Page 1

28 TH EDITION - 2019



from rider to photographer to rider once again
















8 10

12 16 18

20 23


Horse Cents - Horsey Side-Hustlin’ Weekend Warrior Rags to Riches

INTERNATIONAL Judging in Italy

ART S & ENTERTAINMENT Full Circle with Liz Crawley Jewelry Designer Mae Mewborn


2019 Intercollegiate Championships







36 38



26 30


Making a Difference, One Day at a Time Breeding Headaches

Becoming a Working Student Arena Etiquette & Safety My Bootiful Day



The horse is a great equalizer. He doesn’t care how good looking you are, or how rich or powerful you are –he takes you for how you make him feel, – Buck Brannaman Ciera Foley and Zephyr

Penny Morse Editor

Here we are in the middle of summer and sadly we are getting used to the high 90’s. By November we should be either freezing and wishing it was July, or still hot and wondering when fall will arrive to stay.

Heidi Caldwell Creative Director

This edition we are aiming to teach some of our young riders what to expect when wanting to be a working student, how to act at a show and how to be responsible with money.

Maureen Forman Lifestyle Editor

One thing I have noticed over the last few years, is the need for parents to give their child the ready-made horse, whatever the cost, to win, rather than see them work hard, and although it takes longer, and get to the win by their own devices. There are so many parents spending huge amounts of money, because their child ‘has to have it’ when they also need to be thinking about their future and hopefully their child going to college. Nothing is free and when you reach a certain age you do start to wonder about the future and are you going to be able to keep the same standard of living. We all love ‘pretty’ and I know I do love a designer purse, but that purse or that $300 pair of breeches is not going to hold your money and makeup any differently, or affect your riding any more than the $30.00 purse or the $50.00 breeches. We have to learn to live within our means and if that involves shopping from the sale rack, not entering every show, buying the used saddle rather than the brand new one, so be it. There is nothing wrong with schooling shows. You will have the same judges and, in some cases, the same facility as the recognized show, but spend less money. In the southeast, we also have our own championships for people who compete in schooling shows. Ride and compete within your means. The $1,000.00 horse has the same chance to win Rolex as the $75,000 horse and it happens as we have seen in the past. So, let’s get smart, and think about the future as well as the present!

Contributing Writers Yvonne Barteau Liz Crawley Ciera Foley Carolyn Haward Melissa Hyde-Town Dr. Aime K. Johnson Susanne Lauda Penny Morse Lindsay Nieves Elaina Schmersey Amber Spiler Bill Woods

Good luck to everyone competing this summer to qualify for the AEC’s, Regionals and then Nationals, and all the prestigious competitions being held. May you do your best, and whatever the result is, still love your horse!

Contributing Photographers Heidi Caldwell Liz Crawley Photography Carolyn Haward

Till next time! On the cover: Photographer Liz Crawley on the other side of the lens ©Amy Griffith for Liz Crawley Photography

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.

/atlantahorseconnections 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. ©2019.

HGF Equestrian

by Joanne Morse 770-313-6283

Pinny Holders

Solid Colors, Two Tone, Tri Color Many color combo options possible to match your XC colors. Bling available on special order only

Shipping Available

PRI Pads

Available in Dressage, All Purpose, & Jump styles Several color options in stock

You can view all of the products at Chatt Hills Eventing Horse Trials and Schooling Shows

Georgia Representative for Soteria Safety Vests Area Rep for Soteria Safety Vests

HORSECENTS Melissa Hyde-Town

n i l st u ’ H Side-


Gaining in popularity, having a side gig to afford your horse is a hot trend allowing you to turn your skills into CASH!




IT’S SUMMER TIIIIIIIIIME and the livin’ is easy... the grasses are high and the feed bills are low! The longest day of the year just occurred and to horse folks that translates as MORE DAILY TIME WITH OUR HORSES! You can take longer hacks in the cool afternoons, easily fit in a lesson after work, ready your trailers for horse shows or tackle that project at the barn you put off since last winter. Your horse’s coat is shiny and her dapples are blooming. Ahhhh, the joy is endless and the birds are chirping. Don’t you just love it when the planets align and everything seems to be going your way. 

ahead...the greenback gremlins rear their ugly heads and gobble up your extra cash!

(Screeching needle across a record sound here)... Wait! What is THAT? Your fat and shiny horse’s hooves are growing at an unprecedented rate due to lush grass...she already needs to be re-shod and it’s only been 3 weeks! The trailer project revealed that your tires are bald and to afford these two unplanned expenses, the barn project will now have to be pushed back yet again.

Side-hustles are an easy way to turn skills you have into cash and could include barn sitting services, teaching riding lessons or, if qualified, drive for Uber! If you are a professional, offer-up your services on the side. Side-hustles can add up big in the long run, meaning some serious cash in your horsey spending stash. Let’s talk about how you manage this money so you don’t spend the rest of your life working multiple jobs just to afford your horse.

So just when you thought you were going to be able to reduce your feed bill, reallocate the funds and get

First, take a look at your spending habits. By definition, a side-hustle is “extra”–and most people treat it like

So, you’re thinking you could use a little extra pocket change? Having horses tends to keep us in that state. Picking up a “side-hustle” – a part-time something to earn a little extra money is a great way to help afford your equine habit. It’s a trend that is becoming more popular and many influential horse people you know use side-hustles as a way to make more money. Think about all the virtual coaching programs you are seeing offered online now.

extra, disposable money, perfect for fun expenses you couldn’t normally afford: a new iPhone, that fancy competition shirt you’ve been eyeballing, or even a payment for a fun new car. Those are all great, but if all your side-hustle money is funneling straight toward those fun luxuries, it’s going to disappear like a bag of apple treats your horse just knocked over! The new iPhone will become obsolete, the fancy shirt will go out of get the picture.
When you treat your side-hustle cash-ola as just “extra” then all of the time and effort you invested in making those dollars will end up right in the proverbial manure pile.

 So, think of it like this. What if your sidehustle wasn’t a side-hustle as much as a tool to transform your ability to easily afford the big and little financial emergencies for your horse that are constantly stretching you financially and stressing you out? Because a side-hustle can do just that. Whether your hustle is a passion that you hope to make full-time one day or just a way to earn a few extra dollars, you can leverage it to continue working for you in the long run. And that means looking at your side job as something weighty, worthwhile, and definitely not just “extra” for little luxuries.
By investing and not spending those dollars, whether you’re earning $50 or $500, you’ll set yourself up for an immensely rewarding

Side hustles can add up big in the long run, meaning some serious cash in your horsey spending stash. ability to easily afford the unforeseen emergencies that drain your checking account and max out your credit cards.

money you earn from your side-hustle, having a spending/saving blueprint is the place to start.

Now, the best possible way to lose your money is to wait until it’s in your hand to make a plan for where it should go. Instead, sit down now and write down your priorities like we did in the last issue of Atlanta Horse Connections. Be mindful and focus on your equestrian goals and what they are going to cost. What could you do to set yourself up for a future of financial freedom to afford the things you want for you and your horse? You might want to invest your hustle earnings in the market or even invest more directly into your side-hustle and grow it into a sustainable full-time job.
No matter where you want to go with the

And finally, remember that the first rule of saving is to pay yourself first. Your financial goals come first out of every paycheck–side-hustle or not. Allocate a percentage of every dollar you earn to go toward your goals, no matter what those goals look like for you. For the biggest possible long-term reward, you should be funneling most of your sidehustle earnings toward your goals and just keeping a little of it as mad money–a well-deserved pat on the back for a job well done.
The moral of the story? Instead of looking at your side-hustle cash as fun money, consider how consistently investing or saving a large chunk of it now could completely change your financial future.

