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H.O.R.S.E. OF CONNECTICUT September/October 2015 $4

LEND A HOOF page 12



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September/October 2015


September/October 2015

columns 18 Buying a Horse Do Your Homework


courtesy of Windham Hill Farm

Toni Leland

Dr. Aimee’s Advice

20 Harper Sanford

The Heart of a Competitor Youth Spotlight


22 Riding with Life

Lessons from the Horse

Guest Feature Melanie Smith Taylor

24 Bluff Point State Park


Nancy Jaffer

Sally L. Feuerberg

Trail Guide


features 8

Riding Through Autumn

in every issue 14

Hunter Paces and Turkey Trots

Caitlin McIntosh, DVM

6 Your Letters

Horseperson Feature

7 From the Editor 25 This Olde Horse


H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut Lend a Hoof


Windham Hill Farm Farm Feature

26 Overherd: News in Our Community 30 Partners 36 Connecticut Events Calendar 40 The Neighborhood 41 Advertiser Index 41 Is This Your Horse?

Connecticut Horse


Your Letters To the editor: I just received my first copy of Connecticut Horse and I absolutely love it! It’s full of great articles and information, and such a gorgeous design. Maggie Dana, Norwich

To the editor: Greetings! I’m enjoying the premier issue of Connecticut Horse and look forward to receiving future issues. I already have a subscription to it and just ordered a subscription to Massachusetts Horse as well, since I live, work, and often play along the Massachusetts–Connecticut border. Jennifer Dickinson, Bristol

To the editor: Congratulations on the beautiful first issue of Connecticut Horse! Susan S. Shulman, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Old Lyme

To the editor: I received my copy of Connecticut Horse in the mail and loved it. Great job! Ruth Strontzer, Haddam Send your thoughts to: or Connecticut Horse, 99 Bissell Road, Williamsburg, MA 01096


HORSE vol. 1, no. 2 September/October 2015

ISSN 2378-5721

99 Bissell Road, Williamsburg, MA 01096 phone: (860) 391-9215 • fax: (413) 268-0050 • Connecticut Horse magazine is an independently owned and -operated all-breed, all-discipline equestrian publication for the Nutmeg State. © 2015 Connecticut Horse All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this magazine or portions thereof in any form without prior written permission.

publisher Stephanie Sanders • • (413) 268-3302 editor Karena Garrity • • (860) 391-9215 copy editor Doris Troy feature writers Christine Church, Aimee M. Eggleston, DVM Sally L. Feuerberg, Toni Leland, Stacey Stearns contributors Jennifer Anderson, Bess Connolly Martell, Allison Forsyth Cally Hencey, Raymond Hill, Gigi Ouellette Leslie Smith, Nicole Souza, Selby Wajcs county desk liaisons Fairfield and New Haven Counties Sally L. Feuerberg . . (203) 339-0357 Hartford and Tolland Counties Christine Church . . (860) 748-9757 Middlesex and New London Counties Karena Garrity . . (860) 391-9215 Windham County Cally Hencey . . (860) 933-0843 advertising Northern CT: Jamie Cinq-Mars . . (413) 433-9436 Southern CT: Karena Garrity . . (860) 391-9215 Advertising deadline for the November/December issue is October 9.

© Katie Upton,

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

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


September/October 2015

From the Editor


te! a d e e th v Sunday October 4, 10 A.M. a S Fall Round-up Auction


New England Stock Horse Show September 20 Five individually judged classes for western horses and riders in four divisions: Green, Novice/Youth, No-Pro, and Open. Day-end and series-end awards!

Taylor Therrien

ow that you’ve read the first issue of Connecticut Horse and are holding the second one in your hands, I’d like to thank you — our supporters and fans — for all the kind words and encouragement. As I travel around to as many horse events as I possibly can, it’s a pleasure to be met with enthusiasm and praise. Our equine community is warm, welcoming, and helpful; thank you for providing inspiration! Now anticipation for the fall season is reaching its height. I don’t know about you, but as soon as I flip the calendar to September, I feel like a child on Christmas morning. As the green leaves of summer begin to change to their fiery reds, sunny golds, and subtle oranges, I know autumn is just around the corner: time to saddle up for a long trail ride or to compete in one of the last weekend events before our New England winter sets in. Heading out on the trails. Whipped into shape by summer training, fall is when I get down to the business of serious riding. Now is the only time when I actually enjoy getting up early; there’s nothing better than a perfect October morning, with its cool, crisp, and clear air — and I’ll bet our four-legged friends feel the same way. Over the years, every horse I have ridden seemed to jump a little higher, canter a little more effortlessly, and pick up a more meaningful trot during this special season. Lots will be happening all over the state, and I can’t wait to see all of you — competitors and spectators, youngsters and lifelong horse lovers, parents of riders and Pony Club leaders, trainers and students, sponsors and vendors — at one of fall’s myriad events. I hope you enjoy the articles and news you’ll find in this issue. Have a great time reading — and riding. Giddy-up!



Clinics & WNEPHA Dressage Shows To see dates and details, visit


Join Our Hunt Seat Team! Openings for riders grades 6 to 12. First show of the season is at Heritage Farm on September 19!

Open to buy, sell, or trade horses seven days a week, by appointment. Nice Horses for Nice People.

P.S. Welcome to our newest partner, the Cheshire Horse Council!

Editor’s Favorite Quote “You want to listen for the horse’s whisper. Did you hear it?” Anna Twinney, animal communicator and founder of Reach Out to Horses

The Raucher Family 30 Florence Rd., Easthampton, MA (413) 527-1612 . Connecticut Horse


Toni Leland

Riding Through Autumn Hunter Paces and Turkey Trots

Linda Stern is having a great time at a hunter pace. by Toni Leland


sharp edge to the air, the soft thump of hooves on pine needles . . . what could be more invigorating than trotting through the forest or cantering over rolling countryside on a beautiful autumn day? Organized for exactly that experience, hunter paces and turkey trots are the darlings of avid horse folk everywhere, but especially in Connecticut.

Hunter Pace Let’s start with a hunter pace: what is it? It’s a ride over a predetermined course or trail, well marked, often with jumps (which are optional), that has been timed by the designer. Riders don’t know what that official time is, but the goal is to finish the course as close to that as possible. They’re always sorted into teams of two or three, and all members of a team must complete the ride for the time to be recorded. Many paces welcome disciplines other than hunter, such as pleasure and western, and some have divisions for junior riders. David Katz describes hunter pacing as “an opportunity to see absolutely beautiful country.” David, who rides with the Fairfield County Hounds, in Bridgewater, says, “One of the great treats about living in Connecticut is that we’ve got everything in such a small 8

September/October 2015

space. It’s amazing how short a distance you need to travel to find the solitude of the woods.” Smiling, he adds: “This kind of riding is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.” His companions laugh and nod vigorously. “Paces remind me of my childhood in England,” says Susannah Pask. “I grew up riding and had my first pony when I was seven. Our whole family used to go out foxhunting.” Susannah and her friend Silvia Doyle belong to the Greenwich Riding and Trails Association, and the women agree that the camaraderie and the social aspect of the paces are just as important as the rides themselves. Silvia says she’s been riding as long as she can remember, and has been participating in hunter paces for about four years. “The first one I went to was the Dogwood Ride in Greenwich,” she recalls. “I was pleasantly surprised at the nice luncheon laid out for us. We sat in a beautiful field with tents and champagne.” “Seriously,” says David. “You’re out on the trail where you’ve got forest, you’ve got streams, you’ve got fields, you’ve got jumps . . . and you’re surrounded by people who like to do what you like to do. What’s not to like?” Katelin Mutty, of Windham County, belongs to the Pomfret Horse and Trail Association and has been hunter pacing

for almost five years. She says she loves getting together with a friend or two to make a team, riding through fields and over jumps, and enjoying horses just being horses. And she’s quick to praise the effort that’s put into organizing events. “The groups or clubs take time out of their busy schedules and personal lives to organize registration, marketing, and entry lists; gather lunches for sometimes between fifty and a hundred people; see that vets and farriers are available; clear and mark trails; and build courses,” she says. Janeen Rose also lives in Windham County, and she belongs to the New England Arabian Trails Organization. Before she took part in her first pace, she says, “none of my friends had ever done one, so I thought you had to have special talents, like being able to jump your horse, in order to participate.” Someone finally told her that she didn’t have to jump and now she loves doing the paces. “I’ve been riding hunter paces for about five years,” she says. She goes to as many as she can that are within an hour from home. In addition to the social aspect, there’s the competition and the scenery, and — naturally — the food. Paula Tilquist, who lives in Litchfield County, belongs to the Middlebury Bridle Land Association

Toni Leland

Toni Leland

David Katz takes a jump at the end of a hunter-pace course.

(MBLA) and is entering her fourth year hunter pacing. “I love being able to compete without actually being in a show ring,” she says, “and I love trail riding, so it goes hand in hand.” Another MBLA member, ShawnaLee Kwashnak, of New Haven County, is a longtime fan and veteran rider: she’s been hunter pacing for more than 23 years. “I love the opportunity to have a fantastic trail ride on equestrian-maintained trails in locations one doesn’t ride every day,” she says. “In Middlebury, our views are absolutely timeless!” ShawnaLee gets to participate only once a year right now, as she rides for the Volunteer Horse Patrol on the Larkin State Bridle Trail. Cheryl Harrison, also of New Haven County, is a member of the Cheshire Horse Council, and she rides hunter paces and turkey trots six times a year in addition to her regular threetimes-a-week riding routine. “I love the groomed trails, the friends, the fun. The food!” she says. That’s a common thread among this group; almost everyone mentions it. Hunter paces (and turkey trots) almost always finish up with a social gathering that centers on food. Some events are catered, some are organized by club volunteers, some are hosted by the owners of private land who allow the riders to use it.

Emily Swirsky and Christine Barry are first riders out.

Bill Stuart, president and huntmaster of the Fairfield County Hounds, leans against his horse trailer. “I started hunter pacing at least thirty years ago,” he says. “There was a series, the Adjacent Hunt Series, that went on for many years, with a big meet in New York, prizes, and points over the whole series. But that ended three or four years ago. Now most people just do it for the fun of it. It’s good exercise and a good way to get a horse cross-country and over jumps, if a rider wants to.” The Lower Connecticut River Valley Horsemen’s Club hosts a hunter pace in the Cockaponset State Forest, and Heidi Smith’s been hunter pacing there for a decade. “We do the hunter division, and jump when they have them,” she says. “It’s so much fun! Sometimes we get disqualified because we go too fast, but that’s okay — we’re having a ball.” “Once you’ve been on a hunter pace, it can become addicting,” says Stacey Bruneaux, of Windham County: “The thrill of being in the woods, with the wind at your face, and being one with your horse is the best.” Stacey belongs to the Tanheath Hunt Club, in northeast Connecticut. She started pacing two years ago and does seven to nine rides per year. Then there’s Newtown Bridle

Lands Association member Lucy Prybylski, who’s been riding local paces for more than 20 years. “I love the excitement of the day — lots of horses and riders, the festive gathering of equestrians, and friendly competition,” she says. THE HORSES RUN the gamut: Penny Hedler, of New Haven County, rides a 13-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred with steeplechase bloodlines. Heidi Smith rides a pinto mare; Claire Reed’s mount is a Percheron/Quarter Horse. Lisa Peterson, of Newtown, has always ridden Thoroughbreds, and Stacey Bruneaux rides a five-year-old Sport Horse cross. Cheryl Harrison’s 12-yearold Tennessee Walker covers lots of ground quickly, and a Quarter Horse is the mount of choice for both Paula Tilquist and ShawnaLee Kwashnak. All these riders are seasoned and love what they do, and they offer good advice to first-timers. Without exception, they all say to be patient, relax, and enjoy the ride. Here are some specifics. Veteran pacer Lisa Peterson says, “Make sure your horse is fit enough for the six to eight miles of most paces. . . . For your first pace, team up with a veteran rider and horse and follow them.” Says Claire Reed, who lives in Connecticut Horse


Fairfield County, “Try to take a seasoned horse — teams do pass you and sometimes that’s a little unsettling to a green horse.” From Heidi Smith: “In hot weather, use a fly mask and plenty of bug spray.” Barbara DiPalma advises using galloping boots to protect your horse’s legs from rocky outcroppings and sharp branches. Lucy Prybylski says, “In spite of the excitement of the day, take care of your horse on the trail — don’t put your horse at risk for one day’s ride.” From Stacey Bruneaux: “The competitive aspect of the paces is fun, but the best part is being on your horse and taking in all the beauty around you.” And David Katz sums it all up: “There’s something about doing this sport that connects us to yesterday,” he says. “Being with horses, the creak of the saddle leather . . . it was a simpler, less complicated time. Horses are an indelible part of the American story.”

Turkey Trot Come November, the gobblers better hide — the turkey trotters will be out. In simple terms, a turkey trot is a relaxing, noncompetitive trail ride or drive with prizes and food. Sometimes a turkey is one of the prizes. It’s Thanksgiving dinner on the trail. All breeds are welcome, as are riders of any discipline. Participants enjoy the atmosphere and go-at-your-own-pace level of riding. A turkey trot is a great opportunity for you and your horse to ride in new scenery and get some exercise, and for you to enjoy the company of other equestrians.

When, What, and Where Find a hunter pace or turkey trot near you! The following listings are in order by date. Be sure to double-check with the organizations to confirm dates and locations, and to learn what health certificates, if any, they require.

