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Clubs & Associations • Events Calendar • Trainer Directory

September / October 2014

FREE

New Mexico

Ride the Magic

... at the Valle Vidal New Mexico's Equine Movie Stars Horse Health on the Trail

ZEN

and the art of trail riding

with bestselling author Allan Hamilton, MD

...plus lots more!


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ARTICLES:

06 Zen & the Art of Trail Riding

10

The Philosophy Behind a Great Ride

10 Equine Actors

Lights, Camera, Canter!

12 Fear

Personal Essay

14 Tips for Terrific Trail Rides 16 Ride the Valley of Life The Magic of the Valle Vidal 24 Ailments on the Trail

How to Recognize, Treat & Prevent

All the opinions expressed herein are the sole opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect bias or belief on the part of the editor, publisher, distributors, printer or other contributors.

PLUS: 20 Directory

Trainers, Clubs and Associations

22 Events Calendar July & August

29 News

New Mexico's Winning Youth

30 The Tail End photo by Evalyn Bemis Submissions are Welcome

See our web site for submission standards www.horsearoundnm.com


Is there anywhere you’d rather be in September than in New Mexico, out on a trail, on horseback? Monsoon moisture has brought the trees, grasses and wildflowers to life, summer’s scorching heat gives way to the freshness of early autumn; our state is alive with beauty and the particular charm that we call “enchantment”. The horses are fit in mind and body and the kids are back in school: so don’t look for me at my desk! Our fall issue is a celebration of trail riding. Dr. Allan Hamilton, best-selling author of Zen Mind, Zen Horse has a philosophical take on practical matters out on the trail (those gray boulders will never look the same after reading his article). Cecilia Kayano takes us on a spell-binding tour around the Valle Vidal, while Peggy Conger brings her personal experience to the table with a reflection on the return trip from a scary place. There’s a new vet in town (literally!) – we welcome Stacie Boswell to New Mexico from Colorado, and thank her for her insight on recognizing and addressing horse health issues related to trail riding. Vikki Chavez brings her considerable knowledge of gear and etiquette to the party with great advice on outfitting your horse and yourself for the trail, and how to stay safe once you’re out there. A few of New Mexico’s horses will be running through fire instead of grazing on trailside grass this fall: Ozana Sturgeon’s interview with Tim Carroll & Holly Smith highlights our state’s equine actors and their movie set wranglers. So fold us up and stuff us in your saddlebag; we’re ready to come along on your trail rides this autumn. Don’t forget your camera! Send us the best shots of you, your horse and Horse Around New Mexico for our 2015 Horse Around Out & About feature. For more info, go to www. horsearoundnm.com.

Happy TrailsKaren (and Lacy)

Editor KAREN LEHMANN Publisher HORSE AROUND USA Cover Design KAY LOUISE Cover Image CECILIA KAYANO Contributing Writers & EVALYN BEMIS Photographers STACIE BOSWELL, DVM. CELLI CRAWFORD ALLAN HAMILTON, MD. Staff Writers & VIKKI CHAVEZ Photographers PEGGY CONGER CECILIA KAYANO OZANA STURGEON Graphic Designer KAY LOUISE Advertising & Sales DENNIS SHARTZ

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www.horsearoundnm.com ON THE COVER Edwin Tafoya and Happy Jack take in the view of the Valle Vidal. Photo by Cecilia Kayano, a writer and photographer who lives in New Mexico and Washington. She owns two gaited horses, and enjoys mountain trail riding. She can be reached at: kayanocecilia@gmail.com

Horse Around New Mexico©2014 All rights reserved. Horse Around New Mexico is a publication of Horse Around USA™. Horsearoundnm.com™ and horsearoundusa.com™ are also copyrighted, trademarked, and the sole property of Karen Lehmann,. All rights reserved. Individual content copyright belongs to the author or artist.


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ZEN & the Art of Trail Riding by Allan Hamilton, MD

Author of Zen Mind, Zen Horse—the Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

D

o rocks move?

I was pretty sure the answer was “no”— barring an unforeseen earthquake or apocalyptic end of the world scenario. Rocks are fixed, stationary objects. Nothing to worry about and that is precisely what I have tried to tell Sonny, my trail horse. In retrospect, I must admit, I have never been sure that Sonny ever was entirely convinced by my assertions on this particular matter of rocks. Over the thirteen years we have ridden together (he has always let me ride on him and never asked for any quid pro quo arrangement), Sonny has expressed what I would call a subdued - but unrelenting - skepticism about the question of whether rocks might or might not be capable of animation. For this reason, despite my repeated reassurances, Sonny has always gotten just a tad nervous and jittery whenever the trail narrows down and he finds himself closely hemmed in by boulders on both sides. Speaking in his defense (since Sonny declined to go on record for this piece), he has never seemed overly concerned about those very large boulders; say, the size of a house. But the smaller ones, with dimensions somewhere between those of a breadbox and a VW bug, are the ones that give him pause,because he wonders to himself:

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“If rocks could move, then those would be the ones that would jump me.” Gradually, as the years have passed, Sonny’s concerns did begin to fade. Perhaps he believed—as fervently I did— that rocks were truly inanimate objects. He did grow more tranquil and simply eyed the boulders warily with the occasional snort in their direction. And so he lulled himself into a growing sense of security that he was safe amidst the rocks, and that tranquility lasted for more than a decade. But that all came to an end on a trail ride last week. As we were riding gingerly on our way home, not a hundred meters away from a small pond, peacefully minding our own business as we were winding our way along a path that snaked in and out of a few boulders, it happened. A rock—a quite sizeable one about the size of four or five breadboxes, in fact—suddenly grew a head, four massive claws, and a tail. And then, yes, the unthinkable occurred: the rock moved. Detectably. Deliberately. And decisively. Now I might be able to rationalize to you that, upon closer inspection, this was not a rock but just a very large desert tortoise. But to Sonny, alas, that tortoise brought with it a profound and painful sense of his having been directly and knowingly betrayed by me. At least that was how I interpreted the look he flashed up at me out of the corner of his eye as he leapt ten feet straight up in the air. When he came down snorting and bolting, I could tell he was thinking to himself: “I knew it. I should never have believed you! Those rocks can move! They can even grow heads and claws if they feel like it and start coming after me!” Needless to say, my credibility, when it comes to what powers of animation boulders, rocks, and all large collections of mineral matter might possess, is shot to pieces. In fact, as a self-appointed expert on the trail as to what is or is not alive and endowed with animate powers, this single tortoise has thoroughly impeached me in the eyes of my horse. Sonny no longer

