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Publisher Jim Hargrove Editor John Hawfield Advertising Sales Kristina Goulet and Colt Williams

• Horses Magazine has no liability for content, representations in advertisements, and articles may not express the opinion of the editors/publishers/owners. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to clarify any and all advertising representations. We cannot be held responsible for any representations concerning a horse’s health, eye status, disposition, gait or any other aspect of the horse. Any burden of proof rests solely on the advertisers. • Horses Magazine reserves the right to edit or refuse any advertising or articles submitted for publication. We do not assume any liability for errors, but will correct it in next issue or a credit will be negotiated. Designs by Horses Magazine are the property of Horses Magazine. • Articles, editorials opinions in Horses Magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of Horses Magzine or the publishers. • Address changes must be sent in 6 weeks in advance, magazines are not forwarded by the U.S. Post Office. • Copyright 2016 by Jim Hargrove Creative, Inc. All or part of Horses Magazine, including logos, cannot be reprinted without permission. • Horses Magazine is published twelve times a year by Jim Hargrove Creative, Inc., 2730 Lansing Rd., Bancroft, MI 48414

Horses Magazine

2730 Lansing Rd. • Bancroft, MI 48414

Call Toll Free 877-476-6270

to Advertise E-Mail National Sale Manager Kristina Goulet or Call Direct 517-204-9110

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Horses Calendar

Would you like your event included in the next Horses Magazine and on our web site for no charge? Just send your information to jim@

Since shedules can change, be sure to confirm the event’s date, time and location before you travel!

MAY 4 - May 7, 2017

MAY 10 - May 14, 2017

MAY 20-21




Alltech Arena – Kentucky Horse Park Lexington, KY.

5-day hunter/jumper show. Kentucky Horse Park Lexington, KY. MAY 12-14

MQHA GREAT LAKES SPRING CIRCUIT Michigan Quarter Horse Association, MSU Pavilion, East Lansing, MI, MAY 6-7


World Equestrian Center, Wilmington, Ohio,

Franklin, Indiana, MAY 20, 2017

HIGH HOPE STEEPLECHASE Kentucky Horse Park Lexington, KY. MAY 26-29


May 13th - 14th, 2017

Michigan Quarter Horse Association, Midland County Fairgrounds, Midland, MI, www.miquarterhorse. com


JUNE 1-4, 2017

World Equestrian Center, Wilmington, Ohio. 4 judge Approved for OQHA Points,


Kentucky Horse Park Lexington, KY.

I’m not coming out

until you get me a

what are you

waiting for!

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Since shedules can change, be sure to confirm the event’s date, time and location before you travel!

Would you like your event included in the next Horses Magazine and on our web site for no charge? Just send your information to jim@

Horses Calendar

JUNE 3-6

JUNE 16-18

JUNE 23-25, 2017




New Castle, Indiana, JUNE 7-10, 2017

2017 EGYPTIAN EVENT -World’s Largest Egyptian Arabian Horse Show

Midland County Fairgrounds, Midland, MI,

Kentucky Horse Park Lexington, KY. JUNE 28-JULY 2, 2017


Kentucky Horse Park Lexington, KY.

Kentucky Horse Park Lexington, KY.

June 9 - 11, 2017


Reining Michigan Inc., Midland Fairground, Midland, Michigan

JUNE 24-25


Rochester, Indiana,



Rochester, Indiana, JULY 1-2


Rochester, Indiana,

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Horses Calendar

Would you like your event included in the next Horses Magazine and on our web site for no charge? Just send your information to jim@

Since shedules can change, be sure to confirm the event’s date, time and location before you travel!

AUGUST 12-13


Rochester, Indiana, AUGUST 23-27 JULY 8-9



New Castle, Indiana,

Mason County Fairgrounds, Ludington, MI, www.miquarterhorse. com

JULY 4-9

AUGUST 25-27, 2017


Michigan Quarter Horse Association, Mason County Fairgrounds, Ludington, MI, JULY 14-16, 2017


Covered Arena – Kentucky Horse Park Lexington, KY.


