Connecticut Horse March/April 2017

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March/April 2017 $4




March/April 2017


March/April 2017

columns 18 Madison Jamaitus Mini Horses and Big Dreams Youth Spotlight

22 Franklin Swamp


Andrew Ryback


Gently Sloping Fields Trail Guide


24 Board Agreements Five Clauses to Review Above the Bar

37 Happenings courtesy of the Reglin Family

Nutmeg State Events



in every issue

features 8

Helmet Safety The Hard-Headed Facts


Fox Crossing Equestrian A Winning Combination of Horses and Kids Farm Feature


Tara Korde The Simple Equine Horseperson Feature

20 Ray of Light Farm A Little Farm with a Big Heart Lend a Hoof


From the Publisher


Your Letters


This Olde Horse


Overherd: News in Our Community




Connecticut Events Calendar


The Neighborhood


Advertiser Index


Is This Your Horse?

Connecticut Horse



March/April 2017

From the Publisher


hen I was 19 my friend Sheila went off her horse at a gallop (he was bolting) and she had one of the “helmets” on that we wore in the early 80s. She was

brain dead instantly. It’s had such a huge impact on my feelings about helmets, as you can imagine. Almost turned me away from horses, almost . . .



Everyone at Pocketful of Ponies Farm must wear a helmet when riding and when working with horses on the ground, including grooming. My 4-H’ers wore their helmets when doing projects with my Miniature horses. It’s just not worth taking the chance — the people in my life are precious to me and to so

Connecticut Horse

many others.

Breakfast at Pocketful of Ponies Farm: Haflinger mare Cat, Miniature horse Little Rasta Man, Haflinger mare Caszual, and Miniature horse Peanut.

Horses are so powerful. In December, while feeding my

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herd, I was “hipchecked” by one of my Haflinger mares, accidentally, and I went flying. Truly. I landed about eight feet away from where I started and under my other Haflinger mare’s hooves. Luckily, she didn’t kick out. I wasn’t wearing a helmet as I was “just feeding.” Thinking back, I wasn’t paying attention while feeding. I was chatting with a friend who was visiting. It was my fault. My mares are very mellow when being fed. They don’t push each other or the two Miniature horses around. It’s a pretty peaceful scene, really. But, since I can’t control or predict what my horses are going to do or how they are going to react, I now wear my helmet when I feed. Ridiculous, right? Not to me. Helmets are my “soapbox” issue when it comes to everything equestrian. I hope you’ll give the lead feature a read and maybe it will encourage you or someone you love to wear a helmet. After all, we’re here for such a short time as it is.

Mortality & Major Medical . Farm Packages Horse Associations and Clubs . Directors & Officers Horse Shows, Clinics, Events . Expo Coverage Instructor Liability . Payment Plans We will provide you with competitive rates, educated service, and help substantiate values.

Terri Ray (781) 837-6550 Connecticut Horse



HORSE vol. 2, no. 5 March/April 2017

ISSN 2378-5721

99 Bissell Road, Williamsburg, MA 01096 phone: (860) 391-9215 • fax: (413) 268-0050 • Connecticut Horse magazine is an independently owned and -operated all-breed, all-discipline equestrian publication for the Nutmeg State. © 2017 Connecticut Horse All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this magazine or portions thereof in any form without prior written permission.

publisher Stephanie Sanders • • (413) 268-3302 editor Kathaleen Emerson feature writers Andrea Bugbee, Sally L. Feuerberg, Sean Hogan, Esq. Toni Leland, Alessandra Mele, Stacey Stearns contributors Shawna Baumann, Noreen Blaschik, Alexa Budihas Bess Connolly Martell, Patti Crowther, Joan Davis, Kathy Diemer Allison Forsyth, Raymond Hill, Fred Mastele, Diane Morton county desk liaisons Fairfield and New Haven Counties Sally L. Feuerberg . . (203) 339-0357 Hartford County Kerri Cavanaugh . . (203) 206-1113 Litchfield County Chauntelle Masslon . . (860) 967-5871 Middlesex County Kaitlyn Keegan . . (413) 519-0079 Tolland County Christine Church . . (860) 748-9757 advertising Main Office: (413) 268-3302 (voice or text)

HAMDEN Michael Benedetti 203.248.1100 LISBON Dean Roussel & Robert Stearns 860.376.2393 SOUTHINGTON Michele Rosa 860.329.0103 VERNON Bo Muschinsky 860.875.3333


March/April 2017


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

the fine print The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Connecticut Horse staff or independent contractors, nor can they be held accountable. Connecticut Horse will not be held responsible for any misrepresentations or any copyright infringement on the part of advertisers. Connecticut Horse will not be held responsible for typing errors other than a correction in the following issue. All letters addressed to Connecticut 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 Connecticut Horse, are assumed to be legally released by the submitter for publication. Connecticut 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: I just finished reading the January/February edition and really enjoyed it. Nice article about competitive trail rides. Connecticut really has some spectacular long-distance trail destinations. Thanks so much for telling me about the Connecticut Horse Youth Award. I brought it to our show manager’s attention and she’s thrilled. I put in our request. What a great idea. Thank you Connecticut Horse! MaryAnn Smith, Treasure Hill Farm Equestrian Center, Salem

To the Editor: My daughter and I read Connecticut Horse for the articles, to see what local events have happened, what future events to possibly attend, and we like to see the ads for local goods and services. I look forward to reading every issue. We love the local connection to everything equestrian! Jennifer Otis, Middlefield

To the Editor: Thank you for the full-page article on Pomfret Horse and Trail. The layout was beautiful with color pictures. Thank you for such impressive coverage of our Fall Foliage Ride. Lisette Rimer, Pomfret Horse and Trail Association

To the Editor: Please send us Connecticut Horse on a regular basis. It’s awesome. I loved it! Joy Collins, Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center

Send your letters to or Connecticut Horse, 99 Bissell Road, Williamsburg, MA 01096.

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HELMET SAFETY The Hard-Headed Facts


young girl I know was competing in a breed show recently, turned out in her saddle suit and derby, when her normally solid-citizen horse spooked at something in the strange, noisy arena. She came out of her saddle and flew with a thump into the wall and down to the arena floor. Her mother’s heart stopped for an instant, until it was clear that the girl was just shaken. Fortunately, this time nothing more than a little pride and her coat were injured. She got on her horse and rode her remaining classes beautifully. As is usual in saddle seat and western classes at breed shows, she wasn’t wearing a helmet. 8

March/April 2017

Why Not? Why don’t all riders of any age and any discipline wear helmets? Tradition, fashion, misplaced pride — none seems like a very good reason to risk head injury, but they’re the main reasons helmets don’t get used even though we know helmets work. Helmet use is credited with reductions in 35 percent of head injuries and 50 percent of severe head injuries reported. This fact the USEF, 4-H, Pony Club, and a number of other organizations have already verified. In 2006 the American Driving Society mandated the use of ASTM/SEI helmets in the marathon (cross-country) phase of combined driving events. Still, every year people are injured riding without

Kit Cat Photogrpahy

by Laurie Neely

helmets. Interestingly, there is no evidence showing that green riders get hurt more than experienced ones, that competition is more dangerous than backyard riding, or that only children are at risk. In one study, adults over the age of 25 made up over 50 percent of hospitaltreated rider injuries, and 60 percent occurred at home or on a farm in a non-competitive setting. Simple fact: Heads are heavy. No matter how much we may think we won’t land on our head, we often do, and head injuries account for more than 17 percent of all equestrian injuries and 60 percent of equestrian-related deaths. Good reasons to wear an ASTM/SEI–rated helmet every time you ride. I can personally attest to the fact that you don’t have

to be galloping over fences to risk injury. The laws of physics caught up with me a few years ago when, rather gracefully I like to think, I came off my mare at a walk in a sand arena. The resulting mild concussion was annoying, but the cracks, splits, and impact scars on my helmet made me shudder. It would have been far worse without the helmet, and very embarrassing to have ended my riding career (or my life!) by sliding off my almost motionless horse.

What Is the ASTM/SEI? The American Society for Testing and Materials is a volunteer organization that develops standards for industries ranging from safety in recreational aviation, to fiber-optic cable installations in underground utilities, to

the helmets used on jobsites, in motor sports, and beginning in 1990, in response to a 12-year study by the United States Pony Club, on equestrian helmets. Standards are reviewed every five years and updated as needed. The Safety Equipment Institute tests and certifies the standards the ASTM develops. To do this, they put helmets through a battery of nasty insults — dropping them onto a flat, hard surface and against a sharp angle made to simulate a rock or a hoof-blow. Sophisticated instruments measure how much impact in Gs (units of gravitational force) makes it through the helmet material to the rider’s head. The current standard says that has to be less than 300 Gs, basically enough to cause a mild concussion but no more. Depending upon the height and angle of a fall from a horse, as well as what you land on, your unprotected head can be subject to as much as 1,000 Gs on impact — enough to cause instantaneous death. Helmet harnesses are put through a series of tests as well, making sure that they will keep the helmet in place.

How Does a Helmet Actually Work? The first thing to know is that when your skull impacts another surface, it stops moving. Your brain, however, doesn’t. Because it is floating inside your skull, it continues to move until it crashes against the inside of your head. A helmet’s job is to absorb the impact before that occurs. Approved helmets are made with a layer of thick polystyrene, and sit out farther from a rider’s head than the totally unsafe apparel helmets of my youth. Beautiful? Maybe not, but that layer of little closed cells is what protects you by taking the brunt of the

impact and collapsing in place of your skull. Of course once they’ve saved your life, they’re donefor and can’t repeat it, so after any sort of impact you should replace your helmet. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t just a helmet company’s way of selling more

off your forehead and long hair tucked loosely up underneath it, isn’t a proper fit. What you want in proper helmet fit is as little space as possible between the helmet liner and your head, the helmet parallel to the floor with the visor about three quarters of an inch above your

Hmmm . . . fleece pad, girth cover, thick polo wraps, bell boots . . . am I missing something?

© Sandyhorse

helmets. There’s really no way to see the internal damage, which is why most of the manufacturers have replacement policies. Their good names and continued business depend upon the safety of those wearing their brands.

The Importance of Fit There’s another very important and often overlooked element to how a helmet works — how it fits. Helmets can’t do their job if they don’t fit right against your head, straight on, and with the harness buckled snugly so that the helmet doesn’t wiggle. A loose harness, with the helmet tipped back up

eyebrows, and the harness snug enough to keep it exactly there. “The most common mistake in fitting helmets,” says Troxel’s CEO Richard Timms, “is that people don’t realize the importance of the chinstrap. The most vital safety concern is that the helmet is buckled snugly.”

Children and Helmets It’s interesting to me that while we strap babies into high-tech car seats, insist that they use seat belts when they’re older, buy toys and pajamas with safety ratings, and worry about the air they breathe and the food they eat, we sometimes sit them

four or more feet up on an unpredictable — because all horses are unpredictable — horse weighing close to half a ton, and send them off around the ring with no protective headgear. While I was selling tack and riding gear, I was frequently asked about used helmets, bicycle helmets, and whether children could grow into an oversized helmet so two or more children could share it. As a mom and grandmother, I believe that there’s little else in our world as important as our children, so I would answer saying that nothing short of a new, properly fitted riding helmet was appropriate. Many helmets cost as little as $30 — a small investment in a safe child. On more than one occasion I gave helmets away. It’s important to know that a lower-cost helmet isn’t a less safe one. Dr. Jessica Jahiel, clinician and author of The Parent’s Guide to Horseback Riding, says, “Some parents believe that cost equals value, and that a helmet with a more impressive price tag is somehow more protective than an inexpensive schooling helmet. That’s not the case. All helmets approved by the ASTM/SEI have met precisely the same safety standards. If parents want to make a $350 investment to promote their child’s safety, it would make more sense for them to spend $30 on an approved schooling helmet and use the remaining money for a safety vest or better yet for additional lessons with a good instructor.” The same, of course, holds true for adults. At the end of the day, we all know two things about helmets — they protect heads and sometimes they look funny. Only making the first thing important enough to justify the second will protect our children’s heads and our own. Connecticut Horse


Local Lives Saved

While riding with a small group of friends I took a fall. When my horse swerved my fall was quick and my helmet hit a large rock. I was surprised and shocked at how hard I hit. Everyone was very concerned and while checking me over saw the helmet was cracked and unusable ever again. But the helmet had saved me and my head from what would have been a very serious injury.

Shirley Vicchitto, Beacon Falls

The Big C is a very well trained, older gelding that has seen a lot during his life. Toward the end of our workout, as we trotted easily around the ring, the Big C had his head down and we were both relaxed. As we cut across the middle of the ring, heading to the right, just as his outside shoulder was coming along the wall, he suddenly and unexpectedly did a 180 to the left, spinning so fast from underneath me that my body had no chance to slow its forward motion. I kept moving right into the wall. I stopped the forward momentum with my head. My helmet was slightly big and slipped down a bit onto the bridge of my nose before impact. When it made contact with the wall I heard my nose break. And then my head hit the ground along with the rest of me. The Big C had never made a move like that during the previous two years that I owned him, and he hasn’t since that day. I ended up with a concussion and a broken nose. The effects of the concussion lasted more than a few weeks. But my face was basically intact, and so was the rest of my head. Turns out that there was a woodchuck on the other side of the wall. Wearing a helmet probably saved my life that day. Wearing a properly fitted one would have saved my nose.

Alice Shaugnessy, Bethel

I was still new to riding my girlfriend’s chestnut pony mare Willow. We hit the trails, with me on the mare, my friend on her horse Brady. We were weaving and winding down the grassy and stone covered trails, when a puddle was right in our path. Brady trotted right through, but Willow jumped the puddle while I was midpost, and off I went. I smacked my head 10

March/April 2017

on the one large rock underneath us. My helmet cracked from the bottom to the top button. My girlfriend rushed off Brady and over to me on the ground. I remember saying to her, “Remember that time we went shopping at the mall?” And I remember her looking at me worried and saying, “Just sit there. Don’t move.” (We had never gone to the mall together.) As the stars tingled in my eyes, I sat on the ground, most likely with a concussion. The next day I went out and bought a new helmet as mine was clearly ruined. I believe if I wasn’t wearing that helmet I would’ve been a lot worse off.

Kate Kapura, Ashford

While riding on the bridle trail my Quarter Horse Sassy spooked in reverse faster than I could stay with her. I tumbled over her left shoulder into the ditch. It was a perfect fall as my youth judo days of how to fall went into my reflexes. I cautiously opened my eyes and started moving by wiggling my toes on up. I knew I hit hard because of the slam my head took. When I opened my eyes, Sassy was standing over me, breathing into my face with wide quizzical eyes. My helmet was cracked through, and I suffered a concussion for about a year. Thank heavens my helmet was on. I’ve since gotten a deeper saddle and a new helmet!

