Issue 3 â€¢ 2018
CONTENTS Issue #3. 2018 On the cover: AHA’s Youth of theYear, Danika Overstreet, with ERA Prestodin, aka Presto. Thanks goes to the Seattle Polo Club in Enumclaw, Wash., and Sue Hubbell for their help and beautiful location. Photography by Alisha McGraw, Some Like it Shot Photography.
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GET INVOLVED Alternative Equine Lifestyles Having Horses in Your Life When You Can’t Afford Your Own.
By Merri Melde
IN EVERY ISSUE 7 Corporate Partners & Sponsors 8 President’s Letter 10 EVP’s Letter 12 Jibbah Jabber 16 Praiseworthy 18 AHYA 52 Stallion Directory 54 Horse for Sale 55 AHA Listings 63 Advertisers’ Index 64 FOCUS Life 4
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Discover a Passion for Promotion Get some ideas on how low-cost investments can pay big dividends for your Discovery Farm in terms of promoting the breed.
By Hope Ellis-Ashburn
WHOA Freeze Frame Jeffrey Wilms points out what judges want to see in a Working Western rider.
Barn Buddies When a horse needs a companion, big or small, furry or feathered, friends come in diverse packages.
By Natalie DeFee Mendik
46 THE NOW AHA Youth of the Year: Danika Overstreet The 2017 AHA Youth of the Year has served both her Arabian and local community on many levels, from organizing food collections for the Northwest Harvest food bank, to volunteering for several months at a Washington memory care facility, to traveling to India to work with rescued elephants and sloth bears.
By Patti Schofler
Darley Awards 2018 The best of the Arabian horse racing world came together in Hollywood to celebrate their 2017 achievements.
By Stephanie J. Ruff
HERITAGE Spanish Arabians Caballos Árabes Find Success in America Straight Spanish Arabians have enjoyed enormous successes, and while their gene-pool has become fewer with each passing year, a small number of dedicated breeders continue to preserve their heritage.
By Arlene Magid
n from the president
‘Tis the Season to Ride DEAR MEMBERS:
Show season is well under way and with it the continued camaraderie of exhibitors meeting old friends and making new ones. Please remember that this association runs on the backbone of volunteers — people who do this just for the sheer joy of giving back to the Arabian horse. Be kind to them, and if you are at a show, please say thank you to your gate people and remember to treat them with respect. We have another great magazine for your enjoyment. This issue is dedicated to one of my favorite subjects — Youth. Be sure to read about the AHA Youth of the Year, Morgan “Danika” Overstreet. Dedicated youth earn this prestigious award based not on their successes in the show ring, but their successes in life. They go through a rigorous selection process that includes the evaluation of their applications and live interviews with the selection committee. They are evaluated on their promotion of the Arabian horse, their successes in their education and their volunteer work both inside and outside of horse ownership. We already have an impressive group of youth members. We just need to reach out to the community and get more young people involved with the Arabian horse. In May, the Registration Commission will hold their meeting at the Region 12 horse show. This is a first for the Commission and should bring this group to a new audience. They will be holding their meeting and then an open forum, including a question and answer session for interested individuals. I encourage those at the show to attend. This letter is brief because it’s spring, and you should be out riding your horses. Enjoy! Sincerely,
Nancy Harvey AHA President email@example.com
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n from the EVP
Our YOUTH: Our Future
As Arabian owners and breeders, we raise more than horses; we raise youth, too. And what better combination is there? Although this is something I have written about before, as an association, as clubs and as members, we need to do all we can to partner our youth with our Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. But in consultation with our sister organizations, Aspen Institute Project Play and the American Horse Council, youth in all sports, including the equine industry, is in decline. The Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA) is 51 percent of what it was in 2008. Our sister organizations — American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), Appaloosa Horse Club, American Paint Horse Association (APHA), and Pinto Horse Association of America — are collectively at 65 percent of 2008 Youth membership numbers. Their range is 45 percent to 72 percent. In addition to this, in review of Project Play, referenced to us by the American Horse Council, virtually all team sports are dropping in youth when they reach age 13-17; ages 6-12 are steady. Youth sport participation since 2008, according to the Aspen Institute, is down 6.6 percent for bicycling, 3.6 percent for basketball, 2.7 percent for soccer and 4.1 percent for baseball. This is not as much as our youth association membership, but it still is trending downward. The bright spot, according to the new American Horse Council study, is that 38 percent of horse owners are under 18. What that says is that we as the association and clubs have to make a huge effort to attract these young owners. The APHA has been promoting a Learn to Ride program. I think this is a 8
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major area on which we need to put more emphasis. The Academy Program for Saddle Horses is saving that breed. We need to promote more along the same line, but it has to be done locally. Another factor for AHYA is that for the last three years in a row, 88 percent of AHYA membership holds a Competition Card. This means that stables and clubs need to promote at the grass roots level and go after the non-showing youth in their areas. We need to not only promote to new owner prospects, but also to entry level youth that are already interested in horses. AHYA has some great programs from Arabian Horse Month in May to the Regional Youth Team Tournament and Youth Nationals and their Convention in July. The #JoinTheJourney campaign has also now kicked off. We simply need to brainstorm new ideas to give value to being in AHYA for the noncompetitors. While on the subject of youth, it is unfortunate that it is necessary to call attention to youth safety in our sport as a result of child predators. Abuse of young people has become a prominent topic within the Olympic disciplines, and while it is not rampant in the equine industry, we aren’t immune. As a result, USEF has affiliated with the US Center for Safe Sport, and because of AHA’s association with USEF, AHA is affiliated. Safe Sport Policy covers six types of misconduct — sexual misconduct, emotional misconduct, physical misconduct, bullying, harassment and hazing. I would encourage parents and our industry professionals to go to the Safe Sport site on the USEF website to become educated on the “do’s and don’ts” of conduct and how to report suspected or known violations. So, as we look ahead to the summer show season, I would ask all youth to consider four of our National event opportunities in which to compete: Youth Nationals, July 21-28 in Oklahoma City, Okla.; Canadian Nationals, August 12-18 in Brandon, Manitoba; Sport Horse Nationals, September 18-22 in Nampa, Idaho; and Distance Nationals, October 26-28 in Henryville, Ind. Happy summer everyone!
