Friends & Family Night Join us for this private shopping event.
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Refreshments and free drawings!
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Whether you need three stalls or sixty, Morton Buildings can take your dream and make it reality.Working together, we can easily create an equestrian facility that is functional and accommodates your needs—basic to bold, plain to fancy, small to large. High-quality design, materials, and sixty years of building experience allows you to rest assured you are making an investment that is built to last. MAINE Auburn – (207) 240-9069 MASSACHUSETTS MAINE NEW HAMPSHIRE MASSACHUSETTS Auburn, ME 04210 563 Southampton Rd 885 Londonderry Tpk Westfield – (413) 562-7028 Westfield, MA 01085 207-782-8864 Auburn, NH 03032 NEW HAMPSHIRE 413-562-7028 603-627-8995 Manchester – (603) 627-8995 NEWYORK NEW YORK VERMONT Cobleskill – (518) 2437234-2558 State Hwy 7 38 Rt. 4A East Homer– (607) 749-2611NY 12043 Cobleskill, Castleton, VT 05735 VERMONT 518-234-2558 802-468-8700 Castleton – (802) 468-8700
© 2010 Morton Buildings, Inc. All rights reserved. A listing of GC licenses available at mortonbuildings.com/licenses.aspx. Reference Code 043
Volume 51 • Number 12
30 The Debate That Won’t Go Away Learn why the FEI banned rollkur, and the complexities that come with it. 6
horse me n’ s Y a nkee Ped l ar
36 Keeping It Simple
42 Holiday Gift Guide
Explore natural horsemanship in this Q&A with two renowned professionals.
Find out what the practical horseperson in your life really wants this year.
inside this issue [ departments ] At the Ingate Rave Rides Media Review Business Bits Stable Solutions Ask the Vet Canine Corner News in the Region
58 C onnecticutHorse ShowsAssociation 60 NorfolkHuntClub keviN morris/courtesY of komeN coNNecticut
10 14 16 18 22 26 28 48
[ affiliate news ]
[ breeds & disciplines ] 66
Connecticut Ride for the Cure
109 Western Sports stockimAgeservices.com/fei
114 Quarter Horse 118 Color Breeds 121 Morgan/Saddlebred 129 Driving 133 Arabian
136 Pan-American Games
News in the Nation Real Estate Directories Calendar Classifieds Affiliation Forms Advertiser Index The Horse’s Mouth
[ tail end ] 135 137 140 148 148 150 153 154
63 ConnecticutTrail RidersAssociation 63 Tri-State Horsemen’s Association 64 W estGreenwich Horseman’sAssoc. 107 SouthernNew Hampshire Dressageand CombinedTraining Association
62 YankeeWalkers, GaitedHorsesof NewEngland
96 GMHA Fall Dressage Show
108 Connecticut Dressageand CombinedTraining Association 118 N ewEnglandPinto HorseAssociation 131 ColonialCarriage andDrivingSociety 132 SaratogaDriving Association
[ on our cover ] Chris Cox helps round up horses out of a pasture on his mount Betcha. Cox is the only three-time undefeated World Champion of the Road to the Horse. He owns Diamond Double C Ranch out of Mineral Wells, Texas, where he has his own cutting program and holds clinics from Building Riders’ Confidence to Advanced Horsemanship for people from around the world. Photo by Stoecklein Photography.
Time DaTeD maTerial • PerioDicals 83 Leicester street • North oxford, mA 01537 • teL: 508-987-5886 • fAx: 508-987-5887 • www.pedLAr.com • emAiL: iNfo@pedLAr.com PeDlar Policies: the opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editor, or policy of the horsemen’s Yankee pedlar. photos: submit clear photos only. please include complete identification of subject on separate sheet of paper and print full name and address of sender on back of photo. send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return. calendar: List calendar items on a separate sheet. News solely for the purpose of promoting an establishment cannot be accepted. Advertisers accept responsibility for all copyrighted and trademarked art work and photographs submitted to horsemen’s Yankee pedlar for publication. horsemen’s Yankee pedlar (issN 0199-64360) is published monthly by horsemen’s Yankee pedlar, inc. for $12.95 a year with editorial offices at 83 Leicester st., No. oxford, mA 01537, 508-987-5886. periodical class postage paid at No. oxford, mA and at additional mailing offices. copyright 2011 by horsemen’s Yankee pedlar, inc. All rights reserved. No part of this newspaper may be reproduced without the publisher’s permission. postmAster: send address changes to horsemen’s Yankee pedlar, inc., 83 Leicester st., No. oxford, mA 01537, phone 508-987-5886, fax 508-987-5887.
horse me n’ s Y a nkee Ped l ar
At the Ingate
easons greetings, and welcome to our December issue! Our theme this month is holiday cheer, and by the
time you’ve finished reading this issue with the great articles and contests we have to offer, we bet you’ll be cheering us on for more! First off, in “The Debate That Won’t Go Away,” writer Lynndee Kemmet addresses the subject of
Do you like a cold shower?
heated topic within the dressage
Neither does your horse!
the topic. To learn more, turn to page 30.
world, and is now raising concern in the western arena as well. Although the FEI banned this training technique, which forces severe hyperflexion in a horse’s neck, there is still a lot of controversy regarding Next, catch up with Chris Cox and Karen Rohlf, two consummate professionals in the training industry, in “Keeping It Simple,” on page 36. In this Q&A, both Cox and Rohlf discuss what natural horsemanship means to them, and how every day equestrians can use it to better their training methods. In last month’s Gift Guide, we discussed items to buy for an equinista. In this issue, practical riders won’t go unhappy with the plethora of presents mentioned in part two of our Holiday Gift Guide. From water bucket cozies to warm winter wear, we’ve got
Instant hot water for washing horses, farm animals, dogs, vehicles or yourself. Simply attach your garden hose from your water source to the intake valve, attach the 25’ coil hose with nozzle (included) to the outlet valve, turn on, and HAVE UNLIMITED HOT WATER IN SECONDS.
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you covered with ideas for products to purchase for even the most nit-picky riders. Find more exciting options by visiting page 42. The holiday cheer doesn’t end with our shopping guide, either. Be sure to check out our “Find the Rocking Horse” contest information on page 44 for details on how you can win a Pedlar Prize Pack. We’re also running two great “Sign In and Win” contests in December—one lucky person will win a pair of Goode Rider Cargo Jeans, and another six will win a container of Releira. Additionally, if you haven’t already liked us on Facebook, be sure to do so at www. facebook.com/pedlarmag so you can join in on the fun in our Overstuffed Holiday Contest. We’ll be giving away products from Der-Dau, Mountain Horse, Techniche International, and more!
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HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
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SCOTT ZIEGLER 508-987-5886, ext. 223 editor
ELISABETH PROUTY-GILBRIDE AssistAnt editor
KATHRYN SELINGA CreAtiVe direCtor
WILLIAM GREENLAW Art direCtor
ANGELA ANTONONI sALes MAnAger
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horse me n’ s Y a nkee Ped l ar
President Paul Smith
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10/13/11 1:06 PM
[ TOP TRAIL RIDES ]
PHOTOS KATHRYN SELINGA
Riders out on the Massabesic Trail System.
MASSABESIC TRAIL SYSTEM AUBURN, N.H.
