Page 1

Issue 4 • 2017

CONTENTS Issue #4. 2017

On the cover: A CANEN (Besson Carol x Cannette) Bay stallion owned by Athala King of Athala Arabians. Photo by Wendy Peterson.

GET INVOLVED My Arabian Can Do That! Arabians are well known for their versatility, but these individuals do things with their Arabians that you may never have heard about. Some are just for fun; others are more serious, but all of them accomplish what they do with Arabians!

26 34 38 40

IMPACT A Life of Adventure: Judith Forbis The woman behind the legendary Ansata Arabians reflects on a life well lived and what the future holds for Arabian horse breeding.

By Mary Kirkman

WHOA Getting It Straight Greta Wrigley shows you how this simple exercise on a 20-meter circle can improve your horse’s straightness.

By Cindy Tobeck 4 Faves: Wendye Gardiner A section covering products used by our national level trainers in the Arabian horse community.


By Janet de Acevedo Macdonald Rewarding Rides If you enjoy participating in national all-breed events or compete in open shows, AHA would like to present you and the Arabian or Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian horses you compete with the opportunity to receive recognition and awards for your accomplishments.


48 52

By Stephanie J. Ruff Classical Dressage with a Twist Western riders can experience the thrill of classical dressage with the horse and tack they already own. The sport is becoming more and more popular in the Arabian industry every year.

By Katie Navarra

IN EVERY ISSUE 8 President’s Letter 10 EVP Letter 17 Corporate Partners 18 Jibbah Jabber 20 Praiseworthy/Achievement Awards 24 AHYA 68 Stallion Directory 70 AHA Listings 77 Advertisers Index 79 FOCUS Life 4

arabian horse


Issue 4. 2017

52 56

HERITAGE The Evolution of Attire Horses have long been associated with both socioeconomic status and functionality. As horses’ roles in society evolved over time, riders’ attire also changed, but it is still easy to see where today’s outfits trace their origins to the practicality and fashion of centuries past.

By Tiffany Meites.

60 62

THE NOW Horsin’ Around Yes, you can make a living that’s all about horses. This article gives you a few ideas.

By Colleen Scott Arabian Disciplines Demystified There are many classes presented at Arabian horse shows, and some are more common than others. One in particular, Native Costume, is unique to Arabians.


Arabian Horses Are the Best Therapists

What I actually want to talk about now is change … change is inevitable, and ongoing. It is said that: “Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”

6 arabian horse life

DEAR MEMBERS: I hope this letter finds you all enjoying your summer with your horses and families. The show season is well underway, and by the time you receive this magazine the 25th Annual Youth National Championship show will be in the books and exhibitors will be heading to the 60th Annual Canadian National Championship show. It is incredible to think about the time and effort that goes into all of our national competitions and what a great tribute to our volunteers that so many are long serving at these events, and let us not forget our staff as well. A great percentage of our staff members have more than 10 years of service, and we boast staff members who have been with us for over 30 and even 40 years! What a great accolade to their loyalty and the longevity of our amazing volunteers. We all know that this Association is a dynamic relationship between our staff and volunteers. What I actually want to talk about now is change … change is inevitable, and ongoing. It is said that: “Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” As an association and even on a larger scale a sub-culture of horse enthusiasts, we MUST both acknowledge the changing attitude toward horses and horse ownership, and that things they are a changing. What should we do? Embrace change and succeed or ignore that things are changing and perish. We must go forward, and we are choosing to embrace change and actually lead. Specifically, I am speaking of our Future State program. The office, and most specifically our systems, are going through a complete change. This project will take a total of 48 months to complete and currently we are in the “messy middle” of the project. Our intention is that at the “gorgeous” end, our members, both current and prospective, will be able to do business with AHA in a more efficient and effective way, Issue 4. 2017