September 13: Lyme Hunter Pace Lyme, New London County A scenic nine-mile hunter pace at Lord Creek Farm that benefits High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, the Lower Connecticut Valley Pony Club, and the Lyme Trail Association. Entry forms: Questions? Email


September/October 2015

September 20: Middlebury Bridle Land Association Annual Fall Hunter Pace Middlebury, New Haven County Somewhat of an alternative pace, well attended by riders from throughout Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. A friendly, relaxed, lowkey picnic-style event that takes place at Larkins Farm. Four divisions: Hunt, Western, Junior, and Pleasure. (Note: All jumps provide a go-around option.) Points earned count toward trophies in the Associated Bridle Trail series. Ribbons for first through tenth place in each division; prizes for the first-place team in each division. Entry fee includes lunch. Details: ShawnaLee, at (203) 598-0065. Registration forms, Coggins requirements, and releases:

September 27: Tanheath Hunt Club Hunter Pace Coventry, Tolland County At Babcock Hill Equestrian Center. Lunch will be served. Details:, call Sarah Nash at (860) 836-4162, or email

October 11–29: Annual Pomfret Hunter Pace at Tyrone Farm Pomfret, Windham County Sponsored by the Pomfret Horse and Trail Association. An eight-mile course with almost 40 cross-country jumps for those who like to proceed at a faster pace. Hilltoppers travel at a moderate rate and can choose which fences they want to jump. The Junior division requires one rider under the age of 18; Trailblazer division riders take a leisurely pace (perfect for the green horse or rider). Riders in the Jumping division will compete for the Elizabeth Love Brockway Memorial Plate, donated by the MacLaren family. Following the pace, the Pomfret Lions Club serves up a delicious barbecuedchicken dinner. Details: Susan, at (860) 928-3647 or, or

October 11: Greenwich Riding and Trails Association Hunter Pace Stamford, Fairfield County On private property (please, no dogs); four divisions: Hunter, Pleasure, Western, and Junior. Everyone rides the same course, and starting times are intermingled among the divisions. Jumps of coops, rails, and hedges (optional). Teams ride in groups of two

or three; all members of a team must finish the course. To receive a start time, preregistration is required, with payment, signed releases, and a negative Coggins test; there will be an additional $10 charge for registering the day of the pace. A catered luncheon after the event, riders and non-riders. Entry forms:; details: Claire Reed, at

October 18: Fairfield County Hounds Hunter Pace Bridgewater, Litchfield County Ride in exclusive territory through fields and forest at the peak of the fall foliage season. All jumps, including stone walls, coops, logs, and rails, have easy-to-see go-arounds. Details: email, call (203) 940-2257, or visit

October 25: Tara Farm Rescue Annual Hunter Pace Coventry, Windham County Seven to 8.5 miles; each year is different with a different course. Jumps from 18" to 2'9" — all with go-arounds. Three divisions: Grasshoppers, Puddle Jumpers, and Field Hunters. Following the ride, a potluck hot lunch; a mobile tack shop on-site. Ribbons and prizes. Details: or Megan Yoho, at (860) 712-0314.

October 25: Lower Connecticut River Valley Horsemen’s Club Fall Festival Hunter Pace Deep River, Middlesex County A nine-mile pace on trails through Weber Woods in Cockaponset State Forest, with varied terrain of open fields, flats through the woods, and a few hills. Jump course optional. Teams of two or three for two divisions: Hunters and Hackers. The hunters are timed, competitive riders, and the hackers are timed, leisurely riders. All disciplines welcome. Winning team in each division completes the course closest to the perfect foxhunting time (predetermined by officials); ribbons for first through sixth place. Costumes optional, but best one gets a prize. Details: (860) 664-0142,, or visit

October 25: Newtown Frost on the Pumpkin Pace Newtown, Fairfield County An eight-mile pace that weaves through scenic areas on both private and public

lands — fields and wooded areas, plus two scenic viewpoints overlooking the beautiful countryside. A Christmas-tree farm has mowed paths among the trees to form a maze, and many residents come out along the road and offer lemonade. Refreshments for both horses and riders at the checkpoints. The Halloween spirit pervades; you’re invited to come in costume. Organizers take photos of every costume to judge for an award for the best one. A hot lunch follows the ride, and live music fills the air while equine vendors display their goods at the finish field. Details: or

November 1: Ayer Mountain Hunter Pace North Franklin, New London County A six-mile ride over gorgeous trails through woods and fields, with many natural jumps for those who’d like to try them. Teams of two, three, or four riders; three divisions: Open Jumpers, Hill Toppers, and Walk Trot. The Don Siluk Memorial Award, a single prize with a value of approximately $75, goes to the team that’s closest to the ideal time for its division. Ribbons and prizes; food is available on-site. Details: Sarah Ayer Fatone, at (860) 642-7205 or

November 1: New England Arabian Trail Organization Turkey Trot Eastford, Windham County A minimum of five miles (maximum of 20) through the Natchaug State Forest, starting at Silver Mine Horse Camp. Great trails and fantastic company. Open to all breeds. Entry fees paid by October 6 guarantee a turkey dinner for lunch. Details: call (860) 349-1200, email, or visit

November 8: Cheshire Horse Council Turkey Trot Cheshire, New Haven County A dual event with the Connecticut Trail Ride Association. A great autumn-day ride at the DeDominicis Preserve. Find the turkey, win the prize! Details: call organizer Bob LaRosa, at (203) 2330766; email president@cheshirehorse; or visit www.cheshire

November 8: Tanheath Hunt Club Turkey Trot Scotland, Windham County Riders will be tasked with finding turkey pie plates along the route. Those finding plates will win a turkey. For event information, visit; call Leslie Cashel, at (401) 487-9754; or email

November 22: Connecticut Morgan Horse Association Turkey Trot Groton, New London County At Bluff Point State Park on a five-mile loop with some woods and plenty of opportunity to ride on the beach. Open to all breeds and disciplines. Miles accumulated count toward year-end points. A very relaxed ride; go at your own pace, be on your own, or ride with

others. The ride is approximately two hours long and finishes up with a nice lunch. Donated prizes are raffled off during or after lunch. Details: Stacey Stearns, at or (860) 377-6314. Toni Leland has written nine equestrian mysteries, a young-adult novel, two books on gardening, and a photographic history, and her articles have appeared in Grit, Over the Back Fence/Ohio, Country Living, Connecticut Lifestyles, Pathfinders, Sound and Country, Connecticut Family, and The Day (New London). She is the owner of Equine Graphics Publishing Group and SmallHorse Press.

Connecticut Horse



by Sally L. Feuerberg

Lend a Hoof

H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut


Amy Williams

built in 1750, in Washington. Its 47 n 1979, while caring for her two acres boast rolling hills, grass pastures, horses, Patches and Chief, Patty multiple run-in sheds, and a large Wahlers — then 17 years old — had restored barn. Miles of trails and an outno idea her life would radically change door lighted riding ring provide sites for in a single afternoon. training and exercise. When she wasn’t working, she A team of approximately 60 spent her time on an 11-acre farm in New Milford, where she maintained the devoted volunteers staff the programs. Their duties range from heavy chores barn and regularly exercised her to grooming, walking, and feeding the equine companions. That afternoon, horses. They also assist with tours of the while attending to her usual chores, a farm, during which visitors can meet man drove up to the farm. He had two horses to offer her, he told her, as their owner could no longer care for them. Patty replied that she was quite busy with her own horses, but maybe, through her contacts, she could find someone who could help out. But first, she wanted to see them. When she did, she was shocked and disturbed by their condition. Both were starving (a condition she would cope with throughout what would be her, so far, 34-year career). She took them to her barn and began the arduous process of rehaDebbie Danowski and Cooper. bilitation. many of the available equines. Proper feeding, veterinary assisThe organization offers adoption, tance, and farrier work were in order, leasing, and sponsorship programs. For but it would be a long road for her new charges — and, sometimes, for Patty: At those interested in providing a permanent home, there are pre-adoption one point, members of the State of requirements and mandatory rules. If Connecticut Animal Control came to you’re considering adoption, you’ll find see her, having received a report that the guidelines at she was the one who had been neglectThere are guidelines for leasing as ing these horses. After they learned the well. For example, you must be at least history of her acquisition and after fol18 years old. If you want to ride regulow-up visits, the team determined that larly and find out what’s involved in carwith Patty’s compassionate care, her ing for a horse before assuming the farm was the best place for the abandoned and mistreated creatures to heal. costs of full ownership, leasing may be right for you. Leasing is $300 per So began what would become the month on a month-by-month basis. Humane Organization Representing Then there’s sponsorship. For $50 Suffering Equines (H.O.R.S.E.) of Connecticut, a nonprofit, 501(c)3 dedi- a month, you can sponsor a horse you select. Sponsorship entails four visits a cated to the rescue and rehabilitation month, when you can groom, spend of abused and neglected horses. Over time with, and hand-walk the horse. the past three decades, H.O.R.S.E. has Make sure you bring treats! saved more than 650 lives. In addition to intervention, it maintains an ongoTWENTY-SIX HORSES (there have ing commitment to educating the pubbeen as many as 43) are on the proplic regarding horse care. erty for today’s tour, led by Patty and H.O.R.S.E was established in 1981 volunteer Amy Williams. First up for an and in 1995 moved to its permanent introduction is Duke, a nine-year-old home, a converted bed-and-breakfast,


September/October 2015

Belgian. He stands at 19 hands, wears a size nine shoe, and weighs approximately 2,500 pounds — a far cry from his miserable situation two years ago, when he arrived. This gentle and engaging soul was formerly part of a world-champion fourin-hand team, but a compromising medical condition almost led to euthanasia: Because laser surgery removed a piece of his epiglottal flap to prevent roaring, food and water come up through his nose when he eats or drinks. (Roaring — which occurs in 3 to 8 percent of horses over 16 hands — is a condition involving larynx dysfunction that can severely compromise a horse’s ability to breathe, especially during exercise. Laser surgery sometimes relieves the condition, but in Duke’s case, that surgery wasn’t successful and he was sent to auction.) Now he gets enough nourishment, but all his feeding is done off the ground in elevated buckets and hayracks. H.O.R.S.E. took him in and gave him the medical attention and care he so needed. Although the risk for a lung infection is ever present, Duke is the essence of resiliency. He happens to be Amy’s favorite, but her dedication to all of the equine residents is apparent in her extensive photography collection, and her enormous support of the organization shows in her role as graphics coordination of H.O.R.S.E.’s publicity, newsletter, and website. Sharing Duke’s paddock is eightyear-old Princess Fiona (her registered name is A Rising Star) — a great granddaughter of Secretariat, one of racing’s few Triple Crown winners. At first glimpse, the beauty of this chestnut mare will make your heart skip a beat. If you’d seen her two years ago, though, when she arrived, you might not have thought she had a chance, and in fact her survival was in question. She was a severe starvation case and suffered from equine multinodular pulmonary fibrosis (EMPF). Patty and her staff have been working hard to bring her to health, and the

latest blood tests show Fiona to be free from EMPF. She’s still recovering from some of the residual effects, but she’s available for sponsorship. AS YOU LEISURELY WALK the fields in the warm afternoon sun, Patty greets volunteers and a number of guests, some of whom have come to visit their sponsored horses. All of the equines are curious — are there perhaps some treats? — and also respectful as they listen to (and obey) Patty’s commands. Patty paints a brief background picture of each horse you meet. (All of the horses are featured on H.O.R.S.E.’s website, with details about their breeding, age, size, skills, and personalities.) Back at the ring, you may see a few of the adoptable horses working under saddle. Today, Maddy rides Bronson, an 11-year-old Belgian/Quarter Horse; Olivia is on Scout, a stunning 13-yearold PMU Draft/Paint of 16.3 hands; and Grace will be riding Mikey, a 22-year-old Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse and a rehabilitated former show jumper who has adapted quite happily to flatwork. While smoothly executing the walk, the trot, and the canter, every horse displays a unique rhythm influenced by his conformation and breed, and each would make an excellent mount for someone who’d like to embark on the adoption journey. When they’re finished, the women take their rides down to a trail for a splash in the stream — the perfect reward. DEBBIE DANOWSKI, AN associate professor of communications and media studies at Sacred Heart University and a volunteer, talks about her adoption experience: “Adopting Cooper, Butterscotch, and Beau from H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut changed my life,” she says. “When I first started volunteering, I had no experience with horses and I was amazed by how much there was to learn. Patty and the volunteers were always ready to help me understand the special needs of rescue horses, and within a matter of a few months, I fell in love with a Haflinger. “Cooper had been beaten and starved, “ she says, “and in the beginning, he made me earn his trust; it wasn’t given freely. Many times he’d try to out-stubborn me when I wanted him to do something. He was well trained and never did anything dangerous, just little things to show me he wasn’t going to trust me. It took months of patience and persistence to gain his trust, and it was worth every minute.” Then she started to think about . . . continued on page 38

Connecticut Horse


Horseperson Feature


by Christine Church

Caitlin McIntosh, DVM


In 2012, Caitlin says, “my boss there realized I had been doing a lot of lameness cases. Another veterinarian in the area was moving, and she had been doing most of the chiropractic in that area, so my boss asked if I would be interested in getting certified. And he

Christine Church

aitlin McIntosh is a veterinarian, a chiropractor for horses and dogs, and a lifelong lover of the Icelandic Horse. She works at Beckett and Associates Veterinary Services, which is in Glastonbury, and even on muggy, 90-degree days, Caitlin, dressed casually in T-shirt and shorts, exudes cool confidence. Born in Massachusetts, Caitlin lived on her grandparents’ Icelandic Horse farm in Maine until she was in third grade, and then moved back to Massachusetts. “My love of horses started at a very young age,” she says. “I wanted to be a vet since I was four years old.” She attended Connecticut College (“I was captain of the equestrian team there for two years,” she says, smiling). This was also where she first jumped competitively. Before, she had ridden trails exclusively. Though she met her Caitlin and Valur. future husband as an undergrad (in chamber choir), after completing four years with a double major in English and chemistry, Caitlin attended Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, the couple went to Maine, where they married at Caitlin’s grandparents’ farm. They then moved to New York’s Chenango County — graduation, wedding, move within a span of two weeks. “It was a little crazy,” Caitlin says, “but it worked.” In New York, she worked for six years at a mixed-animal practice, Leatherstocking Veterinary Services, in a rural town in the central part of the state (“Leatherstocking” is a nod to the tales of James Fennimore Cooper, who wrote Last of the Mohicans). “Fifty percent dairy, fifty percent equine,” Caitlin says. But it was there that she began to lean seriously to equine: “It has a pretty large breeding practice [for Standardbreds],” she says. 14

