Elite Equestrian magazine Jan Feb 2019 US Edition

Page 1


lite questrian


Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle

Winter Fashion Stay Warm

Volume 19 Issue 1 Complimentary


Italy’s Unparalleled Equestrian Event EXCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHT!


Winter Fashion Stay Warm Dressage Summit 2019 Q & A Jumping Saddles The BUSINESS of Being A Trainer www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com


2019 4 Star 6 Horse Head to Head The Ultimite in a Head to Head

• • • • •

Converts to 4, 5 or 6 horse Converts into 3 box stalls Fully insulated roof Dressing room Large windows for max air flow

• • • • •

Saddle racks, bridle hooks Hydralic Jack Side ramp Rear ramp Extra tall and extra wide

Drop by or call and let us tell you the 4 Star Difference! www.coas�ocoas�railer.com

90 Acre Horse Farm Located in Ocala, Florida “The Horse Capital of the World”

Home has 4 BR, 3 Full Bath, 2 Half Bath, 4 Car Garage, Pa�o and Balcony Over Looking Pool (House is 10,000 sq total.) 22 Stall Show Barn W/Office, Tack Area, Wash Rack, Full Size Outdoor Arena, Round Pen and Hot Walker, Plus Separate Breeding Facility/Lab and Implement Shed $7,500,000. Phone 352-361-7810


lite questrian

Published Since 2008 ®

Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle



2019 Feature

FIERACAVALLI Exclusive Review


16 18 20 22 24 26 46

Rudy Bellini Team at Fieracavalli


Fashion • Home • Art�

Must Haves For You, Your Horse & Farm Winter Warmers Pantone Color of the Year Accessories Equine Art Henry Koehler Dr. Lori Collecting Wine Justify jewelry

People & Places

28 His & Hers Tom Durkin


Equine Health


48 Interactive Equine Therapy 52 Senior Physiology

Training, Tack & Showing

42 Dressage Summit New Tests 44 Ocala Jockey Club 3 Day Highlight 46 Thoroughbred Makeove Winner 56 Striving For Excellence Marcus Fyffe 62 Q & A Jumping Saddles 66 Human to Horse Leadership 68 Aids Communication Turning Aids 70 Trailer Safety Exit Plan 30 40 60 74 12




Equine Leins Explained Arenas 101 The Business of being a trainer Tack Box Retail & Service Source

16 www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com




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ELITE EQUESTRIAN ® Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle

www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com info@EliteEquestrian.us Published since 2008

Don’t miss our

March/April Issue FeaturingPolo Breeding/Foals Destination: Aiken Spring Fashion

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Ad Deadline: Feb 11, 2019 Editorial Deadline: Feb 1, 2019


Publisher: Bill Vander Brink Editor in Chief: Noelle Vander Brink Advertising Sales, N.E.Region: Kathy Dress 610-420-9964 kathy@dressmedia.us Advertising Sales, S.E. Region Karen Eagle 352-812-1142 Advertising Sales, National: Diane Holt 713-408-8114 diane@eliteequestrian.us Editorial Advisor: Rebecca Larkin Art & Antiques Editor: Dr. Lori Verderame Equine Art Editor: Jeanne Chisholm Health Editor: Marilyn Miller-Heath Fashion Editor: LA Sokolowski Legal Editor: Avery S., Chapman,Esquire Saddle Specialist Editor: Jochen Schleese

NEXT ISSUE: Mar/April 2019 Ad Placement Deadline: Feb 8, 2019 Editorial Deadline: Feb 1, 2019

Contributing Writers MA Brakenridge Alessandra Deerinck Dr. Amy Hayek Annan Hepner Paulo Junqueira Julia Leonforte Julio Oliveira Dr. Bill Ormston Lynn Palm Tom Scheve Brian Wee Contributing Photographers: Andrew Ryback Photography


Social Media: Vanessa Ashton Photography: Steven Edward

On The Cover: Peter Wylde riding Van De Emma owned by Oakridge Farm Photo by Andrew Ryback

EElite questrian


Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle

Winter Fashion Stay Warm

Volume 19 Issue 1 Complimentary


Italy’s Unparalleled Equestrian Event EXCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHT!


Winter Fashion Stay Warm Dressage Summit 2019 Q & A Jumping Saddles The BUSINESS of Being A Trainer www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com

For Media Kit email: info@EliteEquestrian.us

Bonus Distribution: January/February HITS: Ocala Winter Circuit • HITS: Thermal Show Series • FEI Nations Cup, Ocala, FL Arabian National • Dressage Under Oaks, FL • Snowbirds Paradise Show Orlando, FL Sweetheart Cup, Orlando FL • Live Oak International • The Ridge Show Series Wellington Masters • Equiventures Winter Horse Trials 1 & 2 Clinton Anderson Downunder Horsemanship Clinic, FL • S. FL Reining Horse Asso Series • Jubile Dressage Series • Venice Equestrian Tour Series Florida Dressage Concours I & II • Santa Barbara Circuit

The March/April issue will be at...

Kentucky International 3 Day Pin Oak Charity Show Longines Masters, NY Great American Grand Prix, Ocala FL Annual Arabian Breeders World Cup HITS: Ocala Winter Circuit HITS: Thermal Show Series HITS: Culpeper Show Series ...AND MANY MORE



months of shelf life for your adverising dollars!



lite questrian qu UAE Edition


Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle

Distributed in Dubai-UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain at quality venues and events. Premier issue debuts in February 2019. Package prices available for ad reservations in U.S. and U.A.E. Editions. Elite Equestrian is a registered trademark owned by Elite Equestrian LLC. No article, photo, or part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Management reserves the right to approve or refuse any advertiser or contribution for any reason. EE does not endorse any product or advertiser and is not responsible for accuracy of info/opinions provided by advertisers or article content. Photographs are submitted by writers of each article who assume responsibility for usage approval. ©2019


Reach an international audience to promote and brand your business. Email info@EliteEquestrian.us for information or call 570-656-0729




MUSThaves ... for your horse Enjoy Yums Healthy Horse Treats

Chewing Gum For Horses The ultimate treat and training tool, GumBits activates salivation, encourages submission, eliminate teeth grinding, promote salivation, and are 100% natural and show ring legal. www.GumBits.com

FABULOUS French Old Dominion Saddlery offers high quality, affordable French used saddles.Owner Dina Mazzola takes the hassle and risk out of saddle shopping with expert fitting advice, free shipping and a 7 day trial period. Shop their selection of fine used French saddles at www.OldDominionSaddlery.com and visit their ad on page 61

A horse treat that you can feel good about feeding every day. Made in the USA with only 6 ingredients that you know and trust.www.alittlepetvet.com See our ad page 55

... for your farm

NUTRITIOUS Treats Your Horse will love a softer cookie that is wheat, corn, soy and alfalfa free LOW CARB LOW SUGAR GREAT FOR THE MATURE HORSE AND THE YOUNGSTER MADE WITH HUMAN GRADE INGREDIENTS See our ad page 47 A2ZHORSECOOKIES.COM

A BETTER Way to feed SLOW BALE BUDDY - the veterinarian approved way to aid your horses digestive health. Eliminates hay waste, available in all bale sizes, made of knotless nylon netting with 1” and 1/2” openings, closes with patented safety fastener.One year warranty. www.bigbalebuddy.com or tollfree: 866-389-9952 See our ad page 55

FOCUS Hoof A sound hoof requires a wide range of nutrients for optimum growth, strength, texture and resilience. FOCUS HF provides the most effective nutrient building blocks to help support superior hoof condition. 3.5 lb., 25 lb. 800-232-2365 www.4source.com See our ad page 49 16


EQUINE Emergencies Seconds count in every emergency. Your horse counts on you to take care of him. Be prepared with a well equipped first aid kit from EquiMedic USA. www.equimedic.com 866-211-1269 See our ad page 51

... for you.

Taking Flight EARRINGS

PORTLAND Softshell Jacket

Artisan Jeni Benos visually captures the fierce determination of a jumper striving for the height of success! These expressive sterling silver earrings are meticulously hand crafted by Jenuinely Jeni inc. in the USA. JenuinelyJeni.com See our ad page 75

Flexible, breathable and rain proof that looks great in all weather. Featuring a removable adjustable hood, touch close wrist adjusters, thumbhole cuffs and zippered pockets. www.shiresequestrian.com See our ad page 25

Sylvia Kerr Jewelery presents IBKÜL Activewear

Prince of Wales Classic Spur Buckle in 2 sizes ; 1 1/2 inch belt fit and 1 1/4 inch belt fit. TempiDesignStudio.com, 855-KEEPDSKE

Beautiful shirts with groundbreaking fabric technology, like icefil and Dryzone providing you with UPF 50 superior sun protection while keeping you cool outdoors. See our feature on page 20

ULTIMATE Tack System

NEW Spur Buckle

Gold Burghley Bangle in 9ct Gold, Pavé set with four fine Diamonds RRP: £2,256 PayPal Credit also available with interest-free repayments. www.sylviakerrjewellery.com See our feature page 22

Make a statement

Beautiful and affordable customized farm signs.Unlimited styles and options to choose from.Our website guides you step by step. Free sign proofs, fast turnaround and free shipping! Build your sign today at www.EZSignsOnline.com today. 1-800-640-8180 See our ad page 27

Lay-Flat Hose QuickReel

This “one of a kind” reel makes deployment and retrieval of 1.5” or 2” irrigation hose a Keep your Clutter to a minimum! very quick and simple process!! Lay-Flat Ultimate storage & customization Hose has mounting holes on bottom side of with baskets and racks. Designed frame for mounting to a cart or vehicle. Also to handle all types of Tack from available with ATV trailer cart assembly. the lightest English saddles to Proudly Made in the USA, Medium Duty Hose Kit w/ Cam-Lock Connections (1.5” the heaviest Western Rigs. thru 2”) Heavy Duty Hose Kit w/ Cam-Lock See our ad page 27 Connections (1.5” thru 4”) Call 800-444-7430 or visit BigSprinkler.com See our ad page 33 www.Classic-Equine.com

RELIABLE Rails Larrys Jump Rails offers Spruce wood rails/poles that are Free of Heart Center with no finish, made with pride in North American, available in 10cm FEI specified weight and also in 3.5 inch diameter. Call 480-330-3948 www.LarrysJumpRails.com See our ad page 31



Winter Warmers

The Equetech Lexi Long Packable Coat

Fed up with being cold, wet and miserable?

is perfect for the season ahead. This gorgeous coat comes in a delicious blackberry shade and features ‘Micro Bio-Down’ insulation for cruelty-free warmth. Features concealed hood in collar, storm flap, two-way zip, deep front pockets and a zip to the back (so you can wear in the saddle too) Also features a beautiful Equetech bridles print lining. Oh, and did we mention it rolls up into a micro- package with a storage bag supplied? Ideal for when you need that extra layer. RRP: £ 114.95 Sizes: XS - 3XL Blackberry.

