BACH By-Law Review 2021

Goals of Bylaw Review Committee: to assess the sustainability of BACH and its purpose; make necessary changes to the BACH Bylaws to support the future direction of the organization; add considerations to the Bylaws for when/if to dissolve the organization.

The BACH By-Law Review Committee met for the first of three scheduled meetings on June 27th, 2021. At this meeting, the following items were discussed/decided:

  • BACH’s Constitution and Bylaws will become the same document, therefore reference to the “Constitution” of BACH will be removed from the Bylaws.
  • Historically, BACH’s amendments to the Bylaws have been driven by the organization’s consistent need to violate the requirements (due to lack of participation) in order to stay operational. BACH may no longer viable under the conditions set forth by these Bylaws.
  • Discussed Amendments to BACH’s Purpose
    • Refocus on education as the primary purpose of BACH
    • Design future BACH events to engage a broader horse community through classical horsemanship based in dressage
    • Organize a couple of “boutique” events that BACH can become known for and that volunteers/participants can count on (one large clinic/show and unmounted event per year).
    • Sponsor and/or promote events with partner organizations and businesses that align with BACH’s mission
  • Other Considerations
    • Formation of a BACH Handbook to outline details of BACH operations (board member “job descriptions”, volunteer roles, event guidelines, etc.)
    • Should BACH be required by the Bylaws to stay a USDF GMO?
    • Creation of sponsorship and partnership guidelines
    • How can BACH create more value in a BACH membership and added efficiency in our leadership?

The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for early August, where the committee will discuss needed changes to the Bylaws with the new purpose in mind.

Seminar Summary: You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But What Should He Eat?

By McKenzie Mull

This past month, members of BACH, along with those from the South Florida Dressage Association, had the pleasure of learning all about equine nutrition from Texas A&M’s own Dr. Sarah White-Springer.

The lecture started off with a basic overview of an equine’s digestive system – not quite ruminant, not quite monogastric (as we all know, horses are special!). The equine stomach produces acid 24/7, which isn’t an issue for those with a lifestyle of continuous grazing; however, this can be problematic and ulcer-causing when horses receive their meals in a few large rations, as the stomach is most efficient at half-capacity (or roughly 2 gallons).

This is why Dr. White-Springer recommended basing all equine diets off of forage first, to provide a quality source of fiber and optimal gut health. She also noted the importance of knowing the nutritional value of the type of forage you are feeding. For example, protein levels vary widely between alfalfa (~18% protein) and coastal bermuda (~9% protein).

On the topic of grains or concentrate feeds, she noted that each horse has different nutritional needs, depending on their age, breed, workload, living situation, and individual genetics, among other factors. Some horses may not need grain at all, if provided sufficient access to quality forage or pasture, while the traditional “hard-keepers” may need additional calories/energy to maintain sufficient weight. Others may just need a ration-balancer to provide them with vitamins and minerals, but not too many calories. One of my key takeaways from this lecture was that horses do not need high levels of protein in their grain (10-12% is enough), unless they are in growth stages, lactating, or in moderate to heavy work. Too much protein in the diet may cause high volumes of urination with a strong ammonia smell, and associated kidney issues.

As we head into the heat of the Texas summer, Dr. White-Springer stressed the importance of access to electrolytes and water. Since electrolytes cannot be stored in the body, she suggests feeding them in the evening to help your horse’s body recover from the heat of the day. Fresh, clean water should be available to them at all times, as horses have no chemical “signal” to tell them they are thirsty.

Believe it or not, this is just a glimpse of all the great information Dr. White-Springer talked about with our group. But don’t just take my word for it – hear it from Dr. White-Springer herself! A recorded version of this lecture is available here:

Zoom Recording of Equine Nutrition Lecture

Passcode: rXJ$+r?0

More About Our Dr. Sarah White-Springer

Dr. Sarah White-Springer is an Assistant Professor of Equine Physiology at Texas A&M University. Upon culmination of her PhD program at the University of Florida, Dr. White-Springer completed postdoctoral training at the University of Kentucky focused on human and murine models of muscle disease. Dr. White-Springer’s main passion is improving performance and wellbeing in equine athletes with an emphasis on precision management to optimize nutrition, training, and management for individual horses. Relationships developed with the Thoroughbred industry have afforded Dr. White-Springer the opportunity to work with elite racehorses, including offspring from notable sires such as American Pharoah and California Chrome. Dr. White-Springer has also formed collaborations investigating skeletal muscle energetics in cattle and swine production, and in an ovine model of human hypophosphatasia. In addition to her academic pursuits, Dr. White-Springer is an avid equestrienne, having received over 50 National and Regional titles with her own Arabian horses, Amira and Khody.

