June 2019
On the Bit
In This Issue
Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video: How to Get the Correct Canter Lead
Dressage Training: Correct Use of the Dressage Whip
Horse Care Tip of the Month: Too Many Rabbits
Life & Style: The Impulsion Sculpture at WestWorld
Recipe of the Month: Caprese Asparagus
Paula's Pearls: "Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration
About Paula Paglia Dressage
Barn News & Updates
Desensitization Clinic
Camelot Therapeutic Riding Center and Mary Hadsall hosted the Mounted Police Desensitization Clinic on May 18th. It was fabulous in every way.

We took three of our most sensitive mares to help them work out any fears and stressors. We did all of the obstacles successfully. Slipstream (Lucy) completed the course in-hand first, then redid the obstacles under saddle. Great job horses and riders!
colleen on daisha
Janet on Dancer
janet on dancer
Colleen on Daisha
Arizona Dressage Association Spring Celebration
I was so pleased to have won this year's High Point for FEI. Slipstream (Lucy) and I scored a 72.206. Thank you to owners Sherrill and Ed Tripp for bringing this talented mare for training with me. It has been a pleasure to work with her and watch her growth develop.
Arizona Dressage Association Upcoming Shows
Here is a list of the remaining ADA shows for 2019:

Road Runner Dressage Show II
Tucson, July 12-14
Level 2

ADA Mountain Air & Dressage in the Pines
Flagstaff, August 17-18
Level 2

ADA Fall Fiesta
Scottsdale, November 2-3
Level 3

TDC Fall Festival I & II and AZ State Championships
Tucson, November 16-17
Level 3
Flintridge Dressage Show, May 24th - 26th
While we didn’t “win,” Team Lucy came home with invaluable knowledge and tools for the toolbox. Slipstream (Lucy) and I, with lessons from Gerhardt Politz and coaching with Ulf Wadeborn, took her gaits to a whole new level. We received an 8 on extended canter and 7.5 on extended trot. Lucy handled the evening gala beautifully, even as people spontaneously applauded throughout the Freestyle! Lucy also handled herself like a pro in the stabling area -- a huge improvement from last year.

Huge thank you to owners Sherrill and Ed Tripp, Denise Ostrow who walked for miles in search of the best grass, Ulf Wadeborn and Gerhardt Politz! Kuddos to Cornerstone Dressage (Glenda & Meghan) and Flintridge Riding Club for a lovely, first-class show!!
Dressage Training Video
How to Get the Correct Canter Lead

Dressage Training
Correct Use of the Dressage Whip

National Equitation School graduate Pierre Cousyn explains the correct use of the dressage whip, explaining how and when a rider might choose to use one.
dressage whip
I can give some insight on the use of aids, which I hope will help you in your training. In France, we classify the aids of the rider into two categories—natural aids and artificial aids. Natural aids consist of a rider's hands, legs, seat, weight and voice. Artificial aids consist of factory-created items, such as spurs, whips, draw reins, etc. The goal of the natural aids is to communicate with the horse and to tell him what we want. The artificial aids are there to reinforce or clarify the use of the natural aids when needed.

In true classical training you never use two whips. Traditionally, a rider uses only one whip and carries it on the inside. Depending on the situation, the rider may find it more useful to carry it on a specific side, not just the inside. For example, when leg yielding from left to right across the diagonal, I prefer to hold my whip in my left hand, in case I need to reinforce the obedience to my left leg. But, when I perform a half pass from left to right across the same diagonal, I prefer to carry the whip in my right hand, in case I need to reinforce the obedience to my right leg, which asks the right hind leg for more engagement and, as a consequence, improves the right bend of my horse. In this situation, it is the nature of the exercise and the level of the horse that determine in which hand I will carry the whip.

Next, a rider must know that the timing of the whip is as important as the use in itself. You must use the whip exactly when the hind leg of the same side is ready to lift and leave the ground. It will allow the whip to produce a full result in harmony with the horse while requiring minimum effort. This is very important. If the rider uses the whip at the wrong time, for example when the hind leg of the same side is going down, the horse is physically not capable of responding to the whip appropriately. It creates a contradiction between the effect and the unexpected results, confusing the horse and making him upset and nervous.

Another important detail is the association of the use of the whip with the simultaneous use of the leg on the same side. If the rider uses the whip alone, he teaches the horse to respond to the whip only, without associating it with the leg aid. This will not reinforce the response to the leg. As with any artificial aid, the whip is meant to reinforce the natural aids. Its intended use is not to replace the leg. Be sure to follow a very specific protocol when using the whip to ensure your horse does not become dependent on the whip and forget about your natural aids.

As a general rule, always use your natural aids first, and then reinforce with artificial aids if the horse doesn't respond to the natural aids. Personally, if the horse is not responsive to the natural aids, I go back a step and require that all the basics be in place before asking for a particular movement. Being responsive correctly to the natural aids is part of having good basics.

