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HORSE Holistic HealtH treating tHe wHole Horse page 8

BaBcock Hill Horses naturally dawn Bonin HorsemansHip page 18

jennifer mcdermott Holistic Horse care page 20

July/August 2016 $4

slow feeding Hay Horse sense page 26

paddock paradise tHe rigHt lead page 32


July/August 2016


July/August 2016



Equine Therapy for Veterans

courtesy of Babcock Hill Equestrian Center

Sarah Grote Photography

22 Blackhorse Equestrian Center Lend a Hoof

24 White Memorial

Foundation and Conservation Center

Trail Guide


26 Slow Feeding Hay What’s It All About?

Horse Sense

32 Paddock Paradise

Moving, Moving, Moving

The Right Lead

36 Purchase and Sale Written Agreements




Katy Berrian

Above the Bar

in every issue

features 8

Holistic Heath Treating the Whole Horse


Babcock Hill Horses Naturally Dawn Bonin Horsemanship Farm Feature


Mackenzie Lacroix DIY Eventer Youth Spotlight

20 Jennifer McDermott Holistic Horse Care Horseperson Feature


From the Editor


Your Letters


This Olde Horse


Overherd: News in Our Community




Nutmeg State Happenings


Connecticut Events Calendar


The Neighborhood


Advertiser Index


Is This Your Horse?

Connecticut Horse


From the Executive Editor


his issue marks the one-year anniversary of Connecticut Horse and we could not be happier. A big thank you goes out to the equestrian community for

supporting our endeavor to bring you a comprehensive

Ride with Us! Competitive Rates & Great Service Call for a no hassle, free quote.

magazine that covers all aspects of the horse world in the Nutmeg State.

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 The newest member of the Connecticut Horse family is Bentley. He’s made himself at home in Karena’s office and is already best friends with office dog Ralphy, a French bulldog/Boston terrier.

This issue is filled with useful information about holistic health for our equine partners, from the lead article with interviews from Nutmeg State practitioners, to creating a Paddock Paradise at your farm, and Slow Feeding Hay. Plus, interviews with Dawn Bonin of Babcock Hill Horses Naturally, holistic horse care specialist Jennifer McDermott and more, in addition to our regular columns. We’re also excited to introduce a new column to the lineup — Above the Bar — practical legal advice from attorney Sean T. Hogan, of Westport. Have an idea for a regular column in Connecticut Horse? Email me at Enjoy this issue, take pleasure in the summer sunshine, and ride on!

Karena Executive Editor’s Favorite Quote "When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have." – Sir Winston Churchill

Connecticut Horse


Walsh’s Country Store All types of horse barns available: Shedrow, run-in, lean-to, modular, and monitor two-story barns. Free Delivery in Connecticut! The owner is on every job! Full site work available! We also sell sheds, gazebos, pavillions, pergolas, chicken coops, garages, patio furniture, cupolas, wishing wells, and many more outdoor accents!

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HORSE vol. 2, no. 1 July/August 2016

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. © 2016 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 executive editor Karena Garrity • • (860) 391-9215 editor Toni Leland

copy editor Kathaleen Emerson

feature writers Christina Andersen, Karen Elizabeth Baril, Andrea Bugbee Sally L. Feuerberg, Stephanie Funk, John Hibma Sean Hogan, Esq., Stacey Stearns contributors Shawna Baumann, Jessica Correia, Patti Crowther, Joan Davis Sarah Grote, Raymond Hill, Margaret Hilly, Suzy Lucine, Lisette Rimer county desk liaisons Fairfield and New Haven Counties Sally L. Feuerberg . . (203) 339-0357 Hartford County Kaitlyn Schroyer . . (413) 519-0079 Litchfield County Chauntelle Masslon . . (860) 967-5871 Middlesex and New London Counties Karena Garrity . . (860) 391-9215 Tolland County Christine Church . . (860) 748-9757 Windham County Jessica Correia . . (774) 263-6198 advertising Karena Garrity . . (860) 391-9215

© Vikarus Photography 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.


July/August 2016

Your Letters

DeCarli Equestrian Center

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed “It’s a Family Affair” in the May/June issue of Connecticut Horse. I bought my Morgan from Kay Bennett, so I was very pleased to see them included in the article! The Bennetts are a wonderful example of a long-running family owned operation. I really didn’t know about the other farms that were also highlighted in the article, so it was an interesting read. I find each issue to be so full of new information about horses in and around Connecticut. I look forward to each issue! Sally Feuerberg is a wonderful writer. I’m so pleased that she can bring her talent and obvious enjoyment of her job to your lovely magazine! Alisa Stollman, Newtown

Large outdoor sand ring with adjacent cross country bank.

To the editor:

Small Cross-country Course . Miles of Trails . Monthly Clinics Outside Instructors Welcome . Truck-ins Welcome



July 31 Hunter/Jumper Schooling

July 2 • Ann Bowie July 10 • Deb Moynihan July 24 • Ann Bowie

September 18 Combined Training Schooing October 23 Hunter/Jumper Schooling

Truck-in lessons may also be scheduled with Dee Dee Hopper, Lori-Ann Archambault, and Jaime Kinnear.

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To the editor: I opened up my Connecticut Horse and there’s an article [May/June: It’s a Family Affair] with John and Kay Bennett! My first horse, Hi-Vale Mister Ben, of 30-plus years was bred by John Bennett, Sr., and shown to his first championship by John Bennett, Jr., who was always generous with his time. Thank you for the lovely feature. Leslie Hudson-Tolles, via email

To the editor: I just received my first copy of Connecticut Horse. Wow, what a great magazine. Really nice articles, pictures, and it doesn’t look like a newspaper. Nice job! Truly a lovely and informative magazine. Kathleen Curran, Ridgefield

To the editor: I just had to thank you for this beautiful article featuring our Amanda. [May/June: Youth Spotlight] Karena Garrity is a beautiful writer and this article has brought so much joy to my family. I wanted you to know that you touched us deeply with this tribute to our daughter. Many thanks! Heidi Hughart, North Branford

For Sale! Twelve-year-old Shetland Pony – Drives the best. As pretty as they come. Horse-size LaSalle Show Harness. Serafin Two-wheel Show Cart Black with red pin stripe.

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


Sarah Grote Photography

Holistic Health

Treating the Whole Horse

by Karen Elizabeth Baril


olistic medicine is an approach to healing and wellness that treats the whole being — body, mind, spirit, and emotion. The goals of equine holistic health care are simple and make good horse sense — to achieve optimum health through balancing all systems. It’s a way of helping your horse’s body do what it does best — heal itself. Candace Benyei, Ph.D., a holistic practitioner and owner of Whimsy Brook Farm, in Redding, says, “Think of the body, whether horse or human, as a symbiotic organism. While traditional medicine often treats body parts and symptoms, holistic medicine brings the parts back to whole so the body can not only heal, but protect itself from sickness.” We’re fortunate to live in a time when holistic medicine is not only accepted and valued, but accessible. Connecticut might be little,


July/August 2016

but we’re big on natural horsekeeping. Meet some of Connecticut’s top holistic practitioners in the state.

Sara Muirhead Barefoot Hoof Practitioner When Elisa Zygiel decided to transition her two warmblood geldings from shoes to barefoot, she caught a little flak from a surprising source — her mother. “My mom is not a horse owner,” says Elisa. “But she knows enough to have had her doubts. Like a lot of people, she assumed barefoot was strictly for small horses with good hooves. My two big geldings, Abacus and Noon, did not fit that profile.” Nonetheless, Elisa’s gut instinct told her she was on the right path. “I’d just brought both my horses home and, two weeks after shoeing, they’d thrown their shoes. I’d already been thinking about transitioning to barefoot, so what better time to do it?” she says.

Sara Muirhead, a barefoot hoof practitioner from Colchester, recalls that Abacus’s and Noon’s hooves were in good shape. “They looked pretty good, other than having slightly contracted heels, which is common in the shod horse,” says Sara. Elisa’s gut instinct paid off. Neither horse took a lame step from the day their shoes were removed. “I was trail riding both horses four to five days a week and jumping once a week, right from the start,” Elisa says. “Because they needed a special-order hoof boot for large hooves, the boots didn’t arrive until four weeks after they went barefoot. Aside from avoiding gravel roads, we had no problems.” Though Elisa’s story is not unusual, Sara does recommend hoof boots at first to ease the transition. “Most horses need a little protection when ridden until they

develop a healthy, well-balanced hoof,” she says. There’s no doubt that the hoof functions as it should without metal shoes. It’s designed to act much like a heart does: the frog in each hoof acts like a pump to push blood back up the leg with each step a horse takes. The hoof has amazing properties to heal itself, given the right conditions. Sara has seen horses with notoriously “bad hooves” successfully move to barefoot. “The unshod hoof wall moves very subtly with every step,” says Sara. “It can’t do that in a metal shoe. The barefoot hoof also acts as a shock absorber to the rest of the body, while metal shoes tend to create concussion. I believe the barefoot lifestyle helps horses live longer and healthier lives.” Sara’s holistic path began when her beloved dog was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disorder. When

traditional medicine seemed to make things worse, she searched and found treatments that would help her dog’s condition. That led her to investigate more healthful options for her horses, as well. Encouraged by her fellow horsemen, Sara enrolled in a rigorous course of study at the Oregon School of Natural Hoof Care. She credits her teacher and mentor, Cheryl Henderson, for helping her become an accomplished barefoot hoof trimmer. She’s also taken weekend clinics with Pete Ramey, author of Making Natural Hoof Care Work for You.

tive even though the tiny bottles sometimes scare people off, especially when it comes to using them on a large animal like the horse. “Rest assured,” says Brenda, “horses are even more sensitive than we are to aromatherapy. They have many hair follicles that help to carry the oil directly into the skin. Just one or two drops (in fact, less than we would use on ourselves) placed on the chest or along the neck

move his nose from side to side, taking in the scent and processing the information through whatever nostril he feels is right. In this way, we can often tell if a horse is having either a physical or emotional issue.” Brenda distributes Young Living Essential Oils and is available free of charge to teach clinics or demonstrations for horse groups. “I encourage 4-H groups, riding clubs, thera-

are more than enough.” Your horse curls his upper lip when he smells something interesting. It’s called the flehmen response and horses use it to facilitate scent into the receiving vomeronasal organ. In addition to the flehmen response, “your horse’s right and left nostrils speak to different sides of the brain,” says Brenda. “A scent picked up by the left nostril is delivered to the right side of the brain where the emotions are processed. The right nostril delivers information to the left side of the brain where physical issues are processed. This is why if you present a scent to your horse, he’ll

peutic facilities, and rescue organizations to give me a call,” says Brenda.

Aromatherapy and essential oils are nothing new. In fact, the ancients used essential oils for cosmetic, spiritual, and emotional uplifting. There’s solid science behind it — olfactory receptors are directly connected to the limbic system, a primitive area of the brain where cognitive recognition and emotions reside. If you’ve ever caught a whiff of lavender or vanilla, and felt happier or calmer, you’ve experienced the positive effects of aromatherapy. “I began using essential oils in my own home to clean and deodorize safely,” says Durham resident Brenda Vynalek, “At the same time, I started to eat more organic fruits and vegetables. It made sense to include my horses on my journey.” Brenda uses the oils in her barn as well. “My favorite oil is called Tranquil Essential Oil Blend,” she says. “It’s a blend of earthy cedarwood, calming lavender, and chamomile. What I love about this blend is that it works for horses and humans. Just one or two drops will calm both of you. I recommend it for managing show ring jitters.” The oils are cost effec-

Sarah Grote Photography

Brenda Vynalek Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Candace Benyei, Ph.D. Pulse Electromagnetic Field and Laser Therapies Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) uses pulsed magnetic fields to heal injured tissue and bone. It’s a therapy that’s widely accepted in western Europe for the treatment of nonunion bone fractures, failed fusions, arthritis, and depression. In North America, however, its use is primarily limited to veterinary medicine. Candace Benyei, PhD., says “Unfortunately, in this

country, it’s hard to get past the upside-down approach we have to medicine. We treat the illness, instead of helping people and animals stay well. I practice homeopathy because in a somewhat different way from PEMF and class IV laser, it enables the body’s life force to reequilibrate and heal itself. “PEMF has been used on the racetrack for years,” she says. “Treatments are available through veterinarians.” Candace, along with veterinarian husband Christian, own Schulhof Animal Hospital Wellness Center and Pet Spa, in Westport, in addition to the farm. The PEMF unit is composed of coils of copper wire. A current of electrical energy is delivered through the coil. A magnetic field expands and collapses in time with the current, pulsing magnetic fields through the body. Laser therapy is predominantly used in wound therapy and to treat muscle tissue injuries. “In the early days of laser therapy, practitioners were limited to units that probably didn’t offer sufficient power,” says Candace. “Results were not impressive. These days, the units are more powerful, and PEMF can be used by lay people but the class IV laser must be used by a licensed vet.” The goal of deep-penetrating laser therapy is to stimulate healing, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and increase circulation — all of which can lead to restoration of tissue. Candace says, “There’s a small learning curve with laser therapy. “Veterinarians feel comfortable using it, but it does require a certain skill level, since a layperson can damage their own retinas or damage tissue by staying in one area too long.” Candace has bred, raised, and trained horses and taught riders for more than 45 years. She’s a lifetime farmer and Connecticut Horse


has served on the board of directors of the Fairfield County Farm Bureau for more than 26 years. At their farm, Candace and Christian host interns from the equine program at UConn, Sacred Heart, Post University, and the Trumbull Agricultural Program. “We also host veterinarian interns from around the country,” says Candace.

Ron and Doris Bouchard Massage, Myofascial Release, Reiki, Cranio-sacral, and Masterson Method Peace N Promise, aka Peace, at just nine years old, had been plagued for several years with forging (when the toe of a hind hoof strikes the back of a front hoof). The mare frequently lost shoes and injured herself often in field turnout. Her owner had consulted farriers, veterinarians, and a chiropractor, but with little success. “Peace is my favorite success story,” says Ron Bouchard, co-owner with his wife Doris of Equissage New EnglandNew York, in Sterling. “The mare was so uncomfortable that I first gave her a wellness massage before I could even evaluate her.”


July/August 2016

“Afterward, I performed a gait analysis and noticed that her scapula was quite loose,” says Ron, “with very little muscle development and she was narrow through the chest. The owner told me that the farrier was coming the next day to see what he could do to fix the forging problem.” At the next visit two weeks later, Ron noticed that Peace was still forging, and again observed the mare at the walk and trot. “That’s when I noticed she was still moving entirely from the elbow — her scapula and humerus were completely locked up,” says Ron. “We worked on her neck, biceps/pectorals, and deep into the anterior scapular groove. We used a combination of sports massage, myofascial release, and deep tissue work, along with acupressure and Reiki. We used stretches on both forelegs. When she walked out of her stall, she was no longer forging and, to my knowledge, has never had the problem again. She receives maintenance work every four to five weeks.” Doris says, “We’ve both been involved with horses for many years. This is our way of giving back to these beautiful animals.” She reminds us that horses are stoic by nature and instinct. “As a prey animal, they don’t want to be seen as vulnerable. It’s up to us to notice and pay attention to our horses’


July/August 2016

behavior, which is often a reflection of how they feel in their bodies.” Ron says that therapeutic treatments are not just for the highly trained equine athlete. “Therapeutic riding horses and lesson horses need this more than any horses,” he says. “They’re also often highly trained animals. They’ve been taught to process and receive input from their riders and respond to specific cues. This is why they’ve been chosen for this work. But therapeutic horses and lesson horses don’t get that input from their riders, due to the nature of their job. That’s incredibly difficult work for a horse and can create an enormous amount of tension.” “During our journey through the realm of equine body work, we’ve come to discover that no one specific modality will always be the answer or solution to a horse’s issue,” says Doris. “We’ve tailored our method of body work to address what the horse is telling us by observing their response to our touch or manipulations, then providing the necessary continuation or modification to what we are doing in the specific location(s) until relief is indicated or a change in the issue has been noted.” Doris and Ron offer clinics and schooling for the aspiring equine professional. They also hold weekend clinics for those interested in performing

body work on their own horse, or perhaps friends’ horses. Ron and Doris are certified by Mary Schreiber of Equissage, in Virginia, as instructors for equine sports massage. Doris is also a licensed human massage therapist.

