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 Horse Swimming

 

In Eastern PA, facilities with equine swimming pools and spas are hard to come by, but these tools can be invaluable when it comes to conditioning sport horses or helping horses rehabilitate from surgery or injury.

 

Wingate Farms in Wind Gap, PA houses both an equine pool and a cold salt-water horse spa, and horse owners can make appointments to take advantage of both therapies, or board their horses at Wingate for lay-up or rehabilitation.

 

Wingate Farms’ equine spa uses cold salt hydrotherapy to treat and prevent lower leg injuries in horses. The horse is led into a chamber which is filled with salt water that measures a chilly 35 degrees. The cold, aerated salt water reduces swelling and inflammation in the legs. This can be an effective treatment for injury, or used as a preventative measure following exercise.

 

Horses recovering from injury or that need to build fitness can also benefit from swimming in Wingate Farms’ equine pool. Because swimming is an impact-free form of exercise, it can help build muscle, stamina, and cardiovascular strength without wear and tear on the joints.

 

If you are interested in using the equine pool or spa at Wingate Farms, contact Carina for more information: 610-653-6772

Fair Hill Int'l 

 

In nearby Elkton, MD, you can witness some of the best eventing riders in the country compete this weekend at the Fair Hill International event. Beginning on Thursday October 16, over 100 horse and rider pairs will compete in the CCI** and CCI*** - two international-level divisions of the sport of eventing. No matter which day you decide to come spectate, you’ll be able to watch exciting equestrian competition and enjoy shopping at the many vendors that will be in attendance.

 

There will also be several special events at this year’s Fair Hill, including dog agility, a miniature horse demo, a falconry demonstration, live music, and a display of classic cars. Tailgating spots are available for those who would like to be right in the midst of the action, and VIP tent memberships will also be on sale.

 

If you really want to be a part of an international-level event, you can also volunteer at Fair Hill. From jump judges to dressage scribes, volunteers are needed to help the event run smoothly.

 

For more information, directions, to reserve a tailgating spot, or sign up to volunteer, visit the Fair Hill International website: www.fairhillinternational.com 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, not every horse in Eastern PA is well cared-for. Some horses fall into terrible situations, and the lucky ones are rescued by kindhearted people.

 

It can be hard to imagine that an emaciated, neglected animal can have a future as a riding horse, but with time, knowledge, and patience, rescue horses can and do transform into healthy, willing partners.

 

A Home For Every Horse – an organization that strives to rescue horses from neglect and abuse and find them caring homes – is hosting a unique event this fall that will highlight the incredible transformation of several rescue horses.

 

The Equine Comeback Challenge will be held at the prestigious Pennsylvania National Horse show on October 14, 2014. 10 trainers and 10 rescue horses will gather in Harrisburg, PA on that evening to show just how far a rescue horse can come in just 90 days. Many of the horses have been brought back from starvation and neglect, and all of them have gained a new lease on life through the trainers that have worked with them over the past few months.  A Home For Every Horse hopes that the Equine Comeback Challenge will show the public that rescue horses can make wonderful athletes and riding partners. To learn more, visit the Home For Every Horse website: www.ahomeforeveryhorse.com

Most homebuyers in Pennsylvania need to take out a mortgage in order to purchase a home. While it’s a common process, applying for a mortgage can also be complicated and frustrating. Here are a few tips to help you avoid pitfalls and make the mortgage application process a smooth one.

 

Get Pre-Approved Before Shopping: If you don’t know how much you can afford, buying a horse property in PA is a LOT more difficult! Before you start to look at homes, get in touch with a mortgage lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will give you a good idea of how much a mortgage will cost you, as well as how much house you’ll be able to afford. Many real estate agents, and some sellers, require a pre-approval before viewing a property.

 

Get Your Debt Under Control: Mortgage lenders will take a good hard look at your debt when you apply for a mortgage. If you’re carrying a lot of debt, be sure to pay it down before starting the search for a horse property, and delay any big-ticket purchases until after closing day.

 

Manage Your Credit: Get a credit report run, and know your credit score. If there’s a mistake, you can dispute it. If your credit score just needs improvement, you can take steps to bring it up before starting the mortgage application process.

 

Keep Things Stable: Lenders like to see consistency and stability in their applicants. The best time to apply for a loan is at a time when you have held your current job for at least a couple years, and it’s wise to wait to change careers until after you’ve secured your mortgage.

 

If You’re Buying A Farm, Go With A Farm-Friendly Lender: Lastly, your chances of getting a loan to pay for the purchase of a horse property in PA or other agricultural real estate are better when you use a lender that is well-versed in providing mortgages for these types of properties. Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, Ltd. can provide you with a list of quality lenders who are experts in horse and agricultural properties.

 

Applying for a mortgage may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a cause of major stress when buying a horse farm in PA. Keep your finances in check, get pre-approved, and use a lender familiar with farms to make the mortgage application process smooth sailing. 

