September 2020
On the Bit
In This Issue

Barn News
Dressage Training Video:
3 Secrets to Piaffe
Dressage Training:
Not All That Appears to Be "Behind the Vertical" Actually Is
Horse Care Tip of the Month:
Tying Up in Horses and Muscular Health
Life & Style:
4 Equestrian Travel Ideas
Recipe of the Month:
Watermelon + Cucumber + Feta Salad
Paula's Pearls:
"Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration:
You Might Tear Up Just a Little
About Paula Paglia Dressage
Barn News
ADA's Beat the Heat Show
I want to thank Denise Ostrow, Nichole Watches, Jade Ocal, Christy Rogers and Kate Fales for all their help at “Beat the Heat” at WestWorld last month. It was wonderful riding in the Equidome when it was well over 100 degrees outdoors! 

I was very proud of Daisha owned by Coleen Reiter who competed at third level for her first time out. We scored in the mid 60s and got a second and a fourth and lots of great feedback. Carol Gangi's Maximus was a super boy scoring a 72, 70 and a 68. I also want to congratulate Kate Fales on a job well done with her new mare scoring mid 60s on her first time out! 

Thank you Ellie Stein for great feed back and for 2 long days of judging. Thank you ADA for running a show during the summer and during a pandemic!

The Ranch is Animal-Central!
My newest project. A very tiny morning dove on the ground yesterday morning was found by my working student! We googled how to feed it and it’s going well🙏 Click on the images for a little video.
Look at these two beautiful deer just outside my laundry room on the north side of our property ❤️ I have never seen deer here in 20 years living here! Very cool!
Dressage Training Video
3 Secrets to Piaffe

Source: Joseph Newcomb
Dressage Training
Not All That Appears to Be "Behind the Vertical" Actually Is

Mention the term "behind the vertical," and most people will immediately think about that straight line from the horse's poll to the ground, and whether the horse is on that line or behind it. This horse, for example, is exactly on the vertical line to the ground: (Note - this photo is NOT being used as a perfect example of what a good connection should look like. It is only showing us what a true vertical line to the ground looks like.)
However, you can ONLY use that line vertical to the ground as a guideline if the horse is in a frame similar to the horse in this photo, with the poll being generally the highest point of the neck!

In order to correctly judge the horse that is stretching downwards with a low neck, you need to look at the angle created at the poll, and whether or not the horse is closed in the throatlatch area. I have drawn on some pictures to show you what I mean:
The red line that represents vertical in relation to the ground is not the line that we use to judge whether or not this horse is behind the vertical. We have to look at the angle made by the two intersecting turquoise lines. If that is 90 degrees, than the horse is on the vertical for our purposes, and if it is greater than 90 degrees (as this one is) the horse is ahead of the vertical.

So the horse can still be forward, down, and out when his nose is behind that red line. This is such a misunderstood topic, as many seem to condemn any horse that goes behind that red line, and are not looking at the whole picture. The lower the horse's neck, the more likely he is to be behind that red line, even if he is truly stretching to the bit.

Would it be even better yet, if the horse was closer to that red line?? Maybe, but not always. As long as they can stay correctly connected over the back it can be good to push for that red line. Some horses will never get there with a very low neck because of the way they are built. And many that do go to that red line when very low with their necks are just strung out, and on the forehand.

Here is another example:
And another:
Neither of these horses are truly behind the vertical for our purposes, although many will mistakenly call them so. They have a greater than 90 degree angle at the poll, and an open throatlatch.

And most importantly, they are lifted at the base of their necks, and connected over the back, which is what makes for a good, gymnastic stretch for the horse. More on that subject here.

Another way that you can correctly judge a horse that is in a low neck position (that might work better for some), is to mentally bring their head and neck up so that the their poll is the highest point - keeping the angle at the poll or throatlatch the same. In other words, if you are looking at a horse that is in a low stretching frame, and you are wondering if that horse is actually behind the vertical or not - bring that horse's neck back up to a working height in your mind, and that will give you a true perspective of if that horse is actually overbent and behind the vertical or not.

