July 2021 - 2021 USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge is Open

courtesy of USHJA News

The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association invites equestrians of all ages to put their horsemanship knowledge to the test in the 2021 USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Stable Challenge.

The 30-day online quiz challenge is open to juniors and amateurs and brings barns together as teams to test their horsemanship knowledge for a chance to win great prizes.

“The Stable Challenge allows equestrians of all ages and skill levels to take their knowledge to the next level,” said Mary Knowlton, president of the USHJA. “We’re excited to see how trainers and stable communities come together to encourage horsemanship and learn more about the sport.”


The USHJA Stable Challenge was created to engage a trainer’s entire barn as a team and encourage horsemanship. At least three students per trainer are required to complete the online USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge Practice Quiz at ushja.org/HQC between June 15 and July 15 for their barn to be eligible to win.

At the end of the 30-day challenge, the three top scores under each trainer will be averaged to provide an overall score. Participants do not need to be USHJA members to take the HQC Practice Quiz, and they can take the HQC Practice Quiz as many times as they’d like during the 30-day window to improve their Stable Challenge scores.

Blue Star Farms hosted Horsemanship Camp to prepare for the USHJA Stable Challenge. Photo provided by Kristin Jacob

In addition, the Horsemanship Quiz Challenge is also open to adults, so members of all ages can earn bonus points for their team when they take the official Horsemanship Quiz Challenge. Participants who take the Level One and Level Two HQC quizzes will receive 10 bonus points for each level they complete with a passing score. Those points are then added to their individual score. In the event of a tie, a fourth score will be added to the average. Participants who have already taken the Level One and Level Two quizzes will automatically receive those bonus points when they take the Practice Quiz and list their trainer’s name.

The highest scoring trainer in each USHJA zone wins a unique trainer-inspired award package designed to benefit the entire barn, which includes a gift card from Nutrena, a Shapley’s gift set, prizes from USHJA and additional awards from USHJA sponsors. The highest scoring trainer overall will also receive an Essex Classics shirt.

The trainer, coach or riding instructor of a participating barn must be a current USHJA member and be declared professional with US Equestrian in order to be eligible to win the barn prize pack. For each score to count toward a trainer’s average, the trainer’s name must be listed in the HQC Practice Quiz field.

For more information about the Stable Challenge, visit www.ushja.org/stablechallenge. For more information about the USHJA Horsemanship Quiz Challenge, visit www.ushja.org/HQC.

 

 
June 2021 - StressLess Horse Supplement Welcomes the California Riding Community

photo: AJ Neste

Whether at the top levels of competition or just day to day interactions with your horses, StressLess show safe equine supplement is the key to promoting a calm mind, focus and mood balance.  Centerline Distribution, the top distributor of StressLess horse supplement in the United States, has announced its new focus on assisting the equestrian community in California reach their goals and improve their experiences with their horses.   

This proven hot horse remedy is not limited to any one type of riding.  Across the board of all disciplines, StressLess promotes a decrease in anxiety, overstimulation and nervousness.  This results in an increase in focus, a calm mind and mood balance. StressLess enhances behavior modification and trainability with a marked decrease in poor performance.
 


Make StressLess your “go to” for training, competing and performance at your horse’s highest level.  Here are just a few of our latest testimonials:

“StressLess has been a life saver during difficult training phases with some of my young horses. There are a lot of calming products on the market, but I’m confident in StressLess’s results and safety.  Rather than a product that only has short term effects, StressLess builds up in their systems and over time, I have decreased the amount of scoops I give everyday.  I love that it doesn’t make my horses feel drowsy or dopey, but still eases their nerves to make our rides productive and safe.  Aside from its calming effect under saddle, I’ve noticed a huge weight gain in my nervous, hard keeper young horses. Overall, my experience has been 5 stars from the efficacy of the product to the customer service.  Thank you StressLess!” - Mel Montagano of Prestige Performance Horses USA, Riding Stable

“I am always looking for better products to help my horses deal with the stresses involved with travel from Europe, from state to state and even with the stresses involved with day to day training and competing. Some of our old options provided a calm horse but they also negatively affected the horse’s energy required to compete and train at the FEI levels. I want to thank Betty Ledyard for introducing me to StressLess. StressLess is helping all my horses stay calm and focused in daily work, with crazy weather, and during travel and competing, but does not take away their energy and ability to perform at the highest levels!” - Elizabeth McConnell, Professional International Dressage Rider and Trainer, Inside Dressage Farm

Developed by a team of experts, StressLess is a unique equine supplement unlike the magnesium and B12 based products on the market today.  What makes it different?  StressLess is a casein-based feed additive that has shown an incredible result on horses of all ages.  