and for some functions, they will be able to do business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using your computer, tablet and phone. For those who are not as tech savvy, do not worry our amazing staff will still be there to help you. So where are we now? The website is one of the places that is in the middle of change. The “face” of the site has new colors and design, and ultimately it will be the location of all things Arabian Horse, including events, membership, registration and outreach. Currently it has the new “face”, but the back end of the site is still the old site with the old “face” and functionality. The plan has always been to change to the new face as we move through the Future State project. This change will not be overnight, as staff is doing this whilst maintaining a full workload. The accounting system that was approximately 20 years old has been replaced, and we are currently in the middle of making adjustments to make it work within our parameters and for our business to work within the new Multiview system. You have been receiving invoices and statements of your accounting work online and those are being “tweeked” to make sure they are completely understandable and will give you a view of your account status with AHA. This account information currently can be accessed online, so you can see the status of your account and work within our office. In addition to the internal adjustments to the system, we are working on some informational videos for you, the customer, to access to make it easier to understand the new accounting information that is now available. The bottom line of Future State is that we are moving to running the organization like a business. This will require change by all, and change is never easy, but change is one constant in our lives. I believe once we become more efficient, we can work together to get the continued on page 9


AHA Governance: The Rules Process DEAR MEMBERS: Rules are an important part of the Arabian Horse Association (AHA). It is what makes up our AHA Handbook and our Arabian rules in the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Equestrian Canada (EC) rule books. Rules are passed two different ways, through Board of Director (BOD) motions and through Resolutions primarily.

Board Motions Most BOD motions come through AHA Committees/ Commissions, however, they can come from the AHA BOD, Panels and AHA Staff. The motions are proposed, vetted and written in a format that explains why the motion should be passed in the “Whereas” statements and the “Moved” portion provides the rule that will be put into place should the BOD pass the motion. Motions need to have a vote tally included, the date of the vote, and a proponent listed among other information. In addition, there must be a financial statement included of how the passage of this rule would affect AHA through the budget and/or staff time and resources. The Committees/Commissions have the chance to provide additional input to the Board of Directors by having a committee member present at the Board meeting or by providing the Board or Staff Liaison assigned to that committee the information needed to explain or answer questions the Board might have. Not all motions are given the “rubber stamp” by the Board and may be sent back to the committee for further study.

Resolutions The Resolution process is similar to the motion process with a few differences. Resolutions can be submitted by AHA Committees/Commissions, Ad Hoc Committees, AHA Board of Directors, AHA Member Organizations (clubs) or by a Regional Board of Delegates. The only singular person who can submit a resolution is the AHA President. Once again a “Whereas” statement provides an explanation of why a resolution should be passed, and the “Resolved” 8

arabian horse


Issue 4. 2017

provides the rule which will be placed in affect. A financial impact must be included, and if the rule does not affect AHA’s budget or resources, a statement of “none” should be listed. This information helps the AHA Delegates decide if the passage of this resolution is the right thing to do at this time. Resolutions need to have a vote tally included, the date of the vote, and a proponent listed. The proponent is important as this person can field questions on the resolution. In addition, they have the power to make changes to the resolution prior to the resolution going to the floor of convention plus up to that point the power to withdraw the resolution at convention. Changes generally come about through the various committee meetings which take place at Convention. Resolutions are assigned to committees/commissions/boards in the review process. Once a resolution has been read on the delegate floor at convention, any of the delegates have the power to make amendments. Amendments are vetted by the Agenda & Resolution Committee and are then voted upon by the delegates before they are added to that particular resolution. The resolution and any changes are then voted upon as a whole. Similar to the process for motions, not all resolutions are given the “rubber stamp” by the delegates, and some may be referred back to the submitting body for further study.

Agenda & Resolutions Committee The Agenda & Resolution Committee (ARC) members have an important job in that they review all resolutions submitted to the AHA office. They check to make sure the information is correct, that it was submitted by the correct date, and that a proponent is listed along with the vote by the submitting body. Are all the “Whereas” and “Resolved” statements factual? If they are asking for an “Extraordinary” resolution, did they clearly define why? If any of this information is in question, the ARC contact the proponent to clarify. This body also has the power to reject resolutions if they do not conform with the requirements in chapter 9 of the AHA Handbook, if they are recommendations or if they conflict with Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised. After the review and decision of which resolutions are moving forward, the ARC assign committees to review each resolution. This may be one committee or several



DEAR EDITOR: Nice work, everyone. Great layouts and good articles. I hope that this trend continues. I know advertising pays for the magazines, but articles are nice to read as well ;)

Sandee Andrews Chatsworth, California

depending on the scope of the resolution. The committee review is important as these committees are required to review and submit reports back to the ARC who then list the vote of approval or disapproval on each resolution. This report is then supplied by the Resolution Reader as each resolution is given to the convention floor for a vote. The votes from the various committees may help the delegates decide if passage is favorable or not.

