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The Eloquent Equine

Issue # 4

Spotlight These horses really know how to shine

Toxic Tastes

Avoiding poison in your pastures

Food for Thought

Feeding your Performance horse

Hollyrock Welsh Ponies Pint Sized Champions The Eloquent Equine 1





the Loop Food For Thought 28 05 In Upcoming Clinics and events in

Tips for feeding your performance horse & building a balanced diet

Ontario (CAN)

06 Spotlight Bred for performance, these horses show they’re ready to be champions

Nokota 34 The This rare breed is widely

unknown, despite its historic origins

Tastes 38 16 Toxic How to help your horse avoid

The Essentials


Breed Profiles


Quailhurst Stable

poisonous plants in the pasture

20 Hollyrock Welsh Ponies Pint Sized Champions

Marketing 101

24 Our top tips for helping you market your sales horse.

Conformation quick tips, is your horse built for your discipline?

Oldenburg, Dutch Warmblood, Swedish Warmblood, Hanoverian

Owned and operated by Deborah Hausman, producing quality Dutch Warmbloods

The Eloquent Equine Issue No. 4 The Performance Horse Editor-in-Chief | Krista Rivet Creative Director | Samantha Wild Website and Content Intern | Julia Hoon // Contributors // Stephanie Jensen, Julia Hoon, Amanda Mills (Hollyrock Welsh Ponies), Jennifer McLaughlin-Perez, Krista Rivet

Advertising, Submissions & General Inquiries | theeloqentequine@gmail.com Website | www.eloquentequine.wordpress.com Email | theeloquentequine@gmail.com Facebook | /TheEloquentEquine Twitter | @EloquentEquine Subscriptions | Free - Available through Issuu The Eloquent Equine is a quarterly publication, producing four full issues a year plus a number of special editions. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or part is strictly prohibited. The Eloquent Equine welcomes all submissions and suggestions, feel free to email us.

On the Cover The Cover Star of this Issue is SJE Dontecito, owned by Stephanie Jensen of Jensen Equestrian in Blackstock (CAN) You can learn more about this lovely imported Oldenburg Stallion in our Spotlight Gallery (PAGE 7). You can also find out more information on the breed in our Oldenburg Breed Spotlight (PAGE 41)

Editor’s Desk As the days grow shorter and the temperatures colder, I’m sure we all can sit and reflect on the great summer that has flown by. Whether it was days spent lounging by the beach (or pool!), enjoying a good book, hacking through meadows, or sweating our way through a competition or two, summers always seem to be full of excitement and activity. While cooler temperatures start to mark the return of the dreaded winter months, there still a great deal to do before the snow drifts in. Show season is still in full swing, and Royal season is just around the corner for us here in Ontario. There are lots of equestrian activities to do to keep our minds of off the coming winter woes. Check out our In The Loop section (PAGE 5) to learn more about some of the great upcoming clinics & events here in Ontario. We’ve got a jam packed issue for you guys this month, full of interesting articles and pieces all revolving around performance horses, and their care. I’m particularly grateful to Amanda Mills of Hollyrock Welsh Ponies, for letting us showcase her fabulous ponies (PAGE 20), she’s a great example of what you can achieve when you simply put your heart and passion into your work. Her ponies, regardless of their small stature, are big champions. If you’d like to be featured in one of our upcoming issues, be sure to drop us a line via email (theeloquentequine@gmail. com) or on Facebook or Twitter (@EloquentEquine). We love to feature local trainers, breeders, and riders in all our issues. Also, if you’d like your business to be featured, either in an upcoming issue, or on our website please feel free to send us a message. So as the summer winds down, why not enjoy that last bit of sun, sit back, relax and enjoy this issue of The Eloquent Equine! Stay in touch!

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In the Loop Upcoming Clinics & Events

Ontario Edition (CAN)

Tom Dvorak Clinic @ Dunraven Farms Ontario Has Talent will be holding a clinic with Tom Dvorak at Dunraven Farms in Uxbridge, ON (CAN). The clinic takes place September 14/15. Only a few spots for Riders & Auditors remain. More information can be found by visiting the Ontario has Talent Facebook page.

David Marcus Clinic @ Deer Ridge Equestrian Ontario Has Talent will be holding their second clinic of 2013 with Olympic Dressage rider David Marcus at Deer Ridge Equestrian in Loretto, ON (CAN). The clinic takes place October 26/27. Registration for the clinic will open August 30th. More information can be found by visiting the Ontario has Talent Facebook page.

Ontario Has Talent - 2nd Annual High Tea & Fashion Show Ontario Has Talent’s 2nd Annual Fashion Show & High Tea will be held at the Hilton Suites & Conference Centre in Markam (ON). The event will feature fashions from designer Angela DeMontigny and the fashion boutique The Ascot Room will be back for a second year. More information can be found by visiting the Ontario has Talent Facebook page.

George Morris Clinic @ Iron Horse Farm DMF Productions will be presenting a clinic with George Morris at Iron Horse Farm in Caledon Villiage, ON (CAN). The clinic takes place October 4-6, and is an open entry clinic to benefit Ontario Horse Rescues. There are a limited number of spots for riders and auditors, so early registration is recommended. More information can be found by visiting the DMF Productions website.

