Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association

MSEDA News

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  • 11/13/2017 6:25 AM | Anonymous

    Winters can be long and ugly, especially if you have limited riding space (no ring) or limited time—and no lights. It’s also quite easy to get disenchanted when you take a look at the long-term weather forecast and see that you MAY get to ride once this week and then …. Well, the weather doesn’t really go that far into the future to know when you can ride again.

    By Sarah E. Coleman



    If your horse is spending more time in his stall this time of year (or even if he lives out and his riding hours are limited), it can be worthwhile to offer him some things to do to while the weather outside is frightful. Recent studies have shown that enriching your horse’s environment can lead to many positives, among them the reduction in stereotypies like cribbing and weaving, but also allowing them an outlet for their energy.

    These studies have also shown that horses who have enriched stall environments also are less fearful of new objects and people and the same horses express less defensive behavior. 


    Suggestions for Enrichment

    Items used to enrich your horse’s environment need not be huge expenditures in money or in time creating them. Some options include:

    Stall use:

    • A shatterproof mirror
    • Lick-It
    • Music on low

    For stall or paddock use:

    • Jolly Balls
    • Apples placed in water buckets (will also encourage drinking)
    • Large, plastic cones
    • Soccer balls
    • Feed pans
    • Clean, empty milk jugs with rocks in them, tied to fence or stall (be aware that these can shatter in very cold temperatures)
    • Slow feed hay nets (used appropriately)
    • Toys the horses roll to get the treats inside

    For paddock use only:

    • Large sections of culvert (some horses LOVE to drag these around)
    • Plastic barrels
    • Tires
  • 11/02/2017 9:23 AM | Anonymous

    Eventer Alison Wilaby made big waves this year at the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, where she won the Dressage division and placed second in the Eventing Division on Chapter Two, a 2012 gelding by More Than Ready. “Deuce” was bred in Kentucky by My Meadowview LLC and last raced at Turfway Park; he had 15 lifetime starts with $71,952 in earnings before partnering with Ali to take the Makeover by storm. 

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    Alison Wilaby Chapter Two

    A Kentucky Transplant

    Not a Bluegrass native, Ali hails from Colorado, where she began riding at age six at a local hunter/jumper barn. At 13, she wanted to get outside of the ring a bit and began exploring cross-country, and then dressage—and an avid eventer was born!

    Having competed up to the FEI CCI** level, Alison has taken multiple horses through Preliminary and beyond.  She has a passion for correct flatwork and dressage; she earned her USDF Bronze medal after consistent rides at Third Level. Recently, Ali launched her own Keystone Combined Training out of Goose Creek Stables, which focuses on training young horses and a quality sales program. She also teaches jumping, dressage and unmounted lessons, and can assist buyers and sellers in the sales process.

    A Passionate Thoroughbred Advocate

    Ali has a deep history with Thoroughbreds, having been passionate about the breed almost since she began riding. It’s no surprise then that her interest was piqued by the Retired Racehorse Project’s $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover, which focuses on off-track Thoroughbreds in successful second careers.

    Ali had been taking horses from the track and retraining them into eventing mounts a few at a time before the Makeover launched, so she was on board immediately when she learned that there was a competition specifically for what she was passionate about: giving retired racehorses successful second careers. 

    Photo by JJ Sillman

    This year was Alison’s first year competing at the Makeover (and the third year for the competition); though she had wanted to compete in 2016, like all things horse-related, sometimes things simply don’t go as planned. Ali was not able to compete Zate in the 2016 Makeover as she didn’t want to wait to start him, then discovered he needed to take it slow (the Makeover allows only a set number of “training rides” before the official start to the competition to allow everyone as level of a playing field as possible); she sold Zate to a young rider this past April.

    But this year, the stars aligned and Ali was able to compete in both Eventing and Dressage with Deuce. And what a Makeover debut she had! “I had the perfect dream-come-true weekend!” Alison explained. “We won the dressage and got second in eventing.”

    Competition and Camaraderie

    The Thoroughbred Makeover is working had to be so much more than a training competition. The team who hosts the show makes a concerted effort to foster a feeling of camaraderie between competitors, whether that means cheering each other on during the competitions or spending time just hanging out together when not riding.