ShawnaLee Kwashnak, Middlebury

I was taking a lesson on a big Arabian gelding and toward the end of the lesson, the horse took off. I managed three times around the indoor arena, knowing in my gut that it wouldn’t end well. The indoor arena was attached to the barn and was open, with no gates. I felt like the gelding was about to turn a sharp right and go out the door. Instead, he turned left and I went into the arena wall, hitting my helmet on the wall’s ledge. I cracked the back dial and the back of the helmet. Aside from some bruising and pulled muscles, I was fine. I thank helmets every day for that save and will always wear one, no matter if I’m riding English or western.

Kaitlyn Keegan, Newington

Top Ten Horseback Riding Helmet Facts and Myths


1. Horseback riders have the same number of injury accidents as motorcycle riders. Because the hospital admission rate for injured riders (0.49/1,000 hours) is greater than for motorcycle riding (0.14/1,000 hours), football, and skiing, it’s definitely considered a high-risk activity.

2. Your horse doing something unpredictable, such as spooking, bucking, or bolting, is how most head injuries occur, but 20 percent happen when you’re simply around horses. The majority of head injuries are caused by unpredictable events, such as your horse spooking. And, even more surprising, one in five people who are seriously injured weren’t even riding — they were just hanging out around horses or watching someone else.

3. The most common reason among riders for admission to a hospital and death is a head injury. About 70,000 people go to the emergency room each year for equestrianrelated injuries. Some 12,000 of those have suffered a head injury.

4. Helmets work. Most deaths from head injury can be prevented by wearing an ASTM/SEIapproved helmet that fits correctly and has the harness firmly applied. To get the most protection out of your helmet, it needs to fit you well, including a snug chin strap, and be properly adjusted every single time you ride.

5. Most riding injuries occur during pleasure riding.


1. Cycling and equestrian standards are very different. Bicycle helmets are similar to horseback-riding safety helmets in appearance, but are not subject to the design specifications and standards that a riding helmet must adhere to in order to provide adequate protection. An equestrian helmet offers additional protection to the back of the head and the

I look so cool in my hat!

Heads Up for Traumatic Brain Injury!

Seek immediate medical assistance if you observe any of these traumatic brain injury symptoms following an

© Sandyhorse

sweatband area. Equestrian helmets are tested by the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) for chinstrap retention, penetration by a sharp object, and impact absorption. These tests are specifically for horseback-riding-related accidents.

2. Horseback riding isn’t dangerous as long as you aren’t riding fast. Actually, the risk of injury is more closely tied to your distance above the ground than to speed. Falls from only

Your instructor isn’t the only one who wants your helmet to be a good fit; the Centers for Disease Control cares, too. Here are some of its suggestions for picking the safest helmet to protect your beautiful, oh-so-fragile brain. • Do your homework. Visit area tack shops to learn about and try on the helmets they carry. If you choose to shop online, check the manufacturer’s helmet fit instructions and sizing chart. And be prepared to return the helmet for another size. • Choose a helmet that is ASTM, SEI, or Snell certified. No single certification can protect against every type of accident on every type of footing, but these allow you to play to the odds. If your helmet has more than one of these certifications, then all the better.

over two feet high can cause serious injury, no matter how slow your horse is. The risk of injury is also correlated to how much you ride, not how good you are.

3. The more expensive your helmet is, the better it will protect you. You can spend $500 on a helmet, but that won’t make it any safer. As long as it’s ASTM/SEI-certified, you’re buying a certified protective helmet. Spending

Get Fit!

equestrian accident: • Persistent or worsening headache • Nausea or vomiting • Weakness or numbness • Poor coordination • Slurred speech • Confusion or agitation • Unusual behavior • Marked drowsiness • One pupil larger than the other • Lack of consciousness • Convulsions or seizures

• Equestrian helmets should cup the head, fitting snugly all around.

• Side straps should make a V directly under your ears.

• Fit your helmet with long hair either tucked in or left down, and then always wear your hair that way when you use the helmet. Some people keep a training helmet fitted to “hair down,” and a separate show helmet fitted for “hair up.”

• Once all adjustable areas are fitted for maximum comfort, shake your head. The helmet should not move.

• Watch for any pressure points. These will likely translate into headaches after long-term wear. • The front rim of the helmet should extend to about one inch above your eyebrow, and the back of the helmet should not touch the top of your neck. • Adjust the chinstrap by giving a big yawn. If the helmet does not pull down, then the chinstrap is too loose.

• Equestrian helmets are like jeans: Sizes vary according to manufacturer and style. As with jeans, go for a good fit rather than the number on the tag. • Look for a helmet that has a generous impact replacement policy. Your helmet really will need to be replaced after a hard hit. This isn’t a sales gimmick invented by profit-hungry helmet companies. Impact compromises inner cushioning (imagine sitting on a piece of Styrofoam). It collapses essential air pockets in areas you can’t see.

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March/April 2017

more might get you different padding and fancier decorations or materials, but it doesn’t translate into more protection.

4. If you don’t have a helmet, just borrow a friend’s. Avoid lending your helmet to others. As a savvy rider, you want to know exactly what kind of treatment your helmet has experienced during its lifetime so you can knowledgeably assess its integrity over time.

5. After a fall, if your helmet took the impact, it’s fine unless you see a crack in it. You need to replace your helmet if you’re ever in a fall. It could have a defect that’s invisible, and if you fall on that same part of the helmet again, you won’t have the protection you should. And even if your helmet never takes a hit, it’s a good idea to replace it at least every five years (sooner if you ride often), just because the helmet material can take a beating from all the sweat, heat, dust, and rain.

Connecticut Horse


Horseperson Feature

Darien by Sally L. Feuerberg

Tara Korde The Simple Equine


onnecticut equestrians have a new resource for natural grooming products to help their horses to look and feel their best — The Simple Equine. Company founder Tara Korde, 34, was inspired by a horse, of course, and found her true calling — creating the best natural skincare products for horses. “Effectiveness, luxury, and quality, brought to you naturally,” says Tara, “is the goal we’re constantly striding

he was the horse for me,” says Tara, “but vacation was over and I had to get back to school. So, for the next four months we paid for his board and upkeep. I made one more trip back to Dorset and took him out for what was referred to as a road hack. While the eight-year-old companion horse on our ride continually spooked at everything along the way, my five-year-old handled the journey like a seasoned veteran. It was time to bring Ron home to the states.”

and relocated to Kansas to be with her husband, and of course, Ron came along too.

An Idea Is Born “I guess you could say that this is where it all started,” Tara says. “We found a very nice farm to board Ron, and we settled in quickly, which afforded me more time to spend with him. I soon came to realize that the seasonal Kansas weather at times could range from

courtesy of the Reglin Family

Tara, Gaurav, and Ron

toward at the Simple Equine. We utilize the power of natural ingredients to create a lovingly handcrafted collection of grooming aids to help horses reach their full beauty potential. Gone are the days of itchy, dry skin; brittle, broken tails; and dull coats.”

Tara’s Journey When Tara was 15, she attended Choate Rosemary Hall, in Wallingford. During her family’s summer break in England, she and a group of close friends decided that a horseback riding junket in Dorset was in order. It was here she first encountered a five-year-old Thoroughbred/ Irish Draft/Connemara gelding, simply called Ron. She keeps a few pictures and a short video of this stunning golden dun on her phone. Tara warmly smiles as she recalls the first encounter with the horse that has so powerfully influenced and accompanied her through most of her life. Her deep affection for the horse is unmistakable. “I rode Ron that summer and knew 14

March/April 2017

In 2001, Tara attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and Ron was with her throughout her four years. They continued their partnership riding with the school’s equestrian team, as well as participating in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) competitions. When graduate school beckoned, the two were off to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where Tara not only received her MBA in business at their Darden School of Business; she also met her future husband. “I met Gaurav at UVA, probably the first or second day of being there,” says Tara. “It turned out that he went to the same university in India as my dad and even lived in the same dorm. We were married three times in the fall of 2011 — legally in Los Angeles, then once in Connecticut, and once in Delhi, India.” “He’s so supportive of my venture,” says Tara. “He’s my biggest cheerleader.” After a brief stay in California, Tara, newly married, transferred jobs

extreme cold to oppressive heat. Consistently, however, the air was always incredibly dry. “In the summer of 2012, I noticed that Ron began showing signs of excessive tail rubbing and actually rubbing his skin raw. I started applying the standard over-the-counter remedies, made sure his deworming was up to date and effective, and cleaned his sheath, but there was either little or no improvement at all. I also realized that many topical treatments had no ingredient statement and that had me wondering — what exactly was I using on my horse?” “Now I was on a personal quest to make Ron more comfortable,” says Tara. “I remembered my own family’s use of coconut oil to sooth itchy skin or scalp conditions and decided to do some research and try to come up with a blend of ingredients that would not only provide relief, but I could feel good about using. “After some trial and error, and a lot of experimentation, I started apply-

ing my own mixture on the affected area of Ron’s tail. Very soon after, the scratching and rubbing stopped with an unexpected side benefit of a fuller, thicker tail that felt better than it ever had before.” “Friends at the barn took notice of the transformation and began requesting the product for use on their own horses. I was asked about the possibility of developing a safer, natural fly spray from my fellow horse owners concerned about what type of chemicals they were breathing in as well as applying on their horses. I came up with a mixture that included a blend of essential oils, aloe vera, and apple cider vinegar.” “Ron was definitely both my catalyst and my inspiration,” Tara says. “Ron is now 25 years old, retired, and very happily living the good life in Kansas. I’m still in frequent communication with the owners of Olympia Equine Ventures, where he’s staying. He’s a barn favorite and loved by all. He deserves this time off now to just enjoy being a horse.”

The Simple Equine In early 2014, Tara was living in Amsterdam. It was now time to concentrate on developing additional options to her growing product line, as well as

enhance her already acquired knowledge, skills, and experience. She enrolled in classes in natural and organic body, skin, and hair care, as well as essential and carrier oils that were available at Plush Folly Ltd. and Aromantic Ltd., two successful cosmetics businesses located in England. “It was a quick 35-minute flight from Amsterdam to London,” she says. Armed with newfound knowledge, energy, and enthusiasm, Tara returned to Connecticut in May of 2015, and with the support and encouragement of her family, friends, and husband, Tara created The Simple Equine. “My friends and IHSA network from my college days immediately helped me when asked,” says Tara. “I was given marketing guidance, product ideas, and ideas about where to sell and how to sell. People willingly volunteered, testing and trying my products, and answering my endless questions.” “I’ve found the best way sell my products is to package them in smaller than average sizes because natural ingredients just don’t last as long as their synthetic alternatives,” says Tara. “This way customers have access to fresh products that are powerful and work to their fullest. That’s why you’ll

also find an expiration date on the containers. I have no large inventories, which keep my product line fresh and there are never any parabens, sulfites, and petroleum-based ingredients used.” The Simple Equine product line currently includes Nourishing Avocado Tail Treatment, Healing Calendula Salve, Soothing Chickweed Cream, Solacing Warm Weather Comfort Spray, Illuminating Dead Sea Salt Polish, Protective Pink Nose Formula, Gleaming Show Day Shine, and a Love My Leather Balsam for your tack. “It's uncomplicated at The Simple Equine,” says Tara. “Our goal is to provide the most effective, best quality, natural products to our equine friends. As innovations and new discoveries are made, we’re always researching and improving our knowledge so that our products can provide the best green and natural alternatives to other ingredients on the market.

What About Riders? When working with her wide range of varied clientele, Tara observed that customers were either looking for products for their horses, or for themselves, and sometimes, products that they both Continued on page 46 . . .


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by Andrea Bugbee

Farm Feature

Fox Crossing Equestrian A Winning Combination of Horses and Kids


purchased the property, naming it Fox Crossing Equestrian. Cindy has been nurturing the business ever since. They covered the asphalt alleyways with rubber pavers. They fixed the fences; shored up the stalls; added wash stalls with heating lamps; groomed the indoor and outdoor riding rings; added an outdoor regulation size dressage arena, and eventually grew big enough to hire two trainers, two grooms, two stall

In the winter, Fox Crossing’s middle- and high-school Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) teams take over (Cindy’s son, Max, is a member), and opportunities for riders to explore hunt seat, jumpers, or dressage fill the schedule year round. When a child has her very first riding lesson, Cindy’s goals are straightforward. “I hope that they feel comfortable with their trainer,” she says. “I hope that

courtesy of Fox Crossing Equestrian

n 2008, Litchfield resident Cindy Italiaander bought a farm and ever since then, she’s been building an equestrian family. Initially, Cindy had been searching for a child-friendly stable where she could share her newfound love of riding with her spunky, eight-year-old twins, Eli and Max. But, Cindy says, “I really couldn’t find anything at that time in Litchfield County.”

Student and boarder Alice Maggin and Jasper.

Of course, Cindy didn’t mean there were no stables in Litchfield County. This crown of Connecticut has endless acres of bucolic horse properties, proudly displaying white fences and manicured fields. These facilities are perfect for what they are — competitive show barns, or adult barns where children are certainly welcome, but, just as certainly, not the focus. Cindy’s search eventually led her to a facility on South Street in Morris that also happened to be for sale. Perched on 25 acres at the peak of a modest hill, the stable was solidly equipped with an 80' x 200' indoor arena, 30 stalls, and ample turnout space to keep horses healthy and happy. Although she had only been riding for a few years herself, Cindy knew the opportunity was too good to ignore. She had identified Litchfield County’s untapped piece of the equestrian market, and her double passion for horses and kids was ideal for filling the gap. She and her husband, Michael, 16

March/April 2017

Students having fun at Connecticut Horse Shows Association Finals.

cleaners, and four part-time helpers. Today, Fox Crossing Equestrian offers boarding, leasing, training, and instruction at all levels. It’s the happy home base for 18 school horses, 25 boarded horses, two portly barn cats, an on-site trainer, and innumerable children and adults who spend as much of their leisure time there as they possibly can.

Your Lifelong Hobby Starts Here Cindy wants her farm to welcome children into the irresistible world of riding and showing, so she has initiated programs with Washington Montessori School, the Taft School, and Rumsey Hall, all nearby independent schools that now have afterschool horseback riding programs at Fox Crossing Equestrian. In the summers, 120 kids participate in Fox Crossing’s summer camp, and the facility hosts the riding program for Washington’s Camp Chinqueka.

they feel safe, and that they enjoy their first time and want to come back. That’s the most important thing. I just want them to leave really, really happy.”

