News & Features
December 2019 - First Person From China
Written by by Rachel Long
Sunday, 01 December 2019 09:20
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West Coast star enjoys a Far East adventure in the FEI Jumping Junior Nations Cup™ Tianjin CSIOJ.

by Rachel Long

China was a place that I had always wanted to visit someday. Little did I know that “someday” would be coming sooner than later. The US Equestrian Jumping email update arrived in my inbox: “Applications to FEI Jumping Junior Nations Cup™ Tianjin CSIOJ, China open soon.” The competition would be held at a polo club outside of Beijing on Oct. 31-Nov. 3, on borrowed horses. The U.S. was planning to send a team of three junior riders, but the application didn’t open for another week. Excitement and impatience kept interrupting my packing and organization for our upcoming show.

 


Jumping in the Junior Grand Prix (Friday).

After one long week my application was in the hands of the selection committee and I was focusing on the show. The phone call went to my grandmother and trainer, Debbi Long. Her expression gave nothing away, but once she signed off, she sang, “Guess where weeeeee’re going?” My confusion must have been evident: “China!” She exclaimed. The decision was in. I had been chosen to represent the U.S. alongside Madison Rauschenbach and Kyle Perkovich. DiAnn Langer was to be the Chef d’Equipe. At the moment I had no idea of the long, incredible, fun road we were starting on.

 

Opening ceremony with (from left) Rachel, DiAnn, Maddie, and Kyle.

We had a whirlwind week—plane tickets, visas, team uniforms, saddle pads and jackets. We organized the logistics and coordinated with the rest of the team. The day before we left, I rode almost every horse in the barn to refresh my borrowed-horse skills.

On Monday morning, my grandmother and I were off to China! The flights and navigating the airports were simple and we arrived in Beijing on Tuesday evening for a good night’s sleep. Once we were recharged, we met the rest of the team for breakfast. The three of us knew of one another, but we had not officially met before.

Jumping in the Junior Grand Prix (Friday).

After breakfast we joined the Jamaican team for a tour to the Great Wall. After some photos we eagerly went to climb the stairs up the wall. The area was very mountainous, and most of the sections of the stairway were quite steep. From the table in the coffee shop, DiAnn fixed us each with a stern expression, “If any of you have sore legs tomorrow when we have to ride I will not be happy.” With a grin, we nodded obediently and eagerly scampered up the wall… for about five sets of stairs. We made about a third of the way before we began eyeing the remaining distance and glancing at each other. Of course, we didn’t turn back, but the pace was definitely not as brisk as when we started. Photo op from the Wall complete, we made our way to the base for the return to Beijing and transfer to the Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club later in the evening.

Meeting the young riders in the square at the market.

Wednesday morning we were able to get an idea of how spectacular everything was. The hotel was incredible with everything from automated curtains to self-flushing toilets in the rooms. For all the grandeur, however, there were very few people around the hotel, polo club or on the streets. The part of Tianjin where the polo club is located is a relatively new part of town and although there are numerous buildings, most are still under stages of construction. After a nice breakfast, we headed across the street to check out the barn.

A barn is somewhere all horse people understand, no matter where in the world it is. All of the horses looked happy in their stalls bedded with rice hulls rather then shavings. After cruising around the show grounds for the morning, we had the horse draw and riders meeting in the afternoon.
    

Tasting a rice-based dessert with DiAnn in the square at the market.

The Draw

The format for the draw was very interesting. Each country would draw a group of three horses and were free to distribute the horses as they wished to the athletes. On schooling day, we were allowed to switch horses if need be. In each group there was one horse from each of three levels, they had show records of jumping courses 1.10M, 1.15M or 1.20M in height. After the official draw, each country was given one hour in the ring with the horses. Our three horses had very similar characteristics and records so we each drew out of the hat.

I pulled a gelding named Quintino, Maddie pulled the stallion called Lord M and Kyle had the mare, Chiquirina. We were able to take all the horses out for a ride to get to know them and hop over a few fences. Quintino went off to a good start. He seemed very simple on the flat but got a little stronger over fences.

Walking the crowded market streets.

Friday was the first competition that helped us get to know our mounts better. Once in the show ring Quintino perked up quite a bit. He was adjustable and jumped well for most of the course, but in one line he got a little heavy costing us the rail at the vertical. Maddie’s horse also jumped well, having one down and Kyle’s jumped well after a circle at the first jump.  Maddie finished up 4th, Kyle in 10th and I finished up in 6th. In the prize ceremony, Maddie and I were presented with ribbons, flowers and an adorable stuffed horse mascot.

That evening was the Welcome Gala. After dinner the Junior teams were called up to a small stage. Not knowing exactly what was happening, Kyle, Maddie and I glanced nervously at each other. We were given a clip board to play a quiz game. “Oh my gosh, this is not going to end well,” Maddie laughingly said. The first question totally threw us off. “How does China rank in size?” We threw out a wild guess and were completely wrong. To make us feel better none of the four teams got the correct answer, including the Chinese team. After the first question we got in our groove and totally killed it (with the assistance of some excellent sign language from our table) to take the win.