    To this end, one of Alison’s favorite memories is spending time with her friends and fellow competitors in the barns. It was so nice to “just enjoy the company of our horses and enjoy the competition,” she explains.


    One of her favorite parts of the competition itself, Alison says, is that it was a true trainer’s competition: “I enjoyed the subjectivity of it; you were rewarded by smart riding … and it was nice not to be timed. My horse trotted most of cross-country, but I knew that if we cantered, we wouldn’t have the balance we needed for a successful jump. I gave my horse the best ride I could and, though it was conservative, it was rewarded.”

    This confirmed to Alison that she was doing the right thing for her horse. “I wish there were more competitions out there that would promote smart riding!” she says. “The Makeover promotes all the right things; it’s a young horse competition that’s based on the actual training of the horse. The rules state that you have the option to jump higher fences, but that you shouldn’t jump them if you’re not capable of doing them well. If you push your horse beyond its training, you will be penalized.”

    Home Court Advantage   

    So, did living in Lexington give Ali and Deuce a home-court advantage? “I would say it is an advantage to a point,” Ali says. “Deuce had been in those arenas before, which I think gave me as much confidence as him. The only downside of competing in your hometown is you still have work and you still have normal responsibilities surrounding you throughout the competition. Sometimes it’s better to travel to an event because you can focus and get away from daily distractions.”

    Another home-court advantage for Alison this year was where she found Deuce. Alison looks for horses she has a personal connection with; she loves to get horses her friends are involved with, whether on the breeding or training side. “My friend Paul Madden was nice enough to inform me about the horse [Deuce] first,” said Alison. “He called me at 6 a.m. and I just remember him saying ‘Hi! I think I found you a horse!’” I picked him up from Keeneland later that day.

    He Had "The Look"

    Alison has a great eye for horses, as her track record at selling quality eventing mounts proves. So what does she look for? “First, I first take in the overall physical nature of the horse,” she explains. “I like them uphill and they have to have well-set necks. Then I take a look at the feet and legs ... It’s really impossible to know much about the brain of horse until you take it away from the track and spend some time with them. I try to take in the look in their eye, their overall expression and I ask the trainer and handlers what the horse is like.”

    Alison is currently on the hunt for her 2018 Makeover horse. If this year was any indication, the duo will be a force to be reckoned with!

    Interested in learning how you can be a part of the Makeover? Click here.

  • 10/19/2017 1:48 PM | Anonymous

    Contact:
    Mary Fike
    MSEDA Organizer
    hmf@iglou.com
    859 621 2479


    Eventing Superstar David O’Connor to Offer Educational Opportunities in the Bluegrass

    October 16, 2017 – Lexington, KY – the MidSouth Eventing and Dressage Association (MSEDA) will welcome eventing great David O’Connor to the Bluegrass as part of the year-end awards banquet and educational forum on December 2 and 3, 2017.

    Beginning at the Lexington Hilton Downtown, O’Connor will offer insight into the sport of eventing on Saturday, Dec. 2. During the morning session, he will take an overarching view of where the discipline is now and where it is poised to go. Saturday’s afternoon session will cover O’Connor’s training system of both horse and rider.

    O’Connor is uniquely qualified to offer an educational symposium of this caliber; he competed in two Olympic Games, a Pan American Games and a World Equestrian Games before transitioning to the administrative side of international eventing. He has held top coaching roles for both the United States and Canadian eventing teams, and was the President of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) from 2004 to 2012. Additionally, O’Connor was inducted into the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Hall of Fame in 2009. 

    On Saturday evening, attendees of the educational forum are invited to stay for the ever-popular MSEDA Year-end Awards Banquet, which will be emceed by O’Connor. Open to all equine enthusiasts, the evening promises to be a good time, with delicious food, a live band and a member video.

    On Sunday, horse-and-rider pairs of all skill levels will clinic in front of O’Connor’s watchful eye at Valley View Farm in Midway, Ky. O’Connor will focus on the skill set required of both horse and rider at the different levels, breaking down the theories into easy-to-understand concepts.

    The entire weekend will be focused bettering athletes, both horses and riders, and celebrating their success in the show ring.



    The registration fee is $60 per person for the two days. For more information, please click here.

