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ContentS FIC - rolex afic - rolls royce 3 interior market 4 breast cancer awareness 5 jimmy choo 6 - 7 PGA Schedule 13 the w hotel 23 truly nolen, mary kay, allstate 27 rolls royce 36 wine racks america 37 z gallerie 41 THE CASABLANCA HOTEL 43 THE PALMS HOTEL 44 interior market 45 HOME INTERIORS | EXCEPTIONAL VILLAS boc - jet executive management
8 - 11 Remote Learning, Equestrian-Style 12 Equestrian crash course: polo 14 - 15 Heat Stress: Know the Signs and How to Help 16 benefits of horseback riding 18 - 21 Six Tips for Protecting Your Horse’s Joints 24 - 29 how to get rid of flies 30 - 35 After Brain Injury, Healing with Horses 38 - 42 2021 USEF PONY FINALS
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Professional Golf Association PGA TOUR
The Memorial Tournament Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, OH • Purse: $9,300,000
Palmetto Championship at Congaree Congaree Golf Club, Ridgeland, SC • Purse: $7,300,000
Bryson DeChambeau $1,350,000
John Deere Classic TPC Deere Run, Silvis, IL • Purse: $6,200,000
Barbasol Championship Keene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, KY • Purse: $3,500,000
6 PGA Schedule
Dustin Johnson $1,332,000
Rocket Mortgage Classic Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, MI • Purse: $7,500,000
Rocket Mortgage Classic Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, MI • Purse: $7,500,000
Fedex Cup Points 500
U.S. Open Torrey Pines (South), San Diego, CA
Travelers Championship TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, CT • Purse: $7,400,000
Patrick Cantlay $1,674,000
Jim Herman $630,000
Fedex Cup Points 550
Bryson DeChambeau $2,250,000 Fedex Cup Points 600
Bryson DeChambeau $1,350,000 Fedex Cup Points 500
Fedex Cup Points 600
Fedex Cup Points 500
Dylan Frittelli $1,080,000
Fedex Cup Points 500
Fedex Cup Points 300
PGA TOUR JUL 15-18
The Open Championship Royal St. George’s GC, Sandwich, Kent, ENG
3M Open TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, MN • Purse: $6,600,000
JUL 29AUG 1
Olympic Men’s Golf Competition Kasumigaseki Country Club, Saitama, JPN
Barracuda Championship Tahoe Mt. Club (Old Greenwood), Truckee, CA • Purse: $3,500,000
Jim Herman $1,152,000
THE NORTHERN TRUST Liberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, NJ • Purse: $9,500,000
BMW Championship Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills, MD • Purse: $9,500,000
SEP 2 - 5
Richy Werenski $630,000
World Golf Championships TPC Southwind, Memphis, TN • Purse: $10,500,000
Wyndham Championship Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, NC • Purse: $6,400,000
AUG 19 - 22
Michael Thompson $1,188,000
Jon Rahm $1,710,000
TOUR Championship East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, GA
Shane Lowry $1,935,000
Fedex Cup Points 500
Fedex Cup Points 600
Fedex Cup Points 300
Justin Thomas $1,820,000
Fedex Cup Points 500
Dustin Johnson $1,710,000
Fedex Cup Points 2000
Fedex Cup Points 550
AUG 12 - 15
Fedex Cup Points 2000
AUG 26 - 29
Fedex Cup Points 0
Remote Learning, Equestrian-Style We asked famed para dressage coach Michel Assouline for his top tips on coaching students remotely
Four years ago, the Adequan U.S. Para Dressage Team had never won a medal at an FEI World Championships or a Paralympics. But in 2018, the team won four medals at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon. In 2020, they reached the top of the FEI’s ranking list for the first time in the program’s history, with U.S. para dressage athlete Roxanne Trunnell holding the top spot among all FEI para dressage athletes across all Grades. What changed? The answer is Michel Assouline, who previously led the British para team to multiple gold medals before becoming the U.S. Para Dressage Chef d’Equipe. In 2020, the Adequan U.S. Para Dressage Team was preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Olympics were postponed to 2021, and the Britain-based Assouline was separated from his team by the Atlantic Ocean. Assouline, whom the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee recently named its Paralympic Coach of the Year, kept on coaching, using remote teaching strategies that have proved highly effective. We sat down with him to learn how he was able to overcome remote-coaching challenges, maintain a safe connection with his riders, and keep the team ranked world No. 1.
One Step Ahead Before the pandemic, Assouline was already supplementing live lessons with technology due to his travel schedule, which prohibited him from seeing riders consistently face to face. Assouline provided support and flexible training schedules through direct coaching using the Move ’N See video systems, as well as online judging, video ride critiques, and one-on-one meetings via video conferencing. He is recognized as one of the trailblazers and biggest advocates for e-coaching. When asked about introducing remote coaching to his students he replied, “I was remote-coaching before COVID because I kept traveling between Europe and the U.S. I found because of my schedule I could keep helping people with online coaching.”
Assouline added that the pandemic has opened doors for more things to be done remotely, and that e-coaching is the future. He was one step ahead.
