven into many cultures. The breed embodied the American spirit—smart, courageous, passionate, and gritty. All who meet them, are captivated by their extreme beauty, known as the most beautiful of all the breeds. Their bond to people makes them the perfect family member, a counselor to children, a mentor to many, and a companion to all. To those looking to reconnect with their past or those looking to build a better future, the Arabian horse is sure to add to your quality of life. Those currently involved with Arabians have never forgotten the breed’s long-standing commitment to history as they can see they are the true family companion. Arabians can continue to better the future by developing honorable young men and women, healing families, and finding new ways to inspire those around them.

The Greatest Show on Earth

The small competition meant to celebrate the Arabian horse in the early years has now grown into “The Greatest Show on Earth.” From its modest beginnings with 50 horses in 1955—on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel—the show draws a global audience and has grown to more than 2,400 horses, 300,000 spectators. In addition to showing off the skills and beauty of about 1,000 classes of horses, the

show includes an immersive Arabian horse experience with various stations where you can learn, ride, and create Arabian horse memories. National Arabian Horse Day will be celebrated on February 19th, spectators can attend special activities, meet an Arabian horse, and make lasting memories with the whole family. Grab your boots and get excited to experience the spirit of the West at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show!

To learn more about the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, visit: www.scottsdaleshow.com


1952 & 1953: Casa Blanca Inn

(North Invergordon Road North of Camelback Road) 1954 & 1956: Arizona Biltmore 24th & Camelback

1957- 1966: McCormick Ranch

Known as Paradise Park, Pima south of Shea 1967 & 1968: Kemper Marley’s property at Tatum and Bell 1969 – 1978: McCormick Ranch, Under the Kaiser-Aetnaownership, after Mrs. McCormick died, the agreement was set to maintain the show there for ten years; at the end of that ten years they started McCormick Ranch development.

Pima south of Shea 1979 – 1988: Paradise Park II (State of Arizona land) 1989–Present: WestWorld (City of Scottsdale)

ARABIAN HORSE ASSOCIATION OF ARIZONA Telephone: 480.515.1500 • Email: info@scottsdaleshow.com Experience | Fall 2022 | 13

For most people, when it comes to horseback riding, visions appear of a blue ribbon pinned to a bridle—both horse and rider proudly trotting around the arena in a victory lap. And most everyone has seen the wholesome movies of competitors teamed up on their mounts in pursuit of the brass ring and a winning trophy. But in central Florida, there is another type of soul-filling story … of a show horse and a girl … this one bringing the concept of “mindful purpose” to a new level.

Horses N Heroes of Marion County, Inc. is a 17-acre farm and home to approximately 25 horses who play an influential role in the lives of people, different from their former illustrious show careers. Mindy Nolan-Morrow, a once competitive equestrian herself, founded the program in 1994 and has devoted her adult life to mentoring young girls

by partnering them with her horses to foster self-esteem, responsibility, teamwork, kind heartedness, commitment and more. Knowing what these animals are capable of, Nolan-Morrow tasks them with an important role in the community, providing a vital service.

Horses N Heroes is dedicated to providing an equine learning and mentoring experience for young girls who come from families with extreme financial constraints. Most come from families under the poverty level, however, Nolan-Morrow holds her doors open for any girl experiencing drama or hardship, and there is no fee for participation in the program. These girls are given the opportunity to bond with horses, and are taught all aspects of horsemanship, including but not limited to, riding, grooming, feeding and caring for the donated horses.

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Photos & story by Jenn Trickey

Horses N Heroes’ goal of bringing horses and children together also provides retired show horses a second lease on life with an even more considerable job at hand; the rewards these horses can add to the collection of ribbons they once garnished, are the met goals and accomplishments of the girls whose lives they influence.

“Some of these girls may have never felt supported or even noticed,” says Nolan-Morrow. “The positive role horses can play in their life is immeasurable, and that’s just scratching the surface.” Nolan-Morrow boasts a 100% high school graduation rate from her girls who have stuck with the program, and most have gone on to further learning and education.

Horses N Heroes is a registered 501(c)3 organization located at 12680 N US Hwy 441, Citra, FL 32113. To learn more about this program and how you can help sponsor one of their life changing horses, go to: www.horsesnheroes.com or find them on facebook at: www.facebook.com/horsesnheroes

Think back to the movie where the horse jumps the highest fence to bring home the blue ribbon; now, let’s rewrite that script and see that same hero surrounded by smiling, young girls who now know they are important, kind and amazing. That’s worth the biggest trophy in the world.

Horses N Heroes is a place to be cared for, to be noticed, and to be celebrated … both for the two-legged and four!

Pictured: “Pimento,” a 15-year-old HalfArabian gelding with his fan club at Horses H Heroes of Marion County
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n August 20, 2022, Erin Strong and her fiancé, U.S. Air Force First Sergeant Dominic DurginRodriguez held a military morale day at Randy Sullivan’s Training Center in Dawson, Illinois. This event was aimed at engaging Airmen with the Arabian horse, as ambassadors to both the military and equine communities with emphasis on positive mental health. The barn hosted members of Headquarters Air Mobility Command (AMC) out of Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. As the air component of the U.S. Transportation Command, AMC is comprised of a Total Force effort to execute Rapid Global Mobility and enable Global Reach – the ability to respond anywhere in the world in a matter of hours, such as support with current efforts in Ukraine. Dominic has seen firsthand the power of equine therapy and the role Arabian horses play specifically, often introducing his fellow Air Force counterparts to the Arabian.

Dominic deployed to Qatar in January 2021, but during his year away, was able to return home briefly to show his Arabian halter horse, Maximiliano-HVP at the Region 3 Championships in July. Shortly after leaving his R&R to return to Qatar, he and his team accepted the first wave of historic humanitarian flights out of Afghanistan during Operation ALLIES REFUGE, the largest Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) Airlift in U.S. history. During this operation, his team was instrumental in helping thousands of refugees seek safety.

Throughout his time in Qatar, Dominic took time to visit Al Shaqab Stud in Doha, reconnecting with horses, and regained a sense of calm and excitement after experiencing difficult historical moments, including the ongoing global pandemic. Most importantly, with Qatar being a mecca for Arabian horses, Dominic studied the heritage of the breed and the genesis of halter showcasing which cultivated his appreciation for what the Arabian Horse Association does back home.

As a First Sergeant, Dominic’s job is to look after the needs, care, and mental health of his assigned members. The work in this can range from mild issues or career questions, to loss, mental health crisis, and more. Horses have been the ideal outlet for him and have helped him to decompress and be the compassionate person he is.

Randy and Angie Sullivan’s training center jumped in headfirst when approached with the idea of a morale day for the base.

The event was structured to have rotating stations for military members to get the full experience of working with and finding mental health relief with Arabian horses. Fifty beautiful Arabian horses were on hand to learn about, feed treats to and groom. When people are shown the work that goes into tacking up, riding and caring for a horse, most have a deeper appreciation for that experience. After a presentation of the flag, western pleasure, performance halter, showmanship,

main ring halter and native costume presentations followed. A group photo with all the Air Force Members and families ended the day, with all going home with gift baskets in appreciation of their service.

How were you both initially introduced to the Arabian horse? Erin was introduced as a kid. She showed up to a lesson facility in San Antonio that initially was a Peruvian Paso barn with a riding program supported by Arabians. From there she was hooked! She has been riding and handling Arabian horses, even working for farms, over 20 years. She’s done just about everything you can do in the industry, currently enjoying and showing her horses at Randy Sullivan’s Training Center and Prestige Farms LLC, along with Dominic.

Dominic became interested in the Arabian breed after seeing them at a regional show five years ago. He appreciated their athleticism and beauty, compared to other breeds he was familiar with, and their incredibly kind and loving nature that makes for a strong connection. He was converted then and there and started handling halter horses while stationed in California. He was already hooked, but after showing at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, there was no turning back. Since then he has showed Arabians all over the country and has enjoyed them as trail horses as well. He prefers to ride an Arabian to any other horse.

