All posts by Associate Editor

VTRC Receives Quality of Life Grant from Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

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The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center used the Quality of Life Grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to purchase Cinderella.

Loxahatchee, FL – October, 27, 2009 – Each year the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation awards grants to non-profit organizations that provide services to individuals living with paralysis. This year the Foundation is proud to announce Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center’s Horses for Heroes Program as one of the 145 recipients, receiving $5,000 in aid.

Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center will use the grant to help those living with paralysis become active members in everyday life. Cinderella is an elegant seven-year-old Quarter Horse, and she was purchased for the VTRC programs though a grant provided by the Christopher Reeve Foundation.

“After receiving the grant we looked high and low for the perfect horse and finally the proverbial glass “horse” shoe fit,” noted VTRC Founder and Executive Director Ruth Menor. “Cinderella (we call her Cinder for short) stepped on to VTRC property with inquisitive yet accepting eyes, and quickly made friends with her new equine family. At 14.2 hands, she is the perfect size for both kids and many adults and is currently being used for a handful of lead line and independent lessons.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=8674

Dr Gerd Heuschmann, author of ‘Tug of War’ & DVD ‘If Horses Could Speak’ Lecture & Clinic

heuschmann-horseDr Gerd Heuschmann, (www.gerdheuschmann.com) a veterinarian and well known dressage rider/trainer, author of the book “Tug of War” and the DVD “If Horses Could Speak” is coming to St Augustine for a book signing, lecture and two day riding clinic, October 29 through November 1st, 2009.

No charge for being a guest at the book signing, lecture is $50, riding (which includes Dr Heuschmann riding your horse) is $250, and auditing both days and lecture $125. If you wish to audit only the cost will be $80 for both days, $45 for one day.

Dr. Heuschmann was trained as a Bereiter (master rider) in Germany before qualifying for veterinary study at Munich University. There he specialized in equine orthopedics for two years before accepting a post as the head of the breeding department at the German Equestrian Federation. Dr. Heuschmann is a founding member of “Xenophon”, an organization dedicated to “fighting hard against serious mistakes in equestrian sports”. He is the author of the “Tug of War” and the DVD “If Horses Could Speak” which is the basis for his world-wide lectures.

By describing the basic anatomy and physiology of the horse, Dr. Heuschmann identifies widely-used incorrect training methods- especially in dressage- that can undermine a horse’s health and well being and offers the rider solutions that do not cause pain or fail to respect the mental habits and physiological needs of the horse. His dynamic teaching on the biomechanics of correct riding and proper training result in the horse’s improved mental and physical condition.

BOOK SIGNING
Thursday October 29, 2009
5pm-7pm

The Gift Horse
716 Orange Ave N
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
(904) 529-8225
www.thegifthorse.us

LECTURE
Friday October 30, 2009
7pm
Comfort Suites at the World Golf Village�
475 Commerce Lake Dr.
Saint Augustine, FL, US, 32095
Phone: (904) 940-9500  

RIDING CLINIC
Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1, 2009
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Two Son Farm
8050 CR-208
St. Augustine, Florida 32092
Phone: (904) 759-4390
www.twosonfarm.com  

Contact: Sandy Mooney
904-463-2908
housedoctorinc@comcast.net

Chester Weber’s Famous Equines Raise Money for Charity by Painting “Moneighs”

Mary Simons of ReRun Thoroughbred charity asked Jamaica and his teammate Rolex to help raise money for charity by painting masterpieces known as “Moneighs.”  (Photo courtesy of ReRun, Inc)
Mary Simons of ReRun Thoroughbred charity asked Jamaica and his teammate Rolex to help raise money for charity by painting masterpieces known as “Moneighs.” (Photo courtesy of ReRun, Inc)

Ocala, FL (October 26, 2009) – Jamaica, the 2008 USEF Horse of the Year and member of Chester Weber’s seven-time National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team, has taken his role as an equine ambassador seriously throughout the past year. Jamaica recently received his most colorful request ever, when the ReRun Thoroughbred charity asked Jamaica and his teammate Rolex to help raise money for charity by painting masterpieces known as “Moneighs.”

Never ones to say neigh, Jamaica and Rolex painted their works of art for ReRun’s Moneigh collection, which will be auctioned off on eBay to raise money for ReRun. The name Moneigh is derived from the name of the famous artist and the sound a horse makes.