What you need to prepare: Several different trails and properties make up the Massabesic Trail System in New Hampshire. The areas owned by Manchester Water Works permit horses on the fire roads only. The site does not offer any bathrooms or parking areas, so plan accordingly. Depot Road in Auburn is the better option for access and parking. Horses are not allowed to drink from or go in the water, 14
HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
COURTESY OF MASSABESIC AUDUBON CENTER
EQUESTRIANS CAN EXPERIENCE THE UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO ENJOY A PICTURESQUE RIDE THROUGH THE DIVERSE LANDSCAPE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE ON THE MASSABESIC TRAILS IN AUBURN.
so be sure to bring drinking water for you and your horse. Trail highlights: The gravel roads that circle the perimeter of Tower Hill Pond, Clark Pond, and Lake Massabesic, offering a visual treat for you and your horse. Several of the paths cross over different horse-safe bridges along the way. Riders can enjoy a tranquil experience in nature, traveling through lush wooded areas at one of the most beautiful spots in southern New Hampshire. Take note: Riders are required by Manchester
Water Works to help maintain the cleanliness of the area. All riders using the trails must pick up any waste left behind by their horse. Also, be aware that the trails can get congested with bicyclists and pedestrians. Riders are not encouraged to use the trails during the winter as there are often snowmobiles and sled dogs in the area. For more information about riding on the trails, contact the Derry Trail Riders Association or the Granite State Carriage Association, who use them frequently. ~Brittany Champa Send us photos of you and your horse out on the trail and you could win! If your photos are featured in next month’s Rave Rides, you’ll receive a free Mane ‘n Tail gift set! Please email high resolution photos (minimum 300 dpi, at least 4x6 inches) of yourself riding at your favorite state or national park, free access land, or beach, along with why you love riding there, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Santos Custom Builders Eddington, ME 207-843-5265 firstname.lastname@example.org
Best in Show
By Kate Naito BOOK
My Horses, My Healers by Shelley R. Rosenberg with Beck Andros. 220 pages, paperback, AuthorHouse (www.authorhouse. com), 2006, $20.00. While the first book shows you how to practice a healing touch on your horse, this one shows how horses have the amazing ability to heal us. This is the true story of Shelley Rosenberg, who has become an accomplished dressage instructor, USDF “L” judge, and renowned therapeutic riding instructor. But long before her numerous successes, she was a child victim of sexual abuse. Rosenberg openly shares the trauma she suffered, and clearly shows how these horrifying experiences have affected every aspect of her life. For Rosenberg, the scars of abuse ran so deep that she turned to horses rather than humans for strength and companionship. As her skills with horses developed, so did her ability to connect with them on a deep level, seeing how mistreated horses reacted the same ways as mistreated humans. As she helped equines (and riders) find comfort in their surroundings, she also found strength within herself. Throughout the book, which has moments of tragedy and moments of inspiration, we see that neither horse nor human can be quickly “fixed,” but that we are all a work in progress. Survivors of abuse will likely relate to her lifelong struggles, and even those who can’t personally relate will be able to appreciate her approach to working and communicating with horses. BOTTOM LINE: A painfully honest story of tragedy and triumph.
BOOK MY HORSE, MY FRIEND: HANDS-ON TTOUCH TRAINING FOR KIDS, by Bibi Degn. 32 pages,
hardcover, Trafalgar Square Books (www.horseandriderbooks.com), 2011, $14.95. While many adults have
practiced Linda TellingtonJones’ TTouch methods, this book is one of the few resources for kids. Bibi Degn is an ideal person to take on this task, as she learned everything she knows directly from TellingtonJones, and she heads the organization that teaches the Tellington Method in Germany. This instructional book follows the story of young Maria and a shy horse named Joram, as they learn the method together (with the help of the cartoon “guardian angel,” Angie). Maria, with Angie’s assistance, learns how to approach, handle, and ride Joram in a way that makes him feel comfortable. Through the
encounters of these two friends, kids can learn to read a horse’s body language and to apply very specific techniques for handling a horse based on the Tellington Method. Whether it is grooming, groundwork, or under saddle, each step includes numerous photos and clear descriptions. In fact, 64 color photos are packed into a book of only 32 pages. BOTTOM LINE: A clear, cute, and fun way to teach kids TTouch. BOOK PEGASUS: A NOVEL, by Marilyn Holdsworth. 175 pages, paperback, AuthorHouse (www.authorhouse.com), 2011, $14.95.
Author Marilyn Holdsworth has brought us a fictional novel that takes on some real-life issues, namely the fight to save wild horses from abuse and slaughter. It’s a story that weaves together elements of mystery, adventure, and romance, and all of it with horses at the very center. The book revolves around a journalist and renowned animal rights advocate named Hannah Bradley. Together with her romantic interest, Winston, Hannah rescues a horse in terrible condition. The more investigation Hannah does about the horse’s background, the more dark secrets of the horse industry become unveiled. The story develops and moves along at a nice pace, and readers can appreciate the efforts of a very realistic and strong female character trying to rescue mistreated horses and take on the “bad guy,” no matter how risky. BOTTOM LINE: Relevant animal welfare issues wrapped in a fictional story.
GAME THE SIMS 3: PETS Although this video game is not limited to equines—it allows you to choose between owning a horse, dog, or cat—animal enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy picking out their pet, and learning how to properly care for and train it. The equine aspect of the game is not limiting, either: horses can go over jumps and other obstacles, compete in races, and even give birth to foals. BOTTOM LINE: Those who don’t have the time or money for a pet of their own can now enjoy the cyber counterpart.
HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
[ new products you need ]
Go Farther with Fodder The Fodder-Pro Feed System from FarmTek allows you to optimize the health and performance of your horses while reducing feed costs. With this unique hydroponic growing system, you can produce over 110 pounds of high-quality, nutrient, protein, and enzyme-rich barley fodder daily. The result is increased energy levels and glossy coats. (www.farmtek.com)
Let There Be Light Dim barn lighting can make it impossible to properly pick your horse’s hooves. The Illuminated Hoof Pick from mJ equine Tools sheds light on the problem, with a battery-powered LeD light on the tip of the high quality stainless steel pick. The hoof pick, with a stiff nylon brush, makes the toughest work simple, has an easy grip handle, and is even water resistant. (www.mjequinetoolsinc.com)
Brilliant Breeches Der-Dau, known for their riding boots and accessories, has recently expanded their line of products. Their new riding breeches for women combine modern comfort with traditional style. each pair features stylish pockets, alligator belt loops, and inner knee patches. The breeches are free of Velcro, so they fit smoothly under boots and won’t bunch up. Other new products include custom polos and orthotics for your boots. (www.derdau.com)
horse me n’ s Y a nkee Ped l ar
Take the Bite out of Bits Do cold bits cause your horse discomfort? New Hampshire-based company bit blanket, Inc.’s electric bit warmer quickly and conveniently warms bits to be compatible with a horse’s normal body temperature. The warmer plugs into any standard outlet and runs on only 4 watts of energy. Simply wrap the bit blanket around the cold bit, plug it in, and let it warm up while you’re grooming. (www.bitblanket.com)
North - South - East - West … Trailers has you covered!
Happy Holidays A heartfelt thank you to all friends and family for your love and support over the past 35 years. As the year comes to a close, let us reflect on our good fortune and pray for peace and prosperity in 2012. Since 1976 “A happy horse rides in a Yered Trailer”
[ industry news you can use ]
cOUrTeSY OF JIm ArrIGON
Sharon Jordan, Becky Kalagher, and Kathy Richards, pictured with Brian McDougal prepare for a trail ride through the Shirley, Mass., conservation lands.
Hit the Trails In September 2011, the Shirley conservation commission acquired a 15-acre parcel of land in Shirley, mass., which now connects the five miles of contiguous trails on conservation lands in Shirley and neighboring Lunenburg. Given the name the Old Town Line conservation Area, these trails are often used by equestrians. Now, 150 acres of conservation land in Lunenburg and 520 acres in Shirley will forever be protected, connected, and open to horses.
