Massachusetts Horse August/September 2016

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August/September 2016 $4



August/September 2016


August/September 2016

columns 18 Sunshine Farm Sanctuary Ride for the Ribbon Photography

A Healing Farm Lend a Hoof



20 Connect

with Your IEA Draw Horse for a Competitive Edge

Mindful Connections

24 Ward Reservation Andover


Anne O'Connor

Trail Guide


in every issue

features 8

Interscholastic Equestrian Association Bay State Teams

5 From the Publisher

16 North Gate Farm Sportsmanship and Horsemanship Is a Winning Combination Farm Feature


Amber Woodruff Master of All Keeps Riding Fun Horseperson Feature

22 Kassey Wilda College Is This High Schooler’s Patch Youth Spotlight

7 Your Letters 26 Overherd: News in Our Community 34 Partners 40 Bay State Happenings 41 This Olde Horse 42 Massachusetts Events Calendar 47 The Neighborhood 48 Is This Your Horse? 48 Advertiser Index 49 Massachusetts Marketplace

Massachusetts Horse



August/September 2016

From the Publisher


oin me in welcoming two new county desk liaisons —

since 2001 by donating more than 2,000 Massachusetts Horse

Barnstable County’s Cora Shillinglaw and, covering

Junior Horsemanship Awards to Bay State competitions;

Middlesex, Norfolk, and Plymouth

raising $58,000 for horse-related non-

Counties, Jacqueleen Kareh. Cora

profit groups through the Massachusetts

and Jacqueleen’s contact information is

Horse Benefit; providing free subscrip-

on page 6 along with Bristol County’s

tions to the members of 32 organiza-

Melissa Root, Essex County’s Holly

tions and clubs; and we’re in our 15th

Jacobson, Worcester County’s Karen

year of publishing news, photos, event

Morang, and Alessandra Mele who covers

coverage, and more. Join us September 24 for the

the four counties of western Massachusetts: Berkshire, Franklin,

Massachusetts Horse Benefit Adventure

Hampden, and Hampshire.

Trail in Wilbraham. All proceeds will go to Blue Star Equiculture Draft Horse

To share your news, photos, and

Sanctuary in Palmer. This event is a

events for free publication in Massachusetts Horse, you’ll want to reach out to the county desk liaison where you live. These friendly horsewomen want to help you spread the word about your

unique combination of a hunter pace, Kali Kobel, 9, of Auburn, won the Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award at the Central an obstacle course, and a horsemanshipMassachusetts Horse Show Series in Spencer. Here she’s pictured with Shetland Pony Goodnite Moon knowledge quiz. To learn more, see owned by Gold Nugget Farm where Kali rides. page 38 and visit

business and horses to the Bay State horse community. We’ve been supporting our equestrian community

See you there!


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Dealer Massachusetts Horse



HORSE vol. 15, no. 2 August/September 2016

ISSN 1945-1393

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

publisher/editor Stephanie Sanders • • (413) 268-3302 editor Toni Leland

copy editor Kathaleen Emerson

feature writers Nicole Birkholzer, Andrea Bugbee, Alessandra Mele Melissa Root, Stacey Stearns contributors Sharyn Antico, Susan Goldfischer, Holly Jacobson, Carolyn C. Lavin Judy Lorimer, Suzy Lucine, Diane Merritt, Karen Morang, Laurie Neely Annamaria Paul, Abigail Powell, Liz Russell, Cora Shillinglaw county desk liaisons Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties Alessandra Mele • (413) 949-1972 • Barnstable County Cora Shillinglaw • (508) 737-6810 • Bristol County Melissa Root • (508) 863-0467 • Essex County Holly Jacobson • (978) 356-5842 • Middlesex, Norfolk, and Plymouth Counties Jacqueleen Kareh • (781) 467-8555 •

State-of-the-Art Equine Laundry Facility Expert Tack Repair

Worcester County Karen Morang • (508) 797-2828 • advertising main office • (413) 268-3302 • Advertising deadline for the October/November issue is September 10.

Gently Used Blankets and Tack for Sale Brass Name Plates Engraved Established 1980 Jennifer Safron 114 Coburn Ave., Gardner, MA (978) 340-5576 Please call for hours 6

August/September 2016

Thoroughbred colt (Indian Ocean x I.B. Stella) owned by Black Rushin’ Farm, of Medfield. © El-Kareh Photography Massachusetts Horse is printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper.

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

Your Letters To the editor:

To the editor:

It was really surreal to see something that I’ve written in Massachusetts Horse [June/July: Pony Tales]. I had nice responses from many people — one woman who boards her horse at Independence Stable said that she really related to my article and saw herself in it. That’s what made her love it so much. I also heard that my article was showcased at an equestrian center in Amherst. I’m so excited and happy with the outcome. The experience of being published is something of a dream come true for me. I've always loved to write and it is my goal to be able to publish many more pieces in the future.

The feature on the Camp Marshall Equestrian Center [June/July: Lend a Hoof] looks amazing! I couldn’t

Kristy Stanek, Ware

To the editor: I found Massachusetts Horse online and was struck by your wonderful covers. I absolutely love them! Tina Nicholson, via email

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

imagine a more beautiful article. I can’t thank you enough. We truly appreciate it. Rebekah Nydam, Director of Communications Camp Marshall Equestrian Center, Spencer

To the editor: My mom and I loved the feature on our farm [June/July: Farm Feature]. It looked awesome! The clients all thought it was great, as well. Thank you so much! Amy Heath, Southfield Farm, Halifax

Massachusetts Horse


Interscholastic Equestrian Association

Lincoln Rogers

Bay State Teams

by Stephanie Sanders


n 2016, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) celebrates its 14-year anniversary. IEA’s mission is to introduce students in middle and high school to equestrian sports, and to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction. Through the IEA, students have the opportunity to earn scholarships toward their college education through awards in competition and sportsmanship activities. The IEA season runs from September 1 to the national finals in late spring/ early summer. The 2016/2017 Hunt Seat IEA Nationals will be April 21 to 23, 2017, at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia, and the Western IEA Nationals will be in conjunction with the National Reining Horse Association Derby in late June 2017 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. Last year, 62 hunt-seat teams and five western teams were from Massachusetts; 226 hunt-seat teams and 8

August/September 2016

16 western teams comprised all of New England (Zone 1).

Horse Ownership Not Required The unique aspect of IEA competitions, at both the local and national level, is that none of the riders supplies her or his own horse or tack. Instead, students get the horse, saddle, and other tack at the show. Horses are chosen by a random draw. Though the rider and horse have a short opportunity to orient themselves just prior to the over-fences classes, in all other classes, the horse is new to the rider, and there’s no warmup time before entering the competition area. Riders watch the horses warm up (ridden by riders not competing that day) and hope to learn about the horse they will draw. Coaches receive a handout with tips on how each horse “goes,” if spurs or a crop is needed, or a light touch and quiet legs. “Riders should watch the horses in the warm-up,” says Diane Raucher

Miller, of Heritage Farm in Easthampton. “But also notice how each horse changes from class to class. This will enable riders to figure out how to keep the hard-working horse happy with his tough job that day. Some horses improve as the day goes on and can give a great ride. Others hit their limit and need to be ridden a little softer before they get cranky. And some get tired, so might need more push to get the job done. The riders need to figure that out quickly, all while being judged!” “Everybody’s equal,” says 16-yearold Aoife McBride of Leeds, who’s starting her sixth year on the Heritage Farm IEA hunt-seat team, which operates in Easthampton. “No one is riding the perfect horse in every class. We get what we draw and have to ride it to the best of our ability. “Being able to go to a show without a horse is great,” she says. “It’s much less stressful — not having to worry about whether your horse will get on the trailer at five o’clock in the morning

or if your white horse rolled in manure the night before.” Brewester’s Woodsong Farm IEA coach Greta Avery says, “In addition to the fun everyone has on an IEA team, participation provides riders who are interested in riding for an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association [IHSA] team the chance to become familiar and proficient with the [random-draw] format.” Greta elaborates: “Team participation requires riders to expand their skills and learn to participate on a variety of types of horses, from lazy and dull to hot and sensitive. The competition format also requires riders to remain focused and do their very best each time they step into the show ring.” Aoife says, “One of my favorite parts of IEA is having the ability to figure out a horse at that moment you learn that you’re riding him, and figuring him out enough to perform your best.”

Levels of Competition In hunt-seat competitions, there are five over-fences classes with fences no higher than three feet, and numerous flat equitation classes. Western riders

Hillside Meadows Hunt Seat & Western Teams The Hillside Meadows IEA hunt seat upper and middle school teams are coached by Sheila Brady and the western uppper and middle school teams are coached by Amber Woodruff.

tions ratula Cong Moran on an EA Megh the 2016 I g er v n i o n s w in Cros s l a n Natio er Award! Rid

show in horsemanship and reining. Both disciplines offer a variety of ability levels — beginner, novice, intermediate, and open. Middle school teams are for riders in grades 6–8; upper school teams are for riders in grades 9–12. The scores are based on horsemanship and equitation, not the horse. Each rider can compete in a maximum of five shows a year and, depending on her ability, one or two classes per show. Points are tracked for individual riders’ accomplishments, as well as team performance — earning points to qualify for regional, zone, and national finals. In hunt seat, riders and teams qualify to compete at regional, zone, and national competitions — narrowing down the field to those few invited to the IEA Hunt Seat National Finals. In Zone 1, qualifying western riders and teams compete in the zone competition and then go on to the Western IEA National Finals. “In the 2012–2013 season, I went all the way to IEA hunt-seat nationals,” says Aoife. “I had to qualify through multiple other levels and had some tough competition, especially at zones. When I

Join the Hillside Meadows IEA Teams!

arrived at nationals, with people from barns all over the country, it didn’t matter to me how I placed, or if I even placed at all. I was so proud of myself; I made it to nationals.” Tara Matthews is IEA Zone 1, Region 7 president and Mount Holyoke College IEA team coach. She says, “Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center has hosted the IEA Hunt Seat Zone 1 Finals for many years. Zones is almost completely run by the students — a wonderful experience for students/riders who want to further their education and careers in management and marketing.”

How Much Does It Cost? Less than owning a horse! Each rider must annually join the IEA; for the 2016–2017 school year, the membership fee is $55. Coaches and teams must also pay membership fees to the nonprofit IEA. Most IEA teams have a set number of required weekly riding lessons. At the shows, the entry fee per class ranges from $30 to $45. Riders pay a coaching fee at each show, as well. The IEA does offer financial assistance: visit to download the forms.

Come see why we are Grafton’s hidden gem! Champion IEA teams Beautiful 70-acre multi-disciplined full-boarding facility with two indoor arenas. Lessons in huntseat, reining, cow work, and dressage; all levels. Schooling shows on proptery. Coaching at large rated shows. On-site open shows, ranch sorting.

Hillside Meadows Equestrian Center Grafton, Massachusetts . (508) 243-8044 . Massachusetts Horse


“IEA provides riders at all levels with an inexpensive showing opportunity, accessibility to national-level goals, and scholarships,” says Greta. “Riders who might not otherwise be able to do so in a traditional show environment have a realistic opportunity to set their sights on qualifying for, and competing in, a regional or national final. Additionally, riders can develop leadership skills and expand horsemanship skills through active, hands-on participation in all aspects of horse-show preparation and management, team fund-raising, and horsemanship exams.” “On my team, everyone likes each other,” says Aoife. “Our coach, Ali [Allison Springman], is amazing. Being on the IEA team is a great way to make friends. “IEA has taught me that when I have to wake up before dawn, I know it’s going to be a good day,” she says. “The most important part of IEA is not the color of the ribbon you win, but how well you feel after you leave the ring, how well you think you’ve done to fix your weakest points.”

Bay State Success The North Gate Equestrian Team, from Sudbury, took first place in two categories at the 2015–2016 IEA National Finals, April 20 to 24, in Lexington, Kentucky: Hunt Seat Middle School Team and the Hunt Seat Upper School Team champions. Plympton’s Cranberry Equestrian Hunt Seat Middle School Team was reserve champion. Samantha Radosta, who rides with the Saddle Rowe Team in Medway, was Hunt Seat Junior Varsity Novice Over Fences Reserve Champion. Hunt Seat Junior Varsity Beginner on the Flat Champion was Jillian Alejo of the Concord Equestrian Team, riding at Verrill Farm Stable in Concord. Isabella Garbiel-Achorn, of Muddy Brook Farm in Amherst, was Hunt Seat Future Novice on the Flat Champion. The Leading Crossover Rider Award went to Meghan Moran, from the Hillside Meadows western team and the Grazing Fields Farm hunt-seat team. Hillside Meadows Western High School, coached by Amber Woodruff, placed eighth nationally.


August/September 2016

Find a Local Team Note: Openings are as of the end of July.

Fox Meadow Farm at Smith College Northampton Lori Quinlan, coach (413) 531-3589 Openings: middle school Fox Meadow Farm at Smith College has middle and upper school teams coached by Lori Quinlan, owner of Fox Meadow Farm. “The coaching experience for IEA members at Fox Meadow Farm is a very supportive one, helping riders to achieve their goals and grow as horsewomen,” says Lori. She holds her riders to always put the horse first, and give every IEA horse at a show the best ride they can for the horse on that given day. “While this is the third competition year for this team,” says Lori, “our riders have gone to semifinals and zones in 2014 and nationals in 2015. Many of our first-year riders went on to zones in 2015.” IEA team members must take two lessons each week. “Chore time is mandatory for all riders and sometimes even the parents pitch in!” says Lori. “Requirements for joining the team are: a great attitude, a healthy work ethic, a sense of humor, the ability to endure freezing cold temperatures at shows, and a strong desire to become a better horseperson.” “We have an open door policy, so come and meet us,” says Lori. “The Fox Meadow Farm team is committed to embracing the IEA experience and sending riders forward to IHSA teams upon graduation. Success comes from support!”

Heritage Farm Easthampton Allison Springman, coach (413) 527-1612 Openings: middle and upper school “Our coach, Allison Springman, grew up riding with Lisa DeMayo of Bonnie Lea Farm in Williamstown,” says Diane Raucher Miller, who runs the lesson program at Heritage Farm. “Ali spent her time as a junior at Bonnie Lea and learned about horses inside and out from Lisa, who runs a successful lesson program, and breeds and trains her

homebred babies. This relationship continues as our two barns work together to co-host an IEA show each fall, along with the help of the Williston Fuller team. Ali went to Centenary College, where she showed on the IHSA team and learned from their influential coaches. After a few seasons at larger show barns in Florida, Ali came home to Massachusetts and began working for us. She was instrumental in forming the IEA team and has been a positive role model for our riders. Because she grew up riding many different horses, just like the riders at our busy sale barn, she’s able to teach riders to adjust quickly to bring out the best in each horse.” “A rider has made it to nationals every year, as a member of either our western or hunt-seat teams,” says Diane. (Heritage Farm no longer has a western team.) “IEA is not for the faint of heart!” says Diane. “Riders need to be able to adjust quickly and understand the horse show from the horse’s perspective. It takes a certain kind of horse to handle many riders in a day, and riders need to remember that, as much as they care about their points and ribbons, the horses are doing the best job they can amidst the hustle and bustle of changing riders every few minutes.” Team members take two lessons a week, one with coach Ali.