On Saturday, we had a chance to do some flat work with the horses before a tour of Tianjin. It was not crowded, but there were tons of mopeds and bicycles on the roads. We passed many shops, hotels and housing buildings on the way to the bustling market that was our main stop. The group split up into teams and were given a guide to help navigate the market. We stopped at various galleries of statues, clay sculptures and paintings that were nestled between the small shops. After spending time at each gallery, we gathered in a courtyard where there were groups of children waiting to greet us. They rode at a local riding school and were elated to talk to us. Many had small gifts to offer, pro tips on which vendors had the best snacks, and some even asked for autographs. I was given a bookmark, a paper with calligraphy that a little boy had written, and a hair pin. After attempting to use my hair pin in my ponytail, the little girl’s mother swooped in to show me how it was done. Lots of photos were taken and the kids were able to practice their already-great English.
    

Entering the ring for the opening ceremony.

Better Than Gold

Sunday was the day that we had really been waiting for. We had a great draw going in to the competition with Team USA going last in the three-team rotation. I would be the first American rider, Kyle would follow and Maddie would finish up. I really wanted to start round 1 off right with a clear score. I was careful throughout the course, remembering Quinitino’s quirks and customs. It paid off and we had the first clear of the class!

Kyle followed close behind me. He rode his hot horse really well and laid down the only other clear of the class so far. Maddie was next in and she finished with a beautiful four-fault round. After round one, we were leading with a score of four, China was in second with 12 and Thailand was in bronze position with 32.

The second round came after a break of only 10 minutes. Going into the second round I wanted to have the same consistent and smart ride. Quintino was a little stronger towards the end of the course in round two but I was still able to hold it all together and keep him clean. DiAnn’s face when I came out of the ring said it best—she was all smiles but had to rush back to the schooling ring to help get Kyle ready. Kyle’s second round was a little less consistent as well, with his horse getting a little bit tired. He kept her going and crossed the timers with a big 0 on the score board. Team USA was still leading with only four penalties.

All the flags lined up in the opening ceremony.

As Maddie started to warm up we all got quiet. Her horse tripped in the schooling ring and walked away very lame. DiAnn quickly found the show manager, vet and the horse’s owner to discuss options. All three concluded that because she started the competition on the horse, there was no option of a substitution and the horse was unable to jump the second round. The Ground Jury decided that we would take the Bronze position as we were unable to complete round two. Although by FEI rules, we should not have been awarded any prizes, the horse show decided to unofficially gift us each flowers, stuffed mascots and a glass trophy.

Although we did not have the ideal ending that we had been dreaming about, the three of us walked away with something much more valuable then any medal: experience. The experience of flying to a country that none of us had been to before, to compete on borrowed horses was invaluable. We formed lifelong friendships and just had a good time. I am incredibly grateful to DiAnn Langer, US Equestrian, and my entire team at home who all helped make this opportunity possible. The CSIOJ in Tianjin is an adventure that will be with me for a lifetime.

 
November 2019 - The Gallop: Ante Up!
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 October 2019 00:29
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Split Rock Jumping Tour debuts ground-breaking $1.5 million Grand Prix in Rancho Santa Fe in April 2020.

The Split Rock Jumping Tour will host a new concept in show jumping as part of its 2020 national tour. The $1.5 Million “Ante Up” Grand Prix will debut April 7 at Pomponio Ranch in San Diego County’s Rancho Santa Fe.


“The main purpose of the Ante Up Grand Prix is to introduce a completely new dynamic to show jumping that currently does not exist at the highest level,” said Derek Braun, Founder and CEO of the Split Rock Jumping Tour. “Riders, owners, sponsors, and spectators will each play a valuable part in helping the sport progress to unprecedented heights. The format will allow each participant to be part of a unique, high intensity Grand Prix that is sure to draw attention and raise awareness around the world.

Derek Braun, Grand Prix jumping rider and founder of the Split Rock Jumping Tour.

“In this unique format, riders and owners will have a chance for a pay day unmatched in American show jumping. Qualified riders will have the right to choose whether or not to invest their own money to win 100% of the profits, or choose to have their entry paid for them and compete for 25% of the prize money with the remaining 75% going to whomever invested in them to compete. It will be completely their choice. Having fewer riders competing will give each entry a better chance of winning the highest pay day in show jumping.”

The Grand Prix will be limited to 15 riders only. Invitations will be extended to:
•    Top 5 entered U.S. riders based on the Longines FEI World Ranking list
•    Top 5 entered foreign riders based on the Longines FEI World Ranking list
•    5 Organizing Committee “Wild Cards”
•    2 onsite reserves

The Grand Prix will be run under a “Winning Round” format with the first round run against the clock. The top five riders will return for a second round in reverse order of qualification from round 1 with faults carrying over into the second round. Time in the second round will break all ties. The winner will receive $1 Million with $350,000 going to the second place finisher and $150,000 to third.