cOUrTeSY OF NUNN FINer
Nunn Finer and Outback Trading company are proud to announce the addition of three more riders, melissa mcmaster, calvin ramsay, and Jennie brannigan, to their sponsored riding
team. Nunn Finer recognized mcmaster as an up-and-coming rider who has the drive and determination to reach her goal of obtaining a spot on the United States equestrian Team in the future. At only 14 years old, ramsay is the youngest on the Nunn Finer team and shows great promise to be a strong competitor for the future of eventing. Named on the 2010 Top 10 rider List by the USeA, brannigan has been and will continue to be sponsored by Nunn Finer. Nunn Finer is extraordinarily proud to have these three talented riders on board. (www.nunnfiner.com)
Keeping You Post-ed Post University in Waterbury, conn., has welcomed a new dressage team coach, Liz Doering, a National chief Horse management Judge as well as a National examiner up to the b level for the U.S. Pony clubs. She is a PATH International registered Instructor and has competed through Training Level eventing and Second Level dressage. Along with a new coach, Post’s dressage team now calls Oakendale Farm in bristol home. (www.post.edu)
Nunn Finer has added Melissa McMaster to their list of sponsored riders. horse me n’ s Y a nkee Ped l ar
2010 Tournament of Champions Medal winner Crystal Threlfall with Jim Arrigon.
Tournament Turns Twenty celebrating 20 years of competition, the Holiday Tournament of champions collegiate show will take place on December 3, hosted by centenary college in Long Valley, N.J. In the tournament, 24 top college equestrian teams will compete in a team format—one rider in each division, for a group of eight riders. There will also be a medal class, as well as an equestrian Talent Search medal class for high school riders. (email@example.com)
Ho Ho Horses Take the kids to Uconn’s Horsebarn Hill Arena for some holiday fun on December 3! From 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., the Holiday Horse event will feature photos with Uconn’s handsome horses buckey and Fiona, all dolled up in Santa hats and snowflakes. There will also be arts and crafts, plus Santa and his elves. The $10 admission includes a photo cD and all crafts, with profits going straight to the equine club. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
World Traveler World equestrian brands, LLc, the United States distributor of Amerigo, Vespucci, e.A. mattes, and equilibrium products, is proud to endorse dressage rider Allison brock. brock is currently in england training with Kyra Kyrklund and richard White, having won the 2011 UK Six-Year-Old International championships aboard Schumacher. When she’s not abroad, brock divides her time between Wellington, Fla., and Keswick, Va. (www.worldequestrianbrands.com)
15% Off All Orders in December!
[ helpful hints for horsekeeping ]
A NASOGASTRIC TUBE CAN BE USED TO IDENTIFY EXCESS GAS OR FLUID IN THE STOMACH.
Combating Colic By Sue Perry
WhAt You neeD to knoW ABout this terrifYing AilMent
olic is a scary word for horse owners as it is a common cause of illness and death in horses. Thus, understanding the ailment is essential for both owners and barn staff.
Types of Colic
The term “colic” simply refers to abdominal pain in any species. The problem with colic in horses is that they can’t tell us how severe the pain is, what part of their belly hurts, or what might have caused the problem. Colic itself is not a disease; rather it is a collection of symptoms that indicate pain and some sort of trouble in the abdominal cavity. Dr. Meredith Boulay is an equine ambulatory veterinarian with Backstretch Veterinary in Norfolk, Massachusetts. I asked her what 22
horse me n’ s Y a nkee Ped l ar
the most common types of colic that she sees are. “A very common problem in adult colicky horses is a large colon (pelvic flexure) impaction. This can usually be diagnosed during a rectal exam, as the impaction sits at the entrance to the pelvis and the veterinarian can feel it through the wall of the rectum. The impaction itself is 20 feet of intestines away from my hand. The impaction is a dehydrated mass of food that is blocking the normal flow through the large colon. “Another common kind of colic is spasmodic colic, sometimes referred to as gas colic, although this is somewhat of a misnomer. Abnormal motility of the small intestine (spasms) activates pain receptors and the horse experiences episodic periods of colic. Spasmodic colic can come on very suddenly,
but it is generally mild and quickly resolves with pain management and gentle walking.” Most horse owners have heard of gastric (stomach) ulcers. They are not uncommon in performance horses, in horses that are fasted (either intentionally or unintentionally) and in horses that have received excessive amounts of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Dr. Boulay says, “Gastric ulcers are a common and problematic cause of mild, repetitive colic; often the horse only has intermittent episodes of inappetance or appears anxious at feeding times. Ulcers require gastroscopy to fully diagnose (usually only available at large equine clinics) and to grade (mild to severe). Ulcers can cause a wide array of symptoms in individual horses, from typical colic signs to poor performance. “Large colon displacements round out the top four types of colic that we see in our practice. The large colon is the anatomic analog of our ascending colon, except that in a horse it is 10-12 feet long and highly mobile within the abdomen. If an impaction or gas build-up alters its size or normal mobility, it can get stuck in all sorts of places and can even twist on itself (the dreaded ‘torsion’). “Luckily, we tend to see the less severe ‘left dorsal displacement’ and ‘right dorsal displacement.’ Both types of displacements cause colic signs that range from very mild to very severe, depending upon the distension of the large colon.” There are numerous other causes of colic, such as enteroliths (intestinal stones) and intestinal parasites, but space limitations prevent describing all of them here.
While colic isn’t 100% preventable, Dr. Boulay offers several tips to keep the GI tract happy. “Make sure that your horse has access to clean, fresh water at all times. This sounds simple, but can be challenging in the winter. Since impactions are an instigating factor in many types of colic, keeping the GI contents soft is priority #1. “Feed smaller meals more frequently, rather than large volumes once or twice a day, especially if your horse is a Hoover vacuum. The less time that a horse spends with an empty stomach, the better. Wetting hay or offering
UP TODAY! IT’S
More Prizes! More chances to to win! This month at www.pedlar.com ENTER TO WIN a pair of Cargo Jeans by Goode Rider
Be One of the Lucky 6 to Win a 9.9lb (75 servings) pail of RELEIRA®
Maximize the reproductive performance and health of your breeding stock!
As Seen in the November Gift Guide!
>Ûi½ÌÊ i>À` of RELEIRA? Read on… RELEIRA is an essential daily feed supplement providing newborn foals, broodmares and stallions with complete nutritional support. UÊÊ*ÀÛ`iÃÊ } ÊiÛiÃÊvÊ6Ì>Ê
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UÊÊÊ-Õ««ÀÌÃÊÃiiÊµÕ>ÌÞÊ>`Ê sperm motility in stallions
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UÊÊÊ-Õ««ÀÌÃÊÛÕ>ÌÊ>`Ê progesterone production in mares UÊÊÊ-Õ««ÀÌÃÊÕÌÞÊ>`Ê i>Ì ÞÊ brain and eye development of the foal.
/Êi>ÀÊÀiÊ>LÕÌÊÌ iÊLiiwÊÌÃ and science behind RELEIRA visit
Take Immediate Action
Listening to a horse’s abdomen with a stethoscope will help you detect digestive sounds.
mashes can help during periods of particularly hot or cold weather. The goal, again, is to get more water into the GI tract. “Keep your horse’s exercise routine consistent, both work and turnout. We often see a spike in the number of colics during inclement weather when horses get stuck in their stalls. Remember, when the legs move, the GI tract is happy and everything inside keeps moving along.” In between grain meals, make sure that your horse has access to high-quality hay or pasture. The equine GI tract is designed to be continually processing forage. Make any changes to the diet, either grain or forage, gradually over five to seven days. Avoid feeding on the ground in sandy soils to minimize the ingestion of sand. Set up a regular parasite control program with the help of your veterinarian, using fecal examinations to determine its effectiveness. Make sure that your horse has a dental exam and floating once or twice a year.