Casein is the protein derived from cow’s milk that results in a gentle anxiety relieving reaction in many animal species including horses, dogs, cats and even humans.  The casein in StressLess comes from an all-natural process called an enzymatic reaction. When the final product is ingested by horses, the equine brain presents a decrease in stress reactions.  Hot or spooky horses exhibit a decrease in agitation, over-excitability and nervousness.

The positive feedback from those benefitting from StressLess comes from every corner of the equestrian world: horse rescue organizations, champion trainers, junior riders, barrel racers, event riders, jockeys, show jumpers, dressage riders, Olympians, and backyard trail riders, among many others.  They report receptivity to training and behavior modification and a marked decrease in poor performance.  Best of all, StressLess does not affect a horse’s abilities in any way.

StressLess is the brain child of an elite group of research veterinarians, trainers and horse owners.  This dream team set out to formulate a hot horse remedy that would be safe for long-or short-term use with no side effects such as drowsiness or impaired motor function.  The supplement was given a palatable apple flavor with zero lactose and no preservatives.

The head of US distribution for StressLess is Betty Ledyard with her company Centerline Distribution, based in Florida.  As a lifetime equestrian herself, she discovered StressLess Horse Supplement for her own equine companion and the results were so profound she knew she had to get the product out to a wider audience in order to help others.

Important situations like showing, traveling, medical procedures, prolonged stall rest, moving, adoption, meeting new animals/people, and regular training are all times when StressLess may benefit your horse’s mood and disposition.  Find out more at www.hothorsesupplement.com.

 

 
June 2021 - USEA Young Rider Program: Age Increase to 25

courtesy of USEA

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the increase in age for eligibility in the USEA Young Rider program to USEA members aged 25 and under, effective immediately.

The purpose of the USEA Young Rider program is to encourage younger members to become involved in the sport of eventing and continue this involvement in their adult lives. The program seeks to promote a love of the sport as well as an appreciation and understanding of the horse while fostering the wonderful relationship that can develop between horse and rider. Further, involvement in this program helps to instill important moral values, such as responsibility and work ethic, as young riders evolve.


The USEA Young Rider program has traditionally been available to those aged 21 and under, but the USEA Young Rider Coordinators and Committee put forward a proposal to the USEA Board of Governors, requesting the age eligibility be increased to 25 in order to fully utilize training programs and youth series that are available.

The new age requirements now enable all USEA Area teams participating in the USEF Youth Team Challenge to compete for their USEA Areas and utilize the Area Young Rider funding. This will also be more inclusive to youth riders wishing to participate in the USEA Young Rider Advancement Program (YRAP) in their Areas, which may help provide additional young riders competing at the lower levels with the education and skills they need to progress through the levels of the sport.

The USEA membership database is now accepting membership updates for those members 25 and under who wish to upgrade their membership to include the Young Rider program. For USEA members aged 22-25 who are currently enrolled in the USEA Adult Rider program, those members may pay an upgrade fee to join the USEA Young Rider program additionally. Members aged 22-25 may choose to enroll in either the USEA Adult Rider Program, or the USEA Young Rider program, or both. The age eligibility for the Adult Rider program remains the same, available to any USEA members aged 22 or older.

To enroll in the USEA Young Rider program, please find the Young Rider membership application form here. The USEA staff is available to help enroll members in the program. Please call the USEA office at 703-779-0440 should anyone need help with their upgrade, and the USEA membership department staff would be happy to process the program upgrades.

 

 
June 2021 - Bruno Diniz Das Neves and Adele XIII Are Best in the $75,000 Interactive Mortgage Grand Prix

courtesy of Blenheim Equisports • photos: McCool Photography

Bruno Diniz Das Neves and Adele XIII punched a ticket to the top of the leaderboard in the $75,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” 1.50m Grand Prix, held during the Ranch & Coast Classic at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Neves and Adele XIII were one of only two entries from the 15-horse starting field to navigate the first-round, Ivan Tagle-designed course without fault, and Adele XIII’s naturally fast footspeed ultimately gave the pair the edge over second-place finishers Shawn Casady and Captain Jack.


Finishing in third place, with only one time fault in the first round, was Thursday’s $25,000 Markel Insurance Jumper Series 1.45m Jumper Classic winners, Saree Gordon Solanki and Azuro 108

“When I finished the first round, I could have already gone home happy!” said Neves, who rides for Portugal. “This is a big step up for my mare. I came here because I wanted to move up and try something different. I wanted to know if I’m ‘there’ or not and if my horse can do this or not.”