Got a financial challenge?

I’d love to hear from you regarding the biggest financial challenge you have in your equine hobby. Drop me a note at and I will gather the most common financial challenges faced by you all and try to help devise a solution to them in next month’s edition of Atlanta Horse Connections)

Now go play with your horses!





Lindsey Holcombe Nieves

THE ONLY THING I HAVE EVER WANTED, since I was 7 years old, is to own a horse of my very own. I’ve written about this before, but it took me 30 long years to make that dream come true. The only way I have been able to afford this ridiculously expensive hobby is to work, and work hard. I’ve been fortunate to have developed a good career over the years, but it oftentimes means weekly travel, late nights with clients and cleaning up email on Sunday afternoons. Occasionally, I’m in the middle of a 60+ hour work week and wonder if I’m even enjoying this hobby anymore.




When I feel overwhelmed and begin to overthink everything, I try to return to the joyful feeling of that 7-year-old little girl whose dream I have managed to fulfill.

The one thing, oddly, I never considered when buying a horse was how you may wake up in the morning with everything you ever wanted right in front of you, but with little energy left to experience it, let alone become better at it. So how, you ask, do you work hard, spend time with your family and enjoy the hobby you have always cherished? Well, I’m not 100% sure I have that figured out yet, but perhaps I can offer a few thoughts about my experience. Firstly, and maybe most importantly, you need a super support team. From family at home to family at the barn you need people who see you trying to solve problems and offer solutions to you. Like the friend who gives ulcer guard to your horse while you are on a business trip or your trainer who helps you build a schedule around your insane hours. My personal favorite is the husband, who hasn’t seen you all week, that smiles and says “have fun” as you walk out the door for the better part of a Saturday. This support team is both crucial to your success and your happiness. Another thing I have come around to try to embrace is that your goals may be reached slower than others who have more time, and perhaps more resources, than you. It’s impossible to live a life of comparison and be joyful. There is something to the saying, “Progress, not perfection”. I’m learning to temper my Type A work ambitions into a slightly less OCD version for myself at the barn. I mean, let’s be honest,

not completely but it’s a work in progress. In theory, I recognize the value of being kind to yourself but it’s quite hard to put into practice when you have spent the better part of a couple of decades focused on succeeding – at everything. Lastly, and maybe the hardest pill to swallow, is that your horse will survive without you micromanaging ever second of their schedule while you are away. In fact, horses have spent hundreds of years doing exactly that. Of course, you should absolutely arrange for rides where possible and ensure they are in a safe and well cared for environment; ultimately, however, horses are most interested in eating grass and hanging out with their buddies. As long as you level your expectations around your progression you should be able to happily enjoy each other’s company as you are able. Part of this is also purchasing the right horse. As a weekend warrior, you need one of these types who happily grazes for a couple of days and doesn’t try to kill you when you return. This, too, could take some trial and error and it certainly has for me. Most importantly, I’ve come to recognize that you are always sacrificing something. Whether it be time, family, money or ambitions you simply cannot have it all, all the time. When I feel overwhelmed and begin to overthink everything, I try to return to the joyful feeling of that 7-year-old little girl whose dream I have managed to fulfill.




Rags Elaina Schmersey


Maggie on the first day I brought her home

A horse story MAGGIE WAS FOUND by animal control on the streets in GA. She was kept in quarantine for several months and then moved to a pasture. She was unsure of people, covered in ticks, and very neglected.

tions, barrel racing, English equitation classes, extreme obstacle course, and went to local parades. This horse could do anything I asked. We are such a team together. She and I connected on a level that can only be described as transcendental. On many occasions, I can just think what it is that I would like her to do and she would just know.

One of my horses had recently passed away, and I was looking to give a horse a home that didn’t have one. I started researching local rescues and found a horse with one eye that had been at a rescue for over I decided to start training her in liberty and trick 7 years. I went to go look at her and take her home training. She is so smart. She easily figured out bow, with me. Maggie was in the lay down, and rearing. Maggie is same pasture, and kept coming always trying to figure out what I While looking at the up to me. I decided to take her wanted to do. I decided to create home too. She truly wanted to one-eyed horse I came to rescue, and start doing entertainment pergo with me, and walked right on formances with her. She recently I saw her. I decided to take her the trailer. won “Horses Got Talent” in the home too. She truly wanted to liberty division. We performed for My husband called to see if the Mid-West Horse Fair, Hoosier go with me, and walked I had picked up the horse we Horse Fair and Expo, and did a right on the trailer. looked at on line. I told him yes, demo at GERL (Georgia Equine and one more horse. “WHAT?” Rescue League) Rescue Challenge. Yep, my husband was not planning on me coming home with two horses that day. It was the best decision, but I really feel that Maggie picked me that day. I spent the next several years training her myself from the ground up. We competed in trail competi10



Our performances ranged from Star Wars themed show cases with lights to pirates and fire. I got a call that the “Animals of Distinction” were looking for a white horse that could rear and lay down on command. I followed up and had a casting call

This horse could do anything I asked. We are such a team together. She and I connected on a level that can only be described as transcendental.

interview. She landed the part on the CW show “Legacies” where Maggie is a guest character for an episode as a unicorn. She interacts with the cast and plays a role in the plot, all at liberty. It is a real role for a horse. Most horses, in the film industry, are used to portray a time period and have actors riding them. I am so proud that I have taken this journey with this horse from “rags” on the streets to “riches” as a star character on a TV show. She truly has made a transformation that has made her “Magnificent Maggie”. To see more pictures and video of Maggie please visit “Maggie the Magnificent Horse” on Facebook.

A unicorn in real life! Maggie at work on set!

Maggie landed the part on the CW show “Legacies” where she is a guest character for an episode as a unicorn. She interacts with the cast and plays a role in the plot, all at liberty.

Full Service Boarding & Training Experienced Instruction Specializing in Young Horse through FEI


built to your horse’s needs 12x12, 12x24, 12x36 Custom sizes available


Jos & Laura Sevriens 678.641.2192 404.643.7523




Carolyn Haward FEI International Show Jumping Judge, Greece

judging in

LIFE IS GOOD. When an e-mail from FEI dropped into my inbox earlier this year, I was thrilled. It was asking me if I would accept an appointment in Arezzo, Italy, in March. Of course, I would! I have been to beautiful cities in Italy before as a tourist but certainly not as a judge somewhere in the countryside...and not just anywhere... this would be in Tuscany. Tuscany is a region of rugged mountains, rolling wooded hills, vineyards and olive groves, not to mention the medieval villages, Renaissance art and architecture, great food and wine and also a pleasant temperate climate.