Horses show signs of abdominal pain in a wide variety of ways. Some signs, such as curling the upper lip, are subtle and easily overlooked, whereas other signs, such as repeated rolling or violent thrashing, are hard to mistake. Among the more common signs of colic are the following: • Turning the head towards the flank • Pawing • Kicking or biting at the belly • Stretching out to urinate, without actually doing so 24
horse me n’ s Y a nkee Ped l ar
• Repeatedly lying down and getting up, or attempting to do so • Frequent rolling, often with grunting sounds • Holding the head in an unusual position • Leaving food or being completely uninterested in food • Putting the head down towards water but not drinking • Lack of bowel movements or less manure than normal • Change in intestinal sounds—either very noisy or unusually quiet • Inappropriate sweating (i.e. unrelated to hot weather or exercise) • Rapid breathing and/or flared nostrils • Elevated heart rate (greater than 40 beats per minute) • Lip curling unrelated to sexual interest Usually a horse shows only a few of these signs during an episode of colic. However, seeing any of these signs should prompt you to take a closer look, checking all of his vital signs and keeping a watchful eye on him as you call your veterinarian. This information will enable the veterinarian to advise you on the appropriate course of action and determine if or when he will come to examine your horse. Do not administer any drugs to your horse unless specifically directed to do so by the veterinarian. If you do administer medication, such as Banamine paste, give only the amount prescribed by the veterinarian. Do not give additional doses until your horse has actually been examined. While you wait for the veterinarian to arrive, remove all food from the horse’s stall/
While some cases of colic resolve without medical care, a significant percentage of horses with colic require medical treatment. Time is perhaps the most critical factor if colic is to be successfully treated, particularly if the horse has a condition that requires surgery. If you notice your horse exhibiting a few of the clinical signs of colic, call your veterinarian to alert him to the problem. When you call, be prepared to provide the following information: • Specific signs of colic and their severity • Temperature • Heart rate (pulse) • respiratory rate • capillary refill time, color and moistness of the gums • Type of digestive sounds heard with a stethoscope in all four quadrants of the abdomen • recent meals, water consumption • bowel movements—amount, color, consistency, frequency • Any recent changes in management, feeding, or exercise • medical history including deworming, past episodes of colic, breeding history • Insurance status of the horse, insurance company telephone numbers
paddock; water may remain. Move your horse to a sheltered area (stall, run-in shed) if he is outdoors. The veterinarian will need good light in the area. Allow the sick horse to rest if he simply wants to stand or lie quietly. Walk the horse in hand if he is continually rolling or in danger of hurting himself, but do not tire him with relentless walking.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) is a great resource for educating horse owners about veterinary problems, diagnoses, and treatments. The AAEP has a very helpful at website www. aaep.org/horseowner. Their colic information includes descriptions of what the veterinarian will do when he arrives at your farm: • Review the horse’s medical history, your observations, and your evaluation of the horse’s behavior • Perform a complete physical exam • Rectal palpation, looking for evidence of intestinal blockage (impaction), distention, displacement, or other abnormalities • Pass a naosgastric (stomach) tube to identify the presence of excess gas or fluid in
the stomach (and to relieve the pressure if the stomach is distended) • Collection of fluid from the abdominal cavity (peritoneal or belly tap) and analysis of the fluid for abnormalities that might indicate death of the bowel or infection • Blood tests, looking for evidence of dehydration, electrolyte or metabolic abnormalities or infection • Evaluation of the response to treatment, either performed by the owner pre-visit or the vet at that time The AAEP explains to owners, “All of these examination techniques may not be performed in every case of a colicky horse. For example, the veterinarian may decide that some are unnecessary in a case of mild colic, or that one or more is unsafe in a particular situation.”
The treatment of colic depends upon its severity and its likely cause. The AAEP summary of treatment options includes the following: • Pain relievers (analgesics, such as Banamine) or sedatives to relieve pain while intestinal function returns to normal or further treatment is instituted • Fluid therapy, either by nasogastric tube or
intravenous infusion, to correct dehydration and soften dry, firm intestinal contents • Laxatives, such as mineral oil, to help re-establish normal intestinal function • Enema for young foals with a blockage (impaction) caused by retained meconium (the first manure produced by a newborn foal) • Referral to an equine hospital for surgery under general anesthesia to correct a problem that has not resolved with medical treatment Please note that if your horse is insured, you will need to contact the insurance company both when he initially becomes colicky and again if surgery seems likely or if euthanasia is a possibility. Once the veterinarian leaves the farm, continue to monitor your horse carefully and follow his instructions concerning feed, medications, and exercise. Call him with updates, both positive and negative. Colic is a serious problem, but with good horsemanship you will help ensure that your horse beats the odds. Sue Perry is a Certified Veterinary Technician and equine massage therapist. She lives in Upton, Mass., and runs “Muscle Magic,” an equine massage service.
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[ YOUR HORSE HEALTH QUESTIONS ANSWERED ]
Ask The Vet
It is important to determine the health of your foal after it’s born.
I have a 5-year-old Thoroughbred mare that is due to have her first foal around the middle of January. This is the first time we have ever had a foal born on our property. What should we expect and when should we call the vet if there is a problem?
First of all, congratulations on your new expected little addition to the herd! Preparing for a newborn foal is an exciting and potentially nerve-racking time, especially as the due date draws nearer. Preparing for the delivery of a healthy foal really begins shortly after conception, with regular veterinary examinations of the mare to evaluate the health of the pregnancy, make sure that there is only one embryo (Thoroughbreds have a higher incidence of double ovulating, and therefore having twin pregnancies which usually result in abortions), make sure the fetus is developing/growing properly, fetal sexing (if desired by the owner), and making sure the mare is vaccinated with Pneumobort-K (herpes vaccine) during months three, five,
seven, and nine. Herpes is the number one cause of infectious abortions in late term pregnant mares (months five through 11). Preparing for a foal begins in earnest about one month before it is born. Approximately at that time, your mare will need to be boostered on her vaccines. This will help ensure that the colostrum (first milk) will be high in protective immunoglobulins (antibodies), which is the foal’s only form of defense against harmful bacteria and viruses during its first few months of life. Along the same line of thought, if you are considering moving your mare to another facility to foal, she should ideally be moved one month before her due date, so she will be exposed to and produce antibodies against the bugs in her new environment, which will then be available in the milk to protect the foal. The mare should wax up (form a waxy secretion to plug the end of her teat canal) approximately 48 hours before foaling and her udder, or bag, should swell with milk (colostrum) about a week prior to foaling, although some horses will “bag up” (start producing milk) several weeks ahead of time and may end up leaking all of their colostrum. Other mares may not bag up or show any signs of milk production at all prior to foaling, a condition called agalactia. This should be addressed by having your veterinarian come out and first confirm that your mare is still carrying a normal, healthy pregnancy, and if so your veterinarian may choose to place your mare on a course of Domperadone,
a dopamine antagonizing drug which will make your mare start producing milk. This condition of agalactia is much more common in mares that have been grazing on fescue grass or infected hay, as it commonly contains an endophyte which produces a toxin that inhibits milk production. During the 24 hours prior to foaling, the muscles over your mare’s croup will soften to the point where they will feel almost like jelly. Short of buying a specialized kit which will measure hormones in her blood or calcium levels in her milk, watching for the softening of these muscles is one of the most reliable signs that parturition (labor) is eminent. Prior to foaling, you may notice some behavior changes, lack of appetite, loss of interest in other horses, nesting behavior, and laying down and getting up frequently. This restless behavior characterizes the first stage of parturition as the foal is moving around in the uterus and positioning itself for delivery, and can last for several hours. During this time, the mare’s hind end and udder should be washed (the udder may need to be washed again before the foal nurses) and the tail wrapped out of the way. The mare should be placed in a clean, dry area, either a large stall or small paddock with fresh clean straw bedding to foal on. This first stage of pregnancy ends as the amniotic sac breaks, or when the water breaks. The second stage of parturition begins when the water breaks and ends when the foal is delivered. This stage should take less than 30 minutes, and any deliveries that last more than 70 minutes often result in either a dead foal or one with severe hypoxic damage. In a normal delivery, the foal will be present in the “Superman” position with both front feet first (one slightly behind the other) and then the nose at or in front of the carpus or knee. If the foal is not in this position, it will have a very difficult time passing through the birth canal, and may represent a dystocia or malpresentation leading to a difficult birth. Any delivery that takes longer than 30
About the Author After graduating from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Grant D. Myhre, B.S., D.V.M. completed his Large Animal/ Surgery internship at the College of Veterinary Medicine in Colorado and a two-year residency at Cornell University. He launched his career as a surgeon (and later, hospital director), leading the Rochester Equine Clinic to the forefront of veterinary medicine. With the expansion of its Sports and Nuclear Medicine department, the state-of-the-art hospital now carries the rightful name Myhre Equine Clinic (MEC) and offers the most experienced veterinary surgeons, diagnosticians, and highly educated staff. The clinic, located in Rochester, N.H., offers advanced imaging services including computer assisted tomography (CAT) and is the only nuclear medicine center in Northern New England. Dr. Myhre has been instrumental in the continued success of MEC and the equine complex as a whole, and continues as the facility’s senior surgeon and hospital director. A Wentworth Hunt member, he is an avid equestrian and enjoys fox hunting, hunter pacing and trail riding.
HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
minutes or where a foal does not present with its two front feet and nose first should immediately raise concern and merits a call to your local veterinarian. Once the foal hits the ground, the third stage of parturition begins, during which time the placenta is expelled from the uterus. The foal should be checked to make sure its airways are clear of fluid or fetal membranes, the umbilical stump should be dipped in an antiseptic solution (dilute betadine, iodine, or chlorhexidine), and an enema should be administered (the Fleet enemas are very convenient) to facilitate passage of meconium (the dark, tar-like, first poop). Now begins the one, two, three’s of foaling. The foal should stand within one hour of being born, should nurse and begin passing meconium within two hours, and the mare should pass the placenta within three hours of giving birth. Once the placenta has been expelled, it
should be collected and saved for the veterinarian to evaluate. It is very important that the placenta is expelled intact, or else your mare could develop an endometritis (inflammation of the uterus) which could be life threatening if not treated early with prompt and appropriate veterinary care. Provided all of the healthy foaling landmarks have been reached accordingly, a new foal exam should be performed by a veterinarian 8-12 hours after the foal is born. At this time, the veterinarian can make sure the foal is healthly, has not sustained injury from the birthing process, and that there was adequate passive transfer of immunity from the mare to the foal (that the colostrum was of good quality and was absorbed appropriately by the foal) by measuring the immunoglobulins in the foal’s blood. -Grant D. Myhre, B.S., D.V.M -Christine Lopp, D.V.M
Season’s Greetings & Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year! Richard D. Mitchell, DVM
Christina R. Russillo, DVM
Carolyn M. Weinberg, DVM
Kimberly J. Harmon, VMD
Robert T. Neff, VMD
Claudia Sandoval, DVM
Ryland B. Edwards, III, DVM, PhD, DACVS
32 Barnabas Road • Newtown, CT 06470 • (203) 270-3600
www.fairfieldequine.com December 2011
[ PAWSITIVELY FUN! ]
Find the Perfect Gift for Fido By Charlene Arsenault
there are rawhide options that are shaped like candy canes, and other holiday-themed bakery goods. Google away, and the options are plentiful online. In the pet stores, the selection isn’t quite as vast, but it surely grows come October throughout the season. There are all the popular brand names, and then some. A flashing, blinking ball, toys with holes with which to stuff food, shaking “nervous” toys—they’re all out there. Just like with humans, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with the gift of food. Dog owner Heather Del Belso loves to buy cookies for Bear, her Leonberger/ Shepherd mix. “Bear definitely knows what they are,” she says. A bag of meaty treats, some little nibbles, or a cookie will be much appreciated. Give ’em something they don’t get the rest of the year. Canned food, perhaps? “Every single year, we go to the butcher on Christmas week and ask for a bone with some ‘extra’ on it,” says Barbara Bouchard, owner of
HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
eople are cuckoo for their pets (for good reason) and like to put something under the tree for Fido along with all the other presents. The delight, really, is for us. For dogs, chew toys, rawhide, and bonelike chomp things are always a hit. Truly, it doesn’t matter if it’s in the shape of a candy cane, a shoe, or your mother-in-law. But it’s still fun to pick out the different options. And they are plentiful. No matter where you look,
MOST PET OWNERS WILL TELL YOU THAT THEIR DOG PROBABLY HAS AS MUCH FUN WITH AN OLD BOX OR MILK CARTON TOP THAN SHE DOES WITH AN ELABORATE, EXPENSIVE GIFT. DOGS WOULD PROBABLY ALSO APPRECIATE A PIECE OF CHICKEN FROM YOUR PLATE OVER ANY SANTA SHAPED GLOWING CHEW TOY.
Adopt Me Name: Monkey Breed: Labrador/Pit Bull Mix Size: Medium Age: 1 year Hi everyone! I’m called Monkey, but don’t be fooled—I’m one hundred percent canine! I am a super friendly dog and I’ve never met a person that I didn’t love. I really enjoy cuddling with humans, too! My friends at the shelter tell me that I’m a sweet girl and give me lots of praise for my good manners. And I’m eager to learn any new tricks you have to teach me! My greatest wish is to be adopted into a loving family of my own. I think I would do best in a home with no other dogs or maybe just a male pooch that I can get along with. I think I’d even be okay with a friendly cat, too. I would be a wonderful addition to your family if given the chance. I just know I will melt your heart when you meet me! Remember, the holidays are almost here, so what better way to get into the spirit of giving than to give me a new home this year? I promise to be the best gift in the world for a loving family. Please don’t let me spend another holiday in a shelter. You can come visit me at Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton, Mass. If you are interested in adopting me, call 508-435-6938. Please, please, please give me a chance! I’ll be waiting for you!
a 4-year-old Sheltie named Henry and an 18-month-old Boxer mix named Daisy. “One for each dog. Then Christmas morning, we walk them and give them their special bone to gnaw on while we open presents.” Dogs also love to roam free. Have you ever considered new fencing for your yard as a gift? Now that would please the whole family, all year round. Kara Miller, who’s got Doberman Pinschers in her family, fills a shoe box with all sorts of treats every holiday: chew toys, cow hooves, stuffed animals. “It gets wrapped and then they sniff it out and get to ‘open’ it on Christmas morning,” said Miller. “I just take the top off and let them choose as much as they want. I let them go crazy for about a half-hour and then pick everything up.” Stephanie Champa, owner of a very active Malti-Poo named Dexter, says the best gift her dog ever received was a ball tosser. “He loves to run around the yard chasing balls,” says Stephanie. “And he’s super fast! The ball tosser allows me to throw the ball a lot farther for him without straining my arm.” Ball tossers or launchers are also good gift ideas if you have back problems. The long handle allows you to scoop the ball off the ground without actually having to bend over to pick it up. This year Stephanie plans to get her pup a car seat for Christmas. “Dexter and I travel in the car a lot,” says Stephanie. “And like most dogs, he loves to look out the window. He’ll often climb on my shoulders to get a good view, which isn’t very safe for either of us.” Most doggy car seats strap into the seatbelt and boost the dog higher up for a better view. It is a much safer option for riding in the car with smaller dogs. Some car seats even allow you to strap your dog in. “It’s going to be the perfect gift for Dexter,” says Stephanie. “Now he’ll be able to see out the window without climbing all over me and distracting me from the road.” Doggy car seats come in all different sizes and can be found online or in some pet stores. You know your pet. Really, they don’t even know it’s a holiday. It’s all about you watching your pet feel happy. And again: they love meat. How about a whole, roasted rotisserie chicken from the supermarket? Or a big steak? These are some treats that you’ll never need a gift receipt for.