| September / October 2014 | www.horsearoundnm.com

seeks my opinion or counsel about rocks. Of any size. As far as he is concerned, rocks live. They move. And, furthermore, he believes that if I lied about rocks for the last dozen years, perhaps I was not telling him the truth about logs, manhole covers, puddles, trashcans, and a whole host of objects in his world of which he must now remain inherently skeptical and perpetually suspicious. That is what trail riding can do to you. When people ask me what are the most difficult competitive events for which I have trained horses, my answer is simple: trail riding. Because trail riding is an act of faith. It is also an act that puts your horse’s trust in your abilities as a rider, trainer, and partner to the test. Now, in all candor, Sonny and I did spend a long time moving back and forth and around that tortoise until Sonny simmered down. He is now known as “he who dances with tortoises” back at the stables. But what you need when you trail ride is a good seat and some philosophy. John Lennon once remarked: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” In that regard, trail riding is a lot like life then because it is in trail riding, like nowhere else in the world of horsemanship, that we must be prepared to open ourselves and our mounts to the unexpected, life’s little surprises. So here are a few of my own lessons, guidelines, and tips about trail riding.

1. You don’t start out on the trail; you end up on the trail. From equipment to technique, everything you do with a horse must first be practiced in the safest and least distracting environment possible. That means the round pen, then move on to the arena, and, finally, you can test it out on the trail. If it is not working perfectly on the ground, then under saddle in the arena, you will never be able to count on it on the trail. Remember every day is different and this may be the day your horse woke up on the wrong side of the corral or got sore overnight so always check your horse out on the ground. Make sure he is listening


well and moving fluidly before you head out. Cinch your girth three times and recheck it once you have gone about half a mile. Assure yourself that every piece of gear is adjusted perfectly for your horse, on that day.

2. Work on spooks. A spook is your horse telling you when his instinct is winning out over his training. Survival always trumps learning and, when surprised, your horse will return to his reflexive reactions. In that regard, your horse is no different from you or me. If I suddenly come running at you with an axe, you are not going to do a pirouette for me. You are going to scream and run for your life. So try to find everything that spooks your horse. Instead of thinking:” Oh, my gosh, this horse is petrified of this.” Think instead of your horse saying: “I’m really frightened of this and it is giving me problems. Can you help me understand this?” I am a firm believer: the more you train your horse to spook, the less he spooks. I do not mean you should scare your horse. I mean you should quietly, peacefully, and patiently help your horse face his fears until he is no longer fearful. That might take a year or it might take a day. What I aim for is: how can I ask my horse to handle this in a way that he won’t feel afraid?

3. Never start out alone. Trail riding, or even riding as the lead horse, takes a great deal of courage for a prey animal. You are asking your horse to leave the safety of the herd for your benefit—not his. So help your horse by getting him plenty of experience first on the trail with his buddies. When I say plenty, I mean at least twenty to thirty trail rides in the company of other horses. Gradually, then you can ask your horse to wander off on a side trail or backtrack so you start separating him from the other horses. After a short interval let your horse rejoin the group. Patiently build up your horse’s tolerance for operating

independently. Go off trail riding with your horse on your own in increasingly longer and longer segments as he builds up his confidence. When he starts showing that he remains composed and responsive for a long interval of time (e.g. a half hour), then you are ready as a team to strike out on the trail alone.

4. Trust your horse. There is nothing more nerve wracking to me (I cannot imagine how the horse feels) than a rider who micro-manages every step his or her mount takes. Ride on a loose rein. Let your horse move out under your direction but if you do not trust him to walk a straight line without pulling his head back and forth or to hold a trot without constantly goosing him, then I have only one question for you: what are you doing out on the trail? On the trail, let your horse do what horses do; namely, cover ground in a measured and energy-saving manner. Do not yank your horse’s head up when he is trying to look down where he is putting his feet. Let him pick where he places his feet and have confidence he is trying to pick the safest route across, say, that streambed. Try to do the least amount of interfering with your horse’s movements. It’s a partnership not a dictatorship. That said, if your horse cannot listen well, go home and work on it in the arena.

5. Ride with your horse’s eyes. Try to see through your horse’s eyes. He does not know that a plastic bag blowing down the road is a useless, empty piece of plastic with a Wal-Mart logo on it. To him, it looks alive. It swerves erratically and makes a lot of noise. For millions of years, those are precisely the characteristics to which your horse had to react in order to stay alive. When your horse’s ears go up, try to figure out what has got his attention. If you spot something that may trouble your horse, help him to see and face it. Remember: We’re riding—not just you.

6. If it is spooky, concentrate on the feet. As I said, you will never be able to get the reactive side completely suppressed in your horse. The best you can do is to expose your horse to countless new experiences and situations so your horse has seen and done it all. This gradually not only matures your horse but it teaches him the habit of checking his instinctual reaction and reminding himself that he has thought his way through troubling scenarios with success in the past. Marry that to your knowledge that when your horse encounters a scary situation he needs for you to exhibit what I term compassionate composure. One of the keys to handling scary, spooky situations: do not focus your attention on what is troubling your horse. If you focus on it, so will he. Instead, tell yourself: “I don’t care about that scary thing. It is unimportant to me. I am unattached to it. Let’s focus instead on moving your feet back and forth.” You can do this at the trot if your horse is really excitable or back and forth at the walk if he is calming down. When you take your attention away from the goal of making your horse accept whatever is bothering him and shift his focus to his feet and responses to your cues, then the fearful object gradually takes on less importance. Eventually, it simply is no longer an issue for your horse. Focusing on your horse’s feet helps you stop being too goal-oriented

...what you need when you trail ride is a good seat and some philosophy. www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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(i.e., a predator) and keeps your horse focused on you as his rider.