Paula Monte, D.V.M. Chiropractic and Chinese Medicine The owner was at her wits’ end. Her sweet 23-year-old Tennessee Walker mare had been foundered most of her life. The mare had been kept comfortable for the most part, but had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. “When I first arrived, the mare could barely walk out of her stall,” says Dr. Paula Monte, the principal veterinarian of Litchfield Equine Wellness. “She had what we call the elephant stance, with her back arched, walking on post legs. I wasn’t able to do a gait analysis, but even after the first adjustment, the mare gained immediate relief.” “Chinese herbs to help with inflammation and pain, along with future acupuncture treatments helped put the mare back on the road to recovery,” says Paula. “This mare was uncomfortable everywhere, not just her hooves. Because of the odd way she’d been forced to walk due to pain, she’d developed crookedness in her spine. The equine spinal column is what allows the

horse to move and bend. It connects the horse to the rest of its body, impacting all motion and the nervous system. A healthy, well-aligned spine helps the horse stay well.” Paula also practices Chinese herbal medicine (available by prescription only through a veterinarian) and acupuncture. “So often, the owner notices some sort of disharmony in the horse,” says Paula. “Unfortunately, complimentary therapies like herbal medicine, chiropractic medicine, and acupuncture are the options we try after we’ve exhausted western medicine. I believe we can integrate complimentary therapies with western medicine, which has an important place in treatment.” Paula often combines treatment to obtain the best results for her equine clients. “On the first visit, I listen to the owner’s concerns, perform a gait analysis, and then move my hands over the horse’s body, checking his acupuncture points. I don’t necessarily do acupressure, but I want to know where that horse is feeling tension. Then based on the information the horse gives me, I might do a chiropractic adjustment and treat with Chinese herbs or acupuncture. It’s important to me, as a veterinarian, to suggest western medicine, as needed. I often refer the horse back to a local veterinarian’s care in that case.” Horses have been a mainstay in Paula’s life since she was a little girl. She grew up showing in hunter and equitation from Vermont to Wellington. Upon graduating veterinarian school, Paula interned at Fairfield Equine Associates, in Newtown, and practiced as an ambulatory equine veterinarian. “I felt there had to be something more. At Fairfield Equine — which was very progressive — I learned more about chiropractic care and acupuncture. That was really my first interest.” Paula points out that herbal medicine should only be used on the advice of a veterinarian. “Herbal does not mean safe,” says Paula. “Herbal medicines, like any other medicine, can be overdosed or misused, so please always consult your veterinarian before administering them. It’s also important to buy from a company that has good quality control measures in place.”

Chip Beckett, D.V.M. Acupuncture and Chiropractic Acupuncture is a complimentary therapy in which the practitioner inserts tiny needles into specific nerve sites throughout the body. It’s Chinese medicine that has been practiced for more


Summer Wrap-Up Auction August 28 Horses and ponies coming back from summer work. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook pages for updates!

We always have a nice selection of horses & ponies for sale. Watch videos and view photos at!


Stock Horse Shows: September 11 . November 6 WNEPHA Hunter Shows: July 17 & October 2

Open to buy, sell, or trade horses 7 days a week, by appointment. Nice Horses for Nice People. The Raucher Family 30 Florence Rd., Easthampton, MA (413) 527-1612 State Auctioneer license # AU450.

than 2,000 years and one that is still relatively new in this country. “In horses, we most commonly use it for pain relief,” says Veterinarian Chip Beckett of Beckett and Associates Veterinary Services, in Glastonbury. “We work to restore the nerve to normal, so with a hypersensitive nerve, our goal would be to calm. With a nerve that is no longer functioning as it should (more common in humans), we work to restore the nerve.” Chip has seen many success stories where acupuncture has worked to get the horse back into competition. “I work with Jon Douglas, an owner of

American Saddlebred horses. He uses acupuncture to keep his horses free of pain. Saddlebreds tend to have issues in their poll and shoulders because of the way they carry themselves. So, we work through those limitations before there’s a problem.” Chip points out that acupuncture is a therapy that shouldn’t be considered a one-time treatment. “Just as we wouldn’t expect long-lasting results from a single dose of bute [phenylbutazone], we need to accept that acupuncture is a long-term therapy,” he says. “However, we might see positive results in just one or two sessions.” Connecticut Horse


Equine acupuncture is available only through a licensed veterinarian in the Nutmeg State. “I do think that’s a good rule,” says Chip. “There are many differences between quadrupeds and bipeds, and the way they move and use their bodies. For example, many horses have diagonal lameness issues. Their left front or their right hind leg is having trouble, which throws their gait off. A human with a sore left hand isn’t going to limp because of it. Though we’re very similar anatomically, it’s good to have a deep understanding of how a quadruped uses the body.” Chip has been practicing acupuncture for 35 years. “I first became interested when my dad flew President Nixon and his staff to China. I was in high school and very fascinated by this amazing foreign country and their medicines,” he says. “When I attended vet school, my first case was a foal with an injured nerve in the left front leg. The resident veterinarians treated and healed that foal with acupuncture. I knew I wanted to offer that, as well.”

Stephen Tobin, Dr. Med. Vet. Homeopathy, Herbs, and Nutrition “Perhaps the most amazing results I’ve seen with homeopathy and herbal med-


July/August 2016

icine is the use of ledum — also known as marsh marigold — to treat Lyme disease,” says Stephen Tobin, a homeopathic veterinarian in Meriden. “I’ve treated dogs and cats with Lyme disease in all of its various stages, acute or chronic, and it’s equally effective given in the right dosage. It’s also an effective strategy for treating Ehrlichiosis in horses.” Stephen points out that most of our domestic animals today live in conditions that no longer mimic their natural environment. “It’s fascinating to me that we insist on feeding cats and dogs kibble, which is high in carbohydrates, even if the label reads GRAIN-FREE,” says Stephen. “The only way to make kibble is to add carbohydrates that might be in the form of potatoes or some kind of starch, yet if you think about it, our dogs are really just friendly wolves living in our homes. They should be eating meat — not carbohydrates — in order to stay healthy.” “Horses are in a similar situation,” says Stephen. “We need to feed them a natural diet and it’s important not to overfeed them. Many horses in this country are obese, even though their owners would never describe them that way. When most people think of the cavalry, we think of the U.S. Cavalry, but

the original cavalry were the Mongols, the Tartars, and the Native Americans. They didn’t carry grain with them, of course, so the horses were forced to eat whatever was available during their travels. They were healthier and fitter for it, even though we might see photos and not like to see a hip bone jutting out here and there.” Herbal medicine is older than human history. “You know, early man didn’t have anything but herbal medicine,” says Stephen. “They knew more about what their bodies needed to survive and would use plant leaves and stems as remedies. Animals are very good at this. I remember a study on wild chimpanzees in Africa. There was a mildly poisonous plant that the Chimpanzees avoided, but at certain times (and not when the food supply was low), they’d go and eat the leaves of this plant. When the scientists tested the chimps, they discovered that the ones that ate the leaves were loaded with worms. So, it was concluded that the chimps were self-medicating.” Stephen graduated from Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich, Germany. “I first became interested in homeopathic and holistic medicine in Germany, after I’d hurt my back,” says

Stephen. “I didn’t get a lot of help from western medicine, so I looked into acupuncture therapy. At that time, there wasn’t a lot available. I ended by taking a weekend veterinarian course myself and, from there, researched homeopathic medicine for animals.” Stephen lectures and publishes regularly on animal care, working with both small and large animals, as well as birds and exotics. From equine massage to homeopathy, holistic practitioners in Connecticut offer a variety of modalities for your horse’s whole health. Achieve optimum health through balancing all systems in your horse with holistic health care. Karen Elizabeth Baril is a decade-long feature writer for the equestrian community, as well as a part-time editor and writer’s coach for aspiring authors. When she’s not mucking horse stalls on her farm in northwest Connecticut, she’s busy writing. Sarah Grote, of Cromwell, is a photographer focusing on lifestyle, equines, and nature; she’s also a painter. Her photography and paintings are currently featured in the Spectrum Gallery, in Centerbrook.

• Equissage Certification Program • Equissage Certified – ESMT • Masterson Mothod Certified Practitioner

Integrated Equine Bodywork e Yin and Yang of Bodywork for Performance Horses

• Myofacial Release • Infared Photon Light Therapy • Reiki • Craniosacral Therapy


Connecticut Horse


Youth Spotlight

East Granby

by Andrea Bugbee

Mackenzie Lacroix DIY Eventer


ride western, and what she really wanted was a horse for eventing, which meant teaching this new horse three English disciplines: cross country, stadium jumping, and dressage.

Katy Berrian

hat’s a 5-foot, 11-inch girl doing on a 15.2-hand horse? Actually, quite a lot. “He’s a cross-country machine,” says East Granby’s 16-year-old Mackenzie Lacroix, standing proudly next to her gelding, Chance. Chance is the same age as his owner — but that’s where their similarities end. A registered Paint, Chance is brawny, round, and solid whereas Mackenzie is long, lean, and nimble. Chance is mostly black with flashy white socks and a smattering of white splashes, one shaped like a soaring seagull, another like a tiny heart. Mackenzie, on the other hand, is light and bright, with a huge smile and sparkling blue eyes. Like caramel and sea salt, it’s hard to imagine them together until you try it. Then the pair make perfect sense. Chance came to Mackenzie as a Facebook free lease five years ago when her mother, Katy Berrian, posted a request for anyone who knew of a horse Mackenzie could ride. At that point, Mackenzie had outgrown Rocky, the 12.2-hand pony that taught her to ride by, of course, biting at her toes and bucking her off until she learned to kick and stick. For his part, Rocky learned that even if Mackenzie fell off, this determined girl was going to climb right back on. Purchased with a prayer and a few pennies at Crowley’s Horse Auction, in Agawam, Massachusetts, Rocky became the aged schoolmaster who made this young rider into a horsewoman, teaching her patience, husbandry, gentleness, and feel. In the end, they became an adorable team who even led the Granby Horse Council in parades. Sadly, though, MacKenzie simply outgrew him. An old friend Katy had grown up riding with in Barkhampstead brought Chance to her attention. His training was in barrel racing and endurance trail riding, so Mackenzie knew he could go fast and far. And as a free lease, he came at exactly the price she could afford. Unfortunately, she didn’t 16

July/August 2016

Homegrown Horsewomen Just as hunger makes the best sauce, lack of cash often makes the best rider. “Mackenzie’s never had push-button horses that you can just jump on and go — never,” says Katy. “She’s always had the horse nobody else wants.” With no budget for a premade show pony, Mackenzie rides the horses that are available to her: an auction pony, a free lease, and every other horse she can land on in between. Furthermore, it’s Katy, not an equestrian-center coach, who has been Mackenzie’s lifelong trainer. Katy herself grew up in the saddle, and she’s been teaching and, occasionally, judging since she was Mackenzie’s age. Acknowledging the inevitable angst classic in parent/teen relationships, Katy says, laughing, “Oh, we’ve had lessons where I end up leaving the arena. But then we have lessons where everything just falls into place. I’m definitely harder on her than I am on any other kid. But that being said, I know Mackenzie and I know her quirks. I know how to keep her calm before a show.” Mackenzie agrees, saying she’s often a “wreck” before dressage, and that she and her mom bond over horses

far more often than they clash. Plus, it was Katy who first got Mackenzie interested in eventing. Playfully poking fun at her mom, Mackenzie says, “All her friends were like, ‘You’re not getting your daughter into eventing. That’s way too dangerous!’ But then my mom was like, ‘No, you definitely should event!’ ” “It’s just a very well-rounded sport,” Katy says. “If you can event, you can do anything.” The process of bringing Chance from the western world into eventing has been a mother–daughter DIY, but, after having to take almost a year off for lameness (resolved through thoughtful collaboration between Granby veterinarian Anne Creaden and Otis, Massachusetts, farrier Jesse Bills), both Katy and Mackenzie are thrilled with the results. “There’s still a lot of finetuning with the dressage. It’s definitely not his strong suit at all,” Mackenzie says. “He’s a very forward horse. He basically doesn’t want to be on the bit, ever. He attempts to go behind the bit a lot, but we’re finally getting into it.” “On the other hand,” says Mackenzie, “he loves jumping; he gets super excited. You always start small, but he’s really brave to the fences and he’s skilled, so height hasn’t been a problem at all.” Out in the field, Chance remains brave — at least now. “At first,” Mackenzie says, “we had a major problem with ditches,” but it took only half an hour to accustom him to the idea of launching himself over the abyss. “I walked him forward. He sniffed it. Eventually, he was like, ‘Fine. I’ll do it.’ We never had a problem after that.” It’s Katy whom Mackenzie credits with much of her success, especially early on. “She did a lot of the training with him,” Mackenzie says. “She didn’t ride him a lot; she just told me what to do. She was riding through me, so to speak.” Last year Mackenzie and Chance took second in the Junior Beginner Novice division at Mystic Valley Hunt Club, in Gales Ferry. “This summer I

hope to move up to training level,” she says. “That’s my goal: three feet, three inches.”

Work That Feels Like Play

Katy Berrian

It was Mackenzie’s grandmother, Kathy Fisher, who recommended Mackenzie for Connecticut Horse’s Youth Spotlight. Kathy lives upstairs in Mackenzie’s duplex, and it falls to her to drive her energetic granddaughter to the barn

three days a week. Loving both horses and her granddaughter, she says she considers this a joy rather than a chore. To Kathy, one of Mackenzie’s most outstanding characteristics is her willingness to work in order to keep horses in her life. “We’re not people with a lot of money,” says Kathy, who, a generation earlier, began riding so she could bond with Katy when Katy was young. “Mackenzie has her own horse, but she works very hard not just riding him, but also to keep him.” At first Chance lived at Mackenzie’s home, and she did, indeed, rise before the sun to feed and muck. Then, for more space to ride, they moved him to a facility run by Kristine Gallagher, trainer for Dungarvan Feather Farm, in West Suffield. There, Mackenzie and Katy took on the barn chores in exchange for board and lessons. More fun than mucking, however, was the chance to ride many of the beautiful Gypsy Cobs Dungarvan Feather breeds. “The Gypsies aren’t like any other horse I’ve ridden,” Mackenzie says. “They have this pony attitude all the time. They’re roly-poly ponies, but they’re really versatile. They can do pretty much anything. You can jump them, dressage, western, trail rides.” Kristine even used Mackenzie as one of

her riders during a Gypsy demonstration at Equine Affaire (in West Springfield, Massachusetts). “The horse I rode, her name is Grania. She’s really young and she had a bit of a bucking issue,” Mackenzie says. “We were doing a drill team at Equine Affaire and Grania all of a sudden began to buck in front of everyone. Everyone started laughing. It was actually pretty funny.” Aside from that day with Grania, Kristine says, “Mackenzie just seems to understand each horse. Every horse that girl sits on is happy she’s sitting on it. For example, I have a big warmblood who can be really strong, especially when jumping. I told her how he goes and what she’d have to do, and she did it. She was fine. And we’ve put her on some pretty tough ponies, too. We’re like, ‘Oh, Mackenzie can ride that one.’ She’s a great all-around girl. And she’s good with horses — always has been.” On Saturdays, Mackenzie works at On Target Miniatures, in Suffield. Again, she mucks, hays, and cleans water buckets, but she also gets to help prepare the Minis for shows, at which they compete in hunter, jumper, trail, and versatility. Mackenzie is learning to harness and drive, and she leads the Minis over jump courses and “scary”

versatility obstacles made of pool noodles and streamers. “On the ground, I’ve taken a lot of what I’ve learned working with Minis and I put it toward working with Gypsies and Chance,” Mackenzie says. “You can’t ride the Minis, but balance and line are still important, and they’re a lot of fun.” Overall, says Kristine, “I’d have to say Mackenzie and her mom are two of the hardest-working people I’ve ever known. For example, a few years ago, when we had three-plus feet of snow and no power, they made their way through all the snow and took care of all the horses. The driveway wasn’t plowed for two days and we had no water, so they carried it in. They were amazing. Mackenzie is the life of the barn, always making everyone laugh.” “She’s a very determined young woman,” Grandma Kathy says. “She tends to be rather quiet when it comes to her accomplishments, but she’s beautiful inside and out.” Southwick resident Andrea Bugbee is a Pony Club mom, an IEA mom, and a backyard horse enthusiast. She does most of her writing while she waits for her daughter in the parking lots of numerous wonderful stables scattered throughout western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.

Connecticut Horse


Farm Feature


Babcock Hill Horses Naturally Dawn Bonin Horsemanship

by Christina Andersen


courtesy of Dawn Bonin

have forty horses,” she says. Dawn offers n a beautiful early summer lessons, training, and boarding for afternoon in the hills of equestrians who want a farm that puts Coventry, a sharp left takes you the horses’ care first. over Roses Bridge, its signs warning of “We’ve riders from every discipline potential floods. Hop River flows below, filling the air with the sound of water. A gnarled old tree reaches across the road, its huge branches casting a shadow as you go up the hill to the right. A rusty guardrail, almost overwhelmed by a tangle of briars, escorts you on your drive. Colonial-era stone walls flank Babcock Hill Road until the tree line finally breaks. In the valley to the right, horses graze peacefully, their tails swishing at the occasional fly. Hay fields on the left practically beg to be galloped through. A large dairy barn, topped with a gambrel roof, sits atop the hill. Suspended and swinging in the breeze, a small sign announces your location: you’re at Babcock Hill Horses Naturally. Horses follow their people around the farm, walking quietly out one barn and into another. Dawn Bonin is standing inside her office inside the main barn, reviewing one horse’s medical care Dawn Bonin riding Aiden. here,” she says, while opening the door with its owner. Dawn’s hair is pulled to the tack room. The oversized room is back into a long braid that swings spacious and tidy, filled with every type behind her as she pivots toward one of of saddle and colorful pad you can the working students to advise on the imagine. “We focus on building upon evening feed schedule. She brushes a the relationship with the horse first,” few strands of hair out of her face with the back of her hand, and someone else Dawn says. “I teach how to understand the horse’s body language and how to comes up to tell Dawn how great their work, train, and ride in a way that comhorse is doing on the new supplement plements the horse’s personality and program Dawn created for the mare. instincts.” Dawn is finally able to pause for a While this is only her fourth year at moment, taking in a deep breath and Babcock Hill, Dawn has operated a looking throughout the barn. She’s training and lesson business in wearing a t-shirt that says DON’T MESS Glastonbury previously for a decade. WITH A BOSS MARE. Dawn manages all When the time came to purchase a aspects of the farm, with help from her partner, Mike Abbatemarco. At Babcock farm, she knew it needed to be perfect. She looks around, admiring the peaceHill Farm, they focus on natural horseful stillness the setting sun has brought manship and horsekeeping, with a to the hillside. “I just fell in love with strong emphasis on holistic care. the energy on the farm,” she says. Dawn leads the way through the Dawn didn’t grow up in an equine converted dairy barn. “This is our family, and her parents were not initially fourth year on the farm and we already 18

July/August 2016

thrilled by her equestrian pursuits. So, like many young girls, “I had to ride anything and everything I could find,” she says, grinning. “I tried out every discipline and worked with different veterinarians to create exercise programs for horses rehabilitating from injuries and illness.” People began asking her for help with their personal horses and Dawn took a different approach to these situations. “I try to see things from the horse’s point of view,” she says. “For me, it’s more about the relationship with the horse.” While trying out different disciplines, “it was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” she says, but she finally found her fit with natural horsemanship. At Babcock Hill Farm, Dawn emphasizes the importance of natural horsekeeping. The horses get as much turnout as possible, with most of them living outdoors 24/7. The majority of their diet is grass hay and pasture with limited grain. Dawn and Mike harvest the hay without the use of chemicals or pesticides, and they feed nonGMO grain. The barn smells of clean bedding and essential oils from the natural bug spray used on the farm. Many horses have garlic granules added to their feed throughout the summer — garlic is well known for its health benefits and natural bug control. “We do have some delicate flowers here, too,” Dawn says, smiling. She points to a few of the senior citizens who are stalled inside during the night. Outside the red barn, a black and white flurry of guinea hens rushes past, their wings flapping frantically as they chase each other into the corner. “And there goes our tick control,” Dawn says. Mike is bent over, cleaning out the bucket of the large orange Kubota tractor. He stands up, wiping the dirt from his hands onto the ends of his blue plaid shirt. He jokes about the guinea hens, saying, “Right now there are about six, we are working on thirty.”

