September 2019
On the Bit
In This Issue

Barn News & Updates
Dressage Training Video:
How to Ride Straight Flying Changes
Dressage Training:
Engage Your Core for a Deeper Seat
Horse Care Tip of the Month:
What Your Horse's Tail Says About His Health
Life & Style:
The 10 Best Adult Novels About Horses
Recipe of the Month:
Copycat Recipe, Mongolian Beef from P.F. Chang's
Paula's Pearls:
"Ah-Ha!" Moments in Riding
A Little Inspiration:
 Gotta Love This Female Ingenuity!
About Paula Paglia Dressage
Barn News & Updates
Let's Go Show & Cool August Nights at Los Angeles Equestrian Center
Another wrap!! Thank you Cornerstone Dressage for your back-to-back shows and accommodations, allowing us to stay at LAEC all week!! Lucy returned to Intermediate 1 after a year of PSG and got her qualifying scores for Regionals and CDS Championships. Gerhard Politz gave Lucy and I terrific coaching and lessons which helped pave the way to a high score and a win with 68.975!!

Indy, owned by Kate Earl, got the scores he needed for Sacramento too. Welcome to PSG and your delightful freestyle!!

Janet Teodori had her first show outing with her new mare, Dancer, showing 3rd Level. Congrats!

International Horse Buying Scam
I want to expose a dressage horse scam which happened to one of my clients. One of my semi-retired clients wanted to purchase a talented dressage horse for herself to ride and show. She scoured the internet for many, many months looking for the perfect partner. Eventually she found a very handsome, talented and well-ridden 4th level horse on Horse Clicks. She fell in love with this 8-year-old gelding online and it checked out in every way. This horse, she was told, was located three hours north of Vancouver and had been examined recently by a vet in Canada. The gelding recently had a large number of very clean x-rays done as well which they shared with her. She decided to send the money and purchase the horse without riding it. (Common sense said go ride it, but the horse appeared SO perfect for her.) She sent the money to purchase the horse and also sent shipping money to a holding company in Spain. The owner claimed he owned this international holding company. It all appeared legal, and the owner guaranteed my client would adore this horse. The buyer set up everything for the horses’ arrival on June 4th. Now the RED FLAG...once the money arrived in Spain to the holding company, all communication stopped. My client called the transporter and left many messages requesting arrival time of the horse to Scottsdale. After several days it became apparent that she had been scammed. She lost $42,000 and had her heart broken. Please share this story so it does not happen to another innocent horse person. When she tried to find out who the scammers were, the AZ Attorney General's office said they get 50-plus scams a day and they only have time to help those who've lost a million dollars or more!
Dressage Training Video
Charlotte Dujardin Master Class: How to Ride Straight Flying Changes

Source: DressageHub

Olympic medalist and world record holder Charlotte Dujardin has truly mastered the finesse of riding a dressage test. The perfection she exhibits while riding Valegro is not an accident. In this video we get to take a quick look at how she sets her horses up for success in the flying changes in dressage. Once you have mastered the flying change the work is just getting started, the changes need to be more straight and more uphill in the balance to correctly ride your horse forward in the tempi changes in dressage. 
Dressage Training
Rider Biomechanics: Engage Your Core for a Deeper Seat

Dressage Today
This photo shows Laurie Ryan in a First Level Freestyle on her 19-year-old Trakehner gelding Manchet Montana. In her letter, Laurie explained that her goal is to deepen her seat and to ride so that her horse does not pull her off balance.

The image shows a very nice moment, and you can see how well Laurie is riding here. She is clearly attempting to give her hands forward so that Manchet doesn’t pull on her. As I study the picture closely, it seems to me that Manchet is pushing with more energy from the hind leg that is striking off. This push-off can make horses become a bit heavier in the contact if they are not carrying their forehand well enough.

Laurie’s seat looks very correct and only when looking carefully do I notice some unwanted tension around her shoulders. It looks like everything is in the proper outline, but she appears to brace her shoulders to be ready for when the horse pulls. This is the trap that Laurie may fall into: Bracing the shoulders will make her rigid in her whole body and a tiny pull from the horse will upset her upper-body balance, bringing her off her seat.
To prevent this from happening, I would like to help Laurie ride with a more stable core. The following unmounted exercise should be very beneficial. 

Try this: Stand in front of a friend as though you are sitting in the saddle. Let this friend pull softly on your hands. If you simply brace around your shoulders and try pulling against your friend even a little, your friend will easily shift your weight to the front of your feet. But if instead of bracing your shoulders, you think of lowering your elbows, bringing your shoulders down and engaging your abdominal muscles, you will feel that even though your friend is pulling you forward, your weight will shift to the back of your feet.