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HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
BY LYNNDEE KEMMET
IT HAS BEEN NEARLY TWO YEARS since the
THAT WON’T GO
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE ROLLKUR TECHNIQUE CONTROVERSY
International Equestrian Federation (FEI) adopted guidelines aimed at limiting use of the rollkur technique, but in some ways the debate over it continues. This is partly because responsibility for enforcing those guidelines mostly rests with officials at dressage competitions. Earlier this year, the rollkur debate spilled out of the dressage world and into the reining world, when videos went up on the internet showing champion reiner Craig Schmersal using techniques in the warm-up that many likened to a western riding version of rollkur. The debate on use of rollkur among western riders and trainers raged throughout much of the summer of 2011, making it clear that the argument over the technique can quickly re-emerge at any moment. However, the rollkur debate originally began when the dressage world pushed the issue to the forefront and forced the FEI to address the subject two years ago. In the winter of 2010, the FEI held a conference attended by both rollkur opponents and proponents consisting of riders, judges, and trainers from multiple equestrian disciplines, as well as FEI officials and veterinarians. The meeting concluded with an FEI ban on the use of rollkur as a training technique due to the aggressive force used to accomplish hyperflexion. That decision, however, has not ended the debate, because the FEI also made the decision to distinguish between rollkur and another technique recognized as Low, Deep, and Round (LDR). LDR is still allowed. In a nutshell, rollkur, otherwise called hyperflexion, is a technique in which extreme flexion of a horse’s neck is achieved through force. LDR, on the other hand, also achieves flexion, but without force. The challenge for riders, trainers, judges, and particularly show stewards—who are asked to disqualify those who are practicing the technique—is what exactly constitutes ‘force’ and how one can tell from the ground if flexion seen is due to force or not? Sometimes it’s obvious, but very often it is not. Force can be as simple as driving a horse into a fixed, unyielding hand, or it can be as visible as pulling backward on the reins and strongly taking a horse’s neck side to side. Is any horse that is behind the vertical being ridden in hyperflexion or must a horse’s chin be nearly touching its chest for a clear case of hyperfexion to be made? DECEMBER 2011
Part of the rollkur debate revolves around the difficulty of determining what is considered forceful flexion and what isn’t.
if veterinary research cannot clearly settle this issue, then it is highly likely that the debate over rollkur and hyperflexion will continue. 32
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Horses will overflex on their own, but under saddle, this is sometimes in an effort to avoid the pressure of the bit. One could think of the rollkur technique as purposely making the pressure of the bit uncomfortable enough to force the horse to back off well behind the vertical. There are multiple reasons for why one would use this technique, one being that it is often effective in getting a horse to pay more attention to the rider. Advocates of the technique would argue that a horse who tends to grab the bit, stick out his nose and charge off can be brought under more control through rollkur. Proponents of rollkur have also argued that it is a valuable technique for stretching and suppling horses, especially in the back. Because
some riders who use the technique have had tremendous competitive success using it, there are professionals that would argue that such flexion improves a horse’s way of going. Opponents have responded that not only is the technique mentally abusive by forcing submission, but it is also physically damaging and any acceptance of the bit is unwilling and false. They argue that hyperflexion, rather than stretching the back, actually compresses the vertebrae in the neck and back and true thoroughness and impulsion is blocked by a stiff back. Although most think of the rollkur issue as belonging to the discipline of dressage, it’s not just dressage riders who use it. Show jumpers have also long used the technique. The debate over rollkur is not just over whether it should be used at all, but also how long and by whom should it be allowed? Three questions still haunt the dressage world regarding rollkur: What exactly is the difference between rollkur and LDR (as in, what is extreme force and what is not)? What is an acceptable length of time for a horse to be ridden in a flexed position, whether forced or not? And, should officials distinguish between riders who are qualified to use such techniques—and should therefore be allowed to do so—and those who are not? These are hard questions to answer and partly explain why the debate will not go away. Dutch rider Anky van Grunsven and her husband/trainer Sjef Janssen have been accused of using the rollkur technique. However, they define their technique as the allowed LDR, not the banned rollkur. In relation to the questions posed previously, Janssen himself has pointed out that these are clearly challenging to answer. In comments, he has indicated that people must be careful about denying qualified trainers the right to develop and use effective techniques. “The trainers who use certain techniques and are successful are mainly very skilled people with a lot of experience, also in several different techniques, and they know exactly what they are doing. Otherwise, they would not be that good with horses. And most of the time, those horses become very old but are still sound.” The final event that mobilized the FEI to address the issue occurred when a videotape of Swedish rider Patrik Kittel riding the KWPN stallion Watermill Scandic in the warm-up ring in Denmark was broadcast all over the internet. In the video, Kittel is seen riding the horse in an overflexed position for long periods of time. The stallion’s tongue is hanging out and appears to be limp and blue. Kittel argued that Scandic
had a habit of getting his tongue over the bit and hanging it out, stating that what is seen had nothing to do with flexion. He was investigated by the FEI, which opted to take no formal action, but issued a warning to Kittel. Because the FEI chose to distinguish between rollkur and LDR, the debate over flexion techniques continues. It has been left to stewards at dressage competitions to monitor warm-up rings and determine if riders are using the banned or the allowed technique. The real result seems to be much confusion among stewards, riders and even spectators—all of whom have their own opinion while viewing the warm-up ring on which technique riders are using. Show stewards often struggle with this question. But in an effort to share responsibility for making decisions on what is seen in the warmup, many show officials are resorting to the use of video cameras in warm-up rings. This way, footage of riders accused by stewards of using the illegal rollkur can be viewed by other show officials. A bit easier to monitor, because it involves tracking time, is a new FEI rule that prohibits Although some dressage riders have been scrutinized for using rollkur, the technique has been seen in other disciplines as well.
riders from keeping a horse’s head and neck in a sustained, or fixed position, for more than 10 minutes at a time. The open rollkur debate is evident in the ongoing back and forth accusations between opponents of any technique resembling rollkur and those who claim to use LDR. Janssen and van Grunsven continue to defend their training techniques as LDR. Opponents charge that by creating the distinction of LDR and allowing its use, the FEI has left the door open to trainers and riders who use hyperflexion. Veterinarians have not been able to resolve the debate either. In fact, they are presenting conflicting research studies on whether or not hyperflexion is harmful to horses or not. Well-known German veterinarian Dr. Gerd Heuschman has been a leading opponent of rollkur and has produced volumes of Some veterinarians say that hyperflexion physically and mentally damages horses while others argue that it presents little to no risk. 34
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research supporting arguments that the technique is damaging both physically and mentally to horses. He helped mobilize the banning of rollkur by presenting a petition with 41,000 signatures to the FEI opposing use of the training method. Yet, other studies indicate that if properly used, rollkur presents no, or little, risk to horses. A study led by Dr. Marianne Sloet and others at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University and another study by Dr. E. van Breda of the Department of Movement Studies at the University of Maastricht, examined the impact of the technique on the physical stress of horses. Both studies indicated that horses ridden in the rollkur position actually had less acute stress after exercise than horses not ridden in that position. If veterinary research cannot clearly settle this issue, then it is highly likely that the debate over rollkur and hyperflexion will continue. Still open for debate are questions regarding whether or not hyperflexion is physically and/or mentally damaging to horses, whether or not some riders are skilled enough to use this method and should be allowed to practice it while others should not, and the question of whether or not a horse seen overflexed in a warm-up ring is because of force or not. The unsettled hyperflexion debate may seem discouraging to some. But the fact that it is taking place at all is a positive sign. It is only when a sport—any sport—is unwilling to discuss the hard issues, that one must truly be concerned.
Happy Holidays from The Dressage Development Group!
Dressage Development Group
Learn the System and Teach with Skill
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The Dressage Development Group, Nancy Later Lavoie, Bill McMullin, Bill Warren, and Ariel Matisse would like to graciously thank everyone who contributed to our Symposium!
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HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
Simple Natural Horsemanship
WITH CHRIS COX AND KAREN ROHLF BY KAREN BARIL NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP. What is it? How
can we define it? Some of us balk at the term. Good horsemanship is good horsemanship, we say. Calling it natural implies that everything else is ‘unnatural,’ thus alienating those of us who aren’t practicing it in an obvious way. But, observe anyone who rides a relaxed horse that brings a ‘can-do’ attitude to every ride and you’ve probably found someone who is a ‘natural’ with horses. Even if that’s not what they call it. The theories of natural horsemanship are not new. The Greek philosopher, Xenophon, penned The Art of Horsemanship in 350 BC. Our modern revolution began just 50 or so years ago with brothers Tom and Bill Dorrance. Tom and Bill ranched in Oregon in the ‘buckaroo or vaquero’ tradition, a style which emphasized a feel for the horse. The brothers are considered the founders of the modern natural horsemanship movement. Tom once summed it up this way: “The thing you are trying to help the horse do is to use his own mind. You are trying to present something and then let him figure out how to get there.” Developing that thinking mind in both horse and human became the cornerstone of the natural horsemanship revolution. Sharing that information with horse enthusiasts around the world, and perhaps most importantly, bringing it to
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HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
Clinics can be helpful in developing natural horsemanship skills, but riders must also understand the horse’s thought process.