Hillside Meadows Equestrian Center Grafton Sheila Dunham, hunt seat coach Amber Woodruff, western coach (508) 243-8044; Openings: western and hunt seat, upper and middle school Hillside Meadows Equestrian Center offers both hunt seat and western IEA teams, under the guidance of welltrained coaches. “IEA is a great opportunity for middle school and high school students to show at the national level,” says Sheila Dunham, hunt seat program director and hunt seat IEA coach. Sheila has a passion for IEA showing. Her riders have many titles under their belts as her team continues to grow into its fourth year under her guidance. Sheila rode on the Johnson & Wales Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) team, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in

equine business management and riding/training. She also coaches the Boston College IHSA team. “Our team is a strong unit,” says Sheila. “We’re a close-knit group of riders and parents. We always welcome new riders with open arms! In the summer, we practice, have team workouts, and team gatherings. We love to show together, too.” Hunt seat riders must take two lessons a week — one flat and one over fences. “Last year both our teams won at semifinals and competed at zones,” says Sheila. “Though the hunt seat team didn’t make it to nationals this year, both teams performed incredibly well at zones. We’re committed to go farther this year!” Lindsay Sage received fourth in Novice Flat at the 2015 IEA Nationals and, in 2016, several riders qualified and received Top 10 spots at zones. Amber Woodruff coaches the western IEA team at Hillside Meadows Equestrian Center and is the Western Zone 1 IEA president. Amber has been a professional hunter/jumper rider for ten years and competes at the professional level in reining. “In the four years I’ve coached the team,” says Amber, “we’ve won classes

individually and as a team at zone finals, and been in the ribbons at nationals every year. In 2015, we had two national champions in horsemanship, and our middle school team placed fifth overall. In 2016, our middle and high school teams were champions at zone finals, sending both teams — along with nine individual qualifiers who won their classes — to nationals. We placed in almost every class at nationals and our high school team finished eighth overall. For the first time ever, we also took the Leading Crossover Rider Award home to Massachusetts, which was really cool, since it has never been won by a Zone 1 rider.” “We’re very fortunate to have a wide variety of horses, from green three-year-olds to finished show horses,” says Amber. “It’s so important to ride the green/young ones, as it teaches the rider to be sympathetic and stay sharp. Riders learn to use their aids properly — we’ve some finished reining horses that, if your outside leg is close to being in the right position, they’ll lope on the correct lead for you. But get on a green three-year-old — if you want the correct lead, you need to make sure the horse is collected in the bridle, his shoulder is

straight, and his hip is set. Things like that help riders to understand the timing and mechanics of each maneuver and transition. Paying attention to those little details makes all the difference when you are at an IEA show and going to be sitting on a horse you’ve never ridden.” “I expect my riders to work hard and put in the ride-time outside of lessons whenever possible,” says Amber. “We ride a lot without stirrups. While we work hard, we also make sure to do team trail rides, exercises, barrels, and bareback. We’ve open spots for riders of any level or discipline to join the fun! Many English riders also enjoy western and it gives anyone a lovely opportunity to ride a really nice variety of green to fancy broke horses.”

Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center South Hadley Kendall Crutchfield, coach (972) 946-9413 Openings: upper and middle school Kendall Crutchfield began coaching the Mount Holyoke College IEA team Year-round horse boarding available!

Upcoming Events Combined Test . August 17 Sunrise Pleasure Horse Show . August 20 Equestrian Talent Search . September 23-25 Sunrise Pleasure Horse Show . October 15 Focus on Riding Admissions Event . November 17-18 Complete prize lists at Do you have a sound, well-trained, beginner-tolerant horse needing a job? Best care & lots of love guaranteed. We need your beginner riding horse! Contact Jen Wilda at (413) 538-3234.

Massachusetts Horse


Openings for Beginner & Advanced Western Riders in Grades 6-12

Contact Suzanne Ferris Coach 978-835-0465

in the fall of 2015. Her background includes experience working with young horses, stallions, and dressage training with Julio Mendoza of Mendoza Dressage. She’s also trained with top hunter/jumper trainers and has competed on the USEF A circuit. In 2011, Kendall founded her own training and business program under the name of Paragon Performance Horses, where she specializes in starting young horses and training beginner to intermediate level riders. Her students have found success at local and national competitions. After a fun and successful first year as the IEA team coach, Kendall was thrilled to attend the IEA Nationals with Gabrielle Roncarati, a first-year team member who qualified for the Junior Varsity Beginner Walk Trot Canter division. “I’m excited to be part of the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Community,” says Kendall. The Mount Holyoke IEA team has openings for middle and high school students. A minimum of one year of instruction is required. “We offer three lesson opportunities per week,” says Kendall. “Team members can choose to ride in all three, but a minimum of one lesson per week is required.” “We offer a great atmosphere, with access to collegiate instructors, clinicians, and outside show opportunities,” says Kendall. “You can ride year round alongside college athletes who are promoting higher education and an elite riding program.”

Nashoba Valley Sliders Pepperell Suzanne Ferris, coach (978) 835-0465 Openings: upper and middle school Suzanne Ferris brings her strong background of classical dressage and combined training to her students and horses. As a natural horsemanship trainer for more than 20 years, Suzanne teaches western horsemanship and reining, with a strong understanding of both horse and rider as a team. “Students love the low-key atmosphere of my barn and a relaxed teaching style,” says Suzanne. “Sometimes I push the team really hard, but I believe in their potential.” 12

August/September 2016

“IEA team members must participate in at least one weekly practice lesson,” says Suzanne. “We’ve had many team members qualify and place at the New England Zone Finals as well as at IEA Nationals — all while having an awesome experience on horses that they do not own.” “We welcome members from New Hampshire and Massachusetts with a range of backgrounds,” says Suzanne. “There’s a spot for everyone on the team, from beginners with little or no experience to national-level riders. Although western IEA has been around for several years, there are still many people that have never heard about it. Try it — you will love it.”

Saddle Rowe Medway Tina Geoghegan, coach (508) 533-7108 Openings: upper and middle school Tina Geoghegan has been involved with horses her entire life. She has trained and taught full time since 1987 at the family-owned Saddle Rowe, with her sister. Tina has shown successfully at rated shows throughout New England and has trained both juniors and adults to many championships. Saddle Rowe’s Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team has competed at the national level for the past several years. Most recently, in 2014-2015, the middle school team went to IEA Nationals, as did two individual upper school riders. This past year, two individual riders went on to Kentucky for the IEA National Finals, and Samantha Radosta won Reserve Champion Junior Varsity Novice Over Fences Individual. The Saddle Rowe IEA team has approximately 30 riders. Practice begins August 29 for the 2016/17 team. Riders are required to practice with the IEA team once a week, and must also take an additional lesson each week.

Stephanie is the publisher of Massachusetts Horse and Connecticut Horse. She lives in the foothills of the Berkshires on Pocketful of Ponies Farm with her two Haflinger mares, two Miniature geldings, and various adorable kitties.

Massachusetts Horse


Horseperson Feature

Amber Woodruff


Master of All Keeps Riding Fun

by Andrea Bugbee


The Golden Lasso

Debora LaMonica, a Centerville resident, says, “Amber has always been talented. I used to let little Amber ride my horse, Gonzo. She was born to be on a horse.” Debora says that Amber has an innate ability to communicate with animals. “She’s physically elegant, and she likes all horses and disciplines. In fact, the harder the horse, the more she likes it. She enjoys doing different things. I applaud her for that.” Nancy Murphy of Middleboro is a United States Equestrian Federation hunter/jumper judge who sits on the zone 1 hunter committee and has known Amber for the last ten years. “One of the things that impresses me a ton about Amber is her love of horses,” 14

August/September 2016

says Nancy, “and she’s an incredibly talented rider, and she’s humble and modest about it.” According to Nancy, the quality that makes Amber stand out among

Km Smith Photography

mber Woodruff, of Acushnet, has been a professional hunter/jumper rider for ten years. Later, she decided to learn to ride western, a second discipline in which she now competes at the professional level. Four years ago, Amber agreed to try her hand as Western Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) coach for Hillside Meadows Farm in Grafton. Since then, her team has made it to IEA Nationals every year. She’s currently the Western Zone 1 IEA president. She owns two horses, is employed by three stables, and works seven days a week. She rides 6 to 12 horses a day. On the two days that she’s at Hillside Meadows, she coaches 20 to 25 people. For fun, she competes in rodeos with her handsome horse-riding fiancé, Nate Viera. For Amber, riding is never routine — and it’s always personal. “I genuinely love it,” she says. “There’s nothing else I’d rather do.” It’s very possible that Amber is also Wonder Woman (she does wear tall boots and fitted pants), but nobody has yet confirmed it.

trainers is “ . . . first and foremost, her love of horses. This isn’t a business venture for her. I always tease that she’s still an eight-year-old pony kid,” Nancy says, laughing. “When working at training rides, for example, Amber might have a dozen different horses on her roster, but she never uses a rote formula. Even if it’s only on the short journey between the stall and the mounting block, Amber takes the time to really sight in on that horse,” Nancy says. “Amber notes the horse’s physical needs and attitude day to day, horse to horse. She pats them, loves them, takes them for a walk, or rides in a field.”

Making a Kid a Hero Amber grew up in Mashpee, and Maushop Stables was where she learned to post, jump, and show. There, Amber fell under the influence of owner/ trainer Robin Blakeman, who wisely used fun as her “Miracle-Gro” for lifelong equestrians. “She let us ride bareback and go gallop and jump out in the fields,” Amber says. “She just let us be kids.” The notion that riding should be fun remains with Amber today. As her experience grew, she moved on to Holly Hill Farm, a show stable in Marston Mills. “They taught me that if you want something and are willing to work for it, you can make it happen,” says Amber. “They gave me many opportunities to catch ride. To me, that made me the rider I am today.” Under Holly Hill’s guidance, Amber won five local junior medal championships, competing on different horses. Her junior years also brought Amber to Grazing Fields Farm in Buzzards Bay, where she’s now a coach and trainer. At Grazing Fields, she met owner Kathy Fletcher. Where Robin Blakeman had set the example of always keeping riding fun, Kathy helped young Amber turn her passion into a career. “[Kathy’s] really the person who educated me to be a professional,” Amber says. “She taught me to be thoughtful, decisive, rational, and to always make the best out of any situation.” From buying a horse, to planning a horse show, to running a business, and everything in between, Amber says that Kathy has been a generous and knowledgeable mentor.

Flying the Glass Airplane A hard worker and a hunter/jumper champion, Amber went from high school straight into every horse-hungry

teen’s dream world: She became a pro rider for a farm outside Richmond, Virginia, where she spent her days training horses for the hunter/jumper show ring. When she had “ground” time, she didn’t use it to nap, or hike, or lazily surf the internet. Instead, Amber took western riding lessons. Just for fun. And for more fun, when she moved back to New England, she swapped her somber English show blazer for some rhinestone bling as she dabbled in team penning and barrel racing. National Reining Horse Association judge, Bill Clark of Winchendon, turned Amber into a reiner. Already a professional in the hunter/jumper world, the rules required Amber to compete as a professional reiner as well — using only one hand. “Reining is a completely different discipline,” Amber says. “You’re using your aids in new ways. You need to make sure you’re soft with your hands because you’re riding one-handed, and you’re riding with a much heavier bit. It makes you think about your seat and your leg, and how the smallest movement affects your horse. It gives you a better understanding of how to move

your horse’s body beneath you. My lateral work has improved, and I have a better understanding of a lead change and how to balance your horse with less contact on the reins.”

that comes naturally to me,” she says. “Continuing my own education as a rider has helped me to be patient and understanding as a teacher. It reminds me of how difficult it is to learn something new.”

Passing Along the Power

Amber, 2016 IEA Nationals Crossover Rider Meghan Moran, and Jen Sullivan of Grazing Fields Farm.

“Overall,” she says, “learning western has made me a better rider.” Plus she believes that learning something new (she recently started breakaway roping) has made her a better teacher. “Roping isn’t something

Thirteen-year-old Madison Olvert has been to IEA Nationals three times with Amber and the Hillside Meadows western IEA team (which is based in Grafton, where Madison lives). When her mom, Kelly, talks about Amber coaching a winning team, she never once mentions ribbons or points. Instead, she uses the words motivation, dedication, goal setting, and role model. “Amber’s been great for Madison’s confidence,” says Kelly. “Amber has a way of getting kids to believe in themselves. She’s really dedicated to IEA, but not in a way that’s over the top. She’s not uptight. The kids really respond to her.” In 2015, the Hillside Meadows Western IEA team had two national champions. In 2016, both the middle and upper school teams won zone championships. Then, at nationals, they placed in almost every class. What’s Amber’s winning advice? continued on page 41 . . .

Business As Usual

Facilities Include:

Our indoor arena and office were destroyed in a fire July 8. But, it’s business as usual! We’re up and running with our shows and programs.

20 acres of grass and sand paddocks 40-stall show barn 2 spacious lighted outdoor rings watering system in the rings

NEHC & MHC Shows

automated horse “Eurosizer” walker

friendly atmosphere . good footing inviting courses . very affordable August 6 . September 24 October 8 . November 12

85' x 250' indoor riding arena (rebuilding) qualify for year-end, medal points on farm middle and upper school IEA team

Come ride in a friendly atmosphere with all the amenities and a proven record of success! 73 Oakland Street, Medway Massachusetts ~ Less than an hour from Boston, Worcester, and Providence.


(508) 533-7108 Massachusetts Horse


Farm Feature


by Alessandra Mele

North Gate Farm

Sportsmanship and Horsemanship Is a Winning Combination


Pam grew up riding and showing in the hunters and equitation, wholly immersed in the sport from a young age, as her parents owned Marlborough Equestrian Center in Marlborough. When the time came for her to follow in their footsteps, she was ready for the challenge. “I took over my parents’ farm in 2004, they sold it in 2006, and in 2007, I purchased the land that is now North Gate Farm. The place has come a long way since then,” Pam says.

Always in the Saddle North Gate Farm is, first and foremost, a riding academy offering something for everyone at any level of riding. “We cater to all students, from the very beginning rider to those who are showing in upper level equitation,” Pam says. “We can take you from the very first time you’ve been on a horse to as far as you would potentially like to go.” The barn keeps 20 to 30 lesson horses at any time, providing

Ron Schwane Photography

f you were at the Interscholastic Equestrian Association’s National Championships in Lexington, Kentucky last April, it was hard to miss the North Gate Farm IEA team. Nine excited riders and two proud coaches grinned ear to ear, hugging each other, and cheering one another on as they rode to victory. You also wouldn’t have been able to help but notice the ribbons and trophies they were accumulating, but the team spirit, positive

North Gate Farm’s Upper and Middle School Teams (left to right): Katie Schaaf (coach); Grace MacShane of Concord; Emily Chae of Weston; Lindsey Johnson of Westford; Kate Coffey of Westford (team co-captain); Hannah Chinoporos of Belmont; Ellie Palmier of Wellesley; Ari Chinoporos of Belmont; Pam Duggan (coach and North Gate Farm owner); Madeleine Mitchell of Concord; and Jocelyn Pratt of Acton (IEA youth board member).

attitudes, and sportsmanship are the qualities that really set this champion team apart. It all began at North Gate Farm in Sudbury, home to the 2016 Upper and Middle School National IEA Hunt Seat Champion Teams. The 40 acres of green pastures, wooded trails, and many happy horses provide students an ideal environment to become exceptional riders, in the show ring and out. The level of excellence coming out of North Gate Farm is not only exhibited in the many championship ribbons lining the walls, but also in the genuine smiles and helpful hands of the young students riding there.

A Place to Call Home Pamela Duggan owns and operates North Gate Farm, and the pride and dedication she feels toward the place is ever apparent as she describes how it became the premier hunter/jumper facility it is today. 16

August/September 2016

The plot of land in Sudbury has been a working farm since the 1600s, its earliest purpose tied to vegetable farming. “In the mid-1900s, it was turned into an equestrian center called Cold Brook Farm, at which point the existing barn and indoor arena were built,” Pam says. “The farm was eighteen and a half acres when I purchased it and, two years later, I bought an additional twenty-two and a half acres.” The farm has a 72' x 170' indoor arena, a 100' x 200' outdoor arena, 42 stalls available, and plenty of turnout space. Pam has turned the farm into a home that allows her, the staff, and students the ideal environment to learn, train, and succeed with horses. Between riding lessons, IEA practices, horse shows, and camps, North Gate Farm is always bustling with activity. Pam knows she couldn’t do it all alone. “We’re busy, but we have a lot of good people here that make it all possible and fun!” says Pam.

students a great opportunity to ride many different horses and become allaround horsewomen and horsemen. “We specifically focus on developing riders as a whole here,” Pam says. “It goes beyond just riding skills; it’s holding composure in the ring, preparing mentally and physically and, above all, caring about the horses.” For riders seeking a competitive challenge, the North Gate Farm Equestrian Team has a reputation of excellence in the show ring. The farm offers coaching and experience in nonrated local shows up through national levels. The barn offers full-service boarding, as well as leasing opportunities that make showing accessible. Summer camp is another of Pam’s passions, offering both a day camp at home base and operating an off-farm riding program at Camp Sewataro in Sudbury. The camps give hunt seat lessons to young riders, focusing on the fundamentals of horsemanship, control, and having fun in the saddle.

Students at North Gate Farm enjoy personal attention from trainers, and are able to excel with consistent practice and great instruction. Emily Chae, of Weston, has been riding at North Gate Farm for five years. She’s 14 years old and shows both USEF and IEA. “My riding has improved tremendously here,” she says. “I’ve gone from being an inexperienced short-stirrup rider to a confident junior medal competitor. I lease a horse named Bastille, who I ride and show. I’ll also ride some of North Gate’s greener horses, as well as a variety of school horses in IEA practices.” Many opportunities to get in the saddle are available at North Gate Farm, and each ride brings improvement and new experience. As all of these programs have come together and grown over nearly ten years, Pam has recruited help, and finds that with a team, all runs smoothly. “I used to do all of this myself, but the business just got too big!” she says. “Katie Schaaf joined our team about three years ago, and she has been great. We work very well together.” Katie’s role includes playing a big part in training show clients, as well as the IEA team, which she and Pam are particularly proud of. “I’m so grateful that Pam and I share a passion for IEA,” Katie says. “We’re proud of the success of our team and it’s always so much fun to see our students become confident as they learn to ride a variety of horses.”