Glenn T. Petty Executive Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org
DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE
The FAQs of Degenerative Joint Disease and Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) Answered By Dr. Marian Little, DVM, Technical Services Veterinarian, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals In a recent interview, Dr. Marian Little, DVM, answers frequently asked questions regarding lameness and how Adequan® i.m. may be appropriate for your equine athlete diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). Adequan® i.m. is the only FDA-approved equine PSGAG for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious DJD of the carpal and hock joints. Adequan® i.m. is proven to diminish the destructive processes of DJD, reverse the processes which result in the loss of cartilage components, and improve joint function and associated lameness. Q: Is there a specific equine conformation type that may be more likely to develop non-infectious degenerative joint disease (DJD)? (For example, a horse that toes out, or a horse with straight hocks, etc.) A: Conformation can greatly influence the degree of wear and tear that a joint undergoes. Conformational abnormalities alter the forces applied to a joint and can potentially lead to joint instability, injury and DJD. The mature equine athlete that is performing well has likely adapted to whatever conformation issues exist. However, if you are considering purchasing a young, unproven horse, avoiding horses with significant conformational flaws will increase the likelihood of the chosen horse staying sound. In young foals and growing horses, conformational abnormalities should be addressed as early as possible through proper nutrition, balanced farriery, adequate training and muscle development, and in some cases, surgical intervention. Q: With respect to different disciplines, would a hunter-jumper or eventer be more susceptible to DJD than a cutting or reining horse? A: Any horse can develop DJD regardless of age, breed or discipline. However, the horse’s discipline may predispose the horse to developing DJD in particular joints. For example, cutting or reining horses put significant stress on their hocks and stifles, and these can be locations where DJD occurs more frequently; whereas hunters will frequently experience more front-limb lameness, such as in the coffin or fetlock joints. It is important to understand that DJD can occur within any joint that consistently experiences wear and tear, known as “use trauma,” and can occur in any performance horse, regardless of discipline Q: What is the best Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) dosing regimen for a horse that is diagnosed with DJD? A: When experiencing a lameness problem, it is important to first obtain an accurate diagnosis from your veterinarian in order to determine the appropriate course of treatment. Initiating a medical treatment without a firm diagnosis can lead to a poor outcome and unnecessary expense. Adequan® i.m. is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints.1 If a horse has been diagnosed with DJD, your veterinarian may prescribe Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). The labeled dose of Adequan® i.m. is 500 mg every 4 days for 28 days intramuscularly (for a total of 7 injections).1 The series should be repeated as needed upon recurrence of the clinical signs of DJD in your horse. There is no FDA approval for, and no published data to support, maintenance dosing regimens for Adequan® i.m.
Q: In your opinion, what is the importance of using FDA-approved products in your horse versus other options? A: I cannot over-emphasize the importance of using FDA-approved products. FDA-approved products have been rigorously tested for safety and efficacy through required clinical studies. It should always be preferable to use FDAapproved products over other products circulating in the equine marketplace, such as compounded medications and medical devices, which are not required to demonstrate safety or efficacy, are not necessarily routinely monitored, and are not regulated with the same level of scrutiny. Q: Adequan® i.m. is an intramuscular injection – how does it work its way to my horse’s joints? A: Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) is well-supported by published safety and efficacy studies that led to initial FDA approval and has since served the equine industry for more than 27 years. After intramuscular injection, Adequan® i.m. has been shown to diffuse into the bloodstream, which transports the drug into joint synovial fluid, where it is absorbed by articular cartilage at therapeutic levels that inhibit cartilage degrading enzymes.2 Adequan® i.m. diminishes the destructive processes of DJD, reverses the processes which result in loss of cartilage components and improves joint function and associated lameness. Adequan® i.m. is the only FDA-approved equine PSGAG recommended for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses.1 Consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your horse that may signal the onset of DJD and discuss whether Adequan® i.m. is right for your horse. For more information on Adequan® i.m., please visit www.adequan.com. Adequan® i.m.: For the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses. There are no known contraindications to the use of intramuscular Adequan® i.m. brand Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan in horses. Studies have not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses. WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Dr. Marian G. Little earned her DVM from The University of Tennessee in 2000. She completed an internship in Equine Medicine and Surgery at Mississippi State University. Following her internship, Dr. Little engaged in 100% equine ambulatory practice in Tennessee and Virginia. Her clinical interests include lameness, laminitis, endocrinology, and geriatrics. In 2005, she joined veterinary industry where she has supported launch of several market-leading equine pharmaceuticals and vaccines. In 2015, Dr. Little joined the Animal Health Division of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals as Technical Services Veterinarian, Medical Affairs. Dr. Little has repeatedly served as a program speaker at national and regional veterinary conferences throughout the US. Dr. Little is a current Member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association. She resides in Paris, Kentucky. References 1. Adequan® i.m. [package insert]. Shirley, NY: Luitpold Animal Health; 2008. 2. Burba DJ, Collier MA, Default LE, Hanson-Painton O, Thompson HC, Holder CL: In vivo kinetic study on uptake and distribution of intramuscular tritium-labeled polysulfated glycosaminoglycan in equine body fluid compartments and articular cartilage in an osteochondral defect model. The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 1993; 696-703. This is a paid advertisement by Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., maker of Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). Dr. Marian Little, DVM, is the Technical Services Veterinarian and employee of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals Animal Health Division. Adequan® and the Horse Head design are registered trademarks of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. © Luitpold Animal Health, division of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2016 PP-AI-US-0002
n jibbah jabber
THE BOND BETWEEN
Riders, a Trainer, and an Arabian Horse THE BOND BETWEEN A RIDER, her trainer and a patient, loving Arabian horse is something that cannot be broken. What makes this bond even more special is when one person is not only your teacher or trainer, but also someone who is a constant stream of positive energy and encouragement throughout your journey. Rebecca Richard grew up around Arabian horses because her mother bred and owned them for 40 years.