Extraordinary versus Standard

Thanks, Sandee & Sarah!


Continued from page 6

word out to new people, and that they need to be a part of our group. More to come on Future State. As I said, the national event season is in full swing, and we will be running fast through Youth, Canadian, Sport Horse, Distance and then U.S. Nationals. These are our premier events that will showcase the best of the best in their respective divisions. These are also the places that our very active committees help make the events the best they can be — Youth Activities and the MDP — to name just a few. Those and many others work very hard to make all national events enjoyable for all attendees. Please keep in mind they are volunteers, and they are doing this for the love of the sport and our Arabian horse. Good luck to all and remember to enjoy the ride!!

A resolution can be submitted under two different categories — Extraordinary or Standard. These categories determine the effective date of a resolution. A Standard resolution, upon passage, will go into effect December 31st the year after adoption. An Extraordinary resolution is defined as meeting any of the following criteria: the health, safety or well-being of the horse and/or rider; the financial well-being of AHA, and/or Member Organizations; a severe hardship or gross unfairness to the Association’s recognized events; or involves other compelling circumstances clearly specified. An Extraordinary resolution, upon passage, will be implemented December 31st of the year adopted. Any resolution which will be placed in the USEF/EC Rule Books, will have an effective date upon approval by those governing bodies. Because those two bodies have different submission rules, effective dates may vary from AHA’s.

Changes to the Written Rules Changes to the rules put into place by Board of Director motions can be changed by future motions which modify by either adding to or subtracting from the previous rule. A motion can also be rescinded which takes the previous motion out of play as a whole. A resolution can also change a Board of Director motion but a Board motion cannot change a resolution unless that power is given to the Board by the passage of that resolution. Resolutions typically must be modified or rescinded by the passage of a resolution requiring such changes. On rare occasion, the passage of a resolution will also give another body the authority to make changes. This is done to allow changes to be made more rapidly as that body sees fit.



Nancy Harvey AHA President

Glenn T. Petty Executive Vice President Issue 4. 2017

arabian horse




HALF-ARABIAN SHINES at the National Dressage Pony Club Championship WHO SAYS ARABIANS CAN’T compete in open competition? At the National Dressage Pony Club Championship held July 7-9 at the Kentucky Horse Park, Gillian Kingsbury of Raleigh, North Carolina, rode her Half-Arabian mare Halle Berry MC in the Young Rider (17- 21 years-of-age) group. The pair claimed not only the First Level title, but also the Championship for Second Level with average scores of 62.909 percent and 61.143 percent, respectively. To top it off Gillian was named overall Champion Young Rider with an average score of 64.359 percent. Halle Berry MC is actually ¾Arabian as she is by the Purebred stallion Triften+/ and out of a Half-Arabian daughter of Hucklebey Berry+/. Bred by Jim and Sue Meyer, who are very involved in many aspects of the Arabian horse industry, she was sold to Gillian in 2013 as a 6-year-old. Sue Meyer commented about the pair’s wins, “We are so proud of her (the horse) trainers and her beautiful owner/ rider for allowing her to reach her full potential. It is so good to see your four-legged kids be loved and accomplish great things.” Gillian Kingsbury and Half-Arabian mare, Halle Berry MC


arabian horse


Issue 4. 2017


MAY WAS ARABIAN HORSE Month and AHA held a contest on social media about promoting the Arabian. The winner of the Arabian Horse Month Challenge was.... *drum roll*.... Northern Illinois Arabian Horse Association Club (NIAHAC)! NIAHAC had a photo frame contest at their recent 2017 show. They selected a winner from their many subissions via #arabianhorsemonth and #niahac2017. Their winner was Alexa Mayer and the Purebred Arabian chestnut gelding Resolution EQ. They are featuring her photo on the NIAHAC website. The little girl was a sensation in all her classes at the show! NIAHAC received a $50 Visa gift card, this section in Arabian Horse Life magazine, and a spotlight on AHA's social media pages. Congrats NIAHAC and keep up the great work!

