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December/January 2016

columns 20 Promise

and Jackie Kennedy


22 Massachusetts Economic Impact and Land-Use Study

Chris Cassenti

Stable Devotion



24 Tessa Holloran A Journey Begins

Youth Spotlight


Trail Guide

Karen Morang Photography

Aimee Boyer

26 Myles Standish State Forest


in every issue 5 From the Editor

features 8

If the Saddle Fits . . .

7 Your Letters 21 This Olde Horse


Advice from Bay State Experts

Helen Noble

28 Overherd: News in Our Community

Family and Faith

32 Partners

Horseperson Feature

36 Massachusetts Events Calendar

14 Harmony Hill Farm It’s All About the Horses Farm Feature


Foal Haven

38 Junior Horsemanship Awards 39 The Neighborhood

Where PMU Foals Are Reborn

40 Is This Your Horse?

Lend a Hoof

40 Advertiser Index 41 Massachusetts Marketplace

Massachusetts Horse



December/January 2016

from the editor


he 11th-annual Massachusetts Horse Benefit Show, on October 3 in Goshen, raised more than $3,000

for the Bay State Equine Rescue, which is in

Oakham. Since its inception, the magazine has now given back to its community more than $58,000. Thank you to all the

Nancy Ronan

hardworking volunteers who helped the show run smoothly.

Congratulations to Shiane Wheeler, who won the Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at the Massachusetts Horse Benefit Show. Would you like an award for your upcoming competition or awards banquet? Just email

Starting in 2001, Massachusetts Horse has donated more than 2,000 Junior Horsemanship Awards to Bay State competitions. We provide free subscriptions to the members of 32 organizations and clubs in the state; feature a nonprofit equine group in every issue; and promote and cover events and competitions on our Facebook page as well as in the pages of the magazine. May your barn be full of sweet-smelling hay, your horses comfy in their winter woolies, and your barn kitties toasty in the heated tack room. All the best,


Massachusetts Horse



HORSE vol. 14, no. 4 December/January 2016

ISSN 1945-1393

99 Bissell Road, Williamsburg, MA 01096 phone: (413) 268-3302 • fax: (413) 268-0050 • Massachusetts Horse magazine is an independently owned and -operated all-breed, all-discipline equestrian publication for the Bay State. © 2016 Massachusetts Horse All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this magazine or portions thereof in any form without prior written permission.

publisher/editor Stephanie Sanders • • (413) 268-3302 copy editor Doris Troy feature writers Andrea Bugbee, Patricia Lalli, Alessandra Mele, Karen Morang Abigail Powell, Whitney Sanderson, Stacey Stearns, Faith Wang contributors Mary Brazie, Pat Jackson, Holly Jacobson, Lisa Grigaitis, Suzy Lucine Alessandra Mele, Diane Merritt, Karen Morang, Jennifer Moreau Laurie Neely, Tomasz Paluchowski, Liz Russell, Melissa Welch, Lisa Wohlleib county desk liaisons Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties Alessandra Mele • (413) 949-1972 • Bristol County Melissa Root • (508) 863-0467 • Essex County Holly Jacobson • (978) 356-5842 • Norfolk and Plymouth Counties Laura Solod • (617) 699-7299 • Worcester County Karen Morang • (508) 797-2828 •

State-of-the-Art Equine Laundry Facility

advertising main office • (413) 268-3302 •

Expert Tack Repair

Advertising deadline for the February/March issue is January 10.

Gently Used Blankets and Tack for Sale Brass Name Plates Engraved Myopia Hunt Club Joint Master of Foxhounds Kim Cutler at Raymond Field, Ipswich. Shawn Tinkham/ Nature of Light Photography.

Established 1980 Jennifer Safron 114 Coburn Ave., Gardner, MA (978) 340-5576 Please call for hours 6

December/January 2016

Massachusetts Horse is printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper.

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.

your letters To the editor: Thank you, Stephanie, for putting on this wonderful event [the Massachusetts Horse Benefit Show] to help the horses and Bay State Equine Rescue. Thank you to all the show participants and great volunteers. Thank you! Susan Sheridan, president, Bay State Equine Rescue, Oakham

To the editor: I would like to address the article about Calliope and Sam Van Fleet in the October/November 2015 issue of Massachusetts Horse. I am Calliope’s former owner. I had Calliope from age one to nine. I spent eight years giving her love, professional training, and proper care. She was an outstanding trail horse, suitable for the most timid and inexperienced rider. Calliope was, and is, a wonderful horse, but she and my other horse Jackie, who I had first, were terrible stable mates. Out of fear that my young son would get hurt with the kicking and biting between the two horses, I reluctantly (after eight years) decided to re-home her. This is not a decision I came to lightly. Twice I thought I had found her the perfect home, and

twice it didn’t work out. My vet suggested Blue Star Equiculture Draft Horse Sanctuary in Palmer. I turned to Blue Star for help, hoping that they would be better at making the right match for Calliope. At Blue Star, Calliope was immediately adopted by Sam. I’ve kept in touch with Sam and have been very happy about the way things turned out, cheering on their accomplishments along the way. Calliope was away from me in two different homes for five weeks before she went to Blue Star. I don’t know what happened to her during that time. My guess is that she was stressed. I raised and trained a beautiful, kind, patient horse, and I don’t deserve to have that reality misconstrued. Shana DeAtley, Haydenville

Let us know your thoughts . . . and we’ll enter you to win a $25 Cheshire Horse gift card. All letters received by January 5 will have a chance in the drawing. Send your letters to: or Massachusetts Horse 99 Bissell Rd., Williamsburg, MA 01096

Massachusetts Horse


Emilie Goddard

If the Saddle Fits . . . Advice from Bay State Experts

by Alessandra Mele


s far as saddle fit goes, it may be one of those skills we equestrians are often guilty of feigning. There’s the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants miracle saddle: “I’ve got the best saddle,” many a rider has boasted. “It fits every horse I put it on!” Then there’s the Princess and the Pea saddlepad theory: “Throw another pad under it and he won’t feel a thing.” And, of course, there’s the million-dollar solution: “If you want a perfect fit, buy the most expensive brand.” The myths and fiction surrounding saddle fitting in any discipline are many, and the result is that saddle fitting left to an amateur is plain old guesswork. Nothing comes of that but a sore back. The best place to turn for a correct fit is a saddle-fitting expert. Whether it’s a traditional English or western saddle or a cutting-edge trail saddle, it’s always worth taking the time to make sure your horse is comfortable in his tack. To clear up some of the mystery around saddle fit, a few saddle-fitting and saddle-making professionals offer their advice here.

The English Fit Within the town of Royalston is a wealth of English saddle–fitting expertise. Anthony Cooper is a British-trained saddler who has been making, fitting, and repairing saddles since 1984. Joshua Siegel is the owner of Siegel Saddlery, a full-service English saddle–fitting and 8

December/January 2016

repair business. Josh learned the trade from Anthony, first as his apprentice and then as his assistant, before establishing his own business. Both saddlers bring a vast store of knowledge to the trade, as well as invaluable advice when it comes to getting the correct English fit. Diagnosing a poor fit is, Anthony says, not nearly as complicated as riders often make it. Simply put, if something looks wrong, it probably is wrong. “Look

. . . the Princess and the Pea saddle-pad theory: “Throw another pad under it and he won’t feel a thing.” at the saddle on the horse, without any pads. If the part of the saddle just behind the shoulders looks tilted to the front or back, it’s not fitting,” he says. “Beyond that, if you think the saddle is level but you’re still unsure about the fit, palpate the horse’s back after you ride to check for any tender spots. Look for rub marks at the front and the back. When riding, if you feel as though you can’t sit in a correct, balanced position without thinking about it, this is probably the result of a poor fit. If something looks or feels wrong to you, it most likely is wrong, and that’s when you

should have a saddler look at it.” Both Anthony and Josh recommend that if you have a saddle that is ridden in consistently, you should get it fitted every six months to accommodate a horse’s constantly changing body. When the saddle fitter makes a visit, it pays to follow along and understand his process. Josh likes to see the client ride in the saddle during the visit, for a more dynamic view of the fit. “I’m very hands on and go through each step of the fitting with clients,” he says. “I want them to feel that the tree isn’t pinching at the shoulders, and to run their hands along the panels to see that the tree isn’t bridging at all. If a client gets the opportunity to experience a good saddle fit firsthand, she’ll be able to more easily recognize issues and more aware when changes occur.” Josh and Anthony take several points of fit into account when assessing a saddle. “The saddle tree must match the contours of the horse’s body just behind the shoulders,” Anthony says. “That’s where the biggest issues come up with tree fit; it’s either too narrow or too wide. A tree that’s too narrow will perch on the horse, causing the points of the tree to stick him behind the shoulders, and a tree that’s too wide will slip down and sit right on the horse’s withers. Getting a good fit behind the shoulders with the appropriate tree size is really the most important part of the fit.” Josh expands on this concept. “It’s

crucial that the rider’s weight is dispersed evenly,” he says, “which is achieved through proper tree angle, correct saddle balance, and even panel contact free of any bridging or gaps.” When Anthony or Josh goes to work on a saddle, the adjustments he makes are based on those key points of fit. “I’m adjusting the front of the saddle to fit behind the shoulders correctly,” says Anthony, “and from there I adjust the panels so that it sits level on

“If the horse is comfortable, you’re going to have a great ride.” the horse. As long as there’s enough fullness in the wool panel, you can make adjustments to make it fit level.” Making adjustments within the wool panel is called flocking: the saddler adds, reduces, or replaces wool to balance the seat and distribute weight properly. Josh recommends periodic reflocking in addition to regular fitting: “Maintaining the flocking and panels is important. Over time, flocking can settle, compress, and get hard or lumpy. Depending on the age of the saddle, every five or six years it’s a good idea to reflock.” Both men prefer wool over

foam in the panels, and recommend converting foam to wool for a more adjustable fit. “A lot of close-contact jumping saddles tend to be foam-filled, which doesn’t leave room for any adjustments aside from temporary pads or shims,” Anthony says. “Converting the panels to wool offers a fresh palette, which can be readjusted to fit the horse’s body.” The Flair air system is another flocking method: It consists of four airfilled bladders, within the panels, that can be adjusted to accommodate the shape of the horse and the seat of the rider. “I like the Flair air system because it provides constant contact and even pressure,” Anthony says. “Older and very sensitive horses can benefit from it, and riders who are physically unable to sit straight, perhaps from a hip replacement, can find a good balanced seat with this system.” At the end of the day, that good, balanced ride thanks to a comfortable horse is what a skilled saddler wants his clients to be able to achieve. Anthony and Josh seek these results with every saddle they address. “A good fit enables the horse to move more freely and puts the rider in the proper position, and that should be the goal of each fit,” Josh says. Anthony agrees: “Your horse is going to feel more comfortable under a

Symptoms of Poor Saddle Fit • My horse is difficult to catch. • When I brush him, he drops in his back. • When I go to saddle him, he drops in his back or he gets “antsy” and moves back and forth. • As I tighten the girth, he pins back his ears and may even try to bite me. • When I first get on my horse, he walks away very quickly and with rapid steps. • While riding, his head is always way up in the air. • When we transition up and down, my horse gets hard in my hands. • He doesn’t bend as easily to one side as he does to the other. • He doesn’t go down slopes easily. • At competitions, he’s okay at first, then he begins to refuse jumps. • When he’s cantering in small circles, he changes canter lead in the hind legs. • His disposition deteriorates. Courtesy of

Eight-Point Saddle Check 1. The center of the saddle seat (sweet spot) should lie parallel to the ground. The balance is the most important factor in determining the position of the rider.

2. When viewed from the back, the saddle should not twist or fall to one side.

3. Depending on the anatomy of the horse (mutton or high withered), there should be clearance of one to three fingers above the withers and one to two fingers on either side. 4. The saddle should be wide enough that the panel doesn’t interfere with spinal processes or the dorsal ligaments (six to seven fingers at the front, tapering to four fingers minimum at the back). Daylight clearance should be visible above the spine.

courtesy of

5. As you run a hand along the horse under the panel and apply pressure to the seat, there should be even compression from front to back. There shouldn’t be any bridging or rocking. 6. Billets should hang perpendicular to the ground and place the girth in the correct position (one hand-width behind the elbow).

7. When you apply pressure to the pommel, run your hand from the top of the withers to the bottom under the saddle’s tree points. There should be less pressure at the top and it should become tighter toward the bottom. This ensures that the muscle and scapula have the freedom to move underneath the tree points. 8. The saddle must not exert any pressure behind the last rib on the horse’s back. To locate the last rib, look at the hair on the flank. You’ll notice that hair comes from two directions and forms a line down the flank. Straight up from this line is the last rib. The saddle panels shouldn’t extend beyond this line. Massachusetts Horse


The Raucher family and the Heritage Farm staff and community would like to thank our many friends and business contacts across New England for their support as we ride into our 44th year! We wish each and every one of you, whether you have two legs or four, a very Happy and Healthy Holiday Season with Best Wishes for 2016! AUCTIONS & SALE HORSES

See our selection of horses and ponies for sale at


Look for an expanded calendar of events to be held at Heritage Farm in 2016: Auctions . Hunter Shows . Stock Horse Shows . Dressage Shows . Clinics

Open to buy, sell, or trade horses 7 days a week, by appointment. Nice Horses for Nice People. Auctions . Hunter, Stock Horse, and Dressage Shows . IEA Team The Raucher Family 30 Florence Rd. Easthampton, MA (413) 527-1612

correctly fitted saddle. If the horse is comfortable, you’re going to have a great ride.”

The Western Fit A proper fit is just as important with a western saddle. In fact, the additional weight of the heavier materials makes fit crucial, as the saddle must be supported at the appropriate points for a good, balanced fit. A proper western fit starts from the inside out and from the very beginning of saddle construction. Keith LaRiviere, of Blue Dog Leather in Orange, is a professional western saddle maker and leatherworker. 10

December/January 2016

“It’s very important for people to understand how the design of the saddle affects the horse,” Keith says. “When I’m building a saddle, my primary concern is always the horse’s comfort, because when something isn’t right, the horse is the one who suffers.” Keith has an extensive background in leatherwork and tack repairs, and learned saddle making out in Colorado from the highly regarded saddler Jesse Smith, who has earned 55 years of experience. Keith has been building handcrafted western saddles from scratch since 2011, and the finished products are beautiful, functional, and comfortable.

