Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

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October/November 2019 $4










2 Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


October/November 2019

columns 14 Black Feather Horse Rescue

Jesse Martineau

Lend a Hoof



20 One Horse’s Dis-Ease Can Affect Another Horse Logic

34 Events Calendar


Stacey Stearns

Massachusetts Only


features 8 Playing It Safe

41 Youth Mustang Makeover

in every issue 18 Katie Rocco

The Basics of Farm Security

Dragonfly Farm

Lead Feature

Horseperson Feature

5 From the Publisher 7 Your Letters 24 Partners 30 Overherd


Golden Rose Equestrian Center Farm Feature

22 Grand Trunk Trail Trail Guide

39 This Olde Horse 40 The Neighborhood 42 Is This Your Horse?

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019




Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

From the Publisher


n this issue we bring you informainexpensive, and are quite handy in the I’ve got some pretty cute Miniature tion about securing your farm. Horses and I live in a remote area. One barn if you need to feed in the dark Whether a backyard horse owner of the ways I feel safer is to have all the during a power outage or if you don’t or a commercial boarding stable, paddock and pasture gates near many of the challenges are the the barn and my home instead of same. out by the road. No one’s taking At Pocketful of Ponies Farm Precious, lol. I’ve installed solar lights to light I used to love feeding the up dark areas in the driveway, birds but have had to stop doing home entrance, and barn so as the dropped seed was attractentrance. These motion-activated ing raccoons, skunks, and groundlights are easy to attach to buildhogs to the farm. ings and fences, charge during the I hope these tips and the day, and are inexpensive. When information starting on page 8 I’m on my way in or out of the help you play it safe and utilize barn in the dark, these powerful the basics of farm security. and bright lights help me to see Join us October 27 for the Eleven-year-old Peyton Devonshire of Plympton won the Massachusetts my way. The lights will also come Massachusetts Horse Benefit Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at the Massachusetts Horse Council Pleasure Classic at Briggs Stable in Hanover on September Adventure Trail Halloween on for wildlife, loose horses, and 8. Peyton is pictured with Morgan horse Stoneleigh Flair For Life, any other movement. Filling in Scavenger Hunt! See page 31 and a.k.a. Flash. Congratulations, Peyton! nighttime lighting needs without Want a free Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award for go to the expense of an electrician can your equestrian competition or upcoming year-end banquet? Visit be truly brilliant. have power in your backyard barn. I Have you seen those battery-operhave one in the feed room and one in ated “light switches” you can stick to a the main barn. wall or door? They’re super bright,

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


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HORSE vol. 18, no. 3 October/November 2019

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the fine print The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Massachusetts Horse staff or independent contractors, nor can they be held accountable. Massachusetts Horse will not be held responsible for any misrepresentations or any copyright infringement on the part of advertisers. Massachusetts Horse will not be held responsible for typing errors other than a correction in the following issue. All letters addressed to Massachusetts Horse, its publisher, editor, and staff are assumed for publication. Photos, stories (verbal or printed), notifications, news items, and all other material that is submitted, including all materials and photos not specifically solicited by Massachusetts Horse, are assumed to be legally released by the submitter for publication. Massachusetts Horse assumes no responsibility for damage to or loss of material submitted for publication. Reasonable care will be taken to ensure the safety and return of all materials.

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Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


Playing It Safe The Basics of Farm Security

Getty Images/Angelo DeSantis

by Kara Noble


ention “horse farm security” and for many, that will conjure up a blissful image of the dedicated farmer, her faithful dog by her side, dutifully watching over a lush green field of peacefully grazing horses.

Horse people know that idyllic picture is bunk. Statistically, rural communities in New England are safer than in many other parts of the country. U.S. News & World Report ranks Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire as the three safest states in the nation while Rhode Island ranks seventh, Connecticut eighth, and Massachusetts tenth. Even though Massachusetts is safer than 40 other states, operators of boarding stables, training facilities, breeding operations, and backyard farms need to be more conscious of farm security than ever before. Modern farm security is complex, expensive, and time-consuming. How can farm owners evaluate which threats are real and which are hype? Which procedures and security equipment provide the best protection for the money? How do you decide if your current security measures are adequate? With so many things to protect, where should you even begin?

Risk Assessment: What Do You Need to Protect and Why? A solid first step in developing a comprehensive security system for your farm 8

is to perform a risk assessment to identify what needs protection and which hazards pose the greatest risk. Creating two lists is a simple way of doing a basic assessment of your farm. The first will identify your critical assets, the second will pinpoint your troublemakers. The more specific and detailed you make these two lists, the more useful they will be in developing a good security plan for your farm.

List One: Critical Assets Critical assets are the things most essential to your farm, the elements of it you value and want to protect the most. Be specific and prioritize this list to maximize its usefulness. Try to be objective about what is most important, what comes second, third, and so on. Your critical assets list will likely include: • People (e.g., family members, staff, boarders, visitors) • Animals (e.g., equines, other livestock, pets) • Structures (e.g., barns, paddocks, pastures, riding areas) • Machinery (e.g., vehicles, trailers, tractors, heavy equipment) • Equipment (e.g., tack, tools, blankets) • Vital service sources (e.g., water supplies, fuel sources, power lines, and electrical control boxes)

List Two: Troublemakers Troublemakers include anything that could cause harm (physical or financial) to your farm and its critical assets.

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

Some troublemakers, such as burglars or vandals, cause problems intentionally. Others (especially the ones that aren’t human) do damage unintentionally. Common farm troublemakers include: • Human hazards (including malicious individuals who plan to cause trouble and naïve people who behave recklessly out of ignorance) • Fire hazards and flammable materials • Property hazards (e.g., old uncapped wells, stairs with no handrails, a rusty old tractor, areas with poor lighting) • Weather hazards (e.g., lightning, wind, snow loads) • Lack of secure storage for valuables • Biohazards (e.g., diseases, poison plants, wildlife) Compiling and comparing lists of your critical assets and potential troublemakers will enable you to identify where to concentrate your security efforts.

Securing Farm Property Once you have decided what needs to be protected most (and what you want to protect it from), it’s time to apply the Three Big Ls — light, lock, and limit access — to achieve your security objectives.

Light I learned about the security value of good lighting in 2012, after my husband and I purchased a remote hobby farm that had a barn with no exterior lights and only minimal interior lights. One

cold January evening, I settled the horses and donkeys in for the night, slid the heavy wooden barn door closed, and started toward the house. I nearly walked into a pack of coyotes that were almost invisible in the darkness. It’s hard to protect against hazards you can’t see. Adequate lighting improves visibility, helping you to avoid tripping over a brush box left in the aisle and improving your ability to judge the speed and location of fastmoving objects (such as spooked horses). Outdoor lights make it easier to locate equines lingering in dark paddocks, reluctant to come in from turnout or injured and in need of help. Motion-sensor lights can also serve as a visual alarm to alert you to the presence of trespassers of any species. “Outdoor low-voltage lighting provides a soft and subtle light that does not cause glare or shadows, unlike bright overhead flood lights,” says Bill Knowles, owner of Northern Outdoor Lighting in Billerica. “These shadows caused by flood lights create contrasts of dark and light, providing places for surprises to hide, allowing animals or objects to lurk in the shadows. Properly installed LED low-voltage lighting fixtures will illuminate areas from above when installed in trees or on buildings, from the side using path lights, or from below by embedding fixtures in walls or stonework. The task-oriented lighting allows for your walkways, paths, buildings, and driveway to be seen clearly while enhancing safety to guide you around rocks, sloped areas, and other hazards.” LED outdoor lighting fixtures provide a clear view of the property, including people, animals, and objects such as fences, walls, and other obstructions; ease and visibility for tasks such as finding your keys, tools, or doing chores; and a secure feeling because vision is not impaired in the dark shadows of structures and plantings. “When designing a lighting system,” Bill says, “key locations will be identified for potential safety and security concerns that can be remedied with the use of proper lighting around your property. The lights can be custom fit to your lifestyle and schedule. Your lighting system can be controlled by your Smart phone, can be programmed by timers, and can be motion detection fixtures.”

Lock Locks may seem like an annoyance in a barn bustling with horse owners, boarders, students, instructors, veterinarians,

farriers, barn staff, and horses. But unlocked storage areas, combined with all the comings and goings in a busy barn, make it easy for someone to walk off with valuables. Horse owner Marsha Harris regularly left her tack room and trailer unlocked until early June 2019. “My two best saddles were stolen, one from the tack room and one from the trailer tack compartment,” she says. “Three police cars showed up within minutes of my call to them. They took fingerprints but had no luck. We never found a trace of the saddles. Fortunately, the insurance company was great and we got full replacement value minus our deductible.” Make locking gates, doors, lockers, outbuildings, vehicles and other areas standard practice on your farm. “If you have anything valuable, keep it locked up unless it’s supervised,” Marsha says.

Limit Access Limiting access to farm buildings and pastures can be challenging because long driveways, isolated buildings, overgrowth, and big open pastures are tough to monitor. Good fences are critical, but they can’t do the whole job of access control on their own. One simple way to limit access to your horses when they’re turned out is to avoid hanging halters and lead ropes on fences or gates. Don’t make it easy to catch a horse and lead it away. Areas that are private or restricted (for authorized personnel only) need signs that should prevent well-intentioned people from going into areas where they don’t belong. NO TRESPASSING signs offer farm owners a potential legal defense against liability for injuries incurred by trespassers. Prominent signs warning about potentially dangerous activities, locations, or conditions may be required by state or local statutes or your insurance company. To maximize their effectiveness, your signs should be as specific as possible (e.g., DANGER: HORSE BITES or WARNING: HIGH VOLTAGE instead of a generic DANGER sign). Noisy “alarm” animals (such as a barking dog, a fussy flock of geese, or a donkey) can give you a head’s up when a stranger comes onto farm property or something unusual happens, but surveillance systems with remote cameras and alarms are a lot more reliable.

Motion Sensors and Surveillance Systems The access points to various parts of your property — driveways, gates, and

doors — are among the most vulnerable areas on the farm. They offer intruders an entry and provide horses with escape routes. A motion detector alarm includes a sensor mounted near a key access point, such as a gate. The sensor transmits a beam of either light or ultrasonic waves (depending on the type of sensor) across the front of the opening. When someone or something breaks the beam (for instance, when a person walks or drives through it), the sensor triggers an alarm that may ring at the gate, send a notification to your cell phone, or contact a designated monitoring service. A surveillance system adds a camera and recording equipment to capture video of whatever triggered the alarm, allowing you to see whether the alarm was caused by a stranger trespassing on your property, a teenager returning home late, or a horse making a break for it. Until recently, such surveillance systems were prohibitively expensive for the average farm owner. “Not anymore,” says James Curtiss, a security consultant at Sonitrol New England in Rocky Hill. “Advances in technology have made even very sophisticated surveillance systems affordable for most small and midsize farms.” Reliable outdoor motion sensor alarms can now be purchased for less than $200. Systems with cameras are available for less than $1,000. Many internet service providers offer reasonably priced security monitoring services for homes and small farms. One drawback to such access-point systems is that they only cover a limited area, such as a gate or door opening. “Farms are a challenge because so many of their valuable assets are outdoors,” James says. “How can you protect things that are spread out over a large area and that are not enclosed in walls?” The answer, James says, is thermal imaging. “Sonitrol uses advanced thermal imaging combined with video analytics. We pair a thermal imager with a high-definition camera and position it to cover the area that needs protection, such as a parking area or paddock. The thermal imager can distinguish between humans and horses, even down to animals the size of a squirrel. If a human [or loose horse] enters the virtual perimeter set up by the thermal imager, it sends an alarm signal to the monitoring station.” The cost for equipment and installation for such a system ranges from

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


Safeguarding Your Horses At any horse farm, equines are close to the top of the critical assets list. Making preparations and implementing procedures to safeguard the horses on your property is an excellent starting point for a robust horse farm security program. According to Stolen Horse International (SHI, a.k.a. about 40,000 horses are stolen in the United States each year. Some horses are stolen from barns, pastures, paddocks, or events; others are removed by rival parties in civil disputes, such as a divorce. Horses may also disappear after escaping from their pasture as a result of a natural disaster, or even when a rider falls off and a panicked horse bolts. Whether they are stolen or lost, only about 42 percent of missing horses are found and returned to their owner. The chances of recovering a missing horse go up dramatically if you can produce clear evidence that the horse is really yours. “Having solid identification and appropriate ownership documentation is the key to reuniting a lost or stolen horse with its owner,” says Pam Miller, vice president of Stolen Horse International. “Without proof of ownership, recovery can be a long, drawn-out battle.” Tattoos and branding can help with identification, but SHI recommends microchipping for definitive identification. Microchips are miniature electronic identification devices, about the size of a grain of rice, that are injected into a horse’s nuchal ligament (below the base of the mane roughly halfway down the horse’s neck). Once inserted, the chip emits radio signals that can be read using a special hand-held scanner, making it a permanent equine identification marker. Your horse’s microchip number should be registered with organizations like SHI, the Equine Protection Registry (, or the American Horse Council’s online Microchip LookUp Registry ( 10