Issue 4. 2017

arabian horse



My thre e favorit e be a gra zing bit items would p robably (that I u Dressag se e) Western or Sleister bit for Western th P curry b leasure, an Os at I use for ter cour ecause it is my se finge thing. S hor r he love s being b se’s favorite thing I rushed always . An us Cookie loves it e is my curry b d one . ecause O to have ne thin g I wou in my b ld a rn would love bathing ar b to bathe ea. With warm e an indoor and cold with! water ~ Savan na DeM ott Region 11 Dire ctor

ott na DeM ctor n a v a S e 11 Dir n o i g e R

e Year h t f o h t u Yo

n •Recognitio lder i •Resume bu e applications g •Boost colle opportunities p •Leadershi olarship h •$1,000 sc r •ArabianHo st!

t. 1 p e S y b y l App

Your new executive board!

AHYA Secretary – Hunter Offord, Region 10 AHYA Vice President – Sarah Porter, Region 9 AHYA President – Emmy Farago, Region 10 AHYA Treasurer – Tabitha Bell, Region 7 12

Issue 4. 2017

arabian horse




August 13-1 9 – Canadia n Nationals , Brandon, September 1 MB – Youth of th e Year appl ic at September 5 ions due -10 – Spor t Horse Nat io na ls September 2 , Raleigh, N C 2 – Arabian Horse Judgi ng C October 20 ontest Entri -28 – U. S. es Due Nationals, T ulsa, OK October 27 – Arabian H orse Nationa l Judging Con test, Tulsa, OK


By Wendye Gardiner


A section covering products used by our national level trainers in the Arabian horse community.

Wendye Gardiner is the owner of Solstice Training Center in Aubrey, Texas where she trains, shows and markets Arabians in a variety of disciplines. With numerous National championships in the Dressage and Sport horse divisions, she is also very successful in Halter, Western Pleasure and Endurance, and is highly supportive of the do-it-yourself amateur.


This is a miracle cure. Seriously. It was first recommended to me by an Endurance friend who swore it helped her very busy horse calm down and eat. So since it’s pretty cheap at $14 for 60 days here locally, I bought it to try on my scary endurance horse. The package says 2-scoops for 2-weeks for a test. OMG it worked! My next test was a fractious and antsy Egyptian stallion in training who paced his stall and was impossible to get his weight right. He was slightly thin, fit looking but not rounded in all the right places despite supplements, max quantities high fat feed (which he ate very slowly) and free choice hay and alfalfa. One week into Redmond clay, he was cleaning up his grain by noon, and two weeks into it he had stopped pacing and was cleaning up his grain like a normal horse. Been using it ever since when any new horse comes in and just isn’t interested in eating. I swear it works, and it’s cheap so I don’t even make my clients pay for it. I am happy to provide it!


As simple as it sounds, this is the bit that everyone likes. I start every baby in it, and if an older, well-trained horse needs some remedial training this is my go to for getting him soft, supple and happy again. I love it for trail riding because it is comfortable for the horse to wear, and the roller makes it easier (maybe this is all in my head) to eat grass because they can more freely use their tongue. My theory why this works so well is that with it being three pieces instead of two it doesn’t interfere with the low palate common in so many Arabians. It doesn’t have a nutcracker action which encourages many horses to fight. The roller keeps the tongue moving and active which keeps the mouth moist and soft but also encourages him to not lock his jaw against your hand. This is not a legal bit for showing dressage so we switch to an eggbutt with a copper lozenge for competition or once they are trained enough to move on up. 14

arabian horse


Issue 4. 2017

whoa disappointed. With the Victor, you can set the sidereins or longlines anywhere and get exactly what you need, and never be disappointed with “I wish there was a ring…” Oh trust me, there is.