Do Your Homework The first step when introducing remote coaching into a program is doing research on the systems that are available and the pros and cons of each, Assouline advised. While there are many systems on the market, Assouline recommends the Pixio or Pixem systems designed by French company Move ’N See. “They have done so much testing and research, I think that is the best place to start,” he said. “They have a lot of information on their website, as well as videos that help show what their products have to offer.” Both the Pixio and Pixem systems are composed of three key components: a robot that moves the video camera, a wrist band worn by the rider that allows the robot to follow their movements, and three tracking beacons for more precise filming.
Share the Cost Though Assouline considers the Move ’N See system the most reliable, its high price can be out of reach for some budgets. But Assouline has a solution for that. He recommends sharing the cost between riders or with other barns in order to decrease the initial cost. Once the system has been purchased, the software and the applications are free to use and are user-friendly. After you have received and registered your system, it’s time to set it up. Assouline emphasized that setting realistic expectations for your first use is important, as a lot of technology is involved. Assouline notes that the set-up is of vital importance and can be a stumbling block if the user isn’t prepared. “I tell coaches to prepare people well ahead,” he said. “It takes time to set up the system correctly. Don’t expect it to happen all in one day.” Assouline recommends testing it locally first, before you start remote training. This will ensure that both the audio and video are working seamlessly when lesson time comes. Preparation and meticulous set up allow coach and rider to focus on training and get the most out of the experience. Yachting 9
Tips for Top Performance Move’N See sells two systems. Both use technology that can sometimes seem complicated to the new user, but Assouline shared insights he has collected over the years. “The wrist band sends a signal to the camera so that it can follow the riders, and I have learned that the wrist band must always be fully charged or else it can lose connection,” Assouline said. “Another thing is about the SD card inside the robot, which moves the camera. This SD card must be updated regularly so as to have the newest firmware. I find if the system is not working and everything is in place, all it needs is for the firmware to be updated.” A strong internet connection is also important. Without a strong wifi connection or phone signal, it can be difficult to get a clear picture or sound during the lesson. But once the system is up and running, Assouline says he feels as though he is right there with the rider throughout their entire ride.
Flexible and Focused Remote coaching gives trainers the flexibility to be in the ring with their riders from anywhere in the world, but where does the United States’ No.1 para dressage coach prefer to teach his lessons from? “I like being in my office,” Assouline said. “I know I’ve got everything at the tip of my fingers. I have the tools I need, like computers, iPhones, and iPads if something goes wrong. I know I have everything on hand, and it’s all easy to access.” He emphasized the importance of eliminating outside distractions. “It’s a room where I focus well,” Assouline said of his office. “I find my office creates a better environment for me to focus and give my best.” Yachting 11
EQUESTRIAN CRASH COURSE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT POLO Horse polo or simply called polo, is a contact sport played on horseback. There are two types of horse polo: field polo which is played using a solid plastic sphere ball, and then there’s arena polo which is played with a small airfilled ball, which is similar to a soccer ball. Two teams can play with four members each. The team members can be a mix of male and female. The polo equipment are equestrian helmet, colored shirt, riding boots, and white trousers. Optional equipment are kneepads, face mask, whip, and gloves. The main objective of the game is to score goals against the opposing team. Using a mallet, the players can score a goal by driving a small wooden ball into the opponent’s goal. The traditional polo is played at speed on a field with measures up to 300 yards. The modern polo game lasts about two hours and is divided into periods which are called chukkas, which is sometimes called chukkers.
Horseback Polo Sports Arena Polo — a minified version of polo which is played on horseback on a field much smaller in size and enclosed by walls on all sides. Elephant Polo — a form of Polo, played on the back of Elephants instead of on horseback. Yak Polo — a Mongolian variation of the sport polo played on yaks instead of on horses. Snow Polo — a variation of Polo on horseback which is played on compacted snow on flat ground or a frozen lake. Bicycle Polo — similar to Polo, though played on bicycles instead of horses. Beach Polo — polo on horseback though played on a sand field with sideboards so the ball is always in play. Canoe Polo — participants in canoes throw or hot the ball with their paddle through a goal is suspended around two meters above the water. Cycle Polo — similar to Polo though played on bicycles instead of horses. Cowboy Polo — similar to regular Polo, though riders compete with western saddles, usually in a smaller arena and with an inflatable rubber medicine ball. Segway Polo — similar to horse polo though players ride a segway.
Polocrosse — an equestrian sport combining the sports of lacrosse and polo. Tennis Polo — an outdoor team sport, where players attempt to throw a tennis ball through a goal defended by a goal keeper with a tennis racket. Also called Toccer. Water Polo — a team sport played in swimming pools, the aim is to pass the ball over the water and into the goal net. Auto Polo — like polo though the players are on automobiles instead of horses (extinct sport). Tuk Tuk Polo — a variation of polo, in which players are on vehicles called tuk tuk (unusual sport)
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Heat Stress: Know the Signs and How to Help Sultry summer weather can be hard on your horse. Here’s how to help him keep his cool. Summer’s sultry weather can be more than uncomfortable for your horse or pony; it can be dangerous. It’s important to know the symptoms of heat stress and how to respond to them.
