Paula Paglia Dressage
On the Bit
November 2018
In This Issue
Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video:  Walk Pirouettes for Beginners
Dressage Training: Find Your Horse's "Boing"
Horse Care Tip of the Month:  7 Feeding Myths Shattered
Life & Style: Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships
Recipe of the Month:  Decadent Pumpkin Cheesecake
Paula's Pearls: "Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration
Barn News & Updates

ADA Fall Festival Show
Team Paula Paglia
Team Paula Paglia Dressage

What an awesome weekend! We sure worked hard to get here but all the work paid off! Our Champions were:
Daisha Training level Ch.
Indiare 3rd level Ch.
Indiare 4th Level Ch.
Slipstream PSG Ch.
Ssavant PSG AA Rsv. Ch.
Ssavant Intermediare AA Ch.

Congratulations to Catherine Enright, Julia Harbers and Anne Krejci on their debut of training level and first level. Great start for 2019 scores!  Also I want to thank Melanie Melczick for our Inter 1 freestyle. We hit 70 in our freestyle yesterday and I was very happy.

As usual I must thank my amazing support team Arturo Hernandez our groom, our braider Colleen Reiter, Denise Ostrow, Sherrill and Ed Tripp, Kate and Dave Earl, Mary and Megan Manning, Catherine Enright, Julia Harbers, and Luca Schoepke. Thank you all for an awesome and fun weekend. Now we can get charged up for the holidays!

Congratulations Are in Order
Janet Teodori purchased the KWPN mare, Dancer. She is a nine-year-old by Johnson. Janet will be showing her up the levels! Welcome to the facility Dancer!

Championship Dressage Horse for Sale
SR Ssavant 2006 Arabian Gelding (15.2h) Competing PSG and I-1  
Ssavant is an athletic, hard-working and fun horse to ride. There are not many like him. Megan Manning has been bringing him up the levels since they started at Training Level together in 2013. Earlier this year they made their I-1 debut. He is the perfect horse for anyone wanting to earn their medals (Megan received her bronze, silver, and has started getting her gold medal scores on him). He would be incredibly successful in the Arabian Sporthorse and Dressage ring; however, he has mainly competed on the USDF circuit where he has had no problem being competitive among Warmbloods. Earlier this month he took home the Region 5 Fourth Level AA Championship, and he placed 4th in the PSG. In previous years he has held AZ State Championship wins at 1st and 2nd level. He is a very soft and smooth horse to ride. He performs easily in both the snaffle or double. His mouth and gaits are gentle enough for even an inexperienced yet confident rider. Ssavant and Megan will compete one last time together at the Arizona State Championships. Contact me if you'd like more information on this very special horse.

Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation Region 5 Championships and ADA Octoberfest Dressage Show

Hey Paula! Those ribbons look good on you!
What a fantastic showing Team Paglia had at last month's regional championships. I'm beyond proud of all of our horse and rider competitors. Each and every one did amazing. Take a look at their accomplishments:
  • Lucy PSG Reserve Champion
  • Lucy I-1 Reg Champ 4th Place
  • Indy Reg Champion 4th Level
  • Indy Regional Champ 3rd Level
  • Daisha 4th Training Champ
  • Daisha 6th 1st level Champ
  • Ssavant PSG Amateur 4th
  • Ssavant 4th Level Champion Amateur
  • Ssavant Equitation 4th Place
  • Pikeur T-3 3rd Place
  • Pikeur 1-1 First Place
Owner Colleen Reiter with Daisha

Paula and Lucy at the awards ceremony

Indy winning first place

Megan and Ssavant
Megan and Ssavant

Dressage Training Video
Training the Walk Pirouette for Beginners

Source: DressageMasteryTV

Training The Walk Pirouette - Dressage Mastery TV Ep82
Training The Walk Pirouette - Dressage Mastery TV Ep82

Dressage Training
Find Your Horse's "Boing"