    Click here to register online


  • 10/16/2017 2:18 PM | Anonymous

    Volunteer opportunities for MSEDA members abound. Each month, we will feature an opportunity for members to obtain volunteer hours and help put on a successful, MSEDA-sanctioned show.

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    Date and Time: Tuesday, October 17 through  Sunday, October 22. 

    Tuesday – In-barn inspections for the CCI* and three-day competitors
    Wednesday - Jogs for the CCI* and three-day competitors (this is always something fun to watch if you are in the Lexington area in the afternoon!) 
    Thursday - Dressage CCI*
    Friday - Dressage three-day and OP competitors, XC CCI*, SJ OP
    Saturday - Second Jog CCI*, XC three-day and OP riders, Dressage for the rest of the HT's, and CCI* show jumping
    Sunday - Second Jog three-day competitors, XC ON and OBN, and SJ for three-day riders and OT

    As you can tell, it takes an absolute village to run this event on schedule! 

    Event History: The oldest team eventing competition in the United States, the MidSouth Three-Day Event and Team Challenge will feature multiple divisions recognized by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). The showcase division is the Hagyard MidSouth CCI*, which has been designated as the USEF National One-Star Three-Day Event Championships and will run in the traditional long format, which includes both the roads and tracks and steeplechase phases.

     While participants in the Hagyard/Midsouth CCI* face the most demanding courses, the hallmark competitions of the show are the team events, which are offered at the novice, training and preliminary levels. Over 400 riders will compete at the Hagyard MidSouth Three-Day Event and Team Challenge. Most of these riders will be part of a four-member team. Scores of all team members will be combined and prizes awarded to high-scoring teams. Individual awards are also given.

    The MidSouth Eventing and Dressage Association (MSEDA) and the Michigan Combined Training Association conceived of the event began more than 20 years ago as a friendly competition among teams from regional combined training associations. With just a handful of entries, volunteers organized the event from beginning to end. Eventually, MSEDA took full control of the show and it has become a substantial fundraiser.

    The show has become a highlight of fall eventing schedules. Riders from all 50 states and 10 countries have tested their competitive mettle at the MidSouth Three-Day Event and Team Challenge; we look forward to welcoming competitors back this October!

    Volunteer opportunities before the event:
    Stall cards will be placed on Monday morning, and with over 500 stalls, we can definitely use an extra hand or two. Dressage rings need to be set by Wednesday, and the jog lanes need to be decorated. 

    Volunteer Opportunities during the event:
    We can use hands everywhere, please please please volunteer! Lynn Davis is our wonderful volunteer coordinator; she can be reached at lynndavis@twc.com. She can put anyone to work, riders (yes, we can work around your ride times), husbands, boyfriends, parents, kids, etc. This is a great way to get the people in your life involved. 

    Volunteer opportunities at the conclusion of the event:
    Cross-country jumps need to be stripped and put away, dressage rings need to be put up and organized, we always love seeing how awesome our event was on different outlets. Thank you notes are always a great add. 

    Who should a potential volunteer contact to either learn more or sign up? 
    Please contact Lynn Davis, lynndavis@twc.com. She is a superstar and needs all the help we can get. We have over 500 riders at this event, and we have lots of moving parts. Please pitch in and do your part. 

    What should volunteers know? 
    It's October in Kentucky. It could very easily be 90 degrees or it can snow, so please dress appropriately: boots, rain clothes, extra layers, etc. We will provide all volunteers with snacks and lunch. 

    Please, please: If you volunteer, please honor your commitment. We are counting on you to be at your assigned post. 

  • 10/16/2017 2:02 PM | Anonymous

    MSEDA had a strong representation at the 2017 Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover, with members competing in eventing, field hunter and dressage.

    By Sarah E. Coleman 


    Over 500 horses headed to the Bluegrass to compete in the Retired Racehorse Project’s $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover, which took place Oct. 5-8 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Designed to increase the demand for off-track Thoroughbreds, the competition highlights horses in second careers (some that seem more unusual for retired racehorses) and showcases the versatility of the breed.

    Horses at the Makeover could be entered in one or two of 10 disciplines: barrel racing, competitive trail, dressage, eventing, field hunter, freestyle, polo, show hunter, show jumper and working ranch.