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You are out on the trail to enjoy it. Make all of your own body movements flow into those of your horse. Imagine that you no longer have any legs of your own but that your horse’s legs are now yours too. Envision yourself fused with your horse. Move your trunk and pelvis to help you move your front end and hindquarters. Make yourself one with your horse.

8. A tired horse is a safe horse. If your horse has been maintained in good physical condition, it is good (as in beneficial, positive, and valuable) for your horse to work on the trail physically so he gets a work-out until he feels tired and a bit spent. I am not talking about being ready to drop dead. I mean he just used his physique, harnessed his power, and tested his endurance. I heard one cowboy put it thus: “Horses, by and large, are overbred, overfed, and under rode.” It is good for your horse to spend himself and get a good workout on the trail. You will be amazed at how mellow your horse gets when he does not have a lot of pent up energy. Also, a tired horse is a safe horse. They are far less likely to overreact. So use the physical exercise to get yourself a calmer horse. On the other hand, do not try to run your horse around the round pen endlessly to get the ‘fresh’ out of him. It only serves to build up his stamina and you’ll be in the round pen eventually for eternity.

9. Never be afraid to hold onto your horn or get off your horse. This is just some simple common sense. If your horse is going to spook or go down some difficult terrain, grab the horn. I see people who feel like it is cheating if they hold onto it. Furthermore, if your horse is into a kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario, and suddenly acting out of his mind, get off ! Walk him home. You will be a lot safer walking home than riding atop a half-crazed critter. Later, when

| September / October 2014 | www.horsearoundnm.com

you are safely back at the barn, you will usually discover there was some reasonable explanation (once my horse had a small piece of cactus stuck on the inside of his rear cinch; I thought he had gone psycho on me!). If your horse seems to be acting out or resistant just remember: the trail is not where problems get corrected; it is where learning is perfected.

10. Never rush home. First, you never want your horse steaming back to the barn at flank speed. If I see my horse picking up speed on the home stretch, I turn him right around and head back down the trail in the opposite direction. I want my horse thinking: “I had better not look like I’m too anxious to head back to the barn or this guy might send us back on the trail.” Secondly, there is more to home than getting there. Once I take off my horse’s tack, water him, cool him off, and brush him down, I try not to take him directly back to his pasture or stall. I’d rather just have him stand and wait around hitched up while I do some chores. Occasionally, I will purposefully surprise him and even put a saddle back on him and just do a little arena work. I do not want my horse thinking: “Hey, man, get me back to the barn so we’re over and done!” I want him wondering what I may ask him to do next. I’d rather he think that there might be some more work ahead. That said, when it is all over, it’s good to spend some time lavishing love and, maybe, a treat or two, to signal: “Hey, buddy, it’s Miller time!” That is when we get to rejoice that we have put in some good hard work on the trail together and we have earned a good night’s rest. That said, you and I know that trail riding is not really work. It is one of the greatest pleasures that life can offer under the great sky. Relish every moment of it—just as safely as you can manage. “Happy trails” means just that: trail riding is not just about going someplace. It is also about getting into a joyful state of mind.


www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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Equine Actors Lights * Camera * Canter! Interview by Ozana Sturgeon Photos by Celli Crawford

Oscar winner Natalie Portman’s highprofile western Jane Got a Gun, which was

filmed right here in New Mexico, will hit theaters in August 2014. Jane Got a Gun is about a woman who hires her ex-lover to help save her wounded outlaw husband from the gang that is out to kill him and destroy her. But like The Lone Ranger, Wild Wild West, All the Pretty Horses, Wishbone, Comanche Moon and many other westerns and Native American themed films before them, no movie would’ve been a success without talented horse actors and the horse wranglers who train them. Just recently at HANM we had the opportunity to talk to Tim Carroll and Holly Smith, owner and head wrangler for TC Movie Horses, which provided the horse artists and period saddles, wagons and stagecoaches for Jane Got a Gun.  HANM: How and when did you get started in the movie business?  And when did you start providing horses?  Tim: I became serious about being in the business in the early 1980’s. I was born and raised in Abiquiu, NM as a rancher. Throughout the years a number of film productions needing horses were filmed close by. I was a local with good horses I used for the ranch that would often get called to be on film. The more work that came to the state the more I did. Eventually it became my business.

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Holly: I grew up in Abiquiu nearby Tim. My sister and I were always over helping out with cleaning stalls and conditioning horses to trade out horsemanship lessons. As a kid I was lucky to be able to go along on some of Tim’s film jobs. After graduating from UNM in May 2011 I had a conversation with Tim about becoming more serious in the horse and film business and have been working with him ever since. HANM: In your training sessions what are some of the more unusual things that you will desensitize the horses to, so they’re ready for the movie sets?  A large part of it is finding or raising horses that have good minds and trust in people. Knowing what to look for in a horse disposition-wise. As we are all geared to having different interests and being good at different things, so are horses. A large part of gathering up a good string of horses is being able to recognize this and knowing what to look for. I keep my horses and constantly work with them. My horses I have had for years I call my ‘campaigners and the new younger horses I get in often learn by watching the ‘campaigners’ reactions to different things. While at home they are exposed to a lot of things such as different noises as I constantly am building and rebuilding working equipment such as my wagons, I’ve used tarps, had my horses in parades and constantly work with them. What iv have found is when you have a horse with a good mind that you have worked


with and trusts you, even new things they get exposed to typically are not too big of a deal. Every now and again there will be a special desensitizing need that I will work with a horse specifically for safety reasons. Some common ones are hanging bodies from trees, explosions, and stuntmen having to jump on a horse during a chase. This is why it is so important to me that I hand pick my horses and keep them for years in order to know them, their habits and dispositions inside and out. HANM: What are some of the biggest challenges when on a movie set?

The biggest challenge is working with people from all backgrounds and educating them on the best way to work with and around the horses. HANM: How often do you have to teach the actors how to ride one of your horses? Every job we have. Some actors have previous experience but we always want them to get to know the horses they will be riding before they are on camera together.

wranglers who have the horses’ best interests at heart is a big part of it. There are guidelines we follow including our own personal ones and guidelines that animal humane has set for the film industry. We don’t ask our horses to do anything we would be uncomfortable with. HANM: Do you have a favorite movie or actor that you’ve worked with?