SHI also recommends creating a Horse Identification Kit (HIDK) containing records and documents that will enable you to identify your horse and prove you own it. Your HIDK should include: • Your name and contact information • Your veterinarian’s contact information • Your horse’s registered name and barn name, age, breed, and sex • Breed registration information (if applicable) • Microchip number and registry, tattoo or brand numbers/descriptions (if applicable) • Vaccination records and current Coggins test

has been vandalized. Many of the practices that can be used to protect horses and buildings can also be utilized to protect tack, machinery, computers, electronics, and other equipment. Specifically, mark each saddle and piece of tack and equipment with a permanent number that will identify it as yours if it is stolen. Place the number in a hidden location and use the most permanent means possible to mark each item. Embossing and engraving are good choices for especially valuable items. Create an inventory of all machinery, computer equipment, security systems, tack, and equipment on your farm. Include vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and license plate numbers for all vehicles. Include descriptions with make, model, serial number, identification number, and photographs of every item on your inventory. Review your inventory with your insurance agent to confirm you have adequate coverage to replace items that may be stolen. Put an up-to-date copy of your inventory in your emergency information box (see below) and two other locations on your farm. Set an annual reminder on your smart phone to review your inventory list annually. For an added protection, consider registering your tack and equipment with, a free national property register linked into law enforcement systems for the recovery of stolen property. Kara Noble

$1,500 to $3,000. Monthly monitoring fees vary depending on the size of the area covered.

• A written description of your horse including coat colors and patterns, unique markings (e.g., whorls, scars) • A written list of medications and supplements, dietary restrictions, allergies, and health conditions • Current photographs of your horse’s face and both sides of its body (If your horse’s appearance changes between summer and winter, include photos that show seasonal variations.) Update your HIDK regularly. Put a reminder in your smartphone calendar to update it at regular intervals. Photos of your horse as a yearling may not be useful in identifying the same horse as a five-year-old. Keep copies of your HIDK in at least two separate locations and carry one with you whenever you travel off-property with your horse.

Safeguarding Tack, Vehicles, and Equipment Although horses are top security priorities on any horse farm, no one wants to discover that a $2,000 saddle has been stolen or their primary haying tractor

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

Biosecurity Fences also contribute to farm biosecurity, which focuses on precautions used to reduce exposure to and prevent the spread of illnesses. Biosecurity programs primarily protect against two types of illnesses: infectious diseases and contagious diseases. Infectious diseases are those that are not readily spread from one horse to another. Tetanus, West Nile virus, Potomac horse fever, and Lyme disease are examples of infectious diseases. Contagious diseases are illnesses that are easily passed from horse to horse.

Strangles, influenza, and rhinopneumonitis are contagious diseases. Because contagious diseases spread rapidly and outbreaks can be hard to control, biosecurity programs should strive to prevent horses from being exposed to pathogens, the tiny troublemakers — viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and worms — that cause illnesses. Pathogens thrive in wet environments. Nasal discharge, saliva, sweat, blood, urine, manure, and water buckets are likely to harbor them. Blankets, brushes, tack, human clothes, footwear, dirty fingers, or anything else exposed to those moist substances can pass contagious pathogens from one horse to the next. Insects (especially flies, ticks, and mosquitoes) deliver infectious pathogens when they bite. Rodents and wildlife can contaminate food, water, or equipment with pathogens they carry in their bodily fluids. A comprehensive biosecurity program includes structural and operational components. Structural biosecurity uses farm layout and structures such as fences and stalls to limit high-risk contact. Buffer zones (such as open lanes between paddocks) and quarantine areas for sick horses are structural biosecurity techniques. Operational biosecurity establishes rules and procedures to reduce disease exposure and transmission. Vaccinating horses, requiring health certificates for visiting horses, and frequent handwashing are operational biosecurity practices. The following tips can help you establish your biosecurity program, but consult your veterinarian about best practices for your farm’s unique situation.

Watch your water. Eliminate standing water and keep buckets, tanks, and waterers clean to reduce water-breeding insects. Keep hose nozzles out of buckets to avoid spreading pathogens. Keep feed storage areas clean. Store grain in metal containers with lids to avoid contamination. Avoid attracting wildlife. Don’t leave pet food outside. Eliminate clutter or overgrowth that provides habitat for wildlife near barns and paddocks. Skunks, opossums, raccoons, and groundhogs bring disease and/or property destruction. Provide running water and soap (or hand sanitizer) and encourage handwashing. Keep your barn clean to promote biosecurity. Don’t share tack, blankets, or equipment from horse to horse. If a horse gets sick, disinfect everything that has come into contact with him or his waste.

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Fire Security and Safety Fire presents another complicated security concern on the farm. Any spark can ignite a fire. Because sprinklers are prohibitively expensive for most farms, there are few effective options for con-

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Know normal health baselines for your horses. Monitoring behavior and taking vital signs (e.g., heart and respiratory rates, temperature) regularly will help spot signs of illness early. Isolate sick horses. New horses and horses showing signs of illness should be kept at least 150 feet from other horses. If possible, move the sick horse to another barn. Change clothes and disinfect footwear after handling a sick horse and before handling healthy ones.

Quarantine new horses for two to three weeks. Ensure there are no signs of illness before allowing physical contact with resident horses. Run a fecal test on new horses and deworm accordingly prior to ending quarantine.

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Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


trolling a barn fire once it starts. Fire prevention experts recommend these practices to help you lower the risk of barn fires: Ban smoking. Cigarettes or other smoking materials could ignite dust, cobwebs, hay, or other combustible materials.

Check electrical systems often and keep systems updated. Conduct regular checks for frayed wires, overloaded circuits, unsafe appliances, and extension cords. Clean up. Don’t let flammable materials accumulate in or around your barn. Store flammables away from horses. If possible, store hay in a separate building from the horses. Use temperature probes to monitor internal bale temperatures. Temperatures higher than 150 degrees indicate high fire danger; call the fire department for assistance. Vehicles, machinery, and fuel should be stored away from both hay and horses.

Install fire protection equipment. Consult your local fire department or fire prevention experts about which carbon monoxide detectors, fire alarms, and extinguishers are most appropriate for your barn. Ten-pound, class ABC extinguishers are appropriate for many barns. Mount extinguishers where they can be reached quickly. Ask your local fire department if they provide training on extinguisher use. Install lightning protection. A professionally installed lightning rod can channel a lightning strike harmlessly into the ground. Many losses can be prevented when lightning protection systems and surge arrestors are implemented as mitigation methods. “Lightning associated with thunderstorms and sometimes hurricanes can pose a variety of fire hazards,” says John McNamara of B & B Lightning Protection. “The massive power of lightning’s electrical charge and intense heat can induce destructive power surges through home and barn circuitry, burn holes in steel pipes, explode brick and roofing materials, and ignite home and barn fires.” “Professionally installed lightning protection systems are the best way to reduce the likelihood of a lightningcaused fire,” John says. “A lightning protection system provides a network of low resistance paths to intercept, in a safe manner, lightning’s dangerous electricity and direct it to the ground without any impact to a structure or its occupants.” 12

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

“Lightning rods do not attract or prevent lightning strikes,” he says. “A lightning protection system simply intercepts a lightning strike and provides a path to the ground to harmlessly discharge the dangerous electricity.” When searching and deciding on an installer always ensure and never settle for anything less than a company that is current and in good standing with their LPI and UL Master Installer certifications. Keep access routes clear. Make sure firefighters can reach your barn. Ensure driveways are clear and large enough to accommodate a fire engine. Keep escape routes clear and accessible. Hang a halter and lead rope by every stall. If possible, have exterior doors on each stall.

Have an evacuation plan and hold regular fire drills. Plan how evacuations should be handled and practice regularly, especially if you have new boarders or barn staff. Get horses used to being led out of the barn in a hurry. If you have a large farm, consider having fire department personnel help you with planning and scheduling a fire drill with them on site.

Partners in Protection In their downloadable PDF, Rural Security Planning: Protecting Family, Friends, and Farm (extension.purdue. edu/eden/ruralsecurity/security.html), the United States Department of Agriculture’s Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) says one of the most critical steps in preparing a comprehensive farm security plan is sharing information about that plan with local emergency responders. Here are three steps to improve how well emergency responders help you and your farm during a crisis. 1. Display your address prominently at the entrance to your farm. 2. Use reflective numbers at least three inches tall that are clearly visible from both sides of your mailbox, a post, or another marker at the main entrance to your farm. EDEN recommends using three-inch reflective numerals to improve night visibility. 3. Set up an Emergency Information Box (EIB). Install a locked Emergency Information Box on your farm that can provide emergency responders with critical information if you are not present during a crisis. For this purpose, a locking mailbox or emergency safe work well. Your EIB should contain a detailed map of the farm, emergency

contact names and phone numbers, the storage locations of fuel or hazardous chemicals, the location of power and water sources, a list of the major contents of each farm building and an HIDK for each equine on the farm. Notify local authorities of the location of this box and its keys or access codes. Keep a second copy of the same information in your house or office. Invite fire department, law enforcement, and EMS personnel to discuss safety and to tour your facility. Show them the location of water mains, electrical control boxes, fuel and chemicals, your emergency information box, as well as the location of horse stalls, paddocks, halters, and lead ropes.

who lives and works on the farm. Provide sufficient training so individuals can effectively play their role in maintaining farm security. Keeping your farm safe isn’t a simple job. In fact, it can often feel like a thankless one. But you won’t mind the work it takes to set up security procedures when they protect you, your family, and your horses from a situation that could have been a disaster.

Invest in Your Farm’s Safety

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You’ll find a comprehensive list of online resources for biosecurity, fire safety, identification and registration of horses and property, signage, and wildlife issues at Kara Noble has an Icelandic mare and a pair of mini donkeys at her farm in Montgomery and has ridden for most of her life. She’s a professional writer and editor and holds an MFA in creative nonfiction.

FARM SECURITY is a team effort for your family and staff. Communicate your security plans with everyone

• Serving Massachusetts and the Northeast, B&B Lightning Protection has over 100 years of combined installation experience and is the East Coast’s premier lightning protection contractor. • UL and LPI certified installer. • We treat every installation as if we’re installing on our personal homes and farms. Your farm and family’s safety are our number one priority. • It’s a small price to pay for the comfort of knowing your farm is protected. • Free estimates provided • Check with your Homeowners Insurance for possible discounts

Jesse Martineau

(609) 392-1929 |

Give us a call for a FREE estimate. 888-503-8248 Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


Lend a Hoof Plymouth by Alessandra Mele

Black Feather Horse Rescue


here’s a quiet, wooded path in Plymouth that curves down a hill, winding around pine trees. It leads to a barnyard sanctuary where 23 equines of all shapes, sizes, and colors graze peacefully in herds. Darlene Nickerson has followed this road each day for the last 15 years, and has never been more positive that it is the path she’s meant to be on. Before Darlene started Black Feather Horse Rescue, she wasn’t so sure where or what was her path in life. “I just prayed every day: ‘Please God,

try riding again,” Darlene says. “I had a friend who had the most beautiful palomino. The horse had suffered some abuse and terrible injuries. I started riding him and fell in love. His name was Luke. About a year later, my friend could no longer keep him, and asked if I would like to take him. I didn’t hesitate. He’d only been in my backyard for about three minutes, and the excitement I felt was like being a kid all over again.” Darlene cherished every moment with Luke, and found the time she

goats, chickens, rabbits, cats, and dogs down the street, selling her own home to help fund her vision. “I started thinking about rescuing and helping horses more and more, and began asking bigger questions,” Darlene says. “How do I do this right? How do I become a business? How do I become a nonprofit? I didn’t go to business school, but I figured it out.” Black Feather Horse Rescue was officially established in 2005. “I felt like I was finally walking my path,” Darlene says, through tears.

Darlene Nickerson and Murphy

I’m so lost, I don’t know who I am, or where I’m supposed to be,” Darlene says, remembering. “ ‘Could you please send me my path?’ ” A deep love for animals, a relentless desire to help, an unfaltering work ethic, and perhaps some divine intervention brought her to that path, and at the end of it was Black Feather Horse Rescue.

