Page 1

20 TH EDITION - 2017

the BUCK stops here

BUCK BRANNAMAN KAT FUQUA the future of showjumping

helping horses with













©alicia frese

16 6 8


12 16 23 26 28

KAT FUQUA Onward & Upward!


DRESSAGE Ray’s Corner

Following Traditions


Damage Control



Help! My Horse has Asthma!

WESTERN Perfect Circles


Blalock Lakes

what’s INSIDE 30 32



Polo Around Atlanta

34 C ASTLE LESLIE ESTATE Riding in Ireland Part II


38 40

ART S & ENTERTAINMENT Castle Leslie Estate Photo Trends with Alicia Frese Buck Brannaman

Penny Morse Editor

Summer is just around the corner!

Heidi Caldwell Creative Director

You can always tell when summer is almost here in Georgia. We have started picking up hay out of the field and it has become seriously warm! With all of that comes horse shows! Yes, the season is upon us! While you are filling your calendar, do not forget to sign up to volunteer. This is a very difficult time to get volunteers as there is so much going on, so check all your local shows, and if you are free that weekend, do not forget to offer some hours, because without those volunteers, there will not be a show!

Maureen Forman Lifestyle Editor

Contributing Writers Yvonne Barteau June Brewer

Keeping the hot weather in mind, remember to take care of your skin. It is so easy to forget to hydrate, use sunscreen, and take care of your skin! Some very good tips to follow this issue and do not forget the sun hat!

Maureen Forman Emily Fritchey

Interesting articles this edition–including Buck Brannaman who never gives interviews! For those who are not familiar with the name, he was the man they based The Horse Whisperer on. It is heartwarming to talk to someone with so much knowledge, but is so down to earth and humble.

Erin Groover, DVM Carolyn Haward Jenny Kepano

Meet Kat Fuqua from Atlanta who has been leading the way in the Junior Hunter Jumper world. Her love for the sport is inspiring to everyone.

Laura Lamb Penny Morse

Watch out for our next edition the end of June, when we will have some great photographs from Rolex and will continue to catch up with what is going on, on the west coast!

Anne Margaret Meyers Cheryl Pritchard Laura Sevriens

Stay Cool!

Amber Spiler Erika Swales Penny Morse

Atlanta Horse Connections Magazine is part of City Horse Connections, an equestrian network bringing the equine world together, one city at a time.


All articles and pictures are owned and copyrighted by City Horse Connections, a subsidiary of JJP Group. Reproduction of copyrighted material, without prior permission of the copyright owner, is illegal according to 17 U.S.C. Reproductions of copyright materials apply not only to traditional works such as books, photographs, drawings, etc., but also digital media such as music, movies and software. ©2017.




Carolyn Haward FEI International Show Jumping Judge, Greece

Amanda, (Carolyn’s daughter) and her horse Marshal



MARSHAL IS A DARK BROWN, almost black stallion who is at this very moment grazing in a lush green meadow in Holland, living out his final years in peaceful retirement. Meadows, you see, are in short supply in this Mediterranean country called Greece, especially here in Attica, the area around Athens, in the south. The summer sun is too hot for the vegetation that springs up in the middle of March so that by the time May is almost out, all has turned into virtual dry straw. Marshal must be extremely content munching his days away in the verdant surroundings in Northern Europe. The little limerick above aptly puts the problem in a nutshell... hydrophobia, as the Greeks would put it.


As I mentioned, Marshal, in common with many horses, was very wary of water jumps. What funny creatures horses are! They are so large and strong but so timid; shying at the silliest things. In their equine minds, this moving sparkling liquid must look like a monster that threatens their existence. Perhaps they imagine the water as having unfathomable depths or the sunlight which reflects in the glassy surface may remind them of lightning as they approach it or, as Marshal might have fantasized, one of the many water gods of Ancient Greece

could at any moment leap out from the blue bottomless pit and swallow him up. Marshal had another good excuse for his fears. Seeing that he backed off on an approach to the jump during training one day, Amanda, my daughter, sensibly, decided to dismount and lead her reluctant horse through the threatening shiny liquid so that he could see that Poseidon was indeed not hiding in there, nor were there any other hidden dangers. In the circumstances, it turned out to be the worst thing she could possibly have done. Tentatively stepping into the blue unknown, Marshal, unbelievably, slipped, lost his footing and stumbled downward into the dreaded depths. He flailed around in total panic, trying to regain his footing, splashing water all around him and creating havoc. He finally lurched up and galloped off, leaving Amanda standing alone, ankle deep in the water, and soaked from head to foot. Now the horse was totally convinced and justified that this terrible mass of a pool was, at the very least, a death trap. For a long period after that episode Amanda never entered Marshal in a competition that included a water jump. He even got into the habit of swerving away from any jump that was even in the

child, then splashing out in a trot across the strand. Yes, he even managed to enjoy the game. Now it only remained to be seen if he could equally overcome his fear of the water jump. Back to Athens when the summer was near its end and competitions restarted in early September. The first national events didn’t include a water jump. When at last the dreaded obstacle appeared at a competition, we all wondered if Marshal would remember his old enemy and make his customary galloping march past, or would all those patient rides out across the beach pay off. The big test arrived and the demon was put to rest. Marshal took the jump literally in his stride. And so it came to pass and there was nothing more to fear. Marshal performed perfectly at his following competition too, no ghosts of watery Greek gods from the past came to haunt him anymore. Not only did he never again balk at a water jump, but from then onwards he sailed over them, if you’ll excuse the pun!


vicinity of the water. This clearly couldn’t go on. A solution had to be found and an idea for a remedy did present itself in the form of a holiday camp. Summers are too hot for competition riding in Greece so my daughter took on a month’s holiday job teaching riding to beginners at a campsite on the northeastern coast of Attica, not far from Marathon, site of the famous battle in ancient times (490BC) and from where a messenger was dispatched to run the 26.2 miles to Athens with the news that the battle against the Persians had been won, thus immortalizing the name ‘Marathon race’. Amanda decided to take Marshal with her, both for a change of scenery for the horse and for

Oh, and one last point... the irony of his retirement is the fact that he is in Holland, one of the Low Countries mostly below sea level... the land of WATER, its fields criss-crossed with canals and dykes. This means that Marshal will be able to gaze out at the sparkly stuff and enjoy it for the rest of his days!

Accepting water and water jumps are a part of any eventer’s world, but sometimes getting there is not without a good soaking!

Spring has sprung, The daisies are out. Amanda gives Marshal A kiss on the snout!


the opportunity of some rural hacks through the surrounding pine woods and, perhaps, fingers crossed, along the shores of the Aegean Sea. Things in that direction had to be taken slowly. First, Marshal had to get used to just the sight of the scintillating sea, enormous in comparison to a small pool of water in an arena! In the beginning he refused to go anywhere near the gently breaking waves, preferring to stand back and watch his fellow mounts being walked through the lapping sea. They appeared to be enjoying the experience and... surprise... came out alive each time! Very gradually, he accepted these new sights and sounds until, each day ever closer, a slightly larger wave rushed up the beach and covered his hoofs. A ripple of shock surged through his body at the discovery that he had actually survived the attack, and then Amanda felt him relax somewhat. The barrier had been breached and Marshal was on his way to overcoming his water phobia. Day by day he grew in confidence, from stepping gingerly in the sand following in the hoof prints of the other horses, to venturing in deeper and paddling like a



Yvonne Barteau



GP Raymeister shares his unique world...