When Keith sets out to build a saddle, he thoroughly evaluates the horse that will wear it, but that’s just a small step. “I don’t build a saddle to fit any one particular horse,” he says. “All of the saddle makers I’ve studied with will tell you that they build to suit a certain body type: wide, stocky builds; narrow builds; medium builds; and so on. Horse’s bodies are always changing; they’re likely to be in much fitter shape in the late summer than they are in the early spring, and the body changes and develops throughout their lifetime. A horse is likely to change even within the amount of time that the saddle is being built. What I’m looking for is the general body type the horse has and a few basic measurements that will shape the saddle.” An understanding of the structure within a western saddle is essential here. The width of the gullet and the angle of the bars, which distribute weight to protect the spine, are the two main concerns when fitting the saddle. Gullet width is measured at the joint of the fork and the bars. The bar angle should be as close to the angle of the horse’s back as possible. Length of bars is also a factor, and Keith says it’s one of the most important measurements he takes. “The distance from the back of the scapula to the curve of the last rib determines how long the bar should be,” he says. “If the bar is too long, you risk two points of discomfort. First, the bar can interfere with the movement of the shoulder. Second, when the bar is extending beyond that last rib, the weight in the saddle is falling on unsupported muscle. There’s no bone to support the weight, and this causes the bar to dig into the back and will certainly cause discomfort.” Keith gets trees for his saddles from some of the finest tree makers in the country. “What I try to do is select a tree that comes very close to fitting the horse’s body type but is big enough to distribute the weight the horse needs to carry over as large an area as possible,” he says. “Then it’s my responsibility to build a seat that allows the rider to have a good position, which results in even distribution of weight over the bars and the skirts. Ideally, you want the low point of the seat, where all of the rider’s weight is concentrated, to sit over the low point on the horse’s back, where it can most easily carry the weight. It’s most comfortable for the horse and gives the best balance to the rider. Think of a seesaw,” he says: “The center is the most stable part to be sitting on.”

One of the most common issues Keith faces is riders who want a saddle that’s too big for their britches. “I was making a saddle for a woman who was about five feet, five inches tall and weighed about a hundred and fifteen pounds soaking wet,” he says, “and she wanted a sixteen-point-five-inch seat. I really don’t think a person that size needs a seat that big, especially if the horse she’s riding is short-backed. To be comfortable, everything has to be proportional.” Recognizing existing discomfort is the first step to address saddle fit, and Keith points out a few things to look for. “What we interpret as misbehavior under saddle can often be discomfort, and it’s your first indicator that something doesn’t fit right,” he says. “For example, if you’re asking your horse to stop and in the process you’re rolling your hips to shift your weight back, that causes the saddle to dig into his back. Then the horse isn’t going to be thinking about what you’re asking him to do; he’s thinking about how he can get away from the pain. He doesn’t have any way to tell you that, so we have to question the misbehavior as a possible sign of discomfort.”

There’s also a common physical indicator that a saddle is causing pain: “Another sign of bad fit,” says Keith, “is the appearance of white hairs on the withers and along the back. That means the pressure is enough that it’s cutting off circulation to points on the back.” Take the time to find the right western saddle — one that’s a good fit for both horse and rider — and you’ll be rewarded with comfortable rides. “Quality materials and skilled craftsmanship go a long way,” says Keith,

Hand Built Saddles starting at $2,500

“and give you the best chance possible for a good fit.”

Thinking Outside the Tree The traditional modes of saddle construction and fit have endured for centuries, but there are some new approaches. In fact, there’s a host of innovations for riders to explore, but it’s important to separate the real solutions from the gimmicks. Making sure the saddle design is the product of science, research, and experience is a

Hand-crafted using high-quality materials and workmanship. Careful fitting for horse and rider. Custom quality leather goods: western saddles . purses . totes chaps . chinks . belts . halters . bridles reins . breast collars repairs . restoration dog collars & leashes Open most days, call ahead to be sure.

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Massachusetts Horse


Where the Fit Really Matters Featuring an adjustable tree for every discipline. Our revolutionary design provides optimal freedom of movement, ensuring maximum comfort and peak performance for horse and rider. Built by hand in Canada.

Amy Contact s e t up a today to ting t saddle fi nt! me appoint

Amy C. Barton DK Saddle Fitter . Sales Representative 978-621-2633 . . good first indicator of credibility. Amy Barton met Danny Kroetch, of DK Saddlery, which is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, at Equine Affaire in 2006, when she was deep into her search for saddles to properly fit her Dales Ponies. Their particular build — a short, wide back and massive shoulders — made for a tall order, and she wasn’t having much success. “I spoke with six or seven saddle companies, had my ponies measured and assessed, and test-rode some beautiful saddles with excellent craftsmanship, but I found 12

December/January 2016

myself disappointed,” Amy remembers. “For close to six thousand dollars, I thought I should be feeling a big difference. They were all nice saddles, but I still felt as though my position should be better. I should feel centered over the middle of my horse, leg underneath me, horse moving freely and relaxed. I wasn’t getting that, but I put down a deposit on the saddle that came closest.” Feeling unsure, Amy met one more saddle fitter by chance; despite his cowboy hat, he had a lot of insight on dressage and jumping saddles Amy hadn’t

heard before. “I was blown away by Danny’s passion and knowledge about saddle fitting, and his very scientific approach,” she says. “He explained biomechanical movement and the way his saddles were designed for the natural asymmetry of the horse. He had me try one and just twenty strides into the ride, I immediately felt the centered, balanced, relaxed ride I’d been looking for. I went back to the saddler who was holding my deposit and told him I’d changed my mind.” Danny is a Master Saddle Fitter and designer. His designs feature an adjustable fit that works with the natural asymmetry of a horse’s back, and are supported by significant research. Inspired by Danny’s passionate approach to saddle fitting and thrilled by her own experience with the saddles, Amy became a saddle fitter for the DK Saddlery line. “The ultimate goal is always to make the best decision for the long-term health of the horse,” she says. “He should be happy and comfortable, never in pain, when we’re riding him.” DK Saddlery’s adjustable-fit technology addresses the horse’s asymmetries, something a rigid wooden tree can’t do. One problem the saddlers address in particular is the tendency of traditional saddles to apply the same amount of pressure on each side of the horse and to apply that pressure too high up. Amy explains how DK Saddlery offers the flexibility that horses need: “Danny’s tree creates the correct length and angle of the tree point, which enables the shoulder hole of the horse to remain open, which enables the scapula to fully rotate under the tree point. The gullet plate on a DK English saddle has fifty centimeters of adjustability and can be adjusted to fit any horse’s asymmetrical shape.” As for western saddles, the same principle of adjustability provides a good fit. “Western riders tend to put their favorite saddle on every horse they’re riding, then pad it up to make it fit,” she says, cringing. “If you’re trying to get a shoe that’s not your size onto your foot, will putting on a different sock make it fit better?” Amy asks. “Probably not. Shims are also not necessarily the best fix — they don’t allow weight to be distributed evenly along the length of the bars. DK western saddles are engineered with adjustable bars that maintain consistent and equal pressure from the front of the bars to the back.” The use of Flair air technology in all DK saddles also makes for an

adjustable fit made for the horse’s biomechanical movement. “If I never told you there was air in the saddle, you wouldn’t even know, but it’s key for comfort,” Amy says. “As the horse is working, his muscles are expanding and contracting, constantly changing shape. The air moves away from pressure and spreads out within the panels, making the saddle comfortable in his shoulders and keeping the gullet from pinching him on the spine. He’s then able to lift his back and get up underneath the saddle.” Amy says she prefers Flair air over foam or wool because of the compression that can occur with either one of those materials, compression that causes the panels to harden and no longer conform to the horse’s back. As a horse’s body is ever changing, an adjustable saddle is a long-term solution that can always be fine-tuned. “With DK Saddlery, we recommend having someone come out and look at the saddle once a year,” says Amy. “If it’s a young horse who’s changing quickly, maybe more often than that. When I adjust an English saddle, I have a mechanical press with a gear box that can apply four tons of pressure per square inch, which lets me open or close the gullet plate as needed, on one side or the other. For western saddles, riders need nothing more than an Allen wrench to fully adjust the saddle themselves; they can move the bars in or out to fit a variety of horses.” Technology helps DK Saddlery design forward-thinking saddles. “Wood and wool and leather were the only materials available four hundred years ago, when saddles were first developed,” Amy says, “and craftsmen are still inclined to use them. Through scientific research, we’ve developed entirely new ways to address comfort for both horse and rider.” With many experts and resources about saddle fitting available, we riders have no need to “fake it” and risk a sore back and nasty rubs. If you suspect your horse is uncomfortable under the tack, you owe it to him to get a saddle fitter’s opinion. Alessandra Mele, who lives in Wilbraham, works in marketing at W. F. Young/Absorbine. She enjoys spending time with the horses on her family’s farm, especially riding her Quarter Horse, JoJo.

Orion Farm


If you want to be the best, you have to train with the best! Local to national champions. All levels of lessons available for ages 4 and up, plus adults. Quality horses and ponies for sale or lease. Boarding, training, and showing.

S. Hadley . (413) 532-9753 Massachusetts Horse


Farm Feature

Great Barrington

by Whitney Sanderson

Harmony Hill Farm It’s All About the Horses


“We have some of the nicest, most wonderful families and riders who make up an incredible support group,” says Leah. “This support team is a big reason why our horses and students are so successful on and off the show circuit. Aimee is extremely generous, both with her time and with her horses. She’s great at finding and presenting oppor-

Aimee Boyer

he Berkshires are known for their beauty, and Harmony Hill Farm in Great Barrington could be a setting for a postcard or a plein air painting, with its classic red barn surrounded by pastures and farmland and a backdrop of dense forest. Other details mark Harmony Hill distinctly as a show barn: the manicured sand arena with its sturdy, professional jumps; the neatly kept grounds; and the well-groomed horses with carefully scrubbed socks and blazes. Harmony Hill’s founders, Aimee Boyer and Kacy Warner, partnered up early in life, training horses together while they were still in middle school. “The first horse I ever trained was a Morgan that I won in an essay contest from UMass,” says Aimee. “His name is Bay State Vista. I sold him as a three-year-old to one of our clients, and she still owns him. He went on to win many national and world championships in the Working Hunters with both me and his owner, Elsie Vieira.” Eventually, Aimee and Kacy started keeping some of the horses they trained and then began showing — successfully — on the hunter circuit. About ten years ago, they began leasing the 350acre property that would become Harmony Hill Farm. Today, Aimee is the owner and head trainer, Kacy focuses on her growing family, and stable manager Martina Sprague handles the day-to-day operations of the busy boarding stable. Leah Barack, who has been riding with Aimee for five years, became a second instructor for Harmony Hill after getting her bachelor’s degree in equine business from UMass Amherst. “Part of what makes Harmony so special is the people,” says Leah, a show rider who won this year’s $5,000 Northeast Benefit Jumper Classic on Par Avion, a 15-year-old Selle Français gelding. 14

December/January 2016

tunities to riders, and stresses the importance of horsemanship.” Many of the students at Harmony Hill are in middle school and high school. “What I like best about our young riders is the enthusiasm and energy they bring,” says Aimee. “We’ve got a great group of kids taking lessons now. They really help each other out, learn about horse care from the ground up, and just have a lot of fun.” In summer, the young riders love to cool off with their horses in a river, accessible by a network of trails, behind the farm’s pastures. Twenty-five horses live at Harmony Hill — a mix of boarders and horses in training, lesson horses and ponies, and Aimee’s projects. She has four horses of her own — Orion, a retired show jumper; Milo, a striking black sevenyear-old Hanoverian who’s competing in Pre-Greens this year; and a pair of two-year-olds that Aimee hopes will have what it takes to be top-notch hunters or

equitation horses. One, named Exclusive, is a Hanoverian colt who was bred by Kent Island Sporthorses, in Stevensville, Maryland, and was the Zone One Yearling Hunter Breeding champion and reserve champion Overall Hunter Breeding with the American Hanoverian Society in 2014. The other is Rocaway, an Oldenburg gelding sired by Rocazino and bred by Fie Andersen in Hamilton. Aimee’s passion for training is apparent when she talks about the differences between her two youngsters. “Exclusive, or Aiden, as we call him in the barn, is super mellow and takes everything in stride,” she says. “He’s respectful but a bit more laid back in his work, which makes me hopeful for his career as a hunter. Rocaway is much more sensitive and cautious. I find him incredibly willing, but when we do new things, he likes to evaluate the situation and proceed with caution. He’s very sensitive to body language and always in tune with me, which makes me so eager to ride him.” Right now, Rocaway and Aidan are relaxing on turnout and handled daily, and Aimee longes them two or three times a week with tack to prepare them for mounted work. “I want to give them plenty of time to grow and let their bodies develop, so they’ll have the winter completely off and be started under saddle in the spring,” she says. Aimee has plenty to keep her busy until then. Harmony Hill hosts six shows annually — mostly Western New England Professional Hunter Association hunter and equitation competitions, and a dressage show as well. “One of my favorite things about our shows is that we have a great hunt field that offers more interesting options for courses,” she says. And she should certainly know something about horse-show arenas — in addition to the farm’s own competitions, Aimee and her students go to

more than 40 away shows each year. Aimee effortlessly ticks off a list of this year’s big destinations: “Let’s see, we’ve been to Shallowbrook, Vermont Summer Festival, Northeast Benefit, Northampton Hunter/Jumper, HITS Saugerties, Capital Challenge, MHC Finals, NEHC Finals, WNEPHA Finals, and PHA Nationals.” Aimee says 2015 has been a good year for her students and horses: “David Wilbur and Milestone had several wins in the Pre Greens at Vermont and Saugerties,” she says. “Alice Curtin and Copernicus qualified for the Maclay Regionals; Courtney Dinan and Milestone won their classes at the PHA Nationals and were champions in the Adult Hunters; and Kaitlyn Kupiec and Loving Prince were reserve champions in the Children’s Medal at the WNEPHA Finals.” With such a busy show schedule, Aimee makes sure each horse gets a chance to rest and stays in top condition through a carefully managed diet. “Show horses can burn out,” she says, “so I keep a close eye out for that because I want the horses to enjoy their job and be happy and healthy — at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.” Students and boarders agree that the atmosphere at Harmony Hill is warm, and that the emphasis is on good sportsmanship in an often hyper-competitive show world, as well as on lots of attention to horse care. “Aimee makes Harmony Hill Farm feel like family,” says Lucy Praskher, who has kept her horse, Pennywise, at the farm for more than ten years. “I have complete confidence in her judgment when it comes to addressing Penny’s health issues, which at times have been complicated.” Lucy’s daughter, Alice, has been taking lessons with Aimee since she was ten, starting in the Short Stirrup division and culminating her junior career in the 3'6" Equitation. Another Harmony Hill rider, Courtney Dinan, boards her 13-year-old Westphalian, Chewy, at Harmony Hill and says Aimee has helped take her riding to the next level. “A memory I’ll never forget was during one of my first lessons with Aimee,” says Courtney. “As most trainers do, she reminded me of my body position and gave me helpful hints to aid Chewy. But in between, Aimee was quizzing me on my equine knowledge. This was when I realized how much Aimee had to offer.”