    Each horse that competed in the Makeover was required to have the following:

    • Be registered with The Jockey Club and have a lip tattoo
    • Have a published work after July 1, 2015
    • Must not have begun training for a second career prior to Dec. 1, 2016

    Two MSEDA members had horses competing at the Makeover: Mandy (Alexander) Weissmann and Jeannine Buhse. 

    Mandy Weissmann and Mister Mardi Gras

    Mandy competed her gelding, Mister Mardi Gras, in both Field Hunter and Eventing disciplines. Mister Mardi Gras is by Belong to Me and out of Miss Marta, and was bred by Lothebach Stables. “Krewe” as he is affectionately named, earned over $1 million -- $1,194,027 to be exact -- in 58 starts with 11 wins.  Trained by Chris Block, Krewe’s last race was on Sept. 3, 2016, at Arlington Park.


    Leading the Field Hunters after the first day of competition, Mandy was asked to go on a mock hunt with Krewe, complete with hounds in the steeplechase infield, then asked to jump a  cross-country course individually; the course included crossing water, and opening and closing a gate. The individual test also included a hand gallop to a halt. Mandy truly went for it, opening Krewe up into a full gallop (the first since she had gotten him) and then coming to a (tough!) halt at the judge’s stand.

    Mandy ended up reserve out of 31 entries in the Field Hunter division and 67th out of 97 entries in Eventing. Krewe was also the winningest former racehorse of all entries at the 2017 Makeover.  

    Jeannine Marie Buhse and Rockport Jewel

    Rockport Jewell is a 2010 Iowa-bred mare who raced 30 times, mostly at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. She raced for four years, earning $74,039, with her last start in August of 2015. Pulled from a kill pen in February of 2016, the mare’s bad luck continued, with a bout of bad colic, an infection in her IV and then multiple hoof abscesses that prevented her from getting any real training before Jeannine went to see her in September.

    For some reason, Jeannine connected with the mare, bringing her home to Louisville to be a trail partner—the Makeover was not even on her radar! But the trails would have to wait as Jewell’s bad luck continued—her entire sole came off from a very bad sub-solar abscess. With time, rehab, patience, phenomenal vets and farriers, and TLC, the mare went sound and she and Jeannine deepened their bond.

    Learning that the mare was still eligible for the 2017 Makeover, Jeannine thought she would aim her for the Competitive Trail division, but Jewell (now named “Good Juju”) really enjoyed jumping, so Jeannine entered her in the Eventing and Dressage divisions. They completed in Eventing (and were tied for the highest score in cross-country) and finished solidly in the middle of the pack in Dressage.

    More MSEDA Members in the Makeover


    Three additional MSEDA members competed at the Makeover:
    Nick Larkin rode Loves Not Fair (known as Lebron) in the Eventing portion of the Makeover for a fantastic fourth-place finish. The Makeover was Lebron’s first show (!!) and he earned the highest score on cross-country out of the 90-plus Thoroughbreds competing. (Did you notice that BOTH the tied high scores on XC were MSEDA members?!).

    Ali Wilaby finished with a WIN in Dressage and a second-place finish in Eventing on the 2012 gelding Chapter Two. Chapter Two is by More Than Ready and was bred in Kentucky by My Meadowview LLC. His last race was at Turfway Park, and he had 15 lifetime starts with $71,952 in earnings. We will hear more from Ali in an upcoming MSEDA issue.


    Whitney Morris brought two horses to this year’s Makeover: Bad Boy Rocket whom she showed in Dressage and Flying Candy Ride, whom she showed in Eventing. Rocket is a 2012 model by Mineshaft who was bred by Glencrest Farm LLC and Kempton Bloodstock LLC. He sold at auction for $475,000 and went on to win $19,640 in two starts. His last start was at Remington Park. Flying Candy Ride is by Candy Ride and was bred by Martin Wygod and Herman Sarkowsky. He made 16 starts, winning $23,946 and he last raced at Turfway park.


    Whitney finished 24th in dressage with Bad Boy Rocket.

    Congrats to Mandy, Jeannine and all MSEDA members on their stellar performances at the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover!