What is it about the Arabian horse that makes them ideal equine therapists? Arabians are emotionally intelligent animals. They know how to adjust to every situation, and they are keen observers of our feelings and mental health. They know when we hurt and they will do anything in their power to show you kindness and acceptance (even if they themselves are hurting). Arabians have this knack of sensing what you need from them. They know how and when to be gentle and help push you through the darkness.

While all horses are great at equine therapy, Arabians are unique in their personalities and emotional intelligence. They can look into your soul and read your thoughts. They are hyper aware of energy and behavior because they are great observers. Historically we know Arabians have strong bonds with their humans, and for that reason, they know how to help us through difficult emotional and mental health issues.

What do they offer that service members can benefit from?

Service members are often moving and resettling in new places. They experience many things, that most will never see. Because of that, horses are a great way to establish community outside of their work environment that allows them to relax and focus on themselves. The Arabian industry is so big and worldwide, that even when they move, they can find a piece of home wherever they are. That is very powerful and does a lot to impact mental health. Horses provide a sense of calm and purpose, and a hobby that helps service members to relax and recenter when they are stressed or experiencing a mental health break. It’s an outlet that does a lot to keep them feeling connected to themselves and others.

How can service members find an equine program near them?

The military as a global footprint is incredibly supportive of equine therapy. They themselves have published articles and research on the impact of equine therapy on PTSD patients and other mental health concerns. It is a highly encouraged outlet for them. There are equine therapy programs available nationwide, as well as lesson programs and experience farms that welcome newcomers to connect with Arabian horses. Lastly, horsemen like Dominic can bridge the gap and connect service members to equine programs locally. v

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It’s Never Too Late … Testimonials Of Late In Life Riders

What caused you to decide to start riding? I had a major life change. My good friend knew horses would change my life for the good. Horses saved my life and still are every day. I love them and the people who love them as well.

What would you tell someone who is older to encourage them to start riding? It will keep you young. A challenge and getting past your fears make you feel alive. You are stronger and smarter and physically better than you think. Centurions in Tibet ride horses. I hope to be 100 and still riding. Why not?!

How have you found riding to enhance your life and life skills? What do you love most about it? I am a psychologist, author and speaker. I often share my excitement about riding and driving my horses, and now breeding the next generation of Arabian show horses. The confidence I have grows, and the excitement is magical and is so very fulfilling. Life is about growing and learning. I have much to learn. None of us are promised tomorrow. What are you waiting for?

What are some of the obstacles you’ve encountered, starting this sport later in life? Of course, being less experienced and having to catch up with the more experienced and knowledgeable riders was, and still is challenging. I find overall, the equestrian world is filled with lots of people who want, and do, offer help and lots and lots of support. It is about matching up with the right horse and the right trainer. Then let the magic come. I have been blessed to have both.

How does riding compare to other hobbies you’ve had? Sports have been a big part of my life. I was the ultimate tomboy! Boys came to my house not to date me, but knew I could kick the ball further than most. Painting has been one of my passions and drawing and painting horses seems a natural progression which I am just now attempting. Tennis, running 10ks and even the NY marathon, as well as my love/hate of golf has helped with persistence and determination to improve, knowing the importance of learning and lots of instruction. I just don’t give up! A great coach and trainer make all the difference to help anyone excel and improve. You can learn from many. Watch and learn and ask for help. You will never stop learning to be a great rider and horse communicator. It’s about developing relationships with our horses which we need to remember can last up to 30 years. Horses can teach us so very much about ourselves. They see through us and know all our secrets. The good news is they are also so very forgiving; thank goodness.

Anything else you’d like to share with folks new to Arabian horses? Enjoy the ride and the journey. Know you will meet amazing fourlegged and two-legged creatures who will make your life sweet. You will make lifelong friends and write stories and make memories you will be amazed with. I want my family to know how much joy and love I have had and will have, being a part of the world of the horse and the people who love them as much as I do. I am so very blessed.

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There’s no better place to get started than at Southern California Equestrian Center .... a place for people who love horses. Join us! www.southerncaliforniaequestriancenter.com

Enjoy a video of this story on line!

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Stephen Bishop, a semi-retired psychiatrist by trade and horse enthusiast, made it clear that variety is truly the spice of life, for horses and people, when he appeared at the 2022 Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show with his gelding Khasta Beaujalais DT, affectionately called Guinness, and quickly became a crowd favorite.

Going into the show, Stephen recognized that it would be a “learning experience, not a winning experience.” To learn as much as he possibly could, Stephen entered his smart, game, 13-year-old gelding in 21 classes, including western dressage, western pleasure, reining, ranch riding and mounted native costume.

That’s a lot of classes, but Guinness was originally trained and conditioned as an endurance horse, so Stephen didn’t see a problem, other than being able to get from one arena to another and not miss the gate.

When speaking about his experience at the show, the psychiatrist Stephen kicks in and reminds us that both humans and horses need variety, challenges and adventures. “Horses and humans are a lot alike. We get stale just doing the same thing over and over again. When we sit in our chairs with our clickers, confining ourselves to the same activities, we experience depression and anxiety, which constrict our lives even more. I encourage my patients to seek variety.”

And he practices what he preaches. Stephen and Guinness were the epitome of variety.

While most of their classes were in western disciplines, it was the costume class that really energized Stephen. His inspiration for participating in the “Greatest Show on Earth” stemmed from watching a video of a prior year’s costume class and his love of the movie, Lawrence of Arabia. Their appearance in the class was not only memorable for Stephen but for everyone there. The two captured the hearts of everyone and were named “Fan Favorite.”

“I think people saw what a relationship I have with this horse,” says Stephen. “I’m his rider. The instructors I have had, have been invaluable. But I do the groundwork. I ride him five times a week. And I think what people saw in that costume class is that I had the happiest horse in the show ring that night. He may not have had his head where it was supposed to be, but he was making eye contact with people in the stands, and I think they loved that.”

“It has been such an honor to rub elbows with the people and horses at this level,” he says of the Scottsdale show. “I came here knowing it would be a learning experience, not a winning experience, but I’m still going home with some top ten awards.”

And the adventure continues ... v

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Arabian Horse Riding Academy (AHRA), located at Om El Arab in beautiful Santa Ynez, California, is proud to offer a variety of opportunities to serve all demographics of Arabian horse lovers. While their main goal is to provide a grassroots riding lesson program that serves both children and adults, Horsemanship classes, “Reading with the Horses” Literacy Program, summer/holiday camps, and fun field trips like camping and even swimming with the horses, are also offered.

Why Arabians? Nedra Johnson, whose lifelong dream was to create a legacy of empowered equestrians that have a positive impact in the lives of the Arabian horse, created the Arabian Horse Riding Academy, and knows first-hand why Arabians are the best breed at adapting to their riders. “The same energetic mare for an adult will be quiet and careful with a young, beginner rider. They are also incredibly versatile.” Arabian Horse Riding Academy’s program participates in a variety of disciplines such as English, western, horse shows, trail rides, gymkhanas, etc. Arabians are the absolute best at adaptability, and all of the Riding

Academy’s Arabians are kind, trustworthy, and love to interact with children.

Arabian Horse Riding Academy also offers opportunities for all income levels so as to introduce as many people as possible to the Arabian horse. They are very proud of their work exchange program and scholarships, so all children can ride and love the Arabian horse. “Income status should not be a factor in Arabian horse involvement,” says Nedra, “passion and dedication should be considered because that passion will last a lifetime.”

A witness to the impact horses have on young people, Nedra has been blessed on a daily basis of seeing countless children gain confidence and independence from their relationship with the Arabian. She can also attest to incredible reports of improved verbal skills, increased grades in school, and decreased anxiety. “One child shared with me, years later,” Nedra says, “that her Arabian horse literally saved her life during a difficult childhood. That’s so profound, and yet, that is the magic of the Arabian horse.”

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How long have you been riding at the academy and who was the first horse you rode?

Chloe: I have been riding here forever. The first horse I rode was Jubilation (the personal horse of the revered Arabian horse breeder Sheila Varian). Luke is my favorite horse now. He’s a 24-year-old purebred Arabian gelding.

Lucianna: I have been riding for a year. Garth was my first canter, but now I can canter on any horse in the barn.

Marina: I have been riding at AHRA a little over a year. The first horse I rode was a pony named Midnight but I love Luke the most.