Neves got his answer as Adele XIII cleared the final Interactive Mortgage fence and flew through the jump-off timers. Casady and Captain Jack, owned by Neil Jones Equestrian, Inc., the first to return for the jump-off, had set the time to beat at 39.043 seconds, but Adele XIII made short work of that time, stopping the clock in 37.534 seconds for the win.

“With only two clear rounds, you go in the ring in the jump-off, and you know already that, worst-case scenario, you’re second,” said Neves. “I know that Shawn’s a very fast rider and very competitive; I know that horse wins a lot, but I trusted my mare because she’s so fast naturally. I knew I didn’t need to go crazy. So I just said, ‘I’m going to explore everything that she has naturally and hopefully we’re going to get there.’”

Neves has been partnered with Adele XIII for two years, and he’s found the Interactive Mortgage ‘Ticket to Ride’ High Performance Jumper Series to be the ideal move up for the 13-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by BDN Horse Investments.

“I did the first [Interactive Mortgage Grand Prix during the Blenheim Spring Classic 3], and Adele XIII was awesome,” said Neves, who finished in fifth in the first class of the three-part series. “I think Robert Ridland is doing a great job of bringing up the level. I took the good option of doing this series because I think it’s a very big test.”

The Interactive Mortgage ‘Ticket to Ride’ High Performance Jumper Series was introduced by long-time sponsors and supporters of the sport, Gregg and Evette DeLong of Interactive Mortgage.

Prior to the jump-off of Saturday’s class, Robert Ridland, President of Blenheim EquiSports, spoke to the significance of the series and expressed appreciation to the DeLongs for their dedication to supporting the continuation and growth of top-end show jumping at Blenheim EquiSports.

Thanks to the support of Interactive Mortgage, the series showcases three grand prix classes held at the national standard, including two $75,000 1.50m grand prix events in the spring and a $100,000 1.50m grand prix in the fall with a discounted entry fee, plus a $20,000 bonus awarded to the top three riders. The top rider will receive a custom built Grand Prix Locker courtesy of Flexi Equine Tack Lockers.

Neves currently leads the series standings on 42 points, including 25 points earned in the first qualifier and 17 points awarded on Saturday. Sitting in second with 38 points is Michelle Parker, and Will Simpson rounds out the current top three with 30 points heading into the final $100,000 Interactive Mortgage “Ticket to Ride” 1.50m Grand Prix, to be held during the Blenheim International Jumping Festival in September.

 

 
May 2021 - You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

by M. Nanette Chastine, DVM • courtesy of AAEP

Most people involved with horses have heard the phrase, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” Unfortunately, while it may seem like a simple subject, getting a horse to consume the appropriate amount of water can be difficult. Age, body condition, fitness level and workload, reproductive status, environmental conditions, diet, and possible disease processes can all influence how much water a horse needs to maintain its correct hydration status. Add to that the temperature, freshness, purity, and palatability of the available water sources and it becomes obvious that there are many factors that need to be considered when providing water for our horses, especially if we want them to actually drink it.


The actual daily amount of water that most horses need to consume (at a minimum) to maintain body functions and remain properly hydrated is from a half gallon to a gallon per hundred pounds of body weight. This works out to be a minimum of five to ten gallons for a 1,000-pound horse that is not presently doing any work and is living in a temperate climate. If you increase the horse’s workload or the environmental temperatures are elevated, then this will increase the demand for water. Lactating mares, horses with diarrhea, and horses with certain medical conditions will also require more water each day.

The horse’s water consumption from the available water source may decrease if the horse is on a lush, green pasture, as those grasses typically contain 60-80% moisture. Likewise, if the horse is maintained in a dry lot and fed a dry matter forage such as hay, which typically has a 12-15% moisture level, the horse’s time spent at the water trough will increase. The type of forage fed will also affect the horse’s water consumption based upon the feed’s protein content. Protein requires water during the digestive process, and as a result, feeds that are higher in protein will require the horse to consume more water. For example, a horse in a dry lot fed alfalfa hay (typically around 21% crude protein) will require more water in its daily diet than the same horse in a dry lot fed grass hay (typically around 9% crude protein).

