ENTOURAGE CAPTURES 2013 VPBA NATIONAL PERFORMANCE AWARD ENTOURAGE, owned by the Yandell Family Farm LLC of Memphis, TN and ridden by VPBA member Sarah Clifton Yandell, has been named the winner of the 2013 VPBA National Performance Award. Competing in the Large Pony Hunter section, the pair accumulated 6837.3 points showing at 20 competitions throughout USEF Zone 4 and at the Devon, Capital Challenge, Pennsylvania National, and Washington International horse shows. This outstanding record earned Entourage third place in the 2013 USEF National Large Pony Hunter standings. In addition to the VPBA trophy, the chestnut Welsh/ Thoroughbred gelding captured the 2013 USHJA Zone 4 Large Pony Championship. Excelling in equitation classes as well, Entourage helped his 14 year old rider qualify for the USEF Pony Medal and the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals where they placed tenth. In 2012, this combination was named Reserve Champion High Score Registered VPBA Pony at the USEF Pony Finals. Bred by Sandy Rose of Hamilton, VA, and foaled in 2006, Entourage is by Clovercroft Polarized x Debt Limit by D’Accord. Registered VPBA Performance Ponies in 2013 USEF Top Ten Year End Standings Section Small Green Heavens To Betsy (Karen Williams)
Owner (Breeder if different)
Amanda & Mackenzie Altheimer, FL
*Telynau Royal Charter x *Cllynncopa Batik by Carolinas Vulcan
Medium Green Miss Bermuda
Cindy Newberry, MD
Gypsy Time Traveler x Sea Shell by Lemontree Sea Captain
Olivia Notman, FL (M/M Richard Taylor)
Land’s End Poseidon x Chelsea’s Renaissance by Witty Boy
Sunset’s Sleepin’ In
Sunset Farm, VA (Mary Laing)
Colleen B. Kelly, VA (Millpoint Farm)
Rocky Creek’s Wendy Adonis x Nobody’s A Hero by Absarokee Quasar Fallen Willows Primetime x Root Boy’s Wonder x Root Boy
Above, Entourage, Photo By Mary Hamm
Yandell Family Farm LLC, TN (Sandy Rose)
Clovercroft Polarized x Debt Limit by D’Accord.
Woodlands Misty Rain Isabel Ryan, NY (Bo & Kay Randolph) Woodlands Velvet Rain x Woodlands Sabrina by Woodlands Prince of Princes
VPBA PONIES TOP USHJA ZONE 3 PONY BREEDING AWARDS Registered Virginia bred ponies dominated the US Hunter Jumper Association’s Pony Breeding awards for Year End honors in Zone 3 (Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia). In each of the three recognized Pony Breeding categories, the Champion and Reserve ponies were bred and owned by VPBA members. W. Gary Baker’s homebred ROSECROFT THE MONARCH accumulated 97 points to be named Champion Pony Yearling. The grey gelding was handled by Drew Taylor, Richard Taylor, and Emily Belin during his campaign. The chestnut filly JULIA continued her success as a Yearling to lead the Two Year Old section in 2013. Handled by both Drew Taylor and breeder Richard Taylor, she earned 83 points for owner Steward Kohler. FALLING MOON CABANA, bred by Lynn Kiefer, owned by Thora Pollak, and shown by Richard and Drew Taylor, led the Three Year Old section with 39 points.
The 1st Virginia CMSA Cowboy hats, horses, guys and guns. You may think that’s all there is to know about mounted shooting as practiced by groups like the 1st Virginia Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA). But, I’m happy to tell you that if you think that, you’d be way off target. The 1st Virginia CMSA is a chapter of the national CMSA, which bills itself as the “Fastest Growing Equestrian Sport in the Nation.” When I caught up with 1st Virginia President Brett Horner, he was only too happy to offer a few reasons for that. The most important thing he wanted to share? This is a fun, family sport, with some of the most welcoming, generous people you’ll meet anywhere. Brett is familiar with the generosity in this sport, both from the receiving end, and as a giver. He competed last year on 5 different “loaner” horses after his mare was injured, and he’s lent out his horse and gear to others interested in the sport. One of the things that he appreciates about the people is that you have a chance to try different types of horses, tack, guns and rigging by borrowing before you commit to buying. It can be an expensive sport, with guns and leathers typically being the largest investments, and by trying several different styles, members can be comfortable with their decisions when it comes time to put down their hard-earned cash. History In 2009, Brett’s wife started riding and bought a horse. On a visit to the stable, he struck up a conversation with the owner and mentioned that he liked to shoot. When the gentlemen told him there was a sport where you shoot from horseback, his comment was, “What do I have to do to sign up?” What he eventually signed up for was the 1st Virginia CMSA, which was started in 2007 and is the only CMSA Club in Virginia. There are other shooting organizations, but Brett refers to CMSA as “the major league”, of the groups, with large nationwide membership, stringent rules and its own dress code. The CMSA was the brain child of Jim Rogers in Arizona in the early ‘90s. Their first competition was in 1992 and had just 3 contestants. By 1994, the organization was officially in place with a board and officers and the first CMSA National Championships ran with 29 entrants. The number of members has continued to grow steadily. After his conversation with the stable owner, Brett attended a couple of 1st Virginia CMSA events at Calf Pasture Farm in Louisa and was ready to jump in. He had only ridden once before, a few decades earlier, but within the next few months, he was fully kitted up and ready to go. He competed twice in his first year and by the next season he was up to 17 events. By the following year, his wife had been offered a horse to try at an event and she was hooked as well. Last year she was Virginia State Ladies 2 Champion. He credits great people and a bit of help from Mother Nature when he talks about his whirlwind entrance into the sport. He laughs, “With everything you need, the Page 6
C M S A
horse, the tack, the saddle, your guns, your holsters, the trailer, all the stuff you need to do the sporting event — the only thing I owned was the truck; I’m a landscaper…. Went into it completely green, and literally within about a 5 month period, I had everything — I had a good winter that year and did a lot of snow removal, made a lot of money and just bought everything. If I had looked at this sport a year before or a year after the time I actually did it, I wouldn’t have been able to do it, but God just blessed me with the timing and we went into it full bore” 1st VA CMSA continued...
His mare, a favorite on the circuit, is the last of the original 4 horses from the Mid-Atlantic region still competing. Her previous owner was in declining health and wanted a good home where she’d continue to be used as a shooting horse. Brett was able to buy the experienced mare as his first horse, and hopes to compete her for one more season before she retires. How CMSA Events Work Competitors in CMSA events range from the very young to the very well seasoned. The divisions are: Men’s, Women’s, Senior’s, and Wrangler’s for the under twelve set. Yes, kids as young as 4 or 5 participate, but the procedure is amended so they ride the course with a cap pistol, then shoot the balloons from the ground with .45 with a parent standing beside them. There are 6 Classes in each of the adult divisions. All riders must start in Class 1 and progress through the Classes by earning 4 qualified wins in each level to move on to the next. The progressive system helps ensure the safety of everyone involved as speed and difficulty increase at each level. Brett noted that at the top level, “Basically, what we do is barrel racing with guns.” Each person in a particular class runs the same pattern, and there are dozens of pre-set patterns for organizers to choose from. Riders follow a pattern set up with 10 balloons of 2 different colors, and are required to shoot all the balloons of the first color on the way out, change Page 8
guns and ride back to the start while shooting the balloons of the second color. There are time penalties from 5 − 60 seconds assigned for missing balloons, dropping a gun, going off course or falling off your horse. As the runs are typically 35 seconds or less, inaccuracy can be more costly than taking your time. The 1st Virginia CMSA is “either fortunate or unfortunate” as Brett puts it, in that they don’t have a home arena. Just a few years ago, there were only 10 − 15 riders at events, but now the typical number ranges from 30 — 50 participants. As the competitions are held over 2 or 3 days, finding a facility with enough stabling in addition to a suitably sized covered arena can be a challenge. Add to that the large geographic area covered by the club and Brett sees the lack of home base in a positive light. Because events are held around the state, (and this year in West Virginia for the first time), no member has to drive long distances to every event. He noted that he’s more than 7 hours from the event in West Virginia, but less than an hour from Doswell, where the group sometimes meets. Spreading around the events makes them accessible to more people. Safety Once a member arrives at an event, the first item on the agenda in the morning is a Safety Meeting. As you can imagine, any time a sport involves guns being fired from galloping horses, safety is an important concern, and The CMSA has a very strong set of rules in place to protect riders, spectators and horses. The safety meetings help keep people up to date on any rule changes and allow new participants to be evaluated. No beginner is allowed to head straight into a 1st Virginia CMSA competition without having first attended a clinic or ridden in an Exhibition event. There is great care taken to ensure that both rider and horse are safe to participate. With the help of the group, newcomers can get advice on everything from being sure their horse is properly gun broke, to which rigging to purchase for their guns.