Rue: I have been riding at Arabian Horse Riding Academy for three years. The first horse I rode was Murietta V. Now I ride every horse.

Tell us a little bit about the horse you ride at the academy?

Chloe: I love Luke because he’s fast, fun and energetic.

Lucianna: Peanut is the nicest, sweetest horse and I love how gentle she is with kids.

Marina: Luke is an old dressage horse who is now an adorable kid’s horse that I love riding.

Rue: Larry (registered name: Baskolier) is my horse. I love how careful he is with me. I can trust him.

What is your favorite part of being part of the program?

Chloe: Riding so many different horses and helping children learn to ride.

Lucianna: Having fun with friends and riding horses.

Marina: I love the barn family and I always feel welcome there.

Rue: I love riding the horses and making new friends.

What do you want to do next at the academy (canter, go to a show, learn a new discipline, etc.)?

Chloe: I want to learn how to train a horse from the beginning.

Lucianna: I really want to learn saddle seat. I love how fast it is.

Marina: Learn to present a flag at a rodeo.

Rue: I want to learn reining.

What’s your favorite thing to practice in your lessons and why?

Chloe: My favorite thing to practice is jumping, keeping my heels down, and focus on what I’m doing.

Lucianna: I love practicing English, especially cantering, jumping and two-pointing.

Marina: I love practicing bareback with no hands and cantering.

Rue: I love practicing the canter with a bunch of other horses in the arena so I can focus on where I’m going.

Tell us one thing your lesson horse or a horse in the program has taught you?

Chloe: My horse taught me when I fail at something, it’s okay, I just need to keep trying.

Lucianna: Peanut has taught me to be gentle and to take time with things. She likes everything to be slow because she is young.

Marina: My horse has taught me to believe in myself, even when I don’t think I can do something. At my first show with Luke, I was worried I wouldn’t get a ribbon and I ended up winning the high point award.

Rue: Larry taught me to be nice to myself when I fail at something. He taught me it’s okay, and not to be mad at myself if I mess up.

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We asked some of Arabian Horse Riding Academy’s riders and parents what they love most.

What was the deciding factor in choosing Arabian Horse Riding Academy?

Allison: Elise was 4 years old when she started riding. She had been asking to ride a horse since she could talk as a young toddler. Our neighbor told us about Nedra and her riding program and how much they loved it for their kids. The first time I took Elise to a lesson, I knew I trusted Nedra (and her amazing horses) with my 4-year-old. Elise loved it so much and has been riding almost every day since.

Evie: I chose AHRA for two reasons: 1.) It allows my son, Henry, the opportunity to fall in love with Arabian horses alongside me. And 2.) I grew up learning how to ride on Arabian horses. I know first-hand the long list of benefits. I trust them to keep Henry safe and also build a relationship with him while he learns.

What has Arabian Horse Riding Academy done for your child?

Allison: It has made her a hardworking, confident girl and has brought so much happiness into her life.

Evie: It has provided Henry a safe space to learn about horses, be safe around them, have fun with them, and develop friendships with other like-minded, well-rounded kids.

What is your favorite thing about the facility and program?

Allison: Nedra, she is amazing with kids and horses. Elise (and our whole family) loves her so much. Om El Arab (where the riding program is) is one of our favorite places to be. Elise loves visiting Janina’s stallions, especially her favorite, El Nabila B.

Evie: I love that it, first and foremost, teaches good horsemanship that will keep him safe. But I also love that it stays fun for the kids.

It’s a social club as much as it is a lesson program. What a childhood these kids get to have. I always refer to it as “A real-life Saddle Club” (based on The Saddle Club book series I grew up reading).

Would you recommend this type of experience to others?

Allison: Yes! Horses and this program are great for kids.

Evie: I have, and I do.

What should parents look for when searching for a good facility such as the Arabian Horse Riding Academy?

Allison: A safe place where kids can learn and build confidence with horses.

Evie: For me, it’s so important to foundational horsemanship (not to mention, character development and work ethic) to learn safety on the ground first, not just in the saddle. Programs that offer tacked-up horses for kids to jump on are disallowing an important part of the learning experience for their kids. I also selfishly love the social club aspect, as it keeps it light and fun for all kids, regardless of their level of intensity, interest and ability. They are appreciated as they are.

“For me, it’s so important to foundational horsemanship (not to mention, character development and work ethic) to learn safety on the ground first, not just in the saddle.”
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~AHRA parent

Is learning to ride a horse on your bucket list, but you find yourself wondering if you are too old to learn? I get approached with this question more than you would think and I always give the same answer, “No, you’re never too old to start riding!” Age has little to no meaning to a horse. They respond to the rider and their energy, regardless of age. Although age is not a consideration, there are several things to take into account if you are an adult just starting your equestrian journey.

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by Elizabeth Pizzonia
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Ocala Equestrian Academy Photos by Lluvia Sommer Lana & Prince Carolyn & Savannah with Cowboy Anna & Lana with Elwood & Cowboy Maria & Reeba Barbara & Prism Nicole & Shawn with Brody & Promise
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Tina & Billy

Once you have found your happy place, you can move on to the next check list. So, what is next?

Ride at your pace. It is important to remember that it takes time and patience to become a good rider. As an instructor, it’s my job to learn what your goals are and to help foster a learning environment that will allow you to achieve them. Figure out your time commitment. Successful riding requires time in the saddle and time around your equine partner. Remember, this journey is for you and only you, so make yourself and your new sport a time priority.

Listen to your body. Horseback riding is a full-body workout. It works every muscle in your body and is great cardio. Like any workout, it’s important that you stay in touch with your body and not ignore any major pain or discomfort. It takes a bit of time for your body to adjust to the rigors of riding. You will gain core strength, cardiovascular benefits, increased muscle toning and greater flexibility. All these body benefits are just a side effect of the amazing and rewarding fun you will have as an equestrian. It is very physical and can take time to build your muscle strength and flexibility.

Why riding is such an amazing sport. In addition to the great health and fitness results you will get, spending time with horses is one of the most emotionally fulfilling ways to spend your time. Horses are incredibly sensitive and intuitive animals. There are endless scientific studies showing the positive impact horses have on a human’s emotional state and mental health. They offer unconditional love and attention as long as you are willing to show up very present. Time at the barn allows you to reconnect with yourself and find peace and happiness in a world where there is no electronics needed, no deadlines and no judgments.

Now that you are clear on the benefits of riding horses, let’s talk about the serious side—safety. It goes without saying that equestrian sports come with inherent risk. Your dance partner is a 1,200 lb. animal with free-will. Although horses are wired to want to please their riders, they are still living creatures that can have off days. Safety equipment like proper footwear and helmets are required. Falls don’t happen all that often, but when they do, it’s important to be protected. Part of becoming a great horseman or horsewoman is to have challenging days. Sometimes those days can include a fall off your horse. As your instructor, I work very hard to teach proper safety methods and riding technique so you will be prepared to handle any unexpected moments. If you do fall, me and my staff are prepared to help you back on the horse and if that’s not possible, to get you the proper medical care. Just like driving a car has its risks, so does horseback riding.

So, let’s get your journey underway and saddle up! Happy Riding!

Always choose a reputable, safe and recommended teaching facility.

Learn the basics of horsemanship, including safety, grooming and tacking.

Choose the most appropriate and qualified instructor.

Know what safety gear and supplies you will need.

Be ready to have more fun than you’ve had in a very long time!

VA Travicello is a 2006 chestnut gelding whose name’s been consistently announced at horse shows winning ribbons and trophies with his owner, Lluvia Sommer. But the same way Clark Kent slips into a phone booth with one name and comes out jumping small buildings in a single bound under a much more universal name, so does Stewy!

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Horses serve, and Stewy takes his service seriously. Seen all around town, including store openings, the movie theater, and parades, this 16-year-old gelding is a well known and loved Arabian Horse representative. He encompasses so much kindness, mindfulness and joy Arabian horses are known for, he deserves to wear a cape! This local hero’s recent visit to the Project Hope Villas was a perfect example of the Arabian horse and its heart.

