Experience Arabian Horses, #11 - published with Arabian Horse Times

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Supplement To Arabian Horse Times

CONTENTS Cover Story: Apex Riding Academy


Christmas Miracle


Patrick Sullivan & Gamilah


Horse Careers


Kids Corner


The socially-distanced safe sport for your physical & mental needs ... With the advent of a new year, we have also entered a new time. Everyone in the world has a story of their own about what the lockdown in 2020 has meant to their world. Many stories are dismal, and there is no one, probably anywhere, who has not experienced pandemic pain. One of the most devastating consequences has been the change for many in their activities and connectivity skills. A recent survey stated that over 54% of children have not played a sport since the pandemic started. Adults are experiencing depression associated with their forced change in circumstances as well, from lost jobs due to closures, to stay-at-home orders. For both, the lack of safe human interaction in all aspects of life has been excruciating. Both our mental and physical wellbeing has been taxed to the extreme. But, guess what? By picking up this magazine, you’ve found a wonderful solution for you and your whole family to look into! Horses, especially the intuitive, interactive and sensitive Arabian horse, is the perfect partner to encourage a socially distanced safe sport for your physical needs, as well as a Covid-immune friend that will improve your mental outlook. There are lesson programs utilizing Arabian horses all over the country—check out www. experiencearabianhorses.com for a Farm near you. Find out what so many other people know—that the Arabian horse will make every one of your days brighter! Make a visit today to a farm near you … you won’t be disappointed!

Mary Trowbridge Mary Trowbridge, Editor

Pictured right: Eliana Taylor and her lesson horse Presley, taken at Imperial Equestrian in Rootstown, Ohio.

A p e x R id i n g A c ademy


Fifty years ago, when books and television shows about horses were popular, riding was a well-known pastime. Today, maybe not so much; kids play soccer, adults work out in gyms, and everyone gazes at their phones. However, enthusiasts will tell you that riding horses—especially in today’s crazy world—is more rewarding than ever. For children and adults.

Photos by Casey McBride & Julie Daniel

The first question for those who consider equestrian sports is usually, “Where do I start?” If you are in the Scottsdale area, one of the best resources is Apex Riding Academy. Owner Julie Daniel, 2018 and 2019 Arabian Professional and Amateur Horseman’s Association Instructor of the Year, has designed a program that covers everyone from complete beginner to experienced show rider. How far into it you want to go—just take lessons, compete a little locally, or buy a horse and aim at a national trophy—is up to you, but whatever you choose, you’ll find an active social side too, because sharing the experience is part of the fun.

How It Works Like a school, the organization breaks out into “grade levels”: beginning, intermediate and advanced lesson riders, as well as performance exhibitors who compete in horse shows up to the national level. Julie and assistant Kasey Moffat train the show horses and instruct amateur riders in the Daniel Training Center area, while Apex Riding Academy is located nearby in its own barn and arena. Head Beginner Instructor Kari Brooks runs the program, with Jacy Prestinario responsible for intermediate riders and a growing Academy team. A normal week will see as many as 50 to 70 lessons, depending on weather (outdoor arenas ease pandemic restrictions).

“It’s a place where my daughter Abi can grow and develop as a person—have her own excitement in life. She’s developed leadership skills, learned how to take correction, and also to speak up for what she wants, with role models that I feel comfortable with. They’ve all kind of become our extended family.” —Angela Williams, mother

The first step for beginners is learning safety and the basics of handling a horse, using the lesson mounts, who are typically older, quiet and “bombproof.” As their skills improve, riders who want to can enter various competitions, starting with Apex’s once-a-month Silver Stirrups Tournaments, where for little cost, they each can compete in two classes. Junior instructors and performance exhibitors help run the show, and with Julie commentating, put on educational events between classes for the parents and friends watching. “There’s no type of show pressure on them at tournaments,” Julie says. “It’s just a good way to learn to ride with other horses and to team build—gain confidence, build self-esteem.” As riders become more proficient, they can “Level-up” to Academy showing—similar to tournaments, but more challenging because the competition includes other barns in the area. Again, they use lesson horses, an inexpensive way to see if they enjoy it enough to become more involved. With the introduction of the Arabian Horse Youth Association’s Experience classes (similar to Academy competitions) at the Youth Nationals, advanced lesson riders also have the option to compete for national titles. Julie requires that they raise the money to pay for the trip to Oklahoma City, and last year, three earned ribbons on Apex lesson horses.