“This format lends itself perfectly to a television broadcast,” said Braun. “It will fit nicely into a one-and-a-half hour time slot which will be nationally televised live on April 7. This will build excitement, raise awareness for the sport, and draw a new, expanded viewership base beyond anything we’ve ever had before in American show jumping.”

Karl Cook & Fecybelle on their way to winning early September’s big Grand Prix at the SRJT’s Sonoma stop. Karl’s farm in Rancho Santa Fe, Pomponio Ranch, will host the exciting new event. Photo: Kim F. Miller

Braun concluded by thanking Karl Cook for hosting the event. “Karl has competed at many of our events in the past and he has been a great supporter of our Tour. His farm will be a great location for what we are planning and his letting us host the event there is truly amazing.”

Braun reminded riders that anyone interested in competing in the “Ante Up” Grand Prix should contact him as soon as possible.

Established in 2015, the Split Rock Jumping Tour has been revolutionizing the sport of show jumping in the United States, creating an “unparalleled show jumping experience” for competitors, sponsors and spectators alike. SRJT competitions offer top prize money, extravagant awards, special entry packages, and numerous first-class amenities not typically found at any other horse show. The SRJT presented six FEI shows at five world-class venues in 2019 and its new Fort Worth International CSI4*-W, which will also debut in 2020, was recently selected as one of just eight events in the newly-formatted Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Series’ North American League.

Article provided by Classic Communications. Additional information including schedules, news and ticket information, will be available in the near future at the Split Rock Jumping Tour website at www.SplitRockJumpingTour.com. For all sponsorship opportunities please contact Meg Kruger at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Gallop welcomes news, tips and photos. Contact Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
November 2019 - Wish Fulfilled!
Written by photos: courtesy of Lindsey Long, West Palms Event Management
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 23:35
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Lifelong dream realized thanks to generous Northern California equestrian community.

photos: courtesy of Lindsey Long, West Palms Event Management

The Sacramento International Horse Show and the Northeastern & Central California and Northern Nevada Chapter of Make-A-Wish® made a young lady’s wish come true during the competition held Oct. 4 at the Murieta Equestrian Center. The Friday before the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Sacramento qualifier, Emily was surprised by the California Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team with her very own American Quarter Horse, Maidu.


Emily was born with an incurable heart condition, but that hasn’t stopped her from living life to the fullest. Growing up on her family ranch in Northern California’s Ridgecrest, she was always around horses and wanted one of her own to compete in gymkhana. Yet, when her aunt moved away, their family ranch was without a horse. Now 14, Emily lives with her mom, stepdad and three half-siblings on that same ranch. Ridgecrest is where the massive 6.4, 5.4 and 7.1 earthquakes hit earlier this summer. Like many others in the area, Emily’s home was destroyed.

After finding out about her home and her wish, the Sacramento International Horse Show and Make-A-Wish went to work not only finding her a horse, but also her travel to the Sacramento International Horse Show and everything to go with her new horse.

Dale Harvey, owner of West Palms Event Management and veteran show manager of the Sacramento International Horse Show, helped coordinate the reveal and was there for the surprise: “Partnering with the Make-A-Wish® Foundation to gift Emily with Maidu was an incredible experience,” he said. “Her face lighting up at the sight of him walking into the ring was a highlight of the year for so many involved.”

Emily had no idea that her trip from Ridgecrest would result in her dream becoming a reality, and it could not have come at a better time:”God gave me this heart condition for a reason, I just don’t know why yet,” Emily said, “It’s just the journey I have.”

Several companies and individuals joined with Make A Wish and West Palms Events to make Emily’s wish come true. They include Riding Warehouse, Elk Grove Milling, The Murieta Inn & Spa, Kaley Cuoco and Big Bay City, Murieta Equestrian Center, the West Coast Equine Foundation and Pacific Coast Building Products.

Article provided by West Palms Events. Photos by Lindsey Long.

 
November 2019 - Emma Reichow Wins Big For the West
Written by photos: Al Cook Photography
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:45
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Harley and Olivia Brown student finishes her junior year with victory in the 2019 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Championships.

photos: Al Cook Photography

A quiet intensity came over the New Holland Arena as Emma Catherine Reichow and Forever Alve entered the ring in the final phase of the 2019 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Championships at the 74th Pennsylvania National Horse Show. After a perfect final round, Reichow can now add 2019 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Champion to her résumé. Reichow trains with Harley and Olivia Brown.


Coming off a brilliant performance winning the 2019 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals - West in September, 17-year-old Reichow, of Menlo Park, CA, ended the year and her Junior career as the 2019 Neue Schule/USEF National Junior Jumper Individual Champion and recipient of the AHSA National Show Jumping Individual Championship Memorial Trophy aboard Forever Alve, Reichow’s own 9-year-old KWPN mare.

