For Sale! Approach Equine Sales Prepared

The winter months usually see an influx of horses for sale for multiple reasons–end of the show season, trying to shrink the number of stalls to care for in the winter, or just ready for something new. Not only are sales popular across the country, but the advent of online auctions is growing in popularity because of the ease of accessibility. I worked with sales professionals and trainers to help you be more prepared to hit the sales ring/website whether you’re looking to buy that next World Champion or sell your project horse for the October 2014 Equine Chronicle.

You can read the article in its entirety here: For Sale! It’s Time to go Horse Shopping

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Training Horses: Borrowing from One Discipline to Improve Another


Growing up riding horses, I never really put myself in the category of one type of rider versus another. I always would say that I was like a Quarter Horse–versatile and open to trying new things. I showed halter/showmanship, Western pleasure, trail, hunt seat, barrel racing, goat tying, roping, even started jumping in college. I knew that trying new things would be good for my horses, too, because it gave our riding sessions a fresh perspective when we’d work on one thing one day and something different the next.

Much like how I’d use extended trotting, leg yielding, side passing, etc., to warm up my horses, many trainers borrow movements that might not be the norm for their discipline to help improve their horses’ overall movement. The most popular is dressage…which shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, since dressage is simply the art of riding your horse.

It is with this in mind that I wrote “A Little of This, A Little of That” for the Equine Chronicle earlier this summer. Download the PDF and read the article in its entirety: A Little of This, A Little of That
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How do you use movements from a different discipline to help with your discipline?

Sister Act: Snyder Sisters Continue Family Legacy in the Arena

The people you grow up with going to the same horse shows are the ones that will stay in your life in some way or another for years to come. I grew up with the Snyder sisters, Rose and Audra, even though they’re about five years younger than me. Their mother was one of my 4-H leaders, and I took lessons ranging from barrel racing to reining with IB Stables. Watching Rose and Audra’s natural ability with horses, even at a young age, was always inspiring.

I’m always cheering them on, from afar, whether they’re showing with their parents or out on their own. So when they announced they were going into business together training horses, I had to share their story. I was able to do so in an issue of the Equine Chronicle earlier this year.


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Read the whole PDF here: Sister Act

Horse Health–Botulism: More Deadly Than Wrinkles

Botulism in horses is a very misunderstood disease. My current full-time employer actually makes the one (and only) vaccination against botulism Type B, but it isn’t a very popular vaccine…yet. In order to combat the misunderstanding of the disease, and the unfamiliarity of the importance of regular botulism vaccinations, I worked with my company to try to help educate horse owners more on the fatal disease. In doing so, I wrote articles for both the Equine Chronicle and Western Shooting Horse on the disease, with hopes of opening up a discussion among horse owners and veterinarians. Horses have survived the disease, but many haven’t. Either way, Neogen wants to hear personal stories about horse owners’ experiences with the disease. It’s not a disease of mistreatment or lack of care on the horse owner’s behalf, as some might think, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

If you’ve had a horse that was affected with botulism, Neogen would like to hear from you. You can read personal stories about horses that were affected with botulism on their Botulism Blog and share your own experiences. The more knowledge researchers have about the disease, the easier it will be to understand and treat.

You can read the article from Equine ChronicleBotulism: More Deadly than Wrinkles




Battle of the Clones Versus AQHA

My first article for the Equine Chronicle was the cover the initial hearings for a cloning case that was brought again the American Quarter Horse Association last summer. The case, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture vs. the American Quarter Horse Association, has not been put to bed, yet. On March 24, 2014, the AQHA filed its reply brief with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. You can see the entire timeline on AQHA’s site: Cloning Lawsuit Resources.

Instead of trying to cover an ongoing news story in a print publication, I chose a news feature type article and I was able to discuss a lot about cloning with industry professionals and members who maybe agreed or disagreed with the lawsuit itself.

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Battle of the Clones (Download the PDF)

A Golden World Equestrian Games for USA Reining

Last week was a crazy one for me. I’ve learned it is particularly difficult to cover an event that is happening in France while you’re located in Kentucky. But, thanks to technology and social media, it wasn’t too bad. I was doing remote coverage of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games for the and

It was a lot of fun to watch as Team USA reasserted their dominance in the sport we’ve perfected, by not only winning the fourth (or four) Team gold medal, but also sweeping the individual podium, including having one of the few five-time WEG gold medalists in Shawn Flarida, and the first woman to stand on the individual podium with Mandy McCutcheon.

A patriot sight to see the American flag over some cowboys. Photo courtesy Dirk Caremans/FEI

A patriot sight to see the American flag over some cowboys. Photo courtesy Dirk Caremans/FEI

During the event, I was lucky to be in contact with the owner of Andrea Fappani’s ride–Custom Cash Advance. Michael Miola is one of those owners whose passion for his horses and the sport of reining might overwhelm you, but you know his heart is with his horse. In fact, Miola and his farm, Silver Spurs Equine, were lucky enough to have two horses qualified for reining Team USA with Fappani. However, when they determined Smoking Whiz wasn’t 100 percent, they decided to go all-in with “Cash.” Fappani and Cash came home with a Team Gold and Individual Silver, which is pretty good considering the pair had only competed together one time before heading to France, and that was for the team qualifier held in April in Kentucky. Each time they competed, though, their scores improved–220 in Lexington, 224 in the team competition in Caen, and 229 in the individual round. Pretty impressive.