HANM: How do you ensure the horses safety when on a movie set?

Tim: Though the years I have worked with a lot and I don’t want to sound like I’m choosing favorites hah, but I recently worked with Ed Harris and he is on the list.

Having a good crew of

HANM: Do you have

any funny moments when working on a movie set? Tim: Oh gosh, this could possibly take up the whole article in itself, there are so many! I guess if I have to pick one, I’ll default to something more recent. I had a belly rolling laugh at Holly one day dressing up in a gorilla suit running around on her mare bareback imitating someone we all knew. It was a bit of an inside joke, but it was downright hilarious. HANM: How can people reach you? Email me at tcmoviehorses@ gmail.com or my phone at 505-685-4369.

www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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…*Fear personal essay / by Peggy Conger I turn a corner on the path and head into the arroyo. I am trying not to have my heart in my throat, but it is. I am trying not to convey my fear to my horse, through my hands, through my seat, but he is rock solid. If he senses any fear, he is ignoring it. A normal day, a normal ride. Except that it’s not. This is the first time I have ridden my horse alone in three years, and today, if I get the nerve, will be the first time I have cantered him for any distance. If I get the nerve. Fear is a weird thing. It gets into you, maybe induced by a trauma as mine was; and then it gets fostered along, and grown into something huge, by a series of thoughts and little decisions that - before you know it - become belief and habit. My belief, since I got hurt in 2011, was that cantering is terribly dangerous. My habit: No cantering, not on my horse anyway. My horse friends are mostly trail riders, and they were incredibly tolerant of what for a few years was my one speed: the walk. Mostly because, at the walk, nothing scares me, not steep climbs, not dizzying drop-offs, not fast water, not loose or slick rock, nor any of the hazards of in-city riding, like bulldozers on the ditch or bridges or traffic. At a walk, I am invincible. Just don’t ask me to canter. This was a miserable state of affairs. I love and trust my horse, who as it happens has a top speed that could test a thoroughbred. And a one-time bolting problem, solved by a change of equipment several years ago. My fear problem was more complicated than switching bits. Because as I was recovering from my broken pelvis and nurturing my fear of the canter, I had lumped in some other stuff, like being afraid of the trot. In my line of work, I sometimes talk to psychologists and therapists, and I asked one of my contacts about fear. I told her my story about coming off , knowing immediately that I was badly injured, the painful recovery and the mental aftermath of that on my riding. She likened it to muscle memory. I had been hurt and hurt badly enough that my brain had made a visceral mental note: Going fast on a horse is dangerous. I was going to have to find ways to override that memory. So I set goals: first back to the trot, and then the canter. Last summer, trainer Loal Tucker got me trotting by giving me a couple of arena exercises to do at a walk and a trot. Sure enough, as I worked on the pattern, my fear of the trot started to evaporate. (It was later that I found out that working with patterns, not necessarily on horseback, but any kind

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Fear is a weird thing. It gets into you, maybe induced by a trauma as mine was; and then it gets fostered along, and grown into something huge, by a series of thoughts and little decisions that - before you know it become belief and habit.

| July / August 2014 | www.horsearoundnm.com

of patterns, activates the same part of the brain cocaine does. Which explains people playing Candy Crush, and also how I got a little courage back at the trot.) So that was one gait down. Just the scary one to go. In January, I moved my horse to a boarding facility near a beautiful arroyo. It is a gorgeous rideout, one of my favorites in this area, with a soft sand footing that goes on and on. That was Step One: finding a soft place to land. Step Two was asking a friend who’s a born rider to come and work a little bit with Joe and me. She knew me, post-accident, and my fears and she knew my horse, and his steadiness and capabilities. We only met twice. The first time, she watched me ground-work Joe in the arena. You know, she said, he always has an ear on you. I hadn’t noticed, but it made me realize just how great this notoriously unfriendly, stubborn, former runaway horse has been with me, and what a long way we have come. The second meeting, she took Joe up the arroyo at a canter. Since we’d been boarding there, I had been trotting Joe up the arroyo and walking back. When she turned to canter him back, he flat refused. No speed on the way back, he told her, until he was persuaded otherwise. That to me was another sign of just how much this speedy little horse had been taking care of me. Then crossed signals and other things canceled a couple of sessions we’d planned. The part of me that is afraid was happy to say, “Oh, well, probably for the best.”


But the part of me that wants to ride said, “We’re doing it.” So that morning I saddled my horse, and rode alone into the arroyo. To quell the what-ifs that were crowding into my brain --”What if you get dumped? What if there’s a snake and Joe gets bit? What if you really get hurt and Joe runs off and no one knows you’re up here?”-- I made some “if, then” plans. If, I told myself, I get too scared, then I will just get off and walk back. I will keep my phone on me and not in my pommel bag, and if I get hurt, then I will phone for help. And finally, if Joe comes back without me, then they will certainly come looking. (If-then thinking is a really neat psychological trick I had recently written about for work. Instead of the worry of a what-if, “if-then” thinking gives you the comfort of a plan, a sense of control, and can snap your mind out of anxiety.) We started at a nice trot (in nursing his

By setting goals, strategizing about how to get them done and then pushing myself (instead of leaving the pushing to someone else) I moved forward. Who knew courage could be as compelling as fear? scaredy-cat owner, my horse has perfected several nice speeds at the trot) and then we did it: We just glided into a canter. It was beautiful. Joe didn’t bolt or pick up speed. He turned an ear back to hear me laughing. The walls of the arroyo sped by, the breeze was warm, the sun golden. It was, up to that moment, the very best ride of my life. I started riding by myself all the time. Who knew courage could be as compelling as fear? Riding solo has become one of my favorite pastimes. No distracting conversation: It’s just you and the horse, the land and the wildlife. It is joy.