Off the Boat and into the Barn Darlene grew up riding horses, but for the Nickerson family, fishing was a way of life. “My family raises trout, and I fished for a living for a while,” Darlene says. “I got on a lobster boat with my brother, then jumped on a dragger [fishing trawler boat] for a number of years, but got off the boat when my mother got sick and I needed to care for her.” Darlene returned home to care for her mom after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, but Darlene felt she still hadn’t found her true purpose. Back on dry land, Darlene found time to explore her youthful love of horses once again. “I hadn’t had horses for 20 years, and decided I wanted to

spent with him to be very therapeutic as she cared for her mother. “He really helped me get through that difficult time,” Darlene says. But as horse ownership goes, it’s hard to have just one. “The following year, a friend asked if I could take three minis. So they came, and Luke was so happy to have equine friends,” Darlene says. “Then, I took in another mini stallion and his girlfriend. Then, there was a sick horse that needed help, so he came home too. I fit him into a little area off my deck, everyone else was separated with dog kenneling and whatever else I could find to just to keep the horses safe. At that point, I just said, ‘Okay God, I get it now. This is what I need to be doing.’ ” Darlene’s mother sadly passed away in 2003. During the next year, Darlene began plans to build a barn on her parents’ land, where her animals would have plenty of space and she could be with her dad to help him through the loss. In the fall of 2004, the barn was built and Darlene moved her horses,

14 Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

A Place for Miracles That path has been filled with joy, heartbreak, lessons, and lots and lots of horses. “I’m up to twenty-three equines here at the farm now, and plenty of other animals as well,” Darlene says. The herd at Black Feather is a sight to behold; a pair of towering draft horses cohabitate with a herd of minis, and a couple of donkeys keep company with llamas and pigs. Everyone lives together peacefully and each has a story. The farm itself has grown since the first barn went up, as Darlene has consistently made improvements toward an environment that best suits the diverse group of animals and humans in this sanctuary. A second, bigger barn now complements the original five-stall barn, and paddocks weave between the two structures and around towering pine trees. A stream flows throughout the whole property; a hatchery filled with trout. The beauty of the place still strikes Darlene daily, even having lived here her whole life. “There’s a sense of peace, and

because of the animals, there’s nothing but love and light. It’s just stunning,” she says, surveying the land she has so lovingly cultivated. There’s little doubt that the animals residing at Black Feather feel the same way; they seem to radiate gratitude in the way they gently nuzzle the outstretched hands of visitors. Most of them have special needs, and call this place their forever home. “I’ve gravitated toward being more of a sanctuary than just a rescue,” Darlene says. “I wish I could find everyone homes, it would allow me to help more animals, but what I’ve found is that it’s very challenging to find great homes for the older horses and horses with special needs. They’re at a point where they just need a final place to be loved, and this is it.” They are certainly loved. The care with which Darlene approaches every task on the farm is immense. She knows the particular needs and challenges of every resident, and does whatever she can to accommodate. “I really want to do the best I can for every horse and human here,” she says. “I want to know when I’m not doing something right, and then seek out the help and resources to make it better. I just love them all so much.” A prime example of what love can accomplish at Black Feather Horse Rescue stands towering over most everyone in the herd: a handsome Shire named Murphy. Murphy came to Darlene back in 2008, when he was battling a difficult digestive illness involving fungus in his guttural pouch. He was intended to be a police horse, but after examination at Tufts, he was not going to be able to return to work, and needed a home that could fund an operation and give him very specialized care. Darlene fell in love with the magnificent horse, and knew she could provide for him. “Three times a day, he was fed with a syringe through a tube in his neck. I did this every day for ten months, and I would have done anything for him,” Darlene says. “I just kept telling him we were going to get him fixed, even as the vet told me that he wouldn’t get better. Sure enough, he started eating on his own. He’d go for a run with the other horses, and got stronger and stronger. It was a miracle.” Murphy is just one of the miracles meandering through the corrals at Black Feather. A blind Arabian finds her way to breakfast with little assistance. A palomino that recently had a tumor removed thrives among his herd mates. A fleet of minis, which provide

therapy for children and the elderly, nip one another playfully. “We never, ever underestimate the power of love here,” Darlene says.

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Helping Horses, Helping Humans This powerful love extends not only to animals, but also to the people at Black Feather Horse Rescue as well. “When I started, I knew how healing these animals were, and wanted to reach out to people who could benefit most from them,” Darlene says. “Through the years I’ve worked with social workers who have brought kids to spend time with the horses, I’ve visited nursing homes and schools with my miniature horses and donkeys, and I welcome anyone to the farm who wants to experience a connection with animals.” In fostering these connections, Darlene has seen progress and breakthroughs for both the humans and horses involved, and finds this work very fulfilling. “This is therapy for the mind, body, and spirit, but we just call it ‘manure therapy’,” Darlene says, laughing. “It seems like the people who need us find their way to us, and the energy that comes to us has been beautiful. It’s a privilege to have my animals surrounded by that, and I hope the people that come here get something from us as well.” Darlene loves working with children in particular, and finds that they gravitate to the horses and can relate to them very well. “I told the story of Murphy to one of the social workers, who worked with kids that use feeding tubes — what a perfect connection!” Darlene says. “I suggested that those kids come down to meet Murphy, and it was beautiful to see. Murphy taught them that you never, ever give up hope.” Hope seems to be a force for unity at Black Feather, and the community that has assembled as a result is inspiring. “This community has helped me in so many ways, whether it’s physically, spiritually, financially, or otherwise,” Darlene says, with gratitude in her voice. “No matter how tired I get, I always feel like we can do more thanks to all of this amazing support. We have teams that come in throughout the week to help out, volunteers that help out with additional chores, businesses that volunteer their services and products — we even have a beer! A local brewery created the Black Feather Porter in benefit of us that features three of my horses on the label. It’s truly amazing!” Darlene feels incredibly fortunate

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for the support that she’s received, and there’s always more to do. “Donations are the biggest help. Our hay budget and veterinary expenses can be daunting, and every little bit helps,” she says. “Volunteer help is welcome, and I’m always open to everything and anything toward making this place the best it can be.” Now that Darlene has found her path, she intends to keep on it. “I would love to continue to just do my best, care for the animals I have, and help others in any way I can,” she says. “I want to keep walking in this direction, because God seems to think this is all happening in the right way. So I need to stick to this path.” That path has brought both terrible heartbreak and powerful moments of hope, but Darlene keeps walking, and all who live here and volunteer here are better for it. Want to lend a hoof? To learn more about how to volunteer and donate to help the horses, visit Alessandra Mele is a freelance writer and designer in Wilbraham. She enjoys spending time with the horses on her family’s farm, especially riding her Quarter Horse, JoJo. To see more of her work, visit

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


Farm Feature


by Alessandra Mele

Golden Rose Equestrian Center


ny day of the week, Julie Pickering is up before the sun, and can be found pulling on her paddock boots, ready to tend to the 22 horses that call Golden Rose Equestrian Center in Jefferson home. There are meals to make, stalls to muck, horses to turn out, and rides to catch. Julie has owned Golden Rose for one year now, and largely tackles all

horses through high school, competing in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) while she was in boarding school at Tabor Academy in Marion and riding when she was able. For college, she headed down to Florida to Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg where she was able to immerse herself in the equine industry and ride to her heart’s content.

Julie Pickering and Uptown

Laura Shook-Blandin and Hope

these responsibilities herself. “I love it every day, all day,” Julie says, bursting with early morning energy. Moving down the aisle of the main barn, Julie is keyed into the needs of every horse in her care, and knows each of their quirks, diets, and favorite scratchy spots by heart. “I take care of everything because that way, I can really know what’s going on with each horse,” she says. It’s that personal investment that Julie has made to ensure each horse’s well-being that has allowed Golden Rose to flourish in its first year of business, and why clients can’t imagine trusting their horses with anyone else.

Sowing the Seeds Julie’s energy stems from the satisfaction that she is living out her dream of owning and managing her own stable, the seed for which was planted when she was just a pony-loving kid. “I’ve been riding forever,” she says, laughing. “I received my first pony when I was four years old. My wonderful parents bought her with their savings bonds, and I rode her up through the Children’s Ponies. She was a dear.” Julie remained passionate about 16

eager to put away the books and hop into the saddle. “I realized, when I was sitting in afterschool faculty meetings tapping my toes and thinking about how many horses there were to ride and kids there were to teach, that this is what I really wanted to be doing with my time,” Julie says. “I decided it was time to embark on the journey toward making horses my life, and I started

It was in Florida that she developed a deep love for off-the-track Thoroughbreds, and got a taste of training. “I rode at Fox Lea Farm in Venice, competed at HITS, and had the chance to ride a lot of off-the-track Thoroughbreds,” Julie says. “I would get on a green one, train it up, move it on, and then start on another one. I found it very fulfilling to see these horses get a second career, and as a result I’m a big advocate for the breed.” When college was over in 2015, Julie moved to South Carolina, where she spent time coaching IEA, managing a farm, and gaining experience training young riders. She had also landed a fulltime job as a high school science teacher, and balanced her two roles with very little sleep. “I was really tired,” Julie says. “I would wake up at four a.m., go feed the horses, turn them out, go teach high school science, come home, ride, teach lessons, take care of horses until dark, go to sleep, and wake up to do it all over again.” After hustling like this for four years, Julie found increasingly that her mind was wandering toward the barn during the day, and she was always

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

exploring what it would take to purchase my own barn and start my own business.” Julie decided to move back to Massachusetts, where she could be closer to family and have a strong support system around her as she began this new chapter. After lots of planning and research, she found an ideal equestrian property in Jefferson where she could envision her dream blossoming into reality. She purchased the 20-acre stables in the summer of 2018, and jumped right into devoting her life fully to the new Golden Rose Equestrian Center.

The Barn of Her Dreams Julie has certainly done a lot of planning in the year that has unfolded since acquiring Golden Rose, but it’s evident that the excitement she felt on the day she took ownership hasn’t wilted one bit. “It’s a labor of love. That’s what everyone says, and I’m finding it to be absolutely true,” Julie says. “This is a really beautiful facility and it is a joy to keep it all running smoothly. Care and amenities are the number one priority here.”

One look at the stunning property and there’s no doubt where Julie’s priorities are. At the end of a quiet, wooded road, Golden Rose Equestrian Center backs up to acres and acres of conservation land, with direct trail access for riders. The three barns that make up the facility offer 26 stalls altogether, with plenty of grass, dirt, and run-out style options for turnout. Horses are happily outside most of the time, with morning, full day, and overnight turnout schedules catering to the needs of a diverse group of equines. Roomy stalls and ample turnout are complemented by outstanding facilities for riding. Attached to the main barn is a 180' x 100' indoor riding arena, perfect for year-round riding on mixed fiber footing, and outside is a neatly groomed 200' x 300' outdoor ring dotted with jumps. Along with easy access to miles of trails, this is a magnificent place to ride and train. As a result, there is plenty of riding and training going on every day. Golden Rose Equestrian Center caters to hunter, jumper, equitation, and dressage riders, with opportunities to train and compete at all levels. “We have a lesson program and I work closely with clients to help them best connect with their horses,” Julie says. “We compete regionally, going out to shows at Fieldstone, Westbrook Hunt Club, Norfolk Hunt Club, and up to Vermont.” In addition to riding several of her client’s horses day to day, Julie enjoys working with her own young horses, an Oldenburg and two Thoroughbreds. “They’re all coming along nicely!” she says, smiling. Taking the reins of an already wellestablished facility was not a responsibility Julie took lightly, and she hasn’t missed a beat in terms of providing consistently excellent horse care. “I want the horses to be happy here, and I want clients to have peace of mind and confidence that their horses are always in good hands,” Julie says with absolute certainty. Susan Tanona boards her two horses, Snowy and Celeste, at Golden Rose Equestrian Center and had kept them at the facility well before Julie purchased it in 2018. Since the transition, Susan has been nothing short of impressed. “When Julie bought the facility, she worked hard to establish her reputation, and she continues to work hard every

day to provide excellent care,” says Susan. “My retired horse, Snowy, requires a lot of extra care and attention, and Julie does whatever it takes to keep her feeling her best. Julie also rides my pony, Celeste, from time to time, and she is just a lovely rider. I can’t say enough good things about her and the facility, and to be honest, there’s no where else I would rather be.”

