Paula Paglia Dressage
On the Bit
June 2018
In This Issue
Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video:  How to Improve Your Horse's Engagement
Dressage Training: Stop Caring What Other People Think
Horse Care Tip of the Month:   Help Your Horse with Acupuncture
Recipe of the Month:  Panzanella - Italian Bread Salad
Paula's Pearls: "Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration
Barn News & Updates

Dressage at Flintridge, CA May 24-27
Lucy and Paula
Paula and Lucy
What a beautifully run show by Cornerstone Dressage. When our friends said this show had an electric atmosphere I minimized it in my mind. The first couple days we had horses which were VERY electric. It was quite chilly and misty and we were stabled beside a very busy road at the entrance to the NASA testing station. Lucy had to get used to air brakes and traffic noise right next to the warm-ups and not far from her stall. Indy wasn't bothered by that but he had a horse stabled beside him that required a handler with a whip standing in front of his door so he did not jump out of the top of his door. The horse dug down three feet and assured our horses that staying calm and relaxed was not the thing to do! By Saturday however... our horses started laying down and relaxing and enjoying the cool weather!

Paula and Indy
Paula and Indy (photo by Terri Miller)
Luckily, each day they became more dependable. Slipstream (Lucy) and Indiare  (Indy) made me so proud as the weekend went on. Lucy and I got our first  Intermediare 1 under her belt scoring in the mid-60s and qualifying us to do our I-1 Freestyle. The following day she got a second in the PSG. Indy ended the day winning his 4-3 with a 69+! 

One of the truly fun and enjoyable events was the lovely dinner and $1000 FEI Freestyle Test of Choice under the tent. Watching Barbi Breen-Gurley (73.375), Hilda Gurney (72) and Jodi Cressman (70.6) battle it out while debuting their various freestyles was such a treat. Scores were nail-biting close as they danced I1 and GP freestyles.

Thank you to Ulf Wadeborne for his coaching and to Sherrill and Ed Tripp, Kate and Dave Earl, Denise Ostrow and Janet Teodori for all your help, fabulous wines, meals, and support .
ulf paula sherrill
Ulf, Paula on Lucy, and Sherrill

Dressage Training
How to Improve Your Horse's Engagement

Dressage Training
Stop Caring What Other People Think


The world of dressage, and horses in general, has a lot of people with opinions - and strong ones! Here's the thing: Just as everyone has a mouth, everyone has an opinion and if you ask for someone's opinion, be prepared to have it thrown on you. Be prepared for the good, the bad and the ugly, because you asked.  

So how do you not worry about others' opinions? 
You simply don't ask. What someone else thinks of you is none of your business. Now I'm not saying don't ever ask opinions, yet there is a time and a place. The key is to choose when to ask and whom. The problem lies when we let other people's opinions (and worry about what other people think) hold us back from getting out there and just doing it.
In dressage competition we are trotting down a center line and asking someone's opinion on how our training is going at this level. We have paid to enter into that show and to get a trusted and experienced person's opinion. So in that time and place that opinion matters and that is a time where you take the feedback and grow from it. No matter whether it was good our bad.
As hard as it is though, you have to remind yourself whose opinion matters and to shut down that voice in your head that is worrying about what other people think.  
Setting goals
Remind yourself why you are doing it and what your goal is. If your goal is to just head out to a competition and arrive safely back home again on the other side, then that's what you focus on. Focus on nothing else, enjoy making that happen and enjoy being out and about giving it a go. Learn from that experience and build upon it. The more you just get out there and do it, the more confidence you will gain, the more experience you and your horse will gain, and the better the two of you will get together.
It's about your journey.
I guess my point of this post is about getting on a journey that sits right for you. Too often we let fear get in the way and I don't want this to happen to you. I want you to thrive and have fun along the way. Life is short and if your goal is be the best dressage rider you can be, then you have to be brave and get out there. Read books, get great instructors, search out the knowledge and advice to help you on your journey, no matter where you are at. Then get on that road and work on YOUR path to success.
It can be way too easy to get stuck and stop growing because of the fear of what other people think. We let that fear stop us from going out and competing because you fear you aren't good enough or you fear what other people are saying.
Those people that matter are saying how awesome it is to see you out and about. Those people that don't matter, you don't care what they think, because it's none of your business. Remember everyone has an opinion. The key is to surround yourself with people who support you and encourage you on your journey - those that have positive things to say and those people that you trust.
Make your journey one you love and enjoy every minute with your amazing horse. It's building your relationship with your horse that truly matters at the end of the day.
Build your confidence up off the horse and surround yourself with a supportive environment to help you succeed. 
Horse Care Tip of the Month
Help Your Horse with Acupuncture

By: Steve Chiasson, DVM, CVMA | Source:


We are living in an exciting time for the world of equine medicine. With advances in the last few decades, horse owners have at their disposal a huge variety of both diagnostic and therapeutic options for the health care of their horses. Internal medicine, surgery, reproductive management, lameness diagnostics, dental care, neurologic care, and more can all be offered to clients either in-hospital or on-farm. Along with these advancing  traditional  equine health care services, we are seeing an increasing popularity of  alternative  therapies for many conditions. One of these fantastic therapeutic options is acupuncture.