    Interested in competing in the Makeover in 2018? Learn more here: www.retiredracehorseproject.org

  • 10/02/2017 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    Looking for a way to make your competition partner return to the ring faster after an injury or for a way to keep your old campaigner more comfortable? Magna Wave PEMF therapy may be the perfect solution for both equines. 

    By Sarah E. Coleman



    Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF), also commonly called Magna Wave, is relatively new on the equine scene. Magna Wave is one company that manufacturers PEMF machines, and is one of the most common on the market.

    “PEMF works on a cellular level to energize ions with increased oxygenation,” explains Emma Lyster of Lyster Equine Therapy in Paris, Ky., “This also pushes out toxins as the cell walls are made more permeable. It makes a significant increase of circulation to help get the blood moving and to reduce clumping of red blood cells, which causes inflammation and bruising.”

    What Horses Benefit from Magna Wave?

    Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field Therapy (PEMF), also commonly called Magna Wave, is relatively new on the equine scene. Magna Wave is one company that manufacturers PEMF machines, and is one of the most common on the market.

    “PEMF works on a cellular level to energize ions with increased oxygenation,” explains Emma Lyster of Lyster Equine Therapy in Paris, Ky., “This also pushes out toxins as the cell walls are made more permeable. It makes a significant increase of circulation to help get the blood moving and to reduce clumping of red blood cells, which causes inflammation and bruising.”



    What to Expect From a Treatment

    While a session might look a bit odd, with tubes draped or held over the horse in specific areas, the horses seem to truly enjoy their therapy time. “A lot of horses actually fall asleep,” Lyster says. “I have had a lot of clients tell me that their rides the next day have been super relaxed and their horse’s mobility has improved.”

    A typical treatment lasts about 30 minutes, though Lyster will go longer depending on what she finds when treating the horse. There are several different machines, she explains, “but usually you only need to treat one area, say a hock, for anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes depending what machine you have and how strong it is.”

    The machine makes either a fast or a slow click, depending what setting it is on. “It's not obnoxiously loud,” Lyster says and she hasn’t found it to bother any horses.

    While the number of treatments needed depend on the horse and its issues, the use of the Magna Wave can be anywhere from twice a day for a week after the onset of an acute injury (think bowed tendon or facture), or once a week for a month for a full-body treatment.  


    Who Can Use PEMF Machines?

    Though anyone can buy a machine, any therapist who administers a Magna Wave PEMF treatment is certified through Magna Wave, where hands-on training is also required. The training also teaches therapists how to treat different injuries.

    One of her most notable clients? “I have a surly gelding I have been treating,” Lyster says, and “he's still in race training and one of those types that doesn't like to be touched or bothered. After my first [Magna Wave PEMF] session, he started to gallop stronger. When I arrived for my second session, he was happy to see me and settled in to enjoy his time. By my third session, he fell asleep instantly and the trainer told me in the two years he has had him, he hasn't seen him nap. Since I have been treating him, he [the trainer] has caught him napping or with stains on him from where he had been laying down.”

    In addition to treating horses, Lyster also uses the machine on people and small animals.

    Interested in seeing what Magna Wave PEMF might do for you or your horse? Get in touch with Emma via her Facebook page, Lyster Equine Therapy, or call or text her at 859 433-8287.

  • 09/15/2017 8:57 AM | Anonymous

    Volunteer opportunities for MSEDA members abound. Each month, we will feature an opportunity for members to obtain volunteer hours and help put on a successful, MSEDA-sanctioned show.

    By Sarah E. Coleman


    Date and time: September 29-October 1 at the Kentucky Horse Park.

    Event history: Jump Start Horse Trials is the only annual fundraiser for Keeneland Pony Club.

     Volunteer opportunities before the event: 

    • Setting up dressage rings
    • Setting up stadium
    • Painting and decorating cross country

    Volunteer opportunities during the event:

    • Ring stewards
    • Dressage scribes
    • Scoring
    • Jump crew


    What should volunteers know?
    Volunteers should wear appropriate footwear for working outside (not flipflops!) and bring raingear. Jump Start will provide lunch and snacks, and drinks all day, as well as a T-shirt.

    For more information or to sign up for a volunteer time, please contact Jennifer Madden or Sally Lockhart.