I train so many different disciplines, it’s hard to pick only four favorite items, but every horse wears this surcingle. The ring placement is plentiful and diverse. What I have found with cheaper surcingles is the rings are in all the wrong places — and there are never enough of them. The Victor surcingle has good leather, which is more important than you might think when you are working sweaty horses day after day and don’t clean your tack nearly enough. And best of all, it lasts through years of heavy use. My first one was a hand-me-down from a trainer who was getting out of the industry. She had it for many years. I’ve had it for many years. The girth finally broke in half. So I bought a western pony girth and made it last some more! Bought a couple of cheaper ones in the meantime and was extremely

I am often asked why I insist on a martingale on nearly every horse. I show a lot of Dressage and they aren’t legal, yet I use them every day. It is a barn rule that even if the horse is in a snaffle, it must wear a martingale. The main reason is that it is like a seatbelt. Adjusted loosely like we do, it does absolutely nothing unless you need it to. If the horse is being good, and you have quiet, steady hands, you get no effect from the martingale. But in a snaffle you have absolutely no leverage if your horse flips its head upside down and runs — the best horses can get spooked so this isn’t just a baby horse thing — the martingale will then come into play and you will have enough leverage to safely regain control. By the same turn, it ensures that one rein remains on each side of the horse’s neck should that happen. But they are never being forced into any headset or frame — that’s all on you. The other reason is that if a rider has bad hands, the weight of the martingale rings will steady the pressure reaching the horse’s mouth just enough that the horse isn’t unhappy. I do want to make it very clear that a martingale of any sort is never used with a leverage bit (curb, kimberwicke, etc.). Doubling up on leverage is an accident waiting to happen and defeats the purpose of the martingale. Lastly, I like beta over leather because you can hose it off, disinfect it between horses, and it always looks new!

Issue 4. 2017

arabian horse




o you enjoy participating in national all-breed events including competitions hosted by National organizations in Dressage, Endurance, Driving, Cutting and Eventing? Or, do you compete in nearby open shows hosted by local clubs, saddle clubs, or even other breed associations? If so, AHA would like to present you and the Arabian or Half-Arabian/ Anglo-Arabian horses you compete with the opportunity to receive recognition and awards for your accomplishments.

OPEN EVENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM (OEIP) The Open Event Incentive Program (OEIP) rewards both riders and horses that excel in all-breed competitions outside of the traditional Arabian horse community. As a participant in OEIP, you and your horse will accumulate points based on how you place in competitions and be rewarded for all of your achievements and hard work. Riders who participate in OEIP will earn recognition and awards based on the number of points they accumulate. In addition, the


arabian horse


Issue 4. 2017

horses used in these competitions will automatically have their accomplishments recorded in their permanent event records in the Arabian Horse DataSource world database. Horse owners that do not compete as the rider may also join the program and enter horses they own without the rider being part of the program. High-Point Champions are acknowledged at the end of the calendar year for each event category, and the winners will receive awards and recognition on the website. A list of the OEIP Recognized Organizations

get involved

Rewarding RIDES Becky Pearman Photography

By Stephanie J. Ruff

Above — Deborah Walker and Shakoal take a victory gallop as part of the Gold Medal Team at the North American Endurance Team Challenge.

Left — Deborah and Shakoal finished fifth in the 50 mile ride at Broxton Bridge in 2013.

Becky Pearman Photography

Opposite — Top & Bottom: Melissa Shaner and her mare Viaa, the first horse she ever bought for herself. “She is so fast, very cowy, has amazing expression, and I know we are going to soar. “

(of which there are many and more can be added at any time) and Categories can be found on the AHA website. A current base membership is required per year along with a $5 recording fee per horse per event. Deborah Walker, from Ocala, Fla., has ridden since she was twelve, doing 4-H, Hunter Jumpers, and galloping racehorses, but it wasn’t until she was in her 40s that she was able to have horses in her own backyard. She discovered Distance Riding in 2006 and purchased the Purebred gelding Shakoal as a 3-year-old in hopes of developing a hundred-mile horse. By 2011 they were awarded the OEIP Year-End High Point in Competitive Trail Riding. She likes the OEIP program because “we can earn points in AHA, but at the same time he gets to be a horse. He doesn’t have to live in a stall to prevent nicks and cuts and sun bleaching. He can run free with his stablemate.” Melissa Shaner, an Art Director in the Corporate Marketing Department of BNY Mellon living in New Cumberland, West Virginia, is another active participant in the program. A life-long horse owner, Melissa came back to the show scene in 2017 after a seven year absence and has found her niche in Ranch Sorting. She is currently riding Viaa, a Purebred mare that is talented and versatile,