Now apply this concept to when you are riding. Whenever the horse attempts to pull, thinking of this sensation will help you deepen your seat and sit more to the back of your seat bones. Then the horse will pull your seat into the saddle instead of pulling you off balance.

Another important feeling to keep in mind is that when you attempt to yield with the rein, that giving moment needs an anchor. Keeping your shoulders anchored while giving the hand slightly forward makes the giving more secure. Imagining that you can give your hand forward only while maintaining stability down your shoulders and back will help you deepen your seat while riding with a lighter contact.

Remember: Giving is not giving up tension. On the contrary, giving is a stretching movement and it requires increased positive tension of the core muscles. If Laurie rides with these ideas in mind, Manchet will feel more support of his body and he will need less support from the rein. I hope that these exercises will help Laurie achieve her goals.
Horse Care Tip of the Month
What Your Horse's Tail Says About His Health

Source: | By: Megan Graham

Your horse’s tail can be a barometer for many different issues going on in the body.
horse tail
The appearance of a horse’s tail, both at rest and during exercise, can tell us much about his general health and well-being. The tail should hang straight down and be carried in a relaxed manner. When viewed from behind, it should swing gently from side to side as the horse moves. The height of the tail carriage depends on an individual horse’s croup conformation and breed. For instance, a Morgan may naturally carry his tail higher than a Thoroughbred.

There are many reasons that a horse might hold his tail crooked or off to one side. As an equine veterinarian certified in spinal manipulation (chiropractic), I am often called in to assess a horse for abnormal tail carriage. One such cause is when there is a restriction (loss of motion in a joint and/or surrounding soft tissues) of the sacrum. The sacrum is roughly triangular in shape and is made up of five fused vertebrae, the last of which articulates with the first tail vertebrae. The cranial (front) part of the sacrum has seven articular surfaces, two being the sacroiliac joint, which is a commonly affected area in the dressage horse. The sacral apex (the part nearest the tail) can be restricted either to the left or to the right, and oftentimes this will cause the tail to point or move more in that direction. If this is the case, a manipulation, or “adjustment,” will often restore normal movement to the tail.

In some cases, the tail may have been fractured in the past or sustained other trauma leading to nerve damage. These tails may lack normal tone and movement, seeming floppy or overly still while the horse is working.

Some horses have a very active tail during exercise, swishing excessively, especially while being ridden. While this may be normal for some horses, I recommend having your horse evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out common causes for this behavior. Tail-swishing indicates tension in the horse, often from back pain or other orthopedic issues. Checking saddle fit and back health is a good place to start. Another common cause of tension under saddle is equine gastric ulcer syndrome.

The appearance of the tail itself can give us information about the general health of the rest of the horse. The tail should be full and lustrous with hair growing up to the base or top of the tail. It is common, especially in the summer, to see evidence of tail-rubbing, such as broken hair, bald patches and even skin lesions. There are many possible causes for this, such as internal and external parasites, allergies and pain.

Pinworms (Oxyuris equi) are a common cause of tail-rubbing and, unfortunately, due to increasing resistance to anthelmintics (dewormers), they are being seen more commonly and can be challenging to treat. The adult pinworms live in the rectum and deposit eggs around the horse’s anus. The eggs are surrounded by a yellow/white substance, which can often be seen around the anus, and causes extreme itching. Pinworm eggs are not typically identified with a standard fecal egg count test, such as the one used to assess for other gastrointestinal parasites. However, your veterinarian can apply clear tape to the skin around the anus to collect the eggs and then examine the tape under the microscope to find the eggs and make a diagnosis. Once pinworms have made your horse their home, it takes treatment not only of the horse, but also extensive decontamination of the environment to be rid of them.

Ticks are active during much of the year and will also cause a horse to rub his tail. Due to the high prevalence of Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, it is a good habit to check your horse daily for ticks.

Another cause of tail-rubbing is culicoides hypersensitivity, or “sweet itch.” Some horses develop a severe allergy to the saliva of these small biting flies and will rub their mane, tail and abdomen. This disease often progresses with age and, in some cases, the horse will rub until these areas are raw. Management involves treating the itch, treating any secondary bacterial infections and limiting contact of the horse with the flies using specially designed blankets, fans, insect repellents and avoiding turnout at dusk and dawn when the insects are most active.

Sometimes I am asked to evaluate a horse for tail-rubbing or sitting on water buckets when there is no evidence of parasites or history of allergies. In some cases, these horses have back pain, and leaning on the wall or their buckets gives them relief.

Finally, if you own a gray horse, the tail may be the first place you spot melanomas. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, which in the horse tends to be benign in most cases.