Her stepdaughter, Taylor, has been riding for six years and is currently 13-years-old. This is a family that is no stranger to the breed. Rebecca says her trainer is the crucial piece in helping her get her seat back, training her and her stepdaughter for shows, and working with her horse, Vasari AF, who was given to her after suffering from abuse by a local farm. “I was told when I got him, ‘You have to put a chain on his nose; he is hard to handle,’” Rebecca said. “What’s hard to handle with him is he gives kisses and hugs and will go anywhere you ask him to go. Not a crazy Arabian, but a loving, dedicated boy to Taylor and I.” Rebecca has post-traumatic stress disorder and lives with a traumatic brain injury since serving overseas. She now has no short term memory and uses a service dog to get through each day. After attending an Arabian horse show for a Leadline class with Taylor, she saw a woman riding a grey Arabian in Western Dressage. She spoke with Terry Grogan, a re12
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tired Army officer who understood Rebecca’s physical limitations. Terry encouraged her to speak with Kriss Phelps from Crescendo Training Center, LLC and soon after, that’s exactly what she did. “Kriss has this way of reading people, and on multiple occasions, while I was having one of my ‘events’ she spoke kindly and just seemed to understand the horrors I was remembering,” Rebecca said. When Rebecca began with Vasari AF (who was sent to the farm for training) she could only ride him for a few minutes at a time. She said she would at times start crying while on his back because of the flashbacks. She said Kriss never pushed her, but instead, encouraged her to stay positive. “She always adds at the end of a lesson, ‘Nice ride! You did great!’” “Within two lessons, Kriss had her [Taylor] cantering, and last month Taylor took sixth in Dressage. Kriss has always encouraged Taylor to be positive and to always move forward with her riding,” Rebecca said. Last year, Rebecca attended Sport Horse Nationals, which was something she had on her bucket list. Vasari and Rebecca went Top Ten for Level I Western Dressage. “Kriss and Terry kept it from me most of the afternoon. Then, once the final scores were in, they took me to see the results. When I saw Vasari’s name I broke down in tears while Kriss just hugged me and told me, ‘See? Good things do happen to good people,’” Rebecca said. “And I got to take my first victory lap at the awards’ ceremony. He placed because of her (Kriss); I now ride him by myself because of her; Taylor has confidence and more love for Arabians because of her.” Rebecca is looking forward to many more moments with Taylor and Vasari both showing and trail riding, all with Kriss by their sides. ~Alleynah Cofas
Athena+++// (4/26/97 - 2/11/18)
RITA MASON HAS LOST HER “ONCEin-a-lifetime” horse, the Anglo-Arabian mare Athena+++// (LS Zane Grey+// x Little Badger Baby) who crossed the rainbow bridge on February 11, 2018. This lovely gray mare touched many lives. According to Mason, she earned two United States Dressage Federation (USDF) bronze medals, two USDF silver medals, and one USDF gold medal for her riders as well as qualifying scores for the World Equestrian Games for a para-rider. She was also kind and gentle enough to take four different children in 10 and under Dressage tests safely and give some people their very first rides on a horse. Athena performed demonstration rides at the Western States Horse Expo several times, as well as at charitable events, and she received AHA’s Ambassador Award in 2009. Athena had one foal, the 2012 grey mare Khourajous Zoria+/ (by Legend Of Khouraj) also owned by Rita and also an accomplished dressage horse. We extend our sincere condolences to Rita and all who knew and loved this beautiful mare.