ReRun’s Mary Simons visited Live Oak Stud in Ocala to assist Jamaica and Rolex with their paintings and was thrilled with the beautiful bay Dutch Warmbloods. “They were stunning animals and my favorites so far,” Simons said. “I had heard that sometimes Jamaica wasn’t so friendly, but he was very warm, kind and professional. He and Rolex both did their paintings with red and white paint and signed them with a black hoof print.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=8642

Isabel Werth’s Gigolo FRH has died at 26

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Atlanta Olympics in 1996 - Team gold and Individual Silver.

Olympic gold medal winner Gigolo FRH, horse of renowned equestrian Isabella Werth, has died at the age of Twenty-Six.

On September 23rd, Isabella Weth’s top level dressage horse was put down after declining health resulting from an injury. Winner of four Olympic gold medals, two Olympic silver medals, four World Championships, eight European Championships and four German titles, Gigolo proudly served as Isabella’s friend, teacher and sport partner for many years.

Bred by Horst Klussman (Pursau) (Graditz x Bunett by Busoni xx), Gigolo was discovered by Dr Schulten-Baumer. Although a plain horse to look at, but he thrilled spectators with his precision and charisma. Born in 1983, he was ridden by Werth for twenty years.

Werth and Gigolo won both team and individual gold at the European Championships at Donaueschingen in 1991. They repeated the double in 1993 at Lipica, in 1995 at Mondorf, and in 1997 at Verden. At the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Netherlands and in 1998 in Rome the pair also won two gold medals each time.

Gigolo’s four Olympic gold medals were won in 1996 in Atlanta (individual and team gold), 1992 in Barcelona, and 2000 in Sydney (team gold). The two individual Olympic silver medals were in Barcelona and Sydney.

Youtube Video:

Chester Weber’s Horse of the Year, Jamaica, Featured in New Equine Book

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Photo: Jamaica, the 2008 USEF Horse of the Year, is featured in a new horse book called For The Love Of The Horse, Volume III by Ann Jamieson. The story describes Jamaica’s adventure from being rescued from a slaughterhouse to being part of Chester Weber’s world class Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team. (Photo courtesy of JRPR, no credit necessary)

Ocala, FL (October 14, 2009) – Jamaica, the 2008 USEF Horse of the Year and the most valuable player on Chester Weber’s Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team, is being featured in a new book called For The Love Of The Horse, Volume III. Written by Ann Jamieson, the book features a chapter on Jamaica’s rags to riches story that captivated the equestrian nation when Jamaica was nominated for his Horse of the Year title.

Jamaica, now 18 years old, may be a highly decorated member of Team Weber, but his career as a world-class four-in-hand horse almost didn’t come to pass. In the book, Jamieson recounts how Jamaica ended up at a slaughterhouse before being sold to a carriage company.

“What I like best about Jamaica’s story is the fact that Jamaica probably found himself in a slaughterhouse because of his ‘difficult’ temperament, and yet that temperament is exactly what endows him with such bravery, competitive spirit and desire to win,” Jamieson said. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=8468

Florida Governor Signs Youth Equestrian Helmet Law

Florida Governor Charlie Crist has signed a bill that mandates the use of protective helmets by young equestrians when riding on public property or roads.

The law applies to children age 16 and younger who are:

  • Riding on a public roadway or right-of-way;
  • Riding on a public equestrian trail, public equestrian trail, public park, public preserve, or public school site:
  • Riding on any other publicly owned or controlled property.

Helmets must meet the current standards of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM)DSCF0015 for protective headgear. 

It does not apply to children under age 16 who are riding while:

  • Practicing for, riding to or from, or competing or performing in, shows or events such as rodeos and parades where helmets are not historically a part of the or event;
  • Riding on privately owned land even if the land is occasionally separated by a public road or right-of-way that must be crossed;
  • Engaged in an agricultural practice or pursuit.

The legislation, known as Nicole’s Law, is named after Nicole Hornstein, a 12 year-old girl from Loxahatchee who died in 2006 after falling from a horse.  Nicole’s parents and two sisters attended yesterday’s bill signing ceremony at Hamlin Park in Loxahatchee. 