Here are individuals and horses that have earned at least 1,000 points or more in the Open Event Incentive Program: Horse Name

Total Points







Rider Name


Total Points
















Issue 4. 2017

arabian horse



COMPETITIVE earning points in Reining, Cow DISTANCE PROGRAM Horse, Ranch Versatility, Judged Trail and Halter. “OEIP allows Do you like to spend time me to highlight that (her versaon your horse competing in tility) and make our wins a part Distance Riding events such as of our record,” says Shaner. Endurance Rides, Competitive Why did Shaner enroll? Trail Rides or Ride and Tie “OEIP recognizes me for being competitions? If so, the Arabian a weekend warrior in events Horse Association would like to that I love, on horses that I love. present you with an opportuI like that I compete against nity to receive recognition for Arabian horses and riders from your accomplishments. all over with the point system. The Competitive Distance And, I like that you track by Program (CDP) promotes and discipline, local level, National rewards riders who use Arabian Robin Schadt with Kumba level and overall point level horses to compete in Distance ranking. It is so much fun and Riding events. Your efforts a great way to keep us connected through the horses and achievements will be rewarded with recognition we love.” and prizes. What about those perks? “I love receiving my certifiThe Arabian horse is the most popular choice for cate and trophy or plaque in the mail from the Arabian Distance Events, and AHA wants to recognize your Horse Association,” she says. “They sit with pride on accomplishments. As long as you have a current memmy mantle in my office. People who ride the OEIP are bership, you can join and start tracking those hardpeople like me, I think. We have day jobs that provide a earned miles. CDP recognizes “finished” rides approved good work/life balance to let us pursue our passions, by the following groups: and it’s great to be rewarded from your organization • American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) (AHA) for those passions. We are the people that kids • Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Association (ECTRA) see on the weekends; that fellow riders say ‘That is a


Purebred Arabian? Wow! I didn’t know they could work like that.’ To be honored by AHA for that keeps us driving forward.”

The following riders have logged over 5,000 miles in the Competitive Distance Program


• Equine Distance Riding Association (EDRA) • Endurance Riders of Alberta (ERA) • Middle of the Trail Distance Riders Association (MODTRA) • North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) • Ohio Arabian and All Breed Trail Riding Society (OAATS)

Rider Name


Total Miles

• Ontario Competitive Trail Ride Association




• Ride and Tie Association




• South Eastern Distance Riders Association (SEDRA)

























arabian horse


Issue 4. 2017

• Trail Riding Alberta Conference (TRAC) • Upper Midwest Endurance Competitive Rides Association (UMECRA) To be considered, Endurance Rides must be finished and a minimum of 50 miles in length. Limited Distance Rides must be finished and be between 25 and 35 miles in length. Competitive Trail Rides must be finished and a minimum of 25 miles in length, while Novice Competitive Trail Rides must be between 15 and 25 miles in length. Ride and Tie Rides must be finished and a minimum of 25 miles in length.


get involved

What are the CDP Milestones & Awards? The Competitive Distance Program rewards you for competing on a registered Arabian or Half-Arabian/ Anglo-Arabian in all-breed Endurance, Competitive Trail, or Ride and Tie events. By accumulating miles ridden in these events, you will reach milestones in the CDP Incentive Program and receive: • 250 Miles - 250 Mile Lapel Pin • 500 Miles - 500 Mile Lapel Pin and AHA T-Shirt • 750 Miles - 750 Mile Lapel Pin and Water Bottle • 1000 Miles - 1000 Mile Lapel Pin and Poncho • 2000 Miles - 2000 Mile Lapel Pin and Collapsible Water Bucket • 5000 Mile Rider - 5000 Mile

INTERESTED? Find more information on OEIP and CDP, as well as other available programs, at Lapel Pin and an additional award to be determined Robin Schadt, who lives in the Chicago area, is a long-time horsewoman. “My profession for 25 years was a Standardbred race horse trainer. I currently work as the Director of Racing for Watch & Wager (Sacramento, Calif.) during the winter months. While home for the Spring through Fall I work as the Racing Secretary for Hawthorne Racecourse in Cicero, Ill.