Join The Journey
THE ARABIAN HORSE ASSOCIATION (AHA) LAUNCHES the #JoinTheJourney campaign to highlight the membership organization and the Arabian horse. The campaign consists of print and digital advertisements, social media platform material and a commercial comprising of individuals enjoying and bonding with Arabian horses. “The Arabian horse has such an incredible ability to create a special bond with humans that it is something we want to share with everyone,” said Mikayla Boge, Director of Marketing of AHA. “Also, our organization offers many benefits and a variety of programs in which you can participate, whether you own an Arabian horse or not. The idea behind the #JoinTheJourney campaign is designed to highlight this.” The campaign revolves around the #JoinTheJourney hashtag, enticing individuals to join in on why the Arabian horse is so fantastic. The campaign is intended to touch every individual, whether it is a mother with children looking for an after-school activity for the kids or an individual seeking a hobby to enjoy. The #JoinTheJourney campaign encompasses all of this. “Many individuals do not realize how much horses can change their lives,” said Glenn Petty, Executive Vice President of AHA. “For example, horses can teach responsibility, be your best friend and are a great way to be involved in an activity where you are always learning
something new. The campaign is really designed to showcase this and how the Arabian horse fits into your life.” The design of the campaign really focuses around what the Arabian horse has to offer on every level. Previous studies have shown that there are numerous benefits to being involved with horses. One such study, “Horse-Riding Can Improve Children’s Cognitive Ability”, published in Frontiers in Public Health, concluded that riding horses leads to improved learning in children. The campaign will focus on highlighting and promoting these types of beneficial elements of the Arabian horse industry. Whether you are involved with Arabians already, or have never touched a horse before, there is something for everyone. To learn more about the Arabian Horse Association, or how you can be involved, visit ArabianHorses.org today to #JoinTheJourney! If you would like to download #JoinTheJourney material to be used at your next event or to help promote the Arabian horse, visit our Marketplace - Fun and Educational Items section at ArabianHorses.org/marketplace/.
No Camera Shy Horses Here! WE KNOW THE ARABIAN HORSE IS INTELLIGENT AND full of personality. Now, many others can see it, too! Black Tysn (TS Black Tie Affair x Blacklady Nazeera) and Follow My Heart (HP Amir El Sahar x Commander’s Secret Princess AJM) are two of Jan Sharp’s horses who starred in a commercial for FarmersOnly.com. Sharp said the opportunity to film the commercial arose when she was riding another one of her Half-Arabians on a Cleveland Metropark brildle trail when a man hiking the trails, wearing a FarmersOnly hat, approached her asking
Follow My Heart
if she knew about FarmersOnly.com. He then asked if she had a couple of horses that would stand side-by-side and “talk” to a camera. “I said, ‘sure’, having no idea if they really would or not, as I’ve never heard them say a word,” Jan said. The two horses stood side-by-side in an open field without halters and interacted with the camera, played with the computer keyboard, and even talked on cue. “He had no idea when he stopped me that not only are my horses shows horses, but they are also trick horses. That additional training really helped with the filming, as they are very good at taking cues from me off camera. I have used their, and my other Half-Arabian’s, tricks as a unique way to both entertain and educate people about horses for over 40 years,” Jan said. She also said these horses visit schools, nursing homes, horse expos, fundraisers and charity events. “I currently have eight black tobiano Half-Arabians. Darker N Bey+/ most recently competed at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, bringing home a Top Ten in Dressage.” ~Alleynah Cofas Issue 3. 2018
TO REMEMBER May – Arabian Horse Month June 1 – AHYA Convention Eligibility Deadline June 15 – A HYA Officer Candidate Applications Due July 19 – AHYA Board Meeting July 20 – AHYA Convention July 21-28 – YOUTH NATIONALS, Oklahoma City, OK
Youth of the Year • Recognition • Resume Builder • Boost College Applications • Leadership Opportunities • $1,000 Scholarship
• ArabianHorses.org/ahyaYOTY • Apply by September 1!
Why Come to AHYA Convention? July 20, 2018 | OKC | During Youth Nationals
AHYA Trails West Trailer Raffle
• Get your Youth National Qualifier T-shirt
Benefitting AHYA — Back this year is the raffle of an Adventure MX II 2-horse bumper pull trailer! Stop by the AHYA booth at our National Shows or email email@example.com to purchase raffle tickets. DePaolo Equine Concepts has donated an Equine Hair Analysis Package as a secondary prize. The cost is $50/ticket, and only 450 tickets will be sold!
• L earn about what’s happening with AHYA
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• M eet those leading AHYA and vote for new leadership
• Make new friends • Gain leadership skills
ARABIAN HORSE HIPPOLOGY CONTEST
Here are the three things in the barn that I can’t live without!
1. My Trainer: I would not be where I am today without my amazing trainer. The amount of patience and time she takes out of her life for her students is extremely generous. In addition to training my horses and I, she is always there for me when I have questions or concerns. She is very supportive, passionate, and encouraging.
2. My Barn Family: Every week I look forward to barn days. Barn days are filled with hard work, but also tons of laughs. Bonding with everyone while doing chores has strengthened our relationships. We are all so close we consider ourselves a barn family. Doing chores doesn’t even feel like torturous work because everyone is always so supportive. We not only support each other at the barn, but also at horse shows. Having friends from the barn supporting me at horse shows is empowering. There is nothing better than hearing familiar voices in the stand cheering my name. I am so thankful for the encouragement and support.