Andrea Fappani and Custom Cash Advance set the tone early for USA reining with a great Team run.Photo courtesy Dirk Caremans/FEI

Andrea Fappani and Custom Cash Advance set the tone early for USA reining with a great Team run.Photo courtesy Dirk Caremans/FEI

What was equally impressive, to me, was the heart in both Jordan Larson and the big buckskin stallion, HF Mobster. Larson’s one of those trainers that I don’t believe gets a lot of credit, but he’s behind a lot of the top horses today–in fact, he was the last rider of Custom Cash Advance before Fappani took the reins. And when you see “Mobster” you can’t help but hold your breath just want to pet him–that big blue eye, beautifully put together… They earned the Team Gold as well, and could have possibly earned an individual medal, if it hadn’t been for a scary slip during the last of his big, fast circles. Mobster’s heart totally shown through, however, when he continued the pattern without missing a step. (You can see the video below.)

And, of course, there’s the golden girl in Mandy McCutcheon. Riding the big palomino stallion Yellow Jersey, she showed that her parents made the right decision in letting her take the reins for her first trip as a competitor (not a support like she has in the past for husband Tom, and father Tim McQuay). She lit up the arena with her smile every time she finished the pattern. She rode her heart out, and Yellow Jersey gave her everything he had. Mandy’s done just about all a Non Pro can do in her storied career, but to see a woman finally on the individual podium (and a German female rider came in fourth), was pretty awesome.

Read more from the WEG with my articles on and

Team USA Reining Arrives in France for the World Equestrian Games
So what do you pack for a horse being shipped to Europe to compete in a world-class event? “Really nothing out of the ordinary,”  Michael explains. “The only thing different that was packed, besides Andrea’s saddle, bridles, blankets, etc., was that we sent a 50-pound bag of carrots for Cash’s treats along for the trip. He loves carrots!”

Team USA Starts Strong at 2014 World Equestrian Games
Miola said the “ear-splitting cheers” never subsided throughout Cash’s run and got even more intense as the pair set up for their closing rundowns and stops. “The scores before Cash’s run weren’t very high, with a 218 leading,” Miola explains. “When Andrea’s pattern was complete, the crowd continued cheering and stomping until the score was announced—a 224. Then, the crowd erupted again! I have never experienced this level of enthusiasm in my life. The Europeans really love reining.”

Team USA is Golden at 2014 World Equestrian Games
“The feeling is very emotional—I didn’t think it would be, but it is,” Miola says. “Cash is such a pleasant horse to be around. To see him and Andrea being honored like this, along with the other members of the team, brought tears to both Michelle’s and my eyes, especially when they played the National Anthem.”

2014 World Equestrian Games Wrap-Up: Team USA Sweeps Podium
Mandy McCutcheon, who is the only non pro and female NRHA Million Dollar Rider, told the media she feels lucky to place behind Flarida and Fappani. “I’ve been lucky to have the opportunities I’ve had for my whole career and the opportunities my parents have given me,” she says. “I couldn’t be more thankful or appreciative to them; I wouldn’t be here without them and the same thing with Tom.”

Adequan USA Reining Reigns Supreme
“It’s hard to put all I feel in words,” Mandy told the media. “I couldn’t be happier, my horse stepped up for me tonight and when they do that, they are great horses. To be behind two such great athletes as Shawn and Andrea is just an amazing feeling. It is an honor for me and I couldn’t be luckier to have had the opportunities I’ve had in my career.”

Healthy Eating at the Horse Show & On the Road

Earlier this year I started a Healthy Horse Show Living series in conjunction with to continue my print article that was published in March. Within this series we talked about eating healthy throughout the day at the horse shows and in celebration, and we’ve been adding workouts you can do anywhere–the barn, by the horse trailer, in the hotel room, etc.

In case you missed it, here were tips on healthy snacking at the shows: Snacking the Day Away

Here are some tips for the entire day at the horse show on how to eat healthy. Come back later and I’ll share some equestrian exercises with fitness champion, and wife of horse trainer Brad Jewett, Monica Brant.

Breakfast Basics

  • Start your day with the right fuel to get you moving. Whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast–even if it’s something quick and easy, it’s fuel for your day.
  • Not all muffins are created equal–most of those muffins at the concession stand are packed with high fat, calories, and sugar.
  • Go for a mix of protein and carbohydrates to feed your body.
    • Multigrain toast with peanut butter is a quick grab-and-go
    • Egg sandwiches with an English muffin or multigrain bread
    • Make-ahead breakfasts like frittatas, pancakes, and overnight oats.

Loving Lunch

  • Don’t just use the lunch break to work horses, use this as an opportunity to prepare your body for the long afternoon with nutrients.
  • Battle the mid-day slump with more protein and carbohydrates in your lunch.
  • Preplan your mid-day meals to help make the grab quicker, that way you’re more prone to eat lunch.
    • Pre-made salads allow you the ability to get your veggies and eat fresh, even during hot days.
    • Use multigrain wraps and sandwich bread to make lean sandwiches such as chicken and turkey packed with loads of veggies
    • Be careful with extras like condiments and dressings–a little is enough.

Dinner is Served

  • You might be tempted to celebrate the big win with a big dinner, but be careful with overindulging late at night.
  • If you’re going out to eat, look into splitting your meal with a friend, or order half already packaged to go so you have something for tomorrow (if you have the ability to use a refrigerator), that way you’re not tempting to finish the rather large serving.
  • Choose healthier cooking methods such as grilled, baked, or steamed; avoid breaded and fried

Click on each article for more tips to help stay healthier while on the road. Whether attending a horse show, dog agility trial, or just traveling, these are great tips for everyone!

Thank you Lindsay Livingston, RD, and The Lean Green Bean Blog, for all the great nutrition advice provided for this article series!