Reining Michigan Inc., Midland Fairground, Midland, Michigan SEPTEMBER 1-3


July 14th - 16th, 2017


World Equestrian Center, Wilmington, Ohio, July 14 - 16, 2017


Reining Michigan Inc., Midland Fairground, Midland, Michigan



JULY 28-30




Midland County Fairgrounds, Midland, MI,

Henry County Saddle Club, New Castle, Indiana, OCTOBER 3 - 29, 2017

JULY 29-30


Rochester, Indiana,


Ohio Expo Center, Columbus, Ohio

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MSU Pavilion, East Lansing, MI, NOVEMBER 11-12


MSU Pavilion, East Lansing, MI,

Would you like your event included in the next Horses Magazine and on our web site for no charge? Just send your information to jim@horsesmagazine. com

Equine Health

Show Season Supplement Check List You do the best for your horse, including feed and hay, but there is also a seemingly endless parade of supplements. Do you need any of them – more of them – or different ones? If so, which ones? There is no question the foundation of health and peak performance is nutrition. It is also one of the few things that is 100% within your control. The flip side of that is trying to evade the nagging feeling that this or that supplement you are not feeding could be making a difference. You can shake that feeling if you approach it logically. The most important part of your feeding program is the base – the hay/pasture and grain/concentrate. With good quality hay, this takes care of calories and total protein. However, there can still be “holes” in the diet, even if you use a balancer or supplemented grain. It’s also useful to keep in mind that while grains and balancers are typically balanced themselves, they don’t do much to correct regional deficiencies and imbalances. On the vitamin and mineral front in the Midwest, on average you need zero supplemental Iron, good levels of Copper (min. 100 mg), Zinc (min. 250 mg), lower levels of Manganese, plus Selenium (1 to 3 mg) and Iodine (4.5 mg) - all amounts for an average size horse. For electrolytes, every horse needs plain salt at 1 oz per day in cold weather and up to 3 oz per day in high heat. Horses not getting liberal fresh grass need vitamin E (2000 IU/ day) fed in an oil base and insurance levels of Vitamin A (10,000 to 20,000 IU/day). Horses

stressed by training, shipping, showing, and diet changes can benefit from a B Vitamin package. Horses not on pasture also need a source

and activity. A potent probiotic with good enzyme activity is a good investment. Ingredients such as Psyllium, Marshmallow, Slippery Elm, Licorice and Aloe Vera are great stomach soothers. If your horse stresses out it would be best to help him stay sane without becoming dull. Safe and natural nutrients that will not test positive include Taurine, Magnesium, Thiamine and Inositol.

of Omega-3 Alpha-Linolenic Acid such as Flax or Chia. Finally, while it is rare for a diet to be deficient in protein in general, it is common for specific amino acid deficiencies to exist. To combat this, feed Lysine (10 grams), Methionine (5 grams) and Threonine (2.5 grams) daily. Taking care of these basics will maximize skin, coat and hoof health, strengthen immunity, boost antioxidant enzymes, and support muscle function. That knocks out several supplement categories! Beyond this, customize your program. Joint nutraceuticals are a smart choice for equine athletes and frequently improve the horse’s movement. Dosage is important though. For the “big 3” this means 10,000 mg Glucosamine, 2000 mg Chondroitin Sulfate and 100 mg Hyaluronate as minimums. MSM, antioxidants and specific herbals can be used for chronic arthritis that needs pain relief. GI health is an area where you may want to be proactive. Shipping, exercise, rapid diet changes, and erratic feeding times may all contribute to disrupted microbial numbers

If you meet all the basic requirements, then tailor any additional supplements to your horse’s individual needs, you will find your feeding program not only works better but also costs less. About Dr. Kellon Dr. Eleanor Kellon, staff veterinary specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition, is an established authority in the field of equine nutrition for over 30 years, and a founding member and leader of the Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance (ECIR) group, whose mission is to improve the welfare of horses with metabolic disorders via integration of research and reallife clinical experience. Prevention of laminitis is the ultimate goal.  Uckele Health & Nutrition is an innovation-driven health company committed to being on the leading edge of nutritional science and technology for over 50 years.  Uckele takes pride in formulating and manufacturing a full spectrum of quality nutritional supplements incorporating the latest nutritional advances for equine athletes and companion animals to help achieve optimal health.

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Around the world, horse arenas and tracks trust the performance and safety of advanced GGT Footing and the dependable quality of custom-blended Fairmount Santrol sands. It’s been that way for over 15 years, most recently in the footings for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at Kentucky Horse Park. Now these top-quality footings and additives are united under the Fairmount Santrol Sports + Recreation banner… promising you service and support as solid as the products themselves.

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To find out more, visit 800.255.7263

Labor of Love It’s a

In the Odysseo Stables their horses; they play with them, visit them in their stalls and hang out with them in their turn-outs. Having that time together off-stage is essential to building the bond between horse and rider that is so evident onstage.