The guns used are .45 caliber single shot revolvers, which have to be cocked before each shot. Ammunition consists of brass cartridges loaded with black powder, which are able to shoot out the balloons on the targets up to a distance of about 15 feet. Riders’ guns are loaded by the Range Master as they enter the arena, and are unloaded as the rider exits. No participants are allowed to carry a loaded gun while outside the ring and live ammunition is strictly prohibited. Many of the rules deal directly with the safe handling of the firearms. The strict rules help guarantee that every one will be able to have fun at the event, and as far as Brett is concerned, fun is the reason people come in the first place.
The Other Two Rules Whether competitors and spectators at CMSA events come for the horses, the hats, the guys or the guns; the goal of the 1st Virginia CMSA is to introduce as many people to the sport as possible. Brett noted that, outside of the rule book, he has two cardinal rules. The first — have fun; the second — bring a friend the next time you come to an event. He summed up the attitude of the organization when he remarked, “If you can’t have fun at one of our events, you can’t have it - that’s all there is to it.” If you’d like further information about the 1st Virginia CMSA, visit their website at www.1stVirginiaCMSA.com, or call Brett at 540.408.3334. You can check out events around the country on the national site at www.CMSAEvents.com. Photos for this article courtesy of CMSA national organization Article author, Penny Hawes is a freelance writer and life-long rider from Virginia. Visit her on her website, www.TheHorseyLife.com.
Meadowbrooks Prince Poppycock Helena Berlin *Empire’s Power x Meadowbrooks Love Me Tender by
Meadowbrooks Special Edition
Four or more VPBA registered ponies rounded out the top ten award winners in each section, representing a total of fourteen additional member owners and/or breeders.
Won Celebration Barbara Chappell Champlain Rainmaker x Won For Luck by Clovercroft Polarized
Registered VPBA Breeding Ponies in 2013 USHJA Top TenYear End Standings
Pony Three Year Old
Owner (Breeder if different)
1st Falling Moon Cabana Thora Pollak (LynnKiefer) *Telynau Royal Anthem x Claire by Hidden Creek’s Rain Fox 2nd Rebel Yell Thora Pollak
Land’s End Monarch x GF What A Joy by Chloe Olympic Joy
Meadowbrooks Special Edition x Chelsea’s Renaissance by Witty Boy
Pay Per View
Ideal Candidate Alicia Kline
Get The Point? Melissa Wilson (Alicia Kline)
Mystic Who Dat
1st Rosecroft The Monarch
W. Gary Baker
Stewart Kohler (Richard M. Taylor)
Crossgates Larasan x Shelby Secret by Farnley Belshazzar Wellen Red Rock x Infomercial by Statesmanship
Foxlore Exclamation Point Ethan Maye (Alicia Kline)
Wellen Gold Point x Longacre Lilac by Longacre Spinoff
Naughty Or Nice
Crossgates Larasan x Foxy by Welsh Hills
Kym Smith (Alicia Kline)
*Telynau Gallant x Infomercial by Statesmanship
Wellen Gold Point x Always Kidding by Smallwood Paris
*Menai Mister Mostyn x Perfect Replica
Wynnbrook Take Note Jennifer Greenleaf (Sandy Rose) Brookside Sweet Sebastian x Debt Limit by D’Accord
Stanmore’s Let’s Pretend Melinda Collie
Bold and Blue x Little Winkel by Mt. Ruritania
Pony Two Year Old 1st
Stewart Kohler (Richard M. Taylor)
Land’s End Monarch x Indeego Girl by Indeego
2nd Foxmor Power Play liams)
Rachel Spencer (Karen Wil-
Ideal Game Plan
Cheryl Maye (Alicia Kline)
*Empire’s Power x Foxmor Fanfair by *Telynau Flight Of Fancy Pajon’s Buccaneer x Overjoyed by Don Alfredo
*Telynau Gallant x Infomercial by Statesmanship
Meadow Fox Forget Me Not Heider)
Janis Shaneberger (Sheila
Meadow Fox Ronaldo x Cloud Dancer by Little Cloud
Stanmore’s Best Yet
Bold And Blue x Little Winkel by Mt. Ruritania
Rollingwoods Top Drawer x Grand Bell
Rosecroft The Monarch Photo By K Southard VPBA CONNECTED SIRES, BREEDERS TOP USEF LISTS USEF has released the lists of leading pony hunter sires and breeders for 2013. Topping the list for leading breeders of performance ponies is Woodlands Ponies, the breeding program of Bo and Kay Randolph of Brodnax, VA. continued on page 38
Cornerstone Horsemanship Charles + Michelle Pellham
By Silver Johnson
Charles and Michele Pellham established Cornerstone Horsemanship in 2008 with the goal of making Virginia
Charles and Michelle Pellham established Cornerstone Horsemanship in 2008 with the goal of making Virginia home, giving young horses a solid start, and teaching horsemanship to riders of all disciplines. The couple also compete on their horses as well as ride for clients using training methods they developed over their combined 35 years of experience. Students and equines in the Cornerstone program have won many local, state and national championships in multiple disciplines from ranch horse, reining, dressage, hunter/ jumpers, cutting, working cow horse and many more. Charles is also on the Virginia Quarter Horse Association Board of Directors. Both Michelle and Charles grew up with horses. Charles likes to say he was a ranch hand from the time he was 6 and just got bigger. Michelle, a California native, started riding at the same age. She moved to her future husband’s home state of Arkansas with her family when she was ten. Many horses and disciplines occupied their lives all the way through high school graduation. Meeting early on at Arkansas Tech University, both were pursuing Business degrees in Agriculture and married while they were still in college. After graduating, they explored several business opportunities. From Tractor Sales to shoeing horses to searching for jobs in the ag business, the Pellham’s decided to focus on making the business of training horses their livelihood. About a year and a half after they were married, they took a job training horses in Utah. A few short months later, a position in California became available...one the couple couldn’t pass up. Joe Montana had a big spread and training operation and for almost a golden year, Michelle and Charles were assistant trainers for the famous quarterback and horse rancher. Charles’ father became very ill, so the Pellham’s made the heartfelt decision to move back to Arkansas.They were blessed leaving their California dream job with an open invitation to return any time they wanted. Charles took a job back in Arkansas on a 1000 acre cattle ranch working 250 cows with two horses and one dog while Michelle exercised Thoroughbreds at a local race track. In the fall of that year, after his father successfully recovered, a training job was offered to them in Virginia. And the two have been here ever since. In June, 2008, their own training facility became a reality. Purchasing a house and 30 acres an average of 14-15 horses were in training at any given time. Cornerstone Horsemanship Programs officially followed the year after. In addition to starting and training horses and teaching horsemanship skills, they like to compete at local, state and national events.When the husband and wife team compete, they say Ranch horse pleasure classes have been very successful for them. Much of their success they believe goes to efforts in producing a well trained and steady animal. Their focus is on laying a foundation for ranch horse events, and developing all around Cornerstone horses able to show in multiple disciplines.The Pellham’s feel a horse excels in a certain discipline, but they help the horse find a great job that offers some diversity. “ You can do whatever discipline you want,” Charles says. “All horses need to be started and trained the same way. They need a good handle on them.” Michelle says their success as a couple comes from complementary skills. She enjoys putting the polish and finishing side on the horses, the details and showing them. Her claim to fame is resident trick horse trainer. “ I’m with horses all the time so I teach them things I think would be fun like shaking hands, rearing up, laying down, sit, etc. I just figured it out, we study their body language and you learn horses and what you want them to do when you ask them. They like to play and learn. The horse that makes the best trick horse is the horse that’s always in your pocket or face...the thinkers, the ones that are always on and ready to work. Needing something to do.” Charles, on the other hand, likes to start and lay foundation and admits he is highly competitive. However, he blesses how well they work together and laughs at who takes the credit when it comes to winning ribbons.
