Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

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December/January 2020 $4










2 Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


December/January 2020

columns 20 Our Goal: Thriving Horses Horse Logic

Kara Noble


22 MSPCA C.A.R.E.S. 18

Lend a Hoof

36 Events Calendar


Stacey Stearns

Massachusetts Only


features 8 Dude Ranch Vacations How to Choose the Right One for You

41 Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Massachusetts Horse Benefit

in every issue 18 Kevin Landau, VMD

5 From the Publisher

Healthy Alternatives

7 Your Letters

Horseperson Feature

26 Partners

Lead Feature

29 Overherd


High Tail Acres All in the Family Farm Feature

24 Northfield Mountain Trail Guide

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

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


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Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

From the Publisher


ated the amazing trails; Massachusetts In 15 years, Massachusetts Horse has he Massachusetts Horse Benefit Halloween Scavenger Hunt was Horse features writer Alessandra Mele raised more than $73,500 for horseheld October 26 and related nonprofits in the Bay raised $2,500 for Blue Rider State. Stables in South Egremont. The Here at Pocketful of Ponies day was a perfect autumn day Farm we have a new addition. with sunshine and beautiful Pequeniño is a six-month old foliage for riders of all ages and Palomino Miniature colt. He’ll abilities to head out on the meticbe just 28 inches tall when he’s ulously groomed seven miles of done growing. Right now, he trails to find 11 jack o’lanterns only weighs 85 pounds! He’s with prizes in each one. tiny and full of personality. I’m Every costumed rider so enjoying his halter training received an award ranging from and ground work (play). Blue Seal Rounders treats to $25 Six-month-old Pequeniño being welcomed into the herd by Belfie, our I hope you’ll put up your kitty herd mediator and guard. Cheshire Horse gift certificates feet with a cup of something and mugs to $50 SmartPak gift certifihot and delicious and enjoy this issue. and her family for hosting the benefit, cates! Plus, unique black rosettes. This creating and building the course, volun- We certainly have enjoyed putting it year’s costumes were creative, fun, and together with you in mind. teering at every turn, and making us all interesting! May your winter be a magical one. feel right at home; volunteers, supportA very special thank you to Robin ers, friends, and family; our sponsors “Chick” Taylor who envisioned and creand advertisers; and all the riders.

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


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HORSE vol. 18, no. 4 December/January 2020

ISSN 1945-1393

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Massachusetts Horse is an independently owned and operated all-breed, all-discipline equestrian publication for the Bay State.

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

Your Letters To the editor: Our riders, Becky Daddona and Rachel Tarnauskas, had a wonderful time at the Massachusetts Horse Benefit Halloween

Custom Made Jumps, Tack Trunks, Bit Boxes, and More! View photos at and on Facebook.

Scavenger Hunt on Saturday! Thank you for putting on such an awesome event on such a wonderful property. We look forward to participating in future events.

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Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


Dude Ranch Vacations How to Choose the Right One for You

Sally L. Feuerberg

by Sally L. Feuerberg

The Rocking Z Guest Ranch owned, operated, and managed by Zack and Patty Wirth in Wolf Creek, Montana.


he chores were done for the day. Tucked in for the night, our horses were fed and were peacefully enjoying their evening hay. My husband, Bob, and I were settling down for a quiet Saturday evening in front of the television for some well-deserved relaxation time, and, as usual, a fair amount of channel surfing was in order. We were both just looking for some light entertainment when we stumbled across a show called Debbe Dunning’s Dude Ranch Round-Up on the RFD-TV channel. You might remember Debbe Dunning as Heidi, the Tool Time girl, from television’s Home Improvement. On this particular show, however, we discovered she showcased some of the best dude ranches in the country. We started following the show and became enthralled by all the different places and choices that were available right here in the United States. Some of the states that were featured included Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, California, and Montana, all areas I’d never really thought about actually visiting except in my imagination. The notion of riding horses through majestic mountains, working on a cattle ranch, or simply getting away for a few days began to transition from a distant dream to a tangible reality.


I have to admit, I was getting excited about the idea, and it was delightful to see that my husband was as enthusiastic and eager as I to initiate our vacation planning. The spring and summer seasons in our part of the state had been a mixture of rain, storms, and oppressive humidity, and we were both ready for a change of scenery. Bob actually took charge of the entire investigation, and we started our quest by visiting dude ranch websites. Although there are guest ranches, as they are sometimes called, throughout the country and all around the globe, we decided to concentrate our research on locations out West. Within days, we started receiving a multitude of brochures and there were a lot of decisions to be made! If you’ve ever contemplated a trip like this, or it’s one of those goals on your bucket list, read on to learn how to make your dream come true.

Planning Your Trip A good place to start is to decide what type of terrain you want to ride. Do you want to ride on open meadows, prairies, or mountain trails, or do southwestern deserts intrigue you? What type of riding do you want to do — daily trail rides, working livestock,

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

cattle drives, pack trips, team penning, or maybe some arena or gymkhana-type games? Or a combination of these activities? If your partner, or members of your group or family don’t ride, but would still like to be part of the adventure, look for alternative activities that nonriders can enjoy while you’re out horsing around. Hiking, nature walks, mountain biking, river rafting, fishing, shooting, and archery were just a few of the many choices offered by the ranches. Do you have children joining you on your vacation? That’s another very important part of your ultimate choice of destinations. Many ranches offer horses and programs catering to children of all ages, and some even offer babysitting services. If riding is a priority, as it was for us, opportunities are available for riders of all abilities — seasoned riders, intermediate riders, or those completely new to horses. Most ranches we found were adaptable to all proficiency levels, and offered all types of equestrian activities to sharpen and expand your skills. Another significant element of the process is to consider how many guests a ranch can host. Some ranches offer accommodations and enough horses

courtesy of Bar W Guest Ranch

Ride every season at the Bar W Guest Ranch on Spencer Lake in Whitefish, Montana. The ranch has a local connection — it’s owned by the Leishman family of Suffield.

for up to 100 visitors, while others offer lodging for as few as eight guests. Are amenities important to you? If you need wireless internet, television, room service, or a daily massage to make your vacation perfect, choose your final destination accordingly. There are different types of dude ranches — working dude ranches, dude ranches, and resort dude ranches. At a working dude ranch, you’ll be exposed to the everyday tasks that are intrinsic and vital to a working cattle operation and horseback riding is the primary focus, with additional varied outdoor activities. At the other end of the spectrum are resort dude ranches that will offer you five-star dining and luxury accommodations in a spa-type atmosphere for your enjoyment. The weather, the time of year, and which state you choose are also important factors to consider. We had decided that the end of August would be our time frame. Ranches in the northern states like Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana, with their cooler climates, are the busiest in the summer months, while ranches in the southern states like Arizona and California, give you the opportunity to ride during those some-

times-brutal Connecticut winters. Check the annual average temperatures, both high and low, online. One more item to be considered is adjustment time to a ranch located at 5,000 feet or more above sea level. All the states that we were contemplating geographically had higher elevations, as did several of the ranches. When you arrive, it may take your body a few days or longer, depending on the individual, to get fully acclimated. The Dude Ranchers’ Association’s website,, was a great resource for us when planning our vacation.

Our Vacation at the Rocking Z Guest Ranch The time had come to determine which location would be our ultimate destination. After reviewing all the literature, websites, and talking to some of the ranch owners, we chose Rocking Z Guest Ranch, a family business owned, operated, and managed by Zack and Patty Wirth in Wolf Creek, Montana. Bob and I had decided that a working ranch with a significant concentration on horse-related activities was what we wanted. Our eight-day holiday was

booked, and within days, my husband had almost every aspect of our expedition planned. After reservations were made, we received a questionnaire to assess our level of experience and skill with horses, our expectations for our visit, and if we had any dietary restrictions. It was comforting to know that as we were beginning to make our travel preparations, the ranch was also starting to prepare for us. A separate email was sent to us 15 days before our actual departure date, reminding us of a few items we should pack that would make our stay more pleasant. These were excellent suggestions that I would not have normally considered, having no real knowledge of the climate except for what I’d read online. On Saturday, August 18, we arrived in Helena. Helena Airport was the smallest airport I have ever landed in. It was simple, with a rustic interior, and so very different from the hectic New York area airport we’d departed from. It was built in the style of a massive log cabin, with artifacts and pictures of Helena’s colorful history filling display cases and adorning the walls. By the time we had picked up our luggage and come back to the main lobby, there was no one left but a restaurant’s bartender and the two of us! We stayed overnight at a hotel and explored Helena a bit. The next morning, we were picked up at our hotel. Our drive to Rocking Z took us about 45 minutes, giving our group time to get acquainted. We were leaving the city of Helena and heading toward the town of Wolf Creek, and the landscape was slowly changing. On either side of Interstate 15, the wide-open rural spaces grew in size. Magnificent hills with scattered forest areas, as well as boundless plains, surrounded us. I was already captivated by Montana’s beauty. We pulled into the ranch’s long gravel driveway, and to my right was a large outdoor ring that was substantial enough to hold a professional rodeo. Its surface footing had been recently raked, but looked as if it was waiting for the imprint of horses’ hooves to make it complete. On my left was a very spacious paddock containing more than 60 horses. All the different colors and sizes were what first caught my eye. I saw a statuesque Belgian standing alongside an adorable Miniature Horse. The two were contentedly munching hay together, while others were blissfully

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


napping in the afternoon sun. Another group was playfully interacting with each other. I instantly felt a combination of tranquility and harmony, perfectly balanced with a phenomenal sense of excitement and anticipation. The Rocking Z Guest Ranch lodge was straight ahead. Directly behind the picturesque stone and wood structure were brush-covered hills with stone outcroppings that seemed to embrace the main building as well as the entire property. It was obvious that much thought and planning went into the ranch’s placement and development. All the elements, whether natural or man-made, seemed to complement each other. Patty and her husband, Zack, are fifth-generation Montana ranchers. Their daughters, Maria and Anna, and son-in-law, Ben, all work on the ranch together. They have six children, all are married and live in Montana. They also have 16 grandchildren. “They’re learning to ride,” Patty says, “So the future is in good hands!” The family started the guest ranch in 2000. Zack’s family originally settled in the area in 1864, and Patty’s family settled a few hours east of the ranch in 1872. Zack focuses on the ranching side

of the business. That means haying, fixing tractors, clearing trees, and building fences — many of the tasks that keep things running efficiently and as smoothly as possible. Zack has also built virtually every building on the property. Patty manages the computer and everything that encompasses. She also works with young horses, leads trail rides, cooks, and spends as much time as possible with her grandchildren. After dropping off our luggage in our rooms, there was a quick tour of the ranch. We met the rest of the guests in our group of 20 in the dining area of the lodge. Guests were from Maine, Michigan, and all over the world, including Denmark, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, and France. We gathered around the sizeable and sturdy handmade tables. All the furniture, décor, and embellishments within the lodge enhanced the warm and inviting atmosphere. We introduced ourselves and shared a little information about our backgrounds. We talked about our level of experience with horses, and what we were personally looking for in a horse during our stay at the ranch. I was honest and forthcoming about my skill level, and I mentioned that I was particularly interested in a

horse I could trust and relax with. My time in the saddle this past season had not been as extensive as I would have liked. I didn’t want to be overmatched, and I simply wanted to enjoy my vacation. No matter what activity was offered, I wanted to participate. Maria and Anna looked at each other, smiled, and simultaneously said, “Abi!” I felt instantly at ease. The level of riding expertise in our group ranged from other horse owners like us to a few who had ridden only once or twice during a previous vacation or when they were children. We were assured by Maria and Anna that within the ranch’s herd there was the appropriate match for everyone and we headed out to the paddock to meet our mounts for the week. I met Abi and promptly felt a connection. She was a 15-year-old mare and had been at Rocking Z for a while. She was sweet, gentle, and kind. Maria and Anna were right, and I knew she would be a good companion throughout my visit. The staff, which included talented young women from Montana, Australia, and Switzerland, brought the horses into the stable and helped us tack up. The wranglers were patient and helpful, and I never felt uncomfortable asking a