On stage, the 65 horses of Odysseo by Cavalia enchant audiences at every performance, in a marriage of equestrian and stage arts with high-tech theatrical effects that depicts the relationship between horses and humans as they journey through a world of dreams.

Activity really starts to pick up between noon and 2:00 p.m. when the night staff arrives. Ten grooms, their supervisor and two veterinary technicians come in for the rest of the day. The grooms are responsible for physically preparing the horses: brushing them, washing them, walking them and warming them up for the riders. The veterinary technicians monitor the horses and consult on any questions or issues that comes up concerning the horses.

Each horse is only on stage for approximately twelve minutes. What is the rest of their day like? As Odysseo makes its debut in the Midwest under the White Big Top at Soldier Field in Chicago, stables director Kristine Alach gives an insider’s peek into everyday life in the Odysseo stables. Odysseo is double the size of the company’s original production, Cavalia, making it the world’s largest touring show with 65 horses and 48 riders, acrobats, aerialists, dancers and musicians performing under the world’s biggest travelling tent, so you know managing its stables is no small task.  Join us behind the scenes where caring for the horses of Odysseo is clearly a labor of love. “In my job as stables director, I’m in charge of everything related to the wellbeing and the health of our horses,” Alach explained. “Any questions or concerns about the horses’ health, maintenance and wellness are within my responsibility.” Her normal daily routine encompasses working in close collaboration with the horses’ riders and managing the 21-person staff that cares for 65 horses and maintains the facilities, stables and riding arenas.

By 2:00 p.m. the stable is in full swing as everyone prepares for the evening performance.

Horses are horses, wherever they call home, so the daily routine in the Odysseo stables closely resembles the daily routine in a large stable anywhere in the world – for the most part. Everyday, nine staff members - including grooms, a team leader and a veterinary technician - arrive around 6:30am to begin turn-out, prepping the stable for the day, cleaning, feeding, filling the water buckets and walking the horses. Between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m., riders start to come in. They do more than work or train

Following the show, the night ends for horses and staff around midnight. After the VIP tour of the stable and after the horses have been cooled down and groomed again, and evening hay has been fed, there are the last checks to ensure that every equine is ready to rest for the night. Security checks continue throughout the night, quietly so as not to disturb these equine artists at rest. For the stable director, it’s a long day from 9:00 a.m. through midnight. As Alach told us, “It’s something I knew when I accepted this job. I’ve worked in a lot of stables and worked with horses in different capacities, and I know that the work never ends. Horses

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always need to be cared for.” “This is a lifestyle. That’s just the way it is with horses and I love it. To me it doesn’t feel like a big commitment – it’s just part of my daily routine, and I enjoy every minutes of it.” What kind of background prepares someone for taking on the responsibility for 65 priceless performance horses? For Alach, originally from Massachusetts, equine experience began when she was six years old, taking beginner hunter/jumper lessons and riding every pony in the stables that she could. “I actually never owned my own horse,” she explained, “but I have been hired to train and care for other people’s horses, often in extended circumstances.” Primarily based in her home state of Massachusetts, Alach has also worked with horses in Bavaria, New Zealand and France. “That has given me a pretty good sense of the world equine population and how things can be done differently from country to country. That broader sense is very helpful here, with so many different nationalities represented among the artists and the grooms. It helps me be an effective leader of a diverse population of horse people.” 2017.pdf 9 1/4/17 12:26 PM It also helps that Alach is fluent in French

as well as English. With riders from all over the world, working for a company based in French-speaking Montreal, Canada, French is the primary language for many at Odysseo. “I have to give my mother credit for encouraging me to learn French,” she said. Alach studied the language in high school, minored in French in college, and has used it in jobs around the world. Although she admits that she’s still working to add veterinary terms to her French vocabulary, and she conducts meetings with her vet techs in English, she’s comfortable using French as needed for everything else. Alach began working for Odysseo last year, and said with a laugh, “I’m still super bright and shiny!”   Asked about her first impressions of her position as stable director, Alach replied, “Working at this magnitude, and being a problem solver. My daily routine does not require that I work with any one horse, such as when you are training your own horse, playing or teaching. I work with these horses on a bigger scale, so I need to know how to use my resources and how to take care of my team to make sure that the work gets done and every detail runs smoothly. The horses are truly the hearts and souls of everything we do. In my