The Benefits The benefits, especially for young people, are easy to see. “Riding is confidence building, and the kids socialize in a positive way,” Julie says. “For some, it used to be that riding was a way to keep them out of trouble at parties, etc.; now it’s to deal with social media anxiety, possibly bullying, that sort of thing.” “Julie invites all her riders to be part of the barn life, challenges them to help out, and have a significant stake in managing the horses’ wellbeing and the barn community,” observes client Michael Spandau. “This creates a strong sense of belonging and family atmosphere, and prepares the children for future life challenges.” It’s not just for kids. Some adult riders say it’s been a lifelong dream that they are just now able to satisfy. And some follow their children into the sport. “Our daughter Helena started riding at the age of 7,” says Spandau, “and after watching her for the first few years train and compete, we decided to pick up the same sport. We had virtually no prior experience in riding; we now own four horses and compete as a family at various horse competitions.” One attraction for him is that the involvement balances the pressure of his work.

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The Budget Julie, who has been in Arabians all her life, is open about her desire to introduce new horse people to the breed. Nearly all the horses at the facility are Arabians, and she estimates that probably 85 percent of her show riders come from the Apex program. But she’s aware that the competitive world of amateur showing is not for everyone. “You can come and just take lessons forever,” she smiles. “Or, you don’t have to buy a show horse. A riding horse can be enjoyed.” To help kids who want to advance in competition but don’t have the funding for it, Apex offers a sponsorship program to support various activities, such as one tournament or Academy competition, or a year of either pursuit. Additionally, through the Equine Experience program, more skilled lesson kids can work at the barn or in the program to earn points (“carrots”) that can be traded for riding lessons. “We try to make this affordable for everyone,” Julie says, “no matter their budget.”

It’s More Than Just Riding Apex Riding Academy works partly because it is so comprehensive. In Julie

All of that said, she is not averse to helping a client acquire a suitable show

Daniel’s original vision, long shared by Kari Brooks (who is the gateway

horse and invest the time and money it takes to compete at higher levels; she

influence in a lesson rider’s experience), learning to ride is not just about

just wants to make sure that they know the emotional and financial input required. A barnful of accomplished Daniel Training Center customers can testify to her ability as a top flight trainer as well as instructor.

sitting in a saddle. It’s about building a relationship with a horse and often with other people who share their interest. So, at Apex the education hardly ever stops: in addition to lessons, they offer camps with informative and fun activities, and now host monthly Discovery Days, which cover equine topics for both students and interested visitors. In many ways, it’s about bringing horses and people together in a way that allows each to shine. Client Katie Huljack laughs that at home her daughter, Brooklyn, is a typical 5-year-old—but at the barn, she’s already the focused partner of a horse. “Her demeanor completely changes. She takes it seriously, takes direction. We pull up at the farm, she hops out, and that’s where her heart is. Horses are in her blood, in her soul. I don’t know how to explain it; she just becomes like one with them.” Perhaps everyone who rides at Apex isn’t quite as tuned in as that, but they have all found what is right for them. Athletic pursuit, hobby, life teacher—you can find it all in a relationship with horses.

Apex Riding Academy is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information log on to www.apexridingacademy.com Kari Brooks (602.376.4545) | Kasey Moffat (801.244.7996) Find an Academy Riding facility near you! www.experiencearabianhorses.com

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We’ll keep you connected! Hop on the website today & find a farm near you!

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by SARAH JAYNE JOHNSON Miracles are few and far between, but they’ve been known to happen. Such was the case this past year when 11-year-old Charlize was presented with her dream gift at Christmas, a 3-year-old chestnut gelding named Ex Ceed MA, aka “Chuck”; both coming into each other’s lives when they needed it the most.


Charlize has been struggling with health issues since she was born. Born about eight weeks prematurely, she spent her first four weeks of life in the NICU, and since then, has undergone several procedures, including surgery for hip dysplasia and removal of her tonsils and adenoids. Charlize also has a heart murmur, so wears a CPAP machine at night to combat obstructive sleep apnea, and currently fights against an incomprehensible list of rare diseases: Acute Hypermobility syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, PFAPA, Central Nervous System Sensitization, Mitochondrial Disease, Chronic Blood Disorder - Immunocompromised and Neutropenic, and most recently, possible Relapsing Polychondritis. Because all of these conditions make Charlize’s medical issues so complicated and unique, for the last three years, she’s frequently traveled to Seattle to receive treatment from a team of rare disease doctors.

