DNA Testing for Color Breeds
Making the Cut: Riding as a Team
EquineJournal November 2012
Your All-Breed, All-Discipline Resource
On the Right Track Course Design for Every Arena page 46
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
GIFTS FOR EVERY EQUESTRIAN
The Truth About Quarter Horses page 82
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| November 2012
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contents November 2012
features 46 Setting the Standards Learn how to design a hunter/ jumper course for your arena. BY KATHRYN SELINGA
66 Opportunities Abound An increasing number of opportunities exist for intercollegiate and interscholastic equestrian athletes in every discipline. BY CHRISTINA KEIM
82 The Real Deal Quarter Horse trainers dish on the breed, the show circuit, and what the outside world needs to know. BY ELISABETH PROUTY-GILBRIDE
86 Flooring that Fits A guide to selecting stall flooring that meets your needs. BY JENNIFER ROBERTS
88 The Advent Barn Celebrate 25 days of magical fun this holiday season.
76 Inside the Helix
An inside look at DNA testing for color breeds. BY NATALIE DEFEE MENDIK
| November 2012
Check out our top western boot picks on page 30.
LEFT PHOTO: COURTESY OF APHA
BY ANGE DICKSON FINN
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28 Fun trivia on everything Quarter Horses. 34 Winter care tips to keep your horse healthy. 103 Spend some time with wild horses while traveling to Chincoteague Island, VA. 108 Learn how customer service can beneﬁt your business. 106 Fun and fabulous gift ideas for every equestrian. 117 Winning Weekends Equine Events wraps up their show series in Schoharie County, NY.
14 Editor’s Note
16 On the Road
106 Equine Fashion
212 Real Estate
18 Letters to the Editor
20 In Your Words
110 Going Green
220 Affiliate Coupons
23 Bits & Pieces
112 Collecting Thoughts
24 Points of Interest
114 Business Bits
28 Now You Know 30 Prepurchase Exam 34 Stable Solutions 38 Ask the Vet 40 Driving Pointers
the scoop 117 News & Affiliate Updates 200 Breed Specific Affiliates
Boyd Martin and Quinn Himself train on Attwood Equestrian Surfaces. Check out the cover story on page 44. COVER PHOTO BY: AK DRAGOO PHOTO
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250 Last Laugh
188 Industry Wide Affiliates
42 Western Pointers
on the cover
248 Stallion Paddock
page 76 page 46
page 90 page 82
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: MYSTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY; CLIXPHOTO.COM; DANIEL LEWIS; DUSTYPERIN.COM; COURTESY OF LE FASH; BRYAN NIGRO
Out Check liday o Our H List Wish
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| November 2012
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Scott Ziegler, 508-987-5886, ext. 223 EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Elisabeth Prouty-Gilbride NEWS EDITOR
Kelly Ballou SOCIAL EDITOR
Enter to Win This month at equinejournal.com
Wesley M. Shedd IV SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGIST
Joan McDevitt, 508-987-5886, ext. 228 SENIOR ADVERTISING/MARKETING CONSULTANT
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Equine Journal 83 Leicester Street, North Oxford, MA 01537 phone: 508-987-5886, fax: 508-987-5887 subscription questions: 1-800-414-9101 email@example.com www.equinejournal.com A Publication of MCC Magazines, LLC A Division of Morris Communications Company, LLC 735 Broad St., Augusta, GA 30901 Paul Smith Scott Ferguson VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES Lea Cockerham GROUP CREATIVE DIRECTOR William Greenlaw DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL OPERATIONS Jason Doyle DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Alexander Merrill INTERIM PRESIDENT CONTROLLER
Morris Communications Company, LLC CHAIRMAN & CEO William S. Morris III PRESIDENT Will S. Morris IV Equine Journal (ISSN # 10675884) is published monthly, with three additional special editions in March, June and October by MCC Magazines, LLC, 735 Broad Street, Augusta, GA 30901. Subscription rate is $19.95 per year. Editorial and Advertising offices are located at 83 Leicester St., No. Oxford, MA 01537. Periodicals Postage Paid at Augusta, GA and additional offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Equine Journal,, P.O. Box 461011, Escondido, CA 92046. Submission of freelance articles, photographs and artwork are welcome. Please write for editorial guidelines if submitting for the first time and enclose SASE. No faxed materials accepted. Articles that appear in Equine Journal do not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of Equine Journal or MCC Magazines, LLC. Equine Journal does not endorse and is not responsible for the contents of any advertisement in this publication. No material from Equine Journal may be copied, faxed, electronically transmitted or otherwise used without express written permission. © 2012 by MCC Magazines, LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.
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| November 2012
Giving Thanks AS THANKSGIVING APPROACHES every year, I always add my horses to the list of things that I am thankful for. Now that my son has turned three, I would like to share more of my riding time with him, with the hope that he will at least appreciate horses, even if he doesn’t love them like I do. Pony shopping will, hopefully, be in my future, but right now he enjoys being led around on my trusty Quarter Horse, April. She is laid back like many Quarter Horses are, but there is much more to the breed than just a steady disposition. Whether you jump, barrel race, or ride western pleasure, the Quarter Horse has you covered. This month, Elisabeth Prouty-Gilbride talked to four top trainers about the Quarter Horse show circuit and some common misconceptions about the breed in “The Real Deal” on page 82. If you are a hunter/jumper rider, don’t miss Kathryn Selinga’s article on course design, “Setting the Standards.” There is a lot to consider when setting a course— striding, arena space, terrain, and footing—and understanding all of these factors not only helps when setting a practice track, but also when riding a course at a show. To guide you through all of the factors, we enlisted the advice of 1996 Olympic Course Designer and FEI licensed “O” Jumping Course Designer, Linda Allen, and Professor of Course Design and Construction at Centenary College, Tara Clausen. Find out more on page 46. Also up this month, we have the article “Inside the Helix: DNA Testing for Color Breeds.” Constant advancements in DNA testing takes out some of the guesswork in breeding for color and adds value to your business. Who doesn’t like that? Find out more on page 76. And, if you or someone you know is a young rider, turn to page 66 to learn about some amazing opportunities that exist for college and high school equestrians— some that surprised even us at the Journal. Writer Chris Keim takes us through seven groups that offer the chance to compete in riding as a team—a great way to combine your favorite sport with the camaraderie of others who share your love. We have some great features lined up this month, but I am also excited about the changes we’ve made based on your feedback. Now, you can find all of your breed- and discipline-related news combined into one, easy-to-read section with an enhanced design. Let us know what you think!