IEA Nationals and Beyond IEA is a big deal at North Gate Farm — the farm boasts the largest hunt seat IEA team in the country, with 50 riders. They have quantity for sure, but it’s the quality of riders on the team that’s bringing home national titles. “We’re very competitive, and we take IEA very seriously,” Pam says. She is the IEA Zone 1, Region 3 president. “We hone the skills of each individual rider to make sure they get where they need to be.” The hard work she and Katie have put into developing the team, and the dedication and commitment their riders have shown in return is certainly paying off. North Gate Farm is the only team in IEA history to have both middle and upper school teams claim national championship titles in the same year. They accomplished this during the 2015–2016 season, along with several individual successes. “The consistency of our riders at the 2016 IEA Nationals was something I’m very proud of,” Katie says. “The

upper school team placed fourth or better in every class, and all of our riders — middle and upper school — placed fourth or better on the flat. Our riders work hard to develop the skills, strength, and composure to achieve success, and to watch all of them ride their best in one week was amazing.” Pam was equally thrilled. “Katie and I came home from nationals with our heads in the clouds!” she says. “It took a little while to sink in. It was just completely amazing.” The riders are full of team spirit and work hard to always ride their best and support each other in the show ring and out. Kate Coffey, of Westford, rides on North Gate’s Upper School Team. She’s 16 years old and has been riding in the IEA program for three years. It’s the camaraderie on her team that she values the most in her IEA experience. “My favorite part of the team is how much our team supports each other,” Kate says. “From polishing boots, to putting on each other’s hairnets, to working together to remember a course, noone on the team is ever without help from their fellow riders.” Emily is a member of the middle school team and helped them to victory as she placed fourth in her Future Intermediate On the Flat team class at nationals, and sixth in the Horsemanship Test. “Through IEA, I’ve grown as a rider and made some of my closest friends,” Emily says. “It has shaped not only my riding ability, but also my sportsmanship and horsemanship. Everyone has to work together to succeed. Riding can be such an individual sport and I like that in IEA, it’s all about supporting your teammates to do their best.” Emily also credits great coaching for her own success and her team’s accomplishments. “My trainers, Pam and Katie, have both been a major part of my riding,” says Emily. “They’re both caring, while remaining assertive in their coaching. They always push us to ride our best and work hard.” The commitment of the North Gate Farm trainers is being recognized, too. Katie was the recipient of the first-ever awarded IEA Coach’s Sportsmanship Award. Excellent sportsmanship is what has brought the North Gate Farm IEA Team to nationals consistently, and what made them victorious in April. Pam comments proudly on the good attitudes her riders exhibit, “The riders on the team are always very supportive of, and encouraging to each other.”

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Beginning this fall, the team is looking forward to another year of training, showing, and ribbons, and is ready to defend their championship title. “We have so much to build on with this team,” Katie says. “Our students demonstrate outstanding riding, horsemanship, and sportsmanship, which we only want to grow.” The young riders certainly have every opportunity to grow at North Gate Farm, both as riders and as people. “One of the best things about North Gate Farm is how many of the students consider it home,” Katie says. Emily is certainly among those students. “It’s a happy place,” she says, smiling as she recalls many days spent in the saddle at North Gate farm, and all those to come. “My riding has improved there, but what really makes it special are all of the memories and friends I have made.” Kate can’t help but agree: “It’s so much more than just a barn. The people I have met here have become my second family.” Alessandra Mele, who lives in Wilbraham, works in marketing at W. F. Young/Absorbine. She enjoys spending time with the horses on her family’s farm, especially riding her Quarter Horse, JoJo.

Massachusetts Horse


Lend a Hoof

Bridgewater by Melissa Root

Sunshine Farm Sanctuary A Healing Farm


neighborhood, it had a huge garage and a perfect home for the kids to make their own. This place was not going to be just pony rides, but a safe haven. It would be a refuge for these

Melissa Root

everal years ago, Mel Lambert’s daughter wanted to take riding lessons. Nancy Murphy was happy to oblige. At the time, neither woman knew that their chance meeting would lead them to their ultimate calling in life — helping and healing children in need. Eight years later, Sunshine Farm Sanctuary was born. “It was like an a-ha moment,” says cofounder Nancy. One day during a lesson, Mel casually mentioned that she had begun visiting a little girl in the custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF). Nancy also had always wanted to do that and, soon after, she became a visiting resource. As the two women’s friendship took root, so did new ideas on ways they could help more kids. Both lifelong horsewomen, it only made sense that they should share their love of horses with the kids. “I’d always been interested in sharing my farm and my animals with children,” says Nancy. So, they began taking Miniature horses and a portable corral to DCF area group homes. “The kids loved it,” says co-founder Mel. She notes that grooming and caring for the Minis “really brought them out of their shells.” As the years passed and the two were visiting an increasing number of homes, “more and more kids were saying they wanted to ride,” says Mel. After traveling with the Minis for five years, it was time for the next step of their journey. On a drive back home from visiting the children, they decided it was time to buy these kids a farm. When Mel’s daughter found the property at 258R Walnut Street, in Bridgewater, Mel and Nancy knew they had the perfect farm for their kids. Set on five beautiful acres nestled in a quiet


August/September 2016

children who did not easily trust or feel safe — a place, people, and animals that they could count on. With the help of family, friends, volunteers, and generous donations, Mel and Nancy soon made it all those things, and more. Mel’s husband promptly converted the huge garage into a beautiful barn. All the supplies necessary to build a wonderful riding arena were generously donated by local companies. The support of volunteers and donations were paramount to making Sunshine Farm Sanctuary work, and the response was overwhelming. In October of 2015, the farm was ready for its kids.

A Place To Call Their Own As you turn down the peaceful drive of Sunshine Farm Sanctuary, it’s easy to imagine yourself as a young child. Just to your right sits a Cape Cod style home with a brick chimney and a cozy, welcoming porch. To your left is a field of lush green grass, complete with soccer nets that abut the barn. Directly in

front, you catch a glimpse of the riding arena between the trees. This is no one’s home, and yet it’s home to every child that goes there. As Mel says, “Nobody lives here. Every inch of this property belongs to the kids.” It’s a beautiful day in June. Walking toward the back of the house, you’ll hear the sweet sound of children laughing. A picnic table sits beneath a huge shade tree, and a group of kids are painting sun catchers, each with their unique interpretation and color scheme. “Next time we need white paint,” says one. “When do we get to ride?” asks another. Mel, Nancy, and volunteers Trisha, Stephanie, and Kay banter easily with the kids, encouraging them with praise for their art and holding them up for all to see. It’s an idyllic experience for these kids who lead less than idyllic lives. Most of today’s children will go back to their group home, hoping to someday find a family of their own or to have a caring and supportive foster family that will help them overcome the trauma they’ve endured in their short lives. Sunshine Farm Sanctuary is a haven where they can always feel safe, with adults who guide, support, and encourage them. Consistency is important, too. “Each time they come, they open up a little bit more,” says Nancy. “They visit regularly and are welcome here forever,” says Mel. To know what the farm means to the children who visit, all you need do is walk through the front door. Their artwork adorns every wall. Gifts and cards are found in every room. Displayed on the refrigerator is a note

in sticker letters that simply says, SUNSHINE FARM SAVED ME. It’s addressed to Mel and the staff, and signed “From Jessica”. This is the kitchen where Jessica shared a holiday meal with her Sunshine Farm family not long ago. In fact, many holiday meals are shared here so that each group and child will feel that they belong. Not far away, the kids can find their “feeling box.” Messages of hope, gratitude, and love for the farm are nestled within the box and would bring even the strongest person to tears. Kids who visit the farm can participate in as much or as little as they like. The healing power of horses is a huge part of the schedule, but Mel and Nancy wanted to create the most comprehensive and engaging program possible to promote healing. The program includes arts and crafts therapy, small animals and bonding, physical activities like soccer and T-ball, and agricultural experiences such as planting and growing their own vegetables. On this particular day, almost everyone wants their chance to ride a horse, so it’s off to the barn they go. The handprint wall stops you in your tracks. Proudly displayed above the bunny enclosure are handprints big and small, in a rainbow of colors, scattered among the words HOPE, KINDNESS, FRIENDS. It’s a humbling sight as you head toward the horses, knowing that each of these children has been helped at Sunshine Farm. Inside, a Halflinger therapy horse, Holly Berry, is happily hanging out on cross ties while she is loved on by no fewer than six kids. Each child has a job. Grooming and learning to tack up are important parts of the process. It’s also likely that Holly Berry will get some braids or a nice pink bow. As Nancy leads the mare to the arena, kids are already vying for their turn to ride. Huge smiles light up their faces as volunteers help with helmets and let them know when they can expect their turn. Before Mel joins Nancy in the ring, she talks with a former participant and now volunteer, Kay. “Progress (in their riding) gives them confidence in themselves,” says Kay. Her response is one of experience when she says, “They don’t get in trouble anymore. It gives kids something to look forward to.” Despite her difficult upbringing, Kay is a recent high school graduate and looks forward to starting college in the fall. Her love of the farm continues and she volunteers regularly to help others in difficult situations like hers.

Mel joins Nancy in the ring while volunteers Trisha Bernsen and Stephanie Braudis stand by to help. They cheer their support for each child’s progress. As everyone gets a turn riding, Stephanie says that she started riding with Nancy and was hooked. Both she and Trisha have been with Sunshine Farm since opening day, and with Nancy and Mel when they were traveling to the group homes with Minis. Both volunteers enjoy getting to know the kids and spending time with them. The kids clearly agree, as laughter from the arena creates the background music to this gorgeous day. Through their amazing experience at Sunshine Farm Sanctuary, each child has the opportunity to laugh, learn, and build confidence and self-esteem in a safe environment where they’re always welcomed with open hearts.

Scientific Support Mel and Nancy saw only positive results when the kids were interacting with the horses. A sad child would smile. A shy child would reach out. A child that wouldn’t make eye contact upon meeting them would soon be asking questions and getting involved. What Mel and Nancy didn’t know was why — until they attended a childhood trauma seminar by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Dr. van der Kolk compared brain MRIs of children who had experienced trauma with those who had not. He essentially found that children exposed to trauma had little to no activity within their frontal lobe. This disengaged some otherwise normal functions such as memory and problem solving. Without those abilities, and because the trauma was stored as a sensation within the brain, the children could feel fear for their safety or well being, but not understand why, or how to deal with it. This difference in brain activity was likely the cause of withdrawal, misbehavior, and unease. The findings of his research astounded Mel. Mel says that Dr. van der Kolk’s research — and perhaps the biggest aha! moment so far for Mel and Nancy — came with the phychiatrist’s assertion that mental stimulation and mindfulness in the form of engaging activities was like a workout for the frontal lobe. Results had shown that when previously traumatized children were exposed to activities such as horseback riding, sports, arts and crafts, or others that gave them a sense of purpose, they began to heal. Like an unused muscle,

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the frontal lobe was able to develop over time and repeated stimulation. So, what Mel and Nancy were seeing in the form of happiness, confidence, and enhanced self-esteem could now be scientifically explained, as well. Roughly 70 children visit the farm each week, with DCF-sponsored group homes making up the majority. The Italian Home for Children, the Walker School, the Brockton STARR program, the Home for Little Wanderers Plymouth and Walpole, Lindencroft, and the Brookview House, among others, make regularly scheduled trips with the children in their care. Organizations and individual foster families are always welcome to plan a visit by contacting Mel and Nancy at (508) 341-7822. To help, consider volunteering at Sunshine Farm Sanctuary, or becoming a child advocate in the form of a visiting resource through DCF. For more information, visit Photographer Melissa Root lives in Dighton with her husband and their two horse-crazy girls. Melissa hadn’t ridden since she was a child, but when her older daughter fell in love with horses, it was almost as if she was back in the saddle herself.

Massachusetts Horse



Mindful Connections with Your IEA Draw Horse for a Competitive Edge

by Nicole Birkholzer


re you riding on an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team? If so, you will get to meet and ride a variety of horses, each with their own personality and skills. Initially, you start connecting with the horses that belong to your team’s barn. Most likely, your horses have been part of the riding program for a while and have carried many riders. They’re professionals, know their job, and have a strong work ethic. Over time, you’ll become familiar with their unique personalities, their quirks, and abilities while you get used to the tack and the new routines.

A school horse does not have the same lifestyle. Although they might have the same person feed them each day and clean their stall, many are handled by different people throughout the day. One week, you’ll be riding the

surging through their bodies. When you look through the eyes of your lesson horse, and consider the stress/tension this lifestyle can have on him, you can easily understand that there’s one thing any horse would love to experience — connection with a calm and consistent person. And that can be you, and your ticket to a great ride. Here are some tips on how you can instantly be that calm and consistent person for your lesson horse, and for the horses you are paired with at IEA shows.

1. Before you enter the barn for your lesson, take a moment to remember that no matter how the horse displays himself, there’s one thing he longs to do — connect with a person who cares about him.

“Every horse that I rode had something to teach me and that’s what makes IEA so unique, getting to ride so many horses.” former rider, Hopkinton (

At the show, your horse will be determined by draw, and — without a warm up — you’ll pop yourself into an unfamiliar saddle, pick up the reins, and enter the class, keeping your fingers crossed that you and the horse are a good match and can impress the judge. It might appear as though your level of success in the ring is tied to the luck of the draw, but there is something you can do to give a competitive edge to yourself and the horse you are riding. When you see the world through the horse’s eyes, you’ll create an instant connection with the horse because you can support him mindfully during your time together. There are a couple of things to consider when you think about lesson horses. School horses are often owned or leased by the farm or stable. So, unlike horses that live in people’s backyards or at boarding barns, school horses do not get a lot of individualized attention from one person. A horse that lives in the backyard or boarding barn is attended to by the same person morning, noon, and night. They get to hang out and ride with their owner and develop a deep bond that evolves over many years. 20 August/September 2016

2. When you enter the horse’s stall or paddock, stop and take a deep, abdominal breath. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, and clear your mind so you can be truly present with the sentient being standing in front of you. beautiful bay and, in next week’s lesson, one of your teammates is riding her while you are asked to ride the dapple gray. From the team’s perspective, this makes sense. Your goal is to improve your riding on different horses. For the horse, it makes less sense because, as a creature of habit, the challenge is getting used to new riders every day — different styles of riding, body postures, and levels of experience. Because a school horse has so much to take in, they often learn a variety of ways to cope with all the newness and change. Some horses close themselves off from the commotion, and become somewhat unresponsive and withdrawn. Connecting with them before your ride can be challenging. Other horses express their sense of being overwhelmed by getting antsy. Their adrenaline level rises as they dance around the arena, looking for an outlet for the nervous energy that’s

3. If you are tacking up by yourself, take another deep breath and ask your horse to please put his nose in the halter. At first, he might not respond. After all, most people don’t give the horse a chance to join in on the fun of his own accord. But if you take another deep breath — or two — the horse might start leaning toward you, indicating he is ready for the tack. 4. Now, instead of marching off right away, horse in tow, take another deep breath and invite your horse to follow you down the aisle. 5. As you walk together, you have one more opportunity to connect. Put your hand on your horse’s withers, or the spot where the neck and shoulder meet — both those areas are locations where joints, tendons, and nerves connect. Laying your hand on those areas and taking a deep breath will offer your

horse a calming touch and relax his nervous system.

6. At your lesson and your horse show class, take another deep breath before you step up into the saddle, and hold the intention that you will do your part to make this the best ride this horse can have. A good ride always starts with a breath. When you take a deep conscious breath, your body becomes more relaxed. When your body is relaxed, your horse can be supple, sense your body and cues, and anticipate your next move.

7. Upon entering the arena, be aware of the small-but-significant opportunities to connect with your horse. In a flat class, before you transition from walk to trot, and trot to canter, breathe deeply into your seat for a strong connection with your horse. For a smooth downward transition, use an exhale to give your horse notice that a change in tempo is coming. If you’re entering an over-fences class, match your inhale and exhale with the rise and fall of each jump. As you approach the first fence, inhale. As you descend on the other side, exhale. The horse will sense your ability to match his rhythm and he’ll look for it at the next jump, making you both a harmonious team that’s apparent to the judges. When entering a reining class, you can sharpen your spins and slides a lot if you take a conscious breath at the right time. Because holding your breath will drop the connection between you and your horse, be sure to breathe continuously as you are increasing momentum in your spin. As for the slide, inhale as you build up speed and exhale to ensure a deep-seated and balanced stop that impresses the judge.

that he appreciated your connection, and a sign that he released some of the tension he acquired during the lesson. Releasing that tension will make him more comfortable as he goes through the rest of his day. “I can’t believe how quickly the horse I was partnered with connected with me when I used your breathing technique.”