In one of the arenas, a young woman and her gray mare trot gracefully around the ring. The arena overlooks a forested hillside bursting with green as the summer sun sets slowly behind it. “Oh, we call that our ring with a view,” Dawn says, casually. An iridescent blue peacock struts around the farm in full display, presenting himself proudly to an uninterested hen. Behind them, several smaller horses watch with vague interest. “That’s our fat pony club,” Dawn says. They’re used for beginner lessons and play a big role in Babcock Hill’s new Kid’s Day Program. “It’s a great program,” Mike says. “We’re trying to get more children involved and expose them to farm life.” The pair now hold bimonthly sessions where children are encouraged to interact with the farm animals and participate in farm activities. One of the goals for this year is to expand on this program. Recently they had a great Kentucky Derby–themed Kids Day, and are looking forward to upcoming events throughout the summer. Dawn and Mike are both passionate about educating horse owners, and hope to make more online videos available to reach a larger audience, and show people a better way to work with their horses. Babcock Hill Farm hosts a variety of events. They have created their own obstacles for versatility clinics and competitions. From teeter-totters and pedestals to mailboxes and pool noodles, there’s something for every horse and handler to explore. There’s a tremendous network of trail riding directly off the farm. Everyone is looking forward to the hunter pace in the fall. Many boarders have multiple horses and would follow Dawn wherever she might lead them. Laurie Cote, of Willimantic, has six horses, and has been boarding with Dawn for a few years. “I met Dawn at a clinic,” Laurie says. “I just loved the way she handled the horses.” Laurie’s horses were not well at a previous boarding facility and she was constantly worried about their health. “My horses’ health has totally turned around now,” she says. “They receive wonderful care. I never have to worry — they’re always in great hands. Dawn’s very caring, she treats every horse as if it were her own.” Stacey Cook, of Tolland, leads her gray mare, Harlow, up from the ring

and into the barn. “We just had one of our best rides here!” Stacey says, joyfully. Even at 22 years old, Harlow’s early years as a filly on the racetrack made a long-lasting impression on her. “We’re still working on getting her out of that frame of mind,” Stacey says. “Having the extended turnout time has made a huge difference in her mental state. That’s the main reason we switched barns.” The turnout, quality of care, access to trails, and hunter paces all played a big part in the decision to switch barns. With more than 40 horses, Babcock Hill Farm is operating at maximum capacity. “We were full . . . ” Mike says, trailing off, glancing toward Dawn until they lock eyes. “and then we got three more horses in.” Dawn’s face lights up with a big smile. “We’ll make room for them,” she says. “This is not your average barn,” Laurie says, looking out over the hayfield as it glistens with the setting sun. “The focus is on the horses, they receive well-rounded care, and I leave everyday with peace of mind knowing they are in good hands.” Growing up on Nantucket, Christina Andersen explored the beaches and rode the trails with her trusty pony, Whinnie. At UMass Amherst, she studied animal behavior with a concentration in equines. After graduation, she taught draft-horse husbandry to future farmers and veterinarians. She works at ClearSpan Fabric Structures, and spends her free time riding and driving her adopted draft horses, Bill and Mark.

Summer Equine Program 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Early arrival & later pick-up available! ages 6-14

June 27 - July 1 . July 11 - 15 July 18 - 22 . august 8 - 12

Riding Lessons Horses for Lease Training & Showing

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Bittersweet Farm Instructor/Trainer Shauna perry 120 Litchfield Tnpk., Bethany, CT 203-393-3665 . 203-687-0333

Dawn Bonin Horsemanship Natural Horsemanship Lessons . Training . Boarding . Sales/Leases Two Outdoor Rings . Indoor Arena Miles of Trails . Versatility Course

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Coventry, Connecticut 860-742-2667 (barn) . 860-985-7611 (cell) . Connecticut Horse


Horseperson Feature Guilford

by Sally L. Feuerberg

Jennifer McDermott

Holistic Horse Care


Alesandro Abyss

hen you arrive at Ray of Light ground throughout the arena, slightly elevated at just a few inches. “With Farm in East Haddam, you rehab, it’s rare that I work at liberty, can’t help but feel an almost because sometimes we need to protect intangible aura of peace and contentment. The farm is an animal rescue and the horses from themselves,” says therapy center whose mission is “to be a Jennifer. “Solo is at liberty today because the doctor gave us the okay to healing presence in a wounded world.” There’s an assortment of animals, including horses, donkeys, sheep, and goats. You’ll also see myriad ducks, geese, guinea pigs and, if he’s not hiding, a 200-pound tortoise. Each creature has a story about how it, through no fault of its own, became in need of a sanctuary from an unfortunate circumstance or condition that threatened its very existence. Ray of Light Farm has become their home, where you will also encounter holistic equine specialist Jennifer McDermott, of Guilford. To the horse, she’s an advocate, partner, healer, consoler, and friend. In the midst of this quiet refuge, Jennifer is working with Ponche’s Solo, one of her two adopted off-the-track Thoroughbreds. She adopted Solo from CANTER New England (Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses) operating out of Everett, Jennifer and Solo (top) and Truman (bottom). Massachusetts. Solo’s lineage proceed. My eye uses liberty to see can be traced back to the famous racehorse Northern Dancer. Solo is 13 years where Solo’s mind truly is — meaning, is he comfortable and confident old, but the five years he spent on the enough to take the risk of walking over racetrack have taken a toll. “As with the pole without any suggestions from most injuries, we’re never quite sure, me? but the repetition of racing puts tons of “With liberty work, the horse has strain in the stifle,” says Jennifer. “So, the opportunity to disengage, and that, the thought is that it was damaged in even in itself, is very telling of how the his early racing years and finally gave teacher is doing. Sometimes, their mind way in the later years.” is blown and, sometimes, we’re not Jennifer is conducting a rehab sesdoing a good job of asking what we sion, done at liberty in the farm’s want. You might call it the horse’s classindoor arena. (Liberty is interaction room at that time. They’re teaching us with the horse in a free environment, unrestrained, with the absence of tack.) to do better.” Jennifer engages Solo in what can Poles are placed strategically on the 20

July/August 2016

be interpreted as playful exercises, but each movement, stretch, and small jump from him will contribute to his recovery. Toward the end of the session, he begins to canter freely around the arena, almost as if to tell Jennifer, “I haven’t felt this good in a while!” There’s a palpable communication that has already been established between the two of them. His comfort level with Jennifer and willingness to try to please is evident. Positive reinforcement — done with gentle words of encouragement and a soft touch, combined with much appreciated small bits of carrots — are the all-important ingredients in their partnership. “The rewards are immediate recognition of desired behavior,” she says. “I like to keep the rehab sessions short,” Jennifer says as she walks Solo back to his stall. “This isn’t a training lesson. It’s important that the horse associates the time we spent together as a positive experience, and is willing to participate when we work again. Even time spent before and after our sessions can be productive. Reiki, energy work, and acupressure can be used to complement and increase the effectiveness of most customary methods of healing illness and alleviating pain from injuries. These practices can also aid the horse in maintaining his general health and reducing stress.” Jennifer has achieved master teacher level III in the healing art of Reiki — a Japanese technique used for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing, and is certified in equine acupressure II through the Tallgrass Institute in Castle Rock, Colorado. Jennifer’s next session is with her sixyear-old Thoroughbred, Truman’s Appeal SB. She adopted him after seeing a posting from a trainer at Suffolk Downs,

in Boston. The horse is an impressively stunning 17.3-hand, muscular bay gelding. His weight is 1,460 pounds — not your typical Thoroughbred. “Truman had very exaggerated kissing spine that’s thought to have occurred because of him growing too much mass too soon, before his own musculature could support it correctly,” says Jennifer. Kissing spine is a condition in which the horse feels consistent pain because the sections of bones attached to the vertebrae are too close together or overlap and impinge on each other. “He compensated by not using his back and hips properly, therefore tightening his back and making a bad situation worse,” says Jennifer. “In the end, it was Dr. Aimee Eggleston who did all the barn diagnostics, and Dr. Jose M. Garcia-Lopez, at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, who operated. Truman’s back wasn’t truly diagnosed until the bone scan at Tufts.” It’s been only eight weeks since his surgery. Jennifer approaches her time with Truman quite differently than her session with Solo. Poles are placed in a smaller, circular pattern, and work is done on a longe line. “Working Truman on the longe line is not optimal, especially when you have a stifle with some past inflammation, but we need him to get full function/full articulation of all those hindered joints by going over poles to develop hind end muscles,” says Jennifer. “Poles are excellent for that, causing the legs to lift and stretch under. We also need him to learn how to work better through his back. “He needs to be in a controlled situation, because we want him to do certain things to build muscle that may have diminished during stall rest and past hind end misuse throughout his life. Muscles protect joints, and that’s really important.” Willingly, Truman carefully maneuvers over the poles as Jennifer watches for any discomfort or soreness. She’s pleased with his progress and effort. There’s a long road ahead for Truman both behaviorally and physically, but with Jennifer’s patience, perseverance, and her collaboration with his vets, the potential for a productive future is bright. “There’s so much available to us to assist, understand, and support the horse,” says Jennifer. “Body work and

massage can be beneficial, especially when combined with more traditional forms of medicine and medical applications. There’s always new research, developments in holistic nutrition, and natural supplements to help in the prevention of ulcers and promote proper gut health. We can use light therapy as a natural pain reliever and healing accelerator. Acupuncture can be applied to increase blood flow, which is the basis of healing with enhanced oxygen. It nourishes the tissue as well as releasing natural endorphins in the brain. Those are just some of the options and possibilities all now readily available to horse owners.” Jennifer has clients throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York, and will travel to barns. When discussing their time with her, each client will consistently talk about the impact she’s made on their relationships with their horses. Stories are shared about a newfound understanding of the language of the horse, and how their mindsets have been changed to think beyond the conventional perception of equine care and behavior. Suzi Jolicoeur, of Roxbury, reminisced about a time that Jennifer came to her farm. “It was a few years back when she stopped by to help me with my rescues, but especially my donkey, Bijou,” Suzi says. “She was in her late forties and having serious issues with her hooves, and there was some discord amongst my little herd. I would leave Jennifer alone in the barn so that she could concentrate without distraction. I was truly amazed at the discernable change in energy and mentality of my animals after her visits. There was a calmness and harmony in the group. Jennifer is truly gifted.” Cynthia Riegle, of Madison, a longtime friend and client, eloquently says, “Jennifer has abilities as a holistic practitioner that we, as lay people, may classify as a horse whisperer. I use that term — not in Jennifer’s vocabulary — but so those who are unfamiliar will understand her direction. She’s developed a methodology that reaches into the psyche, and then even deeper into the spirit and soul of the horse. Working with Jennifer will open up a part of your 15-year-old self who just loved being with your horse for the sole purpose of being in a fantastic friendship.” Through her patient methods and approach, Jennifer is able to assist the

Fox Ledge Farm Quality Dressage Training with a Winning Tradition

Ann Guptill USET Pan Am Dressage Team Silver USDF Instructor & Certification Examiner USPC Graduate A USDF “L” Judge Graduate

Offering: Board . Training Lessons . Clinics Dressage All Levels Welcome Indoor and Outdoor Facilities

East Haddam, CT (860) 873-8108 . horses under her care in reaching a state of balance, inner harmony and, ideally, a sense of well-being. She readily admits, however, that her ability to pursue her career and passion couldn’t have been achieved without the support and understanding of her husband, Michael, and her three boys, Tristan, Kellin, and Declan. Hoping to share experiences, suggestions, and guidance with others, Jennifer is presently formulating a horse talk radio show with a local streaming radio station, iCRV. She also writes for Natural Awakenings. Is there a piece of advice or a philosophy that Jennifer advocates? Simply put, she says, “In all my interactions with the horses, I make it a priority to keep their personalities intact. Let him do what comes naturally. Let him smell that other horse. Let him call out to that mare in the field. Let the horse be a horse. You might be surprised by what they are willing to offer you.” 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.

Connecticut Horse


Lend a Hoof Bethany

Blackhorse Equestrian Center

Equine Therapy for Veterans

by John Hibma


John Hibma

civilian life, and the challenges faced n a cool morning, Carlos when afflicted with PTSD. Cabezas climbs into a horsedrawn carriage with his instructor, Brad Bertele. In harness is a gentle Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Canadian Cheval named Flick, who’s PTSD is a physical/psychological syncoming on 20 years of age and has been drome that affects people after they’ve driving for about ten years. This will be experienced severe trauma or a lifeCarlos’s second time in the driver’s seat of the carriage. With Brad initially taking the reins, Flick begins circling the indoor arena. After a few minutes, Brad hands the reins over to Carlos, giving him control of the horse and carriage. Together, the two men and horse make several more circuits around the indoor. Brad encourages Carlos to push Flick into a trot. The indoor is small and Carlos shortly must rein Flick back to a walk. Then Brad does the unthinkable — he Carlos and Brad at the end of a lesson. climbs from his instructor’s seat and settles in the back of the cart behind Carlos. The reins are still in threatening event. PTSD is insidious, in that it can manifest shortly after a traureach, but that doesn’t matter, Carlos is matic event or it may take many years driving a horse and carriage by himself before a person experiences it. Even — on his second lesson. This is noteworthy because Carlos though PTSD is most commonly diagis a military veteran suffering from posnosed in our veterans returning from traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is overseas deployment and experiences currently being treated at the West in combat, it can affect all people from Haven Veterans Hospital. all walks of life who have experienced a In Bethany, Brad Bertele and his traumatic event. Estimates of up to 30 wife, Melissa Pogwizd-Bertele, have percent of Afghanistan and Iraq War owned and managed the Blackhorse veterans treated at VA hospitals and Equestrian Center since 2006. Brad is a clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD. U.S. Army veteran and served in For veterans who saw combat, the numEurope during the closing days of the bers are even higher, estimated to be Cold War. Even though he never had to near 50 percent. fight in a war, his deployment as a heliIf PTSD is left untreated or is copter crewmember included missile improperly diagnosed, undesirable lock by the Russians. (Missile lock: a behaviors may result. Symptoms of radar signal/warning that subject is PTSD vary from anxiety disorders and being actively targeted and about to be hypervigilance to moodiness to unconfired at.) Brad has experienced firsttrollable emotions and depression. hand the unrelenting and stressful conPTSD can result in disassociation and ditions faced by veterans in both combat and near-combat environments. disengagement from society, as well as broken relationships and the inability to He’s also well acquainted with the chalhold down a job. Aggressive behaviors lenges faced by those veterans as they and even suicide are not uncommon. It transition from military life back to 22

July/August 2016

took many years for the medical community to understand that PTSD is real, and it has taken many more to find effective ways to treat it. With his many years of experience as an equestrian, Brad knows the therapeutic benefits of equine interaction. In 2011, he established the nonprofit Blackhorse 4 Heroes with the express goal of providing rehabilitative therapy for disabled veterans. In 2012, Brad began working with the PTSD Residential Program at the West Haven VA Hospital, which is part of the National Center for PTSD. Many of the veterans coming to Blackhorse are younger, having been out of the military less than ten years. However, some served in Vietnam in the 1960s and others were in hostile theaters such as Panama or Nicaragua during the 1980s. They still suffer from PTSD. Many have become alcoholics or drug users in an effort to deal with their problems. They admit that they never realized they had PTSD or understood what it is.

Blackhorse 4 Heroes The Blackhorse 4 Heroes therapy program focuses on learning how to drive a horse and carriage. The physical activity of driving the carriage can help veterans with PTSD learn to relax and reduce their anxiety. It can also help them regain trust and self-confidence as they put their trust in the horse they are driving. In most cases, the veterans are still under a lot of stress and communicate poorly when they come to the Blackhorse program. With Brad’s instruction, the horse and driver learn how to communicate — the horse responds to the driver’s direction through the reins and voice commands. Ultimately, this positive stimulation in a non-combative environment helps veterans with PTSD improve their mental condition.