Have It Your Way Surprisingly, this winning combination of horses and kids had an exponent Cindy hadn’t foreseen. According to business lore, one of the ways that McDonald’s became the nation’s largest fast-food franchise was by catering to children, whose parents then just came along. Although that model wasn’t Cindy’s intention, it is, in essence, exactly what began to happen at Fox Crossing. The children were having so much fun that many of their parents also started (or, more accurately, restarted) to ride. Take Alex Alcoff of New York City and Roxbury, for example. “I was sitting there watching my daughter and I thought, ‘I should be riding, too,’ ” Alex says. “The next thing I know, I’m buying a horse and starting to show. It’s

kind of a nice mother/daughter thing we can do together.” This story isn’t at all unusual at Fox Crossing. Alex had brought her daughter, Emma, for riding lessons because Alex, herself, had loved to ride as a child. When Emma’s love for the sport took off, Alex found herself eager to take lessons again as an adult. “It’s kind of like riding a bike,” Alex says. “Even if you haven’t done it in a while, it comes right back to you.” “We have a lot of mother/daughter teams,” Cindy says, smiling, her blue eyes delighted. “We get a lot of moms back riding again.” Alice Maggin is another example. A former Westchester junior rider, Alice was looking for the perfect way to lure her daughter, Lila Nelson, from their home on Manhattan to the Connecticut countryside, which Alice loves. “I thought, ‘What little girl doesn’t want to ride?’ ” says Alice. She artfully signed Lila up for the Fox Crossing lesson program. “That’s definitely what got me to come and stay — my daughter,” Alice says. When the barn manager suggested that Alice take some lessons herself, this mom was all in. Like Alex, Alice now owns her own horse (a German Warmblood named Jasper), and spends three days a week in Connecticut, mostly for the pure joy of riding. “We both show. We love it,” Alice says. “And I would say that Lila has better friends here than she does at school because of the shared interests [at Fox Crossing]. We all socialize together happily; that’s kids and adults. It’s not a fancy show barn with a lot of wealthy people. It’s really very family oriented. Cindy has a Halloween party every year. She has a magician come and there’s a potluck dinner. Then she has a Christmas party. It’s very social. My closest friends since we moved up here are from the barn.” Even the parents who don’t ride feel as though they are a vital part of the Fox Crossing family. “Sometimes it’s the kids that are the only ones who participate, but here the entire family participates. We feel like we’re part of the barn even if we never get on a horse,” says Kristi Plaskonos, who moved to Northwest Connecticut in July and registered her children, 11-year-old Blanche and 8-year-old Henri, for lessons. Blanche now rides at Fox Crossing twice a week. She competes on the middle school IEA team, and she assists Cindy by hacking energetic ponies, tidy-

ing the aisles, and helping less experienced riders saddle up.

A Priceless Experience “All the girls here are so lovely,” says Kristi. “They all have this camaraderie, and there is so much to do at the barn because of the lack of technology — lots of barn chores, older kids helping younger or less-experienced riders, a greater sense of responsibility, a deeper connection to the barn and the barn family,” Kristi says, pointing out the hidden benefits of barn time. “It’s a priceless experience.” According to Kristi, many of the older girls Blanche has met through Fox Crossing “grew up at the barn.” Kelly Susi’s daughter, Bella, is one of them.

“Sometimes it’s the kids that are the only ones who participate, but here the entire family participates . . . “My daughter is 18 years old,” says Kelly, an enthusiastic barn mom. “She’s been riding at Fox Crossing since she was about [9], and we’ve never had the desire for her to ride anywhere else. My daughter has made lifelong friends here. It’s a wonderful facility and a wonderful place to be. Cindy is an amazing business person. She runs the facility as a business, but she also runs the barn as if it’s a family. No one there ever feels excluded. Cindy’s very kind. She knows that not everyone is in the same situation, and no matter what kind of rider you are, she has a program for you.”

Full Days Build a Full Barn With blonde hair, sky blue eyes, and a petite frame flattered by a comely work uniform of britches and boots, Cindy’s greatest strength seems to be her stamina. “I’ve never seen a woman work so hard,” says Kelly. Generally, Cindy is at the stable seven days a week. “I love it,” she says. “There’s something great about being the person everyone has to come to, because then I can take care of things as they arise. I love watching the kids smile, and I love to ride. I do put my heart and soul into [Fox Crossing] because these horses count on us and they can’t talk. Also, people are always

willing to help out because they see how hard I work. They know I care, so they care, too.” Cindy’s trainer, Catherine Maher, works just as hard. With an apartment directly over the stables, Catherine is on site for emergencies, and her days are literally packed with lessons and training rides. Young and energetic, this UConn graduate remains as flexible as Cindy’s programs so that she can help a range of riders — and horses — succeed at every level. It was Catherine, in fact, who went out of her way to find the right partner for Alex in an eightyear-old Thoroughbred gelding named Justin. “Catherine’s really been a mentor to me, and I don’t know how I’d do what I do without her,” Alex says. “She’s the expert. She’s the one helping me grow and learn and, at the same time, she’s helping my horse grow and learn, too.” When Alex hit a rough patch with Justin (he had become uncharacteristically cranky), Catherine and Cindy stood back and gave the whole picture an educated think. “It was, ‘Let’s look at all the things we are doing for him.’ Their overall goal was, ‘What’s best for Justin? What’s going to help him do the best at his job?’ ” After having a vet come out, then examining the gelding’s diet and treating him with chiropractic and massage, “All the things we’ve worked on have been paying off,” Alex says, gratefully. “For me, Fox Crossing is a special place. It’s the care that goes into every rider, and the horses there, and the atmosphere Cindy has created to make it a very nurturing, warm, fun place to be as a rider.” Cindy strives to cultivate a reputation for being inclusive. “People choose our farm because they are so comfortable here,” she says. “That’s really what we’re all about. Everyone is welcome through our doors, and everyone is part of our farm.” Speaking for both herself and her daughter, Alice agrees. “We love it here, obviously,” she says. “For us, Fox Crossing isn’t a stepping stone. It’s where we plan to be.” Andrea Bugbee is a Pony Club mom, an IEA mom, and a backyard horse enthusiast. She does most of her writing while she waits for her daughter in the parking lots of numerous wonderful stables scattered throughout western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.

Connecticut Horse


Youth Spotlight


by Alessandra Mele

Madison Jamaitus Mini Horses and Big Dreams


Destined for Horses From the very beginning, Maddy was meant to be with horses. “My mom grew up with horses too; I had no choice in the matter!” Maddy says, laughing, and Ellen nods in agreement. “It’s nice as a mom who has always been horse crazy to watch my daughter develop into an accomplished horse person, and truly enjoy it,” Ellen says.

There were a few years early on when Maddy was unsure if she wanted to pursue horses, after a traumatic accident left her afraid. “When I was three, I took a pretty bad fall,” says Maddy. “I broke my cheek and needed plastic surgery. It was very scary. I didn’t think I was going to ride again, and stopped for three years.”

Casey McBride

xhibitors in the In-Hand Halter Obstacle class at the 2015 American Miniature Horse Registry’s (AMHR) National Championship Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, lead their perfectly turnedout Miniature horses to the center of the ring. They’ve completed their obstacle courses and it’s time for the results. Thirteen-year-old Madison Jamaitus

Maddy and Zephyr Woods H2 at American Miniature Horse Registry Nationals.

clutches the lead of Zephyr Woods H2, her heart pounding. Surrounded by far more experienced competitors, she feels nerves creeping up on her. You could never tell though; her composed frame, deliberate strides, and focused gaze exude showmanship. She takes one look at the black and white Miniature horse with her, her very best friend, and lets out a calm breath. They’ve worked so hard for this. Ribbons are handed out, and the line-up grows thin. When Maddy finally hears her name, it is last to be called — they’re named champions. A rush of relief and excitement washes over Maddy, and her mini’s ears prick forward at her joy. “He just knew!” Maddy says. “We got that blue ribbon and we couldn’t contain our excitement.” Maddy embraced her little partner, and her mother, Ellen, looked on with tears of pride in her eyes. She knew the hard work and dedication Maddy put into arriving at this moment. 18

March/April 2017

Maddy and Ashlyns Random Investment a.k.a. Justin.

Horses have always been the bond that this mother-daughter team has shared, and something they are able to enjoy right outside their back door. The family farm, Random Acres Farm in Coventry, is where Maddy has grown up loving and caring for horses, and where she can be found every day of the week. “I get home from school, spend an hour or so doing homework, and then get right to the barn,” Maddy says. She’s 14 years old now. “I often have to drag her back in at night,” Ellen says, laughing. “I’ll be yelling from the house, ‘Maddy! Come in, it’s pitch black out!’ But she’ll still be out there with the horses.” It’s no wonder Maddy spends as much time at the barn as she does — she’s fitting all sorts of disciplines and training projects into her schedule. In addition to training and showing Miniature horses, she also loves getting in the saddle for jumping as well as eventing, is very active in her local 4-H club, and loves to trail ride.

It took a special horse and a reassuring trainer to get Maddy back in the saddle with confidence. “A local friend and trainer, Erin Simon, convinced her to start riding again,” says Ellen. “Maddy started riding a 20-year-old Quarter Horse named Lucas that restored her confidence. Now look where she is! It only takes one horse to make a big difference.” These days, Maddy handles herself with the utmost confidence, whether it’s leading Miniature horses into the national spotlight or riding challenging horses at home. “I’m the test-drive dummy for working the horses at our barn,” Maddy says, laughing. “If a horse hasn’t been ridden in a while or is misbehaving, I’ll hop on him. I’m not scared. One of my favorite things to do is just get on with a halter and lead rope bareback, and canter around. Now I just tell myself, if you fall off, you fall off. It happens, no big deal.”

34 Inches to 18 Hands Maddy is passionate about Miniature horses, as well as riding horses, and devotes herself equally to both pursuits, driven by a love for all equines. She’s really found an opportunity to shine with the minis though, and fully embraces it. “The Miniature horses are kind of my calling,” Maddy says. “I feel so confident when I’m in the ring with them; I feel like I’m in the right place.” Ellen didn’t have much experience with Miniature horses before Maddy found a love for them, but finds herself very taken with the breed now as well. It was a family friend who gave them the “mini bug.” “My good friend Emily Alger was very involved with the minis, and I used to laugh, but ended up getting hooked on them too,” Ellen says. “Maddy began working with Emily’s three minis, and then brought them into the show ring. She works with them in-hand, through obstacles, and drives them as well. Now we have two of our own Miniatures!” Maddy developed a particularly strong connection with Emily’s mini Zephyr Woods H2, better known as Dually, who was the mini she led to AMHR Nationals in 2015. “I’ve developed a very strong bond with Dually; he’s like my best friend,” Maddy says. “We just click in the show ring. When we competed at nationals, he was perfect; he just knew when to do everything. We had put in hours of practice both in and out of the show ring, and when we got that ribbon I was so proud of him!” Now Maddy is taking what she has learned with Dually and is applying it to her own young Miniature horse, Zephyr Woods It’s a Charmed Life, or JJ. “JJ is just one-and-a-half-years old, so he’s still a baby, and I’m doing a lot of work with him now,” says Maddy. “I want to get good training into him and show him, to demonstrate what I can do with a brand new horse who doesn’t really know anything yet. It’s very exciting!” But JJ isn’t her only project. Maddy also has a new 18-hand Quarter Horse that she’s thrilled to be working with under saddle. “Jake is my new guy,” Maddy says. “We’ve started training and I’m excited to see what we can do

together,” she says. “I fell in love with him right away. He seems to be settling in nicely now, and this spring I’m looking forward to getting him back into shape and starting some jumping. Hopefully we’ll go far together!”

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Big Plans and a Bright Future With the foundation she’s built, there’s no doubt that Maddy will go far. She and her mom have some big aspirations, and Maddy is well on her way to continued success. “The goal this year with the minis is to qualify for nationals again in September,” Ellen says, Maddy nodding in agreement. “I also want to get better with my riding, and go to some of the bigger rated shows and see what I can accomplish,” Maddy says. In the long term, Maddy dreams of pursuing her affinity for the Miniature horse breed by starting her own breeding program. She attends a vocational/ agricultural high school, which allows Maddy to pursue her interests in agriculture, integrating the skills she’s gaining with Miniature horses. Horses aside, Maddy would also like the opportunity to serve her country upon finishing high school. “I plan on going into the military, specifically the Air Force,” she says without hesitation. “I want the chance to give back and help people in that way.” Ellen beams with pride. “To watch her grow into a confident young lady and be so successful is wonderful,” Ellen says. “Maddy’s always willing to share her knowledge and the younger kids really look up to her. She takes on a lot of responsibility, and I’m proud of her.” To Maddy, it’s all just doing what she loves—spending time with her best friends at the barn, both two- and fourlegged. “The horses are always there for me and happy to see me; they’re often there for me when no one else is,” she says. “I knew from the beginning that I was in love with horses and I know I’ll never let go.” Alessandra Mele, who lives in Wilbraham, works in marketing at W. F. Young/Absorbine. She enjoys spending time with the horses on her family’s farm, especially riding her Quarter Horse, JoJo.