For me, the pivotal turning point in this journey was admitting my fear (to just about anyone who would listen!) and then taking control. As a new rider, I had always turned to trainers to tell me what to do, how to do it and when. Helpful, of course, to learn, but surrendering all the thinking to someone else was not going to get me over the hurdle I was facing. By setting goals, strategizing about how to get them done and then pushing myself, instead of leaving the pushing to someone else, I moved forward.I still have a way to go. I haven’t cantered over difficult terrain, or tried the fast gallop I know my horse has in him. Yet. But now I have some tools, some experience -- and some courage. I believe in the canter, I believe in my horse, and finally, once again, I believe in myself. Peggy Conger is a professional writer and editorial director of the online women’s magazine MoxieLady. She rides a rescue horse named Joe and enjoys trail riding throughout New Mexico. She can be contacted at p_conger@yahoo.com.

Balance & Being Horses & Living...

From Fear to Freedom: Back in the Saddle Women’s Retreat Experienced a horse-related accident? Want to ride with more confidence, joy and ease? Re-claim your ride, re-claim your heart. Abiquiu, NM. Sept 18-21

Got Seat? Clinic Auditors Welcome. Santa Fe. Oct 18, 9-4 pm

4 Winds Equestrian Center Clinic, Estancia, NM 1-day lessons, 1-day Clinic for All Disciplines. Nov 1-2

Horses Healing Being Mini-Retreats Slow down, connect & embody Your Authentic Life now. No horse experience needed. Santa Fe. Oct 4 and/or 11, 12-3 pm

...from the inside

Photo Tony Stromberg

Questions or to register call 505.231.5353 or email lynn@lynnclifford.com. www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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Tips for Terrific Trail Rides photo: Cecilia Kayano

by Vikki Chavez

As the heat of summer fades into the cool days of fall, it is a perfect time to go trail riding! Whether you are an avid trail scout or head up the road on the weekend, here are some ideas to help you and your horse have fun and stay safe. on it or not. Wearing a helmet is safer than not wearing one. A visor attachment can block sun and rain. A sheepskin seat cover and riding fly mask add stylish comfort for you and your horse. Shatterproof impact sport sunglasses and a cooling neck scarf are two of my trail favorites.

Pack Well

Access Your Horse

A horse needs to be trained well enough to take down the trail, for your safety and that of the other riders with you. Lunge or ride your horse before heading out. This lets you see where they are at, and gets their mind focused on you. If you have a fresh horse, cold-backed horse or a horse otherwise not behaving like their normal self, get them working well at home before you go. Any goofiness will just get worse when you add the pressure of the trail, so work in the arena until your horse is going calmly both ways at the walk, trot, canter, halt, back and all the transitions in between.

Gear Up Your bridle and saddle should be conditioned and checked over before riding. Depending on the terrain, a breast collar, crupper and/or back cinch can prevent slipping and discomfort for your horse. A halter and lead under the bridle make for safe leading, tying or ponying, which can occur whether you plan

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| September / October 2014 | www.horsearoundnm.com

A hoof pick, compass, slicker, vet wrap, folding knife, water bottle, travel sized sunscreen, Neosporin, cortisone cream and bug spray can come in handy. Be sure to include a water proof ID tag with your name, horse’s name, stable address and contact numbers. Saddle bags come in an endless array of shapes and sizes, and even the occasional trail rider can keep a small lightweight cantle or horn bag packed for that weekend ride up the road.

Protect the legs

Hoof boots or bell boots and a good fitting pair of sport boots can save the day should your horse step into a broken bottle, catch a strand of wire, hit a sharp rock, or encounter


fire ants or cactus. Protect your legs with sturdy riding boots that are comfortable should you have an unplanned walk, and tall enough to protect your shins. Half chaps or chaps work great, too.

Keep your cellphone on you

Use a smartphone sized carrier that wraps on your thigh or arm so you can keep your phone safely attached to you when you need it most. If you are unexpectedly horseless, it is not a good time to be minus a phone, or combing the snake-filled weeds to see where it flew it out of your pocket. It is also wise to have ID on your person. There are bracelets, plastic covered arm wraps, military style dog tags, or simply laminate a typed, cut-to-fit index card and tuck into your attached cellphone holder.

Announce your ride

Tell someone where you are going, a landmark they can look for, and how long you plan to be gone. Give them a call along the way with your location. This is critical if you ride alone, but smart to do no matter how many are in your group.

Ride with people you trust

Select a good match for you and your horse, such as a trail-savvy horse if yours is green or new to the trail. Avoid riders who take off without warning, don’t notice you fell off a mile ago, pay no attention to trail footing , cross roads leaving you behind with a nickering horse, and other such undesirable behaviors. Be a safe, respectful rider so others of like mind will want to ride out with you.

In case of emergency A high stress moment is not prime time for problem solving. Discuss how you will manage a hurt rider or horse. Who will stay behind, who will run for help, who knows how to a pony a horse or get an extra rider home? Have numbers on hand for barn/vet/family and know who will be home, who can help and when to call 911.

Pay attention

So you are now heading down the trail. Be sure to RIDE! Playing passenger when no one is driving is how so many

people get hurt each year on horseback. Talking on the phone, listening to music, texting, potato sacking on a dropped rein, drinking, smoking, and chatting nonstop are not riding. What if your horse spooks, bolts, runs out from under you or over-reacts to a minor event?

Talking on the phone, listening to music, texting, potato sacking on a dropped rein, drinking, smoking, and chatting nonstop are not riding. What if your horse spooks, bolts, runs out from under you or over-reacts to a minor event?