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question or requesting assistance. I typically ride in an English saddle, so I was only vaguely familiar with western tack. Other guests saddled their own horses under the watchful supervision and hands-on verification by the Rocking Z team. Safety was always a priority. Rocking Z’s horses were all trained on site, and some were raised and bred there. There are about 70 horses, from new foals to retired masters. The herd was full of many breeds — mostly Quarter Horses, but also Mustangs, Belgians, Morgans, and many crossbreeds. All were trained using natural horsemanship with an emphasis on the Parelli method. (Maria has passed her Level 4 freestyle through the Parelli Foundation.) I quickly came to realize that the horses were excellent at building relationships with their humans. We mounted up and proceeded to the arena, splitting into two groups: those who were well-seasoned riders, and those who were more at the beginning and intermediate stages of their experience. I felt that it would be most advantageous for me to join the intermediate group. My husband felt more suited to the advanced contingent. He had been riding throughout the season, as well as riding since his childhood camp days. Both decisions worked out very well for us. We always had an option however, to change groups if we felt so inclined. In the arena we got to know our mounts and were taught some of the Parelli games with our horses. Equipped with a water bottle in a saddlebag to keep us hydrated, we headed out on the trail! I felt a slight whisper of apprehension as we ventured out, but literally within minutes I was enraptured by this region’s grandeur and vastness. I was also comforted and pleased with my mare’s sure-footedness and confidence-building demeanor. For the next two hours, I was able to completely take in all the sights, smells, and stunning vistas that surpassed my expectations, as well as my imagination. It seemed I’d found my little piece of heaven. We finished our glorious ride and headed back to the ranch. We helped untack our horses and returned them to their corral for a well-deserved rest. I was still reveling in the incredible high that only riding in this paradise could have instilled in me, but I was also anxious to exchange first impressions with Bob. After hours of fresh mountain air and plenty of exercise, Bob and I headed back to our room for a rest before dinner. Accommodations at the ranch were wel-

coming, simple, and spacious, with insuite rooms, and in our case, a natural gas fireplace. We slept well and felt extremely cozy in our temporary home for the next five days. Supper was announced by an oldfashioned triangle dinner bell. Dinner was casual and delicious, and all of us learned a little more about each other. Our first ride bonded our group, staff and guests included. Dining was ranchstyle, and everything was home-cooked, with desserts that were often fresh pies, cakes, or brownies. Patty, Zack, Maria, Anna, Ben, and many of the wranglers often joined us for our meals once their chores were completed. Throughout our visit, and especially after some of our evening meals, Bob and I both looked forward to hearing about Zack’s anecdotes of the Wirth family and listening to him share mesmerizing stories of Montana’s legendary past. The next few days were spectacular. Chilly mornings, warm afternoons, and cool evenings were typical. Each day featured one or two trail rides through some of the most awe-inspiring landscape imaginable. Maria and the wranglers took both of our groups on rides that lasted anywhere from two to five hours, with our five-hour outing broken up by a ranch-packed lunch stop on what I called the top of the world. Words seemed inadequate to describe the endless and awesome views we witnessed traveling on the many trails that may have carried our forefathers when they first discovered this breathtakingly beautiful territory. Mule and white-tailed deer, along with elk, crossed our paths during our outings. The varied shades of green in the pines and grasses, the intoxicatingly wonderful smell of sagebrush, and sounds of horses splashing through swiftly flowing streams were a feast for the senses. During my entire time in the saddle with the incredible Abi, I continually thought of how blessed I was to be part of this journey. Rocking Z also offered cattle working, which focused on both horsemanship and stockmanship. For the horse, Maria explained, it is in their nature to chase and follow one another in the herd for dominance. This transfers to dominating cattle, or herding, seamlessly. As for stockmanship, we learned how to gauge the cattle’s intentions in order to herd them precisely and confidently. On one particular morning, Bob and several of the guests had a chance to practice their new skills as they moved

some of the herd from one grazing field to another. The ranch raises Corriente cattle for roping and horse training. When we weren’t on trail rides or interacting with the cows, we had occasions to play games on horseback, including soccer and barrel racing, things I’d never done before. During another one of our diverse afternoon activities, Maria explained and demonstrated liberty training. With Maria’s patience and excellent guidance, my mare and I were moving as one, and as for bonding, that already happened on day one. I wanted to take Abi home with me. Way too soon, our sojourn to Rocking Z was coming to an end. On our last day, Bob was taking some final video, and I took a leisurely walk around the ranch by myself. I stopped and stared at my surroundings, trying imprint the images of this idyllic place in my mind. I didn’t want to leave. I felt so content here. Off in the distance, a group of the guests and some of the wranglers had ridden out before breakfast, and were in the process of bringing the horses back from their nighttime grazing pastures. Dust rose from the dirt road as the horses and riders headed toward the main paddock, and leading the pack were the magnificent Belgian and the Miniature Horse, Mr. Sugar. I saw Abi in the herd, and it was then I made a silent promise to her that I would be back. Montana, Wolf Creek, and Rocking Z are now part of me. Of course I’ll be back. (No compensation was given to Sally or Massachusetts Horse from Rocking Z Guest Ranch.) Sally L. Feuerberg’s passions are trail riding and continuing her lesson programs along with family, horses, new puppy Munch, and farm in Newtown, Connecticut.

Sally riding Abi at the Rocking Z Guest Ranch.

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020



Farm Feature

High Tail Acres All in the Family

by Alessandra Mele


love she has proudly passed down to her own daughters and grandchildren. “My formal riding instruction began when I was ten years old at a show stable where my grandmother had my older sister’s American Saddlebred in training,” Dawn says. “In 1965, we moved the Saddlebred and a newly acquired Hackney harness pony to our family’s home in Gloucester. We were naïve, but had a thirst to learn

says. “So, oftentimes lessons were after dark under spotlights, in all kinds of weather.” In 1996, High Tail Acres opened its doors to the public, and enjoyed its first show season with clients the following year. Deidre and Deana had gained training experience at prestigious stables, and Darla had committed to attending William Woods University as

eagerly begin tacking up. A grandmother offers encouraging words to young students, and a grandfather manages an incoming hay delivery. The teamwork of the DelTorchio family is the heartbeat of this farm. Dawn DelTorchio is the matriarch of High Tail Acres, overseeing all and happily working alongside her three daughters, Deidre Henry, Deana Tate, and Darla Wright. They’re all doing an outstanding job: High Tail Acres has been recognized as a Horse Farm of Distinction by the Massachusetts Farm Bureau for 20 consecutive years. Those honors shine alongside scores of colorful ribbons, gleaming trophies, and recognitions collected in the show ring, testaments to the farm’s high standards. But at the end of the day, it’s about family. “We’re all essential here, and the entire family is involved in one way or another,” Darla says. “When you walk through that door, you’re welcomed into the barn family.”

and get it right. We took the advice of our trainers and veterinarians, got involved in breed organizations, and followed the New England Horsemen’s Council (NEHC) show circuit, learning a lot through trial and error.” As the family expanded their knowledge and training abilities, their string of Saddlebreds and Hackney ponies grew, and they began to outgrow their single-acre farm in Gloucester. “In 1973, we moved to Newbury, where my parents, Harold and Norma Reader, established High Tail Acres on 17 acres. We became the very definition of amateur owner trainers,” Dawn says, laughing. For the next 23 years, High Tail Acres operated as a private family show stable, becoming very successful in the saddle seat show ring with their Saddlebreds, Hackneys, and one very special Morgan. “We were able to establish a very positive reputation over the years,” Dawn says. Dawn and Skip DelTorchio’s three daughters eagerly picked up the reins as young girls, and each found much success throughout their junior careers. “However, my policy was no lessons until homework was complete!” Dawn

an equestrian science major. This combination of expertise was just what the family needed to establish their business. “We decided to go forward with building the family’s dream,” Dawn says. “Every year since 1999, High Tail Acres has received the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Horse Farm of Distinction Award.”

©2019 Jon McCarthy Photo

alking through the barn doors at High Tail Acres in Newbury, a sense of heritage is felt immediately. Three generations are scurrying down the aisles and in and out of stalls, completing the day’s tasks that keep the farm running at its best. Daughters train horses and students from the center of the arena while grandchildren finish cleaning stalls and

Building the Family Dream Dawn is a third-generation horsewoman, inheriting a love for horses from her mother and grandmother, a 16

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

A Job for Everyone Generations of hard work and fierce dedication have certainly paid off, as High Tail Acres gleams with achievement today. Hidden just around a wooded bend in Newbury, the stables sit on picturesque acreage. The facility has 36 stalls, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, heated tack rooms, a viewing room, a wash rack, and plenty of paddocks. Thirty-two horses currently call the facility home. On any given week, the High Tail Acres’ schedule is filled to the brim with lessons, horse shows, horsemanship programs, and even birthday parties. It’s a lot to maintain, but Dawn finds when everyone does their part, things run smoothly. “We all play important roles in the daily operation of the

barn,” she says. “Deidre, Deana, and Darla are the lifeline to High Tail Acres. They rely on each other’s expertise and opinions so they can each fulfill their individual responsibilities. Deidre is one of our trainers, and also coordinates our vet and massage therapist appointments as well as ordering all medications, supplements, and supplies. Deana is an instructor, teaching lessons four days a week. She also cares for all the boarders’ horses as well as the retired horses. Darla trains horses and also instructs while managing the lesson and horsemanship programs, and she also coordinates blacksmith appointments.” The teamwork these sisters put into practice every day clearly brings Dawn great pride, as she witnesses all they accomplish together. Additionally, Eryn Eaton is on staff as an instructor, working with beginner students. “Eryn has been riding and showing with us since she was a junior exhibitor, and now does excellent work teaching students the basics of riding, giving them a great foundation,” Darla says. Of course, Mom and Dad do their part as well, still finding great joy in being around the horses and riders. “Skip is in charge of maintenance and all hay, grain, and sawdust deliveries,” Dawn says, “and my role is to manage the books, assist with preparations of the horses for daily lessons, and be a horse show mom to our many students.” She smiles when mentioning this last job — she especially enjoys this role.