Things to Consider Horses that don’t sweat enough or who are engaged in a lot of physical exertion—like three-day eventers, polo ponies, or horses in sports that involve a fair amount of galloping—are most obviously at risk of overheating in hot, humid conditions, says Dr. Laura Werner, a surgeon at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Ky. Werner specializes in equine emergency services and also has worked as a Fédération Equestre Internationale Veterinary Delegate at three-day eventing competitions in the United States. But your horse or pony doesn’t have to be an Olympic-level competitor to be at risk in summer conditions, Werner notes. “Horses can get overheated if both heat and humidity are high, and with the physical exertion that we ask them to do, that can happen pretty easily, just as it does with people,” said Werner. “Certainly, if the heat is in the high 80s and the humidity is about the same, it’s pretty easy for horses to get overheated quickly.”
14 Golf Tips
One thing to consider is whether the animal is accustomed to the particular climate. “Some horses are more acclimated to warmer temperatures or higher humidity than others,” explained Werner. “Horses that are imported from Europe, for example, might not be used to heat and high humidity straight away. Just like with a person, it might take them a little bit to acclimate.” It’s also helpful to remember that your horse generally is warmer than you are. So, if you’re hot, your horse is probably hotter, especially if he or she is working. “The first thing to do is to get off your horse or stop working and walk them,” Werner said. “Try to cool them off with cool water. Get the tack off the horse very quickly. Head for a shady area.” Some horses might require intravenous fluids, but many will respond to a cool bath, some water to drink, and a shady spot or fan. Electrolyte therapy can also help a horse that has been performing in hot, humid conditions. “We do see some horses having electrolyte imbalances at this time of year because they’re losing so much through their sweat, and horses with electrolyte imbalances can even go on to develop thumps,” Werner said. Thumps, a hiccup-like thumping noise formally known as “synchronous diaphragmatic flutter,” can indicate issues like electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, or low calcium levels. “If horses are actively working at a normal to moderate or heavy level of work, sometimes it is good to supplement their electrolytes at this time of year, because they are losing so much in their sweat,” Werner said. “Ideally, that can help ahead of time. If you have an event coming up that involves travel and/or physical activity, you can support them with an electrolyte paste to make sure they’re getting enough and their electrolyte supply isn’t depleted.”
Symptoms to Know ·High rectal temperature
The normal equine temperature is generally around 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Physical exertion in hot conditions can make that higher, but a temperature above 104 or so after a normal workout can signal a problem, especially if paired with other symptoms. ·Vocalizing
A horse in distress will sometimes whinny frequently. ·Lethargic, sluggish, or struggling to perform ·Open-mouth breathing ·High respiratory rate
The Benefits Of Horseback Riding Any equestrian could tell you that riding makes their life immeasurably better, in many different aspects. But have you ever wondered what the recorded benefits of riding are? Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of horseback riding.
Are you struggling with those pitch shots around the green, whether to hit it high or low, make it stop quickly or skid and roll? Here’s my prescription for making the shot selection and execution process as simple as possible. In fact, what I love about this shot is that you can basically use the same technique, then just change ball position and clubs to create all the shots you need from 30 yards and in. No more confusion on set-up or execution
Physical Health No matter which discipline you ride, horseback riding can be an excellent form of exercise. In order to stay balanced in the saddle, you’ll need to work on developing and strengthening your core, inner thigh and pelvic muscles. This is one of the very first aspects of learning how to ride, and it is often one of the first things that alerts riders of just how much physical activity is required to learn how to ride. Riding can also prove to be an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise.
The Benefits of Horseback Riding
Psychological Health As we all know, one of the most notable benefits of riding is how relaxed and content we often feel after some time spent in the saddle. Riding can be an extensive form of exercise, and in most cases is done outside. Fresh air combined with beneficial exercise produces serotonin, the hormone responsible for reducing stress levels and improving overall mood. A good ride can considerably improve your overall state of mind, and can serve as a wonderful way to shake the cobwebs in your mind and de-stress. What’s more is that successfully learning how to ride can be a massive confidence boost for many people; riding is no easy sport, and as we progress on our journeys towards becoming better riders, we can all benefit from the confidence-building knowledge that we are working on perfecting a skill that not everyone has.
Golf Tips The Benefits of Horseback Riding17 17
Home & Garden 18 Protecting your Horses Joints 18
Six Tips for Protecting Your Horse’s Joints 1. Start with balanced nutrition.
“There are new developments all the time”
Joint health is key to any horse’s performance, whether he’s a trail horse or an Olympic-level athlete. A number of factors can contribute to arthritic changes in the equine joint, and there are some things you can do to promote your horse’s joint health.
“There are new developments all the time,” said Werner, so it’s worth asking your vet about current research. And don’t forget to consult your vet and make sure you know the ingredients of any supplement you administer; even “natural” supplements can sometimes result in a positive drug test at competitions (for a list of forbidden substances, see US Equestrian’s Guidelines for Drugs and Medications).