We can’t do anything about the winter weather -but British equestrian fashion brand, Equetech can help you stay warm, stylish and just a little happier as we head into the depths of winter life with horses.

Want warm ears this winter? Yep, we hear you.

EQUINE Fashion

These Equetech Unisex Riding Ear Warmers are designed to fit any riding hat or helmet. A faux fur sheepskin lining protects your ears and neck. Machine washable. Colours: Black RRP: £15.95 The Equetech Reflect Soft-Shell Headband features a deep, cosy fleece lined headband with reflective poping and Equetech relfective print logo. Also includes a ponytail hole so you can look great and keep warm doing all those yard duties. And for those of you who love a knit. The Equetech Knit Headbands and matching snoods will keep you looking fabulous at the yard, walking the dogs or anywhere else life takes you this winter. Image shows Equetech Cable Twist Knit Headband: RRP: £9.95 Colours: Dragonfly, Ruby, Blackberry and matching Cable Knit Snood: RRP: £14.50 18

The Equetech Chalgrove Packable Jacket comes with its own drawstring bag for storage and is a lightweight Micro Bio-Down insulated shorter style jacket. Clever design details include vertical side quilting (to flatter your shape) storm flap, front pockets with secure zip fastening and the brand’s signature Bridles pattern to the lining. RRP: £99.95 Sizes: XS - 3XL Blackberry.


EE www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com




Pantone Color of theYEAR IBKÜL activewear

comes in the Pantone color of the year, Living Coral. You can be on trend and comfortable this riding season with IBKÜL; due to its extensive use of ground-breaking fabric technology, like icefil and Dryzone providing you with UPF 50 superior sun protection while keeping you cool outdoors.

3. 1.


EQUINE Fashion

IBKUL, is more than on trend, it also is the perfect activewear for warm weather as it has the ability to decreases your body temperature by 5 degrees as you move with Icefil technology and has UPF 50+ rating and fast drying moisturewicking fabric. You can work out, stay cool, protect your skin and look chic in the color of the year. IBKUL has your pantone fix for her and him. All items available on


4. 20


1. Caribbean Tiles Print Long Sleeve Mock Neck Top 2. Solid Long Sleeve Polo 3. Solid Crew Neck Top 4. Solid Mock Neck Top 5. Caribbean Tiles Print Short Sleeve Mock Neck Top ������������������������




ACCESSORIES to Love! Browsing the new Equetech Gift Collection might be difficult. With an extensive collection of gift ideas ranging from clothing, accessories and jewellery you might find yourself wanting more than you can give away!

For The Stylish Equestrian

The Equetech Snaffle Bit Bracelet, Ring & Necklace feature an eggbutt snaffle detail and are the perfect horsey gift for that special someone. Contemporary in design and finish. Prices start at RRP: £18.50. For the dressage diva’s that adore ‘matchy-matchy’ or that friend at the yard that always looks perfectly turned out, no matter what time of day, the Equetech Bridles Collection featuring coin purse, wash bag and make-up bag are under a tenner and will be priceless essentials that will get used. Equetech Bridles Oilcloth Coin Purse: RRP: £6.50, Equetech Bridles Oilcloth Washbag: RRP: £10.50 & Equetech Bridles Oilcloth Make-Up Bag: RRP: £8.95

The ‘Love My Horse’ collection is a cute addition for the horse lover. Styled in stainless steel, they’re available in a bracelet, key ring and necklace.

These sophisticated scarves are warm and stylish with their exclusive Equetech Bridle Print design. Equetech Check Infinity Scarf: RRP: £9.95


ARE YOU A VIP? International jewelery brand Sylvia Kerr Jewelery thinks so, which is why they have an exclusive club for you! The Sylvia Kerr Jewellery VIP Club is free to join and ensures that members get access to fantastic offers, great tips and advice and news on all the latest jewellery releases directly into your email inbox. And did we mention that subscribers also have the chance to win a £200 voucher to spend at Sylvia Kerr Jewellery Online? For beautiful equestrian and country inspired jewellery content and offers you’ll love: www.sylviakerrjewellery.com/vip-club 22



Hay Fever Farm, Robbinsville NJ

Owned and developed by US Olympic team and individual medalist Neal Shapiro and his wife, Mexican Olympic rider and Pan American medalist Elisa Fernandez Shapiro. Hay Fever Farm sits on 38+ acres with 2 residences, 3 barns, staff housing, a�ached indoor riding arena, outdoor riding arena, jumping field, hot walker, round pen, Horse Gym Treadmill, and numerous paddocks and fenced fields with run-in sheds. Conveniently located less than 5 miles to the NJ Horse Park and major New Jersey highways. Offered at $4,900,000. William Landesman C: 908-797-9424 O: 908-719-2500

homes@williamlandesman.com www.williamlandesman.com


Joanne Penso C: 732-771-3140 O: 732-946-9600

mpenso@aol.com www.joannepenso.com www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com



Henry Koehler His loyal following of collectors has included Ralph Lauren, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Paul Mellon, John Hay Whitney, President John Kennedy, the Duke of Beaufort, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, the Duchess of Cornwall, Senator Edward Kennedy, Mrs. George Baker, the Duchess of Windsor, the Bancroft Family, The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales. His works can be seen at the National Racing Museum in Saratoga and at the National Horse Racing Museum at Newmarket in Great Britain.

Five Diverse Saddles, 2009, Oil on canvas, 20 x 24”

The Prince of Wale’s Boot Jack & Boots, 1986, Oil on canvas, 14 x 11” Private Collection

Evening Scarlet, Hunterg Pink, 2005, Oil on canvas, 24 x 20”

Fisherman’s Kit, 2014, Oil on canvas, ,16 x 20” Private Collection

Wellington Place 13532 Fountain View Boulevard Wellington FL 33414, USA

845-505-1147 • 561-557-3747 chisholmgallery.com/henry-koehler www.ChisholmGallery.com 24

Beach Club Life Guards, 2013, Oil on canvas, 20 x 25”


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EE 25

Art & Antiques by Dr. Lori

Protecting your Collections


All of us have art, antiques, and collectibles that we have acquired over the years. No matter what family heirlooms we have or what antiques we like to collect, there are few things we should all know about our collections and protecting them. Here are some tips about donations, obtaining insurance, and tax implications. You want to make a donation? Here are some of the rules for making charitable donations according to the Internal Revenue Service. Before you make decisions about donations or financial matters, it is always wise to consult with a tax professional or accountant. This information should not be used in place of a consultation from a professional financial advisor or other expert in the field of tax preparation, accounting, etc. Tax Deductions You may receive a tax deduction for a donated item’s full value up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. If you donate a collection while you are still alive, you must be sure to make the donation properly. It is a little-known fact but in order to command the biggest tax deduction for your donation, your donation must be for related-use. What’s that? If you are gifting a work of art to an organization that is typically not in the business of displaying art, then your donation may not be considered related-use. So, you cannot get the full benefit for your donation if you donate your art to that charitable organization. But, if you donate your art to an organization or charity that displays art on a regular basis like a museum, then that is related-use and you can expect a higher tax deduction for your donation.