Teaching Horsemanship With so much going on, the family strives to keep their values consistently present. Whether working in the stall, training in the arena, or exhibiting at a horse show, it’s all about horsemanship. “We’re concerned with the specific needs of the individual horse,” Darla says. “With the help of our veterinarian, blacksmith, and massage therapist, we work our horses specifically to what keeps them happy, comfortable, and excelling at their job.” This philosophy is instilled in students as well, as Darla notes that good horsemanship is at the foundation of every lesson. “Our students are taught from the beginning to develop a relationship and feel for their horses,” she says. Riders seek training at High Tail Acres specifically for this comprehensive instruction. “Students choose us knowing that they will learn not only to ride but also to be able to safely work around

the horses and in the barn,” Darla says. She finds it particularly gratifying to see students apply the skills they learn, and pass on their knowledge. “A lot of our experienced students help out with all our horsemanship programs and also with the beginner riders,” she says. “They get to teach what they’ve learned so it comes full circle.” This full circle approach is ever present at High Tail Acres, as skills are passed down among familial generations, and then on to clients and friends. Dawn, Deidre, Deana, and Darla think of everyone at High Tail Acres as their extended barn family. “It truly is our pleasure to be able to share our knowledge and abilities with our barn family,” Darla says.

Achieving Together The dedication Dawn and her daughters have shown to each other and to their barn family has been widely recognized, both in their own accomplishments and those of their clients. In 2016, Dawn received the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) Chapter 14 Lifetime Achievement Award. Following in her footsteps, Deidre and Darla received the 2018 UPHA Chapter 14 Horse Persons of the Year Award and the UPHA 14 Distinguished Service Award. These honors recognized their significant contributions to the UPHA local chapter. The next generation is seeing lots of recognition in the show ring as well, as Dawn’s grandchildren pick up the reins, proudly representing High Tail Acres. Deidre’s son, Conor Henry, began his showing career at the age of four, and excelled throughout his junior career, receiving the UPHA 14 Junior Exhibitor American Saddlebred Award, NEHC high score awards, and the NEHC Sportsmanship Award. Now 21, Conor still pitches in to clean stalls on Sundays. Abigail Tate, Deana’s daughter, started early on as well, and has accomplished much in her 16 years. She was crowned World Champion 11-Year-Old Equitation Rider at the World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, and at 13, Abi earned the title of UPHA Reserve National Champion Junior Equitation Rider and UPHA Reserve National Champion Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited. This year she won the NEHC Saddle Seat Medal at the NEHC Medal Finals, completing flawless rail and pattern work. Every year since High Tail Acres was established, junior and adult stu-

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dents have earned NEHC High Score Awards or American Saddlebred Horse Association Zone awards. Several High Tail Acres students have also been the recipients of the NEHC Sportsmanship Award as well. Additionally, High Tail Acres takes great pride in the accomplishments of their academy riders. “Our academy riders have earned grand champion and reserve grand champion honors each year at the Academy Championships at Octoberfest.” Darla says. The achievements are many, but still greater is the sense of camaraderie between family and friends at High Tail Acres. This bond is at the heart of every successful horse show, every challenging lesson, every immaculate stall, and every magnificent horse. “The family atmosphere is what makes High Tail Acres unique,” Dawn says. “We’re happy to continue introducing other families to the world of horses so that they too might experience all that these animals have to offer.” Alessandra Mele is a freelance writer and designer in Wilbraham. She enjoys spending time with the horses on her family’s farm, especially riding her Quarter Horse, JoJo. To see more of her work, visit

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


Horseperson Feature


Kevin Landau, VMD Healthy Alternatives


Until his senior year at Oberlin College, Kevin planned to become an MD, but as graduation loomed, his desire to help both people and animals led him to choose veterinary school instead. In the late 1980s, there were fewer than 30 veterinary training programs in the United States and Kevin wasn’t optimistic about his chances of getting into one. “I had all the academic prerequisites,” he says, “but I didn’t have tons of animal experience.”

slim. But two weeks before the start of classes in the fall of 1990, UPenn called to say they had an opening. Jessica’s sister, who was in law school at UPenn, found them a fourthfloor walk-up apartment, and the couple bundled their belongings, one dog, and two cats into their car and hit the road for west Philadelphia. His first two years of veterinary school were a grind of intensive classes that ran from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

To fill that gap and to explore veterinary career options, Kevin worked a variety of animal-related jobs during the year after he graduated from Oberlin in 1989. Among other jobs, he groomed at a stable in Brewster, New York, and served as an assistant to Mark Baus, DVM, at Fairfield Equine Associates in Connecticut. He and two college chums moved to Santa Cruz, California, where he got a job as a veterinary assistant at a small animal hospital. While in California, Kevin applied to veterinary programs at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University. A third application, for the veterinary program at the University of California at Davis, was sitting on his desk when the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit. “After that, I decided the West Coast wasn’t for me,” he says. “I never submitted that third application.” He headed back East, moved to Westport, New York, with his girlfriend Jessica Wolff, and took a job with a construction company building houses near Lake Champlain. After Cornell rejected him and UPenn wait-listed him, his chances of getting into vet school looked

That coursework was followed by two years of clinical rotations, which gave him valuable hands-on experience and helped him decide to focus on equine medicine and primary care. During an equine clinical rotation in his fourth year of vet school, Kevin and his classmates were gathered around a stall in a treatment barn reviewing a case when an interestinglooking man walked past them and entered another ward. “Someone told me he was an animal chiropractor on his way to adjust a horse,” Kevin says. “I had no idea what that meant, but I wanted to see it, so I walked away from my clinical rounds and followed the guy. I watched him [use chiropractic techniques to] evaluate and adjust a horse. It was the first time I understood you could use your hands as a therapeutic tool. I decided when I finished vet school I was going to get certified to provide veterinary chiropractic care.” After graduating from UPenn in 1994, Kevin deferred his chiropractic training while he completed an internship at Mid-Atlantic Equine Center in

Kara Noble

ecky Renner’s 16-year-old draftcross mare, Nicolette, hated being ridden in the winter. “She was cold-backed,” Becky says. “Her behavior was horrible when I tried to sit on her.” Nothing helped until a Google search three years ago led Becky to Kevin Landau, VMD, who runs the Pioneer Valley’s only all-alternative medicine veterinary practice. Kevin treated Nicolette with a combination of chiropractic, acupuncture, and

Kara Noble

by Kara Noble

Chinese warming herbs that finally eased her winter woes. “I’ve seen a huge change in her,” Becky says. “She went from wanting to kill me every time I to tried to ride her to being normal all winter.” This was a terrific outcome, especially from a guy who didn’t plan to pursue a career as an equine veterinarian. When Kevin was about seven years old, his dad brought three equines to the family farm in northern Westchester County, New York: a palomino pony named Dusty, a gentle Thoroughbred cross named Chesterfield, and a spirited Thoroughbred named Socks. For Kevin and his brothers, Seth and Jeff, those equines meant lots of chores. “I remember feeding, mucking, and turning out horses every morning,” Kevin says. “At first, I didn’t know about changing my shoes before I hopped on the bus, so I always smelled very special when I got to school.” He enjoyed spending time with the horses. He took lessons and rode as a kid, and he always remained an equine caregiver, but he was more interested in soccer and other sports than he was in equestrian competition. 18

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

Ringoes, New Jersey. There, he routinely worked 16-hour days, training and supervising veterinary students, providing primary care for horses in surrounding communities, and assisting with surgeries at the referral hospital. The exhausting schedule was worth it. “To work in life or death situations with a group of super-competent people and to be mentored by them and have their support and guidance was incredibly valuable,” says Kevin. At the same time, he and Jessica were preparing for their wedding. “She had to do most of it on her own because I was always on some emergency call,” Kevin says. “She’s great. We met when she was 19 and I was 20 and she’s always been a great life partner.” The couple married in 1995. Soon afterward, Kevin completed his internship and Jessica finished her nurse practitioner program at UPenn. They moved to Vermont, where he became an equine primary care veterinarian at Burlington Equine Veterinary Services. “It was before cell phones, before the internet,” Kevin says. “I worked at farms that were a four-hour trailer ride or more away from the nearest hospital.” He needed all the skills and confidence gained during his internship in New Jersey to confront the realities of treating colicking horses, neurological cases, and equine emergencies in remote locations by himself. While in Vermont, Kevin began his chiropractic training and completed the certification program of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 1996. Two years later, he enrolled in a veterinary acupuncture program through the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine, completing their certification in 2001. He incorporated both alternative treatments into his equine primary care practice. When Kevin and Jessica welcomed their first child in 1997, the couple decided to relocate closer to their families. Kevin accepted a position at Colts Head Veterinary Services in Freehold, New Jersey, but less than a year after taking the job, he herniated a disc in his back while working on a horse. “I already knew I wanted to start a completely holistic veterinary practice,” he says. “When I hurt my back, it felt like a sign it was time to do it.” He and Jessica had discovered the Pioneer Valley while visiting friends on the long drive between their jobs in Burlington and their families around

New York City. Living in the Valley became a viable option when Jessica secured a job managing the Planned Parenthood office in Springfield in 1999. After a stint as a stay-at-home dad for two toddlers, Kevin began Landau Veterinary Services (LVS) in 1999, traveling to farms throughout southern New England to provide chiropractic and acupuncture treatments to horses. He expanded his knowledge of alternative care techniques, training and mentoring with Carl Destefano, an expert in applied kinesiology and chiropractic. Research into veterinary applications of Chinese herbal medicine conducted by Steven Marsden from Canada’s College of Integrative Veterinary Medicine impressed Kevin so much that he obtained his own herbal medicine certification in 2009. A few years after he started LVS, small animal owners began seeking him out, requesting holistic treatments for their pets. To meet that need, he transformed the basement of his family’s home in Pelham into an office where he could treat cats and dogs. Demand for Kevin’s alternative veterinary treatments kept increasing. “People began to realize that, while primary care is usually the best choice for acute conditions such as infections or broken bones, holistic care is often a better solution for chronic pain, inflammation, even organ failure” he says. “Holistic treatments can help animal athletes perform better without drugs, and it often produces excellent results in treating long-duration illnesses such as Lyme disease and cancer.” A growing number of small animal patients meant LVS needed more space, and in 2013, Dr. Landau opened a new office in Belchertown. He quickly outgrew that space too and added an adjacent one, where he now sees dogs and cats on days when he is not traveling to treat horses. He recently expanded his staff and hopes to add another veterinarian to his growing practice soon. That will give Kevin more time to do what he enjoys most in holistic medicine: using gentle techniques to identify issues that limit an animal’s ability to function and applying holistic practices to help that animal be healthier and happier. Kara Noble has worked with horses for most of her life. She and her husband, Jerry, keep an Icelandic horse, a Shetland pony, and two mini donkeys on their farm in Montgomery. She’s a professional writer and editor who holds an MFA in creative nonfiction.




Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


Horse Logic

Our Goal: Thriving Horses

by Nicole Birkholzer


n recent Horse Logic columns, I’ve discussed how different circumstances can create ease or dis-ease in your horse’s life. In this issue, I’ll review the areas that can affect the well-being of domestic horses and provide you with tips to ensure your horse will thrive in his environment.

tion into a new job slowly. When we commit to a Thoroughbred that’s fresh off the track or we acquire a ranch horse that’s been working in a feedlot for years, we must give the horse the time he needs to move into the new work. When we take away everything



Though most horses see their humans only for a few hours a day, those hours can have a significant influence on your horse’s day. If you arrive at the barn with your head filled with work- or family-related issues, or a body tight as a wire coil, your horse will immediately sense your state of being and become tense as well. Your tension will make him more apprehensive about connecting with you. And as you’re chasing him around in the pasture to get him haltered, your tension will rise even more. Suddenly your horse’s environment went from ease to dis-ease with your arrival at the barn. Tip: As you head to the barn, take three deep breaths. Three deep abdominal breaths can transform your frantic thought patterns into a calmer state of mind. Next, scan your body and observe where you hold tension. Do your hips feel tight? Breathe into your lower back and allow the muscles around the hip joints to relax and become mobile. Are your shoulders jacked up to your earlobes? Breathe into your neck, your clavicle, and your upper spine. Check your tongue. Often we press our tongue against the roof of our mouth without being aware of it. By relaxing your tongue, you give your involuntary nervous system the signal to relax, which will help your entire body to become more connected and in tune. When you calm your mind and allow your body to relax, your horse feels safe — and curious — about connecting with you.

the horse is familiar with at once, he can lose his confidence. Tip: First and foremost, make sure you acquire a horse that matches your expectations. If you are ready to take on the Tevis Cup but the beautiful Morgan you’ve got your eye on is only being ridden twice a month, you will need to take the time to condition the horse gradually, or you may want to keep looking for a horse that is more fit. If your new dressage prospect is used to being worked in the morning and turned out the rest of the day, stick with this routine for a while. Incorporating some elements of a horse’s former routine into his new life will help the horse settle in and become more comfortable with all the new things he will inevitably experience — new riders, new barn, and new herd mates.



In previous issues, I explained the importance of letting your horse transi-

Horses are sticklers for continuity. They feel safest when their surroundings

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

remain unchanged. The moment you dump a mountain of shavings into the yard or plant a new tree in front of the barn, you can expect that your horse will notice and be curious about it. Tip: By nature, horses are not afraid but rather curious. If you encourage your horse to be curious, he will be less worried about new things showing up in his environment. Is your horse eyeing your friend’s new horse trailer? Lead him over to the trailer and allow him to explore this new metal box. Don’t try to make him sniff it, but instead let him explore it on his own in his own time. Is your horse preoccupied with the pile of shavings in the barnyard? Walk over toward the shavings together and invite him to check it out. Horses are inquisitive because they want to wrap their minds around the new thing in their environment. For the horse, understanding something equals safety. Once your horse had a chance to blow into the shavings and recognize the smell, he will take a deep breath, a sigh of relief, and become less concerned about its mountainous shape. If you give your horse the chance to understand his environment, he will not only feel less anxious in the moment, he’ll become more courageous over time.

Herd In past articles, I’ve shared a number of examples of the diverse roles horses play in a herd, and how one horse’s ease, or dis-ease especially, can affect the rest of the horses in significant ways. The one herd member we often forget to consider when our horse shows an unexpected or undesired behavior is ourselves. Tip: If you suddenly find that your horse is more fidgety during tacking, or perhaps he shies away from the mounting block, take a moment and look at your own life. Are you experiencing a new or unexpected change in your life?

Has a family member fallen ill? Has your job or a relationship changed? Are you unhappy with the horse’s care at the boarding barn? Anything that’s upsetting you can affect your horse because you are part of your horse’s family. Instead of speaking sharply to your horse and making him “behave,” take a few deep breaths, then talk to your horse, and tell him what is going on in your life. He will most likely take a deep breath while you talk, releasing the tension he had been holding. Sharing what’s going on in your life will also release some of your stress, which will further relax your horse.

Health Emotional and mental stress can affect us physically, resulting in tension headaches, stomach issues, hives, and depression. Similar stressors can also affect our horse’s health. I’ve seen horses get depressed because their beloved herd member died. A horse with an intense show schedule can develop ulcers, and stress with a fellow herd member can bring forth allergies. WHEN YOUR HORSE shows signs of dis-ease, begin the exploration by look-

ing at all four areas mentioned above. Do you feel overwhelmed? Your horse might be picking up on your anxiety. Is your horse overworked or bored? Time to create a more balanced work schedule for him. Is your horse worried about the new puddle in your driveway? Bring him over to sniff, taste, and feel it out. Is your horse concerned about an equine herd member who’s not feeling well? Make sure the other horse is cared for so your horse can relax again. And, most important, explain to your horse when changes are coming up and other news that will have an impact on him. Most often, a few words of simple explanation can help your horse move from dis-ease to ease. Nicole Birkholzer is an equine behavior and communication specialist, originally from Germany, who works with horses and riders across the globe. Nicole helps people create mindful connections with their horses by attuning to and communicating with horses in meaningful and effective ways. Her focus is to understand the logic behind horses’ behaviors and the wisdom in their expression. Interested in building a meaningful, mindful relationship with your horse? Check out Nicole’s webinar series Horse Logic at online-learning. Nicole also offers private barn calls, phone consultations, and workshops.

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Lend a Hoof by Kara Noble


called the MSPCA [Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] on myself,” horse owner Caroline Abely says. “I knew I was in trouble. I needed help.” Caroline found herself struggling financially after a divorce followed by an abrupt layoff from her job of 24 years. She’d found a new job as a certified nurse’s assistant, but it didn’t pay enough to cover her living expenses plus the cost of caring for her 15-yearold Paint mare, Bijou. By the time she found a higher-paying job with a local


such a relief to know I wasn’t going to lose my horse.” The assistance provided by the MSPCA four-and-a-half years ago allowed Caroline to get back on her feet. She still owns the horse she loves. “When there are animals in need, there are usually people in need too,” says Kathleen Collins, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President at the MSPCA. “We feel the best way to prevent animal cruelty, neglect, and homelessness is by addressing animal welfare at its roots. We’ve had great success using a holistic approach that

“We started offering low-cost spay/neuter clinics around the region,” says Michael Keiley, Director of Adoption Centers and Programs for MSPCA. “Affordable spay/neuter clinics gradually solved the overpopulation problem in this area. Animal shelters in New England are seeing a significant decrease in the number of pets entering shelter systems. That has given us the opportunity to think about animal welfare in new ways.” One of the first goals the MSPCA set as they began to explore those

utility company, her funds were depleted. More solid financial footing was in sight, but it would be a month before she received her first paycheck. Until it arrived, she didn’t have enough money to feed her horse. When Caroline called the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen, adoption center staff explained that she and Bijou were eligible for their Equine Assistance Program, a precursor to MSPCA C.A.R.E.S. (Compassionate Access to Resources, Education, and Services), a new program designed to address animal welfare issues by supporting owners who are confronting circumstances that temporarily make it difficult to care for their animals. “A staff member drove out and checked on things,” Caroline says. “She was kind, not judgmental. I told her all I needed was a month-and-a-half’s worth of hay, shavings, and grain. She said the MSPCA could help. The next day I went to Nevins Farm and they loaded up my truck with everything I needed. I drove home crying. It was

breaks down barriers and offers resources and services to the people and animals who need them most.” The C.A.R.E.S. program represents a new strategic direction for the MSPCA, one that significantly changes how they are addressing animal welfare cases. For decades, the most overwhelming problem confronting the MSPCA and other animal-related organizations was rampant pet overpopulation. A flood of unwanted animals poured into their shelters, requiring the MSPCA to focus all their resources on providing daily care and forcing them to make difficult decisions no one wanted to make. Before the MSPCA could address other pressing animal welfare issues, they needed to find a way to control excess breeding. The MSPCA realized they could not solve the issue by staying inside their shelters and waiting for needy animals to arrive. They had to get out into the community, where they could gain a better understanding of what was happening and how to effectively address it.

opportunities was to apply their resources to help the greatest number of animals possible. To achieve that goal, they recognized they would need to examine some of their own attitudes about people and animals. “When we first began offering lowcost vaccination and spay/neuter clinics in less affluent communities around Methuen, I thought people in those places didn’t care about animals and weren’t very good caretakers for them,” Michael says. “But when I met them, when I saw them take advantage of the programs we offered, I realized the problem wasn’t about caring or not caring. It had to do with socioeconomic issues that created barriers to caring for animals. It was about people not having access to affordable resources.” In 2017, the MSPCA began to develop a new strategic plan that would take into account the complex social conditions that lead to animal cruelty and neglect. They examined how their Animal Advocacy and Law Enforcement departments and their Adoption Centers


Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

could refocus their work on proactively preventing animal welfare problems rather than reactively responding to them after animals were brought into their shelters. Early in the planning process, MSPCA staff noted that animals arriving at their shelters fell predominantly into two groups: (1) animals identified through complaints to the law enforcement department, animals that were at high risk and had urgent needs; and (2) animals that needed to be rehomed due to unexpected life situations that prevented their owners from keeping them or caring for them properly. Providing shelter space for animals in the first category had to remain a priority because Nevins Farm is the only place where MSPCA law enforcement can bring equines and farm animals seized in cruelty or neglect cases. MSPCA planners knew that if they could develop support systems to help owners of animals in the second category keep their animals or rehome them themselves — without bringing them to Nevins Farm — it would improve the organization’s ability to provide critical services to animals in emergency and crisis situations. MSPCA staff has devised a variety of methods to help owners keep their horses or to find safe, secure ways to rehome them. They now post animals that need new homes on MSPCA social media and other websites. They connect owners with rescues and specialty placement groups, for instance, putting the owner of a Mustang that needs rehoming in touch with a Mustang rescue. They maintain a list of people who are looking for a certain type of horse and put potential adopters in touch with owners looking to rehome horses that might be a good match. The MSPCA’s remote rehoming program proved to be a lifesaver for long-time horse owner and trainer Beth Martin when she suddenly needed a new home for her 10-year-old, off-thetrack Thoroughbred mare in June. Beth and her husband were expecting their first child. Six days before the baby was born, Beth’s mare gashed a hind leg, ending up with a jagged laceration that required 20 stitches. Keeping up with the horse’s care had been hard for Beth while she was pregnant, but after her son, Ryan Patrick, arrived via cesarean section, it became impossible. “It was too much,” she says. “I was super stressed.” When she discovered the MSPCA rehoming program online,

she contacted Ellie Monteith, manager of the equine and farm animal program at Nevins Farm. Within three months, a young woman came to Nevins looking for a horse and Ellie realized Beth’s mare might be a good match. “The woman was amazing,” Beth says. “Patient, committed, talented, very laid back. It was the perfect home. I was incredibly relieved.” Rehoming horses from one owner to the next without bringing them to Nevins saves transportation costs and reduces the stress on animals transitioning to a new home. It keeps stalls open for animals brought in by law enforcement and reduces the amount of time Nevins’ staff must commit providing daily care for surrendered animals — affording them more time to assist with non-emergency animal welfare cases like Caroline Abley’s. These types of programs allow adoption center staff to give muchneeded support to the eight MSPCA law enforcement agents and the two animal welfare agents who investigate animal cruelty in 351 cities and towns across more than 10,000 square miles throughout Massachusetts. Between January and September 2019, the MSPCA law enforcement department investigated nearly 1,000 new complaints and performed rechecks on more than 1,800 existing ones. They inspected more than 22,000 animals, taking actions ranging from offering educational advice and issuing warnings to seizing animals and making court appearances. Caseload numbers like that raised vital questions for the MSPCA as they developed their new strategic plan. How many cases could this limited number of individuals effectively address over such a large area? What’s the best way to utilize and leverage the talent and experience of those people? How could MSPCA officers work more effectively with other law enforcement agencies to identify and resolve animal cruelty and neglect issues? Strengthening and broadening the state’s animal control laws was part of the answer. MSPCA Advocacy Director Kara Holmquist and her team supported State Senators Mark C. Montigny (D-2nd Bristol and Plymouth), Bruce E. Tarr (R-1st Essex and Middlesex), and State Representative Louis L. Kafka (D8th Norfolk) as they presented S. 2646: An act to protect animal welfare and safety in cities and towns, popularly continued on page 38 . . .

