April 2021 - Angie Taylor

Saddle Fitter for Trilogy Performance Saddlery

by Cheryl Erpelding

Angie Taylor has been riding dressage for over 30 years and has ridden in almost everyone of the leading brands of dressage saddles. The first time she sat in a Trilogy saddle 10 years ago, she bought it right then and sold her saddle the next day. She was so impressed with the quality of the saddle and the company, that two years ago she completed the extensive 5-day training program owner Debbie Witty requires of her fitters. Debbie follows up with “On-the-Job Training,” coaching the saddle fitters every step of the way. She also has annual training which is required to be a fitter for Trilogy.


With her knowledge of dressage riding and training, the step into saddle fitting made perfect sense for Angie. She got into saddle fitting, because she was having a hard time finding a good fitter and getting help in a reasonable amount of time. A good saddle fit is one of the most important keys to helping horses move better and help riders to sit better. The training includes learning how to use the saddle fitting tools, what kind of wool to use, how the saddle panels affect the horse’s back and how the shape of the horse’s back impact’s the saddle fitting, and more. Angie is excited to be a part of the fitting team, as Debbie is always there to consult with the fitters via FaceTime and give every customer the customized fitting they need to help their horse’s perform at their best.

One of the most important concepts Angie wants to get across is that many people don’t realize that they should check their saddle fit every 6-8 months. Dressage horses, as they move up the levels, change the shape of their backs. Also when a horse gains or loses weight the saddle fit changes. Saddles need to be reflocked and make sure the transitions of the saddle panels are smooth and have even contact. There is more to saddle fit than just checking to see if the saddle clears the withers. Every saddle is different and every horse is different. Angie highly encourages all riders to read Debbie Witty’s “Seven Saddle-Fit Points that Every Rider Should Know” article which is on her website www.PerformanceSaddlery.com.

Trilogy also offers saddle repair and Angie can ship the saddle to be repaired by Josh who is an expert on the Trilogy team. Angie does saddle fitting for all brands of wool flockable saddles, and not just the Trilogy line. If a saddle is new and under warranty, those normally can not be reflocked by a fitter.

Angie also has demo saddles for riders wanting to try one of the Trilogy lines of saddles which in addition to their Classic and Monoflap dressage lines, they are offering a jumping saddle. Customizing the saddles is part of the services offered by Trilogy including block sizes, length of flaps, colors, textures and more.

Angie is on a nationwide team of 12 fitters. She covers the southern part of California from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Angie began riding as a teenager and trained with some of the industries top trainers. She began her training program 24 years ago and now has a small clientele that she combines with her saddle fitting business. To reach Angie, call or text 858-335-8832.

 

 
April 2021 - Professional Announcer Darren Moore To Work With Farnam As Brand Ambassador

courtesy of Farnam

If you’ve spent any time in the national horse show world, you already know Darren Moore’s voice, but you’ll be seeing more of his face now that he’s an ambassador for the Farnam® brand.

“Farnam has been a big fan and follower of Darren Moore for years. We are super excited about our partnership and working with him in and out of the arena. His positive attitude and enthusiasm for our industry is infectious; he builds momentum to get the crowd engaged and excited. Having him as part of our team at events brings a whole new dimension of fun and creativity to the Farnam consumer experience,” says Martha Lefebvre, senior marketing manager for Farnam.


Moore has been the official voice of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) for nearly a decade. He’s the voice of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and regularly announces at American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows, National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) and National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) events. His job keeps him on the road 200-plus days a year, from Massachusetts to California--and internationally.

As the man behind the microphone, it’s his task to inform and entertain everyone on the listening end, and he does far more than just announce results.

“The best part of what I do is being able to entertain not only the audience, but also the exhibitors,” says Moore, whose own experience as a lifelong rider and a rodeo competitor is icing on the cake for a career he was born to do.

“I don’t know anything else that I would enjoy as much or be as passionate about as announcing,” he adds. “I love meeting new people and I have a passion for horses and entertainment.”

He may wear a cowboy hat and boots, but Darren is well-versed in both English and Western competition. “I am a fan of a good horse, regardless of the discipline or breeding,” he says.
    
In his new role with Farnam, Moore puts his energy and people skills to work in a variety of roles, from interviewing exhibitors, to making fun videos that Farnam fans worldwide can watch and enjoy, to chatting with visitors to the Farnam booth. Team Farnam has a full slate of special projects to tap into this big industry personality and to bring you more Darren Moore.

At the 2020 Farnam AQHA World Championship Show last November, he helped celebrate the giveaways of six oversized chrome-plated show boxes stocked with $1000 worth of Farnam® products, an exciting Farnam promotion that will also take place at future events. Watch for it!
    
“We’ve got some fun new things planned as we celebrate 75 years of Farnam together,” says Martha Lefebvre. “Look for Farnam and the man behind the microphone at national events, on our social spaces and in our free ‘Life with Horses’ eNewsletter.”

Expect Darren Moore, “Moore Than Just An Announcer,” to dial up the energy at coming events and through Farnam videos on social media. Meanwhile, follow him on Facebook and Instagram and learn more at www.darrenwmoore.com.

Stay informed about Farnam® products and get the latest horse health tips and information at www.farnam.com.

Founded in 1946, Farnam Companies, Inc., has grown to become one of the most widely recognized names in the animal health products industry, and has become one of the largest marketers of equine products in the country. No one knows horses better than Farnam. That’s why no one offers a more complete selection of horse care products. Farnam Horse Products serves both the pleasure horse and the performance horse markets with products for fly control, deworming, hoof and leg care, grooming, wound treatment and leather care, plus nutritional supplements. Farnam is a registered trademark of Farnam Companies, Inc.

 

 
April 2021 - Appendix 3 Rule Change Proposal Tabled Until 2023 Competition Season
On March 1, 2021 the USEA Board of Governors submitted a rule change proposal to US Equestrian (USEF) modifying Appendix 3 of the USEF Rules for Eventing. That proposal was outlined at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, shared in May 2020 by the Chair of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee Jon Holling, later discussed in Eventing USA and through various other communication platforms including a live webinar hosted by the USEA. This was one of four different safety-related rule proposals submitted by the Board to the USEF and previously considered with the membership. The Board made it clear that they shared the position of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee that more needs to be done to ensure that riders and their horses obtain more than just a minimal amount of experience before advancing through the levels. Moreover, riders, horse owners, and coaches need to take more seriously the increased risk related to moving up through the levels without adequate and substantial preparation.