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(Don Schufro X SPM Wedding Rose)

Photo(s) | S. Jensen

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(SJE Dontecito X Gauguin De Lully)

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Donna Super Moon


(SJE Dontecito X Gauguin De Lully)

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(Banderas X Laptop)

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Bred for

Performance Conformation, breeding, and personality all play a significant role in producing a horse that possesses the skills needed to excel in the high performance world. The years of training, and the stress of high level competition can easily take its toll on the unprepared. The horses of Jensen Equestrian, owned and operated by Grand Prix Dressage Rider Stephanie Jensen, are proving to be well prepared for their future in the show ring. SJE Dontecito, her up and coming Dressage mount is a prime example of the modern Oldenburg breed, with historic bloodlines, lofty gaits, and expressive head. This lovely liver chestnut gentleman is powerfully built, but despite his size maintains the easy going and sociable nature of his breed and predecessors. Taking pride in her horses, and her breeding practices, the horses of Jensen equestrian stand as testament to their breed, with correct conformation, excellent movement, and stellar personalities. To learn more about Jensen Equestrian, check out their site: jensenequestrian.com

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Hollyrock Welshs

Shell Crest Dusty Gold

(Shell-Crest Royal Fortune X Shell-Crest Pure Country)

Section “A” Welsh Stallion Silver Black Dapple

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Photo(s) | Supplied by A. Mills

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To learn more about

Hollyrock Welsh Ponies check out our Interview with owner Amanda Mills on PAGE 20. Or visit their website: Hollyrock Welshs

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Toxic Tastes W

Avoiding Poison in the Pasture

hile horses will typically avoid consuming poisonous plants (due to their unpleasant taste) as long as there is an abundant supply of quality hay or pasture available to them, when faced with no pasture on which to graze, or an inadequate supply of hay, horses may make the decision to sample a weed (or two) of the poisonous variety.

The very best medicine for dealing with poisonous plants is prevention. By ensuring your horse has adequate hay and/or pasture you ensure that they won’t resort to sampling poisonous weeds. Proper pasture management can not only help avoid overgrazing, but can ensure that unpleasant weeds are not able to grow. Weeds typically only begin to propagate when the desirable grasses that typically populate pasture lands are no longer competitive. By keeping your pasture healthy, you keep the weeds out. Also, be sure to examine your hay for unwanted weeds that may have accidently made their way into your bales. By learning to recognize potentially toxic plants within your fields (and hay) you can not only help your horse avoid them, but take preventative action and have them removed before your horse comes into contact with these potentially toxic flora.

Doing so may save your horse’s life. 16 The Eloquent Equine

Bracken Often referred to as Eastern Bracken, this weed is common to North America and commonly located in open fields, woodlands, and forests. It sports long fern like leaves that can be up to six feet in length. Whether consumed fresh, or found dried in hay, the leaves of this plant are toxic. Symptoms of Bracken poisoning are slow to develop, often not appearing until one to two months after ingestion. Symptoms include: weight loss, weakness, staggering gaits, slow heart rate, and loss of appetite. Treatment is shot of thiamine, but it must be administered quickly after symptoms are noted, otherwise Bracken poisoning is fatal.

Lupine Found across multiple geographic locations, including beaches to high mountain pastures, lupine is characterized by coloured pea shaped flowers (blue, pinkish, purple, or white) on upright stalks. Young growths, and those close to seed, are the most toxic. Clinical signs of lupine poisoning include: gastrointestinal irritation, loss of muscle control, diarrhea, altered gait, convulsions, and nervousness.

Boxwood This evergreen plant is usually found as hedge and sports simple leathery leaves. Found commonly throughout North American, this plant can cause side effects such as: nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, convulsions, and respiratory failure. Ingestion of boxwood can be fatal.

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Buttercup Buttercups are an extremely common flowered weed throughout North America, and one of the few that most people can easily recognize. It is commonly found in fields, gardens, and woods, and contains an irritant that can severely injure the digestive system. The poison in buttercups is only active when the plant is fresh, and thus when dried and included in hay it poses no hazard. Sap from the stems, and the toxins contained in the bulbous roots, can cause pain and inflammation at the point of contact (usually the mouth and nose). Other symptoms of buttercup poisoning include diarrhea, dizziness, depression, salivation, colic, and weak pulse.

Nightshade Nightshade comes in a variety of types, and is common throughout North America in fields, open woodlands, and pastures. It can be up to four feet tall and often sports white potato like flowers and clustered berries, while some species are evergreens with yellow/red fruit. The leaves and green berries are the most toxic part of the plant, and nightshade maintains its toxicity even when dry. Nightshade is particularly potent because it often becomes more succulent (i.e more tasty) when it is dying. Signs of poisoning include loss of appetite, incoordination, tremors, posterior weakness, salivation, diarrhea, and death. All versions of nightshade, when ingested, will directly impact both the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract of horses.

Tansy Ragwort Found throughout North America in pastures, hayfields, and roadsides, tansy ragwort is a noxious plant with a ‘ragged’ appearance caused by its irregular leaves and yellow flowers in a flat topped cluster. Flowers generally bloom between July and October. While generally unpalatable to livestock, the plant retains its toxicity even when dry and can be found in hay. There is currently no known cure for ragwort poisoning, and clinical symptoms include: weakness, liver failure, high temperature, lack of coordination, diarrhea, and lethargy.

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Oleander Common to warmer regions, but also a popular ornamental plant, Oleander is extremely toxic to horses. It is a shrub characterised by its relatively large flowers, which are typically white, pink, or deep red. All parts of this plant are toxic, and while typically considered highly unpalatable to horses, contamination often occurs accidently when the leaves of the plant get mixed into grass clippings. Less than lethal doses of Oleander are curable, if treated by a veterinarian immediately, but it takes only a small amount of the plant to be lethal (1 oz. of Oleander leaves can kill a 1,000 lb. horse). Clinical signs of ingestion include colic, sweating, bloody diarrhea, arrhythmia, and difficulty breathing.

Horsetail Horsetail is a green, long stalked plant, with thin angled papery leaves. It is highly toxic to horses and commonly found throughout North America, particularly in and around bogs and streams. The leaves of horsetail contain a toxin that destroys B1 (thiamine) in the body, and if not treated immediately, horses poisoned with horsetail will die. Symptoms of poisoning include weakness, loss of appetite, staggering gait, unresponsiveness, and abnormal heart rate.

Red Maple Native to the eastern half of North America, the native red maple (Acer Rubrum) is a potent killer of horses. Ingestion of wilted, or partially wilted, dried red maple leaves can lead to the development of hemolytic anemia, which is often deadly. Older wilted leaves will cause poisoning faster than leaves from earlier summer growths, and the poisoning is most common between June and October. Wilted leaves can remain toxic for up to a few weeks (or more), and there appears to be no toxic side effects to consuming fresh leaves.