(See tip: Keep Your Cellphone On You). Proactive riding keeps you safe. A one rein stop only works if you catch your horse in that very split second between them thinking about it, and doing it. When you pay attention and fully interact with your horse, you navigate the trail as a team, and will not be caught off guard. More importantly, you and your horse are less likely to get injured. Watch the footing on the path; be aware of everything beside you, ahead of you, behind you, how the other horses are behaving and how your horse is responding to all of the above. If your horse starts to get nervous, do transitions, trot around a tree, go to the back of the riders or to the front of the group; actively work to get your horse focused back on you. Planning ahead and riding safely ensures you will enjoy the scenery, your horse, your riding buddies and all those beautiful fall rides in this Land of Enchantment. Wishing you many happy trails!

www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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TrainerDIRECTORY Dennis Brazeal * Bosque Farms 505.400.5492 www.dennisbrazeal.com  Eric Bravo * ABQ+ surrounding areas 505.293.4652 * gnhbravo@msn.com  Petra Christensen * 971.731.2200 www.redhorsecoaching.com  Michelle DeCanditis * 505.615.7016 www.3HIntegrated.webs.com  JT Jones * 314.686.1754 Corrales, ABQ & surrounding areas jamestylerjones@gmail.com  John & Cat Parks * Santa Fe 505.466.3849 * www.johnandcatparks. com  Erlene Seybold-Smythe * Espanola 505.603.6016 erlene@roy-elmorgans. com  Total Horse Training * East Mountains Laurie Boultinghouse 505.974.7317 & Kirsten Clegg 505.250.3185  Toby Orona *Albuquerque * 505-5739440

Clubs&ASSOCIATIONS Arabian Horse Association of New Mexico www.nmarab.com

New Mexico Paint Horse Club www.nmpainthorse.org

Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico www.bchnm.org

NM Palomino Exhibitors Association www.nmpea.com

Buffalo Range Riders Mounted www.brrmounted.com

New Mexico Quarter Horse Association www.nmqha.com

CHAMP - Corrales Horse & Mule People www.champnm.com

Northern NM Horsemen’s Association nnmha@live.com

Enchantment Driving Society www.enchantmentds.com

Rio Grande Mule and Donkey Association www.rgmda.com

Equine Protection Fund www.equineprotectionfund.org

San Juan Valley Trail Riders www.NATRC.org

High Desert Riders www.highdesertriders.com

Santa Fe County Horse Coalition www.santafehorse.com/

Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance jicarillamustangs.org

Santa Fe County Sheriff's Posse https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-FeCounty-Sheriffs-Posse/112123912184660

Listening Horse Therapeutic Riding 505-424-9924 www.listeninghorse.org New Mexico Bucksin Horse Association www.nmbha.com 505-869-9198 New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding 55-471-2000 www.nmctr.org

photo: K. McClintock

New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association www.nmgra.org

Lynn Clifford

The Ride of Your Life Life Coaching, Clinics and Consulting

Santa Fe & by arrangement 505.231.5353 www.lynnclifford.com 20

New Mexico Horse Council 505-603-6016 nmhorsecouncil.org

Santa Fe Pony Club www.SantaFePonyClub.org Single Action Shooting Society www.sassnet.com The Horse Shelter 505-471-6179 www.thehorseshelter.org Tularosa Nat’l Horsemanship Fellowship facebook.com/TularosaHorsemenFellowship Walkin in Circles NM Horse Rescue www.wncr.org

NM Mustang and Burro Association nmmustangs@gmail.com

Jane Davis, lmsw ***The horse is our guide***

Combining humans and horses, on the ground, for experiential work in communication, contact, congruency and authenticity. Meditation practice, team building, stress management, trauma/grief

505.983.6677 jane@ridersofthesage-nm.com

| September / October 2014 | www.horsearoundnm.com

For the Heart of the Horse Sanctuary Connecting Horses and Humans through the Arts of Liberty Training, Horsemanship and Dressage

Erica Hess and Joost Lammers

Please visit our website or call us for info

www.fortheheartofthehorse.com 505-474-5480 Santa Fe, NM


ď‚˜Help Wantedď‚˜ Horsemanship Clinic Santa Fe - Sept. 12 - 14, 2014 Part-Time PATH-certified instructor needed for the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding Call 505.471.2000 for more details or go to www.nmctr.org

Riders of the Sage equine assisted healing

Are you stressed or grieving a loss? Call Jane today to learn how equine therapy can help you.

jane davis, lmsw

eagala certified gestalt equine psychotherapy

505-983-6677 jane@ridersofthesage-nm.com www.ridersofthesage-nm.com

FOR INFORMATION: 505.474.5480 9:00 am ~ 5:00 pm 3 day clinic ~ auditors welcome $40 at the gate

ForTheHeartofTheHorse.com

www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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e ve n ts

october

september 5-21 10 12-14 13 18-21 19-21 20-21 27 28

NM State Fair; Ass't Shows info: exponm.com Wild to Mild Rescue Trainer's Challenge WNCR Trainer of the Year Award & "Rescue Day" at the State Fair 6pm Indoor Horse Arena Info: 505.286.0779 Mark Rashid Horsemanship Clinic For the Heart of the Horse , Santa Fe fortheheartofthehorse.com 505.474.5480 Ride to Pride: Equine Assisted Military Support Group; Las Vegas 505.429-3905 From Fear to Freedom BITS Retreat; with Lynn Cifford and Judy Schneider; Abiquiu Info: 505.231.5353 or lynn@lynnclifford.com Chokecherry Canyon CTR; Farmington Info: natrc3.org or 505.215.2625 Indian Springs III Endurance Ride 22 m. N. of T or C. Info: aerc.org or indiansprings.endurance@gmail.com The Horse Shelter Annual Trail Ride 9-3 Valle Caldera $125 donation suemurphy723@earthlink.net 505.471.6179 Ditch Pony Promenade Fun Show for Horses & Kids * Corrales Top Form Arena * Info: 505-345-2220 or melanie@dansboots.com

1-5 4/11 4-5 10-12 18 18-19 25+26

Southern NM State Fair and Rodeo Las Cruces Info: (575) 524-8602 www.snmstatefairgrounds.net Women's Mini-Retreat with Lynn Clifford Horses. Healing. Being. Info: 505.231.5353 lynn@lynnclifford.com AHANM Chile Roast One-Day Shows info: www.nmarab.com NMHJA Fall Festival Show NM State Fairgrounds, Albuquerque, NM Contact Betsy McLelland: betsy@wilger. com www.nmhja.org Got Seat? Clinic with Lynn Clifford; Santa Fe Info: 505.231.5353 or lynn@lynnclifford.com The Journey Home Shamanic Workshop 4 Winds Equestrian Center 970-903-7180 info@wildgratitude.com Jack Brainard Clinic at 4 Winds EC info: 505-384-1831 www.4windsequestriancenter.com

Meanwhile, up in Colorado: the Parelli Summit, Sept.