Now, here is a horse that is actually behind the vertical in a low neck, and is quite obviously being cranked into this position with the reins. This horse is not stretching, he is being ridden in Rolkur.
Horse Care Tip of the Month
Tying Up in Horses & Muscular Health

Source: | By: Dr. Lydia Gray
Tying up, or Exertional Rhabdomyolysis, in horses is characterized by muscle pain, stiffness, excessive sweating, and a reluctance to move associated with exercise. Once known as “Monday Morning Sickness”, it is not the simple muscle soreness a person might experience the day after running or lifting weights, especially if they hadn’t done so in a while.

Tying up in horses can be a serious, even life-threatening condition with multiple causes. This article will describe the two main types of tying up (sporadic and chronic), the underlying causes, the breeds of horse affected, and the signs and symptoms. The diagnosis and treatment, as well as specific diet and management practices in the hopes of preventing tying up, will also be covered.

What is Tying Up in Horses?
Tying up has been recognized as a serious condition in horses for over a century. The name “Monday Morning Sickness” comes from the time when draft horses were worked six days a week and given Sunday off to rest in their stalls while fed their normal ration of grain. These horses often displayed signs of tying up when asked to work again on Monday morning. The trigger for an episode seemed to be the combination of returning to work or exercise after a period of enforced idleness while on a high-grain diet.

For many years, tying up was thought to be the result of the build-up of lactic acid in muscles. However, due to advances in exercise physiology and muscle diagnostic testing, it has now been shown that lactic acid build-up in horses does not cause tying up. In fact, veterinarians and scientists now know that tying up is a syndrome with two main types – sporadic and chronic -- and multiple causes within each type.

Recognizing When a Horse is Tying Up:
The classic signs of a horse experiencing an episode of tying up usually occur shortly after the beginning of exercise and include:

  • Firm, painful muscles over the loin and croup (lumbar and gluteal muscles)
  • Shortened, stiff stride behind
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Quick, shallow breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Muscle spasm, twitching, or tremors
  • Being reluctant to move or unable to move
  • Reddish-brown or coffee-colored urine (from the breakdown of muscle tissue)
  • Lying down/unable to rise (in severe cases)

What to Do When a Horse is Tying Up
A horse exhibiting signs of tying up should be handled as an emergency. If the horse is currently under saddle or being exercised, any activity must immediately be stopped. Next, call the horse’s veterinarian and describe the situation. While waiting for the vet to arrive, make the horse more comfortable by removing tack, blanketing if it’s cold or providing shade if it’s hot, and holding up water for the horse to drink (he may not be able to lower his head to the ground). If possible, try not to move the horse. Instead, make his surroundings safe and quiet by removing other horses and activities. Follow any specific instructions from the vet such as administering medications, taking vital signs, etc. Do not offer any hay or grain at this time.

When the veterinarian arrives, they will assess the horse, take steps to relieve pain and anxiety, and possibly administer fluids if dehydration is an issue. With vet guidance, the horse may be put into a stall or other confined area since the horse should move as little as possible for the next 24 - 48 hours. Blood samples may be drawn immediately as well as later in the episode to confirm the diagnosis. Looking at levels of two indicators of muscle damage, creatine kinase (CK), which peaks 6-12 hours after an episode, and aspartate transaminase (AST), which peaks 24 - 48 hours after an episode may give a better understanding of the episode.

Diagnosing Tying Up in Horses
If this is the first time this horse has experienced a bout of tying up, the veterinarian may ask questions to try and figure out what triggered the episode. The diagnosis may be confirmed as “sporadic tying up” and therefore recommendations for the horse may include:

  • a complete and balanced diet
  • being conditioned and fit for the work being asked
  • having no other health conditions such as respiratory illness or lameness
  • receiving optimal levels of Vitamin E, selenium, and electrolytes
  • In addition, the vet may recommend a gradual return to exercise, beginning with something as simple as small paddock turnout or hand-walking. The vet may perform rechecks of CK and AST blood levels during this time to know when the horse is ready for more work.