Brad has developed a program in which the veterans begin the morning with social interaction in a group setting in the carriage house of the Blackhorse Equestrian Center. This is followed by informal classroom time where they learn equine theory and begin working with a reining board. The reining board is an apparatus with reins and weights that simulates the sensations a driver will feel when sitting in the carriage with reins in hand. The veterans learn how to properly pick up and hold the reins, start, stop and turn, using the reining board before they climb into the carriage. The veterans then get to meet Flick and are encouraged to interact with him by taking turns brushing and currying him. It helps them get acquainted with the big horse while he enjoys being groomed. Even tackling a basic task, such as grooming a horse, is designed to instill confidence in a veteran with PTSD. Then, with Melissa’s guidance, the harness is fitted onto Flick and he’s led into the indoor arena to be hitched to the carriage. The carriage is carefully examined before use, making sure that the wheels, bearings, and brakes are all in good working order. This two-seater was manufactured in Europe and is used for both instruction and competition. Brad and Melissa have the class gather around the carriage as Flick is being hitched. It takes several minutes before Brad and the first student can climb up and begin the lesson. Brad feels that the experience of carriage driving is preferred over riding a horse. “Horseback riding involves more dominance on the part of the rider over the horse,” says Brad. “Carriage driving is much more of a partnership between driver and horse, each learning to trust the other — the horse and driver become equal partners.” When each veteran is finished with the lesson, Brad has a short debrief with the client while the two are still seated on the carriage. The veteran is asked to recount what he was feeling during the lesson—how anxious he may have been and how well he was dealing with it. Most of the veterans climb out of the carriage with a big smile having accomplished something that, earlier, would have been impossible — transferring trust to a big horse. The experience helps veterans understand and recognize what hap-

pens when they are triggered into a moment of anxiety. The techniques they learn with Brad will hopefully help them stay grounded if they are triggered with anxiety later. Most veterans with PTSD have shut down mentally and psychologically by the time they enter the VA. Treating PTSD is a lengthy process. As part of their stay and treatment at the VA in West Haven, the veterans are encouraged to participate in the Blackhorse 4 Heroes program. While supervising the veterans, Brad watches them carefully and can analyze how well they are taking the instructions and interacting with the horse. Every veteran is different and some respond to the program better than others. When Brad climbed into the back of the carriage while Carlos was driving, it wasn’t meant to be a prank. “I climbed into the back of the carriage to trigger your anxiety,” he says to Carlos. He already knew that Carlos was connected to the horse, and the man and horse were communicating. Brad knows Flick well enough to tell when the horse is not happy. Flick was responding positively to Carlos, knowing that he could trust his driver, and the entire process was a confidence builder for Carlos. The Blackhorse 4 Heroes program is much more than just teaching PTSDafflicted veterans to drive a horse and carriage. It has grown under the influence of drivers and their coach, Navy veteran Sterling Graburn, who will wear the Blackhorse colors when he competes at the FEI World Driving Championships for Singles this year. The program is intended to help veterans return to productive and healthy interactions in society, through an understanding and non-judgmental environment as they learn a new skill. The one-on-one experience with the

horse and the trusting relationship developed between the two is an affirmative experience for the veteran. The mutual respect between driver and horse is a powerful catalyst for healing and well-being for veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Blackhorse 4 Heroes Equine Therapy for Veterans, visit John Hibma is a freelance writer specializing in agricultural topics and lives in Connecticut.

Connecticut Horse


Litchfield by xx Stearns

Trail Guide

White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center

by Stacey Stearns


Access and Resources Although the property is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, there are a few special events throughout the year and equestrians may want to avoid those dates. For instance, on September 24, the foundation will host its Annual Family Nature Day, which will increase

Stacey Stearns

our thousand acres of forest, fields, and wetlands, nestled in Litchfield and Morris, comprise the White Memorial Foundation and Conservation Center. The stone pillars and expansive carriage house transport you back in time to a simpler life. For Nutmeg State equestrians who prefer to drive their horses, White Memorial offers wide, wellmaintained trails suitable for carriages. Riders can also enjoy the trails and woods roads. Alain White and his sister, May White, endowed the property in 1913, creating the foundation and conservation center. Alain is considered the founder of Connecticut’s state park system, and served as the president of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association from 1923 to 1928. In addition to creating White Memorial with his sister, he also donated land for other parks in the state, including Mohawk Forest in Goshen, Kent Falls, and People’s Forest in Barkhamstead. Lukas Hyder is one of 11 full-time employees at White Memorial Foundation, and is the assistant superintendent/forester. “There are 40 miles of trails,” Lukas says. “We’ve between twenty and thirty thousand visitors each year. The boardwalk around Little Pond is the most popular area of the park and, as expected, weekends are the busiest.” White Memorial owns 70 percent of the land around Bantam Lake, the largest natural lake in Connecticut. There are houses on the property, primarily on the shores of the lake; these homes are privately owned, but on trust property. Summer nature programs are offered for children, and the expansive property sees recreational activities from numerous user groups, whether on the grounds, in the museum, the environmental center, or renting out the carriage house. 24

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the number of other trail users on the grounds. To avoid conflicts, check the special events section at whitememorial before you make plans to ride. Riders should print the Main Area map at home. This map and several other useful maps are on the website. If you don’t print a map, you can purchase one in the gift shop, but only when the shop is open. The other option is to take a photo with your smart phone of the map located in the information kiosk just outside the museum or at the horse trailer parking area. Use the address 80 Whitehall Road in Litchfield for your GPS. The property is easily accessed from Route 202 in Litchfield. After turning onto Bissell Road from Route 202, you immediately turn right on Whitehall Road. Once on Whitehall Road, follow it through the edge of the property, past campgrounds, offices, and the museum. Park in the Sawmill Field beyond the green barn; there is a sign, HORSE TRAILER PARKING. From the parking area, you have a view down to Ongley Pond,

which is popular with families. The closest toilet facility is in Ongley Field. Another is available at the Mott-Van Winkle Environmental Center, which is on the Route 202 side of the museum and information kiosk. Hunting isn’t allowed in White Memorial, so it’s an attractive option for fall trail rides. A word of caution to those who are unfamiliar with the Litchfield Hills: dress in layers. On my visit in April, I was surprised by a snow squall and brisk weather. Equestrians should pack water for horses and humans. I recommend shoes or hoof boots, although the fields and pine needle blankets on some trails provide softer footing than I usually see. As always, remember to clean up all manure from around your trailer, and be courteous to other trail users.

On the Trails Horses aren’t allowed on any of the boardwalks or foot trails on the property. While out on the trails, I encountered hikers, families with children and strollers, dogs, and bicycles. There are over 50 different entrances to the trail system. The location of the horse trailer parking limits the access points for equestrians, but there are fabulous options available. As I looked out over the park from the gentle hill of Sawmill Field, the wind blew through the pine trees, quietly whispering an invitation to come explore the vast trails just beyond. Lukas says, “I recommend that equestrians follow the Mattatuck or M Trail through Catlin Woods, and over to the Five Ponds Area for a pleasant and scenic ride.” On the way, you’ll cross over Whites Wood Road, a paved public road. Remain cautious and alert while crossing streets. The M Trail is marked with a blue rectangle and is six miles long. While on the M Trail, be prepared for hills and rocky footing. You’ll ride through forests, past brooks, rivers, and ponds,

past the marsh, and may see some beavers. For those looking for a longer ride or drive, using the White Memorial Foundation roads, also known as fire roads, can add distance. The Northwest Connecticut Draft Horse Club hosts a drive at White Memorial each fall. “We have five or six teams of horses,” says club member Laura Freund, of East Canaan, “and drive for three or four hours, with a lunch break along the trail in the woods, near a beaver pond. Club members who cannot bring their own horses ride in the carriages.”


This Olde Horse

1915 Norwich, Connecticut.

Have a photo for This Olde Horse? Email

Stacey Stearns

Happy Trails Farm “You can go along the swamp, and have the opportunity to view wildlife,” Laura says. “The foliage is beautiful, and leaves make a definitive crunch underneath the horses’ hooves.” There are quite a few hills on the property, adding more of a workout than you may expect for your horse. The well-maintained trails make it harder to gauge how much work your horse is actually doing. Catlin Woods hasn’t been touched for more than three centuries, creating the opportunity to witness the succession of a forest and to ride in a wild area such as our ancestors would have experienced. Large pines and hemlocks grow in the woods, and ferns, lichen, and fungi are also abundant. White Memorial Foundation is an equestrian haven, offering a large swath of land where riders and drivers can go to enjoy horses in nature. For years, I’ve heard comments on what a great location it is, and I wasn’t disappointed. Happy trails!

Boarding with Expert Care Lessons • Training • Clinics & Events Working Equitation • Cowboy Dressage Fun Days • Drill Team • Trail & Obstacle Events Extensive Obstacle Course & Many Miles of Trails

Home of Happy Horses & Owners! Ed & Lucy Prybylski . 36 Mountainville Rd., Danbury, CT 203-778-6218 .

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

Connecticut Horse


Horse Sense

Slow Feeding Hay

What’s It All About?

by Stephanie Funk and Stephanie Sanders Freelance writer Stephanie F. has six horses on her farm in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Connecticut Horse publisher Stephanie S., of Pocketful of Ponies Farm, has raised two twenty-three-year-old Haflinger mares and three Miniature horses from when they were weaned.


Pocketful of Ponies Farm

e carve out empires from ice, bring the sunlight into the dead of night, and otherwise alter the world around us to suit our needs. We bring along our animals as we tinker with nature, and somehow occasionally we inadvertently alter their world in a way that creates problems for them. Today’s slow feeding hay is a new take on an ancient practice. Horses are wandering herbivores, designed to spend hours and miles constantly taking in and using calories. Domestication limited the horse’s movement and introduced dense, calorierich meals dumped in front of them twice daily, creating long stretches during which the stomach is empty of food but still producing the acid that aids digestion. The results of this unnatural feeding program are many: for example, ulcers, boredom, obesity, colic, and vices such as weaving, wood chewing, cribbing, stall kicking, and feed aggression. The problem facing most horse owners is that they don’t have the amount of land necessary to allow a horse the freedom to wander all day and take in the proper amount of nutrients at will. Many horses, too, are boarded in establishments without large pastures. Even for those who have plenty of pasture space, in Connecticut, winters bring the need to feed hay as our pastures stop growing. Researchers have found that freeranging horses have between 10 and 15 “feeding bouts” in a 24-hour period. Thus, the horse daily exhibits 10 to 15 hours of foraging behavior. “Foraging behavior” is characterized by the horse

lowering its head and searching for food. A horse in a stall, with little or nothing to forage, may develop bad habits. Between feeding bouts, a free-ranging horse enjoys a period of rest.This usually lasts an hour or so, but rarely exceeds three. A horse in a stall needs something to do to help offset the stress induced


July/August 2016

in an artificial environment with no ability to forage. A wealth of information has surfaced recently about various ways to mimic the intake a horse would get if allowed to forage for itself. It’s being called the “slow-feeding revolution,” which is described as a practice that limits the speed at which a horse can ingest its hay. The result is that the horse has a healthier digestive system, better weight control, less unwanted stall behaviors, and an improved quality of life. Slow feeding hay is good particularly for already obese horses and those that eat rapidly and are prone to weight gain. It can also help cut down on the occurrence of colic brought on by the rapid ingestion of hay. Slow feeding can also help minimize ulcers. In horses, most ulcers are a side effect of excess acid in an empty stomach. There are a variety of methods for slow feeding. Try some, then go with

the one that fits your — and your horses’ — situation.

Small-Hole Hay Nets With this sort of feeding method, hay is contained in mesh. When a horse has to work and tease out hay with its lips, the process slows down the animal, which leads to it chewing thoroughly. The horse has a small stomach as compared with those of other large animals, and it functions best when small amounts of food pass through it constantly. Small-hole hay nets work well as long as the holes are small enough that a horse can’t rip out large mouthfuls with its teeth. This is an important factor, as a horse that can grab food with its teeth usually bolts down the feed: a prime cause of colic. Small-hole hay nets encourage horses to take the hay using their lips, similar to how they choose grass while grazing or hay on the ground. Small-hole hay nets need to have openings that are 1 inch square for Miniature Horses, ponies, and horses with obesity issues. For an average-size horse, 2-inch-square openings work well. There are also “between” sizes: 11⁄4 inches, 11⁄2, and 13⁄4. Initially you may think the holes are too small, but your horse will be able to get the hay through them just fine with some practice. The first time I (Stephanie S.) hung a small-hole net, I pulled tufts of hay through the holes. My horses then quickly figured it out. One drawback of the small-hole hay net is that it must be hung high enough that a horse can’t paw at it and catch a shoe. A halter should also be removed to avoid the horse getting hung up in the net. Ideally, a horse should eat with its head down. One solution is putting the small-hole hay net in a tub and somehow anchoring it.

I tend to use my small-hole hay nets for trailering and horse shows. In the past, my horses have bolted through their hay (in standard-hole hay nets) while in the trailer and standing idly at a show between classes. Because horses usually consume less water when away from home, this is a recipe for impaction colic. At the very least, my horses are no longer stuffed with hay and therefore more willing to perform. My (Stephanie F.) own equines are on a slow-feeding regimen now, and I confess it came about quite by accident. Like many other folks, finding that hay was becoming scarce and costly, I turned to less-expensive, high-quality round bales you put in a covered feeder. The problem was that a 500-pound bale lasted just three days, and a lot ended up strewn across the ground and worked into the mud and manure. With an eye to cutting waste, I bought a big net with small holes that slips around the bale and draws closed on one end. Immediately, the same-size bale lasted twice as long — six days — with minimal waste. Then I noticed an interesting phenomenon. My horses were content, less bored and cantankerous, and would congregate companionably while they

ate, with little or no fussing at each other. At night, when they came in, you could see how relaxed they were. That’s when I realized I’d inadvertently done something right: I’d introduced a healthier method of caretaking. It worked so well that I now have a second net, for the back paddock. Exercise care when you switch to this way of feeding. Take off halters until they’re needed, to keep your horses from getting caught in the hay net. And unless you have a way to keep horses from pawing at the net, it’s a good idea to use the net with only barefoot horses. (A shoe hooked onto a net could be disastrous.) Despite these caveats, benefits are apparent; like the small-hole individual hay nets, the larger, round-bale nets eliminate an amazing amount of waste. Horses stay busier teasing hay through the smaller holes; as a result, the amount of destruction to the paddock area is much less. The Texas Hay Net comes in round bale, square bale, and small hanging nets with 1.5 inch and 1.75 inch hole sizes. The hay net is made of UV treated nylon mesh, should last two to four years, and has a 90-day guarantee.To

Somers, CT

Quality Hay Straw Non-GMO Grain

(860) 803-2777 (860) 803-0675

Mystic Valley Hunt Club Established 1983

172-Acre Horse Show Facility in Gales Ferry, Connecticut Just three miles off I95, exit 88

New seahorse jump by L.J. Enterprises Quality Horse Jump Equipment.

New nautical jump being delivered by Larry Palmer, owner of L.J. Enterprises.

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Upcoming Events July 10 - Schooling Hunt Seat Show August 7 - Mystic Summer Premiere Sept. 3 - 4 - Mystic Sumer Festival Sept. 11 - Schooling Hunt Seat Show Oct. 9 - Rated Hunt Seat Show Oct. 14 - Schooling Dressage Show Oct. 15 - 16 - USDF/USEF-rated Dressage Show • (860) 859-1070

Nov. 6 - Rated Hunt Seat Show Nov. 13 - Schooling Hunt Seat Show

Mystic Valley Hunt Club . 645 Long Cove Road, Gales Ferry, CT Owner Sally Hinkle Russell . 860.464.7934 . Connecticut Horse


moving the net around and searching for the hay. The Slow Bale Buddy is made out of heavy-duty, UV protected knotless nylon net-

after a day or two, most horses will stop trying to bite through the net and settle down to pulling it out with their teeth or their lips. As a round bale gets smaller and the hay net gets loose the body of the net becomes looser and looser. The horse handles this very well by

ting with 1.5 inch holes. All seams and openings are double bound for durability. It comes with a special safety closure. The Slow Bale Buddy is available in a mini size that holds one complete small rectangular bale as well as three larger sizes to accommodate large round

Pocketful of Ponies Farm

learn more, please visit At first, your horse may be mad at the net for making him work for his hay, but

Sweetwater Farm Lessons . Training . Boarding . Sale Horses . Events Facility

CHJA, CHSA Shows: July 23 & November 5 Prize list, schedule, and entry form online at

78 Killingworth Turnpike, Clinton, CT (860) 669-9473 .

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


July/August 2016

and rectangular bales. All Bale Buddy feeders come with a one year warranty. To learn more, visit The Nibblenet uses 22-ounce, heavy-duty vinyl on the back and is designed to be outside in all weather. It has superior tear, puncture, and abrasion resistance. The vinyl has excellent UV and weather protection, and is rated to –40 degrees. The front of the feeder is made of a heavy-duty poly with 1-inch webbing in a grid creating holes from 1½ to 2 inches square. The thread is a marine-grade polyester. This net is made to last! Nibblenets come in a variety of colors and sizes. Hang them on stall walls and paddock fences. I (Stephanie S.) have used the Nibblenet Nibble-N-Go with my herd in the snow. It has small holes and fits a flake of hay. When I throw some onto the snow in the paddock, my horses paw, drag, and toss them around to get at the hay. Not only is the Nibble-N-Go a slow-feeding hay bag, but it’s also a toy that provides exercise and alleviates boredom. Best of all, these bags are good as new after five winters of abuse. Look for Nibblenets online at The Hay Pillow (

offers a wide variety of slow feed products including hanging and ground models. The standard and mini Hay Pillows are the most popular and are the only slow feed hay bags with a solid back designed for use on the ground. Monique Warren, Hay Pillow inventor and company founder designed these hay pillows to allow your horse to eat in a natural grazing position and encourage movement. Horses that eat at ground level have less strain on their skeletal system, optimum mastication, nasal passages that drain effectively, a relaxed emotional state, and prevent hay and dust from falling into their eyes. The hay pillow mesh sizes are .5 inch, .75 inch, 1 inch, 1.25 inches, and 1.75 inches to accommodate very adept equines and those not so adept or patient. “Our unique closures provide ease of loading and ensure hay is only accessed through the netting,” says Monique. “The solid back dramatically reduces wasted hay and is also ideal in windy weather.” The custom nylon DuPont knotted netting is mounted on the square so the opening size stays consistent. All are made with American materials in the U.S.A. Hang Freedom Feeder Slow Feed Nets on fences and in box stalls, and,


Small Mesh Slow Feeder • Mimics grazing • Controls gluttony • Calms aggressive/anxious horses • Eliminates waste Available in all bale sizes. One year warranty.