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actually paid for my certification.” That was from the Veterinary Chiropractic Learning Centre, in Hamilton, Ontario. “I went for one week every month over a six-month period,” she says. “I did a lot of chiropractic in New York on performance horses,” Caitlin says. Chiropractic medicine is very helpful to horses that have to bear the weight of owners and perform in specific ways, she says. One example stands out in her mind. “I was working with a [Standardbred] breeding stallion who had a ton of problems,” she says. “We weren’t getting enough quality sperm from him on collection. He was living on phenylbutazone (bute), an antiinflammatory, and he was still painful. Bute is known to reduce sperm count, so it was like a catch-22.” In 2012, Caitlin began adjusting him. “When we would go to collect [as

he was mounting the fake mare, known as a phantom], he would drive his whole body into it and jam his right hip,” she says, “so he had issues with his right hip and stifle.” Caitlin adjusted him every other week or weekly, depending on how much work he was doing. “We were able to get him off bute completely and actually increase his motility from forty percent up to eightfive/ninety percent,” she says. “The other thing about chiropractic and going back to get the certification,” she says, “is about the learning. In vet school they teach bare amounts, such as ‘this is the axial skeleton and it has this many vertebrae’ and that’s it. And so much of lameness, especially in certain disciplines, like barrel horses, jumpers, and dressage, comes from their core. As vets we’re trained to look mostly at their limbs, and it helps me to be a better lameness diagnostician. You can see more subtle lameness and fix an animal or at least help it before it becomes a whole limb problem.” WITHIN ITS HOMELAND lives a small but hardy equine with a stocky build, technically a pony but referred to, even among registries, as a horse. Icelandic Horses are spunky little equines with big personalities, and Caitlin is an ardent fan of the breed. “I grew up with them in Maine,” she says. “We got the first Icelandic when I was six or seven. How my grandmother got into Icelandics is that she and my grandfather read an article in Horse Illustrated on Icelandics and learned that their gaits are really smooth. My grandfather had bad back problems. He wasn’t supposed to ride at all, but he still did.” Caitlin’s grandparents figured that if they got an Icelandic, it would be more comfortable for him.

Caitlin describes the breed as “super comfortable to ride.” She also adores their small size: “They’re not overwhelming,” she says. “They’re a gaited breed similar to the Paso Fino, except, I think they’re more rugged than Pasos. When I look at a Paso, I think it’s really pretty to watch, but it’s very fine boned. Icelandics are short, rugged little things.” The gaits appeal to her. “Icelandics can be either four or five gaited,” she says. “They should naturally be four gaited. The fourth gait is called the tölt. They have one foot on the ground at all times. The horse looks like it’s going crazy, but you actually float. It’s perfectly smooth and really comfortable to ride.” Although Caitlin doesn’t breed or raise Icelandics, her grandmother has. Caitlin’s Icelandic, Valur, is 11 years old and the son of one of her grandmother’s mares. Caitlin enjoys trail riding and hunter paces with Valur. DIVERSITY IS WHAT Caitlin loves most about her job. “I like the fact that I’m in a mixed-animal practice,” she says. “I can go see a goat one day and then two hours later I can go see a sick pig or a sick horse.” But it isn’t just the animals

that draw her to this job: “I like to drive around and see people’s farms,” she says, “and see where they live.” Caitlin also likes that she’s part of a significant change in veterinary practice, a slow shift from a male-dominated profession to one that’s now mostly women. “I graduated vet school in 2009,” she says, “and I think there were twenty-four guys in a class of a hundred and forty. But thirty years ago, there would have been five women in a class of a hundred.” It’s an interesting topic, and Caitlin is pleased to chat about it. “Even in New York, where I worked,” she says, “oldschool, diehard old dairy guys, though it took them a few years to get used to it, a lot of them after a while would say, ‘I prefer a woman vet.’ ” Her employer today, Stewart “Chip” Beckett, is the senior veterinarian — and the only male veterinarian at the practice. “My husband, Mike, works for Frontier [a cable and Internet company],” she says. “He grew up in Mystic, so we both have ties to the area, to Connecticut and the rest of New England.” While the couple were living in New York, her husband received an offer for a job in the Nutmeg State. To

be closer to their families, he took it and they moved back home to Connecticut. While looking for a veterinary position in the state, Caitlin found an opening at Beckett and Associates and went for it. “I told Mike I wouldn’t take a job unless I got to do some horses,” she says. Caitlin has big career goals. “I’d like to build up the large-animal side of this business,” she says. Then, one day, she says she’d like to buy into her own practice, which would also serve a mix of animals but with an emphasis on equine performance and lameness work. Right now, though, as a new veterinarian with the Beckett group, she’s working on getting her “sea legs.” She spends most of her free time with her husband; their two-year-old son, Elijah; their dog, Mason; and two cats, Macaroni and Manchego. And riding Valur. Christine Church, of Vernon, has written four books on the care of cats, reports on horse care and animal-rights issues for an online publication, and has seen hundreds of her articles in national magazines. She’s a professional photographer and an actress, and is working on a novel.

Now Accepting Winter Boarders Sept. 13 Hunter/Jumper Open Show

Oct. 18 Hunter/Jumper Open Show

Oct. 24-26 Kelly Mills Horsemanship Clinic

Boarding Facility Large Indoor and Outdoor Arenas . Miles of Trails with a Cross-country Course Under Construction 12 x 12 Stalls with All-day Turnout . Hot-water Wash Stall . Slow-feed Hay Nets in Stalls and Pastures

Training Head Trainer Marcus Rhatigan -

arli Farm DeC

Specializing in training the horse from the ground up with a focus on long lining, dressage, and gymnastic work before progressing through advanced course work.

Instructors: Danielle DeCarli - Hunter/Jumper . Gretchen Geromin: Dressage Jaime Kinnear: Eventing . Marcus Rhatigan: Everything, with a fondness for Jumpers

189 Sadds Mill Road, Ellington, CT . 860.878.9274 . Connecticut Horse


Farm Feature


by Sally L. Feuerberg

Windham Hill Farm


courtesy of Windham Hill Farm

The arena was specifically designed terling is a quaint, picturesque and built with windows all around, farm town established in 1794 and which Holly feels helps a nervous or located just minutes from the anxious horse, as they enable him to see Rhode Island border. Although it other horses while being worked. When encompasses only 27 square miles, its the two large sliding green doors on lush green fields and timeworn either end are open during the summer stonewalls seem to go on forever, far off into the distance as you travel its peaceful country roads. Sterling is also the site of Windham Hill Farm and the home of Holly Whitney, her husband, and three Great Danes. Holly spent her childhood years in Millis, Massachusetts, and started riding at age seven as a hunter- jumper. As her passion for riding grew and thoughts of a future in equine veterinary medicine developed, she chose to attend Lake Erie College, in Painesville, Ohio, which offered exactly what she wanted: majors in equine studies and psychology. Holly and Hanoverian/Thoroughbred Tarantella, or Huey. After graduation, she worked as an equine and dog veterinary months, she says there’s always a gentle breeze blowing through, conducive to technician at a hospital in comfortable warm-weather riding. In Massachusetts, and it was there that she the colder months, when the plexiglass met her future husband, Kurt, a veteriwindows are in, the winter sun warms nary hospital administrator. Together, the structure through its translucent they would begin the journey to find roof. In fact, she’ll let her horses loose the best location to pursue Holly’s inside to play with one another and dream to establish a horse farm, dresexercise when the footing outside is sage lesson program, and, most of all, a treacherous or icy. place they could call home. Her next challenge was to design After extensive searching, Holly and build a stable that would contain and Kurt found the property that she 13 stalls and a generous center aisle. A would call Windham Hill Farm. The separate barn was renovated to house a farm was surely a diamond in the rough. It needed lots of work, but it had larger foaling stall, as well as a second stall with an extended enclosure for the acreage she was looking for: 15 horses requiring quarantine, rehabilitaacres, nine clear and six wooded, the tion, or rest. Windham Hill Farm and ideal setup for what Holly had enviHolly’s dream were taking shape. sioned. After they bought the property, Holly studied and trained under in 1993, she and Kurt began the process of developing the land to accommodate two well-known seasoned, high-level professional dressage riders/instructhe essentials of a working horse farm. tors: Ann Guptill, out of Fox Ledge Although there was an older home, a Farm in East Haddam, and Luis cottage, and some outbuildings to be renovated, their priority was to establish Denizard, from Delante Equestrian Center in Palm City, Florida. Not only an indoor riding ring — 70' x 140' would be the perfect footprint for a cov- does she now consider them the most influential people in her career; both erall structure. 16

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Ann and Luis remain among her closest friends today. Together, they had a powerful impact on Holly’s decision to become a certified United States Dressage Federation instructor and a level “L” learner judge. Soon, her reputation, methods, and philosophy with regard to dressage teaching began to attract all types of equestrian enthusiasts. “The age of my students ranges from twentyeight to sixty-eight, but most are women who are reentering the horse world,” says Holly. “Some left after an injury or incident, others just feel that at this stage of their lives, they’re ready to pursue and enjoy the sport again. As their instructor, I try to cater to the problems and issues they may be dealing with.” And the horses receive the same kind of care: “They range from lower-level dressage prospects,” she says, “to backyard pets, emotionally priceless to both types of owners.” Holly’s approach when coaching rider and horse is to achieve a level of communication that incorporates the rider’s body language, demeanor, and tone of voice. Ashley McCullough, one of her current students, describes her this way: “Holly is a one-in-a-million horse person; she certainly has a way with them that no one else I’ve ever met has. She treats every single horse in that barn like it’s her own. My old Appaloosa has lived there for the past few years, and he’s blossomed into such a wonderful horse with a great personality. And I swear it’s Holly and that barn that bring it out. She’s an excellent trainer, and will always make you feel as if you have the best horse in world that can do anything you train him to do correctly. Over the past few years, we’ve become very close, and I think of her as one of my best friends. Holly and Windham Hill Farm are my salvation when I need to escape the outside world!”

“Horses need mental and physical stimulation,” says Holly. “They’re not machines. They’re smart animals; we need to give them the opportunity to be smart. Diversification and challenge are vital for their development. I like to teach my students to become the trainer when they ride, as well as educate them on the biomechanics of the horse. Why’s he doing what he’s doing?” She also encourages trail riding and hunter paces as beneficial distractions from constant ring work and for fitness. She advocates liberty for her horses by giving them the time to graze and roam, and provides an environment of enrichment for the herd. “Both horse and rider need to be happy,” she says. Holly considers herself as primarily a balanced-seat instructor, then a dressage teacher. Balanced seat is a method of riding that was developed as eventing took shape, and today it’s the best technique to deal with all of the challenges of combined training, with its slopes, uneven footing, solid obstacles, and grueling distances. It’s the closest to classical dressage, in that it promotes perfect harmony between horse and rider. It achieves the best results in the most effective and efficient way. Students from Tufts Ambulatory Service, under the tutelage of Dr. Alfredo Sanchez, have used Windham Hill Farm as their site for an introductory course on horse handling. Middlesex Community College uses the farm for equine-handling courses. Although she’s active with lessons, accompanying her students to dressage events, and the general maintenance of her property and business, Holly has an ongoing special project: her registered name is Habanera, but Holly calls her Fifi. This Dutch Warmblood filly was born on the farm out of Holly’s mare Celine and sired by Idocux, and Holly’s dedication and love for this youngster is apparent. Fifi turned three this spring, and Holly devotes her time with her introducing basic training. She walks her in hand, works gently with her on the longe line, and has even given her the first experience of feeling a saddle and rider on her back. Her bond with Fifi is strong. “Even at her young age, she shows thought, follow-through, and a willingness to listen and learn from me,” says Holly. Holly also participates and judges local dressage shows. She’s certified to

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judge by the USDF at the first level L, learner judge, which means she’s qualified to judge schooling shows and lower-level combined training. When she does get the opportunity to compete, she rides her 19-year-old, 16.3-hand Hanoverian/Thoroughbred, Tarantella, or Huey. She acquired Huey when he was a green six-year-old, and their initial relationship was far from harmonious. On the day of the purchase, Holly broke her leg while doing farm chores. Soon after, Huey became difficult to handle — hyper, nervous, and exceptionally jumpy. It was Holly’s patience and commitment to her teaching methods, along with arduous, consistent work, that began his transformation into the steadfast, reliable, and successful mount he is today. Holly Whitney is Windham Hill Farm. It’s her vocation, her passion, and her life. Holly’s connection to her horses and students goes beyond instruction. Trust, perseverance, kindness, and understanding are the ingredients of human–horse communications that she believes we all should strive for in our relationships with our equine companions. It’s only through these honed skills that horse and rider will become true partners.

Reporter’s note: Holly and Kurt are active in the Great Dane Rescue of New England. They help by adopting older dogs and have owned a total of 14 Great Danes since 1993, when they joined the organization. Presently, they live with three: Jem, Peanut, and their first puppy, Gable.