We asked Dr. Laura Werner at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute for her advice on management strategies that can help protect equine joints.
Good joint health starts with good nutrition, especially when the horse is young, when the cartilage in his joints is forming. And throughout a horse’s life, maintaining a proper calcium/phosphorus balance (no more than 1:1 to 2:1 calcium to phosphorus, ideally, says Werner) in your horse’s diet can help support joint health. “It doesn’t hurt to have your horse on a joint supplement like chondroitin and glucosamine,” Werner added. “There’s less data on the oral absorption of hyaluronic acid and whether it’s helpful or not, but we know hyaluronic acid is a key component of joint fluid and is key to joint health.” A recent study at Texas A & M University also suggested that resveratrol—a compound found in red grape skins and red wine—might help improve hock lameness in performance horses. Mountains & Beaches
Protecting your Horses Joints
2. Consider your horse’s age when setting a training regimen. Particularly for young horses in training or already showing, it’s also helpful to avoid a performance regimen that might be suitable for an older horse but could add excess trauma to younger joints. “It’s helpful not to have too much repetitive trauma on the joints at an early age,” said Dr. Werner. “Sometimes we see more problems with early repetitive trauma in horses that are working at two, for example. Don’t work a horse harder than he really needs to be working. As they say, every horse only has so many jumps in it, and you want to avoid excess wear and tear.”
3. Look for low-impact exercises. “Uphill work versus trotting on the flat puts less stress and strain on the front limbs, for example, and things like underwater treadmills or swimming can help prevent stress and strain on the joints,” Werner said. “Walking is great exercise that also doesn’t add a lot of impact. That can add to their conditioning and their top line without pounding on their joints a lot.”
4. Watch those hooves.
“Proper shoeing and hoof care are important,” said Werner. Poor trimming and shoeing can lead to extra stress on joints, so be sure to work with your farrier to maintain your horses’ hooves well. And be aware of the footing your horse is working on, too—excessively hard footing, for example, can mean more trauma on joints during work.
5. Keep them fit and moving
“Low-impact activity is always good for horses, as it is in people,” Werner said. “It’s good to keep moving, to keep the muscles fit to support the joints, and it’s good for them not to be overweight. That’s good advice across species!”
6. Ask your veterinarian if your horse is a candidate for injections. Therapeutic options for certain joint issues can include polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG). “It’s one of the building-blocks of cartilage,” explained Werner. “It’s indicated if there’s a joint injury. For example, in young horses who have an infected joint as a youngster or who have a chip or OCD [osteochondritis dissecans] lesion taken out, it can help that cartilage heal. It’s also used in older horses if there’s joint damage.” Treatment typically would involve a series of intramuscular injections every four days for a total of seven treatments once or twice a year. “There’s no withdrawal time, because it’s a normal constituent of joints so it’s an option if you’re in the midst of show season, and it treats more than one joint,” Werner added. “It’s not a steroid but it has anti-inflammatory effects, even though it’s a normal constituent of cartilage.” Learn more about PSGAG in this video from Adequan®. If the horse is lame and your vet finds signs of joint inflammation or osteoarthritis via radiographs or ultrasound, joint injections might be another option. A number of different products are available, including some like stem cell therapy and IRAP®? [interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein] that are derived from the horse’s blood; hyaluronic acid, which is a component of joint fluid; and steroids. “There are a number of treatment options, and it’s important to go over them with your veterinarian to determine what is best for your horse and your situation,” Werner said. Mountains & Beaches21
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How to Get Rid of Flies Are flies driving you and your horse to distraction? Luckily, keeping the fly population down in the barn and off your horse is relatively simple. It’s important to control flies. According to Absorbine, the makers of UltraShield EX® fly spray, biting flies drink four cups of horse blood every 10 days. And flies and other pests like mosquitoes and gnats aren’t only nuisances; they also can carry harmful diseases, like West Nile Virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Western equine encephalitis. “Last year, 90 cases of West Nile virus were reported in horses in 25 different states, while Eastern equine encephalitis in horses totaled 184 in 24 states,” Absorbine advised in its blog earlier this year. “The best defense against diseases transmitted by common pests is to consult with a veterinarian for a geographically appropriate vaccination program. But measures can also be taken to help reduce the threat by reducing the number of pests in and around the barn.”
Kitchen Feng Shui
The two most common species on a barn are house flies (which don’t bite but can spread disease) and stable flies (which do bite), says Dr. Jonathan Larson, extension entomologist at the University of Kentucky. “Both are pesty, but for different reasons,” Larson explained. “House flies can carry pathogens; they crawl around in yucky things, pick up pathogens on their body, and can drag those along a horse or on food—they can also do that to human beings. Stable flies, on the other hand, are biting pests. They have a really nasty mouth part that can poke through the skin and draw blood, which is annoying. You can see your horse react to that, and I react pretty poorly too when I get bitten around my ankles.” Both species reproduce in large numbers, and they’re quick to become mature pests. House flies reach maturity in seven to 14 days, while stable flies take 21-25 days to become adults. So quick, early action will help you get on top of a potential fly problem. “Insecticides do help, but you really want that integrated, holistic approach,” Larson emphasized.