Donations are complex but insurance is pretty straightforward. The deal with insurance for your art, antiques, or collectibles is simple. If something you’ve collected is valuable—based on monetary or sentimental value—then, you’ve got to protect it with insurance. If you don’t insure it and something happens to it, you are out of luck. I think it is worth paying the premium to protect your valuables. Insurance How do you get insurance? You need a current appraisal of value for your collection which meets the standards set by the insurance industry. Accord-


ingly, personal property appraisals for art, antiques, and collectibles should be updated every 3-5 years. Insurance coverage should be considered for your valuable collections, fine art, collectible objects, books, antiques, couture, historic documents, jewelry, wines, spirits, etc. Today, the appraisal process can be started online with a photograph and some basic information or with a video chat conference using FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Google Duo, etc. Inheritance When it comes to inheritance and you are thinking about leaving your collection to an heir like children, grandchildren, or friends, then you need to know this new information. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 offers tax savings and changes to the inheritance laws. The new law doubles the estate tax exemption to $11.2 million for an individual ($22.4 million for a couple) and this will expire in 2025. Check in with your financial advisor and tax professional to see how this may impact your planning. Seasoned financial advisors tell their clients to collect those objects that are likely to appreciate the most in value. That’s good advice. But, do you know what items are most likely to increase or appreciate in value? History shows us that investing in fine art, antique furniture, historic documents, specialty wines and spirits, and jewelry will bring a good return on investment in most cases. Those types of items have historically maintained their value or increased in value over time. When it comes to protecting your collections, consider donations, insurance, and inheritance wisely. �������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������������������������




HIS & HERS Tom Durkin

The Voice of Horse Racing Says it All with L.A. Sokolowski, equinista What’s left to say about Tom Durkin? He was the voice of horse racing’s Triple Crown from 2000-2010, its Breeders’ Cup from 1984 to 2005 and -- for over two decades -- of Belmont and Saratoga race courses. He’s called over 80,000 races in the U.S. and Europe but he’s more than just a pretty voice (or collectible bobble head). A trained actor, he majored in theater at St. Norbert College (where he had the title role in Moliere’s Tartuffe), has had voice-over roles in St. Vincent with Bill Murray (2014), All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989) and Mighty Aphrodite (1995), and has twice appeared on stage with The Philadelphia Orchestra as narrator of The Horse. In addition to race calling for ESPN and NBC Sports, he has written, produced and presented feature segments, is a sought-after emcee and public speaker, and has been recognized with the Jockey Club Medal and Eclipse Award of Merit, induction in to the Hialeah Park Hall of Fame, and is a Thoroughbred Club of America Honoree. Yet the most coveted feather in a race caller’s cap eluded him: a Triple Crown champion. He retired just before American Pharoah won the first Triple Crown since Affirmed (1978). We ponied up with Tom at the National Museum of Racing, where he was looking back at his favorite (1990-2014) Belmont Stakes calls. HERS: What never got the chance to be included on your résume? HIS: I never had a chance to include, “Graduate, St. Norbert College.” But that changes on May 12 when I will receive my diploma 46 years late. I was two courses short of graduating when I started to work, and never got around to it until this semester. I’m getting two A’s. HERS: How old were you when you had your first paying job and what was it? HIS: 11 years-old. Paper boy.

HERS: What would the closest person in your life say if I asked them what one characteristic they totally dig about you and which one drives them insane? HIS: That I don’t take things too seriously and… that I don’t take things too seriously! HERS: If you worked outside the horse world what would you be doing? HIS: I’d be an actor.

EQUINE Lifestyle

HERS: On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you? HIS: I’m a five now. That’s down about three points over the HERS: Tell me something that’s true that almost nobody last few years. agrees with you on. HIS: People walking down the street with cell phones will HERS: Give me an example of when you solved a difficult eventually cause more deaths than disease. problem. HIS: Any time numbers are involved I’m in trouble. Spatial HERS: What was the last costume you wore? stuff I am good with. Geometry I’m good at and I’m very HIS: Santa Claus. good with language. But if I need to add, subtract, multiply or divide? That problem ain’t getting solved! HERS: Can you tell me about a time when you almost gave up, how you felt about that, and what you did instead of HERS: What’s your superpower or spirit animal? giving up? HIS: Gotta be my cat Jack, who died a few years back. He HIS: I almost gave up calling races on Breeders’ Cup Day comes to me in my dreams and speaks English (he’s a very 1986. I was a nervous wreck and had to work very hard to good speaker, for a cat). Sometimes what he says makes overcome my ‘stage fright.’ no sense, like the other night he asked me to get him a slice of vanilla cheesecake and a pulled pork sandwich. HERS: What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse? HERS: What’s your favorite quote? HIS: Get out my video of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and join HIS: Moderation is for people who lack commitment (I think the fun. that’s original). HERS: If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great 12 months it’s been, what do you hope you achieved? HIS: That I lost some weight to avoid a pretty serious surgery, and I graduated from college. And have made sure my friends and family remain a priority. HERS: What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? HIS: I know that my ceremonial espresso is gonna happen real soon.


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Cool the Barn... Ban the Bugs and Birds

www.KoolKurtains.com For Barns & Run-in Sheds

Deflects 80% of the sun’s heat rays www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com

Screens out insects and birds 29


quine Liens Explained Part II – Remedies

���������������������������� Much has been written about the right of a stablekeeper to a claim of lien against a horse in the stablekeeper’s care for the cost of care and maintenance of the horse. Some states, such as Florida, require possession of the horse and allow a lien only for “care and maintenance” expenses, while other states, such as Maryland, also allow a lien for the cost of “training.” Indeed, the proper scope of a state’s stablekeeper’s lien is a separate matter of discussion, found in a different article by this author, Part I, and does differ from state-to-state.

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�������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ����������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� �������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ����������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ����������������������������������������� ��������������������������� � ������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ����������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������� �������������������������� ����������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������


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The issue of credibility ��������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������� ����������������������� ����������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������� �������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������ �������� ���������������������������������������� �������������������� ������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ���������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������� ����������������� ������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������ 32

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Going through the gates of Fieracavalli 2018 in Verona Italy was very exciting. Visited by 160,000 enthusiasts from more than 60 countries, Fieracavalli is one of the most important equestrian events worldwide. In 2018 Elite Equestrian was selected by ITA (Italian Trade Agency) to be part of a foreign press and business delegation to the 120th edition of Fieracavalli, held October 25-28 at the Exhibition Centre in Verona, Italy. Since 1898, in Verona, the town of Romeo and Juliet, Fieracavalli has accompanied the evolution of the role of horses through the Italian history, from being working in the fields and pulling carts for transportation, to becoming trusted companion in sport, pet-therapy and outdoor life. Being born in and having lived in Italy for thirty years, this was not my first or only time at Fieracavalli, but this edition was definitely very impressive, and I was looking at the event with a different perspective than before. While the horses are the undisputed protagonists, with 2.400 subjects representing 60 breeds, the entire equestrian world is represented, thanks to a formula that combines breeding, sport and business, without forgetting tourism, entertainment and spectacular artistic performances. The organizing team provided a top of the line venue for every sector. The gates opened early every morning, with lines of horse lovers of every age, and even entire school classes, waiting to get in. 34

David Chavez and his team presented some spectacular Haute Ecole figures, with several horses.

In addition to the horse show, the organization also offered a large variety of the Italian traditional food and wine, allowing the visitors to take an interesting journey through the regional specialties of Italy, along with entertainment and live shows. Our delegation had people from China, Mongolia, Brazil and the U.S., ranging from business owners to TV reps and journalists, all with different perspectives, and all very impressed by what they experienced. I spent some time with Jessie Lochrie who represented Manhattan Saddlery, and Christy Weflen who owns St. Croix Saddlery and asked both of them how they felt about the event.


Rudy Bellini and his team performed an amazing number riding free horses.

A rider part of the Cossack saddle-back acrobatics troupe by Aragonas-Bartolo Messina.

Roro Castellana, a young teenager and already a star, performing Roman riding.

Continued... www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com


JESSIE LOCHRIE from Manhattan Saddlery, NY

FieraCavalli was absolutely wild, I was not at all prepared for the sheer scale of it! It was such a treat to have world-class competition, shopping, exhibitions, food, and a trade fair all in one place.

I was extremely impressed by the overall quality of the event...

it was surreal and amazing to wander right from a vendor booth filled with bu�ery leather goods into a 5* jumping competition. Verona is a beautiful town and the food and hospitality were impeccable everywhere we went.

Competition Areas: The competition ring and the warm up areas were always filled with riders and horses, that took part in the different shows during the four days of Fieracavalli 2018.

CHRISTY WEFLEN owner of St. Croix Saddlery, MN “I was absolutely blown away by the larger-than-life displays at the trade show portion of Fieracavalli. I’ve a�ended years of trade shows in the U.S., and

I’ve never seen anything like this! The sheer number of a�endees at this fair similarly stunned me! Rows of buses bearing school children arrived constantly, and the place was just packed with both industry buyers and public spectators. No ma�er the time of day or the height of the fences, the jumping competitions boasted full stands. All in all, this was a great experience, and one I would recommend trying whenever you get the chance!”

Given the amplitude of every area of Fieracavalli, it would have been easy to get absorbed in any one of the aspects, and not see the whole spectrum, but ITA did an incredible work at taking us through the event by organizing a schedule that gave us the chance to have a comprehensive view in just two days.

The Zebrallo, from Lancellotti Ranch was being displayed to the public in between his performances in the outdoor ring.

a mare. The first Zebrallo was bred in the1800, by the Boers. The idea was to obtain a strong, and muscular animal, to be mainly used for the transport of weapons, and food during the wars with England. The Zebrallo present at the event was being ridden and shown in its own performance in one of the outdoor areas.

In the evening there were several competitions and the The trade show area had representatives from the best brands of equestrian articles and apparel, technical equip- Gold Gala, which was very impressive. It had many differment, veterinary items, horse feed, trailers and barn equip- ent artists that contributed to its success. ment. The Fieracavalli was arranged over an area of about 120,000 square meters and offered a really varied program Fieracavalli has a big, sporting heart, involving all different for this year: disciplines and athletes from all over the world. During the • Hall 1: Equestrian Tourism, where visitors have the chance four days the calendar included one of the events of the to plan and book horseback vacations in Italy and abroad, LONGINES FEI JUMPING WORLD CUP, the FIERACAVALLI and Children’s Village with recreational and educational 120 BY 120 GRAND PRIX, the WESTERN SHOW (barrel racinitiatives for children ing, pole bending, team penning and reining), Dressage • Hall 2: Arabian Horse, with morphological and equestrian competitions, the Italian Young Riders and Pony national competitions and numerous morphological competitions in competitions • Hall 3: Italian saddle horse, with free Jumping, Obedithe different breed pavilions. ence and Gait and Morpho-Aptitudinal Circuit. • Hall 4: Trade Show Area. A large area dedicated to Along with some rare breeds there was a surprise, the Zebrallo or “Zorse”, which is the hybrid born from the crossing showcase international brands of riding equipment, veteribetween a horse and a zebra, generally a male zebra and nary products, technical items, horse nutrition and accessories for riding schools and stables 36


Vincent Liberator, known as a master for working at liberty with horses, presented a performance with eight Iberian horses.