Studies have also found that a horse’s consumption of water will be greatly affected by the temperature of the water. The consumption of water appears to be best in water with a temperature range from 45° to 65° F, with more consumption occurring at the warmer temperatures.  This can be difficult to manage, especially in natural water sources such as creeks or ponds, when the weather drops below freezing. In fact, when the weather changes suddenly and temperatures drop precipitously, then even with fresh, palatable water available, many horses will reduce their water consumption drastically which can lead to problems such as impaction colic as the ingesta within the intestines loses its ability to progress normally without enough water. One way to combat this is to provide an ounce or two of a loose salt mix on the horse’s daily ration when weather changes are imminent (in addition to an available salt block) to ensure that the horse continues to consume water when the temperature does drop. Overfeeding of salt is not a problem if there is plenty of fresh water available.

A decrease in daily water consumption can also occur when the water source becomes frozen. This is why it is so important that water sources be checked at least once daily, if not more, to ensure that horses will have unfrozen water available to drink. For man-made water sources such as buckets, troughs, or automatic waterers, there are electric water heaters that are available for keeping the water from freezing solid. Most of these water heaters are efficient down to 0° F, with some capable of preventing water from freezing at temperatures down to -20° F, but below that there are not many commercially available options. The problem with some of the less expensive options or with improper barn wiring is stray electricity, or shorts in the wiring that result in electrifying the water source. It does not help the horse’s water consumption if the water is not frozen but the horse receives an electrical shock each time it attempts to drink.  So checking the water heater and the water source on a daily basis is crucial to make sure the horse is capable of drinking the water and is actually doing so.

In natural water sources such as creeks or ponds, moving water has a better chance of not freezing than stagnant water, but in really cold climates, even moving water can freeze if the flow is slow and the depth is shallow, so alternate water sources may need to be provided. Many believe that snow provides an alternative to fresh, unfrozen water; however, most snow is very low in actual moisture content and the horse would have to eat many pounds of it each day to meet its minimum daily water intake requirements. Also, the horse would burn increased amounts of energy to warm the consumed snow and convert it to a usable form, which would thereby increase its caloric and water requirements, so snow is not a practical alternative to fresh, unfrozen water.

That being said, horses in Alaska have been studied during harsh weather when no water sources were available and hay was the only available feed source. Initially, the horses did exhibit signs of dehydration, but over several days they did transition to utilizing solid sources of water for their daily requirements by eating snow and licking the ice. However, if we can offer an alternative water source, we can eliminate that transitional dehydration period from occurring.

The palatability and cleanliness of the water will also influence how much of it a horse will consume. For example, if the water from a natural source is fresh and not stagnant, is low in soluble contaminants (such as fertilizers or herbicides) from the surrounding land, and of an acceptable salt concentration (salinity), then most horses will readily consume it. However, horses are very sensitive to changes in the taste and smell of their water, which can make it difficult, especially when transporting horses where the available water will come from different sources. Some horses will not initially drink water that has been chlorinated, such as from a municipal water source, or if it contains higher concentrations of certain minerals such as from a natural water source, until they have been conditioned to drink it. Many horsemen will help their horses through this transition or conditioning period by adding a masking flavor such as Gatorade®, Kool-Aid®, or even Coca-Cola® to the horse’s initial water source for several days before transport in gradually increasing amounts.  They will then continue to add the masking flavor to the new water source for several days in gradually decreasing amounts to ensure the horse will consume the water from the new source.

Another difficulty arises in horses that have always had easy access to water from man-made sources such as buckets, troughs, or automatic waterers. Those horses may never have been exposed to water from natural sources and it may take them several days of watching more experienced horses to trust their instincts and “take the plunge.” During those initial days on the new water source, it is critical that the horse is observed for water consumption and for possible signs of dehydration. At times, some of those horses will need to be offered alternative water sources if they are not drinking from the natural water source. Most horses transitioning from natural water sources to man-made water sources have little difficulty as long as there is easy access and the water is fresh, clean, and palatable. If there are problems, it usually arises with chlorinated water from a municipal water source, which a horse has not been exposed to before. Masking the flavor sometimes helps in those situations.

When the horse is not consuming enough water on a daily basis to maintain the appropriate hydration status, then the horse can become dehydrated. When the horse becomes dehydrated from lack of water consumption, excessive sweating, lactation, a disease process or a combination thereof, then the horse’s bodily functions will become affected. As a result, the horse’s blood volume will decrease and this will result in an increase in heart rate and blood pressure as the body attempts to compensate for the reduced fluid volume. If the fluid deficit continues, then the body will begin to pull the fluids from surrounding tissues to help support the blood volume, and to help conserve fluids even further, urination will decrease.