Be a Part of the Equine Journal » This month in our “In Your Words” column, we asked readers if they have ever chosen a horse based on color. Be sure to read the responses on page 20. We would love to feature your answer in a future column. Visit us on Facebook, or send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. » Have something on your mind? Send your “Letters to the Editor” to editorial@equinejournal. com. Each month, one will be chosen as our featured letter and will win a prize pack. » Do you have a horse health or training question? Send your questions to Jenn@equinejournal.com, and we will have a leading veterinarian or trainer provide the answers you are looking for.
| equine Journal 15
ON THE ROAD
BETWEEN THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF THE HOLIDAY season, attending year-end award ceremonies, and setting aside enough time to get to the barn, we often get so wrapped up in our own busy schedules that we forget about others around us that are less fortunate. After spending my entire summer going to horse shows, I’ll admit that I was so preoccupied trying to balance my work life and my social life, that I had neglected to think about how lucky I am to ride horses. The past few months have been pretty difficult for me. I am blessed to have a job within the equine industry where I get to do two things I love—go to horse shows and meet with top professionals (and their horses!), and then go back to the office and write about it. You’d think it doesn’t get much better than that, right? Well, for me, it apparently wasn’t enough. A few years ago, my family’s horse passed away, and although Winnie was an equine that I inherited through my husband, I often felt like she was my own. I’d give anything to be back in the barn, brushing her, and walking around the facility and spending time with her while she grazed. It was the first chance I ever got to actually have a horse that I could (kind of) call my own. Since Winnie’s passing, and moving back to Massachusetts, I haven’t had as much of a chance to ride as I used to. I’ll go trail riding, but since I’ve been spending so much time on the road, following others who are showing on their own equines, I really missed having a horse I could call mine, and was hoping I might get an equine-related gift this year. But on September 29, just after fall started and the show season began to slow down, I attended the Lovelane Hoedown V, a fundraiser for the Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program, and was reminded of how fortunate I am—with or without a horse. The Hoedown was held in Dedham, MA, at Broad Oak Farm, a private facility owned by Jim and Joanne Halpin, and attracted over 600 attendees. A number of local chefs sponsored the event, which was themed “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” The night kicked off with hors d’oeuvres and a performance by James Montgomery, and was later followed by a concert featuring the Grammy Award winning Tedeschi Trucks Band. Of course, everyone in attendance was promised a night full of fun and excitement, but the real highlight of the evening for me was talking to parents of Lovelane students and learning how both they and their children had benefited from participating in the riding program. And based on the amount raised from the event, it appears that I wasn’t the only person who was affected by this. “Although we haven’t completely finished the process of totaling all funds raised, we generally net a little over $400,000 for the event,” says Development & Communications Manager Sally Spiers. “Because the Hoedown is a huge undertaking, we hold it every other year, but the funds raised will help us pay bills over the next couple of years.” The amount raised on September 29 may seem like a lot of money, but as most equestrians understand, riding and owning horses is costly, and between paying vet and farrier bills, the expenses can add up quickly. In addition, try paying for heat and lighting in a 160' x 72' indoor riding ring, as well 16
| November 2012
as a therapy room and administrative offices. This holiday season, I invite you to find a nonprofit organization of your choice to donate to. Donations do not have to be monetary—whether it’s volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility or equine rescue, hosting a house party, or donating an item to a non-profit’s wish list, there are many ways that you can make a difference. “We’re always looking for really good Me and my husband, JP, at the volunteers,” Spiers says. Lovelane Hoedown V. “Particularly if people are comfortable both with children with special needs and with horses. We’re a very volunteer heavy organization. If you think about the lessons going on in the ring, we have one paid therapeutic riding instructor, but we also have up to three people volunteering during the session. If you have a whole afternoon of these therapy sessions, we’re going to have 10 – 15 volunteers a day, so volunteers are great.” Spiers also suggests that people who wish to donate something should contact a facility to see if they have a wish list. Items aren’t always horse-related, and some of the products on Lovelane’s wish list include: iPads (for use in the program as communication devices for non-verbal children), color clipboards for use in their “Barn Buddies” program, a projector, a new portable CD player, a vacuum cleaner, walkie talkies, plain or solid color T-shirts for decorating, horse treats, a power washer, three- or five-pound hand weights, kids’ sized wheel barrows, and focus toys. Tack, blankets, and other horse-specific items are also great gifts for donation, but it’s sometimes best to call a facility ahead of time to make sure they need a specific size or product. “We never turn things away, but given the economy, we have so many people offloading tack, that we don’t always know what to do with it,” Spiers adds. If you’re still looking for a way to contribute to the community, the options are endless. There are many local benefit horse shows held in the area that are just an Internet search away. The Susan McDaniel Run for Lovelane, which is set for June 9, 2013, is one of many local races that benefit equineassisted therapy programs. So whether you’re passionate about helping horses in need, or reaching out to others who are less fortunate than you, please consider the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.
PHOTO: SCOTT ZIEGLER
‘Tis the Season to Be Giving
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Â© 2012 W. F. Young, Inc.
PROMOTES FLEXIBILITY AND PREVENTS CRACKING.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
[ FEATURED LET TER ]
North Woods Animal Treats for Your Thoughts!
We just got our issue in the mail…we love how you include so many breeds. I also like the equine homes for sale, as we are looking for a home with a barn. We are still waiting for you to start including more for the younger crowd (young teens), as we enjoy Equine Journal as a family.
We love hearing from you! Send us your letters to the editor for a chance to win this month’s prize of a North Woods Animal Treats gift pack. All letters we receive by December 1 will be entered in the drawing. Send your submissions to email@example.com, or to Equine Journal, Editorial, 83 Leicester Street, N. Oxford, MA 01537. Congratulations to Roxanne Cryanowski for winning November’s letter-of-themonth! She will receive a North Woods Animal Treats gift pack.