“I’m very thankful to have such an amazing horse. It’s been an incredible year,” said Reichow, noting this was her last year in the Juniors. “It definitely has been the best year of my life; I’ll never forget it. With Talent Search and now this, I didn’t expect this to happen, I’m over the moon.”

The final course, designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD, featured 11 jumps with 14 jumping efforts at 1.35m with a time allowed of 69 seconds. Reichow and Forever Alve represented Zone 10 and produced three brilliant rounds. The duo only incurred one rail in Phase II to remain in the top three heading into the final phase, where they produced a double clear round and ended the weekend on a final score of four penalty points.

“It’s such an honor and such a prestigious class and I don’t think someone from Zone 10 has won it in a couple years, and I’m truly honored I was able to do that this year,” said Reichow. “It has always been a goal of mine to come here and do well.”

Ned Cunniffe and Buckle Up finished and Mimi Gochman and Street Hassle BH, finished second and third and both are USHJA Zone 2 teammates.

Report provided by Classic Communications.

 
October 2019 - Revised World Cup Jumping League
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 02:55
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Sacramento & Las Vegas retain qualifiers in next cycle of qualifiers starting with 2020/2021 season.

The FEI has announced qualifiers for the next three seasons of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League.

Following a very competitive bidding and evaluation process, the FEI has allocated the eight qualifiers of this prestigious league in the USA, Canada and Mexico confirming the location and dates across the continent for seasons 2020/2021 through to 2022/2023.

 
September 2019 - The Gallop: A Change of Reign
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:58
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Thermal & Arizona show circuits, and Thermal venue, in new ownership group’s hands.

by Kim F. Miller

Talk of the HITS Desert Circuit hunter/jumper series being sold has been circulating for a few years. It happened in early August when the newly-formed Apex Equisport announced its purchase of HITS’ hunter/jumper competition series: the two-week Sunshine Series and eight-week Desert circuits in the Palm Spring area’s Thermal, and the six-week series in Tucson, AZ. The purchase includes the 3,000-stall competition facility in Thermal, all from Tom Struzzieri, founder and CEO of Horse Shows In the Sun, which is based in Saugerties, NY. The Thermal venue will now be called the Desert International Horse Park.

 

 
September 2019 - SafeSport
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:43
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Participation ban for industry legend George Morris intensifies an ongoing debate about the best means for protecting all equestrians.

“Safe Sport” discussions in the equestrian world reached a new level of intensity on Aug. 5 when the U.S. Center for SafeSport announced a permanent ban on participation to industry legend, George Morris, 81. The ban resulted from an investigation of allegations of “sexual misconduct involving a minor” between 1968 and 1972. The same day, Morris issued an email in which he contested the findings and stated that he would dispute them in an appeal process.

 
September 2019 - All In For EAP
Written by by Darby Bonomi, PhD • photos © Alden Corrigan Media
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:29
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Parents value the USHJA’s Emerging Athlete Program as much as their participating kids.

by Darby Bonomi, PhD • photos © Alden Corrigan Media

The Emerging Athletes Program Regional Training Session, held at Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma from July 17-21, was a huge success on many fronts. Clinician Cynthia Hankins, Stable Manager Nanci Snyder, and USHJA Representative Amy Owen Center were the formidable team educating and supporting 19 eager young riders during 5 days of intensive training at Ned Glynn’s beautiful facility.

 
September 2019 - Feedlot to Show Ring
Written by by Hailey Esses
Saturday, 31 August 2019 20:42
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Rescued pony is not just a number anymore.

by Hailey Esses

Cup of Tea, also known as “Ravioli,” has gone from only a number, 9432, to a superstar. He was an auction pony from the North Texas Feedlot, but he is now is a champion show pony.

 

 
September 2019 - USEF/AVA Vaulting National Champs
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 18:32
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California vaulters fly high.

The US Equestrian (USEF)/American Vaulting Association (AVA) Vaulting National Championships were held on August 7-11 at The National Equestrian Center in St. Louis, MO. Dusti Hausman captured the Female Gold Individual championship, while Mikhail Proctor claimed the Male Gold Individual championship. A composite squad from Mile-High Vaulters and Pacific Coast Vaulters won the A Team championship.

 

 
December 2019 - A Tale of Two Stables
Written by CRM
Sunday, 01 December 2019 09:00
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Urban horse keeping is a challenging and evolving endeavor.

Horsekeeping in the Los Angeles area has been a challenging proposition for many years now. Horse boarding is typically a break-even proposition to begin with and urban sprawl combined with ever-rising land values make even that a big challenge. The different histories and realities of two stables in the area illustrate the challenges of keeping horses close to those who enjoy them.
          


Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

Hansen Dam Horse Park in Lake View Terrace

Since buying a majority share of the City Of Los Angeles Department of Parks & Recreation concession to operate the 38-acre equestrian facility in 2017, veteran equestrian businessman Larry Langer has been struck by the range of stories people tell him about the property. “They range from people telling me they’d never heard of the place before to those who remember it before Eddie Milligan bought it, in about 1989, when it was basically a field where you could rent horses.”

Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team Lieutenant Colonel Janet Johnstone is one of those storytellers. She grew up in the area and recalls riding near what is now the Horse Park at a stable called Osborne Stables. “There was an arena, a paddock, and a public rental place. It doesn’t look anything like what it does now!”

During the 1990s, the late Eddie Milligan built the facility into a full-on equestrian center. Before that, Milligan and the late Don Burt had worked out a similar arrangement to build and operate the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. When Milliken sold the Hansen Dam concession to a group led by Sterling Champ in 2008, Milliken went on to build the Huntington Park Equestrian Center, another property on leased public land.

Photo: Kristin Lee Photography

Larry had owned and managed an equestrian facility in the Sacramento area early in his long career in the horse business. That, plus many subsequent years as a horse show organizer and industry leader, gave him reason to consider Hansen Dam a uniquely viable venture in which to invest.  It was also a relative bargain. Instead of having to buy the land, his buy-in cost was the majority ownership of the concession agreement – Sterling Champ retains a minority share of the agreement. Larry adds, “Because I didn’t have to buy the land, I can afford to make improvements.”

And that he has. Significant investments range from the major costs of arena footing and stabling upgrades to less expensive landscaping enhancements. The end result of ongoing improvements is a multi-faceted approach to overall profitability. In addition to boarding, Hansen Dam has a growing Riding School, it hosts a busy schedule of equestrian competitions, Mexican cultural entertainment events in a purpose-built arena and special events from horsemanship clinics to quinceaneras.

“You can’t make any money on board,” he explains. “But if you can break even on board, that allows you to profit from ancillary things.” Along with the concession agreement, rent paid to the City of Los Angeles is another cost of business. But it’s very reasonable compared to rent a boarding facility operator would typically have to pay a landowner, especially in the densely populated area that Lakeview Terrace now is.

“No one is getting rich in the horse business,” acknowledges Larry, who currently does not draw a salary from Hansen Dam Horse Park. “But the unique situation here gave me the incentive to take it over and try to make it profitable. I plan to have it turning a profit by June of 2020.”

In the meantime, the Southern California equestrian community is grateful for Hansen Dam’s existence, especially in its ever-improving state. “The Langers are doing a great job,” says Janet, a longtime area resident. “It’s so important because the horse-owning way of life is dwindling.” She’s grateful to Hansen Dam for welcoming the Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team, which initially practiced at the property when it started in 1957. The non-profit endeavor remains true to its original mission of enabling those who typically can’t afford their own horse to have a regular way of enjoying them. The team practices on horses rented from and delivered by Scott Perez, whose family is intertwined with Los Angeles horsekeeping history through renting horses for trail riding and movie making.

Hansen Dam Horse Park is also highly valued as an evacuation site in emergencies. It has been a designated safe haven for horses in all of the area’s recent fires.


Bella Vista Stables in Sunland/Shadow Hills

 

The privately-owned boarding facility is of the same vintage as Hansen Dam, but has followed a much different trajectory. Currently the subject of unhelpful rumors swirling about its supposed closure, the 9.7-acre property is for sale, acknowledges Cheryl Winton, who owns it with her stepsister Cathy Pfeifer. It was not dire circumstances that put the property on the market but the more regular life reality that Cheryl and Cathy inherited Bella Vista from their recently deceased stepfather. After his passing, they agreed to sell it.

Since Bella Vista’s for-sale status became known, what had been a head count of 80 to 85 horses became the current 60 fairly fast. “I’m telling everybody the truth, which is that there’s no way to know if it will be sold today or six months from now.”

Cheryl’s mother Evelyn grew up in Chicago and had horses all her life. She first came upon the 9.7-acre Shadow Hills-area property by representing it as a real estate broker. The listing lingered without takers for about a year, Cheryl recalls, so her mother and stepfather Carlo Scialanga decided to buy it. It had a small barn, corrals, an arena and a main house on it. The board was $65 a month, Cheryl recalls.

The property was remodeled extensively and built into a its eventual capacity in keeping with is Conditional Use Permit for 100 horses. Cheryl managed the property for many years and recalls good years, business-wise, as occurring when they had a busy lesson program. California Rangers and other groups constituted a regular and sizeable clientele that enjoyed a string of about 30 lessons horses.

Two things made it more difficult to maintain a profit: kids’ interest in riding seem to go down and the cost of safe, reliable school horses soared, along with the cost of their care and insurance, Cheryl reflects. Somewhere along the line, Bella Vista closed up the riding school portion, letting their school horses enjoy a retired life, and turned to boarding as the only revenue stream.