When teaching a horse to be sensitive to the aids, it's important that the natural aids are used sparingly—only when needed. If you push your horse with your legs at every stride, he will become dependent on a "loud" aid. The horse will quit when the aid is removed. Imagine a person who is talking to you non-stop. After a while, you stop listening. So make it a rule to "whisper" to your horse, only talk when you have something necessary to say to him, and then leave him alone. When a horse has been taught this way, he is a real pleasure to ride.

An exercise I like to use when I suspect a student's horse has become dependent on constant aids is this: I ask her to canter and, while she is cantering, I ask her to take her legs off of the horse. If the horse is dependent on her legs, he'll break into trot. If he is responsive to the aids, he'll keep cantering.

The whip is a fine tool that should be used carefully. The rider must use it correctly to have a positive response. The use of the whip—like the use of all aids—should follow the old adage "less is more." With a well-trained horse, the whip is just hanging by the rider's side but comes into use very rarely.
Horse Care Tip of the Month
Too Many Rabbits

"I found this post by Alana Kekel on Facebook and just had to share it." - Paula
horse spook
One of my favorite things I've learned recently...

In my clinic with Warwick Schiller, he talked about another rider who told a story of her trail ride. She said she was hacking out her horse, and a rabbit came across the trail. The horse looked at it funny, but kept going. Another rabbit came along, and the horse, again, looked at it, snorted, and kept going. Probably eleven rabbits went by with this reaction. But then a twelfth rabbit bounced along, and the horse spooked, dumped the rider, and high tailed it home. What gives!?

Well he described it as each rabbit became a tiny amount of stress that added up. The horse's stress levels could handle a total sum of eleven rabbits, but when the twelfth rabbit came along, it was more than he could handle and he lost his lid. 

His take home message has nothing to do with spooky critters on the trails, and everything to do with knowing how your horse handles stress and how you can help him lose some of the "rabbits" he's built up BEFORE it becomes an explosion at Rabbit #12.

This is going to be a little bit for every horse and rider, but your goal is really to help your horse relax. Lick, chew, yawn, deep breathe. Look for the little signs like the twitching in the lower lip and in the cheek. 

Since the clinic, I've been counting our rabbits constantly. I'm suddenly so much more aware of my horse's tolerance, what adds rabbits, and what takes them away. I know that when Lacey is at home, she can handle a lot more 'rabbits' than when she's away. Just getting on the trailer and going somewhere new, that puts 6 rabbits in her queue. Add in a windy day, a bird flushing in front of her, or god forbid I be nervous- and suddenly we've got 12+ rabbits and an explosive horse!

If we take the time and groom slowly, sit calmly, maybe let her enjoy a shoulder massage or a little cuddle, and we start relaxing.... losing rabbits.

Listen to your horse. Count their rabbits. Find out how they add up and how they go away. Use this every time you work with your horse and see how your relationship improves.

Listen to yourself. You have rabbits too. I know by Friday evening- when I'm tired and stressed out, I have #toomanyrabbits. 
Life & Style
WestWorld's Impulsion Sculpture

Nearly 200 artists applied for the opportunity to create an iconic sculpture for the premier, nationally recognized equestrian center. Impulsion reflects Arizona artist Jeff Zischke’s desire to create an iconic sculpture that serves as a grand entry to the renovated equidome and new North Hall at WestWorld while projecting the excitement of explosive movement in equine form. The form is an amalgamation of several breeds and signifies the power, nobility and beauty of the entire species. 

The sculpture is made of stainless steel square tubing for durability and low maintenance. The reflective quality of this material adds luster while the construction makes the tubing appear to float in formation. Zischke stated in his proposal that “at the most fundamental level, my intention is to create a site-specific work that is unique, educational, and interactive - to create a catalyst for an experience that tells visitors that Scottsdale is a place on the move, with all the propulsion, the power of the large, elegant horse they are looking up at.” 

Lighting through controlled LEDs flush mounted to the pavers is an integral part of the sculpture’s night presence. The stainless steel captures and reflects the colors. The overall dimensions of this monumental sculpture are: 20’-24’ tall, 35’-40’ wide, and 10’-12’ deep.
Recipe of the Month
Caprese Asparagus

Source: Delish.com
caprese asparagus
"You'll love this recipe. So simple and the flavors are always a perfect combination. Here's a time saver tip for you: Trader Joe's sells a fantastic balsamic glaze you can use instead of making your own." Paula

  • 1 lb. asparagus, stalks trimmed
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425°. On a large baking sheet, toss asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Push to one side of the baking sheet and sprinkle mozzarella on top.
On the other side of the baking sheet, toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the asparagus is tender and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make balsamic glaze: In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and honey. Simmer until reduced by half, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (the mixture should coat the back of a spoon). Let cool slightly.

Transfer cheesy asparagus to a serving platter. Top with roasted tomatoes then drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with basil.
Paula's Pearls
"Ah-ha!" Moments in Riding

When asking for the Half Pass, keep your inside leg constantly communicating, and take care not to just hold it tightly on. Use it intermittently. Any adjustment you might need to make in the Half Pass must be done with the inside leg and the outside rein.
A Little Inspiration
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