Your horse’s tail can be a barometer for many different issues going on in the body. Whether you notice sudden, intense itching, a change in carriage or excessive swishing during riding, it is a good idea to have a conversation with your veterinarian as your horse is likely trying to tell you something.
Life & Style
The 10 Best Adult Novels About Horses

The Horse Whisperer
#1 The Horse Whisperer

The Horse Whisperer is a novel by Nicholas Evans. It tells the story of a girl who got into an accident while riding on horseback. Only Tom Booker, the legendary horse whisperer, can help heal both of them from the trauma.

"This story will truly tug at your heart. This book touches on humanity and our relationships with our animal friends. I would highly recommend this book to any animal lovers out there. "

Chosen By a Horse
#2 Chosen by a Horse

Chosen by a Horse is a memoir by Susan Richards. Richards adopted Lay Me Down, an abused mare, and her foal. Now with five horses living in her backyard, Richards struggles through life's many difficulties with their help.
The Scorpio Races
#3 The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races is a novel by Maggie Stiefvater. It tells the story of the annual Scorpio Races between water horses. The reigning champion, Sean Kendrick, goes head to head with the first girl to ever join, Puck Connolly.

"This book is well written and I would love to see it made into a movie. Even if you aren't into horses, you will find this book entertaining and engaging. This is one of the best books I have read in a while."
Remember My beauties
#4 Remember My Beauties

Remember My Beauties is a novel by Lynne Hugo that tells the story of a family of horse breeders in Kentucky from multiple points of views. The family struggles not to split apart amidst sickness, drug abuse, and divisive relationships.

"I love horses. I love to read novels about horses, too. My favorite horse novel for adults is Remember My Beauties. It's a beautiful story by Lynne Hugo. It's about a family of horse breeders and takes place in Kentucky. The story is riveting and the characters are really fascinating. I really love how the family cares for their horses. Definitely check this book out. It's lovely."
The Horse Dancer
#5 The Horse Dancer

The Horse Dancer is a novel by acclaimed author Jojo Moyes. It tells the story of fourteen-year-old Sarah, who gets a horse named Boo from her grandfather. She trains with Boo for dressage with the help of Natasha, a lawyer.

Recipe of the Month
Mongolian Beef (Tastes Just Like P.F. Chang's!)

Mongolian Beef
"I found the best copycat recipe for one of my favorite restaurant meals, the Mongolian Beef at P.F. Changs! And the fact that this is so super, super easy makes me want to make this every week! Give it a try and let me know how it turned out for you." Paula

  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • green onions sliced for garnish

In a large Ziploc bag add the sliced flank steak and cornstarch. Toss the beef to coat evenly. Heat a large skillet to high heat and add the vegetable oil. Once heated, add the steak in a single layer and cook on each side for about a minute until the edges just start to brown. Once the steak is cooked, remove and set aside on a plate.

In a small mixing bowl combine soy sauce, brown sugar, water, ginger, and garlic. Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the steak to the sauce and allow the sauce to thicken for a couple of minutes. Toss with the chopped green onions and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Tips and Tricks for making the perfect Mongolian beef:
  • Slicing your beef: When slicing your flank steak make sure to slice it against the grain. I like to slice mine about 1/4 inch thick.

  • Make sure your pan is hot: Since the beef is so thin, you want to avoid over cooking. To get that crispy edge and tender center, make sure the pan is on hot heat so that it can quickly sear the edges of the beef and leave a nice and tender inside.

  • Don’t overcrowd the pan: In order to cook the beef evenly and quickly in the hot pan, be sure to have the beef in single layers. You may have to work in smaller batches. You do not want the meat to steam which will lose that crispy signature edge.

  • If you want the sauce thicker: The cornstarch on the beef should thicken up the sauce, but if you would like a thicker sauce, just add a teaspoon of cornstarch at a time.
Paula's Pearls
"Ah-ha!" Moments in Riding

Part 3 of 3 -- My boat analogy for riding

You have established your feet on the floor of your "boat" (from part one -- see July's newsletter) and you've learned how to start "paddling" your horse (from part two -- see August's newsletter). Now, let's talk about straightness.

There is always the challenge of straightness while riding. So straight on the long side must ride the bow of the boat slightly inward (shoulder fore). The bow of the boat is the horse's shoulders and that must come from the outside rein. There is the tendency to want to pull the inside rein which actually pops the shoulder more to the outside. When paddling your boat on the inside it turns it to the outside. When you put an outboard motor on your boat and rev it up, the motor on the back pops up the bow out of the water. Our legs and seat creating impulsion helps lift the withers and makes the shoulders lighter. Our "headlights" (upper body) help turn our horse along with our legs, seat and reins. 
horse boat
A Little Inspiration
Ha ha! Well it's never come to this for me, however I appreciate some good ole' ingenuity as much as the next horse woman. I suppose if nothing else, she gets a gold star for thinking outside of the box! Go girl!
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 2018. 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