Do you remember taking the little spring out of your ballpoint pen? You probably compressed it and watched as it sailed effortlessly across the room. Everyone did that at least once long ago, before considering the science of coiled springs. This simple scientific principle has a lot to do with why some dressage riders can reliably go down the centerline and score 10 percentage points higher than the average rider. They know how to get effortless, elegant "boing" from the horse. And it is free. No pushing or squeezing is necessary; in fact, that is detrimental. Timing is necessary.
It has everything to do with the moment when your horse's inside hind leg is engaged. (As an aside, many people think "engagement" has to do with the amount that the hocks bend - called "hock action." Others think it is the degree of hind-leg reach under the body - called "reach.") However, the moment of engagement is when the joints of a hind leg are bent and the hind foot is on the ground carrying weight. That is the coiled spring. The savvy rider can compress that spring just a tiny bit more by sitting heavy at exactly the right moment. Then, when the springing hind leg lets go, she gets free boing.
Coiled springs are shorter than when they are not coiled, so when the hind leg is coiled and carrying weight, the hindquarters lower. This coiled spring of a hind leg enables the horse to thrust, and when the rider has control over the engaging moment, she gets free boing. She can, if she wants, add impulsion with her leg at the thrusting moment - as the hind foot leaves the ground.  
This sounds easy, but the timing and the conditions have to be just right. Here are a few of the stars that need to be aligned before you can have free boing:
* The energy of the horse needs to be traveling "through" the horse's topline.
* The hind foot of the engaged hind leg needs to step under the rider's seat. Otherwise, the weight in the rider's seat just makes the horse's back hollow instead of sitting on the coiled spring.
* The rider has to have a good enough seat and position so her seat isn't noisy and heavy, because, as always, the release is as important as the weight aid.
*The rider, either by nature or by intellect, needs to know the moment to add weight to her seat. This is the "sitting moment" of, for example, the rising trot. And she can't be squeezing or giving random leg aids at the same time. Mirrors or an eye on the ground can help the rider learn how to feel the difference between the moment of engagement and the moment of thrust of the inside hind leg.
* The rider must know to release the seat and ride the thrusting moment to allow the boing.
* The rider must know to switch directions and exercise the engaging and thrusting moments on the left and right sides equally so the horse develops straightness.  
Whew! That's a lot, and I probably forgot something. But here's the beauty of it: When the rider sits very well, much of these aids are given passively because they are created by the horse's body as it moves within the rider's aids. Horse and rider are one well-oiled machine. It's really free, and it's so effortless, elegant and beautiful.
Horse Care Tip of the Month
7 Feeding Myths Shattered

grazing horse
Despite the ability of many horse people to diagnose a strained suspensory at 30 paces, fix a faulty flying change with just a smidge more outside leg, or understand the intricacies involved in getting that recalcitrant tractor to start, a surprising number of us are baffled by the basic principles of equine nutrition. We're content to believe the myths and misconceptions that flourished in our grandfather's day, to feed whatever our neighbors are feeding ... or to just plain get overwhelmed by the whole subject! The result is that a great many horses are fed more according to tradition than to sound scientific fact, and their overall health may suffer because of it.

But feeding horses really isn't rocket science. It's pretty simple to understand, if you try. It's time to debunk some of those pervasive nutrition myths, and replace them with solid facts on which you can base your feeding program.

MYTH #1: Horses need grain in their diets.
FACT: Horses evolved as grazing animals, and forage (pasture and/or hay) is still the basis of their dietary needs. The equine digestive system is designed to break down tough, stemmy plants and extract all the nutrition and energy they need from those materials. A great many horses get along very well on a forage-only diet; if your horse has finished growing and is only in light work, is an easy keeper, or is basically a happy pasture potato, he has no need for grain.
So what's the advantage of grain? It supplies concentrated energy, in the form of carbohydrates, which some horses need if they're being asked to do more work than what they would normally do in the wild. Show horses, racehorses and nursing broodmares can all use the extra nutritional support of grain to help fuel their higher energy expenditure. But because the equine digestive system is poorly designed to digest large quantities of carbohydrates, there's a limit to how much grain you can feed without risking dangerous conditions like colic and laminitis. As a rule of thumb, remember that every horse should consume between 1.5 and 3 percent of his body weight in feed every day, and at least half of that should be forage, by weight.

MYTH #2: A horse in hard work needs higher levels of protein in his diet.
FACT: In a pinch, protein can be used by the horse's body as an energy source, but it's a very poor way to fuel performance because molecule for molecule, protein doesn't produce much energy, and the horse's body has to go to great effort (chemically speaking) to extract it. Carbohydrates and fats are infinitely better energy sources - far more energy-packed than protein, and easier to break down and absorb.