Opposite page: Author Carolyn Haward at the Palazzo Della Fraternita Dei Laic, built in the 14t century Opposite page below: The Medican Fortress in Arezzo 1. Course walk at Arezzo 2. Getting prepared for the inspection before the event begins at Arezzo 3. Congratulating one 1 of the second place winners

The only thing to let me down was the weather but it seems to me that nowhere in the world does the weather conform to norms any more. I arrived at Florence airport at night and was then driven in the darkness and rain to my hotel near the Arezzo Equestrian Centre. When I woke up the next morning it was still raining and the sky was completely overcast, and not only 2 that, a strong wind was gusting all around; an ominous start indeed. for jumping: fences collapsing despite sandbags on the wings and a few horses Things could only get better! The first more jittery than usual. However, by the day was naturally occupied with the horse end of the week the true Mediterranean inspection, held of necessity in those drab weather returned with its blue skies and conditions, in the indoor school. With one warm sunny conditions. door open as an entrance and another to exit at the far end, the occasional gust of What a wonderful riding center Arezzo is! wind sent all our papers flying and the It comprises three arenas, two of which horses jumping around in fright. By the are sand while the third is a luscious grass time the last horse had trotted up I was so area so large that it is well suited to Derby cold that I was having difficulty holding a competitions. A picturesque lake, a few pen. All of us, judges, stewards and vets, natural banks and trees all around give were badly in need of some hot food and a it a really rural feel. So large is this arena glass of local wine to revive us! A tour of that fences at the far end are barely visible the venue would have to wait until the next to the judges in the box! Nevertheless, a day and, hopefully, more amenable weather. solution was at hand: the Italians had set up cameras relaying a clear view of the It did improve considerably on the second distant end of the field to a screen in the day but the wind persisted in blowing, tribune. At this point I would like to add resulting in the well-known problems that another very valuable piece


of equipment was installed in the judges’ espresso machine! Coffee is an essential part of the Italian way of life and it must be of the espresso variety served in tiny cups to which sugar may be added but never milk! According to Italians, true coffee must be drunk thick and black! Given that Arezzo hosts many competitions throughout the year, there are several places to eat; a good-sized restaurant is situated close to the secretariat offices in the middle of attractive cherry trees which were fortuitously in full bloom for my visit. It AHC



We stopped to savor Italian coffee and homemade biscuits in one of the cafeterias which enticed us in with its wooden interior with brass fittings and a huge modern spindly chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

offers an amazing variety of food, from all kinds of traditional Italian pasta dishes to roast meats, vegetables and salads. In another area you can find a Western style barbecue while at another point there is a modern bar for those who just want to refresh themselves with a snack and a drink. Those who enjoy shopping will also be pleased to find the shopping pathways lined on both sides with plenty of stalls selling all kinds of riding equipment, footwear, jeweler, garden furniture and ornamental statuary. Most importantly, large warm-up rings are covered for protection from the sun or rain, and the veterinarians even have their own area dedicated to treatments and anti- doping testing, plus a large contained area for the stabling of the horses situated on the far side of the venue. All of these facilities being surrounded by flowers and trees, this venue at Arezzo is a most enjoyable place to be! And so, to the actual judging of the competition. In my experience the path of a jumping competition never runs totally smoothly. There are always a few irregularities which we as judges find challenging to handle. Arezzo was to be no exception. On this occasion I found it odd, first of all, that the prize-giving 14



ceremony for the Young Horses was done on foot without the horses...this is something I had never come across before. “This is what we always do for this class,” I was told. As we all know, the rule book says that the prizes should be presented with the recipients mounted, unless there is good reason and a rider asks for permission not to bring his horse 2 (JR 248.5). I pointed out this fact but the reply was that it saved time as the riders were competing in the next competition and needed to hurry. I must say I wondered therefore about the wisdom of having amended the start to the day’s proceedings to one hour later. “Couldn’t the day have

started as originally scheduled?” I thought. I still disagreed with this local variation of the rule book and, as Foreign Judge, I had to mention it in my report to FEI. For those who are not aware, let me explain that the report to FEI after each show is written by the Foreign Judge, not the President of the Ground Jury (with the exception of a 1* event). The Foreign Judge is appointed by FEI as its representative to ensure the rules are abided by and the show runs correctly. Two other incidents caused riders to be eliminated. One was the case of a rider

Rubber stops on the reins are a no-no! These are not allowed since they make a running martingale work like a standing martingale (JR 241.3.21).

the attending doctor and medical team, then subsequently transported to hospital for further tests and treatment. We later received the heart-warming news that neither injury was as serious as first feared. The sun finally shone on us by the latter part of the second week with the Grand Prix Olympic Qualifier taking place under a blue sky on a glorious sunny day.

So beautiful is the town that it was immortalized in Roberto Benigni’s 1997 Oscar-winning film “Life is Beautiful.”

whose horse, on exiting the arena, was found to have blood on one of its flanks, albeit a small wound, but the rule says that any blood on a horse’s flanks incurs mandatory elimination. It may seem unnecessarily harsh but the rule exists to protect the welfare of the horse, and in doing so protects the sport. The second elimination involved a rider who had put rubber stops on his reins. These are not allowed since they make a running martingale work like a standing martingale (JR 241.3.21). The athlete in question was warned twice by the chief steward that he should remove them but the athlete preferred to enter the arena to

complete. Even though he completed his course and in fact gained a good placing, he was subsequently eliminated, thus causing him to lose his prize money. Be warned! Any rider in doubt about what is or is not allowed in saddlery should look at the illustrations in the Stewards’ Manual Annexes, which can be found online. The rest of the event ran smoothly with very good organization, especially on the part of the stewards. There were, unfortunately, a couple of injuries which we in the horse-riding world know is an unwelcome part of the sport. Both of the athletes were promptly dealt with by

I had even been able to make a visit to the town of Arezzo, the birthplace of Michelangelo one afternoon after finishing the day’s judging earlier than usual...and what a delight it was! Narrow medieval streets dotted with smart boutiques and antique shops led to a grand piazza with a large church on one side, a fourteenth century palazzo on another, and the famous elegant ‘loggia’ designed by Giorgio Vasari who also designed the Uffizi in Florence on yet another. There are small shops, restaurants and cafes all around. We stopped to savor Italian coffee and homemade biscuits in one of the cafeterias which enticed us in with its wooden interior with brass fittings and a huge modern spindly chandelier hanging from the ceiling. From there we moved on up the hill until we came upon a cathedral with painted vaulted ceilings and a 15th century fresco of Mary Magdalene. Beyond that was the Medican Fortress with its sweeping city views. Churches abound everywhere, as do statues which decorate the streets. So beautiful is the town that it was immortalized in Roberto Benigni’s 1997 Oscar-winning film, “Life is Beautiful.” I highly recommend a visit to the Tuscany region of Italy and while you are there, don’t forget to stop by the Arezzo Equestrian Centre. You’ll most likely find a competition in progress. What finer way to spend a day: watching the horses and supping espresso under a Mediterranean sun? As the Italians say, “La vita e Bella!” AHC



full CIRCLE Liz Crawley

Thinking about getting back into the show ring again? I pretty much had given up the dream of doing just that since I was working full time and spent more time photographing horses than riding them. Join me on a comical journey that landed me right back onto a horse and into the show ring.

I GREW UP SHOWING Western, Hunters, Sidesaddle and riding Endurance. My father was an amateur photographer and I spent a lot of time with him trying to learn how to photograph well with little success. He was content to come and photograph me at horse shows and I was content to show, so I gave up on the photography and just rode. Some of my fondest memories were of all of us packing into the motor home and going to the Region 12 Championships to show my horse or camping out in the woods so I could ride an endurance ride. His chicken and yellow rice dinner was well worth the 100 mile ride. I’ll never forget the times my mother would follow me in her car down 10 miles of back roads as I rode my horse to a show, because I couldn’t afford a trailer ride.