 

 

When you put your home on the market, you may be reluctant to make repairs or improvements. After all – you’re going to be selling it, why put more money into a house you’ll soon be leaving? But investing some time and money into your home not only makes it more appealing to buyers, it can actually increase the price of your property. Here are a few things you can do that don’t cost a lot compared to the increase in value they’ll provide:

 

Clean & De-Clutter: This is the simplest, and least expensive, improvement you can make to your home when putting it up for sale. Remove clutter and “stuff” from furniture and countertops, organize your closets, and do a thorough cleaning of every surface in your home. If you have rugs or carpets, get them shampooed or steam cleaned.

 

Paint the Interior: Painting the interior of your home gives it a fresh, clean look, and using neutral colors can help prospective buyers envision themselves living in your home.

 

Landscaping: Curb appeal is so, so important when selling your home! The exterior of your yard and house is the first thing buyers will see, so it’s essential to make a good first impression. Keep your lawn mowed, clean up sticks and leaves, and put fresh mulch and new plants in flowerbeds.

 

Repairing Electrical & Plumbing Problems: If there are known issues with the electrical or plumbing systems in your house, it’s wise to have them repaired when your home goes on the market. This can vastly increase the value of your home.

 

Staging Your Home: Enlisting the help of a real estate professional to stage your home is a wise investment. They’ll know just how to arrange furniture, which personal items to remove, and which accents to add to make your home look picture perfect.

 

In the grand scheme of things, these repairs and improvements aren’t all that expensive, and can dramatically increase the value of your home. A little investment up-front can net you significant gains at closing time.

Jimmy Wofford 

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Headquarters at Gladstone, NJ has long been a mecca for riders of all disciplines. Next month, October 11 and 12, former USET rider Jimmy Wofford will be teaching a clinic there based on his latest book, "Modern Gymnastics."  Riders will be progressively taken through several gymnastic exercises from Wofford's book over the two-day clinic, with the sessions appropriately tailored for the training level of both horses and riders.

The clinic is open to riders of all disciplines - hunters, jumpers, and eventers - who want to learn to improve themselves and their horses through gymnastic jumping. There will be three height sections: 2'6", 3', and 3'6", so riders of every level can participate. Mr. Wofford will also host a Q&A session each morning at 8am, and auditors are very welcome. A portion of the proceeds of the clinic will be donated to the USET Foundation, an organization that helps fund our international-level equestrian teams.

 To learn more about Jimmy Wofford, visit his website: http://jimwofford.blogspot.com/ 

 For more information about the clinic, or to register, contact Vicky Sroka:  srokas1@verizon.net or, jonesie@logansbrook.com

On September 23-28, 2014, the best dressage riders in the country will converge in Devon, Pennsylvania for the annual Dressage at Devon horse show. Dressage horses of all ages from foals to Grand Prix veterans will compete in the legendary Dixon Oval.

 

The beautiful fall weather in Eastern PA will be the perfect backdrop for this top-quality horse show. Spectators will enjoy in-hand breed classes as well as performance classes, and can even get a behind-the-scenes perspective from a dressage expert by renting a special headset that will allow them to hear commentary during the competition.  Musical freestyle performances will be a part of the show as well, which are always a spectator favorite. And of course, there will be an excellent variety of vendors to shop at, as well as Devon’s legendary concessions.

 

Dressage at Devon has been an instillation for Chester County equestrians since 1975. The show has benefitted the Children’sHospital of Philadelphia, as well as Thorncroft Therapeutic Horseback Riding, Inc, and continues to be a much-loved autumn tradition for area horse lovers. It is also the largest international-level dressage show in the United States.

 

For more information on Dressage at Devon, or to purchase tickets, visit the website here: http://dressageatdevon.org/cms2/

 

 

The 2014 Normandy World Equestrian Games have come to a close, and American horses and riders have some new hardware to show off for their great efforts over the past two weeks.

 

In Showjumping, favorite Beezie Madden ended the individual competition in third place, coming home with a bronze medal, a great follow-up to the team bronze medal won earlier in the week.

 

While the Eventers didn’t bring home any medals, Chester County resident Boyd Martin finished in 8th place overall, making him the highest-placed US event rider at WEG.

 

The Dressage team was just out of the medals with a fourth-place team finish and top-placed individual rider Laura Graves coming in a respectable 5th. British superstar Charlotte Dujardin and her mount Valegro took gold medal honors with a final score of an unheard-of 92.16% in the freestyle!

 

The Americans put up quite a fight in the Driving competition, coming in 4th place as a team with veteran driver Chester Weber of NJ scoring the silver medal in the individual competition.

 

The Endurance competition took its toll on our US team, with only one rider, Jeremy Olson, completing the course.

 

In the unique sport of Vaulting, our largely California-based team put in a valiant effort and finished in 7th place overall.