After being introduced to Competitive Trail Riding by a friend, she became hooked. “I acquired Kayheart, along with two other Purebred Arabians, in August, 2008. Kayheart is a wonderful, 17-year-old Purebred Arabian and is nearing 2,000 miles of combined Endurance and Competitive Trail miles.” Schadt herself has joined the upper echelon of CDP riders with over 5,000 miles logged. Why does Schadt enjoy the CDP? “I believe in promoting breed registries and enjoy documenting my progress with my horses,” she says. “I also believe recognizing our equine partner’s accomplishments are valuable. Sharing my adventures/ accomplishments may serve as encouragement for someone to join the endurance/competitive trail community.”

Issue 4. 2017

arabian horse



Getting It STRAIGHT By Cindy Tobeck


traightness is an important element in dressage training (as well as other disciplines), and this exercise from Greta Wrigley, successful Arabian sport horse trainer and a Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist with the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), will benefit everyone: young dressage prospects, seasoned school masters, novice amateurs as well as experienced riders.

What is Straightness? The notion of straightness in dressage can be confusing, particularly when considering straightness as it’s related to a circle. Simply put, straightness is achieved when the horse’s hind legs follow the track of his forelegs. This can be accomplished on a straight line, or the curved line of a circle. It is the rider’s responsibility to position the horse’s haunches and shoulders using the leg, seat, hand and weight aids. By working on straightness, you will help ensure your horse is moving with proper balance and impulsion. 20

arabian horse


Issue 4. 2017

Achieving Improved Connection and Balance with a 20-Meter Circle Exercise from Greta Wrigley


Why Straightness is Important: Horses have a natural tendency for “sidedness”, and horsemen will often refer to the horse’s preferences as “hollow” on one side, and “stiff” on the other. Using a progression of gymnastic, or suppling exercises such as this one will help create evenness and symmetry in the horse and allow him to develop the strength needed to eventually fully engage his hindquarters, which progressively prepares him for increased collection.

How Will You Know You’ve Achieved Straightness? According to The Dressage Horse, written by Harry Boldt, you can confirm straightness when the horse: • is straight on a straight line along the length of his body. • is bent longitudinally on a curved line so as to allow the hind legs to tread into the hoof prints of the front legs. • in lateral work, moves the quarters in the direction of the movement and does not step sideways away from it.

The rider will feel the horse is correctly straightened by: • feeling an even contact in both hands. • feeling that circles and voltes are equally easy to perform on both reins, and only sees one set of tracks on freshly prepared ground. • seeing that the ears of the horse are level and the horse is not twisting in the neck. • the horse allowing the rider to sit squarely and not making him hang to one side and thus be constantly correcting the seat.

Set Up Your Arena Measure and use cones as markers, or the letters in your dressage arena, to work on a 20-meter circle. For this exercise, Greta will refer to the circle in terms of a clock, and has established points of reference: 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Above — A horse is straight on the circle when he is bent from poll to tail with his back parallel to the track.

Left — When riding the circle, your eyes should look ahead, and shoulders level, turned in the direction of your travel.

Opposite — Most horses have a “hollow” side and a “stiff” side. Through suppling exercises, the horse develops evenness and symmetry, allowing him to travel straight.

The Exercise Begin by riding on a 20-meter circle at the working trot. Focus on keeping the trot regular and energetic while asking for straightness on the circle: bent from poll to tail with his back parallel to the track. Use your inside rein to position his head and supple his jaw so that you can just see his inside eyelashes. Your outside rein aid controls the degree of bend. Use your inside leg firmly at the girth to form a “pillar” for the horse to bend around while also creating impulsion. Meanwhile your outside leg will also aid in creating impulsion and, positioned slightly behind the girth, will keep the hindquarters from swinging out. Your eyes should look ahead, and shoulders level, turned in the direction of your travel, which will help to slightly weight your inside seat bone. Be especially careful to not ask for too much bend with your inside rein, resulting in “neck bend”. When the neck is over bent, he will pop his outside shoulder, losing straightness and the benefits of the exercise. Ride the circle several times, both directions until you feel he is relaxed, swinging through his back and straight.