Trailers 2016

Marlie Maze

When you connect with each horse in this mindful way, you’ll recognize how much your relationship with every horse will grow and evolve. Horses love it when you are present. They only know how to live in the present moment and when you meet them in that space, through a conscious breath and by engaging in this kind manner, horses are always willing to stretch a little farther, jump a little higher, and dig a little deeper for you. Nicole Birkholzer, animal intuit, author, relationship coach for horses and humans offers her Mindful Connections® approach through workshops, her writings, webinars, and podcasts. If you want to treat your horse … host a workshop at your facility. To treat yourself … sign up for Nicole’s newsletter at

Are you a dedicated horseperson with sales experience and potential? Are you looking to parlay years of experience in the saddle into putting other people into saddles? Would you like to make a living in the industry that you love? Now, COUNTY SADDLERY, the world’s premier saddle makers and fitters, are looking to convert your years of experience and love for horses into a high-paying, high-value position.

8. As you line up facing the ringmaster, or leave the arena after your over-fences or reining class, take another deep breath, whisper a little “thank you” to the horse, and present yourself and your horse as a team.

9. After your lesson, on your way back to the barn, thank the horse for his willingness to participate. Trust that he, just like you, did his best. Then, as you untack, take another breath or two and rest your hand on the horse’s neck or shoulder. The horse might drop his head or lick and chew, wonderful signs

Do you have contacts within the dressage, hunter, jumper, and eventing industry? Trainers, grooms, vets, or industry-related sales? is is a match for you! As you already know, your horse’s saddle is a very personal and valuable piece of equipment. As a COUNTY representative, you’ll be asked not just to sell saddles, but to solve problems and build lasting relationships with your customer.

If you’re ready for a new and exciting career, send your resume to: (Please include your equestrian qualifications.) Massachusetts Horse


Youth Spotlight


Kassey Wilda

by Andrea Bugbee

College Is This High Schooler’s Patch


school horses are carefully chosen college employees. They not only help students advance their skills, they’re also integral to the college’s four equestrian teams: Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) hunt seat, western, and dressage, and Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) hunt seat.

Anne O'Connor

hat if, rather than being a banker or doctor or teacher, your mom worked at one of the finest equestrian facilities in Massachusetts? Well, that dream is daily life for 14-year-old Kassey Wilda, of Holyoke. Her mother, Jennifer Wilda, is the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center stable manager, and Kassey — who is passionate about horses — tags along to work with her mom as often as possible. “I’ve been riding at Mount Holyoke for maybe eight years now,” Kassey says. “I know I’m privileged.” For readers who have never visited this prestigious South Hadley women’s college equestrian center, here’s a taste of the privileges that “riding at Mount Holyoke” gives Kassey: A large, outdoor show arena that almost never floods, a permanent outdoor dressage arena, and two indoor arenas, one of which is 210' x 100'. To keep the dust down, the riding arenas have automatic waterers that gently spray the footing, much like the grocery store mist machines that keep produce fresh. Beyond the many turnout paddocks are a cross-country course and wooded trails through 120 acres of varied terrain. Sometimes in the summer when the college students are away, Kassey moves her beloved pony to Mount Holyoke. There, he joins a pampered, albeit hard-working, herd of 65 horses stabled in airy, rubber-matted stalls. Their water buckets are filled with the pull of a rope located outside every stall. Fragrant green hay falls from the loft four times a day. Each school horse has its own tack, along with an individual grooming bucket neatly labeled with the precise equipment the horse requires. Such superlative care is essential because, in effect, Mount Holyoke’s 22

August/September 2016

Sassy Kassey Kassey may be growing up in the halo of horse heaven, but this diligent equestrian is far from spoiled. Lessons with top college coaches and constantly riding a wide variety of horses has absolutely made her a winning competitor, but Kassey has earned every one of her successes. From painting poles to pushing a wheelbarrow, this awesome “barn brat” pitches in, helps out, and rarely says no to an opportunity to be on or around horses. Despite her nickname, “Sassy Kassey,” (Jen says this is more for her lightning wit rather than for being

fresh), Kassey willingly cleans stalls and babysits for show money. She helps take care of the three horses stabled at her mother’s house and, of course, she’s happy to hack any horse that needs a romp. “I ride a lot of the horses that need to be hacked,” Kassey says, smiling. “If there’s a horse that nobody else can handle, my mom will have me get on him. There’s this one horse, Sox. I don’t know why, but he loves me. He’s hard for everybody else. I get to ride the big fancy horses that are a little bit tricky, but I also ride the easier horses for a nice little hack to get them out of the lesson mindset.” Joy Collins is Mount Holyoke College’s riding program manager. Along with head riding coach C. J. Law, Collins has been one of Kassey’s longtime (and loved) collegiate coaches. “As with any rider who hangs around the barn, Kassey is often asked to school a horse, or just get a few out for exercise,” Joy says. “Extra riding is a wonderful way to become a good rider. However, Kassey is also tasked to do chores and help with running horse shows. She’s an excellent organizer and could probably run a horse show by herself, as she has been behind the scenes with her mother and the other staff here at MHC for many years.” Jen says, “I guess my expectation for Kass is really high. People know she gets extra, so I want everyone to know that she does work hard. She certainly gets dragged [to Mount Holyoke] on days when she doesn’t necessarily have to be there, like if we’re low on staff, and need help.”

Rhumpy to the Rescue As an equestrian, Joy describes Kassey as, “ . . . quiet and soft, and horses love her.” But Kassey’s ride toward success

hasn’t been without bucks. When she was about 10 or 11, she had a scare that almost made her put her boots away forever. “The pony’s name was Bubbles,” Kassey says. “I was riding in the Mount Holyoke College indoor arena and I went over a jump, and he took off. I fell and scraped the side of my face. I didn’t want to ride after that.” Jen, a lifelong horsewoman who still lives on the Morgan breeding farm in Holyoke where she grew up, set out to find a pony that would rebuild Kassey’s confidence. “We tried three different horses, but Rhumpy I felt safest on,” Kassey says. Rhumpy, a bay Morgan cross who’s just a winter’s coat taller than a pony, had been a Mount Holyoke College school horse for years. Today, he’s 21 and Kassey Wilda’s best friend. “He’s a pain,” Kassey says, laughing. “But he just makes me smile. Before him, I was afraid of the bigger horses. Rhumpy would spin and buck and just be sassy, kind of like me. After him, I wasn’t really afraid. I showed him for two years.” Joy tells the secret to Kassey and Rhumpy’s many blue ribbons. “There’s a trick to showing Rhumpy,” she says. “When he stands at the in gate, you must give him his favorite candy treats, Smarties. If you bribe him with these sweet treats and promise him more at the out gate, he will pretty much lay down the perfect trip — lead changes and all.” Now that Kassey is a long-legged, advanced rider, she still takes Rhumpy bareback on trails. “I tried to retire him because of his age, but he didn’t want to,” she says. Her eyes shine when she talks about playing with her pet in the large indoor. Or the time that she and her friend, South Hadley teen Sarah Picard, walked Rhumpy on a lead rope right into the center of Mount Holyoke College’s campus. It’s a beautiful spot where many locals enjoy a walk with their dogs. “I was just walking my big puppy dog,” Kassey says, grinning.

IEA — Incredibly Excellent Adventure Once she started middle school, Kassey was old enough to join Mount Holyoke College’s IEA team. When she talks about it, she doesn’t even mention the competition, even though last season she qualified for regionals, both over fences and on the flat, then continued onto zones on the flat. “I kind of broke out of my shell with IEA,” Kassey says. “When you’re on the IEA team, it

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508-763-5158 . spreads out your friends a little bit more. It’s the new people that you meet. We all just goof around at Mount Holyoke College. Like, we’ll be washing the horses and ‘accidentally’ spray each other. Or in the fall, we’ll go up to the apple trees and get apples for the horses. We’ll go out to eat. We have parties. Kendall does a lot for us.” Kendall Crutchfield is Mount Holyoke College’s talented, energetic head IEA coach. “I really value the level of team camaraderie IEA brings,” Kendall says. “Typically, riding is an individual sport. I like that the IEA brings together athletic, competitive girls and allows them to benefit from a team atmosphere. And Kassey, as a teammate, does a great job not only as an individual rider, but she also does her best to be a supportive team member. At the age level they’re at, this environment is an extremely positive one in their lives.” “The beauty of Kassey is that, with all of the opportunity she’s had to be at our facility, she’s able to provide a wellrounded, approachable leadership to the team members, whether they be older or younger than her,” Kendall says. “She’s capable, knowledgeable,

and approachable. The girls like her — and she’s a good rider. No one can deny that.” Often, it’s Kassey or her friend Sarah who is first to welcome a newcomer to the barn. As a team, the members brush each other’s boots, quiz each other on courses, share show coats when one is forgotten, giggle (a lot), and huddle together under blankets during cold November shows. They text each other, “like” each others’ Instagram posts, carpool together, and talk incessantly about horses. “I feel like the IEA really brought out the good in Kass,” Jen says. “It’s helped her to become a leader, a helper, and a friend. I just see her as a very strong, independent woman who’s going to be okay in life. Animals have taught her empathy and leadership. In life, you need those things. And that’s what horses are about. They’re herd animals. They’re looking for leadership.” “I’m very proud of her,” says Jen, whom Kassey credits as being her first and forever coach. “I just love her to pieces.” Andrea Bugbee is a freelance reporter. She lives with her husband and their children in Southwick.

Massachusetts Horse



Trail Guide

Ward Reservation

by Stacey Stearns


Stacey Stearns

than 15 cars. There was plenty of room. iews of the Merrimack Valley and It’s a one-way parking lot, and I recomBoston skyline await riders at the mend parking horse trailers on the 704-acre Ward Reservation, in Andover and North Andover. The prop- lower half, or the far side of the fence, as there is more shade from the forest erty is owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations and is accessed and it’s a safer place to tie to your trailer. via Prospect Road. Similar to other Trustees properties, Ward Reservation has a View from Holt Hill rich history. Mabel Ward donated 153 acres to the Trustees in 1940 as a tribute to the memory of her husband, Charles W. Ward, who died in 1933. Over the years, the Ward family and others have made additional donations, bringing the total land at Ward Reservation to more than 700 acres. There are three major hills at Ward Being 20 miles north of Boston Reservation: Shrub, Boston, and Holt. makes Ward Reservation a very popular All three are linked by trails, and offer destination. The parking lot buzzes with remarkable views. Holt Hill has the disactivity on the weekend. Families and tinction of being the highest point in dogs are part of a steady stream of visiEssex County at 420 feet. On top of tors, who are also with you out on the Holt Hill are the Solstice Stones. The stones are arranged like a compass, with trail. There are strict rules about dogs on the trails, as they have caused a bad the points for the summer and winter accident here in the past, but there are solstices and the spring and autumn still many dogs out there — riders equinoxes. should stay alert. Exuberant children Holt Hill is named for Nicholas share their joy of being outdoors with Holt, who had a settlement there in the mid-1600s. Townspeople climbed to the anyone within shouting distance. The reservation is open year top of Holt Hill on June 17, 1775, to round, from 8 a.m. to sunset every day. watch the burning of Charlestown durThe gates are closed and locked at suning the Revolutionary War. set. There’s a $5 parking fee, payable at a self-service kiosk. Leave the parking Access and Resources receipt on the dash of your truck (vehiDirections are available at cles have been towed out of the lot). I chose to use my GPS, There are no bathrooms or water for with just the street name and town, and horses or humans at Ward Reservation. promptly found myself in another town I chose to ride on the summer solaltogether. I recommend using the stice, which was Father’s Day, and a directions on the Trustees website — beautiful Sunday. These factors may there’s a reason they are not pointing have caused the outage of maps at the visitors toward GPS. information board. Luckily, I had Prospect Road is narrow and twistprinted one from before ing, so use caution when driving to and from the reservation. The website states leaving home. Viewable maps were available on the trail periodically, or I that the parking lot holds 15 cars. could’ve taken a photo of a map with Having been to other Trustees propermy smartphone. The trails in Ward ties, I was prepared for a small parking Reservation are incredibly well marked lot, however, I think this lot holds more 24

August/September 2016

and, not long into my ride, I put the map away, and didn’t refer to it again. I relied instead on the blazes on trees, and directional signs posted by trail managers. As part of the conservation and stewardship plan, prescribed fire (or a controlled burn) is periodically carried out on Boston Hill. About five to ten acres are affected, and this promotes and protects habitat for rare species, improves safety by reducing the chance of wildfires, and provides training for firefighters. I saw evidence of a controlled burn when I was on Boston Hill, and evidence of the rare plants and wildlife that make their home here. The full management plan, and information on the burn is available on the Trustees website. On days when a controlled burn is taking place, trails around Boston Hill are closed to the public. A quick Google search of Ward Reservation alerted me that bugs are an issue during the summer months. Pack bug spray for horses and humans to ensure an enjoyable ride. The bulletin board at the trailhead warns of Emerald Ash Borer and the presence of deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease. Seasonal bow hunting is allowed at Ward Reservation, and equestrians should use caution and wear blaze orange during the fall months. For those looking to make a day of it, or increase their mileage, Weir Hill — another Trustees property open to horses — is also located in North Andover. Additionally, Harold Parker State Forest is minutes away, offering a third option for Bay State equestrians.

Out Riding It Although the website states that there are 10 miles of trails, when you arrive at Ward Reservation, there are actually 14 miles, but not all are suitable for horses. A bog on the boardwalk out to Pine Hole Pond isn’t horse friendly, espe-

cially the steep stairs down to the boardwalk. However, this could be an interesting side trip for nature lovers who choose to return to the reservation on foot. The trails and locations at Ward Reservation have fun names. I rode on Rachel’s Trail, sat on Elephant Rock, and then continued on Vetter Trail. I’m saving Mars Swamp and Rubbish Meadow for another day. The Bay Circuit Trail also runs through Ward Reservation, and links at points with some of the trails. I followed a well-beaten path on Rachel’s Trail, along an old apple orchard, where a few hardy trees still survived in the fields. The trails are shaded in many places, thanks to the majestic maple trees and other species growing alongside the trail. With a slight breeze it was cool and comfortable. Private property intermingles the edge of trails in certain areas, so be aware of the signage and stay on the Trustees land. Everyone had the same idea of going to the Solstice Stones on the summer solstice. There were picnics, people relaxing with books, and others just enjoying the Sunday afternoon. The farther I went into the woods, the more

peaceful it became, as crowds dissipated to a mere trickle. Despite the hoopla at Holt Hill, I had Boston Hill all to myself. Wildlife and birds could be heard along the trail, and the sound of hoofbeats and the sloshing of my water bottle were the only other noise. Along the trail, birdhouses are strategically placed in the fields to promote nesting. The trails are a maze of roots and rocks, but are extremely well maintained. As I moved deeper into the woods, the wide trail narrowed and the dense underbrush came closer. From

Elephant Rock, you can hear cars in the distance, and you are treated to spectacular views of Boston and Gloucester. Taking in the view from Elephant Rock, I felt as though I was perched on top of the world. I spent several minutes enjoying the views and wildlife. After all, how often do we really stop, take a breath, and realize that life is good? Happy trails. Stacey Stearns, a lifelong equestrian from Connecticut, enjoys trail riding and endurance with her Morgan horses.

