Paula Paglia Dressage
On the Bit
March 2018
In This Issue
Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video:  Charlotte Dujardin Takes the Trot from Ugly to Awesome 
Dressage Training: Correct and Prevent Pumping with the Upper Body During Canter
Horse Care Tip of the Month:  Do You Know the Basics of Botulism?
Recipe of the Month: Roasted Gnocchi & Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Paula's Pearls: "Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration: Can You Ride a Line of Tempis with a Glass of Wine in Your Hand?
Barn News & Updates

Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show at WestWorld
Paula and Maren
Paula, Harry & Maren Enjoy the Wins and Blue Ribbons! 
The 63rd Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show was once again a real pleasure. I rode Maren Cochran's young horse Harry in First Level and I'm so pleased to say he won Reserve Champion with a final score of 69.412. What an accomplishment for this up-and-coming boy! 

Maren won her First Level Test 1 Amateur ride and she won in Sport Horse Under Saddle Half-Arabian Junior Horse. Congrats to Maren!

Dressage Training
Charlotte Dujardin: 
Taking the Trot from Ugly to Awesome in a Dressage Horse

Watch Olympic Gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin demonstrate the amazing ability to change the pace of the passage as you are riding it! That is truly a magical moment in dressage riding. Charlotte Dujardin also states that any horse can develop an amazing trot. When she is shopping for horses she looks for an amazing walk and canter, knowing that she can take a trot from ugly to awesome just by simple and effective training in dressage.

Dressage Training
Correct and Prevent Pumping with the Upper Body During Canter


Pumping occurs when your upper body rocks forward and backward in an exaggerated way as you follow your horse's movements. It's a fault I often see in riders. Pumping with the upper body also can come from an insecure seat.

Some think that pumping with the upper body will achieve a stronger driving aid and a better seat, but just the opposite is true. A pumping upper body will actually place the rider consistently behind the movement of the horse, disturbing his balance. Pumping makes your back tense, causing a loss of the ability to follow your horse's movements in a supple manner. The result is that your aids become delayed and are delivered in a tense or ineffective manner to the horse. The harmony between horse and rider is disturbed and the overall picture of you and your horse is not pleasing.

A rider who pumps may find herself compensating for being behind the movement by pulling backward with her hands, impairing the forward flow and quality of the horse's gait. In response to the delivery of your tense aids, your horse will not be relaxed, and he will stiffen his back and his gaits. In contrast, a correct seat is balanced and allows the rider to give efficient aids without disturbing her horse.

To correct a pumping upper body, revisit the development of a correct seat and leg position at the halt. Look in a mirror or ask a person on the ground to check to see that when you sit in the saddle, you are able to draw a line from your shoulder to your hip and straight down to the back of your heel. Your leg needs to hang long and relaxed. Your seat must rest in the saddle in a relaxed manner, and you should feel both seat bones in the saddle.

When the horse moves at the walk, trot or canter, your pelvis follows the movements smoothly while your upper body stays quiet, upright and balanced. To maintain this, your abdominal muscles and deep muscles of the lower back have to contract and relax rhythmically. This work only if your back is supple, not tense. Do not grip with your thigh muscles because this lifts you out of the saddle. Relax your leg muscles so that you can sit as deeply as possible in the saddle and follow your horse's movements.

When your horse canters, allow his canter to "roll under" you. Think of how a merry-go-round horse at a fair rises up and down under your seat. If your back stays relaxed and your seat stays deep, you can feel similar movement in your own horse's back. Try to feel it at the walk first, then at the canter. If you find yourself losing your correct position at the canter, return to the walk, reestablish it and try again.

Consider taking some longe lessons from your instructor. I recommend working without stirrups, too. This helps you develop your balance and feel for your horse's movements and allows you to focus on your seat and leg position without worrying about controlling the horse. Once you find and establish the correct balance and seat at the canter, you should not have a pumping problem, and you should see an overall improvement in your horse's gaits, too.
Horse Care Tip of the Month
The Basics of Botulism

Basic management measures, combined with vaccination, will reduce your horse's risk of contracting this deadly form of poisoning.

galloping horse

Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce the most deadly biological toxin known to man. When ingested, botulinum toxin causes botulism, a fast-acting, often fatal form of food poisoning. Horses who consume feed tainted with botulinum toxin may die within hours or days unless they receive fast, appropriate treatment.

And then there's the really bad news: The types of C. botulinum most dangerous to horses are present in the soil and in the grasses and hays that they eat. Especially if you live in or purchase forage grown in a region where C. botulinum is endemic, eliminating the bacteria from a horse's environment is impossible.

But the news isn't all bad. C. botulinum proliferates and produces botulinum toxin only under specific conditions, which can be prevented with basic management precautions, and vaccination of at-risk horses offers an additional layer of protection. So botulism is fairly rare in horses, and with a few basic steps to keep your horse's food and water fresh and clean, you can greatly reduce the risk that he will ever have a problem with this disease. Here's what you need to know.