Turn straight across from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock, traveling either right or left while maintaining the balance and rhythm. When performing the turn, the objective is


Issue 4. 2017

arabian horse



Set Up Your Arena

going straight across the circle. Maintain the quality of the working trot, and continue with frequent changes of direction. Since the turns are happening sooner, timing of your aids is critical to support the horse in this third, and more challenging step. If he rushes or loses confidence, slow it down by going back to step two, or simply spend some time performing the exercise at the walk until you feel you are both ready.


➤ ➤


➤ ➤


➤ 9


Ride it! Use this exercise as a starting point to improve your connection and balance. It is easily adaptable, and after practicing and gaining the benefits of the initial activity over time, there are infinite ways to adapt the circle to address specific training objectives. For example, upper

6 1. Start riding on the 20-meter circle for a couple of laps. 2. Turn straight across from 6-12 and turn right or left. Repeat several times until the change of direction becomes easier. 3. Now add turns at 3 and 9, changing direction each time, so that you turn at each quarter and go straight across circle.

This Gymnastisizing Exercise is Good for Everyone! HORSE • Overcomes ‘sidedness’ • Encourages suppleness

to ride it as a corner. Prior to the turn, prepare the horse by using a half-halt about two or three strides before turning. This will let him know to listen and will engage his haunches for a better corner. It is helpful to use your outside aids more to support your horse through the turn: use your outside rein to bear; turning his shoulders while giving with the inside rein. He will turn around your inside leg, firmly at the girth, guided by your outside leg slightly behind the girth to maintain the impulsion. Repeat this several times, changing direction frequently so he does not anticipate. As you trot across the circle on a straight line, you will need to straighten the horse’s frame and focus on maintaining the straightness across to the other side. Sit evenly on both seat bones and have even contact from your hands to the bit. Half halt two or three strides before coming across to prepare him to turn back onto the 20-meter circle. Continue trotting across the circle with a focus on keeping the horse straight. Change directions through the circle with frequency and work both sides of the horse evenly.

3 22

Then add in turns from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock, so that you are turning the horse at each quarter,

arabian horse


Issue 4. 2017

• Develops balance • Strengthens inside hind leg • Increases self-carriage • Increases focus • Improves horse stepping under himself/coming through

RIDER •L  earns better timing and coordination of the aids •D  evelops accurate arena geometry •H  elps rider to focus and practice thinking ahead •H  elps to establish and maintain connection

level horses can ride it in canter and work on flying changes. Be creative as you progress and think about how you can use changes of pace within the gait for increased longitudinal suppleness. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the progress that you and your horse will undoubtedly achieve! Cindy Tobeck is an accomplished amatuer rider from the Pacific Northwest who enjoys competing in sport horse, dressage and working hunter shows with her Half-Arabian mare, SMF Annie Get Yourgun++++//, and purebred gelding, Carnelian Moon MP+. When she’s not showing horses, you can find her in her pumpkin patch, where she grows some of the world’s biggest pumpkins!

Arabian Horse Association

CORPORATE PARTNERS AHA Corporate Partners support expanded opportunities for all who participate in Arabian horse activities. AHA would like to thank our 2017 Corporate Partners. By purchasing products and services provided by these companies you are supporting the horse you love—the Arabian!

Corporate Sponsors

Affinity Partners

WWW.ARABIANHORSES.ORG/AFFINITYPARTNERS For more information, please contact: Arabian Horse Association • 10805 East Bethany Drive Aurora, CO 80014 • 303.696.4500 • 303.696.4599 fax •


F CUS Life

In each issue of Arabian Horse Life, we will feature member submitted photos to celebrate the love and dedication our members have for their purebred and part-bred Arabians! To submit your hi-res photo, visit:

Submitted by Barb Suvaka

The beautiful stallion Tuxedo Thyme ABA++++//

Submitted by Cindee Roszel

Submitted by Donna Kern

Show memories!

Got any treats in there?

Submitted by Lynne Driscoll Showin’ ‘em what Arabians are made of!

Submitted by Olivia Baker The perfect spot for a smooch!

Submitted by Raegan Wallace There is no greater bond than that of an Arabian and its partner!

Issue 4. 2017

arabian horse



Arabian Horse Life Magazine Mini-Issue: Issue 4, 2017  

The Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) revamped member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the middle of August. Now g...

Arabian Horse Life Magazine Mini-Issue: Issue 4, 2017  

The Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) revamped member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the middle of August. Now g...