“The USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee has done an amazing job to champion a major change in how horses and riders are allowed to move through the ranks of our sport,” said USEA Vice President of Competitions, Jonathan Elliott. “The consensus from the feedback I have received and observed is that there is a need for this change, but there are many factors to consider. In the end, this is a safety-driven rule change proposal, and we need to make sure we get it right, not perfect because that will never happen, but right.”

Following submission to the USEF, the Board opened a public comment portal for the membership to respond regarding their thoughts on the Appendix 3 rule change proposal. The Board has received over 1,200 responses since the original announcement. They recognize those surveys include valid concerns that the USEA had not fully addressed publicly. Among that input, it has become clear that without an in person USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in 2020 and related meetings, a large portion of the membership did not feel fully informed about the proposal as developed. Following several committee meetings within the USEA as well as at the USEF, the Board determined that more work needed to be done to both investigate the questions raised and communicate the reasoning behind the rule change proposal.

“I believe more time is needed to continue to develop a complete proposal with justification for the proposed changes,” Elliott continued. “Big strides have been accomplished over the last few years with other safety-related rule changes and the frangible technology fundraising and I am optimistic an updated Appendix 3 will join that evolution of our sport in 2023.”

The USEA Board of Governors unanimously voted on March 11, 2021 to table the Appendix 3 rule change proposal with the intention to further investigate and communicate the purpose behind the proposal. The Board has made it clear that they will submit an amended proposal again with the intent for implementation in 2023. To this end, the USEA will establish a task force to further review the proposal, make additional inquiries into related data, and analyze the input received. This task force will consist of representation by individuals from diverse backgrounds and geographically varied locations around the country. The goal is to have an updated rule in effect for the 2023 competition year.
 
March 2021 - Ramona Couple Provide Forever Home for Retired Thoroughbred Race Horses

courtesy of Ramona Sentinel

Rescuing horses after their racing days are over can be an expensive proposition, but Ramona residents Sherrel and Maggi Heath have found a way to support the upkeep of nine retired thoroughbreds and two other horses using income from a thriving equine and canine supplement business.


Maggi and Sherrel Heath show off their retired thoroughbreds, 25-year-old Twinkling Lights, left, and her daughter Cat, 19. Photo: Julie Gallant

The Heaths enjoyed the company of horses long before they ventured into racing them and opening Sher-Mar Enterprises.

They founded the company in 1990 to provide a treatment for joint pain and arthritic conditions in mostly horses and dogs. A short time later, Sherrel Heath said, friends and acquaintances lured him into the race horsing arena, one race at a time.

“I’ve always been enamored with horse racing and so I bred a couple of mares and I raced a few of my horses at Del Mar, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita,” said Sherrel, who grew up poor in the foothills of Virginia and Tennessee and rode neighbors’ horses for pleasure.

In his youth, Heath helped earn extra money to supplement his father’s earnings as an appliance repairman. The young Heath occasionally worked on tobacco farms and hay fields in his hometown of Bristol, Va.

“I did not live on a ranch or farm but they were around us,” he said. “When you grow up like that, that’s what you did and, of course, go to school.”

Most of the horses the Heaths have now are thoroughbreds that he bred and raced and brought home and retired.

Thoroughbreds typically race for a half-dozen years or so if they stay sound and healthy, but their lifespan can extend 30 years or more, Heath said. After their useful life on the track is over, many of the well-trained thoroughbreds are sold at auction. Some are bought by rescues, but others are sent to Mexico where they can be sold for profit, and some are sent to slaughterhouses, or as Heath says, “who knows where.”

The Heaths were determined not to let that happen to their former racehorses, so they brought the horses to their 8-acre ranch near Creelman and Jean Ann Lane to let them live out the rest of their lives. The Heaths lovingly refer to their aging horses as “pasture ornaments,” since they spend most of their time hanging out and grazing in their spacious corrals. But friends also stop by occasionally to ride two of the horses.

0321 sherrel2Former real estate agent Sherrel Heath founded Sher-Mar Enterprises in 1990. Photo: Julie Gallant

The Heaths met in La Mesa in 1978 while Sherrel was selling a condo conversion and Maggi, formally known as Marguerite, was handling the escrow transaction. They each have 35 years of experience in their fields, Sherrel, 78, as a real estate agent and broker, and Maggi, 68, as an escrow officer.

It was through their mutual love of horses that they ventured into a sideline business. Sherrel Heath said he had been giving horses owned by himself and friends a yucca powder to treat their joints and arthritis, and saw big improvements in the animals as a result. The Heaths had relied on yucca, which had been sold extensively throughout the United States for that purpose for a number of years.

“We were buying it commercially and I decided to find out exactly what it was, where it came from and why it was so effective,” he said. “I did six to eight months of research. Then I decided I was going to start selling the yucca product myself.”

Heath discovered that the particular type of yucca plant they were using grows mainly in the American Southwest, from Baja California into California and Arizona. Yucca has long been known to be an anti-inflammatory and has been shown to improve the efficiency of the digestive system, he said.

As time went on, new ingredients for the treatment of arthritis in animals came on the market — glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

“Those ingredients are huge now, but those ingredients were not on the market then,” Heath said. “Those ingredients became more popular throughout the ‘90s and I was selling some of those ingredients as well as the yucca to horse owners.”

In 2000, after experimenting with ingredients and their effectiveness, Heath formulated Fourflex, which he calls a complete joint supplement. The powder contains yucca, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, MSM and vitamin C combined with a base of stabilized rice bran.

He developed a process of buying select ingredients and hiring a contract manufacturer to blend, package and label Fourflex. While declining to specify revenues of the business, he said he sells the product to catalog companies, distributors, feed stores and also online at fourflex.com.

One of Sher-Mar’s regular customers is Blue Apple Ranch off Mussey Grade Road in Ramona. The nearly 300-acre property is a sanctuary for abused and neglected horses, some of whom the owners say have been previously harmed or are old and worn out. The ranch is home to 70 horses, many of them ranging from 25 to 30 years old and some as old as 38.