In Full Bloom It’s clear that community is strong at Golden Rose Equestrian Center, and Julie has embraced the friendships and connections she’s made, finding support where she needs it. “I love our community,” Julie says. “My boarders are super awesome, they all help out when it’s needed, and they always put the farm and the horses first, which is most important to me.” Susan appreciates those priorities, and has seen the barn community as a whole benefit from it. “We’re all super grateful that Julie was able to take over and provide such a high level of care, and it’s been exciting to see it all take off as she works so hard,” she says. On the morning of my visit, Julie seems content as she delivers breakfast, preps the morning turnout crew, and thinks ahead to the horses she’ll ride that day. “When I’m training, I always stress patience; we always take our time, go slow, and stay mindful that these are animals and we need to communicate better with them,” Julie says. “Everyone sets goals and those goals take time to achieve.” This philosophy translates beautifully into what she’s accomplishing at Golden Rose Equestrian Center. The progress Julie has made in her first year is significant, and with hard work and dedication Golden Rose continues to blossom into an outstanding facility. “Going forward, I’m really focused on helping people develop great connections with their horses,” says Julie. “I want Golden Rose to continue to be a place that everyone is one hundred percent confident in. For clients and their horses to be happy and comfortable.” Alessandra Mele is a freelance writer and designer in Wilbraham. She enjoys spending time with the horses on her family’s farm, especially riding her Quarter Horse, JoJo. To see more of her work, visit




Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


Horseperson Feature


Katie Rocco Dragonfly Farm


him on his farrier visits to the nearby Fairfield Hunt Club, where she met renowned pony trainer Emerson Burr. She began taking lessons with Emerson and seized every learning opportunity presented to her, from riding in local shows to hot walking polo ponies. When her mother and stepfather split up in 1973, Katie was devastated.

ity where Katie boarded and trained horses and gave lessons. Katie’s interest in dressage increased during the early 1980s, when she competed through Prix St. Georges and schooled through Grand Prix, but eventing remained her passion. In the mid 1980s, she rode with American eventer Kim Walnes, owner of the leg-

John moved to Ohio and she and her mother relocated to Sheffield. Horses helped her through the tough transition. “I joined the Whip and Willow Pony Club,” she says. “They introduced me to eventing and I rode through Preliminary level there.” She gained more saddle time catch riding and breezing horses at the Great Barrington racetrack. In 1980, George Villa, owner of Mountain Valley Equestrian Center in Southbury, Connecticut, hired Katie to work with young horses at his second farm on Skiff Mountain in Sharon, Connecticut. “George did all his own breeding and he sent his youngsters to the Skiff Mountain farm for starting and training before they went to work at Mountain Valley,” Katie says. “One year I started seven babies by myself. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.” While she was working at Skiff Mountain, Katie met mechanical engineer, motorcyclist, and formula continental racecar driver Doug Rocco. After dating for several years, the two married. In 1983, the couple bought a heavily wooded piece of land in Colebrook, Connecticut, cleared it, and built their first barn using nearly 50,000 board feet of lumber harvested from the property. They gradually expanded their farm into a thriving 26-horse equestrian facil-

endary Irish Draught Sport Horse, The Gray Goose, considered by many to be the top three-day eventing horse in the U.S. at the time. Katie mentioned to Kim that she wanted to get involved with Irish horses herself. Kim introduced her to Linda Downes, an Irish veterinary technician who had long served as Kim’s groom. When Katie called Linda to discuss importing Irish horses in 1987, the two women discovered they were both pregnant and shared the same due date. That call was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and business partnership. Together Katie and Linda founded Shannon Equine Imports, which helps U.S. equestrians locate and import Irish Sport Horses. They shipped their first horse from Ireland to the U.S. in 1989. Their most recent import, a two-year-old filly, arrived in August 2019. When daughter Cailin was born in 1988, Doug wanted to spend more time at home so he could play a more active parenting role. He and Katie created a work-at-home opportunity by purchasing Still River Designs from Katie’s uncle, copper weathervane artist John Garret Thew. “I do the artwork and Doug crafts my designs into handmade copper mailboxes and signs,” Katie says. “We’ve

Kara Noble

sk dressage and eventing instructor, horse trainer and U.S. Dressage Federation (USDF) “L” judge Katie Rocco how she began her career working with horses and she’ll tell you about her Italian stepfather. “He was a farrier and sculptor,” Katie says. “His name was John LaSala, but

Kara Noble

by Kara Noble

everyone called him John the Blacksmith. He was probably the most influential person in my life. I met him when I was six years old and my mother and I were living in Westport, Connecticut, after my parents divorced.” Katie’s mom, artist Robin Thew, wasn’t a horseperson, but John shared his stepdaughter’s passion for horses. To give Katie opportunities to ride, he would shoe and trim in exchange for permission to use his client’s horses to give her riding lessons. When she was nine, John surprised her with a neglected, underweight Shetland pony from a farm where he trimmed. “The pony’s name was Midnight,” Katie says. “I couldn’t ride him for several months because he was so emaciated. We kept him at the blacksmith shop and John taught me how to bring him back to health.” John ensured that his stepdaughter understood the importance of horse care responsibilities. “I remember sitting on the couch,” she says, “and John asked me ‘Does your pony have fresh hay and water?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘You know, your pony can’t call out for a drink or ask for something to eat.’ I decided to go to the barn and check on him. John used subtle nudges like that to teach me that the horse must always come first.” Katie’s stepfather took her with 18

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

kept that company going alongside our horse business for 32 years. Since 2013, Doug has also owned and operated Blue Chip Diesel specializing in fuel pumps and replacement components for 1998 to 2002 Dodge and Ford trucks. When you’re self-employed, you have to wear a lot of different hats.” Continuing education has long been an essential component of Katie’s commitment to excellent horsemanship. In 1993, she became a USDF “L” graduate with distinction. At the time, she expected to step right into the USEF “r” level judge’s program, but life took her in another direction. In 1993, Katie, Doug, and Cailin moved from Connecticut to Sandisfield, Massachusetts, where they leased a beautiful 95-acre property they dubbed Dragonfly Farm. (They purchased the farm in 2000.) The family devoted a huge percentage of their time in the early 1990s to developing the new farm — adding barns, fencing large turnout paddocks, laying down an all-weather rubber dressage arena, and building cross-country schooling fences. In addition to her own busy schedule, Katie supported Cailin’s Pony Club and competition activities and Doug’s racing career. She found time to collaborate with her mother on a children’s book, Katie’s Dream, which was inspired by a set of sculptures Robin created about Katie’s childhood love of horses. Those sculptures were originally displayed in the windows of Tiffany’s Jewelry Store in New York City. Katie enhanced her instructor and trainer credentials by completing the United States Eventing Association’s Instructor Certification Program to become a Level II instructor in 2004. And in 2011, she gained certification as a United States Hunter Jumper Association trainer. During the same period, Katie competed her Dutch Warmblood mare, La Kennedy, through fourth level and Prix St. Georges, and the pair earned a USDF silver medal in 2012. The work that went into earning that silver also prepared her to finally move forward with her goal of attaining “r” status as a dressage judge. After a rigorous year of preparation, Katie took her “r” level final exams in August 2019. She’s optimistic the news will be positive when the results are announced in a few months. Her life shifted again in 2016, when the husband of Linda Downes, Katie’s partner in Shannon Equine Imports, died of cancer. To buoy her friend’s

spirit and give her a new mission, Katie suggested expanding their business into a tour company that would center on the rich riding opportunities in County Clare. Linda agreed, and Shannon Equine Imports became Shannon Equine Tours and Imports. Katie and Linda offered their first riding tours to Ireland in 2017. Each weeklong trip is designed to allow travelers to experience Ireland not as tourists, but as friends and members of a close-knit rural community. Tour groups are small (six people or fewer) to maximize personal attention and flexibility. During their stay, tour participants live in a large cottage in a village overlooking the River Shannon where it flows into the Atlantic. Before departure, Katie meets with travelers to discuss options for riding and sightseeing activities. “We offer rides for various ability levels — from an amble through the Burren to a gallop up the beach,” she says. “Linda’s niece owns the largest indoor arena in western Ireland (in Limerick) for those who want to take lessons, and we have options for cross-country lessons for more accomplished riders.” Shannon Equine Tours also offers non-horse related activities, including a dolphin watch, a haunted-castle tour, horse-drawn cart rides, golfing, fishing, and (of course) plenty of Irish music, dancing, and opportunities to taste a hot Irish whiskey or a pint of Guinness at the local pub. Katie and Doug have also added regular trips to Florida to their travel itinerary. In 2017, they acquired Dragonfly Farm South, a seven-stall barn in Williston, Florida, just minutes from the Winter Horse Circuit in Ocala. How does Katie manage to excel in so many areas of horsemanship, art, and business? Again, she credits her stepfather. “His generosity and way of teaching convinced me that anything is possible if your heart is in the right direction, if you make a full commitment, and you look for the most pure outcome. Because of what he taught me, if anybody told me I couldn’t accomplish something, I’d laugh at them. That attitude has helped me accomplish so many things.” Kara Noble has an Icelandic mare and a pair of mini donkeys at her farm in Montgomery and has ridden for most of her life. She’s a professional writer and editor and holds an MFA in creative nonfiction.

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Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


Horse Logic

One Horse’s Dis-Ease Can Affect Another

by Nicole Birkholzer


n the previous issue, I discussed how a significant job change can bring forth unexpected or undesired behaviors in a horse. (Massachusetts Horse, August/September 2019: A New Horse in Your Life) When we look at the new job from the horse’s point of view, we can help the horse with this transition. Through the years, I’ve discovered five areas that can influence our horse’s state of mind and create ease or dis-ease for the horse: the people who surround the horse, the work the horse is asked to perform, the herd the horse lives with, the environment the horse lives in, and the individual horse’s state of health.

Caring Across Fence Lines Jane Strong, founder and senior instructor at The Equus Effect in Sharon, Connecticut, booked a phone consultation with me to check in with her horse Dutch, a beautiful Arabian pinto cross. Not only had Dutch recently suffered a couple of colic episodes requiring veterinary care, but he had also lost weight and seemed overall more agitated than usual. Focusing on his photo, I tuned in to Dutch and asked him to share what was going on. Right away, I received a message that he was concerned about a fellow herd mate. I asked Jane if she had noticed that either of her other two horses was not well. Jane replied that the other horses were fine. As she spoke, Dutch perked up, and I heard the word change. I asked Jane if she had plans to change her herd. Was a horse leaving or a new one coming? Jane said she had no plans to make any changes to her herd. How curious. I had to gather more information from Dutch so I tuned into his body. The moment I did, I could feel his concern as nervous energy in my stomach. Dutch was worried about someone close to him. I wondered if it was maybe a person or possibly the farm dog. When I asked Dutch about this, he replied, “No.” His concern was about a herd mate. Sensing the urgency behind Dutch’s 20

worry I spoke with Jane. “I’ve got to honor what Dutch is telling me,” I said. “Let’s think about it from all angles. Is there any change, any little thing you might have noticed about your herd that could be troublesome to Dutch?” Jane was quiet for a moment and then said, “The only change I can think

Jane and I were stunned and quiet for a moment. It made sense. As herd animals, horses find safety in numbers, and they look out for each other even across fence lines and roads. It was clear that Babe needed a companion to overcome her loneliness, and Jane promised to speak Babe’s owner. A few weeks later, two miniature donkeys joined Babe, and Dutch relaxed, gained weight, and was back to being Dutch.

One Horse’s Trouble Affects Another Rusty, a former hunter pony, was now a therapy horse. He was perfect for the job — always willing to be groomed by the riders, quiet in the mounting area, and well behaved during lessons. And then one day, out of the blue, Rusty, groomed and tacked for his lesson, stopped at the gate and resisted going into the indoor arena. The volunteer leading him was perplexed as Rusty had been walkDutch and Babe ing along nicely on the way from the barn to the arena. She didn’t understand why he had stopped in his of is that our neighbors just lost one of their horses. They had two draft horses, tracks when they had arrived at the gate. She called for help, but no and the gelding just recently passed amount of pulling or prodding from away. They still have one horse, Babe, a either the volunteer or the instructor mare, and Dutch and I have gone to could change Rusty’s mind. visit her a few times because I feel so The equine manager of the therabad for her. She’s grieving the loss of peutic riding center booked a barn call her companion.” with me, with the hope I could help figAs Jane talked, I could feel Dutch’s ure out why Rusty suddenly resisted energy change; the worry and tension I going into the indoor arena. felt a moment ago were subsiding. We As I watched Rusty in the paddock, I had tapped into the cause of his concern. saw that he was paired up with Beau, an “That’s the one, Jane,” I said. anxious Thoroughbred. Beau was not “Dutch is worried about Babe.” part of the therapeutic riding program. “But she isn’t our horse, she’s not He was a boarder whose owner had part of his herd,” Jane said. fallen ill and couldn’t come to the barn As it turns out, Dutch thought for a few weeks. The staff had decided otherwise. When I told Dutch that Babe was not that Rusty, always being a good sport, would keep the other gelding company part of his herd, he gave me a bird’s eye while the owner was recuperating. view of his property and the property Beau was restless, pushing Rusty off across the way. He showed me that Babe, though not living at his barn, was still part his hay, not once, or twice, but every time Rusty had settled in at a new pile. I of the herd. The five, now four, horses also noticed that Beau didn’t allow were the only ones at the end of the dirt road, and Dutch explained that fences — Rusty to come anywhere near the fence or gate to say hello to us. Rusty was selor property lines for that matter — do dom allowed to stand anywhere to rest, not determine who belongs to a herd.

