November 2020 - Editor's Notes
Written by by Kim F Miller
Friday, 30 October 2020 02:32


No trouble coming up with things to be thankful for as Thanksgiving approaches. For all of us pursuing our passions in the horse business, we are back to having more going on than any one person or media outlet can hope to keep track of.

I am in awe of show organizers, training barns, riding schools, tack and feed stores, manufacturers and suppliers who have found ways to keep things going through these eight months of pandemic and having to do everything very differently than we have in the past.


Our cover story on the partnership between veteran show organizer Marnye Langer, of the Langer Equestrian Group, and newer entry Steve Hankin, leader of the Apex Equisport team, is a positive example of good people, both exhibitors themselves, working together to make high-quality hunter/jumper shows more widely accessible. It’s the rising tide lifts all boats idea. “If you work to make your industry better and stronger, your own business will benefit,” notes Marnye.


Horse show organizers working together is not unprecedented in the West. Major players united to build a better World Cup jumping league, and organizers have offered reduced costs for young horses, Off the Track Thoroughbreds and, in some cases, economically disadvantaged riders, for some time.

As in every aspect of life, it’s easy to criticize and hard to be part of the solution. Evidence of exactly that came with the news that much-admired eventing organizer John Marshall notified the USEA Area VI Council that 2020 will be his final year organizing events at the Fresno County Horse Park. John stepped up in 2012 when the venue then known as Ram Tap announced its closure. He purchased the equipment and took over the land rental agreements and has staged events that kept the Horse Park critical to the region’s eventing calendar.

2016 Olympic eventer Lauren Billys, a Fresno area native, and Area VI chair and amateur eventer Asia Vedder are fielding inquiries from all interested in banding together to preserve the venue and its ability to keep hosting equestrian competition. They can be reached through

There’s oodles of inspiration in the revival of the Earl Warren Fairgrounds in Santa Barbara. I am among those whose family’s Thanksgivings revolved around the “Turkey Show” of yore. Rhea Hayes’ article wonderfully details the saga of saving the venue for equestrian competition and the many people who made that possible.

Everybody’s fortitude in getting through this year is especially encouraging in light of the reality that we probably have several more months to go.

Performance psychologist columnist Darby Bonomi, PhD, addresses a reader’s question about how to maintain a positive outlook even if the New Year does not close the book on 2020’s many challenges. As a bonus, “Dr. Darby’s” daughter, Clara, has a neat article on how she and other young riders handle show related stress.

The Desert International Horse Park, under the leadership of aforementioned Steve Hankin of Apex Equisport, is a hub of activity this fall. Last month, it hosted the California Reining Horse Association’s CRHA Challenge concurrent with the National Sunshine Preview, the first result of their partnership with Langer Equestrian Group. The Preview capitalized on the confluence of disciplines by adding a Reining/HJ Team Challenge to the schedule.

Nov. 12-22, DIHP hosts two weeks of international Desert Dressage CDIs. As our story explains, Jan and Ben Ebeling are likely stars of these exciting additions to the West Coast calendar and Amy Ebeling had quite a lot to do with bringing the players together.

In a sport that is typically very segmented between disciplines, it’s gratifying to see the many way in which our shared love of the horse creates common ground. Which brings me to The Love Of The Horse, a new series of online horse health presentations.

They are the brainchild and passion project of Julie Garella-Williams, president and CEO of MacKinnon Products.  But you won’t see Ice Horse or other MacKinnon brands promoted by the featured vets and experts because the format direct drives info from them to horse owners. The next talk is Sunday, Nov. 8 at 4 pm, featuring one of our favorite veterinary sources, Dr. Phoebe Smith, DVM, of Riviera Equine Internal Medicine and Consulting. The topic is Metabolic & Cushing Syndrome: Understanding Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention. Dr. Smith is a master at explaining complicated topics in regular horse owner terms so I know this one will be awesome.

Thanks to all of our advertisers, readers and contributors for making another issue possible. Next year will mark our 35th year and we greatly appreciate everybody’s support.

Happy reading, happy riding and Happy Thanksgiving!

Kim F Miller, Editor
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