Adrienne Holmes, daughter of Blue Apple owners Lloyd and Lynn Wells, said they have been using Fourflex for six years and have been impressed with how well it works. She said lame horses have shown improvement in their ability to walk after consuming the powder mixed into their grain

“We’ve tried so many different things and had different vets come out,” Holmes said. “Compared to any others we’ve used this is superior. I believe the product works and it has worked for our horses over the years.”

0321 sherrel3This Mustang named Farrah is one of 70 rescued horses currently at homeat the Blue Apple Ranch sanctuary in Ramona. Photo: courtesy of Blue Apple Ranch

Fourflex is geared primarily to horses, but the Heaths sell smaller containers of the product to dog owners.

Income from the business has helped support the maintenance of his thoroughbreds and other horses, Heath said, adding he enjoys working and having the flexibility to set his own schedule.

“I’m my own boss and I work out of my house,” he said. “If I want to go play golf, I’ll play golf. I can regulate my own time. When I started this business I realized I wanted to get more into this business and I moved out of the real estate brokering business.”

Heath is aware there are other rescues and organizations that take in ex-racehorses throughout the United States. He said many of these off-the-track thoroughbreds can be retrained and make excellent riding horses, show horses and jumpers.

“It’s difficult to raise the money to care for a large rescue operation — there’s a lot of good people who try and want to,” he said.

Bringing his own thoroughbreds home is the right thing to do, Heath said, recalling his mom’s words, “If you own them, you better take care of them,” in reference to his pet dogs.

“By bringing them here we know what their fate is and we know they won’t go to auction,” he said. “We prefer to take care of them so we don’t have to worry about them.”

 

 
February 2021 - Singer and Entrepreneur Ekin Ozlen on Finding Home in Riding

by Hollie Geraghty

When Ekin Ozlen was 11 years old and saying a tearful goodbye to her summer horse at her grandparents’ Texas farm, she dreamed of the day when she would have a horse of her very own. The mare, a quarter horse affectionately named Sheza Skippin’ Jodie, would steal her heart and be the horse she learned to ride bare-back on. It was the start of her love affair with riding.

Many things have changed for Los Angeles based entrepreneur and singer Ekin since her earliest riding days. But the one constant all these years has been her relationship with the equestrian world. This commitment to the riding community would even go on to play a huge part in establishing her beauty brand Keracell.


 

Horseback riding has been in Ekin’s blood since she was born, with her grandfather opening the first riding club in her birthplace of Ankara, Turkey, the very place where her equestrian parents would first meet. When Ekin was five she moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida and started taking riding lessons. However in her twenties a blossoming modeling career whisked her away from the hazy Florida humidity and up into the harsh New York City winters. The biggest sacrifice in chasing her dream career was saying goodbye to the life she had with horses. “I was so bummed that they weren’t in my life anymore and I was living in this concrete jungle of Manhattan and just working,” she says.

Desperate to get a riding fix again, she would rent horses by the hour on the west side of Manhattan, walking them onto the icy New York City streets and into Central Park. The risky set up encouraged her to invest in riding lessons on the North Shore of Long Island four days a week with her own Holsteiner, a mare her trainer imported from Europe. “I would be in the car for hours in traffic to get to my horse, it would be snowing. But I would do anything,” she says. “This goes to show you how once it gets into your heart, you’ll do anything to be with them.”

Ekin went on to buy two imported warmblood horses, a mare named Prestige and a gelding named Zoltaire, and began working extensively with a trainer. However, a fall that led to a broken hand would be the turning point that took her career to Los Angeles so her horses could live in the California sunshine everyday. She found her dream stable that was “heaven” for the horses, and found success on the local show circuit. It was here that the same horse that previously bucked her off and broke her hand, was trained to absolute perfection.



During this time Ekin was working in both the music and modeling industries, while on the side developing a cosmeceutical brand, which began as an effort to help her stepmother with hormonal hair loss. She had no idea at the time that the product would go on to become the very beginnings of the Keracell beauty empire. In a perfect synergy of her equestrian life and the new brand, her riding friends would be her very first clients, and the stables clubhouse, her first showcase venue. The hair products in particular helped Ekin and her equestrian friends with “helmet hairline recession” brought on by constantly wearing riding helmets.

The multi disciplined creative searched for a way to fuse her vocations into one creative package, and now uses music to market her brand’s products. For her 2019 song release “La Noche”, Ekin featured her horses in the music video, and the brand new Keracell infomercial which is airing this month also puts them in the spotlight. The balance of riding while running a business has been essential for her in staying grounded and managing stress. “I’m such a better human being for having them in my life,” she explains. “I must have saved thousands of dollars in therapy, because they are my medicine.”

Throughout Ekin’s career she’s been presented with many crossroads that threatened to draw her away from her horses, but her commitment to the equestrian lifestyle always realigns her focus. From her Texas summers to the frosty New York winters, everything fell into place when she flew herself and her horses across the country to Los Angeles. It was a huge life change that put her horses first, but for Ekin, it was really the only option. “They are literally my greatest treasures and I would do anything for them.”

To learn more visit www.keracell.com.

 
February 2021 - Managing Green

courtesy of America’s Horse Daily

We are surrounded by energy-saving devices at home and at work from appliances to energy-efficient light bulbs, all designed to limit the amount of water and electricity we consume. But when we head out to the barn, do we take “green practices” with us? With planning and investment, equine facilities, too, can implement environmentally sustainable practices that can also be economic.

Compared to houses and commercial buildings, “equine facilities are inherently green friendly,” says Joe Martinolich of CMW Architects. “Barns are low-energy users as compared to a house or commercial building because they are not usually air conditioned or heated.”


 

Often, “green practices” go hand-in-hand with good horse husbandry.

“Natural ventilation is great for animals,” he adds. “Open, vaulted spaces allow warm air to rise and exhaust. Ridge vents bring fresh air back in.”

High ceilings and exterior stall doors, with half doors that can be opened, also encourage airflow and provide a natural light source, reducing a barn’s reliance on electricity.

Here are some additional up-and-coming green practices that have been showing up on horse properties in places across the country.

From Waste to Product

Whether spread on a field, hauled away in a trailer or composted on site, removing manure is ultimately getting rid of a stable’s waste. Surprisingly, with a little help, manure can become more than waste – it can be converted into energy and, in some cases, it can become a source of income.