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Connecticut Horse


Dr. Aimee’s Advice

Buying a Horse

Do Your Homework

by Aimee M. Eggleston, DVM


1. Get the Horse’s Medical Record

This is crucial. I can’t count the number of times that a client has handed me only a rabies vaccination certificate and a Coggins. Those don’t constitute a medical record! A medical record is a chronological account of a horse’s examination and treatment history: medical, surgical, lameness history, and complaints; the veterinarian’s findings and the results of diagnostic tests and procedures; what medications have been prescribed; and any therapeutic procedures performed. This may seem strange, but make sure the medical record you get is for the horse you’re considering. Mistakes happen! This verification should be straightforward, with a digital Coggins that contains multiple pictures of the animal and detailed marking information. Make sure the medical record is 18

September/October 2015

complete. It’s not uncommon for several veterinary practices to have medical records on the same horse. You need all of them to see the whole pic-

© AndresR

ooking for a horse to buy is exciting: it’s a time when we imagine the possibilities. Maybe you’d like a jumper prospect and dream about the show ring, competition, and winning. Or perhaps you want a horse for pleasure riding and you visualize the perfect trail in autumn . . . It’s human nature to get caught up in the excitement, but making a decision can also be stressful. We buy a horse to do something: to show, for example, or to jump, to drive, to trail-ride, to work. When an animal has to perform, compete, or work, two important questions arise: Will this horse be able to do what I want it to do at the level I expect? Is this the horse for me? Of course you’ll eventually schedule a pre-purchase exam, but the following advice explains the two things you should do to guide you to just the right horse before that — and before you sign any papers.

ture of the health of any potential horse. If it’s a struggle to get all the medical records, think of that as a red flag: try to move on and keep looking for that special horse. Once you have a complete set of records, ask a veterinarian to review them. A veterinarian is armed with expert knowledge and will be able to point out areas of concern and identify any that call for some elaboration. You have the right to question the seller about anything you don’t understand and to ask for more information. These examples from my practice illustrate the importance of obtaining a complete medical record. • I read that a veterinarian dispensed six tubes of Banamine paste over a several-month period. Banamine is an antiinflammatory analgesic, so the obvious question is: Why? Is the horse prone to

chronic colic? Does it have a history of gastric impaction or gastric ulcers? Does it have a lameness that’s being treated with this paste? Something significant is going on if a horse requires six tubes of Banamine in such a short amount of time. • After reviewing the medical record of a “free” horse, I pointed out to the client that the horse had injured its left hind limb’s proximal suspensory ligament. I explained what this type of injury involves, what treatments were logged into the medical record, what to expect from this horse given this injury, and that an injury to the proximal suspensory ligament of a hind limb may very well recur. This medical record tells some buyers to walk away. But a buyer who’s willing to work with this horse to get him to the level of performance suited to his capabilities — and likes this one so much that she’s prepared to deal with recurrence — may say yes. In either case, however, a buyer needs to know and understand this aspect of the horse’s medical history.

2. See the Horse in Person This may seem obvious, but nowadays a lot of people use the internet for research — and trust what’s on a website. I’m encountering this more and more often: people who buy a horse sight unseen. See the horse in person. Schedule a visit and arrive early. Go several times. On at least one occasion, if possible, arrive unannounced. Watch the horse as it’s being ridden or while it’s doing its job, depending on what you want it for. Ride the horse yourself, multiple times. A single visit isn’t enough to understand the nature, temperament, abilities, and health of a horse you intend to buy. Take in its current lifestyle. Observe other horses, or other animals,

on the property. Check out the hay, the pasture, and the fences. Look in the barn, at the stall walls, at the feed and water buckets. What does the pasture look like? Does the barn smell of ammonia (from urine) or show evidence of manure splatter on the stall walls? Do you see teeth marks anywhere, chewed wood, or clues to other vices? How does this environment compare to the one in which you’ll be stabling the horse? If there are significant differences, how do you think they’ll affect the horse when you bring it to its new home? During every visit, talk to people around the barn and ask about what you learned. • What’s the horse’s ownership history? • How often are the hooves are trimmed/shod and by whom? • What’s the deworming regimen? • What does the feed room look like? • Does the horse receive any supplements? Which ones and why? (The supplements an owner gives her horse may give you insight into what issues she thinks are present in the animal.) • Who rides the horse? an amateur? a professional? a child?

• Does this level of riding differ significantly from what you intend? Will that matter? This “homework” — the research and then seeing the candidate in its home environment — in combination with a careful review of the medical record will help you develop the fullest picture you can of the horse that could be yours.

The Pre-purchase Examination A pre-purchase exam is conducted by a veterinarian, a professional with the knowledge and experience to help you with the important decision you’re about to make. This is an excellent investment. Working for you, with your interests at the forefront, she or he will objectively evaluate the horse. The veterinarian is the professional with the knowledge and experience that can best aid you in making a better, more informed purchase decision.

ment for them, for example, or one that can’t do the very thing it was purchased to do. I’ve seen a lot of them, and so, probably, have you. To ensure a happy partnership, get a prospective horse’s medical records. Go see the horse. Then, if everything seems to be checking out, schedule a pre-purchase examination. Following these suggestions, you’re most likely to be able to answer both of our original questions with a resounding yes, yes. Equine veterinarian Aimee Eggleston and her husband own Eggleston Equine, a veterinary practice serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Dr. Aimee is on the board of directors of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association and in her spare time enjoys training for various running races. This year she plans to attempt a triathlon.

THE ROAD TO buying a horse is an adventure, but it’s also one you must approach coolly, rationally, and honestly. Too many people get the wrong horse: one with the wrong tempera-

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Backwood Photos

The Tanheath Hunt Club is a small, friendly group of people who are passionate about horses and hounds. We invite all horse enthusiasts to ride with us! We hunt September – March, mid-week and Sundays, in eastern CT and western RI. Tanheath is a drag hunt with a two-legged fox. Safety is paramount for horses, riders, and hounds. We offer Main, Hilltopper, and Tally Slo (walk-trot) fields.

Sept. 5 – Introduction to Foxhunting Clinic Sept. 27 – Fall Hunter Pace . Oct. 4 – Blessing of the Hounds Nov. 8 – Turkey Trot . Hunter Trials date TBA Follow us on Facebook: Tanheath Events For more information call (860) 867-7063 Joint Masters: Cathy Leinert & Bill Wentworth Connecticut Horse


Youth Spotlight Essex by Karena Garrity

Harper Sanford: The Heart of a Competitor


“Riding is just what I love to do,” says Harper. “Pete’s my best friend and I love spending time with him, but I also like to ride other horses. What I like best is getting comfortable enough with a horse to learn to trust it, then I can work on other things like getting the distances [for jumps] down, devel-

Frances McGivern

t the crest of the hill stands a young girl, her dark curly hair escaping from under her black schooling helmet. Close by, taking advantage of the shade of a tall oak, is her best friend, teammate, partner in crime, and, four years ago, the greatest Christmas present ever — Pete, a laidback, snow white Connemara/Welsh pony. Pete, now 16, munches on some lush grass, content to be relaxing with his rider, 12-year-old Harper Sanford, of Essex, right next to him. Although such sweet moments occur regularly, make no mistake about it: Harper is a competitor. For her, riding is more than an enjoyable pastime; it’s a serious sport — and a way of life. In fact, she says she’ll ride anything and loves to jump and be challenged. Making the trek to Movado Farm, in Durham, where Pete lives, is the best part of every day for this preteen equestrian, who dedicates her free time to getting in the saddle, honing her skills, and working to be the best. Harper first climbed up onto the back of a pony at the tender age of three. Ever since, that’s been her favorite place. “Harper has a lot of energy and nothing really tires her out except long, hot summer days,” says her mom, Sasha. “And riding lots of ponies,” she adds, smiling. In addition to Pete — Harper and Sasha liken him to a Wal-Mart greeter, always there to say hello — who welcomes them with a friendly nicker from his paddock overlooking the gravel driveway, Harper often takes on the training of project ponies, as her instructors, Movado owner/trainers Tricia Carlton and Louisa Fedora, know she’s up to the task. This extra practice has given Harper a leg up when it comes to handling different mounts, an ability that served her well competing in her first year on Movado Farm’s Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team. 20

September/October 2015

oping my eye and balance, and seeing how far I can go.” Harper says she enjoys not only her IEA success, but also the close bond and camaraderie that develop when you’re part of a team. “We all support each other at the shows, practice together, and just have a good time,” she says. “I’d encourage other riders my age to join an IEA team if they can.” “The entire IEA experience has been wonderful,” says Sasha. “Harper has more in common with someone six years older who rides than with kids her own age who don’t. IEA is a way for these kids to get together. A bonus is that all the parents also become very close. That’s a nice thing to be part of. I always say that there’s nothing I do better than sit at a horse show. I love every single minute of watching Harper ride.” Sasha gets this opportunity frequently, as the one thing Harper admits to loving more than riding is, she says, “winning!” Louisa, Tricia, and Sasha erupt in laughter and agree in one voice: “Yes, Harper is a competitor, and she does like to win.”

“She works very hard and always wants to be the best,” says Tricia. “She comes here every day ready to learn and ready to ride. She’s dedicated and willing and does most anything you ask of her. She listens intently and makes an effort every single time she gets in the saddle. She’s a joy to be around and always makes us laugh.” “Harper’s determined, and when she competes it’s for herself and against herself,” says Louisa. “She doesn’t see what anyone else is doing — she’s completely focused, which is wonderful to see, especially at this young age.” Leaving nothing to chance, though, Harper does confess to being slightly superstitious; she always wears her favorite Katy Perry T-shirt under her riding clothes, just to be safe. AT THE APRIL IEA Hunt Seat Nationals, in Palm Beach, Florida, Harper was the youngest rider in the nation to qualify for the competition, and although she didn’t place, she says she had the time of her life. And so did her mom. “It was an unbelievable day for all of us,” says Sasha, from whom Harper gets her devotion to equines. “I love to ride, but at age twelve, Harper has already surpassed anything I could ever do, and I’m so proud of her.” Harper has plans to attend a college nearby so she can always ride at Movado Farm and intends to be an equine veterinarian — because, she says, “I love everything about horses and I want to learn all I can to help keep them healthy and happy.” To learn more about the IEA, visit Karena Garrity shares her home with her husband and two sons as well as an elderly pug, a 16-yearold Manx cat, and a rescue Boston terrier/French bulldog. She volunteers at a therapeutic-riding center and spends her free time with her good friend, a Quarter Horse named Truman.

Sweetwater Farm Lessons . Training . Boarding . Sale Horses . Open Show Series . Events Facility October 12 and October 31 – CHJA, CHSA, and M & S Shows

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


Guest Feature

Riding with Life Lessons from the Horse confirm that your actions are either reinforcing his willingness to find his balance with you or creating a resistance because he must find his balance elsewhere, not trusting you to be his leader and manage his flight zone. The need for mutual respect


horseman’s education never ends. He is constantly learning about horses — and about himself. It’s a lifelong journey. Here are some of the lessons that stand out for me.

1. A great ride begins on the ground. It’s a misconception that what happens on your horse is all that matters. On the contrary, from the moment you enter his presence (your first ask) until you turn him out (your final release), everything has significance to him and affects the outcome. When you pay attention to your horse, he will always 22

September/October 2015

ever you do, you can significantly transform your relationship.

2. Proper preparation is key. Every great ride is the culmination of many stages of preparation: • Approaching your horse on the ground and preparing him to help you catch him • Catching him and preparing him to help you halter him • Haltering him and preparing him to help you get on • Mounting him and preparing him for the ride • Preparing him for a particular job or sport • Preparing to release him

Nancy Jaffer

Melanie Smith Taylor is one of only two riders ever to win the Triple Crown of Show Jumping — the American Invitational, the International Jumping Derby, and the American Gold Cup — and the only person to win all three events on the same horse. After winning the World Cup Final in 1982, she was named the U.S. Olympic Committee Sportswoman of the Year. Two years later, she capped off her show-jumping career with a team gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Today Melanie serves the horse world as a clinician, a television broadcaster for major events, among them the Olympics and the World Championships, and a recognized judge for hunter/jumpers and hunter seat equitation. She has written a comprehensive training guide, Riding with Life: Lessons from the Horse, in which she describes her unique program for setting up horse and rider for success. Blending her in-depth knowledge of groundwork and flatwork with her vast experience in the hunter/jumper discipline, she explains how to achieve a harmonious partnership with your horse and realize his full potential — whether you’re a weekend trail rider or a serious competitor. Melanie encourages us to appreciate and honor the nobility of the horse and forge a true connection with this majestic animal. Enjoy this excerpt.

remains true the entire time you’re together. My husband, Lee, and I focused as much on the quality of catching the horse, haltering, leading, grooming, tacking up, mounting, and releasing to turnout as we did to the actual ride. This is a practice in horsemanship because it not only promotes success but also helps ensure the wellbeing of both the horse and the rider. You must continuously demonstrate your ability to direct your horse in balance and safety to gain his willingness to respond in lightness and softness. Without his willingness, you can’t experience a great ride. Keep in mind that regardless of how good the horse feels to a rider, the horse will almost always drop or rise to the level at which the rider consistently operates with him. Of course, not all riders have a large space for keeping and riding their horses. But all horsemen can work with excellence in every moment and in whatever space they do have. When you adopt the attitude that there are unlimited possibilities for improving your connection with your horse each time you meet and in what-

All the stages involve many steps, and the quality you present at each one will reflect in your partnership and serve as the foundation for what follows. The beginning has so much to do with the ending and the ending has so much to do with the next beginning. The last thing you do is the first thing the horse will remember when you meet again. Setting yourself and your horse up for success is one of the many purposes of groundwork, as it is in all the phases of riding. Everything you do with your horse should eventually look and feel like a dance performed by two partners moving in balance as one. This requires the horse’s willingness to be with you as you learn together how to perform all the steps and then how to connect them in a variety of ways. For the best results, both parties should develop that understanding in a calm, safe, and progressive manner on the ground. Appropriate preparation at every stage focuses on assessing your horse’s mental and physical state, learning the aids, and improving the quality of communication between you, as well as identifying and correcting imbalances. Your goal is to build mutual respect,

confidence, and trust. If that mental connection is missing, it becomes a wrestling match instead of a dance. In time, as you develop your horsemanship skills and deepen the relationship with your horse, it will take less preparation, leaving more time to devote to your ride.

that allows you and your horse to succeed. Perform each step smoothly, with great attention to detail, before progressing to the next or combining any of them. You want to reward your horse for every effort and return to an easier