and 2006 American Ranch Horse Association Open Cutting Reserve World Champion and Senior Ranch Trail Reserve Champion, both on the stallion, Heza Classy Chic. Michelle also won the 2011 Open Versatility award from the Northeast Stock Horse Association on Ladys Mystic Cutter. In 2012 she won the Northeast Stock Horse Association Open Stock Horse Champion (Playlena Peppy), Open Reserve Champion (Jewel Chic Olena), Green Horse Champion (Pepto Spade), and Versatility Award (Playlena Peppy). Michele repeated the Open Stock Horse Championship in 2013 with Jewel Chic Olena. It takes a dedicated group of hands to run the multi-award winning Cornerstone Training facility and Horsemanship program. Since 2009, Cornerstone Horsemanship has employed a staff of interns and at least one full time on-site intern. Local interns help out and the ranch also offers a Work/ study program.As trainers and teachers, the Pellham’s focus on becoming better every day. Future goals are to expand their training facility and increase horse show capabilities. Charles and Michelle plan to run a stock horse show through their ministry, which includes western cow, performance and stock horse and a Sunday Morning Cowboy Church before classes resume in the afternoon. “There is the Christian aspect of our training methods and facility that makes us different. We have always incorporated our ministry into our horse training and now we are bringing it to the forefront of our business more than before.” “We (Michelle) are good friends, but when it comes to showing, Michelle takes the credit when I win, for the training and polishing of the horse!” The Cornerstone team’s accomplishments include 2010 American Ranch Horse Association World Champion Senior Cutting and World Champion Ranch Roping, the 2007 ARHA World Champion Working Ranch Horse, 2006 Open Cutting World Champion, and the 2006 ARHA Junior Ranch Trail World Champion. Charles also won the 2011 Northeast Stock Horse Association High Point Open Stock Horse with Heza Classy Chic, and Green Stock horse with Pepto Spade. In 2013, Charles & Pepto Spade won the NSHA Open Versatility Championship. In 2012, Cornerstone’s Pepto Spade was the Co-Champion in Ranch Horse Pleasure in the Virginia Quarter Horse Association, also gaining his AQHA Performance ROM. Michelle was honored with the 2011 Open Versatility award from the Northeast Stock Horse Association on Ladys Mystic Cutter. In 2012 she won the Northeast Stock Horse Association Open Stock Horse Champion (Playlena Peppy), Open Reserve Champion (Jewel Chic Olena), Green Horse Champion (Pepto Spade), and Versatility Award (Playlena Peppy). Michele repeated the Open Stock Horse Championship in 2013 with Jewel Chic Olena. Her accomplishments include the 2011 ARHA Reserve World Champion 2 Year Old Ranch Riding with Chics Dig Bling,
Charles and Michelle Pellham look forward to getting more kids involved in their family friendly horse business. And feel blessed to enjoy doing what they love at Cornerstone Horsemanship in Reva, Virginia.
Fox Pointe Farm LLC.
Presents USHJA Trainer Certification Clinic Fox Pointe Farm LLC. is pleased to present veteran trainers Julie Winkel and Geoff Teall for a USHJA Trainer Certification Clinic and Riding Clinic May 10-11, 2014.For Riders, Auditors, USHJA Certified Trainers, and TCP Applicants. For more information regarding the Trainers Certification Program visit http://www.ushja. org/, Rion Day (859) 225-6707 or email rjday@ ushja.org. Location: Fox Pointe Farm LLC 5205 Wildlife Ridge Trail Quinton, VA Contact(s) Email firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 804-932-8710 Visit us at : foxpointefarmva.com
SportHorseAuctions.com SporthorseAuctions.com, a part of Flashpoint Bloodstock, LLC, is changing the way people buy and sell horses in Virginia and across the country. Tim Jennings started the business in August, 2012. Prior to that, he was with Professional Auction Services, which he co-owned with his brother from 1978 until 2012, when they split the company. Tim grew up in the auction business started by his father in 1969, and by the age of 15 was helping with sales. The business flourished, and for years, Professional Auction Service’s Eastern Midwinter Sale was one of the premier horse events in Virginia. Around 2007, the Jennings started to notice changes in the industry. Fewer people were attending live auctions, so they began to focus their business more on online auctions. They brought with them a deep history in the live auction business as well as life-long involvement in horses. Tim cites some of the reasons SportHorseAuctions.com is a good resource for buyers and sellers. “It’s an efficient way to shop, and a more efficient way to buy… there’s not a long drawn out dickering process. It’s a really good time solution… particularly for sellers – they know what day they’re going to
get an offer.” Also, SportHorseAuctions.com requires detailed information from sellers, there are complete disclosures, and the sale is governed by contract. Another advantage for clients is that both buyer and seller know they’re getting fair market value. Tim says he frequently hears that there’s a horse listed for sale on the internet at a certain price. He advises to check the length of time the horse has been listed before drawing too many conclusions. “If it’s been there for 6 months, it’s probably priced too high…. What we do is what our name is. We provide a marketplace for motivated sellers and buyers to meet, and let the auction process establish a price.” People’s perceptions of auctions are one of the challenges the business faces. “These aren’t the stockyard auctions, these aren’t the Friday night killer auction, this is a mid to upper level market place for the Sport Horse industry… In the Sport Horse industry in particular, it’s not like it is in Europe, where there are auctions everywhere. It’s not like the Thoroughbred business here, where the established marketplace is an auction marketplace. We just want to offer that format to horse owners and breeders of all sizes here.”
SportHorseAuctions.com will be offering education about online marketing on their website for everyone to use, whether they’re using the auction or not. Tim feels the education is important, “because it has become the dominant method of sales and marketing and people don’t take advantage of it. It takes a little bit of time and a little bit of effort, but the technology is there, and if they’re willing to work at it a little bit it can be tremendously effective.” To learn more about SportHorseAuctions.com, visit their website, email info@SportHorseAuctions.com, or call them at 866.652.7789.
continued on page 30....
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every issue and is our attempt to highlight and recognize the hardworking successful equine operations that support Virginia’s important equine economic industry. If you would like to see your business highlighted in Eye On Virginia Equine Business, write us at email@example.com and tell us what you do and why you should be recognized. Successful parties will be interviewed.
