Paula Paglia Dressage
On the Bit
May 2018
In This Issue
Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video:  Teaching Your Horse to Half Pass
Dressage Training: Pushing Away from the Bit with Christine Traurig
Horse Care Tip of the Month:   Equine Biomechanics and Training: Spinal Rotation
Horse Care Tip of the Month: Quarter Cracks: Causes, Treatment and Prevention. 
Recipe of the Month: Avocado and Lump Crab Salad
Paula's Pearls: "Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration
Barn News & Updates

ADA Year-End Awards
ADA awards
Paula, Sherrill and Ed Tripp, and Denise Ostrow attended the award banquet

The Arizona Dressage Association held their year-end award banquet in April. Our team had much to be proud of! Maren Cochran won Training Level AA Amateur Rider of the Year with a 69.117. Angela Seda-Garvin won AA Training Level 3rd Place Rider of the Year. Paula won 2017 Rider of the Year Open Fourth Level with a score of 71.174 on Lucy. Lucy won Fourth Level Horse of the Year with 70+%!

ADA Spring Show
ADA Spring Show
Colleen, Nissa, Kate, Catherine, Maren, Paula, Janet, Nini, Jeff & Sherrill all smiles at the spring show. Congrats to all!
I hardly know what to say about this weekend and my group of amazing clients and support team! There are so many to thank, and I don't want to forget anyone so I am just saying THANK YOU to ALL who made it come together with such great  success ❤!

I made it my own personal challenge to memorize all nine of my dressage tests. (One test I had a reader... and went off course!) I am so proud to have won the RESERVE CHAMPION Futurity with Maren Cochran's horse Harry. I also won the Training Level high point with Colleen Reiter's Daisha and the Third Level high point with Kate Earl's Indy. 

Congratulations to Janet Teodori who got her scores for her bronze medal on Herbie and Catherine Enright who had a great introduction into dressage, winning her classes with her boy Bodie. Slipstream (Lucy) won her PSG class one day, and took 2nd in the PSG the next day. So proud of my entire group.

Jeff Lovejoy provided the most beautiful braids....many thanks for giving us his weekend. And we cannot thank our support staff of Arturo, Denise, Nissa and Nini enough for their tireless work and support. 

Freestyle Clinic
Anne Manske and TC
Melanie with Anne Manske and TC
On Wednesday and Thursday, April 25th and 26th, Paula Paglia Dressage welcomed Melanie Michalak to the ranch.

Melanie is a United States Dressage Federation "L" graduate. She is an active musical freestyle designer, competitor, judge and clinician. She has presented musical freestyle clinics throughout the United States. Melanie's musical freestyles have earned national and international awards at every level through Grand Prix. Her work can be seen throughout the US, Europe, and the Carribean. Her freestyles have been performed at the Pan American Games and in the United States Equestrian Team Olympic Dressage Trials. She has earned state and national freestyle and USDF Horse of the Year awards on her own horses at many levels.

Melanie choreographed an Intermediate 1 freestyle for Lucy and I. She also worked with Kate, myself and Indy for a musical style all three of us agreed on. With that done, she will design a freestyle routine for Indy.

Anne and TC, Janet and Herbie, Daisha and I, as well as Carlotta and I did a music-based clinic for the experience and fun!! We look forward to her return.  

Region 7 Arabian Championships
Maren with Harry and Velvet
Maren Cochran took Harry and Velvet to the show in April and won NUMEROUS awards! Congrats to Maren! One of the highlights was a score of 72.4% for the First Level, Test 3 with Harry. This young horse won Region Champion, and has quite a promising career ahead of him.
Dressage Training
Teaching Your Horse to Half Pass

Source: Dressage Mastery TV

Dressage Training
Pushing Away from the Bit

Source: | By: Christine Traurig

This sophisticated term describes the epitome of throughness, perfect connection and ideal self-carriage.

Christine Traurig

The term "pushing away from the bit" is often misunderstood and is not to be confused with the situation in which the horse drops or evades the contact in any way. In fact, when the horse is pushing away from the bit, he responds to the leg aid with absolute, ever-present willingness to go perfectly to the bit. The horse that is pushing away from the bit has a finely established understanding of contact from a leg aid and he never feels apprehensive about reaching out to the bit again and again. In order to get the correct feeling of pushing away from the bit and the resulting circle of energy, the rider needs to understand the rein aids.

pushing away from the bit

The Rein Aids and their Functions

The Aids. Dressage riders rarely talk about the rein aids, so in my years of training and teaching, I often find myself explaining how the reins work and how they-through the rider's hands-affect the horse during application.
I've ridden a lot of jumpers on the flat and have come to understand the rein aids as they are explained by the likes of Bernie Traurig and George Morris, who are masters of the jumper world. They and the German Federation's manual explain it like this:

The inside rein is a flexion and a direction indicator. In simple terms, the inside rein is like the blinker in your car. In our sport of dressage, we indicate flexion and direction at the same time. The inside flexion is indicated by the rider bending her wrist or closing her fingers softly into the palm of the hand. The inside direction is indicated by the rider moving her inside hand slightly away from the neck with what we call (in a young horse) a "leading" or "opening" rein. The hand moves in the direction you want the horse to go. Later, when the horse is more educated, the hand doesn't move more than, perhaps, three inches away from the neck, but if the horse is properly trained, he understands that it means, My rider is indicating the direction.

The outside rein is like the steering wheel because it executes direction. The rein rests against the neck as the hand is positioned next to the wither. As such, that rein...  click here for the rest of the article.