Twenty-three of the 40 units at the Project Hope Villas located in downton Ocala, Florida are currently dedicated to serving homeless women and children through the non-profit organization, Project Hope.

Project Hope offers safe and affordable housing with the goal of assisting women in crisis towards becoming self-sufficient. Through intensive case management, weekly life skills classes, and individual responsibility plans, participants are able to make substantial changes in their lives and are encouraged to embrace who God has called them to be. Liz Pizzonia of Ocala Equestrian Academy (and Stewy’s trainer) arrived with the big red horse in tow, while wide eyed children busted with excitement to have such an exciting guest. Under the umbrellas of the campus’ oak tree, the kids took turns feeding treats, and connecting eyes with their awesome 4-legged guest; some braver than others!

Director April McDonald, who witnessed the event, was teary eyed. “These kids have gone through such chaos in their lives and to see such a calmness in their eyes when they touched this beautiful animal just moves me.” Stewy is a 1,000 pound gentle giant who has made himself a civil servant and knows how to make each child feel special. “He knows what he is doing,” says Liz. “He really understands his role with these kids, to give joy and attention to each. They feel it and he does too.”

Project Hope of Marion County is a non-profit organization, established in 2007 by a faith-based community group, to provide solutions for homelessness among women and their dependent children. It is located at 830 NE 28th St, Ocala, FL 34470. www.projecthopeocala.org

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Few good things happen by accident, and the intelligence, empathy, and beauty of the Arabian horse is no exception. The oldest breed of horse in the world (archaeological evidence indicates over 4,000 years), the Arabian horse originated in the Middle East, where centuries of careful breeding by the Bedouin tribes has produced a maternal and caring partner that today thrives on human companionship, is intensely versatile in what it can do and is, indeed, the horse who loves you back.

The nomadic Bedouin people developed the Arabian horse as an animal integral to the family and tribe’s survival. The horses were so valued that it was customary for them to live inside the family tent to protect them from marauding tribes, where the children literally grew up under the horse’s feet. Often the mares provided sustenance for the family through their milk. This close relationship with humans resulted in a breed of horse that is good-natured, quick to learn, and highly attuned to human interaction. They are exceptionally sensitive to children and naturally maternal towards their “human charges”.

The arid desert was also responsible for the development of physical attributes that today make the Arabian a favorite of artists throughout the world. A sculpted, dished face incorporates large nostrils for greater oxygen intake and dark, liquid eyes able to see great distances. Their high tail carriage was a way to more effectively stay cool in the hot days. The horses spread from the Middle East over the years by both war and trade, and were used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, intelligence and good bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.

“The Versatile Arabian” is a slogan of the breed. Arabian horses dominate the discipline of endurance riding world wide, and compete today in virtually every field of equestrian activity imaginable, from racing to jumping to carriage driving to reining and on. They are one of the top ten most popular breeds of horse in the world!

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Scottsdale & Mesa, Arizona

Thunder, the beloved mascot of the Denver Broncos, is one of the best known Arabian Horse Ambassadors today!

While he and Anne are currently busy wowing crowds for the football season, this is a perfect time to introduce his own teammates in the Ambassadors herd!

What is an Arabian Ambassador? When anyone speaks about Arabian horses, the following words always come up: versatile, kind, smart, engaging, loving, bonding ...

In whatever they do, an Ambassdor does it with those special qualities.

Meet this year’s all-star team chosen by the Arabian Horse Promotional Fund, representing the breed as this year’s Keystone Arabian Horse Charity Ambassdor Horses.

“Stewy” has community in his veins! He lives at the Ocala Equestrian Academy and is a local favorite in his Florida hometown. This big, red mountain of love is seen all over town, inside and out! Stewy was chosen as an Ambassador for his unwavering service, kindness and ability to handle any situation! He’s the kind of horse who should simply wear a cape!

Registered name: VA Travicello 2006 Chestnut, Arabian Gelding Sire (Father): Magnum Psyche Mother (Dam): WA Psyches Charm
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Owned & loved by Lluvia Sommer, Ocala, FL

Registered name: JC Klaym To Fame 2006 Bay, Arabian Stallion

Sire (Father): Magnum Psyche Mother (Dam): Fames Felicia

Owned & loved by Brenda & Clint Daws, Gulf Breeze, Florida

Sponsored by Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show www.ScottdaleShow.com

When it comes to being a stallion, “Z” is a big, giant softy! And that’s why he’s been chosen as an Ambassador. This guy lives at Dale Brown Performance Horses where has had the big honor of being a National Top Ten Western Pleasure horse, along with the even bigger honor, of carrying around 8-year-olds with the same majesty!

Z is duly recognized by the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and sponsored as one of their representatives in the Keystone Ambassador Barn at the Holiday Festival Show.

“Tut,” technically “The King,” is a perfect example of an Arabian horse, and he takes that title very personally. Kind, silly and extremely intelligent, Tut chooses joy, and that’s why he was chosen as an Ambassador horse. An extremely decorated show horse, this stallion has a mind to teach us all to keep cool.

Registered name: Halimaars King Tut 2007 Grey, Arabian Stallion

Sire (Father): AGA Gamaan Mother (Dam): Haallie

Owned & loved by DELSAN Arabian LLC Naples, FL

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Registered name: Possesion PGA+// 2004 Bay, Arabian Stallion

Possesion is named appropriately, because he is a treasure to hold on to! This guy greets you with love right down to the heart he wears on his forehead! The National titles he’s won over and over are echoed by the growing number of his winning kids!

With his quality, kindness and heart, Possesion is duly saluted by the Arabian Horse Western Pleasure Association, whom he will represent in the Keystone Ambassador Barn at the Holiday Festival Show. Wearing all his silver, he will show the crowd how the Arabian Horse loves to shine!


Sire (Father): Khadraj NA Mother (Dam): RA Po Okela & loved by Dreym Bay Arabians, Newnan, GA Sponsored by Arabian Western Pleasure Association www.ArabianWesternPleasure.com

Registered name: Mary Maya V 2005 Grey, Arabian Mare

Sire (Father): Bravado Bey V Mother (Dam): Maya V

Owned & loved by Conway Arabians, Micanopy, FL

Sponsored by Purina www.PurinaMills.com

Her kindness, classic style and simply iconic lineage has earned this girl’s way into the Ambassador herd. Bred by one of the most influential breeders of all time, Sheila Varian, Mary’s wonderful life is insured by breeder of National Champions, Conway Arabians.

She is proud to be sponsored by Purina as their Arabian horse representative in the Keystone Ambassador Barn at the Holiday Festival Show.

Registered name: FSF Silver Sage 2003 Grey, Half-Arabian Gelding


“Sage” is one of the performers in our group, but instead of flipping ribbons, owner Becca Watson is the one doing the flipping. Chosen for his pride, heart and dependability, Sage and Becca are both chosen for the Ambassador herd, and crowds will love them for it!

They will represent the pride of Texas A&M and run the flag of sponsor Equine Athlete Veterinary Services at the Keystone Event!

(Father): Ibn Yalim Mother (Dam): Yalims Lzbeth Owned & loved by Rebecca Watson Texas A&M University Sponsored by Equine Athlete Veterinary Services www.EquineAthlete.com

Sire (Father): Hucklebey Berry

Mother (Dam): First Danse

Owned & loved by Linda Reed Newtown, CT

Everyone needs a “Rock” in their life, and that’s why this Ambassador made our list. Rock is up for any cause, anyone in need of a friend, a smile, or just a shoulder to lean on. He’s made multiple trips to children’s homes, summer camps, and has even carried the U.S. National flag in Central Park. From performing as a giant finger-painting canvas, to a reading teacher, to teaching hundreds of people how to ride, Rock celebrates the kindness and connection Arabians so undeniably display. He’s the farm favorite. We love our Rock and he loves his job inside and out!

Registered name: CP Rock On+/ 2003 Grey, Arabian Gelding
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At the age of 7, Sydney Serrano was diagnosed with a severe Autoimmune disease that landed her in the hospital more times than any child deserves. Her parents, with a little help of the Make a Wish Foundation, went on a search for a horse as a companion to help with her difficult lifestyle. With no past experience with Arabian horses, Sydney’s mom locked into the big, black eyes of this beautiful, grey gelding and that was it! Fred’s connection with Sydney was monumental with the management of her disease, and now, 12 years later, the two still share a bond like no other!