If the horse has had several episodes of tying up in the past, then the veterinarian may lean toward “chronic tying up” as a diagnosis. In this case, they may recommend additional diagnostic testing based on the horse’s history, age, breed, gender and other factors. Some of these extra tests include genetic assays (test) of blood or hair, muscle biopsy, exercise challenge, and more. It is important to get to the root cause of chronic tying up as the treatment and management for one type -- for example, RER -- is different from the treatment and management for other types, such as PSSM1 or PSSM2.

Diet, Exercise, and Management Recommendations for Horses with Tying Up
Horses prone to chronic tying up due to RER seem to do better when the sugars and starches in the diet are limited. This may be done by making high-quality forage the foundation of the diet; rounding out the protein, vitamins, and minerals with a low-NSC grain or ration balancer (not sweet feed) and supplementing with fat if the horse needs more calories. Sources of fat include stabilized rice bran, commercial feeds specifically made for these horses that are low in sugar and high in fat, and powdered fat or oil supplements. When adding fat to the diet of a horse with RER, here are three things to consider:

Start gradually, giving the horse’s digestive system time to adjust (helping to minimize the risk of loose stool)
Avoid fats and oils high in omega 6 fatty acids such as corn and sunflower oil
Provide additional vitamin E to offset that which is needed to help metabolize the added fat

Finally, make sure the horse is getting at least 10 grams of sodium daily by topdressing about 2 tablespoons of table salt with regular meals. When the horse is sweating heavily from intense exercise or hot temperatures, supplementing with additional sodium and/or a commercial electrolyte supplying potassium, calcium, and magnesium in addition to sodium and chloride may also be appropriate.

For many RER horses, the combination of stress and exercise may lead to an episode of tying up. The following suggestions from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine specifically target the Thoroughbred racehorse lifestyle but may be used to help avoid triggering an episode of tying up in any horse prone to recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis:

  • stall in a quiet area of the barn
  • work this horse first if you have multiple horses to rideturn-out as much as possible
  • avoid “exciting” training regimens such as: interval training, being held back (restrained) from a full gallop, and galloping with one or more other horsestreat lameness and other medical issues promptly
  • avoid stall rest or lay-up if possible
  • provide calm exercise if rested the day before
  • ask the veterinarian about muscle-relaxing medications such as dantrolene
  • In general, horses that experience the RER form of chronic tying up should receive daily exercise in some form, such as turnout, lunging, and/or riding. Consistent, calm exercise is an important part of preventing an episode of tying up in these horses.

Tying up in horses is not one single disease but a syndrome of muscle disorders affecting many breeds, ages, and disciplines of horses. In some cases, it is an inherited condition that may be diagnosed with a genetic test while in other cases, the underlying cause, method of diagnosis, and even the best ways to treat and prevent it from happening again are unclear. It is important for riders to understand there are different forms of tying up and there are different signs and symptoms associated with each form. Knowing when to call the veterinarian when there is an emergency as well as when a horse is just not performing as expected is key to ensuring your horse’s health.
Life & Style
4 Equestrian Travel Ideas

Source: | By: Sophie Baker
A holiday just isn’t a holiday without getting your horsey fix, however far away from home you are. 

My perfect vacation involves some time in the saddle or, at the very least, watching masters of their craft demonstrate their equestrian skills. Luckily, there are tons of destinations which allow you to reach veritable globetrotting status without getting horse withdrawal symptoms. 

Here are four top travel destination ideas for equestrians in 2020…
1. Vienna 
Vienna doesn’t immediately seem like horse heaven for travellers and admittedly, there’s only one huge drawcard for travellers. It’s a huge drawcard though!