(866) 389-9952

Connecticut Horse


laced closed, throw them on the ground or put them in tubs. They’re made of marine-grade woven knotless mesh that have 1 inch, 1.5 inch, or 2 inch holes. The Freedom Feeders come in seven sizes: Trailer, Day, Extended Day Twostring Bale, Full Three-string Bale, and 4', 5' and 6' Round Bale. Because they’re made in the United States, you can also custom-order. Says Melissa Auman, of Freedom Feeder Hay Nets, “You can use any kind of hay in the nets. The broader the leaf, the slower it goes through the net.” These nets not only have a work-with-us warranty to help your horses transition but also a lifetime warranty. To learn more, go to The Cinch Net, made of nylon cord, has holes measuring from 1 inch square to 1¾ inches square. They come in a variety of sizes, round or square, and work equally well hanging and on the ground. I (Stephanie S.) have used both the hanging net and the squarebale net. I like these nets because the 1 inch holes are perfect for my herd of

Haflingers and Miniature Horses. SmartPak’s small-hole hay net is durable, plus it has the advantage of an extra-large top opening for easy filling.

Hay Buckets A hay bucket is a round, plastic 40-gallon pail. After you put in the hay, you cover it with a plastic pan. This pan, designed in a way that prevents animals from removing it, has 2½- to 4-inch holes through which horses, using their lips, pull out hay. The Porta-Grazer is a well-designed slow feeder. The bucket is quite sturdy. The pan locks in so a horse can’t take it off, and it spins, so your horse can nudge it around in the bucket to access the hay through different holes. Even if a horse tips over the feeder, the pan stays in the bucket. Yet, with hands, the pan is easy to remove. Use the Porta-Grazer to slow down a horse when eating hay and to greatly reduce hay waste while not restricting the rate of feeding (4-inch holes.) With both the Porta-Grazer and the

stalls for lease The Connecticut Military Department has indoor stalls for lease at the Governor’s Horse Guard facilities in Avon and Newtown. More than 10 stalls available at each location.



Proceeds benefit the units of the Governor’s Horse Guard

for information & rates, visit 30

July/August 2016

Slow Down Hay Feeder, you can soak hay, too. This is an ideal solution for horses whose hay must be soaked because of respiratory conditions. A drain at the bottom of the bucket allows excess water to leak out. One drawback to the hay bucket was when I (Stephanie S.) used them in a paddock with three horses (and three feeders) as the hay diminished, the horses’ heads were further down in the bucket, limiting the ability to see the alpha horse coming to take over the bucket. But, it’s not a problem with horses that get along or if the feeders are kept full all the time.

Hay Boxes The hay box is another way to provide hay in a more natural way. It’s made with either a grate or a piece of plywood, with 3- to 4-inch round holes, that goes on top of the hay. Horses press down on the cover and, again using their lips, pull tufts of hay through the holes. Many of these boxes are homemade; you can find plans online. Be sure you can anchor a hay box, against either a building or a post: A hungry equine can and will tip the box. Also, use caution if your horse likes to step into things; broken boards can cause injury. I (Stephanie S.) built my own “hay box” and it’s working well. I bought a large galvanized stock tank with vertical sides that are entirely straight up and down. (Many tanks have sides that taper. These won’t work for a homemade hay box.) I cut a piece of plywood to fit inside and had 4-inch holes drilled into it. My two Haflingers and their miniature horse companions have no trouble with it. I had to attach the tank to the post in the shed overhang, or the crafty Haflingers would tip it over. One of my Haflingers occasionally paws at the tank, but its sides are high enough that she doesn’t get hung up. This particular stock tank is 6 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 2 feet high. It works well for two or three horses and holds 1½ to 2 bales of hay. At first I had to pull tufts of hay through the holes to give the horses the idea, but they caught on quickly. If I keep hay in this feeder 24/7, they relax about eating their hay and slow down accordingly. Introduce natural feeding patterns to your horses and see for yourself the benefits and savings that accrue.

Connecticut Horse


The Right Lead

Paddock Paradise

Moving, Moving, Moving

by Andrea Bugbee The Right Lead offers advice and tips from your neighbors and friends. Horse professionals from all walks of life will help you find the right lead.

The Hoof Behind the Theory Just about three years ago, horse owner Ann White paid for what turned out to be a horrific nightmare. She hired a highly recommended barefoot trimmer to work on her Haflinger mares, Lottie and Lydia. All went well — the first time. “With the second trim, she destroyed all four hooves,” says Anne. “Every single hoof was in abscess, and the soles of their hooves were blood bruised. She cut live sole. She just butchered their hooves. One horse couldn’t walk; one couldn’t get up.” Passionate about her horses and unwilling to surrender her mares to a lifetime of lameness, Ann began a long regimen of heartache, money spent, and hours researching. Ultimately, her efforts paid off. She found help in homeopathy, a new (this time, excellent) barefoot trimmer, and a tenaciously resourceful vet. She also followed the ideas put forth by California hoof-care professional and natural horse care advocate Jaime Jackson. Jaime conceived his approach to hoof care and equine husbandry from 1982 to 1986, when he studied and lived amid herds of wild horses in the Great Basin of the western United States. While there, he set about to solve the puzzle of why wild horses often have fewer soundness issues than do domestic horses. From his years studying horses that live by the rules of nature rather than by the rules of humans, Jaime drafted 32

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his guiding principles of natural hoof care. But this isn’t an article about natural hoof care; it’s about Jaime’s ideas about horse keeping, which are aimed at improving the equine hoof, muscle, and mind. His ideas were born miles from

any box stalls, and are based on the natural patterns of horse behavior. The result is the Paddock Paradise, a turnout system that looks downright weird to the uninitiated. But Ann White, who was open to trying anything that might improve the prognosis for her mares, has been pleasantly surprised with its results.

tric fencing to build a 22-foot-wide “track” around the perimeter of the paddocks. She then added a center corridor with gated access to the inner paddocks. Today, it’s on those narrow, outer tracks that Ann usually turns out her horses. Seriously. According to Jaime, the tracks of a Paddock Paradise mimic the paths that wild horses traverse day after day as they move, forage, and rest over the varied terrain of each band’s territory. It’s the motion and diversity of this life that Jaime theorizes helps wild horses to remain fit, sound, and without boredom vices such as cribbing and weaving. Out in the wild, rocky spots naturally “trim” wild hooves, mud baths screen bugs, and sandy areas lend luster to hoof and hair. Other areas yield moderate forage, water, and mineral patches, all of which assist digestive health. Meanwhile, other herds, predators, and the search for food keep the separate bands of horses moving throughout the day. The result, says Jaime, is satisfied horses strong in limb, hoof, and mind.

Paddock Paradise What if someone told you to redesign that beautiful open, rectangular pasture you turn your horses onto day after day? That’s exactly what Jaime advocates, and it’s exactly what Ann did. Until last spring, Ann had a fiveacre hayfield fenced into four square paddocks used for rotating turnout. Following the principles of Jaime’s book, Paddock Paradise: A Guide to Natural Horse Boarding (Star Ridge Publishing, 2006), however, she decided to change her setup by using 62 T-posts and green, Horse Guard elec-

If You Build It, They Will Move Jaime later examined a herd of 100 domestic horses allowed to roam freely over a 30-square-mile ranch. He expected these horses to mirror the health and soundness of wild horses — but, seemingly paradoxically, they didn’t. Because these horses were fed plentifully at the same feeding stations day after day, they had no reason to roam very far. From this observation, Jaime argues that natural movement is the key to equine soundness and health. Look at it this way. Let’s say you

want to encourage a sedentary spouse to get more exercise. You buy a treadmill and place it in the playroom, next to a big-screen TV and a cozy couch. You bring your spouse’s meals directly to the playroom. You keep a blanket on the back of the couch for your spouse’s comfort while napping as the TV drones on. Of course, the treadmill never gets used. Your spouse has no reason to get up and move; meanwhile, diabetes and high blood pressure set in. Horses, fed and bedded in a single space with all their needs immediately met, are the same way. There’s no reason to keep moving around a two-acre pasture if the hay, grass, and water are all plentifully in one place for the taking. Interestingly, it happens that dividing your horses’ hay into three or four piles and strategically placing them in different areas of a square paddock won’t always work, either. The horses are accustomed to being cared for, so they may not visit the next hay pile. We then worry the horses aren’t getting enough hay so we give them more, and, in the end, the distant hay piles never get touched. That’s where Jaime’s “tracks” come in. Paddock Paradise tracks are narrow, grassless, and en route to interesting and necessary components of equine survival. Shelter is in one place, water in another, mineral licks in another, and so on. To get to each place, horses must move. Certified Paddock Paradise consultant and hoof-care practitioner Holly Moffat explains that it takes a little psychology and more than one horse to make this happen. “Horses do require movement to heal,” says Holly. “What I found most effective is to have some areas in the track that are much narrower than others. It forms a sort of bottleneck and keeps them moving.” The horses’ personalities will affect movement, too, says Holly. As in the wild, an alpha will direct the band, nipping and pushing and bossing the others along. In a track, the only place for the betas to move is ahead, so motion ends up occurring, as it does in the wild, throughout the day. If you want a Paddock Paradise but have just one horse, no need to buy another. “Add a boarder,” Holly suggests, “or a pony companion.”

The Variations Are Endless There is no blueprint to building a Paddock Paradise. In fact, Jaime himself Connecticut Horse


says, “Paddock Paradise is new, with limited experimentation. What I hope to accomplish at this stage is simply to give horse owners a basic, workable model to start with. In other words, Paddock Paradise is, and probably always will be, a work in progress.” Because every group of horses is different and the layout of every boarding situation is different, it follows that every Paddock Paradise will be different, too. That said, here are some of the basic elements Jaime says a Paddock Paradise should have: at least one acre of land, more than one horse, a track, a watering hole, dispersed forage, free-will shelter from heat and cold, salt and mineral licks, a camping (napping) area, varied terrain, and areas of textured footing such as stone, sand, or woodland debris. Typing “Paddock Paradise” into either Facebook or YouTube will empty a silo of ideas onto your screen, but to make sure you get the principles correct, read the book first. Go directly to Jaime’s website, There, if you click on NATURAL BOARDING CONSULTANTS, then on the link to HOLLY MOFFAT, you’ll be able to see a slide show of the Paddock Paradise Holly built six years ago. Two smart tips she offers are to at least ini-

Do you struggle with tight shoulders, stiff, short arms, a sore back, or loose lower legs? Marty Whittle, author of Yoga on Horseback – A Guide to Mounted Yoga Exercises and producer of three Equi Yoga™ DVDs is available for private instruction and group workshops at Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam and at your facility. You will learn easy standing and moving stretches to help identify and open tight, blocked areas in your body. Learn how to control your mind with conscious breathing techniques and establish a greater unison with your horse.Your body and your horse will love you for it!

(860) 316-7771 34

July/August 2016

tially build tracks out of movable electric fencing so changes will be easy and to keep the track at least as wide as your tractor. Ann advocates pea stone for textured footing areas, saying it’s wonderful for gentle self-trimming. Lay the stone in an area the horses will pass over often, and, for economy’s sake, frame with boards or plastic to limit dispersal. Ann also has a sand paddock around her run-in shed, again so the horses are sure to step in it. Many YouTube videos show slow hay feeders for forage. If you use them,

. . . natural movement is the key to equine soundness and health. be sure to have several, so you don’t inadvertently negate the purpose of the tracks by encouraging your horses to stand at the slow feeder all day. Instead, both Holly and Ann scatter their horses’ hay along the track. This keeps the animals moving, and it gets them to stretch their heads down for the food, which Jaime says is good for musculature. Jaime also suggests adding a handful of oats to the hay for interest and variation. Among other track ideas are wooded pathways and leaving in place obstacles such as stumps, rocks, hills, and stone walls. Planting tufts of equine-friendly homeopathic herbs make a welcome, track-side “pharmacy,” and a heavy plastic feeder turned upside down with a bit of grain dropped over the gridded bottom makes a great slow-grain challenge. Jaime suggests shallowly burying salts and minerals so horses will paw them up, as they would in the wild. This activity affords exercise, hoof wear, and nutrition all in one. In short, Jaime’s theory is that soundness and hoof care are integrally linked to a horse’s natural behavior and environment; therefore, any Paddock Paradise is successful if it stimulates the active and varied herd life natural to horses.

Life on the Track “One of my horses is older. He was out in a green pasture and I was always feeding him supplements,” Holly recalls. “When I built the Paddock Paradise, he

was off grass and he was moving. He’s moving better now than he ever was. My horses are a lot healthier now; I’m not calling the vet all the time. I really believe in the Paddock Paradise system because it’s worked very well for my horses and for other people who use it — and it doesn’t have to be expensive.” Ann White agrees. “It’s like a road to nowhere, but the horses don’t really know it,” she says, laughing. “It’s amazing how it works. They move more on the track. They’re continuously in motion. When they were in the pasture, they were just grazing, but when they’re on the track, they’re moving. They actually gained conditioning on this, and they self-exercise.” According to Jaime, horses naturally must be free to move constantly, and everything depends on this for their mental and physical well-being and soundness. Paddock Paradise is one man’s idea, and it’s a relatively new and experimental idea at that. Naysayers question whether horses move more on a track than in a field, and there are myriad individual challenges each horse owner must consider, such as time and financial investment, meeting nutritional needs of a beta constantly pushed ahead of food by an alpha, and the bumps and bruises inevitably incurred through the mere presence of extra fencing, intentional terrain changes, and so on. In the end, however, Ann agrees with Jaime’s notion that the Paddock Paradise concept will flex to fit the resources, needs, and natural environment of each situation. “There are many things you can do with this,” she says. “People are so creative.” But, she counsels, “you do really have to know your horses.” Today, one of Ann’s Haflingers is fully recovered. The second still suffers bouts of laminitis, but has greatly improved.

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Above the Bar

by Sean Hogan, Esq.

Purchase and Sale

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.


erhaps one of the most common situations in which horse enthusiasts will find themselves involved, is the sale or purchase of a horse. Unfortunately, when either a seller or buyer enters into this type of transaction unprepared, it can But, your ad often lead to one party to the transacsaid he was a tion being aggrieved “family horse.” and, as a result, lead to litigation. Connecticut courts have a history of hearing cases involving the sales of horses. Consider the facts of the following three cases, all of which arose out of the sale or purchase of a horse. In Bartholomew v. Bushnell, 20 Conn. 271, the seller sold two horses to the buyer, which were alleged that he warranted to be “sound and good.” In fact, unknown to the buyer at the time of the purchase, the horses were blind in both eyes. Subsequent to learning that the horses were blind and thus unsound, the buyer commenced a lawsuit against the seller for breach of warranty. Similarly, in Chadsey v. Greene, 24 Conn. 562, the matter brought before the court arose when a buyer, who was unfamiliar with horses, sued the seller of a horse based upon the representations made by the seller’s agent. The seller was known to be a man of questionable character and he referred the buyer to his agent. The agent told the buyer that the seller was a “highly respectable man . . . who had traveled


July/August 2016

Written Agreements

to New York to buy a nice horse or two.” The buyer, relying on this statement, then purchased “one bay horse, seven years old and warranted sound, blanket and halter included.” However, the horse turned out to be lame, and the buyer sued the seller based upon the representations made to him, which induced him to buy the horse. More recently, in the matter of Raudat v. Leary, 88 Conn. App. 44, the Court heard a matter where the seller

Yes, ma’am, you can put the whole family on his back!

had placed an ad for the sale of a horse which stated, “registered Appaloosa gelding 15.3 hands, green broke, six years old, excellent ground manners, ties, clips, trailers. Needs miles. $3,200 negotiable.” Upon seeing the advertisement, the buyer contacted seller, who referred to the horse as “green broke and needed some miles.” Unbeknownst to the buyer, the horse had a propensity to buck, and the buyer and her trainer were bucked off on several occasions. Subsequently, the buyer sued the seller, alleging that the seller failed to disclose a material fact regarding the horse bucking. I would suspect that a reader of this article has heard of someone or knows someone who found themselves in a situation similar to the buyers and sellers in the cases above. I would like to offer

four principles to consider when entering into the purchase or sale of a horse: Trial period and pre-purchase examination; written agreements; warranty and disclosure; and caveat emptor.