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Helping Charlize get through these dark days came in the form of what a lot of little girls dream of: horses. Fortunately, her mother Angie rode, so Charlize grew up around them, particulaly Arabians. And like every Arabian horse lover, her heart was set on her own Arabian which she began saving for after her mother’s horse died. Because of a lack of Arabians in Idaho and her insistence that she would not buy anything else but, Charlize’s mom began her search by reaching out to her old trainer, Dennis Wigren, who just happened to have an idea for the perfect match.


Chuck comes from royal bloodlines. His pedigree is full of wellknown and successful names—show champions and champion producers—but sadly, and through no fault of his own, Chuck found himself at a kill pen in Oklahoma this past August. Luckily, he was spotted online and on social media by successful breeder and owner, Carolyn Lesley of Lesley Farms, who jumped into action. Surprised and shocked that this beautiful, young horse with a great pedigree was in the situation he was in, Carolyn wasted no time and purchased him immediately. Based in Oregon, she had no idea what she was going to do with him, so she started making calls late on a Sunday night to figure out her next move. Carolyn reached out to JT Keller and explained the situation. He responded with “give me five minutes.” JT contacted longtime horseman, Cody Ralston, who agreed to immediately pick up Chuck the next morning, get him healthy and see “what Chuck knew.” For the next two months, Carolyn and JT spoke weekly and shared Chuck’s impressive progress, who at the time was known to the Ralstons as “Lucky”.

It was during the U.S. Nationals in October, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that Carolyn and JT, who have become great freinds, took a two-hour round trip to the Ralston’s farm to see how Chuck was doing. When they saw him, they were surprised in all the best ways. This beautiful chestnut was trained to ride and was one kind, sweet horse! Carolyn asked to ride Chuck and experienced a personal connection when she got off of him and he leaned right into her. Carolyn knew the second she saw Chuck that he had a purpose, but what that was eluded her, so until she figured out his calling, she had her West Coast trainer … Dennis Wigren, haul him back to Washington.

The Pieces Fall Into Place

When Angie called Dennis, it was as if everything fell into place for everyone. After Carolyn heard about Charlize looking for a horse, she knew it was the perfect fit, giving Charlize her Christmas miracle. The Christmas surprise was almost ruined, however, when one day Charlize was looking over her mother’s shoulder and saw pictures of Chuck. Charlize fell in love and asked if he was a “Dennis” horse and if she could afford him. Though Angie did her best to play it cool and keep the secret from her daughter, she was more than excited to hear Charlize’s excitement about her soon-to-be best friend. Unable to make it time, Charlize opened a packet of photos and information about Chuck on Christmas day and was overjoyed. Chuck arrived two days later, and both formed an instant bond.

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What makes this story even more remarkable is that Charlize’s mother’s first horse was a 3-year-old chestnut as well; the coincidence making this story even more magical. Because Charlize suffers a lot of joint and nerve pain with frequent fevers, some days she is in too much pain to move off the couch. But in the short time she has had Chuck, she goes out to be with her horse even on tough days. “Chuck has brought so much joy into Charlize’s life,” says Angie, “in such a small amount of time. Even on her really bad days, I will find her in her happy place, lunging Chuck as if nothing was bothering her.” Precisely what an Arabian was born to do, Chuck has given Charlize the gift of comfort and love, and vice versa. There is no bond more substantial than a little girl and her horse who love each other. Every day Charlize finds a reason to go to the barn and see Chuck despite how she feels. “Chuck is such a great horse,” says Charlize. “He’s so gentle and kind. He makes me feel happy even when I am sick. I get to just be a kid again when I am with him. He is my best friend!” During her first trip to Seattle for treatment and away from Chuck, she made sure to schedule out times to Facetime, so she would not miss him as much. Owning and knowing an Arabian is special, and every horse owner knows the love and bond that can exist when those unique, meant-to-be, partnerships are formed. And it is the Arabian horse community’s unlimited love and the Arabian horse’s magic that so often come together in a miracle of ways. To learn more about Charlie and Chuck’s story, you can follow Charlize’s Facebook page “Stand With and Support Charlize” where a GoFundMe is linked to helping fund medical bills.d

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my child grew up with horses, they understand the value of money. Every

dollar can be translated into whether they can pursue and care for their passion in life. Purchasing non-necessities during lean times can mean the difference between feed and good care, or neglect and starvation. Popular pursuits, clothes and the mall are a distant last behind providing for the horse who is their friend and companion and who depends on them for their survival. Because my child grew up with horses, they have learned to learn on their own. They have had teachers that cannot speak, nor write, nor communicate beyond body language and reactions. They have had to learn to “read” their surroundings for both safe and unsafe objects, to look for hazards where others might only see a pretty meadow. They have learned to judge people as they judge horses. They look beyond appearances and trappings to see what is within.


