July 2019
On the Bit
In This Issue

Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video:
Too Scared to Canter Because Your Horse Feels Out of Control?
Dressage Training:
How to Achieve Losgelassenheit
Horse Care Tip of the Month:
Managing Summer Skin Problems
Life & Style:
5 Resorts for an Equestrian Vacation
Recipe of the Month:
Lemonade Margaritas
Paula's Pearls:
"Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration: Do It Now
About Paula Paglia Dressage
Barn News & Updates
Nearby Brush Fire -- Disaster Averted!
As a brush fire broke out just blocks from my ranch, frantic thoughts of evacuating every animal calmly and safely swirled in my head. Over 100 firefighters responded to the scene, and miraculously, no structures burned and no person or horse was injured. Although my staff and I have an evacuation plan should the situation arise again, it is still a scary and nerve wracking process. See the news report here:
Dressage Training Video
Too Scared to Canter Because Your Horse Feels Out of Control?

Dressage Training
How to Achieve Losgelassenheit

Losgelassenheit is a mental and physical relaxation that allows the hind legs to send the forward energy through a swinging back.

Signs of Losgelassenheit in your horse would be the following (loosely adapted from Principles of Riding, the official handbook of the German National Equestrian Federation):

• A content and happy expression in the horse’s eyes and ears. It can be a looseness from the base of the ears, floppy ears or an ear turned toward the rider, actively listening. You shouldn’t see a worried, wrinkled eye or a big white eyeball.

• Tail carried and swinging with the horse’s movement.

• A rhythmically swinging back (that the rider can easily sit).

• Horse chewing the bit lightly with a closed mouth and “wearing his white lipstick” produced by relaxation through the neck and jaw, which creates a foamy saliva.

• A purring, rhythmic snort or blowing, which is a sign that the horse is mentally relaxed. Some horses sound like a tractor, others give an occasional snorting sigh of relaxation. It is not a tense fire-breathing snorting. We riders should also remember to breathe, as it releases our own tension.

• Losgelassenheit is achieved when the horse moves naturally and rhythmically forward in all three gaits, with his neck lowered forward/downward and with his back swinging. The horse should now accept the forward driving aids without rushing, and the rider should be able to push.

Try these exercises to improve Losgelassenheit: 

Riding a leg yield in various patterns at trot and canter, as well as trot–canter transitions, decreases negative tension and increases positive tension (or attentiveness). Riding changes of tempo (transitions within the gait) also are helpful and serve to activate the hind legs. Some of my favorite exercises are riding a single-loop serpentine on the long side or a standard three-loop serpentine in trot or canter. When riding three- and five-loop serpentines, you can add some variation by adding walk or trot transitions upon crossing the centerline.

Trot–canter transitions ridden correctly on a circle and cavalletti work round out my list of favorites. I like cavalletti work because it makes the horse a bit more responsible for himself and gives him something to think about. Cavalletti work in general helps to bring up the back and activate the hind legs. You can also make adjustments that encourage stretching while working over the cavalletti—again, all done with focus on being correctly ridden and applying the listed indicators for Losgelassenheit. We riders are working to achieve both lateral and longitudinal suppleness with a mind/body connection.

No matter what exercise you are working on or gait you are in, a good way to test Losgelassenheit is riding a stretchy circle. It is not a break—it is actively ridden—so make sure you keep riding the entire time. You can also ride the stretch on a straight line and in any gait. Be responsible for your own seat and balance. At any time, you should be able to allow the horse to stretch forward and then downward, which should be gradual, with the horse chewing the reins from your hands. You should feel the horse’s back (which will continue swinging) staying up underneath you, and the entire body of the horse maintaining correct balance (not falling on the forehand). The tempo should not change. If the horse speeds up, falls on the forehand, drops his back or loses any of the indicators previously felt or observed, then you have not achieved Losgelassenheit. Don’t be discouraged or disappointed. 

Find ways to positively encourage your horse one piece at a time. I go by the adage, “Ask much, accept little and reward often.” I also ask myself when training a horse, Am I being a good boss? Is my horse happy to go to work for me? Remember, Losgelassenheit is mental as well as physical willingness.

If your horse doesn’t understand, take the time to explain his job and make him feel happy to go to work each day. I also encourage you to go to the field or trails for work at times. It can be confidence-building as well as team-building. Also leave your own tensions behind before you put your foot in the stirrup. If you come to the ride prepared and free of your own tensions, you also help your horse to be in a positive place. Sometimes our own mindfulness can be a great asset in relaxing the horse.
Horse Care Tip of the Month
Managing Summer Skin Problems

summer horses
Skin problems in horses are some of the most frustrating disorders to manage for both owner and veterinarian. Skin problems can disfigure a horse, and even can cause unsoundness. In addition, many skin diseases, such as allergies, have a complex cause so that one easy treatment is not available.

Signs of allergies in many horses appear with the arrival of summer and become progressively worse each year. Often horses with this history are allergic to insect bites (insect hypersensitivity). Several different clinical syndromes have been associated with insect hypersensitivity, such as Queensland or sweet itch, which is caused by Culicoides species (no-see-ums). However, any biting insect can be involved in insect hypersensitivity. In fact, many affected horses are allergic to the bites of more than one kind of insect.

The first signs can include redness and large, flat, circular swellings (wheals) or raised nodules with or without crusting. Intense itching (pruritus) often leads to skin damage, hair loss, secondary infections, and thickened, wrinkled skin.