– Roxanne Cryanowski, Westfield, MA
Shame on the USEF for these ridiculous rulings. Whoever created these rules should be fired or sued in court for their discriminatory policies. -Lynda Peterson Princeton, MN
I read the article in the Equine Journal’s Sport Horse edition titled, “Do You Really Qualify as an Amateur,” that Emily Pratt [USEF Director of Regulations] reviewed for accuracy. If the goal of the USEF is to make dressage more elitist than it already is, these rules will make certain wealthy riders do not have to rub elbows with riders who are not. Obviously, the USEF rules committee is intent on keeping lower-income, hardworking riders out of the club room and winner’s circle. My daughter trains horses and has given me riding lessons...I cleaned the tack room a couple of times in appreciation. One of her clients offered me her horse to use if I’d like to compete. Because of my daughter’s occupation, and the fact I swept the tack room, the USEF rules won’t allow me that pleasure of competing as an amateur... does that make them breathe a sigh of relief? What purpose does that rule serve? I find pleasure and therapy in riding a horse and have the advantage of free lessons and a free ride on a horse, so shame on me? 18
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I would like to see more on the Nokota horse, but otherwise, I love Equine Journal. More on Lippitt Morgans, too, please! -Jan Wells Via FacebookSM Thank you so much for selecting my comments to be your “Featured Letter” for the October issue! My boys are all enjoying their treats! -Penny Peck East Longmeadow, MA I so enjoy reading the Equine Journal that I was shocked to read in “Base of Support” (Sport Horse Special Edition) that you did not discuss the oldest, and by far, the very best safety stirrup, the Foot Free™. Not only does its design go way back to the Elizabethan period, but it is used today by the Queen, is perfectly balanced, unlike the Peacock, and keeps the foot in perfect position, unlike jointed or offset stirrups. I hope, for your readers’ sake, you will mention this wonderful product in your next issue so they have an educated opportunity to make a choice. -Joe Gitterman Via Email
Thank you so much for acknowledging my husband, Thomas, and our stallion, SI Prince Ali Shiraz, in the October issue of the Equine Journal. Any exposure helps our small farm. You made my day. -Fran Bonenfant Orange, MA
I am writing you to let you know that I found some incorrect information regarding award results in the August edition of the Journal. The results you posted for the Foundation of the Spanish Horse All Breeds dressage awards were from 2011. The current 2012 standings can be found on the USDF website. I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice photo of me, and Fenix XXXIII, who did win all breeds champion again this year, but at Prix St. Georges and Fourth Level Freestyle, not Third Level. -Alexis Martin-Vegue Via Email The October issue was wonderful! I loved reading about Gypsies and the author’s travels! -Jess Bowers Via Facebook
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IN YOUR WORDS
Yes...I know I’m not supposed to admit that…but I am currently looking for another horse and refuse to look at anything not flashy colored. –Sasha Ferryman (Urbana, OH)
When my mother, Kimberly Meyer, bought me my first horse, we were looking for a purebred bay Arabian gelding around the age of 10. We ended up with a purebred chestnut Arabian mare that was five years old! -Kayleigh Meyer (Storrs, CT) I always said I’d never own a bay because they’re boring... my little copper penny bay has clearly proven that statement false. -Stephanie Klebes (Warren, MA)
When it comes to buying a horse, has its color ever influenced your decision? For Next Month:
What are you hoping to unwrap this
| November 2012
I know color doesn’t matter, but I am a sucker for a goodlooking Paint Horse. -Myke Ramsey (Carbondale, IL) Yes, I hunted for a blood bay for months. I looked at others but wanted the blood bay. I ended up with a mostly white Pinto! -Suzanne Adams (Beverly, NJ)
No, but I don’t look at a horse seriously if it is a color I dislike: grey, cremello, or very pale palomino or buckskin. It’s attitude and conformation, then gender for me before color. There are too many horses available to buy one if I don’t like the looks of it. I just keep looking until I find the right one. –Troy Palmer (Pocahontas, AR) I guess we all have our ideal color or a horse we would really love to own, but I believe when the right horse comes along, you don’t really see the color—you just know it’s the one for you. -Michelle Bailey (Cardigan, Pembrokeshire, UK)
From Our Staff
Well, honestly? Yes. I love a dark horse with little to no white, less time bathing, and more time in the saddle! - Angela Savoie Advertising and Marketing Consultant
Send your answers to Jenn@EquineJournal.com.
PHOTO: MYSTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY
When I was younger, it did. I only wanted a bay or a grey. Now, as an adult, I know better that color doesn’t matter. -Cindy Carpenter (Wausau, WI)
Sort of. After years of owning (and constantly washing) greys, I decided my next horse would not be one. I was very methodical about what I wanted: a small, dark gelding. What did I end up with? A tall, grey mare. –Kandace York (Luckey, OH)
WITH THE BEST BECKER Becker Collegeâ€”one of the nationâ€™s best undergraduate institutions*â€”offers preparation for rewarding work in the equine industry as well as a competitive equestrian team. Located in the heart of Massachusetts, Becker students benefit from a close-knit community, a vibrant campus life, and a transformational learning experience. *The Princeton Review
Now Offering Boarding & Community Lessons! Equestrian Academics Programs
Equestrian Center (located in Paxton, Mass.)
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1.877.523.2537 November 2012
| equine Journal 21
Five Star Performance Horses expands business with ClearSpan arena Five Star Performance Horses is an all-around barn whose riders show on the Quarter Horse Circuit. The barn also has hunter and eventing riders. Owner and trainer Erin Cecchini realized that her business was growing very quickly and that more indoor riding space was needed.
Cecchini explains, “Before, we only had a very small indoor building, no bigger than a round pen. The business was growing so fast and I knew I needed something much bigger.” Since ClearSpan’s corporate headquarters are located in Connecticut, Cecchini had already heard of the company. After doing her research, she knew a Hercules Truss Arch Building from ClearSpan was the perfect choice. Cecchini says, “We chose a ClearSpan building because of the natural light inside and temporary nature of the structure. If our needs change, the building can be moved. Also, the maintenance on fabric structures is much simpler than that of a wood building.” Cecchini is very happy with her decision and so are her customers. “Everyone loves the indoor arena because it’s big and bright inside. Most indoors are dark and dreary, so the natural light makes riding inside much more enjoyable. The building is also very pretty.” She notes, “This structure can also be used for things other than riding. During bad storms, we park our trucks and trailers inside to keep them out of the elements.” Cecchini shares, “My advice to other riders considering ClearSpan indoor arenas is to put big doors on both ends because it creates a great breeze. We tend to ride inside even during the summer months because it is so much cooler.” She adds, “There is absolutely nothing I would change about my arena. It’s awesome!” For more information on ClearSpan Fabric Structures, call 1.866.643.1010 or visit www.ClearSpan.com/ADEJ.