HELLO ALL! I look forward to sharing my perspective with you, so thanks for checking in! This month I want to talk about making the most of your riding time by keeping your horses personality in mind. Like you, each horse has its own personality, and some are more obvious, and easy to read, than others. All of us horses know how to read personalities, both human and equine, so it would be wise to spend some time being sure we are not ahead of you in that regard.


He is also willing to devote quite a bit of actual enthusiasm into misbehaving... if he thinks it will help him on his quest to control his circumstances.

Temperament, and the relationships between humans and horses, is often the key factor in both successful, and struggling, relationships. I will give you a few examples. We have a challenging horse, that came into the barn and he lives just across from me. We share the same trainer but we do not benefit from the same exact same training system. I am pretty smart, however,

So...even though he learns things quickly, he is not really trustworthy about behaving in a predictable manner. Basically he is non-compliant by nature. One way our trainer deals with him is that while she knows what may cause him to misbehave, she waits for him to actually try something, and then deals with him quickly, but fairly. She stays relaxed with him but she relaxes more as a hawk ready to shut down his carry-ons before they escalate. This works for him. She tries hard to be fair, and not emotional, and she has good timing and dosage with her aids, so this is successful and she has now earned a begrudging respect from him. The thing that all horse trainers, and riders,

he is cleverer than I am, and he likes using his brain, and his energy to try and take charge of his life and his training time.

have going for them, is that horses are herd animals. All of us horses understand that we do need a leader, and we will accept

a proven leader, regardless of our individual temperaments. What most trainers understand, is what it takes to be the kind of leader, we will respect, trust, listen to, or obey. Our obedience does depend in some part, on our trainers’ ability to understand the basic differences, in our personalities, intelligence, and energy levels.

For example, the horse is lunging in the round pen. The handler is relaxed and the horse is trotting around but not paying attention. The rider uses her decided on cue, to get attention and the horse puts an ear and focuses on the handler. At that moment the handler then asks the horse to walk, with the known half halts or body language they use. So the attention getting aid is always the first thing but other aids can sequence behind it. Soon the horse can follow multiple aid sequences as long as the handler stays aware of the horse’s attention span. For aloof horses it is fair to provide them a “mental break” during the training time since paying attention and following sequences is not a natural skill set or strength for them. A mental break is just a quiet time where the horse is allowed to actually “zone out” for a minute or two before more interactions. Challenging and fearful horses are often paying attention, but each for different reasons. Challenging horses like to take charge and fearful horses want reassurance. Social horses tend to pay attention to many things and can be prone to distracted sort of behaviors as they try to interact with other horses’ people and their environments. In the coming issues I will share more insight and tips on how to observe and train your horse with their temperaments energy level and intelligence in mind but for me it is time to go roll around in the sand so I can enjoy a nice warm bath! Happy Riding All!


I will give you another example. A big new five year old mare came into the barn. She was recently started and her owner was having some difficulties because the mare had started dashing off and once in a while, bucking. She was athletic enough to get rid of her rider and they wanted some help. The first thing our folks here did was some ground control exercises in the round pen. The time spent was to determine what type of horse they were dealing with and also her energy, intelligence, and respect level. Here is what they discovered. By watching how quickly the mare responded to stimulus, and then noting her overall attention level in a new environment, it became quickly apparent they were dealing with a kind, but aloof character. She was not focusing predictably and more wanting to “tune out” her environment by blocking or ignoring interactions. She was not fearful, not challenging, and nor did she appear very social. She was just slower than average to pay attention to her handlers movements, and therefore, somewhat random in her response time. The first thing to install on such a horse is attention getting signals. Aloof horses need to learn to focus on their rider or handler appropriately. Because this is not natural for them and one can never just assume an aloof horse is paying attention, this must be built in. On the ground it could be a movement with the lead or lunge line to get the horse to put an ear to you or to gain focus or it could be a voice signal or a whip touch right at the elbow or girth area. What one does is not important. What is important is that whatever signal you use, is removed or quieted

when the horse acknowledges it. That is the beginning. Just teaching an aloof horse to say, “what?” that is all you need... is to get the “what” response. Quite soon though, you might start with a second part of that same sentence. Get the attention or “what” response and follow it with a command.


Temperament, and the relationships between humans and horses, is often the key factor in both successful, and struggling, relationships.



Anne Margaret Meyers



trading tradition for true passion


THE NETHERLANDS was the first country to recognize the US after it declared Independence in 1776, and has worked closely with the United States since then. Apart from trade and political relationships, the Netherlands is the third largest investor in the United States after Great Britain and Japan. In turn the United States is the largest investor in the Netherlands. With such a history between the two countries, and the American Equestrian’s love of European horses, the future is looking bright for Micha Knol, originally from Holland and Ryan Bell from the USA, who are MRK Dressage.

The pair started their business in the Atlanta area just over a year ago, and quickly found their niche in the southeast equine market. With easy access to the Atlanta International Airport, enthusiasm and dedication to their sport plus a business strategy is to provide the highest quality in customer relations, and superb horses at reasonable prices, it is easy to see why their business has taken off with such success. February was a record month for them with the sale of 9 FEI horses. While their market has primarily been geared toward competitive Adult Amateurs, JYR/YRs, their contacts throughout Europe enable them to locate horses

Diana Bloemendal - Imadia Photography



1 1. Micha Knol riding Versace MRK


2. Micha Knol and Ryan Bell in the covered arena at Cahuilla Dressage, Madison, Georgia 3. Micha Knol getting ready to ride the beautiful Versace MRK

across all levels and price categories. They both speak Dutch and German fluently which makes for a more honest communication between owners, vets and trainers. Philanthropy is important to both Micha and Ryan, and the pair plan to continue giving back to the community both monetarily and with their time. Having only been in business for a short period of time they have already contributed greatly to the dressage community in GA. They have hosted a Kudzu clinic and been title sponsors for GDCTA, volunteered at two recognized horse trials, as well as making numerous anonymous contributions. Giving back is important because they both know what it takes to thrive in this business.

Through hard work and dedication the two have put over 20 FEI horses on the Centerline. Several of these they have started from the ground up. They operate out of Cahuilla Dressage in Madison GA (located 1 hour from Atlanta) owned by Anne Margaret Meyers and her husband Karl Baer. Ryan is helping Anne Margaret campaign her 8 year old PRE Stallion

Ryan and Micha look forward to pairing more riders with horses from Europe and competing themselves. They will also be diligent in promoting their new sponsors, MacRider, Back on Track, Schockemohle, Thin Line, Top Jock Tack Boxes and Trust Equestrian. Ryan and Micha invite you to contact them if you are looking for your next dressage horse. They also provide escorted trips to Europe and offer a limited number of openings for consignment sales. After all, everyone needs a vacation to Europe!


Micha arrived in Florida from Holland, after advertising his dream to come to the U.S. and compete as a Grand Prix rider. His dream was made possible by the generosity of his sponsors, for which he is extremely grateful. Ryan originates from North Carolina and grew up without

the benefit of quality horses and training. He had to work for everything in this sport, and truly understands what it is like to start with nothing and grow as a professional. Ryan is now an International Grand Prix competitor having competed internationally from the junior level to Grand Prix.