Biologically, manure can be broken down anaerobically or aerobically. When the process is anaerobic, (without oxygen), methane gas is produced, and methane mixed with carbon dioxide creates biogas.

Dairy farms, searching for ways to control increasing operating costs, are converting biogas into electricity to eliminate utility bills. Large-scale dairies are able to power their own facilities with biogas alone and can have enough energy left over to sell to utility companies.

Conversely, when manure is aerobically (with oxygen) processed through composting, heat is produced. Composting allows microorganisms to aerobically digest manure and used bedding. The heat can be captured and converted into useable energy.

Composting on a covered pad to harvest the heat eliminates the flipping process normally required during the composting process. The finished product can also be used in place of fertilizer to restore nutrients to the soil, and compost can become a sellable farm product to landscapers and gardeners.

Water Options

Riding in a dusty arena is unpleasant and unhealthy for horse and rider.

“Water is the secret ingredient to footing,” says David Steffee, owner of Steffee Surfaces, “and controlling the amount of water applied is critical.”

Maintaining a stable moisture level provides a consistent surface and reduces the amount of water needed. The equipment used to apply water to a riding surface dramatically affects how well the footing surface is maintained.

Based on the “ebb and flow” theory similar to the edge of a beach, David recommends a watering system installed beneath the riding surface.

“Mimicking the sand at the edge of the ocean and controlling the water level in the system below the riding surface takes advantage of the capillary effect of sand to keep it moist,” he explains.

A valve installed with the system allows the stable owner to adjust the amount of water held underneath the footing. The water savings using the subsurface irrigation system can be remarkable.

“One show ring in Ohio is 60,000 square feet and only requires 2,000 gallons of water every day to maintain it (using the subsurface system),” he says, “and an arena next to it that is smaller in size uses nearly 50,000 gallons of water every day.”

David adds, “The ebb-flow footings are very easy to maintain. They require a tractor with minimal horse power and a lightweight spring harrow that has a solid packing wheel on it. After the arena has settled in, it doesn’t need to be drug very often.”

For barns and stables not in the position to build a new arena or renovate an existing one, overhead sprinkler originally designed for greenhouses can be installed. The spinner on the sprinkler spreads the water evenly across the diameter of the sprinkler’s throw. Because of this design, it waters with uniformity. Maintaining the footing in an overhead watering system would be much the same as with a regular watering system.

Barn owners looking to drastically reduce the amount of water used can consider rainwater harvesting systems that trap rainwater and store it for later use.

“The roof on a 200-foot by 100-foot barn is equivalent to almost a half-acre,” architect Joe Martinolich points out. “If you catch and use that water (for purposes other than drinking) that is a sizeable amount of water.”

Before pursuing any type of rainwater-capturing system, be sure to check your state and local regulations and water rights laws, especially in western states.

Green Landscaping

Well-planned landscaping provides more than aesthetic benefits. Carefully selected trees provide shade for arenas and barns, and decorative cobblestone pavers beautify walk-ways and aisles.

However, these aesthetic items are as functional as they are beautiful.

Large surface areas like rooflines, driveways, grassy paddocks and sun-dried earth shed rainfall without directing it anywhere in particular. If not guided, the excess water erodes soil and carries silt, sand and other pollutants directly into natural streams and waterways.

Permeable pavers, though similar in look to traditional concrete pavers, are manufactured with a spacer along each edge so that when installed, small gaps are left between each paver. The permeable paving system allows for water and air to move through the area once it has been installed. The small gaps provide water a place to go, directing it downward into the ground, rather than allowing it to flow across a hard surface.

Permeable pavers are gaining in popularity because of their environmental benefits, but also because national legislation requires municipalities and construction companies to use products to manage storm water runoff.

“Equine facilities in New Jersey are especially concerned with storm water runoff because of state regulations that point to runoff from horse farms as carrying pathogens and nutrients into streams and lakes and impairing the health of those water systems,” says Amy Boyajian, program associate for Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Rain gardens are one tactic being used to filter and treat storm water before it re-enters streams and waterways.

“Places like Rutgers University Equine Science Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, have installed rain gardens to capture and treat the storm water runoff from one of their paddocks,” she adds.

A rain garden is a 200- to 300-square foot depression made in the ground that is filled with native plants. Excess water is directed to the rain garden where it sits for a day while the plants soak it in, filter it and return it to underground water sources.

“Plant type and selection is key,” Amy adds. “Native plants are the best option because they will survive well without a lot of maintenance. Most importantly, be sure the plants selected are not toxic to horses.”

For help in deciding what greenery to use, consult Cornell University’s Plants Poisonous to Livestock and other Animals Database at www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/index.html.

Reducing Carbon Hoof Prints

Implementing environmentally sustainable practices in a stable can require creative thinking and an open mind. It may even mean trying techniques used in other industries.

The suggestions above are just a few ways stables can reduce their carbon hoof prints, drawing from strategies used in other barns, on dairy farms and in the landscape industry.

A few just might have potential for your farm.

 
April 2021 - Attractive Nuisances

Learn the laws and liabilities for horseback-riding enthusiasts dealing with trespassing children.

courtesy of America’s Horse Daily

Gary Johnson lived in the middle of nowhere, his 15-acre horse farm nestled between hundreds of acres of corn and soybean fields in Kansas City, Missouri. He and his family enjoyed the peace and quiet without a neighbor in sight. Then suburbia hit – fast and hard. A few years ago, rows of corn were replaced by rows of houses, just feet from his horse pasture. Along with the houses came swarms of curious children, eager to meet their new four-legged neighbors just beyond the wire fence.


Gary was content to adjust to his new neighbors – until a group of small children gave him a big scare.

“One day, as I was walking out to the back pasture, I saw four little children: the oldest around 10 and the youngest around 2,” Gary recalls. “They had climbed through the fence to play with the horses. As I first looked, they were surrounded by my four horses. The kids were pulling out grass and hand-feeding it to the horses.

“I had to stop in my tracks because my horses always come running when they see me – they usually assume it’s time to head toward the barn for grain,” he continues. “I knew that if the horses wheeled around to head toward me, they might accidentally trample one of the children. So I dropped to my knees and waited.”