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News in Our Community ceed in the arena as well as the classroom. Our partnership with IEA is rooted in our shared values and a commitment to recognize athletic excellence, integrity, and service.” Nearly 750 IEA riders were eligible

weekend early for a few competitors who garnered multiple refusals at this element. The Interscholastic Equestrian Sunday saw smooth, yet challenging Association (IEA), in conjunction with show-jumping courses set up for each the Intercollegiate Horse Show level. Anna Loschiavo of Bradford, Association (IHSA), awards a student Vermont, was a big winner rider the National over the weekend as she Sportsmanship Award each led three victory gallops — year. This year’s award was a tradition at the end of a presented to Kate Coffey, a three-day event — winning 16-year-old rider from the Intermediate/ Westford. Preliminary division with The national award Prince Renan, Senior winner is selected from a Open Training-A with Ace group of riders who earned of Hearts, and Senior a sportsmanship award at Open Training-B with a local, regional, or zone Fernhill Swatch. IEA show during the During the lunch 2015–2016 season. These break, volunteers and winners were then invited patrons sat in the shade of to submit an application the ancient oak trees or for the National under the sponsors’ tent Sportsmanship Award. alongside the lower ring, The student riders suband were treated to a mitted a résumé, comdemonstration given by posed a 250-word essay students of Windrush explaining how horses Lena Bartolotti, of Hamilton, and Crayola at the Groton House Farm Horse Trials. Farm Therapeutic and/or equestrian competifor the National Sportsmanship Award. Equitation, a long-time beneficiary of tion have influenced her/his life, and Kate was the top of the 140 finalist the Groton House Farm Horse Trials. three letters of recommendation. applicants. Also during the lunch break, a few dediKate Coffey, a rider on the North cations and awards were presented, Gate Equestrian Team of Sudbury, including the annual volunteer award Groton House Farm Horse Trials received a $500 scholarship from the presented to Tim Murray of Hamilton, Groton House Farm in Hamilton IEA, a lifetime membership to the IEA, with honorable mention going to and a nomination by the IEA to affiliate hosted its annual United States father-daughter duo David and Tory Eventing Association recognized horse sportsmanship award programs. The Wilson of Reading, for their tireless trials from June 24 to 26. Unlike last IHSA awarded Kate a keeper trophy efforts in organizing and volunteering year, when the weather on Sunday and her name engraved on a perpetual during the event. forced organizers to make an unpreceSportsmanship Award trophy. Kate Throughout the weekend, the dented decision to shorten the competiplaced third in the National members of the USEA Area 1 Young tion to two days, the weather this year Sportsmanship rankings for the Riders Program made a stunning effort was picture perfect. 2014–2015 season. The competition went off without a to raise money toward sending a team “Good sportsmanship is a tenant in of riders to the North American Junior hitch, even as the organizers and volunthe IEA and this award is held to high and Young Rider Championships. At teers juggled five busy dressage rings regard,” says Roxane Lawrence, IEA the conclusion of the event, the prorunning concurrently on Friday. On executive director. “Choosing the gram raised $11,000 by hosting aucSaturday, cross-country day, many specNational Sportsmanship award winner tions, parties, and their annual stall tators turned out to watch the nearly from the pool of amazing candidates cleaning service. 240 competitors tackle exciting Noviceseems to get harder each year. Kate is The beautiful Groton House Farm through Intermediate/Preliminaryan outstanding equestrian and her property is open for spectators throughlevel courses. The current drought sportsmanship is something to be out the weekend of the annual event. made for some hard ground for gallopenvied.” Horse lovers can venture through the ing, and many competitors opted for a “Throughout the history of IHSA,” picturesque landscape and enjoy watchslower pace, coming in over the time says founder and IHSA Executive ing some of the finest event riders and allowed. The Novice and Preliminary Director, Bob Cacchione, “I’ve always horses from Massachusetts and beyond. courses took riders through the notoribeen impressed by the caliber of sportsAdditionally, lower-level riders and ous sunken road, which shook up the manship and teamwork exhibited by standings and, unfortunately, ended the horses can experience riding on the our student athletes, who strive to sucAbigail Powell

Kate Coffey Wins IEA Sportsmanship Award


August/September 2016

property at the Groton House Farm Summer Classic on the weekend before the horse trials, or later in the year at the Fall Classic. The Classics hold Beginner, Novice, and Elementary divisions that are perfect for introducing an inexperienced rider or horse to eventing at the one-and-only Groton House Farm.

n Abigail Powell

horse from Equus Therapeutic in Lanesboro. The Berkshire Carousel is now open for regular rides, and tokens can be purchased for $2. To learn more, visit

n Alessandra Mele

Blue Rider Stables 25th Anniversary Benefit Event Blue Rider Stables in South Egremont is celebrating their 25th anniversary year,

Berkshire Carousel Grand Opening The highly anticipated Berkshire Carousel was unveiled to the public on July 1 in Pittsfield, the herd of handcarved horses ready and willing to give thousands of local children rides. The carousel has been in the works for more than a decade and is the result of thousands of hours of volunteer work that included hand carving, sanding, and painting the intricate horses. Pittsfield residents Jim Shulman and his wife, Jackie, have seen the project through since its conception in 2004. They were pleased to see the resulting carousel so well received by more than 5,000 people who bought tickets to ride. The carousel includes 33 horses, two chariots, and one donkey. Several of the equines are based on real-life horses, including Magic, a beloved therapy

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Massachusetts Horse


and is pleased to announce A Horse of a Different Color — an event to benefit the stables, horses, and therapeutic riding program. The evening of dining, remembrance, dancing, and entertainment takes place at Chesterwood in Stockbridge. The event will bring together a quarter century of Blue Rider supporters to celebrate the organization’s history and accomplishments. Narratives and memories of students, volunteers, and friends from throughout the year will be compiled into a special exhibit and revealed at the benefit event. A Horse of a Different Color will be held on September 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, and to learn how you can donate, sponsor the event, and provide items for the silent and live auctions, visit

n Alessandra Mele

Greg Best: Full-Time Trainer at Dana Hall School Dana Hall School, in Wellesley, has secured Olympic show-jumping veteran Greg Best as the full-time trainer at the school’s Karen Stives ’68 Equestrian Center (KSEC). Greg will relocate with his wife and children from New Zealand to the United States for six months each year. During that time, he will coach

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August/September 2016

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Century Ride Reunion “This was the year!” says Judy Hybels of Gloucester, fondly talking about Davos, her 27-year-old Warmblood. “We celebrated twenty years together this spring and our combined ages reached the magic number of one hundred!”

Always one to set goals, Judy found the perfect show to fulfill their centuryclub ride: the Potomac Valley Dressage Association’s annual June Ride for Life fundraiser for breast cancer, held at the Prince Georges County Equitation Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Davos lives nearby at Maryland Therapeutic Riding, as part of the herd of therapy horses, so Judy commuted down for a few practice rides. “Once we braided him, he knew it

Cindy Hybels Johnson

Dana Hall equestriennes and help them prepare for top competitions. Greg takes over for Cookie DeSimone, who has been the school’s trainer-in-residence since the 1970s. As she transitions to retirement, Cookie will continue to work full time through the end of December, after which she will collaborate with Dana Hall on a part-time basis. Greg is most well known for his partnership with the gray Thoroughbred show jumper, Gem Twist. The duo earned individual and team silver medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and placed fourth at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm. Although he resides in New Zealand, Greg spends much of his time traveling and teaching clinics all over the world. He is well regarded at Dana Hall, where he has been a regular clinician during the past five years. “I’ve been coming to Dana Hall for a few years now, thanks, in large part, to Karen Stives’s generosity and the enthusiastic support of Cookie, KSEC Director Sarah Summers ’98, and the Dana Hall students,” says Greg. “I’m so excited to join the community here and to help lead the equestrian program forward. Cookie will be leaving some very big shoes to fill and it is my aim to honor her legacy, as well as Karen’s vision for the program. I’ll also incorporate my ideas and those from the rest of the staff to create something very special for the students at Dana Hall.” The legacy of fellow Olympic silver medalist Karen Stives ’68 has allowed the school to build a top equestrian facility and develop a program driven by an emphasis on excellence in horsemanship. “Greg exemplifies the qualities that Karen Stives ’68 envisioned for our program, and we know she would have been very pleased with his addition to our staff,” says Sarah. “This is an exciting time for Dana Hall and its history of excellence in riding and horsemanship.” Prior to taking the official trainer post, Greg will host clinics at KSEC in both August and October before starting his engagement in May 2017.

Judy Hybels with Davos joined the Century Club — the combined age of the horse and rider must equal 100 or more — sponsored by the Dressage Foundation.

was show time and he got pumped,” says Judy. They rode First Level for a score of 63.3 percent. “It was one of the more nerve-racking tests I’ve done, but Davos behaved himself in the ring,” says Judy. “I had forgotten how much this horse loves to show off. He piaffed all the way back to the stalls.” Standing at a compact 15.3 hands, Davos (aka Dave) has proven to be a most versatile, athletic, tolerant, and kind partner for many. He was imported at age four by a dressage trainer from Vermont, but it turned out that the horse much preferred jumping. Judy bought 7-year-old Davos in 1996, after trainer Greg Prince trailered him down to the Dana Hall School in Wellesley during the winter. A smaller stature and sensitive nature made horse and rider a very successful match. “It was a surprise. I had tried a lot of horses, but as soon as I sat on him, I knew he was the one and so did my trainer, Cookie Shirley,” says Judy. Both Judy and her daughter, Cindy

Hybels Johnson, showed Davos successfully in adult hunter and equitation classes all over New England for ten years, working with trainers Cookie DeSimone and Robin Petersen. Davos won many hunter championships, and qualified for Massachusetts and New England Equitation Finals with both riders. Cindy won the Massachusetts Young Adult Equitation Finals with him in 1999. Now a full-time dressage rider, Judy trains with Jennifer Mahoney-Goland of Sarval Dressage in Newbury. Her current dressage horse, Farbough, is a Hanoverian that she shows Third and Fourth level. When Judy bought Farbough in 2010, Davos went to two Pony Club girls at a farm near her daughter in Maryland. In 2011, at the age of 22, Davos competed with them at the National Pony Club Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Judy flew down to watch her steed perform. “He galloped and jumped around, leaving out strides like a rock star,” she says, proudly. Not ready to retire, Davos auditioned for his current job at Maryland Therapeutic Riding in Crownsville and joined their herd in 2013. “They love him, and he loves his job at MTR,” says Judy. “He especially enjoys all the attention from staff, volunteers, and riders. He’s never had such a gorgeous coat!” For Judy, the century-ride experience already has her looking forward to another test with Farbough. “In five years, he and I will add up to the magic one hundred,” says Judy. “A good friend and her horse at my barn will also reach that number at the same time, and who knows what will happen by then, but we think a century-ride pas de deux would be very cool!” The Century Club was formed at the Dressage Foundation in 1996. The Centurion class promotes dressage for seniors as recreational and therapeutic riding. The Century Club has evolved into a serious endeavor, which is challenging and has long-term goals and benefits.

n Holly Jacobson

River Wind Farm Is Moving River Wind Farm will be relocating this summer to Dreamfield Farm in Marshfield, less than five miles from our current home in Pembroke. “We’re excited about this new chapter in our rich history and look forward to continuing to Massachusetts Horse


provide our customers and horses with exceptional care and instruction for years to come,” says the Riverwind Farm Facebook page. “We’re still working out dates and logistics, and we’ll keep our friends and customers informed as details become available. Our remaining 2016 horse show dates — August 11, 19, and 24 — will be held at Herring Brook Farm.” To learn more about the shows, visit

Massachusetts Exhibitors Trot into Devon’s Winner’s Circle

Showing under the Rodney Hicks Stable banner, two amateurs made successful first appearances at Devon. Maureen Quackenbush drove Four Point O into the winner’s circle in both the qualifying class, as well as the Hackney Pleasure Driving Pony Championship. The Fresh Prince and owner Carol Wesson won the Limit Harness Pony class. When Rodney’s son, Danny, wasn’t helping with barn tours or speaking on live TV with the local media, he was driving The Perfectionist into the win-

Mary Stokes Waller, of Orleton Farm in Stockbridge, was the whip for a pair of Welsh Pony brothers pulling a Spider Phaeton. In the Carriage Pleasure Drive, Mary won the Pony Pair division and she was reserve in the Single/Pair Pony Pleasure turnout class. “Devon is very important to the history of our breeds, but even more important to our future,” says Janet Crawford Hicks. “We have exposure to thousands of spectators and are able to reach new people through the barn tours. The best reason for our exhibitors to come to Devon is that it’s fun. We do our best to make everyone feel welcome. Devon is a unique experience and one that should not be missed.”

Doug Shiflet

The 120th Annual Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, held May 26 to June 5 in Devon, Pennsylvania, is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the n Suzy Lucine United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia's African Safari Ride prestigious Main Line setting The African Safari Ride at the stage, the event features a Willowbrook Farm in Groton world-class field that annuon August 21 offers distances ally ranks among the most of approximately seven, fifteen, prominent, internationally. and twenty miles. The ride The event also includes the includes coffee and breakfast country fair that offers goodies in the morning, an onworld-class shopping, rides trail snack for the fifteen and and games for kids, multiple twenty mile rides, and a homedining options, and special cooked African buffet dinner entertainment events. afterwards. We’ll ride on beauRandy Harper, of tiful trails with footing suitable Shelbyville, Kentucky, for a barefoot horse. The trails judged the Saddlebred, parallel both sides of the Collin Kimple and Exhilarating were the Reserve Amateur Hackney Pony Hackney and Harness Ponies, Champions at Devon. Nashua River on public and Hackney Horses, Friesians, private lands. The fifteen- and and Roadster classes. Janet Crawford ner’s circle as the Amateur Harness twenty-milers will do a loop through the Hicks of Pittsfield is a member of the Pony Champion. Marjorie Kinney owns Groton Town Forest. horse show committee and chairman of this bay mare. The ride is co-sponsored by the the Saddlebred/ Hackney Committee. Collin Kimple, of Kimple Littleton Horse Owners Association, “The community involvement with Horseshoeing in Lee, went into the and proceeds from the ride will help Devon is inspiring,” Janet says. “More Dixon Oval a different way than usual. Build a School in Africa, a 501(c) nonthan 2,000 volunteers make the show a Instead of entering to replace a pulled profit, all-volunteer organization. This success.” shoe, he was sitting behind a pony fall, their seventeenth school will be Entries from Rodney Hicks Stable owned and trained by Page and Amy built in the village of Doumanaba in the in Pittsfield had another great show at Champion of Braeburn Equestrian Sikasso region of southern Mali, West Devon. For the fifth time, The Center. Collin and the pony were the Africa — one of the ten poorest counSpiderman won the Open Hackney Reserve Amateur Hackney Pony tries in the world. Many villages in Mali Pony Championship. Rodney drove the Champions. have no schools, or are holding classes popular black pony to the blue in the Lynda St. Andre and Attaches in windowless storerooms, or temporary qualifying class, as well, for owner Ed Chocolate Thunder have been domishelters made of straw mats on a frameOchsenschlager. For the third time, nant competitors at Devon for the past work of saplings. Ed’s WC Heartland Good Bye won the three years. The team earned the tricolIn every community where the Single Hackney Harness Horse ors in 2014 and 2016, bringing the organization has built a school, enrollChampionship. Rodney also drove this Country Pleasure Championship home ment has increased. It’s easier to attract chestnut gelding to the blue in the to Taunton. In 2015, they were the and retain teachers if they have a bright qualifying class. Reserve Country Pleasure Driving and airy permanent classroom in which In his first appearance in the Dixon Champions. Lynda shows under the to teach. The community has to donate Oval, Alejandro won the qualifying class direction of David and Kristen Cater of the land, foundation stones, sand and and championship in the Open Road Cater Stables. gravel for the cement blocks, and Pony division. Rodney drove him for unskilled labor. Build a School in Africa owner Susanne Crawford Harrod. contributes $15,000. All the funding 30

August/September 2016

comes from individual donations, school fundraising projects, and small foundations. One hundred percent of donated funds are used for the school construction. For more information, contact Judy Lorimer at To learn more about the project, visit

n Judy Lorimer

MSPCA Beach Ride The Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) will hold the Horses Helping Horses Beach Ride at the beautiful Crane Beach in Ipswich on Saturday, October 22. Last year, guests raved about the picturesque views, ideal footing, wide beaches, and exclusive setting. Through collaboration with the Trustees of the Reservation, the event will raise much-needed funds for the Equine Center of Nevins Farm. Riders of all ages are invited to meet at the beach for an eight-mile ride along the ocean’s edge, followed by a hearty pasta lunch provided by event sponsor Borrelli’s Deli of Methuen. Horses Helping Horses traditionally draws nearly 200 riders and horses.