Refurbishing Your Old Show Jumps for Schooling Success With Eric Bull of ETB Equine Construction With a new year beginning, it’s a great time to make a fresh start. Many equestrians have an existing set of schooling jumps, or even a whole schooling course. After they’ve been in heavy use for a while, or even just sitting around in the arena or a grassy field, you’ll start to see some wear and tear: the standards are wobbly, the rails are bowed, the paint is chipped and peeling. If these old jumps were of good quality to begin with, it may be possible to refurbish some or all of them so that you can continue to use your existing equipment but get it looking like new again. Here at ETB Equine Construction we have a state of the art workshop in Scottsville, VA where we build all of our show jumps as well as portable cross-country jumps. With a complete stock of materials at hand, we can easily refurbish old jumps or start from scratch. Our main business is to construct jumps from new materials, but since materials like lumber have become increasingly expensive, refurbishing your existing jumps can be a cost-effective option. The 4”x4” post that makes up the basis of most jump standards is the most expensive piece of lumber involved, so reusing this important piece of lumber with new parts like a support base and decorative pieces can really add up to savings when you have a number of jumps to work with. Often the base of a jump standard gets the most worn out, since wood tends to rot when it is sitting on damp ground. We might have to cut the base of the standard off and put a new support system on the bottom, so your jump may end up half a foot shorter, but that’s not generally a problem if you are jumping lower fences anyway; if you are jumping bigger fences, you can use these shorter standards in combination with taller standards to build things like ascending oxers. We can also update your old jumps to a modern “keyhole” jump cup system, which is safer and lasts longer than the old standards with holes
drilled every three inches. With the keyhole system, a metal strip with “keyhole” openings is attached to the standard and the jumps cups fit onto this instead of putting pins through holes drilled through the standards. These are becoming more common now because they are safer and easier to use, and because the metric measurements make it possible to set your rails up at a more precise height. Keeping the paint on your schooling jumps in good condition will help your existing jumps last indefinitely, as long as the wood under that paint is in good shape. Old jumps can be power washed to remove dirt and peeling paint, then primed and repainted. Remember that primer sticks to wood and paint sticks to primer, so this is really a necessary step. The best part is that with a little effort and minimal investment, your old jumps can look like new with a fresh coat of paint. Maintenance is key to preserving your new and refurbished jumps: when the weather is extremely wet or the ground is frozen in winter, it’s worth taking the time and effort to store your jumps in a shed out of the winter weather. Also make sure you don’t leave rails lying around on the ground all the time, and move the rails around since they tend to “bow” if you leave them hanging in the same place for extended periods of time. Aside from refurbishing your old jumps, we can really improve your existing basic schooling course by adding a few extras like flower boxes, a picket fence, or a stone wall. These make your jumps look more interesting, give you more options when setting up schooling exercises, and help prepare your horse for the variety of things he’ll see in competition. Our crew at ETB Equine Construction enjoys working with riders to figure out what will help them get the most out of their jump schooling equipment. Visit our website at www.etbjump.com for more information.
Mineral Wise, Salt Poor “The Need For Minerals AND Salt”
By Dan Moore, The Natural Vet Page 20
Short of water and air, there is NOTHING more important than minerals and salt for the health of your horse. Salt is a mineral too, but because it is so important and because most horses are so deficient in it, we will discuss it by itself. Even if your horse gets a “complete” feed and even if you have salt or mineral blocks in the fields THAT IS NOT ENOUGH! Literally, every function in the body requires minerals. Even the slightest imbalance can cause severe consequences and in my opinion, humble yet outspoken as it is (!), literally every disease is either directly or indirectly caused by an imbalance thereof! So what is the “Big Deal”? “My horses have a salt block already, I have a mineral block in the pasture and, besides, I feed a “complete” feed anyway. My horses should be fine, right?” Quite honestly - almost certainly NOT! Conditions like founder, laminitis, abortion, allergies, botulism, cushings, hypothyroidism, lameness, joint problems are truly the result of imbalances... Even a simple “easy keeper” in almost all cases is out of balance on the minerals and salt. “Easy Keepers” just don’t get enough - period, because they consume such little feed. When they don’t get enough minerals (which is also true for vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, etc.) their metabolism is even more negatively affected and they become even more “easy keepers” eventually leading to such conditions as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, etc .. These are those “night mare” colic prone, laminitic prone, “just waiting to happen” horror stories! Almost every horse in the world has a salt block. As I said, I say what I think and personally I think salt and mineral blocks should be outlawed. They are NOT your horses’ friends! A horse just can’t lick fast enough to get what he needs. If you have ever seen a horse chew at his block, chances are he is not getting what he needs. Cribbing, chewing on wood and other behavioral problems are also likely signs. To make it worse, our horses’ mineral and salt needs changed with the weather just like the mineral content within grass changes with the weather. I once thought grass was just grass and that there was good grass and not-so-good grass. I never really thought about the chemical composition of grass changing as the weather changed. But that is exactly what happens and this change can be deadly! If you are a cattleman, I am sure you are familiar with
Grass Tetany and Milk Fever, and the sudden death associated with its occurrence. These were once thought to be magnesium and calcium deficiencies. We now know it is from high potassium forages and grasses. Similar situations causing abortions and gut problems often occur in horses. What happens is that the potassium spikes during cool, wet conditions and especially after long droughts followed by rainfall and rapid growth. Situations like frost and freezing are especially bad. Have you ever had horse colic after a frost? Probably so ... the reason is a sudden mineral change in the grass, not just frozen grass! During these times, sodium, calcium and magnesium decrease, while potassium increases. This spike in potassium is often deadly. A major problem like this occurred back in 2001 throughout the Midwest where reproductive losses occurred in thousands of horses, cattle, sheep and goats. This was severe in Kentucky. Often, cattle were just found dead a few hours after frost and freezes. Mineral blocks just cannot provide the minerals fast enough for such rapid changes in weather. Free choice, loose minerals are a must if such problems are to be prevented! Excessive potassium and subsequent calcium and sodium deficiencies almost always lead to other opportunistic and even infectious diseases. Potassium promotes the overgrowth of saprotrophic (microorganisms that normally grow on dead matter), commensal (organisms that live together but don’t harm each other) and pathogenic (microbes that cause disease) microorganisms in the plant itself. These diseased plants then often produce and become the source of pathogenic bacteria (such as that which causes botulism) and also fungi which as we all know, our horses are extremely sensitive to - especially in fescue grasses. After eating them, horses and other livestock face an overgrowth of these microorganisms, which rapidly grow and produce toxic by-products like ammonia. Excess ammonia is deadly - especially to fetuses and the immune system. Early and mid-term fetuses may abort, while near term may suffer premature birth and/or septic weak births. By the way, this problem is not limited to grass. Hay can also be the source - especially from fields that are heavily fertilized. An extremely beneficial solution to high potassium forage and grasses is having readily available free choice minerals AT ALL TIMES! Page 21
Mineral Wise continued from page 21
know they exist, how can we put them in a mix?
High calcium limes will help, but it often takes years to correct severely imbalanced soils. It is also important to consider that since sodium (the Na part of NaCl or salt) is so similar to potassium, horses often think they have enough sodium (but really have too much potassium) so they stop eating salt. This is especially so in the winter when they need it most. Force-feeding salt is a viable solution particularly in pregnant mares, which apparently never seem to get enough. This should be in addition to making it readily available free choice. (Always be sure to put any salt product near readily available water.)
Personally, I prefer Mother Natures’ sources. These are also less likely to contain undesirable ingredients such as lead, aluminum, cadmium and even mercury. According to one study at a major university even dicalphosphate, which is almost always a major part of mineral mixes is often contaminated with lead and cadmium. Typical white salt used in blocks and most mixes is really made for industrial use anyway and since our horses and livestock consume such a little amount by comparison, this industrial grade is usually what is used. Any white salt is also bleached and kiln dried - this is not a very “natural” process. Salt and mineral blocks are not enough and should be outlawed in my humble opinion.