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Lend a Hoof East Haddam by Toni Leland

Ray of Light Farm A Little Farm with a Big Heart


Toni Leland

ometimes the greatest things are people make a positive connection with born out of devastation. Ray of life through animals. That growth is Light Farm in East Haddam is just reflected in the many wonderful prosuch a place. In 1993, Bonnie grams available at the farm. Buongiorne was hit with the terrifying Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) diagnosis of stage two breast cancer, pairs animals with children and adults and from that journey came the little to improve physical and emotional wellfarm with a big heart. Bonnie promised being of both the animal and the herself she would do something good with her life, if she were allowed that gift. The healing power of horses helped with her recovery, and thus began the rescue of dozens of horses and donkeys. From kill pens and auctions, to voluntary surrenders, to neglect and abuse confiscations, equines of all kinds made their way to Ray of Light. Many nurse mares were rescued, as were about 70 foals from PMU (pregDave Bradham holds Bjorn while a volunteer adjusts the harness. nant mare’s urine) farms where the main ingredient for the estro- human. AAT is a PATH-certified progen-therapy drug Premarin is produced. gram—instructors are certified by the (Premarin is a drug prescribed to milProfessional Association of Therapeutic lions of women worldwide as a hormone Horsemanship. Among the individuals replacement therapy. The name stands who might benefit from AAT are those for PRE gant MA re’s uRIN e, as the drug is with autism, Down syndrome, PTSD produced from the hormones present (post-traumatic stress disorder), speech in a mare’s urine.) A large number of impairment, intellectual disabilities, mules and donkeys also took refuge at and at-risk youth. Training programs the farm. Today 52 horses and donkeys available include competition, drill reside at Ray of Light. team, grooming and tacking, ground While the main focus has been work, and vocational training. equine rescue, the farm is also a haven Basics In Training (BIT) is for 120 other animals of various species. designed to provide a hands-on proVisitors to the farm — which is open to gram for people who want to learn and the public year round — can see a understand the gentle methods of beautiful zedonk (a cross between a horse training. Tiny Trotters Animal zebra and a donkey) named Fancy Adventures offers preschoolers handsPants, a 200-pound tortoise named on interaction with the animals, as well Stella, 30 adorable guinea pigs, several as arts, crafts, stories, and snacks. The llamas, goats, sheep, miniature cows, program runs for four weeks on rabbits, alpacas, and lots of water fowl, Tuesdays and Fridays. Filly Night is a turkeys, chickens, and peacocks. fun evening for women who want to This nonprofit incorporated in learn horse care and riding. 2004, and in December 2014 purchased Riding programs at Ray of Light the land that it had previously been include youth, adult, and special needs leasing. Through public events, fund in both western and English disciplines. raising, and donations, Ray of Light Lessons are available for all abilities and continues to grow its mission: helping skill levels, and are taught by several 20

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highly experienced instructors. The farm also hosts open schooling shows during the season. Ray of Light also has a Vista Work Program, and a five-week summer camp, pony rides, and carriage driving lessons (from single to team). Horse Feathers, one of the newest programs at the farm, is a carriage driving program for veterans. Dave Bradham, a certified PATH therapeutic driving instructor, developed the program at Ray of Light. Dave spent this past year gathering and training volunteers in how to work with both horses and stressed veterans, and acquiring the needed equipment. The program is now up and running, and is offered at no charge to veterans, who generally come once a week for six weeks. A cancer survivor himself, Dave understands the power of healing through horses. “I’ve been training horses for many years,” he says. “I wasn’t able to serve [in the military] because I got really sick, so this is my way of giving back.” This soft-spoken man nods as he talks. “It’s a nontraditional type of program. I found out that if I take rescue horses and find out how they work in their mindset, it’s basically the same as PTSD in soldiers. We use everything from minis to mules and donkeys to draft horses. What’s nice about equines is they don’t lie to you.” He says, grinning. “They’ll tell you right up front ‘not today.’ ” Dave asks the veterans to help him figure out the horses, and he finds that for many soldiers, getting answers back from the horse is sort of a self-help exercise. If a soldier comes in who’s having a bad day, I’ll give him a horse that can challenge him a little bit,” says Dave. “You can see him just kind of come right out of whatever’s bothering him.” The work is predominantly

groundwork and the end result is the driving program. Some people have balance issues and are unable to ride, so Dave puts them in a carriage and they can drive. Dave has 10 volunteers eagerly participating in this innovative program. Of those 10, five are veterans. The volunteers help veterans with activities such as grooming, walking, and grazing the horses; harnessing, ground driving, equine health, and evaluation; driving carts or wagons; and safety concerns around large animals. Volunteer Jackie Mickiewicz coordinates the various duties required to keep the program in the public eye. Organizing presentations to groups, facilitating advertising, and press releases — all those duties are as important as the hands-on facets of the program. “I worked with Dave years ago on another farm program,” says Jackie. “The veterans program here is meaningful to me because my dad is a World War II veteran and still alive. My sister and brother-in-law are retired [from the] Air Force and a cousin is a retired U.S. Navy Captain.” Phil Piccola is a retired U.S. Navy veteran who loves being part of the program. He first heard about Horse Feathers from a friend at his church, a veteran who was involved with the farm. “I’m not a horse person,” says Phil, “so I’m learning a whole lot of stuff.” He chuckles. “The horses understand me completely. They have me wrapped around their hooves.” Another veteran, Charlie Haviland, is retired from the U.S. Navy and Marines. He originally came to the farm to do stall chores, then found out about the program. “I like it here because you can interact with the horses and the people,” Charlie says. Charlie loves to drive and that was a big draw for him. The name of the program is interesting and Dave explains that horse feathers are the hairy protection around the top of the hoof. “We are the protection around the rescues and the veterans in stress,” he says. A long-time volunteer at Ray of Light is Evelyn Bailey, who has another success story about the farm. “I came here in 2001 because of my son with special needs,” she says. Evelyn’s son finished high school, went on to UConn, and is now finishing his last year in veterinary college. She shakes her head. “He’s been accepted as one of two applicants for a doctorate in epidemiology at Colorado State. This is a kid who used to

hang on to a pole outside the school and not be able to move for three hours. It’s all because of this farm.” The facility itself is amazing, with woodland driving trails, a huge indoor driving arena, an outdoor ring, heated meeting room, and storage areas for wagons and tack. The veterans program has its own space adjacent to the farm and removed from the main activity areas. The community benefits greatly from services offered by Ray of Light, including an FFA (Future Farmers of America) scholarship for higher education, pony rides Thursday through Saturday, a party room available for rent, and the well-stocked Save-a-Buck Tack and Gift Store that’s filled with supplies, riding accessories, toys, books, and much more. The farm is free to visitors, and 100 percent of funds from Ray of Light programs is given to the farm and its animals. Ten percent of purchases at the tack store go to the farm. There’s never a dull moment at Ray of Light, as evidenced by the long list of what they call fun-raising events. A St. Patrick’s Day dinner at Gelston House on March 17 kicks off 2017. April sees an Easter party and egg hunt; May features an Equine Wellness Weekend; a golf tournament event at Tunxis Plantation is planned for June; July features a wine tasting; and September is the annual silent auction. Other major holidaythemed events finish the year, and they’re all detailed at With its wealth of activities, Ray of Light is always looking for volunteers. Volunteers can choose to work with the small animals or with the large ones. There are plenty of stalls and pens to clean and refresh; tractor and farm equipment work and maintenance to do; work on the grounds, buildings, and fences; and a need for therapy/horse assistants in the special needs and veterans programs. With staff approval, volunteers can tailor their own experience. Rescue is the core of Ray of Light Farm. Whether it’s horse or human, turtle or turtledove, there’s a safe haven in this little farm with a big heart. To donate, volunteer, and learn more, visit To see the farm’s wish list, go to Toni Leland has written nine equestrian mysteries, a young-adult novel, two books on gardening, and a photographic history, and her articles have appeared in many magazines. She is the owner of Equine Graphics Publishing Group and SmallHorse Press.

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Trail Guide

Franklin by xx Stearns by Stacey Stearns

Franklin Swamp Gently Sloping Fields


estled between Route 32 and State Highway 207, the Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is 736 acres of fields and woods offering Nutmeg State equestrians an enchanting ride. Located in North Franklin, Franklin Swamp WMA is a wildlife restoration area, and as such, is a “federal aid project funded by your purchase of hunting equipment” according to the sign in the parking lot. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) manages Franklin Swamp WMA. I’ve often noticed the gently sloping fields while driving through Franklin to Routes 2 and I-395, but never stopped to explore. The rolling fields are an equestrian’s dream — perfect to canter or gallop through.

Swamp WMA during hunting season. The area is heavily hunted. Hunting season runs from mid-October through the end of December. Hunting is prohibited on Sundays, but you should still

Access and Resources Stacey Stearns

From Route 32, turn onto Plains Road, and you will see the large brown sign for the Franklin Swamp WMA. Stay to the left of the sign (the road to the right leads to the DEEP office and a shooting range). At the next fork in the road, take another left onto Under the Mountain Road. Just past the cemetery on your right is a parking lot, also on the right. On a mild Saturday morning in January, I had the parking lot, fields, and trails all to myself. The lot is large enough for a gooseneck trailer, and if no one else is there, you can easily pull around and park. There are no restrooms or other facilities. Bring water for your horse, and anything else you might need. A map of Franklin Swamp WMA can be found at It shows where DEEP land versus private property is located. You’ll need to print the map ahead of time. Private property is interwoven with the DEEP property. Watch for posted and no trespassing signs and obey all property boundaries. Don’t plan on riding at Franklin 22

March/April 2017

wear blaze orange if you choose to ride on a Sunday during hunting season. If your horse is wary of gunshots, I also recommend calling ahead to make sure the shooting range isn’t in use the day of your ride. Even though the area is closed to motorized vehicles, I saw a lot of tracks through the hayfields; I hope it was just DEEP employees managing the area. Although there had been little rain prior to my visit to Franklin Swamp WMA, keep the name of this restoration area in mind — during certain seasons the fields and trails will be wet and muddy, and should be avoided.

Out Riding It The May/June 2016 issue of Connecticut Horse Trail Guide featured the Sprague Land Preserve, and included an interview with Franklin resident Phyllis Alexander, who’s also chair of the Friends of the Shetucket River Valley. At

that time, Phyllis recommended that I come back and ride Franklin Swamp WMA; it offers another area to explore, or a longer ride by connecting trails. “Franklin Swamp is very special to me because when I boarded at Ayer Mountain Farm in North Franklin my horse was getting older and unable to do the huge hills in the Sprague Land Preserve,” Phyllis says. “I could always ride over at Franklin Swamp WMA and ride its big, beautiful, flat fields. When I first discovered it in 2002 there was an old house in the middle that had a light on, so I turned around, later learning that there was an elderly person living there who had donated the land to the state and retained life use.” “There are big beautiful hay fields for galloping, big cornfields, and a cemetery in the middle with some gravestones from the 1800s,” says Phyllis. “You can ride six to eight miles at Franklin Swamp.” The hills are sun-kissed with shadows of trees and clouds dancing on them. I heard the cry of a hawk and watched him take off from one tree and soar to another. There were lots of birds flitting about in the underbrush as well. I heard the calls of many other birds, unrecognizable to my untrained ear, but all distinct from one another. From a distance across the hayfield, I spotted what appeared to be a trail through the woods, but when I got there it wasn’t the actual trail, and would have required some serious bushwhacking. Oriental bittersweet, which is on the list of Connecticut invasive plants, is strangling trees and creating a tangled mess along the perimeter of many of the fields. At one time, this was a working farm; watch out for barbed wire and

other remnants of fencing along the edge of fields. This is a good reason to use the barways (passages into the fields) rather than creating your own trail. I kept riding, looking for a different area to explore. As I rode through the fields, the telltale worn paths of deer went through the swampy areas, and you could see large patches where they had spent the night. The overgrown barway across the street from the parking lot is another DEEP field. You can access it by riding right out of the parking lot and down the road to a clear and open barway on the left that’s safe for horses. From the top of this field you get a view of the neighboring hills. You can also ride through the hayfield next to the parking lot instead of going down the road, and use the barway out of the hayfield, ride across the street, and go into the barway for the other field. After checking out the view, you can continue northeast toward State Highway 207 on a trail system. Phyllis calls this area “the circles” and says it’s easy to get lost in here, and that private property isn’t as well marked. I saved this area for another day. Access to Mahoney Pond is further down Under the Mountain Road. If you ride out the barway in the hayfield adjacent to the parking lot, it’s on the right, with a green gate and brown sign. I rode through pockets of cooler air on the woods trails riding to Mahoney Pond. Under the Mountain Road is busier than I expected, but quiet enough to ride on. I imagine cars use it to connect from Route 32 to State Highway 207. Under the Mountain Road comes out on 207 at Bailey’s Ravine at Ayers Gap, which is part of the Nature Conservancy. I’ll admit the name Under the Mountain Road intrigued me, so I Googled it. The only thing I found was on a Thread City (Willimantic is known as the Thread City) discussion forum. Someone mentions the road and the mysterious 200-foot high geologic fault line and cliff formation — Bailey’s Ravine and Ayers Gap. Franklin Swamp WMA is a quiet location with the ideal mix of fields and woods that equestrians love. I’ll definitely be making repeat visits, and I think you will, too. Happy trails!


This Olde Horse

John Knoll was Manchester’s most prolific photographer between 1910 and 1935. He operated a small store on School Street and was an avid photographer on the side. His favorite subjects were people in a variety of seemingly everyday activities. Here, a photograph of a delivery being made to his store by Vavoline Gasoline.

Have a photo for This Olde Horse? Email

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

Connecticut Horse


Above the Bar

Board Agreements Five Clauses to Review

by Sean T. Hogan, Esq.

This article is for educational purposes only, so as to give the reader a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists between the reader and the author of this article. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.


Agister’s Lien

ShawnaLee Kwashnak

enerally, both the stable and boarder should ensure that the board agreement is in writing, adequately describes the horse being boarded (including age, breed, color, markings, brands/tattoos), fees and costs of services provided, and any insurance policy numbers and insurance contact information. Additionally, there are five clauses that should be included in an effective board agreement.

Stables often ask what legal options are available to them in the event a boarder fails to pay board. Similarly, a boarder must be aware of the recourse available to the stable, should she find herself in a situation where board has gone unpaid. A stable owner who boards horses has by statute a stablemen’s or Agister’s lien on the horse for the cost of its care. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 49-70(a), states, “When a special agreement has been made between the owner of any animal . . . and any person who keeps or feeds such animals, regarding the price of such keeping, such animals shall be subject to a lien, for the price of such keeping, in favor of the person keeping same; and such person so keeping such animals may detain the same until such debt is paid; and if it is not paid within thirty days after it is due, he may sell such animals . . . at public auction, 24

upon giving written notice to the owner of the time and place of such sale at least six days before such sale, and apply the proceeds to the payment of such debts, returning the surplus, if any to such owner.” Quite simply, this means that in the event an owner fails to pay board, after 30 days, the stable may proceed to auction the horse, upon notice to the

March/April 2017

horse’s owner, in order to satisfy the unpaid board bill, and/or pursue a collection matter against their boarder or an action to take title to the horse. It’s worth noting that the Agister’s lien is possessory, meaning that the stable must have and maintain physical custody of the horse throughout any action. Further, the statute should be included in the board agreement so as to put a boarder on notice of the stable’s rights.

Equine Liability Regardless of whether horses are boarded as part of a training operation or as just part of a board-only facility, the boarding agreement should include reference to the Connecticut Equine Liability Statute.

Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-557p, states that a, “person engaged in recreational equestrian activities shall assume the risk and legal responsibility for any injury to his person or property arising out of the hazards inherent in equestrian sports.” From a stable’s position, it’s important to include this text in the agreement, so as to put any boarder on notice of her assumption of the risks, which are inherent to the sport. However, a boarder should also be aware of the statute and that case law has affirmed in Connecticut that the statute does not absolve a stable owner from a claim based upon negligence, as seen in the recent superior court decision in Sawczysn v. Coyne, 62 CLR 254 (Scholl, Jane S., J.), where the stable owner was found to be negligent in assigning a new horse unfamiliar with its surroundings and prone to unpredictable behavior to a rider without warning the rider. Related to equine liability is the inclusion of a waiver and release of liability in the board agreement. Although the value and impact of the use of waivers and releases of liability in Connecticut have been impacted by cases such as Reardon v. Windswept Farms, 905 A.2d 1156 (2006), where the court found that a release of negligence is against public policy, and where the release is a contract of adhesion, in that signing the release was a

Connecticut Horse


condition of the ability to participate. At other times the court has upheld waivers in certain instances — in the case of Dow-Westbrook Inc. v. Candlewood Equine Practice, 989 A.2d 1075 (2010), the court upheld a hold harmless agreement when a horse was injured in the care of a clinic. The cases can be differentiated from one another in that Reardon involved a health and public safety issue, and Candlewood Equine involved economic damages sustained to a commercial enterprise. Despite the ambiguity regarding the enforcement of waivers in Connecticut, it’s still advisable for stables to always include one in a board agreement. Similarly, a boarder should know that, although she may be be executing a waiver or release as part of her board agreement, these will not be enforceable against claims based upon negligence of the stable.