OPEN HOUSE ClearSpan Fabric Structures & Five Star Performance Horses are hosting an open house.
Where: Five Star, Guilford, CT When: November 17, 2012 Time: 10:00am to 4:00pm
The event will include facility tours, ClearSpan presentation and Q & A, riding demonstrations and more. To register, contact Nichole Kemp at nkemp@ClearSpan.com.
POINTS OF INTEREST p. 24 | NOW YOU KNOW p. 28 | PREPURCHASE EXAM p. 30 | STABLE SOLUTIONS p. 34 ASK THE VET p. 38 | QUICK TIPS p. 40
bits & pieces
Photo of the Month
Photo: sandy rivard
Brookhavens dynaglass slippers, owned by Frost hill Farm Miniature horses of hampstead, nh.
| equine Journal 23
bits & pieces POINTS OF INTEREST
Black Caviar Black Caviar, an Australian Champion Thoroughbred racehorse, unbeaten in 22 race starts, is the highest rated sprinter in the world. She has become an international sensation by shattering records and delivering unrivaled performances on two continents! And now, Breyer® has created a Breyer portrait model of this racing champion, an official Black Caviar product, to commemorate her unbeaten record. Black Caviar’s most recent victory was in the 2012 G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in the United Kingdom, which was followed by a special congratulatory pat from Her Majesty the Queen. This incredible performance highlighted just how exceptional Black Caviar is, as she was the first mare to win this race in almost 30 years! The Black Caviar model will be available from Breyer retailers and at BreyerHorses.com.
The Weather Outside is Frightful
We asked how often you ride once the weather gets colder. Here are your answers.
Times Per Week Want to be included in our polls? Visit us on Facebook by scanning the QR Code with your smartphone. 24
| November 2012
The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is excited to announce the release of the free NRHA App for the iPhone® and iPod touch®. The NRHA App contains the 2012 NRHA Handbook, which includes NRHA bylaws, rules, regulations, and judges’ guide, along with the standard NRHA Patterns. The app can be downloaded to the iPad®, with an optimized version coming soon. Search for “NRHA” in the iTunes® store.
Tauber for President The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Board of Directors recently assembled in Lexington, KY, for the 2012 USEF Mid-year Meeting where the election of a new president topped the agenda. Olympic Gold Medalist, David O’Connor, has served as the USEF president since 2004, and since 1917, only 12 individuals have served in the presidential role. Chrystine J. Tauber was the Committee’s recommendation for the office. The nomination was not contested, and she was elected, unanimously, to serve a four-year term commencing in January 2013. When asked to envision her role as president, Tauber commented, “Looking back over my career in the horse industry, spanning some 50 years, I realize how fortunate I am to have had so many great opportunities to work with talented horses, trainers, and fellow leaders in the equestrian world who provided me with invaluable knowledge and experiences. Through working together and our shared love of horse sports, I have come to know and appreciate all the wonderful breeds and different disciplines that make up the special tapestry of the U.S. Equestrian Federation.”
Read All About It!
The 2013 American Horse Publications (AHP) Student Internship Listings and applications are now available online at americanhorsepubs.org to college students who have an interest in horses and seek a career in equine publishing media. “We’ve redesigned the listings to make them more userfriendly for students to search on the internships which interest them,” says Judy Lincoln, AHP Student Programs Coordinator.
During a recent National Sales Meeting, colleagues in Pfizer Animal Health’s U.S. Cattle and Equine Business Unit decided to forgo some food and beverages through-out the week, and instead, donate the money saved to Bethel Orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. The $11,000 donation from Pfizer Animal Health represents about six percent of the orphanage’s annual operating budget.
Zenyatta earned her place in Thoroughbred history during her nearly undefeated three-year career. Now, the beloved mare will have a permanent presence at her home track of Santa Anita Park in California, with a new statue created by artist Nina Kaiser. Zenyatta will also be recognized with the first-ever running of the $250,000 Zenyatta Stakes.
A Spoonful of Salt a full-sized horse does best on a diet that offers 1 mg to 6 mg of iodine each day to keep his thyroid gland working properly. Because the iodine content of hay is too low to measure, it is best to rely on supplementation—from salt or other sources—to meet your horse’s need. Many supplements and fortified feeds already add it. it’s always best to know what your horse is consuming, since too much iodine can cause thyroid damage. all full-size horses require at least one ounce (two tablespoons) of salt per day for maintenance (and up to three ounces/day when perspiring heavily). This is a good way to add iodine and provide the needed salt as well. Granulated salt that you buy in the grocery store comes in both non-iodized and iodized versions; one teaspoon of iodized table salt contains 0.4 mg of iodine (3 tsp = 1 Tablespoon = 15 ml). White and brown salt blocks generally do not contain iodine, whereas blue and red ones do. sea salt, kelp, and other natural salt sources can vary tremendously in their iodine content. From Juliet Getty Ph.D, gettyequinenutrition.com.
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| equine Journal 25
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The Faraway Horses—The Life Award Story That Inspired Buck, Winner of This Year’s Audience at Sundance Winner of This Year’s Audience Award at Sundance As a horse trainer, Buck Brannaman’s skills are legendary—so much so that As a horseThat trainer,Inspired Buck Brannaman’s The Faraway Horses—The LifeThe Story Buck, Horse Whisperer, both the novel skills are legendary—so so that Robert Redford’s film,much is based Winner of This Year’s Audienceand Award at Sundance The Horse Whisperer, both the novel largely on him.