Trial Period and Pre-Purchase Examination As a buyer, you may be able to negotiate with the seller a trial period wherein you may keep and exercise the horse at your farm for a brief period of time prior to the execution of a sales agreement. As we all know, horses react to various stimulations in the environment around them. The trial period allows the potential buyer to bring the horse to its presumptive new home and to test-drive the horse in the environment where it will be used. This is extremely beneficial to the buyer because they will be able to experience the horse being tacked up, washed, and loaded on and off a trailer. The more you can learn about the horse prior to the purchase, the better. However, a seller may be reluctant to give a trial period, as removing the horse from the seller’s custody and control is not without its risks (i.e., the horse could be injured or worse while in the custody of a potential buyer). Should the parties to the sale consider a trial period, they should execute a clearly written agreement detailing the terms of the trial period, including the amount of time, deposit (if any), where the horse will be stabled, who will be responsible for expenses (such as shoeing, veterinary care, etc.), for what purposes the horse may be removed from the stable during the trial period (i.e., horse showing), and

insurance coverage that the potential buyer will carry on the horse while it’s in their care. Related to the trial period is the veterinary pre-purchase examination (PPE). When having a PPE done, it’s important for the buyer to speak with their veterinarian and let them know what the intended use of the horse will be (hunter, eventer, reiner, etc.) so the veterinarian can take it into consideration during the exam. Also, if practical, the buyer should attend the PPE and ask questions and observe the horse — this is another opportunity to see how the horse will act once in your care. Although some buyers will take the word of a seller as to the soundness and/or general health of a horse so as to avoid the additional expense of a PPE, situations like those in the Bartholomew and Chadsey cases could have been avoided had the horses been inspected prior to the purchase.

the buyer any and all information known about the horse, and not hide anything just to induce a buyer to complete the purchase. In the event a seller were to warrant a false trait or character of the horse so as to induce the buyer to complete the purchase, an aggrieved buyer would have a cause of action against the seller for breach of warranty. Often a horse will be listed for sale “as is” and a seller will attempt to limit any potential liability through the use of a disclaimer. However, buyers should be aware that, in a situation where a purchased horse does not conform to the sales agreement—which may contain a disclaimer, there may not be available an action based upon breach of warranty. However, there still may exist grounds to pursue a cause of action based upon fraud, should the buyer be able to show that the seller knew the warranty to be false, but still made same so as to induce the buyer to purchase.

Written Agreements

Caveat Emptor

Once the buyer and seller come to terms regarding the sale or purchase of the horse, having a written sales agreement and bill of sale can help to eliminate any misunderstanding that could exist between the parties. The sales contract should, at the minimum, detail the parties to the sale (and if an agent was used, as was in the Chadsey case, the name of the agent — this is often a trainer); the price sold, including payment information (i.e., check or wire details, never pay in cash); commissions paid and to whom; a detailed description of the horse, including sex, breed, height, markings, branding or tattoo, and USEF or association registration numbers; warranties made by either party (including that the horse is free of any lien and that the seller has the authority to sell and that the buyer has the authority to buy the horse) and, finally, the agreement should be signed by both parties.

Caveat emptor is a Latin term for “buyer beware.” As a buyer of a horse, if something appears too good to be true, it may be, and a buyer should proceed with reasonable due diligence before agreeing to purchase a horse. The State of Connecticut has statutes meant to assist consumers, including the buyers of horses, from unfair and deceptive trade practices and advertising. Further, if you are the buyer of a horse and you feel that the horse you received is not the horse that you bargained for, you may wish to consult an attorney to discuss your rights regarding any claims against the seller for breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, and/or misrepresentation. The sale or purchase of a horse, regardless of sales price, is not a transaction to enter into lightly. However, with proper planning and due diligence, buyers and sellers can ensure that the transaction proceeds without issue and, with consideration of the preceding principles, limit or avoid potential liability.

Warranty and Disclosure As we saw in the three cases listed earlier, all of the buyers found themselves in a situation where a dispute arose regarding the representations and warranties allegedly made by the seller. Buyers will want to discuss with the seller their intended use of the horse and ask the seller for a written warranty that the horse is fit for its particular use (i.e., use as an adult amateur hunter). Similarly, a seller should disclose to

Sean T. Hogan is an attorney in Westport, where his practice focuses on estate planning and assisting trainers, owners, and investors in equinerelated transactions and litigation in Connecticut, New York, and before the USEF. He’s a governor of the Fairfield County Hunt Club and co-chairs the Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show.

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News in Our Community as companions. All Minis are currently in placements.” Free Wheelers provides all training, rehabilitation, and funding for the Minis at Rita’s home in Norwich. To

In June, 12-year-old Hunter Bellinger took Free Wheeler’s Latte to Uncasville for a surprise visit to a benefit organized for a boy who is recovering from a traumatic brain injury, after being hit by a truck. Free Wheelers Therapeutic Driving with Miniature Horses raised and donated $500 to the family, and assigned Latte for any therapeutic use they needed. “Free Wheelers Therapeutic Driving with Miniature Horses was founded in 2006, when a friend was paralyzed in a jumping accident,” says founder Rita Bellinger. “After recovery, she attempted therapeutic riding, but was not successful. I determined that the height of a Miniature horse carriage is the same height as a wheelchair. Once we were able to transfer the driver into the carriage, we secured her with a five-point car-racing harness with an emergency release. I had taken driving lessons, and my companion Mini was trained to pull carriages for disabled drivers. “Free Wheelers does not charge for services,” says Rita. “We offer therapeutic outreach visits to schools, nursing homes, 4-H clubs, hospice, veterans, or anyone who would benefit from a visit. The word spread of our efforts, resulting in donations of retired show Minis and rescues, and we made more than twelve placements. Minis are offered for free lease to therapeutic driving centers and in private situations. Assignments may be short term or permanent. When not on assignment, Minis are available for lease 38

July/August 2016

see where the new acting and modeling career is going to go.” Marty says she’s thrilled to have been accepted into the fold at Ray of Light

Danni Gohemi Equine Web Development

Free Wheelers Therapeutic Driving with Miniature Horses Donates $500

Free Wheelers Therapeutic Driving with Miniature Horses founder Rita Bellinger and her son, Hunter, present a check for $500 to Hunter’s best friend, Joseph Kolashuk, and his parents, Danielle and Mike.

learn more, find Free Wheelers Therapeutic Driving with Miniature Horses on Facebook.

Stepping Away It’s never easy to make a big, new life decision. However, Marty Whittle, long-time owner of Top Cat Farm in Killingworth, did just that. After 20 years of living her childhood dream — owning and running a barn — Marty has taken the first step in the next chapter of life and has officially closed the farm gates forever. “It’s with an incredibly grateful heart that I thank all the wonderful horses and humans I’ve worked with over these past twenty years,” says Marty. “I have to take time for myself to get a handle on my Lyme disease, so I can ride again and not be in pain twenty-four/seven. I also want time to give more Equi Yoga workshops, and

Farm, in East Haddam. “My horses, Ms. Molly and Ray, are super happy there and I can’t wait to be able to ride the awesome trails all around,” says Marty. She still has a select group of students who enjoy the never-ending study of quality riding and horsemanship with her in her new location. I want to thank all who shared my little farm in the woods.” n Karena Garrity

Fairfield County 4-H Benefit Horse Show The 56th Annual Fairfield County 4-H Benefit Horse Show was held at the UConn Cooperative Extension Center, in Bethel, Sunday, May 15, and had something for everyone. There were pony rides, a silent auction, and a delightful atmosphere of sportsmanship, cooperation, and support. Riders and handlers of all ages

enjoyed the day’s events as family, friends, coaches, and instructors encouraged the participants throughout the competition. Rings one and two featured Open and Maiden Equitation classes as well as Short and Long Stirrup divisions. Pleasure Horse/Pony, Lead Line, Open Beginner, and Advanced Rookie Equitation divisions were just some of the day’s offerings. Hunt divisions included a Baby Green Hunter, Low Hunter, Pony Hunter, and Kentucky Hunter Classic. Very Small Equine (VSE) classes included Halter English and Western, Discipline In-Hand, Jumper In-Hand, and Obstacle InHand. A spectator favorite, however, was the VSE driving classes that featured Turnout, Reinsmanship, Working Pleasure, and Cones. Audrey L.D. Petschek officiated over the English classes, Sue Conley judged the hunt seat classes, and Jennifer Sullivan judged the VSE classes. n Sally L. Feuerberg

Salmon Brook Veterinary Hospital Welcomes Caitlin Rothacker, DVM A lot has been going on the past couple of months at Salmon Brook Veterinary Hospital in Granby. The practice is happy to announce that Caitlin Rothacker, DVM, has joined the team. Originally from Idaho, Caitlin worked at a hunter/jumper barn in Putnam County, New York, before beginning her undergraduate studies at Bucknell University, and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. Following graduation, Caitlin

went to New Zealand for a one-year internship at a Standardbred racetrack practice. Upon her return home, she completed her large animal rotating surgical and medical internships at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. She remained in New Bolton, first as a resident in ambulatory and sports medicine, and then as a lecturer in the field service department. She became board-certified in equine practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 2014, and is now on board as a member of the Salmon Brook team.

cased several ages, breeds, and disciplines. The Pro-Am consisted of three different disciplines and varying ages of riders and trainers. Family and friends relaxed next to campers or in the stands, and enjoyed the show atmosphere. The next SNEHA show at Falls Creek Farm will be July 24. To learn more, visit n Jessica Correia

added equine chiropractic medicine to her arsenal of healing modalities. She says that chiropractic healing and acupuncture work together synergistically, so she’s excited about learning her new skills. In other Twin Pines news, the practice will be moving its office. They will still be in Griswold, but a little off the beaten path, around the corner from the

them both to continue the mare’s schooling and introduce her to the show ring. Shalin is working on getting to know Leggs in lessons and enjoys watching Sloane show her. Both Shalin and Sloane want to ensure steady training progress and a good understanding of Leggs’s job first. In the meantime, Shalin will show her hunter gelding Mikhai alongside her niece, who will be showing him in Walk Trot until he’s sold. In addition to training, Sloane Training Center offers lessons, camps, and clinics, and has an especially busy schedule planned for the summer. n Jessica Correia

n Karena Garrity

The Heavily Traveled Rainbow Bridge

The United Professional Horsemans Association (UPHA) Chapter 14 held its annual awards banquet during its multi-breed show this past April in West Springfield, Massachusetts. East Hampton resident Jon Douglass won the Tim Lydon Sportsmanship Award. Jon is the trainer at Wildwood Farm, a training and lesson facility owned by Sharon Stoltz. n Suzy Lucine

Southern New England Horsemen’s Association Competitors at Falls Creek Farm, in Oneco, enjoyed near ideal weather and a friendly atmosphere for the Southern New England Horsemen’s Association (SNEHA) Show on June 12. The one-day open show drew many breeds, ages, and disciplines to the indoor arena. SNEHA hosts several shows each month throughout the summer, with points accumulating toward the year-end awards banquet. Classes range from Walk Trot to Saddle Seat to Hunter Under Saddle. Some classes held only one age group and discipline, while others show-

Jessica Correia

UPHA Nutmeg State Honoree

A competitor at the Southern New England Horsemen’s Association Show at Falls Creek Farm, in Oneco, on June 12. The next SNEHA Show will be July 24. To learn more visit

Twin Pines Equine Veterinary Services Ashley Kornatowski, DVM, of Twin Pines Equine Veterinary Services, began her training on June 1 to learn the ancient traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture at the Chi Institute. Her studies, which are divided between online and actual hands-on in Reddick, Florida, will proceed over the next few months. She will graduate in December, after which her newly acquired healing skills will be offered at Twin Pines. “Acupuncture has always been part of my long-term plan,” says Ashley. “I’m really looking forward to learning all that I can, and being able to provide our equine clients with alternative ways to help them perform at their best, as well as manage their aches and pains.” Two years ago, Ashley

current office. Twin Pines hopes to be in the new office sometime this fall, after all necessary renovations have been completed. Stay tuned for the new address change. n Karena Garrity

She’s Got Leggs Shalin Foti, of Watertown, brought home a new addition to Sloane Training Center, in Wolcott. The HalfArabian pinto mare, She’s Got Leggs, is an eight-yearold project from Garlands LTD, in Virginia. She’s by Midnight Magnum and out of Carolina Painted Lady. Leggs spent the last few years out in the field and is now in training to be a Western Pleasure horse. The goals for the year are to acclimate her to a training program and allow her to learn her new job as a show horse. She’ll be going to shows with trainer Sloane Roncaioli, allowing

Folks at the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue (CDHR) have had a hard time of it lately. Recently, they suffered the loss of two of their dear rescues — Duke, the former Budweiser-bred Clydesdale who passed away from a stroke, and Autumn, who passed from complications due to laminitis. The two horses were very large personalities at the rescue and are sorely missed. However, the CDHR crew is finding some comfort in the knowledge that these two beautiful souls spent their final days being loved and cared for in the best way possible. Rest in peace, beauties! n Karena Garrity

Bishop’s Orchards Donkey and Mule Show Everyone was hoping the rain would finally stop — it had to, eventually! It seemed like forever since we’d seen the sun or even a patch of blue sky, for that matter, but on Saturday morning, May 7, the weather proceeded to repeat its unwelcome pattern of constant rain and uncomfortably chilly temperatures. An unexpected deluge opened up as trailers entered Connecticut Horse


the grounds of Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market & Winery for the 8th Annual Donkey and Mule Show, in Guilford. Drivers and participants, with their mule and donkey cargo in tow, patiently waited for the storm to pass. Within minutes, it was over and unloading and show preparations, began. The damp conditions and a slightly muddy terrain did not discourage families, friends, and spectators from enjoying the various classes: three halter classes — Miniature, Standard, and Mammoth Donkeys, and a Mule/Hybrid halter class. Showmanship divisions for both youths and adults, along with driving and leadline classes, were also part of the day. Pleasure and equitation classes highlighted the afternoon, as well as Obstacle Under Saddle and Obstacle In Hand. One class was unique to donkey and mule shows —

Coon Jumping, which is a competition to see which mule or donkey can jump the highest from a standing start. A class for rescued donkeys and mules was featured and the show announcer gave a short narration on each participant. All are now cherished family pets and companions. Grand champion and reserve champion ribbons in both the donkey and mule categories were awarded for halter classes, as well as for high points for the day. Mark Meyers from Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue in San Angelo, Texas, was the judge. n Sally L. Feuerberg

A Nautical Horse Theme In keeping with her theme of everything nautical for her jumper ring, Sally Hinkle Russell, owner of Mystic Valley Hunt Club (MVHC), in Gales Ferry, has just received her newest nautical flag jump, custom-made for her by L.J. Enterprise, in

Salem. The flags on the jump standards spell out the letters M-V-H-C, using the nautical flag alphabet. “I love this jump,” says Sally. “I haven’t let any horses jump it yet, it’s so beautiful, but we will be using it soon.” Sally divulged that the next new jump will have a seashell theme. A fan of Sally’s jumps recently took up residency on the cross-country course during the MVHC USEAUSEF Horse Trials, deciding to be a spectator for the big event. This fan, an adorable spotted fawn, watched the horses from the best possible viewing point — the lap of the jump judge. The fawn curled up with the judge for three hours. “It was really amazing,” says Sally. “She was nestled into the jump, so we scooped her up and put her on the jump judge’s lap, so she wouldn’t scare the horses, and she happily stayed there for three hours.” Later that evening, once the show was over and the visiting horses were all gone, the fawn’s mother came to retrieve her. I’ll bet that little girl had a lot to tell her mom about her adventurous day! n Karena Garrity

In Stride Equine A small, privately owned Ellington farm will soon be home to a new lesson program — In Stride Equine. Terri Oullette attended SUNY Morrisville and graduated with an Associate degree in equine science. From there, she taught lessons at private farms, then moved on to work at several larger barns before deciding to branch out on her own so she could concentrate on working closely with students. Terri has been training horses, teaching students, and working lesson programs for 30 years. “Students have told me,” says Terri, “that the basics 40

July/August 2016

they learned with me was a great foundation in their advancement to higher forms of their chosen discipline.” Terri’s goal is to be able to offer students individualized attention in an atmosphere that is quiet, safe, and personal. By bringing her program to a smaller farm, she provides a quieter ambiance. She can connect better with the student and horse, watch their progress, and aid in learning about the horse, not just how to ride. Lessons will be available on lesson horses, or students can trailer in for lessons or training. Terri will also travel off farm to give lessons or train horses privately. Terri teaches both English and western with a basis in dressage. To learn more, contact Terri at (860) 382-3942. n Christine Church

Eastern Connecticut Mainstay Relocating Eastern Connecticut trainer Deb Moynihan is selling her Irish Acres Farm in Bolton. Deb and her husband, Dan, began the farm in 1980, building it over the years. They are now moving closer to family in South Carolina to start the next chapter of their life. Deb’s training program and show ring success speak to her horsemanship, but beyond her success, Deb has fostered the education of many riders. As a clinician and certified eventing, dressage, and centered riding instructor, she has influenced countless riders with her teaching and involvement in the horse community. She has also taken on numerous working students throughout the years. This has given a leg up to riders seeking to pursue the horse business, and to riders — many UConn students — who wanted to continue riding and learning, but lacked funds or a horse. Deb’s con-

Connecticut Horse


tinual influence on the community will be missed as her pursuits take her south. The farm property has an indoor arena with custom footing, a six-stall barn, additional buildings for storage and equipment, an outdoor sand riding ring, pastures, paddocks, and access to trails through the adjoining park. William Raveis Equestrian Properties is handling the sale. To learn more, call Lori Vogel at (860)-614-0666.

king, in Killingworth. He’s now spending his days happily grazing, and his nights inside a large, safe stall. What a happy ending! n Karena Garrity

Annual Greenwich Show The Greenwich Horse Show celebrated its 95th anniversary on Sunday, June 12, at the magnificent Milliken Family property, in Greenwich. Luminous blue skies accompanied a vigorous breeze, which periodically sent spectators chasing wayward sun hats and program books. The horses and riders seemed unfazed by the occasional disruption.

n Jessica Correia

Amidst stories of abandonment and abuse, it’s always nice to hear stories of success and happiness, and that’s just what happened recently at Beech Brook Equine Rescue (BBER), in Mystic. In early June, BBER delivered nine-year-old Spotted Saddle Horse, Mia, to her new home, where she’ll be working with troubled youth in a therapeutic capacity at the Newport Academy, in Watertown. The facility treats teens for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, self harm, and cooccurring disorders. Mia was rescued by BBER from auction in 2010. While at the rescue, she gave birth to a filly named Brooke, and also received training both in hand and under saddle. Good luck Mia! n Karena Garrity

Tucker Has a New Home Tucker, a brave little blackand-white pony, has found his forever home. Tucker broke free from his Lyme home and alerted horse-care professionals to his unsuitable living conditions, which aided in the rescue of 18 of his herd mates, as well as himself. After receiving excellent care and rehabilitation for his neglected hooves at All the Kings Horses Equine Rescue, in Northford, little Tucker has found himself in a palatial paradise fit for a 42 July/August 2016

n Sally L. Feuerberg

Mary Santagata

Rescue Success

The show sponsors enjoyed an elegant country luncheon and silent auction under an expansive white tent, a tradition that dates back to the Greenwich Horse Show’s beginnings in 1914. The GRTA is a nonprofit organization, founded to preserve and maintain open space and wildlife corridors in the area, and to foster an interest in the tradition of horsemanship. The 200-yearold trail system holds together the mosaic of green space throughout Greenwich. For more information about the GRTA, visit

Tucker in his new home. Inset: Tucker the day he broke free from his old home with unsuitable living conditions and hooves badly in need of care.