As a result of these changes, horse owners can evaluate a horse’s hydration status by monitoring for an elevated heart or pulse rate (28-40 beats per minute is normal for an adult horse), changes in the color of the horse’s gums (bubblegum pink is normal) and feel (moist is normal), and in skin elasticity (skin pinch test in which the skin along the neck in front of the shoulder retracts back to normal in less than two seconds when pinched and released). Changes to those vital signs will occur when the horse is 4-6% dehydrated. Visual signs such as a sunken eyes and a tucked up appearance to the abdomen are also indicators, but they are typically seen with increased levels of dehydration approaching 8-10% dehydrated. Unfortunately, the horse’s performance (work, competition, or reproduction) will become adversely affected when the horse becomes 2% dehydrated, before visual signs become evident.

Luckily, dehydration in its mild forms can usually be corrected by offering fresh, palatable water to the horse (unless it is a disease process that is causing the dehydration), but when the dehydration starts approaching the level of 8-10%, a veterinarian needs to be contacted for appropriate diagnosis and fluid and electrolyte therapy, as well as any other treatments that may be required. This makes it important for the horse owner or horse care provider to be able to recognize signs of dehydration before the lack of water intake becomes a serious problem. This also emphasizes the need to make sure that the horse is being offered fresh, clean, palatable water of the appropriate temperature, especially if the horse is expected to perform successfully as an athlete or as a broodmare.

While it may seem as simple as putting water out and leading the horse to it, there are many factors that are involved in actually getting that horse to drink. Water is the most important nutrient that horses need to consume daily and it is up to us as horse care providers to ensure that horses receive the freshest, cleanest, most palatable water that we can provide.

 

 
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.

 

 
June 2021 - California Quarter Horse Captures Grand Prize in 2020 Farnam Supermask Supermodel Contest

by Cynthia McFarland • photos: Shelley Paulson

Doesn’t every handsome horse deserve to have a professional photo shoot? That was exactly the thought inspiring Abby Bruno of Moreno Valley, California, when she entered the 2020 Farnam SuperMask SuperModel Contest.

The winning horse is treated to a session with a professional photographer with his image to be used in an upcoming Farnam® SuperMask® fly mask ad. The winner also receives a grand prize jam packed with $1,000 worth of Farnam® fly control and grooming products.


The 2020 contest was the third annual for the popular event, which has drawn more entries each year. A panel of judges chooses the winner based on the following criteria: overall appeal and essence of a well-cared-for horse, audience appeal and appropriateness to contest theme.

“We had thousands of contenders this year so the judges had their work cut out for them. We were all so impressed with the quality of the submissions,” says Martha Lefebvre, senior marketing manager for Farnam. “We could easily see that our fans put a lot of effort into getting their horses groomed-up and looking beautiful for a chance to be the next SuperMask SuperModel.”
 
“When I saw the contest on Facebook I thought, why not try? I thought it would be cool to have Arnold be a super model and get his pictures done because I think he’s beautiful,” says Abby of her now 4-year-old Quarter Horse Bleu Steel who goes by the barn name “Arnold.”

Abby, a California native, nicknamed her photogenic gelding after the 38th governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“I never win contests, so I was 100 percent surprised. When I read the email saying he’d won, I wondered if it was spam, but I hoped it was legit,” recalls an overjoyed Abby. After calling the number in the email from Farnam, the amazing news was confirmed.

 



“The first person I told was my mom,” says Abby. “Then I told my friend Michaella, who felt a little responsible since she’s the one who encouraged me to buy him in the first place.

“Michaella and I grew up together, showing ponies and trail riding out here on my parents’ ranch in Moreno Valley,” adds Abby, 26. “We still ride our horses around bareback in halters like we did in high school.”

Horses have been at the heart of Abby Bruno’s life since she could walk.

Growing up on the ranch with parents who grew alfalfa and had a feed store, Abby immediately gravitated to the family’s horses. As soon as she showed an interest, she was given her first pony. It wasn’t long until her natural competitive nature revealed itself and her mother, who has shown for years, made sure Abby had lessons with a trainer.

“I have always loved horses; I live and breathe them,” says Abby, who was showing at the world level by age 8. “I started showing POAs when I was 6 years old doing leadline classes,” says Abby. I stayed with ponies until 2005, and then I started showing Appaloosas.”

Abby won her first youth world championship in the Appaloosa show ring in 2006 and would go on to win numerous championships over the next decade. Through the years she had great success with her Appaloosa gelding Shys Blue Boy, winning multiple championships together, including the 2010 High-Point Youth All-Around title and 2010 Reserve Youth World Championship.

In 2016, Abby made the decision to start showing Quarter Horses.