Naturally balanced sea salts are the best source of sodium salts and are excellent sources of many other essential macro and micro minerals. Mineral wise continued... Man does have somewhat of an idea of what animals needs are, but truthfully there are minerals today that we did not know of 5 years ago, and there will be minerals years from now that we don’t know of today. If we don’t Page 22
Probably the worst problem is the excessive other minerals that are added to free choice mixes and even trace mineral blocks. This is especially a problem with many “hoof supplements”. These are usually full of minerals and will often help and they “look good” on the analysis BUT again, in my humble opinion, they often tip the scales of balance the other way leading to excessive amounts of other problems in the future. A slower, more naturally
balanced approach leads to more stable health.
“Enter Here To Be and Find a Friend”
According to my sources and with personal experience in thousands of animals, if sodium and calcium are always readily available free choice, macro and micronutrients will more likely remain and deficiencies are less likely to occur. I feel the most important thing you can do for your horse’s health and wellness is to provide a natural source of salt, minerals and electrolytes. Or as I have often said... “Until you get the minerals right, nothing else matters!” Dr. Dan ‘The Natural Vet” is featured in every issue of Virginia Horse Lovers. Read more from Dr. Dan at TheNaturalVet.com.
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“I’ve been riding for SO many years it’s crazy and I’ve learned that the hardest thing about riding is, well, the ground.” ~ Danielle Perry
There’s an old saying that you’re not really a rider until you’ve had three falls, and many of us have had our fair share. From the “easy” falls where you dust off and hop back on, to the more life impacting crashes, we accept that falling is part of riding. But what happens when a fall requires more than just dusting off - when there is a longer road to recovery? Some accidents, from the seemingly minor to those worthy of a place on a riding crash and burn video, can leave physical and mental issues that may take months to heal. Couple that with the fact that bodies and minds don’t always heal at the same rate and you can understand the challenges. Some riders are so dedicated about riding that most important is getting back to it as quickly as possible.
reared up lost his balance and fell on me… Was in the hospital for 3 weeks flat on my back and then in a body cast for 5 weeks. … I was back riding in about 3 months on my daughters horse who was very sensible… I am 73 and still riding my 17 hand thoroughbred horse in Dressage, just no jumping for me anymore.” Shelly McCoy of xx sums up the feelings of all of these riders: Four years ago she was thrown from a three year old filly. “I had what my neurosurgeon called ‘explosion fractures’ of 3 lower lumbar vertebrae….I spent six months in a body brace, but never doubted that I would ride again.”
Healing the Body
Bodies Broken, Spirits Intact
“We were at a local public park with trails… According to my surgeon I was very lucky to have had the accident close to civilization, otherwise I would have died. ~ Alexis Martin-Vegue
“I had tremendous gratitude throughout my therapy for breaking the right leg and not the left leg that I needed to mount my horse, which meant I could ride sooner. The doctor’s shook their heads and did not relate to that at all, but my horse friends sure did.” ~ Diane Barber
There are nearly as many treatment options as there are types of injury. From radiographs to Reiki, pain meds to Pilates, a major component of many riders returning to the saddle is working closely with their health care providers.
Susan Wood of Ontario couldn’t wait to get back on a horse. “When I was around 25 years old I had a young TB rear up and go over backwards on the road, fracturing my L4 right thru horizontally… I was completely immobilized for weeks on my back in a hospital bed and then spent months in a very restrictive body cast. I was so keen to get back riding that I actually sat bareback on my old faithful gelding with the cast on (foolish)…” Catherine Eardley, a dressage trainer in Scotland, can relate. After suffering two separate fractures of a cervical vertebra over the past few decades, her thumb was pulled off in a freak loading accident in December 2013. This February she related,“I had 7 hours surgery, a long hospital stay and am currently at home but not yet allowed out of the house… I already have a young horse booked in for training at the end of March, and a young stallion to train and compete this summer. Mad? yes probably! I just cant wait to get back in the saddle.” Louise Jordan-Beam from Pennsylvania understands that sentiment. “Back in my early 20’s I had a horse rear and fall over backwards on top of me breaking my right hip, left pelvis, dislodged my pelvis, shocked my spine and did something to my left knee… I was in hospital for 6 weeks and then crutches for a month and then told to wait another month before riding again - I waited 3 weeks.” Lest you think all this dedication is because the riders are young people whose bodies have a quicker ability to heal than someone “of a certain age, consider Michigan based rider Joyce Moody: “I’ve been hurt several times but the worst one was a broken back and both pubic bones were broken when a young
It’s helpful to be an active participant in your own healing. Sherree Cushner, a dressage rider from New Jersey, suffered 2 pelvic fractures, 3 cracked ribs and a punctured lung when she came off her young horse “Willy”. She knew her own goals for therapy and “put together a plan for how to get back to riding, and it worked.” Share your goals and concerns with your doctors - most will appreciate your input. Heidi Hopen-Wright of Washington, who suffered a double fracture of her ankle, related that, “sharing videos and pictures of me riding and skiing so they could mimic my PT exercises to my specific activities helped the recovery process.” Diane Barber of California found a whole body approach helpful. “Physical therapy was critical to my recovery after falling and colliding with a steel arena post… shattering my right leg in seven places, which was reconstructed with stainless steel rods, screws and sea coral… The rehab work was three-fold one to learn how to walk again; two to walk without a limp and three, focusing on overall body wellness.” Overall body wellness, as Barber points out, is critical — being fit helps your recovery. Moody discovered that a decent level of fitness prior to her injuries decreased her recovery time. After being in a body cast for 5 weeks, she noted, “Was suppose to be at least 8 weeks but after an x-ray everything was healed up. The doctor was very surprised but I always did all my own work, baling hay and stacking it, carrying 5 gallon buckets of water every day so I was physically fit.”
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I Second That Emotion “The first day that I threw a leg over a horse and went for a trail ride was both one of the most exciting and terrifying moments of my life!” ~ Claudia Lucas Many riders will experience some emotions after a fall – relief at being able to pop back up, irritation at having fallen off in the first place, or fear. The emotions we see as “negative”, such as anger and fear, need to be acknowledged and dealt with appropriately. When dealing with fear, this can be a long process.
Fear Fear was one of the biggest challenges for Cushner coming back to riding Willy, the horse who bucked her off. Once she was physically healed enough to ride again, she got on her most trusted horse first and “worked my way through the herd.” The first time she rode Willy, a trainer rode him first, then Cushner got on and was led around. She remembers, “I was absolutely petrified, and I don’t scare easily.” Clinical and Sports Psychologist Paul Haefner of Leesburg helps people deal with the mental aspects of riding. A Clinical Psychologist for 25 years, Haefner began his Sports Psychology practice in 1998 as a way to blend his love of horses and desire to help riders, with his career in psychology. In addition his background in mental skills training and cognitive behavioral work, he’s also a trained clinical hypnotherapist and am a master practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming. That’s in addition to the 25 years of experience working with kids, adults, adolescents in the world of psychotherapy. When meeting with clients, Haefner offers information and basic strategies first. He encourages rider to learn the boundaries of their comfort zone, and then begin by taking a small step outside that zone, without going too far, and stay there until they feel comfortable. Sometimes this simply means getting into that place just outside your comfort zone and waiting until anxiety relieves and then stepping out. Haefner notes that the majority of people will be successful with this. Ann Reilly, Ph.D, a Sports Psychologist from the DC area also helps riders overcome fear. “I first have the rider tell me all about what happened, if they can, and what they are afraid of… After I have learned what the rider can express, and depending on the severity of their fear, I use a technique called Systematic Desensitization, in which I use deep relaxation or hypnosis to relax the rider and then I take them step by step using guided visualization from their least feared activity associated with horses to their most feared. The number of sessions it takes depends on the progress we make in each session… In less severe cases I use hypnosis, and I always use cognitive-behavioral techniques along with the relaxation and imagery.”