Teseo Z and developing him to Prix St. George. Micha and Anne Margaret campaign her 11 year old PRE gelding Cisco in the small tour. When the three sat down nearly a year ago they agreed that the best use of the facilities at Cahuilla would be to offer a sales barn rather than the traditional training and boarding business seen at most barns. Ryan and Micha feel this model is more suitable for the clients, as they can come and try the horses in peace and quiet, without having to share the ring with other riders, and can truly take their time and have the privacy to make what will be a very important and expensive decision.



ask the


damage control made simple Let’s get real... our passion for riding and love of horses (the awesome outdoor sport that it is) can be devastating to our skin. Heat, UV exposure and humidity are the top 3 enemies of equestrians everywhere and protecting your skin from the ravages of the environment are vital


to preventing premature aging and skin cancer.


Leathery skin, brown splotches, wrinkles, distended capillaries and chronic inflammation are all results of sun exposure and many can be prevented with a little extra care and savvy sun strategy. The following guidelines from The Skin Cancer Foundation can help you repair and possibly even reverse these signs of skin aging, up to 90 percent of which are caused by the sun! Overexposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) light can also lead to skin cancer and precancers like actinic keratosis (AKs). Since sun damage accumulates over time, it’s never too late to start a sun protection regimen. Although most people know enough to wear sunscreen when the sun is beating down, “Protecting your skin from the sun does not end with the summer months,” says Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, a New York City dermatologist and educational spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation. “By carefully practicing sun protection

year-round, you can prevent further sun damage and may even reverse some of the damage already done.”

5 TIPS TO HELP PREVENT OR REVERSE UV DAMAGE TO THE SKIN: 1. Use Sunblock Daily! There is a difference between sunscreens and physical sunblocks. Sunblocks work by absorbing, reflecting, and scattering UV rays from the surface of the skin. These ingredients form a protective shield over the skin, and with careful product formulation and the use of zinc and titanium oxide, the skin will be well protected to prevent damage. These ingredients are also excellent choices for people with sensitive or reactive skin. In fact, Zinc Oxide is also an anti-irritant and skin protectant, and is commonly used in sensitive skin care products.

bleaches. Some of my favorites include: Niacinimide, Azaleic Acid, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, L-Arbutin, St. John’s Wort and Vitamin C. If you are serious about fading dark spots or uneven skin tone, you must be committed to the process–it takes time, but the results are totally worth it. Results can take anywhere from one to three months, and you must wear sun block daily for optimal results. Any unprotected UV exposure can potentially cause further hyperpigmentation and must be guarded against carefully.

3. Lighten Discoloration and Sun Spots In addition to extensive sun exposure, other factors contribute to the development of dark spots and skin discoloration. Hormonal issues, acne scarring, medication side effects and glycation (the browning of the skin caused by sugars in the bloodstream) are the most common. Although there is no overnight quick fix, there are some very effective ingredients that can be found in topical serums and creams that can lighten skin without the use of irritating chemical skin

5. LED Light Therapy LED Light Therapy (light emitting diodes) is a powerful non-invasive anti-aging and healing treatment for


Summer exposure to sun, chlorine, and salt water can really dry your skin and dehydrate your body. Drinking LOTS of water is vital and keeping moisture from evaporating from the skin is super important.

4. Hydrate Summer exposure to sun, chlorine, and salt water can really dry your skin and dehydrate your body. Drinking LOTS of water is vital and keeping moisture from evaporating from the skin is super important. Moisturizers and skin serums that contain hyaluronic acid, liquid oxygen, red algae, AHA’s, antioxidants and vitamin C can plump up skin and prevent the skin from losing moisture, especially around the eyes making skin instantly appear less wrinkled, and infuse it with vital nutrients and help stimulate the growth of healthy new skin cells.


2. Exfoliate The buildup of stratum corneum (the dead, outermost skin cell layer) can make skin appear blotchy, thick and uneven. Also, remnants of self-tanning products can collect in typically dry areas (such as the elbows), causing the skin to lose its luster and appear dull and blotchy. Enzymes, plant based acids, skin scrubs and deep, double skin cleansing protocols are vital to the look and health of the skin and is often overlooked and its importance minimized in corrective skin care programs. When you incorporate effective ingredients as you exfoliate, you can effectively remove layers of dry, dead skin cells that will refine skin texture and help to restore the skins healthy, natural “glow”.



proliferation; and restore homeostasis. Simply put, the LED light source provides compromised cells with added energy so the cells performance is enhanced. For example, fibroblast cells will increase collagen and elastic production in connective tissue. You CAN ride AND have beautiful, radiant skin–it just requires an effective strategy, a targeted skin care protocol and diligent sun protection every day. A little focused effort can make a huge difference. Happy trails!


wrinkles, inflammation and aging skin that penetrates the skin to the basal layer and “heats” collagen, thus causing the skin to plump and inflammation to reduce. It is a very effective holistic skin treatment that is perfect for equestrian skin damage. In the same way that plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into plant tissue, high intensity light emitting diodes (LEDs) utilizing specific, proven wavelengths of light can trigger a natural biostimulatory effect in human tissue. Research has shown that phototherapy can increase circulation, accelerate tissue repair, kill acne bacteria, decrease inflammation, improve skin tone, texture and clarity, as well as ease muscle and joint pain, stiffness, spasm, and arthritis.


Research indicates that cells absorb particles of light (photons) and transform their energy into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the form of energy that cells utilize. The resulting elevation of ATP is then used to power metabolic processes; synthesize DNA, RNA, proteins, enzymes, and other products needed to repair or regenerate cell components; foster mitosis or cell


Elegant Horse Farm Moreland, Georgia.

A spacious one story house, elegantly designed for every horse loving family in desirable Moreland, across from the prestigious Merichase Farm. There are three extra-large bedrooms with bathrooms, a large inviting living room and dining room, with lots of light and views of the immaculate gardens and pastures. A perfect Gourmet kitchen designed for large gatherings at special occasions, or just enjoying a quiet cozy morning with a cup of coffee by the fireplace. Wood plank tile flooring completes the farmhouse style in every room, keeping cleaning to a minimum. Attached two car garage. Three stall barn, with in and out stalls, tack room, shavings shed, hay storage, and substantial lean-to back and front. Four board fencing encloses 2 connecting pastures on the 6.5 acres. Property surrounded with dog proof fencing and electric gate at entry. Large riding arena situated at the back of the house. Must have proof of funds or prequel letter with offer



Amber Spiler


onward and upward!



16 8

AS I BEGIN TO ASK nine year old Kat Fuqua a few questions that some other young riders would like to know about her, the first thing I notice is that she has whiskers and a black nose, like a cat. The next thing I notice is that while she is very poised and mature for her age, she looks like a regular nine year old kid in her all American red, white and blue tee shirt. Kat’s life in the show arena is far from regular.

$10,000 USHJA Junior/Amateur National Hunter Derby Champion with High Noon


SHE LOOKS LIKE a regular nine year old kid, but Kat’s life in the show arena is far from regular.