The Spanish Riding School is an Austrian institution and the world-famous riders and their pure white Lipizzaner horses put on a spectacular display for visitors. 

Dedicated to the preservation of classical Dressage, a performance at the Spanish Riding School sees the horses and riders performing tempi changes, pirouettes, piaffe, passage, and the famous airs above the ground; levade, capriole, and courbette. Becoming a rider at the school is a lifetime commitment (graduating to ‘rider’ alone usually takes around 10 years) and the riding itself is top notch.

Combine a trip here with a tour of the Vienna State Opera, a visit to the Natural History Museum, and plenty of coffee and cake stops in famous spots like Café Sacher or Central Café. 

The city of Vienna offers plenty of beautiful architecture, grand buildings, and elegant, classy wine bars and restaurants; perfect for a long weekend for those coming from the UK or Europe, or as part of a longer European trip for those who are further afield.
2. Argentina 
Home of polo and land of the gauchos, the South American country of Argentina offers much more than just tango and steak. 

Argentinians have horses in their blood. Come for a couple of weeks and enjoy a few days at the foot of the magnificent Andes mountains, crossing wide open spaces, water meadows, and untamed wilderness on hardy ponies. 

Or stay at a well-appointed colonial style estancias and learn the ways of cattle ranching in Argentina, finishing the days with long lazy dinners and blood red sunsets. 

Make no mistake though; both of these are for horse lovers who enjoy every moment in the saddle.

If ranching or trail riding isn’t your thing, there’s always polo. The polo standard here is high. The players are some of the best in the world, regularly competing in (and winning) international tournaments. 

Argentina offers some incredible polo holidays where you can learn the trade from the world’s best, and take intensive lessons from experts. Otherwise, you can always just turn up to one of the many polo clubs and watch some games. 

Of course, no trip to Argentina would be complete without a stay in the capital city of Buenos Aires. Not only is it a fairly affordable destination, but the food, the nightlife, and the cosmopolitan city itself is colourful and vibrant. 

Buenos Aires is a pulsating hub of energy with a rich mix of cultural and architectural heritage, and an abundance of interesting historical attractions. It’s impossible not to love! 
3. South Africa/Botswana 
South Africa and Botswana make pretty good travel destinations even if you forego horses, but there’s no denying that the addition of our four-legged friends can take it from good to great. Why safari from the back of a Land Rover when you can do it from the back of a horse?

One of the best things about horseback safaris is that you can get closer to the game than you might be able to in a vehicle, which makes for an out of this world experience. Imagine sitting on a horse, only metres away from an elephant or rhino. 

The sheer size and power of The Big Five is intimidating and exhilarating all at once, but yet the horses and the game seem oblivious! If you’re lucky, you’ll also have the chance to canter alongside zebra and buck, stand in the shadow of giraffe, and open up to a gallop across African plains. After this, you’ll have no excuse for your horse spooking at a plastic bag or a cow on a ride.

When you’re in South Africa, a trip to Cape Town is a must. Not only is it a beautifully vibrant and bustling city, but there’s the gorgeous Cape Winelands within easy reach as well as the West Coast and Garden Route for a spectacular road trip with endless views and vistas.
4. Tokyo 
Naturally, Tokyo had to make the list for 2020, with the Olympics taking place. Equestrian events will run from 25 July to 7 August, giving you a good length of time to discover everything that Tokyo and Japan have to offer.

Horse lovers will be completely in awe of the riding; after all, it’s the absolute crème de la crème of the Olympic discipline riders competing on their best horses.

Whether you want to see edge-of-seat jump-offs over 1.60m fences, marvel at the precision and skill of top Dressage competitors, or see exhilarating cross-country happen up close and personal, it’s the kind of trip that equestrian dreams are made of. 