M.S., D.V.M.,


99 MAIN ST. (RTE. 9) HAYDENVILLE, MA (413) 268-VETS • FAMVETS.COM • INFO@FAMVETS.COM Even with decades of experience in the hunter show world — she’s president of the Western New England Professional Horseman’s Association — Aimee continues to work with other trainers to refine her skills. In the past year, she’s been riding with Tommy Serio in Southern Pines, North Carolina, and David Wilbur, in Connecticut. “Tommy and David greatly influence my riding and training methods,” says Aimee. “They’re both kind and patient and have a system to set the horse up for success. They have similar styles, and their sole agenda seems to be to influence the horses to be the best version of themselves.” In the coming year, Aimee is looking forward to getting her “r” judge’s card with the USEF, and she’s also excited about Harmony Hill South, the farm’s newly expanded facility in Wellington, Florida. Because from November to April many hunter/ jumper shows take place in the South, it made sense for the farm to extend its operations to the Sunshine State and keep showing year-round. Although Aimee says she’s glad to escape the worst of the notorious

Massachusetts winters, she still considers Harmony Hill North to be home, and deeply values the relationships she’s built during her career as a professional rider and trainer in New England. “I love having a farm in western Massachusetts because of the strong sense of community and also because of the countryside,” she says. “There’s plenty of room to turn the horses out, beautiful grass for them to graze on, and plenty of trails with hills for hacking. It’s all about the horses.” Whitney Sanderson lives in western Massachusetts with her Appaloosa, Thor. She's the author of Horse Diaries #5: Golden Sun and Horse Diaries #10: Darcy, as well as a chapter book called Horse Rescue: Treasure, written to benefit the horses at Little Brook Farm in Old Chatham, New York.

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Horseperson Feature

Helen Noble Family and Faith

by Abigail Powell


r. Helen Noble gets teary-eyed as she talks about her family. Family — and faith — is integral to everything she does. Both mean the world to her, and it’s no surprise why when you get to know her.

sion there that I saw. Our dad encouraged us, but he never told me that being a veterinarian was what I had to do. He led by example.” Though she wasn’t sure about the lifestyle or the additional schooling, she found herself drawn to veterinary medicine. “I always had veterinary school in the back of my mind, but I never thought I could do it,” Helen says.

Abigail Powell

the bump in her career path, the situation ended up being serendipitous: she met Leif Noble through a coworker and the two were married within a year. Helen jokes that Leif may not have known quite what he was getting into, marrying a soon-to-be veterinarian. He did, however, know all about Morgans A Very Veterinary Upbringing — his father was a breeder too. Helen was born into two worlds: the After graduating, Helen thought horse world and the veterinary world. she’d do a one-year In 1951 her father, Dr. internship in Samuel Robert Orcutt Pennsylvania before (better known as S. moving back to the Bay Robert Orcutt and State to work with her affectionately called brother. “But God had Doc), purchased sevanother plan,” she says, eral acres in Rowley and she, with her new and named the prophusband, went to erty Burkland Farm. Massachusetts right Doc was both a away to work for her Morgan horse trainer father. and veterinarian. Helen knew from The Orcutt famher father that the life ily’s lives revolved of an equine veterinararound horses. “It just ian could be a crazy was a way of life,” one. For a while she still Helen says with a continued to ride and shrug. “When I got enjoy horses. She did a older, I was expected little bit of judging for to work on the farm in shows as well, but with the summers and I Caleb, WVS Commanding Night, Joshua, Melanie (holding) Mackenzie, Leif, and Helen. her busy life there wasn’t ended up loving horses. much time for it. She and Leif made it a It’s like a disease we caught from our “When I was in college, it seemed point to make family a priority. “When dad.” It was a good thing too, Helen insurmountable, but once I completed you work so hard like that, your family says. “Figuratively, my father ate, drank, four years of pre-vet I thought, ‘You and slept horses. You either did horses know, this isn’t so bad. I could probably can suffer some — not that we suffered a lot — but there were some sacrifices,” with him or you never saw him.” do more!’” she says, laughing. she admits. “Balance is key.” She, her sister, Mary, and her older Helen’s decision to continue on to Her two sons grew up going on brother, Robert M. Orcutt, learned to veterinary school was also influenced by ride, drive, and show horses and in sum- a family friend who had been interested calls with her, just as Helen did as a child. “Our boys are really important to mertime were very involved in the train- in that career but didn’t pursue it, and me,” she says. “I’m lucky to have them ing business of Burkland Farm. They all he ended up regretting his choice. “His so close to me, and I feel for people also occasionally went on veterinary story spurred me on to give it a try, so whose families live farther away. I’m calls with Doc. “I remember as a little that’s what I did,” she says. very fortunate — if it wasn’t for my famkid riding around with him and going After graduating from Suffolk ily, I’d never be able to do what I do. in the clients’ homes for milk and cookUniversity, Helen planned to go on to ies while he worked on the horses,” the University of Pennsylvania School of Support from them is huge” Like the horse farm, the veterinary Helen says, smiling at the memory. Veterinary Medicine, her father’s alma practice became a family affair. Helen’s Even with a vet for a father and her mater. However, an unfortunate failed older brother, Robert (best known in brother’s decision to go to veterinary contract between the states of the area as Dr. Bob), set up a practice of school, Helen wasn’t immediately cerMassachusetts and Pennsylvania meant his own in Topsfield after graduating tain that her own career choice would she’d have to become a Pennsylvania from Cornell University College of follow in their footsteps: “If anything,” resident in order to be admitted. Veterinary Medicine. For several years she says, “I knew it was kind of a crazy To gain residency, she moved to his practice and his father’s worked life and I wasn’t sure I wanted the life Pennsylvania and took a job at a alongside each other in the community, that he had, but I guess there was a pasMorgan horse farm for a year. Despite


December/January 2016

each complementing the other. In 1987 the two practices merged, eventually forming, with Helen, what is now known as SRH Veterinary Services (SRH comes from the initials of the three family veterinarians: Samuel, Robert, and Helen), now in Ipswich, just five minutes down the road from the family farm. One of Helen’s main veterinary interests is equine reproduction, though she’s involved with all aspects of the practice, from large-animal emergencies to routine small-animal visits. “It all worked out in the end,” Helen says. “My faith is very strong, so I think God had it all planned out for me.”

Faith and Community Faith is very much a part of Helen’s life and it informs her work. She became involved with mission trips through New Life Community Church, in Georgetown, and in 2006, with others in the congregation, traveled to a community in India in order to help assess the needs of its livestock. Helen now goes abroad at least once a year through the Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM), for which she is the representative for Massachusetts. Helen says she’s thankful for the staff at SRH Veterinary Services, who capably run the practice when she is away, and also for the clients, who allow her to travel. “Those who send are just as important as those who go — it’s all part of a team,” she says. CVM helps veterinary professionals live their Christian faith in their careers by sanctioning long- and short-term trips both nationally and internationally to assist with community development. In cultures that rely on livestock to sustain them, the training in animal health they get from CVM veterinarians, technicians, and students can vastly improve the quality of life of both the animals and the families who depend on them. “I guess my motivation at this point is living out my faith through veterinary medicine. I love veterinary medicine, but I have a little bit of a different perspective now,” says Helen. “When I first got out of school, it was very much all about me and what I can do, but now it’s about what I can teach others. All the legacy you have is what you can pass on to others and to the generations after you.” In January, Helen will be making her third trip to the Philippines, where one of the important sources of income

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508-763-5158 . is goat farming. Helen and a team of three, along with RPRCC and Heifer International, are working to promote the utilization of goats for dairy in addition to meat. They’ll be doing individual trainings to help teach the local people learn how to better care for their goats, build housing for them, and find good sources of goats. “The idea is not to give people a hand-out, but a hand-up,” says Helen, “and to help them develop their own God-given abilities.”

What started out as a love for family and a love for horses has expanded to include a love for the community and the people in it — both locally and internationally. “The one thing about veterinary medicine, especially large animal, is that sometimes you can get involved in people’s lives, and for me, that gives extra purpose,” says Helen. “It’s not just about the animals, though I absolutely love the animals, of course.”

A Family Affair

Abigail Powell enjoys learning the ropes of dressage and eventing with her horse Maggie, a Mustang/Arabian she adopted from the MSPCA at Nevins Farm. She also owns Miniature Horse Zipper and goat Billy Boomer. She and her husband live in Topsfield.

When Helen and Leif were married, her father gave the new couple an acre of land on the Burkland Farm property in Rowley, where she lives to this day. Now, Helen and Leif’s two sons, Joshua and Caleb, along with Joshua’s wife, Melanie, run the business and live on the farm in their grandfather’s old house. Helen is proud to support the next generation at Burkland Farm as Joshua, Melanie, and Caleb breed and train primarily Morgan horses for sale, show, and their clients. The family recently welcomed a fourth generation to Burkland Farm, Joshua and Melanie’s now one-year-old daughter, Mackenzie.

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Lend a Hoof


Foal Haven Where PMU Foals Are Reborn

by Karen Morang


largest importer). Although the number of these PMU farms has diminished over the years, too many remain — including those in Winnipeg and Manitoba. Now, as new drug companies seek to revive this barbaric practice, horses are being sent by the thousands to China and other countries where regulations are few and far between. It’s rumored that there are some farms in the United States, but there’s no docu-

Karen Morang Photography

he sun is shining on a warm August day. Andi Balser, a young horsewoman and new to rescuing, and Barbara Graham, a spry, seasoned rescuer, arrive at the bucolic farm in Manitoba, Canada, after a long, tiring trip from Massachusetts. What they see at first glance is acres of lush green grass dotted with fillies and colts, some nursing as others frolic with their mares. It’s the picture-perfect vision that most horse lovers dream of. It would not be the same dream for these horses, however, because not all pictures disclose the truth. The arrival of these two women is about to change the lives of 11 of these horses; in fact, it will save their lives. Andi had met Barbara xx through a mutual friend and began helping Barbara with the horses on her farm. During visits, Andi learned of an industry secret unknown to many women to this day: Some hormone-replacement drugs are produced by pharmaceutical companies from an unlikely source — pregnant mare urine (PMU). Andi was about to get firsthand knowledge about these PMU foals, as Barbara had been rescuing them for years. PMU foals are considered a byproduct of the industry, and this means almost certain death for these innocent babies. Pregnant mares are kept in small cement stalls, unable to lie down, with bags rigged to capture their urine. They remain trapped in these tiny stalls until they give birth, and then are bred again on a nine-day cycle. The mares are never retired; those deemed unruly or that are no longer producing foals are sent to slaughter, as are a very high number of foals. Foals are purchased at auction for current meat prices; others are exported for meat (Japan is the


December/January 2016

mentation to support that claim. Barbara became involved in PMUfoal rescue after losing a mare and foal during the birthing process. She rescued a PMU mare, traced the veterinarian through that mare’s Coggins test, and began to inquire about adopting directly from the PMU farms rather than see horses go through the stresses of auction and transportation to a rescue. She made connections with farmers which led to the rescue of 202 foals and 57 mares in a decade. Time, aging, and the saturation of foals in the local area brought Barbara’s rescue days to a halt. Andi, however, became intrigued with the thought of rescue and persuaded Barbara to go one more time. Andi raised funds for the rescue through the selling of Tshirts and donations. Word spread of the impending trip and interested adopters paid the fees for their new family members. Mares on the farms in Manitoba

and Winnipeg typically give birth in May and June, so that’s when the unlikely pair of women made their journey to select those who would be saved. They were able to see both the mares and stallions on the property and gauge the future size of the foals. Draft horses/draft horse crosses are the breeds used. They produce more urine than the smaller breeds and are more lucrative in the slaughter market as the farmers are paid current meat prices per pound. In their eyes, it’s just business and a way of life in the remote area of Canada where they live. The most soughtafter crosses are the drafts with Paints or the drafts with Standardbreds. Clydesdales and Belgians are also used. Barbara and Andi came back to the East Coast showing off their foal photos as proud new parents would be expected to do. The foals would arrive in September after a two-week delay from the hauler that was hired. The foals were driven straight through because the hauler used two drivers who thankfully were kindhearted and pulled over several times to check on their precious cargo and take note of which ones might need a little extra care upon arrival. The foals were unloaded into a temporary quarantine pen. Andi spent several nights living in a nearby tent tending to the foals as only a nervous new mother would do. Days were spent developing a trust with the foals. The process was slow at first as the foals had little to no human contact in their short lives. Barbara and Andi took halters off as the foals drifted to sleep. Adopters and friends stopped by to visit. All were invited to come into the holding area to help socialize the foals. The foals were

moved to a larger quarantine area, where Andi gave each foal a name and continued working on trust and touch, allowing the foals to make the first move without being forced. She describes Lego, a full Clydesdale, as “always beebopping around behind me and his silly antics make me laugh constantly.” Barbara’s friend Alan Rochette helped with one of her early foal rescues. Alan owned a Mustang named Satchmo and was questioned by many if he would be adopting a PMU foal. Alan was quick to answer “No” to all who asked. He was only there to help, with no intention of adopting another horse, but by end of the day, Mystery, the inquisitive mini version of Alan’s Mustang, was on his way home with Alan. A decade later, Mystery is still with Alan and helped comfort him through the loss of Satchmo earlier this year. Judy Cockerton, who had adopted a PMU foal from Foal Haven, has stepped up to the plate yet again. This time she would be adopting two. The farmer’s contract with the pharmaceutical company was coming to an end and he was allowing a mare to be taken. As luck would have it, the mare chosen would be Judy’s previous foal’s dam and she was also able to adopt that mare’s current foal. Judy had reunited a family unit — saving the mare from being on the PMU line for life. Evelyn Voorhees is also a three-time former adopter from Foal Haven. The foal that she has chosen from this group did not handle the long ride from Manitoba as well as the others. His halter had been too tight on the ride and he was showing signs of stress. Sometime during the night, he managed to get a mouthful of grass that his sore jaw could not manipulate properly. Several attempts were made by both Andi and Barbara to remove that halter and grass but nerves got the best of him

and he eluded both. It was evident that he was hungry and starting to weaken. Evelyn arrived just in time. After several attempts, Evelyn’s kind and soothing voice calmed him enough to remove the grass and he was fed oats and drank water as she caressed his body. It was amazing to see his energy level rise and see the bond already taking place between him and Evelyn. All of these PMU babies have been adopted since the printing of this article. Andi and Barbara are actively seeking a home for a colt from last year. Although Andi is still involved in finding new homes for the foals, her fulltime work at the Stetson School in Barre has pulled her in another direction. She has introduced a canine therapy program to the school with her dog, Cooper. Andi and Cooper have been a registered therapy team since 2011 and were chosen from hundreds of teams to present a national webinar to discuss her program. She is by no means done with the equestrian world — she intends on being an integral part of the Stetson School’s plan to integrate an equine therapy program into its curriculum. To find out more about Foal Haven, visit or find it on Facebook. Foal Haven runs on donations. If you would like to contribute to the care of these foals, visit FoalHaven. Karen Morang, who lives in Charlton, is a regional branch administrator for North East Electrical Distributors. She enjoys photographing people and their pets, especially horses and dogs. Her favorite pastime is transforming everyday images into digital art.

