The Horse

APR 2019

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Keep in touch! @TheHorse @TheHorseMag VIEWPOINT STEPHANIE L. CHURCH, Editor-in-Chief @TH_StephLChurch 6 April 2019 The Horse | In many cases judges praised our partnership, which for me is more rewarding than 8s, 9s, and ribbons. But our teamwork is only evident because of great trainers. When I think of great trainers, I recall ones that directed my path as a young rider and taught me to respect my mounts' abilities, ride them cor- rectly, guide them toward positive progress, and sometimes, in the case of the saintly schoolmasters, stay out of their way. The rewards of working with these trainers were tremendous: performance progress, expanded competitive and training opportuni- ties, enjoyment of the sport, and most importantly, better relation- ships with my ponies and horses. All of these trainers wanted to do right by my mounts. And I believe that's the case for most trainers. They've chosen this vocation for a va- riety of reasons, but the best trainers respect and admire horses above all, considering them teachers, partners in sport, and companions. In my role I tend to hear all about what goes on with training in our industry—the good, the bad, the wretchedly ugly. My team and I pur- sued the training abuse article this month because even though it's dif- ficult to read about, it's an important topic to unpack and consider, both to be able to spot it when it happens and understand its danger and harm. Thankfully, the good I see and hear about trainers outweighs the bad by far. The key to positive experiences, however, is picking the right trainer. Dr. Amy Rucker, a source in the training article, has equine patients across a variety of disciplines and wrote about this for us. Here are a few of her insights, but please visit to read more. She shares a lot of rich, useful information that will enhance your training experience. ■ A big part of being satisfied with a trainer is working with him or her to set benchmarks at the start and updating them as needed. ■ Transparency and communication among all team members— assistants, vet, farrier, bodywork- ers, and owners—are critical. ■ Observe all the horses in the barn to get an idea of how "happy" they are with the atmosphere. ■ Watch a trainer during a high- stress show, and see how they interact with their clients. ■ Remember that trainers have tre- mendous pressures placed upon them from a variety of sources. Every trainer I've worked with regu- larly with has helped me become the horsewoman I am today—one that's far from perfect but always aiming to be the best steward of Happy. h Great Trainers L ast weekend my horse, Happy, and I did our first dressage show of the year. When I get scoring sheets after our rides, my favor- ite part is looking at the collective marks for gaits, submission, impulsion, rider's seat and position, and rider's correct and effective use of aids. The scores are telling, of course, but more than anything I enjoy reading the written feedback. Happy and I've received com- ments ranging from "Great recovery of the stretch circle spook with buck!" to "Good rhythm and balance. Lots of potential!" Publisher: Marla Bickel Editor-in-Chief: Stephanie L. Church Managing Editor: Alexandra Beckstett News Editor: Erica Larson Digital Managing Editor: Michelle Anderson Art Director: Brian Turner Web Producer: Jennifer Whittle Marketing Manager: Victoria Bennett EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT 2365 Harrodsburg Rd #A200 Lexington KY 40504-3331 E-MAIL All letters must include the writer's name, address, and daytime phone number for verification. ■ Letters:, or by mail. ■ Farm Call:, or by mail. ■ Across the Fence and Behavior Columns:, or by mail. ■ New Products:, or by mail. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Scott Anderson, DVM; Sarah Barr, DVM; Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS; Ann Dwyer, DVM; Benjamin Espy, DVM, Dipl. ACT; Jenifer R. Gold, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC; Kyla Ortved, DVM, Dipl. ACVS; Debra Taylor, DVM Educational Partnership Disclaimer: The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), one of The Horse's partners in equine health, has no involvement regarding editorial management or advertising content within this publication and thereby does not endorse any editorial or advertising content unless so acknowledged within the individual article or advertisement. EXPERT ADVISORS Sue McDonnell, PhD, Cert. AAB; Milt Toby, JD FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Lou Calka; Sarah Evers Conrad; Heather Farmer, DVM; Jill Griffiths; Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA; Katie Navarra; Diane Rice ADVERTISING SALES AND SERVICES West Coast Advertising Executive: Yvonne Long 859/276-6701 East Coast Advertising Executive: Mark White 859/276-6710 Sales Support: Nicol Hunt, 859/276-6740 PUBLISHED BY OWNED BY TOBA MEDIA PROPERTIES Board of Directors: Everett Dobson, Dan Metzger, Rosendo Parra, Dr. J. David Richardson, Peter Willmott

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