Reilly knows about the benefits of seeking professional help from both sides of the equation. In 2008, she was cow-kicked by a horse while standing by its shoulder. The horse caught her leg in its own and flung her behind him. While she was still falling, the horse backed up and kicked her again, causing catastrophic injuries to her right leg. Eight surgeries in the first month were followed by skin grafts, further surgeries and extensive physical therapy. She has a permanent disability from above her knee to her toes. Coping with the frustration, pain and anger that followed the accident required all of her skills. “From the second my leg was kicked off I used every ounce of my sport psych training and energy healing just to stay alive. I tried as hard as I could to stay conscious, and dissociate from the pain while I lay in a field for over half an hour as the rescue squad got lost… I spent about 3 years in counseling, dealing with the PTSD, the anger, frustration, helpless state I was in, and the permanent disability.” Riding isn’t the only thing people are afraid of after a traumatic accident. Alexis Martin-Vegue of California was leading a horse when it jumped a ditch and slammed into her, knocked her down and landed on her. She suffered a skull fracture that severed her carotid artery and caused bleeding into her brain necessitating emergency surgery to repair; along with a broken arm, several broken ribs and a dislocated left shoulder. She couldn’t ride for a full year after the injuries. “I had several breakdowns over the year I couldn’t ride, in which the very real fear of never being able to be on a horse again surfaced. Riding had defined such an enormous chunk of who I was, I didn’t know how I could be myself without it.”
Independence Horse people tend to be self-sufficient. After severe injuries, “going it alone” may be impossible, and asking for help is often almost as difficult as doing the work. Andrea Williams, an Australian rider, said her biggest challenge during recovery from a crushed leg suffered when her young horse got tangled in a gate and knocking it down and pinning her underneath, was “Having to ask people for help. It nearly killed me.” Roxanne Ross of Ontario, who suffered a compression fracture in her spine, agreed, “My personal mental and physical challenge was being stubborn. I didn’t want help and I didn’t want to admit that I was not Zena. I could do it all and faster than anyone else.” Both riders found a silver lining in this situation though. Ross noted, “That was my dream world in my head and totally not true.
I did need help and when I finally admitted that to myself recovery was faster. Letting go of the stress of being ‘the strong one’ was liberating.” Williams found that she learned to ask for help and realized “how wonderful people are when the chips are down.” Gleaning new insights into their situations helped many of the riders move forward after their accidents, and for some, it was a turning point in their lives and their careers.
Falling into Growth “I think I am a much better individual since the accidents… Certainly I have come back to riding with a new purpose, a new found patience and much stronger desire and goal to enjoy the road ahead no matter what hurdles are placed in front of me. Also I know and understand myself much better and what I want out of life and what are the really important things. This I think is something that people often discover about themselves after adversity.” ~ Andrea Williams Some riders see a fall as a chance to step back and examine their lives. “Close calls” often give people a new perspective on what’s important. Martin-Vegue used the life changing event of her injury to springboard her riding career, “…I value my time on a horse and in this life so much now that I know how quickly it could be over. Since this incident I’ve put my riding goals on the fast track, having earned all 3 USDF medals, numerous all breeds awards and planning on competing in my first CDI this year. The sky’s the limit!” Cari Chellstorp of Wisconsin found new strengths as a teacher. “I do have to say that there is a wonderful upside to this as, while I was always an excellent trainer, rider, and teacher, my sympathies in dealing with timid or scared riders and my approach to teaching them has changed dramatically.” Sharing perspective and wisdom after a fall can help riders find purpose in their injury. Leah Allen of Blacksburg, VA shared, “I find that I can relate to my riders no matter what age or level now by being honest that at times, we all have experiences that can make us doubt ourselves and even our horses. I use my own experiences to help me learn and teach today.” Been There, Done That – Advice from those who have fallen before. “Take it gradually, have supportive people around you and keep fit - and have access to pain killers!!” ~ Louise Jordan-Beam
embrace those feelings instead of hide from them. Recognizing that fear is real and normal is the first step to overcoming it.” ~ Alexis Martin-Vegue “Don’t give up. Determination and sheer bloody mindedness have got me back from two fractures of C5 (neck)...” ~ Catherine Eardley “A friend taught me a mantra to say when things go wrong which I want to share with other equestrians. ‘Something good is happening to me because of this.’ It is true. As horrible as my ordeal was, relationships in my life deepened and new people who are now life-long friends came into my life and because of my accident.” ~ Diane Barber
Hanging Up Your Spurs For some riders, though, it’s all just too much. Whether it’s fear, realization that riding isn’t worth getting hurt for, or a loss of interest; some decide to call it quits. Reilly and Haefner both have advice on how to share this decision with friends or family. “I think it is harder for the rider who has decided they no longer want to ride to express this to friends and family… often most of their friends are riders, so they fear losing these friends… Expressing their feelings and choices openly and honestly, asking for friends and family to support their choice, and asking that if they don’t agree with their choice to not disapprove of them or criticize them for their choice is helpful. ” Noting that the situation can be emotionally charged, Haefner advises, “Tell your truth without criticism or blame.”
Riding Forward “Each person needs to take responsibility for their own pathway forward.” ~ Paul Haefner, Ph.D Riders will face choices after a fall. Keep riding? Sell this horse and look for something quieter? Change disciplines? The answers can only be found within, but by being honest with yourself and your loved ones, you will be in a position to move forward into your new reality. “Remember it’s not just the journey but ENJOYING the journey of riding that should keep you coming back.” ~ Danielle Perry
Each person experiences falling and recovery differently. Below is some of the advice shared with me by riders who have had an injury or traumatic fall. “I tell riders who have been hurt or even just really scared to
Old Grey Mare’s Acres Sitting just a few miles from I-81 in Raphine, Old Grey Mare’s Acres is breathing new life into a decades old farm. Hosting a variety of equine activities, this equine event facility is the brain-child of Mare Scott; a life-long Virginia Horse Lover.
runs monthly, and the State Finals will take place at the facility in August. Also running monthly over the winter are the bull riding events which regularly draw hundreds of spectators to the facility.
Mare fox hunted, evented and belonged to the US Pony Club growing up in northern Virginia. She later rode working cow horses and branded cattle while married to a rancher in California. On returning to Virginia when her mother developed breast cancer, Mare “came full circle” by taking roping lessons in the same area where she fox hunted as a youth.
A Ranch Rodeo is scheduled at Old Grey Mare’s Acres for April 5. Ranch Rodeos are based on the early days of rodeo, where ranch teams competed against each other. Mare is hoping to expand the types of events at her facility to include more styles of English and Western riding. She’s interested in Western Dressage, as she finds that since her accident, she’s not able to participate in speed events. The “equine cultural diversity” is one of the things Mare loves about having her facility in Virginia.