Full Team Contest at U.S. Nationals, Tulsa, OK October 24-27
3. My Horses: Last but not least, I cannot live without my horses. My horses are my motivation to be the best rider. Arabian horses are beautiful, athletic, and smart. My horses teach me about my riding style and help me develop my riding skills. I always look forward to my lessons because I know that I am going to learn something new. I am so fortunate that my horses have made me confident. ~ Region 16 Youth Director Celina Carabetta
CARABETTA Issue 3. 2018
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AHL FREEZE FRAME:
WYATT WILMS This is everything we want to see in a Working Western rider...
1. Both horse and rider are in harmony and in sync — the horse is round and supple, ears forward and willing to be guided. 2. By observing the rider’s face, you can see that the next obstacle is on his left, and he is making preparation for it well in advance. 3. The horse is gently arced to the left in order to be prepared for the next obstacle. 4. The rider sits centered and balanced, hips square to the shoulders only turning his head, using the right hip for a gentle control of his mount, hands soft, the left hand in line with the spine of the horse, and elbows in yet relaxed. 5. Legs draping around the horse being used for guidance and to create roundness, heels down for balance. 6. Toes/feet following the direction of the rider’s knees to allow full contact of the entire leg.
Our subject rider is Wyatt Wilms, who is 16-years-old and lives on a ranch in central Arizona. Wyatt competes in Arabian shows, Open Cutting shows, Open Cow horse shows, and high school rodeos, which he does on Arabians and Half-Arabians. He has many National Championship titles in Cutting, Cow-Horse and Trail. Wyatt loves the outdoors and riding his mule when on hunting or fishing pack trips. He also helps maintain the cattle herd at home. Thanks to Jeffrey Wilms for critiquing this photo. Established in 1982, Jeffrey Wilms Training and Management Inc. represents the cumulative success of one of the industry’s top professional equine specialist teams, Jeffrey and Amy Wilms. They are located in Fort McDowell, Ariz. Learn more about them at www.jeffreywilms.com. Issue 3. 2018
n get involved
By Merri Melde
EQUINE LIFESTYLES F
rom youth to adults, your opportunities to work with or ride horses abound. “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” That famous quote, often attributed to Winston Churchill*, describing the relationship between horses and humans was amazingly prescient for the early 20th century. Numerous studies in the last decade have shown physical, psychological, emotional and behavioral benefits from interacting with horses. There are few experiences in life as fulfilling as working with horses, or participating in horse riding events with family or friends. But what happens if you don’t have horsey parents who make this life-long equine journey easy? Or what if you love horses but can’t afford your own? There are many solutions to these dilemmas, and with a little research and footwork, you can find your niche. Consider volunteering your time at a boarding or riding stable, a horse rescue or a therapeutic riding facility. Most well-run and certified facilities more than welcome volunteers, from a few hours a week to as much time as you have to donate, and you have many choices in the work opportunities available. The rewards can be so much greater than you anticipated, and the contacts you make can lead to other equine interests and opportunities. Breeding farms often welcome visitors, and smaller farms — particularly those that actively train, condition and compete on horses they produce — may have horses for you to try out and lease. Taking riding lessons at stables may lead to the opportunity to lease a horse you regularly ride. Some stables offer summer horse camps for youth. Visiting competitions that interest you is a gateway into the sport itself. At many shows you’re allowed access to the stabling area. Chances are if you compliment a competitor on her horse and ask about her steed, you’ll make an instant friend. Quiz her on how she got started and ask if she has suggestions on where you might volunteer or take riding lessons. Joining a local riding club can offer many options such as attending and helping with schooling shows, clinics,
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trail rides or fundraisers. Even if you don’t own a horse, you’ll find a welcome mat. Members will likely have plenty of input on good riding instructors and stables, and there’s a chance some members might have extra horses that need riding.
Get Your Hands Dirty: Volunteer Volunteering your time to a horse rescue or a therapeutic riding facility is a gratifying way to dive into hands-on work with horses. The diverse volunteer opportunities at these facilities can include horse care, horse training, barn chores, farm construction and maintenance, rider assistance, ambassadors at horse expo and trade show booths, administrative support and mentoring for new volunteers. Training is available for those who wish to volunteer but have little or no horse experience. “We would love to have you, beginners and all levels,” says Nicky Wetzelberger, Community Outreach Director for Days End Farm Horse Rescue (www.defhr.org) in Woodbine, Md. “We accept everyone starting at the ages of five and up.” Since its beginning in 1989, DEFHR has grown into a large, respected national rescue and rehabilitation facility annually sheltering 110 to 150 horses of all breeds, including Arabians. Volunteers contribute 55,000 hours of help each year. “A lot of volunteers, when they start at a young age, really develop a passion for horses and a hobby. Then we have volunteers who have started at the age of 10to 12-years-old, and they are now staff members. It’s really fueled their passion for animals or a career as a vet,” Wetzelberger says. “The program gives the volunteers a lot of responsibility, and they work side-by-side with staff in regards to the horse care, and they learn a ton along the way. Older adults that come are able to make long-lasting friendships. “Just the self-worth that you feel from helping these horses and watching them thrive, and that good feeling you get from the community is beneficial. It’s really a family environment where we are all friends and know each other on a first name basis.” Volunteering for a therapeutic riding facility can be a most rewarding experience beyond just the joy of working with horses. PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) certifies instructors, equine specialists, and
OR — Having Horses in Your Life When You Can’t Afford Your Own
centers around the world, helping more than 66,000 children and adults with special needs. Hearts & Horses (www.heartsandhorses.org) is a therapeutic riding center based in Loveland, Colo., since 1997 and includes an Arabian and a couple of Half-Arabians in its herd. The center serves over 800 participants per year with the help of more than 1,600 volunteers, some of whom have been with Hearts & Horses since its beginning. “I’ve noticed, interestingly enough, a lot of the volunteers themselves receive therapeutic value, not just the riders,” says Emmy Soyka, Volunteer Manager for Hearts & Horses. “There’s obviously that satisfaction of getting to work with the riders and getting to see them grow and improve; but it’s satisfaction for volunteers as well. It can be as simple as the meditative motion of scooping poop, which can really help you meditate, think about your life, and figure things out. Getting to have hands on the horses, receiving their energy, and working with them can be very therapeutic as well.”