Fortunately, the horses never saw Gary, and the children eventually turned to crawl back through the fence for their homes.

“I ran to catch up with them to have a visit,” Gary says. “They were scared at first, thinking they were in big trouble. But I had a gentle conversation with them, warning them of the dangers they could have been in. I suggested that if they wanted to pet or feed the horses, they could have their parents contact me to arrange a supervised meeting with the horses.”

But those were just four children in a neighborhood full of youngsters, and Gary knows children regularly trespass on his pasture. The neighborhood parents don’t seem to mind – one parent even mowed a path to the fence line so his children could easily walk from their backyard to Gary’s horse pasture. Gary constantly worries that, one of these days, a child will accidentally get hurt in his pasture.

“I’m convinced that in most cases, kids and their parents simply don’t realize the basic dangers involved with horses,” Gary says.

What if a Child Gets Hurt?

Gary’s dilemma is common to horse owners across the country who face encroaching suburbia. No matter how gentle and calm our horses may be, any horse is capable of getting spooked or scared and forgetting to watch out for the youngster beside him. So there is a real, potential danger to children trespassing on Gary’s pasture.

As unfair as it might seem and regardless of his defenses, Gary might be held liable if one of his horses injures a trespassing child. But, he argues, “The parents should be supervising their activities or discouraging their children from trespassing. I have ‘No Trespassing’ signs posted. Plus, I was here first. They moved here knowing their children could be tempted to pet my horses.”

As attorney Julie Fershtman, of Farmington Hills, Michigan, explains, “Trespassing children are any horse facility’s nightmare. Children cannot – or simply do not – read warning signs,” she says. “They are capable of climbing over or crawling under fences.”

Of course, trespassing adults aren’t afforded many rights if injured while trespassing. But in the eyes of the law, trespassing children are a different, more complicated ballgame.

Why Could Gary Be Liable?

Gary’s pasture full of horses might be considered an attractive nuisance, which is a type of negligence. In many states, the attractive nuisance doctrine makes the landowner liable for harm caused to trespassing children. By definition, attractive nuisances are potentially harmful objects and conditions on the land or of the land that, by their features, have the ability to attract children. Examples include swimming pools, sewer drains, tractors, farm equipment and, in some cases, animals such as horses.

Courts consider many factors in evaluating whether landowners are liable under the legal theory of attractive nuisances. According to Julie, they look at:
•    whether the landowner knew or had reason to know that children could trespass near the hazard;
•    whether the hazard poses an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to children;
•    whether children, due to their age, could recognize the danger involved;
•    whether the landowner maintained the hazardous condition;
•    whether the hazardous condition is relatively easy to correct;
•    whether the landowner exercised reasonable care to eliminate the hazard or protect the children.

Consult a knowledgeable attorney for the attractive nuisance and trespassing child laws in your state. Courts in some states may not consider horses in a field an attractive nuisance, most likely because of the horse industry’s prominence and importance to the state’s economy. Your state might fall at any end of the spectrum. As one court in Louisiana put it in 1999, “We will not impose a duty on all owners or lessees of historical pastureland to ‘child proof’ their land.”

What Can Gary Do?

“I’ve talked to several lawyer friends about my situation, and most agree that a ‘No Trespassing’ sign would not hold up in court in the event a young child got hurt in my pasture,” Gary says. “The child’s lawyer would argue that the child could not read or understand the sign. Because there is no such thing as a childproof fence, the best advice I’ve gotten is to visit with the neighbors and nicely ask them to prohibit their children from entering my pasture. I’ve done this as much as possible and have gotten a positive response, but we all know that parents cannot keep their eyes on their children all the time.”

Julie suggests continuing the friendly conversations with the parents, but taking an added step for protection.

“Talking to the neighbors is good, but the only problem I have, as a lawyer, is that conversations get forgotten,” she says. “Friendly, neighborly conversations are certainly very important. However, for the best protection, it can help to have a letter confirming the discussion you had, so you have that as support if the worst should happen. Sending the letter is a good extra precaution.”

She recommends sending the friendly letter to the child’s parents soon after the child has made the uninvited visit. Consider sending it certified mail with a return receipt requested (from the U.S. Postal Service), and keep accurate records and copies of documents. Here is a sample letter:

Dear neighbor,

Thank you for talking with me yesterday about your son entering my property without permission. Please allow this letter to confirm our agreement and that you will keep him off of my property and away from my horses. But if you wish to bring him over some time for a special visit, you may call me to set up a workable day and time in which I can personally escort the two of you to see my horses. Thank you very much for your understanding.

Best wishes,
Gary Johnson

“In my opinion, a friendly letter to parents shows that you know the children have been trespassing and you don’t approve of it.” Julie says. “You’re reaffirming that the children are trespassers, and the parents are being set up for arguably negligent supervision of their children. You’re also trying to be neighborly and trying to accommodate the neighbors in a nice way.

“These efforts, in themselves, may not eliminate your liability, but they will help evidence the many precautions you are taking to protect others,” she adds. “It’s a friendlier method than a harsh letter that says, ‘Keep them out of there.’ Instead, you’re saying, ‘You can come back, by appointment only, when I’m available to escort you and your children.’ ”

Again, she suggests keeping good records. “If Gary agrees with the letter strategy, he would be wise to keep a record of who he sent the letter to, a copy of the letter and the return receipts if he sends them by certified mail.

Liability Insurance

As another important preventative measure, Julie suggests that Gary purchase liability insurance. Regardless of the nature of Gary’s horse facility (he currently does not board outside horses or provide riding/training lessons), he can greatly benefit from investing in one of the many policies available.

Liability insurance policies protect against claims that seek to hold you liable for an injury or damage to another’s property. “If you ever find yourself in the worst-case scenario of being sued, a proper insurance policy is there to provide a legal defense for you, pay any judgment that may be issued against you or settle the matter,” Julie says.

Liability insurance policies include home owners’, farm owners’, commercial, professional and personal horse owners’. Discuss your liability insurance options with a knowledgeable insurance agent. AQHA corporate partner Markel has a range of insurance options and offers a 10 percent credit to AQHA members who purchase certain types of coverage.

