May 2019
On the Bit
In This Issue
Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video: How to Use Your Core for an Epic Trot
Dressage Training: Strengthen and Supple with Transitions
Horse Care Tip of the Month: Managing Your Horse's Water Intake
Life & Style: May Garden Checklist
Recipe of the Month: Italian One-Pot Pasta
Paula's Pearls: "Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration: Find and Protect Your Ride Time!
About Paula Paglia Dressage
Barn News & Updates
The ADA Spring Celebration Show
ada show
We sure had a very fun and productive weekend for the Paula Paglia Dressage team April 13th and 14th at WestWorld!! Colleen Reiter continues to get qualifying scores on her beautiful Daisha! Catherine Enright ended the weekend with a well deserved 66% on Bodie. Carol Mavrakis and ViVi received a wonderful score of 64+ towards her Bronze Medal. I placed first on my First Level rides on Daisha and also achieved a personal goal with Ed and Sherrill Tripp's Lucy - 72.2 at PSG and 70.5 at the FEI freestyle. And, I was thrilled to be awarded High Point FEI!! 

Many thanks to our wonderful Paglia Paglia Dressage ladies that came out to support us - Emily & Elena Williams, Nissa Sjoberg, and Denise Ostrow.
Ulf Wadeborn Clinic April 9th and 10th
Ulf instructing
Every time Ulf Wadeborn makes a visit to our facility to instruct at his sold-out clinics, each and every rider and horse team learns valuable strategies and information to better their partnership and their skill level. Thank you Ulf! Stay tuned everyone for when he'll be back in town and scheduling another clinic.
Ulf riding Indy
Our Very Own Supermodel!
Check out SR Ssavant, owned by Megan Manning and trained here at Paula Paglia Dressage, as Farnam's 2018 SuperMask Supermodel! What a handsome boy!!
Dressage Training Video
How to Use Your Core for an Epic Trot

Dressage Training
Transitions with Cindy Ishoy

Strengthen and supple your horse with a series of upward and downward transitions.
Exercise: Ride a series of three to four walk-trot-walk transitions on a 20-meter circle. 

Level: Training Level and above.


•Riding a series of walk-trot-walk transitions is a great exercise to strengthen the horse and develop his collection and suppleness. Transitions are the basis for strengthening the horse’s hind end, for softening the neck and jowl area and for total body conditioning, which prepares him for higher level movements. When ridden correctly from the back of the horse to the front, transitions put the horse back onto his hocks, which strengthens his hind end and makes him more supple throughout his back.

•Working on three or four transitions in a row will get your horse listening to your seat and leg. When he starts to pay more attention to you, you ride more accurately and with more precision.

•The horse becomes more supple and gains confidence, because he knows you’re there with your seat, leg and hand. He is more relaxed and is better able to understand what you want.

How To Do It:

1. Start at walk on a 20-meter circle. Ride an upward transition to trot by driving with your seat and legs into your giving hands. Be sure not to give too much (loose reins) or you will throw away the contact. Just try to soften the contact and drive the energy forward into your hands from behind, letting the horse balance himself.

2. Ride a downward transition from trot to walk by driving the horse into a resisting (not pulling) hand. This will increase impulsion and shorten his stride. Drive the horse forward during the downward transition the same way as you do going upward. The resistance from the hand in combination with the forward drive from your seat and leg will tell him to come down to a walk. (You will see him raise his neck as he shifts his weight back onto his hocks.) How much you resist with your hands dictates how much forward motion you’ll have and how quickly you’ll get to the walk. You can do the transition over one or two strides, for example, if you resist more and drive harder. Or, you can do it over five or six strides, if you soften everything out.

3. Now do a series of three or four upward and downward transitions between walk and trot.

Tips for Success:

1. The key to riding a correct transition is to create impulsion from behind by driving the horse’s hind end with your seat and leg into your hand.

2. Always do the transitions through a slight shoulder-fore position, bring the horse’s shoulder of the track by taking both hands to the inside and keeping the inside rein soft. Use your inside leg to drive a supporting outside rein, keeping his hind end on the track while his shoulder comes slightly off the track. If you pull too much on the inside rein and don’t have your leg on with a strong outside rein for support, your horse will travel incorrectly down the wall with his neck in and with his shoulder and hind end on the same track, which is not the correct shoulder-fore position. Be sure to get a true shoulder-fore and not “neck-in,” which is a common error.