Keeping Flies Out Start by getting rid of fly breeding grounds, Larson advised. “Anywhere that the female can lay her eggs, if you can eliminate that, you’re cutting the problem off at the root,” he said. “That will help your animals have a happier summer.”
Step 1: Keep those stalls clean “Both house flies and stable flies prefer a moist area to lay their eggs in,” Larson said. “They like manure or a mixture of manure and straw. Horse manure generally is a little dry for these species, but if gets wet—if it’s getting rained on or there’s a leak or if the horse is urinating on it—that will introduce the possibility that flies will use that. “Make sure you have a nice, tidy cleaning schedule so manure and damp bedding or hay are getting removed,” he said.
Step 2: Don’t dump soiled bedding near the barn Don’t just pile damp materials in a corner or in a muck pile near the barn; that only relocates the problem (and muck piles also can sometimes catch fire). Spreading manure is a safer bet, and it can help your pastures. “Wheelbarrow soiled bedding right out of the barn or wherever the horses are and dispose of it elsewhere, far from your animals,” Larson said. “Keep any piles of manure away from the doors of the barn, so that when flies emerge from there they don’t have easy access to the barn where the animals are.”
Kitchen Feng Shui
Step 3: Clear up damp areas regularly “Focus on maintaining good drainage to eliminate any puddles or standing water,” Larson said. “Eliminate wet materials around any water troughs or tanks you have. Clean that up every three or four days to cut that life cycle for the flies. If you see manure near a trough that is dry, you don’t have to worry about it as much, but once it starts getting wet, flies will take advantage of it.”
Step 4: Use screens and/or fans “A tight screen on windows can help keep flies out of the barn,” Larson said. But make sure there aren’t any gaps or holes in the screen. “Anywhere that a fly can get in, it will, and a fly can squish itself down pretty small. If the screen gets damaged, you’ll want to replace it in a pretty timely fashion. “If you have a fan that you can point down and out so that it will blow flies as they try to fly in, that can also help,” he added. “You can monitor for flies that have invaded by using those sticky traps and fly paper that you place or hang in the barn. That can tell you if a problem is starting to get out of hand.”
Kitchen Feng Shui
“SmaLl Things Make Perfection, But Perfection IS NO SMALL THING”
Sir Henry Royce
Preventing Mosquitoes “Mosquitoes have a slightly different way of developing, versus stable and house flies,” Larson said. “They are fully aquatic as larvae. They’re down in the water, feeding and breathing. They have snorkels on their rear ends, which is a pretty interesting way to go through life. So if you have outside water sources—a bird bath or buckets or even old tires or things in a junk pile that can accumulate water—eliminate that water on a weekly basis. Dump it out, tip it over, scoop it out, and you’ll cut that mosquito’s life cycle in half. You’ll get rid of the larvae and you’ll see fewer adults. Horse-safe sprays like UltraShield EX can be applied directly to the coat or sprayed lightly on brushes before grooming. Photo: Absorbine “If it’s standing water that you need to have around, like a pond or a stream or a lake, or if you have a swampy area, you can treat that with a mosquito dunk,” he added. “That’s a BT (bacillus thuringiensis) organic product, and it will kill the larvae that are in there, so you’ll see fewer adults.”
Architecture & Design
Using Sprays Brad Barkemeyer of Barkemeyer Performance Horses in Scottsdale, Ariz., uses a number of at-home remedies to combat pesky (and disease-carrying) flies. His recommendations include
To help protect the entire property, use a permethrin-based premises spray. When using a hand-held sprayer to treat areas outside the barn, be sure to avoid bee and aquatic habitats. Spray the stall walls and around feeders to discourage flies from gathering. Be sure to sweep up any spilled grain, supplements, or treats. Apply a light spray to brushes prior
Barkemeyer also suggests choosing fly spray carefully. “Not all fly sprays have the same ingredients and some are more appropriate for specific situations,” he noted. “I like using UltraShield EX® from Absorbine® for effective protection from flies and other insects whether at home, on the road or at competitions.” Larson also recommends moving away from broad-spectrum treatments like organophosphates or organochlorine and focusing on targeted applications like hand-held permethrin spray you can apply directly to your horse or on areas where pests might congregate or to use baits that attract, collect, and kill flies.
Architecture & Design
After Brain Injury, Healing with Horses
Horses helped Brittany Halstead recover from a traumatic brain injury. Now she’s giving back by retraining polo ponies for second careers as hunter jumpers, therapeutic riding mounts, and more. Brittany Halstead had the best of two equestrian worlds— hunter jumpers and polo—when a car crash nearly ended her life in 2014. Her recovery was nothing short of miraculous, and she credits working with two horses, polo ponies Fanta and Dos Equis, for helping her return to the saddle and the show ring. In return, she formed ReplayPolo, which helps transition retired polo ponies into second careers in therapeutic riding, intercollegiate equestrian programs, and more.