Death often occurs within 18-24 hours of consumption, and horses that survive this period of time will show signs of depression, and be cyanotic with dark red/brown urine. Death is a result of lack of oxygen to vital cells as a result of hemolysis. Red maple can hybridize with silver maple, and these crosses should also be avoided.

Red Maple Left | Summer Colour Right | Fall Colour

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Hollyrock Welsh Ponies

These ponies prove that championship performance horses can come in all shapes and sizes


ince the age of 8, when a summer camp trip provided her first contact with horses, Amanda Mills found herself hooked. In the years following she dabbled in multiple riding styles, from hunter to western, before injury led her into the world of driving Standardbreds. Shortly after her Thoroughbred riding horse had to be euthanized due to illness, a close friend brought to her attention a pony that was for sale. It was a pony she ultimately decided to buy. This would be her first introduction to the breed of Welsh ponies, and the beginning of a journey into the world of performance horses and breeding. When asked what draws her to the Welsh Pony breed in particular, Ms. Mills states that it is their versatility; you can do almost anything with them.

Shell Crest Dusty Gold, 2013 (Photo: supplied by A. Mills)

A small and sturdy breed, the Welsh Pony originated in Wales (UK), with the first official Stud Book registry created in the United Kingdom in 1902. The breed is divided into four similar but distinct types, the Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A), the Welsh Pony of Riding Type (Section B), the Welsh Pony of Cob Type (Section C), and the Welsh Cob (Section D). The breed in general is known for their great temperament and hardiness, as well as their versatility. The primary defining factor that distinguishes the four types of Welsh Pony is size, with Section A ponies not exceeding 12.2 hands high, Section

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B not exceeding 14.0 hh, Section C not exceeding 13.2 hh, and Section D exceeding 13.2 hh. Section A and B ponies are a generally of a lighter build, while Section C and D ponies are a stockier breed with a cob frame. The first Welsh pony Ms. Mills purchased, the same one that served as her introduction to the breed, was a mare who was labeled ‘wild’ and ‘crazy’ by her owners. The initial plan was to buy her, put some training into her and then re-sell her, but after an impressive show season the decision was made to hold on to the mare. In her first show she took best of the breed, and in subsequent shows placed at the top (twice) or was reserve champion. This little mare, labelled as ‘crazy’ and about to be shipped off, quickly proved to her new owner her championship quality. Following a lucrative show season, the pair qualified for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON (CAN); an experience that was absolutely thrilling for Ms. Mills. It was an experience that helped to cement her decision to invest further into the breed by purchasing more Welsh Ponies. There were so many ways they could be shown, from line classes, to under saddle, to in harness; there was so much potential and versatility. Showing also proved to be great fun, bringing a smile and a bit of happiness, and a great amount of joy, to everyone involved. The ponies of Hollyrock are champions in their own right, many of them boasting multiple titles from

Byrchwood Rockola (Photo: supplied by A. Mills)

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prestigious shows. In their second year showing at the Royal, Ms. Mills’ mare took champion under saddle, while the son of the same mare took champion of champions. This victory, Amanda states, was both shocking and thrilling because they were relatively new into showing the breed. Another great achievement came this year, with the birth of their very first Welsh pony foal this spring. Shell Crest Dusty Gold, who is now standing at stud at Hollyrock Welsh’s in Ontario, is the pride of the farm. This pint size pony is a striking Silver Black Dapple stud, and one of only a few Welsh ponies in the world that boast that colour. While many horses carry the gene to produce the Silver Black Dapple coat colour, very few horses actually express it. It is the hope of Hollyrock that the two fillies they have by Shell Crest Dusty Gold will ultimately turn Silver Black Dapple as they age, but only time will tell. Besides his striking coat colour, like many of the other ponies at Hollyrock, Shell Crest Dusty Gold is also a championship show horse. This 11.3 hand Section A stallion has won numerous line class championships for Welsh ponies during his show career. In 2012 he placed 3rd at the Royal Winter Fair in harness, a placing that Ms. Mills considers a win, since he had done so little showing in harness prior to the Royal Fair. For his owner, Shell Crest Dusty Gold simply keeps

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getting better, and he is currently being broken for riding under saddle.

// Contact Information //

He is also a proven producer, as many individuals out West, who own a number of ½ Welsh offspring, love his foals for their performance in the Dressage and Hunter rings.

Above: Shell Crest Dusty Gold under harness (Photo: supplied by A. Mills) Facing Page Top: Bet-Lar No Jenny (Photo: supplied by A. Mills) Center: Hollyrock’s Rosewater (Photo: supplied by A. Mills) Bottom: Bet-Lar No Jenny competing under saddle (Photo: supplied by A. Mills)

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Marketing 101 Making that next big sale that much easier - Krista Rivet with contributions from

Stephanie Jensen

Selling a horse can be a stressful endeavour, so ensuring that your horse is properly marketed will help it stand out to potential buyers, and increase your chances for a successful sale. With some careful attention to detail, and a little time and money, successfully marketing your sale horse can be easy.

TIPS & TRICKS 1. Visible Listings When it comes to marketing your horse, visibility is essential to increasing your chance at a successful sale. There are two ways you can make sure your sale advertisement gets noticed. If you are posting a classified online, ensure that you invest a little extra to make it a featured listing. Featured listings typically get placed on the front page of most classified sites, and will often stay in a fixed location above the ‘free’ classifieds that are posted daily. By opting for a featured listing you are ensuring that the people who visit the site are more likely to see you horse ad instantly. You can also post advertisements for you sale horse in local newspapers and newsletters, further increasing the number of people you are going to reach. Similarly, small print outs and fliers can often be posted in local tack shops, and even perhaps at your barn.

2. Go with Full Colour Advertisements You want your horse to shine for potential buyers, and thus full colour advertisements are a must. Colour ads not only attract more readers, but they will make your photos more appealing and increase the likelihood of a sale.

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Visibility is essential to increasing your chance at a successful sale.