16 A H C


My dad passed away way before we were ready for him to leave us. The last horse show I rode in was in 2003 at the Sport Horse Nationals. Little did people know that the blubbering idiot that just went US Reserve National Champion over fences wasn’t shedding tears of joy, they were tears of sorrow, because he wasn’t there when I finally made it worth all of those photos he took. I vowed that I was going to learn how to photograph like he did. I took courses and spent long days photographing with photographers that were kind enough to teach me their art. I gave up showing, got a job that worked around my shooting schedule, and was lucky enough to have a family that not only supported my dream, but helped to fulfill it. Years later, I was blessed with a successful





©Jim Swain


Previous page: GF Back in Black+/ HA/Anglo-Arabian Dressage Training Level at the Region 12 Championships 1. GF Back In Black+/ in-hand at the Region 12 Championships 2. Liz Crawley aboard Miss Informed, US Reserve National Champion Over Fences AAOTR 3. Liz Crawley and GF Back in Black+/ 4. Liz Crawley and her first Arabian stallion, Try Montez 5. Stephanie Berbec and Victoria Shaw pose for their championship photo with GF Back in Black+/

horse show photography business employing some of the most talented shooters in the country. I was shooting an Arabian show and a lady named Robin Ginn came up to me and said, “I have a horse you need to buy.” Now, why in the world (with 7 older horses at home) would I want to buy a two year old unbroken Anglo-Arabian stallion? I gave her my standard response –I needed another horse like I needed another hole in my head. I was also repeating that same mantra as we loaded him into the trailer for me to take home to our farm. I broke, rode and showed many horses when I was younger, but I figured with shooting shows every weekend and the fact that I wouldn’t bounce anymore when he decided to have a green horse moment and deposit me on the ground, that I would do the best thing for both of us and send him to a trainer. The trainer showed him in-hand at shows I was photographing to many Regional wins

and two National Top Ten’s in Sport Horse in Hand. GF Back in Black+/ learned to be a riding horse and of course that show bug bit me in the rear again. Of course, with an awesome trainer named Victoria Shaw that is 3 hours away and shooting horse shows every weekend, I didn’t have time to ride the horses in my pasture let alone ride him. It’s like a bike, you don’t forget, you just hurt a lot more in the morning. So for the fourth year in a row I was blessed enough to be the official Region 12 Sport Horse Championships photographer. Unfortunately, that is where we would have to show to qualify for the nationals. Have you ever seen a photographer stripping off clothes while running out of the ring? Well, Region 12 has as of a few weeks ago. Sorry you all had to witness that spectacle. I got in two passes in a crowded warm up ring before I rode him down the path into the show ring. A tough

class with multiple national champions already in the ring, but the stallion did it with finesse. My goal? Catch ride my own horse, stay on and I’d consider that a successful day. It was more than an honor to ride out with a Region 12 Top Five ribbon while staring into the lens of the camera my daughter (who learned to photograph from me) was holding in the middle of the ring. GF Back in Black+/ also collected three Region 12 Championships in-hand, a Reserve Championship in hand, a Top Five in Training Level Dressage, and a Top Five in the Half-Arabian Open Sport Horse Under Saddle with Victoria Shaw. Hope you were watching Dad, but if not, thanks to you, I have some great photos to show to you one day! May the full circle be unbroken… on to Nationals!




meet Penny Morse


C O M F O R TA B L E & S T Y L I S H W E A R A B L E A R T MAE WEARABLE ART conceptualized over the love of vintage costume jewelry, but understanding the lack of functionality and overall wear – some of the styles (specifically earrings) hurt! After years in Corporate Sales and Marketing, Margaret Mewborn or “Mae” decided to switch her focus from technology to jewelry – something she had only worn, never made. Her strong determination to find a way to capture the elegant style of generations past while working with materials that are unbelievably light in nature created something comfortable and stylish for all women – it created MAE Wearable Art. After discovering her creative gene at a relatively young age, Mae likes to joke that art and fashion have finally found a suitable place in her adult life outside of adorning a wall or her closet. The inspiration behind the original collection emerged from a pair of clip-on earrings that were given to her from her grandmother’s costume jewelry collection. This specific pair of “button” earrings attended many wonderful events, but the consistent, uncomfortable pinch caused Mae to dig deeper and find a solution. Since the launch in November 2018, the “button” earring has transformed to over 60 different styles and color combinations – all handmade.

Mae resides in Atlanta with her husband Patrick, daughter Anne Helen and adorable pup, Bryant., Instagram: MAEWearableArt

Facebook: MAE Wearable Art Instagram: MAEWearableArt

After becoming the black sheep in the family (I was the only female that pursued soccer rather than eventing), it is funny to see the horse world come full circle. I knew there would be a way my grandmother (Nancy Gosch) would have her hand in steering me back to shows somehow. And boy has it been a blast as an on-looking vendor at shows! –Mae

18 A H C


Devon-aire Noble Outfitters Shires IRH

See me at Chatt Hil s, Conyers and other local event facilities


Kathryn Lilly Stirrups Southern Equestrian

brand development

www. m agsmobi l e t a ck. c om MAGS MOBILE TACK The Store that comes to you!

‘I regularly travel to barns and shows around Metro Atlanta’

If I don’t have it on the trailer, I will get it!!! See me at Chatt Hills, Conyers and other local event facilities

7 0 719 9522

publication design

logo design



social media

website design

heidi caldwell design

770 719 9522

creative services for the equine industry & beyond


25 TH EDITION - 2018

26 TH EDITION - 2018





meet the new





the retired







to change equine welfare SPORT


























From local stories and trainers to national news and competitions, Atlanta Horse Connections is covering all things important to the Equine Community!

SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW AVAILABLE! 4 issues per year email:

Boarding • Training • Lessons Dressage • Jumping • Cross Country 17 Stall Barn, Hot and Cold Wash Rack 12’ x 12’ and 12’ x 16’ Stalls Tack room with individual tack trunks Individual turnout available Full size dressage arena with lights Insured • Owner on premises

Working student position available for weekends Some experience preferred, and dependable 324 East Davis Bridge Road, Villa Rica, GA 30180 770.313.6283 • 770.328.3801 • 770.316.8655



Intercollegiate Championships at Chatt Hills

Penny Morse ©Liz Crawley Photography




ANY EVENT ASSOCIATED WITH COLLEGES has a certain atmosphere, and that certainly applied to the Intercollegiate Championships held at Chatt Hills May 18th and 19th. In their normal fashion, the team at Chatt Hills went over and above to make this event spectacular–from bringing in renowned announcer Spencer Sturmey from England to hosting a delightful opening ceremonies radiating plenty of southern charm and team excitement! The rain hovered around the facility but held off for the Parade of Teams, led by Katherine Johnson and Jacey Kaye Keiffer in a mini cart pulled by the cute pony, Sunny. The emotions were high as the team supporters cheered everyone on, and the tears welled up in everyone’s eyes as the National Anthem was played. As the party in the pavilion started, the first of the Team Spirit competitions took place with a relay race. With all the teams taking part, the weekend had truly begun and the rain had held off! This was going to be a great event!