Veterinary Power of Attorney A boarding agreement should include a limited emergency veterinary power of attorney clause. Here, the boarder can authorize the stable or a designated third party to make emergency medical


March/April 2017

decisions regarding her horse, in the event that she is unavailable. Unfortunately, as is the case sometimes, the horse may be in severe medical distress and the attending veterinarian may recommend euthanasia. A veterinarian can make a decision to euthanize to save a horse from further or prolonged suffering, if its owner cannot be reached. It’s therefore important that if a veterinary power-of-attorney clause is included in the board agreement, any power authorizing a party other than the owner to make decisions regarding euthanasia is clearly and boldly marked. Additionally, having the boarder initial next to this specific language is a good practice tip. A veterinary power-of-attorney clause can be used to cover routine veterinary care of a horse, and an owner can have the option to either authorize the stable to make decisions on their behalf or not, and can establish a pre-set spending limit on the horse’s care a stable can proceed with, and which care decisions can be made without their approval.

Insurance Similar to the veterinary power of attorney is a mortality/medical insurance

authorization or limited power of attorney clause, allowing the stable to communicate with the horse owner’s insurance company. The board agreement should include an insurance policy number, carrier, agent, and contact information. This information will allow the stable to contact and notify the carrier of any equine injury, death, or claim required to be reported. Reporting times vary between carrier and type of claim; this clause therefore benefits owners to ensure that claims are reported in accordance with the policy requirements if the owner is unavailable. However, if granted this authority, stables must be made aware by the horse’s owner of the policy and reporting guidelines. In the event of any confusion, a stable should err on the side of caution and notify the carrier immediately of any potential claim.

Attorney’s Fees Finally, in the event that either party breaches a board agreement, the agreement should state that in the event of litigation, the successful nonbreaching party is entitled to collect reasonable attorneys’ fees (should they

choose to hire an attorney) from the breaching party. State v. Bloomfield Const. Co., 126 Conn. 349 (1940) held that attorneys’ fees are not recoverable unless provided for in an agreement. Failure to include language allowing for the recovery of attorneys’ fees could be detrimental to a stable. A boarding agreement should be viewed as a living document, and reviewed annually to ensure it meets the needs of the stable and that all boarders have executed same with current contact and emergency information on file. Additionally, inclusion of one or all of the foregoing clauses will help to ensure that both stable and boarder are familiar with the rights and obligations of each other regarding the boarding of a horse. Sean T. Hogan is an attorney living in Westport and is licensed in New York and Connecticut, where his practice focuses on estate planning and assisting trainers, owners, and investors in equine-related transactions and litigation in Connecticut, New York, and before the United States Equestrian Federation. He’s a governor of the Fairfield County Hunt Club and co-chairs the Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show.

Connecticut Horse



News in Our Community group, has a nice working trot, and is traffic safe. Mikey is a 22 years young Thoroughbred/ Quarter Horse that rides English in the ring and is solid on the trails. Great for an advanced-beginner rider;

HORSE of Connecticut’s Spring Horse Parade


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and veterinary expenses. If you’re looking for a lifetime partner, what better way to show your love than to support a local equine rescue! We are located at 43 Wilbur Road in Washington. To get more information or ask a question, call (860) 868-1960 or email

n Kathy Diemer

Ox Ridge Hunt Club USEF Regional II Rated Show

Kathy Diemer

The Humane Organization Representing Suffering Equines (HORSE of Connecticut) is celebrating its 36th year and will hold a special Spring Horse Parade on Saturday, April 15, from 1 to 3 p.m. — an event you don’t want to miss! The Spring Horse Parade is an opportunity for folks interested in adopting, leasing, or sponsoring (or volunteering) to meet our many fabulous horses, ranging in age from 5 to 26, from mini to draft, with many available for the advancedbeginner to experienced rider. Our leasing program is for people 18 years old or older, who ride regularly and want to find out what is involved in caring for a horse, while adoption is for the experienced horse owner looking for a lifetime companion. Sponsoring is an introductory option for those who would simply like to groom and hand walk a horse. To learn more, visit A few of our featured horses for the parade are: Sassafras, a 17-year-old, 13.2hand Mustang mare that rides English, western, and bareback for an experienced rider. She’s great on the trails, a good mover, and is happy to lead or follow. Gus is a five-year-old Thoroughbred gelding that rides English and enjoys flatwork in the ring or heading out on trails. Gus needs an experienced rider of no more than 130 pounds. Abracadabra is a 19-yearold, 14.1-hand Quarter Horse mare that rides English or western for an intermediate rider. She loves to go on trails, solo or in a

our dedicated volunteers and learn the many ways you can help. From grooming and cleaning stalls to helping at fundraisers, many of our volunteers have learned so much from their four-legged friends. Interested in a

Sassafras (top) and Gus will be part of the HORSE of Connecticut’s Spring Horse Parade — an opportunity for folks interested in adopting, leasing, or sponsoring one of the residents.

Mikey does have a weight limit of 175 pounds. Baron is a 13-year-old, 16.1-hand Belgian/Quarter Horse that likes to take nice walk-trot rides on the trails and loves playing in the water. Baron rides both English and western for an adult advanced-beginner rider. In addition to the horses, you’ll meet several of

career in the equine industry? You can gain valuable hands-on experience working with our many rescues, and the personal rewards are immeasurable. HORSE of Connecticut is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization funded only by charitable contributions. All funds raised go directly to the horses; from feed and blankets to farrier, dental,

On Sunday, December 11, the weather was harshly reminiscent of late January and although the air was bitter cold, the occasional brief appearance of sun brought hope that the day might improve. The vast and majestic grounds of the Ox Ridge Hunt Club in Darien echoed with warm memories of past season’s contests, when the weather was much more welcoming. The historic indoor arena was decorated with Christmas trees, stockings, and poinsettias, which adorned many of the course jumps. Some horses were blanketed and seemed unfazed by the temperature, while others looked as if they were actually enjoying the invigorating chill. In the waiting area, coaches reviewed course patterns with students, while many of the supporters and riders who were waiting for classes to commence huddled near the portable heater. As the day progressed, however, schooling sessions and outdoor ring work dispelled thoughts of the morning crispness and warmth gradually thawed both horse and rider. A well-organized staff consisting of Cynthia Jensen as steward, along with announ-

participate in the next Horse Feathers Program — a sixweek session starting April 5 and running on Wednesdays and select Sundays. For veterans in need of transportation

cer Hillary Miller, kept the event running smoothly and efficiently. Norman Bray was the course designer and Michelle Schmerzler served as show secretary and manager. Danny Fitzsimmons of Wallkill, New York, officiated as judge. To learn more about the Ox Ridge Hunt Club, please visit

Feathers program. To learn more or to make a referral, contact Jackie Mickiewicz, program coordinator at (860) 550-1955, or visit

n Sally L. Feuerberg

St. Luke’s Community Services of Middletown has just formed a new community partnership with Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam to help provide Middlesex County veteran residents transportation assistance for qualified programs with its Vets4Vets volunteer drivers. This partnership will involve the farm’s Horse Feathers Veterans Program, an animal-assisted therapy program that serves all veterans. Horse Feathers specializes in helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and welcomes veterans with physical challenges. The program involves pairing veterans with horses and other rescue animals to facilitate self-awareness and promote healing for those affected by emotional or physical trauma. Dave Bradham, Horse Feathers’ director, is a certified driving instructor with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). Eric S. Rodko, LMSW, executive director at St. Luke’s, says, “Partnering with Ray of Light Farm on this new and unique program coincides perfectly with our “Community Follows the Patriot” mission of helping older veterans remain active, independent, and in the community while enjoying a good quality of life.” Ray of Light Farm is offering eight to ten veterans of any age the opportunity to

Kathy Diemer

Vets4Vets Partners with Horse Feathers Veterans Program

Abracadabra (top), Mikey (middle), and Baron will be at the April 15 HORSE of Connecticut’s Spring Horse Parade.

assistance, Ray of Light Farm will work in coordination with the Vets4Vets program and any additional resources if needed. Ray of Light Farm is also seeking veterans who would like to volunteer in the Horse

Charity Jumper Show On Sunday, December 18, Blue Ribbon Ventures and Fair Hill Farm combined to hold an afternoon Charity Jumper Show to benefit an extraordinary cause, the Catherine Violet Hubbard

Foundation Animal Sanctuary. The idea of an animal sanctuary was born out of Catherine Hubbard’s inherent love of all animals. Her life was taken at the age of six at Sandy Hook Elementary School but her legacy of kindness will live on, improving the lives of countless abused, abandoned, and neglected animals. The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation’s Animal Sanctuary will serve as a safe haven and place of healing support for animals in need. Whether through placement in their foster network or adoption into forever homes, companion animals will find the love, safety, and peace they deserve. Injured wildlife in need of rehabilitative support will find the medical care and training needed for their release back into native habitats. To accommodate the special needs of the animal residents, the sanctuary will include experts in the field of veterinary medicine and state-of-the-art facilities, including a veterinary intake facility and on-site animal housing. The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation is a charitable organization that supports projects and programs that best reflect and honor Catherine’s memory, including the CVH Animal Sanctuary, the Cornell Veterinary Medical School’s Shelter Medicine Scholarship, Catherine’s Peace Team, and Catherine’s Cups of Kindness. Top winners in the show classes were awarded prize money, and a silent auction featured a vast assortment of offerings donated by merchants, friends, and supporters throughout the area. Donations included a spectacular array of jewelry, fashion, photography, gift certificates, Breyer model horses, and a children’s holiday gift basket. One of the many highlights of the afterConnecticut Horse


in the new barn. Tara Farm Rescue is currently home to 37 horses, 20 cats, four dogs, 20 hens and roosters, six pigs, two donkeys, and two peacocks. The new barn will not only shelter many of the rescue horses, it will also be a place where veterinarians can tend to all of the animals’ needs out of the elements.

Christmas and was aired on Fox News Connecticut. The response to the documentary was positive, but at $8,500, we are still far short of our goal of $33,000. We’ve reached out to construction companies for possible material donations, contacted radio stations and other news stations for help to spread the word of our need, but we

Sally L. Feuerberg

noon was an appearance by United States Olympic medal winner McLain Ward, one of the show’s several generous sponsors. Audrey Petschek of Newtown served as the day’s judge and Naomi Gauruder, founder of Blue Ribbon Ventures/BHC Management, and her staff kept things running smoothly and efficiently throughout the afternoon. Richard Killian was the show photographer capturing the action, holiday spirit, and camaraderie of the day’s event. Dawn-Marie Jacobson Looney, owner of Fair Hill Farm, had decorated the indoor arena and viewing area in vibrant, festive holiday décor with jumps adorned with Christmas wrapping paper, gift boxes, Santa, and gingerbread men. There were even Christmas trees in each corner of the ring! The Hubbard Family was presented with a donation of nearly $1,500, proceeds from the jumper show and the silent auction, to benefit the CVH Foundation Animal Sanctuary. To learn more about the sanctuary and how to support its efforts, please visit

On Sunday, December 18, Blue Ribbon Ventures and Fair Hill Farm combined to hold an afternoon Charity Jumper Show to benefit an extraordinary cause, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation Animal Sanctuary.

n Sally L. Feuerberg

Last year, Tara Farm Rescue, founded in 1978 (and still owned) by BonnieJeanne Gorden, located in Coventry, was forced to dismantle a long-standing, original barn on the property. It was named Buster’s Barn in honor of one of the rescue cats who liked to hang out there. The old barn served a wonderful purpose for decades but it was in a state of decline. Several harsh winters in a row made it necessary to replace the barn. It took dozens of volunteers to take the old barn apart. Every possible board, screw, and nail of discernible integrity was saved for reuse 30

March/April 2017

Alexa Budihas

Tara Farm Rescue

Tara Farm Rescue dismantled the long-standing barn on the property and is in the process of building a new barn. Every possible board screw, and nail of discernible integrity was saved for reuse in the new barn.

Tara Farm launched a Go Fund Me fundraising campaign late last year but saw little response. We were incredibly fortunate to have a marketing firm step in and offer to make a short documentary of the rescue to help boost our donations. That documentary was released just before

are still short of our fundraising goal. We’ve many who have volunteered to help with construction once we raise the requisite funds. The documentary, Tara Farm Rescue: A Mission of Animal Mercy, is available on YouTube. Donations for the barn building can be made by visiting

tarafarmnewbarn. We appreciate our dedicated volunteers who help clean the cat shelter, organize paperwork, exercise the horses, spend time with the chickens and cats, groom the animals, even donate massages for our horses. It’s a wonderful community of people from all walks of life with varying abilities and available time. We always have gently used/repaired tack for sale. We also raise money to maintain our rescue with pony rides at Lyman Orchards over the summer and horseback riding lessons at the farm. Save the date of October 22 for our annual Hunter Pace held at Babcock Hill Equestrian Center in Coventry. To learn more, visit, find us on Facebook, or email

n Alexa Budihas

Dressage4Kids Equestrian Weekend The 15th annual Dressage4Kids (D4K) Equestrian Weekend Program was held at Nonnewaug High School, in Woodbury, on January 28 and 29. Although the dressage discipline is included in its name, this informative, educational, and simply enjoyable event was relevant and beneficial for riders of all ages and levels, as well as parents and trainers involved in any equestrian activity. The program was designed to include everyone from the horse community and offer participants exceptional networking opportunities. It also provided participants a chance to collaborate with fellow horse enthusiasts throughout the New York and New England area. United States Dressage Federation instructor and clinician Lendon Gray was the keynote speaker for the program that got its start in her living room 15 years ago as

an educational weekend for young riders. Lendon is the founder and present chairman of Dressage4Kids. The program on each day opened with remarks by Fern Feldman, D4K’s vice chairperson, followed by Lendon Gray’s presentations. Attendees at this event were treated to Lendon’s insights and advice on becoming a better rider, as well as anecdotes about her early years. Captivating stories were shared about the many nationally famous horses, teachers, colleagues, and mentors that have so influenced and inspired Lendon throughout her remarkable career. In addition, this year’s program included talks from leading experts along with three special forums —an eventing forum, a judges’ forum, and a two-day business management seminar for professionals. Horse-related seminars were offered on many topics including, but not limited to, riding skills and theory, horse management, horse health, stable management, marketing your business, and fitness. Classes on biosecurity, show preparations, centered riding, trailer safety, equine massage, and acupuncture were also featured. Complimenting the weekend’s exceptional variety of offerings was a Canine Freestyle Demonstration Training Discussion and an Equestrian Vaulting Demonstration. To learn more about the Dressage4Kids programs, events, and scholarships, visit or the Lendon Gray and Dressage4Kids Facebook page.

n Sally L. Feuerberg

Denim, Diamonds, and Drafts Dust off those dancin’ boots and join us for an evening of dancing, dinner, and drinks to support the rescue horses of Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue on Saturday April 1 at Saint Clements Castle in Portland. The Denim, Diamonds, and Drafts dinner and dance will feature a buffet dinner, raffles, live auction, and a cash bar. Tickets are limited and are $60 per person. Call Lori to purchase tickets at (860) 267-1542. Tickets can also be purchased via Paypal by sending your payment to and reference Denim, Diamonds, Drafts tickets in the payment memo. Tickets must be purchased by March 22 and are nonrefundable. The event will be held snow or shine. To find out more, visit, find us on Facebook, or email

n Noreen Blaschik

Overherdisms • “When I grow up, I want to be a teenager.” • “I’m having a midlife crisis. So I bought a horse.” • “My horse lives in his own little world, but that’s okay, they know him there.”

