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NEW YORK HORSE STORIES. ADVICE. HORSEPLAY.

BLANKET WEATHER 2019-20

THE

HEALING HORSE

Mustangs mend war’s wounds Heroes with hooves restore a victim’s voice In a place of new beginnings, riding = hope

Our Best 60-Second Clinics

32 ways to ride better in a New York minute

Hunt Breakfasts, Beagle Teas & Whiskey Races: EQ Style overindulges


Canterbury Stables C A Z E N O V I A

HUNTER/JUMPER & DRESSAGE

BUILDING BETTER RIDERS SINCE 2002

WHERE YOUR JOURNEY

IS OUR DESTINATION …

A warm & welcoming professional staff & outstanding horses allow students of all ages and levels to discover the joy of riding. Lessons tailored to your goals in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. CALL US FOR A TOUR: 315-440-2244

WWW.CANTERBURYSTABLES.COM


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Features

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All’s Fair

Images from then and now at the NYS Fair, the only horse show where riders can miss a call back because they’re standing on line for Dippin’ Dots

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Time and again the old saying is proven true: The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a (hu)man

On a residential street in Queens, riders find that whatever the disability, “the horse seems to have an answer”

Wild horses and wounded veterans come together at a therapeutic riding center near Rochester for a program it’s hoped will offer national solutions

Working alone in a round pen with an Off the Track Thoroughbred, veterans find a connection and a voice

Hooray for clinicians who’ve mastered the equestrian equivalent of the elevator speech. From our first five years, the best advice we’ve heard in 75 words or less

The Healing Horse

Gallop NYC

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Mission Mustang

Saratoga Warhorse

Master Class


The Show Trunk II Join us! Gala Open House Dec. 7 and 8

Food. Fun. Friends.

SITS Weekend Giveaway Extravaganza! Over $40K in Prizes!

Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fabulous Sales & Gifts

Equestrian style for your ride. Fashion for your life! 10% off for IEA & IHSA members & Pros Shop online anytime at theshowtrunk2.com

Hugh & Stacy Jonas 2335 Dryden Road (Route 13) Dryden, NY 13053 Monday, Thursday & Friday 11 am - 6 pm Saturday & Sunday 10 am - 5pm


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Departments 42

EQ Style

Bacon and bourbon and beagles: Oh my, it’s a tribute to the flavorful side of equestrian life. Plus: The Artful Horse meets the Snooty Fox

On the Cover

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Jump Start

Take a quick jog back to the days when road trip meant four hooves and a whip Thanks To Our Underwriters Calendar

Get out the mittens and puffer coat and embrace winter (or at least give it a hearty handshake). Road Trip, meanwhile heads south

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Leg Up

News, Notes and Conversation Starters

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(Some of) Our Favorite Things

A little something for every gift-worthy horse person, which is another way of saying everyone

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EQ Business

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Armchair Equestrian

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The Profitable Horseman explains the one thing no one mentions about owning a business Know Better to Do Better: Why ‘quit while you’re ahead’ should be everyone’s favorite phrase. Plus, we have two cute kids’ books to give away

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EQ Medicine

Complicated ‘kissing spine’ surgery saves a show horse whose vertebrae had fused Off the Beaten Path

Ride the Black River Wild Forest, the drive-up window version of a wilderness outing Collected Thoughts

Why our extended equine family includes a second-chance Thoroughbred Lasting Image

Baby it’s cold outside (and if it’s not already, trust us, it will be soon)

In our very first issue, cowboy poet Mark Munzert wrote a poem about a horse’s eye that includes these words: Answers to questions apparent there. Instinctual understanding to absorb and share. So when we looked for an image that captured the heart of a healing horse, we found it here, in the touch of a muzzle and a wise, gentle eye.


Where a white horse is not just white, a black horse is not just black, and a beautiful horse is not just pretty

Contemporary Equine Art for the Discerning Collector

EQUIS ART GALLERY THE ARTFUL HEART OF THE HUDSON VALLEY

15 WEST MARKET STREET RED HOOK, NEW YORK 845-758-9432 EQUISART.COM


JUMP START

PHOTO FROM THE DIGITAL COLLECTION OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Fifth Avenue Stage in 1900, when more than 100,000 horses lived and worked on the New York City streets

“The most pervasive sound was made by horses’ well-shod hooves on cobblestones.” — Pete Hamill, Downtown

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We have the horsepower to change the lives of New Yorkers with disabilities GallopNYC uses therapeutic horsemanship to help riders walk, talk, and learn, inspiring each one to live life as fully, productively and independently as possible. GallopNYC also helps adults with disabilities and provides a free program to Veterans with visible or invisible injuries, including PTS. We are committed to serving low- and moderate-income families.

Help support our riders and horses by donating at GallopNYC.org


A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR NEW YORK HORSE UNDERWRITERS

Canterbury Stables W O R L D

C L A S S ,

M I N U T E S

NEW YORK HORSEÂŽ Owners Janis Barth Peter Barth Editor and Publisher Janis Barth editor@nyhorsemag.com

A W A Y

UNDERWRITING SUPPORT Address: 4786 Roberts Road, Cazenovia Phone: 315-440-2244 Email: info@canterburystablesny.com

NEW YORK STATE CENTER FOR EQUINE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

New York Horse is published in part with underwriting support from: Canterbury Stables; Cazenovia College and the New York State Center for Equine Business Development; Blue Ocean Strategic Capital, LLC; Cornell University Hospital for Animals; GallopNYC; New York State Fair; Morrisville State College; Sundman Stables; New York Farm Bureau; Central New York Dressage and Combined Training Association; Central New York Reining Horse Association and New York State Horse Council.

PRESENTATION Art Director Darren Sanefski dasanefs@go.olemiss.edu

EDITORIAL Contributing Editors Barbara Lindberg Renee Gadoua Contributing Writers Doug Emerson LA Pomeroy Katie Navarra Lauren Cahoon Roberts Contributing Photographers Jessie Berman Jonathan Groeger Michael Okoniewski Paul Rehbock Matteo Bracco Jonathan Loyche Matt Spitzmueller Michael Davis

ADVERTISING To inquire about advertising Email: advertising@nyhorsemag.com Phone: 315-378-2800

New York Horse magazine is published by: Tremont8 Media, LLC Cazenovia, NY 13035

Promoting the sport of Reining through shows, clinics and educational seminars

All rights reserved. ISSN 2375-8058. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the express consent of the publisher. All material submitted to the magazine becomes the property of Tremont8 Media. Submitted material may be excerpted or edited for length and content and may be published or used in any format or medium, including online or in other print publications.

One Strong Voice for the Future of Horses Join today at: www. nyshc.org

To subscribe: Write to New York Horse, P.O. Box 556, Cazenovia, NY 13035. Subscriptions are $10/year. Please include your name and address and a check or money order for the full amount. For gift subscriptions, include the name and address of each recipient and we will send a card in your name.

Therapeutic Horsemanship www.gallopnyc.org

New York Horse is a proud member of Farm Bureau and New York State Horse Council


NEED HAY? We Have FRESH 2019 Large & Small Square Bales Cut From Our Farm Timothy/Brome/Alfalfa Timothy/Orchard Grass Visit NYHAY.com for your free quote OR Call/text ED 315-794-3909


LEG UP: CALENDAR THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU’RE WAITING FOR THE GLACIERS TO RECEDE

DECEMBER

The Midsummer Derby, an exhibition celebrating the 150th running of the Travers Stakes, is on display at the National Museum of Racing, Saratoga Springs, through Dec 31. More information: racingmuseum.org.

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Enjoy an Evening with Friends in the Mid-Hudson Horse Community at the Equis Art Gallery, Red Hook. Wine, cheese, cookies and conversation. More info on the gallery’s Facebook page. Holiday Open House at The Show Trunk II, 2335 Dryden Road (Route 13), Dryden. Refreshments and something for every equestrian. More information: theshowtrunk2.com

Empire State Arabian Horse Club tack sale 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Baldwinsville Fire Station, Crego Road, B’ville. To reserve a space or for more information, email: empirestatearabian@gmail.com Join Santa on the merry-go-round at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in North Tonawanda. Santa is also there Dec. 14 and 21. More info at: carrouselmuseum.net Celebrate the National Day of the Horse! Established by Congress in 2004, this is one government proclamation everyone can support. Sleigh rides through Highland Forest, Fabius, weekends now through Feb. 23 and daily Dec. 23 – Jan. 1, except Christmas Day. More info: onondagacountyparks.com/parks/highland-forest

Interscholastic Horse Show Association Hall of Fame inducts four New Yorkers: IHSA founder and Harrison native Bob Cacchione; Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden of Cazenovia; Cindy Ford, retired coach of Skidmore College, and Clifford, “the big red horse,” of Cornell University’s equestrian team. Horse-drawn sleigh rides at the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, Canandaigua, every Sunday from 1-3 p.m. in January and continuing through February and March. More info: grangerhomestead.org

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Genesee Valley Equine Clinic’s Winter Horse Health Seminar, 8 a.m.-noon at the Wheatland-Chili High School, 940 North Road, Scottsville. More info: gvequine.com Empire State Quarter Horse Association 2020 annual convention at the Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn. More info: esqha.com

WNY Equifest at the Showplex, Erie County Fairgrounds, Hamburg. Two full days of clinics and demos for all disciplines and more than 100 vendors. More info: the-fairgrounds.com/fairgrounds/livestock/wny-equifest

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LEG UP: ROAD TRIP

Travel back to when fire power required real horse power

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or a long span of its history, the horsepower that fueled the Fire Department of New York ran on hay, water and oats. That horsedrawn past is preserved at the very tip of Manhattan in the collection of the New York City Fire Museum. The museum is housed in a renovated 1904 firehouse at 278 Spring Street, originally built for Engine Company 30. Inside, find much of the city’s collection of firefighting artifacts,

art and equipment dating from as early as the 1600s and including an impressive collection of horse-drawn pumpers and wagons. On the first floor, look for a horsedrawn ladder wagon from the days of fighting fires in the city’s original tall buildings. Also on the first floor, find one of the other gems of the collection: a 1901 American LaFrance coal-fired, horsedrawn steam engine, which saw service

with Brooklyn’s Engine Company 8. The engine could pump 700 gallons of water per minute and required three horses to pull it through the city streets. Historic photos, stories of brave fire horses and assorted equine objects, from tack to decorative ribbons and rosettes, are all part of the museum’s exhibits. The museum is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week. Plan to spend at least an hour. For more information go to nycfiremuseum.org.