The Greenwich Riding and Trails Association (GRTA) hosts the event, and classes were held simultaneously in two rings. Divisions included Walk Trot, Academy Short Stirrup Equitation, Pre-Children’s/Adult Equitation, Children’s/ Modified Adult Equitation, and Junior Adult Equitation. Medal classes included Marshall & Sterling, CHJA, FW-PHA, and NEHC. Linda Mancini and Olivia Goodnow were the judges. The $2,500 NEHJ 2' 9" Hunter Derby Qualifier, won by Sydney Shulman on Almost Royal, and the $500 2' 6" GRTA Hunter Derby, won by Isabelle Mann on Einstein, were among the many highlights and competitions.

Horse Feathers Ray of Light Farm, a nonprofit organization in East Haddam, is launching a new program geared toward therapeutic equine work with veterans. The Horse Feathers Program will pair veterans and equines, with an emphasis on carriage driving. Clients have the opportunity to learn about carriage driving, harnessing, ground driving, horse evaluation, and emergency unloading. With proven effectiveness for combating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), equine therapy is a valuable resource in this kind of situation. All veterans are welcome to participate in this program, either as a client or a volunteer; no experience with

horses is necessary and there’s no charge for participation. The director of the program is Dave Bradham, who’s a certified PATH, Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) driving instructor and has more than 50 years of experience with horses. To learn more, email horsefeathers@ n Karena Garrity

The Mane Event Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue, a 501(c)3 nonprofit located in Mystic, will be holding its Mane Event with cocktails and Hors d’oeurvres on August 25, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Mystic Aquarium. Paintings, photography, themed baskets, and other artwork will be available for bid at a silent auction. Advance tickets can be purchased at for $25, or at the door for $30. The event helps support Beech Brook Farm’s ongoing efforts to save horses and donkeys from slaughter and neglect. “We work to rescue animals in need and place them in loving adoptive forever homes,” says Deborah Finco, president of Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue. “Please join us for this exciting event to help us help horses.”

Ride for the Cure Quiet Corner Sixteen years ago, two local women had an idea that has become, for many, an annual fall tradition. On October 2, the final Susan G. Komen Southern New England Ride for the Cure will take place at Hampton’s Twisted Tree Farm. Registration is now open and must be done in advance. Having raised nearly $900,000 to date, the organizers hope to reach the $1 million mark. Riders can get involved by registering or making a donation that will support local breast health services and research. “Each year, 3,000

Connecticut residents are diagnosed with breast cancer and many are without access to adequate care and support,” says Lori van Dam, CEO of Susan G. Komen Southern New England. “The money raised through the Ride for the Cure has helped to secure that support for countless Connecticut families.” Ride for the Cure is a unique equestrian event supporting the local fight against breast cancer. Participants can choose between two different course options. Registration is $20 and includes lunch, a commemorative shirt, and a gift bag. All proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen Southern New England. “Each year, the committee is humbled by the outpouring of support from riders, donors, members of our community, and local businesses who come together to help us fight this disease that has affected too many of our loved ones,” says Penny Gladstone-Kaiser,

chairperson of the Ride for the Cure committee. “We expect nothing less for our final ride and are looking forward to October.” Only 100 riders will be permitted on the course, and registrations will not be accepted on the day of the ride. To secure your spot at the farewell Ride for the Cure Quiet Corner, or to make a donation, visit KomenSouthernNewEngland .org. For questions, or for information on sponsorship opportunities, contact the Ride for the Cure committee at n Elizabeth DiMartino

Overherdisms • “My son says my horse looks like a camel.” • “Five feral Clydesdale mares. That could be the title of a horror film.” • “Friesians are the Fabios of the horse world.” • “From auction to here . . . amazing!”

Connecticut Horse


Partners October 12 meetings will be held in the Eversource Building, 107 Selden Street, Berlin, at 7 p.m.

money to help pay for entry fees at shows that will help her reach her goal of competing in the 2016

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 Carol Boscarino

May 22, the CGA Show was held at Smith Stables, in Bethlehem, and we were able to get all the classes finished before the rain started. Due to a rainy season, we have two shows to make up since the May 1 and June 5 shows were cancelled. We welcome Al Berube and Heather Ionnatti to the board of directors. Without our wonderful volunteers, we wouldn't be able to run the club. We're always looking for volunteers and welcome any member who would like to be on the board of directors. CGA is a nonprofit that welcomes all equestrians to come ride and have some fun. The upcoming CGA Shows are July 17, August 14, and August 28. To learn more, visit 7 Shawna Baumann

Connecticut Trail Rides Association

Gabby DiPasquale at the Connecticut Gymkhana Association Show at Smith Stables, in Bethlehem, on May 22.

Tina Goodwin

Connecticut Gymkhana Association

Connecticut Morgan Horse Association 2016 Sue Brander Sport Horse Scholarship winner Jada Goodwin, of Norwich, riding Preservation Hall.


July/August 2016

Patti Crowther

Connecticut Morgan Horse Association Members of the Connecticut Morgan Horse Association will be celebrating the club’s 60th birthday with a picnic at Wild Wind Stables, in North Branford, on September 10. To learn more, contact New club president Stacey Stearns announced the dates and locations for the next two CMHA board meetings. The August 10 and

ers and friends that come to the show. Jada believes it’s a great way to get people interested in Morgans and, hopefully, to attend a few Morgan shows. 7 Suzy Lucine

Connecticut Trail Rides Association members enjoying Wadsworth Falls.

Jada Goodwin, of Norwich, was the recipient of the 2016 Sue Brander Sport Horse Scholarship. She plans on using the scholarship

Connecticut Horse Show Association Finals. If she makes it to the finals, she’ll be able to promote the Morgan horse to horse own-

CTRA trail-riding season is in full bloom. In April, Marcia Graves hosted a beautiful ride through Wadsworth State Park with 42 riders. Marcia received special permission for us to ride around the mansion (horses are normally not allowed there). The ride then went to the waterfalls and we all had a great lunch back at the trailers. Our camp director, Bud Dore, made his way to Jamestown, Tennessee, to visit fellow members Ann and Jim Dominick and Lou Casabona. He rode the Big South Fork National Park and enjoyed the beautiful mountain scenery. Our condolences go out to Gigi Oulette on the passing of her dear father. We also send hugs to Frank and Deb Turrel on the loss of their horse, Luna. And our thoughts are with Jen Ghiroli and her fiancé, Aldo Baggliotto, who lost Aldo’s grandfather, to whom he was very close. We send get-well wishes to Holly Dicosta, who broke her wrist. Vevette Park was surprised to find her Missouri Foxtrotter, Farah, was pregnant. Farah gave birth to a colt while Vevette and her husband were visiting five national parks on a trip out West with Chris Mard. I hope you’re cleaning out your garages and attics and have many treasures to donate to our Annual Barbecue and Banquet being held at Camp Boardman, August 14. Our Fourth of July weekend starts with a potluck din-

ner at the pavilion Saturday night. Breakfast Sunday morning is hosted by Lynn Gogolya, Ruth Strontzer, Robin Morrotte, and Olga Agostini. After breakfast, Carrie Torrsiello will be hosting a Poker Ride from camp. Happy trails to all! 7 Patti Crowther

Middlebury Bridle Land Association The Middlebury Bridle Land Association held its first trail clearing on the morning of Saturday, April 30. An energetic crew of MBLA mem-

saws, hedge trimmers, loppers, and hand pruners, the team made short work (under two hours) of the overgrown brush and downed trees and branches, so typical of winter damage

Sally L. Feuerberg

James Novak and the Granby Horse Council scholarship committee (left to right) Dottie Gozzo, Elizabeth Fazzino, and Linda Lehrbach.

Middlebury Bridle Land Association members Margaret Otzel and Nancy Bradley working on the extensive Larkin Farm trail system.

Pomfret Horse and Trail Lisette Rimer

The GHC is proud to announce the 2016 recipient of the $500 scholarship: James Novak of Granville, Massachusetts. James, better known as Jimmy, has been riding horses since he was seven years old. He’s a senior at Westfield High School and will be attending Findlay University in August. He’s enrolled in the equestrian program, with a focus on western riding and training and specializing in reining. The GHC offers this scholarship annually to a member who’s a high school senior and plans to attend a two- or four-year program in animal studies. Applications are accepted through the end of March each year. The GHC is getting ready for the Equine Obstacle Play Day and invites everyone to come for confidence and trust-building, and to compete in the jackpot on July 10 at Salmon Brook Park, in Granby. We will have overhead and belly noodles, pedestals, a bridge, a giant ball, a teeter-totter, and more. The practice is free to members. Non-members may play for $15 with a signed release waiver. The fee includes an optional membership. Also in July, we will ride at Steep Rock and Mohawk Mountain. August features our Poker Ride that includes some interesting challenges along the trail. To learn more, visit, follow us on Facebook at Granby (CT) Horse Council, or call Joan Davis at (860) 653-6805. 7 Joan Davis

Joan Davis

Granby Horse Council

productive work party. On Saturday, June 4, the annual MBLA Spring Ride was held at Middlebury’s Larkin Farm. Riders gathered at the farm buildings at the end of the familiar gravel road that goes by the MBLA Fall Pace field on the Larkin Farm property. Two groups left at about 10 a.m., with one group led by Vinny Chiaraluce and Margaret Otzel — for those wanting a more active ride — and a second group led by Sylvia Preston, for those who preferred a more leisurely walk and trot pace. Upon return from a beautiful (and bug-less) ride through some of the incredibly breathtaking Larkin Trail system, riders attended to their horses. Afterward, lunch was enjoyed by all, sitting on hay bales under shady trees, relaxing, and appreciating the time spent in the saddle with friends. Save the date! The MBLA will hold its annual Fall Hunter Pace on Sunday, September 18, at the Larkin Farm. Each year, dozens of teams set out across the MBLA trails, which include both fields and wooded areas. Jumps are of various heights throughout the course, and go-arounds are available at all jumps. Teams of two to three riders may sign up to compete in Hunt, Pleasure, Western, or Junior divisions. For more information, visit or call ShawnaLee at (203) 598-0065. 7 Sally L Feuerberg

Betsey MacDonald and Al Puerini in the home stretch of the Pomfret Horse and Trail Cross-Town Ride at Tyrone Farm.

bers met on South Street, in Middlebury, at the side of the field overlooking the Larkin (Fodder's Folly) Pond. Armed with chain

and new spring growth. A picnic lunch and discussions of the upcoming Spring Ride and Kentucky Derby parties followed the successful and

The second annual CrossTown Ride featured a twentymile loop from one end of Pomfret, Connecticut, to the other on May 22. Sponsored by Pomfret Horse and Trail and Tyrone Farm, the route took riders from the northeast corner of Pomfret, near the Putnam line, to the southwest border near Hampton. A shorter, tenConnecticut Horse


Nancy Austin, ride chairperson, said, “The footing was perfect, and the riders were impressed. We owe generous thanks to Bill MacLaren and Tyrone Farm for hosting the

and promotes responsible horsemanship in Pomfret. The group runs trail rides, clinics, and a tack and tag sale. Proceeds support open space conservation, equine

Deb Cataldo

mile loop kept riders in the northeast section. “The ride showcased the growing partnership between riders and landowners in Pomfret,” said Penny Foisey, PHTA president. “Tyrone Farm hosted the start and a good part of the course. Neighboring landowners volunteered new trails, which added beautiful vistas and smooth footing.” “It takes a lot of effort to clear and mark a trail this long,” Penny said. “But we had a hard-working group to clean up the blow-down, mark, register, man the check point, and provide water. We also worked with DEEP to map trails in Wolf Den Park, which were used in the ride.” Penny’s husband, David, provided chain saw help along with workers from Foisey Construction. Town of Pomfret constables monitored road crossings. The Rolling Tomato baked custom pizzas on their portable wood-fired oven for lunch.

Tanheath Hunt Club members Maryann Maggiacomo and Leslie Cashel finishing the May 22 Hunter Pace in Douglas State Forest.

event. Bill has welcomed horses on the farm for over thirty years with the Pomfret Hunter Pace and judged pleasure rides. Every trail is groomed and inviting.” The Pomfret Horse and Trail Association is a nonprofit which preserves trails

Middlebury Bridle Land Association’s Annual

FALL Hunter PAce A Member of the Associated Bridle trails Fall Pace Series

Sunday, September 18 (rain or Shine) Larkin’s Farm, South Street, Middlebury, connecticut

rescue, and the Abington 4-H Horse Camp. 7 Lisette Rimer

Tanheath Hunt Club The Tanheath Spring Hunter Pace was a success and a great way to start the season. Although there was a

little rain, the occasional sprinkle didn’t dampen the spirit and fun that was felt by all, volunteers and riders alike. Member Deb Cataldo was the organizer and was backed up by a team of great volunteers. The 6.8-mile course was perfect for all divisions. Once again, the Douglas State Forest in Douglas, Massachusetts, was an excellent venue for this event and provided a nice diversity in terrain and scenery. Well-placed jumps, along with the permanent jumps in the forest, were a nice challenge for those in the Jumpers division. We had approximately 30 riders in various size teams. Sunday, August 21, will be the Prize Ride at Hodges Village Dam, in Oxford, Massachusetts. To learn more, visit or find us on Facebook: Tanheath Events. 7Raymond Hill

Now booking summer individually-designed dressage lessons at Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center in S. Hadley, MA. Wednesday - Friday Trailer in or ride a schoolmaster.

Meg Hilly Dressage Coach Mount Holyoke College . (802) 595-1258

Four Divisions: Hunt, Pleasure, Junior, Western 1st-10th place ribbons awarded in each division Prizes for 1st place team in each division. Points earned toward trophies in Associated Bridle trails Series

For more information: Shawnalee at (203) 598-0065 or 46

July/August 2016

Nutmeg State Happenings CMHA Connecticut Open Morgan Horse Show West Springfield, Massachusetts

IEA Team Issue! The September/October issue of Connecticut Horse is the Interscholastic Equestrian Association Team issue. • Lead feature on IEA teams in the Nutmeg State. • Interviews with IEA barns, coaches, and riders. • Advice from riders and their families on navigating the IEA and shows.

Advertise your IEA team and business!

Learn more at! Connecticut Horse


Nutmeg State Happenings 95th Annual Greenwich Horse Show Fairfield County

Sally L. Feuerberg

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

Training ~ Lessons ~ Showing ~ Sales 7 Thrall Road, Broad Brook, CT (860)307-6963 ~

562 S Main St., Middletown, CT (860) 347-2531 48

July/August 2016

Drumlin Gypsy ranch traditional Gypsy cob Breeders

Breeding the Best Gypsy cob Bloodlines Imported mares and stallions from SD Farms in England. SD Dixie Dancer and SD Big Shot

Foals, yearlings, and two-year-olds available. colts and ďŹ llies of impeccable quality. We have the only two-year-old offspring in the U.S.A. of the incredible stallion SD the Don. These are the true-to-type, traditional Gypsy Cobs. Two stallions available – sired by WHR Simon and WHR Prime Time.