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Massachusetts Horse


Stable Devotion



by Andrea Bugbee


point in opposite directions. She broke her left arm so badly it needed metal pins. That one accident kept Jackie out of the saddle for a year and shook her confidence for cantering. But it didn’t shake her love of horses, and in fact it strengthened her determination to continue to ride.

courtesy of Jackie Kennedy

ackie Kennedy isn’t one to turn her back on challenges. Instead, she seems to swallow them like vitamins. “In a battle, I’d want Jackie on my side,” says Jackie’s freelance riding instructor, Eve Voorhees, of Worthington. Eve is standing beside Jackie, an elegant woman wearing clean, well-cut riding clothes and with a perfect French manicure. Everything about Jackie is chic, gentle, and quiet — except, perhaps, for her courage in extending her own limits. “She’s very intelligent,” says Eve, who is classically trained in dressage but says she specializes in teaching the equestrian discipline of common sense. “Jackie asks excellent questions. She’s a very elastic student. She’ll take a risk, and then start over again if it’s not going well for her. Jackie isn’t just one volume; she’s the entire set.” When Jackie was a young nurse raising her two children, she decided to advance her education to become a nurse practitioner. After much study and hard work, she was able to open her own clinic in Whately, the western Massachusetts town in which she lives. When her children were suddenly grown and off at college, she decided what any busy, self-fulfilled, emptynester would decide: that she needed a horse. The fact that Jackie is allergic to horses and hadn’t owned one since she was in junior high school didn’t deter her. She took a Morgan mare and foal onto her 10-acre property and made a project out of training the colt, Jake, in hand. Using her very distant experience plus, she says, “a few lessons here and there,” she did fairly well with him. Until it was time to ride. Sensibly, Jackie had sent Jake to a trainer in Vermont for six weeks to begin his work under saddle. Riding under the trainer’s supervision, says Jackie, “Jake went that way and I went that way” — she uses her thumbs to

and Jackie Kennedy


December/January 2016

So when Jackie’s friend needed a place to board her Morgan stallion and mare, Jackie was more than happy to keep them on her property. She let her friend handle the stallion, who was handsome but sour and unpredictable. However, with both a mare and a stallion in her field, Jackie couldn’t resist the temptation to breed another foal. In May 2007, Jacqueline’s Promise was born.

Promise “Promise,” as Jackie calls her little filly, is now eight years old. A Lippitt Morgan, this mare is a tidy package in the classical Morgan style. With a powerful, compact build, she’s more in line with an all-wheel-drive Rav4 than a Lexus sedan, but her conformation and breeding are all strength, soundness, and usability. Promise is also pretty. Her coat is dense and glossy, a glimmering testimony to Jackie’s meticulous care. Her mane is lush and her lashes are

long over eyes that are both soft and curious. Her nose quickly finds its way to any visitors, inspecting them for smells, interesting bumps or baubles, or possibly a treat. Promise routinely unties herself if she’s hitched with just a single knot. “She’s curious. She’s not deadpan. There’s an alertness behind her eye. I like that about her. I like her inquisitiveness,” says Jackie. “Promise is her own woman,” Eve says. “She’s a very self-actualized horse. She doesn’t cater to other people’s whims. She’ll step up to the occasion if pressure is applied, but she’s a creature of opportunity if somebody is asleep at the wheel. She’s not a babysitter. You have to be an organized rider to have some success with her. “I don’t think Promise could be any luckier,” Eve says. “There are a lot of people out there who would try to change who she is. She and Jackie have a well-defined relationship.” Although Promise is an independent thinker, Jackie says she’s certainly not mean. “I have four little grandchildren and they love to ride her. I think she takes care of them.” Promise spent her first years on Jackie’s property, where Jackie handled her, doted on her, and taught her to ground-drive. Jackie then sent her to Vermont, briefly, to be started under saddle. After that, she moved Promise to Carrier’s Farm, in Southampton. There Jackie could take advantage of the indoor arena and ride year-round. She could also hire a trainer to finish her sweet, but definitely green and opinionated, mare. “I was thinking Eve would train Promise for me,” Jackie says with a laugh. “But Eve asked if I could follow directions. I said sure. She told me that’s what she would do, then. She would teach my horse, but I would be the rider.” So Jackie had not only bred her own Morgan, but she’d also agreed to become its mounted trainer.

May I Have This Dance? Not one to stagnate in other aspects of her life, Jackie was also studying German and taking ballet lessons. Her interest in German eventually waned, but she remains enchanted by the ways in which riding and ballet overlap. In fact, four years later, she still dances and rides three or four times a week. “It turns out that ballet is just like dressage,” Jackie says. “They’re both very technical, and you can learn both forever and a day. It’s all core. It’s all your different body parts working independently. Here it’s the relationship with the horse. With ballet, it’s a relationship with the music. I was surprised by how complementary they are.” Where Jackie is long and lean, Promise is short and muscular, but in strength, beauty, and determination, the two are a match, each flourishing under a partnership that’s both physical and intellectual. “We do have a feeling for each other,” Jackie says. “There’s this spirit. There’s just something about her. I just like the relationship we have. I feel like we work with each other. I like her beauty. I like her independence. I like her mind. I would miss her terribly if I didn’t have her.”

The Bay Mares Club In truth, however, Promise isn’t the only lure of the stable. Even with accommodations for a horse on her own property, she’s happy with her decision to board at Carrier’s. “I absolutely prefer being here,” says Jackie, who travels 25 minutes round-trip to see the mare. “For one, I can ride all year, but the barn itself — I have to say it’s a great barn. There are caring, involved owners, a variety of trainers . . . everyone’s so encouraging. It’s a great social group.” Mary Fister, of Florence, agrees. She and Jackie are part of what Eve affectionately calls “the Bay Mares Club,” a group of fast friends who all, except one, ride bay mares. “It’s just by chance the way this worked out. It’s a wonderful coincidence,” Mary says. “Through our horses, we’ve all become good friends.” As with Jackie’s arm-snapping fall from Jake, Mary has had her confidence shaken. “But we talk about that with each other,” she says. “There’s not this, oh-I-have-to-be-tough-because-Iride attitude, and that’s helped me so much. We support each other on every possible level.”


This Olde Horse

Ayer Board of Trade parade float showing a horse pushing a buggy, symbolic of pushing for progress. To the left stands a woman with a sign reading FIRST WOMAN SUFFRAGETTE IN AYER.

Have a photo for This Olde Horse? Email “Fear is often the third person in my lessons,” says Eve. “There’s the horse. There’s the rider. And sometimes there’s the fear. My job is to recognize it, feel its parameters, and try and box it out. Ultimately, skill outweighs the fear.” Always up for a challenge, Jackie, with the help of Eve, Promise, and a wonderful group of barn friends, now rides her home-bred Morgan at a solid training level in dressage. However, Promise’s short back and compact build make her a more natural trail pony, and that’s where Jackie’s sights are set. “My next goal would be to feel comfortable going out on the trails,” she says, gesturing to the woods and fields that surround Carrier’s indoor arena. “I’d really like to be able to do that.” If history is any indication of how likely Jackie Kennedy is to accomplish a goal, then all bets are on that this gently rugged retiree and her trusted mare will be plodding over pasture and path in no time.

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Southwick resident Andrea Bugbee is a Pony Club mom, an IEA mom, and a backyard horse enthusiast. She does most of her writing while she waits for her daughter in the parking lots of numerous wonderful stables scattered throughout western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.

Massachusetts Horse


Win a $500 SmartPak gift certificate! Simply participate in the MFBF’s Survey and you’ll be entered to win! One grand prize $500 SmartPak gift certificate! Five $100 SmartPak gift certificates! To enter, complete the survey on the next page or visit to complete the online survey. Surveys are due February 1, 2016. Prize drawing will be held April 1, 2016

Dear Horse Owner/Equestrian Facility Operator, The Equine Committee of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation is undertaking a study to assess the impact of the equine industry in the state of Massachusetts, to be conducted by Farm Credit East. Funding has been raised by the Massachusetts Farm Bureau, and comes from the generous support of such organizations as the Bay State Trail Riders Association, the Hanover Hunt and Riding Club, Massachusetts Horse magazine, the Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council, the Massachusetts Morgan Horse Association, the Western New England Professional Horseman’s Association, and UPHA Chapter 14, along with a variety of private donors. No public funds are being used to pay for the study. A questionnaire that requests some financial information is part of the study. It’s important for everyone to complete the questionnaire as accurately as possible. Farm Credit East will summarize the data obtained from it for the Equine Committee so that its members can

produce informational brochures for the Massachusetts equestrian community that will help in lobbying state government on behalf of horse owners and stable operators. We would like to emphasize that the financial information will be kept confidential and will be retained by Farm Credit East. It will not be available to anyone else, including state or local officials, the Farm Bureau, Farm Credit East, or the Equine Committee. The purpose of this study is to help the equestrian community understand the value of the Massachusetts equine industry, and gather important data to help in lobbying on your behalf. We need your help and participation! If you have any questions, please call me at (508) 481-4766 or email Sincerely,

Douglas P. Gillespie Executive Director

249 Lakeside Ave., Marlborough, MA 01752 • (508) 481-4766 • 22

December/January 2016

Massachusetts Equestrian Economic Impact and Land-Use Study Name: ______________________________________________ Farm Name: ________________________________________ Street: ______________________________________________ Town: ____________________________ Zip Code: ________ County: __________________________ Phone: _____________________________ Email: ____________________________ 1. Are you a: m Recreational Horse Owner m Commercial Horse Farm Owner/Operator m Commercial Horse Farm Landlord (*Name of tenant: ______________________________________) m Commercial Horse Farm Tenant/Operator (*Name of landlord: ______________________________) *prevents double counting both landlord and tenant

2. How many acres do you own? Home & Barn Site Acres _____ Tillable Acres _____ Pasture Acres _____ Wooded Acres _____ Total Acres Owned _____ (should equal combined acreage above) How many do you rent? _____ 3. Type of horse farm: (Please check all that apply and put #1 next to primary use.) Personal use only _____ Boarding _____ Training _____ Shows _____ Lessons (includes riding academy) _____ Recreation (e.g., trail riding) _____ Racing _____ Breeding _____ Therapeutic Riding _____ Other ____________________ 4. Number of horses: Personally Owned _____ Business Owned _____ Owned by Others _____ 5. Gross revenue from equine operation in 2015: Boarding $_______ Training $_______ Shows $_______ Lessons $_______ Recreation $_______ Training $_______ Breeding $_______ Therapeutic Riding $_______ Other_____________ $_______ Total Revenue $__________ 6. How much of your total expenditures in 2015 were spent: Within 25 miles of your operation $__________ Within the state of Massachusetts $__________ 7. Please indicate the number of workers on your farm in 2015: Owners _____ Unpaid family help _____ Full-time employees (including paid family members) _____ Part-time employees (year round) _____ Seasonal employees (e.g., summertime only) _____ Total Number of Workers _____ 8. What was your gross payroll expense in 2015? $______ 9. What were your total capital purchases in 2015? $______ 10. What did you pay in real-estate taxes on your farm in 2015? $__________ 11. What is the age of the primary operator of your farm? ____ 12. Do you have a “next generation” interested in operating the farm? m Yes

m No

13. How long do you and/or your family plan to continue farming? Please check one: m Less than 5 years m 5 to 10 years m 10 to 20 years m More than 20 years 14. Do you have plans to expand or diversify your farm? m Yes

m No

15. Please rank the following, in the order of priority, in which they pose a problem or concern to you relative to the operation of your farm from the #1 most concern through #11 least concern: ___Hiring help ___Trespassing/vandalism ___Liability ___Availability of quality feed (circle one or both: grain and hay) ___Availability of machinery/parts ___Availability of Veterinary and Farrier Services ___Neighbor complaints concerning farming operations ___Regulations affecting farm operation (e.g., town regulations) ___Marketing your farm operation ___Availability of technical assistance ___Other issues (explain) _______________________________________________________ (please use additional paper as needed) 16. Your comments and thoughts: Please provide your thoughts about what’s important to the equine industry in Massachusetts. If we receive a significant number similar answers in a particular category they may be included in this study.