Leg Up

News, Notes and Conversation Starters New book on US champions recalls Beezie Madden’s debut The U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation’s new book, Riding for the Team, tells the stories of 47 champion equestrians, including the debut of Beezie Madden, two-time Olympic team gold medalist in show jumping. Madden, of Cazenovia, describes making her USET entrance at the 2004 Olympics in Athens as a last-minute substitute. “I went double-clear and we won,” she recalls. “That was a milestone in my career. I never imagined being good enough to ride for the team. I was a kid from the Midwest who did seven or eight shows a year until my last junior year. I wasn’t on anyone’s radar, including my own.” Along with stories of athletes – and their equine partners – in all eight international equestrian disciplines, the book features competition photographs, behind-the-scenes moments and images of top riders in their younger years. Published by Trafalgar Square Books, Riding for the Team is available for preorder on the USET Foundation website, uset.org, for $45 or $70 for a limited edition with slip cover. Proceeds benefit the USET Foundation.

Groundbreaking female jockey honored at Aqueduct Fifty years after she became the first female jockey to win a race in New York state, Barbara Jo Rubin has been honored at Aqueduct Racetrack, where she wrote her name in the history books by piloting Bravy Galaxy to victory. The horse, Rubin recalled, was a 2-year-old who went off at 13-1 on March 14, 1969. Rubin recounted how in the post parade “a lot of people (were) yelling for him and a lot of people were yelling for me to go home.” Injuries forced Rubin to retire after less than a year. She has a career record of 22 wins, 10 second-place finishes, and 10 thirdplace finishes in 93 starts.

NY equestrians join elite club honoring senior riders and horses Rose Fountain of Mendon and her mare Total Eclipse, and Dr. Wendy McCord of Cazenovia and her horse Festivo, were inducted into the Dressage Foundation’s Century Club, which recognizes dressage riders and horses whose combined ages total 100 years or more. McCord is 74 years old and Festiva is 26. They have been a team since 1977, about which McCord says: “22 years together and the love and respect for my partner only grows deeper.” Fountain’s mare is 27, and she says they are “happily hacking our way into the future.” In addition to having ages totaling 100 or more, horse and rider must perform a test of any level and have it scored by a dressage judge. A Century Club ribbon and wall plaque is given to each horse and rider team. 12 NEW YORK HORSE NYHorseMag.com

Miniature Magic:

The Cazenovia College minis retired this fall after 20 years as equine ambassadors. Among their missions was bringing a dash of horse happiness to Central New York nursing homes, where photographer Jessie Berman captured the special joy they brought.


West Point Thoroughbreds honored for backstretch work The New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America has honored Terry and Debbie Finley, co-founders of West Point Thoroughbreds of Saratoga Springs, for their support of the backstretch community. The chaplaincy ministers to backstretch workers with children’s enrichment, social services, recreational programs, educational opportunities and non-denominational religious services.

Equestrian statue in Times Square through year’s end Rumors of War, a bronze sculpture of a young black man dressed in urban streetwear sitting astride a horse, will be on display in Times Square through the end of the year. The statue by Kehinde Wiley – who painted the presidential portrait of Barack Obama –was created in response to Confederate monuments. When the sculpture leaves Manhattan, it will become part of the permanent collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

New York Names in the News • Delaney Barrigar of Jordan, Emmie Esplin of Diana, Emily Forshee of Erieville, Bridget Vieau of Syracuse, Sophia Wojcik of Fayetteville and Xenia Zimmerman of Brewster were selected for the US Hunter Jumper Association’s Emerging Athletes Program 2019 regional training sessions. • Sophie Gochman of New York City is this year’s recipient of the Maxine Beard Show Jumping Developing Rider Award from the USET. Gochman, 16, earned the award as the highest placing US young rider at the 2019 FEI North American Youth Championship. • Dr. Carolyn Karlson was elected chair of the Retired Racehorse Project’s board of directors. A resident of Saratoga, Karlson is a longtime racehorse owner and past director of the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program at the University of Maryland • Caroline Passarelli of High Falls and the Oldenburg mare Lalique earned the Overall Grand Championship at the 2019 USEF Junior Hunter National Championships. • Collin Young of Walkill was selected to compete on Hambletonian Day in the Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s exhibition race. Collin, who is 14, drove Ima’s Hit in the exhibition, held at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. • Sara Garden of Access Equestrian, Valhalla, was recognized as an EQUUS Foundation Champion for her work in the adaptive riding program. Said Garden: “Watching the incredible difference horses make in the lives of both kids and adults consistently amazes me.”

REINING AMERICA’S HORSE SPORT Spins, Slides & Show Stoppers Come Catch the Action!

JUNE 5-7, 2020

CNY REINING HORSE ASSOCIATION

Ride & Slide NYS Fairgrounds Expo Center, Syracuse

OCTOBER 15-18, 2020 CNYRHA

Fall Classic & NORTHEAST BREEDERS TRUST FUTURITY

NYS Fairgrounds Expo Center, Syracuse

Ready for the ride of your life? Get in touch with a reining pro and let us show you why reining is the ultimate communication between horse & rider! Central New York Reining Horse Association Promoting the sport of Reining in the Northeast

• Dr. Elaine Claffey, a certified veterinary surgeon, has joined Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists. An eventer and horse owner, Claffey is also a clinical instructor at Cornell. Online at www.cnyrha.net Follow us on Facebook NYHorseMag.com NEW YORK HORSE 13


Holidays have you in a bit of a shopping quandary? Collect yourself and check out the options in our gift guide. There’s something here for every equestrian, whether they want to deck the halls, themselves or their fourlegged teammates. Put the wine in equine.

For anyone who likes their horses spirited, try a bottle of Hunt Country Vineyards’ Cabernet Franc. Come to the tasting room in Branchport, or have a bottle shipped to a NY address. $34.99

The Travers: 150 Years of Saratoga’s Greatest Race chronicles

each running from Kentucky’s inaugural victory to Catholic Boy’s 2018 win. Available at the National Museum of Racing, Saratoga Springs. $60 14 NEW YORK HORSE NYHorseMag.com

Perhaps, dear Santa,

if we’d been excellent instead of merely good, we might have brought this back from Governors Island instead of an I ❤ NY T-shirt. Longines crafted equestrian pocket watches from its museum collection in time for the Global Champions Tour of New York. This model is 18-carat rose gold. Prices start at $32,000.

Hunt for the perfect gift at antique shops, flea

markets and garage sales – there’s no telling what might turn up. Among our EQ finds: bookends, teapots, vintage trophies (perfect to double as vases and wine buckets) and this cast iron boot scraper, currently earning its keep as a doorstop.

Curb our enthusiasm for equine jewelry? Never. This vintage pin is one of many pieces from Carter’s Pond Jewelry and Antiques. Look for them on Facebook and at Cazenovia’s 20 East and Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed.


Corral your horse stuff in

a handcrafted tack trunk from Kenwood Tack Exchange in Oneida. Choose your finish and customize the interior to fit every need. Visit or call 315264-2180

No matter what arctic nonsense Mother Nature is dishing out, stay warm

Get a leg up on finding the perfect gift. This hand-painted

picture frame with stirrup motif is by Cazenovia artist Judy Goldthwait. Find glassware and other gifts embellished with her artwork online at jgportraits.com.

Why shouldn’t your horse be a fashionista? Tory padded leather halter with solid brass hardware and soft rolled backing on the nose, cheek and crown to prevent rubbing. Custom order at The Show Trunk II, Dryden, and online at Theshowtrunk2.com. $109.95

and comfortable in the Schockemohle Sports Martha vest. A must-have for every fashionable rider, the vest is available in cherry, graphite, ivy green and amber at The Show Trunk II, Dryden, and online at Theshowtrunk2.com. $134.95

Maybe it’s because home is the snow belt,

but we think a classic buckle is the perfect finishing touch. This one leans Western, with a braided edge and channel of engraved silver. Montana Silversmiths buckle at Shupperd’s Tack Shop, Bainbridge. $120 Anyone who loves hanging around with horses will love these stoneware

ornaments whose mission in life is, well, hanging around. “Ponies to Go” are $20 at Equis Art Gallery, Red Hook, or online at Equisart.com. WIN THIS: We have one ornament to give away. Send an email with your name and address and “Ornament” in the subject line to: nyhorsemag@gmail.com. We’ll pick a winner at random. NYHorseMag.com NEW YORK HORSE 15


PROFITABLE HORSEMAN

The one thing nobody mentions about starting a business By Doug Emerson

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nyone who has started a business knows the excitement and satisfaction of being their own boss. No more orders to take from superiors, total control of how you spend your time and best of all, the freedom to keep the money your business earns by your hard work. I felt it when I started working for myself, and also enjoyed a feeling of self-confidence that things could only go right. After all, I was the boss now. Here’s the one thing people don’t tell you when you start your business: You’re going to lose money. I was having a conversation one day about business when my mentor said those disturbing words to me. “You see,” he said, “all business transactions involve an element of risk ... And eventually, risk catches up to you and that means you’ll provide goods or services in good faith and not get paid. When it happens, acknowledge the loss and keep moving forward.” Eventually as predicted, I lost money on a business deal. Heeding those long-ago words, I acknowledged the loss, analyzed why it happened and then moved on. Since then, I’ve lost money from time to time in a variety of businesses including the horse business. As a businessperson operating as a professional horseman, you too will have – or already have had – customers who don’t pay. You will lose money. You might buy horses for resale and not be able to recover the maintenance expense, training time and marketing effort put into the project. You’ll lose money when you buy equipment, vehicles and