team, but also as a company.” Working behind the scenes to ensure that 65 magnificent horses are happy, healthy and ready on cue for the 48 talented riders, acrobats, dancers, and musicians in every Odysseo performance is no ordinary task. Alach credited the teamwork of her staff. “I have to thank my staff. I could not take care of 65 horses alone. It’s my priority to help my team treat every horse as an individual. We provide tailored care so that if there is something bothering a horse, or if they need a special piece of equipment, or whatever they need, it’s taken care of right away. The 65 horses are individuals that are part of this team also.” It’s clear that the horses are treated as unique individuals behind the scenes as well as on stage, where one day a horse might improvise and that’s encouraged, they are just being horses. “It’s a tribute to the horse, to respect his individuality, and I love that,” Alach remarked. “There are many acts where the horses are completely free on stage and the audience loves that. I keep that philosophy in the stables as well. Everyone here respects and loves the horses, and it is reflected in our work.”


“Team spirit and confidence! This has been a wonderful experience for all of us. Highly Recommended!” -Parent, Westborough, MA

“As a coach I feel incredibly lucky to work with an organization that offers young equestrians so many opportunities! Our riders have developed such a strong sense of sportsmanship and horsemanship because of the ideologies and practices of the IEA! -Coach, Chatham, VA






Riders in grades 6-12 can compete with teams in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA). School-age equestrians, with various levels of experience, compete in Hunt Seat and Western disciplines throughout the school year. Riders not only compete for individual points, but for their team as well.

Founded in 2002, the IEA has more than 13,500 riders on over 1,500 teams competing in hundreds of shows across the United States each year. For more information, please contact Jennifer Eaton, IEA Membership Coordinator, at 877-RIDE-IEA (877-743-3432) or

It’s fun and challenging – and there is no need for any rider to own a horse! The IEA is available to public or private schools and barn teams. Horses are provided to each rider at every event. All mounts are selected by a draw. Parents like that the IEA provides an affordable format for their child as he/she builds riding skills. Many of our riders receive scholarships based on their performance throughout their IEA years.





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She provided an example. “If one horse is a little bit forward, I think, now how can we help his day? He looks like he needs this or he might do better if we change that technique. This focus on the individual horse and how to help him keeps morale very positive in the stable. It’s very rewarding to care for the horses, in the small details as well as the big picture.” What is Alach’s favorite part of the job? She quickly replied, “The variation – every day is different. Of course, there’s the element of routine, so the hay is fed at the same time, the stalls are cleaned by the same time every day. There’s something cathartic about that sort of schedule in motion. But then anything can happen, and everything will happen with horses – your readers can relate to that!” Kristine Alach’s team is committed to the wellbeing of Odysseo’s horses, physically, mentally and emotionally, behind the scenes as well as on stage. She concluded, “The stable staff is simply the best team. We all work together for the good of the horses, and it’s a labor of love.” 5 things we learned backstage If it’s not fun, it’s not done. Odysseo’s horse training is based on com-

munication, observation and patience as well as a keen understanding of each horse’s talents and needs. The tone of the show, embraced by the entire company, is one of mutual respect, kindness and trust. Happy horses having fun is the mother of the enchanting, innovative performances. Everyone gets into the act All humans, even if they don’t ride or work with the horses for the show, are to be comfortable with horses and horses are to be comfortable with the humans. Acrobats and artists take riding lessons and spend time with one special horse. With humans and horses, it is one big close-knit family that truly cares for one another. Leisure time Horses are turned out daily, weather permitting, next to the stable tent in paddocks large enough for them to roam, play or stretch out for a nap in the sun. Between cities, they enjoy a two-three week vacation at a carefully selected farm that guarantees pasture turn out and rolls in the dirt. They are always accompanied by Odysseo’s equine specialists. Feed according to the horse’s nature During the year, the horses consume 15,000 bales of hay, 70,400 pounds of grain,

and 1,750 pounds of carrots. Daily, the horses are fed eight meals in order to mimic as closely as possible the horse’s natural routine as a grazing animal: five of hay and three of grain. Linseed oil is added to their feed to moisturize skin, mane and tail. Comfort and familiar environment In their 17,200-square-foot stable tent, the horses each have a designated box with ample space to stretch, lie down, sprawl out, roll and relax. They always have the same neighbors to ensure a familiar and comforting environment in each city. Every day, the grooms brush and inspect the horses to remove debris, which prevents irritation and activates their blood circulation, an activity that also helps build the relationship between horse and man. The grooms also clean and inspect the horses’ feet on a daily basis.         Tickets for Odysseo in Chicago are now on sale. For a memorable outing, the RendezVous VIP package offers the best seats in the house, full meal buffet-dining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit of the stables after the show. These and other tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 1-866999-8111.