____________________________________________________________________________ (please use additional paper as needed) Thank you for your assistance! Please mail to: Farm Credit East, P.O. Box 720, Middleboro, MA 02346-0720 Massachusetts Horse



Youth Spotlight

Tessa Holloran A Journey Begins

by Faith Wang


other. Beau was accustomed to a different rider and Tessa was used to a different pony, so they’re developing a relationship. They both try hard, and they forgive each other when things are a little off.” This summer, Tessa and Beau com-

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t the age of three, Tessa Holloran, of Pepperell, was learning to ride her 12-hand Welsh pony, Little Miss K, as her mother ran along beside her. Today, eight years later, Tessa holds a gold medal and the 2015 Overall Champion title after she competed at Lendon’s Youth Dressage Festival in Saugerties, New York. Since Tessa’s days of lead-line lessons and learning her diagonals on Miss K, she has graduated to a larger horse, a Dutch Warmblood mare named Usela. When Usela, whom Tessa calls Beau, arrived from the Netherlands, Tessa knew it was love. The process of finding Beau began in November 2014, when Tessa and her mother, Kristine, viewed the black mare’s sale videos. “It took seven months for this to happen and I never thought I’d be where I am today,” says Tessa. “Beau has turned out to be a wonderful partner. She has a great nature and a good personality.” “We were not able to meet Beau right off the plane,” Tessa says. The two first met at Beau’s quarantine in Rhode Island. “It’s funny because I felt like I knew her, but then seeing her in person was like a dream. She was so sweet. We got to brush her and give her kisses. I was very happy.” “I was extremely relieved to see her in such good condition and to see firsthand how sweet she was. I was just really happy that the girls [Tessa has a younger sister] were able to spend some time with her, and me too,” recalls Kristine. “To be honest, we never did a test ride on Beau. I knew there was a chance they wouldn’t be a good match, but we kept our fingers crossed. Her previous owners were fantastic to work with; they shared a lot of information and videos, and were honest with us. Thankfully, Tessa and Beau get along great. I enjoy watching them learn about each other and from each 24

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peted at HITS for both Lendon’s Youth Dressage Festival and the NEDA (New England Dressage Association) Fall Festival, and rode away with considerable honors. “Showing at the festival was an unbelievable experience, especially showing at HITS. My trainer took me through the barn where all the Olympians and FEI riders were staying and that’s where I got my confidence,” says Tessa. “The atmosphere is so positive and encouraging,” says Kristine. “We stayed at the show for four days. It’s a lot of fun for the competitors; you see teamwork among strangers and a genuine interest from everyone for the young riders to have a great experience.” Lendon’s Youth Dressage Festival is the flagship event for Dressage4Kids, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide riding and horsemanship education and opportunities to children and their supporting adults. The festival has three stages: a written test, a dressage test, and an equitation class, and Tessa has participated two previous times, but mounted on Little Miss K. “The written test at D4K is a lot to prepare for,” says Tessa. “Depending on

your age group, you have a book to read and the tests are based on the reading. Sometimes I wondered if I would ever get through reading the required book.” Tessa has attended a Weekend Educational Program put on by D4K since she was five. This is a twoday seminar of classroom teaching, lectures, and presentations. Tessa racked up the blue in all of her phases and accumulated the overall highest score. This landed her the Overall Championship, ahead of 300 other riders, some almost twice her age. “It’s like a dream,” says Tessa. “I would never expect to be the overall winner — I’d always think the older girls would win.” Although the outcome of the show couldn’t have gone better, Tessa says Beau was antsy during the warm-up. “There was a lot going on,” she says, “many riders at different levels, water trucks hosing down the dust, loudspeakers crackling, golf carts and bikes zipping around, trainers shouting so kids could hear, and all different noises to signal the start of your test — bells, whistles, train whistles, horns.” Tessa tried to stay focused, but she says the hectic atmosphere of the show made it difficult. “I didn’t want to let Beau get distracted,” she says. And because this was the first time she had taken Beau to a festival, Tessa was a little nervous as well. The pair had been together for just three months, so Tessa’s preshow jitters were certainly understandable. “Some of my biggest challenges each year are preparing for D4K,” says Tessa. “It’s been my big show and it’s really important to me to do well. This summer I had just gotten Beau, so I took more lessons than usual and we had a full show schedule to get out and work through our nerves.” Despite her fears, at the end of their D4K ride, Beau and Tessa left the

ring with compliments from the judge. “My proudest moment was when the judge commented on my test and how good it was,” Tessa says. Kristine’s nerves haven’t quite calmed down from when Tessa first started riding on her own, falls and all — especially when her daughter competes. “It’s not so much worrying if she places, but that she does her best and gives each ride her all,” Kristine says. From Tessa’s first trot to today’s accomplishments, Kristine says, “every moment makes me proud.” Traveling and competing is a family affair, although Tessa is the only one riding. Tessa and Kristine are in charge of trailer hitching: “I think we’ve hitched up in only five minutes,” says Kristine. Tessa’s dad, Gary, on the other hand, is usually on support duty — running to get coffee, doughnuts, and forgotten belts, gloves, or brushes. He also gets to clean out the trailer, although Tessa handles stalls and aisle ways. Tessa’s younger sister, Ella, is an amazing groom for her big sister. Ella loves to play soccer, and although she occasionally hops onto and rides Miss K, she prefers to focus on her own sport. (She says she hopes to be the next Alex Morgan.) Gary wasn’t involved with horses before he met Kristine, but, he says, “I saw how much my wife loved them, and that went straight to our daughters. Now,” he says, “two horses, a trailer, and a few saddles later, I’m definitely a horse person.” When Tessa isn’t riding or caring for Beau, Miss K, and her two dogs, Molly and Gibson, she does her homework and participates in gymnastics: she’s on her gym’s gold team, and as of now is perfecting her back handspring on the beam, a raised, four-inch-wide plank. “She’s not afraid of hard work,” says Tessa’s mom, “and if she fails, she’s very good at trying again and learning from her mistakes. She enjoys school and does an excellent job balancing her sports and academics.” “To balance everything is hard work, but I make sure I’m able to get it done,” says Tessa. “Each year it seems like I have even more homework, but I’m lucky the barn is so close. I can walk or take the golf cart. On Thursdays I have a lesson after school and then go straight to gymnastics for two and a half hours. That’s a long day, but I still enjoy it.” Tessa’s love for animals contributes

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to her busy schedule. “I’m usually at the barn six days a week,” she says. “Some days I work both horses and sometimes only one. I help out as much as I can with feeding, turnout, stalls, whatever needs to be done. I even got to groom the arena. If I have any extra time, I like to help at my neighbor’s barn too. She has sheep, goats, chickens, and a llama. I really love animals.” Tessa’s first trainer relocated to Florida and now she’s working with Kim Litwinczak. Tessa takes lessons at Ten Broeck Farm, in Pepperell, her riding home for eight years. Beyond dressage — which she prefers for its fancy moves — she dabbles in jumping and western. “Over the years, Tessa has tried different disciplines,” says Kristine. “She enjoys every kind of riding — hunt seat and some jumping, trail riding, and western — but when given the choice, she’s always returned to dressage. Now that she’s a little older and more experienced, she’s learning and understanding more all the time.” Tessa has also put training into Little Miss K. Because the pony is small,

only Tessa and Ella have been riding her, but Tessa applies the skills she learns on Beau to teaching Miss K. Now competing at training level with the aim to move up, Tessa sees herself at the Olympics in ten years. Before that, though, Tessa says she looks forward to doing a musical freestyle and more advanced tests with Beau. “I see Tessa wherever she wants to be,” says Kristine. “She’s very determined and does a good job setting her goals and working toward them. As a parent, I hope she’s in college, or maybe training in Europe, maybe teaching younger riders, or just riding a fabulous horse and enjoying every minute of it. “And,” she says, “this is really just the beginning of her journey with Beau. They’ve a lot work to do and so much more to accomplish. We’re really looking forward to see how everything unfolds.” Faith Wang is an avid 15-year-old member of the United States Pony Club. She rides on the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center’s high school IEA team and loves her two horses, Sam and Harley.

Massachusetts Horse


Trail Guide Carver by Stacey Stearns

Myles Standish State Forest


center are on Cranberry Road in South Carver, and there are many brown road signs pointing the way as you come in off the main roads. Drive past the headquarters (you’ll see lots of equipment) and continue to the information center. This is where you’ll park your trailer, but pull off on the side of the road,

Parking and Logistics The neighborhoods as you approach Myles Standish State Forest are thickly settled, especially on Route 58 and Tremont Street, so please drive slowly and with vigilance. Headquarters and the information 26

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there. On the left is a big field: it provides excellent habitat for our feathered friends, so do bring binoculars and your bird book. There are numerous birdhouses set up, and you may see nesting pairs. The only places to find potable water are at the camp headquarters and the campgrounds, so make sure you pack plenty for both horses and humans.

Riding It

Stacey Stearns

arver and Plymouth are home to Myles Standish State Forest, which boasts 35 miles of equestrian trails, 15 miles of paved bicycle trails, and 13 miles of hiking trails. For those of us not from the Cape Cod area, driving past cranberry bogs to get there is quite an experience. During harvest season, they’re a sea of brilliant red, framed by the fall foliage on distant tree lines. Sixteen beautiful ponds dot the 15,000acre preserve. Some are kettle ponds, which means they were formed by melted glacial ice. Their shores are sensitive, so please observe the signage when it asks you not to ride in a particular area. In any case, you’re never far from a water view. The parking lot designated for equestrian use is on Halfway Pond Road, and it connects to a variety of trails. If you plan to spend quite a bit of time in the forest, instead use Campground C, at Charge Pond (you’ll need a permit: $8 for Massachusetts vehicles; $10 for those from out of state; see details, below). It’s for equestrian use only and is an inviting base camp for your trailriding expedition. “Most people go to events held from the equestrian parking lot on the Carver side of the forest,” says Christie Lawyer, of Norwell, who rides there often. “Their opinions are about the fire roads, which can be rocky and washed out. The really fun riding is on the Plymouth side of the forest, which is where the horse campground is located.”

where there’s adequate room. If you haven’t downloaded a map at home, you can pick one up here. Note: A map is always a good idea, but especially at Myles Standish — because it covers so much territory, it’s possible to get lost. Those who will be staying in Campground C should pick up their permit at the information center. If you plan to camp for the weekend, I suggest you reserve your space for Sunday night as well. You must be out of the area by 11 A.M., so that extra night means you can have a leisurely ride on Sunday. To enter the equestrian parking lot on Halfway Pond, follow the road away from the information center: Halfway Pond Road will be a sharp left turn. A brown sign and an arrow point you to equestrian parking. The way is sand and gravel, so bear that in mind and drive slowly. The trail parking, farther down on the left, is well marked. No vehicles are permitted on the fire roads beyond the trail parking area. Once you pull into the parking area, you’ll see a nice paved lot on the right — plenty of room to turn around

“The footing at Myles Standish is great: soft sand, and it’s not too deep. There are lots of fun single-track trails that weave through the forest. It’s an excellent opportunity to let your horse move out — the gas pipeline is the perfect place to gallop,” says trail rider Pete Kurowski, of Westfield. “It’s also one of the few places with access to water where in the summer you can bring your horse swimming. The horse camp has excellent accommodations, and the cleanest bathrooms and showers, and every site has a grill for cooking over a fire and hose hookups.” There are some small, rolling hills but few rocks. Even after a rain there’s very little mud, and it dries quickly. The trails are covered with pine needles, so beware of roots and small rocks buried beneath them. There are trails that will take you around the outer forest or through central sections near Halfway Pond Road. Even in fall, the noonday sun finds its way among the pines and warms trails and riders, creating a peaceful afternoon escape. Recently I saw three wild turkeys picking at grass and food sources along a trail.

Take Note Diverse groups of users visit Myles Standish. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I saw mountain bikes, dog walk-

ers, strollers, a Frisbee game, and a motorcyclist. The bike paths — full of families enjoying them on weekends — cross the paved roads at numerous locations. When you’re in the car, be on the alert because a bike may pop out of the forest to cross the street. Although ATVs aren’t permitted, be on the lookout for them: “aren’t permitted” doesn’t mean “are never there.” Hunting is allowed, so users in the forest during hunting season are required to wear at least 500 square inches of blaze orange. You’re advised to put blaze orange on your horses, too. There’s a warning sign about bears at the information center. Take all precautions! For a pine-barrens restoration, there’s now an ongoing project to remove dead and dying red pines in order to reestablish open communities of pitch pine and scrub oak. While this is being accomplished, certain areas may be closed (for safety purposes), but I didn’t run into any restrictions. You’ll see evidence of the project as you drive into the equestrian parking area (remember the equipment I mentioned earlier?) and then as you venture farther into the forest on horseback.

Always At the information center is a sign that depicts common pieces of litter and the number of years that elapse before they fully break down. For example, a candy wrapper will last 100 years and a plastic bottle will last for 400. This is surely a graphic reminder that we must all do our part to keep our wildernesses clean. Please, always carry out what you carry in. Happy trails!

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Stacey Stearns, a lifelong equestrian from Connecticut, enjoys trail riding and endurance with her Morgan horses.

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Overherd and Morgan shows, “but it was just not our cup of tea,” says Nady. “At one of the Morgan shows, I went to see the Western Dressage classes and I knew immediately that we needed to try that with Nero. With Chuck being supportive of this new adven-

Show management at the Pipestave Hill Fall Horse Trial welcomed two entries in the newer discipline of Western Dressage, part of the dressage-only division. Maria Hurley, of Divinity Farm in Groveland, and Regina Downey, DVM, from New Hampshire, showed off their color-coordinated turnout and glinting tack, part of the crossover glam from the western world. For Regina, it’s a way to chill out her former barrel racer, Dancer. “She’s such a great horse and I want go be able to keep enjoying riding her while still competing and trying new things,” says Regina. USDF gold medalist Melanie Cerny, of Amesbury, who judged the tests, says the dressage standards apply for assessing gaits, rhythm, tracking up, bend, and accuracy to the western dressage patterns, and that she’s interested in learning more about the criteria, as judges can earn western dressage credentials.

n Holly Jacobson

Nady Peters Wins at the Morgan Grand National Congratulations to Nady Peters, of West Newbury, on her world championship in Basic Level Western Dressage at the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show, which took place in Oklahoma City in October. Nady and her horse, Danville Dinero (Statesmans Signature x Danville Dot), known around the barn as Nero, had a rocky beginning in their partnership, but they’ve blossomed as a team with the help of Chuck Patti, of Chuck Patti Training Center in Merrimac. Nady and Nero started out showing at local Western Pleasure 28

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average score of 70.45 percent. They also received the High Score Award for Test 1 with a score of 73.55. Nady plans to continue their training with Chuck and hopes to tackle Level 1 next season. “Our excellent training and hard work paid

The inspiration for the mural — which took 80 hours to complete — came from a doctor who works with Maria in Beverly Hospital; he suggested the equine theme. The addition of a portrait of General George Patton stemmed from seeing Joanne Patton, his daughter-in-law and a fifth-generation Army wife, speak at the community Fourth of July event at nearby Patton Park. General Patton was an accomplished rider and instrumental in the rescue of the Lipizzans during World War II.

n Holly Jacobson

Susan Correia of Yokina Photos

Western Dressage Emerges

News in Our Community

MSPCA Horses Helping Horses Beach Ride

Nady Peters, of West Newbury, and Nero with trainer Chuck Patti.

ture, our training started.” Last September, Chuck set up a training program for the pair to prepare them to compete in western dressage this year. Nady says she and her horse are well suited to western dressage: “Nero really took to this discipline and we could tell he enjoyed his job,” she says. The pair tested the waters this spring at a schooling show before adding in many of the Morgan breed shows on the New England circuit, and eventually qualified for the nation’s premier Morgan event. “It had always been a dream to go to the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show,” says Nady. “Just being able to compete at that level was an honor. It was a little overwhelming being with all these great horses and riders,” she says, but they secured the World Championship in Basic Level Western Dressage with an

off,” she says, “but most important, we have fun, and isn’t that what it’s all about?”

n Abigail Powell

Equine Mural Art As you drive down Route 1A, you can’t help but notice the bold, colorful horse heads on the once blank wall of the Hamilton Convenience Store. Hamilton Americana, created by muralists Philip and Maria Coleman, features horses, polo, equestrian jumping, foxes, and split-rail fences, all images that reflect Hamilton’s equestrian heritage. The artists live in Wenham and participate in Art Grows Here, which is a group that creates art in Hamilton and Wenham. “We wanted to give back to the community,” says Philip. “We chose this location because of our friendship with the owner, Jack Patel. His daughter and our daughters attend the same school and are friends.”