Profile of a killer
C. botulinum is an anaerobe, which means it thrives in the absence of oxygen. And, when environmental conditions aren't right for it---when it is in a dry, oxygen-rich atmosphere, for example---it goes dormant, encasing itself in a tough, protective outer membrane called an endospore. In this form, the bacteria do little harm to a horse.

But when external conditions change in its favor---that is, in anaerobic conditions with the right amount of moisture---C. botulinum emerges from its dormant state and multiplies rapidly. As each individual bacterium matures and dies, it releases its deadly toxin.

Seven distinct types of botulinum toxin have been identified---designated by letters from type A through G---but only types A, B and C are likely to produce illness in horses in the United States. Types A and B both reside in soil, but your risk of encountering them depends largely on where you live. Type A is more common in the West, and type B is seen more frequently east of the Mississippi River, especially in Kentucky and the Mid-Atlantic States. Type C is found in animal carcasses and bird droppings, which can be anywhere. However, up to 85 percent of all cases of equine botulism are caused by type B, which means that the risks are highest for horses in the eastern United States.

Botulinum toxin can cause illness in three ways:
* Food poisoning (botulism). Botulism is most likely to occur in horses who eat forage stored in a moist, anaerobic environment that encourages the proliferation of C. botulinum. This might occur, for example, if hay is baled while still moist or stored improperly; the wetness at the center of the bale causes spoilage and creates the ideal conditions for C. botulinum. Improperly processed haylage or silage--fermented forages normally fed to cattle---may also cause botulism in horses, as can clumps of grass clippings left by mowers. A far less common threat is feed or forage that has been contaminated by bird droppings or an animal carcass.
* Toxicoinfectious botulism ("shaker foal" syndrome). Foals are vulnerable to this form of botulism when they ingest the endospores as they nibble on grass or other things in their environment. The bacteria may activate and form colonies in gastric ulcers or the intestines.
* Wound botulism. Dirt and contaminants can carry endospores into a wound; if the surface heals over, an anaerobic environment may be created that allows the bacteria to gain a foothold within the surrounding tissues. This is more likely to occur with punctures and other deeper wounds.

A deadly threat
No matter how the botulinum toxin gets into the horse's body, the effects are the same. The toxin binds to the synapses of the nerves that control the muscles, blocking the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles. With no source of input, the muscles go flaccid, causing paralysis. Signs may appear within hours or days and often begin with the inability to swallow. A foal might have difficulty nursing.

As the toxin spreads, the effects begin to appear throughout the body, with signs such as muscle tremors, generalized weakness, a limp tail and gait issues. The severity and extent of the paralysis depends upon the amount of the toxin that a horse consumes. If he ingested only a little, he may just become less active and eat less before recovering after several days. A large dose of botulinum toxin will likely cause a horse to become recumbent. In the most serious cases, the cause of death is often suffocation, as the toxin paralyzes the muscles that facilitate breathing.

The early signs of botulism---difficulty swallowing, lack of eating, lying down, flaccid muscles---can look like other conditions, such as choke, colic or neurological disorders. Signs more specific to botulism include... click here for the rest of the article. 
Recipe of the Month
Roasted Gnocchi & Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette


Roasted Gnocci

"Now that spring is here, I'm finding Meyer lemons available at the market. Here is an excellent way to use bright and delicious spring flavors for your next meal. PS- if you want to add a little protein to the dish, mix in some chicken Italian sausage or prosciutto and fresh sage." - Paula

2 Meyer lemons
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 (16 ounce) package shelf-stable gnocchi
1 cup thickly sliced shallots
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
¼ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ cup slivered oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Slice and seed 1 lemon. Toss in a large bowl with Brussels sprouts, gnocchi, shallots, 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet.
  • Roast, stirring once or twice, until the gnocchi are plump and the Brussels sprouts are tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
  • Squeeze juice from the remaining lemon. Return the gnocchi mixture to the bowl and toss with sun-dried tomatoes, the lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ⅛ teaspoon salt.
In this quick vegetarian dinner recipe, you can skip boiling the gnocchi-they'll cook through while roasting on the sheet pan with the rest of the ingredients. If you can't find Meyer lemons, use 1 small regular lemon in Step 2 and use 4 teaspoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons orange juice in Step 4.
A Little Inspiration
The Challenge: 
A Line of Tempi Changes with a Glass of Red Wine in One Hand - On a White Horse!

I suppose this video is the epitome of "women, wine & equine"!

Wine Tempis

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

Stretch apart the vertebrae in your back from your belt to the tip of your tailbone. Then relax your thighs and hip area so you sit in the saddle relaxed around his back. Let there be no tightness in your thighs!
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  |