Kat was sitting on a pony almost before she could walk. With Grand Prix Dressage parents Jeff and Shereen Fuqua, owners of Collecting Gaits Farm, it’s easy to see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Kat’s first pony was a miniature horse named Buttercup who was purchased for her on her first birthday. Buttercup came with her young foal; Nutterbutter and the little girl and miniature horse have literally grown up together. She grew up watching four time dressage Olympian Steffen Peters train at her family barn and went to watch dressage shows on the weekends. It wasn’t long before Kat was in the show ring herself. When she was five she did her first In Hand class at the Georgia Hunter Jumper Finals. That’s how it all started…

Kat has continued to train with top trainers Amanda Lyerle, Charles Moorcroft and Bibby Farmer Hill. Her career hit a high note in the Fall of 2016 with Liz Reilly, mother and trainer of the famous equestrian Augusta Iwasaki, when Kat won two second place ribbons on two different ponies in the medium pony classes at the Washington International Horse show, considered the most prestigious in the country.



Kat’s mom immediately recognized Kat’s talent and introduced a six year old Kat to the former USEF Judge and Hunter Jumper Trainer Mindy Darst of Ohio, one of the best pony trainers in the country. Mindy, with her eye for the sport set Kat on a path of high

performance pony competition. Kat was one of the few students accepted by Mindy to train at Palm Beach Equestrian Center for the 2014 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season. Kat won several Grand Championships on Hillcrest Blue Gemstone for cross rails. Mindy laid out a plan for Kat to compete in the Hunter Jumper circuit before sadly she passed away that spring.

17 9


For cross training, Kat regularly rides under Bronze Medal Dressage Olympian Michelle Gibson which ultimately helps her in her Equitation classes. When she is in Georgia she trains and shows with her local trainer of four years, Stefanie Hamilton Lackey. Jenny Darst has recently come on board to train Kat toward her nationally ranked competition goals. Jenny, who grew up and excelled in the high performance arena, is the stepdaughter of Mindy Darst. Kat started off the new year with a successful WEF17 winning multiple derbies and two circuit division championships on Equitation and Large Green Pony under the watchful eye of Liz Reilly. Kat hopes to do well at her first Devon this year. Her biggest 1 dream is to one day win Pony Finals. Kat is currently ranked first in the country in Pony Hunter Derby for National Rider and all four of her ponies are ranked first, second, third & fourth for National Pony Derby. Kat is ranked twelfth in the country for National Hunter Derby on her horse. Kat is sponsored by F.lli Fabbri, GumBits, MDC Stirrups, Pony Tail Bows and Tad Coffin Performance Saddles.


I had the opportunity to ask some other horse crazy girls some questions that they would like Kat to answer and we really had some fun.

18 8

AHC: We want to know if you ever get tired of riding and if you want to be a kid who plays soccer or some other school sport? KF: No! I love riding! I love spending time with the animals and I don’t want to do anything else. AHC: Is it hard keeping four ponies fit and ready to show. KF: It’s not really that hard because I ride

2 Kat with her parents Jeff and Shereen Fuqua after winning the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on High Noon 2. Kat winning the Animo Pony Hunter Division on Small Suggestion

four or five times a week. Sometimes my mom warms my ponies up for me. AHC: Do you like it when your mom rides your ponies? KF: Yes, because when she rides them they are a lot softer in the mouth. AHC: Do you have any other interests in school? Like music or choir?

KF: I actually tried out for a solo in music. I didn’t get it but that’s okay because I still love to sing. I love French too. AHC: What do you see yourself doing as a teen or adult? Do you see yourself riding and training as a lifetime profession or do you want another career? KF: I see myself doing Jumpers or



ADVANCING ROUTINE AND SPECIALIZED CARE Providing advanced diagnostics, routine, complex and emergency medical and surgical care to horses with a variety of ocular disorders. The Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and Ophthalmology welcome the addition of two new faculty members, Drs. Richard McMullen and Shannon Boveland. Drs. Phillip Anthony Moore, McMullen and Boveland are members of the International Equine Ophthalmology Consortium and are committed to providing the highest level of equine eye care. With the addition of Dr. McMullen, an internationally known equine ophthalmologist, the J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital is expanding its services provided to our equine patients. The Equine Internal Medicine Service is an integral part of the equine ophthalmology health care team.


J.T. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital 334/844-4490 • 2017 Equine Ophthamology AD.FINAL.indd 1

1/18/17 7:34 AM

Get your new C4 Belt from Joanne Morse 770.313.6283


Dressage and competing in Professionals. I’m not really interested in teaching but if someone asked me to I would. I had some catch rides in Wellington and it was really fun! I love getting on new ponies. AHC: What do you do with your friends when you’re not riding? KF: We like to foot jump, swim and ice skate. We love to play with Nutterbutter. AHC: Are there any fun, quirky things that your ponies do? KF: Ladybug lifts her lip up and puts her


Kat and friends in Wellington


head in the air. Charm will kiss me on the lips. He’s the sweetest. AHC: What is your least favorite thing about showing? KF: I feel bad when the ponies have to travel a lot. AHC: How do you know when it’s time to move on from a pony so you can continue to improve, that must be hard? Do you have advice for other kids that are outgrowing their ponies? KF: This happened to me at Pony Finals with my favorite pony. It’s so hard, but

now she’s having fun doing cross rails and teaching new kids. It’s really hard, but you have to keep moving forward. AHC: Do you always have whiskers and a nose like a cat? KF: (Giggles) Today for school we are dressing like our favorite book characters. (She pulls out a homemade hat and puts it on her head) I’m the Cat in the Hat! To find out more and keep up with Kat Fuqua you can visit her website

Spri sing


SPRING is here at last! Warm weather means frisky foals arriving, trails blooming and competition rings buzzing! Get your horse ready for all you want to do and make this your best season ever! Our team is here to help – from vaccinations and foaling services to emergencies and wellness exams. We are committed to serving you and your horse whether you come to us or we come to you.

Dr. Jason McLendon, DVM Dr. Matthew Reynolds, DVM Dr. Libby Reidy, DVM


815 Herring Rd., Newnan, GA 30265

Catherine Brooks Overstreet Certified Saddle Fitter Authorized Dealer for Sommer Saddlery and N2 Saddlery

Full Service Tack and Saddle Repairs Servicing the Southeast Region Permanent Vendor at Chattahoochee Hills Eventing To schedule an appointment at your Equestrian Facility call

404 518 0306


Erin S. Groover, DVM, DACVIM-LA Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine

Help! My horse has


Asthma in humans, is similar to Heaves or RAO in horses. This condition is a chronic disease that is usually managed with medication and environmental changes. Making a diagnosis of RAO should include a thorough physical examination of the horse by a veterinarian. At that time, the vet will evaluate the horse for abnormal breath sounds, coughing, and the horse’s overall health. Horses with RAO generally have difficulty during the exhalation phase of breathing and this is often seen as an increased abdominal press which results in the classic heave line seen in some horses that are chronically affected. The veterinarian may make a presumptive diagnosis of RAO based on the clinical signs that they see on the physical examination; but sometimes the signs are not straight forward and


HEAVES, OR RECURRENT airway obstruction (RAO), is a chronic respiratory condition commonly identified in middle-aged to older horses. It is a component of equine asthma syndrome and is caused by allergic inflammation in the lungs with narrowed airways (wheezing). Owners typically notice this as difficulty breathing with flared nostrils, slow ability to recover after exercise, exercise intolerance, cough, and possibly mild nasal discharge. The signs can become severe with the horses struggling to breathe and in need of emergency treatment



the veterinarian may need to do more detailed diagnostic tests to ensure a correct diagnosis. If that is the case, the veterinarian may recommend performing a bronchoalveolar lavage or transtracheal wash to examine the fluid in the lungs for signs of inflammation. These tests will help ensure the correct diagnosis and will guide the treatment recommendations that the veterinarian provides.