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Richard Winters

Re-Thinking My Old Ad With Richard Winters Horsemanship is a journey. If you’re getting better, I believe that you’re evolving, changing and modifying your techniques as you make progress. So, at the risk of totally confusing you, I want to revisit the idea of disengaging the hindquarters and the one-rein stop. No one has emphasized, worked on or talked about disengaging the hindquarters more than me. It’s been the foundation of how I start my colts and an important concept that I want every rider in my clinics to understand. I tell riders, “If your horse is going to buck you off, run away with you or spook out from underneath you, they have to engage their hindquarters to do it. If you can readily disengage their hindquarters then you can take their power away and shut down

what would otherwise be a volatile situation.” Okay. That is all true. However, I think that perhaps I have been over emphasizing this concept to the neglect of some things that are equally or perhaps even more important. My daughter Sarah, who is a very accomplished rider in the National Reined Cow Horse Association, made a comment in a presentation recently that resonated with me. She said, “By design, disengaging the hindquarters puts a horse in an unathletic frame. That’s not what I’m trying to teach my cow horses. I want my young horses to shift their weight to the hind-end and move their front end around. That’s what a performance horse needs to do in 90% of all its maneuvers.” Recently I was with Sarah and watched her riding some very young, green horses. Where I

Picking up the shoulders and moving the horses front end over is what we are looking for.

would be using a lot of inside rein and inside leg to rock their hindquarters around, Sarah was using a direct rein and bumping with her outside leg to ask her colts to move their front end. That’s something that I might not have done for another month! Now she had me thinking. Quite some time ago I watched a very talented clinician go down the fence to stop a cow in a Reined Cow Horse competition. When he turned the cow on the fence, his horse did not keep his hind-end in the ground. Rather,

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dvice Disengaging the hindquarters puts my horse in an unathletic frame.

the horse disengaged his hindquarters, swapped ends and then was late coming out of the turn. Perhaps part of the problem was the over emphasis of disengagement throughout the young horse’s training. The horse’s first thought and “go to” maneuver was not a turn on the hindquarters. Rather it was disengagement and loss of power which resulted in a less than athletic move. I’m not suggesting you throw away the idea of a one-rein stop or disengaging the hindquarters. It’s certainly still has its place and it is an important concept to understand. However, horsemanship is all about balance and priorities. I remember hearing a great horseman say; “I don’t want to have to

train him twice. I want to teach my colts the right thing the first time.” By disengaging my colt’s so much in the beginning, I had to then go back and “retrain” them to move their front end. All right, are you now totally confused? Don’t feel bad. I’m trying to sort it all out myself. I tell my clients, “Everything is right sometimes. Just not everything is right all the time. “What am I going to do differently? A little less indirect rein and inside leg and a little more direct rein and outside leg to bring my horse’s front end around.

your life. Beyond that, ask yourself, “What is the muscle memory that I am instilling in my young horse?” Is it an athletic frame with weight shifted to the hind-end? Or are we teaching our horses to continually put themselves in an unathletic frame, through disengagement. Now go sort it out. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m headed to the barn right now!

If you get in a bad spot and feel like you are getting ready to die go ahead and disengage the hindquarters. It just might save

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Cowboy Mounted Sho Wooster Ohio

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Wilson to Defend Her Title denying this cowgirl was different, but fans embraced her English riding roots and new training concepts which clearly demonstrated her unyielding love for the horse. Wilson began as an unknown to most on the American landscape, but fans quickly fell in love with the Kiwi, after she portrayed unbelievable strength, to not only carry on at Road to the Horse 2017 with a dislocated shoulder, but to walk away with the coveted title.

Vicki heard you. Tootie heard you. The whole world heard you. Fans didn’t just whisper, they shouted for the return of Vicki Wilson at Road to the Horse 2018, and the gritty Kiwi cowgirl answered! Famed show jumper, Vicki Wilson, took over the Road to the Horse Facebook page to let everyone know, she’s coming back on a viral Facebook LIVE video. Her passion burns strong and her ‘broken wing’ will be healed, as she plans to defend her World Championship of Colt Starting title, she so valiantly earned in 2017.

“This is the dawn of a new paradigm, the evolution of a new way of thinking” stated Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland. “Fans have never witnessed anything like Vicki Wilson and she’s ready to return and defend her title. Plans are already underway for the biggest celebration in Road to the Horse history, as we commemorate our fifteenth anniversary in 2018.”