In 2011, a friend contacted her about a farm which was in foreclosure. She purchased the property and planned the start of her business. Two weeks later, a car accident left her bedridden for months. Despite her injuries, the business opened it’s doors for the first event in June, 2012, and it’s been growing ever since. Facilities include a 100’ x 200’ indoor arena, 17 stalls, 4 hookups and a huge round pen with sand footing, which was originally built to handle buffalo and makes a great warm up ring. Events are scheduled throughout the year. IBRA Barrel Racing
Michael Grow, an old rodeo acquaintance, lives on the property and handles the maintenance. Michael, a trainer, rents some of the stalls. He’s also the resident footing expert for the arena, and customizes it to suit the needs of each group by varying the composition or changing the depth of the drag. Mare is proud of the fact that her business offers good clean fun and an affordable evening out to area families. She’s a big
fan of 4-H, FFA and similar programs which give youth an opportunity to get involved with agricultural activities, noting that they teach kids responsibility and create great memories. Charitable organizations staging events at Old Grey Mare’s Acres benefit from Mare’s commitment to family values. She will discount the normal arena rental fee for charity events, and donate free use to breast cancer charities. Her dream is to one day host a competition in honor of her late mother and donate the proceeds to breast cancer research and support groups. If you’d like to attend an event or rent the facility, visit www.OldGreyMaresAcres.com or call Mare at 540.448.2788.
Advertise your business or event online at
Champion Saddlery With its huge inventory of English, Western and Racing equipment, as well as a wide range of apparel and supplies, Champion Saddlery has been a fixture for Virginia Horse Lovers for close to 50 years. Owners Linda Warner and her husband Bruce purchased the business from her parents in 1981. Started by her father, who “had a passion for horses”, the tack shop was initially his hobby. Linda added that her father was a “natural born salesman, too, so it kind of fit his personality.” Champion Saddlery’s main store is located in Doswell, with a second location in Midlothian and a third opening in the Virginia Center Commons Mall in March. There is also a satellite location at the Virginia Horse Center which is open during events. When asked about the advantages of having an equine business based in Virginia, Linda laughs, “Up until this year, I might have said the weather.” She cited typically mild winters and
“lots of horses and horse people” as benefits to Virginia horse businesses. As well as the long history, customers like Champion Saddlery for the staff. The sales people are horse owners and lovers, so they have experience with using the products. People also like the fact that they’re dealing with a local business. Supporting local, family owned businesses has become an important choice for consumers over the last several years. The other key to keeping customers happy is that large inventory. The selection of saddles alone is enough to keep shoppers happy for hours. In addition to such well-known brands as Pessoa, Crosby, and Stubben, Champion Saddlery is the only tack shop in Virginia to carry Butet saddles. In all, there are 13 brands of English saddles and bridles offered at the store. Western riders, you’re not left out – you’ll find Circle Y, Big Horn and Abetta among the eight brands of Western saddles in stock.
The Warners find their business thoroughly enjoyable - they provide a great service to Virginia horse lovers, meet nice people and always have an interesting time. Linda’s favorite part of the business? “Nothing stays the same, everything changes, so it’s an exciting business that’s never stagnant; styles are always changing… every day is a new day.”
Tack is just the beginning of products available at Champion Saddlery. Looking to outfit your horse? You can start with Rambo, Rhino and Weatherbeeta blankets. What about halters, lead ropes, sports boots? All there, in fact, you can take care of your horse from head to foot. Champion even has the inside of your horse covered with a variety of supplements. Once you have your horse outfitted, don’t forget to treat yourself. Check out everything you need for the upcoming show or trail riding season. From Toby Keith hats to Charles Owen helmets, your head will be in great hands at Champion. Their knowledgeable staff can assist you with finding the perfect size of hats, jackets, breeches and boots, and their wide selection means that there is a style to suit just about anyone.
For more information, visit www.ChampionSaddlery.com or call the Doswell location at 804.227.3434 or the Midlothian store at 804.594.7060.
The historic Manassas Battlefield looks like an idyllic setting for a horse property, and Stony Ridge Farm lives up to its setting. With direct access to 25 miles of groomed trails and beautiful views of the sunsets, Vanessa and Peter Massaro knew they had found a wonderful location when they purchased the farm about 5 years ago. After finishing and upgrading the facility and taking care of a myriad of details, Stony Ridge is what Vanessa likes to refer to as a “Taj Mabarn.” Amenities at this hunter show barn include twelve 12’ x 12’ rubber matted stalls; three grooming stalls, with hot and cold water and heat lamps; a Club Room for relaxing; bathroom and spacious tack room. In addition to the trails, riding options include an 80’ x 200’ indoor arena with sand footing, and a 100’ x 200’ outdoor with sand/ bluestone footing. Vanessa grew up in Virginia, riding at Jane Dillon’s renowned Junior Equitation School in Vienna. She continued to hunt and show until she went to college. At college, working six day
weeks at barns to keep her two horses, she one day “made a conscious decision” that it was time to focus on her career and let horses go until “I could afford the barn, the help, the land, the groom, the instructor and the horses that I want.”
After spending about 20 years building her successful real estate business, a chance remark by her father-in-law and ride with a friend made Vanessa realize it was time to get back into horses. She shows and hunts, and attracted some successful show riders; and Stony Ridge “Turned into a community around that.” Because the barn is small, care can be customized to each horse’s needs.
and varied terrain, perfect for trail riding and eventers who like to condition with hill work; and a “really serious equestrian community for competitors.” She notes, “You’re competing against some of the best of the best, so you grow up with a good sense of what it takes to be a serious competitor.” The show calendar is also quite full, which means if you’re point chasing, wintering in Florida isn’t a necessity.
Vanessa credits much of the the success of Stony Ridge Farm, to a wonderful husband and staff who keep the farm “very clean, well kept, well run.” There’s “nice positive energy” at the barn, and boarders have barn parties and go out together, and “that goes across all age groups, we’ve hung out with the Juniors as well as the adults.”
The attractions of Virginia continue to hold the Massaro’s in place, despite the rather miserable winter weather this year. They have discussed moving over the years; but, “Every time we consider it, Spring, Summer and Fall roll around and we say, “Gosh, that’s so nice, this is the greatest state ever.”
Some of the advantages Vanessa sees in having her farm in Virginia are nutritious grass, unlike Florida or California, where issues of sand colic and hay shortages can be an issue; beautiful
For further information, visit www.StonyRidgeFarm.com, or call Vanessa at 703-307-9917.
8th 9th 15th
*Telynau Royal Anthem, Lynn Hunt, VA Land’s End Poseidon, W. Gary Baker, VA *Carolinas Red Fox, Nancy A. Reed, Stallion Deceased
Leading Breeders – Pony Hunter Breeding 7th 8th 13th 14th
W. Gary Baker, Rosecroft Richard Taylor, Venture Alicia Z. Kline, Foxlore Patricia Landes, Empire’s
Leading Sires - Pony Hunter Breeding – Placing, Stallion, Owner, Stands In 3rd 5th 6th 8th 9th 10th VA 14th VPBA continued from page 10... Their homebred stallions, Woodlands Velvet Rain and Woodlands Foxy Cloud, sired 22 of the 26 Woodlands bred ponies which earned performance points at USEF shows across the nation in 2013. This is the third consecutive year the couple has led the list, having placed no lower than fourth since 2007. Blue Rain, by Cymraeg Rain Beau (Welsh) x Blue Haviland (Welsh/Thoroughbred) by Farnley Lustre, heads the list for leading pony hunter sires. Owned by Ashmont Farm, he was bred by Mrs. M. K. Taylor of Hampton, VA and foaled in 1988. He has stood first on the pony hunter sire list every year starting in 2007, the earliest year statistics are available. The breeder lists below include VPBA members among the top 15 who have bred registered Virginia-bred ponies. The stallion lists include stallions among the top 15 which are either registered Virginia-breds, owned by VPBA members, or stand in Virginia. Leading Breeders – Pony Hunters 1st 9th 13th 14th
Bo & Kay Randolph, Woodlands Karen Williams, Foxmor Lynn Kiefer, Falling Moon Richard Taylor, Venture
Leading Sires - Pony Hunters – Placing, Stallion, Owner, Stands In 1st Blue Rain, Ashmont Farm, MD 2nd Woodlands Velvet Rain, Bo & Kay Randolph, VA
Land’s End Monarch, Richard Taylor, VA Empire’s Power, Patricia Landes, VA Crossgates Larasan, Richard Taylor, VA *Telynau Royal Anthem, Lynn Hunt, VA Clovercroft Polarized, Sandy Rose, VA Meadowbrook’s Special Edition, Bo & Kay Randolph, Wellen Gold Point, Alicia Kline, VA
Through The Lens of
Didi McConnell DragonRidge Photography
“They’re Number One”
Next time you’re out trail riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains around Waynesboro, be sure to say hello if you meet a nice couple on very comfortable looking gaited horses. You may be chatting with two well-respected breeders of Rocky Mountain Horses, Jerry Hatton and his wife Mary Stuart Hatton. They have about 20 Rocky Mountain Horses currently, including CD’s Gambler, the United Mountain Horse World Trail Pleasure Grand Champion, who is one of the stallions they stand at their Deep Meadow Farm in Waynesboro. The Hattons fell in love with the breed about 20 years ago, and began collecting them soon after. There’s a reason for their loyalty.