Horse Care Tip of the Month
Equine Biomechanics and Training: Spinal Rotation

Prepared by Bre Marsh from the work of Jean Luc Cornille as presented on his website: Science of Motion

When training a horse it is important to realize that one is working with an intricate biomechanical system that must be understood in order to allow it to function properly.

One of the most widely unknown dynamics of the horse's functional anatomy is Transversal Rotation. This is the rotation of the spine that is created from lateral bending. This rotation primarily takes place between T14 and T9 and is recognized as either Proper Rotation or Inverted Rotation.

equine spine

Proper Rotation (pictured below left) refers to a bend that shifts the dorsal spines toward the inside of the bend while Inverted Rotation (pictured right) refers to a bend that shifts the dorsal spines toward the outside of the bend.

spinal rotations
Proper Rotation results in a sound equine athlete, while Inverted Rotation can create a multitude of lamenesses. The most common symptoms are hock and stifle issues, however kissing spine, arthritic changes of the elbow, rib heads, sacrum and generalized behavioral issues are additional tell tale signs of a horse that is suffering from improper function of the spinal column.

As a rider, you can begin to notice the difference between Proper Rotation and Inverted Rotation by paying attention to how your weight is being shifted. Proper Rotation (left skeleton) will direct your weight to the inside of the bend, while Inverted Rotation (right skeleton) shifts you to the outside.

rider spinal rotations
Below is another illustration showing the same principle in Half Pass. 

half pass rotation

Notice the rotation of the horse oriented towards the direction of movement, creating Proper Rotation (pictured left) vs. the horse tipping towards the outside of the bend, opposite the direction of movement, creating Inverted Rotation (pictured right). Notice the arrows depicting the direction of energy flow creating the bend. Proper Rotation is created by the forces generated in the hind quarter shifting the Center of Mass allowing the thoracic vertebrae to rotate properly under the seat of the rider. Inverted Rotation in this illustration, is a shoulder led movement that is generated from a driving seat of the rider creating a downward force of energy, loading the forehand unnecessarily. Click here to read the rest of the article.

Bre Marsh
Bre Marsh is an Equine Physiotherapist that is available for an appointment at Paula Paglia Dressage

Horse Care Tip of the Month
Quarter Cracks: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

quarter crack
A quarter crack is differentiated from other hoof cracks by: location (toe, quarter, heel, or bar), depth (superficial or deep), and site of origin (ground surface or coronary band). The hoof crack pictured here is at the quarter of the foot, is deep enough that it involves the sensitive tissue, and originates at the coronary band.

Hoof cracks can be caused by improper foot balance, coronary band defects, excessive hoof growth, thin walls, dry hoofs, or overly moist hoofs. Because improper hoof balance is a leading cause of hoof cracks, the farrier is often blamed. This may be unfair. Many horses get hoof cracks due to genetics; they grow low heels with a long toe and thin hoof walls. The tubules that make up the foot of horses with low heel long toe conformation grow forward instead of downward. The forward growing tubule is not as mechanically strong therefore is not able to stand up to the forces placed on them. Consequently the hoof wall breaks (cracks). Most horses develop hoof cracks while at work when the forces are greatest on the hoof wall. I have however seen rather sedentary horses develop quite severe and painful hoof cracks.

Superficial hoof cracks can be treated simply by balancing the hoof and correcting any extenuating circumstances such as adding moisture to overly dry feet. Some farriers will cut a horizontal groove in the hoof above the crack "to stop its progression upward". This practice is counter indicated. The groove only serves to weaken the hoof wall further. This "treatment" probably gained popularity because when the farrier was cutting a grove into the hoof wall he was also balancing the foot. Proper hoof balance, not a groove stopped the progression of the crack.

Severe cracks are more complicated and often must be treated in several steps. Hoof pain originates from three sources. The vertical force when the horse puts its foot on the ground. Horizontal stress from the now unstable back part of the hoof pinching sensitive tissue when the horse walks. Finally inflammation and swelling from infected soft tissues.

To treat the vertical force we... Click here for the rest of the article.
Recipe of the Month
 Avocado and Lump Crab Salad


avocado and lump crab salad

"If you love avocados (who doesn't?!) then you'll love this light salad perfect for warm days that is so easy to make, but gives such an eye-pleasing presentation." - Paula

  • 1 medium Hass avocado (about 5 oz avocado)
  • 4 oz lump crab meat
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt and fresh black pepper
  • 2 leaves butter lettuce (optional)

  1. In a medium bowl, combine onion, lime juice, cilantro, tomato, olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt and fresh pepper, to taste.
  2. Add crab meat and gently toss.
  3. Cut the avocado open, remove pit and peel the skin or spoon the avocado out.
  4. Season with remaining 1/8 tsp salt and fill the avocado halves equally with crab salad.
  5. This makes 2 servings, place on two plates with lettuce if you wish and serve.
A Little Inspiration

William Steinkraus

"We must never forget, every time we sit on a horse, what an extraordinary privilege it is: to be able to unite one's body with that of another sentient being, one that is stronger, faster and more agile by far than we are, and at the same time, brave, generous, and uncommonly forgiving." - William Steinkraus, Olympic equestrian.

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

What do we mean by "throughness"? Imagine your horse's topline as a two-lane highway. When the highway is free of road blocks, cars can travel smoothly back and forth along the road. If you can correctly influence the topline, energy from the hind end flows smoothly over the back. Tension, or lack of correct contact, allows for too many "road blocks" and detours of that energy. Your goal, then, is to create an open highway, allowing the energy to come over the horse's back, through the neck and to the bit. Maintaining this correct, supple connection (or "throughness") gives you control of the horse's impulsion and balance.
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  |