 FYI now in stock TIPPERARY Equestrian Helmets at Two Time Tack & Feed (these are the best! TR)
Alma Height
7420 Rosco Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32256
904-262-7574
twoxtack@aol.com

Arabian Horse Lover Patrick Swayze Dies at 57

AHA_Patrick-SwayzeSeptember 15, 2009 — Patrick Swayze, a passionate and valued member of the Arabian horse community, died from pancreatic cancer complications at the age of 57.

Swayze was known to most as a dancer and actor in films such as “Dirty Dancing,” “Roadhouse” and “Ghost.” To the Arabian horse community he was an accomplished and giving horseman. An active participant at Arabian shows throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s, Swayze’s star power helped bring attention to the Arabian breed. Swayze’s true passion for the horse earned him utmost respect in the horse community.

Although Swayze’s bond with horses started as a child, he claimed he did not fully realize the potential relationship with a horse until later. “When you get a bond happening with a horse, it’s interesting. I was raised a cowboy and did some rodeo and stuff and thought I was a horseman. Found out I knew nothing. As I have gotten into these horses [Arabians], I have realized how far you can go with them,” said Swayze in a 1994 video interview. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=8033

AHorse Blog – 3 Tips for the Correct Length and Height of Your Horse’s Neck, by Jane Savoie

Lots of you tell me you’re confused about the correct length and height of your horse’s neck so I thought I’d address that in this article.

1.     Neck too high: The height of the neck is determined by the degree of engagement of the hindquarters. So, the height of the neck changes as you go up through the levels and your horse becomes more collected.

Always keep in mind, however, that if you ride with the neck too high and short and the angle of the throatlatch too closed, there can’t be any bridge from the back end to the front end.

The neck has to be in line with the power train of the hindquarters-not above it. When the neck is too high, the hind end is disconnected from the front end.

2.     Neck too short: I like to say the length of the neck is proportional to the length of the stride taken by the hind legs. So, if you crank the neck in and it gets too short, the hind legs take shorter steps.

Always strive to keep your horse’s neck long.

Even though you want more and more of an uphill balance as you go up through the levels, you still want to see a long neck blooming out in front of you.

This is an exaggeration, but I like to pretend that I have 1/3 of the horse out behind me, and 2/3 of the horse blooming out in front of me. The last thing I want to see is a short neck with 1/3 of the horse out in front of me and 2/3 trailing out behind.

Now, it’s really not 1/3 behind and 2/3 in front, but that gives you a good visual for always having a long neck blooming out in front of you. And that’s the case whether you’re in the horizontal balance of Training Level or the uphill balance of Grand Prix.

One of the mistakes you see at the FEI levels is that riders think they’re collecting their horses, but all they’re doing is shortening their necks.

This creates all kinds of problems because the hind legs are blocked. For example, in a canter pirouette, a horse might switch leads behind or break to the trot. In piaffe, the diagonal pairs might break up, and the piaffe is no longer a real 2-beat trot.

3.     Rules of thumb for your horse’s balance: At Training Level, the horse has approximately 60% of his weight on the front legs and 40% of his weight on the hind legs.

That’s the same balance that a horse has in nature because a horse is built like a table with a head and neck on one end. By virtue of the weight of the head and neck, horses naturally have more weight on the front legs than the back legs.

So, at Training Level, with 60% of his weight on the front legs and 40% of his weight on the hind legs, the horse is in what I call “horizontal balance”. His topline looks pretty much parallel to the ground.

At First Level, exercises and movements like smaller circles, leg yields and a little bit of counter canter, cause a slight shift in the center of gravity back to the hind legs. That’s because those exercises create an increase in the bending of the joints of the hind legs. The horse’s croup goes down a little bit, and the forehand goes up proportionately. So at First Level, you might have approximately 55% of the weight on the front legs and 45% behind.

At Second Level, you begin “modest” collection. More weight shifts toward the hindquarters by virtue of the exercises such as shoulder-in, haunches-in, renvers, and simple changes of lead. So you end up with about 50% of the weight on the hind legs and 50% of the weight on the front legs.

At Third Level, you have the beginning of real collection with more weight on the hind legs than on the front legs.

As you go up through the levels there’s a progressive increase in the loading of the hind legs. As a result, the horse, like a seesaw, gradually sits more behind and comes more “up” in front.

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602