5,6 & 7 in Pagosa Springs. http://www.parelli.com/2014savvy-summit. Dr. Patrick Handley's Humanality Relationship Seminar 9/8, also in Pagosa Springs.

4 WINDS EQUESTRIAN CENTER PRESENTS

TWO EXTRAORDINARY CLINICS IN OCTOBER Ride With the Best! Legendary Horseman Jack Brainard October 25 & 26, 2014 at 4 Winds Equestrian Center Estancia, NM (Class Iimited to only 12 students) Registration and Cost Information Jack Brainard Clinic October 25 & 26, 2014 at 4 Winds Equestrian Center Estancia, New Mexico 87016 Cost of full 2 day clinic: $495.00 One (1) auditor w/ above student FREE Cost if paid in full by Sept. 1st

$470.00

Non refundable Deposit required by Sept. 1st (to hold place in clinic)

$250.00

Single day audit Two day audit

$30.00 $50.00

For more information or to register for clinic go to www.4windsequestriancenter.com or call 505-384-1831


Ailments on the

Trail

by Stacie G. Boswell, DVM

E

ven horses whose primary job is to show often benefit from trail riding. For the rider, a group ride may be relaxing and social, rather than competitively stressful. A smaller group may be where you find peace, solace, and spirituality. But, if your horse experiences an illness or ailment while on the trail, it can disrupt your harmony and, because of the limited resources available, be even more stressful than if you were at home. This article will address some of the contributing factors, signs, and medical treatments of common medical ailments that are associated with trail riding. These include colic, metabolic problems, and lameness.

Colic The first, and most common, problem that occurs in trail and endurance horses is colic. (Fielding CL, and Dechant JE. (2012) Colic in competing endurance horses presenting to referral centres: 36 cases. Equine Vet. J. 44:472-5.) Colic is a general term for abdominal pain, and there are a multitude of specific disease processes that result in colic. The most common type of colic in

24

trail horses is impaction. Typically, colic pain will not manifest itself while riding, but will be observed 12 to 24 hours after coming off the trail. Horses may shift from standing to lying down, rolling, kicking at their bellies, watching or looking at their flank, stretching out, or just looking depressed. Your horse may also have a decreased appetite. Signs will vary depending on the individual horse and the severity of the problem causing the colic.

Trail riding should be a fun and relaxing time for your and your equine partner. A good fitness and exercise program, as well as adequate rest during long rides will help prevent exerciseassociated illness.

How does this happen? The key factors that can contribute to colic in trail horses include dehydration, change in feed, electrolyte deficiencies or imbalances, and changes in the horse’s exercise routine. Blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract may be compromised as the horse uses its available reserves for support of the large muscle groups. This is a welldocumented phenomenon in marathon runners or other human athletes. (Sanchez LD, Corwell B, Berko D (2006) Medical problems of marathon runners. Am J Emerg Med. 24:608-15.)

| September / October 2014 | www.horsearoundnm.com

photo: Ozana Photography

The author (on the right) and friends on a trail ride in North Carolina. photo: Stacie Boswell


An impaction occurs when the material in the horse's gastrointestinal tract moves more slowly than usual leading to a "backup "of ingesta. Impactions frequently occur in the pelvic flexure of the large colon, but may also occur in the stomach, in the ileum (a portion of the small intestine), or in the small colon. (See Fig. 1) Gastrointestinal normal motility may be slow if the horse becomes moderately dehydrated, and the body tries to restore a normal blood volume by extracting more water from the gastrointestinal contents. This results in thicker, dryer ingesta, which is more difficult to move through. Electrolytes are also very important to the normal muscle contraction that is responsible for gut motility. The two most important electrolytes for the contractility are calcium and potassium. The horse will lose these electrolytes and others (sodium, chloride, and magnesium) through sweat. (Foss MA, and Wecker SJ. Veterinary Aspects of Endurance Riding. Chapter 52 in Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery.) Finally, the horse may experience changes in motility related to changes in exercise or feed.

Figure 1: An intra-operative view of a horse having colic surgery. The large colon and small intestine are visible.

"I cannot overemphasize the importance of keeping your horse hydrated. Every time your horse has an opportunity to drink, you should take the time to offer, encourage, and reward him for drinking. Water should never be withheld on the trail."

What can we do to prevent this? I cannot overemphasize the importance of keeping your horse hydrated. Every time your horse has an opportunity to drink, you should take the time to offer, encourage, and reward him for drinking. Water should never be withheld on the trail. Even a warm horse should have access to water to replenish fluids he is losing through sweat. Horses that are hesitant to drink from streams or nervous about drinking while wearing a bridle and saddle need particular patience and reward. The challenging part of trail riding in the desert is that you may not encounter any water on your ride. Make sure you offer buckets at the trailer before setting out, and immediately after returning. It may help to bring familiar water from home, or to use a similar flavoring (Kool-Aid or Gatorade) at home and at the trailer. Know your horse. Is he a horse that drinks well? Is he hesitant or nervous? Has he experienced an impaction colic before? Does he show pain, or is he stoic? Does he normally roll once or twice after being ridden to scratch all the itchy places? Now that you are done riding is he tired, or is he dull and painful?

photo: Ozana Photography www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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Avoid a feeding change. If you overnight, your horse may be eating hay cubes or a complete, pelleted feed since roughage is often too bulky to pack in. Don’t change suddenly – offer this replacement roughage at home as a portion of his meals for several days before your trip. When possible, offer moist replacement roughage. This may mean a soaked feed, or (if you are lucky, and it is allowed) grazing on fresh grass. Access to electrolytes is important. If you are overnighting at the trailer, at a minimum a salt block should be provided. Loose salt/electrolytes are better, and an electrolyte paste may be necessary for some horses. If your horse has had problems in the past, you may consider adding some flax seed or other oil to his ration to help keep things moving smoothly.

Metabolic Disturbances Historically, there are two major exerciseor fatigue-oriented metabolic diseases. The first of these is called the “thumps” or synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; the other is tying up, which is also known as “Monday morning disease” or exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER). Both may be exacerbated by dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and over-heating.