 

It was in the Reining competition that the USA really shone, sweeping the podium with a gold-medal team finish and also claiming the gold, silver, and bronze in the individual competition!

 

And finally, the Para-Dressage team put in some solid tests with scores in the 60’s but unfortunately came home without a medal.

 

Congratulations to all riders, drivers, and vaulters who competed in this year’s WEG.

It’s been a great week for the United States Showjumping team at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. The team triumphed over a very difficult track to claim the bronze medal, just behind silver-medal winning France and gold-medal winning Netherlands.

 

The American team consisted of veteran riders McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, and Kent Farrington, and newcomer Lucy Davis. Madden is currently the top-ranked individual in the competition, and the individual rounds will be ridden this weekend, with medals awarded on Sunday.

 

Congratulations and best of luck to our showjumping riders in the individual competition this weekend!

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All of the United States Eventing horses passed the first veterinary inspection today, and are ready to begin competing in the dressage phase on Thursday and Friday. Team riders include:

 

Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces (PA)

Buck Davidson and Ballynoecastle CM (PA)

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 (PA)

Lynn Symansky and Donner (VA)

 

Individual competitors are:

 

Sinead Halpin and Manoir de Carneville (NJ)

Kim Severson and Fernhill Fearless (VA)

 

We wish all horses and riders the best of luck!

WEG is well under way, and the USA has put in some great performances in Dressage, Reining, and Para-Equestrian. In Team Dressage, the Americans just missed a medal and finished in fourth place behind bronze-medal Netherlands, silver-medal Great Britain, and gold medal Germany. The individual dressage competition will conclude on Friday with the Grand Prix Freestyle. US riders Laura Graves and Steffen Peters are currently in the top 10 individual riders, and we wish them the best of luck later this week!

 

Reining is a sport developed here in the United States, and the USA’s team of horses and riders absolutely dominated the competition. The American reiners claimed the gold medal, with Belgium winning silver and Austria capturing bronze. Way to go, team!

 

Para-Dressage riders have made a good effort, but the competition in this discipline is stiff and our riders are just making it into the top ten in each grade. Time will tell whether or not the US Para-Dressage riders will come home with any medals.

 

The Eventing competition starts tomorrow with the first day of Dressage. Go Team USA!

 

 

If you own a PA horse farm, it’s likely that you also own some valuable tack and equipment. There has been a rash of tack thefts lately, but there are things you can do to help prevent your tack from being stolen.

 

One of the simplest ways to prevent theft is to lock up your gear! Install locks on tack room doors, tack trunks, and lockers, and be sure to lock everything up when you leave the barn. If you keep gear in your trailer, be sure to lock your trailer doors as well.

 

Installing motion-activated lights can also be a good deterrent against thieves, and a security system adapted for barn use is a good option for those willing to spare no expense.

 

Another, more basic, security measure is simply to own a dog. Your barn buddy doesn’t need to be a vicious guard dog – any dog who is attentive to strangers and has a loud bark can act as an excellent theft prevention system.

 

Do you have any other creative ways to help keep your tack and equipment from being stolen?

 

 

Did you know that riding arena footing eventually wears out and needs to be replaced? Through normal use and weather, footing materials eventually break down. Look for these signs to see if your footing needs to be replaced:

 

-If the base of your arena is starting to show through, it means the top layer has broken down and is too thin. More material should be added.

 

-If puddles form and remain in your arena, it means that the drainage isn’t what it used to be. You may need to re-grade the footing so that water doesn’t accumulate after it rains.

 

-Overly dusty footing may need to be replaced. As the material breaks down over time, it forms smaller and smaller particles which get kicked up into the air as horses work on it, turning your arena into a dust cloud. Frequent watering can help this problem, but at some point the footing will need to be replaced.

 

-If you can hear your horse’s footfalls distinctly, your footing either needs to be dragged so that it’s more even, or more material needs to be added.

 

-And lastly, if the sub-surface of your arena starts to develop a depressed ‘track’ along the rail where horses work most often, it probably needs to be re-graded.

 

Contact a Pennsylvania equestrian footing professional to upgrade your arena footing as needed, and you’ll have a safe, quality riding surface for years to come.

 

 

The biggest equestrian event on the globe is set to begin this Saturday, August 23, 2014. After the opening ceremonies this weekend, competition will start on Monday with Dressage, Reining, and Para-Equestrian. WEG will continue for the next two weeks, with riders from across the world also competing for the gold in Eventing, Show Jumping, Vaulting, Endurance, and Combined Driving. Be sure to pay special attention to the Eventing competition, as PA-based riders Boyd Martin, Phillip Dutton, Buck Davidson, and New Jersey neighbor Sinead Halpin represent Team USA.

 

If you’re unable to be in Normandy, France to catch the action in person, you can subscribe to FEItv.org and watch the live stream of every event.  You can also keep up with the events on usefnetwork.org, and cheer on the USA!

 

 

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