The show opened with the Mounted Fanfare of the state Police, directed by Silverio Mariani.

The Children’s Village was a popular destination.

Vaulting Lesson in the children’s village. Hall 10 was dedicated to morphological and attitudinal breed shows.

• Hall 5: Italian equitation competitions, for young and pony riders • Hall 6: Commercial Area with 12,000 square meters of shopping, with more than 300 stands, great offers and unique international and Made in Italy products. • Hall 7: Jumping Practice Area • Hall 8: Competition Area for Jumping and Gala d’Oro ‘Anniversary’ evening show • Hall 9: Iberian Horse, Friesian Horse competitions and entertainment, and Horse Training with top experts in the field of natural horsemanship • Hall 10: Biodiversity of Italian Breeds, with over 30 breeds and the traditions that shaped them • Hall 11 and 12: Western Show showcasing American riding competitions, country atmosphere and dancing OUTDOOR AREAS: The A Area hosts a ring to watch clinics, horse and rider performances, and the Family Area, with activities for children. The B Area is dedicated to the art of horseshoeing. The C and D Areas host gastronomical stands from the Italian regions.

A rider in one of the competition areas.

Horses and people were intermixed, in the areas immediately adjacent the outdoor performance rings, while the riders were waiting to perform their events. At the center of this picture there are some Butteri, the Italian cowboys originally from Tuscany.


EE 37






GGT Footing™ Makes the Difference

For over 23 years

Photo courtesy of Longwood Arenas

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Pleasure Dressage Jumping (Elastic)

90% Geo, 10% 85% Geo, 15% 70% Geo, 20% 10% Elastic 70% Geo, 30% 50% Geo, 50%

Jumping Competition


Fiber Fiber Fiber, Fiber Fiber

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Explanation of textile and sand footings: Equestrian Footing comes in many forms. This page will describe the lower performance textiles first and then move onto the more popular and technical products that we see in the industry today. At the low performance and cost there used to be footing material made from wood chips which are made usually from waste from a lumber mill or recycled pallets. they are considerably cheaper but completely inferior to what is now available. One of the reasons why we consider them to be inferior is because their low level of grip makes for slippery arenas and the product easily biodegrades and can be displaced easily from the arena. We do not see too many wooden chip situations in the country currently

As used in the Kentucky Horse Park and Menlo Charity Horse Show

Several years ago, prior to the new additive such as German geo-textile there was a low performance lower cost product which is rubber pieces. The rubber pieces are usually made of various rubber piece sizes and have other materials attached such as fabric backing. Recycled rubber pieces from recycled tires offer a cheap method of offering some shock absorbency, however rubber contributes very little cohesion otherwise known as sheer strength and these products can also feel slippery and lack support on cornering jumping and landing. Many times, we see carpet that is inexpensive and is a recycled by- product usually pulled off hotel rooms and after testing, we have found that most of the carpet that has been recycled is loaded with streptococcus and E. coli bacterium One of the biggest concerns with Carpet not only the germs involved with recycling product, but the shredded carpet usually has carpet backing on it which does not allow the carpet fiber to knit together. It’s also important to note that fiber additives are purchased by weight and some additives with carpet or loaded down with the backing or a plastic that offer no advantage in the form of improvement to cohesion of the sand, so you are paying for weight of a product that cannot help your arena. In this scenario where carpet has been used with the rubber backing you would need to use four times as much as that additive when compared to lose fibers Like our GGTFooting fibers that are used in our many different blends. Also, Carpet is designed for the yarn and fibers to stay together by twisting and setting, this is not what you want for Arena footing although it does work well when you were laying down a carpet in the home.

We now carry a line of virgin rubber flooring to be used in wash stall area flooring in barns. GGT Footing has teamed up with a large German manufacturer of virgin rubber products. We now offer rubber flooring for wash stalls, aisleways and paths to the barn. GGT Footing is still offering the Butterfly matting system for those who would like to offer alternative to gravel and stone as their base material. We have had excellent success with this product at private farms and at the Kentucky Horse Park. Please like our Facebook page, Instagram and twitter! Call 864-804-0011 for further information and please check our website www.ggtfooting.com

GGT -FOOTING™ GGT FOOTING prides itself on using remnant, not recycled. So, virgin only products in our mixtures. We use only polyester as this does not break down and has proven to provide the best footing to date. This process has helped us with quality control and make sure that you get the most durable product available. Our fibers have a high denier class as well as UV ratings. SAND The key to a good arena is the sand!! Many times, people make the mistake of settling for an inferior sand and then suffering the consequences later. High quality silica sand falling within specific ranges of sieve analysis is what we use for our arenas. The issue with a high clay-based sand mixture is that overtime the clay will lock up when watered and become as hard as cement. We will be recommending a high-quality Silica sand that has proven itself to be durable and will bond perfectly with our GGT- FOOTING high-quality textiles and fiber content In the United States we have arenas that are 10 years old and in Europe we have arena’s that are over 20 years old. MAINTENANCE It is important that once you’ve made the investment of purchasing new footing that you continue with a maintenance program where the Arena builder will come in once a year and assess your arena, most likely re-grade the arena and check that your arena maintenance products are set to the proper depth as well as noticing if you need anything else to maintain the high quality investment. With any type of textiles, it is important to maintain enough water level. Your arena should be kept at a high moisture content like walking along the edge of the beach where the tide comes in and hits the sand. This is not only beneficial to keep the textiles mixed but it provides the appropriate cushion and support for horse’s ligaments where they are riding on top of the footing and not sinking in to dry sand it gives way and can cause ligament damage. We are happy to provide more info, but I think this should be enough for an education discussion and to help make an informed decision on the proper sand and textiles to provide your facility with first class Footing.

EE www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com


Two Worlds Together Dressage Summit 2019 The prerequisite for horse and rider to have fun together in equestrian sports and for a long-lasting willingness to perform in competitive sports is their physical and mental wellbeing. Classical Dressage experts have spent decades developing the physical gymnastic elements of training. Parelli Natural Horsemanship has decades of experience in the mental-emotional aspects of training. The Two Worlds Together Dressage Summit 2019 will bring together leading experts in Classical Dressage training and Parelli Natural Horsemanship to present thought-provoking discussions and demonstrations on how they can converge to enhance the training of the happy and healthy Dressage horse. Four international horse experts in the fields of understanding the horse from both a physical perspective, as well as a mental and emotional one, share their knowledge on how to develop a more mentally, emotionally and physically fit equine athlete. Christoph Hess (FEI “I” Judge in both Dressage and Eventing, trainer), Luis Lucio (Olympic rider, coach, FEI Dressage Committee Trainers Delegate, Chef d’quip of the Spanish Riding Team, 18 years of Parelli), Pat Parelli (Internationally renowned Equine Psychologist Expert) and Linda Parelli (Equine Psychologist Expert and Dressage rider) present their training methods and philosophies, and discuss how each empowers the other as the Two Worlds come together for the benefit of the horse. The message of using psychology and understanding is stronger today than ever. Sports psychology has taken human athletic performance to new heights. The Dressage Summit will demonstrate how these concepts can develop the equine athlete and bring out the best in them. According to the USEF Rule Book, the Object and General Principles of Dressage calls for “the development of the horse into a happy athlete through harmonious education. As a result, it makes the horse calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with the rider.”

“Horses are truly wonderful animals, and they deserve a world in which the best parts of both Parelli Natural Horsemanship and Classical Dressage are showcased. We can learn from one another; we can learn from different ways to school horses, how to train horses, how to interact with horses. Ultimately it comes down to doing what is best for the horse. Doing what we need to do to make the horse relaxed, happy, and willing to work with us,” Christoph Hess. Some of the topics covered include: • How training sessions can develop the Dressage horse’s mental, emotional and physical fitness by combining Dressage and Horse Psychology. • What is important to horses, how they think, how they learn, what motivates them and above all what they need to be happy. • The way to a calmer, more connected, responsive, supple and successful horse. • The difference between psychology and mechanics • How to solve tension problems • The key to achieving real harmony • How to solve spooking behavior

Experience how the classical training of horses and the principles of natural horsemanship can be of mutual benefit to one another. The Two Worlds Together Dressage Summit will be held on March 1-3, 2019 at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Florida. The event is presented by Parelli. www.flhorsepark.com

NEW DRESSAGE TESTS 2019 The new dressage tests for 2019 are here, which has dressage riders who compete learning their new moves. STRIDE, a GMO (Group Member Organization) held a clinic this past December in Ocala, Florida. The two day clinic featured demo riders at each level highlighting entire tests and specific movements. Ride a Tests were held on Day 2. Auditors were free to ask questions, and there was a lot of note taking at this well a�ended clinic. The clinician was Natalie Lamping (seen at right), (S Judge) and member of the L Faculty. Check with your local GMO for clinics in your area, or visit USDF.org for more information on educational opportunities.




Outdoor Seating Coming Soon




cala Jockey Club International Day



Great weather and friendly crowds welcomed the third annual event this past November, 2018. The rolling hills, well managed grounds, proximity to the interstate, and a terrific infrastructure make OJC a favorite venue for competitors and spectators alike.