Registered name: Awesome Echo AF 2004 Grey, Arabian Gelding

Sire (Father): Audacious PS Mother (Dam): HC Olimpia

Owned & loved by Sydney & Rachel Serrano Fairchance, PA

With all his kindness and devotion, Fred is sponsored by the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show as an Arabian Ambassador in the Keytone Experience Barn. Sponsored by Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show www.ScottdaleShow.com

A horse can hear a human heartbeat four feet away. They know your countenance based on the rapidity of your pulse. When in a herd, horses synchronize their heartbeats with those around them to detect shifts in their environments. Thus, there is a connectedness when horses maneuver in a group, like a murmuration of starlings. They move and blend into one another, shifting with the subtle changes in their herd members’ directions and desires.

That is what it felt like when I was with him. Like I fell into synchronization with him. There is no story without inspiration, and he was the one who inspired mine.

When I was very young (age 3), I met my first horse. My mother had a polo club and my exposure to them was early and often. However, even as her own interests shifted, my fascination with horses endured. I threw myself into competitions and

by Morgan Moore
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rode anytime an opportunity arose. After sustaining injuries due to a fall, however, my mother’s concern for my safety outweighed her desire to endorse my interests, so she tried to divert my attention, but my passion was undeterred. Nothing worked. I was fearless in reaching out to others for guidance and direction. I talked to anyone and everyone that I could find that had horses. It was through a friendship kindled with a local boarder that I first spent significant time around the Arabian horse and my dreams began to form.

Originally, my goals were modest, but complicated for a teen to accomplish. Quite simply, I wanted to own an Arabian show horse. I couldn’t drive (at 13 years old) and I didn’t have funding, but I was fixated. I built a business plan around the concept that I could buy a stallion, sell breedings, and fund my experience. I found someone kind enough to fund my crude business plan, a person generous enough to drive me all over the place to meet the right horse and negotiated for my mother to feed this mystery stallion if I managed to buy him. The day RB Cavalier walked off the trailer onto my mother’s ranch, I think we were all in a bit of disbelief that I had managed to carry out my elaborate ruse. But Cavalier settled into our lives and, as we accomplished our goals in and out of the show ring, my dreams grew bigger.

Cavalier and I traipsed around show facilities bareback with just a halter and lead rope. Sometimes I walked him without anything to lead him at all, and he followed placidly behind me. I spent afternoons draped across his back while he grazed. We galloped through fields unencumbered by any tack at all. We were inseparable. It was our partnership that piqued the interest of others, and because of him, I made friends and connections. He sired my first foal. He carried me through the tribulations of high school. He went with me to college. He carried me down the aisle on my wedding day. He carried dozens of first-time riders at my request. He stood still to be painted by toddlers with endless sparkles. He served as a companion for freshly weaned foals. He gave me trophies. He gave me confidence. He gave me a confidante. He gave me who I am today. In the end, he passed as quietly as he came into my life, and he gave me the kindest possible goodbye.

After I knew Cavalier, I could not imagine a world in which there was not an opportunity for someone else to discover what I already comprehended: that, through a partnership with an Arabian horse, it was possible to become more connected to the world around you and to yourself in the process. That was my true inspiration for becoming an Arabian horse breeder. I wanted to share that feeling, that knowingness.

There was a certain, melodic quality to the soft sway of his lope. That is the feeling that lingers with me the most when I think of him. When he moved, his feet teased the dust with a lightness of a being trying not to leave evidence of his existence. His eyes were so dark that the irises seemed lost in the murky softness of his gaze. His coat reflected shades of cerulean when he stood in the sunlight. He was stoic yet empathetic—qualities that made him uniquely suited to introduce children and adults alike to horses for the first time.

The gifts that Cavalier gave me are forever with me. He brought me into the Arabian horse community and helped me find incredibly generous, knowledgeable mentors to help me in my own journey with Arabian horses. He gave me the confidence to reach out to them and so many people showed me kindness in return. I discovered that the network of those that enjoy the Arabian horse are endless and diverse. There is a way to be involved with these horses regardless of your aspirations—show ring, trail riding, companionship—there is a place for you. For my own purposes, my breeding program has evolved into something much larger than I ever imagined. We are competing in every arena and breeding horses that 13-year-old me never thought she would have a chance to own.

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I reflect on my journey often with a deep gratitude for everyone who has helped me along the way and continues to help me even now, but none more than Cavalier whose influence reverberates through every part of my life.

If you allow yourself the opportunity to know horses, especially Arabian horses, you will know yourself better. You will find a new community to welcome you. You will find that connectedness that has kept me entranced for 20 years. And, If I could talk to the little girl that fell in love with a black stallion, I would tell her to be fearless. To make mistakes. To build friendships. To ask questions. I would tell her that the adventures and friendships that horses will bring into her life are greater than she ever imagined.■

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“He gave me confidence. He gave me a confidante. He gave me who I am today.”

Good-natured, quick to learn, and always eager to please and connect with their rider of any age or discipline!

The Arabian horse is one of the most versatile horses on earth. They excel at whatever you ask of them; whether you see yourself on a leisure trail, as a competitive rider, or as only their loyal friend.

Arabian horses will capture your heart.

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Be it English pleasure, park or informal combination, this Arabian demonstrates animated, balanced motion with a desire to go forward with impulsion from the rear, expressed in long, lofty strides that eat up the arena beneath their feet as they flow over the ground. All gaits are performed with willingness and obvious ease, cadence, balance and smoothness. These fine horses combine their athleticism with grace and style typical of the Arabian horse.


Drivers skillfully maneuver their horses through various gaits performed with fluid motion that is brilliant and eye appealing. The beautiful combination of an Arabian horse and elegant fine harness equipment makes this discipline a crowd favorite.


From the time of nomads, Arabians have been the choice for prevailing in the harshest, most inhospitable conditions. Able to cross vast distances with minimal rest, food and water, their makeup has served them well: dense bone, economic body size and weight, long shoulder, deep heart girth and huge nostrils that allow for maximum air intake. Their well-constructed feet and legs are durable, and their bravery and acute intelligence are prized. They are able to carry their riders over thousands of miles, the dominating choice today when competing against other breeds.

Show Hack

Combining the precision of dressage and the brilliance of the Arabian horse itself, this discipline has its roots in classical movements of the collected and extended gait, the hand gallop, the halt and the reinback. All movements are natural, which amply demonstrates the Arabians’ pride, elegance and versatility.

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Be it for pure pleasure or show, Arabians are skillful, agile, eye appealing and confident. When properly trained, they move over obstacles, through water, and navigate outdoor terrain—all without hesitation—while being safe and pleasurable to ride.


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With the required manners, performance ability, and quality and conformation suitable for this discipline, on the flat or over fences, a hunter covers the ground easily with a long, low, efficient stride that can accommodate an all-day ride.



Dressage is considered ‘classical training’ because it uses gymnastic exercises—a series of movements and figures—which have been studied and developed for centuries. When done systematically and correctly, the exercises will cause the horse to be soft and supple on both sides and to respond willingly and obediently. He moves freely forward with pure gaits and an even tempo.

Working Western

This style highlights the agility and willingness of the Arabian to be guided by their riders, demonstrating difficult movements necessary in working cattle. The rider controls each maneuver of quick spins, straight sliding stops and lead changes.

Sport Horse

Evaluated in performance, manners, conformation, and suitability as a working sport horse, the Arabian pushes from behind, travels uphill, exhibits good length of stride and moves with straight, rhythmic, balanced gaits. Conformation is evaluated in terms of potential trainability, performance and predisposition to soundness.

Representative of those used by ancient Bedouins when they charged across the desert, climbing the sands to engage their enemy in battle, the beauty of the Arabian horse and the colorful heritage of the costumes make this one of the most exciting and popular disciplines.

Native Costume

The Versatile Arabian


This Arabian is calm, willing, has an obedient attitude with smooth, soft gaits and is happy and content to do its job. They are ideal for sitting in a saddle all day.