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| November 2012
largely him. Now hison life has been portrayed in As a horse trainer, Buck Brannaman’s Buck, a moving documentary skills are legendary—so muchthat so that Now hisAudience life has been portrayed in won The Award at the 2011 The Horse Whisperer, both the novel Sundance Film Festival. Globe Pequot Buck, a moving documentary that and Robert Redford’s film, is based Press proud to reprint Brannaman’s won isThe Audience Award at the 2011 largely on him. moving autobiograph, The Globe Faraway Sundance Film Festival. Pequot Horses, which hereprint shares his lifein Now life hasto been portrayed Presshis isinproud Brannaman’s struggles, his methods forThe training, Buck, a moving documentary that moving autobiograph, Faraway and aThe prescription for livingatahis won Award the life 2011 Horses, inAudience which he shares harmonious existence—whether Sundance Festival. Globe Pequot struggles,Film his methods for training, it involves horses or not. Press proud to reprint Brannaman’s and aisprescription for living a moving autobiograph, The Faraway harmonious existence—whether Horses, in which heor shares it involves horses not.his life struggles, his methods for training, Also by the author: and a prescription for living a Believe: A Horseman’s Journey harmonious existence—whether Also by the author: it involves horses or not.
A Horseman’sLyonspress.com Journey The Lyons Believe: Press Lyons Press is an imprint of Available wherever Also by the author: Globe Pequot Press books are sold.
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| equine Journal 27
bits & pieces NOW YOU KNOW Fun trivia and interesting facts about Quarter Horses
$2,584,243 The current lifetime earnings of Ochoa, the new leader on top of the American Quarter Horse racing all-time earnings list.
The number of members that comprise the American Quarter Horse Youth Association, including members from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and South America.
| November 2012
The number of horses to have been inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Five more horses will be added in March of 2013: Fillinic, Freckles Playboy, Lady Bug’s Moon, Miss Olene, and Poco Tivi.
Spanish Barbs were crossed with the Colonists’ English stock as early as 1611. Over the next 150 years, the product of this breeding would come to be known as the “Celebrated American Quarter Running Horse.”
The number of entries at the 2012 Adequan® Select World Show, which is the pinnacle event for American Quarter Horse exhibitors, ages 50 and over, around the world.
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western boots Twisted X® Ruff Stock Boots
Justin® Women’s AQHA Ostrich Remuda Boots
We loved these boots for the busy girl in a rush to head out to the barn! Perfectly placed holes in the top made pulling on these boots a breeze. The tester liked the patented, molded insole that gave her just the right amount of support, whether she was on her feet or in the saddle, and the moisture wicking and machine washable footbeds were well appreciated and a fabulous asset to the boot. They ran slightly large; so, try on a few pairs to make sure that you get the ﬁt just right! The heel that was fully nailed onto the boot meant that these would truly stand the test of time. BUY THEM: $190, TwistedXBoots.com
These boots were made for walking (and riding!), that’s just what they do…this month, we put several pairs through their paces.
Ariat® Caballera Boots
The instant our tester stepped into the Ariat Crossﬁre Caballeras, she fell in love. Comfort, class, and cowgirl are three words that can be used to describe these boots. It took less than a day for the tester to break them in! The elegant stitching and ﬂashy coloring complemented each other perfectly, making the boots conservative enough to wear to the barn, but eye-catching enough for this “equinista” to wear out on the town. BUY THEM: $250, Ariat.com
These boots were clearly made for the serious cowgirl. With a classic look and amazingly comfortable features, you won’t want to take them off. Justin’s own J-Flex Comfort System® made for a ﬂexible sole and allowed the tester to really feel the stirrups when she rode. The ankles took a bit to break in, but it was worth it…these high-quality boots are built to last. With the exotic, quilled ostrich skin on the base, they are fun to wear, not to mention rewarding! A percentage of Justin AQHA sales are given back to the AQHA to support the organizational programs and scholarship funds. BUY THEM: $459, justinboots.com
Tony Lama® Women’s Violet Tri-Tone Lizard Boots
These boots matched our tester’s personality perfectly. From the violet lizard skin on the foot that almost seemed to shimmer in the light, to the beautifully embroidered ﬂowers covering the rest of the boot, every detail was stunning. There is nothing more cowgirl about them than the fact that they’re handcrafted in the United States. The only downside—these boots needed a little breaking in before our tester could go out line dancing in them. BUY THEM : $350, tonylama.com
Our testers: This month our Prepurchase Exam was conducted by: Kelly Ballou, Managing Editor; Elisabeth Prouty-Gilbride, Executive Editor; Kathryn Selinga, News Editor; and Jennifer Roberts, Social Media Editor
This month’s products for review will be donated to the APHA “Leg Up On Life” program.
| November 2012
Do you have a product to suggest? Contact Jenn@EquineJournal.com with your ideas.
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| equine Journal 33
bits & pieces STABLE SOLUTIONS helpful hints for horse-keeping
Winter Weight Management Keep Your Horse Healthy Through the Colder Months By Sue Perry
Before deciding hoW to keep weight on your horse during the winter months, it’s important to know how to evaluate his present weight and recognize if it needs to be altered. A horse who is in good body condition is better able to withstand the environmental stresses of winter than a horse who is lean and already struggling to maintain his weight in october. Body condition scoring for horses is based on a scale of 1-10 that was developed by veterinarians and nutritionists as a way to objectively evaluate a horse’s weight, both as an initial exam and then again at subsequent intervals so that changes can be noted.
Body Condition Scores For Horses emaciated: All bone structure is easily visible. no fat palpable over spine, pelvis or shoulders. Very Thin: Slight fat covering the spine and tail head. prominent pelvis. other bone structure slightly discernible. Thin: Some fat on spine. Withers and shoulders accentuated, but bone structure not visible. Lean: Slight ridge visible over loin. pelvis not visible. front end not obviously thin. Moderate: Loin is flat (no crease or ridge). ribs not visible but easily felt. Shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body. Moderately Fleshy: May have slight crease down loin. ribs barely palpable with light pressure. Some fat in withers and shoulders. Fleshy: May have crease down loin (a dip along the back above the pelvis). ribs are difficult to feel. fat deposits along withers, neck, and behind shoulder. Fat: crease down loin. ribs very difficult to feel. Soft fat around tail head. fat creating a thick neck. Obese: obvious crease down loin. patchy fat deposits over ribs. flank filled in with fat (no abdominal tuck).