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

even for a moment, before Beau came into his space and moved him off again. When it was time for Rusty to get ready for a lesson it took two people to get him out of the paddock — one person had to distract Beau with hay while the other person quickly haltered Rusty and rushed him out of the gate. I told the staff what I’d noticed and explained that Beau displayed his anxiety by overmanaging Rusty. And that Rusty was overwhelmed and unsettled by this behavior. Because Rusty was so overwhelmed in the paddock, he was happy to escape it and walk into the barn to be groomed and tacked. To leave the paddock was a reprieve. The question remained, Why didn’t he want to enter the indoor arena for his lesson?

Taking Care of His Rider When I asked Rusty why he stopped at the gate, he showed me that he didn’t feel he was safe to carry a rider. He knew his job was to take care of his riders but considering how uneasy he felt, he couldn’t take responsibility for another being. Rusty knew that anything, an outburst from a rider, or one of the other horses coming into his personal space, could push him over the edge and turn him from nice to naughty in a flash. Based on my recommendation, the therapy program’s manager moved Rusty into another paddock with some of his familiar herd mates, and within a few days Rusty recuperated and gladly rejoined the lesson program in the indoor arena. We have so much to learn about horses and herd dynamics. As sentient beings, horses require a herd to feel safe, and, as Dutch and Rusty showed us, when a fellow herd member is not well, it can create dis-ease in others. The next time your horse shows an unexpected or undesired behavior, consider if anything has changed within the herd. It might just lead you to the source of the distress. Nicole Birkholzer is an equine behavior and communication specialist, originally from Germany, who works with horses and riders across the globe. Nicole helps people create mindful connections with their horses by attuning to and communicating with horses in meaningful and effective ways. Her focus is to understand the logic behind horses’ behaviors and the wisdom in their expression. Interested in building a meaningful, mindful relationship with your horse? Check out Nicole’s webinar series Horse Logic at online-learning. Nicole also offers private barn calls, phone consultations, and workshops.

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Trail Guide

East Brimfield

by Stacey Stearns

Grand Trunk Trail


In Brimfield, you can ride southeast to the Quinebaug River where the trail ends. “I love riding GTT because the trails have amazing footing and they’re pretty flat, which seems to be hard to find in New England,” says Meghan Drysdale, an equestrian from Brimfield who recommended we come explore the area. “The trails are pretty quiet with a route that goes to a river that my horse and I swim in, and also a lake that we swim in too. The trails offer so much!”

Five Bridge Road, and connected to Route 20 in Sturbridge. Bikers, walkers, and dogs all shared the trail with me on a perfect Sunday afternoon in August. We also rode past two different hayfields on the Lake Siog Pass trail with farmers out baling hay. The first was near Five Bridge Road, and the second was on the short stretch of road before arriving at East Brimfield Lake. Footing is crushed stone, dirt, and gravel. Roots cross the trail in some places, and small stones comprise much of the gravel footing. There were also

However, his legacy lives on through user groups and trail advocates for the Grand Trunk Trail (GTT) and the proposed 66-mile Titanic Rail Trail to run from Palmer to Franklin. The Grand Trunk Trail connects the Quinebaug River Valley towns of Brimfield, Sturbridge, and Southbridge in central Massachusetts. There are two parallel trails in many places on the GTT: one was part of the railway, the other was the Springfield to Sturbridge trolley line. GTT is part of the Titanic Rail Trail, named in Hays’ memory. GTT is about six miles long and travels in an east-west direction. The Sturbridge Trails Committee, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), the Friends of the Titanic Rail Trail, and the Friends of Sturbridge Trails all help maintain the GTT. GTT connects two USACE recreation areas, and travels through conserved open space lands. On my ride I went to the East Brimfield Lake Recreation Area, maintained by the USACE, and rode the GTT from there.

A Leg Up

larger stones on Five Bridge Road; I recommend hoof protection. In some sections of the trail, there was swampy water on both sides, and lots of wetland areas throughout. Since the Quinebaug River is always nearby, and this is flood control land, it’s to be expected. It also means that bugs are more prevalent. I used a good dose of fly spray before heading out, but with a gentle breeze blowing only had a few deer flies to contend with. I saw a couple of hoof-sized holes while I was out riding. Even though it’s beautiful footing, remember that these trails are in a flood area, and always watch your footing. The trails are wide so it’s easy to avoid the holes.

Stacey Stearns

harles M. Hays was a man with a vision. He was the president of the Grand Trunk Railway, which was based in Montreal, and wanted to open a second railway with a southern port in Providence, Rhode Island. He traveled to England and secured funding from the financial backers of Grand Trunk Railway. Then, he booked passage home on the Titanic. Hays was one of the passengers who perished with the sinking of the Titanic, and with his death, the Grand Trunk Railway lost its biggest supporter.


Use 220 Five Bridge Road in Brimfield (or Holland, depending on your GPS) for your navigation system. Five Bridge Road is a dirt road. If you come in from Mashapaug Road in Holland, you’ll pass agricultural fields, and then you’ll see forest road gates on either side of the road. To the right is the Lake Siog Pass Trail. I continued down Five Bridge Road, and crossed the Quinebaug River on a narrow bridge. After the bridge, the road was like a washboard; drive slowly. I parked in a grassy area on the right just beyond the bridge, with the next trail crossing area in sight. This one was for GTT and the Trolley Trail. My truck and trailer were completely off the road, and I had plenty of room to tack up. Five Bridge Road isn’t heavily traveled. There is another large grassy area just past the trailhead, and further up on the right was a small parking lot, although there isn’t a lot of room for a truck and trailer. When it was time to leave I kept driving down

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

Out Riding It Large pine trees line the trail and create a shady canopy to ride through. With the blue sky and puffy white clouds peeking through in the distance it was an idyllic ride. I rode the GTT and Trolley Trail in both directions off of Five Bridge Road. Lots of side trails

head off into the woods, offering ample opportunities to explore both here and on Lake Siog Pass. Because the trolley trail and rail trail run parallel to each other, there are ample opportunities to swap from one to the other. I rode one on the way out, and the other on the way back so that I could see everything. Small signs with arrows marked the trails at regular intervals. Markers were even along the trail. I studied the East Brimfield Lake area map that was posted on the USACE site, and saved it to my phone, but never needed to consult it. Trails are beautifully maintained. Sides of the trails were mowed, but ample patches of clover and grass allowed my horse to snack along the way. There was an area on the GTT with wren houses, on Lake Siog Pass I saw bluebird houses, and benches were sporadically placed on the trails. A butterfly danced along down the trail in front of me at one point when I was on the GTT. A chorus of insects could regularly be heard, and birds were flitting about everywhere. I startled a little garden snake out of some grass on the side of the trail, but my mare never noticed it. After riding GTT, I came back to

Five Bridge Road, rode past my rig, over the bridge, and out on Lake Siog Pass. I rode this trail all the way out to East Brimfield Lake before turning around and coming back. The gate crossing just after the bridge over the Quinebaug River on Lake Siog Pass is narrow; I got off and led my horse around that gate. After I got around this gate, I rode down the road and past a few houses before heading back onto Lake Siog Pass on the right. There were two more gates to go around before I came out at the East Brimfield Lake Recreation area. I

stopped at the boat launch area on the Quinebaug River before it crosses under the road into the lake to water my horse. I was out exploring these woods for hours, and wouldn’t have minded staying for a few more hours. It’s hard to pick one thing that was my favorite part of this ride. I loved it all, and know that I’ll be coming back to ride the GTT again soon. Happy trails! Stacey Stearns, a lifelong equestrian from Connecticut, enjoys trail riding and endurance with her Morgan horses.

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town of Grafton and abuts Warren Brooks Watershed Area, connecting to trails in Upton, including Upton State Forest.

horse and rider complete obstacles on the trail. October 19 is the Mount Jefferson Ride, sponsored by Crothers Tire. This event will

Fall is the best time to hit the trails. The weather is cooler, the bugs are gone, and the foliage is spectacular. BSTRA invites you to join us on one of our upcoming fall rides. October 13 is the Lea MacInnis Judged Pleasure Ride that was rescheduled due to dangerously hot weather earlier in the year. Sponsored by Bellingham Animal Hospital, this ride will be held at Pell Farms Conservation area off Stow Road in Grafton. The 153acre area is owned by the

Becky Kalagher

Bay State Trail Riders Association

Angie and Bill Knott at the Bay State Trail Riders Association’s 2018 Mount Jefferson Ride in Hubbardston. This year’s ride is on October 19.

Participants have the option of riding judged or unjudged. Judged riders will be scored on how correctly

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Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

be held at the Mount Jefferson Conservation Area in Hubbardston. The trails at this location are wonderful,

passing through woods and along the edge of fields. The scenery should be glorious, so reserve the date on your calendar. The following day, October 20, is the Robinson State Park Ride in Agawam, sponsored by J.F. Cove Insurance Agency. The trails on this property are lovely, skirting along the Westfield River. When in Robinson State Park, it is hard to imagine the city is so close by. What would October be without BSTRA’s Big Pumpkin Ride? This year’s event, sponsored by Homefield Credit Union, will be held at Upton State Forest on October 27 and is sure to be filled with spooky fun and good food. Costumes are encouraged! The annual Turkey Trot, sponsored by BNY Mellon Wealth Management, is

November 3 at Myles Standish State Forest in Carver. The trails at Myles Standish are wonderful for stretching out. After the ride, you can hunt for “turkeys” in the woods. Maybe you’ll bring home a prize! And finally, be sure to stop by the BSTRA booth at Equine Affaire. We’d love to see you. To learn more about these rides and BSTRA, visit See you on the trails! 7 Annamaria Paul

Hampshire County Riding Club After an exciting, horse-filled summer, the riding season is once again approaching the finish line. We’ve held three interesting and informative clinics at our club grounds. We also hosted a variety of trail rides in popular areas such as the Chesterfield Gorge, Kenneth Dubuque State Forest, and Northfield Mountain Recreation Area; informal Thursday evening rides; and a Fun-Day. We enjoyed a weekend of riding and camping at Wagon Wheel Campground. At club meetings we’ve had speakers Liz Piacentini on increasing your riding mental fitness, and Dr. Masoud Hashemi on pasture management, along with Barb Macon’s liberty obstacle demonstration. In September, Barb Macon of Sterling Rewards Natural Horsemanship held a One-on-One Clinic at the club where she devoted a full hour per horse and handler/rider for professional help on issues of choice. The popular choice among the participants was to learn the techniques used in teaching a horse to perform obstacles at liberty. Barb came prepared with a wide variety of obstacles so participants could learn the skills to continue the training at home. We hosted a TREC clinic

by Burnshirt Hills Equestrian Facility. TREC is a trail/obstacle sport originating in Europe that includes phases on specific obstacles, pace control, and orienteering. At our clinic, the emphasis was on the correct completion of the obstacles and pace control. Participants were instructed on the proper completion of each obstacle, had time to practice, followed by competition on the same obstacles in the afternoon. On October 13, the Hilltown Misfits 4-H Club Fun Day and HCRC Scavenger Hunt will take place at the club. The Fun Day features horseback games, old and new, for all ages. There’s even a lead line division for the littlest riders. The Scavenger Hunt takes place in our two miles of woodland trails where riders have to find mystery objects in a timed event. Both events are open to the public. Our year’s activities will end with our Annual Meeting on October 19 at Paisano’s Restaurant in Southampton, where we’ll meet in the banquet room for socializing, dining, a guest speaker, and silent auction. We'll be drawing the winners for the Equine Affaire tickets fundraiser raffle and more. Join HCRC for 2020! To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook. 7 Diane Merritt

Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council As Hurricane Dorian moved off to sea, riders of many seats trailered into Briggs Stable in Hanover for the MHC’s Classic Horse Show and Pleasure Finals. The lead line classes were filled with future riders with talent galore and lots of bling on the western riders. The hunt seat classes had riders looking ready to head for the Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


Life. Winning the MHC/ South Shore Horsemen’s Council Walk Trot 11 and Over Classic was Cadence Scheer riding Katie Ann. Tara Clark riding R Fancy

charger. The Classics were pinned to tenth place. MHC is excited to announce that we will be combining our 2019 yearend awards banquet with the

Lise Krieger

hunt field, and high-stepping saddle seat horses trotting around the ring made for a very competitive day. When the show broke for lunch, the Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award was awarded to Peyton Devonshire, a shining example of what a young horseperson should portray. This award is given to the youth (under 18) who has shown the best horsemanship and sportsmanship at the event. This is the junior who is working hard with a great attitude. After many prizes and championships were given out, the Pleasure Classics, double judged by Steve Lampson of Pompano Beach, Florida, and John Whalen of Middleboro, were the highlight of the day. Winning the Walk Trot Pleasure Classic 10 and Under was Tory Devonshire riding Stoneleigh Flair For

The Hampshire County Riding Club held a TREC Clinic and Competition in September. TREC is a trail/obstacle sport originating in Europe that includes phases on specific obstacles, pace control, and orienteering.