In 2018, Abby left California for Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, to pursue their animal science pre-vet program. For someone who’s always been surrounded by horses, going off to college without a horse felt strange.

“My dad said he wasn’t sending me to college with a horse,” laughs Abby. “I was only there a few weeks before I bought Arnold.”

In a world where people do so much online, it’s not surprising to look for horses there. But on Super Bowl Sunday 2019, Abby did more than look. She ended up buying the horse her friend Michaella from back home had spotted first.

“It all started when Michaella sent me an Instagram message with his picture saying I needed to buy him because he was pretty and she knew I’d always wanted a roan horse,” says Abby.

Turns out the good-looking 2-year-old bay roan Quarter Horse gelding by CBS Dirty Blue Revue was in a Facebook auction. After Abby sent his photo to her mother, she ended up bidding on him with her mom’s approval. (Abby admits she and her mother both have a fond place in their hearts for gray horses.)

“I set my timer and kept refreshing my Facebook page and I got him!” she grins.

Arnold was unbroken when Abby purchased him, so she promptly began his breaking process. She’s handled every bit of his training and Arnold proved to be a quick study. Abby has high hopes for him and he’s already off to a good start.

She decided to finish college in her home state and returned from Texas after a little over a year at Tarleton. Arnold came home with her, of course, and moved into the first stall at the barn on her family’s ranch.

“I want to finish my BS in biological sciences,” says Abby, who initially had hopes of becoming a veterinarian, but is undecided now. Along with many other students, her college plans were interrupted in early 2020 due to the pandemic. She’s happy to be safe at home and working at the family ranch.

Arnold may be young, but his show career is already under way. He and Abby competed in the AQHA Sun and Surf Circuit in Del Mar, California, on September 10-13, 2020.

“It was his first pattern class in the ranch riding, with all the spins and transitions, and he did really good,” says a proud Abby. “He was the only young snaffle bit horse in all his classes. When they asked for the extended lope, he was awesome. He has an amazing mind on him and nothing scares him. Everybody was drooling over him!”
 

Abby’s plans are to turn Arnold into an all-around horse and compete in horsemanship, showmanship, trail and western riding.

“When he was showing, he had his ears up the whole time and was enjoying it. I want him to last a lifetime, so I don’t want to push my horse into something he’s not ready to do. I’ve been in the horse show world a long time and I’ve seen how hard it can be on a horse if they’re pushed,” she notes.

Already 15.1 hands, Arnold still has some growing to do, so Abby intends to take her time guiding her young prospect into his show career.

Like her other horses, Arnold will benefit from the support of a whole team--veterinarian, farrier and equine physical therapist--to help him stay sound and healthy along the way.

Arnold’s SuperMask SuperModel photo shoot took place the first week of March 2021. Arnold handled it like the pro he is.

“Ears up and posing like crazy!” says Abby. “He likes his picture and he knows when it’s getting taken.”

She and Arnold have been enjoying the prize package extravaganza they received as SuperMask SuperModel winner.

“Oh my goodness, there were so many products! Opening the boxes felt like Christmas!” says Abby. “I was using some of the fly control products the very first day. I was already a SuperMask fly mask user, of course, and now Arnold has a new one.”

She especially appreciated the Vetrolin items and says the smell alone sparks wonderful memories.

“I’ve been using Vetrolin products since I had ponies and absolutely love them. That remarkable smell is so recognizable. It brings back memories and makes me think of getting ready for a horse show. I used Vetrolin all the time when I started showing as a youth, so I always associate it with a horse show,” says Abby.

“I’ve used Farnam products all my show career, so I’m really familiar with them, but there were some new products in the prize package I hadn’t used before,” she adds. “I’ve used the leather care products, but not the Leather New Total Care 2 in 1. I have leather chairs so I’m excited to use it on those.”

In addition to Arnold, Abby is happily using the Farnam windfall of products on her other horses too. These include Arnold’s full sibling, a weanling colt Abby bought from the original breeder, VS Lady N Bay, her 3-year-old Quarter Horse filly, Shys Blue Boy, the retired 20-year-old Appaloosa gelding she won so many titles with, and the 25-year-old POA Cookies Blue Ribbon (“Little Blue”), she first started showing on.

In late 2020, Abby added to her herd, with the purchase of Blaze in Trouble, a 2-year-old Quarter Horse filly.

“She’s a multiple National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA) champion, and I’ll be showing her in all the non-pro Western Pleasure futurities,” says Abby. “I’m very excited to show her and to continue showing Arnold.”

“Little Blue is the one who started it all. He’s the gray POA I showed as a kid and the one I won world and international titles on,” says Abby. “He’s never leaving; he will be here forever.”