1 2 3 4
A healthy, fit horse at an ideal weight will better be able to withstand the environmental stresses of winter.
| November 2012
Start Out Healthy two Massachusetts equine veterinarians offered input on the winter weight management issue. dr. Sarah d’oench works with the Massachusetts equine clinic in Uxbridge, MA. dr. Allison Miller is on the Backstretch Veterinary team, based in norfolk, MA. “the average horse with good husbandry should hold his weight just fine over the winter,” says dr. d’oench. “it’s the old ones and the hard-keepers who may have trouble. Be sure to pay
attention to how much your horse is drinking (several gallons per day). We see an increase in impaction colics in the winter due to dehydration, and this is worse in older horses, which tend to have poorer intestinal (gi) motility to begin with. check each horse’s manure output daily and note any changes.” dr. Miller says, “Address any medical issues that may predispose the horse to weight loss or affect the ability to gain weight. older horses should be tested for cushing’s disease well before
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bits & pieces STABLE SOLUTIONS Stable Management
Horses require shelter from the cold wind, rain, and snow. Healthy horses in good body condition can live outdoors 24/7, unblanketed, if they have a large, threesided shed, fresh tepid water, salt, and plenty of high-quality hay. Daytime turnout and nighttime stabling is the most common winter management routine in the Northeast. A blanket will be required if the horse doesn’t have a long coat. Two or three layers will be necessary if the horse is body-clipped. Remember— shivering burns calories! Dr. Miller reminds owners to remove the blanket(s) every day or two to assess the horse’s condition. “You need to catch weight loss early on and address the problem. Underlying dermatologic conditions, such as rain rot or severe chafing, must be noted promptly and treated. Just because your horse is wearing a blanket does not mean that he no Horses are more likely to drink tepid or warm water than very cold water, and it is important for them to stay hydrated in the winter to longer needs a thorough daily Dietary grooming to keep his skin and avoid impaction colic. Considerations coat healthy.” A full belly is a warm belly. Pasture buddies can be a source of horse’s body condition, so it’s important Dr. D’Oench says, “The large intestine, weight loss. If your horse is in a group to not continually increase the amount colon, and cecum are a horse’s furnace. turnout situation and is low in the of food until this time period has These organs make heat as they digest pecking order, he may not be getting been reached.” hay. Feed good quality hay as that’s enough to eat. Don’t let size fool you—a Both veterinarians agree that the key for both warmth and nutrition. Miniature horse with a dominant attihorses are more likely to drink tepid You don’t want your horse to get cold, tude can back off a big Trakehner. Put or warm water than very cold water. because shivering burns a lot of caloout one pile of hay per horse, plus two Dr. D’Oench says that this is especially ries. Lean horses don’t have enough more, so that everyone can get enough. true for older horses. “Icy water on insulating fat to keep them warm, so If you can, feed the hay in smaller their exposed tooth roots really hurts, they will be more likely to get cold and amounts several times a day. This is so they don’t drink.” Free access to a shiver than their better body-condicloser to the natural grazing rhythm salt block will also encourage drinking. tioned friends.” of horses and discourages waste due Thirsty horses are not only more If you feel that your horse needs to to trampling. prone to impaction colic, but they are put on a few pounds before the winter, Dr. D’Oench says that every horse also more likely to stop eating hay consult with your veterinarian. Dr. responds to various feeds and supple(even if they are still hungry and a Miller cautions, “Dietary restrictions ments differently. If you try one diet for bit chilly). because of a horse’s age or metabolic a month and don’t see your horse gain Dr. Miller recommends, “A warm, condition may prevent the safe addithe weight that he needs to before the pelleted mash once or twice a week tion of certain foods to the diet to help winter, try something else. is never a bad idea, especially if an with weight gain. Soaked beet pulp, fat owner notices that the horse has not supplements, and corn oil are usually been drinking as much as he normally safe ways to add fat and calories to a Sue Perry is a Certified Veterinary does each day.” Impaction colics horse’s diet. Technician and equine massage therapist. require holding the horse off feed “It’s important to note that it will take She lives in Upton, MA, with two event until the impaction resolves, thereby three to four weeks after a diet change horses and runs “Muscle Magic,” an contributing to weight loss. is made to notice a change in the equine massage service. 36
| November 2012
photo: helen pepe
the winter, and treated if necessary, to eliminate an underlying metabolic predisposition for muscle wasting. This can translate grossly into weight loss. A dental exam should be performed, and any abnormalities addressed, so that the horse will not have difficulty chewing his food. “Horses coming off a vigorous show season, cribbers, or horses with recurrent colic episodes may need to be assessed for gastric ulcers. The ulcers may predispose that horse to further colic episodes (for which he may have to be held off feed), and they may interfere with the ability to gain weight despite an adequate diet.” Take a fresh manure sample to your veterinarian’s office for a fecal egg count. The results will indicate the horse’s parasite load. Your veterinarian can then advise you on a fall deworming protocol.
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| equine Journal 37
bits & pieces ASK THE VET your horse health questions answered
The Eyes Have It
Learn How To Treat Eye Injuries and Avoid Serious Complications BY ALFREDO SANCHEZ LONDOﾃ前, MV, MS DACVIM (LARGE ANIMAL)
How are eye injuries commonly treated?
Eye injuries in horses are fairly common and can certainly have serious complications if they go unnoticed or untreated. Injuries can be classified into different categories, and depending on the seriousness, they will require immediate and aggressive treatment. Some horses will have seasonal allergies that can cause eye irritation and tearing. This condition in itself is fairly easily controlled by using antihistamines, or in some cases, antiinflammatories. One of the concerns with this particular condition would be if the horse is rubbing its head on solid objects, which could have the potential to cause trauma to the eye or the eyelid. Eyelid lacerations are seen in horses that get the lid caught on objects such as hooks, boards, or other hardware in the stall. It is an impressive and concerning scene to walk into the stall and see the horse with a large amount of blood coming from the eye area, but it is important to remain calm and evaluate the situation. Once you have evaluated what is happening, contact your veterinarian to discuss the findings so that the repair of the eyelid can be done as soon as possible, which will increase the chances of adequate healing and fewer complications.