We do, however, need to get away from the idea that other types of treatment are  alternative. Many times there are several ways to treat a specific condition your horse may have. Laminitis cases may benefit from both anti-inflammatory medication and therapeutic shoeing. A chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) respiratory case may benefit from both bronchodilator
medication and housing changes to control the environment. I think everyone would agree that all of these treatments may be beneficial, but we would not consider one treatment above as an alternative to the paired one. They are complimentary to each other. That is the integrated medicine approach we use with equine acupuncture.

Given the length of time acupuncture has been used to treat humans and animals, we definitely can't call it a new treatment method. Historical records show that acupuncture was first used over 2000 years ago in ancient China. This origin of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the basis of the naming system we still use in acupuncture points to this day.

Acupuncture points are found along lines or " channels " on the body. Originally these paths were named after body organs, and that naming system has stuck to this day. Humans, dogs, horses, etc., all have these channels such as bladder, kidney, liver, stomach, and gall bladder (although the horse doesn't have the latter organ). For the most part the location of these channels and points has nothing to do with the organ it's named after, but keeping this same terminology allows for consistency when recording and discussing treatments for your horse.

Horses have two great design features for acupuncture - long spines and long legs. While you might think this just makes for more areas to get sore, it actually gives us lots of access points to treat many problems. Nerves exit the spinal vertebra at different segments and travel to locations on the body. For example, the lower neck is innervated by C4-C5-C6 spinal nerves. This same segment gives rise to nerves that travel down the forelimb. This allows us to here for the rest of the article.
Recipe of the Month
 Panzanella - A Classic Italian Bread Salad


Panzanella salad

"I love cooking light in the summer, and this traditional Italian salad fits the bill perfectly. It's made with olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing that gets deliciously soaked up by the vegetables and toasted ciabatta. If you're not a fan of canned anchovies, replace the protein with cubes of hard salami, pepperoni slices, or even shredded chicken breast." - Paula

  • 8 oz. ciabatta or rustic Italian loaves such as that found in Tuscany and Abruzzi.
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 3 yellow bell peppers
  • 2 oz. can anchovies
  • 2 lbs. ripe plum tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 oz. capers
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives - halved
  • Basil leaves for adding to salad and garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cut the ciabatta into 3/4 inch chunks and drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Broil the bread lightly until the cubes are a golden brown.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Put the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes - until the skin begins to char. Remove from the oven, transfer to a large bowl, cover with a plate and leave until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
  3. When the peppers are cool, peel off the skins, discard the stalk ends and seeds then cut the peppers into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Drain, then coarsely chop the anchovies. Set aside.
  5. To make the tomato dressing, peel and halve the tomatoes. Scoop the seeds into a strainer set over a bowl.
  6. Press the tomato pulp in the strainer to extract the juice. Discard the pulp and add the remaining oil, the garlic, vinegar and seasoning to the juice.
  7. In a large bowl, layer the toasted bread, peppers, tomatoes, anchovies, capers, ending with olives.
  8. Pour the dressing over and let stand for about 30 minutes. When ready to serve, mix the ingredients then top with plenty of basil leaves.


The salad can be assembled ahead of time - we have even done it the night before, keeping the salad in the refrigerator. Let the salad come to room temperature then pour the dressing over the salad 30 minutes before serving. Top with basil leaves.

A Little Inspiration

I am an equestrian


Paula's Pearls
"Ah-ha!" Moments in Riding

A horse does not offer suppleness; you must ask for it. There are two types of suppleness: longitudinal and lateral. Each is worth 50 percent. When the horse is reluctant to stretch longitudinally over the topline, he may be willing to bend nicely latitudinally. This will encourage 50 percent submission laterally, which helps toward achieving the other 50 percent longitudinally. Or vice versa. Do not try to attack the suppleness the horse most wants to resist first; be sneaky, and use one type of suppleness to encourage the other.

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 2014. 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

  • Boarding/Training
  • Lessons
  • Showing
  • Purchase/Sale
  • Clinics
  • International Equine Procurement 
  • Regulation arena with premium footing
  • Over-sized stalls, cleaned multiple times daily with premium shavings
  • Fly misting system and cooling misting system 
  • Three all-weather turnouts
  • Medical, shaded turnout
  • 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

Paula Paglia Dressage | 480.695.4581  |