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tack that don’t perform as hoped. And you will lose when you hire people who turn out to be total duds. Here are ways to minimize your losses when they occur: • Boarders who get behind more than a month, just like apartment renters, usually never get caught up and remain habitually delinquent. Give them legal notice that you are evicting them for non-payment. If necessary, settle for a lesser amount of the past-due board for cash payment. It’s better to get some of the money and their horses out of your barn so you can find a paying customer to replace the income. If you are “nice,” chances are excellent the boarder will soon be six months behind. Your on-time boarders will understand tough but fair policies. • Collect training fees in advance for customers with whom you have no experience. It’s a reasonable expectation. • Collect lesson fees in advance with package programs. Your income will be more predictable, and your students won’t have to worry about paying every time they have a lesson. • If a “pay as you go” lesson model is better for you, insist payment is due the day of the lesson. Next time may be never. Avoid making continuous accommodations for students who don’t show up or need to cancel frequently or change lesson times. Remember: As an instructor, all you have to sell is your time. A cancelled lesson or a no-show student robs a business of the income – non-recoverable – that was dedicated to that time slot. • For purchases of equipment, vehicles and tack, a bargain price is never rationalization for accepting inferior quality. Experience teaches that it’s better to pay a little more for quality than to pay twice for inferior products. Accept the certain truth: You’re going to lose some money along the path of success, so cut your losses by resolving problems quickly. Procrastination never helps. Don’t wallow in self-pity due to your financial loss. Learn from the mistake and get out there and sell something whether it’s lessons, boarding, training or a horse. You can’t go back in time and you can’t go forward into the future. Your choice is simple. Do your best work today and your business will continue to improve. Doug Emerson, the Profitable Horseman, lives in Western New York, where he consults, writes and speaks about the business half of the horse business. Look for him online at www.ProfitableHorseman.com.


ARMCHAIR EQUESTRIAN

Know Better Do Better TO

Lessons in horsemanship from a former Olympic rider

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ere’s a pretty unsurprising statement: Here at New York Horse we spend a fair amount of time talking about horses and riding. Over the years we’ve had our share of good rides, bad rides, inexplicable rides and “get back on the horse or go to the hospital rides” in almost every discipline known to equine- and humankind. (We have sidesaddle in our sights, and that should complete the trifecta.) Most of our conversations conclude with the thought that former Olympic eventer Michael Page got it absolutely correct when he said at a clinic: “Ride better.” And to get there? “Ride more. There are no secrets, just hard work.” So when the latest book by Denny Emerson, Know Better to Do Better: Mistakes I Made with Horses So You

Don’t Have To ($29.95 hardcover, Trafalgar Square Books) crossed the NYH desk, there was an immediate nod of recognition at these words: “With horses, we don’t get a ‘do-over button,’ as much as we’d sometimes like one. We have to live with the choices we make, even when – looking back – we know there might have been a better way to communicate, a different way to teach a new lesson, or another means to reach the desired end.” Sure, there are no shortcuts to riding better. But if there’s a chance to avoid a few of those bone- and nerve-rattling potholes, sign us up. Emerson – a former president of the US Eventing Association, vice-president of the US Equestrian Team and member of the USEA Hall of Fame – is a first-rate teacher who chooses his lessons well. From basics like aids and equipment to more specialized subjects, the chapters ring true: Straight Talk About Horse Temperament. How Good a Rider do You Want to Be? It Only Matters if it Matters to You. Whether Emerson is talking about fitness, emotional control or how to determine what success with your horse really means, riders of all skill levels can gain valuable knowledge from his lessons on life and horsemanship.

A treat for the littles

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When training horses, “pretty good” needs to be seen as “good,” and “quit while you’re ahead” should be everyone’s motto. It is so easy to grind on a horse, to make the horse do something, perform a specific movement, then do it again, and again, and again, all the way to frustration, fatigue, failure, and despair. We see this every day. Heck, we do this every day. Perfection is the curse of the perfectionist. “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” How often have we had this saying shoved down our throats? As if to hear something enough times somehow makes it true. … Many days of “pretty good” start to add up to quite good indeed. Grinding to perfection gives the opposite result. It’s a hard lesson for many riders to learn. I wish I had learned it about 40 years sooner.

Lancaster, PA, Mounted Police and his rider, Officer Eric Lukacs. Told through Liam’s voice, readers learn that he wears a badge, loves a bath, and that going to schools and meeting students is one of his favorite jobs. (“I enjoy getting all the attention,” Liam says.) Horse Show! (Paperback, $9.95) is the second book in Feld’s popular Donkey-Donk series. In this story, Donk – a very precocious miniature donkey – is dreaming about winning a blue ribbon in the trail class at a horse show. Donk practices going over, under and through obstacles and the gentle message to young readers is about the value of hard work. WIN THIS: We have copies of both books to give away to a lucky reader. To enter, send an email with your name and address to nyhorsemag@gmail.com. Put “Kids” in the subject line. We’ll pick a winner at random from the emails we receive. Good luck!

Two charming horse books and a chance to win both

e don’t often have books for the kiddos, so we were delighted when two new releases from Willow Bend Publishing popped into the New York Horse mailbox. Both are by two-time Children’s Choices award author Ellen F. Feld, who has written a dozen kids’ books about horses including one – Blackjack, a tale about a Morgan – that was chosen by Breyer to be packaged with a model of the title horse. In What Does A Police Horse Do? (Paperback, $9.95) Feld introduces young readers to Liam, a member of the

60-SECOND CLINIC: DENNY EMERSON


Surgery saves a show horse hobbled by pain from ‘kissing spine’ By Lauren Cahoon Roberts

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hen Wrangler, an 11-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, bolted at a show in 2018, owner Anjanette Nicolazzo knew something was amiss. “I was baffled,” Nicolazzo said. “I had ridden him for eight months prior to this, and he had never done anything of the sort. I knew his bolting was a cry for help because it was so out of character for him.” In fact, this smart, champion horse had been hiding a painful condition known as “kissing spine,” a condition in which the vertebrae touch or grind against each other. Eventually, a trip to Cornell University’s equine hospital led to a diagnosis, and relief for horse and rider. Prior to the show, Wrangler showed other signs of discomfort: acting sensitive around his girth and flank area, pawing holes in his stall floor and refusing to back up. Nicolazzo initially suspected stomach ulcers but wanted to find out for sure. Her local veterinarian in Springville, referred her to Cornell for an assessment and a gastroscopy – a look at the stomach with a flexible camera. When the stomach scope did not show any evidence of ulcers, Cornell clinicians took a team-based approach to finding a cause for Wrangler’s discomfort. Dr. Elaine Claffey saw Wrangler for an orthopedic exam to look for any lameness or pain associated with his muscles or bones. “These cases of behavioral problems or poor performance can be tricky to sort out,” said Claffey, a surgeon. Wrangler wasn’t lame but had back pain when he was evaluated by Claffey. High-definition X-rays revealed that 11 of Wrangler’s vertebrae rubbed against each other abnormally; four were so severe, they had fused together. It was one of the worst cases of kissing spine Claffey had ever seen. Nicolazzo began giving Wrangler back injections to alleviate his pain, but after a week, she knew surgery was the answer. Claffey performed the complicated, four-hour surgery with colleagues Dr. Jackie Hill and Dr. Norm Ducharme. Using X-ray guidance, the team cut parts of the vertebrae that were touching to provide more space for comfortable movement. Following surgery, Wrangler had a year-long recovery. Nicolazzo spent between two and three months on each stage of his rehabilitation, slowly working on building the horse’s

LEARN MORE Watch a video about Wrangler and his surgery at youtube.com/watch?v=etZQzcuSCA0

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Wrangler’s spine, with vertebrae touching, before surgery

muscles, strength and endurance before finally putting him under saddle again. “The first day I decided to ride him, he walked around like nothing had happened over the last year – he didn’t skip a beat,” said Nicolazzo. “My heart was so full. It was one of the best feelings and days I have ever had.” Approximately a year after his surgery, Wrangler and Nicolazzo were back in the show ring. They competed at the 2018 all-American Quarter Horse congress in Columbus, Ohio, winning the championship in the hunter under saddle division and placing in the Top 10 in all other divisions. But Nicolazzo said just being back together as a team was victory enough. “I can’t believe I’ve been gifted such an incredible horse – with such a will to win and survive,” Nicolazzo said. “I learned so much about myself during this process. I learned what the true meaning of dedication was, perseverance, how to keep going when the going gets tough, commitment, true love. Once you start you can’t give up, because one thing I know for sure, this horse never gave up on me. Having him at shows … win or lose, we’ve won.”