Equine Center Manager Gia Barrs hopes this year’s ride will top the $25,000 fundraising milestones of years past. The Equine Center at Nevins Farm is one of the only facilities in New England for horses in need of a place to begin anew, and is the only such facility operating with an open admission policy. With more than 40 horses in its care, resources are constantly strained. Support from events such as this are an integral factor in the process of offering these horses a safe place to land, bring them back to health, and help them begin a new life. As a nonprofit with no support from state or federal agencies, the MSPCA is dependent on donations from individuals and from special events in order to care for its animals. Advance registration is required for the ride this year. The fee is $30 and includes lunch and a limited edition event T-shirt. Riders will be asked to fundraise a minimum of $100 (inclusive of their registration fee) and are encouraged to collect pledges. As always, generous prize packages are being assembled. Register early, as parking is limited to one hundred trailers. To register online, visit or

pick up a registration form at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway, Methuen. In addition to adoptive homes, the equine center is also seeking potential foster homes, which will allow the MSPCA to expand its services. For more information on the adoption process or to view available horses, visit

Valinor Farm Schooling Horse Trials Valinor Farm held its Schooling Horse Trials in Plymouth on Sunday, July 10. Valinor Farm is a full-service boarding facility on fifty acres, and specializes in eventing. Although the weather on schooling horse trials day was overcast with periods of light rain, the sun shone brightly through the smiles of competitors of all ages. The event offered a variety of divisions to meet the diverse needs of the exhibitors. The Valinor Farm Schooling Horse Trials is part of the Area 1 Schooling Horse Trials Championships. Riders can earn points throughout the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Area 1, which is comprised of New England and New York. It’s a wonderful

Sterling Pointe Farm home of Bill Ritchie Training Stable


Saddle Seat & Hunt Seat


Summer Camp Sessions

terling Pointe Farm

July 18 - 22 & August 22 - 26

Bill Ritchie - Trainer . Roger Flood - Trainer Marie Harrington - Dressage Trainer . Alex Goldman - Owner 1137 Walnut Plain Road, Rochester, MA . 508-763-8889 Massachusetts Horse


opportunity for riders to get the same experience as riders who are competing at the recognized levels. The points are accumulated throughout the show season. The Schooling Horse Trials Championships will be held August 28 at Apple Knoll Farm in Millis. To learn more, visit

n Cora Shillinglaw

A Daughter’s Tribute

their papa’s chair or sit on his desk when he worked. “It was great working alongside my dad. We had good days and bad days, but looking back — every day, I was able to be with my dad. Turnpike Street was also where I spoke to my dad for the last time, and where he took his last breath. Selling this property is bittersweet — hard for me to let it go, but I am happy it’s going to someone who

courtesy of the Equestrian Shop

When the North Andover branch of the Equestrian Shop closed its doors last year, it consolidated all its merchandise at the popular branch in Ipswich. This marked both the end of an era and a new chapter for owner Monique Proulx. Together with her daughters, Monique is striving to keep the family tradition of great local, friendly service alive at both the Ipswich location and the mobile tack shop that frequents area shows and events. In addition, Karen Haley of A Leg Up offers her custom chaps and leatherwork at the shop. The North Andover propThe Equestrian Shop’s founder, Paul Proulx. erty, where the Equestrian Shop has existed for more than 60 years, sold wants to do what my dad did — build a in June, triggering a heartfelt reflection business and provide for their family.” from Monique, daughter of founder Paul Proulx. “Eighteen-twelve Turnpike n Holly Jacobson Street has been more than just an address for me for forty-eight years,” Wild West Comes to Westborough says Monique. “It was where my dad Seniors at Westborough High School turned when he couldn’t teach horsewere treated to the Wild West this year. back riding lessons because of his allerCraig McCoskery, a teacher there, gies to horses. It was where he made a explains that the school hosts Project success of himself. He started the Graduation, a themed party held for Equestrian Shop 62 years ago. It‘s the seniors on the night prior to graduwhere he lived when he met my mom ation day. Craig announced this year’s and married her. He built her a barn theme, the Wild West, by bringing his and gave her a nice home. It’s where Miniature Horse to school. This cowboy they brought me home from the hospitheme is right up Craig’s alley, as he’s a tal. We had family there for holidays. member of the Northeast Six Shooters, We celebrated birthdays and successes. I a mounted cowboy club, and he also used to play in the back yard and climb takes part in local sleigh rallies with his up on the stone grill. We had a pretty other horse. Craig, dressed in cowboy apple tree in the back. We had a dog attire, brought his Miniature Horse, and horses, and Route 114 was more Kaitlyn’s Mission Rider aka Sneakers, as like a country road than a highway. his trusty steed. Sneakers wore his own When I went away to school, I always cowboy hat and had his hooves wrapped drove there to see my dad when I came in vet wrap so as not to mar the school home because that is where I knew he hallways and to give him traction. Craig would be. When I moved home, it was and Sneakers were met with many smiles. where I would drive everyday to work. It n Karen Morang was where I would bring my kids to work. They would play in the back of Woodsong Farm Schooling Show the shop, climb on the apple tree and June 26 was a beautiful summer day in on the stone grill. They would nap in the picturesque town of Brewster. The 32

August/September 2016

day started with a warm-up for competitors where they could practice their patterns and work with their trainers for some last minute words of encouragement. The judge for the day was Patty Phelps, and she most graciously provided each group of competitors with a mini clinic at the end of their divisions. She gave each rider personalized instruction on areas of their riding that could be improved and praised them for skills that they were demonstrating with proficiency. To learn more about Woodsong Farm and its schooling shows, visit

n Cora Shillinglaw

Building Confidence in the Dressage Show Arena “A Guide to Building Confidence in the Show Arena” will be held at Bear Spot Farm in Acton, with Margaret Freeman on August 8 and 9. One of the most talented judges in the United States, Margaret (S Judge) will share her vast knowledge about successful showing techniques from Training level to Grand Prix. Her focus will be on the technical and psychological aspects of showing. Margaret's knowledge will change the way you approach showing, develop your confidence and change your experience from feeling judged or criticized to feeling guided in your endeavor to be the best rider you can be. To learn more, visit

Crowley’s Sales Barn and Stables Fire On the evening of July 5th, a barn fire at Crowley’s Sales Barn and Stables in Agawam completely damaged the barn and killed one beloved horse, Lois. All other horses in the barn were safely removed. “First and foremost, our greatest appreciation goes to our ranch hand Joe for his daring effort to rescue our horses,” says Alice Crowley. “The Agawam Police also made a concerted effort, running into the fire to help rescue them. Secondly, great appreciation is extended to the Agawam, West Springfield, and Longmeadow Fire Departments who also risked their lives in an effort to contain the fire. Without controlling the fire, the completely full hay barn would have caused an uncontrollable fire and threatened our neighbors’ properties.”

The animals rescued included horses and goats. Firefighters were able to save about half of the 40' x 120' barn but it will need to be completely rebuilt. “I’d like to thank such a caring, close community that has our back in an enormous way — I'm talking about the equine community,” says Alice. “You’ve all been so generous in your offers to help in every fashion. It’s completely overwhelming and heartwarming to us. It’s been very painful to witness this, but your caring has given us heart.” Crowley’s is open for trail rides and sales.

Green Hill Stables Makeover Now managed by Kendra Hillier, Green Hill Stables at 231 Sawyer Hill Road in Berlin is located in a very picturesque setting, with old stonewalls atop a hill with views overlooking fields. Kendra has been managing the facility for more than a month and is literally revamping the place from the floor up. The upper barn has a new floor, there will be some individual turnouts, new fencing, and a larger outdoor arena. Currently, there are several stalls available for semirough and rough board. Full board options are also available.

n Karen Morang

Equine Affaire’s Ride with the Best Program Elevate your equestrian experience this fall at Equine Affaire — North America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering. Equine Affaire takes place at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield on November 10 to 13, and offers not only the opportunity to attend hundreds of clinics, seminars, and demonstrations, but also to participate in dozens of clinics in a wide range of equestrian disciplines. You can ride, drive, and have your horse trained in clinics conducted by many of the nation’s foremost coaches, competitors, judges, and horse trainers — for clinic fees designed to fit almost any budget. The majority of clinicians who will be featured at Equine Affaire will be accepting horses and riders for their clinic sessions. Whether your equestrian tastes lean toward the English disciplines or are solidly in the western realm — or you simply want to improve your riding skills or your horse’s performance, you’ll want to take advantage of these great opportunities to receive individual instruction.

The modest clinic fees range from $70 for a single clinic to $300 for multisession clinics, and cover clinic participation, stabling, and admission to Equine Affaire. Clinicians will select the participants for their sessions based on written applications and videos submitted by applicants to Equine Affaire. While some are seeking riders and horses with specific skills or problems to demonstrate and resolve during their clinics, others are seeking any riders interested in improving their general horsemanship and relationships with their horses. You and your horse may be the ideal participants for one or more sessions. Full clinic details and applications are available at Click on the MASSACHUSETTS event and follow the PARTICIPATE link.

Extreme Mustang Makeover Competition On August 5–6, come to the Topsfield Fairgrounds to see the youth and adult trainers show off their Mustangs — maybe you’ll end up taking one home! Trainers have had one hundred and twenty days to train their randomly assigned Mustangs. You’ll be amazed at the skill level and achievements made in this short period of time. The youth will be showing their geldings and fillies in hand, while the adults will be in saddle with the mature Mustangs. The competition starts with the Youth and Adult Handling and Conditioning classes at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Youth classes will be from 1 to 5 p.m., and the day ends with the Adult Trail class at 6 p.m., then a meet and greet with the Mustangs. Classes start on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and run throughout the day, with opportunities to meet the Mustangs available for adoption. Saturday evening is the Freestyle Finals and the live auction adoption. This is a great event that helps find homes for the wild Mustangs that are being kept in holding facilities throughout the West. To learn more, visit

n Karen Morang

roof had collapsed. Firefighters continually doused the horse barn on the side toward the indoor arena fire, in order to protect the building and horses. The office, observation room, and storage barn were also lost in the fire. “Thank you to the equestrian community for the outpouring of support!” says owner Tina Geoghegan. “Your love and generosity means so much to us. We’re lucky to have such amazing clients and friends. We’re up and running in a temporary office trailer. Our horses are enjoying their normal routine. Our staff has been amazing, and we’re still planning to host our upcoming shows.” “I’ve a new respect for firefighters,” says Tina. “The Medway police and fire, and the other responding towns were amazing — true heroes. We’ll be forever grateful for their efforts.” A Crowdrise page has been set up to help with expenses that won’t be covered by insurance. To learn more, visit

Overherdisms • At the Groton House Farm Horse Trials, two EMTs overheard talking to each other (one obviously having done horse shows and trials before, the other an absolute newbie): “This isn’t like soccer. It’s more like hockey. They fall, bounce right up, and get back on.” (Thank you to David Wilson!)

• “Do a driving pair attract twice as many flies?” • “Here we are at a Morgan show and the only things my son wants to see are cows.” • “It takes just as much energy to ride incorrectly as it does to do it right.”

Subscribe today! at

Saddle Rowe Loses Indoor Arena On Friday, July 8, Saddle Rowe in Medway lost its indoor arena to a massive blaze that threatened the barn containing 35 horses. (The indoor arena was built less than two years ago after a collapse due to an extreme snow load.) By the time firefighters arrived, flames had overtaken the building and the Massachusetts Horse


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

The event finished with a lunch and yummy desserts. The 24th Annual National Trails Day Fundraiser was June 12. The $13,000 raised at this event directly support trails. Muck buckets filled with goodies

County Riding Club (HCRC) was so popular that we needed to add another day to include all participants. Unmounted, as well as mounted, skill-building exercises helped horses and handlers develop confidence


August/September 2016

Bay State Trail Riders Association members Jeremy, Justin, and Carolyn Weeks.

Sharyn Antico

The Bay State Trail Riders Association (BSTRA) season is in full swing with a mix of competitive and pleasure rides sure to please everyone. May kicked off with the Spring Hunter Pace at Douglas State Forest. Despite an iffy weather forecast, the rain held off, enabling participants to ride and enjoy a hearty meal of assorted pastas. The course traversed part of the Southern New England Trunk Line. The Mane Place in Uxbridge sponsored the ride and provided prizes for first-place winners in all divisions. BSTRA’s 18th Annual Scavenger Hunt, sponsored by Yered Trailers, was held May 22 at Upton State Forest. Clues, in the form of a story, were handed out at the start. The goal was to collect as many items as possible. The trick was figuring out what those items were! The Lea Macinnis Versatility and Pleasure Ride, sponsored by Webster Five, was May 29 at Camp Marshall in Spencer. Proceeds from the event support BSTRA and Camp Marshall’s programs to educate young equestrians. This is vital to our future, as these young riders will one day be the stewards of our trails. The versatility course, designed by Carolyn Weeks, was fun and challenging. One obstacle drew laughter, as riders had to dismount and “ride” a stick horse around a barrel.

Becky Kallager

Bay State Trail Riders Association

Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center hosted the USHJA Emerging Athlete Program Regional Training Session with Olympian Joe Fargis in July.

were awarded to the top eight fundraisers. Thank you to Paresky, Flitt, & Company — the ride sponsor — and all businesses who supported the event. A complete list of those business sponsors is available at under the SPONSORS tab. Next time you visit a BSTRA sponsor, please thank them for their generosity, as their continued support is critical to the future of our local trails. 7 Annamaria Paul

Hampshire County Riding Club The Heidi Potter Obstacle Clinic at the Hampshire

before attempting the obstacles. Horses and handlers became familiar with the obstacles from the ground before attempting them mounted. As the rider of a reactive horse, I found the process extremely helpful. After mastering the obstacles set up in the ring, riders could practice their skills on the facility’s woodland obstacle course. HCRC’s Woodland Obstacle Course Challenge was held two weeks later, with multiple divisions and prizes. We look forward to holding a similar combination of clinic and obstacle challenge again next year.

Two trail rides are on the schedule. On August 7, we’ll be riding in Windsor State Forest and Windsor Jambs on a combination of wooded trails and dirt roads. Bring a trail lunch and snacks to share following the ride. On August 28 (rescheduled from September 11), we’ll ride in the farm fields of the Northampton Meadows, followed by a campfire and potluck barbecue. Both rides are open to HCRC members and their guests. To learn more and reserve a spot, contact Diane Merritt at (413) 268-3372 or In the fall, HCRC has scheduled a ride at Northfield Mountain for members and their guests. Plus, our first annual ride at Hammonasset Beach. This ride is members only. The third annual HCRC Scavenger Hunt for members and non-members will be held at the club grounds through woodland trails, dirt roads, and fields. To learn more, visit 7 Diane Merritt

Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council The Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council (MHC) has been busy over these last few months. To start, we launched a new website and an internship program that marries the love of the competitive show circuit with marketing and communications skills. The goal of the internship is to give riders who want to pursue a career in marketing the opportunity to gain experience, while still being able to attend horse shows in the summer. When I was in college, I sacrificed a lot of riding time to attend in-office internships. My hope is that we can allow our members to continue doing

what they love while, at the same time, growing their skill set for a career. The MHC internship is a work-from-home/horseshow opportunity. Interns will travel to A-rated shows across the state from May through August, and write press releases on those who win the MHC medals. The journey to the Days of Champions is one that takes determination to qualify and persistence to prepare. For the first time, we’ll be able to showcase the journey of our riders as they qualify for the Days of Champions. The press coverage will focus on those who win the MHC Adult, Junior, and Mini-Medal classes. Emma Fletcher, Tyler Bui, and Riley Casey — all active MHC junior members — have been selected as the interns for the summer. We hope this brings excitement and fun to the MHC members and community. It’s a long road to qualify and prepare for the finals. Highlighting the journey is something that we look forward to doing. To learn more about the internship program, visit 7 Carolyn C. Lavin

Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center The Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center (MHCEC) was thrilled to host the third annual USEF/USDF Summer Dressage Show with our popular mid-week dates. With

the help of excellent weather, enthusiastic competitors, and a group of energetic volunteers, the show was a huge success. We saw terrific riding, all around. MHCEC hosted the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s (USHJA) Emerging Athlete Program (EAP) Regional Training Session from July 5 to 9. This training session featured Olympian Joe Fargis as the riding clinician, and stable manager Nanci Snyder. The rigorous program consisted of five days jam-packed with riding — both in flatwork and over fences — horse care, and stable management lessons. Great job to this session’s dedicated young riders! On the horizon, Cathy Drumm’s Western Dressage Lesson Series continues through the summer on Wednesday, July 13 and Wednesday, August 24. The second date of the season for the Sunrise Pleasure Horse Show Series is on Saturday, August 20. We look forward to seeing you! 7 Sharyn Antico

New England Equestrian Center of Athol Events at New England Equestrian Center of Athol (NEECA) have been so well attended that we’ve planned to repeat some. With time left in the riding season, here’s what we have planned. August 6, NEECA will host the second annual

NEHC/MHC-rated Shows June 12 . July 17 . August 7

Stargazer Hill Farm 16 Rhodes St., Plainville, MA (401) 595-9892 . Massachusetts Horse