3. Make sure your listing is thorough Specifics are everything, and if you are going to invest money in marketing your horse properly, you want to ensure that all the information potential buyers are looking for are readily available. Start with the basics; make sure your listing includes the age, sex, weight, colour and breed of the horse. Then list what the horse is trained to do, and make sure to list its highest level of accomplishment (or talent areas) for disciplines like Dressage, Jumping, and Western. Also make sure you list who the horse is suitable for, and be honest, you don’t want to drive away potential buyers by saying your horse is suitable for all riders when in truth an advanced rider is needed. It’s also helpful to list any special qualities or talents your horse may possess, as its often these extra qualities that may make you horse really stand out to potential buyers. Special qualities may include descriptors like lovely head, great gaits, elegant mover, or may be specific skills like no vices, bombproof, loads quietly, proven champion et cetera. Make sure to finish off the listing with your asking price and contact information.

4. Network with professionals Speak with owners, trainers, and breeders in your area. These professionals may be able to not only help market your horse, but may know people who would be interested in purchasing your horse from you. These individuals are thoroughly in touch with their respective equestrian communities and are often willing to offer some friendly advice, or spread some word of mouth about the horse you have for sale. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool.

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1. Great pictures and videos A listing with great pictures and clear videos will help to showcase your sale horse to its full extent, making it that much more marketable.

2. Completed Pre-purchase Exams Having a completed pre-purchase exam, especially up to date x-rays, can help convince a buyer that your horse is the one they want, while also speeding up the sale process. Most buyers will ask for a pre-purchase exam as it will identify any pre-existing problems which may hinder the future health and performance of the horse, and by having this exam done buyers can reduce their risk of investing in a horse that may not be sound in the future.

3. List with a Broker or use a Training Barn If you are having difficulty selling your horse on your own, you may want to contemplate listing with a broker. Brokers will not only help to market your horse, but they often have access to a wide range of equestrian professionals who they can market your horse to. Remember, word of mouth advertising is a powerful tool. You can also opt to send you horse to a training barn. This option is a great one for horses that need a bit more training or even a tune-up. By increasing your horse’s skills, you increase their appeal to potential buyers. Also, the trainer will often have access to a wide network of equestrian clients who could be potential buyers, and many trainers (for a small fee or sales commission) will help market your horse to potential buyers.

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Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool.


1. Fill the Frame

for great photos

Get up close to your horse and make sure it fills the frame. Too much background will distract from the subject of your photo, and since you are trying to market your horse you want him/her to be the central focus of the image.

2. Check the backdrop Scout out your photo shoot locations prior to taking pictures, as it will result in better pictures overall. Try to avoid ‘busy’ backgrounds with too much going on, and also ensure to coordinate your background in relation to your horse. Light horses will look better on a dark background, and dark horses will look much better with a light background.

3. Conformation Pictures Your potential buyer is going to be interested in seeing the specific proportions and overall conformation of your horse, and as such having good conformation shots are essential to marketing your horse properly. The most common conformation shot is a full side profile, showing your horse from head to hoof. Make sure the horse is standing square, with its head up and ears forward.

4. Horse’s Appearance Take the time to thoroughly groom your horse before taking pictures. A clipped, clean, and well-presented horse is far more marketable and enticing to potential buyers then one that looks like it has not been handled for some time. Polish you horse just as you would if preparing for a show ring, you want to your horse to shine. When shooting your photos make sure your horse’s ears are forward and your horse looks alert. No one wants to see (or buy) and angry horse! Also ensure that your horse is standing on a level surface, and that you are taking your pictures from a level position. Your horse’s conformation will change if they are not standing on a level surface, or if you are not shooting the image from a level position the perspective (and proportions) of the image will be slightly off.

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Food for Thought

Building a balanced diet for the equine athelete


our horse, not unlike yourself, requires a balanced and regulated diet to remain in peak athletic condition. Owners must take a more active role in maintaining and building a balanced and nutritious diet to combat the pitfalls of modern horse keeping, which often contradict a horse’s innate nature (that is to live and eat continually). For performance horses, a properly balanced diet made up of water, carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals help provide the essential ‘energy’ needed to maintain proper fitness and strength to continue training at a peak level. While horses under light work can typically be maintained on a forage only diet (pasture and/or hay), the extra energy needed by horses under heavy work requires a diet supplemented with more energy rich concentrates.

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Above: The quality, content, and appearance of hay can change drastically depending on its age, and where (and how) it was harvested. The flake on the left is a timothy, alfalfa, and orchard grass mix. It is first cut . This flake bears a similar appearance to second cut hay because the field was newly seeded this year. On the right is a flake of second cut hay, harvested two years ago. It is a timothy & alfalfa mix. Note the differences in colour due to the age.

Good quality forage is the essential base upon which all good equestrian diets are made. From companion horses to high level equestrian athletes, forage is essential to good health and survival. In nature, horses will spend up to 20 hours per day grazing on a wide variety of forages, and because this is not generally possible in modern horse keeping, roughage must be provided. Pasture time, hay, and alternatives like hay cubes can all be provided to your horse to ensure optimal diet and happiness. Quality forage not only provides your horse with energy, protein, and vitamins/minerals, but the grazing behaviour helps to keep colic (and other illnesses) at bay. Different types of forage contain different amounts of protein, digestible energy, and vitamins/ minerals, so knowing the nutritional content of the hay your horse receives will help you build the rest of his diet to supplement those potential gaps.

Vitamins and Minerals While a well-fortified and balanced diet will often provide for the increased vitamin and mineral needs of an active horse, sometimes additional concentrate supplements can be beneficial in ensuring your horse’s needs are met.

Above: Equine Choice Vitamin, Mineral, Yeast & Enzyme Supplement. Ensuring your horse recieves the right amount of supplements is essential.

Trying to balance nutrient and feed ratios can often be difficult in the complex feed programs many performance horses possess. So feeding a vitamin/mineral supplement from a reputable feed manufacturer, formulated for performance horse needs, can help cover your all bases and bridge any possible gaps in your routine, ensuring all mineral and vitamin needs are met.