OFF THE BEATEN PATH

Black River Wild Forest An accessible wilderness experience awaits in the Adirondack foothills

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prawling across four counties, seven towns and 127,135 acres, all roads lead to roam in the Black River Wild Forest. Tucked into the southwestern foothills of the Adirondack Park, its landscape of gently rolling hills intermingles with lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands that lay corridors of moving water through the broad canopies of forest. You’re within hailing distance of Old Forge, Otter Lake, Forestport, Boonville and Remsen – major metropolises as these things are accounted in the Adirondacks – so there’s no ‘middle-of-nowhere’ excuse not to go. This is the drive-up window version of a wilderness outing. A 6-mile designated horse route from the McKeever Parking Area (on Wolf Lake Landing Road) heads east along the South Branch Trail to the Remsen Falls Trail, then along the Remsen Falls Trail to Wolf Lake Landing Road, finishing the loop south along the road back to the parking area. The trail navigates a gentle woodland landscape. Even Remsen Falls isn’t so much a waterfall as it is a picturesque

little set of rapids along the south branch of the Moose River. Horseback riding is also available on the Flat Rock Easement Snowmobile Trail and the John Brown Tract Snowmobile Trail – both are southwest of Old Forge, sandwiched between State Route 28 and the Middle Branch Moose River – except during the winter when the route is given over to a different type of horsepower. Loop Road in the North Lake Easement Tract – a gently rolling landscape dotted with brooks and ponds in the Herkimer County town of Ohio – is also open to riders. The state Department of Environmental Conservation notes that all three easement tracts are active “working forests” where timber is harvested. Riders should expect to encounter trucks and other logging equipment. From these foothills, the Adirondacks climb north and east, opening into 6 million acres of old-growth forest, ancient peaks and untouched wildlands. Leave only your hoofprints behind. Field notes: Many of the ponds and lakes are stocked with brook and lake trout. Nicks Lake Campground, in the portion of the Wild Forest in the town of Old Forge, is a DEC Watchable Wildlife area. Look for loons, white-tailed deer, warblers and woodpeckers.

ADIRONDACK PARK

Black River Wild Forest

Keep an eye out for:

A 50-foot tall Steel Aeromotor LL25 fire tower, built in 1916, caps the summit of Woodhull Mountain, the new-and-improved replacement for a wooden fire tower built in 1903 at the same location. An observer staffed the tower to watch for forest fires until 1970. The summit and fire tower can be accessed via the 7.2mile South Branch Trail – reach it from the trailhead at the McKeever Parking Area – but the lookout cab of the fire tower is not open to the public. Worth a side trip: While you’re in the neighborhood check out Old Forge Hardware, a landmark in the heart of the resort village since 1900. Living up to its billing as “the Adirondacks’ most general store,” featured items range from camping and fishing gear to rustic white cedar furniture and pickled quail eggs, your choice of either mild or spicy. Fees: Use of the trails and all facilities is free. The download: Find a printable map of the northern section, where the McKeever parking area is located, at dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/ mapblackrivernorth.pdf Required papers: Proof of current

negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses; out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate. Plan a ride: Black River Wild Forest is open year-round but remember: This is New York’s North Country, and it can start snowing in September and continue through Mother’s Day. So take the word “open” with a big grain of road salt. Be prepared: Carry a cell phone on you. That way if you part company with your horse – beware of equine-eating fire towers – you have the phone. 22 NEW YORK HORSE NYHorseMag.com


For 50 years one strong voice For the Future of Recreation For the Future of Business For the Future of Horses The New York State Horse Council Join today at: www.nyshc.org

Serving the Agricultural Community with Pride • Equine Feeds, Nutrena, Purina and Triple Crown • Dryshod Footwear & Rocky, Muck & Georgia Boots • All types of Dairy and Farm Feeds available

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Central New York Dressage & Combined Training Association

2019 Annual Report We are pleased to provide an overview on a most successful year of participation, activities, education, camaraderie, and all-around fun with our horses. We saw a near record high of 115 active members from across the region in our primary disciplines – Dressage, Western Dressage and Eventing. Our members rode and competed locally, regionally and nationally. And CNYDCTA had a full calendar of activities that included: • Three very well attended dressage shows with licensed judges • Two “Show ‘n Tell” educational clinics with one-on-one judge critiques for riders. • Three jumping clinics - gymnastics, eventing and an intro to hunter derbies. • Sponsoring two Gilbertsville Horse Shows Combined Training Competitions. • Sponsoring three Carriage House Arena Horse Trials. • Sponsoring Spruce Valley Stables Dressage at the NY State Fair Coliseum. • Providing educational presentations on Nutrition, Dentistry, and Forage. • Hosting renowned Olympic Coach Daniel Stewart’s 2-Day Pressure Proof Your Riding, Ride Right, and Fit and Focused Clinic. If all this looks like fun, challenging and educational, won’t you join us in 2020? We also want to acknowledge and express our appreciation for our generous, hard-working and good-natured volunteers without whom none of these activities would be possible. Thank you, CNYDCTA Volunteers! CNYDCTA Member Benefits: All members are USDF Group Members who are eligible for our Year-End Awards in Dressage, Eventing, and Western Dressage. Members receive our monthly newsletter Lengthening Strides and a complimentary subscription to New York Horse Magazine. Members also enjoy a 5% discount at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Equine Hospital on select services along with other discounts at select on-line retailers. Visit us at www.cnydcta.org for more information.


The

Healing orse H

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veteran reaches out a hand, and a mustang reaches back. A child who never spoke a word, tells a horse to ‘Walk on.’ A victim of abuse finds pride and self-respect bonding with a retired racehorse.

Something in that instant, in that moment of connection between horse

and human, causes wounds and disabilities to fade; for the past to recede and the future to hold new promise. Time and again, whether it is autism, multiple sclerosis or the psychological scars of war, the old saying is proven true: The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man. Reach out. Find a new path. Walk on.

PHOTO AT MISSION MUSTANG BY MATTEO BRACCO


GallopNYC ‘When I look out there, I don’t see a kid with disabilities’

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BY JANIS BARTH

he note is written in a child’s hand, blocky letters in purple, red, yellow and blue magic marker. “Thank you GallopNYC!” it begins, the exclamation point dotted with a large purple heart.

Horseback riding to me is the funnest thing ever. You make it possible for anyone to experience it! Love, Joy♥

More pages fill the wall. Horses with heart-shaped wings. Rainbow horses. Butterfly horses. A blue “secret dragon” horse with silver wings and tail. In them, the drawings and words, find the smiles and laughter of children who may have otherwise never spoken a word. Find the hugs, kisses and pats showered upon each horse; the difference made physically, socially and emotionally by these patient and gentle four-legged teachers. And understand that here, on this dead-end street in Queens, is a place of new beginnings where the simple math of horse plus rider is the sum of hope.

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ake the Van Wyck Expressway toward Kennedy Airport, a nerve-busting slog of blaring horns and slamming brakes regardless of the day or time, and merge onto Jackie Robinson Parkway. Turn right onto 71st Avenue, then hang a left at the second cross street onto 70th Road, a quiet block of modest homes in the heart of Forest Hills. GallopNYC sits on a small rectangle of land, a onestory stable in the shadow of a high rise. The program started in 2007 with a handful of horses and borrowed space. It is, today, New York City’s only therapeutic riding program, providing lessons to nearly 700 children and adults with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges. Nearly half are autistic. For some of those youngsters, the first words they speak is telling a GallopNYC horse to “walk on.” “There’s a lot of need here,” said interim executive director James Wilson, a transplanted Texan with a ready smile and a riding resumé that includes roping. “There are 200,000 kids in the New York City school system … with some sort of special need. It’s a challenge to work with horses in the city, but it’s vitally important. Therapeutic riding works for almost everyone. Horses are good that way.” When he started as a volunteer five years ago, Wilson said he didn’t really understand therapeutic riding and admitted to being skeptical. One day he began working with a 4-year-old girl whose world was severely circumscribed by autism. The child was restless and unfocused and would try to jump off the horse. Then, as he tells the story, they were getting ready for a lesson a few weeks into the program and he squatted down to her eye level. Instead of looking away, as she always had, the girl looked directly at him and winked. “At that moment I saw how powerful therapeutic riding can be, the change it can have on the riders,” Wilson said. “I thought, ‘This is not just a pony ride.’ It’s actually making a difference in people’s lives. “…It’s uniquely effective. They get on, and they can control the horse, and they have power and freedom they didn’t have before.” Gentle, strong and accepting, each horse gives their rider a sense of possibility, of opportunity: “To me,” said Wilson, “that’s magic.”

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arley Whitaker is 17, and in her picture in the GallopNYC annual report, she sits centered in the saddle, reins in soft hands, thumbs properly on top. She smiles, a teen and her horse. Whole. She is, the staff at GallopNYC say, a charming and enthusiastic young woman who has built a strong bond

with their horses, especially her favorite, Buddy. She is the oldest of four adopted children and, for the first 11 years of her life, Marley was defined by her diagnosis: Autistic. Nonverbal. Impaired communication and social interaction. She started riding once a week at Gallop’s Forest Hills barn six years ago, and the arc of Marley’s life, says her mother Lisa Hahn, tears welling, has changed. “We’ve seen amazing progress in her focus, in her confidence,” said Hahn. “She has something she can call her own.” Hahn said she worried the first time they brought Marley for a lesson. Most animals scared her. Dogs made her very upset. She was anxious and withdrawn. But, Hahn said, “when you have a child with a disability, a diagnosis like autism, you get desperate for opportunities.” And so her mother braced the first time Marley got on a horse. She held her breath and waited and something happened. Call it magic. “By the end of the second session she was petting the horse,” Hahn recalled. “When she knows she’s coming here, she says ‘Gallop, Gallop, Gallop.’ She’s more at peace when she gets off and, for us, because we sit here and watch with other families, we share their stories and help each other. It’s truly a community.” Teaching children with disabilities to ride is an art and a science, with a system set out by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. PATH was formed in 1969 in part to codify activities and therapies for individuals with special needs and to train instructors. At GallopNYC, all the instructors are PATH certified, assisted by a small village of volunteers who help by leading the horses and sidewalking with riders to help them stay balanced and secure in the saddle. The program is progressive, teaching riding skills but also setting individualized goals with measurable improvements from walking and balance to focus and communication. Riding once a week, more than 75% of GallopNYC riders working on focus and attention showed improvement, said board President Suzy Marquard. Count Marley in their number. When she started riding, Marley had a hard time following direction and needed both sidewalkers and someone to lead. Now, says her mother, tears threatening again, Marley rides around the indoor arena almost independently. “When I look out there, I don’t see a kid with disabilities,” Hahn said. “I see a young lady, just riding a horse.”