The key to treatment for RAO is to decrease the horse’s exposure to environmental allergens (frequently dust, mold, etc.). This is often difficult to achieve; however, there are many on-farm management practices that can dramatically improve the horse’s breathing. Stabling practices that can be changed to reduce the clinical signs of RAO include moistening/ steaming of the feed (hay and grain), and moistening bedding or providing low-dust bedding such as cardboard. Improving the ventilation of the barn, or of the stall where the horse is kept, is often beneficial. This often means moving the horse to the end of the barn aisle, or to a stall with more windows. Eliminating practices that increase the environmental dust will also be helpful. This includes hosing down barn aisles rather than blowing or sweeping them, only moving hay and shavings while the horse is out of the barn, and not cleaning the stalls while the horse is stabled.


Most importantly, if the horse’s signs are associated with being housed in the stable, then it is reasonable that the management of the horse should include spending the majority of the time out in a pasture. If the horse has clinical signs that are associated with the pasture, it is important that the horse spend more time off the pasture to decrease allergen exposure. Additional management changes that can help to

decrease the signs associated with pasture associated RAO include close mowing of the pasture and moistening dusty areas (often near gates and feeders/water troughs). These management changes should be instituted for all horses with RAO before, or in conjunction with, therapy with medications prescribed by the veterinarian. In recent years, additional management options have become available. In the past, moistening of hay and grain meant soaking the hay in water, and today, hay steaming machines are available and research has shown

that they significantly reduce allergens and dust in the hay while preserving the nutritional content of the hay. Additionally, in the past low allergen bedding that could be used for horses was difficult to find in the United States or was impractical and expensive. Lowallergen bedding options (particularly paper based products like cardboard) for horses

ATLANTA HORSE CONNECTIONS Any diagnosis requires a thorough examination of your horse by a veterinarian.

MANAGEMENT CHANGES are proving to be very helpful for horses diagnosed with RAO. Hay steamers, increasing or reducing pasture turnout, moistening the stabling areas, along with bedding and a low-dust diet can prove to be beneficial for many horses. medications to horses. Most frequently the veterinarian may provide an owner with medication to be given to the horse by mouth or by injection in the muscle. This type of therapy is generally inexpensive and effective at alleviating inflammation, but has the potential to result in more side effects as compared to other therapy options, such as inhalation therapy.

Medications may be prescribed by the veterinarian to provide immediate relief of the horse’s clinical signs. These medications are centered-on decreasing inflammation in the lungs and helping to alleviate the narrowing of airways. The medications that the veterinarian will prescribe commonly include corticosteroids, bronchodilator medication, and often a combination of both. There are several ways to deliver these

Inhalation therapy is the delivery of medication directly to the lungs by breathing-in the mediation, similar to humans with asthma inhalers. Inhalation therapy is more expensive, effective in compliant patients, and results in few adverse effects. Inhaled therapy is best administered by use of a specifically designed administration device for use in horses such as the AeroHippus® (Trudell Medical International; London, Ontario,

Canada) or the Flexineb® (Nortev; Galway, Ireland) nebulization mask. These portable devices provide another way to safely and effectively deliver medication directly to the lungs. It is important for owners to discuss the treatment options with the veterinarian to ensure that the horse is provided optimal care, as well as meeting the owner’s time and financial needs. When working closely with the vet, together a treatment plan can be devised that is effective and suits everyone. It is also important for owners to be aware that this is a disease that often needs recurrent treatment each year, and year to year. Regardless of the method that is used to provide treatment for the horse, on-farm management remains the most important component to ensure success.


are now mass produced at a cost that is reasonable. The supplementation of the diet with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid has been shown to provide a beneficial clinical response in horses with RAO on a low-dust diet. Regardless of the type of products used, the principles of on-farm management remain the same... reduce the exposure to dust and allergens.





CIRCLES Cheryl Freda Pritchard

straight lines



All it takes is PRACTICE! WESTERN DRESSAGE, like Classical Dressage, requires precise riding in all maneuvers. You cannot ignore the importance of riding perfectly shaped circles and dead straight lines.


The first and last impression in a dressage test is riding down the center line. There is no room for error as the judge is sitting at C and you are riding straight toward them. The ONLY way to perfect this skill is to practice, practice, practice. “…your feet, knees, hips, shoulders, eyes and hands, everything needs to be in a direct line to your end point.”


There are two parts to getting a perfectly straight line. The first is the rider. As a rider, you need to make sure that you are focused on where you are going. Every part of your body needs to be pointing in that direction. From your feet, knees, hips, shoulders, eyes and hands, everything

needs to be in a direct line to your end point. If your shoulders are not straight, or you are sitting crooked, you will not be able to achieve a straight line. If you fortunate to have mirrors, practice riding toward the mirror. If you do not have mirrors, have a friend stand at a specific point and ride to them. They can video you and you can see where you need to improve. The second part of a straight line is the horse. If your horse drifts from one side to another, you will need to straighten them. If the horse is crooked in their head and neck, you will need to straighten them. If the horse is bending either left or right, you will need to straighten their body to make them go straight. Again, mirrors or a video will help you with this practice. Perfect circles are easy to learn. One of the best ways to learn the feel for what a

perfect circle feels like is to ride on a lunge line. You will need to maintain the contact with the line and the bend of the horse. Doing this through repetition will allow you to learn the feel. Another exercise is to actually draw a circle pattern in the arena. This pattern is made up of a 20 meter circle and four 10 meter circles. You can use flour, or now you can get spray chalk from your local hardware store. This is a great way to practice riding your circles without the help of a friend. This circle pattern will also help you with bending if you transition from one 10 meter circle to another. Practice, practice, practice is a great way to get straight lines and perfect circles! Well, it is time for me to practice, so ‘Enjoy the Ride!’

Protecting what’s important for over 52 years. At The Harbin Agency, we’re not just equine and farm insurance agents… we’re farm owners and horse people ourselves. As experienced equine specialists, we employ a full range of insurance solutions for the equestrian community. We know the horse world, and we are dedicated to protecting your part of it.

E Q U I N E M O R TA L I T Y & FA R M 770.461.4315



SINCE 1963






L I F E & H E A LT H


Laura Sevriens




A Favorite Place for Generations


FOR CENTURIES, the serene beauty of the land that now comprises Blalock Lakes has captivated people. The Creek Indians once called this area of western Georgia home, and evidence of their culture can be found in the many arrowheads still being discovered on the property. In the late 1940s, local businessman and state politician Daniel Braxton Blalock fell in love with the land and created for his family a private retreat. The Blalocks’ built a lake house, and several generations came to enjoy all of the sporting activities the property had to offer– fishing, water skiing, horseback riding, hunting, and exploring nature. Under the Blalocks’ care, the land became a place where good times were shared and memories made. Now, with the blessing of the Blalock family, your family can write your own history here.