my child grew up with horses, they have learned to recognize people for what

they are, just as they have learned to understand their horse’s motivations. Everyone that competes fairly is a winner. They know that those who will cheat in the show-ring will also cheat in every other aspect of their life and are not to be trusted. Because my child grew up with horses, they have self-esteem and an engaging personality. They can talk to anyone they meet with confidence, because they have to express themselves to their horse with more than words. Because my child grew up with horses, they know about compromise and understanding. They know the satisfaction of controlling and teaching a 1,000-pound animal that will yield willingly to their gentle touch and ignore the more forceful and inept handling of those stronger than they are. They hold themselves with poise and professionalism in the company of those far older than themselves.


my child grew up with horses, they have learned to plan ahead. They know

that choices made today can affect what happens five years down the road. They know that you cannot care for and protect those you care about without savings and planning to fall back on. They know the value of land and buildings, and that caring for your vehicle can mean the difference between easy travel or being stranded on the side of the road with a four-horse trailer on a hot day. When I look at what they have learned and what it will help them become, I can honestly say that I haven’t “wasted” a penny on providing them with horses. I only wish that all children had the same opportunities to learn these lessons from horses before setting out on the road to adulthood. ~Anonymous~

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Horses Teach Responsibility

Riding teaches kids how to care for a living, breathing animal properly. A horse isn’t a ball or bat you can stick in the closet when you are done practicing. Riders learn how to properly care for “their” partner before and after the ride. Riders are also expected to dress properly and work hard. As a rider develops, they begin to see that being responsible pays off!

Riding Takes Commitment

Every successful horse has a committed rider. There is nothing more rewarding than taking lessons and staying committed to a goal. Riding takes a lot of sweat, tears and sometimes more sweat, but the rewards are endless.

Riding is a Lifelong Skill

Unlike some sports that only capture a child’s interest for a season or two, or a sport that ends once they graduate high school, riding never has to stop. Many adult riders rode horses as children and found their way back as adults. You can always improve your skills as a rider, no matter your age.

Riding Requires Athletic Ability


Horses are social creatures just like humans. Being able to communicate and interact with an animal has already been shown to have a positive effect on people, as has been experienced by those involved with riding programs. Horses make wonderful companion animals and many equestrians call horses their best friends.

Riding is more than “just sitting” there. Riding takes strength and endurance. A rider has to use a number of muscles to stay solid in the saddle. Riding a horse is an incredible full body workout. Soon, your rider will feel strong, empowered and confident in his or her body.

Riding Encourages Pride

Riding is a Special Way to Spend Time Together

Horse riders will be the first to tell you that nothing feels better than mastering a challenge or learning a new skill. Being able to successfully communicate with a 1,000-pound animal is a confidence booster for riders of all levels.

Riding is a Source of Many Incredible Emotions

Studies have shown that riding can provide numerous emotional benefits which can include improved self-esteem, communication skills, self-awareness, relaxation, empowerment, interpersonal relationships, self-control, focus, concentration and happiness. Many studies have also shown that riding can significantly decrease anger, depression, dissociation and aggression.

Watching your young rider grow up around horses is something very special. We invite parents to stay and watch lessons to help encourage their young riders.

Learning to Ride Well Takes Focus

A rider must use his brain and body to control and properly communicate with his/her horse. Riding takes full concentration; a young rider will not have time to think about what his/her friends said at school that day or who is texting them. When riding, the rider’s mind has to be completely focused. It’s a mental break from other worries and it’s a major anxiety buster that can help children in developing good lifelong emotional health.

The Riding Stable can Provide a Healthy Atmosphere

It’s important to find the right stable for your young rider, a place where both of you feel comfortable and supported. When young people are working at the barn with their horses, it creates a healthy environment. The stable is a very healthy and rewarding activity that focuses on the horse and rider partnership.

~ From Elizabeth Pizzonia, owner of Ocala Equestrian Academy ~ Ar abian Horse Times | 16 | ENV ISION #11

It’s certainly been a challenge everywhere, to give children anything resembling a semi-normal routine through this life-changing pandemic. Everyday activities have been turned upside down, removing all of the things one enjoys while growing up, including Halloween. But Hoofbeatz, U.S.A., the popular riding academy in Scottsdale, Arizona, found a way to turn frowns upside down with Arabian horses!