When It’s Time to Get (Back) in the Saddle Finding a good riding stable where you can take lessons (Remember recommendations you got from those talks you had with competitors at the horse show stables?) is a good opportunity to ride different horses and may lead to leasing options. Don’t be afraid to try various instructors and different barns to find the teachers and horses that seem like a good fit and make you feel comfortable and safe. Many options exist for leasing horses, depending on what you and the owner want out of the deal and what the horse needs. You’ll likely pay more at boarding and riding stables and competition barns to lease a horse; however, in other situations you might be able to work a sweet trade deal where you lease for free. Always do your homework first — get to know the person and horse well before you jump into any agreement, and always make sure everything is clear and in writing. A common leasing option is a full lease, where you pay monthly board, veterinary and farrier care, and you get to ride the horse whenever you want. A shared lease is just that — sharing the lease on a horse with another person. You’ll split the bills and work out a schedule for taking turns using the horse. Issue 3. 2018
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A feed lease might be more common with someone who has her own stable or farm and numerous horses she doesn’t have time to ride. You don’t have to pay a monthly board fee, but just the cost of the hay and/or grain. Free leases do exist, in which the owner just wants the horse to go to a good, useful home. You in effect “own”, ride and care for the horse while the owner retains the registration papers. (For more information on leasing a horse, read “A New Lease on Life” in Issue 6, 2017 of Arabian Horse Life.) If you’re already a good rider looking to get back in the saddle, with research and connections you may find the multiple-horse owner who is looking for a riding partner. Endurance riding is one sport that takes time and many miles to condition horses out on the trails, and many Endurance riders welcome the help and company working their horses. While almost any breed can do Endurance, it’s the Arabian that excels in the sport. Options such as feed lease, loan or trading conditioning rides for Endurance ride entries are often workable. The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) has an extensive mentor program in addition to vast resources for getting started in Endurance riding.
Get Networking Even if you don’t own a horse, it’s not at all impossible — nor should it be intimidating — to create a fulfilling life with horses. Getting started can be as simple as turning on your computer and doing a quick Google search for stables or horse groups or events in your area; or driving down the road to that stable you’ve never stopped at but always wanted to visit; or going to a horse show and chatting with people in the grandstands and the stable area. Talk to the people who work in your nearby tack or feed store; they are likely to be a good source and hub of nearby horse information. Check their bulletin boards where people post their business cards and flyers. Most horse people are welcoming and more than happy to help you get involved in their equine activities. The more horse people you get to know, the more options you’ll have for helping out at a barn, or riding or leasing a horse. Networking is key. The joy of seeing your child bond with a horse, the gratification of donating your time to help a rescue or to help a disabled individual ride, the delight of riding, the excitement of competition, and the mental and physical health benefits of hands-on horse work are rewards awaiting your life with horses. Author Merri Melde has ridden over 8,000 Endurance miles, mostly on Arabians, without ever owning or leasing her own Endurance horse. *Winston Churchill likely did not say this quote; likely it was from one of several people in the late 1800s.
Issue 3. 2018
Horse Happiness is Just a Click Away Online searches can be a quick way to get started on finding breed associations, riding stables, therapeutic riding facilities or horse rescues in your area. For the Arabian horse, Arabian Horse Association (AHA — ArabianHorses.org) is the place to start. You'll find information on events, competitions, youth activities and more. US Equestrian (USEF.org) will guide you if you're looking to take your first riding lesson or find a new place to ride. Try their “Start Riding” link for equestrian organizations, youth programs and introductions to disciplines, breeds and more. American Endurance Ride Conference (aerc.org) is your Endurance riding go-to, with information on getting started in the sport and finding mentors, riding partners, and competition events. www.Meetup.com is quite useful for finding horse events in your area. Just search for "Horses" under the Group tab, and you'll probably find several horse groups to check out. Finding riding stables is as easy as a Google search in your area. The advantage of this search is the star-rated reviews that pop up. As always, be sensible and talk to management and visit before you commit to anything. Is the stable clean and kept up? Do the horses look healthy and happy? The Certified Horsemanship Association exists "to promote excellence in safety and education internationally for the benefit of the horse industry." You can find CHA-certified riding instructors or equine facilities in your area at this link: www.chainstructors.com. For youth, 4-H (4-h.org/parents/curriculum/horse/) is a hands-on option for young people of all ages to raise and show horses. Pony Club (www.ponyclub.org) gives youth the foundation of “education, safety, sportsmanship, stewardship and FUN" with horses. Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International — www.pathintl.org) certifies instructors, equine specialists and therapy centers for children and adults with special needs. Find certified places to volunteer at this website. While PATH International certifies therapeutic riding centers and instructors, do your own research when considering volunteering for a horse rescue, as these may not be so certified. Make sure the rescue has the 501(c)(3) status, as there is a strict application process to which the center must adhere. Also check out its mission statement and use your common sense when evaluating the stable and horses. How about owning an Arabian racehorse? The Arabian Jockey Club (www.arabianracing.org/five-steps-to-ownership) is dedicated to the promotion and education of the Arabian racing industry in the U.S. Consider a partnership, which can be a less expensive, fun and collaborative way to get started. n