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining Road to the Horse 2018 and I can’t wait to come back to share my knowledge, do more clinics and educate people in America and around the world, I think there’s bigger and better things to come” stated the international showjumper Vicki Wilson. The search for a horsewoman like Vicki Wilson had spanned over a decade. The dream of blending the English and Western disciplines had been a lifelong mission of Road to the Horse Owner/Producer Tootie Bland, a pioneer who is constantly driven to smash the preconceived boundaries of horsemanship. This gutsy visionary was

on a quest to bring unique talent to Road to the Horse and the delivery was embraced by hungry fans.

Road to the Horse 2018 tickets are available online at or by calling 877-7725425. Follow Road to the Horse on Facebook for the latest information. For sponsorship opportunities at Road to the Horse 2018, contact Tammy Sronce at 940-859-6512 or email

From the very beginning, there was no

OQHA Announces New Location RICHWOOD, OHIO - The Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA), host of the All American Quarter Horse Congress, today announced plans to relocate its headquarters from Richwood, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio. “For many years we have recognized the importance of having OQHA closer to central Ohio,” said Dr. Scott Myers, OQHA CEO. “The new headquarters will support the continued growth of OQHA and the All American Quarter Horse Congress.”  The relocation will occur later this year following a complete renovation of the

26,000 square foot office building at 6325 Zumstein Drive. The close proximity of the new office to the Ohio Expo Center where the All American Quarter Horse Congress is held will allow OQHA and the All American Quarter Horse Congress staff to provide greater service to Congress patrons, sponsors and exhibitors. The month-long All American Quarter Horse Congress is the world’s largest singlebreed horse show, with 23,500 entries in 2016. The show attracts more than 650,000 people and generates $285 million in the central Ohio economy each October.

“The association has been considering the move for more than two years,” Dr. Myers said. “It was not a decision made lightly, but one we feel will help us continue the legacy of this great association which started 56 years ago in Richwood.” OQHA is committed to setting the standard in the equine industry by engaging equine enthusiasts through world-class competition, recreational activities, education and engagement of the next generation of participants and industry leaders.

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Do You Have A Question?

Equine Law Topics Equine Contracts and Genetic Conditions: Horse Owners Beware Because some horse breeds are known to be predisposed to certain genetic conditions, mare owners typically scrutinize the risks before making breeding decisions. They evaluate stallions’ histories, offspring, conformation, health and pedigrees. As a 2016 Texas case showed, mare owners should also pay attention to the language in the breeding contracts they sign. THE TEXAS CASE In a Texas Federal Court case, the plaintiffs owned an American Quarter Horse mare, bred for cutting, which had never before been tested for a genetic condition called HERDA (Hereditary Equine

Regional Dermal Asthenia). In an effort to reduce the risk of a foal affected by HERDA, the mare owners allegedly sought a stallion that was not a carrier of the HERDA gene. As the lawsuit states, one of the mare owners asked the stallion owner whether the stallion was a HERDA carrier and was told – not in writing – that the stallion had tested “N/N” (double negative). Although the stallion owner’s website said nothing about the stallion’s HERDA status, the plaintiff argued that advertisements showed the stallion not being a carrier of the HERDA gene. Later, the parties entered into a Stallion Service Contract for the breeding. Their contract, however, was silent on the stallion’s HERDA genetic status. The resulting foal turned out to be affected with HERDA, which was discovered after the horse was saddled during its training process. After that, the mare owners filed suit raising numerous legal theories that included breach of contract, fraud, negligence, violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act, and more. The stallion owner sought to dismiss the breach of contract claim on

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the basis that the Stallion Service Contract made no statements or representations regarding the stallion’s HERDA status. A clause within the contract even stated that the written contract “contains the entire agreement between the parties and may be amended only in writing signed by each of the parties.” Because no evidence existed as to written amendments to the breeding contract regarding the stallion’s HERDA status, the court dismissed the mare owners’ breach of contract claims. Essentially, the ruling indicated, there was no contract to breed a HERDA negative stallion. The mare owners’ other claims were allowed to proceed, however. CONCLUSION Equine genetic conditions can have tremendous financial consequences on horse owners. If the genetic condition of a horse is important to you, whether you are planning to breed or buy a horse, make sure that the contract confirms details that are important to you. Request – and carefully review – copies of the horse’s genetic test results. Have your contract confirm in writing that the horse does not have the genetic conditions of concern to you (and consider listing the particular conditions).