Just 45 miles south of Atlanta you’ll find a private oasis where family and fun take the highest priority. Blalock Lakes, an unparalleled Sporting Club and community, encompasses over 1,600 pristine acres of rolling, wooded land. Here your family will enjoy the finest amenities, ones that recall the favorite sporting traditions of the South–fishing, hunting, shooting, hiking, swimming, and of course, horseback riding. Our equestrian facilities, “The Stables at Blalock Lakes” are second to none. The Stables at Blalock Lakes is a full service boarding and training facility specializing in dressage and show jumping. In addition to two beautiful all weather outdoor arenas, boarders at The Stables have access to miles of scenic trails. The Stables has 24 stalls, each with a private tack locker. There are also 35 acres of fenced


Although it is a competitive show barn, the atmosphere is friendly and down to earth. pastures providing ample turnout for our horses.

If you are looking for a quieter pace

Discover a way of life that is unlike anything else available in the metro Atlanta area. With each new day, your family will find a host of fun activities

that will bring everyone together in a healthy, happy way. For active, adventurous families, there is no better place to be than Blalock Lakes. Blalock Lakes is the only gated community in Coweta County, and offers a variety of homesites and homes to fit every family’s wish list. We invite you to visit the property, talk to our helpful staff, and see for yourself how extraordinary life at Blalock Lakes can be. Homesites start in the low $70,000’s. For an appointment to view Blalock Lakes, call Wight Mixon at 404.234.1003 or Jeff Quinn at 678.787.3164.


The Blalock Lakes staff, led by Jos and Laura Sevriens, has years of experience in the equestrian world. Jos is a certified instructor in Holland, France and the United States as well as a breed show judge for the USDF and Young Horse show series. Laura is an accomplished rider who competes through the FEI levels. Their daughter Emma is also an avid rider competing for a place on the Young Riders team for her region. Though ‘The Stables at Blalock Lakes’ is a competitive show barn, the staff strives to provide a very friendly down to earth atmosphere. The horses and their welfare are the main goals as a happy horse is a successful horse.

and a friendly small town feeling, that’s what you’ll find both inside and outside the gates of Blalock Lakes. Within this private community, you’ll discover stunning landscapes that provide the backdrop for sporting adventures. You’ll find an environment where friends are easily made and family bonds strengthened. When you venture out, the quaint town of Newnan is just down the road. While its relaxed atmosphere harkens back to earlier days, the town is filled with all of the shops, restaurants, and other conveniences we all desire today.



Amber Spiler

Silly Gil

THE GRASS is green and it's a beautiful day here on my farm. Yep, it's me Gil and I am officially giving up my tree leaves for a while to enjoy the soft and juicy springtime grass. It is very early in the morning and everything is still a little dewy making the grass taste even sweeter. I hear that jingle sound of the Jack Russell Terrier Mutt's little tag on his collar. What is he doing up so early? He comes skidding to a stop in front of me yapping at the top of his lungs. “Quick!” Puck the terrier is panting already, “Roll!” Am I on fire?


“No! Your girl is coming and it’s horse show day!” Oh! I quickly drop to the ground and roll Gil roll. My girl walks up just as I scramble to my feet and shake my body.


“Gil!” She sounds mad but still reaches in her pockets. Treats live in pockets. “I can’t believe you just rolled on horse show morning.” I’m naughty but it’s worth it. Horse shows are hard work. I ramble on over to her and stick my head in the halter so that I can reach the treats. She walks me up to the barn and sighs really big as she starts brushing me off. I feel a little bad because the ground was just damp enough to make all the dirt stick to me. Luckily I’m just grey enough to hide some dirt. I can hear Puck rummaging around the barn looking for the cat. I hope that cat gets him first today. My girl puts big pillow things around my legs and leads me to the trailer. She always makes me wear the pillows on my legs, I’m really not sure why. They make me walk funny and this makes my girl giggle. I love it when she giggles.

“Come on Gil.” She leads me right into the trailer and as always she has a bag of hay waiting for me. While I do appreciate that she gets me extra-special hay for horse shows, I don’t understand why she puts it in a bag with tiny, little pinholes? How is a pony supposed to get his lips around the hay?


Riding in the trailer is a bit weird but I don’t mind too much because I trust my girl and she is always so excited when we go to horse shows. When we get there my girl takes me out and ties me to the trailer and makes sure that my bag of tiny holes is tied to the trailer to tease me. She leaves with the adult lady giving me a pat on the neck and telling me that she will be back in a little while. Puck is with her and she sticks him into the trailer so that he can’t run off while she’s gone. “Be good Gil and don’t get into any trouble!” Huh. I never get into trouble. Horse shows can be a little boring but I’m not too concerned. What is bothering me is that it’s past second breakfast and I am having a very hard time getting this hay out of the bag. I hear Puck scratching in the trailer. Don’t listen to him. He’s naughty. “Psst. Gil” Don’t listen. “If you do something silly my girl will come back and let me out of this place.” My girl. And no way! I am not going to get in trouble today. I’m pulling and struggling with the hay bag when I hear him again. “Psst.” I’m not listening, “If you paw at the bag with your fat hooves you can make those holes wider and get more hay.” Hmmm. Not a bad idea. I stretch my leg just high enough and dig my hoof into a hole. Oh! Yes! It’s working. I grab a bigger bite of hay. Well, if that worked maybe I can make it just a little bigger. Hoof in hole… oops.

“Gil!” my girl sounds panicked. “What have you done?” The adult lady is behind her and quickly takes out a knife and walks to the trailer. Great, she’s going to stab me for being so bad. But nope, she cuts the twine that the hay bag is tied to and my legs and the hay tumble to the ground. The adult lady and my girl are rubbing my ankles and asking me how I feel. I am trying to eat all of the yummy alfalfa hay that has escaped from the bag. My girl laughs and hugs my neck.

“Gil, is there any pony capable of getting into more trouble than you?” The adult lady hangs the offensive bag back on the trailer but she puts it super high. Now I have to stand on my toes to reach it. There is absolutely no chance I can widen those holes with my hooves now. It was a silly idea in the first place. My girl reaches into the trailer and pulls Puck out telling him what a good boy he was to bark so that she knew there was a problem. Mutt! My girl starts brushing me again and tells me about the adventures we are going to share today. She tells me how cute I am and that there is no better pony in the world. She tacks me up and climbs on patting my neck as we amble off to the arena. She is a good girl and today, for the rest of the day, I will not get in trouble.


Dang it. My foot is stuck in the hay bag. My girl will not be happy when she sees that I’ve made the hole bigger. I hear Puck snickering. Mutt! Maybe if I stick the other hoof in I can widen the hole enough to get my first hoof

out. I rock back onto my hind legs and lift my other leg up to the bag. I think it’s working! No! Great, now I have both hooves stuck in the hay bag and I can’t eat any hay! Puck is yapping up a storm and I can hear human footsteps behind me. Drat!