Karen Rohlf is the founder of Dressage, Naturally, a program she designed to create a stronger partnership between horse and rider. Karen’s unique program blends the principles of natural horsemanship with the art of dressage to create harmony and lightness in both horse and rider. Karen trained over 20 years in dressage with Anne Gribbons (‘O’ dressage judge, International Grand Prix Trainer and competitor) and studied Parelli Natural Horsemanship directly with Pat and Linda Parelli. She has trained horses and students to the upper levels of dressage, represented the USA four times on the Young Riders Team, passed her USDF ‘L’ judge test with distinction, and was accepted into the USEF ‘R’ judge program. She now divides her time between traveling the world giving clinics and training at her home base of Temenos Fields in Ocala, Florida. Visit www.dressagenaturally.net for more information on clinics, instructional materials, and an online classroom.
Chris Cox is the only three-time winner of Road to the Horse, the prestigious event known as the “world championship of colt-starting.” Chris shares his passion for horses and his effective training methods at his immensely popular Ride the Journey tour stops and clinics around the U.S. and abroad. He’s touched the lives of many a horse enthusiast and shown them there’s a straight-forward, practical way to gain a better relationship with their horses. But calling Chris a clinician just doesn’t cover it. He’s a horseman in every sense of the word. When he’s not helping horse owners, he’s training and competing at the highest levels of cutting horse competition, putting all of his theories into practice. That strategy seems to be paying off. He’s had numerous wins, including the prestigious PDL, a Reno Rodeo Invitational Team Roping Event that garnered him and his partner, $140,000 in prize money, plus buckles and saddles. You can find Chris Cox’s Ride the Journey horsemanship program at www.chris-cox.com and on RFDTV (check schedules for times).
the competition arena, marks the difference between the clinician and the horseman…or woman, as the case may be. We asked two great horsemen, Chris Cox and Karen Rohlf, to share their thoughts on putting principles into practice. Pedlar: Traditionalists argue that most natural horsemanship programs offer cookiecutter answers to fit every horse and rider. Do you think they’re right? Is there a cookie-cutter mentality to natural horsemanship? CC: I haven’t heard that expression, but I can certainly see where it comes from. Whenever we learn something new there are always steps, a line of progression to be followed. All these techniques are good, but they won’t be any good without knowing how to apply them in every situation the horse presents. I try to teach horsemanship simple and basic, but I do think you have to get the methods down and then learn how to think like a horse, learn how a horse thinks and reacts. KR: Any training system needs to have some sort of guidelines to refer to, a basic road map, but most important is to know where you are on that road map and make good decisions. Dressage is a very systematic training process with a Training Scale and tests that move through levels, but any good trainer knows that these are references. In Parelli Natural Horsemanship, where I learned about ‘natural,’ there are also levels as well as assessment criteria. It is a very human thing to see a road map and want to put our head down and simply follow it, trusting that if we just ‘do it right,’ we’ll achieve our goals. So often our horse is starting from a different place. We need to
take our eyes off the map and notice where we are. When you’re driving on the highway and you see your one mile marker for the exit, you don’t stare at your odometer and turn exactly when you’ve traveled one mile. You’d end up in a ditch. You take that information as a guideline and turn when the moment is right. Pedlar: Tools are necessary to accomplish any job, but one of the criticisms of natural horsemanship has been the reliance on tools. How would you respond to that criticism? And how do you choose your tools? CC: I like to keep things simple, a halter and a lead rope to start. I find the less I rely on tools, the more natural I am and the more I start thinking. You can read books, attend clinics, and learn the methods, but those methods aren’t any good without understanding the thought process of the animal. And that instinct can be developed with the right information, the right tools, and the desire. KR: This could be a criticism of any discipline. Dressage riders are also criticized for using too much spur or whip or reins, but dressage doesn’t support using strong aids. Dressage says the horse must be light and accepting, but not everyone in every moment is in this magic place of lightness. We should be careful of judging the student when he or she is in the process of learning. We need to understand what is trying to be accomplished and not judge the system when it is not being done well. Pedlar: How has your horsemanship changed over the years? CC: I’ve been bucked off, kicked, dragged, and all the rest. I like to say that success is failure turned inside out. I know that people come to my clinics hoping they can get the
Playing games with your horse will allow you to build trust with him.
information I’ve learned the hard way. These people are in their forties, fifties, or sixties and they don’t have the time or finances to get laid up or to take that long to achieve success. So, I show them. ‘This is why I hold the rein this way.’ ‘This is why I push the horse’s body this way.’ But, just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you learn something new. You’ve got to keep an open mind. Keep the learning curve going both in your horse and in yourself. I’m a student of the horse. But my feel for the horse has changed. I used to have a quick feel and consequently got a quick reaction from the horse, but it wasn’t right. I want my horse softer than that, supple, not intimidated or overreacting. If a horse gives too quickly, it’s usually not a confident feel. I look at it this way—if you’ve got a guy working for you that is just there for a paycheck, he’ll never be as good as the guy who’d show up even if he wasn’t getting paid. You can bring that feeling out in a horse. But, I’m always learning. I’ll never be able to write the script. KR: I think I was ‘naturally’ natural with horses, but as I became a professional dressage trainer, I stopped doing some of the silly, but fun things I used to do with them. That was partly because of time and logistics, but also because it just wasn’t ‘professional.’ Natural horsemanship helped me remember that those games that seemed silly, were actually an important part of building a partnership and trust with a horse. It wasn’t until I started playing in a more natural way that I felt my horses offer things the way my first horses did. That got my attention. Pedlar: What inspires you most about the students who attend your clinics? CC: I love the changes I see in people— changes that are similar to what I see in the horse. It’s the excitement and anticipation these students bring to the clinic, what they learn about themselves, about changing habits. They develop a new level of honesty in the messages they send to the horse. KR: As a natural dressage trainer, I’m inspired by people who find me. I’m not ‘normal’ so they 40
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probably haven’t signed up with anyone’s blessing. I know that in order to take a clinic with me they must be curious. Having this curiosity, confidence, and ability to trust their instincts is actually a great asset to their horsemanship. I love that they’ve made a decision to put their horse first. Pedlar: What makes a
great horseman? CC: I think a great horseman understands how a horse thinks, treats people the way they treat horses—with dignity and respect, and is well-rounded. He doesn’t specialize in one area. He has the ability to be equally effective on the ground as he is in the saddle. He can ride a horse in high energy for a fast paced event like cutting or reining and bring that horse’s level of energy down again with his own energy. A great horseman puts the horse first, before the audience. I figure it’s like bringing your wife to a dance. If your attention starts to wander off, she’ll walk out on you. You can’t blame the horse for doing the same. KR: A great horseman has a peaceful spirit, a humbleness…an ability to let go of ego. A great horseman has the ability to see things from another’s perspective, someone who has a destination in mind, but still remembers it’s about the journey. My horses like me best when I am at my best with these qualities. Techniques are just techniques…the way you apply them is the key. The old dressage masters dedicated all their attention to their art. Most people today squeeze their horse time in between all the other things they need to do, which sometimes produces a narrow focus. I try to keep a focus on the whole picture and have created a life as a trainer that puts a high priority on relationship, trust, and the whole of the horse’s experience, instead of needing to have an assembly line of horses to train. Pedlar: Where would you like to see natural horsemanship go in the future? CC: I think it was important to bring natural horsemanship to the people. I want to take this information and these methods to the fair, to the horse show, to the competition, and not be afraid to lose. I like to win,
but I’m not afraid to lose. I want my horse to be happy, sound-minded, and competitive. Me and my partner won a roping competition in Reno, Nevada, recently. I want people in the competition arena to look at what I’m doing and say…‘Hey, maybe I can do that. I can put the horse first and still win.’ KR: Like many disciplines, the more widely natural horsemanship is practiced, the more available it becomes, and the higher number of people practicing it or teaching it poorly. There will be many variations on the theme and unfortunately, people think it’s something they must choose to do or not do. That’s a shame because natural horsemanship isn’t a discipline. I think of it as a context within which I do everything else with my horse. It’s a bank of information. Dressage is actually very similar. Dressage, at some point, becomes a specialty, but it’s really a practice of healthy biomechanics, which are useful for all horses. I wish people didn’t think of natural horsemanship or dressage as separate disciplines. Horsemanship is horsemanship. We need to recognize the qualities of this no matter what the ‘discipline’ or what people call it. A number of years ago, this author spoke with Ray Hunt after a colt starting clinic. I was telling him about the troubles I was having with my own horse out on the trail. Ray listened patiently. Then he took my program and wrote the single word…think…on it. It took months and months for that word to settle in my mind. What did Ray mean by that? Couldn’t he have given me something more to go on? But, that one word reverberates throughout my horsemanship today. Ray was encouraging me to learn all I could from books and clinics, but to always think my way through every challenge, as opposed to looking for that cookie-cutter solution, which, in his mind, simply did not exist. Karen Baril writes from her home base, Pen-y-Bryn Farm in northwestern Connecticut, a paradise she shares with five horses, two dogs, a cat, seven chickens, and a husband who boasts a sense of humor. You can visit her at www.karenbaril.com.