Julie Fershtman is one of the nation’s most experienced Equine Law practitioners. A Shareholder with the firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC, based in Michigan, she has successfully tried equine cases before juries in 4 states.  She has also drafted hundreds of equine industry contracts. She is a Fellow and officer of the American College of Equine Attorneys.  Her speaking engagements on Equine Law span 28 states, and she is the author of three books on equine law issues. For more information, please visit www.,,  and

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Draw to a Stop A Fundamentals Riding Exercise Before asking your horse to soften vertically and collect while moving forward, he has to understand that when you pick up on two reins it means soften and give, not resist and push through the bit. Most horses’ first reaction when you pick up on two reins is to pull against the bit and run through it. This exercise will get the horse thinking about stopping and softening rather than speeding up and resisting when you pick up on the reins. Can you still teach a horse to vertically soften if you skip this exercise? Yes, but it will be more of a fight in the beginning because the horse won’t understand the concept of giving vertically to bit pressure as well. Teaching this exercise allows you to break the concept of vertical flexion down into steps, which will make it easier for the horse to understand. Remember, the easier you can make learning, the faster the horse will catch on. Goal: To move the horse forward on a loose rein at any gait, then pick up on the reins with the lightest degree of pressure causing the horse to immediately come to a complete stop and soften vertically to the bit. Teaching Stage: 1) Ask the horse to walk forward on a loose rein, while you hold the middle of the reins in one hand. Don’t worry about where the horse goes. Let him walk on a loose rein wherever he wants to go. 2) Pick up on both reins and glue your hands low on your legs—down near your knees. There are four steps to picking up on the reins. Start by holding both hands side by side on the middle of your reins. Then: A) Slide one hand down the rein. How far you slide your hand down the rein will depend on how long the horse’s neck is. You should slide down far enough so that you just make contact with the horse’s mouth as you glue both hands to your knees. Don’t

immediately throw it to someone else because it’s hot and you want to get rid of it. You want your horse to think that every time you pick up on the bit, the bit becomes a hot potato, and he should immediately soften and get off it. 4) After you release the reins, immediately flex the horse once each way.

assume that you’ll be sliding all the way to the duct tape because in most cases that will make the reins too short. B) Slide your other hand down the rein. You should not have made contact with the horse’s mouth yet. C) Slightly tip the horse’s head to one side by bringing one hand back to your knee and gluing it there. Lateral flexion is the key to vertical flexion, so by tipping the horse’s head laterally first, it will reduce his resistance vertically. D) Straighten the horse out by bringing your other hand back to your knee and gluing it there. Apply just enough pressure to stop the horse. The lower your hands are, the more leverage you have, and the easier it will be to get the horse to tuck his nose in and give to the bit. 3) You’re waiting for the horse to stop moving his feet and soften his face vertically, creating slack in the reins. As soon as he does that, immediately throw the reins up his neck toward his ears. Do it quickly as if the reins are burning you. The quicker you release the pressure, the quicker the horse will understand he did the right thing. I call this a “Hot Potato Give” because I want you to simulate what you’d do if someone threw a hot potato to you. When someone throws you a hot potato what do you do? You

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Flexing in between each stop will do two things: 1) It will break the exercise up for the horse so that he doesn’t start anticipating walking off again as soon as you release the reins, and 2) It will maintain lateral softness in the horse. Whenever the horse is straight, he’s practicing stiffness, so it’s very important to balance vertical flexion with lateral flexion. 5) Then walk the horse off for about 20 feet on a big, loose rein and repeat the exercise. 6) Once the horse is really good at doing the exercise at the walk, follow the same steps to do the exercise at the trot. The faster a horse’s feet move, the stiffer he will automatically get. So don’t try this at a faster gait until the horse is very soft and responsive at the walk. 7) When the horse can do the exercise well at both a walk and trot, then try it at the canter. Don’t worry about what lead the horse is on. Your only concern is getting him to canter, then to stop and soften when you ask. You can only work on one thing at a time. Success Tips: Don’t pick up on the same rein first every time. Try to alternate which rein you pick up on first when asking the horse to flex vertically. That will keep the horse soft on both sides of his mouth, not just on one side. Lateral flexion is the key to vertical flexion. Don’t fall into the trap of working only on vertical flexion. Keep in mind that any time a horse is straight from his head to his tail he’s practicing stiffness. So it’s important to constantly balance vertical flexion with lateral

flexion. In the beginning of course, you do a hundred percent lateral flexion. Then when you first start to teach the horse vertical flexion, you might spend 10 percent of your ride on vertical flexion, and 90 percent on lateral flexion. As the horse gets softer, you can gradually even out the ratio so that you’re

working on 50 percent vertical and 50 percent lateral flexion during the course of a ride. Author note: Clinton Anderson is a clinician, horse trainer and competitor. He’s dedicated his life to helping others realize their horsemanship dreams and keeping them inspired to achieve their goals. The Dow-

nunder Horsemanship Method gives horse owners the knowledge needed to become skilled horsemen and train their horses to be consistent and willing partners. Discover for yourself how Clinton and the Method can help you achieve your horsemanship dreams at