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Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


Trail Guide


by Stacey Stearns

Northfield Mountain


orthfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center is a hydroelectric facility owned and maintained by FirstLight Power, and is situated in the towns of Northfield and Erving. FirstLight Power created a fourseason facility with 25 miles of trails open to cross-country skiers, hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. Northfield is located along the Vermont and New Hampshire borders

when the footing firms up. If you’re riding early or late in the season, it’s advisable to call ahead and make sure the trails are open. Occasionally, there are special events at the facility. You can always call (800) 859-2960 or visit the website for a trails report prior to heading out. When you enter the roadway to Northfield Mountain, there’s a large field to the right with signage for horse

“My super appreciation of the trails at Northfield comes from more of a technical view,” says Becky Kalagher of Douglas, BSTRA president. “I absolutely love riding up there. I really love the well-maintained trails. My first time rid-

in Franklin County. The Connecticut River runs through the town, separating the east and west sections. Rose Zariczny is the recording secretary of Bay State Trail Riders Association (BSTRA) and organized the BSTRA ride I attended at Northfield Mountain on September 28. “Northfield Mountain has easy parking, beautiful grounds, and a visitors’ center,” Rose says. “It has wellmarked trails and detailed maps indicating the level of difficulty for cross country skiing that can help riders choose trails. There’s no water accessibility, but an outside faucet on the Visitors’ Center building can be used to fill buckets. Helmets are mandatory, and cleaning up of hay and manure is required.”

trailer parking. On the day of the BSTRA ride, there were at least 20 trailers, and room for several more. A crosscountry running team was practicing at Northfield Mountain that day too, but there was space for all of us. Our horses enjoyed grazing in the field before and after our ride. The Visitors’ Center was open, and both BSTRA and the cross-country team were using it. During the summer, the Visitors’ Center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. If it’s closed when you’re there, you’ll find portable restrooms as well as a large trail map that you can take a photo of using your smartphone. There were also printed maps available in a mailbox attached to the large map. We packed our own horse water, although I could have filled buckets at the Visitors Center. My horses are shod, as I prefer having hoof protection on the trails. I suggest boots for horses not shod. I always apply fly spray as well. The name Northfield Mountain describes the elevation you’ll find here. Regardless of which trails you choose to ride, you and your horse will be doing some climbing, and different routes

ing there, the whole ride I kept saying, ‘Look at those water bars, they did a great job of keeping water off the trail so it doesn’t become eroded.’” Everything is trimmed back so there are nice wide paths. They did a super job with trail signage too. They combined names with numbers at intersections and it matches the map, so it’s very easy to find out exactly where you are. “Once you start working on trails, maintaining or creating, and putting it all together, and doing it for years, you tend to notice how other trail systems are put together,” says Becky. “And you end up with a great appreciation for a facility that has done it right. This includes the extensive and easy parking plus the building where one also has access to bathrooms. Northfield put it all together and for that they get five out of five stars.” Our ride started by heading up Reservoir Road from the parking lot. Bear left out of the equestrian parking field, and ride up the hill through the fields. Part of the hydroelectric facility is on your right. Then, connect back to the paved Reservoir Road. In most places, there’s a shoulder to ride alongside the road, instead of on the pavement.

and loops will have varying degrees of elevation change. Northfield Mountain is 1,206-feet at the summit.

Stacey Stearns

Out Riding It

A Leg Up Use 99 Millers Falls Road in Northfield for your GPS. Northfield Mountain is a short distance off Interstate 91 from the Greenfield area. You can visit for a trail map and more information on the trails. Trails are closed to horses from November until around the first of May, 24

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

We followed Reservoir Road all the way up, stopping occasionally to explore side trails, until we reached the top, and Northfield Mountain Reservoir. The best part of the trails for me was the views of the 320-acre reservoir we saw while riding along Reservoir Road. We had a perfect fall day, and the sun was shimmering on the reservoir. Chain link fence prevents people from getting too close to the reservoir. There is a picnic area and small building at the summit. Several trails are designated for hiking and snowshoeing only. These are marked in red on the map, and can easily be avoided since trails are well marked. We peered down a few as we rode past, and there’s good reason not to ride on them — they’re more technical. Once past Northfield Mountain Reservoir, we connected to the Tooleybush Turnpike Trail and followed that. Trails are wide and we could often ride with two horses side by side. We found a few holes, but for the most part, the trails were incredibly well groomed. We stayed on this trail for some time, crossing Reservoir Road, and riding the more difficult section of Tooleybush Turnpike marked with black. This section includes something called the “Chute” on the map, and with signage on the trail as you as you arrive at the Chute, heading southeast, or downhill. The Chute is exactly what you might envision, a steep section of trail. Our horses handled it fine, and shortly after finishing the Chute, we headed east, taking a left turn onto Ecstasy Ramble, until it connected with Hemlock Hill. We rode Hemlock Hill

back down through the heart of Northfield Mountain, past the Chocolate Pot, where cross-country skiers and snowshoers can purchase hot chocolate in the winter. Hemlock Hill connects to 10th Mountain, where you take a right, before coming back down to Tooleybush and the parking area. The majority of our ride was done on the western side of the property and there are several other trails to explore on another day in the eastern side of Northfield Mountain. For example, we missed Sidewinder Trail. We rode past it a couple of times, but decided not to explore it. Later, I noticed on the map that there is a section of Sidewinder called “Told Ya So Pass.” I love the name, and want to go check it out for myself. We also skipped Yellow Jacket Pass on Rock Oak Ramble. After running into yellow jacket nests on our previous ride, we didn’t want to take any chances! Northfield Mountain Recreation Area is a wonderful resource for equestrians. The hills provided a good workout for my horse, and the beautiful trails allowed me to enjoy the ride. I will certainly be returning to explore other trails, and enjoy the opportunities that riding in the Bay State offer. Happy trails!

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Partners Our goal is to foster connections within the horse community throughout the Bay State, and one of the ways we do this is with our Partners Program. Massachusetts organizations that partner with us receive a free one-year subscription for each member and space in the magazine for news, photos, and event listings.

benefited from our work. Without your helping hands, BSTRA cannot continue to do as much as we do. Please set aside time in 2020 to participate in BSTRA trail workdays. See and The Bugle

2020 at the Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet on February 9 from noon to 4 p.m. at Coachmen’s Lodge in Bellingham. Last year was a blast with excellent food. Don’t miss out! (And it’s not

Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council

Looking back on 2019, BSTRA would like to thank all who enabled us to continue our mission to keep our “communities’ trails preserved and maintained for outdoor recreation and fitness.” Without you — our members, sponsors, volunteers, and event participants — our work could not continue. Funds raised by BSTRA go directly back into the local trail network. In this time of decreasing federal, state, and local funding, our work ensures trails remain safe and open to all users. The recent improvement to Park Road in Upton State Forest is a good example of this. Working with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), BSTRA received a matching partnership grant that enabled the project to be completed. The footing and drainage are much better as a result of this joint effort. Trail safety is another way BSTRA supports the trail riding community. In November, a Safety and Ambulance Training provided by Roger Lauze of the MSPCA was held at Hillside Meadows Equestrian Center in Grafton. Attendance was free to first responders. The program focused on how to handle an equine emergency. While we hope the skills learned are never needed, it’s reassuring that the training was done. Throughout 2019, BSTRA volunteers participated in multiple trail workdays. If you’re reading this article, you most likely have ridden over a trail that has 26

Cyrsanda Boisvert

Bay State Trail Riders Association

Bill Knott at the Bay State Trail Riders Association Lea McInnis Judged Pleasure Ride in Grafton.

Kenna LaBeau of Riverbank Farm in Dalton won the Sportsmanship Award at the Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council Days of Champions. Congratulations!

newsletter for dates, times, and sign-up information. This year BSTRA expanded its ride calendar to include the Fergus Ride, held in June, and a joint benefit ride with the New England Equestrian Center of Athol in July. It truly takes a village to put on these events and BSTRA needs your help. Spending a few hours working at the registration table or parking trailers is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Running an event is a lot of fun, a great experience, and it’s not as hard as you think. Come celebrate with BSTRA as we look forward to

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

Super Bowl weekend for those football fans.) Finally, if you have not already done so, please renew your membership or become a member. Membership benefits include The Bugle (our monthly newsletter), the ability to purchase supplemental liability insurance at low cost, and reduced entry fees for most BSTRA rides. In addition, you receive an online subscription to Massachusetts Horse. To learn more and sign up, visit BSTRA wishes you all happy holidays and a wonderful new year. Can’t wait to see you on the trails! 7 Annamaria Paul

The 38th annual celebration of the Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council Days of Champions (MHC DOC) Hunt Seat Medal Finals was held September 27–29 at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton. Competition for more than 150 juniors and 100 adult amateurs was tight with a few young stars rising to the top during the three days. Show manager Tom Hern and show chair Felicia Knowles, along with a wonderful support crew, produced another smoothly run, well-attended finals. Thursday offered warmups in the afternoon plus an informative United States Hunter Jumper Association Zone 1 Educational Forum, An Equitation Strategies Clinic, with renowned judges Robin Rost-Brown and Otis Brown. Robin and Otis delivered timely tips from the judges’ view for the large turnout of riders followed by an informative question and answer session. Productions East Media’s filming of the session is available on the MHC Facebook page. The panel of judges also included Irving Evans with Scott Alder as the course designer. The Exhibitors’ Welcome Party, one of two dinners catered by Spoleto’s of Northampton, was held in the arena in conjunction with the clinic. The great food and beverages were a welcome treat for everyone at the end of a busy day and provided for a great meet and greet. Friday dawned with morning mist as more than 100 adult amateurs prepared for the big day. The courses were interesting and technical, using side, diagonal, and centerline jumps to test the rider’s eye with multiple stride options. The 42 adults in the Over 30 Adults kicked off the morning with Kelsey E. Leerkes, who rides with