According to Jerry, who’s owned “Trotting horses, Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and Tennessee Walking Horses and boarded all types from Drafts on down”, the Rocky Mountain Horse is “absolutely the easiest.” He continued, “They’re very laid back. On the list of horses to be gentle and well-gaited and easy to be with, I’d say they’re number one… We try to keep the ones who have real good personalities and are easy to start. I’ve had some of them here that my granddaughter just got on their back at 13 years old and started riding them and went on down the road with them. They’re not all like that, but basically they are pretty much like that - real friendly, real easy and all around good horses.” History Being number one in Jerry Hatton’s book isn’t the only place this breed tops the list; Rocky Mountain Horses are also the oldest breed of gaited horse in the United States. Tennessee Walking Horses and American Saddlebreds also trace their heritage to the same horses. All horses registered with the Rocky Mountain Horse Association are descendants of a stallion named Old Tobe. He was a son of a stallion brought to Kentucky by settlers returning from the West in the mid- to late-1800s. This “Rocky Mountain” stallion was gentle, sturdy and hardy, all characteristics necessary to survive the hard life in the Eastern Kentucky mountains. He was also a unique chocolate color and had the comfortable gaits Rocky Mountain Horses are prized for.
He was bred extensively to the native mares, which were believed to be of Spanish descent; and he stamped his foals with the same excellent disposition and comfortable gaits. Five of Old Tobe’s sons became the Master Stallions of the breed, and the lineage of the Rocky Mountain Horse come through these five. Breed Characteristics The Rocky Mountain Horse is known for the chocolate color which appears in the breed. A rich brown, typically sporting a white mane and tail, the color is often found in Rocky Mountain Horses. Although the chocolate color is a hallmark of the breed, Rocky Mountain Horses come in all solid colors. Rocky Mountain Horse Association standards state that the horses should measure between 14.2 and 16 hands and not have excessive white markings. In order to be able to receive the gold seal on their papers approving them to show or be bred, each horse must be inspected by three certified Examiners on such things as disposition, confirmation, size, color markings, and gaits; and must also be DNA tested. Mountain Horse Associations Since the original Rocky Mountain Horse Association was formed in 1986, four separate registries for Mountain Horses have been formed, the Mountain Pleasure Horse Association, Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association, Spotted Mountain Horse Association, and Kentucky Natural Gaited Horse Association. The requirements for horses in the new registries vary some-
what, but many horses are registered with more than one organization. In 2000, the United Mountain Horse Association was formed by members of the other organizations who “were interested in having an organization especially dedicated to unifying all Mountain Horses.” Many Mountain Horse shows and events are now sanctioned by the United Mountain Horse Association. While the registries may determine which show the horses can enter, and which stallion to select for your mare, the comfortable gait is present across all Mountain Horses. Enjoy the Ride Jerry Hatton initially got into gaited horses because of having to sit the night out when his trail riding buddies were dancing and having a good time after a long ride. After 25 miles he’d be exhausted and want to go to bed, “I’d watch some of the people riding gaited horses, and they’d whoop and holler all night long, and I said, “I’ve got to get one’.” Mary discovered a Rocky Mountain Horse at an expo not long after, and the rest is history. If you’re ready to enjoy those long rides a little more, or would just like to find out a bit more about the Rocky Mountain Horse, you can visit the Rocky Mountain Horse Association website at www.RMHorse.com, or you can stop by Jerry and Mary Stuarts Hatton’s Deep Meadow Farm site at www.DeepMeadowFarm.com.
Equine Family Business Has International Appeal Talk to anyone at RAMM and your talking to over 25 years of the Disbrow family owned Equine Fence and Stall business. Carrying hundreds of fencing options, kit and custom stalls as well as time saving farm equipment; RAMM specializes in horse farms. This unique company still gives one on one individual service to every customer. Debbie Disbrow, owner and husband Mike Disbrow, CEO, purchased fencing for their ‘dream farm’ in Ohio over 25 years ago. Within 3 years of putting up new fence on 21 acres, the product they installed started to fail. “We thought we did our home work to find out all about the fencing, but soon learned that we did not get all the information such as specks, break strength and warranties. Our fencing needed to be replaced and we just did not want to see other horse owners go through what we did.” That began the quest for the Disbrow’s to find fencing that would be horse friendly and long lasting. More over, Disbrow’s felt the need to help other horse owners so that they would not have to go through a bad experience like they did. “We are consumers just like our customers and know what its like to try to find the right products for your horses particular needs.” Owning horses for over 50 years, it’s their passion. RAMM’s humble beginning literally started at the dining room table. The Disbrow’s boarded horses and Debbie called on ‘the girls from the barn’ to help her keep up with all the customers that needed help with fencing. “In those days we were a ‘one girl show’. I was sending out customer letters and brochures in the morning, then shipping fencing or loading posts for customers.” Debbie said. “ As soon as our children were on the school bus, I started helping customers. My workday ended at 9:00 p.m or later. We started to grow and that is when Mike came in full time and slowly other family members.” Disbrow’s soon ran out of room in their small pole barn building where their boarding barn was located, (on Ramm Rd). Paul, their so- in-law happened on a real estate listing in 1998 for a thirty-acre complex with four Page 44
large warehouse buildings that is now the headquarters for RAMM. With over 80,000 square footage under roof, RAMM manufactures fencing and stalls that inevitability must pass the Disbrow’s tough standards. Son Mikie Disbrow runs and oversees the stall fabrication division, sonin-law Paul is over all sales mgr, daughter Kristen works in accounting. Mike and Debbie work daily through out the company with a full-staffed team that is 100% customer service driven. RAMM manufacturers the High Impact Flex series, the only flex fence on the market today with a Life Time Warranty. “We wanted to provide our customers with the best flex fence they could purchase today. Longer lasting durability with all the features that our customers were asking us for.” With over 15 years of R & D, Disbrow’s have now launched the High Impact series. “Our customers love the ease of installation. In fact our installer on our installation video is proud to say that she is a grandmother!” Additionally, RAMM manufactures a full line of stalls starting from easy kits to beautiful curved line designer and custom stalls. “Anything our customers need for pastures and barn, we have them covered”. In the past 25 years RAMM has grown internationally serving through out the United States and Europe. “Several represented countries contact us regularly for our quality and long lasting Equine products. Other companies sell products; we provide unique Equine fencing, stalls and equipment for horse owners built with quality by our family and staff. Our goal has never changed; help educate horse owners so they can choose the right equine products for their horses’ particular needs.” RAMM has always been a respected forerunner in the Equine industry. The Disbrow’s plan is that RAMM’s future legacy will be built on that firm foundation for years to come.