Subscribe Today! at

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Partners hearings, provide information to legislators, and have directly pursued legislation on behalf of CHC members.

Connecticut Gymkhana Association The CGA banquet was held November 6, with the saddle for the most CGA points awarded to Gabby DiPasquale. Runner-up Daelyn Boscarino also won Best New Horse. Congratulations to all the CGA winners and thanks to everyone for a wonderful year. I will be handing over my title as president of CGA to Safaya Tork and Colleen Neidt, who will share the duties. We’re looking forward to the upcoming season. To learn more about the CGA, visit or follow us on Facebook. 7 Shawna Baumann

Connecticut Horse Council The CHC began in 1969 as the Connecticut Horse Advisory Council, which was formed to defeat proposed legislation that would have prohibited the use of bits, spurs, and other training devices. In 1971, the advisory council was incorporated as the CHC. Since 1969, the CHC has been actively involved with legislation in order to protect the interest of equestrians. The CHC monitors legislation that impacts the equestrian community, including farmland preservation, taxation, property rights, trails, state parks and forests, and the environment. We testify at 32

March/April 2017

Carol Boscarino

Our goal is to foster connections within the horse community throughout the Nutmeg State, and one of the ways we do this is with our Partners Program. Connecticut organizations that partner with us receive a free one-year subscription for each member; space in the magazine for news, events, and photographs; and a link from to its website. Interested? To learn more, email

our local leaders and state legislators to gain their support for those issues that are important to us. If there are

The Connecticut Gymkhana Association’s Awards Banquet on November 6.

The Connecticut Horse Council from left to right: Meg Sautter, Laurie Gianniotti, Eric Hammerling, Fred Mastele, Ginger Tullai, David Frazzellini, Ruth Beardsley, and Diane Ciano.

We’re the voice of the equine industry at the state capitol. Most recently, this included horse and other agriculture tax exemptions, vicious horse, and vulnerable user legislation. We also supported legislation to keep the Community Investment Act from being eliminated, along with other agriculture related issues. We’ve found that for the past few years our state legislators have focused more on the budget, which brings with it the possibility of losing more funding for agriculture and our state parks and forests. As horse owners it’s important that we work with

concerns you would like addressed, or ideas for proposed legislation, please notify the CHC. For the 2017 legislative session we support Resolution Act 16-1: A resolution proposing an amendment to the state constitution to protect real property held or controlled by the state. It was passed in the 2016 session (as Senate Joint Resolution 36), and, as required for proposed constitutional amendments, must be passed a second time to allow the public to vote on this important referendum question in 2018. The resolution would amend the state constitution to require that

state-owned public lands must receive a public hearing and a two-thirds vote before being given away, swapped, or sold by an act of the general assembly. In our region, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York constitutions already include similar protections for public lands. Also, it has recently come to the attention of CHC that the governor released the proposed FY 2018-2019 budget that includes an 8 to 10 percent cut to the state’s general fund budget. If this cut is applied to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), it would result in closing some campgrounds as well as many state parks and public facilities, and reduce the amount of trail projects local communities can implement on their own. Please let the governor and your state legislators know how you feel about these potential cuts and how they impact you. In addition to its legislative advocacy work, CHC has affiliated with Association Resource Group (ARG), which allows us to offer $1 million in excess liability insurance to our members through Equisure Insurance. The insurance is available at an annual cost of $19 per individual and $38 per family. Please contact us if you are interested. The ARG affiliation will also allow us to offer CHC member discount benefits for prescriptions (equine, pet, and personal), Hertz rentals, Veterinary Pet Insurance, Pet Smart, and others. We hope to have the benefits posted on the CHC website soon. The CHC holds quarterly meetings in March, June, September, and December at the Eversource building at 107 Selden Road, in Berlin, at 7:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of those months. We encour-

Connecticut Horse


age all members to attend. The March 7 meeting will be a Disaster Preparedness for Equine Owners workshop, sponsored by the CHC, UConn Department of Animal Science, and UConn Extension Service. The CHC thanks you for your support; if you have equestrian friends who are not members please encourage them to join. To join, go to 7 Fred Mastele

Connecticut Morgan Horse Association We invite you to attend the Connecticut Morgan Open Horse Show (CMOHS) that will take place June 7 to 10 at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. As it has for the past 57 years, the CMOHS will spotlight the Morgan horse. Our horse show also shines the spotlight on

Competitors who place first through fourth in all-Morgan classes at CMOHS will qualify for the Grand National and World Championship Horse Show. In addition, CMOHS is United States Equestrian Federation rated; is recognized by the United States Dressage Federation as a level two show; and is a qualifying show for the Kentucky State Fair.


March/April 2017

Barb Dipalma riding Brenda Carmody’s Friesian at Hammonasett Beach.

Connecticut Renegades Cowboy Mounted Shooting

Howard Shatzberg

At the CTRA 2015 auction, member Brenda Carmody donated a dream ride on one of her Friesians. Barb Dipalma won the bid, and on New Year’s Day Barb and Brenda joined several of us for a ride at Hammonasett Beach. The weather was beautiful for the ride. We had a total of 37 riders, including three youth riders, signed in for the ride. Everyone enjoyed Ruth Strontzerade’s delicious chili after the ride. In February, we hosted our first CPR/first aid training, held at the Harwinton Library, The training was led by Meg Sautter. Meg is an active member of the Connecticut Horse Council, and co-chairs the trails division along with Diane Ciano. Last summer, Diane presented a slide show, gave out information packets, and highlighted details of the volunteer horse patrol. The volunteer horse patrol is trained, mostly by Meg, in CPR and first aid to be able to assist riders on the trails. On January 15, we held our first membership meeting for 2017, where we planned our calendar for the year. The calendar is posted under FILES on our Facebook page, and will be finalized at our March executive board meeting. Wishing you all a not so muddy spring and many happy trails! 7 Patti Crowther

Jean Schmidt Cassella

Connecticut Trail Rides Association

open — free of charge — to all riders with special needs. The show covers all of the expenses for these riders to compete, including entry fees, stabling, and transportation to and from the horse show for their very trusty mounts. All riders will receive recognition for their participation and an award. This class is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. We look forward to seeing you this year and hope you will consider sponsoring a class or session. We are also always looking for donations for our popular silent auction. The CMHA is a nonprofit organization; all donations are tax deductible and support every aspect of the horse show, including our youth programs and therapeutic riding class. To learn more or to view the prize list, visit our newly updated or contact Johnna Chenail, show manager, at (860) 304-5077 or 7 Bess Connolly Martell

The Connecticut Morgan Open Horse Show, June 7 to 10, will have classes for Morgans, Saddlebreds, Friesians, and Hackneys as well as all-breed Open Dressage divisions, a Western Dressage division, and an Open Hunter/Jumper division.

American Saddlebreds, Friesians, and Hackneys. We’re excited to announce that we’ve added to this year’s already robust show schedule a three-day Open Dressage Division, all-breed Opportunity Classes, a Western Dressage Division, and an Open Hunter/ Jumper Division. CMOHS is proud to be an American Morgan Horse Association four-star rated show — the highest ranking given by the association.

Invited to officiate in the main ring are Dwayne Knowles and Amy Bessey, and the great Howard Schatzberg will be capturing memories in the main ring. The nightly parties at CMOHS — including a first-ever Trivia Night — will entertain exhibitors and trainers alike. A host of youth activities will round out the schedule. One of the highlights of the show is our Therapeutic Lead Line Class, which is

Are you looking for a challenge that is unlike anything you’ve done before? Would you like to incorporate the riding skills you already have into a new sport? Do you have a great equine partner you’d like to learn something new with? How about taking a shot at cowboy mounted shooting? (Pun intended!) Cowboy mounted shooting is a timed event using two .45 caliber single action revolvers. Each gun is loaded with five rounds of blank ammunition designed specifically for shooting balloon targets. The black powder shots will break a balloon up to about 15 feet away. Each “course of fire” includes 10 balloon targets and varies in design. Five targets are shot with the first gun, and then five more are shot with the second gun. Rider’s scores

club member. We hope you’ll join us! 7 Allison Forsyth

Granby Horse Council A new year brings new adventures for the GHC. The major fundraiser for this year is a huge indoor flea market. This event will take place on Saturday, April 1, at 31 Wells Road in Granby. Spaces are

previous year and to get excited for the new year’s schedule of rides, educational programs, and many other events. The fun and laughter generated at the banquet still lingers. Members of the banquet committee, led by Bonnie Tyler, secretly prepared a hilarious skit to showcase some highlights from 2016.

long-standing tradition of fox hunting). After the brief service, our trail boss will lead the members on a one-hour trail ride to start their season. The 2017 GHC scholarship is $500, and intended for college tuition, books, and fees. The award goes to a senior high school student. Students must have attended their school for at least two years and be a member of the GHC. The recipient must plan to attend a university, college, or junior college for at least a two-year program in the field of animal studies. For more information, students may contact scholarship committee member Dorothy Gozzo at (860) 519-2133 or 7 Diane Morton

Jeanne Lewis Images

Middlebury Bridle Land Association

Connecticut Renegades member Janet Samperi.

Joan Davis

are based on both speed and accuracy. A missed balloon will add five seconds to your overall time. The Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association has designed more than 50 courses. There are a variety of levels of competition, ranging from youth to the seasoned professional. The Northeast is home to 30 to 40 events each year, including new horse and rider clinics. The Connecticut Renegades host a clinic each spring and welcome new horses and riders. What can you expect if you attend a clinic? The first portion of the clinic starts without the horses and covers an introduction to the sport and safe gun handling skills. Participants learn how to load, unload, carry, and fire a firearm. Next, all new horses and riders join a group of experienced riders and seasoned horses in the arena. This method of surrounding newer horses with experienced ones has proven very successful. A gradual progression of gunfire, while monitoring the behavior of both horses and riders, is completed until all the horses accept the new sounds. Riders then progress to simple patterns. Cowboy mounted shooters are well known for their willingness to assist new riders. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see riders at the higher levels discussing strategies and looking for feedback from their direct competitors. It’s a sport many of us have come to love for its challenges, its fairness, and its humbleness. The only judging that goes on at our competitions is for the bestdressed cowgirl and bestdressed cowboy. Interested? We encourage you to join us at our April 22 clinic at the Old Bethany Airport. To learn more, visit For those who don’t ride but would like to get involved, we welcome you as well. There are plenty of ways to participate as a

Granby Horse Council original members: Sandy Strain, Bonnie Tyler, Roland Greenwood, Barbara Greenwood, and Linda Lehrbach. Also honored, but not present were Peggy and Jack Lareau and Joan Katan.

available for individuals and businesses to participate in this fundraiser. Bring your collections, art, crafts, farm products, antiques, books, CDs, tack, tools, etc. To learn more about this event, contact Joan Davis at (860) 6536805 or Along with the business comes the fun! The annual banquet, held in February this year, was a time to remember the fun from the

The GHC plans many events during the year. One highlight is the Blessing of the Mounts scheduled for Saturday, April 29. Riders will meet in the Holcomb Farm ring at 12:45 p.m. and ride to the West Granby Methodist Church for the 1 p.m. blessing, where Pastor Peter Preiser will officiate. There will be a stirrup cup for the Blessing of Safety and Travel for both horses and riders (a

The MBLA will hold its annual Membership Dinner and Meeting at Jesse Camille’s Restaurant in Naugatuck, on Friday April 7, at 6:30 p.m. As the MBLA’s first event of the year, it promises to be an enjoyable evening that will give members an opportunity to catch up with friends and plan new riding adventures for the spring. The scheduling of our first trail ride of the spring will be discussed, as well as possible trail maintenance dates to assess the conditions of the vast Larkin Farm trail system after winter’s disruptive affects. Also on the agenda will be planning a hands-on clinic on equine bodywork and massage, which would continue a presentation given by Lindsay Freschi at last November’s MBLA End-of-the-Year Dinner Meeting. The MBLA’s Annual Fall Hunter Pace will also be reviewed. The fee for dinner will be $25 for members and guests. Membership fees will be collected and saddle tags will be given out at the meeting. Fee for a single membership is $40; family membership (up to four riders per Connecticut Horse


household; names and ages of children required) is $60; $75 for patron status; and $25 for a non-riding patron supporter. To learn more, or to find membership forms and waivers, visit Your membership strengthens our efforts in preserving our bridle land for generations to come. Thank you! 7 Sally L. Feuerberg

Many thanks to first whip Leslie Cashel and whipper-in Deb Pollard for doing such a great job with the

foot, mountain bike, or horseback. Tanheath has a lovely new hound, Green Mountain

Tanheath Hunt Club The Tanheath Hunt Club’s season, like many equestrian groups and activities, has wound down temporarily for the winter. The hounds are integral part of our program. Our huntsman and volunteers have worked hard to exercise, train, and develop our hounds — work that is done year round. “The Tanheath hounds performed well this year, following true to the line and responding well to me in the field,” says huntsman Sherri Colby.