Connecticut Horse




July 1 CHJA SHOW, Ridgefield Equestrian Center, Ridgefield. 2 CHSA CJHA SHOW, Windcrest Farm, Hebron. 2 CHC RIDE, DeDominicis Preserve, Cheshire. 2 BARN DANCE, Horses Healing Humans, Stonington. 2 – 4 CTRA WEEKEND, Camp Boardman, Goshen. 3 CHSA CHJA SHOW, End of Hunt Equestrian Center,

10 ECDHA DRAFT HORSE SHOW, North Stonington Fairgrounds. (860) 535-1416 or 5 USEF C-RATED SHOW, Ox Ridge Hunt Club, Darien. 7 – 10 WESTBROOK SHORELINE CLASSIC, Westbrook. 8 DAN JAMES BODY CONTROL UNDER SADDLE CLINIC, Newtown. 8 AN EVENING OF ANIMAL COMMUNICATION, East Haddam. 8 – 10 TSHA OPEN SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco.



3 USEF NEHC CHJA SHOW, Stepping Stone Farm, Ridgefield.

9 – 10 ANIMAL COMMUNICATION WEEKEND, Ray of Light Farm, East Haddam.


July/August 2016

9 CVDC DRIVE, Machimoodus/Sunrise State Park, Moodus.

10 CT BARREL HORSE SHOW, Old Bethany Airport. 10 DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, R Folly Farm, Morris. 10 OPEN SHOW, New Canaan Mounted Troop, New Canaan. 10 SCHOOLING SHOW, Frazier Farm, Woodbury. 12 – 16 WESTBROOK SHORELINE CLASSIC, Westbrook. 13 USEF/USDF DRESSAGE SHOW, Sperry View Farm, Bethany. 16 BASIC HORSE CARE CLINIC, H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut, New Preston.

Connecticut Horse


16 – 17 NEPtHA OPEN SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco. 17 CGA GYMKHANA, Triangle A Stables, Middlefield. 17 USEF NEHC CHJA SHOW, Stepping Stone Farm, Ridgefield. 17 CDCTA DRESSAGE AND COMBINED TEST SCHOOLING SHOW, Gales Ferry. 17 CDA DRESSAGE SHOW, Carbery Fields Farm, Lebanon. 17 MOUNTED SHOOTING MATCH, Bethany. 17 HORSE TRIALS, Riga Meadow Equestrian Center, Salisbury. 17 CHSA CHJA PINES OPEN, Pines Farm, South Glastonbury. 19 USEF C-RATED SHOW, Ox Ridge Hunt Club, Darien. 20 DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, Fox Ledge Farm, East Haddam. 20 OPEN SHOW, New Canaan Mounted Troop, New Canaan.

23 DRESSAGE AND COMBINED TRAINING SCHOOLING SHOW, Treasure Hill Farm Equestrian Center, Salem. 23 FCHC “C” SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport.

27 USEF C-RATED SHOW, Ox Ridge Hunt Club, Darien. 30 CROSS-COUNTRY DERBY, Horse Power Farm, Canterbury.


30 NATIONAL COWBOY DAY PARADE AND PICNIC, Happy Trails Farm, Danbury. (203) 778-6218.

23 CHSA CHJA SHOW, Sweetwater Farm, Clinton.

30 CHSA CHJA SHOW, Windcrest Farm, Hebron.

23 – 24 USEF/USDF DRESSAGE SHOW, Carbery Fields Farm, Lebanon.


24 CAROUSEL FARM OPEN SHOW, Woodstock Fairgrounds. 24 CHJA, CHSA, NEHC, M&S SHOW, Folly Farm, Simsbury. 24 CHSA SHOW, Fox Crossing Equestrian. Morris. 24 CT BARREL HORSE SHOW, Old Bethany Airport.

31 USEF C-RATED SHOW, Ox Ridge Hunt Club, Darien. 31 TSHA DRESSAGE SHOW, Woodstock. 31 CHSA CHJA SHOW, End of Hunt Equestrian Center, Suffield.


24 SNEHA SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco.

6 CVDC DRIVE, Beacon Woods, South Glastonbury.

24 CCBA HORSE SHOW, Glastonbury Hunt Club, Glastonbury.

6 ECDHA CARRIAGE RALLY, Blue Slope Country Museum, Franklin.

Visit Litchfield county’s Premier tack Shop today! We Keep You riding with the equipment You need at Prices You can Afford

Arbitrage tack 1886 Watertown Ave., Oakville, CT 860-417-2608 52

July/August 2016

Show Coat Rentals Consignment Items Myler Bit Rentals Saddle Fitting Services Blanket Washing, Waterproofing & Repairs

6 RESCUE HORSE SHOWING, H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut, New Preston.

11 – 12 SAVE A HORSE – BUY ART, Connecticut Deep River.

14 CT BARREL HORSE SHOW, Old Bethany Airport.

6 CHSA SHOW, Fox Crossing Equestrian, Morris.



6 CDA DRESSAGE SHOW, Weatogue Stables, Salisbury.

13 JUDGED PLEASURE RIDE II, Tyrone Farm, Pomfret.

6 SCHOOLING DRESSAGE SHOW, Weatogue Stables, Salisbury.

13 CHC RIDE, DeDominicis Preserve, Cheshire.

7 CAROUSEL FARM OPEN SHOW, Woodstock Fairgrounds.

13 CHSA CHJA PINES OPEN, Pines Farm, South Glastonbury.

7 SNEHA SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco.


7 CTRA RIDE, Salmon Brook Park, Granby.

13 – 14 CTRA AUCTION and BARBECUE WEEKEND, Camp Boardman, Goshen.

7 CHSA CHJA SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry. 7 USEF/USDF DRESSAGE SHOW, Weatogue Stables, Salisbury. 7 HORSE TRIALS, Frazier Farm, Woodbury. 10 FCHC “C” SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport.

Containerized Manure Removal Containers from 4 to 30 cubic yards Farms with one horse to 100! Serving southwestern Connecticut

13 – 14 NEPtHA OPEN SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco. 13 – 14 REBECCA GILBERT STRAIGHTNESS TRAINING CLINIC, Narnia Stables, Ashford. 14 CHSA CHJA SHOW, Oak Meadow Farm, East Windsor.







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

New & Used Tack . All Disciplines Mobile Tack Shop . Buying & Selling Many Saddles in Stock Cash Paid for Saddles


14 CGA GYMKHANA, Triangle A Stables, Middlefield.

Newtown, Connecticut 203-426-8870

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

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16 CHJA SHOW, Ridgefield Equestrian Center, Ridgefield.

25 – 28 CHSA FINALS, Shallowbrook Equestrian Center, Somers.

3 – 5 CTRA LABOR DAY WEEKEND, Camp Boardman, Goshen.

18 – 21 FCHC “A” SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport.

25 –28 CTRA 50/50 BENEFIT RIDE WEEKEND, Camp Boardman, Goshen.

4 CDA DRESSAGE SHOW, R Folly Farm, Morris.

19 – 21 TSHA OPEN SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco.

28 CHJA SHOW, Westbrook Hunt Club, Westbrook.

5 LABOR DAY POKER RIDE AND PICNIC, Happy Trails Farm, Danbury. (203) 778-6218.

20 WORKING EQUITATION EVENT, Happy Trails Farm, Danbury. (203) 778-6218.

28 SNEHA SHOW, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco.


20 CHSA SHOW, Shallowbrook Equestrian Center, Somers.

28 DRESSAGE AND COMBINED TRAINING SCHOOLING SHOW, Treasure Hill Farm Equestrian Center, Salem.

8 – 11 CQHA FALL CLASSIC, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco.

21 CTRA RIDE, Steep Rock Preserve, Washington Depot. 21 SCHOOLING SHOW, White Birch Farm, Portland. 21 SCHOOLING SHOW, Frazier Farm, Woodbury. 23 USEF NEHC CHJA SHOW, Stepping Stone Farm, Ridgefield.

10 CMHA 60TH ANNIVERSARY PICNIC, Wild Wind Stables, Northford.

28 CT BARREL HORSE SHOW, Old Bethany Airport.

10 CHSA CHJA SHOW, Avon Valley Show Stables, Avon.

28 CGA GYMKHANA, Triangle A Stables, Middlefield. 28 CCBA HORSE SHOW, Glastonbury Hunt Club, Glastonbury.

10 MOUNTED SHOOTING MATCH, Bethany. Send your clinic, show,


trail ride, seminar, and lecture to 10 JUDGED PLEASURE RIDE III, Tyrone Farm, to have it published in Pomfret. the Events Calendar.

24 CHJA SHOW, Ridgefield Equestrian Center, Ridgefield.

2 – 4 MYSTIC SUMMER FESTIVAL, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry.

25 MANE EVENT FUND RAISER, Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue, Mystic.


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July/August 2016

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10 MOUNTAIN TRAIL CHALLENGE, Happy Trails Farm, Danbury. (203) 778-6218.

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

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

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

GNATHOLOGIST Shelley Wysocki Equine Gnathological Training Institute, Certified Academy of Equine Dentistry

DENTAL NEEDS FOR HORSES, PONIES & MULES Educated . Experienced . Reliable . Serving New England

(860) 212-0114 Member of: Equine Dental Providers of America . Connecticut Farm Bureau International Equine Dental Association







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 nnnnnnnnnnnn


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. CONSTRUCTION nnnnnnnnnnnn

CARRIAGE GATE CONSTRUCTION Serving the Northeast, (717) 951-9443 Horse barns, garages, remodeling. 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. 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. MYSTIC VALLEY HUNT CLUB Gales Ferry, CT, (860) 464-7934 Boarding, training, sales, shows, hunter, jumper, equitation, ponies, children, and IEA/IHSA teams.


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

POST UNIVERSITY Waterbury, CT, (800) 345-2562 BS in equine studies.


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

LE CHEVAL LAUNDRY Willamantic, CT, (860) 428-1283 Quality laundry and repair service. EQUINE MASSAGE nnnnnnnnnnnn

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. EQUINE RELATIONSHIPS nnnnnnnnnnnn

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

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

UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT Storrs, CT, (860) 486-2413 Two- and four-year ANSC degrees.

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





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

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

Connecticut Horse


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

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

HERITAGE FARM Easthampton, MA, (413) 527-1612 Open to buy, sell, or trade horses seven days a week, by appointment.

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

STRAIN FAMILY HORSE FARM Granby, CT, (860) 653-3275 New England’s largest quality sales stable.

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

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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 nnnnnnnnnnnn

WILLIAM RAVEIS EQUESTRIAN Lori Vogel, Realtor Middlefield, CT, (860) 614-0666 Specializing in Equestrian Lifestyle Real Estate. RETIREMENT SANCTUARIES nnnnnnnnnnnn

MITCHELL FARM Salem, CT, (860) 303-8705 Permanent sanctuary for senior horses.

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

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

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

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

TAYLOR FARM New Hartford, CT, (860) 482-8725 Horse retirement is all we do!

CONNECTICUT TRAILERS Bolton, CT, (877) 480-4197 Quality trailers; sales, parts, service. JOHN McCARTHY TRUCKING (860) 377-9498 East Coast New England to Florida.





ASSOCIATED REFUSE HAULERS Newtown, CT, (203) 426-8870 Containerized manure removal in southwestern Connecticut.

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

LE MAY, INC. Newtown, CT, (203) 347-2531 We buy manure.

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

PENDERGAST HAULING AND BARN SERVICES New Fairfield, CT, (203) 948-9493 Manure removal, arena-footing restoration, excavation service. PHOTOGRAPHY nnnnnnnnnnnn


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HARTFORD COUNTY 4-H CAMP S. Windsor, CT, (860) 289-4177 Youths and adults partner together.

JEANNE LEWIS IMAGES Wallingford, CT, Western events, barn shoots, portraits. Serving New England.

RED SKYE FOUNDATION Bethany, CT, (203) 891-6787 Camp, therapy, team building, lessons.

KATE LUSSIER PHOTOGRAPHY Wallingford, CT, (203) 213-7738

S. J. RIDING CAMP Ellington, CT, (860) 872-4742 Overnight girls riding camp; lessons.

KATHRYN SCHAUER PHOTOGRAPHY Guilford, CT, (203) 710-9945

TACK Individualized attention, reasonable rates. 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.


July/August 2016



VETERINARY nnnnnnnnnnnn

BECKETT & ASSOCIATES VETERINARY SERVICES Glastonbury, CT, (860) 659-0848 Horses, pets, farm animals. BROOKLYN-CANTERBURY LARGE ANIMAL CLINIC Canterbury, CT, (860) 546-6998 Serving eastern CT and RI. Equines, farm animals, and camelids. 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.

ARBITRAGE TACK Oakville, CT, (860) 417-2608 Equipment you need at prices you can afford. We keep you riding.

SALEM VALLEY VETERINARY CLINIC Salem, CT, (860) 859-1649 Preventive medicine, emergency care, lameness, dentistry, surgery.

BEVAL SADDLERY New Canaan, CT, (203) 966-7828 New Canaan, Gladstone, NJ stores. East Coast mobile unit.

TWIN PINES EQUINE VETERINARY SERVICES Griswold, CT, (860) 376-4373 Quality, compassionate care.

advertisers index Arbitrage Tack .................................... 52 Associated Refuse Haulers ................ 53 Big Bale Buddy ................................... 29 Bittersweet Farm ................................ 19 Bluebird Meadows Farm .................... 53 Blue Seal ............................................ 58 Braideez ............................................... 6 Brenda Vynalek .................................. 37 Brooklyn-Canterbury Clinic ................ 37 Cara Kneser, DVM ............................. 33 The Carriage Shed ............................... 2 Chuck Sharples Equine Transportation . 54 Congelosi Trailer Sales ........................ 15 Connecticut Classic Horse Show ......... 14 Connecticut Military Department ...... 30 Connecticut Trailers ........................... 59 Dawn Bonin Horsemanship ................. 19 DeCarli Equestrian Center .................. 7 Don Ray Insurance ............................... 5 Doug Foscale Equine Photography ..... 41 Dover Saddlery ................................... 51 Drumlin Gypsy Ranch ......................... 49 Equine Gnathologist Shelley Wysocki . 54 Equissage ........................................... 15 Equine Massage by Kathleen Curran . 53 Equi Yoga with Marty Whittle .............. 34 Farm Credit East ................................. 10 Farm Family Insurance ........................ 28 Folly Farm Show Stables ..................... 35 Foxfire Stables ................................... 54 Fox Ledge Farm .................................. 21 Freedom Feeder ................................. 30 Happy Trails Farm .............................. 25 Hay Pillow ........................................... 29 Hearth & Home ..................................... 5 Heritage Farm ..................................... 13 HoofCares Barefoot Trimming ............ 46 Intuitive Wisdom .................................. 19 JA McDermott Horsemanship ............ 40 John Bennett Stables .......................... 7 King Barns ............................................ 4 Le May, Inc. ....................................... 54 L.J. Enterprises ................................... 27 Lock, Stock & Barrel ............................ 60 Lori Vogel Team .................................. 23 Mainline Fence & Supply Company .... 43 Matt Lewis Professional Horseshoeing . 57 Meg Hilly ............................................ 46 Michele Carver Performance Horses . 48 Middlebury Bridle Land Association .. 46 Midstate Tractor & Equipment ........... 48 Mohawk Distribution .......................... 48 Mountain Top Inn & Resort ................. 50 Mystic Valley Hunt Club ..................... 27 NibbleNet ........................................... 28 Pat Bradley ......................................... 57 Pendergast Hauling & Barn Services .. 33 Pleasant View Farms ........................... 27 Ramm Horse Fencing & Stalls .............. 17 Rebecca Hathaway ............................. 29 Ride for the Cure ................................ 43 Sean T. Hogan, Esq. ........................... 57 Smith-Worthington Saddlery .............. 57 Spring Valley Farm .............................. 53 Stanton Equipment ............................. 23 Strain Family Horse Farm .................... 48 Sweetwater Feed and Equipment ....... 28 Tooher-Ferraris Insurance Group ........ 31 Tribute Equine Nutrition ..................... 12 Twin Pines Equine Veterinary Services . 25 Walsh’s Country Store .......................... 6 Whimsy Brook Farm ............................ 10 White Birch Farm ................................. 53 William Raveis Equestrian .................... 11

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

Sally L. Feuerberg

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 May 22 at the Blue Ribbon Ventures Horse Show at Fair Hill Farm, in Easton. If this is your horse, contact us at for a Smith-Worthington Saddlery leather halter.

Pat Bradley certified equine massage therapist

Massage Therapy Myofascial Release Reiki & Healing Touch Practitioner Serving Connecticut, Westchester County, & the Hudson River Valley 203.609.1255

Connecticut Horse


Benedict’s Home & Garden 480 Purdy Hill Road, Monroe (203) 268-2537

G. M. Thompson & Sons 54 Middle Turnpike Mansfield Depot (860) 429-9377

H. H. Stone & Sons 168 Main Street South Southbury (203) 264-6501


July/August 2016

Litchfield Blue Seal Store 99 Thomaston Road, Litchfield (860) 482-7116

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

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

Norwich Agway 217 Otrobando Avenue, Norwich (860) 889-2344

Shagbark Lumber & Farm Supply 21 Mount Parnassus Road East Haddam (860) 873-1946

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

Connecticut Horse




Profile for Community Horse Media

Connecticut Horse July/August 2016  

Connecticut Horse July/August 2016