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Salt Salt (Sodium Chloride) is an essential addition to any equestrian diet, and is necessary for proper nerve and muscle function, and also aids in increasing water consumption. The need for salt typically increases in horse with increased exercise requirements, as well as in hot weather.

Adding salt blocks to stalls or pastures can help supplement your horses dietary requirements. Salt blocks typically come in blue, red, or white, and can be large (for pastures) or small (for stalls). Different blocks generally have different mineral contents.


To maintain proper hydration, an active horse should be consuming 10 -20 gallons of water (or more) per day.

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Commercial feeds, concentrates, and hay/pasture, typically do not provide the required amount of salt a horse needs, so most horses benefit from having access to a salt block, or by having salt/ electrolytes added to feed rations. Electrolyte supplements are especially helpful in replenishing nutrients lost from sweat during exercise, though it should be ensured that the primary ingredient in your electrolyte supplement in Sodium Chloride (NaCl) and not sugar (dextrose).

It’s often easy to forget the importance of water as part of a balanced diet. To maintain proper hydration, an active horse should be consuming 10 – 20 gallons (or more) of water per day. Horses loose water through urine, feces, respiratory gases, and sweat, and all the water lost must be returned to avoid the potential of dehydration. While sweat loss is highly dependent upon external temperatures, moderate exercise even in temperatures below 20C can result in the loss of 3-7 litres of water through sweat. In temperatures above 30C, during moderate exercise, horses can lose 11-15 litres of water (per hour) through sweat. Depending on how long and how intensely your horse is exercised, sweat loss can contribute to a large amount of lost water over a very short period of time. By ensuring

There is a vast range of feed products on the market today, so knowing your horses nutritional requirements, and doing some research can help you build a balanced diet for your equine friend. Pictured: Top Left | Rice Bran Bottom Left | Beet Pulp (dry)

your horse has ready access to clean fresh drinking water will help keep your horse well hydrated and will help avoid dehydration.

Other Supplements Depending on the quality of hay and other concentrates you feed your horse, other supplements that support hoof, joints, or gastric health, or work as antioxidants may be beneficial. Additional supplements may also be necessary to help manage any special health issues your horse may have. Though you must be cautious and ensure horse are not over supplemented, as this may have deleterious results (like toxicity). Supplements can also be expensive, so ensuring that you feed the right supplements, in the right amount yoan save your self some money.

Junk Food aka “Treats” Your horse works hard, and as a special reward, should be able to ‘indulge’ occasionally. A few treats after training, or a particularly good effort in the show ring, can help keep your horse happy and show them you appreciate their contribution to your partnership!

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Feed Facts

What’s NEW & HOT in Performance Horse Feed

Blue Green Algae Blue Green Algae is one supplement that has been growing in popularity as of late, both for humans and horses. This product can be added to feed as a natural supplement, and claims to be able to improve various health issues, boost the immune system, and aid with some behaviour problems in horses. Some users have also noted an improvement in hoof quality, and many will argue that horses on this supplement are much more focused and easy to train. It is an excellent source of enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and chlorophyll, nutrients which are often found naturally in fresh grass. For horses that have restricted access to pasture, this may be a great product to supplement the nutritional deficiencies that may result due to a lack of adequate grazing. The high amount of Vitamin A within the product, is also an added bonus, as deficiencies in this vitamin can be common in modern horse keeping, especially in stabled horses. While Vitamin A is readily available in fresh pasture grass, it quickly deteriorates in dried hay, and deficiencies can affect the eyes, skin, bones and reproductive systems. The product is available in a variety of forms, from a finely ground powder, to capsules, and small flake form. Like all feed products and supplements, blue green algae should be introduced slowly, and your horse should be monitored for any adverse reactions. Prices vary depending on the retailer and size of package purchased. Similarly, recommended

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Pictured: Powdered Blue Green Algae

doses vary, but due to the nature of the product, which is super packed with various nutrients, a small amount can go a very long way. Typically anywhere from ½ to 1 tsp. is considered effective. While some speculate on the safety of the product, and a wide amount of information (both for and against) its use are widely circulated, those who have used the product regularly claim that it is both safe and effective. Making sure that you purchase certified products from reputable brands, ensuring that the algae has been carefully harvested from a controlled site, can help to ensure your horse is receiving a safe product not contaminated with any harmful bacteria.

Tribute Horse Feeds While not itself a new company, this American feed brand has only recently made its debut in feed stores here in Southern Ontario, and is currently only available from a small selection of retailers. Tribute offers a wide range of products, which cater to all breeds and disciplines. From the lactating mare to the high performance equine athlete, Tribute offers feeds that can cater to all work levels while also covering all the basics in terms of general nutrition requirements. Their products have been developed with years of experience and knowledge, and incorporate the latest in equine nutritional research and the highest standards of quality. Tribute’s combination of crude protein, fat, and fibre, alongside essential vitamins and minerals not only helps to build a balanced diet for your horse, but can help cut out the extra costs of additional vitamin and mineral supplements. Most tribute feeds can be catered to fit any equine lifestyle, which can be especially beneficial in barns with a range of horses, as it cuts down on the need for a wide variety of feed. Product reference sheets, available on their website clearly define the ratios of feed and hay required, in relation to the workload and age of the horse in question. To learn more about Tribute’s line of feed, and to find a stockist near you, visit their website.

Top: Tribute Ultra K Feed Center: Tribute Essential K Feed

Learn More: tributehorsefeeds.com

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Rare Breed Profile:

The Nokota

I had the pleasure of meeting this amazing breed of horse in March of 2011. They are called Nokota’s, and they have changed my life.

- Jennifer McLaughlin-Perez

“Nokota® Horses are characterized by a square-set, angular frame, tapering musculature, V-shaped front end, angular shoulders with prominent withers, distinctly sloped croup, low tail set, strong bone, legs, and hooves, and ‘Spanish colonial’ pigmentation. Their ears are often slightly hooked at the tips, and many have feathered fetlocks. Nokotas tend to mature slowly, and some exhibit ambling gaits.

