February 2020
On the Bit
In This Issue

Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video:
How to Get Your Horse Stronger for Better Pirouettes
Dressage Training:
Longe Lessons at the Spanish Riding School
Horse Care Tip of the Month:
Horses Are Emotional Sponges
Life & Style:
The 50 Top Places to Travel in 2020
Recipe of the Month:
Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting
Paula's Pearls:
"Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration:
Animal Kindness Amid the Australian Brush Fires...
About Paula Paglia Dressage
Barn News & Updates
Gobi Heat Jacket
I Just Discovered the Best Must-Have for Winter Riding!
I recently bought the Sahara Women's Heated Jacket from GobiHeat.com and simply have to share with you all! Here's some quick info on it, and I highly recommend checking it out:

  • 3-zone heating - 2 in the chest and a large zone in the back
  • 10 hour battery life with lightweight, comfortable lithium-Ion battery
  • One-touch LED controller with 3 heat settings: low, medium, and high
  • Conductive thread heating technology
  • Wind and water resistant soft shell fabric with ultra-soft fleece lining
  • Adjustable Velcro® cuffs

They also sell heated socks, gloves, and vests too!
Dressage Training Video
How to Get Your Horse Stronger for Better Pirouettes

Dressage Training
Longe Lessons at the Spanish Riding School

Source: DressageToday.com | By: Jec A. Ballou
The Spanish Riding School develops a deep seat by longeing its riders as a part of their training.
Having a good seat is a way of life at the Spanish Riding School (SRS). But getting a good seat isn't an easy task, nor is it a quick one. For most of us seeking to ride in harmony with the horse, spending a few years riding without stirrups or reins in longe lessons might seem a little unrealistic, but it's just the way things are done in an institution that has preserved the highest standards of classical riding since 1572.

At the core of the SRS program is a constant focus on bettering the rider. A perfect position is not enough. A rider must be supple and effective with his aids and demonstrate the independent movement of each body part. Obtaining these goals consumes a young pupil's first few years at the school. And even the most advanced riders at the school return to this education as needed.

According to Andreas Hausberger, a rider at the school, longe-line lessons are the primary tool used to develop a strong, secure and harmonious seat in riders of all levels. Longeing creates an optimal situation for the rider. He only needs to think about his riding while gaining fitness, coordination and body control. As the rider is put through various exercises, he learns to follow the motion of each gait. A good sense of "feel" for the horse is a natural talent that can help riders go on to be exceptional, but riders who lack that innate ability can still be trained to have skilled seats through longe lessons.

Longeing for the New SRS Recruit
Hausberger explains that when a young pupil is accepted at the school as an Eleve, the equivalent of an apprentice, he is immediately put on the longe line as that is the only way to develop his seat as the school sees fit. In fact, a clean slate is preferable to previous riding experience. The school outlines this in its requirements for entry: "Riding is not a prerequisite. It can actually be a hindrance if the applicant can already ride and has acquired a posture which does not suit the Spanish Riding School and can only with difficulty be altered."
longeing at srs
Eleves must earn the right to ride on their own off the longe. Their balance and posture must reach a sophisticated state before this is allowed.

An Eleve spends his first three years getting longe lessons. For the average Eleve, his initial six months is spent exclusively on the longe, and after that time, he receives regular riding lessons in addition to his daily longe work. Some remain riding only on the longe for a longer time, depending on their individual development.

New riders begin with stirrups but no reins until they have mastered the rising trot and developed strength in their legs. Then, after two or three months of this, they spend two years without stirrups or reins. "When the student becomes more experienced and the teacher can see that the student has more independence in the seat, we take away the stirrups, too," says Hausberger.

The basic format of the longe lesson is the same day to day. It begins with a warm-up and loosening period and then leads into exercises to increase rider fitness. It finishes with exercises that test an Eleve's command over his horse and use of his aids.

Longe sessions last 30 minutes a day. Hausberger says that this is the optimal amount of time to make daily progress without fatiguing a rider.

Young Eleves ride the school's older stallions, while mid-level riders are put on young horses. In the final stages of his longe work, though, the Eleve returns to an older, experienced horse to learn advanced movements.
longeing at srs
Strength and Fitness Become Suppleness
Hausberger explains that every teacher at the school has his own style for conducting a longe lesson, although they follow a similar basic structure. There is no textbook or method written down for educating a rider's seat, he says. The SRS believes in an oral tradition, so each teacher passes on information to young riders in the way it was handed down to him from his teacher.

A typical session begins with loosening exercises that include making big circles with each arm and leg and the torso, twisting the upper body side to side, rolling the neck and shoulders and reaching the arms overhead.