The annual MSPCA Horses Helping Horses Beach Ride took place October 17 at Crane Beach, Ipswich. Since 2005, the beach ride has been an annual fund-raiser for the MSPCA’s Nevins Farm Equine Center, the only open-admission equine shelter in New England. This is the first year that the event took place at this beautiful site. Normally the beach is accessible only to those with a Trustees of the Reservation membership and a horsetrailer permit, but thanks to a partnership with the trustees, the gates to the beach were open to guests of the MSPCA for this event. The shore is wide and flat and the sand presents excellent footing at low tide. Says Jackie White: “It was a great place to ride. The beach was so vast that we had plenty of room to gallop, and with pockets of water our horses had fun walking through the huge puddles. I can’t wait until next year.” “We had nothing but rave reviews,” says Julia Pesek, community outreach coordinator for the MSPCA at Nevins Farm. “A few even

said that riding at Crane Beach specifically was on their bucket list — and all of them said that the conditions, setting, and vista were ideal. Based on the feedback, we hope to make Crane Beach the permanent venue for this event.” Prizes, from generous sponsors, went to the top fund-raisers, and a delicious lunch was provided for all participants. Caroline Matterson, the event chairperson, had already ridden at Crane Beach and was excited to hold the ride there. “I was sure the attendees would love the footing and expanse of beach. Even with so many riders, a friend and I felt as if we had the whole beach to ourselves,” she says. “To be able to ride on such a beautiful beach and help the horses at Nevins Farm made it a perfect day.”

n Abigail Powell

Vivian Henry Vivian Henry, 97, of Naples, Florida, passed away September 29 at Avow Hospice. Vivian and her late husband, Woodrow Henry Sr., owned and operated Camp Bobbin Hollow, in Amherst, one of the country’s premier riding camps for girls, for more than 20 years. Vivian also operated Bobbin Hollow Farm, where she bred, raised, trained, and showed champion Morgans and Saddlebreds. These horses were winners at most of the major shows, such as the World Championship Horse Show, in Louisville, Kentucky; and the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show, in Oklahoma City.

n Suzy Lucine

Bay State Saddle-Seat Riders Win Gold Three equestrians from Massachusetts — Chloe Deeb

(Halifax), Clara McCool (Newburyport), and Cailin Bridges (Salisbury) — were members of the gold-medalwinning U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Travel Team. They made the trek to Africa to compete in the South Africa Saddle Seat Invitational at the Mistico Equestrian Centre, held September 16 to 19. Eleven American athletes delivered fantastic performances against nine of South Africa’s top saddle-seat riders. The U.S. team claimed the Threeand Five-Gaited Team and Individual gold medals. “This was my first time traveling out of the country,” says Cailin, a recent high school graduate. “In addition to the competition, it was great to meet the South Africans and to learn about their culture.” First the young athletes drew for the horses they would ride during the twoday competition. “It was great to hop on a horse I knew nothing about and

work things out so our performances on the rail and in pattern work were successful,” says Chloe. “All the things my trainer, Luman Wadhams, taught me about riding different horses — it was nice to be able to put what I had learned into action.” Clara agrees: “Really nice horses were donated for our use,” she says. “It was an amazing experience to get to work with a horse I had never ridden and to be able to bond with it. It was hard work, but it was rewarding to be able to use skills I had learned from riding and showing other horses.” On Thursday, the riders took part in a training session during which they had 20 minutes to familiarize themselves with their horses — a true test of their riding skills. In the competition, the amateur athletes competed for individual scores, which ultimately accumulated toward a total team score.

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n Suzy Lucine

Gold Cooler Jumper Series The Gold Cooler Jumper Series is now the Northeast’s largest indoor series of its kind. It’s designed to promote the sport of show jumping, as well as local stables and businesses. The series began in 2011 as a collaboration among the Berkshire Equestrian Center, in Richmond; the Stoneleigh Burnham School, in 30

December/January 2016

Greenfield; and the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, in South Hadley, to improve opportunities for riders who couldn’t afford to go to Florida for the winter circuits. Now the series involves more than 10 host barns all over the Northeast. So far 14 show dates have been posted for the 2015–2016 season, and we expect more. The

smiles.” Babette herself moved up to the three-star level with her horse Little Oliver. Her young horse Marketscan continued to grow at the preliminary level and Babette says she looks forward to his move up to intermediate next year. Assistant Trainer Asheley Ireland had a super spring on her upper-level horse, Tomcat. Tomcat is now start-

Abigail Powell

The Three- and Five-Gaited sections rode in two phases held over two days: rail work and individual workouts. The competition officially got under way on Friday with the rail work. The U.S. team members confidently rode their unfamiliar mounts and performed with precision and poise. On the second day of competition, the U.S. athletes produced great efforts in the individual workouts. The Three-Gaited section of the U.S. team received stellar scores to win the gold. In the Five-Gaited section, the U.S. team also rode to the gold. “The team atmosphere was great,” says Cailin, “especially having a team behind me cheering me on, and me being able to cheer for all of them. This competition was very challenging, but all the hard work Kristen and David Cater did teaching me to ride a gaited horse really helped. And the support from team members helped to give me confidence to do it. “It was a great experience working with the different coaches, too,” she says, “as they all had their own way of teaching and explaining things.” “One special aspect of this competition was how everyone pulled together,” Chloe says. “It wasn’t just a team; it was also a family. The coaches were supportive and we all got very close in a short amount of time.”

Gathering Farm head trainer Babette Lenna riding Little Oliver at Groton House, South Hamilton.

finals will be at the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center on April 17. For more information, visit

n Alessandra Mele

Gathering Farm Ends a Productive Season Gathering Farm, in Hamilton, had a productive season in Massachusetts and beyond. Many of its riders began back in mid-February in Aiken, South Carolina, and participated in events in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. When they returned home, in April, they were well prepared to take on the summer United States Eventing Association Area 1 circuit. “Many of our students saw big changes and growth in their riding,” says head trainer Babette Lenna. “This was evident as we ended our season at Course Brook Farm Horse Trials, in Sherburn, with lots of ribbons and

ing to train one of the farm’s young riders as Asheley searches for her next upperlevel star. Asheley was also busy campaigning two of Gathering Farm’s clients’ horses on the New England Dressage Association circuit. Both horses showed great improvement throughout the season and earned their fair share of awards. The folks at Gathering Farm are excited to be nearing completion of their new indoor arena. The collapse of their 40-year-old building this winter was a huge loss. “We’re so lucky to have the ability to put it back up, and we thank our clients, as they’ve stuck by us through the whole year and ongoing construction,” says Babette. “We have no doubt that our new indoor will be better than ever.” Babette says she wants to say a special thank-you to Chip Chesson, of Tasks Unlimited Building, and to

Mike Waidlich, of East/West Arena Construction. The barn plans to put its new indoor arena and new footing to good use with a winter jumping series.

n Abigail Powell

Boots and Bridles 4-H Club The Berkshire Boots and Bridles 4-H Club, based in Egremont, held its first meeting on October 17. The club, though basically a horse club, will be doing other projects that are all farm related, such as gardening. The club’s first activity was to visit the Williams College Planetarium on November 6. The club then attended Equine Affaire, and some members stayed to enjoy Fantasia on November 14. The club will take part in the Marketplace Menagerie & Craft Fair as well as the Holiday Stroll in Great Barrington. The club, though small in numbers, plans to be a mighty presence at regional and state events over the next year.

n Mary Brazie

New England Equitation Championships October marked the 40th anniversary of one of the longest running and most prestigious equitation finals in the country — the five-day New England Equitation Championships, held this year in West Springfield. The esteemed judging panel comprised Chrystine Tauber (course designer), Ken Smith, Walter “Jimmy” Lee, Ellen Raidt, Daniel Robertshaw, and Linda Andrisani. Christina Marchand, of North Attleboro, took reserve in the Adult Medal 23–45 division. The 40th Anniversary Alumni Class was held in honor of beloved rider Lawrence “Rooster” Yacubian, and a check was presented to the Wounded Warriors Family Foundation

n Melissa Welch

White Spruce Farm Schooling Show White Spruce Farms, in New Braintree, held its final Dressage Schooling Show of the season on October 18. Elaine Johnson was the judge. These schooling shows welcome all dressage tests, including western and prix caprilli, and are designed so that everyone enjoys her or his horse safely and affordably.

Owner Susan Rainville has spent the last 15 years educating herself about the sport of dressage. She’s been riding with Lendon Gray for four years now, has ridden in several clinics with Conrad Schumacher, and was a demo rider in USDF and NEDA symposiums. As a USDF bronze and silver medalist, Susan has proved herself as an accomplished horsewoman.

ents showed off their best costumes. The horses also took part in the Halloween fun. Among the equine costumes were those of a Dalmatian, an angel, and a devil. Fitting decorations gave the show a spooky ambience. The competitors negotiated a course that incorporated questions such as beanbag tossing, cone weaving, and walking over poles.

Anne Gittins Photograhpy,

in Rooster’s memory. The class featured both a team and an individual competition among previous winners. Forty-two riders, in pairs, took part. On Friday evening, some 100 juniors took the written phase of the Horsemanship Class. (Originating at the NEEC, the class combines a rider’s written test score, practicum, and first-round final score to determine the overall top Junior Horseperson.) Family and friends then enjoyed dinner and a commemorative video celebrating juniors in their last year. Olivia van der Meer, of Medway; Sunny Drescher of Hinesburg, Vermont; and Falvey Brennan, of Duxbury, tied for the Sportsmanship Award. Judge Jimmy Lee received the Sue Brainard Award in recognition of his dedication to the NEEC. The Challenge of the States team costume class took place on Saturday. Juniors with top scores in the Open competed on teams of six to represent their home states — no help from their trainers allowed! Thanks to an anonymous donor, teams competed for money to donate to a charity of their choice. On Sunday, the Junior Medal Final featured 197 riders. Top-scoring juniors who had never competed in a 3'6" final were eligible for a separate set of ribbons. For more results, visit

Christina Marchand, of North Attleboro (on her horse), was 23–45 Adult Medal Division Reserve Champion at the New England Equitation Championships. Pictured with her (l–r): Fred Hunt, Carl Catani, Armand Chenelle, Olana Laffey, Linda Langmeier, Jay Sargent, Ed Nowak, Shane Powell, Dee Dee Rucco (Christine’s trainer), Amy Eidson, Joe Dotoli, Patti Harnois, Kristen Bumpus, Cookie DeSimone, Kathy Fletcher, and Bob Crawford.

Her barn offers boarding and lessons at reasonable prices. There’s also an Adult Schooling Show series, a summer camp, dressage clinics, horsemanship clinics, musical freestyle clinics, and, new for 2016, adult camp. To learn more, visit

Every participant received a medal and an orange ribbon after finishing her or his round, and the judge offered suggestions to each rider. Many thanks to all who made this successful event possible. TEC looks forward to hosting another show next fall.

n Karen Morang

n Tomasz Paluchowski

Therapeutic Equestrian Center Horse Show

Melissa Morrell Wins Scholarship

On Saturday, October 31, students of the Therapeutic Equestrian Center, in Holyoke, gathered for TEC’s annual fall horse show. They rode in a total of 11 classes judged by Lynne Honeyman, of Southampton. Shawn Spencer was the announcer and served as steward for the day. As the event fell on Halloween, volunteers, instructors, students, and par-

Melissa Morrell, of West Brookfield, won the second annual AMHA YAA Judging School Scholarship. The award is sponsored by the American Morgan Horse Association Young Adult Alliance, a group of 18to 40-year-old amateurs and professionals working together to strengthen the Morgan breed. The presentation was held October 16 in

Oklahoma City after the evening session of the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show. The Professional Development Judging School Scholarship goes to an individual aged 21 to 40, professional or amateur, who is interested in attaining a USEF Morgan “R” judging card. The scholarship provides financial support of $1,500 to young adults who want to give back to the breed through judging. Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from UMass Amherst and has worked at her family’s Moreland Farm as a trainer and instructor for more than 15 years. “We received several wonderful applications and the competition for the scholarship was very competitive,” says committee chair Jessica Marino. “Melissa’s wonderful letter of recommendation from ‘R’ Morgan judge Chris Cassenti and her passionate essay shared what she hopes to learn at Judges School and how she will contribute to the current judging pool.” “Winning this scholarship is an amazing honor and a wonderful opportunity for me to further my skills as an equine professional,” says Melissa. “I can’t thank the YAA enough for awarding me this prestigious scholarship.” Applications for the 2016 YAA Judging School Scholarship will be accepted through August 15. To learn more about the project, visit

n Suzy Lucine

Overherdisms • “He’s got a little apple butt.” • “It’s not easy being Green.” • “They’re either going or they’re whoa’ing.”

Massachusetts Horse


Partners 2016, and a generous raffle. Watch for more information and a registration form in the January Bugle or go to If you haven’t visited our new website yet, you’ll be happy to know that you now have the option of registering for BSTRA events online. 7 Lisa Grigaitis

This year BSTRA will be part of #GivingTuesday, which is the first Tuesday in December. If you haven’t heard about #GivingTuesday, the movement rallies people around their desire to do good and gives them an opportunity to be part of something big and meaningful — and it feels great to make a difference. We invite you to make a gift at and make a difference to our trail system. Every dollar of your donation — 100 percent — will go toward trail-maintenance projects. Since 1989 we’ve put more than $445,000 into trails in 33 towns in Massachusetts, and your contribution will help us do even more in 2016. As always, your donation to BSTRA is tax deductible and will be very much appreciated. We’re pleased to announce that our Awards Banquet will be a Sunday luncheon held in a great new restaurant: Alicante Mediterranean Grille, 84 Uxbridge Road (Route 16), Mendon. Alicante’s central location makes it a good choice, but even better is the wonderful food. You’ll be able to order off a mini menu, which will feature chicken parmesan, haddock, chicken in a lemon, whitewine, and caper reduction, eggplant parmesan, and rigatoni Bolognese. A delicious dessert will come from Wright’s Dairy. The banquet will be on Sunday, February 7; the reception starts at 11:30 A.M. and the meal will be served at 12:30 P.M. The cost is $25 per person. Appetizers will be available and a cash bar will open at 11:30 A.M. Come on out and enjoy the meal, the presentation of awards, the election of officers for 32

December/January 2016

Gonzalez made wonderful new obstacles — some were the same and others were his original ideas. That said, he sure showed us how it’s done! He and Larry Underwood dominated the course. The trails are well marked and the footing was good. Thanks to Diane Godek for organizing these great

Lisa Grigaitis

Bay State Trail Riders Association

Sharron Cochran on Peanut at the Bay State Trail Riders Association Big Pumpkin Ride on October 25.