COMPETITORS Party Tom Brinkmann- Audi of GainesvillePlatinum Sponsor, Clayton Fredericks- Cross Country Course Designer, OJC owners- Pavla and Erik Nygaard Valerie and Hugh Dailey Showcase PropertiesSilver Sponsor

Roy Mottie and his brother, Maiko Mottie of Horseboxes USABronze Sponsor

Cynthia Brewster-Keating GGT Footing- Segment Sponsor (L) and Melody Taylor Scott John and TaraThorman, Digital Savvy

Kristin Heinkel and Maeva Bortolaso of Devoucoux, Supporting Sponsors

Clayton Fredericks, Louisa Barton of CEP and Tom Brinkmann

Tik Maynard did a fabulous horsemanship demonstration. Read more on the next page.

www.OJC3de.com www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com

EE 45

2018 Thoroughbred Makeover Winner Performs Demo at OJC 3 Day

Tik Maynard performed a demonstration at the Ocala Jockey Club International 3 Day in November. He brought two horses, Vasiliev, owned by the Vasiliev Syndicate, competed in the one star. Looking My Way, (barn name Mason) was featured in his demonstration. He is owned by Penny Hallman of Merry Legs Farm in NY. Tik won the freestyle at the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover, held at the Kentucky Horse Park, with Mason. He did a routine at the OJC similar to what he did for the Thoroughbred Makeover competition. Mason stayed with him at all gaits with no bridle and also laid down. Tik explained what horsemanship means, and expressed it’s importance in not only riding, but interacting with a horse on the ground. Tik’s book explaining about horsemanship, In The Middle Are The Horsemen, is available from Trafalgar Square Books, and Tik happily signed autographs for fans following his demonstration.

From Trafalgar Square Books www.horseandriderbooks.com www.TikMaynard.com


Jewelry Design Released by Jane Heart He was undefeated as a racehorse. He’s the 2018 Triple Crown Champion. Now, Justify is represented as the latest licensed jewelry design from Jane Heart LLC! His image has been brought to life in handcrafted sterling silver both on a star and winner’s circle disc with all of Jane Heart’s customary attention to detail. “I was thrilled to be one of the first to visit Justify at WinStar Farm shortly after his retirement. I was in awe of him and emotional in his presence. He was every bit as handsome and charismatic in person as I’d hoped, and it’s my great pleasure to bring this new design to his legions of fans,” said Jane Heart, who has been manufacturing and marketing equestrian jewelry since 1994. “I believe it captures his amazing presence and personality. I am grateful to Justify’s team of owners for granting me the honor of producing licensed jewelry!” A portion of the proceeds from sales of Justify jewelry will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund. The pendants are the newest in a succession of unique pieces created by Jane Heart to benefit other noteworthy racehorses and charities, such as the Secretariat Foundation (Secretariat), The Fund for Laminitis Research (Barbaro), the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation (Man o’ War), and Old Friends (American Pharoah).

turned out to be his final outing, the Belmont Stakes, Justify took the lead from the beginning and ran home See our ad in front to complete page 23 the American Triple Crown. Thoroughbred racing fans around the world celebrated his incredible feat, never dreaming that so soon after American Pharoah’s effort in 2015 that they would be blessed with another Triple Crown winner. Justify is now retired to stud at Ashford Stud farm in Lexington, KY and continues to delight his visitors and fans.

To see the Justify jewelry, please go to: www.horsejewelry.com or www.janeheart.com. Justify burst onto the racing scene in early 2018 without having run a single ������������������������������������������������������������������������ race as two-year-old. He won his maiden outing at Saratoga and didn’t look ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� back, sweeping through his Kentucky Derby prep races with such consum��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� mate ease that caused racing fans and the media to take notice. The rest of ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� the Derby contenders proved to be no match for the big chestnut colt and he Continued... ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Elite Equestrian does not endorse or confirm content suggestions in any articles. continued to thrill the crowds with his win in the Preakness Stakes. For what E EE �����������������������������������������������������������������






A few facts:

According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index, major depression “is the second most impactful condition on overall health for commercially insured Americans, second to hypertension (high blood pressure).” That’s 9 million people.

What’s the solution?


For Rev. Lynne Phipps, it’s interactive equine therapy. “I started figuring out that horses help people heal,” she said. “I’ve been a life-long equestrian, but about five years ago, with one horse in particular, [I recognized] what he was doing for me.”

Phipps said that her own experiences, coupled with how she’d observed how horses benefited others, made her realize that more people needed access to horses and the therapeutic help they offer. Enter Beachwood Center for Wellbeing, a company that exists on a seaside farm in Wakefield for the past two years. Phipps and Beachwood’s methods are so uniquely successful that they’ve garnered the attention of Brown University, which began an evaluation of the organization’s therapeutic approach in January. In fact, researchers haven written Phipps: “Early examination of the data shows consistent decreases in depression, anxiety and stress scores. Patients are also reporting improvements in their subjective sense of well-being.” But what is that process? Phipps explained: Clients come to Beachwood typically dealing with anxiety, depression, PTSD and other health issues. Over seven, one-and-halfhour sessions, clients join one of Beachwood’s five horses and a trained therapist out on the Beachwood farm. There, they begin interacting with the horse from the ground — no riding.

Essentially, horses cut through projection and get to the heart of the matter.

The equine therapists are trained to work with both horses and people, and as such, the horse’s reaction to the client guides how the therapist leads the session.

And it’s a therapy that works, Phipps added. How? The time with the horses reprograms or rebuilds the neural pathways — mental and nervous connections between learned information — that trauma has scrambled or broken, restoring clients to health.

“There’s not much talking at all,” Phipps said. “Once a horse and human are connected, I can see what’s going on with the human through the behaviors of the horse. … Oftentimes, people don’t know what’s wrong, but [the horse] knows what’s wrong.”


Phipps explains further. “The horse’s responses are quite subtle,” she said. “They move closer or farther away; they create safe space for themselves and for the clients to feel and react, which is why it’s not judgmental. There’s no shame, because [the horse’s physical reactions] not so literal or obvious like seeing our own behavior reflected back at us.”


“Horses,” Phipps continued, “are objective readers of people, as they must accurately observe their environment to survive as a prey animal.” “They’re constantly aware of who’s around them,” Phipps said. And, unlike dogs or other pets, horses don’t rely on the direct influence of the people they interact with to take care of them — and as such, don’t mirror the surface moods of their caretakers.

“If you’re anxious, if you’re worried, they’ll show you that you’re worried,” Phipps said. “It shows up in a really kind, gentle, wonderful way; there’s no judgement. It’s the most judgement-free space in the world.”

Phipps told me story after story of clients coming in and experiencing freedom and recovery after their sessions with the horses. There’s the client who’d long suffered from fibromyalgia who was able to leave her therapy pain-free; a young adult with severe anxiety and panic attacks who was able to get out of bed, go to school with peace and ultimately graduate; and one patient’s mother said her daughter had improved more in the five days she’d spent with the horses than a month at a large medical center in New York. These are not the center’s only successes, and they span age and gender. “What the therapists are trained to do is create a safe space to go to those places and get in touch with your highest self, the person you are at the core of your being – and then become that person,” Phipps said. “People oftentimes come to us who aren’t horse people, [saying], ‘I’m scared of horses, why horses? all of those things.”





Horses are objective readers of people

When they leave, their tune has changed, with clients telling Phipps, “I had no idea this was possible, I had no idea what I would find inside myself.”

Additionally, the Beachwood team is working on a specific program catered to students suffering from extreme depression in the sixth- through twelfth grades.

Brown isn’t the only organization taking notice of the company’s successes. Beachwood has partnered with Venture for America, the Social Enterprise Greenhouse, The Providence Center and Ocean State Job Lot, which was so impressed with Beachwood’s work that they set up a program for employees and their families. Additionally, Beachwood was named one of the state’s “Coolest Companies” by Rhode Island Inno.

“We have developed the program but we need the funding to get off the ground,” she said. “We’re working on that now.” Editor’s Note: Courtney Gabrielson wrote the original story for Rhode Island Inno an original story

Beachwood wants to continue this trajectory of healing. Originally bootstrapped, the company is now operating under a nonprofit model and looking to train additional therapists and acquire more locations. It’s a logical step, as the organization already has many out-of-state clients fly in to Rhode Island for treatment. But one of Beachwood’s most immediate concerns is continuing to provide opportunity for free therapy, as this type of service is rarely covered under health insurance. It’s something the organization is committed to, boasting a rate of 44 percent of services provided free of charge to those in need. 50







EquiMedic USA www.equimedic.com




SENIOR HORSE PHYSIOLOGY �������������������������������� Not too long ago, in some breed registries, it was an automatic “assumed dead and remove from registry” standard when a horse reached the age of 25. To reinstate your senior horse back into the registry, it was a compilation of paperwork and pictures proving the horse’s existence. At that time, senior horses over 20 were far and few between. Now, research indicates that senior horses make up to 17% of the entire equine population. Not just a few anymore.




Seniors relaxing

It is generally accepted that the aging process begins to show signs after the 18-20 year mark. It includes, changes in eye sight, skin, bones, internal organ functioning, mobility, hormonal functions, thermoregulation, digestion, and immune function to name a few. Luckily, for the horse, it is mostly a slow process. However, in some instances, the aging process can be easily overlooked by the owner. In the wild, a less than spry horse is generally singled out by a predator and the rule of nature presides. In captivity, this is eliminated and it is up to the human to oversee the process. Only in the past 20 years or so has research been done to study senior horses as a group.