In the next phase, riders progress to exercises that build strength and fitness. Hausberger is quick to point out that a good rider is not just supple; he is also very strong. A teacher's job is to make every rider a better athlete. "You need a lot of strength to have an independent seat," he says. Without strength in the rider's legs and core, he lacks the independence of each body part and, therefore, is not in harmony with the horse.

From his clinics in the United States, Hausberger has observed that many American riders do not seem to understand how they need to acquire strength to achieve suppleness in the saddle. They can be too afraid of becoming stiff, so they don't work on getting stronger on horseback, he says. But without strength and fitness, there is no looseness in the classical position. "You become more supple when you become fitter," he explains.

Horse Care Tip of the Month
Horses Are Emotional Sponges

A group of Welsh mares with limited past human interactions exhibited signs of stress and relaxation in response to respective “angry” and “joyful” human facial expressions and sounds.
Emotional Horses

It’s in the way you say it. It’s in the faces you make. Forget words and language—horses are paying attention to your emotions with their eyes and ears. And the emotions humans express are affecting their equids—whether we mean for them to or not.
“Horses are truly emotional sponges, and they react strongly and very rapidly to our human emotions,” said Léa Lansade, PhD, of the French Horse and Riding Institute and the National Institute for Agricultural Research’s behavior science department, in Tours.

The Experiment: “Strong Reactions”
In a recent study, Lansade and her fellow researchers, including PhD student Miléna Trösch, tested horses’ ability to associate human vocal and facial emotional expressions. They projected short video clips without sound of an unfamiliar woman on either side of each study horse. In one video the woman was making an “angry” face; in the other she was making a “joyful” face.

At the same time, the scientists played an audio clip of a different, also unfamiliar, woman vocalizing either anger or joy through nonverbal sounds (no words), such as grrr and aah.

The test horses—34 Welsh mares—only interacted with humans for basic maintenance and care. But despite having such a limited relationship with humans and despite being exposed to the emotions of an unknown human, the mares had “strong reactions” to the emotions displayed in the experiment, said Lansade.

The mares’ heartbeats rose dramatically, and their behavior became indicative of stress—with stiff, alert postures—when they heard sounds of angry human emotions compared to happy ones, she said. By contrast, with joyful vocal expressions, they became “more peaceful,” with relaxed postures and lower heart rates.

Staring at the Mismatch
Human facial expressions that did not match the sounds on the audio clips “intrigued” the horses, said Lansade. “They spent much more time looking at the incongruent (‘wrong’) image, because it was in contrast to their expectations,” she explained. “This is something we often see in horses, and not just in this study, when it comes to reacting to things they don’t expect.

“So in this study, for example, they were expecting to see a smiling face when they heard an ‘aah’ of contentment,” she continued. “But when that didn’t happen, and there was an angry face there, they were surprised and wanted to observe the scene more closely.”

Keeping Their High Sensitivity in Mind
This high sensitivity to human emotions has led the researchers to urge handlers to take caution when expressing their emotions, because the horses are paying attention—and reacting, said Lansade. “What was really surprising in this study was that we had the horses listen to very short sounds of only a few seconds in length,” she said. “And that immediately provoked a strong emotional response in them, with a changing cardiac rhythm and an alert posture.”

The horses reacted even though they were exposed to recordings that had nothing to do with them. So it’s likely that horses react to human emotions even when they’re not directed toward them, she added.

“It’s probable that arguing with another human in front of a horse or by contrast laughing in front of them, would induce emotions in the horses that witness the scene,” she said. “And that could have repercussions on the way they perceive us.”

Whether such interspecies sensitivity is reciprocal remains to be determined, she added.

“I don’t know if humans react as strongly to equine emotions,” Lansade said. “We’ll have to test that!”
Life & Style
The Top 50 Places to Travel in 2020

What makes a place worth visiting right now? That’s what we at Travel + Leisure ask ourselves when compiling our annual list of the 50 best places to travel. Is it a show-stopping new hotel? A once-in-a-lifetime celebration? A critical mass of game-changing restaurants?

For definitive answers on the best vacation spots of the moment, we hit the books, scouring tourism statistics, scoping out major events, charting new flight routes, and logging hotel debuts. We take stock of the most compelling new restaurant openings, scroll through the Instagram posts of our most well-traveled pals, and mine our inboxes for tips. We also survey our vast network of travel experts — T+L’s A-List travel advisors, first, plus trusted writers, hospitality insiders, and other industry pros — to see what places they have their eyes on.

The result is a list of must-visit vacation destinations, and with something to suit every interest — food, shopping, culture, history, and nature — one is bound to spark your wanderlust. We’ve got traveler favorites like Costa Rica and Austria, which are making waves in the months ahead. There are vacation spots still flying under the radar, like a tiny coastal surf town in Denmark, or Guyana, a South American idyll that has a fraction of the crowds of its neighbors. There are even places in your own backyard worth a closer look — who would’ve guessed just a few years ago that Oklahoma City would become this red-hot?