Deelite won the MHC Hunter Pleasure Classic. All riders received a rosette, neck sash, and a silver

New England Horsemaen’s Council’s banquet. The combined banquet will be taking place on Saturday, February

8, 2020, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milford. MHC will continue to host some of the fun events at the banquet that we’ve included in the past. A few of these include bringing back the Table Centerpiece Competition, the Balloon Man, our great deejay and, of course, dancing after dinner, and the presentation of awards. Our hope in providing the combined event this year is to relieve some of the cost of the annual banquet season as well as to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules. Mark your calendars and start thinking about centerpiece ideas! 7 Paulajean O’Neill

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year. Preparation for the All American Quarter Horse Congress, held in Columbus, Ohio, October 1 to 27 is complete. Tentative meetings for MQHA members are posted on In order to receive year-end awards, members must attend two meetings between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. 7 Lori Mahassel

New England Equestrian Center of Athol NEECA welcomed the fall season with its annual NEECA Campout. This fun weekend event was held September 6 to 8 at the NEECA Park on New Sherborn Road in Athol. The park started filling up Friday night as campers set up camp in the large grassy field behind the Confidence Course. Friday night was challenging weather-wise, with high winds and torrential rain, but, Saturday brought beautiful fall weather as more campers arrived. The event coordinator was Margo Petrocone, who was behind the scenes making sure everything got off the ground as planned. While this event was a NEECA function, it was unique this year as the Northeast Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Network joined in as a partner organization. They enthusiastically helped with the weekend activities, adding support and many extra hands. Saturday started with fun games in the main arena and a Trick Horse Clinic was scheduled for Saturday afternoon with Philip Whitmore. A Versatility Clinic was held on Sunday afternoon with Peter Whitmore. The Northeast Wild Horse and Burro Adoption network also planned raffles, demonstrations, games, trail rides, food, drawings, and prizes for the entire weekend. In addition, NEECA held a tack and tag sale. People could opt to come for the day to participate in the clinics, demonstrations, raffles, and other fun activities, or they could spend the night with their horse(s) and camp out. There was a potluck supper Saturday night, followed by a moonlight ride through the park trails, which is always a huge hit. A beautiful, community campfire was held afterward and enjoyed by everyone. What could be better than waking up Sunday morning to your horse right outside your trailer or tent? Perhaps a relaxing Sunday breakfast? Margo also

Eastern Regional Pleasure Trail Ride

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New! r Senio 5 6 Over n! o i Divis

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Equestrian Area, just off Main Street near the center of town. Blessed with serene Mill Pond at its heart, the area offers wooded hills and wet

longeing), people- and horsefriendly boardwalks, and even a horse wading beach. The inviting multi-use area also serves families, dogs (leashed and loose), bicy-

Donna Disario

coordinated this for the campers and NEECA members all pitched in to cook and serve. Following breakfast, everyone could enjoy more trail riding at their leisure, or go hiking, or socialize at the campsites. Campers enjoyed the weekend visiting with new and old friends. If you have ever thought about camping with your horse and want to give it a try, plan ahead for next year’s event. And, if you already do camp with your horse, come on over to NEECA. 7 Anne Marie Zukowski

West Newbury Riding and Driving Club West Newbury’s expansive trail network is perhaps most beautiful — and most rideable — in the fall. WNRDC members and their friends explore many miles of scenic roads and trails, many an easy hack from the parking area atop the Pipestave Hill

West Newbury Riding and Driving Club held its annual Adventure Trail on September 8 at the Pipestave Hill and Mill Pond area. All proceeds benefit the Essex County Trail Association.

crossings, open fields, a crosscountry course of 30 plus coops, oxers, walls, and jumps, two fenced riding rings (not to be used for

clists, canoeists, cross-country runners, and team sports on abutting ball fields, who all share the space. Courtesy and care are encouraged of all.

Taking full advantage of our beautiful trail system and a picture-perfect day, WNRDC hosted its annual Adventure Trail on September 8. “Awesome!” “It’s like heaven in there.” “OMG, the orchard is so beautiful!” “That garden was so pretty.” “We love it.” “Our sixth year.” These were some of the reactions of riders completing the ride this year. Fifty-nine riders, mostly in teams of two or more, turned out for the event in barn colors, sparkles, and even full ninja turtle attire. Adventure Trail is an annual, unjudged, untimed ride with proceeds benefiting the Essex County Trail Association. Riders come from near and far, some new to the event, others returning year after year. This year’s ride covered about six miles of our extensive trail system, including the Pipestave Hill and Mill Pond area, as well as

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Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

access to some private land not normally open to horses. In addition to the trail, crosscountry jumps on the horse trials course were open to those so inclined. At the conclusion of the trail ride, all participants had an opportunity to school a course of stadium jumps in one ring and expose their mounts to versatility-type obstacles in another. The day was a great success, enjoyed by all. Our next events include the Pipestave Hill Horse Trials (PHHT) on October 13 and the annual General Meeting on November 2. The horse trials offer levels from Pre-elementary through Modified Novice, combined tests through Novice, dressage-only tests at Training level, and western dressage. The Pre-elementary, Elementary, Advanced Elementary, and Beginner Novice level three-phase results qualify for the Area I

Schooling Horse Trials Championships. PHHT is a qualifier for the Jockey Club TIPS award program as well. The Annual Meeting will include election of board members and officers, approval of our charitable donations, and the awarding of our Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards. The slate of candidates and charities proposed for donations are posted at at least two weeks before the meeting. All current members in good standing are eligible to vote at the meeting. For more information about events and membership, visit and follow us on Facebook. 7 Carole Gantz & Deb Hamilton

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News in Our Community The risk of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) infection was raised to critical in Douglas and to high in Webster after laboratory testing confirmed a horse in Douglas died of the mosquito-borne virus, according to state Department of Public Health officials. There have been eight horse cases of EEE, all fatal, in Massachusetts this year, including horses in Essex, Hampshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester Counties. (The horse in Hampshire County resided in Granby but contracted EEE in Connecticut.) The risk of illness is expected to continue through the early fall. The first heavy frost in the Bay State is usually in early to mid-October. Michael Cahill, director of the Division of Animal Health at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, said none of the horses were vaccinated against EEE, and all were euthanized.

do our very best to rescue and care for those who come to us, or try to find others to care for them if we are unable to do so. We do everything possible in an effort to get any animal away

again and we provide our foster homes with the training and support to help them succeed.” “Join us as we expand and grow to save more animals and make changes to

Peace for Ponies Peace for Ponies, a nonprofit rescue in Buzzards Bay, has saved 14 donkeys in the past five months. Peace for Ponies posts the donkeys’ progress on its Facebook page and has live web cams up and running. The organization, which began as a rescue for pregnant Miniature horses, has grown to include donkeys, rabbits, birds, tortoises, and many other animals as well. “At Peace for Ponies, we have two goals,” says board member Kendra Bond. “We 30

Learn from the Best at Equine Affaire

Kendra Bond

Eight Horses in the Bay State Succumb to EEE

Dasher, just one of the adorable residents at Peace for Ponies in Buzzards Bay. Dasher’s dam Faith was dripping milk in a kill pen when she was saved and brought to Peace for Ponies. Dasher was born four days later.

from an abusive situation or when we find them abandoned. We know it takes a village, and we appreciate everyone who helps us attain our goals.” “We work with people, one at a time, to become a foster home,” says Kendra. “We understand fully what it takes to gentle these animals in order to have them trust

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

alleviate some of the problems affecting those animals in need,” says Kendra. “Visit our new store with amazing gifts at Join us by volunteering with animal care, administrative help, and fundraising. And, of course, we’ll put your donations to good use caring for our charges.”

Whether you want to learn more about your own discipline or explore new ways to enjoy riding your horse, there’s a clinic for you at Equine Affaire. November 7 to 10, equine professionals will gather at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield to present more than 150 individual sessions on all aspects of horsemanship. This year, Chris Cox, Dan James, Julie Goodnight, Steve Lantvit, and Jason Irwin lead a lineup of more than two dozen clinicians presenting on general horsemanship, hunter under saddle, dressage, ranch riding, reining, barrel racing, driving, and more. General admission to Equine Affaire includes entry to all clinics, sessions, and demonstrations plus the trade show, theme pavilions, and the Versatile Horse & Rider Competition. Adult tickets are $16 per day or $50 for a four-day pass, tickets for children ages 7–10 are $8 per day, and children six and under are admitted at no charge. Between clinics, visit the trade show and look for your favorite clinicians’ booths for meet-and-greet opportunities. For the full list of clinicians, event schedule details, and additional event information, visit or call (740) 845-0085.

Local Author Publishes Two Books Bay State author Ellen Feld has published two new books geared to readers ages two to six. The books use more than 20 beautiful photographs to help tell the sto-

Massachusetts Horse Benefit Adventure Trail

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

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What’s a Scavenger Hunt?

There will be 12 “items” hidden out on the miles of beautiful woodland trails. The winner in each division finds all 12 in the shortest time.

Team Walk Trot . Team Novice . Team Open Solo Walk Trot . Solo Novice . Solo Open Prizes and ribbons first to sixth place!


You and your team can go all out with costumes and there’ll be lots of great prizes! Or, not — do your thing however you want.

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Alessandra Mele

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Alessandra Mele

Learn more at


Karen Morang Photography

October 27, Sunday (rain date November 3) Exclusive access to private trails in Wilbraham!

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


WNEPHA JOIN US! The Western New England chapter of the Professional Horsemen’s Association of America has a full schedule of shows planned for 2019-2020! HUNTER/JUMPER EQUITATION SHOWS Sept. 29 Heritage Farm Oct. 6

Harmony Hill Farm

Oct. 13 FINALS at Mount Holyoke Oct. 27 Muddy Brook Farm

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LS FINA DRESSAGE SHOWS English and Western Tests

Oct. 27 Higher Ground Farm

FALL 2019 & SPRING 2020 show dates will be posted at Visit the website and add us to your competition calendar!