4. The horse is not a robot.

3. It’s important to simplify every step.

Tish Quirk

You need to present requests to your horse in their most basic form. This not only facilitates understanding but also helps you troubleshoot and manage any possible braces or storms. By doing groundwork exercises, you can learn how to break movements down to their simplest elements, establishing a habit that will serve you well in the saddle. Some people become impatient and make the mistake of asking too much of their horses by trying to advance without getting accurate in each step. This can lead to miscommunication and braces that will break the chain of preparation to succeed from start to finish. Instead, accept that you can’t get everything at once. Proceed at a rate

get there fast. I like to tell my students that I’d rather go somewhere slow than nowhere fast! And Ray Hunt used to tell us, “The slower you go, the faster you will learn.”

task if he runs into trouble. Consistently following this bite-size approach will build confidence, encourage your horse’s willingness, and make the more advanced work seem simple. Sometimes you have to go slow to

Always keep in mind that a horse is a living, thinking being. We want to encourage his natural curiosity and interest. Even a mature and confident horse, full of positive experiences with humans, nevertheless has his own set of preferences and variations in his outlook from day to day. This consideration needs to begin each time we approach him. To maintain the progress we gain with the horse, we must begin every step considering how he feels in the present without assuming he will feel the same way he did yesterday or even the moment before. How we start and advance all depends — we look or feel for where the horse tells us he is out of balance and work from there to remedy it. Being constantly aware of how the horse is feeling will not only tell you what he needs in the moment but also . . . continued on page 39

Connecticut Horse


Trail Guide by xx Stearns


by Stacey Stearns

Bluff Point State Park


a low overpass, so fair warning: It’s 10' 6". There are also tracks in other places near the park, and the Groton–New London Airport is across the river, so equestrians should be prepared to see trains and planes at some point during their ride. Parking is free, but be aware of the tides if you choose to use the lower half of the lot, near the boat launch; park closer to the shrubbery and the

Stacey Stearns

n a peninsula jutting out into Long Island Sound, with the wind whipping off the whitecaps on the water, is beautiful Bluff Point, in Groton, the last major piece of undeveloped land on the Connecticut coastline. The 800-acre state park is a mile and a half mile long and one mile wide. Continental glaciers created the beach at Bluff Point, and erosion by wind and water is still changing the landscape. In 1975, the Connecticut legislature designated Bluff Point a coastal reserve to preserve the native ecological associations, unique faunal and floral characteristics, and the geological features and scenic qualities. The park is incredibly popular with all manner of trail users, such as mountain bikers, joggers, families with strollers, and people with dogs. The picnic area is also a nice place to spend the day. Riders can either use Bluff Point to acclimatize their horse to other trail users or arrive early to miss most of the other visitors. Riding near the water, with views across the Sound and the smell of saltwater in the air, never fails to add a little spring to your horse’s step. There are a couple of places where you can slowly introduce him to moving water: Wade into the Poquonnock River at the parking lot or watch the waves wherever the view from the trail opens to them. Your horse will gain experience — and you’ll enjoy it too. “My favorite part of riding at Bluff Point is the ocean views,” says Jennifer Coffey, of Plainfield. “Being able to ride in and along the ocean [when allowed] is a special treat as well. My daughters and I love getting out onto the singletrack trails that zigzag throughout the property, too.”

Plan Your Trip Bluff Point State Park is located just off Route 1 on Depot Road. Under the railroad tracks going into the park, there’s 24

September/October 2015

median. On more than one occasion, I’ve ridden back to my trailer and noticed the car of an unsuspecting visitor up to its hubcaps in water from the Poquonnock. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), which maintains Bluff Point, requests that horses not go on the beach or into Long Island Sound. During certain periods — when fish and wildlife are active or nesting — this injunction is imperative. It’s important for equestrians to adhere to the rules and preserve access to this scenic area, for ourselves and for other visitors. To respect the heavy traffic from other trail users, please dismount and kick manure to the side of the trail. And clean up around your trailer before you leave the parking lot. There are two composting toilets up at Bluff Point and two in the central picnic area at the base of the trails. Near the picnic tables there’s also a water pump. This water is not potable for humans, and I know of several horses that don’t like to drink it. I believe it has a mild, salty taste, but

again, it’s not potable for people. I always bring water from home so my horse will have enough to drink.

Ride It! There are wooded, non-motorized, multiuse trails, as well as those with stunning views of Long Island Sound. Birds and other wildlife abound, and you’ll see native beach plum, beach pea, and red and white shore roses. Footing consists of gravel roads and some wooded trails, and there are a few areas with pavement for bikers. A mile-long beach faces Long Island Sound and ends at a small, rocky island called Bushy Point. Although horses shouldn’t go onto the beach (to protect the delicate ecological balance), you can take advantage of the view of the Sound from the multiuse trail. After leaving the picnic area, the trail forks and creates a large loop around the Coastal Reserve. I always start out on the trail on the right, riding along the shore, and come back through the woods trail, although you can choose whichever direction you prefer. The wooded section is sheltered and provides a reprieve from the wind on a blustery day. The trail along the water has a slight incline as you reach Bluff Point. At its tip, on a clear day, stop for a minute or two to take in the panoramic prospects. The saltwater waves gently lap the rocks below as the tide moves in and out, and often you’ll see a few people fishing, birdwatching, or just plain taking in the beauty. As you continue down the trail, you catch a few more glimpses of the water through the Natural Area Preserve. The trail forks at the site of the Winthrop House Foundation. If you’d like a shorter ride, remain on the gravel road and head back to the parking lot. For a longer ride, take the trail to the right and ride down past Mumford Cove.

After finishing a loop, sometimes I then ride it in reverse — to add mileage, for a better workout, and to get more of the shoreline scenery. There are some five miles of trails in Bluff Point, depending on the variations of loops you decide to ride. As everything leads back to the main parking area, it’s almost impossible to get lost, but I always recommend that you download and print out a map and carry it with you on your ride as a precaution. While you’re at it, print out a map of Haley Farm State Park — it’s an easy ride from Bluff Point; you’re practically there!


This Olde Horse

To Extend Your Ride Groton is also home to Haley Farm State Park, and if you’d like a few more miles of trails, ride on over from Bluff Point. “With the additional trails at Haley Farm,” says Jennifer Coffey, “you can get in a lot of riding at a relatively small park and never be bored.” John Winthrop Jr., the first governor of Connecticut (1657, for a mandatory one-year term; then 1659–1676), owned part of what is now a 200-acre property. More than 200 years later, when Caleb Haley purchased the farm, he built a large number of stone walls, many of which still dot the landscape. Near the park entrance, you’ll see the remains of the farm buildings, to start you on your ride into history. To get there, follow the Groton Cross Town Trail from the picnic area at Bluff Point, parallel to the railroad tracks. When you get to the bridge over the tracks, you’ll be crossing into Haley State Park. Here there are numerous trails, with gravel and soil footing, to explore. There are several loops, so you can be creative as to the length of your ride. BLUFF POINT WILL always be one of my favorites. There’s a sense of simplicity and serenity that comes with riding near the shore. Meeting and greeting fellow trail users imparts a feeling of goodwill and community, and my horses enjoy the break from our normal routine. I’ve ridden at Bluff Point during every season, and it always brings a smile to my face and peace to my heart. Enjoy your ride! Stacey Stearns, a lifelong equestrian from Connecticut, enjoys trail riding and endurance with her Morgan horses.

Naugatuck Valley horse-drawn ice-delivery wagon. The ice trade, also known as the frozen-water trade, was a 19th-century industry, centered on the East Coast, that involved the large-scale harvesting, transport, and sale of natural ice. Ice was cut from the surface of ponds and streams, then stored in icehouses before being sent on to its destination around the world. Then networks of ice wagons distributed the product to their customers.

Have a photo for This Olde Horse? Email

Mystic Valley Hunt Club Boarding . Training . Sales

Established 1983

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

Upcoming Shows 10/9 Schooling Dressage 10/10–11 USDF-, USEF-rated Dressage 11/1 NEHC, CHJA, CHSA Hunt Seat 11/15 Marshall & Sterling Schooling

Prize lists and details on website.

Sally Hinkle Russell 645 Long Cove Rd., Gales Ferry, CT 860.464.7934

MOVADO FARMS Durham, Connecticut

• Lessons/Leasing • IEA Team (grades 6-12) 860 . 301 . 4343 • 860 . 463 . 5272 Connecticut Horse



News in Our Community High Hopes is also happy to congratulate Steve Mazeau, a volunteer since 2005, who was recently recognized by the Equus Foundation for the achievement of “volunteer

Full Circle Farm’s New Instructor

n Christine Church

High Praise for High Hopes It’s been a busy few months at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center, in Old Lyme. Its staff and volunteers have racked up some welldeserved accolades. Lesson manager and instructor Lauren Fitzgerald received the 2015 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Sis Gould Driving Recognition Award. Named after the longtime PATH driving advocate and High Hopes founder, this honor recognizes PATH members who exemplify dedication to the promotion of carriage driving for individuals with disabilities. 26

September/October 2015

on September 22, and a Kelly Sigler clinic on September 26 and 27. In October, enjoy a special Farm to Stable to Table event on the third. For more information, visit www.horsehealing

n Karena Garrity

Ebony Horsewomen Founder Celebrated by Community

Christine Church

Full Circle Farm, in Manchester, owned and operated by Kristen Guadagnino, has a new instructor on the roster. Kathy Gorsky, who joined toward the end of June, grew up in Delaware and there was involved in eventing and hunt seat. Her family didn’t have a horse, so she learned on school horses. Later, when she was at UConn School of Law, she was approached about teaching equestrian classes. At the time, she was leasing a horse in Ashford, and that’s where she began teaching. After a while, she started her own lesson program in Tolland, but eventually decided she’d prefer to teach at a large barn. She taught at Hollywood Equine, in Ellington, for seven years, before moving to her current situation at Full Circle. Welcome aboard, Kathy.

to aid people of all ages and abilities with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges through Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).

Kristen Guadagnino, owner of Full Circle Farm in Manchester.

champion” status for 2015. Steve received a $250 gift certificate for Ariat boots in appreciation. He isn’t himself a rider, so Steve presented his gift certificate to a fellow volunteer.

n Karena Garrity

Grant Money for Volunteerism Thanks to the volunteer efforts of Any D. Bodelin, the nonprofit Horses Healing Humans (HHH), in Stonington, received a $1,500 grant from the Equus Foundation Champions Volunteer Program. Volunteers at equine charities within the foundation’s network who contribute at least 24 hours of service in a one-year period are recognized as champions and automatically entered into a drawing for a grant, which is sponsored by Ariat International. HHH will use this grant money to further its efforts

HHH works with, for example, W.I.T.’s End (Women in Transition) and Equine Services for Heroes (U.S. Veterans/Wounded Warriors). “Life circumstances brought horses back into my life after a very long hiatus,” says Any, who’s been a steadfast volunteer at HHH since its inception, in 2011. “Horses are just so very good for the soul. It feels like I’m reliving my childhood. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my free time.” This month, on the 15th, HHH celebrates the opening of its expanded therapeutic spaces and administrative offices with an Eastern Connecticut and Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 5:30 P.M. at 340 New London Turnpike, Stonington. Next on the schedule is a carriage-maintenance clinic with David Bradham,

Congratulations are in order for Patricia Kelly, founder and CEO of Ebony Horsewomen: she’ll be among the honorees at the first 100 Women of Color Black Tie Gala and Awards event, taking place at the Bushnell Theater, Hartford, on September 18. The event is billed as celebrating the power of family, friends, and community and will recognize 100 women of color from Stamford to Springfield, Massachusetts, for their leadership in education, government, mentorship, entertainment, athletics, entrepreneurship, and community service. Ebony Horsewomen is the first female African American equestrian organization in the country. Its focus is on youth development and uses equineassisted therapy to support youths to achieve success. Patricia, who founded the Hartford nonprofit in 1984, has more than 37 years of equestrian experience. She holds numerous certifications; she’s an Urban Riding Instructor, Master Urban Riding Instructor, and Equine Husbandry Instructor, and is also a certified horse specialist in equine-assisted growth, learning, and therapy. A former Marine, Patricia now helps develop

Clients partake of halfhour lessons once a week in nine-week blocks. Wanyu Shie, of Taiwan, who has spinal muscular atrophy, had just finished her last lesson and was heading home. It was also the same day for her mount, Avalon. Wanyu stopped for a moment to say that riding that horse helped her with balance.

equine programs and is a noted speaker on such topics as equine-assisted therapy, urban equine facilities, and youth development through animals. The organization’s Junior Mounted Patrol (JMP) needs some volunteers. If you’re male and would like to be a role model to inspire preteen boys and teenage young men (and are available Sundays), visit to learn about the program.

funds to fight breast cancer in Connecticut. Did you know that our state has the highest incidence of breast cancer in the United States, and that this year more than 3,000 of us will receive this diagnosis? Every dollar raised by the ride makes a lasting impact in the local fight against breast cancer. Money raised

n Karena Garrity

be available for review at registration on the day of the ride. There is a minimum donation of $200 and a suggested $10 parking donation at the gate. • Registration and parking open at 8 A.M. • Riders start the course between 8:30 and 11:30 A.M. For more information and to register, please visit Questions? Contact a member of the ride committee, at

n Sally L. Feuerberg

Welcoming a New Resident

Camp Care Therapeutic Riding Program, located on Route 66 in Columbia, is looking for great, quiet horses and ponies to lease for its program. On July 28, Avalon, a seven-year-old draft-cross mare, went home to owners when her lease was up. Avalon, a “naturally quiet and lazy horse,” as assistant director and head instructor Allie Leonard puts it, worked wonderfully for many clients with disabilities, ranging from mental disorders to physical ailments. Stephen and Laureen Moran, both physical therapists, began the program, in 2003, with two horses. It now serves more than 65 riders annually, and is able to house up to seven horses. The facility boasts both indoor and outdoor riding arenas as well as a sensory trail. “Riding horses can do a lot for people with disabilities,” says Allie. “The movement of the horse when [a client] rides it is the closest thing to what [humans] do to walk. All the input from the horse’s body travels up through the rider’s nervous system and does some really incredible things. It takes a lot of core strength, balance — those kinds of things. For someone on, say, the autism spectrum, riding is a really good sensory input.”