As in other mammals, eyesight and perception can diminish with age. Cataracts, corneal scars from past injuries and changes in the internal eye itself (behind the cornea) can present from ghost like figures, blank areas where blackness is observed and up to total blindness. Since the horse is a flight animal (as compared to a predator), vision problems can easily lead to the horse being unsure, hesitant, stressed and can even result in negative behavioral problems. With age, the heart loses some of its function ability, therefore decreasing the horses ability to thermoregulate. Basically, the heart has to work harder in order to get blood to the internal organs as well as the skin. Both heat and cold conditions are not met with full capacity. Drastic temperature changes and weather conditions cannot be easily handled by an aging horse. Fiber production in the hindgut produces heat. If there is a reduction in processed fiber, there is a lessened ability to produce warmth. Fat (used as insulation) reduction covering the body allows for the increase of cold sensitivity. Hormone production may also be altered which in turn regulates the body’s ability to adjust to heat and cold. The effectiveness of the intestine to allow nutrients to pass through and be absorbed decreases with age. Research indicates that absorption of phosphorus, protein and vitamins are majorly decreased in the aging process. Additionally, production of the enzymes necessary for the digestion 52

of starch are decreased allowing for a buildup of starch in the hindgut. Due to the fermentation process, the hindgut may become more acidic which can then lead to laminitis and colic. Another factor in the aging process is the connection between the teeth and food processing. As the horse ages, so does the tooth structure, gums and a host of other dental problems If the teeth fail to thoroughly chew, the size of the food particles are too large for the gut to handle thus resulting in undigested food. Additionally, tooth problems also make the horse more prone to choke. The amount of saliva put forth for chewing is directly related to how long chewing is performed. Tooth problems shorten that chewing length significantly. Without thorough mastication, food can get trapped in the esophagus because of the decrease in lubrication (saliva). Some of the aging changes are listed below.



Arthritis Anemia Dementia Hyperinsulinemia Decrease digestibility of food Inability for nutrient absorption Decrease in intestinal mobility Decrease in liver and kidney function Increase in common geriatric tumors (e.g. thyroid, melanoma, mesenteric, and pituitary) Immunological inefficiency Respiratory inefficiency Exercise is important in the aging process. Exercise can actually slow down the aging process of many systems. Not Olympic training exercise, but moderate activity has proven to extend a horse’ s useful life. System slow down can result from insufficiencies. For example, the heart (a muscle) needs to pump efficiently in order to supply oxygen to





organs and tissues as well as transport the carbon dioxide from them. This affects every part of the body. A slowdown of one organ, directly results in many other cascading insufficiencies. Any delay in a slowdown occurring is a win win.


Senior horses do not handle environmental changes well at all. Relocation from one farm to another as well as from one field to another is extremely stressful. It means changes in the surroundings (which cannot be seen as well due to failing eyesight), changes in pasture mates (which results in changes in the pecking order), changes in pasture grasses and water, climate changes etc. all of which is extremely stressful. Drastic climate changes can stress frail lungs and arthritis flare-ups. Basically, older horses do best in everyday sameness and routine. Stress is detrimental to every system and should be avoided when possible. It is easily overlooked until clinical signs present themselves. Watch behavior and observe what goes on in your horses surroundings. You can limit the stress in many instances.


Disease and disorders definitely challenge the geriatric horse. Weight loss due to partial system failures, heightened allergies, adrenal gland shrinkage, Cushing’s syndrome and a host of other conditions all become common in aging horses. The immune system does not respond as it once did thus making a simple illness easily transformed into a major life threatening condition. Make sure you discuss with your veterinarian disease prevention and vaccinations needed.

This 37 year old is enjoying life.

SUMMARY As we become more aware of aging horse problems, they have a much better chance of making it into their “golden years”. But it takes designated care and proper geriatric nutrition to make that happen. It is going to take effort, change in care and routine, environmental awareness, and dietary management to be successful. Talk to your veterinarian and get him/her actively involved, do your own reading research and most of all, be aware of changes in your horses behavior and condition. Don’t procrastinate, do something positive for your horse’s eldercare.

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Equine Hospital 24/7 Emergency Care

Our large animal doctors are also available Mon-Fri for routine on-site or in hospital calls.


2250 N. Old Bethlehem Pike, Quakertown, PA 18951

www.quakertownvetclinic.com 54


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Phantom Brook Farm offers assisted veterinary care/convalescent services as directed by your own veterinarian and performed by a certified veterinary technician. Those services include but are not limited to: • Wound care • Foaling and mare care • Hand walking • Leg injuries • Clinical lab test performed on site

• Medication dosing • Ice water system therapy • Postoperative care • Lay-ups • Eye treatments • In-stall camera monitoring

Owner operated, we offer 24-hour coverage of your horse in a secure and safe environment. We also offer retirement plans for elderly or compromised horses.

Let us make a difference with your horse. Joe and Marilyn Heath, CVT, MS 203 Washburn Ave. Washington, NJ 07882 (908) 689-4428 www.phantombrookfarm.com pbfarm@comcast.net

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triving for Excellence with Marcus Fyffe Dressage and KEP Italia Partnership ����������������

Since its inception in 2007, KEP Italia has focused on producing the safest and most innovative helmets on the market. Olympian David Marcus and international Grand Prix athlete Nicholas Fyffe of Marcus Fyffe Dressage are proud to partner with the strong brand of KEP Italia, which offers the most stunning and dynamic helmets in the world using only the best materials and technology available to give riders confidence in the saddle.

Canada’s Marcus and Australia’s Fyffe met in Wellington, Florida, eight years ago, and after many seasons of traveling to train and compete in the winter hub of dressage, they decided to base their business year-round in sunny Florida. The couple married in November 2015 and merged their two successful dressage businesses to create a powerhouse training operation, Marcus Fyffe Dressage. No strangers to international competition, Marcus competed in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, aboard Chrevi’s Capital, a Danish Warmblood gelding. The pair also qualified for the World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, in addition to representing Canada on multiple Nations Cup teams and winning many Grand Prix CDIs, namely Dressage at Devon and at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Fyffe, also a well-known competitor in the CDI ring, helped his home country of Australia win gold at the 2007 Tri-Nations Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has ridden on five Nations Cup teams in Wellington. Most recently, Fyffe helped Australia make history by clinching the team bronze medal at the 2018 CDIO3* Nations Cup. He also claimed an individual bronze medal in the Intermediate I Freestyle aboard Louise Cote’s Hitchcock. Fyffe has trained and shown six horses to Grand Prix, one being his PRE stallion Fiero HGF, who won the Adequan/USDF United States P.R.E. All Breeds Grand Prix Award in 2016.

TRAINING & Showing

Together, Marcus and Fyffe offer year-round training at the world-class facility of Stillpoint Farm. Their joint effort allows them to give their clients reliable, uninterrupted support while also pursuing their individual competitive goals of representing their countries at major championships. In addition to being successful competitors, they are also highly sought after clinicians, traveling North American to lead symposiums when they are not home in Wellington. Marcus and Fyffe share the same vision of positive, progressive development for horse and rider, yet each offers a fresh perspective drawn from their varied experiences in the sport. “We both have very similar goals with our own riding and in the way we want to develop our riders and our business, yet our backgrounds are both quite diverse,” Fyffe said. “If there is any issue with a particular rider or horse, one of us has probably dealt with this issue prior and feels confident working through it.” Marcus and Fyffe hold the equipment that they utilize for both themselves and their horses to the highest standard as they work towards excellence in and out of the show ring. Their attention to detail as well as their consistent support of their students through high standards, not only in training, but also in the care of their horses, successfully sets them apart in the industry. Marcus Fyffe Dressage trains many horses each day, making durability, comfort and safety paramount for the head protection they choose to wear from sunrise to sunset. With this in mind, KEP Italia’s products perfectly aligned with the everyday needs of Marcus and Fyffe, making them a perfect fit for a partnership.



Nicholas Fyffe on Diozar photo by Annan Hepner

Continued... www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com

David Marcus and Binjora photo by MA Brakenridge 57

David Marcus and Chrevis Capital High photo by MA Brakenridge

“We have been riding in helmets exclusively on every horse for many years now,” Marcus said. “To add a helmet sponsor to our sponsorship list was a great next step for us. It is an important part of what we do and our business. We really look for the highest quality companies and brands to partner with, as well as the best products, and we really feel that KEP is just that.” KEP Italia’s founder Lelia Polini launched the company more than a decade ago with experienced collaborators, ready to bring heightened passion and innovation to the industry with their dynamic ideas and designs. The company’s unique approach to helmets has been well received in the equestrian world and helps them stand out from the competition. “We worked in collaboration with companies in the equestrian sector for many years, but I felt the need to look further in terms of safety and style,” Polini said. “We wanted to design something more innovative in order to offer the best to riders of all levels and disciplines. Safety, comfort, lightness and technical performance have always been our objectives.” “Their success speaks for itself and we are proud that David, one of the most well-respected Olympic athletes in North America, and Nicholas, a very successful international athlete, have chosen to be protected by KEP Italia,” she continued. “Their choice to wear KEP Italia confirms once again how the best riders and trainers choose our helmets to have the best safety while on horseback.” KEP Italia takes great pride in its “Made in Italy” label, sourcing all of its top-quality materials from its home country and constructing the helmets with the utmost care and attention to detail. Each helmet is traceable and subject to inspections by five different international safety certification bodies.

David Marcus and Dean Martin photo by Annan Hepner

“We are proud to work with Marcus Fyffe Dressage as we share the same core values,” she said. “The care for horses and personalized training plans for riders symbolize a constant search for the highest quality that matches our goal to give riders the safest helmet ever.” “We take pride in only working with brands that we believe in because every detail counts to enhance performance for both the horse and rider. Our sponsors play such a vital role in our success and we’re thrilled to add KEP Italia to our sponsorship team of top companies,” Fyffe explained. “Not only because of the beautiful Italian design of the helmets and the endless options to customize how they look, but because the KEP Italia helmets are the safest in the market. Style is important but safety is paramount.”