If the horse has a swollen If a horse has eyelid or seems to be excess tearing, it squinting and have excess is possible that he tearing, it is possible that has a foreign body in his eye. he may have a foreign body embedded in the lid. In most cases, the horse will resist evaluation. In this situation, contact your veterinarian. The horse will usually need to be given a sedative and a local injection to block the nerves to the eyelids so that an adequate and complete evaluation can be performed. If during the examination a foreign body is identified, it will be removed carefully to prevent any further damage, and the eye will be evaluated to check for evidence of any corneal damage. Corneal ulcers in horses to see how large the corneal ulcer is, can be extremely painful, and if and this will also help monitor the progneglected, can cause severe damage to ress of healing as the horse is treated. the eye, possibly leading to complete Depending on the severity of the loss of vision or removal of the eye. corneal ulcer present, it can be treated Horses with corneal ulcers will usually at the barn, or in some cases, the have swollen eyelids, excess discharge horse may need to be sent to a referral (usually white or yellow) from the hospital for more aggressive treatment. corner of their eye, and will try to stay In the majority of cases, topical mediaway from the sun or bright lights. cations will need to be administered If you notice these signs, you should frequently to prevent further infection contact your veterinarian immediately. and damage to the cornea. Usually a fluorescein stain will be used
OXYTETRACYCLINE HYDROCHLORIDE A topical antibiotic mix for mild bacterial eye infections, this ointment treats conjunctivitis and secondary bacterial inflammatory conditions of the eye. The broad-spectrum defense combines potent antibiotics in a petroleum base. 38
| November 2012
TRIPLE ANTIBIOTIC OPHTHALMIC OINTMENT A sterile ointment that is used topically, ophthalmic ointment contains bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B. This combination of antibiotics is used to treat infections caused by various bacteria.
GENTAMICIN SULFATE OPHTHALMIC SOLUTION An antibiotic drop that is used to topically treat eye infections, such as conjunctivitis, keratitis, and corneal ulcers, Gentamicin works on a wide variety of bacteria by interrupting the protein synthesis.
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| equine Journal 39
bits & pieces QUICK TIPS riding tips from top trainers
Driving Pointers With Sara Schmitt of Hawk Hollow Ranch
What do you take notice of when you walk the marathon course? How do you plan your route?
| November 2012
If you think the course is going to be challenging, pick routes that won’t make your horse have to start and stop too many times.
is that changing rein or direction takes longer than staying on the same rein, and many short steps take much longer than the same or a few more, longer steps. Pace out all options. Sometimes the one you think is long is the best one. The other thing to keep in mind is, if it is sandy or muddy, your horse will struggle and the carriage will slide, so go a bit wider. My favorite part of combined driving is the marathon, not because of the speed and fun, but because of the challenge of knowing my horse well enough,
and making a plan that works for him and makes me competitive. SARA SCHMITT a skilled dressage competitor, trainer, and instructor, and talented combined driver. She is a USET long listed driver, and most recently, she won the 2011 Bromont International CAI Intermediate Single Horse and the Elk Creek CDE Preliminary Single Horse with Kaboom.
TOP PHOTO: REIN PHOTOGRAPHY; BOTTOM PHOTO COURTESY OF SARA SCHMITT
When I start looking at a marathon course, I ask myself a few general questions. Is it sandy or hilly on the long side or short? Do I have the maximum obstacles or less? Do I think my horse is fit enough, or is he/she going to be struggling at the end? These questions need to be answered before I start picking routes in the obstacles. I also find the start and end of every section a day or two before I compete on marathon day. If I think the course is going to be challenging, I will pick routes that won’t make my horse have to start and stop a tremendous amount. Starting and stopping and getting the carriage going can take a lot out of a horse, and the smaller the animal, the more it takes out of him. I also will figure out where the course is easier so I can slow down and give my guy a bit of a breather. I approach each and every obstacle the same way—I stand back and take a general look. Is it large or tight with a lot of things in my way? Is this obstacle the first obstacle? Typically, I won’t take really tight turns in the first obstacle, as the horse is not always listening his best at that time. At the second, third, and fourth hazard, I will try a tight turn or two. I think that all but the most advanced horses can only do up to three really hard turns per obstacle. At the last obstacle, I try to open up my turns to finish with some horse left. When I go into the hazard, I try to get a location on all of the gates, and then try to figure out all options from a to b to c to d, etc. I then ask myself if my horse turns faster left or right. Which does he prefer? I then will pace out each turn, but I pace out the steps my horse will take, not necessarily the way my carriage goes. A good rule of thumb
bits & pieces QUICK TIPS riding tips from top trainers
With Punk Carter of Punk Carter Horsemanship
A lot of the disciplines that I am interested in involve cows: cutting, roping, team penning, etc. How should I go about starting a young horse on cattle?
a strong foundation when your horse is young will keep him competing for many years.
| November 2012
body will relax with it. The key thing to focus on is when the horse gives in to your pressure, you release. When you are first starting out trying to learn to do this with a horse, it is best to seek out an experienced horseman to help you out. You can get your horse, and yourself, into some unfortunate situations if you do not know how to do this or exactly what you are trying to accomplish. The basic foundation of a horse is very similar to a child going through the early years of school. If a child doesn’t master the basics in the beginning, he or she will only go so far before the missing skills stop his or her progress. For example, if a child
doesn’t master phonics in the beginning, it will be very difficult for that child to become a good reader. This will cause problems in learning in future grades. Horses are no different. No matter what, you do not want to skip a grade with any horse. Punk Carter is one of the cutting horse industry’s icons and most respected members and “activists.” He is a past president of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) and has been an NCHA Director for over 30 years. He was inducted into the NCHA Members’ Hall of Fame during the Futurity in December of 2002. Check out his new website, punkcarterhorsemanship.com.
photo: punk carter horsemanship
Before starting a young horse on cows, it is very important to establish a strong foundation. Without the strong foundation, it is just a matter of time before everything will start to come apart. You do not want to get into dealing with patch jobs on a young horse. When you head down that road, the horse will never make it to the level he could have if he had mastered the foundation before moving on to cows or any other advanced work. One of the most important things I am looking for before even thinking of advancing a horse to cows is to make sure the horse is soft in the face. If the horse is fighting the bit, with his nose sticking out, his back will hollow out and none of his movements will be in balance. I want a horse to be able to do all basic maneuvers with his nose tucked and no resistance. This includes loping circles, loping a straight line, stopping, backing, and turning—always with his nose tucked, back rounded, and no resistance. The key exercise to get all of this happening is headsetting the horse. There are many ways to headset a horse. Some trainers prefer to develop headsets on the ground; others prefer to do it on the back of the horse while riding. Personally, I like to drive my horses on the ground with long reins before going at it from horseback. I start by working to get softness from side to side. After this is achieved, I will start working for softness in the pole. When the pole softens, the entire
| equine Journal 43
Equine Journal Advertorial
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strength, minimal concussion, in just a short period of time, you will and viscoelastic rebound. actually see the benefits of working your optimum shear strength allows the horses on aes’s select surfaces. remember horizontal and vertical motions of the that each and every ring designed by hoof to be arrested in a controlled aes has a surface formulated specifically progressive manner. the surface allows for discipline and climate. this custom forward rotation—or breakover—of the approach to footing will never disappoint. hoof, which compacts the footing below the For more information, visit horse. the engineered viscoelastic rebound equestriansurfaces.com, or call encourages and enhances 888-461-7788. forward motion. all of the arena footing products are manufactured without wax and, therefore, are more stable in extreme temperature conditions. During high temperatures, the polymer coating will not melt or become as soft as wax can get. and, during extreme cold, the surfaces will remain Attwood’s clients range from nationally recognized competitors soft and pliable, rather to the private discerning rider. Olympian Boyd Martin trusts than becoming hard Attwood’s footing to keep his horses competition ready. and brittle.