Nora Hanlon, placing third in Open Equitation and first round of the Medal, moving up to first after the second round staying there to win the test and the MHC DOC Adult Over 30 Medal sponsored by Woodbridge Farm. Riding strongly all morning, Melissa G. Hubbard placed as reserve champion. Between rounds, Kenna LaBeau was announced as the Sportsmanship Award winner, and the Horse of the Year went to Saint Sylvester. Next up came the 61 riders in the 18–30 Adults, finishing with a test of the top seven requiring what turned out to be a killer counter canter after a diagonal fence. Riding consistently all day and moving up from third in the callback to win the 18–30 Medal sponsored by Back Bay Farm, Casey Zuraitis, trained by Mary Drueding, rode to the top. Rori Z. Fiebert moved up the standings to win reserve champion. Junior Day began with beautiful, sunny weather for

the 93 junior competitors preparing in the warmup rings. Competition between the top five was close all the way with Miles Holman, who trains with David Oliynyk, riding to the top of the first round and staying there to win the MHC Days of Champions Junior Medal sponsored by Corinthian Insurance. Consistent riding moved Jessica Ward, who won her Open Equitation, up from fifth in round one to second in the callback to win reserve champion. Between rounds, the well-earned MHC DOC Person of the Year award was given to Kristen Bumpus. Sunday brought out 50 Mini Medal exhibitors on horses and ponies starting with Open Equitation 11 and Under. Gwendolyn Romiza, a student of Kathy Fletcher, placed in the top ten of her Open Equitation, was called back fourth in round one, on top in round two, and stayed there to win the MHC DOC Mini Medal sponsored by

Stoneymeade Farm. Called back second in round two, Lainey Rockacy won the Mini Medal reserve. To learn more, visit 7 Melody Taylor-Scott

North Shore Horsemen’s Association Show season is over and it’s time to add up those points and see who wins! We had a great year at NSHA and we would like to thank everyone who came to our pleasure shows. Our annual banquet will be on Saturday night, January 19, at the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers. Tickets are $55 for adults and $25 for children. Our annual meeting to elect board members will start at 5:30 p.m., with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. The meal is family style and this year we have a great new DJ. We’d love people to stay to enjoy the music, and, of course, dance! There will be great awards as well as our fabu-

lous basket raffles. Please come and celebrate with us. We’re looking forward to another great season in 2020 and we’re working on that right now. If anyone has any suggestions regarding anything new, please let us know. We’ll be having our annual Open Meeting in February where the 2020 line-up will be announced. The pleasure shows will be staying at Bob-Lyn Stables in Amesbury as it’s one of the best and most beautiful places around the North Shore. Thank you so much to everyone who participated and showed with us this year. We hope to see you at the banquet! 7 JoAnn Hamson

West Newbury Riding and Driving Club WNRDC is now completing its 99th year, making 2020 our centennial year. We are, in fact, the oldest riding club in Massachusetts. This feels like a wonderful accomplish-

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ment, especially given the amount of work it takes to keep the club active and the land, Pipestave Hill, from being developed for other purposes. In 1920, a group of horse enthusiasts formed a social group enjoying what was considered the last days of the horse as cars became more prevalent. The club grew and dwindled several times through the years until the 1970s. Around that time, West Newbury resident Jerry Mahoney, an active trail rider and a proponent of preserving open space, became politically active in conservation. When he learned that the land where he loved to ride was going to be sold for development Jerry turned to WNRDC and together they lobbied for the town of West Newbury to purchase this land. Thankfully, the town voted yes, thus conserving the areas of Pipestave Hill and Mill Pond for posterity. The care of Pipestave Hill was granted to the WNRDC, and has shaped the mission and purpose of the club. The mission is four-fold. Our first purpose is to preserve, maintain, and improve the land in our care as well as that of the surrounding open space and trails. As civilization encroaches on all open space, and with the increasing threat of climate change, the preservation of open space is vital, not just to the club, but to the town of West Newbury and to the planet.

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The second purpose of the club is to offer educational opportunities for club members and the general public. We host workshops and clinics, and our horse trials are schooling shows. Many young riders and adults have been inspired to learn about eventing at Pipestave Hill. The third purpose is to make donations to local nonprofit organizations, public safety organizations, and the library of West Newbury. WNRDC is a volunteer organization and our expenses are minimal, which allows us to donate more than half of our income. And finally, we’re an organization that loves to gather socially for riding opportunities and periodic social events. We love to “talk” horse with others of like mind. I’ve served as president of the board of WNRDC for two years and am now stepping down. I’m proud of this organization and all it does to foster educational opportunities in the horse world and to preserve open space for nature lovers, dog walkers, wildlife, the town of West Newbury, and beyond. I celebrate our centennial and know the good work will continue. 7 Shipley Allinson Is your club based in Massachusetts and for equestrians? Join our free Partners Program to receive a free digital subscription for your membership and have space in every issue for your organization’s news!

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News in Our Community The first United States Eventing Association (USEA) recognized Horse Trials at Apple Knoll Farm Equestrian Center in Millis in more than 10 years were gifted with an amazing day and perfect weather. The Apple Knoll Farm USEA Horse Trials hosted 84 horse and rider pairs ranging from Beginner Novice to Training level. Show secretary Maggie Hamilton is a newcomer to running the office for a USEA-recognized event and did not disappoint with her efficiency and attention to detail. Technical delegate James Gornall and safety coordinator Alicia McKersie were fabulous resources for the endeavor and helped keep us safe and legal for the day. Dressage ran on time with Ann Marie Gregoire and Carol Mayo as judges for the day. Show jumping was judged by Pam Wiedemann. The course rode well and proved to be challenging enough to alter the standings going into cross-country. Cross-country course builder and designer Noll Smith did a beautiful job building a fair but challenging course over varied terrain. Our fabulous volunteers did not disappoint with their fun and creative decorating on the cross-country course. “Thank you to all our volunteers,” says Adrienne Iorio, Apple Knoll Farm Equestrian Center’s owner. “Jessica Iorio did a great job as our volunteer coordinator and there are too many of these amazing people to list by name. Area One really pulled together to help get

us back on the USEA calendar and to make it a wonderful and well-run day. “Thank you to our sponsors Purina, Equinature, Massachusetts Horse, Incentive Advertising, Stübben, Heart of Dixie Blanket Wash, D.W. Equis, and North Bridge Equine who provided prizes, which enabled us to give

diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Jeanne Cassavant, Camp Marshall director. The team was able to raise more than $250 per rider to enter the event. Many members have been touched by cancer in some way and have lost loved ones. The team was honoring the survivors, those who have

Joseph Kelley

USEA Horse Trials Back at Apple Knoll Farm Equestrian Center

Paige Leighton won the Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at the Apple Knoll Farm USEA Horse Trials on September 21. Paige and her Gypsy cross mare, FH Red Fern, competed in the Junior Beginner Novice division. Although the pair had a challenging time in the dressage phase, Paige kept her cool and remained all smiles throughout the day. They went on to have lovely rounds in both show jumping and cross country.

great prizes to sixth place and ribbons to eighth place,” Adrienne says. Joan Davis, owner of FlatlandsFoto, was the official photographer. “We’re hoping to run a spring and fall horse trial in 2020,” says Adrienne. “Our tentative fall dates for 2020 are September 19 and 20.”

Camp Marshall Equestrian Team In October, the Camp Marshall Equestrian Team participated in the Ride for the Ribbon Breast Cancer Ride at Felton Field in Barre. “In our small equestrian program we have had three moms in the past few years

passed, and those who are now fighting cancer. “The team raised $1,500 thanks to the generous donations of the Camp Marshall community and team members’ families,” says Jeanne. Camp Marshall offers school vacation camps, summer camp, year-round programs, horsemanship programs for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and other youth groups along with its yearround equestrian program. To learn more, visit

Area Morgans Are Tops in the World The 2019 Grand National & World Championship

Morgan Horse Show was held October 12–19 in Oklahoma City. The show attracted 950 entries from across the United States and several exhibitors from Canada. More than $250,000 in prize money was awarded. Since 1973, this show has represented the pinnacle of achievement in the Morgan horse world. Christine NavaMoulthrop of Timberhill Stables in Kingston was on the panel of judges for the Hunter Pleasure and Western Pleasure divisions. “I was honored to judge the Morgan Grand National this year for the first time,” Christine says. “I was very impressed with the level of quality and the number of entries in my hunter and western classes. We had several classes that needed to be split with a callback and the competition was steep. The toughest class I had to judge was probably the World Open Western Pleasure Championship. There were twenty fabulous entries and they were all flawless. It was an awesome class and I was really honored to be able to judge it.” In 2017 and 2018, SPR Wing It and trainer Sarah Gove of Taylor River Farm felt like the perennial bridesmaid winning the Reserve World Open Hunter Pleasure Championship. This year, they could not be denied as the duo won the world title for ecstatic owner Michelle Quinlisk of Duxbury. For the second year in a row, Michelle rode her nineyear-old bay mare to the World Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship. “Winnie is mannerly and lights up when she trots into

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


the show ring,” Michelle says. “She’s all show horse and very competitive.” The World Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship was split into two sections, with the judges calling back the top six entries in each section. Winnie was in the second section so she didn’t get a breather before the final workout. “Winnie had a better performance in the callback than in the initial section as she just loves to show,” Michelle says. “It’s always been my dream to win a big, competitive class.” The talented senior at the University of Virginia also rode her gelding, Ledyard Perfect Manhattan, to the Grand National Youth Hunter Pleasure Stallion and Gelding Section A. Riding her six-year-old gelding, CIMIS Voodoo Daddy, Michelle won the Reserve Grand National Amateur English Pleasure Stallion and Gelding Championship. This duo went on to win the Reserve World Amateur English Pleasure Championship. Grace Brenner of Reading rode Taylor River’s trainer Richard Boule’s sixyear-old mare, Vivre L’Amor, to the Grand National Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle 15 and Under Championship. The pair went on to be pinned the Reserve World Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle Champion. Cameo Dyer, a resident of Hanover, was the Reserve American Morgan Horse Association Hunter Seat On the Flat Gold Medal Finals Champion riding PCC Don’t Stop Believin. Riding her sixyear-old gelding, Get More, Cameo won the Grand National Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure 16 Championship unanimously. Cameo rides under the direction of the Taylor River trio — Richard Boule, Sarah Gove, and John Whalen. Ellen Matsell of Merrimac was thrilled when her young 30

gelding, Tony Soprano, was the Grand National Four-Year-

Taylor River Farm, the duo went on to win the World

Nine-year-old Lily A.C. and One Foxie Shocker won the Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at the Eastern Regional Pleasure Trail Ride in North Brookfield on November 3. Congratulations, Lily!

Ten-year-old Frans Weterrings of Medfield won the Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at the Norfolk Hunt Horse Show in May with Always in Style, a Quarter Horse pony. Congratulations!

Molly McDonough, 12, won the Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at the Old North Bridge Hounds Hunt in October with Lady, a Welsh pony. Congratulations, Molly! Want a free Junior Horsemanship Award for your upcoming competition or annual banquet? Go to

Old Hunter Pleasure Stallion and Gelding Champion. Ridden by Sarah Gove of

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

Four-Year-Old Hunter Pleasure Championship. Leslie Kelley of Mendon

won the Grand National Classic Pleasure Saddle Masters with her gelding, CBMF Cease Fire GCH. The duo went on to win the world title in this division. Hannah Kelley was the Reserve Grand National Youth Park Saddle Champion riding her family’s gelding, Cedar Creek Flambeau GCH. They went on to win the World Youth Park Saddle Championship. This duo won the world title in this division in 2017 and were reserve world champions last year. VL Todd Michael was the Reserve Grand National Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving Champion. Hannah also drove him to the Reserve World Futurity Three-Year-Old Classic Pleasure Driving Champion. Both mother and daughter show under the direction of David Rand. Also showing under the Rand banner, Amanda NiCastro was the Reserve Grand National Amateur Ladies’ Pleasure Driving Champion. Driving her Queens Jim Dandy, Amanda was also the Reserve World Ladies’ Pleasure Driving Champion. The eight-year-old gelding is owned by Elizabeth Hedlum-Poirier of Fiskdale. Belchertown resident Cindy Mugnier took a time out from her show committee responsibilities to ride her young mare, Sensationalist, to the Grand National FourYear-Old Park Saddle Championship as well as the Reserve World Four-Year-Old Park Saddle Championship. Melissa Morrell brought two horses from her Moreland Farm in West Brookfield. She coached Nancy Andreano to the Reserve World Ladies’ Classic Pleasure Driving Champion-ship and for the fifth consecutive year, the Reserve World Open Classic Pleasure Driving Championship. She was driving her gelding, Miles of Fortune GCH.