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alk into the barn at Forest Hills and the noise of the city falls away. It’s Monday and there are no therapeutic riding lessons and the horses are taking full advantage of the midmorning lull. Mister Big sticks his head over the stall door to see if the footsteps and voices might mean more hay, but except for the occasional lazily swiveled ear, the other horses are busy thinking deep equine thoughts. Wilson does morning rounds, checking the stalls, straightening a blanket here, making a mental note to talk to the stable manager there. “We’re not a fancy place,” he observes, with a nod to the well-loved tack. “We’re a place that teaches people how to ride horses, and you don’t need fancy polished boots to do that.” Therapeutic riding takes precedence, but GallopNYC also offers recreational lessons to people in the community as part of their horse education mission. The 100-150 recreational lessons underwrite their therapeutic work, Wilson said, “so when our recreational riders take a lesson … it’s not just a riding lesson, they’re helping someone.” For every therapeutic ride, he said, they try to have one where the horse is taken out onto the bridle paths

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at nearby Forest Park, a 500-acre natural treasure at Gallop’s doorstep. Lessons for advanced riders can also be taken on the park’s bridle paths – Gallop does not offer trail rides – and the combination of therapy and recreational work is part of the design. “It’s good for the horses,” Wilson explained. “Good for them to have a balanced rider on their back.” There are 33 horses and ponies in Gallop’s therapeutic herd. Wilson opens the door to one stall and, with a little encouragement, Harry Potter the pony sticks out an inquisitive nose. This is a second career for many of the horses, offered to the program by owners who felt they would be a good match for the work of being a therapy horse. There’s no explaining to a horse that the work they are doing is rewarding and important; either they have it in their nature to be gentle, accepting and infinitely patient, or they do not. “We want a horse that has a really sweet personality, that isn’t going to push people around,” Wilson said as Harry Potter snuffled around his feet. “A horse that’s nice. Our type is nice.”


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’Hava Israel found horses two years ago, in what she calls her “lemons to lemonade” moment. She’d been living with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the communication between the brain and the body. In the four years since her diagnosis, she had received a catalogue of can’ts from her body and her

doctors: can’t kayak, can’t ski, can’t take part in any of the activities she loved. She had only ridden one or two times when doctors recommended therapeutic riding as a way to bring sports back into her life. At GallopNYC, instructors gave L’Hava exercises to stretch her muscles and improve her balance and introduced her to a saintly Norwegian Fjord horse named Daisy. Almost immediately, she said, her MS quieted and she began to see improvements in how she walked. A mechanical lift raises L’Hava from the mounting block on to Daisy’s back and in the arena, they are more than horse and rider, they are a team. Being on a horse, she found, eased her in a way that no other physical therapy had. Over the months, as L’Hava gained strength in her arms and legs, she shed the sidewalkers to ride independently. Instructors gave her goals and support. Daisy gave her confidence and freedom. “I call her Dr. Daisy,” L’Hava said. “I think she does more for me than my doctors.” And she found something else in her bond with the sweet caramel mare: a measure of proof for all who have found promise in a horse. It happened one day at the end of the semester’s lessons. A timed obstacle course was set up for the riders, and the fastest pair through had finished in 48 seconds. “I wasn’t being competitive about it,” L’Hava recalled, but her horse had a different idea. “Daisy decided she wanted to win the race.” She finished in 35 seconds. Call it magic. “Daisy’s like us,” L’Hava said, taking in, with a sweep of her hands, all who ride here; a community built on the belief that they will rise above. “She’s like us. She’s not going to be counted out.”

LEARN MORE GallopNYC offers therapeutic riding programs for children and adults. Whatever the disability, their board chair notes, “the horse seems to have an answer.”

Explore their opportunities, including an Adopt-A-Horse program, at gallopnyc.org.

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Mustang

M I S S I O N “Nothing has reached me as deeply, as directly, as powerfully as these wild horses” Story by Janis Barth P H OTO S B Y M AT T E O B R A C C O

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hursday morning, bone dry, and the red mustang yearling kicks up swirls of dust as he trots along the boundary of someplace he has never been: the inside of a round pen, looking out. Kathy stands in the center, longe whip at her side, as the little gelding clips past her once, twice. Master mustang trainer Jack Minteer, the constant at her shoulder, keeps a hawk’s eye on the flight of the little gelding and on Kathy, a military veteran who has come to this round pen and this moment for help with the invisible scars of her service. “Come on, keep going,” Minteer encourages as the little gelding stops and turns toward Kathy. The colt hesitates, takes a step forward and for a moment that hangs in the air like a question mark, the veteran and the mustang take each other’s measure. Kathy reaches out a hand. She will say later that working with mustangs has been her dream since childhood. She leans forward. The little gelding takes a tentative step, retreats, then approaches again with a wary eye before whirling on his haunches, his decision made: Not any farther, not on this day.

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he original six wild horses arrived at EquiCenter in 2018, plucked from federal holding pens on what was once open range to join a group of emotionally wounded veterans in search – like the mustangs – of a second chance. On that day, as the vets and the horses met for the first time as part of Mission Mustang, a bald eagle flew overhead. No one could remember ever seeing one in this western corner of New York, but there it was, soaring in a blue cloudless sky. Veteran, mustang, eagle: Two symbols of American freedom joined by a third. In the year since, working together, veterans and horses have found a new path to save each other.


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Mission Mustang pairs veterans battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with captive mustangs experiencing the same feelings of loss and anxiety. Under the guidance of professional mustang trainers Jack and Emma Minteer of Rose Hill farm, the vets gentle the mustangs and – as they teach the horses and prepare them to find new homes – these same men and women find themselves. “We felt strongly that veterans were a group we could serve and should serve,” said Jonathan Friedlander, founder and CEO of EquiCenter, a therapeutic riding facility tucked into the rural landscape outside Rochester. Veterans in the 10-week Mission Mustang program begin with small steps: getting a mustang who has never been handled to accept human touch and trust their guidance. Quickly, they make the connection between what the horse is experiencing and what they are experiencing. “Matching up hyper-vigilant animals with stress and anxiety trying to fit back into a herd, with a veteran suffering from some of the same emotions – trying to re-integrate back into society – putting them together, there’s an immediate recognition by the vet that they’re

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going through the same thing,” Friedlander said. “Where we see the most benefit is the raw stage, when the horse first arrives, because that’s when they’re the most scared. That’s when the connection to the vet is most powerful and the impact is the most profound. One vet told me ‘It was like looking in a mirror.’ “…Learning how to gentle and train these horses gives them a sense of purpose, a sense of pride and accomplishment, a new mission.” Teagan Manning, one of 10 veterans in the program, said she recognized that if she was going to help her mustang, Hero, to learn and achieve, she was going to have to change herself. As Hero went from being untouchable to being ridden, Manning said, “Inside the ring, I gained confidence, trust, purpose and focus. Outside the ring … I really think I have developed greater hope and healing in the process.” For veterans who are facing an epidemic of psychological wounds, a plague that is causing 20 veterans to commit suicide each day, the need for hope and purpose is crucial. There are approximately 540,000 vets nationwide diagnosed with post-traumatic stress – New York has the nation’s fourth-largest veterans’


population – and it is a moral imperative to help these men and women heal and build new lives after combat. “Many more may be suffering from PTSD but are not diagnosed,” Friedlander said. “And they can’t be if they want to stay in the military.”

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n the round pen, the little gelding trots on. When he stops and turns toward Kathy, allows this unfamiliar human presence into his universe, she lowers the whip and reaches out. The mustang has been a symbol of independence and vast wildlands in America’s myth and history, but as open land shrinks into fenced range, so do the herds. While some 50,000 horses continue to roam free, there are another 48,000 held by the Bureau of Land Management, waiting for a second chance. The little gelding spins away. Pick him back up, make him work, Minteer tells Kathy. “Every time he loses that connection, make him work ... If you see him looking at something, don’t you look at it, too. You look at the solution, not the problem.” She and the little gelding, both trying to find a place in a changing world.

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athan Bush came home to Honeoye Falls, but he wasn’t the same person. He served in the Air Force for 10 years and planned to make a career of it, but a broken back left him with limited mobility and severe and chronic pain. He never deployed, although he was the team captain, and his eyes darken as he talks about the guilt of watching his men go to war without him. “They were young and healthy and fit and strong and bright and they came back different people and some didn’t come back at all,” he said, “You’ve lost the work you wanted to do and you’ve come back home and even that isn’t there for you anymore. “I felt I’d failed at everything I trained to do for so long.” After years of refusing treatment because he didn’t feel worthy of help, Bush met with a chiropractor at the Veterans Administration who suggested he contact EquiCenter. He started in the horticulture program, moved into equine therapy and began training the first group of Mission mustangs. “Nothing has reached me as deeply, as directly, as powerfully as these wild horses,” he said. “They opened

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my heart and I began to be of service again.” As the first four mustangs in the program ready for adoption, they carry with them a special piece of each veteran and the hope that this success can be repeated nationwide. Mission Mustang is a pilot, selected by the BLM to create a single, far-reaching program that can address the needs of both America’s veterans and mustangs. And so, tucked inside the already big hearts of Trooper, Sarge, Liberty and Freedom, now gentled and willing, is the prospect of a meaningful life for many more. “Replicating the Mission Mustang program will have a profound impact on the tens of thousands of waiting mustangs and veterans,” said Friedlander. “The BLM wants this to be a model that can be replicated across the country. Obviously EquiCenter can’t put a dent in the number of mustangs and vets that need help, but we do see this as a national program and that we can be a multiplier of good works … We want to serve locally but impact globally.” Their veterans, he said, have realized profound changes from working with the mustangs, gaining trust and new skills. Together, the vets form a community of understanding and camaraderie, giving them an opportunity to reconnect. Their hearts, too, have been gentled. “Military people have scars – some physical, some unseen – and when you see this horse, this other being with scars, it gives hope for the future,” Bush said. “I’m once again part of a purpose that’s beyond myself, and that’s part of the military makeup, to serve something that is beyond yourself. As we learn how to heal our traumas, the horse and the veteran, we’re doing it together. “No man left behind.”