Photography by Laurelle

The Arabian horse never disappoints, and they certainly don’t care that there is global change out there. All they know is connection.

is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information log on www.hoofbeatz.com

The team of Eileen Verdieck and Bill Rodgers played host to families in their area, all masked up, of course, and following the social distancing parameters outlined by their county, to celebrate the holiday by combining both in a safe way.

Find an Academy Riding facility near you! www.experiencearabianhorses.com

Who knows ... maybe it will become a new tradition?

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By Morgan Millner-Moore

When one looks at the brunette, cowboy hat wearing man galloping his coal black Arabian mare through fields bridle-less, it is hard to imagine there was ever a time that he was without a horse by his side. When we have the opportunity to witness great horsemen, there’s often a story of a childhood romance with horses or some innate, early identified passion for them. Such is the not the case with 32-year-old Patrick Sullivan of Modern Day Horsemanship; his story reminding us that one can first stitch horses into the intimate parts of their soul way beyond the years of youth. At 26 years old, Patrick had come to a reflection point in his life. By all accounts, he was already well on his way to “big” things in his professional career. He had earned his MBA in International Business and had coached college soccer for four years. Patrick knew, however, that he didn’t want to pursue the career he had been preparing for. He was seeking a deeper level of connectivity with the world. He had grown up alongside horses but had never taken a great interest in them. His mother was an Arabian enthusiast and small breeder of straight Egyptians, welcoming one or two babies a year to her farm. It wasn’t until he returned home after his hiatus from coaching that he felt the draw towards horses for the first time. He soon had his first horse gifted to him; “Ami”, a timid chestnut Arabian mare who lacked confidence. “I started by leading her out and letting her eat grass,” says Patrick. “When I saw the comfort I could help her achieve by spending time with her, that was the moment I knew I wanted to be in this. Horses don’t have a choice of where they are, but they trust us to give them guidance and safety. Ami transformed my soul. I wanted to be able to help people and horses. I knew that was it. That was the sign that this is where I needed to be.” Six months after discovering his passion, Patrick decided to start his first horse under saddle. The beautiblack, straight Egyptian filly Gamilah (bred

ful by

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To make the incredible journey in front of them, Patrick has dedicated an immense amount of time developing Gamilah both mentally and physically. He believes they are well prepared for the task “We want to preserve each other the best we can,” he says. “We practice by going on lots of trail rides and I keep her in the best physical and mental shape possible.”

Photos by Canter Clix

his mother) was ready. “I didn’t even really know how to ride,’ Patrick admits. “She taught me everything.” And Gamilah brings us to the precipice of the incredible journey that Patrick has decided to embark upon … 3,500 miles across the country from California to Kentucky Horse Park, without a bridle and without a saddle. He wants to bring his passion to others in the world via a journey reserved for only the greatest adventurists. He wants to share with all people what is possible thru a partnership with a horse, and in the absence of control. “Liberty is the ultimate choice for the horse. They can decide to be linked to you or to leave you. There’s no better way to explore that partnership than traveling across the country with no ‘control.’” For Patrick, the spiritual transformation that develops between a rider and horse when both are able to freely communicate is life-altering, “It is a privilege to be able to see the world like we do.” Patrick hopes to awaken America’s love for the horse by riding through her heart along historic Highway 50; but more specifically, Arabian horses and the art of riding liberty. Along his journey, he will answer central questions of his own, profound relationship with Gamilah “How much can I integrate into her herd? How far can that partnership go?” This journey is hardly about Patrick. Instead, he is dedicating this ride to those he encounters. “Liberty is also about wanting to connect with people. Along the route we will rely on the kindness of people to make this all possible. We want people to join us along this journey. Liberty is about connecting with your horse at a deeper level than ever before and that’s what I want to bring to others. Horses gave the founders of this country a way to travel, but horses are so much more than that. They can provide us with knowledge, passion and even an education.”

In terms of the mechanics of the journey, Patrick’s sister will be following them with truck and trailer the entire length of the journey. They will travel 20-25 miles each day and, at night, Patrick will sleep in his living quarters set up in his trailer while Gamilah rests in her own portable pen. Patrick will document their journey daily on the Facebook page “Gamilah Unbridled.” Along the way, Patrick and Gamilah will do Liberty demonstrations to connect with wider audiences in key cities: Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Lexington. Their journey will begin in April and end at the Kentucky Horse Park on October 17th, during the International Liberty Championships. The journey, expectedly, will not be inexpensive, so you can help Patrick and Gamilah via sponsorships and/or private donations complete their trek through his website, www.ModernDayHorsemanship.com. 100% of all additional proceeds will go to nonprofits supporting youth equestrians and liberty outreach. Can one horse and one rider make America fall in love with the horse again? This writer, for one, believes they can.