Cheryl says she’s not in a big hurry to sell the property, and that she’d love to find a buyer committed to continuing with the equestrian operation. A significant board increase and bringing on trainer-based businesses would likely be needed to make that a viable business venture, she acknowledges. Both steps would involve attracting a horse-owning clientele of those willing to spend more on their hobby. “We cater to people who mostly keep and love their horses as their pets,” Cheryl explains.

Despite development, the area surrounding Bella Vista retains much of its horsey heritage. It’s in-between the 210 and 5 freeways and five miles from Hansen Dam Horse Park. Most of the area is still zoned for horse keeping, though many of the residential lots don’t have any. Bella Vista’s Conditional Use Permit is assured into perpetuity, Cheryl adds, a plus for any buyer looking to continue the equestrian operation.

 
November 2019 - New Breed of Horse Retirement
Written by by Christyn Hendrick
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 23:45
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Assurance of compassionate, individualized care eases transition to retirement – for the horse and its owner.

by Christyn Hendrick

The time comes in every horse’s life when it’s time to hang up their shoes and enjoy a well-earned retirement.  As owners, it’s our job to do the legwork and research to find the perfect retirement farm that will love and care for our horses in the same way that we do.

 


A lesson some owners learn the hard way is you don’t know what you don’t know.  No one tells you what questions you should be asking, or what pitfalls to watch out for, and there are a lot of things you assume would be included that are not.  With so many horse retirement websites full of beautiful pictures and similar sounding packages, it’s hard to tell the difference, but there is a horse retirement farm that is different: Trinity Sky Farms.

 

Located on 90 acres in the beautiful Central Tennessee area of Shelbyville, Trinity Sky Farms is unlike any other retirement farm.  It’s not just the beautiful pastures and custom-built barn that are so impressive. More importantly, it’s the level of care and one-on-one attention your horse gets.  Routine is very important for horses, especially horses transitioning from show life, and being tossed out in a field can be a culture shock for them.

Trinity Sky Farms offers your horse the daily routines they’re accustomed to such as morning/evening feeding of supplements (if needed), being fully groomed every morning before going out for the day and having their hooves picked every night when they come in. Most importantly, it’s the human interaction and affection they receive.  So many farms offer these things “as needed,” which may mean something different to you than it does to them.  When things are not part of a daily routine, they are more likely to be forgotten or overlooked.

As our horses age it is inevitable that they will need more care and daily maintenance.  How, and by whom will my horse’s health be monitored?  Is there a quality hospital nearby?

Are vet costs in the area expensive?  Will I have to pay extra for the farm to perform these treatments?  These are all important things to consider and part of what sets Trinity Sky Farms apart from the rest.  Your horse is physically gone over twice every day and by the same person so any minor change in their demeanor, body, eating and/or drinking habits is noticed right away.

With Tennessee Equine Hospital nearby your horse is guaranteed the top healthcare possible at astonishingly affordable prices in comparison to costs on the West and East costs.  Trinity Sky Farms doesn’t charge for arranging vet visits, holding your horse or performing the vet prescribed treatments.  Additionally, owners always receive copies of any vet bills and/or receipts for owner approved purchases with each month’s bill so there is always complete transparency.

Due to the fact that Trinity Sky Farms is so hands on and caters to each horse’s individual needs on a daily basis, they only offer a limited number of openings; guaranteeing that quality is never sacrificed for quantity.

Article provided by Trinity Sky Farms. For more information, visit www.trinityskyfarms.com.

 
November 2019 - Laminitis: A Year-Round Concern
Written by by Becky James, BSc, MSc
Wednesday, 30 October 2019 23:25
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Debilitating lameness affects 1 in 10 horses.

by Becky James, BSc, MSc

Despite a long-standing belief that laminitis is a spring-time disease, a recent study identified that there is no “safe” season: laminitis remains a threat regardless of the time of year. The same study also revealed that 1 in 10 horses/ponies develop laminitis every year.


When to Worry?

As horse owners, we must remain cautious and not reduce preventive measures when the perceived spring “high-risk” period is over. Furthermore, the study highlights the importance of recognizing subtle signs of potentially life-threatening episodes.

This is supported by 2017 study published in the BEVA Equine Veterinary Journal which revealed 45% of owners did not suspect laminitis was the problem prior to veterinary diagnosis, making it critical to recognize the more subtle signs.

In addition, research by Rossdales Veterinary Hospital and the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket warned that commonly cited clinical signs, such as the classic “laminitis stance” and divergent growth rings, were found in less than half of the active laminitis cases in their study.

What To Look For?

Evidence suggests there is a period where laminitis is present and causing changes to the hooves, but lameness is not yet apparent. Picking up these early signs of laminitis before there is any pain associated with the condition would allow horse owners to adjust their management strategies and their veterinarian to treat the underlying disease to help prevent a painful episode of laminitis.

The signs of laminitis can be broadly grouped into two groups: signs associated with hoof changes, and signs associated with hoof pain.