“It’s all about mindfulness,” Halstead said of how retraining horses parallels her recovery from traumatic brain injury. “You have to take time, collect your thoughts, and wait it out. It will all come around. You can’t force yourself and you can’t force these horses to do something. You have to step back and ask in a different way. You need patience with yourself and with the horse.”
A Two-Way Education Halstead, who rode hunter jumpers from the age of 10, got her introduction to polo while working for hunter jumper trainer Elaine Schott, whose husband Trey is an accomplished polo player. “Her husband needed a groom for polo, and so she said, ‘I need you to go groom polo,’” Halstead recalled. “I did, and I just fell in love with the horses. Of course, I got the nickname of The Slowest Groom in North America, because, as a hunter jumper person, I felt the horse had to look perfect before it stepped into the ring. The polo wraps had to be perfect, and the tail had to be braided super-well! But working with the polo ponies was so different. They just stand at the trailer and do not move while you’re moving around them so fast, throwing on tack and throwing off tack. They’re just so patient and have such a great demeanor.”
One polo pony she met on another grooming job exemplified that for Halstead and tugged at her heartstrings. “It was my first full-time polo grooming job, and this horse, Dos Equis, was only four,” she remembered. “I loved him. He was my favorite. He was so humble and respectful, and he had so much love! He wasn’t used to getting a lot of treats, and he was very respectful about it.” Working with horses from both the hunter jumper and polo worlds was educational, and Halstead found ways to apply what she learned in one discipline to training in the other. “The quick, simple transitions that these polo ponies have, and the very acute aids that you give them, that’s something I have applied to the hunter jumpers,” Halstead said. “Riding polo ponies has made me not use artificial aids like the whip and the spur. Some polo players do wear spurs and use draw reins and a whip, but these polo ponies just don’t need it. They appreciate no aids and are very responsive without them—plus, I don’t want to force a horse. It just takes time to get them to be responsive to your natural aids, which is much appreciated. Teaching a polo pony to jump for a new career over fences takes thoughtful training, as Halstead described. “I’ve also taken the flat work in the hunter jumpers and applied it to my polo work, like using poles on the ground, doing a counter-canter or a flying change, collecting and extending the trot,” she continued. “I’ve applied all the hunter jumper flat work to polo, but these polo ponies naturally do it all on the field. So now they have to learn using different aids. I think every horse needs a basic level of dressage, and that’s something polo ponies just don’t get; they just kind of get thrown into polo. So the flat work and education of hunters and the dressage are something that I’ve applied to the polo ponies.” Architecture & Design
“You have to place a pole before the jump and actually make the horse rock back on his haunches,” she said. “The pole makes them take a step back and take their time for the fence. These polo ponies can’t just pick out a natural distance, because they’re used to being in a hurry to charge in polo, so they just go for the jump. They’ve got to have gymnastics set up for it, and you’ve got to make sure you don’t get ahead of the horse and that you stay back. They’re very charge-y with their shoulders, because they really use them when they’re blocking a shot, making a shot, or trying to ride another pony off—it’s all in the shoulder. So when you’re trying to get them to jump, they charge at the jump with the shoulder and kind of leave their back end behind, and that’s why you need gymnastics and bounces to teach them to wait and to lift up their front end and push off with their back end.”
A Boost from Horses on the Road to Recovery “The whole time I was in the hospital, I was talking about horses and about my job, thinking I’d be back in Argentina in a month,” Halstead said. “I had no idea how injured I was. But a month after I got out of the hospital, my mom took me to ride on a lesson pony that a friend of mine, who is an instructor, put me on. While I was riding, I would say, ‘I feel like I’m in outer space!’ My perception of space was so off. I could trot about halfway down the long side of the ring before I’d have to stop. It would spin me out.
In 2014, Halstead moved to Pilar, Argentina, where she looked set to combine her love of both jumping and polo: she’d gotten a job offer from Argentina’s international jumping rider Luis Magnasco and had arranged to live on polo Hall of Famer Guillermo “Memo” Gracida, Jr.’s nearby farm. The future looked promising. And then came the crash. One morning, as Halstead was traveling in Lobos, Argentina, a car made a U-turn across the highway and hit the farm truck Halstead was riding in. The head-on collision killed the car’s driver, and Halstead, who was not wearing a seat belt, nearly died on the scene. She was in a coma in an Argentine hospital for two weeks before being flown home on a life flight to Nashville, Tenn., to be hospitalized there.