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The following listing of career opportunities in the horse industry is organized by educational requirements for specific careers, and then subdivided by general segments of the horse industry. You can also visit Equistaff.com to find current job opportunities in the Equine industry.

CAREERS REQUIRING A PH.D., veterinary or professional degree from a college or university Primary Careers Requiring Daily Contact with Horses/Owner Veterinarian Extension Horse Specialist Horse Feed Development Specialist University Professor Equine Veterinary Acupuncturist Geneticist Animal Nutritionist Support Positions Not Requiring Daily Contact with Horses/Owners Dean of College of Agriculture Dean of Veterinary School Careers with Horse Shows or Rodeos Horse Show Veterinarian Careers in the Racing Industry Track Veterinarian

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CAREERS REQUIRING A MASTER’S DEGREE from a college or university Primary Careers Requiring Daily Contact with Horses and/or Horse Owners University Instructor | Animal Behaviorist | Pedigree Analyst | Horse Feed Formulator Support Positions Not Requiring Daily Contact with Horses or Horse Owners Architect | Attorney | Financial Advisor | Agricultural Engineer | Accountant

CAREERS REQUIRING A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE from a college or university Primary Careers Requiring Daily Contact with Horses and/or Horse Owners Extension Educator or County Agriculture Agent | College Instructor | Clinician Mounted Policeman | Transportation Specialist | Riding Instructor/Coach | Breeder Identification Maker | Stunt Rider/Double in Movies | Youth Director | Rehabilitation Therapist Farm Manager | Technical School Teacher | Trainer Veterinarian’s Assistant | Horse Auctioneer | Stallion Manager Laboratory Technician | Bloodstock Agent Animal Abuse Investigator | Humane Society Official Artificial Inseminator | Stable Manager | Veterinary Technician Farrier/Corrective Shoeing | Broodmare Manager X-Ray Technician Support Positions Not Requiring Daily Contact with Horses or Horse Owners High School Agriculture Teacher | Engineer Agricultural Equipment Designer | Agricultural Researcher Actuary (Insurance representative) | Lobbyist Public Relations or Executive Sec. of a Horse Organization Breed or Discipline Association Executive | Field Secretary State Director of Identification Services Director of Technical School | Tailor or Clothing Buyer Commercial Feed Manufacturer | Laboratory Technician Advertising (newspapers, magazines, horse publications) Author | Equine Journalist | Trade Press Editor Instructional Material Author | Sales of Agricultural Equipment Pharmaceutical Sales | Insurance Sales | Advertising Designer Landscape Architect | Auditor | Horse Feed Wholesaler Insurance Investigator | Agricultural and Research Economist Museum Curator | Land Consultant/Farm Realtor Publisher/Writer/Editor

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CAREERS REQUIRING A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE from a college or university (cont.) Careers with Horse Shows or Rodeos Timing Equipment | Security Careers in the Racing Industry Racing Chemist | Judge | Timing Equipment Engineer Racing Steward | Racing Secretary | Handicapper Director of Mutuels | Security | Equine Tattoo Inspector Racing Commissioner | Personnel Mutuel Machine Maintenance Careers Related to Horse Recreation Trail Engineer | Park and Recreation Administrator Recreation Planner

CAREERS REQUIRING ONE OR TWO YEARS OF EDUCATION beyond High School Support Positions Not Requiring Daily Contact with Horses/Owners Film Distribution Specialist | Clothing Designer | Boot Manufacturer Commercial Artist | Advertising Sales Manager | First Aid Personnel Reporter/Journalist | Horse Trailer Designer | Web Designer | Film Editor Blood Typing Specialist | Advertising Copywriter | Equestrian Illustrator Fire Prevention Specialist | Meeting Planner | Pest Control Specialist Motion Picture/TV Writer Technician, Director, Camera Crew, Producer Careers with Horse Shows or Rodeos Horse Show Manager/Receptionist | Fair/Exposition Manager | Inspector Drug Inspector | Technical Representative/Delegate | Judge | Steward | Referee | Photographer Course/Obstacle Design (Jumps/Trail/etc.) | Test Designer | Publicity Director | Lighting Director Careers in the Racing Industry Publicity Staff | Maitre d Hotel | Track Manager | Horseman’s Bookkeeper | Jockey | Driver Mutuels Manager | Turf Club Director | Technical Representative | Comptroller | Trainer Jockey Valet | Jockey’s Agent | Marketing/Publicity Careers Related to Horse Recreation Guest Ranch Host/Hostess | Parade Organizer | Country Club Manager | Field Master Whipper-In | Professional Huntsman | Kennelman