Signs associated with hoof changes:

  • Hoof rings that are wider at the heel than the toe (divergent hoof rings)
  • Cracks in the wall of the hooves
  • Changes in the angle of the hoof walls
  • Increased amount of horn at the toe of the hooves
  • Changes in the angle of the hoof walls
  • Bruising in the wall or the white line
  • Sensitive to pressure on the soles of his feet?


Signs associated with hoof pain:

  • Spending more time lying down than normal
  • Rocked back or rocked forward stance
  • Unwilling to move/ Unable or unwilling to stand
  • Lameness
  • Constantly shift weight from leg to leg
  • Foot-sore after a farrier visit
  • Resistance to you picking up one or more of his/her feet
  • An unusually strong pulse in one or more of his/her digital arteries. (This pulse can be felt if you place your fingers below the back of the horse’s fetlock) Or feet feel hotter than usual


If you suspect laminitis:
•    Call your veterinarian immediately!
•    While you wait for the veterinarian, remove your horse from pasture, provide soft footing for them to stand on and make sure they have water and hay within reach.

Prevention

Prevention is better than cure…especially when there is no cure!

Feeding remains key to reduce the risk of laminitis. Modern grass varieties are generally productive grasses, too rich for horses, especially those susceptible to laminitis which is closely linked to obesity.

Access to grass should be restricted, but they still need plenty of fiber to avoid other problems such as gastric ulcers and colic. While most cases of laminitis have an underlying hormonal cause, their diet certainly contributes, usually in the form of excess sugar (aka: water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and starch, the main sources of which are grass and cereals. If too much sugar and starch is consumed at one time, it overloads the small intestine and accumulates in the hind gut instead.

The digestion of the sugar and starch by the hind gut bacteria produces stronger acids than would be produced by fiber digestion (the hind gut’s usual job). This results in acidosis causing bacteria to die and release toxins which can enter the bloodstream via the leaky gut wall caused by the acidity. This is thought to trigger a series of reactions that result in damaging enzymes. These enzymes destroy the bond between the pedal bone and the hoof capsule which ultimately can result in pedal bone rotation and euthanasia is then about the only option.

Alternatives to Grass

Consider supplementing at least part pasture with hay. This can be fed outside on a dirt area so the horse still gets to spend time outside as well as in the stable. The recommended sugar level of hay for those at risk of laminitis is 10% sugar, so it’s best to choose a lower grade hay and get it tested to determine its nutrient content. It’s not always possible to find a suitable hay and you can’t tell just by looking at it, hence the importance of having it tested. Most feed companies offer this service as do independent nutritionists.

Soaking or Steaming?

It’s common practice to soak hay for horses with laminitis. While this is effective for leaching sugars – and most other nutrients – from the hay, it has many drawbacks. Soaking increases the bacterial content, reducing the hygienic quality; it produces an environmental pollutant (the brown yucky water left in the bucket); and results in an unpalatable, soggy hay that can sour in summer temperatures and freeze in the winter. It’s also a huge hassle!

High-temperature hay steaming is also an option. Haygain’s patented method improves the hygienic quality of hay by killing bacteria, mold and fungal spores as well as reducing airborne respirable dust by up to 99%. Another benefit of steaming over soaking is that it retains hay’s nutrients, except for a variable loss in water soluble carbohydrates that are crucial to laminitis prevention. The amount of WSC reduction by steaming varies based on the type of hay, and time and location of harvest.

Once you’ve had your hay tested and you know the starting WSC content, you may find you only need to reduce the sugar (WSC) by a small amount. The recommended overall content is 10% or 100g WSC/kg DM, so a single hay steaming is typically sufficient to reach that level if the original WSC content is only slightly higher. The benefit of this steam-only scenario is maintaining the hay’s nutrients, including protein and minerals, while reducing the WSC to safe levels.

However, if your hay has a high sugar content, then you will need to leach more WSC and it’s best to use a combination of soaking and steaming. This means you will have the benefit of the clean steamed hay but with the nutritional value leached out more by the soaking phase. Research has labelled the gold standard treatment as a 9-hour soak followed by a 50-minute steam cycle. In the study, soaking plus steaming reduced the WSC contents of all hays down to the recommended level of 100g WSC/kg DM (Harris et al., 2017) for fat horses and those pre-disposed to laminitis. The steaming after soaking further reduced the WSC content and killed any bacteria that had multiplied during the soaking process, thus improving the hygienic quality of the hay.

Be aware of the risks of laminitis to horses and ponies at all times, manage their weight and diet with it in mind. Be vigilant of any signs of hoof changes and hoof pain no matter how subtle and seek veterinary advise as soon as you suspect laminitis.

Studies Referenced:
1. “Incidence and clinical signs of owner” reported equine laminitis in a cohort of horses and ponies in Great Britain,” BEVA Equine Veterinary Journal, Dec. 2018
2: “Assessment of horse owners’ ability to recognize equine laminitis: A cross-sectional study of 93 veterinary diagnosed cases in Great Britain,” BEVA Equine Veterinary Journal, May 2017
3. “Decision-tree analysis of clinical data to aid diagnostic reasoning for equine laminitis: a cross-sectional study,” published in BMJ Journals Vet Record, Volume 178, Issue 17.