Tanheath Hunt Club members Leslie Cashel, Deb Pollard, and MFH Cathy Leinert enjoying the tea at the Bass Farm Hunt in Scotland.

hounds. Staff is important to the success of the hunt and to keeping the hounds safe. Our many volunteer foxes did a great job and they had fun, too! Upcoming newsletters will discuss meetings for formal “fox” training on

Elsa. She’s a six-year-old, red and white cross-bred. Elsa is a beautiful and sweet little girl, and a great mover — a wonderful addition to our pack. We laid two short scent lines at the kennel, and guess who was in the lead, running

true to the line? Elsa! Many thanks to Kate Selby, master of foxhounds and huntsman at Green Mountain Hounds, for sharing her knowledge and hound with us. Mickey Lorenzo has been a great help to the hunt by providing veterinary advice and services for us. It’s so important that we provide a high level of care to our hounds and veterinary support is a vital part of that program. Members Marianne Maggiaccomo, Leslie Cashel, Deb Pollard, and others have graciously donated many bags of training treats and biscuits for the hounds. We’re in the planning stages to equip hounds with state-of-the-art GPS tracking collars. This is the most advanced collar of choice for hunt clubs everywhere and will assist staff in keeping our hounds safe. 7 Raymond Hill

335 Middle Road Turnpike, Woodbury, CT Dressage Show

Horse Trials

Schooling Shows

April 23

Three divisions: Elementary,

Classes from Walk Trot to Short

Beginner Novice, and Novice

Stirrup and Open Hunters to

June 4

Schooling Jumpers

August 13

May 14 . July 23

October 1

August 20 . October 22

Dressage & Combined Test April 30

Boarding . Training . Lessons . Shows Beginner Summer Camps . Show Summer Camps . Eventing Summer Camp Cross-country Course Open for Schooling

(203) 263-2627


March/April 2017


Nutmeg State Happenings Fairfield County Hunt Club Show February 19

Sally L. Feuerberg


To see more Nutmeg State Happenings, find us on Facebook.

looking for a speaker

for your organization’s meeting or banquet?

Nicole Birkholzer, author of Pet Logic, has a signature Horse Logic talk that offers a fun and educational view by considering the world through the horse’s eyes and enriching our relationship with our equines. Connecticut Horse


Haddam Neck

Nutmeg State Happenings Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue

Sarah Grote Phtography

A January Afternoon of Sledding with Spencer the Percheron

38 March/April 2017


Events March

11 – 12 PINES OPEN, Pines Farm, South Glastonbury.


5 REINDEER SHOW, Westbrook Hunt Club, Westbrook.



5 BRV HUNTER SHOW, Fair Hill Farm, Easton.

4 IHSA HUNT SEAT SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry.


4 CMHA BANQUET, Baci Grill, Cromwell.



1 SPRING OPEN HOUSE, Stonington.


11 CHSA CELEBRATION OF CHAMPIONS GALA, Hartford Marriott, Farmington.

17 ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY, Gelston House, East Haddam.



March/April 2017

12 BRV HUNTER SHOW, ABF Equine, Coventry. 12 HUNT SEAT SCHOOLING SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry.

18 STEPPING STONE FARM SHOW, Ridgefield. 18 WESTBROOK HUNT CLUB SHOW, Westbrook. 18 MARCH SALE, Smith-Worthington Saddlery, Hartford. 19 FAIRFIELD COUNTY HUNT CLUB SHOW, Westport. 19 CTRA HAMMONASETT BEACH RIDE, Madison. 19 CDCTA DRESSAGE SYMPOSIUM WITH NANCY LAVOIE, Treasure Hill Farm, Salem. 19 ST. PATRICK’S DAY GAMES, Babcock Hill Horses Naturally, Coventry. 19 CINDY BRYDEN SHOW SEASON KICK-OFF CLINIC, Suffield. (413) 461-8700.

Cabin Fever Auction ! March 11 & 12 37th l A nnua

The annual New England tradition of getting out of the house and onto a horse!

Saturday noon - Used Tack & Equipment Sunday 11 a.m. - New tack in the morning, followed by horses and ponies Now accepting horse consignments until March 6. View tack, equipment, horses, and ponies at Heated auction ring, food on site, and friendly auction staff.

21 HORSETALK RADIO SHOW, Dr. Regan Golub discussing complimentary care for equines. 7 p.m. or 24 – 26 MARK RARICK CLINIC, Stables at Westfield, Middletown. 25 FOLLY FARM SHOW, Simsbury. 26 HUNT SEAT SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry. 26 OPEN DRIVING AND RIDING SCHOOLING SHOW, Ray of Light Farm, East Haddam. 26 CDCTA DRESSAGE SYMPOSIUM, Treasure Hill Farm, Salem. 26 CABIN FEVER SCHOOLING SHOW, Somers.

Ranch Versatility WNEPHA Dressage Show

WNEPHA Hunter Show

April 23, noon to 5 p.m.

Open to buy, sell, and trade horses 7 days a week, by appointment. Nice Horses for Nice People. April 22

July 16

The R aucher Family 30 Florence Rd., Easthampton, MA (413) 527-1612

26 BRV HUNTER SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport. 31 FBTA KICK OFF PARTY AND SILENT AUCTION, Westport.





2 CDCTA SCRIBING CLINIC, Windham Hill Farm, Sterling.



2 REINDEER SHOW, Westbrook Hunt Club, Westbrook.


1 – 2 PINES OPEN, Pines Farm, South Glastonbury.

2 FOLLY FARM SHOW, Simsbury.




1 SPRING CLEAN UP, Stonington.

2 OX RIDGE HUNT CLUB SHOW, Darien. 8 EASTER EGG HUNT, Ray of Light Farm, East Haddam.

Connecticut Horse


8 HUNT SEAT SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry. 8 – 9 CTRA CAMP OPENING AND CLEANUP, Goshen. 9 BRV HUNTER SHOW, Fair Hill Farm, Easton. 9 REINDEER SHOW FINALS, Westbrook Hunt Club, Westbrook. 9 VERSATILITY CLINIC, Babcock Hill Horses Naturally, Coventry. 9 SCHOOLING SHOW, Hayes Equestrian Center, Plantsville. 11 HORSETALK RADIO SHOW, guest Jo Ann Wilson, USET three-day eventing team sports massage therapist. 7 p.m. or 15 CHJA CHSA OPEN SHOW, End of Hunt Equestrian Center, Suffield. 15 STEPPING STONE FARM SHOW, Ridgefield. 15 GRTA TRAIL CLEAN UP AND PICNIC, Nichols Nature Peserve, Greenwich. 16 FOLLY FARM SHOW, Simsbury.

Connecticut Morgan Horse Association

Open Horse Show June 7 – 10 West Springfield, Massachusetts

Morgan . Hackney . Friesian . Saddlebred . Open Breed Classes 7 Open All Breed (three day) Dressage Division Open All Breed Hunter/Jumper Division 7

Therapeutic Lead Line (All expenses paid exhibitor grants available!) 7

Western Dressage

Youth Programs 7

Exhibitor Parties!

Questions? Contact show manager Johnna Chenail ( or show chairperson Kristina Vine (

Log on to for up-to-date information and a complete prize list. 42

March/April 2017

21 EQUESTRIAN MEDAL SHOW, Halcyon Equestrian, Litchfield. 22 OX RIDGE HUNT CLUB SHOW, Darien. 22 COWBOY MOUNTED SHOOTING NEW RIDER CLINIC, Old Bethany Airport, Bethany. 22 – 23 PINES OPEN, Pines Farm, South Glastonbury. 22 – 23 EQUINE WELLNESS WEEKEND, Ray of Light Farm, East Haddam. 23 CTRA CHATFIELD HOLLOW RIDE, Killingworth.

Bethany Horse Show St. Peter’s Church Charity Horse Show June 4, Sunday

September 24, Sunday 43rd l a Annu Rated: CHSA, CHJA, NEHC, CT Morgan Horse Assoc., Arabian Horse Club of CT Hunters . Jumpers . Morgans . Arabians . Western . Driving Color Breed . Walking Horses . English & Western Equitation & Pleasure

Bethany Airport Cooler Series sponsored by Lock, Stock & Barrel

23 DRESSAGE SHOW, Frazier Farm, Woodbury. 23 CDCTA TIM MALIN JUMPING CLINIC, Spring Valley Farm, Westbrook. 23 DIVERSE SCHOOLING SHOW, Babcock Hill Horses Naturally, Coventry.

High Point Trainer Award . High Point Morgan Cooler . $100 Jumper Relay Race Handy Hunter Challenge . High Point Western Pleasure Award . High Point Hunter or Jumper

23 BRV HUNTER SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport.

High Point English Pleasure . NEHC Open Pleasure . New Hunter Derby Classes in Three Heights!


Contact Cynthia Jensen: (203) 272-0142

Bethany Airport Show Grounds, Route 63, Bethany, CT

Connecticut Horse


How about a nice massage? For your horse! Ridgefield, CT (203) 297-3008



29 GHC BLESSING OF THE MOUNTS, Holcomb Farm, Granby.


29– 30 DRESSAGE SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry.

7 FOLLY FARM SHOW, Simsbury.


7 GRANBY PONY CLUB OPEN SHOW, Copper Hill Equestrian Center, West Suffield. 7 CCBA OPEN SHOW, Glastonbury Hunt Club, Glastonbury. 7 SNEHA OPEN SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco.

May 5 EQUESTRIAN MEDAL SHOW, Halcyon Equestrian, Litchfield.



13 CROSSTOWN RIDE, Tyrone Farms, Pomfret.



6 WINE TASTING AND CIGAR TENT EVENT, Ray of Light Farm, East Haddam. 6 CROSS COUNTRY DERBY, Horse Power Farm, Canterbury.

Subscribe Today!

7 HUNT SEAT SCHOOLING SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry.

13 PINES OPEN, Pines Farm, South Glastonbury. 14 CHJA CHSA OPEN SHOW, End of Hunt Equestrian Center, Suffield. 14 VERSATILITY CLINIC, Babcock Hill Horses Naturally, Coventry.


14 SCHOOLING SHOW, Frazier Farm, Woodbury.


14 CDCTA SCHOOLING SHOW, Westbrook Hunt Club, Westbrook.


20 TALLGRASS ACUPRESSURE CLINIC, Ray of Light Farm, East Haddam.

Master Class Clinic with Linda Parelli Three days: June 23 - 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. • Cheshire Fairgrounds, Swanzey, New Hampshire

Walter Zettl & Linda Parelli

Linda & Pat Parelli

Must pre-purchase tickets. 44

March/April 2017




27 BRV HUNTER SHOW, Westbrook.

20 – 21 COWBOY MOUNTED SHOOTING MATCH, Old Bethany Airport, Bethany.

27 HORSE TRIALS, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry.

Send your clinic, show, trail ride, seminar, and workshop to to have it published in the Events Calendar.

21 SCHOOLING SHOW, Hayes Equestrian Center, Plantsville. 21 CTRA SALMON RIVER RIDE, Colchester. 21 BRV HUNTER SHOW, Fair Hill Farm, Easton. 21 EQUIZEN RETREAT, Stonington.

It’s free!

21 OPEN DRIVING AND RIDING SCHOOLING SHOW, Ray of Light Farm, East Haddam. 21 SNEHA OPEN SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco. 21 HUNT SEAT SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry. 26 EQUESTRIAN MEDAL SHOW, Halcyon Equestrian, Litchfield.

Dressage is our Specialty Board . Lessons . Training All Breeds Welcome (especially Morgans)

Presents the 22nd

Equine Expo Paraphernalia Sale Saturday, April 29, 2017 . 9-3 Large marketplace of new and used items! Plus services for the horse, rider, and driver. Demonstrations All Day . $5 Admission Held in the Arena Building at the Topsfield Fairgrounds, Route 1, Topsfield Vendor Spaces Available . Free Parking

Contact Kay at: 978-768-6275 or

April 23

Open Dressage Show and Combined Test April 30

Sunrise Pleasure Horse Show May 4-6

Gretchen Geromin, trainer USDF certified instructor . USDF bronze medalist . British Horse Society certified

Ken McNabb Horsemanship Clinic

Mansfield Center, CT . Just 10 minutes from UConn . (860) 543-1399

Sunrise Pleasure Horse Show






2 Outdoor Arenas Indoor Arena

Covered Round Pen



Group Lessons

Show Coaching

239 Sand Hill Rd., Portland, CT 06480 (860) 581-0307

June 18

June 28 & 29

USDF/USEF Summer Dressage Show July 5-9

USHJA EAP Regional Training Session August 13

Sunrise Pleasure Horse Show September 23 & 24

Equestrian Talent Search October 22

Sunrise Pleasure Horse Show Connecticut Horse


. . . Tara Korde continued from page 15

could use. She discovered that items initially purchased for the horse were also being used on the rider. She felt that the time was right to expand her line to include a rider’s edition of products. “After one too many customers tried a Simple Equine product for their horse and said, ‘This is going to my bathroom, not the barn,’ or, ‘I tried it and decided it was too nice for my horse and took it home,’ we decided it was time to come up with a collection dedicated to riders,” says Tara. “Now our customers can use our regular equine line on their horses and have something to enjoy for themselves as well,” she says. “Keeping the rider in mind, we’ve developed a natural line of skincare products specifically developed to keep an equestrian’s skin looking and feeling great even after doing barn chores, having a tumble, or being privy to the nasty weather which we all have to face when horses are part of our lives. A rider’s skin is not created equal to all humans out there; we’re indeed a special breed!” The Simple Equine’s rider formulas include Bucked Off Bath Salts, Barn Hands Be Gone Salve, Helmet Hair Helper Hair Mask, Off with That Barn

Muck Scrub, Ridden Ragged Replenishing Cream, and Pucker Up Pony Lip Balm.

Giving Back The Simple Equine doesn’t stop there, because Tara is committed to giving back to the horses that have influenced her life and helped so many others. She partners with non-profit equestrian organizations by donating the Simple Equine products to help with the horses’ well-being and care. Kelly Slonaker is an advancement associate at Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship in Bedford, New York. Her organization has been one of the recipients of Tara’s energy, kindness, and benevolence. “Tara generously donates her products to help our horses look and feel their best,” says Kelly. “We love The Simple Equine products (and so do our horses) because they’re all natural and very effective, which is not a combination you always find.” “We’ve brought in rescue horses with skin issues, and the Illuminating Dead Sea Salt Polish and Soothing Chickweed Cream were miracle-workers to stop the itching and soothe the skin,” says Kelly. “We also use the Healing

Calendula Salve for pretty much all minor cuts and scrapes, and it’s great to calm the skin and protect the area while it heals.” “In addition to loving her products, we’ve also loved getting to know Tara,” says Kelly. “She’s come to volunteer orientations and our annual horse show. She’s so wonderful and supportive of what we do. She checks in every couple of months to see how we're doing and what we need, and drives out of her way to bring us products. We're so lucky to have found her!” “The Simple Equine products add a lovely finishing touch to robust nutrition, overall care, and a thorough grooming routine,” says Tara. “Taking the time to groom your horse is very therapeutic for you and your horse. It helps increase their blood circulation, it feels good (unless you have a super sensitive horse of course), and it helps you strengthen your bond. Now you can also feel good about the products you use on your equine partner.” Sally L. Feuerberg is the president of the Middlebury Bridle Land Association and a longtime resident of Newtown. Trail riding and continuing her lesson programs are her passions, along with the care of her family, horses, and farm.