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CAREERS REQUIRING A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA Primary Careers Requiring Daily Contact with Horses/Owners Groom | Sales Company Employee Horse Drawn or Mounted Tour Guide Support Positions Not Requiring Daily Contact with Horses/ Owners Office Personnel in Equine Organization | Concession Operator Feed Store Operator | Publications Distributor | Bookkeeper Tack/Equipment Maker | Printer | Carpenter | Leather Dealer Typesetter Advertising Salesman | Wholesale Tack/Clothing/Feed Sales Guard | Film Processing Specialist | Painter Landscaper | Gardener Sign Maker | Identification File Clerk | Auction Clerk | Tractor/Truck Operator | Grounds Maintenance | Office Clerk | Ribbon/Trophy Designer | Horse Trailer Dealer | Horse Bedding Supplier | Photography Computer Programmer | Travel Agent | Tour Guide Careers with Horse Shows or Rodeos Horse Show Secretary | Rodeo Clown | Rodeo Pick-up Rider Program Manager | Jump Crewmember | Gate Person Rodeo Stock Contractor | Jump Builder | Rodeo Cowboy Announcer | Crewmember | Rodeo Laborer Careers in the Racing Industry Track Maintenance | Mutuel Clerk | Paddock Judge | Office Staff Money Room Personnel | Stable Superintendent | Patrol Judge Starter | Locker | Grounds Manager | Track Photographer Film/TV Patrol Operator | Horse Identifier | Announcer Program Director | Facility Maintenance | Hot Walker Exercise Rider | Outrider Careers Related to Horse Recreation Packer/Guide | Reservation Clerk | Trail Crew

Educational Requirements provided by the Animal Science Dept. @ UConn Univ. Ar abian Horse Times | 23 | ENV ISION #11

A Testimonial from Later in Life Rider

Cathy Griffin

What brought you to the decision to start riding? It was inevitable. Like many people, I was born with a love of horses and a desire to ride. It remained a dream and a goal waiting for the right time and opportunity, which happened when my family and I moved to Tucson, AZ. My first lesson was in 2003 on my 43rd birthday; a gift from my husband. What would you tell someone who is older to encourage them to start riding? Do it! You’ll amaze yourself and feel good when you learn just how capable you are. Be willing to be a beginner and don’t judge yourself. This takes a lot of attention because, as late-bloomers, we fall into the traps we bring with us. Trust me, just make the most of every experience; the successes and failures, the hard things and the easy things—they are all necessary on your journey. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! We’re all riding for different reasons and all that matters is that you are learning a new skill and working on yourself, and that process takes time. Be open to feedback, trust yourself and your horse, and enjoy the ride!

How have you found riding to enhance your life and life skills? What do you love about it most? There is no way to describe how great it feels to really trust yourself when you are learning to ride and rediscover that childlike curiosity that makes you want to lean more, ride faster. It was baby steps for a while, but every step was a step forward and pretty soon I looked back and saw exactly how far I had come. It takes time and effort to learn to ride, but it’s so worth it. I feel like I can do anything now because I don’t put limits on myself. What I love most about riding is the feeling of being in total synch with my horse and it feels like I’m flying. I lose track of time and space and I’m like a bird on the back of my horse whose every stride is my own.

What are some of the obstacles you’ve encountered, starting this sport later in life? I see them as challenges, really. There are two that come to mind. First, I wasn’t aware of how many disciplines there are! I rode hunter and sport horse when I began riding. Then I discovered how fun it was riding western and that’s where I’ve found my home. You just have to be willing to. Second, in my 50s, my riding was coming along, but I didn’t feel as strong and connected as I wanted to be. I started doing Pilates, incorporating functional movement and balance training and it has made all the difference. Core strength is integral to riding, so anything that develops it will give you an advantage.

How does riding compare to other hobbies you’ve had? I’ve played team sports and taught tennis professionally. Riding is the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s challenging because you need to listen to your horse and learn skills that require balance and feel. You don’t just pick up your equipment and muscle your way through a game. Riding is something you Ar abian Horse Times | 24 | ENV ISION #11


can enjoy your whole life regardless of when you learn. You and your horse can enjoy a trail ride together, do ranch work, work on skills in the arena, compete at a horse show, or just enjoy hanging out together. It’s enjoyable for me because no matter what kind of day I’m having, when I’m riding my horse, everything is better. It’s a sport that is as challenging as you want it to be. I’ve met some great people in the horse world and horse people are always there when you need them.