All the Kings Horses Equine Rescue, in Northford, welcomes a new resident to the herd: meet Jazz. This 25-yearold Morgan mare, an owner surrender who stands about 14.3 hands, is getting used to her surroundings and in the process of making friends. The hope is that Jazz will soon find that perfect forever home, just the way Freya did. Freya and her new owner, Rose Cappiello, of Branford, recently participated in her first combined test, at Mystic Valley Hunt Club in Gales Ferry — and the pair took home a red. Freya, an off-the-track Thoroughbred, was a Camelot-auction graduate and then an owner surrender to All the Kings Horses. Another horse who was recently adopted is Jake, who left the rescue for his new forever home in Killingworth. There he’ll share his hay and grain with a rescue mare named Fancy and a rescue Miniature Horse named Belle, both of whom also came from All the Kings Horses. If you’re considering adopting a rescue, please visit www.allthekingshorses

Christine Church

Quiet Horses and Ponies Wanted

Wanyu Shie, of Taiwan, riding Avalon while tossing a ball on the sensory trail at Camp Care Therapeutic, in Columbia.

Program horses must be calm and bombproof and able to carry riders of many sizes. They need to be willing to be kicked on the sides (some clients just aren’t aware that they’re kicking a horse), go easily and quietly through obstacles, and remain placid with people all around them as they walk, back, and even at a trot. If you have the perfect horse for Camp Care, please call (860) 228-8843 or email Thank you!

n Christine Church

Newtown’s First Susan G. Komen Connecticut Ride for the Cure The Susan G. Komen Connecticut Ride for the Cure will be held on Sunday, October 24 (rain or shine), at the Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard, Newtown. Spend a beautiful autumn day riding to raise

will help save the lives of Connecticut women. Following are some ride details. Note: ASTM/SEIapproved helmets are mandatory for all riders. Riders 12 to 17 years of age must ride with an adult, and no one under the age of 12 will be allowed on the course. • Riders who register by noon on October 17 and meet the $250 fund-raising minimum are eligible for awards. • Guest lunches are $10 each and must be ordered and paid for during registration or by check before October 17. No guest lunches will be sold at the door. Rider lunches are provided at no additional cost. • Every rider needs a completed online or paper registration as well as a signed waiver and release-of-claims form. Updated Coggins and rabies documentation must

n Karena Garrity

Connecticut Horse


Saying a Happy Good-bye Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue, in Haddam Neck, is pleased to announce that Cora, a Belgian/Quarter Horse mare, was adopted into her forever home in July. Cora, who is 15, was rescued from a slaughter broker’s lot in Pennsylvania after going through the New Holland Auction. She was a beloved resident at CDHR since 2012.

n Karena Garrity

Oak Meadow Farm: IEA Program, a New Barn Manager, and a Horse for Sale The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) has come to East Windsor’s Oak Meadow Farm. The program is for middle and high school students, grades six through 12, and horse ownership isn’t necessary. The IEA gives these students the chance to show


September/October 2015

and compete with their equestrian peers. Says Brittney LaMark, an instructor at Oak Meadow, “Students go to other barns, essentially draw a horse’s name out of a hat, and compete against other youths in their level.” Many of the kids are already at the intermediate to experienced level, from walk, trot, and canter to jumping 3'6". This year, Oak Meadow Farm has three middle school and five high school students in the program. “A couple of our horses compete in the IEA shows as well,” says Brittney. “Because it’s a random pick, students are judged on equitation and not on the horse.” Founded in 2002, the IEA program is an opportunity not only for kids who don’t own a horse and want to compete, but also for those who have a horse but no outlet for showing.

In other news, as of March, Morgan Taniwha is the farm’s assistant barn manager. And now about that horse for sale . . . he’s called Truffles (show name: Lindor), and he’s a six-yearold, 16.2-hand Appendix Quarter Horse who came to the barn in May. He loves to jump and is moving up quickly. Sounds interesting? Come take a look.

n Christine Church

Adding a Location Animal Assisted Therapy Services (AaTs), which provides equine-assisted therapy at Miles Hill Farm, Guilford, this fall is expanding to offer the same therapy at the 30acre Timber Hill Farm, in Newtown, as well. Volunteers are needed for the new location. Interested? Call (203) 804-5343 or visit www.animal

n Karena Garrity

It’s the Little Things On August 2, Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement couldn’t help but do something a little special for one of its smaller residents. In addition to helping out at the Hermann’s Royal Lippizan Stallions show and caring for the 25 retirees, the farm’s volunteers baked yummy carrot cupcakes to celebrate Denver the donkey’s first birthday. Denver reportedly enjoyed the treat immensely. The farm also welcomed a new dog friend to the herd. Sam is a black Labrador/ Newfoundland and was adopted from Double Day Rescue in early July.

n Karena Garrity

Happy Horse, Happy Trails On a mission to fill Windham County with happy, invigorated horses, Heidi Nottelman, owner of Balanced Equine Energy, is sponsoring the Cross-country Derby at Horse Power Farm

on October 17. Heidi has been offering equine acupressure sessions since 2012. Equine acupressure helps to achieve a balanced chi, which is energy throughout a horse’s body, to make it healthy and strong. When a horse is in balance, it builds a strong defense against any pathogens that would like to settle in and create a chronic condition. Imbalances occur when there’s immobile energy in one place and then starts building up in that single area. This is when Heidi comes in to rebalance. Essentially, performing acupressure creates a free-flowing chi. At the derby, Heidi will have a table with information about her practice. To learn more, visit www.balancedequine

n Cally Hencey

Rock to the Rescue More than $2,000 was raised by Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue, in Mystic, through a Rock to the Rescue fund-raiser on July 5. Rock to the Rescue is a nonprofit organization founded by Styx and REO Speedwagon to raise money to strengthen communities. Raffle tickets for an electric guitar, signed by the members of Styx, were sold before, during, and after a Styx, Tesla, and Def Leppard concert at Mohegan Sun. The money from the raffle will be used to help the rescue further its mission: to save equines from neglect and abuse and give them a loving home for life and to provide equestrian experiences for special-needs youths and adults, at-risk youths, and the general community. Beech Brook recently welcomed a pair of minia-

Vaquero Training Center

ture donkeys. The newcomers are Pluto, who loves neck rubs, and Charon, who is still a bit nervous. The pair are small (under 175 pounds) but each has a big heart. To see some of the rescues up close and in person, Beech Brook will have a booth at the Groton Fall Festival, to be held October 10. There’s one former rescue you may see on the silver screen! That’s Angella, who was rescued by Beech Brook from kill buyers in 2010 and is now a star. Writes her adopter, “Just wanted to let you know Angella is in the new Black Beauty movie. She was filmed at a schooling show last year. She is at the end, as I am taking her off the trailer.” To learn about the rescue, visit www.beechbrook

n Karena Garrity

They’re Back Mystic Valley Hunt Club, in Gales Ferry, will be represented by two teams in the Trainer’s Team Hunter Classic at the 2015 Connecticut Hunter & Jumper Association Medal Finals: Jennifer Perry and Deb Bakoledis with Maximus and Ally Cox and Sally Hinkle Russell with Von Mexico.

n Karena Garrity

Overherdisms • “When your children take chances on horses, that’s one thing, but when your grandchildren are being brave on horses, that’s another.” • “Did you already spray him with fly spray?” • “Look at him. This is sup posed to be a barn cat!” • “I think my horse gets jealous when I ride other ones.”

nOw Ing OFFEr SACrAL CrAnIO Py t HE r A

Mike Marquez – nAwD Silver Select Professional Laura Marquez, Instructor training . Lessons . Boarding (Indoor & Outdoor Arenas, Daily turnout) Starting your Horse . English & western Dressage Pleasure . Hunters . reining . ground Driving October 10-18 – north American western Dressage Virtual Show

7 Cemetery road, East windsor, Ct (860) 623-2687 Connecticut Horse



Connecticut Dressage and Combined Training Association

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

The Connecticut Color Breed Association held a fund-raiser on June 14 for the nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s, and brought in enough money to purchase a bullet and stab-proof vest for K9 Hanz, of the North Branford Police Department. Hanz is a two-year-old German shepherd who’s been working with his handler, Sergeant Mario Bernardo, since graduating from the Connecticut State Police K9 Academy, in December 2013. They’re on call 24/7 for patrol work. Hanz was purchased as a puppy and Mario raised him. The team completed 16 weeks of extensive police training and continue to train hard. Mario expects that they’ll be narcotics certified soon. Hanz likes to go for a run and play ball and, of course, working patrol and training. He dislikes bad guys who want to harm either his brother officers or the public. He’s already assisted in making several felony arrests. The final show in the CCBA Open Show Series will be September 27 at the Glastonbury Hunt Club. To see a class list, visit www. 7 Nicole Souza 30

courtesy of Cheshire Horse Council

Connecticut Color Breed Association

The CDCTA team is looking for volunteers to ride in the Northeast Regional Adult Amateur Dressage Competition (NRAADC) at the Mystic Valley Dressage

portion of the fee if a musical freestyle is not ridden. The purpose of the NRAADC is to provide a venue for competition and achievement for adult amateur dressage enthusiasts. Camaraderie and fun are a big part of the weekend, so

September/October 2015

Cheshire Horse Council members on the trail at the base of Sleeping Giant Mountain on the way to Wentworth’s Homemade Ice Cream in Hamden.

Show, at the Mystic Valley Hunt Club in Gales Ferry, October 9–11. This team competition is modeled after major upper-level competitions in which after the team test, riders proceed to the individual final with a freestyle. CDCTA will support the entry costs for members who’d like to compete if we can field a team of three or four riders. (We can field two teams if demand is strong.) In order for members to receive reimbursement, they must have eight hours of volunteer service to CDCTA, although friends can donate hours toward that amount. The team competition requires that on Saturday you ride the third test of the level you qualified for. Musical freestyles can be done either on Friday at the schooling show or Sunday at the recognized show. Although the freestyle is optional, CDCTA will pay only the team competition

this is an opportunity for adult amateurs to join a team, support one another, and have a great time at an event. Horse-and-rider combinations qualify by earning two scores from two different shows and two different judges from any USEF dressage test of the entered level from September 15, 2014, to September 15, 2015. The scores can come from any competition, schooling or rated, in any test of the level. Qualifying scores are: 61 percent training level, 60 percent first level, 59 percent second level, and 58 percent third level and higher. Riders must compete on the horse on which the qualifying scores were received and submit a photocopy of the front pages of the tests with entry forms showing date, show, score, judge’s name, and signature. Or submit a copy of your rider score sheet from the USDF website if the scores were earned at

recognized shows. The judges must be at least a USDF “L” graduate or any recorded USEF/FEI judge. A schooling show will be held on Friday. Training-level freestyles and any freestyle by a rider who has not received a qualifying score in the highest test of the level at a recognized show will be run during this schooling show. Teams of three or four riders compete in any combination of levels on Saturday — the first day of the competition. It’s not required that all team members compete at the same level but each must compete at the same level as her or his qualifying scores. Riders will ride the highest test of the level for the team competition, and these rides will take place during the recognized show. This test score will also be used for each individual rider as part of his or her overall score toward the individual championship, which takes place on Sunday. For more information about the NRAACD competition and its requirements, visit and go to NRAADC. 7 Selby Wajcs

Cheshire Horse Council The Cheshire Horse Council has announced a new effort, Hooves Across America, to raise funds and awareness for important causes that affect us all and to unite equine organizations nationwide. The theme for 2015 is Horses for Hospice. Hooves Across America builds on the success of earlier local fund-raising events. Council president Bob LaRosa was motivated, in 2014, to organize a local ride to benefit hospice following the extraordinary care given to his brother, Victor, in his final days. The CHC’s Ride

Connecticut Morgan Horse Association Thank you to all of the exhibitors, trainers, and spectators who enthusiastically embraced our newly revamped Connecticut Morgan Open Horse Show. There was a great deal of excitement all week and we had a much larger attendance than in previous years.

which featured junior exhibitor classes in Hunter Pleasure, English Pleasure, and Western Pleasure. Proceeds from a silent auction — which netted some $2,000 thanks to some bidding wars on a wide variety of items — were divided among the first- and second-place winners of these classes. We were also very

Alessandra Mele

for Hospice significantly surpassed its goals, inspiring the group to think bigger — from east to west and from north to south. Hooves Across America is reaching out to horserelated organizations in every state, encouraging them to join the national ride on September 26 and providing tools to help them organize their rides locally. This year the beneficiary will be the National Hospice Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose vision is “a world where everyone facing serious illness, death, and grief will experience the best that humankind can offer.” Hooves Across America is an extension of, and in keeping with, core philosophies of the CHC. “Being able to extend our love of horses in a way that touches and benefits the community, that’s what we’re all about,” says Bob. “That’s the soul of the CHC, and we’re honored and excited to launch this effort.” The CHC is a nonprofit community organization founded in 2003 with the mission to unite horse-loving individuals. The council regularly organizes trail rides, parades, and activities supporting the community, such as fund-raising rides, horse visits to hospices, food pantries, and rehabilitation centers. 7 Jennifer Anderson

This year’s Connecticut Morgan Open Horse Show had much larger attendance than in previous years.