On a high spirited, alert, athletic, bold and willing Arabian with the talent for jumping, you’ll love this sport. Popular around the world, the jumping horse is forward thinking and moving with a confident heart and attitude.


Essentially a breeding class, each horse is judged on its correctness of conformation, its movement, or “way of going,” and their Arabian Type : the breed’s unique characteristics and desirable qualities to which they pass on to offspring. The halter horse is shown “in-hand” individually and posed to display their positive traits.

Jumping Racing

Racing is in the heart and soul of every Arabian horse. Its own long history, athleticism, speed and beauty make it a natural choice. Considered the original race horse, when English breeders wanted to add speed and endurance to their horses, they turned to the Arabian. The result? The Thoroughbred.

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The Equus Effect

Experiencing the Connection of NOW

During times of uncertainty, fear and anxiety can cripple even the most grounded of humans. Most will reach out for help, but some are not even aware what is happening to them. And for many, they just don’t know where to get help; who could possibly understand them? It is the latter for whom the calming and grounding effect animals offer are far too often unrecognized and underused. An animal’s ability to bring us back to the now, as they live, is a universal lesson learned by experience, not by speech.

The Equus Effect (TEE) is an incredible program that enables veterans, first responders (those in transition from a military or controlled lifestyle), and others who come from high stress environments to experience horses, demonstrating without words, the power in staying present. It provides individuals in transition, who struggle with the emotional regulation they need to engage with others (recovering from physical, mental and emotional conditions and diseases) — as well as people looking for experiential approaches to personal and professional growth — with tools that restore goodness to their bodies, minds and spirits through this curriculum. No horse experience is necessary; no riding involved. Recently, we were delighted to chat with Jane Strong, Senior Instructor and Founder of The Equus Effect, located in Sharon, Connecticut.

“I’ve worked in this way with horses for the past 10 years,” Jane explains. “Because horses engage all of our senses and ask us to be as present as they are, they can help people discover new ways of seeing themselves in relation to others. This work is both serious and fun, energizing and relaxing, easy to understand and deeply meaningful. Horses can help us develop our capacity to navigate transitions from one phase of life to another faster than any other mode of experiential learning or treatment I know. They invite the deepest, most honorable part of ourselves to come forward and meet life on life’s terms.”

Horses helping veterans, first responders & those going through transition back to everyday life.
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Since its inception in 2008, The Equus Effect is a 501c operating completely on the generosity of people who want to see these brave men and women go from surviving to thriving. It averages approximately 50-60 participants a year who experience tremendous benefit. Their sincere desire is to give those who want to return to their communities and live satisfying and productive lives ‘a leg up’ through the four-week curriculum offered with each program. Here is what Jane has to say about each of their programs:


Our flagship program is a peer-to-peer program with our facilitators, horses and other vets who work as a team to accelerate the journey home to family and community.

Our four-session curriculum is designed to introduce the principles of natural horsemanship as a way to help vets gain the trust, respect and willingness to collaborate from those with whom they live and work. We, and our equine partners, demonstrate the value of using finesse vs. force and cooperation vs. control.

We also educate our veteran students with life-changing insight and information around managing their emotions. Our Emotion al Agility presentation, based on the work of Karla McLaren, Linda Kohanov and our head instructor David Sonatore, LCSW, is approachable, engaging and incredibly useful.

We believe that if veterans can learn to use emotions the way horses do – as information to help them stay alive, set healthy boundaries, support one another in times of need – there would be no need to stay stuck in the stories we often tell about what we might have done differently in the past or what may or may not happen in the future.

We all have a lot to learn about being present to what’s happening right now from our horses – especially those who never had the time or tools available to unwind and renew their reserves of emotional and mental energy.


First responders have an immense impact on their communities. And we also know from first-hand experience the impact that secondary trauma can have, and that burnout is a reality that many first responders face. TEE believes that if the people who are called upon to respond to our community members’ in their times of crisis are better equipped to handle the stressors of their jobs, the community as a whole will be better cared for and more resilient. Our veterans’ program is a perfect fit for first responders. We believe that learning the art and skill of self-regulation, understanding how to make distinctions among seemingly conflicting emotions and building the capacity to process ‘the day’ before coming home and getting ready for tomorrow, are all part of maintaining healthy personal relationships — and all part of ensuring top performance as professionals (when police, firefighters or EMT’s need it most).

• Renew your energy and focus.

• Address your own reactions so you’re more capable of helping others.

• Learn practices and approaches to emergency situations that help others settle down.


Once a veteran has completed enough sessions to understand the basic principles of non-verbal communication with our horses, he or she is eligible to earn a Level I Certificate in Natural Horsemanship and join our network of veterans liaisons. This aspect of the program is about serving others and helping new vets get acclimated to the farm and comfortable working with horses. The aim is to build an authentic community where vets can BE better together…not just DO better on their own.


Whether a woman is transitioning from the military, making her way out of an unhealthy relationship, recovering from issues linked to substance abuse or working with others in the healing arts, this program will meet her wherever she is on her journey. All of what TEE does, is centered on rebuilding healthy relationships and the program includes specific exercises that address a woman’s ability to set healthy boundaries or ask for what she wants without getting upset. The goal is to help women find their own voices by becoming more grounded, clearer and more connected to their own wishes. TEE helps break through self-limiting patterns and helps our clients see for themselves what happens when they change.


Starting this May, TEE is working with frontline workers who, like first responders, are putting themselves in harm’s way every day. The enemy is invisible, and these men and women need to think about the risk they pose to their families. It is totally unprecedented in our time. TEE has a precedent, however, to meet these workers with horses who are ready and willing to offer the gift of touch, the chance to renew and the resilience to face another day. We are honored to serve those who are serving our communi ties. The warriors in our midst.


Last year, a team of researchers and clinicians at the VA and Yale were impressed with the results of the TEE curriculum. So, the head of clinical psychology at the West Haven VA applied for and was awarded a two-year research grant to study the impact of this work on a trans-diagnostic sample of veterans. The organization is most honored to have been chosen to participate and expects that this pilot will lead to further investigation and put The Equus Effect on a path to becoming an evidence-based complementary and alternative program for mental health.

“The day Apache made a connection with me and chose to follow me on his own, demonstrated that he trusted me. It helped me realize that could trust myself… because if a horse chooses to disregard his own hypervigilance, and trusts, that means that I can do the same.”

~ TM, Marine

“I learned about some simple and quick things I could do to get grounded and clear my head before heading home after a tough day. What a gift for me and for my family.”

~ JT, First Responder

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“I felt more alive and spent less time thinking about the past or the future with those horses than I have in months. I was totally relaxed and totally energized at the same time. I went home and slept better than I had for a very long time. It’s like I came home to myself.”

~ Anonymous


TEE “employs” several horses who become lifeline mentors to their participants in that their subjects learn from the experience. There are no misinterpreting words or explanations because there are no words. Amongst their herd lives two very important Arabian horses, Madrid and Dutch. Madrid is a purebred bay Arabian gelding, while Dutch is a Half-Arabian/Quarter Horse pinto. Dutch and Madrid have unique traits that separate them from the other members of the herd. They are much more sensitive than the other breeds and are very expressive about their reactions to their partners’ personalities. It’s not a one size fits all mentality. They react to a person’s vibration in a much more detailed manner. Dutch, for example resonates with many of the officers who come to the program. He’s attracted to someone with a strong leader’s internal organization and likes when someone knows what they want and leads in a way that motivates others. It’s plain as day to someone watching him, therefore, feeling it is even stronger. And Madrid gets bored with someone who can’t make up their mind. His own mind is busy and likes it when someone matches his energy. When an Arabian horse likes the vibration in something, they are more expressive in their reactions. This is probably why their success in this program is so obvious. Horses have three qualities that make them naturals at guiding people toward more effectiveness in the world:


Their existence for 55 million years has depended upon their ability to sense the heart rate, muscle tension and breathing of others from 30 feet away (and has served them pretty well). They’re hard wired to discover the true intentions of those around them because as prey animals, making a mistake can be deadly. By learning to understand their ‘language’ and reactions to us, we are able to reconnect with our own inner wisdom without fear of judgment or repercussion. The wisdom of the prey helps put us closer to our own true natures. How does this apply and help someone in The Equus Effect program? When a prey animal, much like someone in combat or response mode, senses danger, they scope it out, respond and then react. They react with the basic flight or fight mode. Once they are safe and away from danger, they return back to the now. They don’t hold on to the fear. If they did, they would never be able to handle the next round of threat. They, in a way, restart. Now imagine if you were a person needing to come back from a life of constant fight or flight mode ... who could help you better than a being who lives it too and knows how to ‘return to grazing’?