EE 58





NEW Breed of

Horse Trainer


As a lifelong equestrian, horse trainers are a group of people near and dear to my heart. Over the years they have been some of my closest friends, confidantes, employers, and cared for my most prized possession- my horse. As I grew older and entered the business world- it made me a little sad to realize that most horse trainers are barely getting by financially. Why is it so hard to be commercially successful as a horse trainer? Why do you have to give everything away? Is there a solution? These are questions that I asked myself. And the answers started to come. The reasons why it is financially difficult to make it as a horse trainer go on and on. The overhead is through the roof. The client pool is generally limited to the top 1% of the 1% AND who are in a close geographic proximity to you. That’s not a lot of people. And when it comes to finding a facility- you are usually forced to pick two of the three from the below list: A. attractive to train out of, B. close enough to a decent urban population C. inexpensive

TRAINING & Showing

Competition between other local trainers can be intense. There is a weird unspoken rule that you cannot “solicit other people’s clients.” As if clients are property that belong to one trainer or another. You are generally always trading time for money- most horse trainers don’t know how to really charge for the value they create, and only for the time that they spend. And in general- client’s want to ride on the weekends and on holidays- so most trainer’s end up working just about 7 days a week and in some cases almost 365 days a year. It is a tough life There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many horses a trainer can ride and a limited amount of lessons that can be taught. Sure, you can give group lessons, hire assistants, but that only compresses margins further and the quality inevitably starts to come down. Many trainers hit a hard ceiling somewhere around only 10-25 clients before they feel like they are at full capacity. I think it’s also challenging for horse trainers because they spend SO much time with their clients. A side effect is that trainers usually end up becoming close friends with their clients. And in general- a trainer’s clients are in a higher tax bracket. Trainers can become drained even more financially by subconsciously trying to keep up with their client/friends financially. But most trainers will also


experience the inevitable heartbreaking reminder when their client/friend announces that they are moving to train with the local ‘frenemy’ down the street, and they are reminded that these are not their friends. They are clients. And this is supposed to be a professional relationship. I take my hat off to any trainer that has succeeded in this industry, and no doubt brought a lot of joy and unforgettable moments to their clients and dedicated so much of their life to caring for our animal friends. Therefore, I would love to see more great horse trainers make great money... and get their weekends back. For most trainers, that sounds crazy and too good to be true. But there is a small group of trainers that have figured out business models that scale beyond 25 clients. Trainers need to find a way to “productize” and supplement their core business

Trainers need to supplement their core business model with something that scales and still delivers an impact. model with something that scales and still delivers an impact. I have found that while there is no substitute for face to face riding lessons, there is a huge demand for quality online courses that today’s technology makes increasingly easier to implement. Online courses can complement what a trainer is already doing, and also provide their knowledge and expertise to a wider audience at a fraction of the price. The trainers who have successfully implemented this into their business know that they scale much better than the traditional model and can still have a profound impact on their clients.


One thing that I have been marinating on is that there are only approximately 100,000 USEF members, but approximately 2,000,000+ horses in the United States alone. There is a huge market and opportunity out there if you can look beyond the traditional tiny pond most trainers are focused on. Here are some tips to get started and test the waters. 1. Go low tech or no tech in the beginning and make it live and interactive. Just focus on understanding a handful of horse people, and over delivering. Could be as simple as a private Facebook® group. 2. Be open minded about what your course will be about. Allow the demand to pull you where you need to go. Don’t assume you know what you will be teaching and building- rather understand what your clients are struggling with and then build a custom solution. 3. Invest and lean into understanding new technology and concepts. It is tempting to ignore the new developments around you- but it really is not THAT hard to figure out new software, concepts and apps. With proper use they can make a huge difference in your business, for your clients, and ultimately for your horses. 4. Remember that your prospective clients need to find you, and a search online is not always effective. Print is the best way to drive people to your web site or Facebook® page. People need to see your name or business name multiple times in multiple places for name recognition, branding and credibility. Everyone knows the national fast food and soft drink companies, and they still promote themselves. I think that there is incredible opportunity in the horse industry- especially for those who embrace technology, stay open-minded, and remember to always do the right thing for the horse.

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Jumping Ahead of the Competition!

A properly fitting saddle is key to your horse’s back health!

Saddle Fit and Jumping Saddles

By Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE ©2018 Saddlefit 4 Life ® All Rights Reserved


Is it just as important to ensure that my jumping saddle fits as well as my dressage saddle? I don’t really ‘sit’ in it like my dressage saddle - does fit really matter that much?


The art and science of saddle fit has become part of the consciousness of the importance of truly caring for your horse; of really working together with every equine professional who is part of the “circle of influence” around horse and rider. Traditionally however, it has been dressage riders and endurance riders who have been the most concerned with having a properly fitting saddle, because these are the disciplines where it seems to really matter how comfortable the horse (and rider) are – because otherwise performance can be visibly impacted.

TRAINING & Showing

The design of jumping saddles has been primarily dictated by a certain ‘look’ that especially hunters want to achieve; in the past little attention has been paid to a) whether these saddles actually are ‘anatomically correct’ for the rider and b) whether they actually fit the horse. If you look closely at pretty much any jumping saddle, you will discover that they all generally have very narrow gullet channels and non-adjustable panels made of felt or wool. The paradox is that the ‘close contact’ the rider wants to achieve becomes pretty much non-existent after keyhole rubber pads and other saddle pads are added. Very rarely will you find a truly adjustable jumping saddle that can be fitted in the flocking as well as adjusted in the tree width and angle to accommodate the shoulder angle and necessary room all around the withers. Hunter/jumper saddles are usually placed pretty far forward on the horse’s back – which is good, because you generally do want to sit as close to the withers as possible as this is where the horse’s back ‘swings’ the least – but it is also bad, because often times in achieving this, the tree points are actually placed on or over the shoulder blade. This will of course impact the horse’s freedom of movement over the shoulders and shorten his stride and ability to actually jump. The next result of this is that instead of allowing the rider a balanced seat, the pommel will be much higher than the cantle – thus the need for pad after pad to bring the back of the saddle up level again. Most riders prefer the jumping saddle to be center-balanced. Particularly the shape and position of the gullet plate, the stiffest and most stable part of the saddle, needs to accommodate the natural asymmetry (i.e., usually the left shoulder is bigger – higher and further back) in the horse’s anatomy during saddle fitting. Its necessary function cannot be substituted for or eliminated by reflocking, shimming, or the use of other special orthotics in the panel area. Because of the pretty common occurrence of the unevenness at the horse’s shoulders, it will usually be necessary to


A saddle that was too long, and incorrect training, too, results in abnormal development of the loin muscle area.

fit the gullet plate asymmetrically in order to achieve this necessary support equally well on both sides, and allowing the required freedom of movement for both shoulders equally. As a matter of fact, if this crucial piece of saddle fitting is ignored, and a saddle with a symmetrical gullet plate is put on a horse’s back – it will inevitably fall to one side as it is pushed there by the more heavily muscled shoulder (usually the left, twisting the saddle to the right). You will see many instances of pictures of riders from behind sitting on a saddle which seems to have slipped to the right. Many saddle fitters will address the problem – unfortunately incorrectly! – by shimming the smaller side instead of the larger side. This sounds somewhat paradoxical (why would you make the larger side even larger?) but it makes sense when you consider that the additional shimming on this larger side will actually stop the saddle from shifting over to the other during motion because of the additional padding. And remember that any adjustment to accommodate asymmetry should be seen only as an interim solution.





There are many obvious visual manifestations of poor saddle fit – some of them will be deemed ‘behavioral’ issues; some of them are actually physiological. Some of the behaviors that may be experienced and can usually be attributed to poor saddle fit can be directly caused by the saddle impacting some of the reflex points – resulting in ‘negative’ or unwanted behavior. These would include bucking, refusing to jump, stumbling, tripping, or not rounding the back. The so-called ‘hunter’s bump’ or a dip behind the withers (due to severe muscle atrophy) is often seen in hunter/jumpers. It would seem necessary – especially in hunter/jumpers, where the ability to move freely in order to jump is key – to have a saddle that can be adjusted over the course of the horse’s life; as he matures and changes conformation over the years. Instead, we find remedial fitting practices using more and more shims and pads, or simply replacing saddle after saddle. Even one of the most prestigious and expensive jumping saddles on the market is (although qualitatively superb) unfortunately not really accommodating to the horse’s requirements – forward facing tree points, narrow gullet channel and panels which cannot be reflocked. Visually beautiful but functionally lacking to ensure protection of the horse’s back and freedom of movement to jump properly.

Visible results from an incorrectly fitting saddle resulting in a hunter’s bump from too much pressure behind the saddle support area.

We invite the reader to check the fit of their saddle(s) using our 9 point checklist and following along with the YouTube videos at www.saddlesforwomen.com . What you learn might surprise you and change your perception of saddle fit!



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www.Saddlesforwomen.com www.Saddlefit4life.com







LEADERSHIP ����������������������

Being herd animals, horses naturally seek a leader to follow, and choose it from the way he behaves. This is true between horses, but also between human and horse, if there is good communication and understanding. Most definitely, horses will not follow an individual that they cannot understand, or that they are afraid of. Just like humans, horses are social individuals communicating with them can be simple if we learn how they do it, and how social relationships naturally work between horses. The real difficulty lies in the fact that men and horses naturally express themselves in different ways. Spoken language is the primary vector of communication for humans, while movement and body language are such for the horse. Therefore, giving the horse a chance to move around freely while we are together, it’s like giving him permission to speak openly.