The show saw an increase of more than 100 stalls, and the Saturday-evening session saw terrific class numbers in the Classic English Pleasure Championship (14), Classic English Pleasure Masters Championship (4), Amateur Hunter Pleasure Championship (10), and Amateur Park Saddle Championship (6). New this year and very popular were our Open Sport Horse classes. Another addition to the schedule was our Scholarship division,

excited to offer a new incentive program for breeders and trainers of Morgan inhand show horses: a $1,000 bonus to the Grand Champion Stallion, Mare, and Gelding classes. This money was earned in addition to the traditional awards, trophies, and prize money offered in this division. One of the highlights of the show was our Saturday afternoon’s Therapeutic Lead Line class which saw

four spectacular riders walk and trot their way into our hearts. During the week there were many parties, activities, and opportunities for audience participation, planned by the show committee, that created a vibrant atmosphere, but it was the people in attendance at the all-new Connecticut Morgan Open Horse Show who made this year’s event a remarkable success. And for that, we thank you! CMHA is hosting its sixth annual Turkey Trot on Sunday, November 22, at Bluff Point State Park, Groton. The ride, open to all breeds, is a benefit for the Sue Brander Sport Horse Scholarship Fund. The registration fee ($20 for members, $25 for nonmembers, and $10 for any youth) includes breakfast and lunch. Per tradition, the club will be offering prizes — among them a turkey — through a raffle. For more information, visit In 2010, when Sue Brander, a longtime CMHA member and a champion for the breed, lost her battle to cancer, the club created a scholarship in her memory. At our annual spring banquet, we award a scholarship to a member to help with training and competition fees in the sport-horse disciplines.

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Connecticut Horse



September/October 2015

Sue was enthusiastically involved with our youth program, the Holiday Barn at UConn, the sport disciplines, and the Connecticut Morgan Horse Show (CMHS). She orchestrated the Hall of Fame ceremonies for UVM Promise, Miss Roberta, and others at CMHS and assisted with the Sport Horse Show. We’re happy to honor her with this yearly scholarship. 7 Bess Connolly Martell and Stacey Stearns

Connecticut Renegades Mounted Shooting Club The Connecticut Renegades welcomed professional mounted shooter Kenda Lenseigne to West Granby for a weekend clinic July 25 and 26. Kenda is a two-time Overall World Champion, two-time Overall National Champion, Overall Western and Central U.S. Champion, and holder of numerous world records. This year marked the third time the

Renegades hosted Kenda. Eleven riders from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont brought their horses and their goals to the clinic. Riders and horses spanned several levels, and there was much to learn. On day one, Kenda began with an unmounted session to talk about the mental management side of this sport and approaching it as a strong mental athlete. After she discussed the importance of identifying your weaknesses and finding drills to improve them, riders saddled and mounted for a morning session of dry drills (no live firing) to strengthen the skills necessary for timed shots, choosing lines, balancing horses for efficient turns, and course management. After lunch, the clinic continued with live shooting drills, shooting patterns, and more course management. Day two started with an

Connecticut Horse


unmounted session to review the previous day’s accomplishments, then riding resumed to polish skills. The day ended with a “clean shooter jackpot” — riders ran four different stages as if they were at a real competition. Kenda has a long list of great sponsors, so the winner got a great prize: a certificate for a free set of Kendadesigned Bianchi Cowboy gun belt and holsters (valued at more than $400). Our youngest rider of the group, 13year-old Peter Laughlin, of Westborough, Massachusetts, with Zippy, took the win and says he’ll be ordering his custom holsters soon. Second place went to Sabrina Fecteau, of Harwington, on Jet. She won a certificate for a pair of custom Lane Boots (also valued at more than $400). Prizes from Professional’s Choice were awarded to the third- and fourth-place finishers. The competition was a great way to end a fun weekend. Thank you to Kenda for this student-training program. To learn about the Renegades and the sport of cowboy mounted shooting, visit 7 Allison Forsyth

Dawn Bonin Horsemanship

Connecticut Trail Rides Association Eleven members participated in the Poker Ride hosted by Carrie Torsiello on Saturday, July 4. Starting at Camp Boardman, in Goshen, riders enjoyed a four-hour ride through the Mohawk State Forest. There were new trails blazed and old ones rediscovered. Ruth Strontzer won first place and Robin Marrotte placed second. Vice President Kim Dore and her Mustang, Johwye the Wonder Horse, organized a ride on July 5 to introduce new members Sue DelBuono and Tracy Thompson to our trails in the Mohawk State Forest. There’s something planned for every day of the Labor Day weekend at Camp Boardman. On Saturday, September 5, Sally Doyle, Cathy Ives, and Larry Adkins will host a spaghetti supper, starting at 5 P.M. Adults are $7, kids under 12 are $5, and children under five are $3. Anyone who would like to donate or bring a dish or dessert, contact Sally Doyle, at (860) 619-8158 or 605-3489, for reservations. On Sunday, September 6, Patti Crowther and Kathy Watson are hosting

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September/October 2015

Middlebury Bridle Land Association The Middlebury Bridle Land Association will hold its annual Fall Hunter Pace on Sunday, September 20 — rain or shine — at the Larkin Farm in Middlebury. Please take note that this is a date change. Middlebury Bridle Land Association’s Annual

FALL HUNTER PACE A member of the Associated Bridle Trails Fall Pace Series

Miles of Trails . Versatility Course

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a breakfast before the Turkey Hunt Trail Ride at 11 A.M. To learn more, contact Bud Dore, at (860) 309-4025. Monday, September 7, is for the Kids Turkey Hunt. Get the details from Lynn Gogolya: (860) 485-9092. Also on the fifth is a general membership meeting, starting at 7 P.M. in the pavilion at Camp Boardman. Nominees for 2016 officers to date are: president, Lynn Gogolya; vice president, Kim Dore, Patti Crowther, and Carrie Torsiello; treasurer, Ruth Strontzer; secretary, no nominee. If you’d like to be on the slate, contact Lynn Gogolya, (860) 485-9092. The CTRA extends condolences to members Gary Samperi for the loss of his beloved horse, Shorty; and Kim Dore on the passing of her dearest horse, Lucky, and of her longtime companion dog, Cujo. 7 Gigi Ouellette

132 Westminster Road Canterbury, CT


Sunday, September 20 (Rain or Shine)

Larkin’s Farm, South Street, Middlebury, Connecticut • Four Divisions: Hunt, Pleasure, Junior, Western • 1st-10th place ribbons awarded in each division • Prizes for 1st place team in each division.


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

ShawnaLee Kwashnak

Each year, dozens of teams set out A hot buffet lunch will be served block many of them. There’s a lot to be across the MBLA trails, which include under the tent between 11 A.M. and done: The first part of the project will both fields and wooded areas. Jumps require the use of machinery and 2 P.M. Come and see what makes our throughout the course are of various skilled operators. ride so popular! heights, but go-around options are We’re inviting everyone to conEntry fees are $65 for NBLA memavailable at all of them. tribute to making the Trail of Angels a bers, $80 for nonmembers, $40 for Teams of two or three riders may reality. Financial donations will help Junior NBLA members, and $50 for sign up to compete in Hunt, Pleasure, cover the cost of the major work. We’re junior nonmembers. Proceeds go Western, or Junior divisions. Safety helalso looking for one or more tree/land- toward annual trail maintenance and mets and appropriate footwear with scape companies to be a major donor/ NBLA activities. For details about the heels are required for all riders; proof sponsor of the project to clear trees and pace, join our Facebook page and visit of a negative Coggins test is To be mandatory for all horses. added to our email list, just Teams will depart the send an email to newtownstarting point between 8 A.M. and noon; start times will be Safe and happy trails! announced in advance. 7 Leslie Smith To register, please visit Tanheath Hunt Club and download a registration The Tanheath Hunt Club has form and liability waiver or three upcoming events. call ShawnaLee, (203) 598On Saturday, September 0065. 5, join us for the Tanheath Fees are $50 for adult Hunt Introduction to MBLA members ($65 for Foxhunting at Tyrone Farm, adult nonmembers) and $35 Pomfret. This is an opportufor junior MBLA-members nity to learn about the sport: The Middlebury Bridle Land Association’s Fall Hunter Pace has had a date ($45 for junior nonmemthe tradition, etiquette, and bers). The cost includes lunch change. The event will take place on September 20. rules — and how much fun it — Dinova’s Four Corners Store can be. The program will start Lunch will provide the catering — for branches. Then we need signage to at 10 A.M. For more information, conall riders. For non-riders, lunch is $20 mark the trail; we’d appreciate help tact Cathy Leinert, at (860) 867-7063 or per person. with that. We’ll be relying on volunteers The money raised by the hunter for “work parties” to trim trees and The third and final hunter pace of pace is earmarked for the preservation bushes, remove debris, and in any other the season will be on Sunday, and protection of the region's bridle ways enhance the appearance of the September 27, at Babcock Hill trails. It also goes toward the upgrade trail. Equestrian Center in Coventry. The and maintenance of existing trails as Our goal is to have the Trail of hunter pace begins at well as to acquire and expand our ridAngels ready by early fall, so equestrians, 9 A.M. and the last ride out is at noon. ing territory for generations to come. passive users, and nature lovers will be Then enjoy a lunch we’re providing. To The MBLA Pace is part of the able to enjoy the season. If you’d like to learn more, contact Sarah Nash, at Associated Bridle Trails Pace Series, be a part of this project, contact the (860) 836-4162. whose other venues are in Putnam, NBLA at or The annual Turkey Trot is Sunday, Bedford, Lewisboro, Greenwich, and call Dee Davis, NBLA president, at November 8, at Gager Hill Road, in Newtown. (203) 994-4537. Scotland, and will begin at 9 A.M. Riders 7 Sally L. Feuerberg It’s almost frost-on-the-pumpkin must find “turkey pie plates” along the time! As difficult as it is to believe, the route; those who do will win a nice Newtown Bridle Lands Association fall hunter pace season is around the turkey. For details, contact Leslie The Newtown Bridle Lands Association corner. Our 37th annual Frost on the Cashel, at (401) 487-9754. is working with the Catherine Violet Pumpkin Hunter Pace will take place To learn more about our club, visit Hubbard Foundation and the Second on Sunday, October 25. Experience our Company Governor’s Horse Guard to beautiful course through Newtown: the 7Raymond Hill create the Trail of Angels on the founride consists of wooded trails, fields, dation’s beautiful property in Fairfield and tons of magnificent scenery. Hills, in Newtown. We have divisions for hunt seat, The NBLA and the 2GHG have western, juniors, and pleasure, and we’ll begun renovations to the main trail, be awarding ribbons in each for first which includes the restoration of existplace through tenth. First-place winners ing trails and the creation of additional will also receive a gift bucket and saddle loops through some of the especially pad. And that’s not all: there’ll be scenic areas in the forest. The older awards for the youngest rider and the trails are overgrown, and fallen trees oldest horse-and-rider combination. Connecticut Horse


September 4 – 7 CTRA LABOR DAY CELEBRATION, Camp Boardman, Goshen.

Events Connecticut






5 – 6 CHJA SHOW, Stepping Stone Farm, Ridgefield.

13 CDA DRESSAGE SHOW, Sperry View Farm, Bethany.

26 – 27 CTRA MEMORIAL RIDE WEEKEND, Camp Boardman, Goshen.

5 – 6 BLACK LIVES MATTER TRAIL RIDE, Keney Park, Hartford.

14 CHC MEETING, Cheshire Public Library.


6 POLO MATCH, Hamden.





27 POLO MATCH, Hamden.

6 CDA DRESSAGE SHOW, R Folly Farm, Morris.


27 HORSE TRIAL, Frazier Farm, Woodbury.

6 AHCC SCHOOLING SHOW SERIES, Treasure Hill Farm, Salem.


27 CHJA-, CHSA-, NEHC-RATED SHOW, South Glastonbury.

6 CHJA-, CHSA-, NEHC-RATED SHOW, South Glastonbury.

19 CHSA CHJA SHOW, Somers.


11 – 13 WHC GRAND FALL CLASSIC, Westbrook.


27 DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, Weatogue Stables, Salisbury.



27 CCBA OPEN SHOW, Glastonbury Hunt Club.


19 CVDC DRIVE, Beacon Woods Stable, South Glastonbury.

27 A DAY IN THE COUNTRY HORSE SHOW, Milliken Property, Greenwich.



27 CDA DRESSAGE SHOW, Grand View Stable, Columbia.

12 CVDC MEETING, East Haddam Grange.

20 ST. PETER’S HORSE SHOW, OLd Bethany Airport.

27 TANHEATH HUNT CLUB HUNTER PACE, Coventry. (860) 836-4162.

12 BARREL RACING, C & S Ranch, Bethany.

20 CHJA SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport.


12 VOLUNTEER DAY, Washington.


13 HUNTER PACE, Lord Creek Farm, Lyme. (860) 434-9369.

20 SNEHA OPEN SHOW, Hebron Fairgrounds.


13 POLO MATCH, Hamden.

20 MBLA FALL HUNTER PACE, Larkin’s Farm, Middlebury.



13 HUNTER/JUMPER OPEN SHOW, DeCarli Farm, Ellington.

20 POLO MATCH, Hamden.




3 CHJA SHOW, Stepping Stone Farm, Ridgefield.



13 DRESSAGE SCHOOLING SHOW, Lollipop Farm, Brooklyn.



September/October 2015


3 CVDC MEETING, East Haddam Grange.


25 CHJA SHOW, Oak Meadow Farm, East Windsor.


11 PHTA 31ST ANNUAL HUNTER PACE, Tyrone Farm, Pomfret.

3 – 4 ANNA TWINNEY CLINIC, DeCarli Farm, Ellington.