Granby Regional Horse Council The Granby Regional Horse Council has had a great fall. We were represented well in the Belchertown Parade by Jose Rubero and Tamara Gehrung with their beautiful Paso Finos and Appaloosas. If you’d like to join us next year riding, walking, or driving your horse, let us know: the more the merrier. The Poker Ride took place at Dufresne Park. Best hand went to Jennifer Moreau; Lexie Goodrow and Lindsey Nobes finished second and third. The Fall Ride, at Twin Orchard Farm, Southampton, was beautifully marked for the best foliage ride possible, and Hamel’s catered the feast. The obstacle course, at McDonald’s Nature Preserve, Wilbraham, was a lot of fun but wind and snow brought quite a challenge. David

activities for us. Also, extra thanks to David, Jailyn, and Mike for all of their volunteer work. To keep up with the club for winter lectures, visit or find us on Facebook. 7 Jennifer Moreau

Hampshire County Riding Club Thanks to our members, their families, and our volunteers for helping maintain and improve our grounds and making this year’s activities a success. In addition to our annual Open Horse Show, members designed and constructed an obstacle course for August’s Woodland Trail Obstacle Challenge and Gambler’s Choice Competition. Riders encountered more than 20 judged obstacles on the trails and a riding ring full of additional obstacles for the gambler’s choice. The woodland

obstacles remained in place all summer so we could enjoy them. The effort was well worth it: this will be an annual event. In the second-annual Scavenger Hunt, we again used the woodland trails to hide Halloween-themed objects, which riders gathered in a timed event. All three events were a great way for riders to enjoy the club’s property. The final rides of the season were held at Northfield Mountain Recreation Area on October 18 and the Farm Fields of Hatfield on November 8. Several riders liked the Northfield Mountain trails so much that they returned to ride on the following two weekends. The annual meeting and elections took place October 21 at the Westhampton Library. The program featured “Biomechanics and the Body–Mind Connection: Understanding Posture for Improved Performance and Behavior,” by Rachel Hackett. In her talk and power-point presentation, Rachel showed us what the musculature and position of a horse in balance looks like and how we can strive to achieve that horse-and-rider balance. We enjoyed this interesting and helpful talk and are pleased to learn that Rachel will be offering clinics for riders and their horses. In January the activities committee will be assembling the 2016 schedule of events. Our rides are open to club members and guests (guests pay a small fee). Among membership benefits are discounts on club activities, a newsletter, discounts at local businesses and an additional coupon book, use of the club grounds, and a free subscription to Massachusetts Horse. For more information, visit

Myopia Hunt Club Myopia Hunt Club’s formal season concluded on November 26 with the traditional Thanksgiving Day Hunt at Appleton Farms, in Ipswich. Thanksgiving Day is the most widely attended of all our hunts and is an annual pre–Thanksgiving feast tradition for many families. Appleton Farms, with its enormous open fields, provided beautiful views for riders, horses, and hounds. The Thanksgiving Hunt involved horses, hounds, spectators, and a lot of excitement. Myopia is a drag hunt and as such doesn’t pursue live foxes. A drag hunt emphasizes the thrill of riding through open land, sometimes land over which only the hunt is allowed to cross. A member of the Myopia staff goes out on an ATV before the hunt begins to drag a scented cloth (called laying the line). The Myopia hounds have been trained to follow the scent. The line doesn’t start at the beginning of the hunt; rather, the hounds must find the scent. The huntsman manages them with help from his whippers-in. Whippers-in assist with keeping the pack together and rounding up stray hounds. When the pack needs to be stopped or called off, the whippers-in help with that too. Behind the huntsman are two or three fields (groups) of riders, each led by an experienced field master. The Jumping Field Master leads those who would like to jump. Jumping is over obstacles, such as stone walls, that would normally appear in the countryside. The goal of a drag hunt is to replicate the experience

of chasing a live fox, which means crossing all sorts of terrains and obstacles. There’s always a Hilltopping Field, with its own Master who leads the members who prefer a slower pace and not to jump. Quite frequently there’s a third field between the jumping field and the hilltoppers; here, the pace is slightly faster and jumping is optional. You’ll see families riding together and groups of juniors. The fields enable

Boudreau for her consistent presence at NEECA events, often taking and printing free photos for participants to take home. Well-deserved congratulations to Carol! Awards were also presented for the gymkhana series. NEECA’s Youth Award went to Taniel Hood for her outstanding participation at many of this year’s events. Taniel volunteered to work at all the NEECA shows, rode and helped others at the

each with an alternative path for non-jumpers and drivers, and a confidence course consisting of at least two drop platforms, a multilevel bridge, a three-foot mound with varying approach grades, a pool noodle gauntlet, a cowboy curtain, and a labyrinth. With these additions to our current main, warm-up, and dressage rings, we hope to expand the scope of events offered by the NEECA and other organizations. For information and updates, visit and find us on Facebook. 7 Laurie Neely

Old North Bridge Hounds

Carol Boudreau, find us on Facebook, or contact Diane Merritt, at (413) 268-3372. 7 Diane Merritt

2015 New England Equestrian Center of Athol’s Youth Award winner Taniel Hood.

participants of different riding abilities to have an equally enjoyable hunt. There are no winners or losers, just a love of horses, hounds, and the outdoors. Myopia offers many opportunities to participate, watch, and volunteer. We invite you to join us in our mission to preserve the future through the traditions of the past. For more information on our club, visit 7 Lisa Wohlleib

New England Equestrian Center of Athol The NEECA finished the 2015 season with its annual Fall Social, which featured an outstanding buffet dinner, the presentation of annual awards, and an exceptional live and silent auction of goods and services. This year’s Volunteer of the Year award went to Carol

Youth Day event — and even stepped up to show a donkey at the Donkey and Mule Show this summer. Great job, Taniel! Past and present members of the NEECA Board of Directors were recognized and thanked for their service. Heartfelt thanks to the many individuals and businesses that donated items to the auction and to Massachusetts-licensed auctioneer Wayne Whitmore, of Quabbin Valley Auction, for his entertaining and profitable services. It was an exciting year, and we hope to see you all again in 2016. The NEECA horse park in Athol will have some exciting changes beginning in the spring. Thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Division of Conservation and Recreation, a series of 18 jumps (18" to 24") are being constructed on our trails,

On October 17, the Old North Bridge Hounds had its Blessing of the Hounds on the grounds of the historic Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, in Sudbury. The blessing took place at Henry Ford’s Martha-Mary Chapel. It was a perfect fall day in New England with clear blue skies and beautiful fall foliage. Master and huntsman Virginia Zukatynski, staff, members, and guests joined in as hounds and foxhunters passed the inn on their way to the chapel. Spectators loved seeing and hearing horses cross the brick pathways, with the field of riders led by joint master Marjorie Franko. Everyone crossed the old bridge accompanied by the sounds of the bagpiper, just as other hunts have passed through 100 years ago. People stood on the lawn of the chapel to hear the blessing and photograph hounds and horses before the start of the hunt. The hunt proceeded across Wayside Inn Road to the Grist Mill and then through areas of Sudbury, with a stirrup cup hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Souchek. At the end of the hunt, everyone enjoyed a luncheon at the inn. Longfellow’s Wayside Massachusetts Horse


local businesses, country clubs, and Olive Garden and other restaurants. Many local instructors and trainers donate lessons. To learn more about the club and upcoming events, visit oldnorthbridge-

West Newbury Riding and Driving Club Our members are always doing something special. This year one of the club’s longtime members, Allie Jones of Newburyport,

Jack McCrossan

Inn has a strong history of hosting foxhunts. In 2016, it’s celebrating 300 years as the country’s oldest continuously operating inn. Photographs from a century ago capture a joint meet with the Millwood Hunt and the Norfolk Hunt. When the Millwood Hunt disbanded, some of its members formed the Old North Bridge Hounds. We’re honored to be invited to hunt at the inn again. Old North Bridge Hounds is preserving a tradition, as well as providing an opportunity for others to view and appreciate the sport of foxhunting. In December, we’ll be having the Masters Dinner at the Wedgewood Pines Country Club, which is in Stow. To raise money to support the hounds, we’re holding the annual online auction and a silent auction at the dinner. We have amazing items, such as gift certificates to the Wayside Inn, Verrill Farm,

Old North Bridge Hounds Blessing of the Hounds at Martha-Mary Chapel, Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, Sudbury. and find us on Facebook. Questions? Please call our master and huntsman, Ginny Zukatynski, at (508) 751-3315. 7 Pat Jackson

proved that hard work does pay off. Allie fostered and subsequently adopted a small bay mare named Jilco from New England Equine Rescue North. It wasn’t always easy

Western New England Professional Horsemen’s Association’s

Hunter/Equitation Shows January 3 February 14 April 17 May 1 May 8 May 14 May 15 May 22 May 29 June 5

White Horse Hill White Horse Hill Biscuit Hill Farm Bellwether Stables Muddy Brook Farm Biscuit Hill Farm White Horse Hill Blythewood Stables Overmeade Farm Harmony Hill Farm

Dressage Shows English and Western dressage classes. Tests offered for English include (USEF): Introductory Tests A, B, C; Training Level Tests 1, 2, 3; First Level Test 1. Western Tests (WDAA): Introductory Level Tests 1, 2, 3, 4; Basic Level Tests 1, 2, 3, 4.

— Allie was recovering from a bad fall on another horse and Jilco could be a nervous mare with ideas of her own. For years, Allie never gave up. She worked with Jilco in the ring, then on trails, and, finally, at local competitions. This fall, this special woman and her pretty rescue mare won the Dressage division at the Pipestave Hill Horse Trials. Another WNRDC member, Joan Carlson, has proved that our educational lectures, clinics, and demonstrations reap rewards. Last spring, after the natural horsemanship demonstration led by trainer Doug Cross, Joan approached Doug to talk about her horse, Darwin. A dressage horse who regularly traveled to clinics, shows, and other events, Darwin had grown resistant to trailering and finally refused to load. Fearing the worst should an emergency medical situation

Meet Your Horse In the Now – the Only Place to Truly Connect Sign up for the online course! This fun, easy course guides you to connect with your horse.

Stay tuned for upcoming Dressage Show dates! Check for new dates.

Only $79! Featuring year-end awards in many divisions. Full schedule can be found at:

An organization for horsemen, by horsemen. 34

December/January 2016

arise and with it the need for Darwin to load, Joan hired Doug to help. In less than an hour, he had the horse selfloading and self-unloading. Even better, Joan is able to have Darwin self-load and unload by herself, and a huge weight has been lifted from her shoulders. Planners of WNRDC’s next series of educational talks can’t help but wonder what new story will result. Potential topics are an additional natural horsemanship demonstration, pest-control methods for stables, and an equine veterinary issue. The 2015 Adventure Trail in September was a huge success and all proceeds will benefit the Essex County Trail Association. The Pipestave Hill Horse Trials, held in October, were also very well attended: 74 riders filled all divisions, among them 22 in Dressage Only, which this year included Western Dressage.

At the Annual Meeting in November, the Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Molly Lister for her incredible efforts. She pitched in at every one of the club’s events and in almost every aspect, and also helps support the Rowley Riding and Driving Club. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Judy Wright, one of the original board members. Judy continues to volunteer and regularly hosts club meetings and events at her home. For more information on events, volunteer opportunities, and membership, visit and the WNRDC Facebook page. 7 Liz Russell

The Youth Mustang Challenge and the Extreme Mustang Makeover are coming back to Massachusetts! Presented by Mustang Heritage Foundation and hosted by Peter Whitmore of It’s A Pleasure, in Orange.

Horsemanship and Riding School 71 Pleasant St., Plainfield, Mass. Special 2016 Events April 30 • Seminar/Demonstration May 22 • Ground Driving Workshop May 27-29 • Chemistry of Connection Seminar Sept. 3 • Obstacle Course Fun Day

HorseMindShip™ Children’s Classes: Series 1: 7/6 to 8/10 Series 2: 7/7 to 8/11 Horsemanship and Riding Ground to Saddle

2016 Adult Day Classes May - October Green Series - Saturday Blue Series - Sunday Yellow Series - Saturday Red Series - Sunday Private Sessions - Your Place or Ours

Call R.J. or Paula for more information: (413) 634-8800 or (413) 335-7151

Karen Morang Photography

R.J. Sadowski, Jr. HorseMindShip™

Selected youth trainers get to gentle and train a young wild Mustang! They then return to the event to compete against other youth trainers in a variety of in-hand classes for prizes, awards, and title of Youth Trainer of the Year! Adults compete in hand and under saddle for cash prizes! Youth Division Open to Ages 8-17 Adult Extreme Mustang Makeover Open to 18 and Older Mustang Pickup is April 15 & 16 in Orange Competition is August 5 & 6 in Topsfield Applications and more information available at: &

Applications due February 29, 2016!

Massachusetts Horse


events Massachusetts


6 HRC CHRISTMAS PARTY, Meadowbrook Restaurant, Hanson.

1 CRDA ANNUAL MEETING, Cutler Farm Observation Room, Medfield.

6 UPHA-14 WINTER TOURNAMENT SHOW, Chrislar Farm, Rowley.

3 CCDA 2016 KICKOFF MEETING, West Barnstable Fire Station.

6 IEA HUNTER SHOW, Volo Farm, Westford.


6 USEF REGIONAL II RATED, NEHC, MHC, SEHA, MHJ SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke.

5 MHC-, NEHC-RATED HUNTER SHOW, Saddle Rowe, Medway. 5 IHSA WESTERN SHOW, Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley.

12 JUMPER SHOW SERIES, Stoneleigh-Burnham School. Greenfield. 12 – 13 SMARTPAK HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE, Natick.


12 – 13 USEF A RATED SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke.

5 SCENIC BEACH RIDE, Buzzards Bay.

13 MHC-, NEHC-RATED JUMPER SHOW, Saddle Rowe, Medway.

6 IEA HUNTER SHOW, Rising Star Equestrian Center, Medway.

13 CCDS HOLIDAY POT LUCK, Devonfield Inn, Lee.

13 IEA HUNTER SHOW, Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley. 13 CCDS HOLIDAY PARTY, Orleton Farm, Stockbridge. 13 WINTER SCHOOLING SERIES, Camp Marshall, Spencer. 30 GOLD COOLER JUMPER SHOW, Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley. 30 MHC-, NEHC-RATED HUNTER SHOW, Saddle Rowe, Medway.


3 WNEPHA HUNTER/EQUITATION SHOW, White Horse Hill, Richmond.

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

Show Jumps For Sale

Meredith Brisson, LICSW November 29

Beautiful quality. The perfect gift!