Opposite page: The Spirit Award winners Texas A&M, University of Kentucky and University of Findlay with Hugh Lochore, GM of Chattahoochee Hills Eventing. Above: Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes ŠSherwood Holmes for Liz Crawley Photography Below left: Auburn University Orange, University of Kentucky Blue and University of Kentucky Wildcats with Hugh Lochore. Below right: 6th Place Winners University of Louisville and University of Virginia – Paige Thompson, Grace Lakeman, Darby Weerstra and Jessie Schwartz (UVA)

The show was well attended, so there were five dressage rings until midday and then for the rest of the day there was just the regular 3 rings. The upper level riders (Training through to Advanced) ran their cross-country course Saturday afternoon while Novice and Beginner Novice competitors took on the stadium course. It was

a long day, with some of the best dressage tests being ridden in a while, according to the Judges and nothing but excitement on the Cross-country course and in stadium. Saturday evening the colleges were judged for the best decorated area at the barn, and then they all competed in the talent

contest! From dancing to singing these young riders showed that they had many talents! Sunday started at 8 am with stadium for the Advanced through to Training levels, while the Novice and Beginner Novice riders battled it out on cross-country. It AHC



Elinor O’Neal and Zik Zack

2019 INTERCOLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIPS 1st – Auburn University Orange Isabel Franklin Sallie Johnson Dorothy Dreelin Aubrey Wagoner 2nd – University of Kentucky Blue Macy Clark Jackie LeMastus Elizabeth Silva-Chandley Mia Fox

5th Place Winners USC-Aiken Blue Jessica Wymbs, Brooke Webb, Keileigh McMurray and Amanda Fisher

3rd – University of Kentucky Wildcats Jackie LeMasters Katelyn Hagerty Clair Rowlands Cora Severs 4th – Auburn University Blue 5th – USC Aiken Blue 6th – University of Louisville and University of Virginia

was a fantastic show full of the college team spirit that was very infectious! Terrific weather, great atmosphere and all in all one of the best shows held in the southeast.

Dorthy Dreelin and Subtle Dreams Unveiled Auburn Orange ©Jennifer Crawley

The Spirit Award results were: 1st place Texas A&M, 2nd place University of Kentucky, 3rd place University of Findlay. These young people really went all out to show they had the spirit! As far as the final results of the competition, it was not clear through the whole weekend who was going to win. It could have been one of a few with Kentucky in the lead right up until cross-country. This was a spectacular weekend with every competitor showing true spirit. The camaraderie was 22 A H C


infectious with everyone cheering on every rider. This event, supported enthusiastically by the USEA, was well orchestrated by Chatt Hills and their volunteers. This was most certainly southern hospitality at it’s best, and we personally cannot wait to see what they what they have planned for next year!

Amber Spiler

Silly Gil

It’s me Gil, the b est pony ever.

Summer is in bloom and it is glorious! Every thing around me is green and succulent and we’ve had just enough rain to make my wonderful grass extra juic y. Ahhh. I am laying here stretched out in the sunshine nib bling the green nec tar of the gods from the side of my mouth. I know my girl is going to come get me and take me to a fun place to hack. She said that it has a blue pool of water where the lily pads have pink flowers on top. I am not sure what a lily pad is but I bet it’s tasty. I only hope that little Jack Russell Terror mutt doesn’t come with us. “Gil, Gil!” Think of the devil...Puck the mutt. “Gil!” His little pink tongue is lolling out of his mouth.

“Gil! Guess where I’m going today?” Oh no. “I am going to the groomers to get treats!” He literally bounces with excitement. Groomers. I’ve been groomed and it doesn’t sound that exciting to me. “Yep!” He looks down at his paws. “I’m also getting my nails painted. Wonder what that means?” Serves him right. I’m so happy that today will be just me and my girl.

I heave up off of the ground and shake the grass off of me as I hear the truck and trailer bouncing down the driveway and see my girl waving her hand out the window at me. After a short but bumpy ride my girl finally lets down the ramp and I mosey my way on down. She ties me to the back of the trailer and tells me to be good while she gets ready. Before she leaves, she makes sure that my hay bag is filled with very yummy hay. I love hay. So here I am standing alone munching hay. Perfect. But what’s that funny smell? I am a pony after all and we have an extraordinary sense of smell. My girl says




it’s because we are flight animals and we need to be prepared to run. I don’t know what flying has to do with running but I don’t really like the idea of doing either one.

the little bit of orange twine that I’m tied to breaks.


You don’t have to tell me twice. I sit back on my rear and leap forward as quickly as I can. I think I hear it galloping after me! I am certain I’m going to get eaten by that crazy monster.

I jump a little because I am not sure what that loud cracking noise was and I don’t want anything to sneak up on me. I look behind me and I don’t see anything but trees and shadows. “Crack” My nostrils are flaring now. There is definitely something in the shadows.


“Gil!” It’s my girl. “Gil! What are you doing you silly pony? How did you break free and why are you trotting around like an Arabian horse with your tail in the air?

What in the world? Then I see it! A huge creature walks out of the shadows. It’s terrifying! Big ears, big eyes…eww, and one very big tongue that just licked right up into a very big, wet nose. ARRRGGG! I am so scared that I don’t even think, I just lean back really hard on my rope until 24 A H C


“Silly Gil, you are like your ancestors, you do have some instincts left in you after all. But remember, just because something doesn’t look like you or doesn’t sound like you doesn’t mean that it’s bad.” My girl started walking to the baby hoodlum. “Watch this.” She held out a cookie, one of my cookies to the thing and slowly its long, pink tongue reached out swiping the cookie from her hand. “See Gil, you both like cookies, you’re really not that different.” I take a deep breath and step closer. Funny, but it’s almost cute with that slimy nose. Then, I think, it gives me a little smile while blinking those big, brown eyes. Holy cow! It is cute! Later that day after the ride and a nice swim in the blue pond my girl curries me down and tells me how proud she is of me for being brave and meeting someone new even though I was scared.

li ttle s mil e a e m s e iv g t I se big, o h t g in k n li b e il wh ly co w! b ro w n e yes. Ho It is c u te! “Moo!”

what the mama looks like, nostrils flaring again. Or the dad! I think I’m feeling nauseous.

Just wait until the little mutt hears of my adventure. He will be so jealous that he was being groomed and painted while I had all the fun. And wait until he hears that I am a flight animal after all. My girl wraps her arms around me and gives me snuggles. I love this girl. And for once today I managed to stay out of trouble. Trotting? I’m sure I was galloping, I’m exhausted. Note to self, put tail down. I turn to look behind me to show my girl that a hairy creature is chasing me and my girl starts giggling. “Is that what all the hoopla is all about?” she scratches my ears trying to calm me down. “That is what we call a calf. It’s a baby cow.”Baby?! I can’t even imagine

(540) 729-2020

Race Safe Provent BETA Level 3 Certification

Helite Air Jacket

Race Safe RS2010 BETA Level 3 Certification

Body Protector Fittings Joanne Morse 770-313-6283

Helite Air Shell




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.

Providing advanced diagnostics, routine, complex and emergency medical and surgical care to horses with a variety of ocular disorders. 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 Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and Ophthalmology welcome the addition of two new The Equine Internal Medicine Service is an integral part of the equineDrs. ophthalmology health care team. faculty members, Richard McMullen and Shannon THIS IS ADVANCED Boveland. Drs. PhillipHEALTHCARE. Anthony Moore, McMullen and THIS IS AUBURN. Boveland are members of the International Equine Ophthalmology Consortium and are committed to providingJ.T.the highest level of equine eyeHospital care. Vaughan Large Animal Teaching 334/844-4490 •

2017 Equine Ophthamology AD.FINAL.indd 1

With the addition of Dr. McMullen, an internationally known equine ophthalmologist, the J.T. Vaughan

1/18/17 7:34 AM

Yvonne Barteau


One Day at a Time

I HAVE A DREAM. It is actually a vision now. It started as a realization, and then became an awareness. It has expanded and grown from there. I believe...that those with no voice of their own...deserve the fairest counsel of all. However, we first must become aware. That which I speak of...the ones who need counsel and awareness...were not at the forefront of my thoughts...for most of my adult life. Many other things were. Just as many other things crowd their way into all of our lives, each and every day. Yet still, they waited. And they shipped. They are the unwanted horses of America. There are thousands of them. And they need my help. 26