TRAINING & Showing

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Communicating through spontaneous but structured actions allows us to connect instantly, ������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ��������������������� � �������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������ ����������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� �����������������������������

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EE 67

Aids Communication Turning Aids

Palm Partnership Training™ Building a Partnership with Your Horse I want to explain the importance of the turning aids and give you some exercises to practice to more effectively use them. This information may be a revelation. It will help improve your transitions and may change your riding forever!


urning or “bending” aids include our hands through the reins and our legs. We use these aids to control the horse’s direction of travel and his body position. The term “bending” may be unfamiliar to some readers. When the bend through the horse’s side is correct, his body conforms the arc of whatever curved line he is on. If a horse is bent properly on a circle, we say he is “straight” because he is properly following the arc of the circle. His hind feet follow in the tracks of the forelegs on a curve. To do this he must bend. The primary aids to turn or bend a horse are the rider’s outside leg and outside rein. The “outside” is the side of the horse opposite from the direction of the turn. For example, if I want to turn my horse in a circle to the left, I turn him using my outside aids—the right leg and right rein. The job of my inside (left) leg is to keep the horse forward and out on the turn. My inside (left) rein is used to lightly position my horse’s head so he is looking in the direction of the turn. Let’s look at the function of each aid in turning or bending a horse:

Outside Rein: Functions as the turning rein. It asks the horse to move his shoulders to follow the arc of the circle or turn. When using the outside rein, be careful not to move the outside hand over the crest of the horse’s neck. Outside Leg: Is positioned slightly behind the girth. It helps to bend the horse’s body around the inside leg and keeps his hindquarters from swinging out and off the arc of the circle or turn. Inside Rein: Lightly positions the horse’s head in the direction of the turn. Do this by slightly rotate the inside hand as if “turning a key” or “opening a doorknob” and slightly opening the rein in the direction of the turn to position the head. Inside Leg: Positioned at the girth. Helps keep forward momentum and, as my friend and Olympic rider Jane Savoie describes in her wonderful book Cross Train Your Horse; “the inside leg serves as a pole for the horse to bend around.” Now that you have a better idea of how the turning/bending aids are used, here’s an exercise to practice applying them. I’ll walk you though it, describing the use of each aid.

Start by asking the horse to walk forward. Begin turning him on the first circle to the left. To follow the circle, turn the horse using the right rein against his neck, holding the right leg slightly behind the girth. The inside leg is active and keeps him moving forward as he bends around it. “Turn the key” and slightly open the left inside rein to lightly position the horse’s head so he is looking in the direction he is turning. As you complete the circle to the left, prepare to reverse directions across the middle of the imaginary “figure 8”. Straighten the horse for a few steps while crossing the middle of the “8”. Prepare to change the horse’s body position to ready him for a circle to the right. Start the turn by applying the left leg and left rein while keeping him forward using the right leg. Lightly position his head to the right using the inside (right) rein. Practice this exercise, then add some challenge by asking the horse to make tighter circles within the figure 8 pattern. Remember the same principles apply: outside rein-outside leg to turn. Maintain the inside leg to keep him forward (so he doesn’t stall in the tighter turn) and lightly position his head with the inside rein to keep in looking in the direction he is turning.

Your Next Step…

Once you feel that you are solid on understanding the role of the turning/bending aids, pick up the pace and try this week’s “figure 8” exercise at the trot. The increased speed of the trot will challenge you to apply your aids properly. Here’s how to do it.

Figure 8’s --- Circles with Change of Direction at the Walk The goal of this exercise is to complete 2 equal sized, medium sized, round circles at the walk in a “figure 8” pattern. 68



Page 72

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Over 264 million cars are out on today’s roads. With the advent of cell phones, IPads, and GPS touch screens, rear vehicle collisions are at an all-time high. Since horses mostly enter and exit at the rear of horse trailers, additional protection, and alternative exits are becoming a must rather than a luxury. It could be the difference between life and death. Before considering where and how additional exits can be used effectively on horse trailers, let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of the common rear entrances found on most horse trailers, and how effective they are in protecting against rear impact. There are only three basic rear entrance configurations (with variations) on all horse trailers: lower ramp with upper storm doors, two full height doors (no ramp) commonly called “step-ups,” and full height doors with ramp.


TRAINING & Showing

FULL HEIGHT DOORS. The “Full Height Door” configuration, commonly called “step-ups” consists of two full doors hinged on both sides of the rear of the trailer. They are standard on most straight load manger style trailers and slant load trailers. The two full doors commonly found on straight load manger trailers completely enclose the rear of the trailer. Both doors are the same width and height and open in the middle. The same is true of a slant load trailer unless it has a rear tack whereas the door that opens into the mid tack will be smaller in width. This configuration is called “one third/two third” doors. Since full height doors open on side hinges, heavier, stronger doors are easy to open and close so adding weight for strength to protect horses from rear collision is not a hindrance as it is with ramps that have to be light for manageable lifting. But horses having to back out of step up trailers are always at risk of slipping under the trailer. However, slant load trailers without rear tack compartments, have enough room for horses to turn around and be led out head first, eliminating the problem. But this does not negate the many other safety design flaws inherent in slant load trailers. LOWER RAMP WITH UPPER STORM DOORS. A “Ramp With Upper Storm Doors” combination consists of a ramp located on the lower portion of the rear trailer that commonly ranges from forty-eight to fifty-two inches tall, and two upper storm doors directly above the ramp. The upper doors are hinged on both sides of the trailer and open from the middle. They may or may not have windows for ventilation. Often, they can be opened with side tie-backs during travel to increase ventilation (unless not recommended by the manufacturer) or removed. This ramp/tail door combination is usually standard on most three, four, and six horse straight load style trailers. Since horses most always face forward in straight load trailers, their heads are safely away from a rear collision, and they are in the right position to move forward to a secondary exit. Note, however, that for normal loading and unloading, a ramp eliminates the possibility of horses slipping under the trailer, which always exists when horses are walking backward and blindly stepping down and out of the trailer. The drawback is that ramps need to be light enough to lift yet strong enough to withstand impact since it is the only barrier protecting the horses. 70

FULL HEIGHT DOORS WITH RAMP. The “Full Height Doors With Ramp” combination are two full doors with an addition of a ramp installed behind the doors. The doors are equal in width, completely closing up the rear of the trailer, with upper windows and are secured by an exterior two-point latch. Since heavily built full height doors have the optimum strength against rear impact and because ramps are vital in preventing horses from slipping under the trailer, the combination is ideal. With the full doors now being the protector of your horses, ramps can be much lighter, and with the assist of helper springs, will take little to no effort to lift.


There is no question that a common fear of those hauling horses is getting hit in the rear. With the right rear configuration, minor impacts are often not injurious to horses but are damaging enough to make the rear exit inoperable. If this happens, a second exit becomes invaluable. There are two types of additional exits: those for use in an emergency and those for use as a common exit. Standard side, walkthrough doors, located just in front of each horse are common on most all two horse straight load walkthrough trailers and can be fairly safe to use as emergency exits if designed for that purpose. Most confined horses will willingly exit through any opening available to them that they can see. If the walk-through doors are wide and tall enough, it’s not a problem to encourage horses to jump down and out of a trailer head first. A recommended door size for use as emergency horse exits is thirty inches wide and seven feet tall, which we have standard on our EquiSpirit two horse trailers.



Secondary exits on slant load trailers get a bit tricky. Most slant loads have a large standard door facing the front horse, which can be used as an emergency exit and can be replaced by an optional ramp. But slant load trailers by design, prohibit the second (and any additional) horses from using it because the stalls are side to side instead of front to back. The stall dividers, having to be attached to the side walls, bar the other horses from having access to it. Ramps placed on the sides of a trailer are typically called “side unload ramps” and are the safest secondary exit because the design is intended for ordinary use. Side unload ramps on two horse straight load trailers are usually an option, consisting of a forty-eight-inch wide ramp, which can be wider or a bit narrower, and an upper door that may or may not have a window. Besides being safe exits in an emergency, side ramps are useful exits for unloading older or injured horses that have trouble backing. They also make life easier for those working with untrained or problem horses because they can be led out head first.

SLANT LOAD VS STRAIGHT LOAD EXITS. Whether a horse trailer has an additional exit or not, it is my opinion that a safe horse trailer should be designed to allow the unloading of any one horse without having to remove the others. If you have an emergency out on the road that involves any one of the horses, you should not only have access to that horse, you should have a way to unload it while leaving the others on the trailer. Having more than one horse out of the trailer in an unfamiliar environment can lead to disaster.

Three horse straight load trailers have one standard ramp in the front box stall area as the exit for the third horse. If the design of the trailer gives the rear horses access to the front stall, all three horse can exit through the side ramp. Four and six horse straight load trailers called “Head to Head” or Center Load” trailers have at least one side ramp, and often two (one on each side of the trailer) that open to a large open space in the middle. The primary purpose of these side ramps are for loading and unloading the front horses, but all the other horses can safely exit through them as well.

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Ask your horse to pick up a trot and start with a turn to the right. Begin turning to the right using your left leg and left rein. Use your inside right leg to keep horse’s forward movement at the trot, while the right hand lightly positions his head so he is looking to the right as he is bending and turning in that direction. As you approach the middle of the “8”, prepare to change direction to a circle to the left. Straighten the horse as you cross the middle, then apply the bending aids to the left. Apply the left leg to keep the forward momentum, lightly position his head in the new direction, and use the right rein and right leg to turn. Now that you have a better understanding of the turning/ bending aids, next week I’ll give you some exercises to help teach your horse how to make transitions to the lope/canter or improve them. These exercises use a modified “figure 8” pattern. That is why it is important to perfect your turning/bending aids first and know how to control you horse’s body so it is straight on a line or on a curve. When the horse is straight and his body in the proper position, he will be able to make his transitions properly.


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Lynn’s Training Tip… My goal is to teach you how to use natural aids, not artificial equipment or devices, to control a horse’s body. These aids are not hard for either horse or rider to understand. The challenge is coordinating them with the horse’s action to get the response you want. Teaching your horse to respond to these aids will open up a new level of communication between you! Start “talking” to your horse today.









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