The overall type is somewhat larger and rangier than the Spanish colonial horses of the southern Plains (“mustangs”) while retaining typical Spanish coat colors (especially roan, frame overo, and dun) and other points of conformation. During North Dakota’s open range days, ranchers deliberately crossed Spanish colonial and “native” (wild and/or Indian mares) with larger stallions, hoping to preserve the agility and stamina of Southwestern strains while increasing their size and strength. The result was an all-purpose ranch horse that could be both driven and ridden and required little care.” - NHC Website

Nokota’s checking us out in the pasture (Photo: J.Perez)

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“Nokota® horses are descended from the last surviving population of wild horses in North Dakota. For at least a century, the horses inhabited the rugged Little Missouri badlands, located in the southwestern corner of the state. When Theodore Roosevelt National Park was created in the 1950s, some of the wild bands were fenced in, an accident that proved to have far-reaching consequences. While the raising of federal fences provided the horses with a measure of protection, the National Park Service (NPS) does not allow wild or feral equines, and is exempt from related protective legislation. Consequently, the park spent decades attempting to remove all of the horses. During the 1980s, Frank and Leo Kuntz began purchasing horses after N.P.S. round-ups, named them “Nokotas,” and started to create a breed registry.” - Castle McLaughlin, PH. D. Ely posing for the camera. (Photo: J.Perez)

The Nokota’s owned by the Kuntz brothers and the NHC still live in predominantly wild herds within huge pastures in North Dakota, in groups that have minimal contact with humans. The NHC work in coordination with an extraordinary trainer, Jack Lieser, who teaches us his way in clinic’s, working alongside these horses; taking them from first touch to riding in 3-4 days, a system I’ve now seen proven over and over again with many horses. In my opinion, I think almost every horse owner could do this clinic and will get something out of it. It’s thanks to that partnership between the NHC and Jack Lieser, more and more of us are being exposed to this fantastic breed.

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I was introduced to these horses through my trainer, Jerusha Steinert. She called me up one day, totally unexpectedly, and said “I think you should do this colt start with me.” My mouth gaped as so many thoughts ran through my mind: “I’ve only been back into horsemanship for a handful of years, am I skilled enough? Wait, did she say Colt? How could I even possibly be qualified to do something like this?” After experiencing the initial shock, I realized I had been talking out loud because she was actually answering my questions. Her response was “That’s what you will be taught.” Looking back, I am very grateful I agreed to take the chance, as that one decision had a huge impact in my life. What I found in the Nokota was unlike anything I’ve ever found in any other horse I’ve worked with. Incredibly smart, they think through problems rather than reacting. They learn and adapt to new things and situations quickly, and are phenomenal athletes. I learned a lot about myself and what I needed to do to improve my communication, timing and feel by working with these horses; they teach you. They are able to give you honest feedback and show you what you need to do to improve yourself as a horseman. After each clinic I’ve done, I’ve come back a better horseman for my horse. The Nokota’s deserve and need exposure. As amazing and unusual as they are, they are relatively unknown, even with their historical value, and after being named the Honorary State Equine of North Dakota. It is a very real possibility these horses in the Nokota Horse Conservancy could fade off the face of the planet due to lack of funding in the near future.

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The Nokota’s deserve and need exposure.

Below: Sheriff ridden by myself under saddle. (Photo: supplied by J.Perez)

I can’t imagine a world without the Nokota Breed; they are too good, too special and so versatile. They can do anything, and have that uncanny way of making us want to improve ourselves for the sake of the horse. I’m making it a personal mission of mine to do whatever I can to promote the breed, to help people become aware of them, to challenge people to experience them for themselves and share their own experiences with this very unique breed of horse called the Nokota.

Below: Nokota’s socializing with clinic participants at the Leo Kuntz ranch . (Photo: supplied by J.Perez)

For a full history of the breed, including the even more interesting facts and the deeply historical origin of bloodlines, visit:

www.nokotahorse.org The Eloquent Equine 37

The Essentials


Is your horse built for your discipline? A horse’s conformation essentially defines not only how it is built, but how it moves and performs. You can spend time investing in training, building muscle, and improving fitness, but nothing will alter the basic foundations of movement that your horse, via his conformation, was built with. Aside from the typical conformational faults that most individuals often seek to avoid (and already have an eye for), having a horse with conformation suited to their intended discipline can have a drastic impact on a horse’s performance level and overall ability to excel. Functional conformation studies the horse’s build from a skeletal perspective, and its impact on performance. While there is no perfect horse in existence, having knowledge about the key points of equine anatomy and conformation, you will be able to locate a horse with a better chance of being able to do what you want, without being compromised by his natural shape and build. There are no absolutes when it comes to conformation, and often even the slightest differences in length of bone or a minor shift in angle can have drastic effects on a horse’s performance. While there are conformational qualities often shared by all the performance disciplines, there are also some very critical differences, resulting in a recent split in breeding style and registry practices. These days, breeding for specific qualities, which are necessary to excel in a specific discipline, has become relatively common.

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The Jumper


hen considering the conformation of a potential jumper, it is essential to consider the composition of the foreleg. Proper front end conformation is essential to creating the optimal dimensions which will allow a horse to successfully clear a jump, especially at larger heights. The three points to consider are the shoulder (scapula), humerus, and radius (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1.

Functional conformation and desired angles of scapula, humerus, and radius in the Jumper.

While there is no exact ‘correct’ configuration for these three parts of the foreleg, the conformation of these three will affect the horse’s ability to lift his knees up and out of the way. Most successful jumpers will possess a shoulder that is either laid back or upright (with upright being more common). An open or steep angle between the humerus and scapula (90 degrees or greater) is ideal, and the point of shoulder (where humerus meets scapula) is typically higher up towards the neck (Fig. 2). A horse with a long shoulder and upright angle will have a greater range of motion because the scapula will be able to rotate further backwards, making it easier to draw their knees up. Many great jumpers also possess a long humerus, as this generally results in a longer stride with the ability to move the legs away from the rib cage; ultimately

The Eloquent Equine 39

resulting in more ‘scope’. A horse with a shorter (or more horizontal) humerus will have a choppier (and shorter) stride in comparison. Proper joint angles, especially in the hindquarters – which provide the power – are essential in creating the proper upward trajectory needed to get over large obstacles. Ideally an equilateral triangle should be formed between the point of hip, point of buttock, and stifle. In jumpers, a low stifle (below the level of the sheath) is particularly beneficial, as it helps to increase stride length and increase the height and width a horse can jump. Balance in jumpers is generally level or slightly up hill, and they typically have a high set long neck for balance over fences.