Pam DeGregorio

Youth Day at the Equestrian Park, an August 21 will be the next nician of both western and English event for kids who love horses, but have gymkhana at the Park. The patterns for dressage, came to NEECA in June and limited experience with them. We’ll have the games can be found in advance on was so popular that she’s returning for a number of Miniature horses and the NEECA Facebook page and at two days in August. Cathy’s an outstandponies available for kids to handle, ing communicator. She doesn’t tell you groom, and lead, and we’ll set up a versaEquine Affaire clinician Chris Irwin to do anything you can’t do, even tility course for the youth to try with will be offering a two-day clinic for though you may not think you can. adult supervision. It’s a great August 27 and 28 are currently opportunity for little ones to filled. To add your name to learn about horses, and for the waiting list, email Pam at older kids to have some At on time. To learn about bringthe previous clinic, the audiing a child or group, email Pam tors learned as much by watchat ing as riding, so plan to audit The annual NEECA Mule the August clinics for only $10 and Donkey Show is August 14. a day. Longears from minis to mamSeptember 10 we’ll see moths will show in versatility in the return of NEECA’s popuhand, under saddle, and in lar Cowboy Wannabe harness classes. There’s coon Versatility Day with Peter jumping, a sport in which Whitmore of It’s a Pleasure mules and donkeys jump, Training in Orange. Learn from a standstill, over a steadily and practice in the morning, higher pole until only one then take part in an informal Cathy Drumm Clinic at the New England Equestrian Center of Athol. remains. There is also a coscompetition in the afternoon. tume class. Longear owners take cosNEECA on August 21 and 22 at An overnight camp-out on August tumes very seriously, and the results are Windswept Farm in Petersham. At this 17 and 18 will be a follow-up to Margo anything but serious! Donkey and mule writing, there are a couple of slots still Petracone’s clinic on horse camping shows are low key and meant for fun; available for riders, so you’d best email held in July. To learn more, email pet donkeys are welcome. To learn Anne right away at azukowski@barton Margo at more, email Laurie at And finally, the Fall Trail Ride is Cathy Drumm, an international clischeduled to take place on September 24 at a location to be determined. Information will be posted as it becomes available. September 25 is HORSES SMALL ANIMALS EXOTICS another gymkhana. 7 Laurie Neely ACUPUNCTURE . CHIROPRACTIC . HOMEOPATHY . PHYSICAL THERAPY

Old North Bridge Hounds



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



August/September 2016

Mother Nature offered up a beautiful sunny day on June 26, perfect for the Old North Bridge Hounds (ONBH) Hunter Pace at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle. The pace was a great success. A big thanks to the riders and horses who joined us for the pace and helped support our hounds. We also want to thank all our members who worked tirelessly to prepare the course prior to the pace, and were there the day of the pace doing all that needs doing during and after, including unmarking the course. Save the date! ONBH’s next pace will be October 2 at Red Rail Farm in Lincoln and will be our final pace of the series. ONBH members and friends gathered on another perfect-weather day, July 4, at Red Rail Farm in Lincoln for our annual Fourth of July Barbecue. A huge thanks to Kim Johnson for hosting us at his picturesque farm, and for hosting so many of our other events. ONBH continues preparations as the host hunt for the New England

Massachusetts Horse



August/September 2016

West Newbury Riding and Driving Club West Newbury Riding and Driving Club (WNRDC) is pleased to announce the

Jeanne Lewis Images

Hunts Championship Hunter Trials this year. The New England Hunts Championship Hunter Trials will be held October 30 at Great Brook Farm in Carlisle. ONBH will resume hunting on Tuesday, September 20, with hunts on Tuesdays and Saturdays through the end of November. We exercise hounds throughout the summer and fall, and welcome folks interested in working with our hounds. Guest riders and spectators are welcome to join us at any of our hunts and events. For details on the hunter pace series, the New England Hunter Trials, other rides and events, and for our complete Fall Fixture Card, go to If you are interested in riding with us as a guest at one of our hunts, please contact our Master and Huntsman, Ginny Zukatynski, at (508) 751-3315, in advance of the scheduled hunt. If you would like to be a part of our hunt by assisting from the ground, or would like come out and see what it’s all about, feel free to join us. Happy trails! 7 Susan Goldfischer

Coltin Omasta won the 2016 West Newbury Riding and Driving Club scholarship contest.

launch of its redesigned website. Contemporary, informative, and easy to use, this site offers details on upcoming club events and activities, entry forms for Pipestave Hill Horse Trials, member listings, membership forms, volunteer opportunities, and timely information

concerning the usability of Pipestave’s cross-country course and riding rings. Check it out at The winner of the 2016 WNRDC scholarship contest is Coltin Omasta. A graduate of Pentucket Regional High School, Coltin is now headed to Northern Essex Community College, then to Westfield State University to study criminal justice and environmental science. Coltin has logged countless hours as a volunteer to numerous equestrian events and related activities. His winning essay and contest materials revealed how he has served as a volunteer for the Essex County Trail Association, Rowley Riding and Driving Club, Cross State Trail Riders, and NEER North. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Pipestave Hill Horse Trial on October 9, and the ever-popular Adventure Trail on September 11. Not riding? Please consider volunteering in any capacity to help these events take place. WNRDC honors its volunteers with a twice-yearly prize drawing, as well as a yearly volunteer award. Follow us on Facebook for the latest updated details. 7 Liz Russell

Massachusetts Horse


Bay State Happenings King Oak Farm Schooling Horse Trials Southampton, Hampshire County

Massachusetts Horse

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


August/September 2016

. . . Horseperson Feature continued from page 15

“Competing is great, and we love winning, but at the end of the day, it’s supposed to be fun,” she says. For that reason, the Hillside Meadows team members drop their stirrups and post in western tack. They ride bareback. They try barrel racing. They have clinics. They do a variety of activities that make them more well-rounded, keep them interested, and make them laugh. In the competition arena, Amber says, “You have to show the horse you get on that day. If problems arrive, you have to be able to react to that and make good decisions. That’s so important in IEA because you never know what horse you’re going to draw and how it’s going to go. I know my riders have practiced the skills they need to be successful in their classes, and I know they can do well if they just put all the emotions aside and use those skills and keep riding, no matter what happens. You keep your chin up and you keep showing. It may not have looked as bad as it felt. You can get a lot accomplished by looking confident and staying poised.” “Make sure that you’re being kind and understanding to your horse,” Amber says. “That’s so important, especially with the IEA. People are donating their horses and their time to us. If things didn’t go well, just take a step back and ask yourself, ‘What did I learn from this experience?’ There’s always another horse show. There’s always another ride.” But if you ask Amber’s students what advice from their coach resonates loudest as they approach the in-gate, it’s this: “Go in like you already know you’re the winner.” So far, it’s worked. Andrea Bugbee is a freelance reporter. She lives with her husband and their children in Southwick.

North Truro

This Olde Horse

After an appalling number of fatalities from maritime disasters that occurred along the Atlantic coast during the winter of 1870 and 1871, the United States Lifesaving Service was formed. One of the nine lifesaving stations built on Cape Cod in 1872 was the Highland Lifesaving Station in North Truro. The lifesaving stations were manned by the most expert surfmen and boat handlers to be found on Cape Cod, and the patrol of the coast at night and during thick weather by day was inaugurated. Stations were manned ten months a year, from the first of August until the following June. Lifesaving stations were set back as far as possible from the high water mark, and painted red so that they might be seen from a long distance out at sea. Horses were used to move the heavy beach apparatus and boats through the sand.

Are you and your horse having problems? Would you like your horse started under saddle and/or in harness? Specializing in starting young horses correctly. 100% customer satisfaction using the round pen and natural horsemanship techniques. Over ten years experience starting horses as well as fixing existing problems. Your horse will go under saddle smoothly at all gaits. Guaranteed to be accomplished at the end of the month (30 days) or the training is free. References available. The cost of the one-

month training is $900, including board.

It’s a Pleasure Training with Peter Whitmore (978) 652-2231 . www.itsaple asure t

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Massachusetts Horse


events Massachusetts

August 1 – 4 USEF HEAD OF THE BAY CLASSIC II, Buzzards Bay. 2 – 4 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SALE, SmartPak Retail Store, Natick. 3 JUMPER SHOW, Millis. 3 MINI SHOW, Hanover. 3 – 7 PONY CLUB EVENTING CAMP, Stoneleigh-Burnham, Greenfield.

6 TEAM PENNING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet. 6 USEF MEDAL DAY III, Buzzards Bay. 6 – 7 BEAR SPOT DRESSAGE SHOW, Bear Spot Farm, Concord. 7 NEHC-, MHC-RATED SHOW, Stargazer Hill Farm, Plainville.

7 REHOBOTH BREED EXPO, Attleboro. or (508) 468-7627.

7 BSTRA RIDE, Northfield Mountain.

9 USEF MEDAL DAY IV, Buzzards Bay.

4 AFTERNOON JUMPER SHOW, Valinor Farm, Plymouth.

7 HRC OPEN SHOW, Balmy Acres, Middleboro.

10 JUMPER SHOW, Apple Knoll Farm, Millis.


7 BRDC OPEN SHOW, Felton Field, Barre.

10 MINI SHOW, Hanover.

4 – 7 CT SUMMER CLASSIC SHOW, Northampton.

7 THREE-PHASE, Berlin.

5 – 6 EXTREME MUSTANG MAKEOVER, Topsfield Fairgrounds.

7 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Blythewood Stables, Pittsfield.

6 MHC-, NEHC-RATED HUNTER SHOW, Saddle Rowe, Medway.


11 MHC SHOW, River Wind Farm, Pembroke. 11 – 15 NORTHAMPTON HUNTER/JUMPER SHOW, Northampton. 12 – 14 JANET FOY DRESSAGE CLINIC/BOOK SIGNING, Georgetown.

116th Annual

Myopia Horse Show September 2-4 Myopia Schooling Field, South Hamilton, Mass. $2,500 Myopia Hunter Derby $5,000 Myopia Jumper Classic . $1,000 Child/Adult Jumper Classic MHC Medals divisions include: Short Stirrup . NEHC and MHC Medals Jumper Divisions from 2'3" to 3'6" . Side Saddle Class Qualified Hunter classes, and more. Hunt Night ~ Friday, September 2 Qualified Hunters, Appointment, Hilltoppers, and more.

Joint Masters Kim Cutler, Ted Mehm & Nicholas White

Manager John Manning


All hunter classes held on the historic Myopia Hunt Field with some new as well as historic permanent jumps.

Technical Advisor

This show is professionally run with good courses in a beautiful setting.

Wendy Wood

Prize list at

August/September 2016

13 CAPE COD HUNTER, Rozena’s Field, Raynham.



Summer Wrap-Up Auction

13 OPEN ARENA RANCH SORTING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet.

August 28


Annual end of summer auction featuring dozens of tried and true horses and ponies back from seasonal work in our summer camp lease programs across New England. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook pages for updates!

14 WRC RIDE, Becket Land Trust, Becket. 14 MHC, USEF MEDAL DAY, August Farm, Holliston.

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

14 CRDA DRESSAGE SHOW, Apple Knoll Farm, Millis. 14 NEECA MULE AND DONKEY SHOW, Athol. 14 SSHC SHOW, Raynham. 14 STONEYBROOK 4-H SADDLE CLUB OPEN SHOW, Westford. 17 JUMPER SHOW, Millis. 17 MINI SHOW, Hanover. 17 – 18 MASSACHUSETTS STATE 4-H SHOW, Northampton. 17 – 20 MASSACHUSETTS MORGAN HORSE SHOW, West Springfield. 17 – 27 SILVER OAK JUMPER TOURNAMENT, Halifax. 18 AFTERNOON JUMPER SHOW, Valinor Farm, Plymouth. 18 MHC USEF MEDAL DAY, August Farm, Holliston. 19 GAMES NIGHT, Crimson Acres, Orange. 19 SUMMER THREE-PHASE, Course Brook Farm, Sherborn. 19 MHC SHOW, River Wind Farm, Pembroke. 19 CAPE COD HUNTER, Raynham.


Stock Horse Shows: September 11 . November 6 WNEPHA Hunter Shows: 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.


Massachusetts Horse


21 NEMHS FINALE SHOW, Apple Knoll Farm, Millis.

24 JUMPER SHOW, Millis. 24 MINI SHOW, Hanover.

21 JUMPER SHOW, Midnight Moon Stables, Chelmsford.

24 WESTERN DRESSAGE LESSON SERIES, Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley.


24 MHC SHOW, Pembroke.

21 CCEA OPEN SHOW, South Yarmouth. 21 HDA SCHOOLING DRESSAGE SHOW, Briggs Stable, Hanover.

24 ROBIN GROVES CLINIC, Bradford Equestrian Center, Haverhill. (978) 374-0008.

21 OPEN SHOW, Uxbridge.

25 – 28 NORTHEAST REINING SHOW, West Springfield.

21 TANHEATH HUNT PRIZE RIDE, Hodges Village Dam, Oxford.

27 OPEN ARENA RANCH SORTING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet.

21 MERRIMACK VALLEY DRESSAGE SHOW, Bradford Equestrian Center, Haverhill. (978) 374-0008 or

27 CCEA GYMKHANA, South Yarmouth. 27 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Fox Meadow Farm, Northampton.


27 BLUE RIDER FUN DAY, South Egremont.

21 SCHOOLING TWO-PHASE AND DRESSAGE SHOW, Cutter Farm, Dracut. 21 MHC SHOW, Haverhill.


21 BSTRA POKER RUN, Mendon. 21 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, White Horse Hill, Richmond.


23 – 27 NEHJA DERBY FINALS, Fieldstone Show Park, Halifax.

28 NSHA JUMPER EQUITATION SHOW, Evenstride, Byfield.

28 GRHC LITHIA SPRINGS TRAIL RIDE, South Hadley. 28 HORSE TRIALS AND DRESSAGE SHOW, Uxbridge. 28 HUNTER SCHOOLING SHOW, Grazing Fields Farm, Buzzards Bay. 28 VERSATILITY CHALLENGE, Spring Willow Farm, Mendon. 28 BSTRA TRIVIA RIDE, Upton. 28 SUMMER WRAP-UP AUCTION, Easthampton. 28 HCRC NORTHAMPTON MEADOWS RIDE, Northampton. 28 NVH HUNTER PACE, Groton. 28 VERSATILITY COMPETITION, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet. 28 BERKSHIRE HUMANE SOCIETY BENEFIT SHOW, Lenox. 28 OPEN SCHOOLING SHOW, Journey’s Haven Riding School, Rehoboth. 31 JUMPER SHOW, Apple Knoll Farm, Millis. 31 CAPE COD HUNTER, Marston Mills.

25 Forest Lane, Millis, MA ~ (508) 376-2564 Area 1 Schooling Horse Trials Championships

Summer Jumper Shows

August 28 Qualifying events at Apple Knoll, Azrael Acres, Course Brook, Green Acres, Groton House, Hilltop Equuestrian Center, King Oak, Frazier Farm, Orchard Hill, Scarlet Apple, StoneleighBurnham, and Valinor. Dates, division details, and more information at

Prize lists and entry forms at:

Wednesday Evenings Lead Line . Walk Trot . Walk Trot Canter Ground Poles . Cross Rails . 2' . 2'3" . 2'6" 2'9" . 3' . 3'3" . 3'6" . 3'9" . Height of Choice June 15 . June 22 . June 29 . July 13 July 20 . July 27 . Aug. 3 . Aug. 10 Aug. 17 . Aug. 24 . Aug. 31 . Sept. 7

Hunter Paces Poker Run - June 12 . Halloween - October 23

CRDA Dressage Shows June 5 . August 14 . October 2

N.E. Miniature Horse Society Shows June 26 . August 21 • Check the website often as new events are added!

The facilities at Apple Knoll Farm are available for rental for horse shows, clinics, and other equine activities. Our cross-country course is open for schooling by appointment, weather permitting. 44

August/September 2016


10 – 11 USEA HORSE TRIALS, King Oak Farm, Southampton.

2 – 4 MYOPIA 116th ANNUAL SHOW, Myopia Schooling Field, Hamilton.

10 – 11 MASSACHUSETTS 4-H STATE SHOW, Northampton.






11 DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, New Braintree. whitesprucefarms.ncom.


11 GRHC POKER RIDE, Dufresne Park, Granby.

3 CAPE COD HUNTER, Saddle Rowe, Medway.

11 NEDA SCHOOLING SHOW, Strongwater Park, Tewksbury.


11 OPEN JUMPER SHOW, Midnight Moon Stables, Chelmsford.

3 – 5 BSTRA CAMPOUT, Carver.


3 – November 29 ONBH FOXHUNTING, Tuesdays and Saturdays.