The right horse is not any particular breed of horse, it’s the horse that captures your heart when you meet them and will take you beyond any limits you ever thought possible. Why should I not help? I am a lifetime horse lover and a horse trainer. I have a voice and I have influence...albeit limited. Horses have made me who I am and provided a living for me and my family. If not me, then who? Three years ago, I decided to see what I could do. Things have evolved... Welcome to Rock Bluff Ranch in Bell Florida, home of KYB Dressage, and Horses without Humans our 501c3 dedicated to keeping America’s unwanted horses out of harm’s way. Currently we have over forty horses in various stages of readiness for adoption here. Today I will focus on the Pasos. The Paso Finos we have, were part of a seizure in Lake Butler Florida, where felony charges were filed. I was called in to evaluate the temperaments of the fifty odd horses seized. We ended up taking seven of them. Some were more emaciated than others. All were largely unhandled. We started by getting them healthy...and then handleable. So, time has passed. Each of the seven Paso Finos we brought in are now ready for adoption. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this breed I will share what I have learned. These horses seem very clever and aware. They are active and high energy but also very smooth and non-tiring to ride. They are small. Average size is just above and below pony size. They want to develop partnerships with

their humans. They are hard working and resilient. They seem especially suited for pleasure and trail riding and are quite easy keepers. Part of our start up work in the round pen with all horses includes desensitization. Big blue tarps, oversized beach balls, poles, jumps, water, you name it we try to introduce it. As the training of our merry band of Pasos progressed and they moved from the round pen, to trail riding around the 120 acre farm we expanded their skill set. Hidalgo, Gascon and Santino were


Before After Gascon (pictured left and above) did a wonderful job representing all rescue horses at Misty Morning Hounds at the Perry Plantation. He is a 4 year old Paso Fino that completed an eventing course over 6 miles. Pictured right is Rosie, another registered Paso Fino rescue horse ready for her new home.




HWH trainer Jennifer Cefalu and Gascon have an undeniable bond

selected to form a soccer team and their Horses without Humans riders challenged KYB Dressage to a soccer match one sunny afternoon. It turned into a fun filled romp. Even though the Pasos were still all being ridden in the rope halters we started them in, they were so handy and adept, that they outscored the more trained KYB mounts 2-0 in the half hour match. It was great fun for all! We then did some barrel racing and a trail ride. These little horses are now ready for adoption. Please go to our Horses without Humans Facebook or web site to learn more about them. Gascon, the grey Paso also has a surprising talent for jumping. He just attended his first hunter pace in Ocala Florida with our HWH trainer Jennifer

The more that we can safely adopt out the more space we have to bring in the next round....and so Gascon is available and ready for his right person. We have many horses ready for adoption here at Rock Bluff Ranch. Quarter Horses, Arabians, a Standardbred, Thoroughbreds, a Haflinger, some ponies, a few Appaloosa horses and a Paint. They are in various stages of training as their adoption fees reflect. I will say a few words on the adoption fee and process. Cefalu. She loves him. He is brave and forward but also kind, not challenging. Jennifer has fallen into the very real trainer trap of wanting to keep this special guy for herself. Yet she is a young working equine professional and already has four horses to support. I fall in love with these projects as well, but I remind myself of the truth daily. The handsome Papi and his mini-me, Gascon




Our adoption fees help our mission. All donations and all adoption fees go into the well as a lot of my personal funds, and our families time. If an adopted horse proves unsuitable either short or long term, he can be exchanged for one that is. Also, our adopted horses can be resold for a profit as long as their future owners know that said horse has

how to become involved, please email me at Our full length award documentaries Into the Spotlight and Into the Spotlight II are available by an email request and they are shareable. Let us all figure out what we

can do at this time and beyond to educate this as well as the next generation of horse lovers to be mindful...of those with no voice of their own. Cheers, all!

a family at Horses without Humans. The right horse is the right bond, and we have many adoptable candidates here at Horses without Humans waiting to find that. The space and words I get to share with you are part of Atlanta Horse Connections wanting to become involved in the at-risk category of equine welfare here in the USA at this time. If any of you reading this would also like more information on


outheast Schooling Show Championships

September 28th and 29th 2019 Participating States: Florida, Georgia, Training, Dressage at Eventing, Combined Amoeba to Prelim/Training Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana.

Intro to Second Level

Opening Date August 5th 2019 Closes September 17th 2019 For information and qualifications go to

He’s got it all. Looks brains talent semen

4 4 4



Why does my stallion’s semen not freeze well?

Dr. Aime K. Johnson American College of Theriogenology, Auburn University, College of Veterinary Medicine

CRYOPRESERVATION, OR FREEZING, of stallion semen can be a useful tool to preserve valuable genetics for use when a stallion is unavailable, injured or dies. Unfortunately, some stallions who produce acceptable pregnancy rates with conventional breeding management produce sperm that do not tolerate the freeze-thaw process well enough to be used in a breeding program. When this happens, it can be a source of frustration for owners, managers and veterinarians. In this article, we will briefly discuss a few of the many factors affecting fertility and post-thaw motility of frozenthawed semen. It is important to start with good-quality semen. Excellent semen quality prior to cryopreservation often yields useable semen after cryopreservation, and semen of poor quality will not improve with freezing. The cryopreservation and eventual thawing processes are stressful to the spermatozoa, and many cells are lost in the process. All stallions are different, and not all sperm tolerates cryopreservation equally. Occasionally, even stallions who produce good-quality ejaculates and are fertile under normal breeding conditions produce sperm that do not withstand the freezing process well. About 20 percent of stallions are “good freezers” and have post-thaw motility greater than 40 percent. An additional 60 percent are “adequate freezers” and will have post-thaw motility of 2040 percent. The remaining 20 percent are classified as “poor freezers,” with less than 20 percent



motility post-thaw. Appropriate management may improve the freezing quality of the ejaculate in some stallions and allow successful freezing for long-term storage. Unfortunately, in many cases, those classified as “poor freezers” will remain in that category. Proper preparation of the stallion before freezing can be valuable to ensure that the best possible sperm are available. Sperm are stored in the stallion’s reproductive tract for many days after they are produced, and with conventional breeding management, retain their fertility. However, as they age, these sperm cells may undergo changes that make them less tolerant to the stresses of the cryopreservation process that lowers the postthaw survival of the sperm. Prior to freezing a stallion’s ejaculate, a series of “clean out” collections should be performed to get rid of the stored sperm so only fresh new sperm are available for freezing. Typically, a minimum of three to five collections should be performed, but more may be necessary depending on the previous collection schedule and individual stallion factors. Collections should continue until the best semen quality for that stallion is achieved. There are a number of unexplained variables between ejaculates of individual stallions, and in some stallions, different freezing protocols may yield different results. Freezing trials using different protocols and semen extenders may be worthwhile to find the method that produces the best results. Different cryoprotectants (protect the sperm cells during the freezing process), nutrient sources, cooling rates, freezing rates and other variables have all been investigated. Finding the right combination may improve the performance of a particular stallion’s semen. Dietary supplements have shown positive effects on semen quality. In some reports, stallions that were categorized as “poor freezers” had improvement in post-thaw motility after dietary supplementation

An eosin- nigran stain of 2 normal stallion sperm showing the sperm head, midpiece, and tail.

Sperm with a cooled tail, a defect often seen with testicular injury

The sperm on the left has a head defect and a midpiece abnormality commonly seen together and indicating testicular damage or degeneration. The sperm on the right has a bent tail, a defect that is sometimes caused by mishandling the sperm in the lab.