In this unmounted clinic you will learn strategies to stay calm and focused, stay in the moment, keep a “solution focused” mindset, and combat the “freeze” response. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. $55 For more information on Meredith and her sports psychology work, visit

Prize lists and entry forms at:

Facilities Available for Horse Shows, Clinics, and more. Multiple Dressage Rings Large Outdoor Arena Several Jumping Arenas Cross Country Course Through Training Level Indoor Arena Bleacher Seating Check the website often as new events are added!

The facilities at Apple Knoll Farm are available for rental for horse shows, clinics, and other equine activities. Our cross-country course is open for schooling by appointment, weather permitting. 36

December/January 2016

9 IEA HUNTER SHOW, Dana Hall School, Wellesley.

Dressage and Combined Training Show Series

9 USEF REGIONAL II RATED SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke. 9 HHRC AWARDS BANQUET, Holiday Inn, Rockland. 10 WINTER SCHOOLING SERIES, Camp Marshall, Spencer.

May 22 . June 26 . July 31 September 4 . October 9

15 CMHSS YEAR-END AWARDS BANQUET, Spencer Country Inn, Spencer. 16 USEF REGIONAL II RATED SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke. 16 NSHA ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET, TBA. 16 HRC AWARDS BANQUET, TBA. 17 IEA WESTERN SHOW, Hillside Meadows Eqeustrian Center, Grafton. 22 SOUTH COAST SERIES AWARDS BANQUET, Century House, Acushnet. 30 USEF REGIONAL II RATED, NEHC, MHC, SEHA, MHJ SHOW, Herring Brook Farm, Pembroke. 30 MHC-, NEHC-RATED HUNTER SHOW, Saddle Rowe, Medway. 30 JUMPER SHOW SERIES, StoneleighBurnham School. Greenfield.

Presents the 21st

Equine Expo Paraphernalia Sale Saturday, April 30, 2016 . 9-3 Large marketplace of new and used items! Plus services for the horse, rider, and driver. Demonstrations All Day . $5 Admission

Dressage Clinics Vern Batchelder Sharon McCusker Bill McMullin Bill Warren Like us on Facebook to see who’s coming!

Held in the indoor arena at the Topsfield Fairgrounds, Route 1, Topsfield Vendor Spaces Available . Free Parking

Contact Kay at: 978-768-6275 or

Stalls Available

Stalls available in the 16-stall barn with attached indoor arena. Nestled at the base of Mt Toby this “Massachusetts Horse Farm of Distinction” provides outstanding care for you and your horse.

Xenophon Farm janice




80 sunderland rd., rte. 47 montague, mass. 413.367.9828 X enophon F arm @ aol . com Massachusetts Horse


Junior Horsemanship Awards good care of her horse, cheering on her friends, and helping others. Want to give out a free Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at your upcoming event? Just email These awards are made possible by Stephanie Sanders, Massachusetts Horse publisher, and Absorbine.

Faye Zukowski

Teresa Hoy

Anne Rouleau

Massachusetts Horse gives back to our community through its Junior Horsemanship Award program. The award is given to the junior exhibitor who has shown the best horsemanship and sportsmanship at a competition in the Bay State. This is the junior who is not winning, but who is working hard with a great attitude. This junior is taking

Jasmine Gonyer

Julia Zukowski

Susan Saeli

Jessica Morris

LM Equine Services

Elizabeth Viveiros

Allison E. Griswold

Allyson Heintz

Caroline Saeli

My name is Allison Griswold. I was honored to receive the Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at the Sunrise Pleasure Show at Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley. I was riding a Paint named Ellie, who is such a good-tempered horse and is only three

years old. What’s neat about her is that she has one blue eye and one brown eye. I admire how supportive my barn is — two older girls, Molly McCutcheon and Kimberly Beis, helped train Ellie and that’s one of the reasons she’s such an amazing horse. Also Danielle Bolduc, Ellie’s owner,

teaches me how to work on my western riding skills, as I usually ride English. She’s one of the best riders I know. I’ve learned lots of techniques and I love that we work as a team.


December/January 2016



Your Everything Equine “white pages”

ASSOCIATIONS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• GRANBY REGIONAL HORSE COUNCIL Central & Western MA, (413) 527-9532 Family-oriented trails, shows, clinics.

EQUINE ENTERTAINMENT ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• DALE PERKINS/MESA FARM Rutland, MA, (508) 886-6898 Trick riding and much more.

INSURANCE •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• CORINTHIAN INSURANCE AGENCY Medway, MA, (877) 250-5103 Equine protection specialists.

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY RIDING CLUB Goshen, MA, (413) 268-3372 hampshirecounty Monthly trail rides, open show, hunter pace, clinics, educational speakers.

EQUINE MASSAGE ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• HORSEBACK AND BODY Northampton, MA, (413) 320-7690 Massage therapy for horses, humans.

DON RAY INSURANCE Marshfield, MA, (781) 837-6550 Farm, mortality, major medical and surgical, clubs, shows, instructors.

BARN CATS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• PAWS WATCH Newport, RI, (401) 848-9867 Barn cats need homes! Healthy, fixed, vaccinated barn cats provide rodent control. Delivered!

KIT CAT PHOTO & ANIMAL MASSAGE Central Mass., (636) 459-5478 Certified equine and canine massage.

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

EQUINE WELLNESS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• BLUE RIBBON EQUINE Massachusetts (413) 325-5777 Massage, laser, LED, animal communication, “Where does my horse hurt” body checkups.

CATHY DRUMM Pittsfield, MA, (413) 441-5278 Clinics, lessons, training, western and English dressage, hunter/jumper. FAIRFIELD FARM Rochester, MA, (508) 763-8038 Boarding, instruction, training, indoor. MARGARET HILLY South Deerfield, MA, (802) 595-1258 USDF “L” judge; FEI rider; private, semiprivate lessons; clinics. NANCY LATER LAVOIE Ashby, MA, (561) 714-7447 Training, lessons, clinics. Accepting new students of all levels. Top-class facility. WHITE SPRUCE FARMS New Braintree, MA, (978) 257-4666 Dressage shows, instruction, all levels/ages. EQUINE DENTISTRY ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• WENDY BRYANT, EQDT Northampton, MA, (413) 237-8887 Natural balance equine dentistry. Improved topline, maximized performance, increased flexion. Serving New England/New York. NORTHEAST EQUINE VETERINARY DENTAL SERVICES LEAH LIMONE, DVM Topsfield, MA, (978) 500-9293 Licensed professional veterinary dentistry. Routine preventive care, maintenance, diagnostics, extractions.

TOPLINE EQUINE MASSAGE Franklin, MA, (508) 254-7412 Certified and insured.

HORSE WELLNESS Waltham, MA, (617) 314-5768 Equine physiotherapist and acupuncturist certified in Germany; equine massage. HAFLINGERS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• SOMMER HILL FARM Adams, MA, (413) 743-9301 One Haflinger is never enough. HORSES FOR SALE •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• HERITAGE FARM Easthampton, MA, (413) 527-1612 Auctions, sale horses, shows, clinics, boarding, lessons, and training. STRAIN FAMILY HORSE FARM Granby, CT, (860) 653-3275 New England’s largest quality sales stable. Supplying NE with horses and ponies since 1967. Forty family, trail, and show horses to choose from. New loads every week. We buy horses, take tradeins 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. GRANDVIEW FARM Dighton, MA, (774) 251-7422 Indoor instruction, training, showing, boarding.

FARM FAMILY INSURANCE Carver: (508) 866-9150 Easthampton: (413) 203-5180 Great Barrington: (413) 528-1710 Marlborough: (508) 485-3800 Middleborough: (508) 747-8181 Northborough: (508) 393-9327 Norwood: (781) 255-2002 South Deerfield: (413) 665-8200 Southwick: (413) 569-2307 Topsfield: (978) 887-8304 Westford: (978) 467-1001 Williamstown: (413) 458-5584 Worcester: (508) 752-3300 JUDGES ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• MARY BRAZIE Egremont, MA, (413) 528-2367 Judging open, 4-H, carded. LILLIAN GILPIN Plympton, MA, (781) 424-478 NEHC-carded judge. ED GOLEMBESKI Gill, MA, (413) 863-2313 4-H, open shows, clinics, lessons. LINDA ROBSON Hanover, MA, (352) 572-3923 NEHC A-rated judge. NORWEGIAN FJORDS •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• BLUE HERON FARM Charlemont, MA, (413) 339-4045 Quality, purebred registered Fjords. PHOTOGRAPHY •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• C A HILL PHOTO S. Dartmouth, MA (508) 789-0541 Equine, family, and farm photography in New England. KAREN MORANG PHOTOGRAPHY Find us on Facebook! Equine photography and events. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MELISSA N. Dighton, MA, (508) 863-0467 Equine portrait photography and events.

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. BERNICE GIARD REALITY Oakham, MA, (508) 882-3900 Country properties. STABLES, FARMS, BOARDING •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 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. DR. COOK BITLESS BRIDLE (866) 235-0938 Safe, gentle, effective alternative to using a bit. 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. NORTHEAST EQUINE TRANSPORTATION Southbridge, MA, (774) 633-1499 Serving Northeast, PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD. VETERINARIANS •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• FAMILY VETERINARY CENTER Haydenville, MA, (413) 268-8387 Traditional and alternative care for dogs, cats, exotics, and horses.

Massachusetts Horse


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Is This Your Horse?

Alessandra Mele


Is this your horse? This photo was taken on October 11 at the Western New England Professional Horsemen’s Association Finals at Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center in South Hadley. If this is your horse, contact us at for a month’s supply of SmartPaks and more from the Bay State’s very own SmartPak,

advertiser index Angel View Pet Cemetery ..... 43





Apple Knoll Farm ................. 36

HorseBack and Body ................. 41

Bacon’s Equipment ............... 25

Independence Stable ................ 41


Betsy Merritt ....................... 27

It’s a Pleasure Training .......... 25

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Blue Dog Leather ................... 11

Jenn’s Tack & Blanket Service . 6

Blue Seal Feed ..................... 44

Mindful Connections ........... 21, 34

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Bob Burrelli .......................... 41

Mitrano Removal Service ........... 41

1/3 page




The Carriage Shed ................. 2

Natural Balance Equine Dentistry . 19

1/4 page




The Cheshire Horse .................... 7

Orion Farm ............................ 13

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Chipaway Stables ...................... 17

Peace Haven Farm ............... 35

Country Corral ...................... 19

RER Ponies ................................ 41

1/8 page (business card)



Crimson Acres ....................... 41

Salty Dawg Equine Services ... 6

marketplace (1/9 page)


DK Saddlery .......................... 12

Sarah Sheehy

Don Ray Insurance Agency .. 29

Training & Horsemanship .... 41

The Driven Image ...................... 37

SmartPak Saddlery ................ 5

Essex County Trail Association . 37

SRH Veterinary Services ............ 41

Extreme Mustang Makeover .... 35


each R$65 every virtually and ner horse ow in the ast enthusi te! Bay Sta

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Triple Crown Feed ...................... 4

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1/3 page




1/4 page




Fairview Farms JJC ................ 41

WNEPHA ............................ 34

Family Veterinary Center ...... 15

White Pickets Studio ............. 13

Farm Credit East .................... 11

Xenophon Farm .................... 37

Farm Family Insurance ......... 42

Yered Trailers ............................ 27

1/6 page




Hampshire Tractor Corp. ...... 19

Youth Mustang Challenge ........ 35

1/8 page (business card)




marketplace (1/9 page)


Hampton Veterinary Services .. 29


Heritage Farm ....................... 10

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December/January 2016

Massachusetts marketplace Want to be more effective & harmonious with your horse? Now Accepting Boarders New 20,000-square-foot Facility!

Sarah Sheehy offers:

Riding Instruction . Training Sessions Groundwork Lessons . Clinics

Horse Leases Available

Helen Noble, vMd . Robert Orcutt, dvM derek Cavatorta, dvM phd Kirstin Anderson, dvM . Ashley Taylor, dvM Mary Ann Montesano, dvM

partial $275/mo., half $400/mo., full $525/mo.

Beginner to Advanced Instruction Hunt Seat/Equitation, Dressage, Eventing, Western

Brimfield, MA 413-245-3083 .

Large and Small Animal Medicine & Surgery Serving the North Shore since 1951

Sarah Sheehy Training & Horsemanship Central Massachusetts (707) 290-4883 .

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

Independence Stable, LLC

RER Ponies Training, Lessons & Sales by CHA certified, BHS trained, and USDF competitor

Heather Reynolds Dostal Freelance Instruction . Lesson Horses Available U.S. Pony Club Riding Center

Charming private facility offering: Boarding, training, pony starting, and tune ups.

Recovery . Maintenance . Performance Therapeutic Massage . Bodywork . Reiki Jo Bunny licensed massage therapist, certified equine massage therapist

(413) 320-7690 •

Professional, well rounded, goal oriented lesson program for riders of all ages beginner through advanced.

Dressage Schooling Shows Including Western Dressage Tests! 2016 dates: March 20 . April 24 August 14 . September 18 Lessons . Training . Boarding . Clinics 413.427.2026 8 Circle Dr., Hatfield, MA

Massachusetts Horse


CARVER 508.866.9150

NORWOOD 781.255.2002

EASTHAMPTON 413.203.5180

SOUTH DEERFIELD 413.665.8200


SOUTHWICK 413.569.2307

MARLBOROUGH 508.485.3800 MIDDLEBOROUGH 508.747.8181 NORTHBOROUGH 508.393.9327


December/January 2016

TOPSFIELD 978.887.8304 WESTFORD 978.467.1001 WILLIAMSTOWN 413.458.5584 WORCESTER 508.752.3300

Massachusetts Horse



Amherst Farmer’s Supply 320 Pleasant St., Amherst (413) 253-3436 . A.W. Brown Pet & Garden Center 144 Shaker Rd., E. Longmeadow (413) 525-2115 . Beaver Valley Farm 17 Main St., Pelham, NH (603) 635-2597 . Bernardston Farmer’s Supply 43 River St., Bernardston (413) 648-9311

Brattleboro Agway 1277 Putney Rd., Brattleboro, VT (802) 254-8757 . Bridgewater Farm Supply 1000 Plymouth St., Bridgewater (508) 697-0357

Erikson’s Grain Mill 113 Main St., Acton (978) 263-4733 Essex County Co-op 146 S. Main St., Topsfield (978) 887-2309

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

Hardwick Farmers Co-op Exchange Rte. 32, Gilbertville . (413) 477-6913

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

Robbins Garden Center 28 Sutton Ave., Oxford (508) 987-2700


Sweet Meadow Feed & Grain 111 Coolidge St., Sherborn (508) 650-2926 Thibault’s Poultry 92 N. Spencer Rd. Spencer (508) 885-3959

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2016  
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