Saratoga Warhorse

‘When my horse connected with me, I was overwhelmed’ Story by Diana Pikulski P H O T O S B Y S H E L LY M A R S H A L L S C H M I D T

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aratoga War Horse was created to help veterans struggling with the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder and other psychological and emotional wounds. It teams vets with Off the Track Thoroughbreds in a three-day program that so far has served 1,000 veterans free of charge in New York – where it is in partnership with ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption – Maryland and South Carolina. The program begins with classroom and hands-on training and finishes with each veteran, alone in a round pen with a Thoroughbred, seeking to have the horse connect with him or her. “We are looking for the chemical reaction that happens in the connection between the veteran and the horse in the round pen,” said Allison Cherkosly, executive director. “The Thoroughbred acts as the catalyst … The situation of being in the round pen with the horse is one that will trigger the anxiety and stress responses associated with PTSD. Unless the veteran can take down their energy level and make it through the situation with the tools we give them, they won’t connect with the horse.” These are two of their stories.

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aime Hierro enlisted in the Army and served from 1980-84. He stayed active in the National Guard and served 18 months in Iraq. He returned and worked full-time for New York Transit. “I struggled every day with my PTSD,” said Hierro. “But I never felt I could stop work to get help. I had a family to feed.” After retiring, Jaime joined group counseling in Anger Management at the VA Hospital. Through the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he learned about Saratoga Warhorse. He and four other VFW members attended the program this past summer and it affected him deeply. He said he is talking about his experience in the hope it will encourage other vets to get help. “I always considered myself a city slicker. I never left the city. I certainly was never near horses,” said Hierro. “I was expecting to find a place with horses in bad condition, but it was so much different. The horses were big, healthy and we learned that they are like us in many ways. “The whole situation, out of the city and around animals was really foreign to me and I found it very difficult,” said Hierro. “I had trouble learning how to use the rope. I wanted the connection to happen, but I was afraid I couldn’t do it. “When my horse connected with me, I was overwhelmed. I learned how through honest and open communication and hard work I could make things better. “I have had other difficulties in my life. My brother has cancer and that is very hard on me. I can’t fix that, but now I can learn how to deal with it better.”

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onna Marie Hartley enlisted and served in the late seventies and early eighties. She was sexually assaulted during her service but kept silent for four decades. “Military Sexual Trauma was not a thing in 1980,” said Hartley. “There was no reporting system in place like there is today ... The shame prevents most victims from coming forward with their stories. In my case, for 40 years. With no way out and no voice to be heard, symptoms of stress go untreated and multiply. “The trauma I experienced that caused my PTSD happened in 1980 but was not addressed until the #metoo movement media coverage caused me to have a tsunami of flashbacks. I began trashing my house and all of my belongings and I became suicidal.” A childhood friend suggested Hartley try equine therapy and, with the support of her Veterans Administration doctor, she arrived at Saratoga Warhorse on March 19, 2019. “To be with fellow veterans in a non-sterile environment for therapy was refreshing and restorative,” said Hartley. “At breakfast on the second day every

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participant said that they had not slept the night before in anticipation of something so foreign to us. “I recall sitting on the bench waiting my turn to go in the ring with my horse and the tears were pouring out of my eyes. I started pacing and could not be still. I realized at that moment, based on the instructions we had been given, I was going to bond with my horse. For most of my adult life, I had not wanted to bond with anything or anyone because avoidance is a major symptom of PTSD.” “My turn came and without a word I took the lead of John Barleycorn and he followed me into the ring. When the gate closed, I felt my head rise. My chest followed. Then I felt my feet firmly plant each step I took as if I belonged there. Blood ran through my veins in a way that said, ‘I got this.’ I was in control of which direction I wanted him to go and when I wanted him to stop. Without speaking a word, I had the power to control this massive animal. “After 10 minutes in the ring, I felt a joy and pride that only comes from great accomplishments. I came out with a glow of satisfaction that I was able to bond and be my best self. I came out of that ring with something I have been lacking too long, self-respect, which can go a very long way in coping with PTSD symptoms. I keep a photo of myself and John Barleycorn close by to remind myself that I felt really good that day, which gave me hope for better days. “After a year and a half of medication, cognitive behavior therapy, dialectic behavior therapy, prolonged exposure treatments and one-on-one therapy with no positive results I tried equine therapy. It was life changing for me.” Diana Pikulski originally wrote about Saratoga Warhorse for the Thoroughbred Daily News.

FIVE THINGS Saratoga War Horse recently celebrated serving 1,000 veterans The program operates in three states: New York, where it is based in Saratoga Springs, Maryland and South Carolina In New York, the program partners with ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption, East Greenbush, which has been finding homes for retired racehorses for 23 years The program is free and available to any service member, regardless of where they live or their branch of service To learn more, go to saratogawarhorse.org


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UNDERSTANDING AND ACTION NEEDED TO STEM SUICIDE RATES AMONG VETERANS The Department of Veterans Affairs, and more broadly the nation, is battling an unrelenting tide of suicides among the men and women who served in the military. There are approximately 20 suicide deaths every day among veterans, about one and a half times more than those who have not served in the military, according to the most recent statistics available from the federal government. To shed light on the issue, BraveHearts —an equine rehabilitation program for veterans — in September traveled to New York City for the third annual “Trail to Zero” ride to end veteran suicide. Along with the NYPD’s mounted police, they rode 20 miles on horseback through the city streets to honor the lives lost to suicide while encouraging a conversation around the mental health crisis affecting veterans. The ride also educates about the benefits and healing effects of equine-assisted services. “To hear that these men and women who have already sacrificed so much, are taking their own lives is simply heartbreaking,” said Meggan Hill-McQueeney, President of BraveHearts. “We need to raise awareness and find solutions to help protect those

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who put their lives on the line for our nation.” The New York Times, in a recent story, reported that high rates of homelessness, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress and a military culture that can be resistant to seeking help are all aggravating factors for veterans, whose rates of suicide have been the subject of numerous hearings on Capitol Hill. “We are not even at the Sputnik stage of understanding problems with mental health,” said Robert Wilkie, the secretary of veterans affairs. “I have said this is the No. 1 clinical priority.” Complicating the outreach efforts is a military culture that emphasizes discipline and perseverance. “People who join the military have this sense of bootstraps, ‘I can do it,’” Dr. Keita Franklin, former Veterans Affairs’ director of suicide prevention, told the Times. “Then you become a vet and they say come in and get mental health care, and inwardly they don’t feel good doing it.” To find out more about the Trail to Zero ride, go to trailtozero.org. The Department of Veterans Affairs also has a toll-free, 24-hour crisis line. Call 1-800-2738255 and press 1.


COLLECTED THOUGHTS

At Walkill state prison, retired racehorses provide a second chance for inmates

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his is not how it was supposed to turn out for the dark bay gelding by Smoke Glacken out of Pine Forest. Tsuris was born in Kentucky and bred to run fast. He trained, he worked hard and, in 2006, first set hoof on track, accompanied by hopes that he would be one of the fortunate few: The less than 1 percent of Thoroughbreds who ever win a stakes race like the Derby. Two years later, after finishing 2008 with a 1-and-11 record, his days of galloping counter-clockwise were over. He’d raced 34 times, earned $143,644, and was a good horse in need of a new start.

Perhaps, on reflection, if his breeders had given him a different name – Tsuris is Yiddish for trouble – he might have wound up someplace other than behind bars. But Tsuris he was named and so, fittingly, it is at upstate New York’s medium security Wallkill Correctional Facility that this sweet and shy fella found his calling. He is one of a line of Thoroughbreds who went up the river, so to speak, to help give inmates a second chance. In 1984, a gelding named Promised Road was the first. On the grounds of Walkill, Promised Road stepped off a van and into the care of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to finding homes for retired racehorses. Turned out he was appropriately named: As the founding equine in TRF’s Second Chances program he paved a promised road and a unique human-horse connection. For the horses, the program is a sanctuary, a dignified retirement and a chance at a second career. Each is a former racehorse that was deemed “unadoptable” by other organizations, says Jennifer Stevens, TRF’s director of development. For inmates, it is a second chance at life, learning equine care and stable management through a vocational program that is accredited at correctional facilities in nine states. Now Tsuris is a member of the Walkill herd and part of the New York Horse extended equine family. We first sponsored him in 2017 and continue to support both this lovely gelding with the kindest of eyes, and the important work of the Second Chances program. Why Tsuris? Well there’s his name, for starters. Trouble is something we are constantly in and out of in the magazine business. Then there’s that face: At least some of us, it must be said, are total pushovers for tall, dark and handsome. He is, says Stevens, “a personable guy who loves to have his ears scratched. As soon as someone comes into his pasture, he comes right up looking for an apple or treat.” And finally, we believe strongly in the restorative power of horses, and respect, admire and value the work he and the Second Chances herd are doing at Walkill. Over the years, he will have rescued many lost souls. In a very small way, we are returning the favor.