YOU CAN READ BOOKS, ATTEND CLINICS, AND LEARN THE METHODS, BUT THOSE METHODS AREN’T ANY GOOD WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE THOUGHT PROCESS OF THE ANIMAL. ~ Chris Cox
Y A D e I d i L u G O t f H Gi FEATURE
Shopping for the Practical Horseperson
By: Kathryn Selinga
HORSE ME N’ S Y A NKEE PED L AR
RIBBON: WWW.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/CLINT SCHOLZ, STAR BURST: WWW.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/ KRISTINA VELICKOVIC, MODEL:COURTESY OF CARHARTT
SO THE EQUESTRIAN ON YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST isn’t an equinista? No problem—this month, Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar covers gifts for the practical horseperson. And fear not…in gift buying, practical doesn’t have to mean boring and it certainly doesn’t have to be something your loved one doesn’t want—so put that bathroom scale, bread maker, or vacuum back on the store shelf and equip yourself with some knowledge on what the rider in your life really wants this holiday season.
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the outerwear, many thermals come in great prints. Being practical doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be frugal, either—the holidays are the perfect time to splurge on that expensive item you might not otherwise buy, such as a new helmet or winter boots. And speaking of helmets, with all of the new rules regarding headgear, there is no gift more practical than one that protects the noggin of your loved one. Whether they’re a western, trail, dressage, or new rider seeking their first helmet or they’re past the five-year helmet lifespan and looking for something different, there are options for everyone—from cowboy hat shaped helmets to rugged looking ones, sleek and sophisticated or all blinged out.
For the Horse
For many equestrians, equipping their horse with new gear is more exciting than anything they could get for themselves. A new bridle, a luxurious sheepskin saddle pad or girth cover, or the holy grail of all tack a rider could receive—a new saddle. And rest-assured, anything purchased for a rider’s equine partner will always be put to good use.
All I Want for Christmas…
We talked to some A-Circuit hunter/ jumper riders to find out what’s at the top of their holiday wish lists. Here’s what they had to say: Daniela Stransky: Another horse just like Ikarus, my 17-year-old jumper, but maybe a little younger. Jimmy Torano: A Mercedes S 550. Sarah Ward: Moccasins. Julie Welles: A new pair of riding boots, no joke—I really need them. Angel Karolyi: I’d love an Aston Martin! ~Sydney Masters
PHOTOS OF DANIELA STRANSKY, ANGEL KAROLYI-LILIANE STRANSKY; JIMMY TORANOKATHY ANDERSON; SARAH WARD-ERIN McGUIRE; JULIE WELLES-JILIAN PORTCH
Hardy winter-wear is something that every horseperson needs and wants, especially those that spend time mucking stalls and filling water buckets in the dead of winter. And they don’t even have to look like a Yetti doing it anymore—some of the most trusted names in cold-weather durability are now bringing that same winter warmth in feminine shapes, colors, and designs. Jackets, vests, overalls, hats, and scarves…you name it, the equestrian who spends time outdoors in the cold months requires this kind of outerwear. Though vests are key pieces for an equinista, they’re even more functional for keeping bodies warm—and what’s even better? They’re now making them heated. Especially useful for those who don’t have access to heated barns or indoors, some battery operated vests offer five settings between 86 and 150 degrees. Heated gloves are also great for those frigid winter months. And while outerwear is a necessity, thermal underwear is just as important in a horseperson’s world. This is the base-layer and essential to keeping equestrians warm and dry, whether riding or spending time at the barn. And just like
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For the Rider
MAIL ENTRIES TO: Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar Contest 83 Leicester Street North Oxford, MA 01537
If you like the idea of a saddle pad but don’t want to splurge on sheepskin, there are other ways to get something more exciting than the traditional quilted pads that are easier on your wallet. Choose an item with unique artwork, design, or detailing to add a special touch to this every day necessity for a horseback rider. Your biggest desire this holiday season may be to support local and American businesses, so what better way to do that than give the gift of training? This is something that every horse and rider can use, and nothing is more practical. Whether it’s cross-training in another discipline or continuing on and improving with their current instructor, all parties benefit.
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ROCKING HORSE! Find the rocking horse (pictured at right), which is hidden within one of the advertisements in the pages of our Gift Guide, and enter to win a Pedlar Prize Pack. Please send a letter or email with your name, address, and phone number and specify which ad you spotted the rocking horse in. Winners will be drawn December 30 and be notified. All entries must be received by December 30. EMAIL ENTRIES TO: email@example.com
and troughs. Also, in an equestrian’s life, organization is key. On show day, grooming tools and other accessories must be readily available, which makes a hanging organizer incredibly useful. And riders who need to keep all of their tack impeccably clean will appreciate gear bags and totes. Get one to hold everything or separate bags for each piece of equipment—plus, they all have handles, allowing travel with ease. It’s the little things that make a difference, which is why having monograms or matching colors for each bag (think eventers in cross-country) makes these items really special. Hay bags are also a seldom thought of necessity, and though, again, they generally aren’t a particularly exciting piece of
What do barn workers want most while enduring sub-zero temps? No more ice. For those who prefer, for one reason or another, not to use plug-in electric water buckets in the winter but still want relief from smashing ice, there are also bucket cozies. And though this may not sound like a super exciting gift, anyone who has had the pleasure of having to break ice will likely jump for joy at the sight of an item like this, which comes in sizes for 5-gallon buckets, muck buckets,
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For the Barn/Trailer
The Fine Art of Janet Crawford Classic Portraiture of Horse and Dogs Holiday Gift Certificates Available
e The Fine Art of Janet Crawford 95 Old Richmond Road Pittsfield, MA 01201 (413) 281-1175 www.equineartwork.com COURTESY OF TECHNICHE INTERNATIONAL
equipment, some retailers are breaking the mold. You can now find hay bags in multiple prints including giraffe, leopard, and zebra. Also adding a touch of fun, some have delightfully shaped feeders, like a peace sign.
Shop for Pony Tack On-line at www.justforponies.com
For the Home
Maybe you’re not sure what to get? You can’t go wrong with a woman’s two favorite things—her horse and chocolate. And frankly, gifts like chocolate and useful, horse related home decor can be totally gender neutral. Stationary, calendars, you name it—are also great go-to items. You can even get cookbooks just for horse people— whether they are talented in the kitchen or maybe not so much, the recipes are tasty and easy, and this is an enjoyable, unique idea. Lastly, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Though they’re things everyone can use, horse people will find hand creams and lip balms especially useful for dry, cracked hands and lips in the winter months, and their small size makes the items great for stocking stuffers.
On-line Tack Shop Specializing in Ponies, Young Riders & the Young at Heart! Tired of searching for pony and kid stuff? Find it at Just for Ponies! We have a large selection of brand name products plus lots of items specially sized for ponies and kids. Let our helpful, knowledgeable staff help you outfit your ponies and young riders. Plus loads of fun stuff, gifts, toys, books and videos with a pony theme.
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