Synchronous diaphragmatic flutter What you will see when a horse has this problem is contraction of the flank musculature and the diaphragm (like a hiccup) each time the horse’s heart contracts. This is why historically this problem is caused the “thumps”. The reason the contractions happen is that the large phrenic nerve that innervates the diaphragm is near the heart, and becomes hypersensitive as a result of electrolyte abnormalities. The early nerve conduction results in abnormal muscle contraction. If your veterinarian does blood work, it typically shows low levels of potassium, calcium, and/or chloride. Treatment consists of replacing the lost fluids and electrolytes and a period of rest. The

26

signs the horse is showing (the abnormal muscular contraction) may seem to go away on their own, even though the horse still has electrolyte abnormalities. Any horse that has had the thumps should see a veterinarian as soon as possible after the signs are noted.

Exertional rhabdomyolysis If your equine partner shows early signs of ER, he may have abnormal behavior, anxiety, be reluctant to move, or have a shortened stride. Later, swollen muscles (especially in the hind end) may be apparent, or the horse may seem exhausted in addition to being reluctant to move. Muscle enzymes (creatine kinase, or CK and aspartate aminotransferase, or AST) will be elevated, and your veterinarian will do blood work to assist in the diagnosis, and monitor the progression of the problem. The byproducts of muscle breakdown are extremely toxic to the horse’s kidneys, which may result in renal failure. Treatment of ER includes administration of fluids, control of pain and inflammation, and sedation as needed. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as phenylbutazone, or “bute”, and flunixin meglumine, or Banamine) should only be used with extreme caution as these drugs are cleared from the body by the kidneys; therefore, they can cause further renal damage. Hot packing and massage may accelerate the recovery period, and will also help the horse feel better!

What can we do to prevent these problems? In addition to maintaining adequate hydration, you can keep your horse fit. “Weekend warriors” should be monitored closely for their fatigue levels. Take breaks when on the trail, and make sure your horse is as fit as you can keep him. At an absolute minimum, horses need exercise during the week. Good paddock turnout and ridden exercise 2-3 times during the week will help ensure your weekend trail ride will be fun for both of you.

| September / October 2014 | www.horsearoundnm.com

Otherwise, that 15-mile ride may leave your horse exhausted, and you sore. Prevention of the thumps can be achieved with a healthy balance of electrolytes, especially maintaining adequate levels of calcium. Horses will absorb electrolytes from their diet, and from a mineral block or loose minerals. Even on a short overnight camping trip, your horse should be provided access to minerals. Most horses in this area have alfalfa as the mainstay of their diet, and because of its high calcium content, it will help prevent this problem from occurring. Finally, you may administer an electrolyte paste that contains calcium, especially if your horse has ever developed the thumps. Exertional rhabdomyolysis may be associated with long-distance trailering. Always take breaks and check your horses regularly when shipping. In some individuals, ER may also be associated with higher-starch feeds. If a horse has an episode of tying-up, a high-fat, low-starch feed may be indicated on a long-term basis.

Summary Trail riding should be a fun and relaxing time for your and your equine partner. A good fitness and exercise program, as well as adequate rest during long rides will help prevent exercise-associated illness. Adequate access to water, forage, and minerals also helps ensure that metabolic disturbances do not occur. Horses that are willing to drink on the trail should be allowed and encouraged to do so. Finally, early recognition and veterinary evaluation of these problems is important for ensuring treatment success.

Dr. Boswell is an equine veterinarian at Western Trails Veterinary Hospital in Edgewood, New Mexico. She has extensive trail riding and camping experience in various states in the west, and throughout the Appalachian Mountains.


State Fair Specials

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Visit our display across from the horse arena, or come see us in Edgewood

(505)281-9860 • (800) 832-0603

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| September / October 2014 | www.horsearoundnm.com

mortonbuildings.com


e N WS Young New Mexico riders Bella Deloach and Kayla Romero both had a grand time at the Arabian Youth Nationals in July. Bella (pictured here) and her horse Al Marah Bay Star took the National Champion prize in Arabian Sport Horse Geldings In Hand, and a Top Ten in Arabian Sport Horse Under Saddle. Kayla was in the Top Ten in Arabian Hunt Seat Equitation Not to Jump 14-18 with Jerico SVA (Jeri); and Top Ten in Half Photo: Ozana Photography Arab country pleasure driving 18 and Under with Heritage Regal Fire (Fred). “I would say that going to ‘Youth’ is not about winning a ribbon or getting a prize, but the experience of being in a place where you can compete with the best horses and riders in the country, and that not everyone can do it, but you can,” says Bella. Horse Around New Mexico photographer Ozana Sturgeon followed these two girls and their horses throughout the week of Youth Nationals in Albuquerque. For in-depth interviews and more stunning photos of these outstanding young horsewomen and their mounts, go to horsearoundonline.com in the “Articles” section.

Los Alamos Pony Club member Erin Kober, 17, won the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award July 26 in the Cobblestone Farms Horse Trials in Dexter, Michigan. Erin, riding Dakota Night, an 18-y.o. Morab, is currently a HB/C3 Traditional rider in the USPC certifications. Erin was in first place at Cobblestone in the Open Training division (jumping 3'3") after the cross country phase and finished the show jumping phase with no penalties. She was awarded the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award for safe riding on cross country out of all the Training Level riders. "I could not believe I got a 9.5 out of 10 for the gallop on cross country with Erin Kober on Dakota Night, competing earlier this year. little Cody - and it was a Photo: Cristie CumberworthErin Kober on Dakota Night, competing earlier this year at the Las Cruces Horse Trials fantastic way to finish my in the cross country phase. Photo by Cristie Cumberworth summer with coach and instructor Dorothy Crowell," Erin said. "Getting the Technical Merit award for the cross country riding phase was better than any ribbon."

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by Stops Colic, LLC www.horsearoundnm.com | September / October 2014

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The Tail End

Heading out for the last ride of the day; with two. Photo: Evalyn Bemis

Evalyn is a photojournalist who lives in Santa Fe. See more of her work at www.evalynbemisphotography.com


Horse Around New Mexico  

September 2014's Trail Issue takes us from the magic of riding Northern New Mexico's Valle Vidal to the realities of equine trail health iss...

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