Peace of Mind

By following Julie’s suggestions, and by contacting his attorney for more suggestions based on Missouri laws, Gary will not only prevent potential injuries to the neighborhood children, but he’ll also protect himself against liability and ultimately rest a little easier at night.

“If you should get sued, you know that you have protection,” Julie says. “Even with the most extensive precautions, we live in a society where litigation is rampant. If you are sued, these precautions could help in your defense.”

About Julie Fershtman: A shareholder with the firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC, Julie Fershtman’s law practice crosses all equine breeds and disciplines and serves stables, professionals, associations, businesses and trainers across the country. She is one of fewer than 20 lawyers nationwide to be named a Fellow of the American College of Equine Attorneys and has successfully tried equine-related cases before juries in four states. She is the author of two books, “Equine Law & Horse Sense” and “More Equine Law & Horse Sense,” and writer of www.equinelawblog.com. She has spoken on equine law in 28 states. For more information, visit www.equinelaw.net, www.fosterswift.com or www.fershtmanlaw.com.

 

 
April 2021 - Mark your Calendars for Riders Cup

Innovative Riders Cup Brings European Style Competition to Los Angeles

by Brooke Goddard: photos: Julia B. Photography

Top level show jumping is returning to Los Angeles with West Palms Events’ Riders Cup (May 6-9, 2021) at LA Equestrian Center. The show will feature $265,000 in prize money, an all-inclusive entry system, and courses built by Olympic Course Designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil.


Riders Cup was jointly designed by West Palms Events and Neil Jones Equestrian, modeled after European show jumping events. “We were very happy with the inaugural event in Del Mar last November and we really think the format works, it’s good for the future of the sport in California and exciting for the competitors,” commented Neil Jones. “I’m pleased Dale Harvey and his team secured the LA Equestrian Center and excited to be a part of Riders Cup at a new venue.”

West Palms Events is working closely with LEG Shows & Events and Los Angeles Equestrian Center to prepare for Riders Cup followed by a full calendar of competitions. “We are partnering with GGT Footing and continuing to enhance the entire facility,” explained Dale Harvey, CEO of West Palms Events. “We appreciate the continued support of GGT over the years and look forward to collaborating with them on a spectacular 2021 season.”

Riders Cup Highlights

•    $265,000 in Prize Money
•    All-Inclusive Entry System
•    Prize money paid at the competition

•    EQ International Real Estate Riders Lounge
•    Grooms Lounge
•    Leading Rider
•    Leading Lady Rider
•    $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
•    $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
•    Courses Designed by Guilherme Jorge

The prize list and entry forms are on www.westpalmsevents.com. Entries can be submitted through EquestrianConnect.com or emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Stalls are limited and expected to sell out. Entries for Riders Cup are due by April 12.

Riders Cup kicks off a full schedule of hunter/jumper competitions in Los Angeles for the 2021 season, with events at both LA Equestrian Center and Hansen Dam Horse Park.

Make sure to follow Riders Cup on Instagram and Facebook @riderscup.westpalms to keep up with the latest Riders Cup related news. Visit www.westpalmsevents.com to view the entire 2021 West Palms Events Competition Schedule.

 

 
March 2021 - The 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event is Back On!

by Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event

An unprecedented outpouring of public support and a grassroots fundraising effort have led to a reversal of the announced cancellation of the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI Five-Star presented by MARS Equestrian™ (LRK3DE). A new partnership between Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), producer of the world-class event, and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation combined with the support of US Equestrian and longstanding sponsors Land Rover, Mars Equestrian, and Rolex will ensure that the CCI5*-L three-day event will be held, without spectators, alongside a new CCI4*-S, April 22-25 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.


“The uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic placed us in the financially impossible position of having to run the five-star event without spectators, a situation that left us no choice but to cancel the five-star for 2021 in order to preserve it for many years to come,” said Mike Cooper, President of EEI. “We are humbled and honored by the response of the eventing community as they’ve stepped up in a mind-blowing way enabling us to go forward.”

A fundraising campaign was started by athletes and fueled by the grassroots effort of the broader eventing community, generating more than $550,000 in donations to run the event. “While that still leaves us short of the amount needed, it is enough to convince us that the balance can be raised,” added Cooper. “We are now, with the assistance of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, committed to going forward with the five-star.”

In the new partnership, EEI and the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, both 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organizations, bring strong and distinct skill sets – the Foundation in fundraising and EEI in event management. Using their respective expertise and resources, the Foundation will take the lead in soliciting donations to supplement the grassroots effort, and EEI will focus its attention on running the nation’s premier equestrian event in an environment that is safe for all during the current pandemic.

“The Kentucky Three-Day Event is the foremost event held at the Kentucky Horse Park and the lifeblood of the eventing world,” said Clay Green, Chairman of the Board of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation. “The Horse Park was established for the 1978 World Three-Day Event Championships which gave birth to the annual Kentucky Three-Day Event whose success is responsible for the Park’s position of prominence and so much that has happened at the Park, including the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Seeing the number of people pleading for the event to happen this year made it very clear that we must do all we can to ensure that it does.”

“Seeing the athletes, community, our sponsors, and these two organizations, the KHP Foundation and EEI, come together in a united way to allow the CCI5*-L and CCI4*-S to go forward despite the challenges presented by the pandemic is nothing short of remarkable. This will allow our athletes and horses aiming for Tokyo this summer the best opportunity to qualify and prepare, while ensuring the safest possible environment for participants seeking to complete a CCI5*-L or CCI4*-S,” shared Bill Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of US Equestrian. “We extend a huge thank you to all involved, especially to our sponsors, for their flexibility and continued commitment to this event.”

“We are thrilled to return as the title sponsor for the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and support the event broadcasts on NBC, NBC Sports Network, and the USEF Network to bring this historic event into the homes of the fans in the safest way possible. We applaud the efforts of the equestrian community who have gone above and beyond to raise funds to support this event and ensure another great year of world-class eventing can take place at the renowned Kentucky Horse Park,” said Michael Curmi, Director Brand Experience, Jaguar Land Rover North America.

“We applaud the efforts of so many organizers, fans, competitors, and sponsors, supported by MARS Equestrian, which will allow the CCI5*-L competition to continue forward in 2021. This event is an equestrian treasure we are proud to sponsor as we all look for safe ways to hold top level competition,” stated Geoffrey Galant, VP of Mars Equestrian.