Janis

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In Full Cry: Hunt Breakfasts, Beagle Teas & Whiskey Races Were any words a more delicious reward for going over the river and through the woods? BY L.A. SOKOLOWSKI

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efore riding to the field on his favorite hunter, Blueskin, George Washington is said to have preferred corncakes and milk for his breakfast by pre-dawn candlelight. After one such ride, on New Year’s Day 1768, he wrote in his diary: “Fox hunting in my own Neck with Mr. Alexander and Mr. Colvill. Catched nothing.” At least the future father of our country had breakfast under his belt. Here in New York, where fall dons some of her finest colors, the fields are often accented by the scarlet jackets of hunt clubs whose own traditions of breakfasts, beagle teas and yes, whiskey races, run as deep as a red maple’s roots. Breakfast has always been a part of riding to hounds, and the modern version is an outgrowth of the hearty English feast. Sometime in the mid-1800s it morphed into a meal held after the hunt and luncheon foods and decadent desserts joined the menu. But even if the shadows are starting to lengthen by the time the riders gather, it is still traditionally called a breakfast. They are, hunt riders, a hungry lot by the time the whippers-in have gathered the hounds and the horses are untacked and enjoying a full hay net. So pause a moment and indulge along with the Genesee Valley, Limestone Creek, Old Chatham and Windy Hollow hunts. They’re four of the oldest and most unique hunts in America and, if the generous sharing of recipes to feed and fortify a day’s ride are any indication, surely among the most convivial.

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PHOTO OF LIMESTONE CREEK HUNT BY MATT SPITZMUELLER


Tradition is a word that comes up often when talking about the hunt. One of the oldest and most enduring is the stirrup cup, a small send-off of cider, port or sherry to ward off the cold, toast to good luck in the field, offer a little Dutch courage and make it hurt less when you fall off. Some folks do not drink the last few drops of their port, pouring it on the ground as an offering to the gods. Try Gail’s Genesee Valley Hunt Bucket o’ Bacon for the perfect accompaniment: Line a bucket (or large trophy cup) with paper towels. Cook flat (pan or oven) five pounds of thick-cut sliced bacon until crisp. Stack upright in the bucket and serve with NYS maple syrup for dipping.

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PHOTOS BY JONATHAN GROEGER, OLD CHATHAM AND MATT SPITZMUELLER, LIMESTONE CREEK

CHEERS!


Cazenovia’s Limestone Creek Hunt, now in its 80th year, keeps both a kennel of roughly 16 couples of hounds bred for the upstate terrain, and an active season of hunting, hunter paces, trail rides and social events highlighted by a Parade of Hounds through the village streets. After a day afield, a hunt breakfast is held at a member’s home or, on a nice day, as a potluck tailgate. “We are done whenever the hounds are done,” said Barbara Lindberg, one of the hunt’s Masters of Foxhounds. “While we try to be civilized and start breakfast by 1:30 – for a 10 a.m. hunt – occasionally the game and the hounds have different ideas. There was one wild day some years ago that people were still coming in to breakfast at 4 p.m.” Old Chatham Hunt, organized in 1928, maintains both hounds and beagles, making it unique among American hunts. While fox hunters use hounds to track game on horseback, beaglers track rabbits on foot. Rather than breakfast, beaglers follow another English tradition after the hunt: Beagle Tea. (Not to worry, no woofs are actually dunked.) An Old Chatham tea might boast a groaning board of cider, cream of pumpkin soup, oyster pie, baked ham, and chocolate mousse. September’s opening hunter pace, meanwhile, rallies members to the baying of hounds and the call of a hearty appetite. “I love hosting a bang-up breakfast after a good hunt,” said member Lisa Amtower. “My favorite is to throw flank steaks on a grill, make a fresh Caesar salad, and everyone goes home happy.” She makes her dressing from scratch. “Garlic, anchovies, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and zest and olive oil. Then, after tossing the lettuce, add a one-minute boiled egg yolk.” Less than an hour north of Manhattan, Windy Hollow Hunt in Port Jervis has been a “traditional New York country fox hunt” since 1963. Its Opening Day Breakfast heralds the start of the formal hunt season and culinary logistics requiring food that can transport easily and warm up quickly. Windy Hollow member Linda Scorsone’s signature is a boneless pork loin roast marinated overnight in soy sauce, garlic powder, pepper and lime juice. The formula is simple – cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes covered with aluminum foil – but even so …

Huntsman Stephanie Lee (above) shares a pre-hunt moment with the hounds of the Old Chatham Hunt Club. Meanwhile, the hounds of the Limestone Creek Hunt (at left) have their noses at the ready.


“The first time I made this I was so worried it would overcook that I took it raw to the house we were using,” Scorsone said. “It was an early December meet, with holiday flair, so a lot of people were there. The oven couldn’t handle a 15-pound pork roast, so it took much longer to cook than expected. Everyone had a pretty good buzz by the time the food was ready!” Drive north from Windy Hollow’s hunting grounds, hang a left and head to western New York and the 143-yearold Genesee Valley Hunt Club, because a nip in the air might call for a wee nip o’ something else and there’s no better “proof” than the annual GVH Whiskey Race. Since the 1960s, the Whiskey Race, originally called the Bacchus Relay, has been contested each November among teams of three riders racing in a relay format. Teams race over timber fences with a whiskey flask serving as the baton handed off to each rider. Its contents must be fully consumed before the last team member crosses the finish line and tradition holds that the winning team does not get its trophy unless they can all stay out until the hunt is completed. “Various concoctions have gone into the flask, but now it is just whiskey and a little water,” said Master of Foxhounds Marion Thorne. In search of a more interesting potion? A favorite of Windy Hollow huntsman Chris Burrows-Wood is equal parts Scotch and cherry brandy. “If that’s too strong, cut it with cranberry juice,” Scorsone suggests. “Of course, we call it The Huntsman.” To which we say: Tally-ho! PHOTO OF THE GENESEE VALLEY HUNT WHISKEY RACE BY PAUL REHBOCK

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EQ STYLE: RELISH THE RIDE & INDULGE IN THE REWARDS MASTER WOLFF’S LIMESTONE CREEK CRAB DIP INGREDIENTS 1 lb. crab meat 1 cup sour cream 4 Tbl. mayonnaise Juice of ½ lemon 3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce ½ tsp. hot sauce ½ tsp. garlic salt 1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, divided DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients, reserving ½ cup Cheddar for topping. Spoon into a baking dish, top with reserved cheese and bake 30-45 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers as an hors d’oeuvre. Also good over rice as a main course.

GAIL’S GENESEE VALLEY HUNT SCOTCH EGGS WITH MUSTARD/MAPLE DIP INGREDIENTS One dozen eggs 12 quarter-pound sausage patties (breakfast, sage or maple flavored)

ELIZABETH’S WINDY HOLLOW HUNT STIRRUP CUP STRATAS INGREDIENTS 24 eggs 1 bunch green onions, chopped 10 oz. shredded mild cheddar cheese 1 pound breakfast sausage browned and crumbled or chopped, cooked bacon 1/3

cup milk or cream

Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients and divide equally among cups. Add extra grated cheese on top if desired. Bake until each strata rises, lightly browns and cooks through center. Serve warm or at room temperature. For a vegetarian option, replace sausage/bacon and cheddar with one of these combos: Baby spinach leaves, chopped red peppers and feta cheese crumbles Shredded Gruyere and caramelized onions Sautéed mushrooms, tarragon and grated Parmesan

Panko breadcrumbs DIRECTIONS Hard boil eggs. Sprinkle a layer of Panko breadcrumbs in a flat pan. Peel eggs and roll in Panko, then gently coat each sausage pattiy with Panko and shape around the egg, sealing egg inside the sausage. Refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degree. Place eggs 1” apart on no-stick baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes, rotating pan halfway through the baking time. Cut in halves or quarters and serve with Mustard/Maple Syrup Dip: Mix equal parts sharp creamy mustard and maple syrup. Serve in pitcher or bowl

THE IRISH BUCK

2018 Windy Hollow Hunt Ball Signature Cocktail DIRECTIONS Combine 2 ounces Irish whiskey, 3 ounces ginger ale and a splash of lime juice in a tall glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge for a drink that’s sure to keep you on your toes, on your horse and right behind the huntsman.

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THE ARTFUL HORSE, OUTFOXED

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n the shortened days of late autumn, they are the flash of red against a withering landscape. The sly hunter of legend. Clever. Artfully cunning. Or, should one be the possessor of an opportune henhouse, an adversary – as British broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson once put it – with “the morals of a psychopath and the teeth of a great white shark.” Out in the hunt field, though – as the hounds race after their scent and horse and rider gallop to keep up – the red fox is simply the quarry. It’s a bit of a contradiction, that word. The fox is no longer the scourge of the barnyard and so, many hunts are no-kill.

The Artful Horse is feeling generous, and he’s giving away a hunt print. To enter, send an email to nyhorsemag@gmail.com with ‘Hunt’ in the subject line. Include your name and address and tell us whether you want a fox or the huntsman.

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The thrill is in the pursuit, the snort of horses, the baying of hounds, the glimpse of quarry. Hounds are attuned to both the red and grey fox and the coyote, all New York natives. But it is the red fox that is the artful quarry of Cazenovia painter Judy Goldthwait. When she was young, Goldthwait told New York Horse, she would spend hours with a cousin riding bareback through the fields and off-roading through the woods. In her portraits, the foxes who also called those woods home, peer golden eyed from these pages. Captured by her fine hand, as the huntsman sounds final call and the hounds gather, they are keen, weary and wise.