11 GRTA HUNTER PACE, Greenwich.

25 NEATO ORANGE HALLOWEEN RIDE, Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown.


12 CHJA SHOW, Granby.

4 CDCTA DRESSAGE SHOW, Woodstock Fairgrounds.

12 CHC MEETING, Cheshire Public Library.


12 CHJA SHOW, Sweetwater Farm, Clinton.

4 AUTUMN CHALLENGE, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry.



17 CHJA SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport.


4 AHCC SCHOOLING SHOW SERIES, Baldwin Stables, Deep River.

17 CVDC DRIVE, Lord Creek, Lyme.



17 CHJA SHOW, Pines Farm, South Glastonbury.

1 AHCC SCHOOLING SHOW SERIES FINALE, Herbst Arabians, Wallingford.


18 HUNTER/JUMPER OPEN SHOW, DeCarli Farm, Ellington.

1 CHJA SHOW, Granby.

4 CHJA SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport.

18 SCHOOLING HUNTER/JUMPER SHOW, Frazier Farm, Woodbury.

1 AYER MOUNTAIN HUNTER PACE, North Franklin. (860) 642-7205.

4 GROUND DRIVING AND GROUNDWORK CLINIC, Vaquero Training Center, East Windsor.




1 NEATO TURKEY TROT TRAIL RIDE, Natchaug State Forest.


1 CHJA SHOW, Ridgefield.

18 DRESSAGE SHOW SERIES, White Birch Farm, Portland.

3 CHC MONTHLY MEETING, Eversource, Berlin.

5 CAA COLONIAL CLASSIC SHOW, Somers. 6 CHC MONTHLY MEETING, Eversource, Berlin. 9 SCHOOLING DRESSAGE SHOW, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Gales Ferry. 10 BASIC H.O.R.S.E. CARE CLINIC, Washington. 10 VOLUNTEER TRAINING, New Britain. 10 – 11 USDF-, USEF-RATED DRESSAGE SHOW, Gales Ferry. 10 VERSATILITY COMPETITION, Coventry. 10 CHJA SHOW, Folly Farm, Simsbury. 10 – 11 CHJA SHOW, Ridgefield. 10 – 13 CQHA FALL CLASSIC, Falls Creek Farm, Oneco. 10 – 18 NAWD VIRTUAL SHOW, East Windsor. 11 CHJA, CHSA, NEHC SHOW, Avon. 11 THRILLS IN THE HILLS JUMPER SHOW, Morris.



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24 CHJA SHOW, Somers. 24 – 26 KELLY MILLS HORSEMANSHIP CLINIC, DeCarli Farm, Ellington. 25 NBLA FROST ON THE PUMPKIN HUNTER PACE, Newtown. 25 CHJA SHOW, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Westport. 25 CTRA GEORGE DUDLEY SEYMOUR STATE FOREST RIDE, Middle Haddam.

Newtown, Connecticut 203-426-8870 Connecticut Horse


. . . H.O.R.S.E. of CT continued from page 13

Fox Ledge Farm Quality Dressage Training with a Winning Tradition

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

East Haddam, CT (860) 873-8108 .

bringing him home with her. “When I decided to adopt Cooper,” Debbie says, “I began looking for a friend for him. I’d always loved Butterscotch, but as a non–horse person, I was a little intimidated by her size [Butterscotch is a Draft]. As a former Premarin mare [a mare confined to a stall 24/7 while her urine is collected to produce the female hormone replacement drug Premarin], she didn’t trust easily either. For example, many times when I was first working with her, she’d move away when I tried to put a halter on her. With the same time and patience I’d shown Cooper, I finally earned her trust. Three years ago Cooper and Butterscotch moved in, and it’s been amazing ever since.” But adopting two rescues wasn’t enough. “About a year after I adopted Cooper and Butterscotch,” Debbie says, “Beau, who at the time was twenty-five years old, had been returned to the farm after his companion had died and his owner could no longer care for him. Because he had been in a home for many years, Beau had a hard time adjusting to being back at the farm, and he was also heartbroken by the loss of his companion.” Beau, who was once a show jumper,

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suffered a spinal injury many years ago, and, says Debbie, “just wanted to live out his live quietly.” She fell in love yet again, and Beau was her third adoption. “Even though it’s been a financial challenge sometimes,” she says, “I’m so grateful to have all three of them.” Debbie has high praise for H.O.R.S.E.: “I can’t say enough good things about Patty and her team of volunteers,” she says. “Every one of the horses is well trained, rehabilitated, and unbelievably amazing. Almost every morning I walk my three horses and I’m still stunned at how well trained they are. I take Cooper on the right, Butter on the left, and Beau follows. So many good things have come into my life as a result of adopting them. I’ve learned lessons about trust, unconditional love, and the resilient spirit these majestic animals have. I sometimes think they rescued me.” To tour the farm, please call (860) 868-1960 at least two days in advance. Sally L. Feuerberg is the president of the Middlebury Bridle Land Association and a longtime resident of Newtown. Trail riding and continuing her lesson programs are her passions, along with the care of her family, horses, and farm.

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September/October 2015

improve your ability to head off trouble before it erupts. Remember that you have to be flexible and adjust because what works with one horse may not with another. The rules of the road are the same with us as they are with his herd: no matter how advanced our partnership with him, the horse will always need to check in with us to make sure we are still worthy of his respect. By the time our horses were in a regular riding program, it was our goal to have our role firmly established as their respected leader. Lee and I constantly focused on their needs: the more experiences we presented that reassured them of their safety and peace, no matter what we were doing together, the less it would take to reassure them whenever they had a moment of doubt.

5. The whys are immaterial. My mother taught me the value of accepting a horse as he is, without judgment. It’s unproductive to label his behaviors as good or bad, or as ones we like or don’t like — they just are.

Whether he feels heavy and resistant or smooth and willing, a horse is simply telling us what he needs in that moment. Nor is it productive to dwell on the whys surrounding a resistance or brace — a significant lesson we learned at the clinics. Instead of spending a lot of time analyzing how a horse became cranky or stiff or uneven, we need to check for imbalances and focus on removing them. The horse doesn’t have to keep his imbalances. Using groundwork exercises, we can easily observe and encourage him to reach equally with all four quarters. Contrary to what many people believe, a brace isn’t a quirky part of a horse’s personality but rather an indication of an imbalance that will persist and worsen if left unaddressed.

with you. Most importantly, it is possible for everyone to succeed. In my clinics, I put a different slant on the adage “Practice makes perfect.” To me, what’s most important is the attempt at perfect practice every day. Always strive for the perfect transition! As you improve your feel and timing, he will catch on very quickly. Horses are remarkably adaptable. Establishing the habit to practice with quality builds on itself and pays off. When you take the time to get everything right, eventually the right thing happens first and takes no time at all. It takes a great deal more time to solve problems if they have developed into complicated braces. To purchase Riding with Life, visit

6. It’s never too late to work with quality. The favorable results we achieved with the older horses not started in this program are proof that it’s never too late to make positive changes. No matter your horse’s age, you can learn how to operate with precision and help him be more relaxed, willing, and respectful

Boarding . Training . Lessons . Shows Clinics . Sale Horses & Ponies . Tack Shop Grand Fall Classic New Date! September 11-13 George Morris Clinic November 2015 Jane Dow-Burt - owner, trainer, judge, and clinician 319 Pond Meadow Road, Westbrook CT (860) 399-6317 .


. . . Riding with Life continued from page 23

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Indoor Arena Owned and Operated by the Ross Family Trainer: Jennifer Braiden 1125 Essex Rd., Westbrook, CT (860) 399-5000 . (860) 304-5448

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




Your Everything Equine “white pages”




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

BABCOCK HILL FARM DAWN BONIN HORSEMANSHIP Coventry, CT, (860) 985-7611 Natural horsemanship, lessons, training, boarding, sales/leases.

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

DECARLI FARM Ellington, CT, (860) 878-9274 Boarding, lessons, training, shows, sale horses, and clinics.

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


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


CHESHIRE HORSE COUNCIL Trail rides and maintenance, community service. CONNECTICUT COLOR BREED ASSOCIATION Open to all breeds, show series, clinics, trail mileage, dressage. CONNECTICUT DRESSAGE AND COMBINED TRAINING ASSOCIATION Instruction, education, and competition. CONNECTICUT DRESSAGE ASSOCIATION Competitions, education, clinics, scholarships, newsletter. CONNECTICUT MORGAN HORSE ASSOCIATION Promoting Morgans; educational activities, programs, and events; annual horse show. CONNECTICUT RENEGADES Cowboy mounted shooting. CONNECTICUT TRAIL RIDES ASSOCIATION Encourages and promotes trail riding and camping in the state. MIDDLEBURY BRIDLE LAND ASSOCIATION Preservation and protection of bridle trails for horseback riding. NEWTOWN BRIDLE LANDS ASSOCIATION Preservation and protection of equestrian recreational trails. TANHEATH HUNT CLUB Foxhunting; small group passionate about horses and hounds. BARN CATS


TEAM MOBILE FELINE UNIT (888) FOR-TEAM Mobile spay, neuter, and vaccination clinic for cats. Driven to end feline overpopulation!


September/October 2015


FOX LEDGE FARM - ANN GUPTILL E. Haddam, CT, (860) 873-8108 Dressage lessons, training, clinics. HAPPY TRAILS FARM Danbury, CT, (203) 778-6218 Pleasure riding, obstacle course, trails.




MANES & MOTIONS Middletown, CT, (860) 223-2761 Therapeutic riding for body, mind, and soul. RAY OF LIGHT FARM E. Haddam, CT, (860) 873-1895 Animal-assisted therapy; rescue center.

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


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


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

MOVADO FARMS Durham, CT, (860) 463-5272 Lessons, IEA team, leasing, shows.




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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


EQUISSAGE NE/NY Sterling, CT, (860) 564-7759 Masterson Method, Equissage, equine bodywork, myofascial release, infrared photon light therapy, and Reiki. EQUINE RELATIONSHIPS


LE MAY, INC. Newtown, CT, (203) 347-2531 We buy manure. PENDERGAST HAULING AND BARN SERVICES New Fairfield, CT, (203) 948-9493 Manure removal (container or ground pickup), arena footing restoration, excavation service. PHOTOGRAPHY



MINDFUL CONNECTIONS What is your horse trying to tell you? Are you ready to let your horse take you to a deeper level of connection? Tuning in to your companion, you’ll be shown a world nothing short of miraculous.

JEANNE LEWIS IMAGES Wallingford, CT, (203) 265-2622 Western events, barn shoots, horse/rider portraits. Serving New England.


FEED AND PET STORE Horses, pets, families.

BLUE SEAL FEED (866) 647-1212 Concentrates, supplements, forages.

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

LOCK, STOCK & BARREL (203) 393-0002 Large-animal feed and pet food. Riding apparel, tack, farm supplies, and power equipment. SWEETWATER FEED AND EQUIPMENT Clinton, CT, (860) 669-9473 Tribute Equine Nutrition; pet foods HORSES FOR SALE


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

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



HIGGINS GROUP EQUESTRIAN PROPERTIES Crosby C. Middlemass, Equine Realtor Connecticut, (203) 558-2046 RETIREMENT SANCTUARY


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

Is this your horse?



ARBITRAGE TACK Oakville, CT, (860) 417-2608 Equipment you need at prices you can afford. We keep you riding. BEVAL SADDLERY New Canaan, CT, (203) 966-7828 New Canaan, Gladstone, NJ stores. East Coast mobile unit.



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

Connecticut’s own SmithWorthington Saddlery is the proud sponsor of Is This Your Horse? Smith-Worthington Saddlery has been crafting fine English saddlery and tack since 1794. Available at fine tack shops throughout the U.S.


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


JOHN McCARTHY TRUCKING SERVICES (860) 426-2497 East Coast New England to Florida. VETERINARY


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

275 Homestead Ave. Hartford, Connecticut 860 . 527 . 9117 BROOKLYN-CANTERBURY LARGE ANIMAL CLINIC Canterbury, CT, (860) 546-6998 Serving eastern CT and RI. Equines, farm animals, and camelids.

Sally L. Feuerberg

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

Is this your horse? This photo was taken on July 19 at the Frazier Farm Schooling Show in Woodbury. If this is your horse, contact us at for a Smith-Worthington Saddlery leather halter.

EGGLESTON EQUINE Woodstock, CT, (860) 942-3365 Lameness, pre-purchase exams, veterinary medicine and dentistry.

advertiser index Arbitrage Tack .................................. 39

Lyme Hunter Pace .......................... 19

Associated Refuse Haulers ............... 37

Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding . 28

Beckett & Assoc. Veterinary Services . 41

Middlebury Bridle Land Assoc. ........ 34

Beval Saddlery ........................... 42–43

Midstate Tractor and Equipment ..... 39

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

Mitchell Farm Music Festival ............ 41

Brooklyn-Canterbury Clinic ............... 34

Movado Farms .................................. 25

The Carriage Shed .............................. 3

Mystic Valley Hunt Club .................... 25

Connecticut Horse Cremation ............ 4

Pendergast Hauling & Barn Services .. 11

Country Living Loans ......................... 23

Post University .................................. 33

Dawn Bonin Horsemanship ............... 34

Ray of Light Farm ............................... 33

DeCarli Farm ...................................... 15

RV Parts and Electric ........................ 38

Don Ray Insurance ............................. 17

Spring Valley Farm ............................ 39

Equine Gnathologist ......................... 31

Strain Family Horse Farm .................. 31

Equissage .......................................... 29

Sweetwater Feed and Equipment ...... 21

Farm Family Insurance ...................... 32

Tanheath Hunt Club .......................... 19

Fox Ledge Farm ................................. 38

TEAM Mobile Feline Unit ................... 6

Happy Trails Farm ............................. 38

Vaquero Training Center ................... 29

Heritage Farm .................................... 7

Westbrook Hunt Club ........................ 39

Higgins Group Equestrian Properties . 38

Whimsy Brook Farm ............................ 13

Le May, Inc. ................................... 38

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

Lock, Stock, and Barrel ................... 2

Connecticut Horse




Anderson Farm Supply 224 Marlborough Street, Portland (860) 324-1669

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

Mackey’s 132 Linwood Avenue, Colchester (860) 537-4607 .

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

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

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

Mackey’s 249 Columbia Avenue, Willimantic (860) 423-6311 .

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

Fleming’s Feed 353 Route 165, Preston (860) 889-7536 .

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

Melzen Farm Supply 100 Oak Street, Glastonbury (860) 633-9830

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

Fleming’s Feed 786 Route 1, Stonington (860) 535-3181 .

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

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

Connecticut Horse September/October 2015