  • 09/15/2017 8:45 AM | Anonymous

    It can be disconcerting when your normally sure-footed steed begins to trip or when your no-nonsense Steady Eddie starts to spook at things that wouldn’t normally faze him. So what’s the deal? Is it the weather change? Is he being lazy? Maybe … but maybe not: Vision loss may be to blame.

    By Sarah E. Coleman 

    Photo by Audrey C. McLellan

    Vision loss is not a death knell for horses or their competitive careers. While some loss may be dramatic, many times the loss of equine eyesight is gradual and over time; often the horse can adapt to his new vision and still be ridden.

    There are many causes of vision loss in horses, including chronic uveitis, permanent damage from EPM and other diseases, acute viruses, injury, cancer and more. No matter the cause, the ways you can make your horse more comfortable are the same.

    Testing Your Horse's Vision


    The signs that your horse may be losing his vision can be subtle, from a peek at a normally unspooky fence when light is low to fairly dramatic reactions for a normally-well-behaved horse, like being reluctant to walk from bright sunlight into a darkened barn or trailer.

    Horses tend to adapt to vision loss quite easily, which can be a hindrance for the humans caring for them: We may not pick up on the loss as readily as we should! If you think your horse may be losing some of his site, try these quick tests:

    • Walk your horse over a hose on the ground. Does he cock his head to look at the hose out of only one eye? Does he step directly on the hose or is he careful about stepping over it, indicating that he can see the hose? Cover one eye at a time and walk your horse over the hose, noting any differences in how he places his feet.
    • Cover one of your horse’s eyes with a fly mask or other soft blinder and toss cotton balls into his field of vision in the eye that is uncovered. Is he able to follow the objects with his uncovered eye?
    • With one of your horse’s eyes covered, wave your hand about six inches from the uncovered eye. Does he blink? If he can see well, he should.
    • Walk your horse over ground that changes drastically in color (like from black pavement to concrete or from a sand ring onto dark mulch). Does he act afraid to step onto the new color? Horses that are having a hard time seeing are sometimes reluctant to step onto something with a different color. 

    Next Steps

    So, you’ve performed all the tests and feel confident that your horse is having vision issues. Now it’s time to call the vet. So, what will your vet do differently than you have?


    • She will visually examine at the horse’s eye, looking for anything abnormal about how the eye looks structurally.
    • She will examine him physically to see if he has more marks on one side of his body or head than the other, which would indicate that he is bumping into things and may not be able to see well.
    • She will watch him to see how he reacts to a stimulus on one side of his body. She may then observe his behavior while he is turned out and while in a stall to see if he behaves the same way whether humans are interacting with him or not. 
    • She will also perform the “menace test” by making a menacing gesture toward the horse’s eye (the same test you performed above). 

    Caring for the Visually Impaired Horse

    If you’ve determined that your horse is in fact losing his site, it’s important to make him as comfortable as possible in his surroundings. You will need to:

    • Give him safe housing he is familiar with
    • Consider turning him out with only one good buddy; herd situations can be hard as there is much for the horse to deal with: ranking, food competition, new horses, etc.
    • Provide safe fencing with no tight corners, holes, equipment or downed trees
    • Keep food and water in open locations that are easy for him to find
    • Keep his routine as close to the same every day as possible so he feels confident even as his vision worsens
    • Don’t shave his whiskers
    • Speak to him – often!
  • 08/28/2017 10:38 AM | Anonymous
    We’ve all seen it: Horses that eat hot dogs or prefer soda or sweet tea over water. But are these things REALLY safe for your equine to be snacking on? Like in human diets, the answer is: Everything in moderation.

    By Sarah E. Coleman



    While some horses are snobby about just what they’ll eat (only apples with no brown spots!) and others will eat just about anything (slimy carrots? No problem!), there are certain foods that should never be offered to equines—and there are some more-unusual ones you may just have to try!

    Safety First

    Many fruits and veggies are safe for horses eat, but some are definitely not safe for them to snack on. It’s important to note that if your horse is chubby, insulin resistant or has other metabolic issues that you should refrain from giving him anything high in sugar, including fruits and veggies with a high sugar content.