Got manure? Containerized Manure Removal Le May, Inc. Farmers of Natural Resources Fred LeMay . Newtown, Connecticut 203-426-2497 . 203-948-1586 (cell)


Boarding Lessons 562 S Main St., Middletown, CT (860) 347-2531 46

March/April 2017

ng Valley Far m i r p Indoor Arena

Owned and Operated by the Ross Family Trainer: Jennifer Braiden 1125 Essex Rd., Westbrook, CT (860) 399-5000 . (860) 304-5848

Sales Leases






PORTRAITS BY SHAWNALEE Middlebury, CT, (203) 598-0065 Charcoals, oils painted by hand.

TEAM MOBILE FELINE UNIT (888) FOR-TEAM Mobile spay, neuter, and vaccination clinic for cats.

WHITE PICKETS STUDIO (978) 724-8823 Fabio and Sara Deponte art. ASSOCIATIONS



Your Everything Equine “white pages”


SILVER LINING STABLES Monroe, CT, (203) 445-6318 Premier horse-boarding facility.



SPRING VALLEY FARM Westbrook, CT, (860) 399-5000 Hunter, jumper, boarding, lessons.

HIGH HOPES THERAPEUTIC RIDING Old Lyme, CT, (860) 434-1974 Therapeutic riding, driving, Horses for Heroes, unmounted equine learning.

STONECREST FARM Southbury, CT, (203) 586-1016 Boarding, lessons, indoor/outdoor ring.

MANES & MOTIONS Middletown, CT, (860) 223-2761 Therapeutic riding for body, mind, soul.

SWEETWATER FARM Clinton, CT, (860) 669-9473 Lessons, training, boarding, shows, sale horses, events facility.

RAY OF LIGHT FARM E. Haddam, CT, (860) 873-1895 Animal-assisted therapy; rescue center.



BABCOCK HILL FARM DAWN BONIN HORSEMANSHIP Coventry, CT, (860) 985-7611 Natural horsemanship, lessons, training, boarding, sales/leases. CENTURY SILHOUETTE FARM Northford, CT, (203) 627-4587 Private lessons; variety of disciplines. DECARLI EQUESTRIAN CENTER Ellington, CT, (860) 878-9274 Boarding, lessons, training, shows, sale horses, and clinics. EPIC FARM Middlefield, CT, (860) 620-3686 Boarding, training, lessons, sales/leases, camp. FOLLY FARM SHOW STABLES Simsbury, CT, (860) 658-9943 Training, showing, board, lessons, polo.

EQUINE DENTISTRY VAQUERO TRAINING CENTER E. Windsor, CT, (860) 623-2687 Boarding, training, lessons, education of horse and rider. WESTBROOK HUNT CLUB Westbrook, CT, (860) 399-6317 Board, training, lessons, shows, clinics. WHIMSY BROOK FARM Redding, CT, (203) 938-3760 Boarding, lessons, training, equine therapies, Pony Club. CLIPPER AND BLADE SERVICE



FOX LEDGE FARM, ANN GUPTILL E. Haddam, CT, (860) 873-8108 Dressage lessons, training, clinics. GREYLEDGE FARM Durham, CT, (860) 349-9722 Training, boarding, lessons, showing, Quarter Horses. GUILFORD RIDING SCHOOL Guilford, CT, (203) 453-8768 Connecticut shoreline’s premier riding stable.


CLIPPER BARN OF CONNECTICUT Baltic, CT, (860) 822-1951 Repairs, sharpening, all types.

J.A. MCDERMOTT HORSEMANSHIP Guilford, CT, (203) 434-9505 Bridging science and holistic horsemanship. JOHN BENNETT STABLES Putnam, CT, (860) 928-7098 Lessons all disciplines, training, harness. MOVADO FARMS Durham, CT, (860) 463-5272 Lessons, IEA team, leasing, shows.

SHELLY WYSOCKI E. Haddam, CT, (860) 212-0114 Prophylaxis, equilibration, and gnathological procedures. EQUINE MASSAGE


EQUINE MASSAGE BY KATHLEEN Ridgefield, CT, (203) 297-3008 A nice massage, for your horse! EQUISSAGE NE/NY CT, MA, RI, (860) 564-7759 Integrated body work for performance horses: reiki, Masterson Method, sports and therapeutic massage, myofascial release, cranio sacral therapy, infrared photon therapy.




CARRIAGE GATE CONSTRUCTION Serving the Northeast, (717) 951-9443 Horse barns, garages, remodeling.

MINDFUL CONNECTIONS What is your horse trying to tell you? Tuning in to your companion.

THE CARRIAGE SHED (800) 441-6057, Custom-built barns, shed rows, arenas. CREMATION

HAPPY TRAILS FARM Danbury, CT, (203) 778-6218 Pleasure riding, obstacle course, trails.



CONNECTICUT HORSE CREMATION Killingworth, CT, (860) 881-7802 Loving, dignified cremation service. EDUCATION


POST UNIVERSITY Waterbury, CT, (800) 345-2562 BS in equine studies. UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT Storrs, CT, (860) 486-2413 Two- and four-year ANSC degrees.




STANTON EQUIPMENT John Deere, Plainfield, CT, (860) 230-0130 East Windsor, CT, (860) 623-8296 Canaan, CT, (860) 824-1161 FARRIER


MATT LEWIS Colchester, CT, (860) 575-2455 Professional horseshoeing for the performance horse. FEED AND PET STORE


LOCK, STOCK & BARREL (203) 393-0002 Large-animal feed and pet food. Tack, farm supplies, and power equipment.

ELECTRICAL MYSTIC VALLEY HUNT CLUB Gales Ferry, CT, (860) 464-7934 Boarding, training, sales, shows, hunter, jumper, equitation, ponies, children, and IEA/IHSA teams.


RV PARTS AND ELECTRIC Waterbury, CT, (203) 755-0739 Electrical work; trailers, trucks, RVs.

SWEETWATER FEED AND EQUIPMENT Clinton, CT, (860) 669-9473 Tribute Equine Nutrition; pet foods.

Connecticut Horse




HERITAGE FARM Easthampton, MA, (413) 527-1612 Open to buy, sell, or trade horses seven days a week, by appointment. STRAIN FAMILY HORSE FARM Granby, CT, (860) 653-3275 New England’s largest quality sales stable. INSURANCE


FARM FAMILY INSURANCE To find an agent near you, visit KATHY KANE INSURANCE Gales Ferry, CT, (860) 625-7128 Specializing in horses and farms. LOANS


FARM CREDIT EAST (800) 946-0506 Loans for equestrian facilities, farms, bare land. Equipment loans, leases. MANURE REMOVAL,


ASSOCIATED REFUSE HAULERS Newtown, CT, (203) 426-8870 Containerized manure removal in southwestern Connecticut. LE MAY, INC. Newtown, CT, (203) 347-2531 We buy manure. PENDERGAST HAULING AND BARN SERVICES New Fairfield, CT, (203) 948-9493 Manure removal, arena-footing restoration, excavation service. PHOTOGRAPHY


JEANNE LEWIS IMAGES Wallingford, CT, Western events, barn shoots, portraits. Serving New England. KATE LUSSIER PHOTOGRAPHY Wallingford, CT, (203) 213-7738 Individualized attention, reasonable rates.

KATHRYN SCHAUER PHOTOGRAPHY Guilford, CT, (203) 710-9945 Horses, pets, families.

SARAH GROTE PHOTOGRAPHY Cromwell, CT, (860) 301-6647 Lifestyle, event, pet, and nature.

SARRA-ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY S. Windsor, CT, (860) 644-7161 Fine-art equine portrait photography. REAL ESTATE


BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Alexis Devlin, Realtor Colchester, CT, (860) 214-9859 Experienced equestrian Realtor.


March/April 2017

CROSBY MIDDLEMASS REALTOR Connecticut, (203) 558-2046 Specializing in equestrian properties.

SMITH-WORTHINGTON SADDLERY Hartford, CT, (860) 527-9117 Fine English saddlery and tack.

WILLIAM PITT SOTHEBY’S REALTY Mariette Woolfson, Realtor Essex, CT, (860) 883-3667 Equestrian properties.


WILLIAM RAVEIS EQUESTRIAN Lori Vogel, Realtor Middlefield, CT, (860) 614-0666 Specializing in equestrian lifestyle real estate. RETIREMENT SANCTUARIES


MITCHELL FARM Salem, CT, (860) 303-8705 Permanent sanctuary for senior horses. TAYLOR FARM New Hartford, CT, (860) 482-8725 Horse retirement is all we do! RIDER FITNESS


RIDE FIT (206) 713-6761, Fitness program developed for riders. STALL COMPONENTS


ARMOUR COMPANIES (800) 876-7706 Stall components, aluminum, no rust. SUMMER PROGRAMS


HARTFORD COUNTY 4-H CAMP S. Windsor, CT, (860) 289-4177 Youths and adults partner together. RED SKYE FOUNDATION Bethany, CT, (203) 891-6787 Camp, therapy, team building, lessons. S. J. RIDING CAMP Ellington, CT, (860) 872-4742 Overnight girls riding camp; lessons. TACK


ARBITRAGE TACK Oakville, CT, (860) 417-2608 Equipment you need at prices you can afford. We keep you riding. BEVAL SADDLERY New Canaan, CT, (203) 966-7828 New Canaan, Gladstone, NJ stores. East Coast mobile unit. BLUEBIRD MEADOWS FARM N. Granby, CT, (860) 604-8088 Buying and selling quality tack. REINS Essex, CT, (860) 767-0777 Fine equestrian apparel, tack, footwear, and gifts.


MIDSTATE TRACTOR AND EQUIPMENT COMPANY Middletown, CT, (860) 347-2531 Kubota, John Deere, Scag Power Equipment, Stihl, Honda. TRAINER

advertisers index Arbitrage Tack .................................... 15 Associated Refuse Haulers ................ 19 Bethany Airport Shows ....................... 43 Blue Seal ............................................ 51 Braideez .............................................. 6 Brooklyn-Canterbury Clinic ................ 21 Cara Kneser, DVM ............................. 23


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

CATHY DRUMM (413) 441-5278 Travels to you; English and western.

Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue ........ 33



Charles Owen ...................................... 13 Connecticut Morgan Horse Association . 42 Congelosi Trailer Sales ........................ 12 Dawn Bonin Horsemanship ................. 21

BECKETT & ASSOCIATES VETERINARY SERVICES Glastonbury, CT, (860) 659-0848 Horses, pets, farm animals.

Don Ray Insurance ............................... 5

BROOKLYN-CANTERBURY LARGE ANIMAL CLINIC Canterbury, CT, (860) 546-6998 Serving eastern CT and RI. Equines, farm animals, and camelids.

Essex County Trail Association .......... 45

EGGLESTON EQUINE Woodstock, CT, (860) 942-3365 Lameness, pre-purchase exams, veterinary medicine and dentistry. CARA KNESER, DVM Bozrah, CT, (860) 823-8951 Mobile 24/7 equine veterinary service. SALEM VALLEY VETERINARY CLINIC Salem, CT, (860) 859-1649 Preventive medicine, emergency care, lameness, dentistry, surgery. TWIN PINES EQUINE VETERINARY SERVICES Griswold, CT, (860) 376-4373 Quality, compassionate care.

Advertise for just $49 a year? Yes!

Dover Saddlery ................................... 50 Equine Massage by Kathleen Curran . 44 Equissage ............................................. 7 Ethel Walker School ............................ 42 Farm Credit East ................................. 26 Farm Family Insurance ......................... 6 Foxfire Stables .................................... 45 Frazier Farm ........................................ 36 Heritage Farm ..................................... 41 King Barns ............................................ 4 Le May, Inc. ....................................... 46 Linda Parelli Master Class .................. 44 Lock, Stock & Barrel ............................ 52 Manes and Motions Therapeutic Riding Center .................................... 7 Matt Lewis Professional Horseshoeing . 49 Midstate Tractor & Equipment ........... 46 Mohawk Distribution .......................... 19 Mountain Top Inn and Resort ............. 38 Mount Holyoke College ...................... 45 Nicole Birkholzer ................................ 37 Noble Outfitters ................................. 27 One K Helmets .................................... 13 Pat Bradley ......................................... 49 Pendergast Hauling & Barn Services .. 31 Pleasant View Farms ........................... 12 Portraits by ShawnaLee ...................... 44 Sean T. Hogan, Esq. ........................... 37 Shallow Brook Farm ............................ 19 Smith-Worthington Saddlery ........ 40, 49

Have your business and services in Connecticut Horse and on for just $49 a year. Plus, you receive a free one-year subscription!

Tooher-Ferraris Insurance Group ....... 25


White Birch Farm ................................. 45

Spring Valley Farm .............................. 46 Strain Family Horse Farm .................... 46 TEAM Mobile Feline Unit ..................... 5 Twin Pines Equine Veterinary Services . 23 University of Connecticut ................... 43 Western Horseman ............................. 39 Whimsy Brook Farm ............................ 26


Is This Your Horse?

Connecticut’s own Smith-Worthington Saddlery is the proud sponsor of Is This Your Horse?

275 Homestead Ave. Hartford, Connecticut 860 . 527 . 9117

Pat Bradley certified equine massage therapist

Massage erapy Myofascial Release Reiki & Healing Touch Practitioner

Connecticut Horse

Crafting fine English saddlery and tack since 1794. Available at fine tack shops throughout the U.S.

Is this your horse? This photo was taken at the Dom Schramm Clinic at the Stables at Westfield in Middletown. If this is your horse, contact us at for a Smith-Worthington Saddlery leather halter.

Connecticut Horse Youth Awards

Serving Connecticut, Westchester County, & the Hudson River Valley 203.609.1255

Request a free award for your competition at and click on COMMUNITY. Connecticut Horse



March/April 2017

Benedict’s Home & Garden 480 Purdy Hill Rd., Monroe (203) 268-2537 G. M. Thompson & Sons 54 Middle Turnpike Mansfield Depot (860) 429-9377

H. H. Stone & Sons 168 Main St. S., Southbury (203) 264-6501 hhstoneandsons. Litchfield Blue Seal Store 99 Thomaston Rd., Litchfield (860) 482-7116 .

Lock, Stock & Barrel 770 Amity Rd., Bethany (203) 393-0002

Norwich Agway 217 Otrobando Ave., Norwich (860) 889-2344

Meriden Feed & Supply 846 Old Colony Rd., Meriden (203) 237-4414 Find us on Facebook

Shagbark Lumber & Farm Supply 21 Mt. Parnassus Rd., E. Haddam (860) 873-1946

Valley Home & Garden Centre 16 Railroad St., Simsbury (860) 651-5646

Connecticut Horse




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