So, we ask you: where will your travels take you this year? On a wine-soaked river cruise through Portugal? To a ryokan-style luxury hotel in a serene corner of Kyoto? To a chic cabin in Maine for a feast of oysters plucked fresh from the sea?

Ahead, Travel + Leisure’s 50 best places to travel in 2020, listed in alphabetical order. If you already have travel plans lined up for the coming year, share your vacation destination picks with us on social media with #TLBestPlaces.
1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

For much of the past four decades, Menelik Palace loomed over Addis Ababa as a symbol of imperial imposition. Now, nearly two years into his term and with a Nobel Peace Prize already under his belt, the country’s reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has opened the 19th-century palace to the public and tapped local artist Elias Sime to build a public garden, slated to open midyear alongside the once-forbidding space. It’s the latest sign that something has shifted in Ethiopia’s capital — and thanks to a major expansion of Addis Ababa’s airport that’s tripled capacity and brought new routes, U.S. travelers can easily witness the change firsthand. Last year, Sime and his partner, the curator and cultural anthropologist Meskerem Assegued, opened the Zoma Museum after a 20-year planning and building process. Situated in the Mekanisa neighborhood, the museum blends Ethiopia old and new, using vernacular architecture as a backdrop for contemporary art — including some of Sime’s own pieces. In its attention to both traditional and modern influences, Zoma parallels the aims of Addis Foto Fest, a biennial photography festival that will be held again in December 2020. Until then, find work by the country’s finest artists on display at institutions such as St. George Gallery, Addis Fine Art, and LeLa Gallery. —Hannah Giorgis
2. Arequipa, Peru

The preserved colonial architecture of “the White City” — so named for its gleaming structures made from sillar, a volcanic rock — earned the historic center of Arequipa UNESCO World Heritage status in 2000. But a dearth of upmarket lodgings has kept this Peruvian destination off most travelers’ radar. Now, the town finally has accommodations befitting the local history: August saw the opening of Cirqa, originally built in 1540, the year Arequipa was founded, as an inn for guests of the Church of San Agustín next door. The property marries preserved elements of the original parador — high vaulted ceilings, textural stone walls — with contemporary flourishes, such as black-steel-framed windows and a plunge pool. Further steeped in history is the cuisine at La Nueva Palomino, where a female-led staff cooks hearty stews from heirloom recipes. It’s all best enjoyed while admiring the three volcanoes in the distance (Chachani, Misti, and Pichu Pichu) with a tall glass of chicha, an Andean beer made from corn. —Scott Bay
3. Asheville, North Carolina

With a small-town feel and big-city cultural cred, Asheville, North Carolina is home to artists, musicians, and food and drink entrepreneurs who were making microbrews and serving farm-to-table meals long before such things were de rigueur. Now the mountain town is becoming more traveler-friendly than ever, with new offerings that showcase the sophisticated side of Appalachia. The Asheville Art Museum reopened in November with 70 percent more gallery space, including a new wing and rooftop sculpture garden. Last September, the city hosted the inaugural Chow Chow, an Appalachian food festival featuring chefs like Katie Button and John Fleer. There’s a slew of new watering holes, like cocktail bar and live-music venue Asheville Beauty Academy and neighborhood cocktail joint the Golden Pineapple. And Beer City still lives up to its nickname, with new openings like Burial Beer Co’s Forestry Camp Restaurant and Bar, set on a former Civilian Conservation Corps compound; Cultura, a restaurant from the Wicked Weed Brewing team; and Dssolvr, a taproom that goes beyond beer with experiments in cider, mead, wine, and more. Downtown, the Foundry Hotel and Hotel Arras both arrived in 2019, adding lively, urbane alternatives to the scene. —Lila Harron Battis Click here for the rest of the article.
Recipe of the Month
Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling & Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Lemon Cake
"Perhaps you're looking for a special dessert to make for your sweetheart this Valentine's Day, or you are simply craving a decadent treat. May I recommend this lemon cake? It's divine." Paula

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons milk

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.

3) Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

4) To make filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).

5) Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours.

6) To make frosting: In large bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

7) To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with half of the lemon filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Add third layer, and spread with remaining half of the lemon filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time.
Paula's Pearls
"Ah-ha!" Moments in Riding

Hold steady the brim of your helmet on the horizon line ahead of you. Many years ago I heard Robert Dover coach a junior rider and tell her to press the back of her neck against the collar of her shirt. This tip will help you get your head in proper alignment with your body.
A Little Inspiration
Watch the adorable moments when a family dog shares his water with a thirsty koala that had escaped the Australian brush fires. A lesson in kindness, I'd say!
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