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Large Animal Rescue Req Many of us grew up watching “Lassie”. The poor collie kept busy leading rescuers to accident-prone Timmy after he fell down cliffs, got stuck in quicksand or ended up in abandoned mine shafts. After a bit of drama, the rescuers successfully extracted Timmy from his entrapment.

in swimming pools, septic tanks, overturned trailers, frozen ponds, mud, large

Would the rescuers have succeeded if it had been Lassie in the “well”? What if it had been a horse? What if it was your horse? As all horse-lovers know, our four-legged friends are also accident prone. This is due to their size, reactive nature and situations in which humans tend to put horses. Horses have been trapped

tires (commonly used as hay feeders) and collapsed buildings – to list a few common

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entrapment locations. Michelle Staples, author of “Save Your Horse! A Horse Owner’s Guide to Large Animal Rescue” (available on: explains, “When horse owners cannot remove trapped animals on their own, they call emergency responders, usually the fire department. Unfortunately most first responders are not familiar with horses, and can inadvertently injure themselves, bystanders and the horse they are trying to help.” Very few states have formal Large Animal

quirements & Safety Rescue (LAR) training for fire department and law enforcement members. This means horse owners must be the driving force to initiate LAR education for their local emergency responders. Large Animal Rescue training is very technical. It involves learning life-saving skills and how to use specialized equipment, which must be available. The training covers how to keep the rescuers safe while working with large and possibly injured animals, and how to keep the animals safe. The use of levers, pulleys, straps, glides, ropes, drags and winches is taught during LAR training. It is important to understand the correct use of the equipment so not to injure the horse. Veterinarians should also be encouraged to learn about LAR. Veterinarians rarely have the training that teaches how to use the equipment needed to move a trapped animal. The calming presence of the horse’s vet, who can sedate and treat the horse, while working knowledgably with the emergency responders, will increase the odds of a successful rescue. It is also possible the vet may not be allowed at the scene of an accident if he does not have an official agreement with local responders. Horse owners should contact their veterinarians and find out if he or she would be willing to respond to a LAR incident. If the vet is willing, the parameters of the response should be stated in advance via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

This document should cover the following points: Requirement of veterinarian’s knowledge of LAR procedures Release from Liability of veterinarian in

LAR response Who will pay for veterinarian’s response How, and under what circumstances, will the veterinarian be notified What restrictions will be placed on veterinarian at the scene What will be expected of the veterinarian and the responders If LAR hands-on training is not available in your area, give your vet a copy of Michelle Staples’ book: “Save Your Horse! A Horse Owner’s Guide to Large Animal Rescue”. The book covers how to safely respond to a LAR incident and contains a sample of a MOU between veterinarians and emergency responders. In addition to Staples’ book, other books available are: “Equine Emergency Rescue” co-authored by Mary Anne Leighton and Michelle Staples, and “Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue” by Drs. Rebecca and Tomas Gimenez. Web sites are: Red

Jeans Ink at:, and Technical Large Animal Rescue at: Individuals who have read the books or have taken Michelle Staples’ online course, offered by Equine Studies Institute (http://www., will not be equipped mentally, emotionally or technically to assist with a rescue -- individuals who have not practiced with live animals or dummies are not considered trained in LAR. They may be able to share their knowledge with the incident commander at the scene. Proactive horse owners should contact qualified instructors through one of the above web sites and organize an Operational level LAR class in their area. Be sure to invite members of your fire department, animal control, local horse organizations and large-animal veterinarians. Horse owners should be familiar with large animal rescue methods, have the required equipment available and carry the books in the vehicle when transporting a horse. As the Boy Scout motto states: “Be prepared”.

* Take the online course “Equine Safety and Rescue” taught by Michelle Staples.  Go to equine-safety-and-rescue-course-description/ for more information. 

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Horses Magazine May 2017  

Horses Magazine May 2017

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