n the now
aising money for worthy causes is only a part of Morgan “Danika” Overstreet’s passion for community service. The 2017 AHA Youth of the Year has served both her Arabian and local community on many levels, from organizing food collections for the Northwest Harvest food bank, to volunteering for several months at a Washington memory care facility, to traveling to India to work with rescued elephants and sloth bears. Danika’s signature fundraiser — Shout Out Bears — has not only raised funds for youth activities, they also have raised a lot of fun. Donors at Youth Regionals and Nationals purchased plush bears, added congratulatory messages, and saw the bears delivered to recipients in the show lineups. At last year’s Youth Nationals, Shout Out Bears were joined by Plush Ponies and garnered over $1,000. At last year’s convention, AHA recognized the 18year-old’s contributions with a $1,000 scholarship and perpetual trophy, praising her positive influence on the Arabian Horse Youth Association (AHYA), her passions, personality, pursuit of excellence and support of the Arabian horse in her service as Region 5 youth director and 2016-17 AHYA secretary. As director, she spent the year fundraising by selling Shout Out Bears, having quarterly meetings, organizing bonding events, coordinating activities at shows and attending regional board meetings to represent the youth. She also served as Regional and National classes’ committee chair. For 2016-17, she was elected AHYA secretary and would later become the Sport Horse committee chair. “Being secretary was an amazing experience that allowed me to contribute to the breed and work with the AHA staff on a larger and more personal scale. I was able to get more youth involved. Also, I worked hard to bring in sponsorships. One of my greatest joys was leading TAIL tours at Regionals and Nationals. Spreading happiness through this wonderful breed was, and always will be, my top priority,” Danika told the selection committee. The application process for the Youth of the Year honor brought multiple youth applicants, with three called back by the selection committee for a phone interview
By Patti Schofler
AHA Youth of the Year:
Issue 3. 2018
questioning how they could improve the Arabian horse community, what needed to be changed, and how they saw the future. “We want to see our choice for Youth of the Year to stand out as our youth representative, our ambassador of the breed,” says Brenna Whitlock, Youth and Family Programs Coordinator at AHA. “What stands out about Danika are her great ideas of what she wanted the breed to be, and her drive to further the Arabian horse organization, her passion, and her ideas of how to get individuals to come into the breed. She is super well spoken. Talking to her, you can feel her drive and her initiative.” Danika’s mother Danielle echoes Brenna’s thoughts. “She has always been a leader, helping and taking charge. Her teachers joke, ‘does anyone besides Danika have the answer?’ She is never afraid to speak up and help out.” With college on the horizon, plans are firming up for her two Arabians and for continued community service. ERA Prestodin (Kaladinn x WMA Gokarts Prism), aka “Presto”, a 1997 gelding, will likely retire on the property that houses the family business, which is a dog and cat boarding facility. “Presto will be with us forever,” she says of her first horse who came into the family under unusual circumstances. Her parents were showing dogs, and Danika’s father was campaigning a champion Akita for a client who also bred Arabians. In lieu of payment he asked if he could have an Arabian to give to Danielle as a Christmas present. They agreed, and that is when Presto came into their lives. When Danika was six, her parents put out three bags. In each bag was a bottle. “At the end of each day, I would put M&Ms into whatever bottle I wanted. The bottles were labeled dancing lessons, swimming lessons and riding lessons. I wasn’t supposed to know what activity was represented in which bottle. At the end of the month, the bottle with the most M&Ms would be the activity I would do.
Danika Overstreet Danika with her beloved Purebred Arabians Duke, left, and Presto.
Alisha McGraw, Some Like it Shot Photography
Shout Out Bears and Plush Ponies have proven to be popular fundraiser toys at Youth Regionals and Nationals.
Issue 3. 2018
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“One night I snuck out of my room and found out which bottle had the horseback riding on it. I would make sure that every other day I would put most of my M&Ms in it. That’s how I got my start.” With riding as the winner, Danika started lessons at a local barn of Quarter Horses and Paints. “Out of the blue Mom said ‘let’s put Danika on Presto’, and the rest was history.” From there, the two became involved in 4-H, and when she was 13 Presto moved to an Arabian show barn. A second Arabian joined the family in 2013. Duke, officially named Decyned For Gold++/ (Out Of Cyte x KM Chanel), a 2006 gelding, has been Danika’s Sport Horse star. The two are in a lesson program twice a week, and Danika tries to ride at least three to five times a week total; a busy schedule for someone who also works at her parent’s business twice a week and has many volunteer and service activities. In addition to membership in the Future Business Leaders of America and Girls Honors Club, Danika has been an active member of Key Club, an international community service and leadership organization for high school students, through which she has volunteered more than 200 hours in her community. She has served as vice president of her local club and received numerous awards for her service. She won the PNW Oratorical Contest at the the Key Club District Convention where she presented her speech before 1,200 members. It was also through Key Club that she traveled to Agra, India to build homes for sloth bears retired from the circus and rescued elephants on whom she honed her bathing skills while learning about conservation efforts in India. arabian horse
Issue 3. 2018
Top — At age 6, Danika helped in the family business of showing dogs.