    Though a little snack of bread is OK for most horses, it’s important to remember that some prepared foods can be toxic to horses. Chocolate is one example; though an occasional chocolate chip cookie is harmless, a steady diet of chocolate treats can be hard on a horse’s health. Caffeine can also be toxic in large quantities, in the form of drinks or treats.

    So what can you feed your steed to reward him for a job well done?

    • pumpkin
    • tomato
    • mango
    • pear
    • green beans
    • berries
    • watermelon
    • cantaloupe
    • banana

    For Those Horses With Metabolic Issues….


    If your horse has metabolic issues, you will need to avoid feeding an abundance of these: 
    • apples (this includes apple sauce)
    • carrots
    • watermelon
    • jellybeans
    • yogurt
    • pretzels, chips and most cereals
    • cookies, both human and equine
    • candy
    • jelly beans
    • yogurt

    Good snacks include: 

    • beet pulp with no molasses
    • strawberries
    • cherries (without the pit)
    • peanuts (in the shell)
    • pumpkin seeds
    • celery
    • sugar-free candy (like that for diabetics)
    • hay cubes, cut into pieces
    • alfalfa pellets
    • banana or apple peels

    For horses that have HYPP, owners will need to stay away from treats and food that are high in potassium, like bananas, pumpkin and plums (prunes are also very not healthy for HYPP horses).

  • 08/22/2017 9:25 AM | Anonymous

    By Chelsea Smith, MBA // Smith Equine Media, LLC

    Photo by Kristin Posner


    The Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association (MSEDA) welcomed International Dressage rider, trainer and coach Jeremy Steinberg for a two day dressage clinic held June 24-25, 2017 at Bellantrae Farm in Lexington, Ky.

    Riding in the clinic was MSEDA Treasurer Cheryl Steele with her mare Melody. Steele was the recipient of the USEA Area 8 Volunteer Awards Grant for $250, which was used to further develop her partnership with Melody, a 10 year old, 17 hand Hanoverian mare.

    “I was looking for my next event/sport horse after my previous horse Irish Whiskey, AKA Junior, needed to drop down a couple of levels.  He is now 21 years old. I found Melody three years ago through Julie McVey.  She does a lot of trail riding and knew I was looking. She raised and trained Melody since she was a baby,” said Steele.

    Steele injured her shoulder in a fall two years ago and has been working to regain core strength and muscle tone.  With this in mind, Steele was eager to ride with Jeremy to see how her progress was developing.

    At the beginning of their session, Steinberg worked with Steele to be steadier with her body and quieter with her hands.  After Steele trotted Melody around the arena a few times, Jeremy quickly instructed Steele to keep Melody going forward and to directly challenge her to keep the momentum going forward.

    “The trot is a good challenge point to correct continuous, honest, energy output. With the trot there is no help—the body has to produce it. Challenge the trot and exploit the canter,” said Jeremy.

    Once Steele asked Melody to transition from canter to trot, Steinberg asked her to keep the energy going and to be stricter with her cues.

    As the lesson continued, Steinberg urged Steele to ignore when Melody gave her a wobble or a loss of connection and to instead keep pushing her forward.

    “If you wiggle and wobble in the front and get too involved in that, that can shut down the engine to where the engine doesn’t output enough to give her the arc of roundness through the topline. NO slowing down. Don’t give into any discussion or any dialogue in the front end—keep pushing forward. Don’t accept anything other than, “Yes ma’am, you got it!” I would be very tough on her,” said Jeremy.

    As they continued around the arena, Melody started to fall or lean into the turns.  Steinberg directed Steele to accelerate to help the mare correct her own balance. He explained his theory by comparing Melody to a car engine.

     “[With Melody] there needs to be a constant build up of RPM’s in her engine that give you more and more power right up into the steering wheel,” he said.

    Cheryl is looking forward to continuing Jeremy’s exercises at home, "I have only been home about 2 days and already noticed a difference in the way Melody moves. She has been more accepting of my leg aids in going forward and quicker to respond." 

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Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

MSEDA’s mission is to promote and preserve the sports of Eventing and Dressage in the Mid-South area, by providing leadership and education to its members and the community at large. To further these goals, MSEDA will provide educational opportunities, fair and safe competitions, promote the welfare of the horse and rider and reward the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the FEI level.

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