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


WNEPHA JOIN US! The Western New England chapter of the Professional Horsemen’s Association of America has a full schedule of shows planned for 2019-2020! HUNTER/JUMPER EQUITATION SHOWS December 22

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DRESSAGE SHOWS English and Western Tests

For the full schedule, visit

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Trotting into the coliseum ring for the very first time, Melissa’s student, Rihana Blair of South Hadley, had fun showing Willow Hill Tiramisu. She was the Reserve Grand National Hunter Seat Equitation on the Flat 12 and Under Champion. Mike and Liz Murphy of Legacy Stables in Middleboro brought 13 horses from their barn. Emily Iovana was the Reserve Grand National Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat 14-15 Champion riding Pembroke Sweet Treat. Mike and Liz own the bay mare. The Grand National Walk Trot Hunter Pleasure 10 Champion was Katelyn Aho. She was riding Pembroke Annabella GCH owned by Debra Mudge of Worcester. CBMF Me First and owner Aimee Spellman of Duxbury won the Reserve Grand National Amateur English Pleasure Mares Championship. Garland’s Ace of Spades GCH and Kathleen Jensen won the Reserve Grand National Amateur Western Pleasure Stallion Championship. The stallion is owned by Bill and Alice Nazzaro of Rochester and is trained by Mike and Liz Murphy.

Traveling from his home in Marlborough, Steven Handy drove his gelding, Bellerophon GCH, to the Grand National Amateur Gentlemen’s Pleasure Driving Championship. This was the fifth year in a row this pair has won the title while showing under the direction of Jim and Jenny Taylor of Memory Lane Farm. Congratulations Bay State champions!

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Silver Oak Jumper Tournament and Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show Combine Forces The management of the Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show and the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament have decided to merge the two events. The June 2020 Show will be a combined event taking place at Ox Ridge in Darien, Connecticut. The events’ ideologies, wishes, and desires for the sport are very closely aligned. The Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show organization has long hosted an historical horse show since 1926 and is designated as a United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Heritage Competition. The Silver Oak Jumper Tournament was founded eight years ago by Jeff Papows on the premise of quality in

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Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

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everything from footing to course designers to relaxed schedules and hospitality being of great importance. It’s been recognized by the North American Riders Group as one of the country’s finest jumper shows. Both organizations are registered 501(c)3 charities. Silver Oak’s support of animal rescue has been a mainstay of its mission as has been the case at Ox Ridge. There’s almost a cosmic justice to this marriage. “I’ve shown at Ox Ridge for years and realize not only is it located closer to many of our international athletes, but more important, the management philosophies and mine are wildly simpatico,” says Jeff Papows. “I’ve so enjoyed my time there as a competitor, and the place is just beautiful and at the same time very intimate. I was blown away last year with all the property improvements. I’ve learned

that working with nice people of a common mindset is key to motivating everybody involved, which is the reason for the move.” “We at Ox Ridge have long admired the great production value, national acclaim, quality, and great reviews of Silver Oak,” says Flavia Callari, Ox Ridge show committee member. “The heart and soul of something designed for riders by riders and in support of the horses we all love — it’s perfect.”

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Horse show announcer Peter Fenton said, “Just as some of the world’s greatest performers graced the stage at Carnegie Hall, the eighteenyear-old Morgan gelding with the same name has become one of the greatest performers in the Morgan world.” “Beckham,” bred by the Fu family of Dragonsmeade Farm, was sired by Beethoven and out of Black Tie Debutante. He made his show ring debut as a yearling in California and was presented by Robert Hughes to grand champion stallion honors. The following year, Beckham won his first set of roses when Robert drove the now gelding to the World TwoYear-Old Pleasure Driving Championship. In 2004, Beckham was purchased by the Silbers of Kourt Jester Morgans and put into training with Tim Roesink of Grove Point Stables. Tim showed him to his first win under saddle, and Dr. Silber won with him in amateur pleasure driving. Even as a

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four-year-old, it was evident that the charismatic performer would be a star in the amateur division. Tim Arcuri approached Tim Roesink about purchasing the gelding to add to Tom and Stephanie Connor’s show string. Both Tim and Stephanie had opportunities to drive Beckham in the world champion spotlight in Oklahoma City. The fourth chapter in Beckham’s amazing life came when Dan Kelley was looking for the perfect partner so he could return to the show ring. His trainer, David Rand, contacted Tim Arcuri to add the gelding to the aptly named show string of Victory Lane Farm. The coliseum lights dimmed and the spotlight hit the in-gate as Dan Kelley drove Beckham into the main ring, much to the delight of the crowd. In 2012 and 2013, David’s assistant, Alyssa Wick, rode the crowd favorite to the World Ladies’ English Pleasure Championship. Dan and his charismatic partner set a record winning the most World Amateur Pleasure Driving World Championships. Carnegie Hall was a natural from the very beginning. He’s now enjoying a life of leisure at Victory Lane Farm.

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New England Equitation Championships The New England Equitation Championships (NEEC) celebrated its 44th anniversary this year. This five-day event is run by the volunteer NEEC committee and is one of the longest running and most prestigious equitation finals in the country. The show was livestreamed on the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Network. The renowned judging panel included Linda Andrisani, Ralph Caristo, Todd Karn, Jimmy Lee, Patrick Rodes (course designer), and Sissy Wickes.

Katrina Tiktinsky and esteemed Grand Prix rider and ‘R’ judge Ellie Raidt lent their voices and expertise to the livestream commentary during the final. Between rounds, Isabel Hall was named overall winner of the Katie Battison

Fellow Traveler, and the Nicholas Award was given to Writtle. For more information and detailed results, visit

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The 46+ Adult Medal kicked off the week on Wednesday, October 16. Junior Open sections ran Friday and Saturday. On Friday evening, more than 75 Juniors took the written phase of the Horsemanship Class. Originating at the NEEC, the Horsemanship Class combines a rider’s written test score, practicum, and first round finals score to determine the overall top junior horseperson. After the written test, more than 400 family and friends gathered for a funfilled dinner and commemorative video celebrating juniors in their last year. The juniors vote for one of their peers to win the Junior Sportsmanship Award and this year they selected Emma Fletcher. Following the Open on Saturday, attendees in person and via livestream were treated to a special equitation course strategy session. All six judges generously hosted this open question and answer forum where they discussed what constitutes a winning round in their eyes. The world-famous Challenge of the States team costume class ran Saturday afternoon and participants celebrated with as much enthusiasm as ever. Juniors with top scores in the Open competed on teams of six to represent their home states — no help from trainers allowed! Thanks to an anonymous donor, all teams competed for money to donate to a charity of their choice. Mark Jungherr was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Mark has won more than 35 Grand Prix jumper competitions, produced countless top hunters and jumpers, is a highly respected USEF ‘R’ judge, and a long-time supporter of the New England Equitation Championships. Sunday’s Junior Medal Final featured 171 riders. Together, last year’s winner,

In October, Caroline Ellis of Weston placed twelfth out of 171 entries in the New England Horsemen’s Council Junior Hunt Seat Medal Finals in West Springfield.

Emma Fletcher of Grazing Fields in Buzzards Bay won the USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show out of 239 riders!

Horsemanship Award. Top scoring juniors who’d never competed in a 3'6" final were eligible for a separate set of ribbons. Additionally, the Adult Sportsmanship Award went to Jennifer Wall and Elizabeth Kenny, the Groom’s Award to Pedro Textiera, Melissa Welch won the Sue Brainard Award, the Jimmy Lee Adult Judge’s Choice went to MTM Blueberry, the Jimmy Lee Junior Judge’s Choice was

Bay State Rider Wins USEF Hunter Seat Medal Finals at National Show Congratulations to 17-year-old Emma Fletcher of Grazing Fields in Buzzards Bay on winning the United States Equestrian Federation Hunter Seat Medal Finals at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show out of 239 riders. Emma rode Bournedale to the win. Ava Stearns of Chilmark placed seventh riding Acer K.

Three horses died and six others were rescued when a fire swept through a building containing a barn, workshop, and attached apartment at Muddy Brook Farm in Amherst in the early morning hours of November 3. The fire has been ruled accidental according to Amherst Fire Chief Walter Nelson. The state fire marshal’s office “narrowed it down to either a heating system malfunction or spontaneous combustion of rags used for cleaning,” Walter says. An entire barn was lost, as well as all of the school horse tack, horse feed and supplies, boarders’ items, and the office and machine shop. Additionally, an apartment attached to the structure, in which the groundskeeper lived with his family, was completely destroyed. He and his family are safe, but they have lost everything. The equestrian community leapt into action and several Go Fund Me fundraisers were established and tack, horse clothing, feed, and equipment donations were accepted at the UMass Hadley Farm as well as at Equine Affaire. “Thank you to everyone who came out to support the Muddy Brook Farm fire relief at the Equine Affaire,” says Crystalyn Russell. “The generosity and kindness has left us without words. It’s incredible. Slowly the program is getting back up and running, all with the massive help of everyone who shared our post, donated, or kept MBF in their thoughts. From the bottom of everyone’s heart at Muddy Brook Farm, thank you so much. Words will never be able to express the gratitude and appreciation we have felt.”

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


events Massachusetts

December 1 SCHOOLING TWO-PHASE AND DRESSAGE SHOW, Cutter Farm, Dracut. 1 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Evenstride, Newbury. 1 MHC SHOW, Herring Brook, Pembroke. 1 HRC CHRISTMAS BRUNCH, Meadowbrook Restaurant, Hanson.

7 GWYNETH MCPHERSON FORWARD THINKING DRESSAGE CLINIC, Hatfield. 7 AEL SHOW, Bonnie Lea Farm, Williamstown. 7 NEXT VENTURE SHOW I, Medway. 7 CRITIQUE MY RIDE CLINIC, Eight Fences Farm, Plainville. (508) 561-1298,


8 UPHA-14 WINTER TOURNAMENT, MonteRae Farm, Ashby. Tournament. 8 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Rising Star Equestrian Center, Medway. 8 MHC SHOW, Herring Brook, Pembroke. 8 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Spring Tide Farm, Boxford. 8 CCDS HOLIDAY PARTY, Devonfield Inn, Lee. 8 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Cavallo Equestrian Center, Westford. 8 CHRIS WZOREK CLINIC, Canterberry Acres, Spencer. 14 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Lanes End Farm, Danvers.