Horses aren’t the only critters on the Bruno family ranch and in Abby’s life.

She has a border collie named Indie, a Pomeranian named Cowboy and a three-legged cat named Monster. Both Cowboy and Monster have logged many miles with Abby traveling across the country for horse shows.    

“When I’m not playing with horses, I love to road bike, paint and draw,” says Abby, a talented artist who has done some commissioned animal memorial portraits.

Her favorite part of creating those portraits is bringing to life the emotion and personality of the animal in its expression. It’s a special project for this dedicated animal lover.

 

 
June 2021 - Will Simpson and Chacco P Win the $100,000 Riders Cup Grand Prix

by Brooke Goddard • photos: Julia B. Photography

Olympic Gold Medalist Will Simpson and Chacco P were victorious in the $100,000 Riders Cup Grand Prix at LA Equestrian Center (May 6-9), receiving the Judy Martin Perpetual Trophy. In second place was Cassio Rivetti and Go Eldor, and in third place was Matt Archer aboard Luigi VD Bisschop.
 


 

Simpson was thrilled with his win. “I’ve been working with this horse for three years, and this win is very gratifying. He’s so brave and so athletic that I just try to hang on and remember the course,” he commented. “Hap Hansen is one of my favorite riders and one of my favorite people in the world. To have this ring dedicated to him is a big honor.”
 
Course designer Guilherme Jorge was equally pleased with how the pair navigated his course. “I was very happy,” he said. “I think eight riders in the jump-off makes for a really good jump-off and an exciting first round. Chacco P is 18 hands and has a lot of scope. His turn to the double showed the tremendous scope that the horse has. Will was very efficient in the turns and proved unbeatable.”
 
“Seeing Will Simpson win the first Riders Cup here in Los Angeles was pretty exciting,” commented West Palms CEO Dale Harvey. “It was amazing just to see it all come together. I am really looking forward to hosting Riders Cup in October at LA Equestrian Center. We learned so much from doing this one and we can’t wait to improve even more.”
 
Mark your calendars for the next edition of Riders Cup at LA Equestrian Center (Oct. 21-24, 2021)! Visit www.westpalmsevents.com for more information.

Will Simpson and Chacco P

Will Simpson and Chacco P

Will Simpson and Chacco P

Will Simpson

Leading rider Shawn Casady receives a hay steamer from Haygain

Hap Hansen Arena

Dale Harvey, Hap Hansen, and Marnye Langer

Dale Harvey and Marnye Langer

 
June 2021 - Genuine Farms & ChuckUms®

Interview with hunter/jumper trainer and entrepreneur Kristi Frishman.

by Cheryl Erpelding

Riding Magazine: What made you become a trainer?

Kristi: I was born obsessed with horses and by the age of 5 I knew I wanted to be a horse trainer. My parents showed their displeasure by telling me straight out, “That’s a stupid profession!” Thankfully,they did support my passion and allowed me to ride and show with Olympian Rob Gage and Cindy Grossman as a kid. Later,  I did follow their advice to go to UCLA and studied Kinesiology, which is the physiology of motion. I did love what I learned there but, it didn’t take long for me to lose interest in my “real”  job in health care as my  heart was with the horses. I began riding again as an amateur and trained with Michael Patrick at Blue Fox Farm before going to work as an assistant to Mary Morrison at Ivy Gate Farm. I was blessed during this time with Mary to work with Victor Hugo Vidal.


Riding Magazine: What makes your program at Genuine Farms unique?

Kristi: First and foremost, I love the horses and approach my training from the angle of the horse’s perspective. If they are treated with respect as a partner and physically comfortable they will enjoy their job more and perform better.  If they don’t feel good,  aren’t enjoying their work, or are spooky, there’s probably an underlying issue. I choose problem solving over domination. I am also really blessed to have the support of Katie Tayler both at home and at the shows.  She’s a super talent and has an amazing connection with the horses.

My studies in Kinesiology included a big dose of biomechanics and physiology which trained me to have a good eye for details and angles and a deeper  understanding of soundness issues with the horses. My program is very individualized to focus on the needs of each horse and rider. My barn also has a wonderful intimate family atmosphere.

Riding Magazine: You created a product, tell me about it?

Kristi: Out of a real need in my own barn  I, with the help of a few other horse women,  came up with ChuckUms® - Multi use Disposable Bandages for horses. This all started after coming back from Thermal a few years ago and one of the nice big geldings I had imported destroyed his third pair of brand new standing wraps. The idea literally just popped into my head, “Huggies for horses!” We researched the market and couldn’t find anything out there patent wise, so we  filed for a patent three years ago and went on to create ChuckUms®.