Spectators are not allowed at this time, but USEF will continue to monitor the effects of the pandemic to determine if a limited number of spectators can be permitted at some point closer to the event with priority given to 2020 rolled over ticket holders. Those who paid for the 2020 event and chose to roll their money over for 2021 will have the option of full refunds or rolling their money over again for 2022. “Ticket holders can expect an email regarding their options, one of which will be to join this incredible grassroots movement on behalf of the sport of eventing,” said Cooper. “Those who wish to do so can donate some or all of the money they’ve paid. We applaud and thank everyone who has contributed so far; without you there would be no five-star this year and all of you have our utmost gratitude and appreciation!”

Those wishing to be part of the growing movement to save the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Five Star can do so through the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation website at Donate – Kentucky Horse Park Foundation: www.khpfoundation.org.

 

 
February 2021 - Nothing Can Replace Your Beloved Pet

But now you can add years of the unconditional love and companionship you enjoy.

Preserving your dog, cat or horse’s DNA makes it possible for ViaGen Pets & Equine to produce their genetically identical twin. Genetics play a large role in their physical appearance, as well as drive their personality and behavioral traits such as friendliness, obedience, temperament, and intelligence. So, you can look forward to the joy of extending the relationship you have with your beloved, furry family member.


The first crucial step in cloning a pet is Genetic Preservation. Genetic Preservation is $1,600 (USD) and includes a biopsy kit, shipped to you or directly to your veterinarian. The biopsy kit contains the items required to take and ship biopsy samples to us. Your veterinarian would obtain 2 to 4 small (4 mm) skin biopsies under a local or general anesthetic. The biopsies are then shipped right away to our lab in Texas where we culture millions of cells from the tissues. Each cell contains your pet’s complete DNA, and these cells will be the starting point for cloning. The cell culture takes a few weeks to be completed, then the cells are cryopreserved and stored and remain viable indefinitely. You do not have to clone right away; these cells can be used at any point down the road for cloning. An annual storage fee of $150 (USD) begins one year after the samples are received.

We are commonly asked questions like; what age does my pet need to be for samples to be taken? Can samples be taken if my pet has passed? How do I know that my genetically preserved or cloned pet is authentic? How do I know my samples are safely stored? Will the biopsy process harm my pet?

Genetic Preservation can be done with pets of all ages. We recommend considering having the samples collected during routine veterinarian visits such as vaccinations, dental check-ups, and procedures where the pet will already be under general anesthesia. If your pet has passed, we can accept samples up to five days postmortem. Note, there are several factors that need to be considered if the animal has passed. Tissue cannot be frozen at any time and should be refrigerated. For more detailed information please review the Emergency instructions on our website.

While ViaGen Pets & Equine is working on culturing and preserving your pet’s cells, an independent, University veterinary genetics laboratory is working on a genetic report for your pet. This report is essentially your pet’s DNA fingerprint, unique to them. We will keep this report on file to confirm your cloned pet is genetically identical to your pet.

Rest knowing that we at ViaGen Pets & Equine take the security of your pet’s genetic material very seriously. We ensure the safety of your pet’s genes in several ways, including keeping the cells stored in multiple locations, alarm systems and limited personnel access.

The tissue biopsy sample taken by your veterinarian will not harm your pet. Typically, your pet will be fully healed from the tissue biopsy in a just a few days.

To learn more visit www.viagenpets.com or call 888-876-6104.

 

 
February 2021 - Rancho Pasatiempo

A Home for Horses

by Les Thomson

Christy and I purchased a property in Winchester near Temecula several years ago and our main idea was to make it an inviting place where we could have horses that are either retiring, horses needing a place to rest while recovering from injury, or horses just needing a break from their job.


When a new horse arrives, we keep them by themselves in a stall with an adjacent paddock, so they can be inside or outside at any time. When we feel they have adjusted to their new environment we move them to a larger paddock. If they are here short term, 30 days to 6 months, we keep them by themselves to avoid any injury from other horses. Long term horses are placed in a pasture with other horses which gives them a chance to have a buddy. Horses are herd animals and enjoy being together. We only put four horses to a pasture. Mares and geldings are kept separate.

We charge a flat fee with no extra charges for extra care such as feeding supplements, giving medicine, doctoring injuries or hand walking. We feed alfalfa hay three times a day. All the horses are groomed monthly. We take care of getting their feet trimmed or shod, vaccinations, worming and teeth floating.

For more information or a brochure, please feel free to call or text me at 949-874-0677.

 

 
February 2021 - Here’s the Thing About Riding

Eight Takeaways from the 2021 USEF Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic Week

by Leslie Potter, courtesy of US Equestrian

Twenty of America’s top young dressage athletes had the opportunity to work with former U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover and other prominent coaches as part of the 2021 USEF Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic Week (RDHCW). This year’s program took place at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla., January 7-10.

With a lifetime of experience as a competitive dressage rider and a long history coaching elite athletes in the sport, Dover brings his expert eye and well-earned wisdom to the one-on-one sessions at the RDHCW. Here are eight key points from this year’s clinic.


 

1. Have A Vision Of Greatness.

“In every moment, from half-halt to half-halt, you’re seeing a movie in your mind, and the movie is you and Tiko being the most beautiful, grand, fearless, fierce, and invested combination. It doesn’t mean something won’t ever go wrong, but it means your vision is clear: your rhythm, your sense of cadence, your sense of your half-halt, your sense of greatness in every step.”

Dover offered this advice to Allison Nemeth (Flemington, N.J.) as she worked on an extended trot with Tiko, a 10-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Karen Nemeth. Dover repeated this concept in nearly every individual session, driving home the importance of visualizing the best version of your horse in the movement at hand.

“If you’re not seeing it in your mind, how do you create it? If the only eyes you’re looking at everything in life is your eyeballs, how do you create the next thing?” Dover said to Sydney Lipar (The Woodlands, Texas) as she rode Herzkonig, aka Percy, a 17-year-old Hanoverian Gelding owned by Denise Lipar. “I teach in pictures; I try to make you see a movie. In your mind, when you’re riding in the walk, and I say you’re going to do an extended trot for five strides, you’re going to see only one vision, and that’s you and Percy walking with so much collection and energy that in the next half-halt, which comes from your thought, you see only one thing.”