The best therapy is to prevent insects from biting your horse, or at least reduce the number of bites. Effective management strategies include:

  • Stabling during times of high insect activity;
  • Directing fans to the surface of the horse when stalled;
  • Using long-acting insect repellents (either on the horse or impregnated in mesh blankets or other equipment).

Intradermal skin testing (IDST) can help detect the insect or group of insects to which the horse is most allergic. If determined, a desensitizing vaccine can be custom-made for that horse. Approximately 50%-70% of horses respond favorably to desensitization; however, six to 12 months is needed before the horse receives the full benefit of this therapy.

Another strategy to control insect hypersensitivity is decreasing the horse’s immune reaction through corticosteroids. Depending on the situation, these compounds can be applied directly to the affected area(s) or given systemically.

Other skin diseases that can cause itching include:

Hives (recurrent urticaria);
Parasites (onchocerciasis);
Ringworm (dermatophytosis);
Contact dermatitis.

Recurrent urticaria can be recognized by the sudden appearance of wheals in the skin, some of which might coalesce, or grow together. The skin lesions are a response to allergens that could be inhaled, ingested, or contacted in the environment. The wheals might disappear quickly only to recur, or they might remain over several days.

Identifying the allergen is done by IDST or by trial and error. This involves exposing the horse to different allergens individually, which is a tedious process but yields a more specific answer.

Onchocerciasis (awn-koe-sir-KIE-uh-sis) is hypersensitivity to the larval stage of a parasite that can live in the horse’s skin. Transmitted to the horse by Culicoides, these parasites are effectively controlled by the dewormers ivermectin and moxidectin. Therefore, hypersensitivity to them is much less common today than in the past.

Ringworm is characterized by... click here for the rest of the article.
Life & Style
5 Resorts for an Equestrian Vacation

Casa de Campo
Dominican Republic

“Make no little plans,” said the architect and city planner Daniel Burnham more than a century ago, and the owners of Casa de Campo, a sprawling seven-thousand-acre complex on the Dominican Republic’s southeastern shore, seem to have taken that creed to heart.

The resort’s manicured grounds—so spread out that guests are issued golf carts at check-in—contain a yacht marina, three waterfront golf courses designed by Pete Dye, 1,800 private villas, many of them built in opulent Mediterranean or Balinese style, and 185 hotel rooms and suites. The long roster of famous names who have passed through ranges from Oscar de la Renta and Beyoncé to Clintons and Bushes. Little wonder, then, that Casa de Campo’s equestrian opportunities are also writ large. Guided rides along grassy trails provide postcard views of the Caribbean, and visitors can sign up for lessons in riding, show jumping, or even rodeo stunts. The showstopper attraction: They can also take part, as spectators or students, in polo. With three playing fields, fifty ponies, and frequent matches and tournaments, the resort has staked a claim as the sport’s Caribbean epicenter.— casadecampo.com.do
the fork
The Fork Farm & Stables
Norwood, North Carolina

Tucked away in the gently undulating hills of North Carolina’s Stanly County, east of Charlotte, is a horse lover’s gem. The Fork—situated at the junction of the Pee Dee and Rocky Rivers—boasts plenty of serious equestrian cred: a fifteen-stall main barn, a lineup of riding camps and clinics, two all-weather arenas, and facilities worthy of hosting eventing trials. (One this April will attract medal-winning international competitors for a spectator-friendly, three-day triathlon of sorts, combining dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.) The stable staff also gives instruction, for novices and seasoned riders alike, and provides boarding for those who bring their own steeds. Even if you’re content to leave the riding to others, the nine-room Fork Lodge makes for a pleasantly restful getaway. Its welcoming interior, done up in lots of knotty pine, complements a spacious rocking-chair porch that overlooks idyllic fenced pastures. Additional draws for guests of the inn and day-trippers: thirty-five miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, duck and quail hunts, and a shooting center that includes five-stand and trap along with one seven- and two fourteen-station sporting clays courses.— forkstables.com

The Inn at Dos Brisas
Washington, Texas

It’s food that put Dos Brisas on the map. Forty-two of its more than three hundred rolling acres, on a onetime cattle ranch an hour west of Houston, are organically farmed, and fresh-picked heirloom vegetables anchor the kitchen’s lauded “pitchfork to plate” menus. (It’s the only restaurant in all of Texas to capture Forbes Travel Guide’s highest five-star rating.) The Relais & Châteaux resort’s... click here for the rest of the article.
Recipe of the Month
Lemonade Margaritas

Source: Delish.com
lemonade margaritas
"I love lemonade and I love margaritas. Looks like I found my new "go-to" drink for the summer!" Paula

  • 2 c. pink lemonade
  • 12 oz. silver tequila
  • 8 oz. triple sec
  • 3 c. frozen strawberries
  • 3 c. ice
  • 1 lemon, sliced into half moons for garnish
  • Lemon wedge, for rimming glass
  • Sliced strawberries, for garnish

Combine lemonade, tequila, triple sec, frozen strawberries, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Rim glasses with lemon wedge and dip in salt. Pour into glass and garnish with lemon and strawberries.
Paula's Pearls
"Ah-ha!" Moments in Riding

When you are sitting on your horse a very interesting visual for me is the thought of standing on a paddle board or in a small row boat. Importantly, your feet are apart and your knees bent. If you don’t want to tip over the boat, it is very important to keep your feet on the floor of the boat balancing all the waves or currents which may come along. You must focus on keeping the boat level and your body centered. If you are not balanced over your feet properly and your upper body centered over the middle of the boat, your boat will tip over. Focus on this as you ride around. You should have no feeling of feet pulling up or knees pinched. (Calves on softly and hips open.)

Look for part two of this concept next month. 
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