The product is quite unique and has been well received especially by veterinarians and rehab facilities.  It’s made with medical grade antimicrobial material that repels dirt and moisture so it works great for scratches, fungus, cellulitis and all types of wound care.  While we are looking for materials that are fully biodegradable that perform as well as what we are currently using,. It is now made of at least  65% recycled plastic bottles. ChuckUms® are multi use. If you need a clean wrap you’ve got it but if it’s just day to day I use them for about a week before I toss them. The disposable product saves gallons and gallons of water and diminishes the need for bleach which is toxic to the horses skin and to the environment. And, I no longer have to look at a pile of filthy wraps at the end of the horse show.



Riding Magazine: Where do you see it going?
Kristi: I see this product as a staple in every barn. The product is better for the horse’s legs and veterinary clinics appreciate the value ChuckUms® bring, especially in wound care and therapeutic treatments for their patients. I’ve been making samples and playing with materials to make sure we have the best product possible.  We are about ready to launch on a bigger scale. I’ve had a desire to invent something for many years and this is a new exciting adventure.

Riding Magazine: After many years at Sycamore Trails, you have been at Coto De Caza Equestrian Preserve. Tell us about that:

Kristi: I relocated to Coto De Caza Equestrian Preserve about three years ago. It’s a beautiful parklike facility with lots of trees and open space, two covered arenas, lots of turnout paddocks and access to miles of trails. My horses are very happy at Coto where they get to live in giant stalls with boxes and runs.  The facility is much quieter and more peaceful for the horses than the previous facility.

I love going to the shows.  I am really good at matching horses and riders and developing young/green horses.

I currently have openings for training and consignment horses.

To learn more about Genuine Farms visit www.GenuineFarms.com or call Kristi 949-212-3435.

To learn more about ChuckUms® visit www.ChuckUms.com.

 

 


“We are so grateful for everything Kristi at Genuine Farms has taught us. She has the perfect mix of challenging the horse and rider while always ensuring a safe and fun experience.  She cares for each horse with great compassion and attention that you would not expect from a trainer.  Whether you are just learning or already competing in Hunter or Jumper Shows, Kristi is right by your side supporting your goals. To top it off, the Coto De Caza equestrian center is by far the most beautiful facility in Orange County to ride.” -Jennifer Farr

“I have been with this trainer, Kristi Frishman, for quite some time. I had experienced many trainers before her and none had an attention to detail and safety like Kristi. She is an amazing rider and her barn is very friendly and welcoming to children and adults alike. Her horses are very well trained & they receive excellent care.  She is one of the most honest people I have met in this business.” -Joann Goltermann

“I have ridden with Kristi at Genuine Farms in Coto de Caza for over 5 years and she has been a wonderful thoughtful trainer. She has helped me find the perfect horse and worked with me to increase my confidence and encouraged me back into the show ring!!   Our horses receive the best care and safety is a top priority. I highly recommend this training program!” -Kim Nagle

 

 
May 2021 - Southern California Loses a Longtime Pioneer of Equestrian Construction

by Ron & Laura Johnson

Harry H. Herndon III, owner of Easy Rider Arenas, passed away March 30, 2021 at the age of 72 after a long battle with lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Harry is survived by his wife Connie, and his two daughters Ashley and Elizabeth.


Harry worked in the construction industry for 45 years and 30 of those years he spent operating his company, Easy Rider Arenas, where he constructed and built equestrian facilities. He was the “pioneer of the equestrian construction business” and the first in the industry to introduce quality footing to the equestrian facilities and homeowners. Harry was very passionate and dedicated to his work and was the “go to man” to talk to in Southern California for all equestrian construction needs as he loved helping his clients.

Throughout the years of operating his business, Harry knew thousands of people in the horse world that were not only his customers and business associates, but became his friends. Harry was a shining light that had a great sense of humor, and a contagious personality with his “good ole boy charm” that made him beloved by all that knew him.

When Harry was not in the field running his jobs he had many favorite pastimes that included being outdoors as he had a love for nature and gardening. He was also avid about his daily exercise whether it was running, biking, or hitting the speed bag. He also loved to take his four legged best friend “Molly” with him everywhere including to the Poway Community Park for a jog together.

Harry will be immensely missed but not forgotten by his family, friends, and members of the horse community who had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful person. Rest in Peace Harry, we all love you and we will miss you!

 

 
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.

 

 
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