Year-end awards in many divisions. Full schedule can be found at An organization for horsemen, by horsemen.


ries. Horse Show! A Donkey- Donk Story is the second book in the best-selling Donkey-Donk series. It follows the star of the series, Donk, as she gets ready for a horse show and then heads off to compete and see if all her practice at home will pay off. As an added bonus, club members from the Hampshire County Riding Club brought their horses to “compete” against Donk for the photo shoot that took place at the club’s grounds in Goshen.

which recently gave NEER North a fivestar designation based on the 86 testimonials — all of them positive — our supporters posted on Greatnonprofits’ website. Just 13 other nonprofits in Massachusetts have the top-rated designation from Greatnonprofits. In August, NEER North was accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) after the organization said NEER North met its “rigorous

What Does A Police Horse Do? introduces Liam, a police horse with the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Mounted Police Unit. Along with his partner, Officer Eric Lukacs, the book follows along as Liam goes about his day to keep his community safe. A Some of the residents at New England Equine Rescue North in West Newbury portion of every lining up at the fence. sale is donated to and peer-reviewed equine care stanthe mounted unit to help feed/care for dards” involving finances, staffing, susthe horses. tainability, ethical principles, outreach, To learn more, visit and safety. “[NEER North] employs commendNew England Equine Rescue North able best practices when undertaking care, rehabilitation, and training for the New England Equine Rescue North equines, enabling the animals to be (NEER North), a West Newbury nonplaced in permanent, adoptable profit that has rescued more than 150 homes,” said Valerie Taylor, director of equines in crisis since it was founded in GFAS’s equine program, in announcing 2008, has received a platinum rating the recognition, which came after GFAS from GuideStar, a top-tier designation awarded to just 12 percent of the 73,000 inspectors visited NEER North’s 13-acre facility on Ash Street. nonprofits in the United States that Valerie also cited NEER North’s GuideStar rates. “dedicated base of board members and GuideStar is the world’s largest key volunteers.” source of information about nonprofit Mary Martin, NEER North’s organizations. The platinum designafounder and executive director, says she tion recognizes the high level of transhopes recognition from GFAS, parency NEER North provides on Greatnonprofits, and GuideStar will GuideStar’s webpage, including details help NEER North raise more awareness about its goals and strategies for meetin the region about its mission, and ing its goals. Among those goals is boost fundraising aimed at expanding NEER North’s capital campaign to its facilities and capacity for rescuing, build an enclosed arena that will allow rehabilitating, and rehoming at-risk it to better train horses as they prepare equines. for adoption. So far this year, NEER North has The GuideStar award follows other taken in 34 horses, ponies, donkeys, distinctions NEER North earned this and mules, and found permanent summer from agencies that use varying homes for 24 of them. The organization criteria to rate nonprofits and humane received more than 50 requests for surorganizations in the United States and worldwide. They include Greatnonprofits, renders in July and August, but turned

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

down or wait-listed most of them due to its limited budget and barn and paddock space. Those on the wait list are offered feed assistance when needed through NEER North’s Feed Fund Program. The organization also helps by networking to assist in placement from the current home. “Many of their situations were heart-wrenching,” Mary says about the equines NEER

North could not take in. “Our capacity to help is determined by our budget for feeding, sheltering, and veterinary care — all supported by fundraising and volunteer staff.” To volunteer and donate, visit or email

Barefoot Hos e s Th

Big Hoss’s Regular Hoss’s Lil’ Hoss’s Donkeys & Mules

Hauling & Trucking Services Field Maintenance & Mowing

Matthew A. Caprioli | Dudley, Mass. (508) 868-8624 |

Kindful Training for Horse & Rider “Happy, relaxed horses and riders are my objective.”

Clinician Trainer Coach Cathy teaches throughout the Northeast.

Western Dressage provides a foundation through Classical Dressage principles for anything you wish to do with your horse — reining, ranch, cow work, games, trail riding, obstacles, or simple enjoyment — it teaches your horse to carry himself properly and helps you create a lasting partnership.

Cathy Drumm (413) 441-5278 Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


events Massachusetts

October 4 FALL POLO SERIES, Boston Polo Club, Georgetown.

5 – 6 VERA KESSELS CLINIC, Stony Brook Farm, Norfolk.


6 SOUTH COAST SERIES HUNTER SHOW, Grazing Fields Farm, Buzzards Bay.

4 – 6 NHHJA FINALS, Three County Fairgrounds, Northampton. 4 – 6 ERIC SMILEY EVENTING CLINIC, Black Oak Stables, Hamilton. 5 IEA WESTERN SHOW, Crimson Acres, Orange. 5 HUNTER SHOW, Medway. 5 OPEN ARENA SORTING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet. 5 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Holiday Acres, Rutland.


6 FALL POLO SERIES, Boston Polo Club, Georgetown. 6 MASSACHUSETTS RIDE FOR THE RIBBON, Felton Field, Barre.

6 DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, Briggs Stable, Hanover. 6 GRHC FALL FOLIAGE RIDE, Huntington. 6 NEDA MARILYN HEATH “L” CLINIC, Apple Knoll Farm, Millis.


6 GAMES NIGHT, Grafton.

6 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Maplewood Farm, Berlin.

6 DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, Xenophon Farm, Montague.

6 HRC BEACH RIDE, Rexhame Beach, Marshfield.


Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

6 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Harmony Hill Farm, Great Barrington.

13 THREE-PHASE SCHOOLING EVENT, Hazel Grove Park, Groton.

6 MHC HUNTER SHOW, Evenstride, Byfield.

13 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Maple Grove Farm, Hudson.

6 ONBH FALL HUNTER PACE, Red Rail Farm, Lincoln.

13 WNEPHA FINALS, Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley.

7 ERIC SMILEY HUNT CLINIC, Myopia Schooling Fields, South Hamilton.


12 – 13 BRDC FALL TRAIL RIDE, Felton Field, Barre.

13 BSTRA LEA MACINNIS JUDGED PLEASURE RIDE, Pell Farms Conservation Area, Grafton.

13 SCHOOLING HORSE TRIALS, Valinor Farm, Plymouth.

Family owned for 42 years!

“A happy horse rides in a Yered Trailer.”

13 CCDS FUN DAY, Orleton Farm, Stockbridge.

13 CRANBERRY CIRCUIT SHOW, Cape Cod Fairgrounds, Barnstable. 13 NEECA GYMKHANA SERIES, Athol.


13 SCHOOLING DRESSAGE SHOW, Beland Stables, Lakeville.

14 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Hillside Meadows Equestrian Center, Grafton.

13 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Willow Brook Farm, Holliston.

16 HCRC ANNUAL MEETING, Paisanos, Southampton.

13 HRC VERSATILITY, Balmy Acres, Middleboro.

19 OPEN ARENA SORTING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet.

13 HUNTER/EQUITATION SHOW, Evenstride Ltd. Byfield.


Halloween Hunter Pace

The Northeast’s Premier Trailer Dealer

Many more brands and models online at!

11 West Mill Street, Medfield, Mass. (508) 359-7300

25 Forest Lane, Millis, MA ~ (508) 376-2564

October 27

New England Dressage Association

October 6 Marilyn Heath “L” Clinic November 24 Lois Yukins “L” Clinic

New England Dressage Association

April 12 “L” Clinic with Janet Foy

Training with Adrienne Iorio Three-Day Eventing Competitor and Trainer . Millis, Mass. & Winter Training in Aiken, South Carolina Show Jumps For Sale . Horses and Ponies For Sale/Lease

Prize lists and entry forms at: Check the website often as new events are added!

Rent our facilities for horse shows, clinics, and other equine activities. Our cross-country course is open for schooling by appointment, weather permitting. Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


Independence Stable

19 COMMUNITY HORSE TACK AND STUFF SALE, North Attleboro. (603) 944-3375. 19 MSPCA HORSES HELPING HORSES BEACH RIDE, Crane Beach, Ipswich. 19 BSTRA MOUNT JEFFERSON PLEASURE RIDE, Hubbardston. 19 MHC HUNTER SHOW, Century Mill Stables, Bolton.

2020 Dressage Schooling Shows Traditional & Western Dressage Tests

May 3 June 7

August 2 Sept. 13

Check our Facebook page for updates!

404 S. Washington St. Belchertown, Mass.

(413) 284-0371

Dressage Schooling Show Series Two Shows Remaining:

September 8 - Krystal Wilt “L” judge October 6 - Ann Gupthill “L” judge For more information, reach out to Suzanne at

Dressage Clinics

Bill McMullin & Verne Batchelder Like us on Facebook to see who’s coming!

Stalls Available

Indoor & Outdoor Dressage Arenas . Turnout Owners on Premises . Top Notch Care

Xenophon Farm

More than 35 years of outstanding clinics, lectures, and competitions!

Janice & Elaine Kachavos 80 Sunderland Rd., Montague, Mass. 413.367.9828


19 – 20 FALL SYMPOSIUM WITH DOROTHEE SCHNEIDER, South Hadley. 20 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Verrill Farm Stable, Concord. 20 OPEN SHOW, Haskins Farm, Berkley. 20 SCHOOLING TWO-PHASE AND DRESSAGE SHOW, Cutter Farm, Dracut. 20 BSTRA ROBINSON STATE PARK RIDE, Agawam. 20 SCHOOLING HORSE TRIALS, Palmer River Equestrian Center, Rehoboth. (508) 252-6347. 20 FALL SCHOOLING DRESSAGE SHOW, Course Brook Farm, Sherborn. 20 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Four Winds Farm, North Oxford. 20 NORFOLK HUNT’S WESTPORT HUNTER PACE, Westport. 20 4-H AND OPEN SHOW, Briggs Stable, Hanover. 20 FALL FEST JUMPERS, JH Eventing, Sutton. (978) 875-2036 or 20 GRHC RIDE AND OBSTACLE COURSE, Wilbraham. 20 NEW ENGLAND HUNTS CHAMPIONSHIP HUNTER TRIALS, Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton.

20 CRAA OPEN AUTUMN CLASSIC SHOW, Sterling Pointe Farm, Rochester. 26 NEHC MHC HUNTER SHOW, Cornerstone Farm, Haverhill. 26 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Greenfield. 26 HORSIN’ AROUND WITH WILL DAILEY, Natick. 26 MHC SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke. 26 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, August Farm, Holliston. 26 IHSA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley. 26 – 27 SMARTPAK RED BAG SALE, SmartPak Retail Store, Natick. 26 – 31 MIX AND MATCH HALLOWEEN TREAT BAR, Natick. 27 MASSACHUSETTS HORSE BENEFIT HALLOWEEN SCAVENGER HUNT, Wilbraham. or MassachusettsHorseBenefit. 27 SOUTH COAST SERIES HUNTER HALLOWEEN SHOW, Grazing Fields Farm, Buzzards Bay. 27 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Evenstride, Newbury. 27 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Muddy Brook Farm, Amherst. 27 TWO-PHASE AND DRESSAGE SHOW, Red Mare Farm, Hatfield. 27 HALLOWEEN SCHOOLING HORSE TRIALS, Sherborn. 27 GAMES NIGHT, Grafton.

Are you and your horse having problems? Would you like your horse started under saddle and/or in harness? Peter specializes in starting young horses correctly. 100% customer satisfaction using natural horsemanship techniques. More than 20 years experience starting horses as well as fixing existing problems. References available. The cost of the one-month training is $1,200, including board.

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

it’s a Pleasure Training with Peter Whitmore (978) 652-2231 .

Stalls & Training Spots Available


November 2 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Holiday Acres, Rutland. 2 MHC SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke. 2 GWYNETH MCPHERSON FORWARD THINKING DRESSAGE CLINIC, RER Ponies, Hatfield. 2 NEECA FALL SOCIAL, Ellinwood Country Club, Athol. 2 WNRDC GENERAL MEETING, location TBA. 2 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Dana Hall School, Wellesley. 3 EASTERN REGIONAL PLEASURE TRAIL RIDE, North Brookfield Sportsmen’s Club. (508) 8677855 or 3 SCHOOLING DRESSAGE SHOW, Beland Stables, Lakeville. 3 EQUINE SAFETY AND AMBULANCE TRAINING, Nevins Farm, Methuen. 3 BSTRA TURKEY TROT, Carver. 3 SO YOU WANT TO BUY OR LEASE A HORSE SEMINAR, Baile Hill Farm, Sutton. or (978) 875-2036. 3 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Grazing Fields Farm, Buzzards Bay. 3 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Century Mill Equestrian, Bolton.

Presents the 25th

Equine Expo Paraphernalia Sale Saturday, April 25, 2020 . 9-3 Large vendor marketplace selling new and used items! Plus services for the horse, rider, and driver. Demonstrations All Day! $5 Admission . children under 10 free Held in the Arena Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds, Route 1, Topsfield Vendor Spaces Available . Free Parking

Contact Kay at: 978-768-6275 or

Send us your events for the 2020 Annual Events Issue by March 1! Email

3 MYOPIA HUNT FALL HUNTER PACE, Groton House Farm, South Hamilton. 7 – 10 EQUINE AFFAIRE, West Sprinfield. 9 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Greenfield. 9 MHC HUNTER SHOW, Saddle Rowe, Medway. 9 ALL NEW ENGLAND JOINT MEET, Hamilton. 10 NEHC MHC HUNTER SHOW, Cornerstone Farm, Haverhill. 10 UPHA-14 WINTER TOURNAMENT, High Tail Acres, Newbury.