Dover frequently invoked the top riders in the world, including Laura Graves, Charlotte Dujardin, and Isabel Werth, as riders who have only one vision with every horse they ride, and that vision is of perfection. They don’t leave room for “what ifs.”

2. Give The Lightest Aid Possible.

“If a fly touched your horse’s side and he didn’t react, he’d get bitten up. If you touch his side and you think, ‘It doesn’t matter if you don’t go forward or react,’ he’s always going to require that you do more than that to make him do more than what he’s doing. You can’t expect him to react in one moment with that amount of spur, if in another moment, he didn’t think that he was required to react.”

Dover brought up the innate sensitivity of horses in his opening lecture and referenced it throughout the sessions. Horses can feel a fly land on their side and react immediately with a twitch of the skin, he explained, indicating that they are capable of responding to the lightest touch.

“Every touch is training,” Dover said to Kayla Kadlubek (Fairfax Station, Va.) as she worked with Perfect Step, her 20-year-old Hanoverian gelding. “That’s why you see beautiful dressage riders and their feet are faced [toes pointed in]. You don’t see a lot of spur. You rarely see the spur touch. Even the thought of the touch is more than enough. The spur is a refinement. It’s a tool, for sure, if they don’t listen to the lightest possible aid. But the more you use it, the more problematic it is.”

3. You Need To Be In Control Of Pace, Tempo, Frame, And Length Of Stride.

“There are four things that you have to always be in control of from half-halt to half-halt,” Dover told Averi Allen (Pleasant Hill, Mo.), who rode Superman, Jonni Allen’s seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding.

“One is the rhythm of the horse, meaning the rhythm of his footfalls in each gait, how fast or how slow his feet come to the ground.

“The next thing is the tempo: how fast or how slow in each gait he’s going over every meter of ground.

“The third thing is his frame: You decide how high, how low, how long or how short his frame is from your vision.

“The fourth thing is his length of stride. Collection isn’t a subtraction from extension. Collection is an addition of engagement into the collection from his extension. It’s up to you to own those four things, and that can only happen when you clearly know what you want.”

4. Praise your horse.

“Don’t forget to tell him when he’s a good boy,” Dover told Kadlubek.

“Say to yourself, I don’t need to keep this all together. I just need to ride, keeping my legs beautiful, keeping my hands beautiful, riding the half-halt that makes them come up to that beautiful spot. And then the key is: ‘Good boy! Good boy! Keep doing it yourself! Keep being motivated so that I don’t have to work so hard!’”

5. Use Your Breath In Three Steps.

Dover helped Lexie Kment (Palmyra, Neb.) with Montagny von der Heide, Laureen Van Norman’s 16-year-old Trakehner gelding, in honing precision in the location of each movement and transition. He explained that the movement should begin when the rider’s body is aligned with the letter, and using breath to prepare and execute a movement can help.

“When the horse’s nose arrives at the letter is the beginning—the breath in. Close your legs, close your fist. Then the breath out. It’s three steps: breathe in the nose; bring your aids on and say, ‘this is where we’re going now’; and as he starts into his half-halt, you breathe out and he goes there.”

6. Collection And Extension Live Within Each Other.

“The true distance between the grandest collection and the greatest extension of any gait is the thought,” Dover told Lydia McLeod (Charleston, S.C.) as she rode her nine-year-old KWPN gelding Honneur B. “In every step of the most collected trot—the piaffe—the horse’s desire is still, ‘I could do an extended trot. I’m trotting on the spot but I could do an extended trot.’ That means he has each one of those in the other at all times. While he’s in the extended trot, he could piaffe at any stride because he’s through and on the aids. And when he’s in the collected piaffe, he’s forward-thinking. Those are what we call access points, where you truly know how to access collection and extension and you don’t lose one for the other.”

7. Have A Purpose For Each Part Of Your Warmup.

While working with Hannah Irons (Queenstown, Md.) on her warmup routine with her own Scola Bella, a 13-year-old Hanoverian mare, Dover illustrated the need for a mindful warmup, recalling an accomplished student he’d coached in the past.

“One of my students was an Olympic rider who’d had loads of training. She would get on every horse and go through the exact same training [routine]. I could tell you every single time what they were going to do; it was always exactly the same. There is a lot to be said for doing that, provided it all brings the horse to a perfect place to do the next thing. But she had one horse that got better and better that way and another horse that, by the time she did all that, was exhausted. By the time she went into the ring, instead of having the most brilliant animal, he was brilliant 20 minutes ago.”

For example, Dover says, if you get the leg yield that you want in three steps, you don’t necessarily need to continue all the way across the diagonal.

“Don’t stay [in the movement] so long that she says, ‘OK, I’ve done it, [my rider] hasn’t said ‘good’ and now I’m going to fail.’ Every step that you’re going around where you’re not creating something are just steps. You’re either making it better or you’re just going around for the sake of going around. So when you get great feelings, when she’s done what you want, you don’t need to keep doing that. One half-halt that brings her to a perfect state of balance and attention, and you say, ‘Thank you. Now we can go on to some other things.’”

8. Throughness Is A Solution To Spookiness.

Early in their session, Allison Nemeth and Tiko had some trouble where Tiko wanted to shy away from the video camera at the end of the arena. Dover explained that while spookiness is an innate part of horses because of their evolution as a flight animal, it doesn’t mean that spooking is inevitable.

“When a horse is out in the field, they look around, because they’re animals of flight. Their head and neck are in constant motion,” said Dover. “Except when they—stallions especially—start to show off, and then you’ll see them go on the bit with no bridle at all. They’ll arch their neck and start passaging around, floating all over the place. They’ll get that shape for a period of time because their brain gets invested in that moment of showing off. They’re concentrated in that moment and they’re not spooking or shying and jumping away from things. And when that moment, under saddle, becomes the way they’re trained such that their brain is always going, ‘I’m on the aids. Allison is talking to me. We’re having this conversation back and forth, totally balanced, I have no other thoughts other than what Mom wants and I’m waiting for her next cue.’ That’s when spookiness goes away.”

Watch the USEF RDHCW 2021 sessions on-demand on USEF Network thanks in part to a grant from The Dressage Foundation.

 
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