Protein does play a role in the diet, however: It provides amino acids, the "building blocks" for the construction and repair of muscles, bones, ligaments and all the other structures of the body. Young, growing horses, and those being used for breeding have higher protein demands because they are building new tissues. However, mature horses not being used for breeding only need about 8 to 11 percent crude protein in their overall diets to provide enough amino acids for the occasional tissue repair. The need for protein doesn't really increase as a horse's energy demands do, either, so there's no need to switch to a higher protein feed if your horse is in high-intensity work.

MYTH #3: Corn/oats/barley/sweet feed will make my horse "hot," or high-spirited
FACT: Various feeds have gotten a reputation for altering a horse's temperament and turning him into an instant wingnut, much like sugar gets blamed for causing hyperactivity in children. To set the record straight, it's true that horses naturally want to burn off their excess energy, so if the diet is supplying more than their current level of exercise demands, they'll start bouncing off the walls. It's also true that a very fit horse tends to feel really good, so his level of exuberance may increase. But no one type of feed is likely to be responsible; instead, it's the amount of feed that's at fault.
Certain grains may have gained a reputation for being "hot" feeds because they've been substituted indiscriminately for a similar volume of a lower-energy feed. Corn and barley, which have no fibrous hull, are more concentrated energy sources than oats, which do have a hull. So if you substitute a coffee-can of corn for a coffee-can of oats, then you'll have a problem! This is why it's so important to feed your horses by... click here for the rest of the article.
Life & Style
 Horses & Horsepower Right Here in Scottsdale

One part sporting event, and one part epic party, the 8th Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships at WestWorld puts Scottsdale on the world equestrian stage once again.

polo play

Already known the world over as an equestrian-centric destination, Scottsdale is home to one of the most famous polo matches in North America. The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships will take place this year on Saturday and Sunday, November 10th and 11th.

Whether you come to watch the exhilarating sport of polo, or come to people watch, there is no doubt that this is the place to see and be seen.

Nacho Figueras
There will be a total of eight polo matches throughout the event, and Nacho Figueras, from the Aspen Valley Polo Club, will be back to defend his club's title for the fourth year running. Considered the sport's most famous player, Figueras hails from a family with a long background in the sport.

The event centers around the polo matches, but also includes a preview from the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show showcasing several of the equine competitors that will take the stage in February. 

Love horses and a little horsepower? You'll appreciate the Barrett-Jackson preview featuring classic, collector and specialty automobiles on display.

Fashion takes a center stage at the tournament, quite literally, as models strut their stuff on the world's longest runway. Of course there will be a canine couture fashion show as well where spectators can get their fill of adorably dressed pooches.

With DJ-manned party tents, free-flowing bubbly and performances by The Phoenix Opera, there is no lack of entertainment during this festive two-day event. 


Take a look at what's new this year, as featured on the organization's website:
  • Performances during periods of polo play by The Phoenix Symphony (showcasing Mozart), Phoenix Theatre with some of the great Broadway musical songs of all time, bagpipes performance by Ford Dudley, Phoenix Opera and the Phoenix Boys Choir. Collectively and individually the performances to the backdrop of the day's polo matches are some of the most beautiful moments in American sport.
  • New DJ-infused party tents courtesy of the Scottsdale-based Riot Hospitality Group including Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row, El Hefe and Riot House.
  • An expanded event presence by Red Bull, which last year deployed its skydiving team prior to a match.
  • An event first and the "World's Farthest Rugby Sevens Match." Led by Arizona State University's rugby team, watch amazing rugby action played on what may be the longest field ever utilized for a rugby sevens match, nearly two and half times longer than normal. The match will take place at a to-be-determined time on Saturday, between the polo action.
  • The debut of The Apex Cup, courtesy of the landmark new Apex Motor Club in Maricopa, Arizona. A country club for car enthusiasts, the Apex Cup will recognize the top cars on site which will include collector cars courtesy of Barrett-Jackson, Ferrari Club of Arizona, Porsche Club, Scottsdale Corvette Club, Arizona Classic Thunderbird Club, AZ Lamborghini Club, Corvette Club of America, as well as cars of Apex members and dozens of other Arizona car owners.
fashionable spectators
  • An expanded field-side Sanderson Lincoln Black Label Lounge.
  • A second, mid-field skybox on the north side of the Wells Fargo Private Bank Polo Field courtesy of Talking Stick Resort.
  • The all-new F.A.B .Tent, standing for fashion, art and beauty, featuring a pop-up art gallery by the Scottsdale-based Larsen Art Gallery and Auction, sideline manicures by the Talking Stick Resort Spa, fashion displays by Spiritual Gangster, Evan's Furs and LoveOverH8, a socially conscious clothing line by local resident Cheryl Najafi and Velveteria, a Los Angeles-based museum devoted to velvet art works.
  • In conjunction with KTAR, a new Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Tent will be introduced with tickets to sample extensive selections of each available for purchase at the tent. Already the top-selling champagne event in Arizona, this year's Polo Party will be making a push with wine enthusiasts too.
  • Hall Pass, the country's most unusual pop-up sports bar will debut in 2018, allowing sports fans to enjoy football and other games on televisions throughout the day, amidst the beautiful backdrop of polo and the McDowell Mountains.