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How they feel is exactly how they act. They don’t talk so they don’t lie. They also let us know exactly how they feel about how we act with them. They’re big, organic biofeedback machines.

Horses don’t care where you live or where you come from; they care about how you are with them right now. They teach presence, honesty and cooperation. Dutch and Madrid demonstrate their approval quite clearly and allow humans who are home in the here and now, to become members of the herd. When participants laugh, drop their shoulders and start to move in rhythm with the horse, we know they are becoming grounded and present. The Arabians are great at showing their appreciation for that first connection.


Horses are very clear about trust. Their nature as prey animals is to question the intentions of everyone and everything around them. So, when they trust you, they mean it and what that means is you’re trustworthy.

There is nothing more heartwarming or empowering than to gain the trust of an animal who’s both very selective and totally honest about whom he or she chooses to follow… especially when that choice is a free one. Because no riding or general horsemanship is necessary, The Equus Effect demonstrates even a larger advantage. Neither Dutch nor Madrid will hold it against them for doing something incorrect. They simply gift them the feeling of a fluid and trusting bond when the connection is made. That was then. This is now.

When someone first holds an animal 7x his size in their hand, and experiences forgiveness from him when something isn’t working, imagine what that can teach in forgiving themselves and others?


The dialogue and conversation all TEE participants learn to have with the largest animal most of them have ever encountered, becomes the perfect example of connection and respect. The universal language of energy, connection and trust shared between these humans and horses brings the present back to those who thought they may have lost it. What an incredible yet simple gift.

The Equus Effect provides a unique and proven curriculum for veterans, first responders and others to enhance selfawareness, increase resilience and build healthier relationships through purposeful engagement with horses.

Our first obligation is to serve those who have and are now serving us. We developed this curriculum for veterans and first responders who know what it is like to be prepared for situations that can change without warning. All of our programs for these brave men and women are offered at no cost to them.

Veterans have already raised their hands and said that they would be willing to give their lives to protect us. We at The Equus Effect, believe that it is our responsibility to protect them and others who put themselves in harm’s way, to do all we can to support them as they return from military service or from emergencies that can happen on a daily basis. We do this through the generosity of donors, foundations, as well as through fee-based programs for individuals who are interested in personal and professional growth.

For more information on The Equus Effect, log on to: www.TheEquusEffect.org

The Equus Effect, 37 Drum Road, Sharon, CT 06069 The Equus Effect is a registered 501(C)(3) corporation. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.

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Experience the Arabian Horse Rogersville, MO | Follow @hagalefamilyarabians www.HagaleFamilyArabians.com Hagale Family Arabians, LLC Farm Director, Jen Wilson | +1 602.616.6672 jen@hagalefamilyarabians.com
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Experience | Fall 2022 | 65
National Champion Coltrane Proudly owned by Conway Arabians of Micanopy, FL 2012 Bay Stallion | IXL Noble Express x Brassmis www.ConwayArabians.com

An interesting component about the Arabian breed is that it offers people an opportunity to own, enjoy and exhibit both purebred Arabian horses and Half-Arabians as well. For hundreds of years, horsemen around the world recognized that the purebred Arabian blood was an excellent horse to combine into other breeds. Hundreds, if not thousands, of years spent breeding for specific traits such as intelligence, endurance, and athletic ability created a horse that could contribute those traits to other breeds and disciplines. Especially the cavalries in the 1800s and first half of the 1900s, who coveted the Arabian, as the larger war horses were converting into smaller, faster more nimble mounts during the end of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Today, Arabians cross wonderfully with virtually every other breed of horse, especially those who are good at one specific job. A few of the most popular crosses are the Arabian with Saddlebreds, which creates the high necked, high spirited English style horses that evolved from the “fancy” horses that people saved for Sundays in the park when they would show off their finest animals, and with Quarter Horses, when extreme ability for working western, reining and working cow horses is needed. Half-Arabians also acquire a keener connection with people, a more instinctive and sensitive intuition, and a bit of the Arabian type and beauty along with the more extreme specific discipline abilities of specialty breeds.

Arabian horse shows include separate classes for both purebred and Half-Arabians, allowing people more opportunities to show and enjoy their discipline of choice. Equally valuable, are the Half-Arabians who make lovely trail and family horses, as do their purebred counterparts, simply because of the intense human bond that is an Arabian breed hallmark.

The Designer Breed!

Vermiculus Arabian/Thoroughbred RGT Mercury Rising Arabian/American Saddlebred
Arabian/Friesen Experience | Fall 2022 | 66
Obsidian Knight++++//
Blaze of Glory SVA Arabian/American Saddlebred Eros Toi Revelation+ Arabian/Hackney Hollywood Bad Boy GP+ Arabian/American Quarter Horse Eva ABC Arabian/Appaloosa A Little Bit Naughty Arabian/Percheron
Experience | Fall 2022 | 67
Maghnus Z++++ Arabian/American Saddlebred



ARIZONA - Cave Creek




3190 old Highway 75 | Oneonta, AL 35121 (910) 876-7332 | ted@tedcarson.com www.tedcarson.com


6525 E Dixileta Drive | Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (480) 290-1317 | www.hoofbeatz.com


3155 Elephant Head Rd | Amado, AZ 85645 (520) 820-3299 | Cheryl Schaefer: (520) 879-7420 nswalden@greenvalleypecan.com or cshaefer@greenvalleypecan.com | ranchosonado.com


31440 N 52nd St. | Cave Creek, AZ 85377 Theresa Lungwitz | (480) 707-7426 ~ (602) 686-2867 ap@royaltarabians.com | www.royaltarabians.com


28311 N 66th St. | Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (480) 513-6815 | sandro@sandropinha.com www.arabiansinternational.com


@Beethe Arabians 27814 N 44th St. | Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (480) 360-RIDE ScottsdaleEquestrianAcademy@gmail.com www.scottsdaleequestrianacademy.com

ARIZONA - Scottsdale


1660 North Lindsay Rd. | Mesa, AZ 85213 (480) 361-6926 | info@royalarabians.com www.royalarabians.com


11728 E Dreyfus Ave. | Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Sylvain Allard & Robin Andrews | (480) 414 1613 sylallard@outlook.com | www.desertskyarabians.com

APEX RIDING ACADEMY LLC 6055 East Dynamite Blvd. | Scottsdale, AZ 85266 (602) 376-4545 | apexridingacademy@gmail.com www.apexridingacademy.com


27197 N 90th St. | Scottsdale, AZ 85262

Tel: (800) 633-4439 | Manny Lawrence: (805) 325-1613 Manuel Luquin: (805) 325-1613 | www.jadecreek.com

ARIZONA - Scottsdale


10805 N. 85th Pl. | Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Kenny McDonald | (480) 696-9237 kenny@cedarridgearabians.com | www.cedar-ridge.com


26510 N Paso Trail | Scottsdale, AZ 85255 +1 (480) 758-8708 | +1 (801) 709-4305 luchoguimaraesarabian@gmail.com www.luchoguimaraesarabians.com


Located at Sandspur Ranch 12480 N 93rd St. | Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (952) 719-6867 | (480) 678-2422 www.Marywilsonshowhorses.com


11349 E Arabian Park Drive | Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Andrew Sellman, Director | (715) 760-2466 AndyS@OrrionFarms.com | www.orrionfarms.com

Visitors by appointment only


11249 E Arabian Park Drive | Scottsdale, AZ 85259 (306) 241-1199 | mpopp@rdarabians.com raedawnarabians.com

Experience | Fall 2022 | 68

ROYAL ARABIANS - HALTER DIVISION 9720 E Cactus Rd. | Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 361-6926 | info@royalarabians.com www.royalarabians.com