Fig. 2.

Functional conformation and desired angles for optimal performance and scope over fences

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The Dressage Mount While Jumper conformation requires specific angles to increase scope, in contrast, a Dressage horse requires conformation that allows for extension in the joints as well as power in the hindquarters. Ideally dressage horses will possess a laid back shoulder, which allows for extension outwards (versus up), giving freedom to extend the forelegs through specific gaits. This shoulder conformation also effects the location of the withers, placing them further back, which shifts rider position into the center of the back over the horse’s natural center of gravity. Similar to jumpers, a long humerus is desired in dressage mounts, as it increases the ability to move the elbow away (to the front or side) from the torso. A longer humerus makes lateral movements, such as half pass, much easier and fluid. Most dressage horses have a build that is slightly uphill, and this is a result of the increased length of forearm and shorter cannon bones. This configuration is highly advantageous to dressage horses as it not only helps with height, but general soundness. Dressage horses typically have a shorter (more upright) neck, as the longer neck – used as counterbalance in jumpers – is not necessary in the dressage ring. A critical feature to both dressage and jumpers is the conformation of the hindquarters, especially the location of the lumbosacral (LS) joint. In ideal conformation, the LS joint should be located directly over the point of hip, maximizing the power of the leg by optimizing the rotation of the LS region. The LS joint is the only point in the vertebral column, between the neck and tail, which allows for a significant amount of flexion and extension.

The Eloquent Equine 41

Dressage horses generally have a longer femur and shorter stifle, the stifle is generally not as low as in the jumper. When viewing the near side of a dressage horse you will often be able to note a ‘7’ shape. This shape is formed from the point of hip to point of buttock to stifle and through the hock. In understanding this functional conformation it also becomes evident how the divide in some eventing horses occurs. There are those that excel in the dressage phase (and cope with cross country and show jumping), while others excel in jumping and cross country but struggle with dressage. It is all directly related to the functional conformation of the horse and whether it is built more like a jumper or a dressage mount.

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Fig. 3.

The points of focus when considering the function conformation of the hindquarters

Breed Profiles


hile the definition of what constitutes a sport horse varies greatly, there is a general consensus that the term sport horse loosely refers to a collection of horses and breeds used in high levels of competition the world over. While the purpose of sport horses vary, they are generally bred to maintain specific qualities in conformation, movement, and temperament which will help them excel within their specific discipline. While there are a wide range of sport horse breeds commonly used today, we’ve got an in depth look at a few of the more popular breeds seen in competition today.

Oldenburg Dutch Warmblood Swedish Warmblood

Hanoverian The Eloquent Equine 43

Oldenburg // Breed Stats // Colour: Generally black, bay, brown or gray. Size: Typical Sport Horse conformation, ideally between 16.0 and 17.2 hands. The Oldenburg is an easy going and sociable Warmblood breed that originated in Germany (the NW corner of Lower Saxony), in the area once known at the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. The breed has changed significantly in the years since its original development in the 17th century. The original Oldenburg was much heavier than the horses we see today, looking much more like a light draft then the refined competition horse that constitutes the modern type. It was only after the Second World War that efforts were made to lighten and improve the breed, signalling its transformation into the breed we see today. These days, breeding is strictly managed by the Association of Breeders of the Oldenburger Horse. Breeders of the Oldenburg typically focus not on pedigree and colour, but on selecting mares and stallions of the highest quality. Horses that excel in the show ring (particularly in Dressage and Show jumping) are typically picked to continue on the legacy of the breed. Oldenburg’s are powerfully built equines with a solid and muscular body structure. While the specific appearance of each horse may vary, depending on lineage, the breed is defined by its expressive head and long legs. Stallions and elite mares are tested by the Oldenburg Verband not only for their rideability but also for their temperament, character, constitution, and willingness to work. By grading both the exterior and interior qualities of the horse, this allows breeders within the Verband to choose the ultimate role of the horse, whether as a high performance competition horse, or as one more suited for amateur riders.

44 The Eloquent Equine

Dutch Warmblood (KWPN) // Breed Stats // Colour: Generally bay, gray, chestnut, or black Size: Typical Sport Horse conformation, average around 15-16 hands, sometimes reaching 17hh The Dutch Warmblood breed is fairly young breed that was developed in Post War Europe in the 1960s. The breed is loosely defined as a Warmblood horse that is registered with te Koninklijk Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland (Royal Warmblood Studbook of the Netherlands) or KWPN. The breed is derived from the two dominant horse breeds present in the Netherlands, post WWII, which were the Gelderlander and the Groningen. By combining the best features of both of these breeds, and also introducing aspects from other sport horse breeds (thoroughbred, Oldenburg etc), the athletic Dutch Warmblood we see today was born. Today the KWPN comprises four general sections: the Gelderlander, the Dutch Harness Horse, and riding horses breed for Dressage and Show jumping. It is not uncommon to see Dutch Horses excelling in both the Dressage and Jumping rings at the highest levels. The horses, like many other sport horse breeds, are bred to maintain the finest qualities of the breed and produce horses that can continue to perform at the highest levels of competition. The Dutch Warmblood possesses a well-proportioned head with long legs and a smooth topline. They typically have strong necks that are proportionate to their body size, with a straight back and powerful quarters. The exact shape and outline of specific horses is dependent upon the pedigree. Stringent requirements placed on stallions and mares selected for breeding means that the breed is generally long living and sound, as certain injuries, defects, and conformation faults will disqualify horses from being able to breed.