Request a free Junior Award

e& Phas TwoShow sage Dres 7 ber 2 Oc t o on Carls Doris e g jud

Pasture Board, Stalls, and Run-outs All-day Turnout Indoor Arena . Round Pen Heated Tack Room Sand/Rubber Footing in Outdoor Arena Trails Right off Property

Boarding . Horse Training Lessons . Pony Parties Two-Phase & Dressage Shows on Property Owner is eventer but open to all riding styles!

for your event at Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019


10 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Cavallo Equestrian Center, Westford. 16 MHC SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke. 16 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Century Mill Equestrian, Bolton. 16 IHSA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley. 16 YOUTH EQUESTRIAN DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION SHOW, Briggs Stable, Hanover. 17 SOUTHEAST HUNTER BANQUET, Monkonsett Inn, Halifax. 17 FALL FESTIVAL, VENDOR FAIR, AND OPEN BARN, Sterling Pointe Farm, Rochester. 19 MYOPIA HUNT CLUB FALL HUNTER PACE, South Hamilton.

Linda Parmenter

USDF Bronze & Silver Medalist USDF “L” Judge Instruction . Training . Clinics . Sales

23 NEER NORTH ANNUAL SILENT AND LIVE AUCTION, Hellenic Community Center, Ipswich.

Hanover Equine Dental Terry Paul

91 Lombard Rd., Hubbardston (978) 928-5492

Subscribe Today! at

Graduate of the American School of Equine Dentistry

Performance floating for all disciplines. Serving all of southern New England. . (781) 630-0741

Tack Repairs & Restoration

saddles . chaps belts . halters bridles . reins harnesses dog collars & leashes

Blue Dog Leather 64 South Shore Dr., Orange, Mass. 978.544.2681 Open by appointment, please call ahead.


Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

23 MHC SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke. 23 – 24 DRESSAGE4KIDS TEAM CLNIC, RER Ponies, Hatfield. 23 – 24 CRDA SARAH GEIKE CLINIC, Course Brook Farm, Sherborn. 24 HUNTER/EQUITATION SHOW, Evenstride Ltd. Byfield. 24 SUNDAY SIZZLER OPEN JUMPER SHOW, Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley. 24 NEDA MARILYN HEATH “L” CLINIC, Apple Knoll Farm, Millis. 28 MYOPIA THANKSGIVING HUNT, Appleton Farm, Ipswich.

December 1 SCHOOLING TWO-PHASE AND DRESSAGE SHOW, Cutter Farm, Dracut. 1 HRC CHRISTMAS BRUNCH, Meadowbrook Restaurant, Hanson. 7 GWYNETH MCPHERSON FORWARD THINKING DRESSAGE CLINIC, RER Ponies, Hatfield. 8 UPHA-14 WINTER TOURNAMENT, MonteRae Farm, Ashby. Tournament.

This Olde Horse

Susan Rainville



Dressage Training, Groundwork & Response Training for a more confident partnership. USDF bronze & silver medalist Dressage Schooling Show Series Weekly Lessons Affordable Training & Boarding Off-farm Clinics Adult Camp Competition Camps

White Spruce Farms Central Massachusetts (978) 257-4666

1887 Watertown.

Lise Krieger

Certified Saddle Fitter saddle assessments fitting evaluations flocking . repairs consignments . sales 203 . 685 . 2308



Lessons 5 Training Clinics 5 Drill Team Horse Shows Games Nights Summer Camps

Roll-off containers 10 to 30 yards on call or scheduled service. Full stock pile removals.

Recovery . Maintenance . Performance Therapeutic Massage . Bodywork . Reiki


(413) 320-7690

Proud sponsor of Bear Spot Musical Freestyle and Oakrise Farm Shows.

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019




ASSOCIATIONS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• BAY STATE TRAIL RIDERS ASSOCIATION Keeping trails open for equestrian use; organized trail rides; volunteer opportunities for trail clearing and maintenance. HAMPSHIRE COUNTY RIDING CLUB Goshen, MA, (413) 268-3372 hampshirecounty Monthly trail rides, woodland obstacle course, scavenger hunt, and clinics. BARN CATS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• PAWS WATCH P.O. Box 7005, Warwick, RI 02887, Barn cats need homes! Healthy, fixed, vaccinated barn cats provide rodent control. Delivered!

Your Everything Equine “white pages”

NORTHEAST EQUINE VETERINARY DENTAL SERVICES LEAH LIMONE, DVM, DAVDC/EQ Topsfield, MA, (978) 500-9293 Board certified in equine veterinary dentistry. Routine preventive care, maintenance, diagnostics, extractions. EQUINE ENTERTAINMENT •••••••••••••••••••••••••• DALE PERKINS/MESA FARM Rutland, MA, (508) 886-6898 Trick riding and much more. EQUINE MASSAGE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• HORSEBACK AND BODY Northampton, MA, (413) 320-7690 Massage therapy for horses, humans.

BARN BUILDERS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• CARRIAGE SHED Serving the Northeast, (800) 441-6057 Barns, arenas, shed rows, custom buildings.

EQUINE THERAPY •••••••••••••••••••••••••• HIGH HORSE HILL THERAPEUTIC HORSEMANSHIP Middlefield, MA, (413) 961-9311 Therapeutic horsemanship for all ages.

DRESSAGE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• BRADFORD EQUESTRIAN CENTER Haverhill, MA, (978) 374-0008 Dressage for all disciplines and driving. Keith Angstadt, USEF dressage judge.

FINANCING, LOANS, TAX PREP •••••••••••••••••••••••••• FARM CREDIT EAST (800) 562-2235, Financing, loans, tax preparation, business consulting, financial planning.

CATHY DRUMM Pittsfield, MA, (413) 441-5278 Clinics, lessons, training, western and English dressage, hunter/jumper.

HAFLINGERS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• SOMMER HILL FARM Adams, MA, (413) 743-9301 One Haflinger is never enough.

FAIRFIELD FARM Rochester, MA, (508) 763-8038 Boarding, instruction, training, indoor. LINDA PARMENTER Hubbardston, MA, (978) 928-5492 USDF bronze and silver medalist, USDF “L” judge; instruction, clinics, training. WHITE SPRUCE FARMS New Braintree, MA, (978) 257-4666 Dressage shows, instruction, all levels/ages. XENOPHON FARM Montague, (413) 367-9828 Dressage schooling shows, clinics, lessons, boarding, training, trails, owners on site. EQUINE DENTISTRY •••••••••••••••••••••••••• WENDY BRYANT, EQDT Northampton, MA, (413) 237-8887 Natural balance equine dentistry. Improved topline, maximized performance, increased flexion. Serving New England.


HORSES FOR SALE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• STRAIN FAMILY HORSE FARM Granby, CT, (860) 653-3275 New England’s largest quality sales stable. Forty family, trail, and show horses to choose from. New loads every week. We buy horses, take trade-ins, and consignment horses. Great three-week exchange guarantee. Find us on Facebook. INSTRUCTION/TRAINING •••••••••••••••••••••••••• BACK BAY FARM Ipswich, MA, (978) 356-0730 Lessons, boarding, training, and sales. INSURANCE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• DON RAY INSURANCE Marshfield, MA, (781) 837-6550 Farm, mortality, major medical and surgical, clubs, shows, instructors. FARM FAMILY INSURANCE Boxborough: (978) 467-1001 Carver: (508) 866-9150

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

Centerville: (508) 428-0440 Easthampton: (413) 203-5180 Great Barrington: (413) 528-1710 Marlborough: (508) 485-3800 Middleborough: (508) 747-8181 Northborough: (508) 393-9327 Southwick: (413) 569-2307 Wilbraham: (413) 887-8817 Williamstown: (413) 458-5584 Worcester: (508) 752-3300 JUDGES •••••••••••••••••••••••••• ED GOLEMBESKI Gill, MA, (413) 863-2313 4-H, open shows, clinics, lessons. REAL ESTATE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• ALTHEA BRAMHALL HOMETOWN REALTORS North Quabbin region, (617) 678-9300 Real estate is more fun with horse people! EQUINE HOMES REAL ESTATE LLC MA and NH, (800) 859-2745, ext. 704 Sally Mann, Realtor, MA and NH. STABLES, FARMS, BOARDING •••••••••••••••••••••••••• APPLE KNOLL FARM Millis, MA, (508) 376-2564 Eventing training, lessons, schooling trials, clinics; facilities available for events. CARRIER’S FARM Southampton, MA, (413) 527-0333 Indoor, outdoor arenas, round pens, fields. GLENCROFT FARM Southampton, MA, (413) 527-8026 Boarding, pastures, ring, trails, fields. STRAIN FAMILY EQUESTRIAN CENTER LLC Southwick, MA, (413) 569-5797 Boarding, lessons, training, sales, therapeutic riding. TACK •••••••••••••••••••••••••• CHESHIRE HORSE Swanzey, NH, (877) 358-3001 English, western, feed, supplies, trailers. SMARTPAK RETAIL STORE Natick, MA, (508) 651-0045 Tack, equipment, supplements, blankets, apparel, gear, gifts, clearance outlet.

TRANSPORTATION •••••••••••••••••••••••••• J.R. HUDSON HORSE TRANSPORTATION West Bridgewater, MA, (508) 427-9333 Serving the lower 48 states and Canada. VETERINARIANS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• FAMILY VETERINARY CENTER Haydenville, MA, (413) 268-8387 Traditional and alternative care for dogs, cats, exotics, and horses. SOUTH DEERFIELD VETERINARY CLINIC DR. ROBERT P. SCHMITT S. Deerfield, MA, (413) 665-3626 Equine medicine, surgery since 1969.

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Youth Mustang Makeover

Stephanie Sanders

August 31 at New England Equestrian Center of Athol

gift Free very e with nket a bl h! was

Barn Laundry of Cape Cod Wash & Repair Services

We use Blanket Safe professional equine wash products — specially designed for horse blankets and the gentle care of all of your equine clothing — detergent free, chemical free, antibacterial, and pet safe. All blankets and sheets are washed in a cold water cycle and are air dried, always. Easy drop off and pick up at your barn, our Harwich Port location, and Barnstable Farm & Pet Supplies Loaner blankets just $15! Blankets $22 | Sheets $20 | Blanket Necks $10 English Saddle Pads $5 | Specialty English Pads $10 Western Saddle Pads $15 | Wraps/Boots (set) $5 Fleece Girths $5 | Shipping Boots (set) $15 Fly Maks/Ear Nets $4 | Dog Coats $10 Waterproofing $15 | Velcro Cleaning/Restoring $5

Free gift!

See more of our “Before and Afters” on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. FREE gift with each blanket wash! Quick turnaround times of one to two weeks, our prices can’t be beat, and we offer waterproofing and repairs.

Barn Laundry of Cape Cod | Owned & Operated by Cranberry Laundry and managed by Kelly Springer 2 Doane Road, Harwich Port, Mass. | (508) 432-0552 | Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019



Is This Your Horse?


For hunting season, riding safety, and visibility.

vests . tailbags . half sheets . halters helmet covers . collars . dog vests

The Original Equine Protectavest . (207) 892-0161

Is this your horse? This photo was taken in Belchertown. If this is your horse, contact us at for a $50 gift certificate from the Bay State’s very own SmartPak,, and a two-year subscription to Massachusetts Horse.

The 2019 Massachusetts Horse Benefit Adventure Trail

is a Halloween Scavenger Hunt in Wilbraham on Sunday, October 27. To learn more, follow us on Facebook at Benefit or visit

Large and Small Animal Medicine & Surgery

Serving the North Shore since 1951 Helen Noble, VMD Robert Orcutt, DVM Elizabeth Lordan, DVM Nicole Syngajewski, DVM

Lessons . Summer Programs Clinics . Training . Starting Heather Dostal USDF “L” Graduate & Bronze Medalist

54 Plain Rd. Hatfield, MA 413.427.2026 | 42

295 High St, Ipswich, Mass. 978-356-1119 (ph) . 978-356-5758 (f)

Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019

Amherst Farmer’s Supply 320 South Pleasant St., Amherst (413) 253-3436

Bridgewater Farm Supply 1000 Plymouth St., Bridgewater (508) 697-0357

Essex County Co-op 146 S. Main St., Topsfield (978) 887-2309

A.W. Brown Pet & Garden Center 144 Shaker Rd., E. Longmeadow (413) 525-2115

Country Corral 35 Main St., Williamsburg (413) 268-0180

Greenfield Farmers Co-op Exchange 269 High St., Greenfield (413) 773-9639

Brattleboro Agway 1277 Putney Rd., Brattleboro, VT (802) 254-8757

Dodge Grain Company 59 N. Broadway, Salem, NH (603) 893-3739

Sweet Meadow Feed & Grain 111 Coolidge St., Sherborn (508) 650-2926

Hardwick Farmers Co-op Exchange Rte. 32, Gilbertville (413) 477-6913 Massachusetts Horse October/November 2019




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