Multi-headed sperm. Defects like this can occur in the process of sperm formation

EVERY STALLION IS DIFFERENT AND USING VARIOUS PROTOCOLS AND EXTENDERS MAY BE WORTHWHILE TO ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS. docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Other reports indicate that dietary antioxidants (such as selenium, Vitamin E and zinc) and polyunsaturated fatty acids have shown some potential to improve semen quality. Although this research is promising, more controlled studies are necessary to evaluate supplementation on fertility of stallions. Caution should be used when choosing a dietary supplement, as many are not proven to be effective and may actually contain substances that are harmful to sperm quality even if marketed for this purpose. Always consult your veterinarian or a reproductive specialist prior to starting a supplement.

that do not freeze well, and stallion owners should be aware that every stallion is different. If you are thinking about having semen cryopreserved, it is best to schedule this early in the stallion’s career, when semen quality is optimal and age-related changes are not an additional complication. Also, find a freezing center that is dedicated to working with your individual stallion to achieve the best results. Dr. Aime K. Johnson is a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Semen cryopreservation can be an excellent way to preserve a stallion’s genetics. The process can be frustrating in those stallions AHC



Ciera Foley


WORKING STUDENT EVERY DRESSAGE RIDER AT SOME point in their life has seen an elegant rider on a Grand Prix horse at a local show, a trainer with a barn full of FEI horses, or even an internationally known rider at the top of a podium biting their gold medal, and have thought to themselves, “How in the world did they get there?”

©Heidi Caldwell




FROM THE OUTSIDE, it almost seems like these professionals appear out of thin air with a string of horses and a neck full of medals. The first thing that always comes to mind is, “Oh, they must be lucky.” No one ever looks at these successful riders and thinks to themselves, “Wow, they must have worked so hard to get there.” And that is a huge problem. If you are an equestrian that dreams of either earning your USDF Bronze Medal, riding your first Grand Prix, or even Olympic rings, you must first understand the one thing all of these successful riders have that you must also acquire. Knowledge. And how might someone with a big dream and a tight budget gain knowledge? Two words: working student. The term, working student, refers to an individual whom trades work for training and experience. I can almost guarantee you that every single rider at the Olympics

completely self-sufficient. If you are someone who works best on verbal confirmation, ‘good jobs’ and high-fives, you’re going to have to learn really quick that 99% of the things you do are going to be expected of you. There is no, “Gee thanks for bringing in that running horse because no one else noticed” or “Wow, you scrubbed the bathroom floor and swept the arena railing, thank you!” You have to be self-motivated, be able to think on your feet, multi-tasking is definitely required, and most of all you must be extremely passionate about the sport. There are going to be many days where you feel drained and burnt out, but you have to be there first thing in the morning the next day anyway.

But you know what? Although it might be one of the most chaotic and exhausting times of your life, it’s also going to be the best thing for you to develop as a horse person. It will show you exactly what it is you want to pursue as a professional, whether that be running a sales barn, coaching, training and riding, or any combination. The possibilities are endless

You’re going to have to pop an Aleve and get on with it until eventually you’ll hop off your sixth horse of the day at 8:30 pm on a Friday and think to yourself, “I haven’t eaten anything yet today, but I feel like I could still do another horse.”

has at one point, or for many years been some form of working student. We’ve all heard the saying ‘practice makes perfect’, but what you don’t hear people tell you is, ‘through work you gain experience, and through experience you gain knowledge.’ In other words, the best way to get to where you want to go is by working for someone, and working very hard. It’s no secret becoming a working student is not for everyone. You have to be

When you first start out, you’re going to feel like your legs are going to fall off if you have to walkout to that paddock one more time, you’re going to be absolutely starving by 10:30, and your arms are going to be numb from that 7-year-old with no brakes leaning on you the entire ride. You’re going to have to pop an Aleve and get on with it until eventually you’ll hop off your sixth horse of the day at 8:30 pm on a Friday and think to yourself, “I haven’t eaten anything yet today, but I feel like I could still do another horse.”

and what you choose to do with these opportunities will mold your future. The things you will learn and do and experience are absolutely priceless. The people you will meet and the friendships formed along the way, the horses you will ride, the places you will go, all will be what shapes you not only as a horse person, but it will also shape who you are on the inside. For the first time working student, this can all be a little overwhelming. That’s why I’ve created a list of five of the most important things you need to know before you show up on your first day. AHC



Make sure you pick the right person to work for. There’s nothing better than choosing an environment with people you can respect and learn so much from. It makes your time there the best it can be.

SURVIVAL 5 1. Have an open mind. You must embrace the fact that there is a great big world out there that is actually, very small, but full of exciting opportunities and learning curves. You’re not always going to be sure if this is what you’re meant to be doing, there’s no doubt about that. It might not always feel like you are learning something in every moment, but every task you do, every horse you sit on, every mistake you make is teaching you a very valuable lesson. You might not see it now, but down the road you will be glad you did it. 2. Always look to improve yourself. If you have a question about something, don’t be afraid to ask at the right time. Remember, being a working student is all about getting an education, therefore every moment of every day is an opportunity for you to learn something. Use it! 3. Take initiative and be reliable. It’s extremely hard to find good barn help, and in order to be the best working

student you can be you have to take initiative. If you see something that needs to be done, just do it! If you have a spare moment in the day in your busy schedule, find something that needs to be done like sweep the aisle, dust, or even organize a messy area. Always be on time, if you can be early that’s even better. There’s nothing more respectful than always being there when you say you will. 4. Be gracious. The best thing you can be is someone who is always pleasant and has a good attitude. There are always going to be people who maybe you don’t agree with or whatever the case, however that doesn’t mean it has to change your cheery mood! The horse world is small and it’s better to be known for being nice than otherwise. 5. Have a plan. No matter what stage you are in your horse career, you always need to have a plan to reach a new goal. There’s no better time to reach new heights than as a working student. You will really be able to focus on what it is you need to do, and have that extra one on one learning time with your mentor.

Lastly, make sure you pick the right person to work for. You are going to be spending long hours with your mentor in their work environment, and you have to make sure your personalities mesh. You have to be comfortable with their training program and agree with the way the horses are being cared for. There’s no better feeling than knowing you chose the right environment and making your time there the best it can be. If you can survive as a working student and come out as passionate and motivated as ever, you’ll know you’ve chosen the right path. Becoming a working student isn’t for everyone but it can be the most valuable time spent if your goal is to become an equestrian professional.

Ciera Foley, working student Ciera Foley is a native of Huntsville, Alabama and is currently the working student at Atlanta Dressage in Suwanee, Georgia under the training of Roel Theunissen and Adam Lastowka. A multiple time USDF Regional Champion, she holds her bronze and silver medals and is striving towards her gold. She owns and competes two dressage horses, Kennedy (Clydesdalewarmblood cross pictured above) and Zephyr (KWPN, pictured left). Ciera competed in the hunter jumper world before transitioning to straight dressage. She was a working student for Debbie Hill in Wellington, FL before moving to Georgia to take the position at Atlanta Dressage. When Ciera isn’t working at the barn and working with horses, her other hobbies are (wait, does that really happen?) spending time with her family, friends and boyfriend.