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Swedish Warmblood // Breed Stats // Colour: Generally bay, chestnut, or gray. Size: Typical Sport Horse conformation, average size around 16.2 hands Another popular riding horse breed, particularly in the Dressage ring (though it also used in Show Jumping and Eventing), is the Swedish Warmblood. Developed from a very diverse breeding process, the breed originated in the early 17th century and was cultivated in StrÜmsholm and the Royal Stud of Flyinge. The early horses were of no fixed type, primarily because of the breeding process which often crossed Spanish and Friesian imports with local mares. Later infusions of breeds like the Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Trakehner as well as a more careful breeding process, resulted in a more fixed type that served as the foundations for the breed we now know as the Swedish Warmblood. Before being granted a licence to breed, modern Swedish Warmblood stallions are subjected to thorough testing of all their paces, temperament, jumping ability, and cross country ability. Mares are similarly tested for the quality of their paces. Modern Swedish Warmblood’s are typically large horses with good conformation and a well-balanced temperament. They sport an attractive and well set head with a well formed neck, a compact body, and muscular quarters. The breed is known for its versatility, and also possesses a reputation for being quite athletic, with smooth flowing gaits.

46 The Eloquent Equine

Hanoverian // Breed Stats // Colour: Any solid colour, with chestnut, black, and gray being most common Size: Typical Sport Horse conformation, horses range in size from 15-17 hands, with 16hh being the average size The Hanoverian is another Warmblood breed that originated in Germany, and is commonly found within the Show Jumping or Dressage rings, though they are also fairly popular with Event and Hunter riders as well. The first official studbook for the breed was founded in 1888, and was held by the Royal Agricultural society until the foundation of the Hanoverian Warmblood Breeders Association in 1922. Not unlike the Oldenburg, the Hanoverian was originally used and bred as a carriage horse that was also suitable for general farm work. Like many other European Warmblood breeds, the Hanoverian saw a strong increase in popularity after WWII, and the infusion of Thoroughbred and Trakehner blood into the breed resulted in a much lighter horse. This lighter horse is the one that is now commonly seen in the show ring. Hanoverians are typically robust and strong, with sloping shoulders and a long straight back. The breed is renowned for its temperament, as well as its strength and stamina, and is commonly used to improve the characteristics of other breeds. Like most of the European Sport Horse breeds, in order to be eligible for breeding Stallions and Mares must pass through rigorous testing to assess their suitability for carrying on the breed’s legacy. The ultimate goal of testing is to ensure that inheritable defects are not passed on to offspring, ensuring the continued health of the breed. Like the other Warmblood breed societies, the Hanoverian Verband is determined to continue to promote healthy horses and fund research to support the continued existence of healthy performance horses.


US The Eloquent Equine 47

Quailhurst Stable

Dutch Warmbloods

Located in Sherwood (Oregon, US), Qualihurst Stable is owned and operated by Deborah Hausman.

A little about Deborah, her operation, and her history with Dutch Warmbloods. Deborah purchased her first horse from the Netherlands, a 2.5 year old Dutch mare who was bought for breeding purposes. She is currently 21 and still in Deborah’s possession, and there have been many foals in between. Since then, horses have been imported, including her stallion Caletino. She also owns Dutch horses that are currently residing in Europe, such as Nassau, and she has recently expanded her business in the Netherlands. Deborah not only breeds Dutch Warmbloods, but also backs, trains, and sells them. Three years ago she bred the 2 mares for the last time, and still possesses two foals she uses for competition. While she initially considered selling them, she saw great potential in both and decided to keep them.

What is it that draws you to Dutch Warmbloods? Deborah states that she did not start with the specific breed in mind, it simply just happened. She fell in love with her first mare, who was Dutch, and continued from there. “When you like something in a horse you stay with it� She has just recently begun training a filly from her first mare. The qualities riders admire in her horses still stay current and 5 of her Dutch mares have become elite mares. It all simply fell into

48 The Eloquent Equine

- Julia Hoon

place with her Dutch horses and breeding program.

Can you describe a special

She bought her stallion Nassau when he was two, and he is currently the number one moment you have experienced through running your breeding Dutch stallion in world. Deborah said she just got lucky and picked the right one, and program? he happened to be Dutch! Competing at the Pavo Cup in the Netherlands. In the last few years she hasn’t done a lot with Dutch breeding and registry. Primarily Deborah made it to the final round, because she found jumpers didn’t seem against around 650 horses. She to care care about the blood lines, but made the top 15 after a variety of just what the horse was capable of. The registry started to change, focusing less on intense selection procedures, and then made the group, but ultimately the horse’s specific breeding as it became chose not to push horse and go for discipline specific. the win. She instead decided to save the horse because she knew that it Thus she said goodbye to Dutch registry had a great future ahead. breeding, because personally she prefers a mix of bloodlines. Mixing bloodlines between dressage and jumper lines allows To this day Deborah states that she doesn’t regret it at all, as now the more athleticism in dressage horses, and she has found the horses are far less fragile. horse is competing in Wellington (Florida, US) and has produced Though she believes the registry will eventually come back around to what it was the best baby she has had to date. Although she chose to forfeit, she like before. believes if she had pushed the Describe a recent accomplishment of horse through they wouldn’t of had the bond, and trust in each other; one of your horses. which has led to many years of success. For Deborah, the wall of her lounge in the barn is a constant reminder of everything she has accomplished and is proud of! She is proud of everything about her horses. With all of her experience, it would have taken her days to recount all that she and her horses have accomplished over the years. However one that is always in her heart is when her stallion Nassau earned Horse of the Year in 2005.

// Contact Information //

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DON’T MISS ... Our Next Special! Due out November 2013 The Eloquent Equine is going to the Royal again! We’re planning to bring you even more inside interviews and coverage of some of the top events of the fair. You can find more information about the Royal Agricultural Fair and what they have to offer this year by visiting their site at royalfair.org

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The Eloquent Equine | No. 4, The Performance Horse  

Our summer 2013 issue focuses solely on the elite equine athelete and its various features. We've also got great interviews with performance...

The Eloquent Equine | No. 4, The Performance Horse  

Our summer 2013 issue focuses solely on the elite equine athelete and its various features. We've also got great interviews with performance...