Jenny Kepano

POLO Around ATLANTA THE ATLANTA REGIONAL POLO CENTER is just minutes from downtown Atlanta. The 2017 season is filled with weekly practices, weekend games, corporate outings and charity functions along with several “Learn to Play Polo” clinics for adults and children throughout the summer. Always a fun outing for the family and friends! For more information go to their website at and be sure to like their Facebook page Atlanta Regional Polo Center CHUKKAR FARM POLO CLUB has kicked off their 2017 spring season with the ‘Polo Under The Lights’ series. Located just minutes from downtown Alpharetta, spectators can enjoy an exhibition game, music, bonfire and a variety of food trucks. Remember to bring your own beverages, and join the fun. Admission is free, plus you can also reserve a table.


For information on event dates check out their Facebook page Polo and Social Club or the website at



brand development

publication design


logo design

Who doesn’t want to wear mascara anymore? YOU! Do yourself a favor this summer and look great going to AND from the barn. We know your horse looks amazing, but now it’s your turn!

website design




heidi caldwell design creative services for the equine industry & beyond

6 E a s t Wa s h i n g t o n S t r e e t , N e w n a n , G A

770.252.3033 /



FREDERICKS Equestrian International Lisa – 352-895-2144 Clayton – 352-299-3213


IMPORTED QUALITY HORSES Book to try your dream horse today. Magazine -2nd ad-1/2 page.indd 1

• FEI World Cup Champion 2005, 2008 • Individual silver and team bronze World Equestrian Games, Aachen (2006) • Winner Lexington Kentucky CCI4* (2007) • Team silver medal Hong Kong Olympic Games (2008) Clayton’s international coaching experience extends across all levels of the sport around the world. He regularly travels to teach in Germany, Australia, Hong

Kong, Canada and around the US. Many of his pupils have gone on to compete at the CCI 4* level. You can book individual or group training sessions with him at his top-notch facility in Ocala, FL. If you can’t make it to Florida, you can host a clinic at your facility. Give riders in your area the chance to train with one of the world’s top riders. He is happy to teach all levels of riders in any discipline.

CONNECTING RIDERS WITH EXCEPTIONAL HORSES Results are the proof For over 15 years Clayton Fredericks and Eckart Siewert have been the source of numerous top horses and had the pleasure of watching them ride to victory, time and time again all over the world.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or an amateur seeking a quality mount, we have access to an abundance of European horses/ We can source one specifically for you, like we have for many clients, including the following:

• Leopin (Micheal Jung’s 4* Winner) • FBW Chico (Alex Hua Tian of China’s First Olympic Mount) • Bendigo (Winner 3*, Placed 4*, Clayton’s 2012 Olympic mount) • Catchascatchcan (Sarah Kozumplik Murphy) • RF Smoke on the Water (Marilyn Little’s “Superstar Event horse”) • Bentley’s Best (Jessica Phoenix’s winning CCI1* horse and rising star) • Chatwin (Frankie Thieriot) • and the list goes on....

We welcome the opportunity to work with you. 2015-02-11 1:53 PM


Castle Leslie Estate


IRELAND Laura Lamb

Ever dreamed of staying in a real life castle? Or even better . . . horseback riding around the castle grounds? Well this far away dream may not be as elusive as one would think! As the second of a three-part series, we are headed to Castle Leslie, a 400-year old magnificent estate located in beautiful County Monaghan–just a short drive from the


Dublin Ireland air port and the perfect setting for a dream horseback riding vacation.


NESTLED ON 1,000 ACRES of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie estate is the ultimate Irish rural escape, full of character and personality, boasting a variety of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes. A truly private and stunningly beautiful estate, it is a magical setting for riding enthusiasts. What makes this estate even more unique? It is one of the last great Irish Castle estates still in the hands of its founding family, the Leslie’s. Since the 1600’s, the distinguished (and somewhat individualistic) members of the Leslie family have lived on the estate, welcoming everyone from ambassadors to poets. The family has worked tirelessly over the years to make their home one of

the finest luxury castle hotels in Ireland. The Estate offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activity and adventure that few others can offer. It’s the perfect place to explore the Irish countryside on horseback, in a carriage or on foot. Non-riders can while away the hours fishing on one of Ireland’s best-preserved lakes, or for the more adventurous, try their hand at falconry or clay pigeon shooting! As a luxury indulgence, head to the estate’s spa for a ‘seaweed peat bath’ or ‘chocolate truffle wrap’ in the Victorian Treatment Rooms, enjoy a traditional afternoon tea or simply relax with a book by a log fire in one of the castles beautiful rooms–guests will be spoilt with choices!

the authentic charm of a country estate with all the amenities you’d expect from Ireland’s best horse-riding facility: 1,000 acres of pristine Irish countryside, 300 new cross-country jumps including ditches, banks, and a water complex, 21 miles of meandering bridleways, mile-long all-weather galloping track, indoor riding

arena, full size dressage ring, “Prince” the mechanical horse and much more– seriously a horse lover’s paradise! Equestrian enthusiasts can experience this magnificent estate on a custom curated riding vacation by McKinney Shaw Travel. Starting in Dublin, spend the day


Known as one of Europe’s finest equestrian playgrounds, Castle Leslie caters to riders of all ability–riders can spend the day on a leisurely hack with picnic on the castle’s expansive grounds or take an exhilarating cross-country ride! The estate’s ‘Equestrian Centre’ is BHS, SJI and AIRE approved and combines


Previous page: A view of the glittering lake at Castle Leslie 2. An aerial view of Castle Leslie and the lush grounds surrounding it




3. Afternoon Tea at Castle Heritage 4. A little cross country schooling in the afternoon




exploring the vibrant city (not on horse, of course) that includes a tour of the city of Dublin, a visit to the Guinness Storehouse and an evening filled with a traditional Irish music and dance. The next morning leave Dublin behind and head to the quiet Irish countryside for a riding vacation fit for a king or queen. For the more experienced rider looking to improve their riding skills, the ‘Castle Leslie Horse Sport” vacation incorporates a mix of show jumping, cross-country, dressage and leisurely estate rides. For riders looking to enjoy the simple pleasure of exploring the countryside on horseback, the “Castle Leslie Happy Hackers” vacation involves daily estate rides. Both vacations include:

round-trip ground transportation, 3 hours of riding per day at Castle Leslie, Dublin accommodation, Castle Leslie accommodation at either The Castle or Lodge, daily full-Irish breakfast, nightly 2-course meal in Conor’s bar and a 1-hour spa experience in the Victorian Treatment Rooms. McKinney Shaw Travel is an Atlantabased boutique agency specializing in private guided tours and equestrian vacations in Ireland. For a full copy of the “Castle Leslie Horse Sport” or the “Castle Leslie Happy Hackers” itinerary with pricing, please contact Laura Lamb.


1. The Nursery Room 2. Enjoying the fireplace in the Library


easy LOBSTER? Yes, please!


Erika Swales food expert


This recipe sounds rather grand, but is in fact quite simple, as it’s baked in the oven! This means no tiresome stirring at the stove, as with regular risotto, and the sauce is made with ready-made lobster bisque or fish soup.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4) 1lb of cooked, peeled shrimp 12 oz. Arborio rice 2 x 780g can of lobster bisque or fish soup (found at Publix) 3 oz. butter 1 onion, peeled & finely chopped 6 fluid ounces dry sherry 4 oz. Gruyere cheese, finely grated 4 tablespoons of whipping cream Rocket or watercress to garnish


After 35 minutes, take the risotto out of the oven and add the shrimp. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and drizzle with the cream. Place the dish under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbling, then serve immediately garnished with rocket or watercress and some of the extra Gruyere.