3. Another common error is to ride too much or too little with your hands. You can stop the energy from going forward by resisting too much with your hands, or you can throw it away by giving too much. Instead, use your hands to capture the energy by driving forward through your seat and leg so that it flows through the horse’s body out the front end and into your hand.

4. The consistency if practicing walk-trot-walk transitions as part of your daily training is important because, when you build up muscles in the horse’s hind end, it will improve his overall fitness level and teach him how to carry himself.


1. Ride a series of walk-trot transitions on a serpentine and then down a straight line, for example, the quarterline—five meters (16 ½ feet) from/parallel to the track.

2. Do five or six strides of working canter and then ride a downward transition to collected canter and then back up to working canter again.

3. Ride upward and downward transitions from collected trot to working trot on 10- and 20-meter circles, on a serpentine and down a straight line.

4. Do upward and downward transitions in the half pass by collecting for a few strides and then going forward for a few. The horse will become more supple within the half pass, making it a gymnastic exercise.

5. Do transitions in pirouettes. Collect the horse for three or four strides, making them really tight. Then ride forward, making them bigger and increasing the tempo. Then collect more and tighten them up again.

6. Collect the passage and get it higher, and then flatten it out and get a longer moment of suspension; then collect again almost to piaffe, then ride out of it again. 
Horse Care Tip of the Month
Managing Your Horse's Water Intake

Water is the most essential nutrient for your horse, and fresh, clean, cool water must always be available to him. Dehydration can lead to poor performance, lethargy, colic, kidney damage, collapse and even death. Unfortunately, there are people who intentionally withhold water at shows to quiet their horses. This is an extremely dangerous practice and never appropriate. In addition to harming the horse, withholding water can lead to yellow cards and fines if you are caught.

Water makes up about 70 percent of a horse’s total body weight, and maintaining this balance is essential. The average horse will drink 5 to 15 gallons per day or about 1 gallon per 100 pounds of body weight. Broodmares need even more—about 20 gallons per day to produce milk for their foals.

One of the most important factors determining water intake is dry matter intake, for instance, how much forage your horse is eating. Horses sweat up to 2 to 3 gallons per day, so how hard your horse works also has a significant effect and may triple the water requirements. Heat, humidity and health status also have an effect.

Monitoring your horse’s water intake is important to detect potential changes in health. Buckets are the best way to monitor for changes. If you use automatic waterers, they should be checked daily to make sure they are functioning properly. It may take a new horse some time to figure out how to use an automatic waterer, so horses who have not used one before should have water buckets available until they are seen drinking water (and swallowing it, not just playing in it) from the automatic waterer. Ironically, thirst does not always correlate with dehydration, so your horse may not drink when he needs it the most.

Waterers, tanks and buckets must be cleaned regularly to prevent build-up of algae, scum and mosquito larvae. If you are unsure of the water quality, have it tested. Occasionally, wells have high levels of bacteria or nitrates that can cause illness.

You can monitor your horse’s hydration by evaluating the following:

  • His gums, which should be moist and pink
  • His eyes and flanks, which should not be sunken
  • The skin on his neck, which should snap back when pinched
  • His breathing pattern, which should be even and regular—not panting
  • The capillary refill of his gums. This can be evaluated by pressing your thumb on the horse’s gums to blanch out the skin, then counting the number of seconds until the color returns. It should take less than two seconds.

Providing free-choice trace mineralized salt can encourage your horse to drink. If your horse does not use his salt block, consider adding 1 tablespoon of table salt to his grain once or twice daily. If your horse still refuses to drink, apple juice, electrolytes, Kool-Aid, molasses or even alfalfa pellets may be added to one bucket to encourage water consumption but be sure to have one bucket of plain water as well. This is also useful when traveling to flavor the water in new places.

When traveling to shows, clinics or other public places, keep biosecurity in mind. Do not allow your horse to drink out of common tanks or use a dirty bucket to collect water from a common area. Do not use other horses’ water buckets unless they have been cleaned and disinfected with bleach. Lastly, do not put the end of a hose directly into your buckets to fill, but instead hold the water above the bucket.

With appropriate care and a little effort, you can ensure that your horse gets the amount of water he needs. 
Life & Style
May Gardening Checklist

Learn what to plant this month, get maintenance advice and troubleshoot your gardening challenges with an expert.
may garden guide
What to Plant
Cacti and succulents—Group these easy-care plants in clusters so they are more visible in the landscape. The compass barrel cacti (Ferocactus cylindraceus) only grows to approximately 1.5 feet wide and looks great planted in a row in narrow spaces. Cacti and other succulents can sunburn in direct light, so plant them where they will receive afternoon shade or protect them with shade cloth for the first few summers.