Anything else you’d like to share with folks new to Arabian horses? There’s an Arabian for everyone. Their versatility and temperament make them exceptional family friendly horses, first horses, and National level competitors in every division. Attending Arabian horse shows is a great way to witness their grace and athleticism.

What would be the first step of someone who wants to begin riding, but has no horses of their own or a place to keep them? If you want to begin riding, but don’t have a horse or horse facility, you are not out of luck. It is important to find a horse and a coach to complement your goals, abilities and learning style. Do some research. Go to some local shows. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; Arabian horse people love to talk about their horses! Look online for local riding stables offering lessons. Most riding stables have beginner lessons or can direct you to a trainer/coach who works with beginners. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have your own horse when you begin. It’s actually very beneficial to ride different horses as you are learning.

Why Arabians and not another breed? The traits I love most about Arabians are their temperament, heart, athleticism and beauty. They are easy to be around and are so much fun to show. Ar abian Horse Times | 25 | ENV ISION #11

Nothing is more appealing than spending time with an Arabian on the Trail. Arabians are skillful, agile and extremely confident trail horses. Their trainability and willingness to move over obstacles without hesitation make them safe and pleasurable to ride.

Versatility on the trail is such an appealing quality of an Arabian, that it is offered as a division at a National level in the show ring. Competing horses must show their confidence in performing patterns over obstacles, through gates, over poles and are scored and awarded on their performance.

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ew 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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WE INVITE EVERYONE TO SHARE YOUR ARABIAN TALES with us, so we can share your “EXPERIENCE” with the world! Be it a chance meeting with an Arabian horse through your girl scout troop, a friend, or other horse event, or if you take regular riding lessons or compete at shows— even if you wish to and have yet to meet an Arabian in person, we want to hear your “tale” of how the Arabian horse has influenced your life (a poem you have written about your dream horse counts!) Participate in the #shareyourtale Challenge by using the #shareyourtale hashtag and tagging us on social media @ExperienceArabianHorses!

Not on Social Media? Upload your information and tale online at www.ahtforms.com/experience-arabian-horses/

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@ExperienceArabianHorses Email: ashley@ahtimes.com


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Answer Key: 1. Forehead 2. Muzzle 3. Throatlatch 4. Shoulder 5. Elbow 6. Forearm 7. Knee 8. Cannon 9. Pastern 10. Heel 11. Chestnut 12. Barrel 13. Stifle 14. Gaskin 15. Coronet 16. Hoof 17. Fetlock 18. Hock 19. Tail 20. Point of Hip 21. Croup 22. Loin 23. Back 24. Withers 25. Crest 26. Poll


10 15

9 8




11 13


6 5 4 3





20 2

24 1 25


It’s time to test your knowledge of the Arabian Anatomy! If you need a little help in labeling, check out the word bank on the “Parts of the Horse” word search on the next page!

Chestnut Barrel Stifle Coronet Gaskin Tail Point of Hip Croup Loin

Forehead Muzzle Shoulder Elbow Forearm Knee Cannon Pastern Heel

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Back Withers Throatlatch Crest Poll Hoof Fetlock Hock


Eileen Verdieck & Bill Rodgers 6525 E Dixileta Drive Cave Creek, AZ 85331 (480) 290-1317 hoofbeatz.com


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

Christy Higman Clements 6201 SW 118 Ave. Miami, FL 33183 (305) 606-0645 chcringofroses@yahoo.com www.chctrainingmiami.com Arabian and Half-Arabian Board/Training



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

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

Training, Lessons, Riding Programs Sales | Conditioning | Trails Boarding, Large Pastures

National Level Saddle Seat Performance and Halter Training | Lessons



Doug & Kristi Stewart 93370 Hwy 99 S Junction City, OR 97448 (541) 515-1053 Dstewartstables@aol.com

Jason & Lauren Krohn 2885 Fm 2137 N Bullard, TX 75757 (903) 245-0575 laurenalyx@aol.com Oakhavenfarms.com

Hunter, Country/English & Western Pleasure, Show Hack, Reining & Ranch Horse


Training, Pasture Boarding and Lessons

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16707 Old Military Dr. Sisters, OR 97759 (805) 757-4560 manuelluquin81@gmail.com Horse Training


Jennifer Bull Roberts, WI (715) 377-6443 jennifer@longshotfarm.net longshotfarm.net Coaching, Lessons, Training, Showing


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