The Olympics is a bucket-list item for many travellers, and where better to see it than Tokyo? Break up watching the world’s best Eventing, Jumping, and Dressage riders battle it out for the coveted Olympic gold medals with trips to Osaka and Kyoto, and make sure to indulge in as much Japanese food as you can handle. 

There’s no better way to refuel after a long day of sightseeing and spectating than with a warm bowl of ramen!
Recipe of the Month
Watermelon + Cucumber + Feta Salad
  • 6 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 6 oz feta cheese, cubed
  • a handful of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 fresh lime, zest and juice
  • sea salt flakes and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Add your cubed watermelon into a large serving bowl along with the rest of your ingredients. Very gently toss to combine. Taste test, and adjust if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Paula's Pearls
"Ah-ha!" Moments in Riding

Our breath dictates so much in our riding. Inhale into the corner of the arena and exhale around the corner. Grow taller on the exhale. (That helps in collection.) Concentrate on inhaling in on a count of 2 or 3 the exhale has to be out on 3 or 4. When inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth the first part of the breath is a soft natural exhale, the next part of the exhale is through water, then oil, and push out the last part of breath through honey. This is taken from my lessons with Suzanne Von Dietze. Check her out she has amazing insight into our sport! 
A Little Inspiration
About Paula Paglia
Paula Paglia
Paula Paglia, owner and head trainer of Paula Paglia Dressage in North Scottsdale, Arizona began her professional training career in 1979. Paula is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist and has been named ADA Rider of the Year numerous times through 2018. Paula has been an integral part of the training and success of her clients. She is credited with creating numerous winning horse and rider combinations through the FEI levels. She has developed Regional Winners and sent many students to the National Junior Young Riders Championships, the North American Young Riders Championships and the National Dressage Seat Equitation Finals.

Formerly the head trainer at Dynamite Dressage, and the head trainer at Los Cedros, she is thrilled to now offer her own niche to her clients: a full educational program based on dressage, developing amateurs, young riders and other professionals to their fullest potential. As owner of Paula Paglia Dressage, she has taken the best of training practices used throughout her career to offer a specialized experience for her clients. She considers her facility to be "heaven for horses." Owning her own facility allows her to cater to every horse's special needs.

Paula has trained with some of the most successful trainers and riders in the world, including Debbie McDonald, Leslie Reid, Christine Traurig, and Conrad Schumacher.

In 1992, Paula began importing warmbloods from Holland, Poland and Germany. Presently, Paula conducts personalized buying trips abroad for her clients, as she has extensive experience selecting and starting young horses and developing them up the levels.

The Paula Paglia Dressage philosophy is to develop a partnership between horse and rider. The well-being of the horse is the primary consideration. Paula evaluates each horse and rider individually and will design a program appropriate to their ability, yet focused on the long-term goals of upper-level classical dressage. Each horse and rider is developed at their own pace, allowing each team to be mentally and physically strong at each level of competition.

Paula believes that a successful training regimen is a logical, step-by-step process that utilized the horse's natural intelligence, his loyalty, his goodwill, and his honesty. A sensible, kind and structured training program will produce a horse with a strong muscle structure and a sharp working mind. Both are necessary to compete at the national and international levels of dressage. 
Paula Paglia Dressage
Services & Facility
  • Boarding/Training
  • Lessons
  • Showing
  • Purchase/Sale
  • Clinics
  • International Equine Procurement 

  • Regulation arena with premium footing
  • Oversized stalls, cleaned multiple times daily with premium shavings
  • Fly misting system and cooling misting system 
  • Two all-weather turnouts
  • Premium hay feed 5x a day
  • Personalized grain/supplement feedings 2-3x a day
  • Automatic waterers/outside tubs and interior buckets cleaned daily
  • Hot water wash racks
  • Locked tack rooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Blanketing/final night check
  • Caveletti course
  • Access to Equine Corridor trails
  • Regularly scheduled on-site clinics
  • Trailering to shows available