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Sundman Stables

EVENTING, DRESSAGE AND HUNT SEAT TRAINING

FACILITY INCLUDES • 80 by 160 indoor arena with Tru-stride dust free footing • 120 by 220 outdoor arena with Tru-stride dust free footing • Five acre well maintained jump field with water and bank complexes • 30 acres of lush pasture with wood fencing • Just 15 minutes from Syracuse What folks are saying about Melanie – “Melanie increased my dressage score 10 points in 3 months!” “Melanie put fun back into dressage!” Melanie will be training at Sundman’s winter base in Aiken, SC January through March

SUNDMAN STABLES Catering to the discriminating rider and owner. 1695 Stump Rd, Marcellus, NY sundmanstables.com Chacea Sundman, owner/manager

315-382-2790 Melanie Mullens, trainer

484-753-5075


PAST, PERFECT

Press the reset button and spin the dials for 1969 — it’s the Great New York State Fair in glorious black and white

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hh, 1969. Man walked on the moon. Three days of peace and music, aka Woodstock, changed the social landscape. The Beatles called it quits. Meanwhile, at the New York State fairgrounds, Frank Sinatra Jr. – backed up by a six-piece band featuring a trombone, comb-overs and white loafers – crooned to a standing room only crowd at Chevy Court. Prize Holsteins and Pizze Fritte were hot items, while free blood typing and a complimentary height-and-weight check packed them in at the Hall of Health. Whatever cultural shapeshifting was going on elsewhere, then as now, it took second place to the eternal Midway delights of fried food, fancy livestock and free stuff. Linger over the photos. Stilled life in splendid shades of gray; standard fare 50 years ago when newspapers, as the old joke went, were “black and white and read all over.” Over at the harness track, trotters fly down the Syracuse Mile behind a Chrysler convertible with both the starting gate, and the forerunner of the computerized race starter — an actual human with a finger on the retractor button — tucked into the trunk space. A kid in a cowboy hat is captured mid-dab as he paints his pony with black hoof polish, the finishing touch for the show ring. In the Standardbred barn, an unflappable handler waits patiently while an extremely amused equine mugs for the camera. There are horses jumping, horses laughing and horses galloping in an exhibition broom polo match, except for the one fella on a bored and motionless palomino who is inexplicably holding a fishing net. Can it really be that five decades have passed? Anniversary aside, these were golden years. Step into the attic with us.

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THE STANDARDBRED FILE The Syracuse Mile was built in 1826 — 15 years before the nation’s first State Fair took place here in 1841 — and hosted harness racing until 2005. The first Hambletonian, part of the Triple Crown of harness racing, was held at the Syracuse Mile in 1926. The track hosted its first auto race in 1903, making it the second oldest auto racing venue in the United States.

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FAST FORWARD Turn the page to 2019 … Names change and beloved equines become memories, but a sausage sandwich still heals all State Fair horse show wounds

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P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y M I C H A E L O K O N I E W S K I , N E W Y O R K S TAT E FA I R

n the arc from black-and-white to Kodachrome to digital, some images are eternal. Warming up on a loose rein, the sun rising on a stilled and silent midway. A young horse lover reaching out to touch a soft mane and a gentle heart. The venerable coliseum rumbling as the nation’s best six-horse hitches thunder at the trot, ears flicked, picking out their own reinsman’s voice from a head-rattling chorus of 5,000 cheering fans. Go ahead, hang around the warmup ring and play a quick game of State Fair horse show scavenger hunt: Find the rider late for class frantically stuffing Dippin’ Dots in their pocket. They’re probably near the friend holding multiple corn dogs for the other riders who were late for class. Keep looking. Somewhere there’s a frazzled equine whose rider forgot that horses do not have an inborn tolerance for State Police sirens, flashing Midway lights and small children with sticky fingers. (Extra scavenger hunt credit for spotting a child on a leash. No extra credit for spotting a child who ought to be on a leash. They’re everywhere. Just like the TV reporters who must wear heels to the barn.) And when all is said and done – whether the ribbon is blue or a lesser shade of victory – now as then, Restaurant Row is a mere 75 feet away from the horse barns. So here’s to the best of all timeless truths: Went off-pattern? Toppled every rail? Horse understood ‘Lope, please’ to mean ‘Gallop madly around the ring’? Fuhgeddaboudit. Somewhere out there is fried dough, just waiting to set the world right.

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Master Class

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ive years ago, with the Fall 2014 issue, this magazine became words on paper. Since then, New York Horse has been to countless shows, meetings, workshops and clinics. In the process we have learned a few things, but this is our favorite: Good horsemanship doesn’t belong to any single discipline. In honor of our anniversary, we combed through the guides and master classes in every issue since our first and came up with 32 pieces of advice that stood the test of time. Words to ride by, whether you canter or lope, choose sequins over shadbellies, soar over fences or slide to a stop. Don’t look for names. There aren’t any. Because, and we’ve been guilty of it too, once there’s a name and a label attached – dressage clinic, reining workshop, whatever – it’s easy to give those words more weight. Or less weight if you think that brand of rider is nuts. At least two are from trainers who drive, proving – gasp! – that there are important things to learn about horsemanship even if seat never touches saddle. These are thoughts that have nothing to do with the details and everything to do with the universals. So here, in no special order, the pieces of horsemanship that stayed with us long after the lesson was over. NYHorseMag.com NEW YORK HORSE 59


1. “Have patience, with yourself and your horse. And also have integrity. It’s the same as it is with people: Horses need to know what they can expect from us both in terms of the routines we ask them to follow as well as what we will not permit while we are with them.” 2. “It’s not how much you know, it’s how much the horse understands of what you know... No one can teach riding as well as a horse. Listen.” 3. “Try to have a game plan, something that you want to accomplish, every time you get on a horse’s back. It might be something you want to accomplish that day, or something you want to accomplish in a week or a month. You have to have a plan. The training may not go exactly according to your plan but have a plan.” 4. “Good riding requires more than passion. It takes perseverance and grit. The most successful riders are not afraid of making mistakes as they know that is how they get better and grow.” 5. “Ride this moment not to make this moment good, but to make the next moment better. Ride this moment to make the next moment easier.” 6. “Build on success. Don’t set your horse up to fail.” 7. “Make small tweaks when training, not big movements. It’s like tightening a bolt. If you tighten it too much, it will break. You have to keep working those threads until everything falls into place.” 8. “There are no secrets, just hard work. People don’t believe it’s that simple. No one gets to be a great rider without riding.” 9. “You play chess with the horse. You outmaneuver him mentally. There’s no skill in outmaneuvering him physically.” 10. “Look over the horse’s ears like they’re the sight on a gun, so the both of you are looking where you’re going. Your eye is very important in riding because you see the road before you’re on it … You have to look at the road before you can ride on it.” 11. “It’s really important that you think about the warm up.

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What do I want? What are my expectations? Where is he supposed to start out today? You have to think it in your mind so that you can effect it in the ring.” 12. “No matter what your discipline, the only way to train your horse is to be consistent. Every time you get on, you’re either training or untraining ... We all love our horses, but training has to be unemotional. There has to be a level of respect. I put my leg on, you go. No questions asked.”

13. “Don’t let them anticipate, make them take their cue from you. Some days I just ask a horse to canter five to 10 times around in each direction, and then I put them away. Nothing else. It teaches them not to anticipate, to listen only to you.” 14. “The best way to get the correct response from a horse is to be consistent and insistent. You have to be the leader. You have to be consistent in how you


ask and insistent on the response. To a horse it’s clear cut: There’s a leader and a follower, and that’s a part of a horse that we’ll never take away.” 15. “People say ‘I’m sick of Square 1. I want to move on to Square 2. When do I leave Square 1?’ You never leave Square 1. You always keep Square 1. You put it in your pocket and take it with you. You never leave Square 1.” 16. “You are the pilot, not the passenger.” 17. “Don’t let the horse learn that ‘no’ is acceptable. Correct a mistake immediately. Don’t let them discover that they can escape from doing it right ... but don’t argue too much. If something goes wrong, go back and fix the base. Go back and restart.” 18. “Less is more. Start always with less and add more as needed. Torture yourself, not your horse.” 19. “The horse is a computer. We are the keyboard. If the program isn’t answering, it’s because we put something in wrong. The horse isn’t failing to respond to make us angry.” 20. “Find the things you need to work on with your horse and work on those. You don’t need to work on everything in every lesson.” 21. “The best riders in the world do the simplest things well. If you concentrate on the basic principles of riding, you will succeed. Period. End of sentence.” 22. “When you’re around horses, one of two things is happening. Either you’re training the horse, or the horse is training you. And the horse, I hate to say it, is a much better trainer than you are.” 23. “You learn how to do this stuff by doing it. Don’t worry about it, do it.” 24. “It’s all about the basics. You can build a horse on sand, or you can build a horse on rocks ... The rider is always creating the horse.” 25. “We always have to say ‘Yes, I can.’ Maybe, if you are not as talented, you have to work harder, but you must stay positive. Say, ‘Yes, I can.’” 26. “You can put new experiences on top of the old ones, but the horse never forgets.”

27.

“Horses need a lot of manners. They need to join the Marines ... You have to be like the nun out in the schoolyard with the ruler. You have to be very direct, very clear. Horses are very literal. They want to hear something from you that they can understand.”

28. “There’s no way to train horses without riding them. To get the results, you’ve got to put in the time.” 29. “A horse is a statistician. They keep track of everything you do and, more importantly, everything you don’t do.” 30. “When you don’t know what to do, do something with conviction.” 31. “Pat your horse when you’re done. Tell them they did good.” 32. “It’s not over until you get off.”

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NYH MARKET

BEDNAREK Quarter Horses Jamesville, NY

Training

Boarding

Bednarekquarterhorses.com

Performance 315-243-4387


LASTING IMAGE

An Amish buggy finds a path through the snow-covered roads of Northern New York

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.” — Andrew Wyeth

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NEW YORK HORSE

BLANKET WEATHER 2019-20

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New York Horse Blanket Weather 2019/20  

The Healing Horse series visits GallopNYC, Mission Mustang and Saratoga Warhorse. EQ Style goes to a hunt breakfast. And we pick the best 60...

New York Horse Blanket Weather 2019/20  

The Healing Horse series visits GallopNYC, Mission Mustang and Saratoga Warhorse. EQ Style goes to a hunt breakfast. And we pick the best 60...

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