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Setting the PHOTO: COURTESY OF WILLOW CREEK STABLES
| November 2012
BY KATHRYN SELINGA
Standards Learn How to Design a Hunter/Jumper Course for Your Arena
Setting up extra fences allows you to change up your course without having to move jumps around.
Safety First above all else, allen suggests that those planning on creating a course should seek the advice of a licensed designer. “anyone setting up a course for a competition, whether it’s a little one or a bigger one, should take the opportunity to work with a licensed course designer two or three times to get insider tips, and so they don’t inadvertently get someone hurt or send someone backwards in progress,” she says. next, there are certain features that every course, no matter the discipline or difficulty level, should have. “there are two overriding principles when you set up jumps,” she continues. “number one, they’re safe and number two, whatever you set is appropriate for the occasion—for whatever show or class it is, and the level of experience the people jumping the course will have. and i think it’s really important that you have both of those things. if you meet those two objectives, then you won’t go wrong.” clausen agrees. “any course should have the appropriate distances [between fences] so that it’s safe, and have safe equipment as well, including rails and cups. the united 48
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States equestrian Federation (uSeF) now requires safety release cups on oxers. Schooling shows don’t, but if the organizers have them or have access to them, it’s a good safety practice.” “the number of falls, especially horse falls, has gone down dramatically [since making breakaway cups mandatory at rated shows], because the pole will get out of the way…to me, this is as important in schooling as it is in a competition. You don’t want to turn a mistake into an accident. any horse can make a mistake and you don’t want to turn that into an accident and have either horse or rider hurt,” adds allen.
The Basics When putting together a track, it is also important to know who your riders will be so you have the appropriate number and type of obstacles. in hunters and hunter equitation, there are typically eight fences, which includes each jump in a combination. “Basic elements of the hunter course would be a single jump, direct lines, and something that’s going to encourage a flow to the canter…a hunter course should use distances that are the same so that the horse can pick up one canter and stay the same from beginning to end. and a hunter course should be fairly basic in terms of the questions that it’s asking, because you really just want to give the horse the opportunity to jump well,” says clausen. “When you get to an equitation course, that’s where a bending line becomes very appropriate; potentially with something like a rollback turn somewhere on course, and possibly including an in-and-out or a combination,” she continues. in jumpers, there is an eight-fence minimum, and combina-
Photo: courtesy of barbara Joyce equestrian services
Setting up a jumping courSe, whether for practice or a schooling show, can be a daunting task. there are a number of factors and details that go into each track that must be considered to provide a safe experience for equestrians and their horses, including striding, arena space, footing, and more. to break down the components piece by piece, we talked to 1996 olympic course Designer and Fei licensed “o” jumping course Designer, Linda allen, and professor of course Design and construction at centenary college, tara clausen.
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tions are only counted as one question. Most courses have around 10 obstacles, according to Allen. There is also a sixjump minimum for jump-offs. When planning, you should also make sure you have the right amount of equipment for your needs. “You can’t design a course with 15 obstacles if you only have eight to work with, so you have to know what you have to work with and be flexible,” says Allen. On the other hand, if you have ample equipment, that can work to your advantage. “A lot of times what I like to do is, if I have the space, include additional jumps that I may or may not use in each individual course. If I’m setting for a horse show where we’re doing different divisions or different trips, I might have a quarter line jump that I use as the first fence in the first round, but then I don’t use it in the second round,” Clausen explains.
Using 10' rails in an indoor arena can help with spatial issues.
Photo: krista hodgkin/courtesy of the virginia horse center
Once you are familiar with the elements and equipment that you’ll need, it’s time to think about the environment that you’ll be working in. “If you’re building a course in a 70' x 120' indoor arena, you’re very limited in size and therefore limited in what you can set. Having a 200' x 250' area in a field someplace, that’s very different. And if you create the
same course for both, it would be inappropriate for one or the other,” says Allen. So what should you do differently? “Some of the things I tend to do for a smaller ring or an indoor arena, where the horse’s step is going to tend to shorten, is I wouldn’t set on a regular stride…if you set a five stride line at 72', you’re going to end up with maybe half of the riders adding in six and potentially chipping in, and some of the riders doing the five and leaving long or having to battle to do it,” says Clausen. “What we actually do at Centenary that helps [in the indoor], is we have 10' rails instead of 12' rails. So that can
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Large outdoor rings allow for the use of more substantial wings and decorations.
be something that, when youâ€™re working in a smaller space, can be really handyâ€”just go down to those 10' rails, and it does make a substantial difference and gives you room to work around the jumps without feeling like theyâ€™re in the way,â€? she elaborates. Appearance is also key, and, believe it or not, indoor and outdoor rings require different decorating and filling techniques. â€œ[In a small indoor arena] you have to be careful that youâ€™re not getting too wide, so youâ€™d want to use things that go
in front and back of the wings and not stick out too farâ€Śmaybe just use something that hangs on the wings, but that would be about it,â€? details Allen. â€œWhere in big, outside arenas, especially if you donâ€™t have too many jumps to fill up the space, you would build up each jump to use up a little more real estate and give the impression of the arena being more complete, rather than looking too empty.â€?
The Arena While an outdoor versus indoor setting plays a large part in your course design, the shape and size of your ring are just as important. â€œThe easiest arena to work with is rectangular, because thatâ€™s what we see most often, and a normal size is somewhere between 120' - 150' wide and 200' - 300' long,â€?
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