“It was maybe six months before I could canter again,” she continued. “When I was teaching, I’d always tell students, ‘Eyes up! Look where you’re going!’ But now I caught myself staring down at the horse the whole time. I’d tell myself to bring my eyes up, and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t. At a walk, I’d also look down at the shoulder. When the left shoulder went forward I’d try to squeeze with my left leg, then do the same with the right shoulder and my right leg. I was trying to ‘walk’ in the same way the horse was going, just to try to get my mind and body in sync with the horse, and I could not do it. I can do it now, but back then it was the hardest thing to do. “But just doing those little things that we take for granted really helped me get back to where I am today.” Six months after Halstead left the hospital, a polo player friend contacted her. He had a polo pony he didn’t need anymore, and he wanted Halstead to take the mare, Fanta, a Thoroughbred. “He couldn’t believe I didn’t have a horse,” she said. “He thought, ‘That’s just what she needs in life right now, is a horse!’ I couldn’t drive for about a year-and-a-half, so my mom used to take me to the barn to ride, and it was like that horse knew that I was off. She would point her ears back at me like she was saying ‘Okay, now it’s time to get into two-point!’ I did get to where I was jumping her over little crossrails. She’d had a bad reputation in polo because she had no mouth and wouldn’t stop, but if I said, ‘Whoa,’ and just slightly pulled back, she’d stop. “At the time, I did not have the ability to have all my ducks in a row,” Halstead continued. “Getting my tack out, getting the Brittany Halstead and Dos Equis before their first class together at Brownland Farm in Franklin, Tenn., on Oct. 5. Photo: Tina Halstead grooming equipment out, going to get Fanta in the field—doing everything you have to do before you even get on a horse was almost impossible for me. So the fact that I had this horse that was like a golden retriever, like a service animal, allowed me to be able to do it. I could never have done that with a horse that runs around in the field and won’t stand still in the cross-ties; that would have thrown me over the top. And when I needed to stop and just sit there and gain some mindfulness and think about what I would do next, she would do that for me. She’d just wait until I wanted her to move again. That was a big plus.” Villa Valentin
Halstead’s biggest challenge in riding was regaining her balance. “My balance was really thrown off, and that was because my visual processing center was the most damaged,” she explained. Halstead credits working with Fanta and her participation in a vision therapy program in California—which helped her be able to raise her eyes and look ahead while riding—with helping her regain skills in the saddle. “I had been riding with Olympic riders before the accident, but, after it, just being able to get in two-point and trot over a pole was a huge, amazing success,” she said. Fanta eventually went on to a new job as a broodmare, but Halstead never forgot how helpful the mare had been on the road to recovery. Inspired, in 2016 she founded ReplayPolo to help retired polo ponies find new jobs. Luis Escobar, the owner of Santa Clara Polo Club in Wellington, Fla., donated space there to get the program started.
A Reunion Three years after she launched ReplayPolo, Halstead bumped into polo owner and United States Polo Association Hall of Famer Ruben Gracida at Santa Clara Polo Club. He told her he had a horse he wanted to retire to ReplayPolo. The horse turned out to be Dos Equis. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “So I went to ride him, and he was perfect.” Dos Equis came to Halstead in June 2019, and he represented the next stage in her recovery. “Now I had a horse in my sole care, and I had to do everything,” she said. “To have that daily routine of feeding and tacking and riding and cleaning was really difficult for me, especially in the heat. It took a couple of months to sort of reprogram my mind, and then I started taking lessons with another show jumper. “Dos Equis was really coming around—he hadn’t refused a jump or backed up at all—and so I took him to the showgrounds and schooled there in a ticketed warm-up ring. He’d never set foot on a showgrounds before, but he walked right in, jumped over everything, and didn’t knock down a pole.” For Halstead, Dos Equis provided a helpful mental and physical workout, as well as a confidence boost.
Core to Success
“I was trying to get Dos Equis ready for a show, and that took a lot of work,” Halstead explained. “It required me to use all of training tools, and I hadn’t been able to train a horse since my accident. To be able to see a horse become more educated in another discipline, and for me to accomplish that, was the confidence I really needed. “It also helped me get my leg strength back. A few weeks ago I jumped a course with him, and for the first time I finally felt like I was completely in sync with him with my whole body. I didn’t miss a distance, and he got all of the strides that he needed for the course.” That payoff came after several months of intensive training, but Halstead said that Dos Equis was a trier. “He always tried very, very hard to please me, and everything I asked of him, he made the effort,” she said. “It took him a long time to understand exactly what I was asking, but that was probably my fault, because, come on, it had been five years since I’d really trained a horse to do something! With time and patience, we each figured out what the other was saying.” Halstead’s patience with both horses and herself has grown, she says, since her accident.
“Before, I was more like, ‘Okay, do this bending line and jump this at three feet and it has to be done now, because then I’ve got to get on this next horse,’’’ she said. “After my injury, any kind of transition I would do, like going from one type of exercise to another, I just couldn’t do it fast. I had to do it slowly, and I had to really think about the exercise and how I would do it. And at first when I’d try it, I’d be off. But after a few minutes of trying it, I’d get it. I really think that asking your horse to do different things—and we’re asking them to do different things all the time—if you take your time, ask the horse in a gradual and patient way, and let the horse think about it, it leads to better success. That’s something I would never have thought about if this hadn’t happened to me.” Core to Success
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Champions Crowned at 2021 USEF Pony Finals Lexington, Ky. - As the Small Regular Pony Hunter National Championship started up, three new champions were crowned on the second day of competition at the 2021 USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms (Pony Finals).