The #1 Strategy for Successful Investing No one will look after your money better than you. To learn why


Susanne Lauda


Etiquette Safety THE FIRST RULE OF THE ARENA should always

everyone in the arena is there to enjoy their equine companion

be courtesy! Remember that everyone has a living animal

and to practice their riding skills, so don’t be stubborn. It is

underneath and not every movement is always under control.

not worth fighting over someone’s mistake. If a mistake is

Be prepared for the worst and do not get too wrapped up

made, it is better to quietly inform the person of the rules.

with your own horse not to notice what is happening around you! Do not expect that every rider sees you and remember that it is not impolite to yell if you are getting too close or planning to pass. This will announce your intentions and tell other riders what you plan to do. Try to remember that

Common sense must always be used. Be aware of your total environment to avoid collisions. If you are the more experienced rider, always take it upon yourself to stay safe and flow out of harm’s way. Show by example so others may learn.


Always check your stirrup length and tighten your girth if necessary before you mount and ideally before you enter the arena

Never mount or dismount on the track – move to the center or out of the arena

Close the gates while riding in the arena

When entering it is polite to start riding on the same rein (direction) as the majority of the horses in the arena

When entering the arena, be careful not to cut off another rider

Slower gaits take the inside track. Walk on the inside track. The outside track is always given to horses working the faster gait.

The international rule is to pass left shoulder to left shoulder when passing head on (in opposite directions) and look where you are going

36 A H C

Keep one horse’s length from any other horse. If you are overtaking traffic in the


same direction, pass to the inside with care and plenty of clearance. Better yet, make a large circle back to the inside or cut across the arena to avoid passing

When turning, check your “rear view” first.

Look behind you before stopping suddenly. Halting on the track is always unexpected!

Never pass between the rail and another rider on the track. Always pass on the inside and pass wide

Give right of way – be generous giving right of way even if it is not technically the correct right of way.

It is never a social time or an opportunity to hold court when in the arena. It is unfair to make your horse stand in a busy, high traffic area while you socialize and it is dangerous to other riders

Announce your intentions telling other riders what you plan to do: “Passing on your left!”


Do not circle in front of another rider by cutting them off or pinning them against the wall or another horse Take care when using your whip. Other horses may react more enthusiastically than your own. Do not use your whip in a manner that frightens or touches other horses.

If your horse kicks, put a red ribbon in its tail. Fractious horses should be removed from the arena immediately.

If you are having difficulty with your horse and must stop, move to the center of the arena out of the way of other riders.

In an emergency”HALT” or “HOLD HARD” may be called out and the whole arena should halt.

If someone falls off and a horse gets loose, all riders should dismount. If you’re the closest rider, offer assistance. Help the person catch their horse if it is loose or appoint someone to call for help if there is an injury.

Schooling areas at shows are usually overcrowded, so extra care and attention should be given.

Instructors and coaches should help from the sidelines rather than inside the arena

Riders should never stop in the track next to the fence to speak with an instructor or coach

Horses not entered in the competition do not belong in the warm up area during competition hours. If you are schooling only, pick a time to school when there are few horses in the arena.

Horses must wear their bridle number at all times in the arena and on the competition grounds

All USEF rules, including tack rules, apply from the time an entry arrives on the show grounds. If you arrive the day prior to a competition, seek permission to ride in the competition arenas.

Remember that warm up arenas are for the competitors preparing for the upcoming tests. Others should give these competitors priority.

Know the dressage arena geometry and understand that the riders follow the test patterns in all levels when they are moving around the arena. The patterns make sense. It’s important to think how other riders might be moving in the arena.

In case of emergency, know where the nearest phone and emergency number and first aid kit are.

Upper level riders need more space to complete movements that MAY frighten inexperienced riders or green horses. Give these riders space.

Listen carefully to all judges and ring stewards and be aware of the assigned times and uses for each arena. Sometimes the rules are posted and sometimes only declared.

Do your schooling in a positive manner – do not school if you are angry

Cue quietly: voice commands, kissing, smooching to cue your horse should be done quietly and away from other horses to avoid accidentally cueing another’s horse.

Never lunge your horse in a warm up arena. Only lunge in designated areas and give all horses enough room. Never leave lunge equipment on the ground. Understand the rules for lunging at shows. The equipment you use at home might not be permitted at the competition.

Perform schooling and warm–up routines with a purpose: do not meander around the arena or park yourself in the riding area

Spectators should stand outside the arena, not inside or alongside the track

Be polite. Foul language is never tolerated.

Before you show, be sure to read the extensive Protocol section of the 2005 USDF Directory.

No smoking

No talking on cell phones while riding. If you MUST answer your phone, move to the center of the arena.

No dogs in the arena with horses and riders.

Be aware of the weather conditions and remember that snow sliding from a roof, hard rain or lightening can affect horses, so be extra careful. In stormy weather at night, remember that electrical outages can happen.





BOOTiful Day

Bill Woods

WE WHO’VE BEEN AROUND a good while can look back on the beginnings of our riding careers and marvel at our innocence and the little crises we naïvely got ourselves into. As you may know, I started riding in my late teens as a fresh faced and wide eyed foxhunting candidate hoping to impress my equestrienne girlfriend. I was by no means impoverished, but my soon-to-be college kid budget did not permit rushing out to buy trunk loads of fancy clothing and equipment. I had a faded velvet hunt cap and, when I first rode, a saggy pair of second hand field boots which I had dyed black.
 Anticipating my first formal hunt over Christmas break freshman year, I picked a November Saturday to ride the New Haven Railroad in to Grand Central and buy myself a real pair of dress up boots. This was way before Dover or State Line. If you wanted to shop for riding stuff, you had two real choices. They were both in lower Manhattan about a block apart on E. 24th Street – Miller’s and Kauffman’s. So eschewing the cost of a subway token, I marched myself down Park Avenue in the rain to Miller’s Harness Company. Having never been in a real tack store, of course I was awed and amazed by all It the treasures to be had.

them on and stood, greatly admiring myself in the full length mirror.
 Once back in New Haven they sat in their box as I marked off the days awaiting vacation. Till I just couldn’t stand it anymore. One late afternoon when the dorm was empty (I’d have been too embarrassed to do it in front of anyone...) I just had to try them on again. Exercising forethought, I had purchased my own boot pulls and some powder. After a bit of a struggle, I managed to get them on. And they were absolutely as wonderful as they were the first time.
But then it was time for me to go off to work – I bussed tables every suppertime in the dining hall. And it dawned on me that the one thing Miller’s had which I did not was a boot jack. ...And I was imprisoned in my wonderful boots. Could I wear them to work? Not likely! Was there any one around to help me get them off ? No, I have been very careful beforehand to be sure no one would spy me modeling them. And no amount of tugging and sweating and cursing was going to get them off.

dawned on me that the one thing Miller’s had which I did not was a boot jack. ...And I was imprisoned in my wonderful boots.

Shopping at the Baltic/ Mediterranean Avenue end of the spectrum, I selected a pair of Marlboroughs. In retrospect the leather was thick and cardboard-hard, but they were shiny and new and they were going to be mine! I remember they cost 36 dollars. They were pretty tight, but with some talcum powder and the bemused salesman’s instructions on the use of boot pulls, I got 38



In a panicked, desperate effort not to be late for work, I pulled the mattress off my bed, wedged my foot in among the springs, and chinned myself on the opposite end of the bed frame till somehow I got free of them. Looking back on my predicament, although I grew up in an age where zippers were already invented, another generation would pass before anyone thought to put them on the back of riding boots for dopes like me.

64 youtube videos, 2 overseas trips 13 different opinions, 1 dream come true He’s finally here and he’s all yours. You can rest easy knowing that he is protected with the company that knows horses. As experienced equine specialists, Harbin employs 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.

Proudly representing

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

Profile for city horse connections

Atlanta Horse Connections Volume 28  

Atlanta Horse Connections Volume 28