Middle & bottom — Danika (shown here at age 13) has competed in a variety of disciplines, including Western and Dressage, aboard Presto, or ERA Prestodin.
At home, she made blankets for children in the Seattle Cancer Hospital and led fundraising drives for UNICEF and to eliminate maternal and neo-natal tetanus in babies. “My community is very important to me, and I try to show that through my support of local businesses and activities,” she said. As a Microsoft Student Ambassador, she taught coding twice a week to elementary school kids and was honored with the Microsoft in Education Award of Excellence. From her high school, she has been recognized for her excellence in French by the Alliance Francaise de Seattle, reflective of her high level academic accomplishments. She also helped start a STEM club in her school, which led to monthly seminars on technology. Her equestrian endeavors brought her awards in her 4-H days. She lettered through the USEF high school lettering program, and from AHA garnered the Rider of Supreme Honor Champions award, and a Legion of Merit and Legion of Supreme Honor with Duke. Scholarship money, based on her school record, has come from the Pacific Rim Arabian Horse Association and the Arabian Horse Foundation. While delighted to receive these accolades, Danika remains humble. “I am honored to receive these awards, but my greatest honor is seeing smiles on the faces of those I’ve served or shared my passions with.” “We’re very proud of her,” says her mother. “She’s so passionate. She sets goals for herself and does her best to meet them, even to exceed them. She’s always been pretty selfconfident. Since her dad and I showed dogs for a number of years, we were always around
Alisha McGraw, Some Like it Shot Photography
Left — Duke, officially named Decyned For Gold++/, a 2006 gelding, has been Danika’s Sport Horse star. Right — Presto or ERA Prestodin smiling for the camera.
adults, and she had no problem with that. Not like some kids that are shy with adults. “At times, her schedule has gotten so busy that we’ve had to remind her that she can’t do everything. We’ve had to rein her back in a bit to pick and choose. In middle school she was on the dance drill team, and she was also riding horses. She had to choose, and since she loves the horses so much, that was the way she went.” One of her passions with the horses is Dressage. Training with Deborah Nelson in Renton Highlands since 2012, she has competed both horses at Training and First Level, as well as contested in Sport Horse rail classes, last year picking up a few Champion and Reserve Champion ribbons at Region 5 Sport Horse Championship. This year she has her sights set on showing at Second Level Dressage with Duke. “He definitely enjoys the constant motion of Dressage. He is more focused with the activity.” Another joy is simply being with her horses. “I love playing around, just having fun in the arena. We play games. Presto likes his Jolly ball. Or it’s fun just cantering around without pushing them together. Or riding bareback with just a halter. Both are goofy, spirited horses and have fun and run around getting dirty. They can always get bathed. “Duke loves Gatorade. He’ll drink it from the bottle. He puts his lips around the opening and swallows. He gets to drink some after he shows and looks forward to it. His favorite is red, but that is for after the show because it makes his mouth red.” Duke came into the family five years ago and “is in his showing prime,” she says. The plan is to keep him where he is while Danika is at college. He will continue his train-
ing and competing when time permits since Danika plans to continue her riding career through college. Danika has just committed to the University of Washington and is considering studying international business. “My interest in psychology and sociology is peaked so maybe I’ll do a double major or minor in psychological science and incorporate that into whatever I do.” She also plans on trying out for the University of Washington Equestrian Team. The Overstreets have always focused on their business with dogs playing a major role. A native of West Seattle, father Daniel got out of the military and began showing dogs. When he bought a dog kennel, he fell for one of the employees, Danielle, Danika’s mother. Yes, there is a name pattern here. “My dad Daniel wanted to name me Danika, but my mom Danielle wouldn’t have it. So I became Morgan Danika Overstreet. In sixth grade, I decided my name was no longer Morgan, and I picked Danika. It does get a bit confusing at shows when I’m announced as Morgan, and my friends know me as Danika, but it works.” Her 13-year old sister, Madison, is a horse rider too, and will compete her Half-Arabian Zeattle in 2018. And this year her big sister, with the help of her AHA Youth of the Year scholarship, will move on to a new experience, the world of college where she will likely continue to find creative ways help her new community. Patti Schofler is an award winning journalist, publicist and author of “Flight Without Wings: the Arabian Horse and the Show World”. A graduate of the USDF “L” dressage program, Patti resides in Petaluma, California. Issue 3. 2018
Submitted by Rosemary Cate Catching up on some important reading together!
Submitted by Leah Greuel A prettier pair youâ€™d be hard-pressed to find!
Submitted by Nicole Phillips Picturesque in every way!
Submitted by Savannah Conner A beautiful example of true partnership!
Submitted by Donna Kern The bonuses of getting groomed â€” kisses!
Submitted by Allison Wesley Perfecting our selfie game!
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A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE... Owners, Lou & Carol Ruscitto Trainers, Chad Judy & Rich Beadnell Barn Manager, Barbara Gardner Venetia, PA· 724.942.4711 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the third week of May. Now going to...
Published on May 18, 2018
The Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the third week of May. Now going to...