Dyson and D’Artagnan Win Large Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Charles Ancona USEF Pony Finals first-time competitor Emma Dyson (Greenwich, Conn.) and D’Artagnan, Simply Ponies LLC’s 2010 German Riding Pony gelding, took the win in the Large Regular Pony Hunter National Championship presented by Charles Ancona. The pair was sitting in fifth heading into the jumping phase but a win in the Over Fences class pushed them to the top of the leaderboard with a score of 270.14. Dyson and D’Artagnan earned a 246.51 in the Model and a 268.63 in the Under Saddle, for a composite score of 1055.42 after the Over Fences. “I’ve been riding [‘Beau’] since March. It took a couple shows before we clicked, but he’s always been a pretty good boy so it was pretty easy to get to know him,” Dyson said. “This is my first time [at USEF Pony Finals]. It’s really special to come here; I’ve wanted to come here my whole life. It’s really cool to win my first time coming.” The combination will also compete in the Marshall & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal National Championship on Sunday.
Leaderboard: 1. Emma Dyson and D’Artagnan 2. Erin Morera and Nominee 3. Clara Propp and Eastside
Berry and Cambridge Win Small Green Pony Hunter National Championship2020 Small Green Michelle Berry (San Diego, Calif.) and Cambridge earned the Small Green Pony Hunter National Championship after three strong performances. Berry and Rabbit Root Stables, LLC’s 2013 Welsh pony gelding won the Over Fences phase with a score of 266.89 on Wednesday after scoring 256.76 in the Model phase and 244.72 in the Under Saddle phase on Tuesday. Their composite score of 1035.26 clinched the national championship title in Berry’s first appearance at Pony Finals. “The face and his jump [make him so special],” Berry said of Cambridge. After catch riding the pony since the 2021 Thermal circuit, Berry had her eye on Pony Finals. “This was the main [goal] and I accomplished it.” Berry competes in the Medium Junior Jumper, Hunter Derbies, and Large Junior Hunters, but enjoys the challenge of adjusting to riding in the Pony Hunter divisions. Trainer Corrine Bevis said that Berry’s composure, maturity, and ability to closely follow direction helped her excel at showing off Cambridge’s best qualities. Leaderboard: 1. Michelle Berry and Cambridge 2. Olivia Sweetnam and Stella Blue 3. Hailey Guidry and Memphis
Epstein and Pepsi Win 2020 Small Green Pony Hunter National Championship As the competition came to a close Wednesday evening, Lily Epstein (Coral Gables, Fla.) and Pepsi were named the 2020 Small Green Pony Hunter National Champions. Epstein and her 2014 Welsh pony gelding handily won the Over Fences phase with a score of 255.89 on Wednesday and tallied 247.86 in the Model and 253.02 in the Under Saddle phase on Tuesday. They clinched top honors with a composite score of 1012.66. “I’m so happy I got to qualify and come back for this year,” Epstein said of her Pony Finals experience thus far. “It is my first time ribboning in the jumping, so I was super happy. And to have Pepsi be such a good boy. I’m so happy to be back here.” The 2020 Green Pony Hunter National Championships were added to the 2021 Pony Finals schedule because of the cancellation of the 2020 Pony Finals due to COVID-19.
Leaderboard: 1. Lily Epstein and Pepsi 2. Kolbie Watson and Abby Dabby Doo 3. Sienna Rossano and DF Crush
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Endzweig and Private Message Lead the Way in the Small Regular Pony Hunter National Championship In a competitive section of 87 small pony hunters, Ella Endzweig (New York, N.Y.) and Private Message, Twin Island LLC’s 2012 Welsh pony gelding, lead the Small Regular Pony Hunter National Championship after the Model and Under Saddle phases. Heading into the final jumping phase of competition tomorrow, the pair hold on to a narrow lead with a composite score of 521.63. Endzweig expertly presented Private Message for a solid win in the Model with a score of 268.93 and secured a 252.70 in the Under Saddle, narrowly missing a top-10 placing by less than one point. The small regular pony hunters will contest the Over Fences portion of the competition on Thursday, August 12. Leaderboard: 1. Ella Endzweig and Private Message 2. Vivian Golden and Westley 3. Kathryn Padilla and Jubilee
Dalman Jump Pony Land Competitors and families can enjoy this kid-sized show jump area, with jumps provided by Dalman Jump Co. Dalman will be hosting a “grand prix” competition for youth on Friday and Saturday from 12-1 p.m. ET at Dalman Jump Pony Land. The participant with the fastest time after the Final on Saturday will win a kid-sized jump and standards courtesy of Dalman Jump Co. Stop by the Dalman booth by the Bruce Davidson statue to sign up!
Special Awards and Activities Five individuals were selected for the Betsy Fishback Sportsmanship Award today, winning a copy of the book Big Wishes for Little Feat, by Cheryl Olsten. The following recipients are youth who have demonstrated the qualities of good sportsmanship while exhibiting at the USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms (listed in alphabetical order): Emma Brand Djuna Lauder Lalla Murad Finley Scheffel Lauren Zarnegin
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