Article provided by Haygain, the science-based horse health company that manufactures high-temperature Hay Steamers and ComfortStall Orthopedic Sealed Flooring and distributes the Flexineb Portable Equine Nebulizer. Author Becky James, BSc, MSc, was instrumental in developing Haygain’s patented high temperature steaming while studying at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, England. She joined Haygain in 2008 and is now the company’s Director, Technical Sales.

 
October 2019 - The Gallop: Para To The People!
Written by by Kim F. Miller • photos by Kim F. Miller, taken during the 2017 Symposium at Ride On
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 03:53
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gallop

Californians on a quest to increase para-dressage participation.

by Kim F. Miller • photos by Kim F. Miller, taken during the 2017 Symposium at Ride On

Continuing the momentum of earning an unprecedented four individual medals at the World Equestrian Games last summer, the U.S. Para Dressage Team won the Championships at the Tryon Fall Dressage CPEDI3*, held in mid-September in North Carolina. This latest top-level victory reflects the success of the US Para-Dressage Team’s mission, stated head of coach development Michel Assouline.

 

 
October 2019 - What’s New?
Written by by Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE • ©2019 Saddlefit 4 Life™ All Rights Reserved
Tuesday, 01 October 2019 02:48
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news

New Bi-NateLine of saddles continues Schleese’s cutting edge traditions.

by Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CSE • ©2019 Saddlefit 4 Life™ All Rights Reserved

Schleese continues to be an industry leader in developing and using the latest technology in the saddlery department, and what we are working on right now underlines that.

It’s important to be able to determine the amount of pressure exerted on a horse’s back during riding – something that has long been known and researched using mainly computerized saddle pads, which have been on the market for some time now. They consist of (usually) 256 individual sensors which can measure in split seconds the amount of pressure under any given saddle on the horse’s back. Of course, the action of a horse in motion will make this picture change with almost every step, but overall, it is quite easy to determine where the problem spots are. This whole process usually requires the use of a very expensive pad (which not every saddle fitter has, of course), and more importantly – the ability to diagnose what is being seen and then make the necessary changes to the fit of the saddle.

 

 
September 2019 - Mark Watring Stables
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:54
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news

Expert training and a happy, family atmosphere distinguish thriving hunter/jumper program.

by Kim F. Miller

As a coach and horseman, Mark Watring brings a remarkable breadth of experience to clients at his hunter/jumper training program in the Los Angeles area’s Hidden Valley. His dossier is dotted with Olympics, Pan American Games and eight international championship medals, along with World Cup Finals and many other international competitions. And he’s far from done as a contender himself, giving his students an ever-fresh and relevant take on tackling riding, horsemanship and horse care questions in every form.

 
September 2019 - Lauren Billys & Purdy: On Track for Tokyo
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:34
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Respiratory recovery & a reserve finish at Rebecca Farms CCI4*-L set stage for an Olympic return.

by Kim F. Miller

Rio Olympic eventer Lauren Billys had trouble containing her emotions en route to a clear finish over the rigorous CCI4*-L cross-country track at the July 26-28 Rebecca Farm competition in Montana. Her partner of six years, Castle Larchfield Purdy, felt literally better than ever and they were leading the three-phase meet after a lovely dressage test.

 
September 2019 - Rebecca Farm Reflections
Written by article & photos by Alice Chan
Saturday, 31 August 2019 20:51
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First time visitor shares the lore and allure of unique eventing competition in Montana.

article & photos by Alice Chan

Coming from parched California to ride on the green field of dreams that is the Event at Rebecca Farm in Montana is an annual pilgrimage for many West Coast eventers, and a rite of passage for others.

Each year almost 600 horses and riders converge from across the country for four days of nail-biting competition. And the excitement is only increased by the fact that the North American Young Eventing Championships (NAYC) run in parallel.

 
September 2019 - How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Written by by Elisa Broz
Saturday, 31 August 2019 20:33
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news

California hunter/jumper student summers in France to ride with Alice Debany Clero.

by Elisa Broz

Elisa Broz is making a name for herself on the California circuit, but she jumped on a summer detour to train and compete in France. The accomplished student of Cassie Belmont’s training program in Watsonville was happy to share her unique summer story with California Riding Magazine.

 
September 2019 - Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 18:17
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Successful year includes returning to original stomping grounds at Hansen Dam.

The Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team got its start at Hansen Dam in 1957 and the troop finally returned home to the horse park this June. “It’s good to be home again,” said the team’s Janet Johnstone. “We made a bold move to leave the other facility we were riding at due to some safety issues. We didn’t have a place to ride and I am grateful that the Langer Equestrian Group’s Marnye Langer reached out to us. Everyone at Hansen Dam Horse Park has been more than accommodating.”

 
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