8200 E Mariposa Grande Dr. | Scottsdale, AZ 85255 (480) 310-8656 | Facebook: SpiritRanchAZ

ROYAL ARABIANS - PERFORMANCE DIVISION 15217 East Rio Verde Dr. | Scottsdale, AZ 85262 (480) 361-6926 | info@royalarabians.com www.royalarabians.com

AMAZING HORSEWOMAN LLC 4600 Sand Canyon Rd | Somis, CA 93066

Priscilla Potter (479) 253-3852 www.theamazinghorsewoman.com


11309 E Arabian Park Dr. | Scottsdale, AZ 85259 (480) 656-2552 | Info@SaharaScottsdale.com www.saharascottsdale.com



1067 Highland Rd. | Santa Ynez, CA 93460 (805) 697-6107 | arabianhra@gmail.com www.arabianhra.org


3141 Morgan Territory Rd | Clayton, CA 94517 (925) 515-1009 | www.onthebitinc.com


3325 Figueroa Mountain Rd. | Los Olivos, CA 93441 (805) 693-9825 | www.evergreenarabians.com


2454 Monument Road | San Diego, CA 92154 (619) 818-4565 | alejandro@anvilarabians.com www.anvilarabians.com


1900 View Dr. | Santa Ynez, CA 93460

Janina Merz (805) 490-6810 | (805) 688-6958 info@omelarab.com | www.omelarab.com


3154 Lady Bug Ln. | San Marcos, CA 92069 (760) 505-7447 | Jon: (724) 413-2061 jon.ramsay@stachowski.com | www.stachowski.com


P.O. Box 7 | Santa Ynez, CA 93460 (520) 820-3299 | Cheryl Schaefer: (520) 879-7420 nswalden@greenvalleypecan.com or cshaefer@greenvalleypecan.com | ranchosonado.com


CHESTNUTHILL ARABIANS 6455 SW 73 St. | Ocala, FL 34476 (610) 972-9628 | Chestnut@ptd.net www.Chestnuthillarabians.com


236 Henry Sanford Road | Bridgewater, CT 06752 (860) 354-8926 | mary@trowbridgesltd.com www.trowbridgesltd.com


4600 Sand Canyon Rd. | Somis, CA 93066 (805) 386-8669 jill@southerncaliforniaequestriancenter.com www.southerncaliforniaequestriancenter.com



8894 NW Highway 320 | Micanopy, FL 32667 (507) 202-4440 | lori@conwayarabians.com www.conwayarabians.com


6395 S. Magnolia Ave. | Ocala, FL 34471 (305) 606-0645 | chcringofroses@yahoo.com www.chctrainingmiami.com


7585 NW 33rd Place | Ocala, FL 34482 (330) 704-5200 | tbarta@bartashowhorses.com www.bartashowhorses.com


12780 NW 35th Street | Ocala, FL 34482

Frank Hennessey: (313) 407-2070

George “Z” Zbyszewski: (352) 857-3384 info@hennesseyarabians.com | HennesseyArabians.com


6601 W Highway 329 | Reddick, FL 32686 (334) 790-4189 | dwaneh27@aol.com


2552 Tomeka Farms Road | Port Orange, FL 32028 (602) 717-7432 | scsarabs@msn.com

ARIZONA - Scottsdale
Experience | Fall 2022 | 69



6395 S. Magnolia Ave. | Ocala, FL 34471 (352) 266-6446 | jprannenberg@aol.com


Clermont, FL 34711 (321) 239-2192 | silverbirchequestrian@gmail.com www.atsilverbirch.com

OCALA EQUESTRIAN ACADEMY 4335 NW 110th Ave | Ocala, FL 34482 (352) 817-8020 | ocalaride@gmail.com www.ocalaeq.com


Greater Ocala Area (407) 402-2116 perileellc@yahoo.com | www.perileeshowhorses.com


VICTORIA ARABIANS 15625 W Hwy 318 | Williston, FL 32696 (352) 528-6914 | info@victoriaarabians.com www.victoriaarabians.com



5850 NW 115th Ave | Ocala, FL 34482 www.wanderlustarabians.com


22220 Wolf Branch Road | Sorrento, FL 32776 (352) 267-5550 | wilsontraining@icloud.com www.wilsontrainingcenter.com


1101 Emmett Young Road | Newnan, GA 30263 (770) 251-7005 | info@talariafarms.com www.talariafarms.com


DALE BROWN PERFORMANCE HORSES 1064 Emily Currie Road | Rentz, GA 31075 (478) 290-2784 dalebrownph@yahoo.com | www.dalebrowninc.com


734 Roper Road | Canton, GA 30115 | (770) 740-8432 Riding club: (470) 281-0881 | vhtc@vickihumphrey.com Atlantaridingclub0881@gmail.com www.vickihumphreytrainingcenter.com



2471 East Cherokee Drive | Woodstock, GA 30188 (770) 656-5764 | krickard@hgtrinc.com www.hgtrinc.com


LIBERTY MEADOWS TRAINING CENTER 21000 Switzer Road | Bucyrus, KS 66013 (816) 651-7424 | libertymeadowstc@gmail.com www.libertymeadowstrainingcenter.com



20335 Sawmill Rd. | Jordan, MN 55352 (952) 492-6590 | david@cedarridgearabians.com www.cedar-ridge.com



509 Spinpointe Road | Fisherville, KY 40023 (502) 477-1018 | firelite01@aol.com www.firelightarabians.com


ELITE RIDING ACADEMY 20220 Lackman Rd. | Spring Hill, KS 66083 (360) 867-8875 | email www.eliteridingacademykc.com


STRAWBERRY BANKS FARM 1181 Quaker Road | East Aurora, NY 14052 (716) 652-9346 | info@strawberrybanksfarm.com www.Strawberrybanksfarm.com


5964 S. Highway NN | Rogersville, MO 65742 (602) 616-6672 | info@hagalefamilyarabians.com www.hagalefamilyarabians.com


12975 N Territorial Road | Dexter, MI 48130 (517) 290-0616 | kayleigh@signatureoakstables.com www.signatureoakstables.com



6414 Lagunitas Rd. SW | Albuquerque, NM 87105 (505) 480-6000 | Mariah.Wilson88@yahoo.com www.Platinumhorses.com


RBC SHOW HORSES, LLC 2379 Creechs Mill Road | Smithfield, NC 27577 (919) 202-8384 | info@rbcshowhorses.com www.rbcshowhorses.com


2703 Old Spencer Road | Archdale, NC 27263 Rick: (336) 471-8822 | Laura: (336) 558-7771 www.RickGaultTraining.com

sh ow horse s
Experience | Fall 2022 | 70


93370 Hwy 99 S | Junction City, OR 97448 (541) 515-1053 | Dstewartstables@aol.com www.sphtraining.com


273 Clonmell Upland Rd | West Grove, PA 19390 (585) 943-4333 | tim@kyiearabians.com www.kyriearabians.com


KIESNER TRAINING, INC. 3418 Miser Station Road. | Louisville, TN 37777 Barn: (865) 984-5245 | ashton@kiesnertraining.com www.KiesnerTraining.com



4844 Byrd Lane | College Grove, TN 37046 (615) 566-4976 www.angelheartfarm.com


4506 Langston Road | Timmonsville, SC 29161 Sarah O’Brien: (843) 346-5874 www.palmettoarabians.com

GARLANDS LTD 934 Knob Park Rd. | Bristol, TN 37620 (804) 598-3657 www.TommyGarland.com


MLM ARABIANS Valley View, TX 76272 (214) 770-5711 | morgan.millner@gmail.com www.mlmarabians.com

OAK HAVEN FARMS 2885 Fm 2137 N | Bullard, TX 75757 (903) 245-0575 | laurenalyx@aol.com

LONGSHOT FARM 1177 U.S. Hwy 12 | Roberts, WI 54023 (715) 377-6443 | jennifer@longshotfarm.net www.longshotfarm.net

PENNSYLVANIA Add Your Farm Here! Contact Arabian Horse Promotional Fund Today! arabianhorsepromofund@gmail.com
Experience | Fall 2022 | 71
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