Recipe of the Month
 Pumpkin Cheesecake


pumpkin cheesecake

"If you'd like to serve a decadent alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, this rich and creamy cheesecake offers an abundance of fall flavors to perfectly cap off your holiday meal." - Paula

  • 1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 20 cookies)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • Chocolate syrup, caramel ice cream topping, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnap cookies, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.


2. In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs, pecans and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.


3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time until smooth. Add remaining sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.


4. Place 2 cups filling in a small bowl; stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove 3/4 cup pumpkin filling; set aside. Pour remaining pumpkin filling over crust; top with remaining plain filling. Cut through with a knife to swirl. Drop reserved pumpkin filling by spoonfuls over cheesecake; cut through with a knife to swirl.


5. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.


6. Garnish with chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, whipped topping and additional crushed gingersnaps, if desired.

A Little Inspiration

Ssavant, Megan and Paula

By: Megan Holly Manning

On this same weekend 5 years ago, Ssavant and I competed together for the first time. Today, we went down the centerline together for the last time. We debuted at training and first level in 2013. We finished our career together at Prix St. George and Intermediate I. Looking back, I am so grateful for the unexpected opportunities he has given me. I remember when our goal was to achieve my Bronze Medal. And then suddenly the goal was to get my Silver. And here I am at the end of this weekend with 2 scores towards my Gold Medal.  

Saying goodbye (temporarily) to the show world is hard. I've been competing for the last 13 years, and I don't even remember what life was like before I had a horse show almost every month. But it's time to hang up the shadbelly and the Charles Owen so I can focus on law school and complete that final shift into "adulthood."

megan and ssavant
I am so incredibly blessed to have two parents who allowed me to compete all these years. While most people have to give up riding when it's time for college, I was still competing with Ssavant and even for my college equestrian team. My journey with Ssavant would have been impossible without Mary Greene Manning and Keith Manning.

And then there is Paula Paglia. She is the reason I have Ssavant and the reason I am the rider that I am today. I feel so lucky that she has been willing to coach me over the last five years. I never got to be in full training, and I had to carry home every bit of instruction she ever gave me. Bringing a horse up the levels is hard enough, try coaching a student you maybe get to see once a month! But she did it. So thank you, for your time and patience, and Sunday morning lessons when I know you could have slept in instead.

Also, in an ever-changing barn family, thank you Sherrill J. Tripp and Denise Ostrow. You guys have been an integral part of the Paglia Dressage family, and have always been a cheering section for me and Ssavant.

I'm not leaving the horse world. I'm just stepping away from the show ring for a bit. In the meantime, our search for Ssavant's new home continues. And I will do everything in my power to make sure he ends up in the best home possible. He is probably the closest thing to a unicorn that has ever existed, and he deserves only the best.
Paula's Pearls
"Ah-ha!" Moments in Riding

If you are riding with a lot of leg you are yelling.
A gripping leg shuts the horse down. Use a rhythmical breathing leg. Using no leg communicates to your horse that you're not really in charge.
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  |