Trees and shrubs—Look for indigenous Sonoran Desert plants at the nursery for late spring planting. Native plants generally survive May temperatures better than non-native counterparts. Foothills palo verde (Parkinsonia microphylla) is a compact tree with lacy, yellow-green foliage that does well with very little water or maintenance.

Warm-season vegetables—Sow seeds of yard-long beans, also called asparagus beans. Train these vines to grow on a trellis to maximize garden space, and harvest pods while they are still green and tender for optimum sweetness. Plant sweet potato slips in an area where they have plenty of room to spread out.

Sunflowers—Sunflowers provide food and refuge for beneficial insects, including pollinators. Sow seeds in loosened soil to ease germination. To keep hungry birds from digging up the seeds, screen the ground with floating row covers, available at nursery centers, until new plants produce two or three leaves.

Basil—Plant transplants of this heat-loving summer staple in full sun. 

Mulch around trees and shrubs—Conserve soil moisture by placing a 3- to 4-inch layer of coarse mulch around landscape plants. Avoid letting mulch rest against trunks, as it can act as a conduit for pests.

Scout for spider mites—Juniper, arborvitae and pyracantha are susceptible to spider mites, which are tiny eight-legged pests that feed on plant juices and can lead to the decline and death of the plant. Look for the telltale weblike material and sticky mess they leave behind and promptly wash any remaining off with a strong stream of water.

Harvest winter vegetables—Pluck carrots, beets and radishes that have not already gone to seed. Cull leafy greens that taste bitter or are riddled with pests.

Adjust irrigation—Plant water demands will continue to increase for a few more months. To determine how much water to apply to your landscape, visit the Arizona Municipal Water User’s Association’s site “Watering Schedules Tailored for Landscapes in the Sonoran Desert” at

Pro Tip: Protecting Fruit
By Bruce Solomon, customer care representative, Arcadia Color Garden, Phoenix

Fruit on deciduous trees, such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, figs, apples, grapes and berries, is appealing to hungry birds and insects. To prevent unwanted visitors from devouring your harvest, try these tips: 

As fruit comes up to size—but before it ripens—cover trees and plants with bird netting. On smaller plants, support the covering above with stakes, so that birds cannot sit on the netting and reach the fruit. On trees, secure the netting to the trunk or bring it to the ground and weight it with bricks to prevent birds from becoming trapped beneath the canopy.

Create a scarecrow device—something that moves and sparkles to frighten would-be fly-in diners. Holographic bird scare tape, which can be purchased online or at your local nursery, or strips of aluminum foil can be tied to branches. Fruit can also be covered with paper bags secured with twist ties, which also discourages fruit beetles.

If ants attack, try wrapping tree trunks with duct tape (sticky side facing out) or a strip of aluminum foil coated with petroleum jelly or Tanglefoot, an environmentally friendly insect repellant. Diatomaceous earth can also be effective when applied to the ground around the base of tree trunks to thwart crawling insects.
Recipe of the Month
Italian One-Pot Pasta

one pot
"I LOVE this recipe. So easy to make in just one pot and it's delicious!" Paula

4 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
12 oz fettuccine
8 oz frozen chopped spinach
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 oz shaved Parmesan

1. Add four cups of vegetable broth to a large pot. Break the fettuccine in half and add it to the pot along with the canned tomatoes (with juices), olive oil, frozen spinach, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper.
2. Make sure the ingredients are submerged under the liquid, place a lid on top of the pot, and then turn the heat on to high. Allow the pot to come up to a full boil over high heat, then remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium.
3. Allow the pot to continue to boil over medium heat, without a lid, for 10-15 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir the pot every few minutes as it cooks to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom, but avoid over stirring which can cause the pasta to become sticky.
4. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan just before serving.
Paula's Pearls
"Ah-ha!" Moments in Riding

Put a cone in the middle of your arena. Pretend the tail of your horse is long and attached to the cone. A walk pirouette is a half pass almost in place around the cone. The easier it gets, the smaller you can make the pirouette until it becomes on the spot.
A Little Inspiration
Find and Protect the Ride Time
As a busy trainer and owner of a multi-horse facility, this blog post really hit home with me. (Click here to read it.)
I hope you enjoy it and take a moment to think about how you can protect your ride time as well! - Paula
protect the ride
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 & 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