Firstly, place the baking dish in the oven to pre-heat 300F. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan and sautĂŠ the onion until soft. Now stir in the rice to soak up the buttery juices, then pour in the lobster bisque and sherry, and add salt & pepper to season. Give everything a good stir and bring to a simmering point, then pour everything into the pre-heated baking dish. Place in the oven, uncovered for 35 minutes.



I b elieve y o u m u st be abl e t o me n t a lly co nne c t w i t h t he ho rse y ou a r e p h o t o g r aphi ng . C am e r a s e t t in g s a r e e asi l y l e ar ne d, bu t t o b e a b le t o m ak e t hat c o nne c t i o n

is t h e r ea l ar t and i t w i l l c o m e a cr os s in y o u r pho t o g r aph. – Alicia Frese



PART III of our focus on equine portrait photographers




June Brewer

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY is one of the most

Alicia Frese is a 1986 Graduate of Auburn University

creatively demanding and challenging jobs in the world.

with a BFA in Illustration and painting. She has been a

Bringing out the best in your subject by taking a different

professional Equine artist in the field of photography

route and photo ensemble each time and carving a

and painting for over 15 years. Alicia is based in Newnan,

different mood for every client is what makes portraiture

Georgia, with her husband Bill, 2 dogs, 2 cats, husband’s

unique in its own right. However, just like other things in

horse and her Elite Hanoverian mare, Divine Dream, aka,

the world, trends come and go in portrait photography.

DD, with whom she enjoys trails and dressage.


This question, for me, might be better asked, “What’s your take on portraits with humans?” LOL. While predominantly horse and other pet oriented, I do teen sessions as well.   AHC: In your opinion, what does a portrait need, to really “pop”? Light, composition and emotion. AHC: Have you ever used a drone in your portraits and would you?

No… that would be interesting with the horses–NOT! AHC: Are you willing to go out on a limb? I, quite literally have gone out on a limb to get the right shot before. If it’s a vision I have, it’s a vision I will make reality. I was most recently in the middle of a pond in a half-sunk paddle boat to get the vision I had planned for a gorgeous young lady and her horse.


AHC: What inspires your photography? Light and composition are constant inspirations in my work, along with my passion for horses. How would you describe your own visual sense? My visual sense comes from my lifelong vivid imagination of how I wish things to be; from the way the light hits a blade of grass to the way the wind blows a mane.   AHC: What’s your take on portraits with pets?

39 49


Maureen Forman


a conversation with Buck Brannaman

IT WAS WITH GREAT PRIVILEGE that Atlanta Horse Connections was allowed an interview Buck Brannaman, infamous for not speaking to the press, at the iconic L.A. Equestrian Center. The documentary, “Buck”, along with the film, “The Horse Whisperer” skyrocketed Buck into the limelight. He prefers less hoopla and more horsemanship. Unlike the delightfully barbed tongue of George Morris, Buck’s wisdom was executed with what can only be described as Yoda style. It’s the complicated simplicity of his inexplicable wisdom. He uses words like; ‘soothe’ ‘quiet’ ‘bothered’ ‘troubled’. He says the horse doesn’t care how the rider is dressed. He doesn’t wait for a leg up or use a mounting block. He talks about his orthopedic surgeon friend who works so hard that he gets in his own way. You just need to chill out and calm down. Buck says he tries hard not to hurt anyone’s feelings, and his impeccable delivery allows the finger of blame to turn upon


oneself. It’s pretty darn near life changing.



The most profound thing I heard at the Buck Brannaman clinic was not only a ‘horse’ lesson, but rather a life lesson; as he was working a very young horse at the canter on a circle, he said matter-of-factly, “I am not going to go through something bad and think it’s going to turn into something good–so I change my plan”. He adds that humans are greedy by nature and the fundamental rule is: ‘simply knowing when to stop’. Be incremental. Stop when you have achieved a little gain. Be patient. It’s that kind of guidance that has the audience devoted to this reluctant guru. Sitting by Buck’s tour bus, affectionately called “The Mothership”, chatting about his patriotism, and the heroes who serve in the military, his buddies, including Tanya Tucker, morphs into a discussion about the death of great country music (which occurred in 2005 by Buck’s estimation). His iPod has country selections from 1975 to about 2004. Of course the legends Merle Haggard and Patsy Cline are discussed and I smile when I hear that Dwight Yokam makes the cut. Thinking that I now have my window, I ask the

“I am not going to go through something bad and think it’s going to turn into something good–so I change my plan.” His fundamental rule is simply knowing when to stop. Be patient. Jeff O’Haka on his Santa Cruz horse Christmas

passion rivals that of his horsemanship. He talks about his annual trip to Italy and how much he loves the country, and his close friends who host him... but above all others, New Zealand strikes a chord with him. He educates me about the lack of natural predators in the county, the sheer beauty of fly fishing in the South Island; the kindness, warmth and generosity of the Kiwi people. I don’t mention the “Lord of the Rings” and the “Riders of Rohan”, although I am foaming at the mouth!


question every woman who has seen “The Horse Whisperer” wants to know. Describe Robert Redford in three words. Buck smiles and says quietly, “Always my friend.”

Having opened the door, I move in for my personal questions. His essential items are a shaving kit, a clean shirt and clean underwear. He hates the computer. He doesn’t have much time to read, but loves to watch the news and follow the business channels. He helps me understand how the real news of the world is driven by the business. Suddenly I am in an economics class and relishing the lesson. It’s the most intelligent conversation that I think I have ever had. Business fascinates Buck and his



Most surprising was learning about Buck’s other passion; golf. He is a fanatic about golf. He says it’s a hard game but he is a good golfer with a seven handicap. Ok, I quietly decide that Buck could probably make golf interesting to watch. When I broach the topic of the cult-like reverence that I observed in his audience he shut me down much like he would with a pushy horse–swiftly but without malice. “I hate that term, ‘guru’, because it invokes a negative connotation.”


I back pedal with my usual elephantlike grace and ask if there is a common denominator that he finds in his attendees. He says it’s really about


friendships that develop over horses–and a group of people coming together with a common interest; horsemanship. Then he said something that I have personally witnessed a million times. When things go wrong, and behaviors aren’t addressed or ignorance is perpetuated, there is a feeling in despair in the rider. A lack of confidence creeps in. The rider starts to avoid the barn, their horse, and that passion becomes a feeling of dread or doom. Groundwork is the key in breaking this cycle. That feeling of impending doom is worse than fear itself. Legends, Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, Buck Brannaman, George Morris and Rodney Jenkins echo the same sentiment. The rider’s responsibility is to not let the horse

down. As I walk off into the setting sun, Buck reminds me of his favorite quote by Sir Winston Churchill, and paraphrases it for me, “Never ever, ever quit.” And with that distinctive cowboy confidence, he gets in his pickup and heads out for dinner. Buck Brannaman will be coming to Georgia! Watch for info on his website.

Yours truly and Buck Brannaman


Atlanta Horse Connections Issue 20  
Atlanta Horse Connections Issue 20