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

14 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Holiday Acres, Rutland. 14 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Berkshire Equestrian Center, Richmond. 15 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Mount Holyoke Equestrian Center, South Hadley. 15 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Harmony Horse Stables, Littleton. 22 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, White Horse Hill, Richmond. 22 IEA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Briggs Stable, Hanover.



18 HRC AWARDS BANQUET, Pembroke Country Club, Pembroke.


19 NSHA AWARDS BANQUET, location TBA. 25 SBS JUMPER SHOW, Greenfield. 26 WINTER SCHOOLING SHOW SERIES, Stoney Hill Farm, Barre.

Independence Stable Sale Tack ry 29!

8 SBS JUMPER SHOW, Greenfield.

a Febru

8 NEHC AWARDS BANQUET, Doubletree by Hilton, Milford.

2020 Dressage Schooling Shows

8 WNEPHA AWARDS BANQUET, Stationary Factory, Dalton.


nnual 8 th A

Traditional & Western Dressage Tests

February 8

May 3 June 7

August 2 Sept. 13

Check our Facebook page for updates!

404 S. Washington St. Belchertown, Mass.

(413) 284-0371

Dressage Schooling Show Series

Five show series with classes for traditional and western dressage. Year-end awards. For more information, reach out to Suzanne at

Cross rails, 2', 2'3", 2'6", 2'9", 3' (.60 to .91 meters) Want to compete over larger fences? Please inquire in advance.

574 Bernardston Road, Greenfield, MA.

Bill McMullin

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

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

Dressage Clinics Like us on Facebook to see who’s coming!

Stalls Available

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

Xenophon Farm

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

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

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020


. . . Lend a Hoof continued from page 23

known as PAWS II. Their bill was passed by the state legislature on August 2, 2018, and signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on August 9, 2018. PAWS II expanded the list of animal crimes and increased the types of penalties for violations. It added provisions to ensure abuse would be detected and reported to the appropriate agencies, and it established new mechanisms for collaborative enforcement of animal control laws. After PAWS II became law, Kara and the advocacy team joined forces with MSPCA Director of Law Enforcement Thomas Grenham, the Animal Rescue League, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and the Municipal Police Training Committee to develop a mandatory animal cruelty training program for the more than 15,000 state and municipal law enforcement officers in Massachusetts. The course teaches officers how to recognize animal cruelty, how to investigate animal welfare cases, and how to enforce animal protection laws. The training program was presented to the state’s police chiefs at their annual conference in September and training of individual officers began in October. “Increasingly, enforcement is becoming a collaborative effort, with our officers working together with local officers instead of just us or them,” says Thomas. “This joint effort is going to help us respond to and address animal welfare cases more effectively.” Adding animal advocacy and adoption center staff onto teams with law enforcement agents makes it possible to provide more nuanced responses to the

Linda Parmenter

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

91 Lombard Rd., Hubbardston (978) 928-5492 38

animal welfare complaints received by the MSPCA. “Animal cruelty is a felony in Massachusetts,” says Tom. “If an investigation reveals any violation of animal protection laws, we’re going to file charges and pursue the case in court. But it doesn’t make sense to deal with all complaints from a law-enforcement perspective. If a person is having financial, health, or age-related issues, the outcome is much better for everyone if we find ways to support the person and the animals involved instead. A team approach gives us more options and allows more flexibility in responding to each case. It provides us with more tools we can use to help more people and animals.” The MSPCA’s new blend of empathy, education, and enforcement is inspiring animal lovers and horse owners like Caroline Abley to get involved, to support the effort in their communities. “The MSPCA helped me when I needed it,” Caroline says. “I wanted to do something to give back. My job includes a program that allows employees to take one day each year to perform community service. I got permission to do mine at the MSPCA. I went [to Nevins Farm] and gave them a day of hard labor in return for helping me out — and I plan to keep giving them a day every year. They helped me. I want to help them help others.” Horse owners interested in the MSPCA’s C.A.R.E.S. program can call (978) 687-7453 ext. 6113 or email

Kara Noble has worked with horses for most of her life. She and her husband, Jerry, keep an Icelandic horse, a Shetland pony, and two mini donkeys on their farm in Montgomery. She’s a professional writer and editor who holds an MFA in creative nonfiction.

How do I report animal cruelty or neglect? If you suspect an animal is suffering from cruelty or neglect or know that an animal is in imminent danger you can file a complaint with law enforcement immediately. In an emergency, local city/town law enforcement agencies or the Massachusetts State Police can get help at-risk animals most quickly. You can also report animal cruelty or neglect anywhere in Massachusetts by contacting either the MSPCA or the Animal Rescue League (ARL) using the telephone numbers and online options below.

Important Note: The MSPCA and ARL do not monitor email or voicemail on weekends, nights, or holidays. If an animal is in urgent need, contact state or local police. To Report Animal Cruelty to the MSPCA Law Enforcement Department: • By phone: Call (617) 522-6008 or (800) 628-5808, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. • On the web: Visit and click the link to file a complaint.

Want to lend a hoof? Visit

Tack Repairs & Restoration

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

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

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

To Report Animal Cruelty to the Animal Rescue League of Boston: • By phone: Call (617) 426-9170 (choose option 2) • By email: Write to Do I need to give my name if I call to report cruelty or neglect? No. You can file a complaint anonymously and all communications are treated as confidential. Where can I learn more about Massachusetts Animal Welfare Laws? Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272, Section 77 is accessible online at PartIV/TitleI/ Chapter272/Section77. Additionally, visit cruelty-prevention to learn more.


Susan Rainville


This Olde Horse

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

White Spruce Farms Central Massachusetts (978) 257-4666

Taggart Horse Fountain on the corner of High and Auburn Streets in Newburyport circa 1899.

Lise Krieger

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



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

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

Recovery . Maintenance . Performance Therapeutic Massage . Bodywork . Reiki


(413) 320-7690

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

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020




Your Everything Equine “white pages”

ASSOCIATIONS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• BAY STATE TRAIL RIDERS ASSOCIATION Keeping trails open for equestrian use; organized trail rides; volunteer opportunities for trail clearing and maintenance.

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

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY RIDING CLUB Goshen, MA, (413) 268-3372 hampshirecounty Monthly trail rides, obstacle course, and clinics.

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

BARN CATS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• PAWS WATCH P.O. Box 7005, Warwick, RI 02887, Barn cats need homes! Healthy, fixed, vaccinated barn cats provide rodent control. Delivered! BARN BUILDERS ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• CARRIAGE SHED Serving the Northeast, (800) 441-6057; Barns, arenas, shed rows, custom buildings. DRESSAGE ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• BRADFORD EQUESTRIAN CENTER Haverhill, MA, (978) 374-0008 Dressage for all disciplines and driving. Keith Angstadt, USEF dressage judge. CATHY DRUMM Pittsfield, MA, (413) 441-5278; Clinics, lessons, training, western and English dressage, hunter/jumper, Kindful Horsemanship. FAIRFIELD FARM Rochester, MA, (508) 763-8038; Boarding, instruction, training, indoor. LINDA PARMENTER Hubbardston, MA, (978) 928-5492 USDF bronze and silver medalist, USDF “L” judge; instruction, clinics, training. WHITE SPRUCE FARMS New Braintree, MA, (978) 257-4666 Dressage shows, instruction, all levels/ages. EQUINE DENTISTRY •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• WENDY BRYANT, EQDT Northampton, MA, (413) 237-8887 Natural balance equine dentistry. Improved topline, maximized performance, increased flexion. Serving New England. NORTHEAST EQUINE VETERINARY DENTAL SERVICES LEAH LIMONE, DVM, DAVDC/EQ Topsfield, MA, (978) 500-9293; Board certified in equine veterinary dentistry. Routine preventive care, maintenance, diagnostics, extractions. EQUINE ENTERTAINMENT ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• DALE PERKINS/MESA FARM Rutland, MA, (508) 886-6898; Trick riding and much more. EQUINE MASSAGE ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• HORSEBACK AND BODY Northampton, MA, (413) 320-7690; Massage therapy for horses, humans.


HORSES FOR SALE ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• STRAIN FAMILY HORSE FARM Granby, CT, (860) 653-3275; New England’s largest quality sales stable. Forty family, trail, and show horses to choose from. New loads every week. We buy horses, take trade-ins, and consignment horses. Great three-week exchange guarantee. Find us on Facebook. INSTRUCTION/TRAINING ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• BACK BAY FARM Ipswich, MA, (978) 356-0730; Lessons, boarding, training, and sales. INSURANCE ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• AMERICAN NATIONAL Boxborough: (978) 467-1001 Carver: (508) 866-9150 Centerville: (508) 428-0440 Easthampton: (413) 203-5180 Great Barrington: (413) 528-1710 Middleborough: (508) 747-8181 North Adams: (413) 398-5011 Northborough: (508) 393-9327 Southwick: (413) 569-2307 Wilbraham: (413) 887-8817 Williamstown: (413) 458-5584 Worcester: (508) 752-3300 DON RAY INSURANCE Marshfield, MA, (781) 837-6550; Farm, mortality, major medical and surgical, clubs, shows, instructors. JUDGES ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ED GOLEMBESKI Gill, MA, (413) 863-2313; 4-H, open shows, clinics, lessons. REAL ESTATE ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ALTHEA BRAMHALL, HOMETOWN REALTORS North Quabbin region, (617) 678-9300 Real estate is more fun with horse people! EQUINE HOMES REAL ESTATE LLC MA and NH, (800) 859-2745, ext. 704; Sally Mann, Realtor, MA and NH. STABLES, FARMS, BOARDING ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• APPLE KNOLL FARM Millis, MA, (508) 376-2564; Eventing, training, lessons, schooling trials, clinics; facilities available for events. CARRIER’S FARM Southampton, MA, (413) 527-0333; Indoor, outdoor arenas, round pens, fields.

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

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, fencing. SMARTPAK RETAIL STORE Natick, MA, (508) 651-0045; Tack, supplements, blankets, apparel, gifts, clearance. TRANSPORTATION ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• J.R. HUDSON HORSE TRANSPORTATION W. Bridgewater, MA, (508) 427-9333; Serving the lower 48 states and Canada. VETERINARIANS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• FAMILY VETERINARY CENTER Haydenville, MA, (413) 268-8387; Traditional, alternative care for dogs, cats, exotics, horses.


SOUTH DEERFIELD VETERINARY CLINIC DR. ROBERT P. SCHMITT S. Deerfield, MA, (413) 665-3626; Equine medicine, surgery since 1969.

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Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Alessandra Mele and Jake Corbett

Massachusetts Horse Benefit Raises $2,500 for Blue Rider Stables

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020



Is This Your Horse?

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

54 Plain Rd. Hatfield, MA 413.427.2026 |

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

Dighton, MA Large and Small Animal Medicine & Surgery

Serving the North Shore since 1951 Helen Noble, VMD Robert Orcutt, DVM Elizabeth Lordan, DVM Nicole Syngajewski, DVM 295 High St, Ipswich, Mass. 978-356-1119 (ph) . 978-356-5758 (f) 42

Four-plus acres of fenced-in horse pasture on gated estate for lease. Includes small outbuilding. Build barn for rent credit. Call C.J. at (401) 369-6321

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020

Hanover Equine Dental Terry Paul

Graduate of the American School of Equine Dentistry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Massachusetts Horse December/January 2020