3 – 5 KATHLEEN LINDLEY CLINIC, Roaring Brook Farm, Conway. 4 HUNTER PACE AND PLEASURE RIDE, Camp Marshall, Spencer. 4 DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, Xenophon Farm, Montauge. 4 HRC OPEN SHOW, Briggs Stable, Hanover. 4 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Harmony Hill Farm, Great Barrington. 5 SCARLET APPLE HORSE TRIALS, Scarlet HIll Farm, 7 JUMPER SHOW, Apple Knoll Farm, Millis. 8 MYOPIA HUNT FALL SEASON BEGINS, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. 10 COWBOY WANNABE VERSATILITY, Athol. 10 TEAM PENNING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet. 10 RACHEL HACKETT LEARNING CIRCLE, Upper Main Farm, Hatfield. 10 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Blythewood Stables, Pittsfield. 10 WNEPHA DRESSAGE SHOW, Fox Meadow Farm, Northampton.


Dressage Schooling Show Series June 26 . Bill McMullin “R” July 31 . Lainey Johnson “L” September 4 . Kathi Bruce “L” October 9 . Lynda Angstadt “L” English & Western Tests

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

11 AHAM OPEN SHOW, Camp Marshall, Spencer. 11 SCHOOLING SHOW SERIES, Victory Stables, Stoughton. 11 WRC OPEN SHOW, Westfield. 11 MHC SHOW, Haverhill. 11 MHC CLASSIC AND PLEASURE FINALS, Briggs Stable, Hanover. 11 OPEN SCHOOLING SHOW, Palmer River Equestrian Center, Rehoboth. 14 – 18 ESE HUNTER/JUMPER SHOW, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield. 15 WRC RIDE, Knightville Dam, Huntington. 16 GAMES NIGHT, Orange. 17 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Bellwether Stables, Hancock. 17 HRC FIESTA DAY, Balmy Acres, Middleboro. 17 OPEN ARENA RANCH SORTING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet. 17 25th ANNIVERSARY BENEFIT, Blue Rider Stables, Stockbridge.


17 GRANBY SADDLE CLUB OPEN SHOW, Granby. (413) 433-9436.

10 AFTERNOON JUMPER SHOW, Grazing Fields Farm, Buzzards Bay.


10 MHC SHOW, Century Mill Stables, Bolton.


Stalls Available

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




Massachusetts Horse


APRIL 15 ~ 17 MassQHA Youth, Novice, and Open Show (

JUNE 16 ~ 18 Summer Kickoff Open Show 28 ~ 7/2 Northeast Benefit Horse Show (

JULY 8 ~ 10

Regional 4-H Horse Show (

25 ~ 30 New England Morgan Show (


CT Summer Classic Show (

11 ~ 14 Northampton Hunter/Jumper (


Three County Fair (

17 ~ 18 Massachusetts State 4-H Show ( 30 ~ 10/2 Mass. Horsemen’s Council Days of Champions (

413.584.2237 46

August/September 2016

18 SEHA SHOW, Saddle Rowe, Medway.

25 OPEN SCHOOLING SHOW, Journey’s Haven Riding School, Rehoboth.

18 FALL CLASSIC HORSE TRIALS, Groton House Farm, Hamilton.

25 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, White Horse HIll, Richmond.


25 HRC SUPREME INVITATIONAL SHOW, Balmy Acres, Middleboro.



18 HUNTER SCHOOLING SHOW, Grazing Fields Farm, Buzzards Bay.

25 CCEA OPEN SHOW, South Yarmouth.




28 ROBIN GROVES CLINIC, Bradford Equestrian Center, Haverhill. (978) 374-0008.


29 – October 2 ESE DRAFT HORSE SHOW, West Springfield.

18 HRC VERSATILITY EVENT, Balmy Acres, Middleboro.

30 – October 2 MHC DAYS OF CHAMPIONS, Northampton.




1 OPEN ARENA RANCH SORTING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet.

18 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Biscuit Hill Farm, Shelburne.


18 BRDC OPEN SHOW, Felton Field, Barre.

1 – 2 CENTRAL MASS. HORSE SHOW SERIES, Camp Marshall, Spencer.

20 HUNTER PACE, Weston.

2 HDA SCHOOLING DRESSAGE SHOW, Briggs Stable, Hanover.

21 – 24 ESE 4-H HORSE SHOW, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield. 22 – 25 ESE SADDLEBREDS, HACKNEYS, MORGANS, FRIESIANS SHOW, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield. 23 – 24 EQUESTRIAN TALENT SEARCH, Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center, South Hadley. 24 MASSACHUSETTS HORSE ADVENTURE TRAIL BENEFIT, Sandalwood Stables, Wilbraham. Hunter pace, obstacle course, and horsemanship-knowledge quiz. More than $5,000 in prizes. 24 DARE-TO-DREAM RODEO AND FAMILY FARM DAY, Orange. 24 TEAM PENNING, Chipaway Stables, Acushnet. 24 MHC-, NEHC-RATED HUNTER SHOW, Saddle Rowe, Medway. 24 NEECA FALL TRAIL RIDE, Wendell State Forest. 24 LINCOLN COMMUNITY HORSE SHOW, Weston. 25 MERRIMACK VALLEY DRESSAGE SHOW, Haverhill. (978) 374-0008. 25 HORSE TRIALS AND DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, Camp Marshall, Spencer.

2 CRDA DRESSAGE SHOW, Apple Knoll Farm, Millis. 2 ONBH HUNTER PACE, Red Rail Farm, Lincoln. 2 WNEPHA HUNTER SHOW, Heritage Farm, Easthampton. 3 CCDA DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, West Barnstable. 7 – 9 BRDC FALL TRAIL RIDE WEEKEND, Felton Field, Barre.

Honor a junior at your upcoming event with a free Massachusetts Horse Junior Horsemanship Award. To learn more and request one, visit



ASSOCIATIONS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• BAY STATE TRAIL RIDERS ASSOCIATION Keeping trails open for equestrian use; organzied trail rides; volunteer opportunities for trail clearing and maintenance. GRANBY REGIONAL HORSE COUNCIL Central and Western MA, (413) 527-9532 Family-oriented trails, shows, clinics. HAMPSHIRE COUNTY RIDING CLUB Goshen, MA, (413) 268-3372 hampshirecounty Monthly trail rides, woodland obstacle course, scavenger hunt, and clinics. BARN CATS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• PAWS WATCH Newport, RI, (401) 848-9867 Barn cats need homes! Healthy, fixed, vaccinated barn cats provide rodent control. Delivered! DRESSAGE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• BRADFORD EQUESTRIAN CENTER Haverhill, MA, (978) 374-0008 Dressage for all disciplines and driving. Keith Angstadt, USEF dressage judge. CATHY DRUMM Pittsfield, MA, (413) 441-5278 Clinics, lessons, training, western and English dressage, hunter/jumper. MEG HILLY South Deerfield, MA, (802) 595-1258 USDF “L” judge; FEI rider; private, semiprivate lessons; clinics. NANCY LATER LAVOIE Ashby, MA, (561) 714-7447 Training, lessons, clinics. Accepting new students of all levels. Top-class facility. WHITE SPRUCE FARMS New Braintree, MA, (978) 257-4666 Dressage shows, instruction, all levels/ages. EQUINE DENTISTRY •••••••••••••••••••••••••• WENDY BRYANT, EQDT Northampton, MA, (413) 237-8887 Natural balance equine dentistry. Improved topline, maximized performance, increased flexion. Serving New England/New York. NORTHEAST EQUINE VETERINARY DENTAL SERVICES LEAH LIMONE, DVM Topsfield, MA, (978) 500-9293 Licensed professional veterinary dentistry. Routine preventive care, maintenance, diagnostics, extractions.

Your Everything Equine “white pages”

EQUINE ENTERTAINMENT •••••••••••••••••••••••••• DALE PERKINS/MESA FARM Rutland, MA, (508) 886-6898 Trick riding and much more. EQUINE MASSAGE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• EQUISSAGE NE/NY MA, CT, 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. HORSEBACK AND BODY Northampton, MA, (413) 320-7690 Massage therapy for horses, humans. HAFLINGERS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• SOMMER HILL FARM Adams, MA, (413) 743-9301 One Haflinger is never enough. HORSES FOR SALE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• HERITAGE FARM Easthampton, MA, (413) 527-1612 Auctions, sale horses, shows, clinics, boarding, lessons, and training. STRAIN FAMILY HORSE FARM Granby, CT, (860) 653-3275 New England’s largest quality sales stable. Supplying NE with horses and ponies since 1967. Forty family, trail, and show horses to choose from. New loads every week. We buy horses, take trade-ins and consignment horses. Great threeweek-exchange guarantee. Find us on Facebook. INSTRUCTION/TRAINING •••••••••••••••••••••••••• BACK BAY FARM Ipswich, MA, (978) 356-0730 Lessons, boarding, training, and sales. INSURANCE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• CORINTHIAN INSURANCE AGENCY Medway, MA, (877) 250-5103 Equine protection specialists. DON RAY INSURANCE Marshfield, MA, (781) 837-6550 Farm, mortality, major medical and surgical, clubs, shows, instructors. FARM FAMILY INSURANCE Carver: (508) 866-9150 Easthampton: (413) 203-5180 Great Barrington: (413) 528-1710 Marlborough: (508) 485-3800 Middleborough: (508) 747-8181

Northborough: (508) 393-9327 Norwood: (781) 255-2002 South Deerfield: (413) 665-8200 Southwick: (413) 569-2307 Topsfield: (978) 887-8304 Westford: (978) 467-1001 Williamstown: (413) 458-5584 Worcester: (508) 752-3300 JUDGES •••••••••••••••••••••••••• MARY BRAZIE Egremont, MA, (413) 528-2367 Judging open, 4-H, carded. ED GOLEMBESKI Gill, MA, (413) 863-2313 4-H, open shows, clinics, lessons. NORWEGIAN FJORDS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• BLUE HERON FARM Charlemont, MA, (413) 339-4045 Quality, purebred registered Fjords. PHOTOGRAPHY •••••••••••••••••••••••••• C A HILL PHOTO S. Dartmouth, MA (508) 789-0541 Equine, family, and farm photography in New England. KAREN MORANG PHOTOGRAPHY Find us on Facebook. Equine photography and events. PHOTOGRAPHY BY MELISSA N. Dighton, MA, (508) 863-0467 Equine portrait photography and events. REAL ESTATE •••••••••••••••••••••••••• ALTHEA BRAMHALL HOMETOWN REALTORS North Quabbin region, (617) 678-9300 Real estate is more fun with horse people! EQUINE HOMES REAL ESTATE LLC MA and NH, (800) 859-2745, ext. 704 Sally Mann, Realtor, MA and NH. BERNICE GIARD REALITY Oakham, MA, (508) 882-3900 Country properties. STABLES, FARMS, BOARDING •••••••••••••••••••••••••• CARRIER’S FARM Southampton, MA, (413) 527-0333 Indoor, outdoor arenas, round pens, fields. GLENCROFT FARM Southampton, MA, (413) 527-8026 Boarding, pastures, ring, trails, fields.

STRAIN FAMILY EQUESTRIAN CENTER LLC Southwick, MA, (413) 569-5797 Boarding, lessons, training, sales, therapeutic riding. TACK •••••••••••••••••••••••••• CHESHIRE HORSE Swanzey, NH, (877) 358-3001 English, western, feed, supplies, trailers. DR. COOK BITLESS BRIDLE (866) 235-0938 Safe, gentle, effective alternative to using a bit. SMARTPAK RETAIL STORE Natick, MA, (508) 651-0045 Tack, equipment, supplements, blankets, apparel, gear, gifts, clearance outlet. TRANSPORTATION •••••••••••••••••••••••••• J.R. HUDSON HORSE TRANSPORTATION West Bridgewater, MA, (508) 427-9333 Serving the lower 48 states and Canada. NORTHEAST EQUINE TRANSPORTATION Southbridge, MA, (774) 633-1499 Serving Northeast, PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD. VETERINARIANS •••••••••••••••••••••••••• FAMILY VETERINARY CENTER Haydenville, MA, (413) 268-8387 Traditional and alternative care for dogs, cats, exotics, and horses. SOUTH DEERFIELD VETERINARY CLINIC DR. ROBERT P. SCHMITT S. Deerfield, MA, (413) 665-3626 Equine medicine, surgery since 1969.

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Is This Your Horse?

Ride with Us! 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 Insure your equine partner with a leading equine agent!


August/September 2016

Massachusetts Horse

Competitive Rates & Great Service Call for a no hassle, free quote.

Is this your horse? This photo was taken at the Hampshire County Riding Club’s Heidi Potter Obstacle Clinic on June 11, in Goshen. If this is your horse, contact us at for a month’s supply of SmartPaks and more from the Bay State’s very own SmartPak,

advertiser index A & B Insurance Group ................... 28

HorseBack and Body ..................... 49

A & B Lumber Barns ....................... 25

Independence Stable .................... 49

Angel View Pet Cemetery .............. 51

Interscholastic Equestrian Association . 13

Apple Knoll Farm ........................... 44

It’s a Pleasure Training ................... 41

Bacon’s Equipment ........................ 43

Jenn’s Tack & Blanket Service ........ 6

Betsy Merritt ................................... 5

Massachusetts Horse Benefit ....... 38

Blue Dog Leather ........................... 25

Mitrano Removal Service .............. 49

Blue Seal Feed .............................. 52

Mountain Top Inn .......................... 40

Bob Burrelli ................................... 49

Mount Holyoke College .................. 11

Camp Marshall Equestrian Center . 48

MSPCA Nevins Farm ....................... 12

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

Myopia Horse Show ...................... 42

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

Nashoba Valley Sliders .................. 12

Chipaway Stables .......................... 23

Natural Balance Equine Dentistry . 17

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

RAMM Horse Fencing & Stalls ....... 28

County Saddles .............................. 21

RER Ponies .................................... 49

Crimson Acres ............................... 49

Saddle Rowe .................................. 15

DK Saddlery .................................. 27

Salty Dawg Equine Services ............ 6

Don Ray Insurance Agency ............ 48

Sarah Sheehy

Equine Affaire ................................ 39

Training & Horsemanship ........ 49

Equine Homes ............................... 37

SmartPak Retail Store ................... 35

Fairview Farms JJC ........................ 49

SRH Veterinary Services ................ 49

Family Veterinary Center ............... 36

Stargazer Hill Farm ........................ 35

Farm Credit East ............................ 27

Sterling Pointe Farm ....................... 31

Farm Family Insurance ................... 50

Three County Fair .......................... 46

Fox Meadow Farm ........................... 11

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

Hampshire Tractor Corp. ................ 41

WNEPHA ........................................ 28

Heritage Farm ................................ 43

Xenophon Farm ............................. 45

Hillside Meadows Equestrian Center . 9

Yered Trailers ................................ 21

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

Sarah Sheehy offers:

Riding Instruction . Training Sessions Groundwork Lessons . Clinics

Horse Leases Available partial $275/mo., half $400/mo., full $525/mo.

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

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

Brimfield, MA 413-245-3083 .

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

Sarah Sheehy Training & Horsemanship Central Massachusetts (978) 724-3403 .

Got Manure? FOR

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

Independence Stable, LLC


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

Dressage Schooling Shows Including Western Dressage Tests!

August 14 & September 18 Recovery . Maintenance . Performance Therapeutic Massage . Bodywork . Reiki Jo Bunny licensed massage therapist, certified equine massage therapist

(413) 320-7690 •

Lessons . Training . Boarding . Clinics

978-425-6181 Proud sponsor of Bear Spot Musical Freestyle and Oakrise Farm Shows.

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

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

Charming private facility offering: Boarding, training, pony starting, and tune ups. Professional, well rounded, goal oriented lesson program for riders of all ages beginner through advanced. 413.427.2026 8 Circle Dr., Hatfield, MA

Massachusetts Horse


CARVER 508.866.9150

NORWOOD 781.255.2002

EASTHAMPTON 413.203.5180

SOUTH DEERFIELD 413.665.8200


SOUTHWICK 413.569.2307

MARLBOROUGH 508.485.3800 MIDDLEBOROUGH 508.747.8181 NORTHBOROUGH 508.393.9327


August/September 2016

TOPSFIELD 978.887.8304 WESTFORD 978.467.1001 WILLIAMSTOWN 413.458.5584 WORCESTER 508.752.3300

Massachusetts Horse




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

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

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

Hoosac Valley Coal and Grain 2 Gavin Ave., Adams . (413)743-0163

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

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

Erikson’s Grain Mill 113 Main St., Acton . (978) 263-4733

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

Bernardston Farmer’s Supply 43 River St., Bernardston (413) 648-9311

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

Essex County Co-op 146 S. Main St., Topsfield . (978) 887-2309 Hardwick Farmers Co-op Exchange Rte. 32, Gilbertville . (413) 477-6913

Thibault’s Poultry 92 N. Spencer Rd. Spencer (508) 612-1907

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