Mary’s Musings: Spring is Here! And So is Shedding…

By: Mary Wicksten

So you went to see your horse after weeks of rain, cold weather, and wind. Did your horse look like this one? (Mine came close). Now what?

Maybe you were one of the folks who clipped your horse and kept him indoors — in a stall or other covered area. Maybe he did not “stock up”, get stiff, or get the equine version of cabin fever. Let’s hope he wasn’t out in a muddy pasture while wearing his blanket, and when you returned, was shivering without a way to dry out and no spare blanket (bad plan, but I’ve seen this happen!). Hopefully, you groomed the worst of it off and were able to put a blanket back on him afterwards.

So your horse is at pasture and is now so furry that he rarely gets cold? And now it’s time to ride? You want to make sure that your tack doesn’t catch on any long hairs. Comb the hair flat, making sure that there are no burrs or mud clots right underneath where you tack will rest. Now, you will need a shedding comb just about every day. This will get rid of tufts of shed hair (much to the delight of small birds that use it to line their nests!) Tradition dictates that you also pull the mane and forelock to the appropriate length. For this, check breed specifications – traditionally, Arabians can have longer manes than Quarter Horses. Yes, clipping is another option, but can look artificial. Most riders like to clip the area just behind the ears for a bridle path.

Going to a show? Now you’ll need clippers to clip those so-called “goat hairs” below your horse’s chin. There is a difference of opinion regarding hair around the mouth; some authors say that if your horse is out on pasture, those hairs should stay to keep his nose away from spines or other trouble. Clipping a horse’s ears can be a bit intimidating for both parties. If you haven’t done it before, seek help from your instructor or another experienced person. You may need to use your favorite equine distraction method or a twitch. Note that schooling shows may not require such trimming. Now head down to the fetlocks and clip off any “feathers”—unless you are riding a Clydesdale, in which case you need to clean and fluff them. How about the tail? You need not braid the tail for a dressage show, but it looks good if it does not reach beyond the fetlocks and is cut straight across. Comb the tail from the bottom up to avoid tangles. Lastly, put on a stable sheet and hope that he doesn’t roll in the shavings!

Lecture with Jan Biss – Biomechanics and Connection

BACH is hosting a lecture with Jan Biss on Saturday, November 23rd at 6pm in the Patio Room at Johnny Carino’s in College Station. He will be covering the topic of Biomechanics and Connection.

We are excited to have the opportunity to learn from Jan again! In February 2016, he spoke about “Communication between Horse and Rider” and he was a guest lecturer at our 2017 Year End Awards Ceremony.

If you are interested in riding wth Jan, he will be teaching at Look Sharp Farm November 22-24, 2019. Contact Marcetta (marcetta@chem.tamu.edu) or Donna (onthebitfarm@verizon.net) for more information and to sign up. There is no cost to audit and there are riders of all levels to see!

Jan at Look Sharp Farm in February 2016. Photo: Donna Meyer
Jan acheived his Gold Medal in Germany aboard his 13 yr old Oldenburg gelding Divino in 2017. Photo: ACP Andreas Pantel

Equestrian Yoga with BACH!

  • Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Genesis Yoga Bryan 111 E. 27th Street, Bryan, Texas 77803 (See map and location information below.)

Get your om on with BACH as we become more in tune with our bodies in our second Equestrian Yoga class!

Our first class was a great success!

We are pleased to offer an all-levels class for anyone interested in how yoga can benefit the rider. Our instructor, Colleen O’Reilly will help us find our breath and connect with our bodies through moving meditation with a distinct focus on the challenges and needs of the modern equestrian.

All ages and skill levels are welcome!

The class will cost $10 per person, and participants will need to provide their own mat or padding. A limited number of spare mats will be available. All participants must sign and submit a liability waiver before class begins.

Meet our instructor, Colleen:
Colleen O’Reilly is a horse lover, dressage rider and yoga enthusiast! During her youth she explored all disciplines of horseback riding (even jousting!) but has found a lifelong love for Dressage. As she got more serious in riding and training, she realized that Yoga was an excellent way to cross train for the physical and mental demands of horseback riding. After a few years of practicing she decided to get certified (200 hour CYT) and delve into sharing with others what she had learned. These “Equestrian Yoga” classes will focus on the components of body and mental wellness required of horseback riders including but not limited to core strength, balance, breath work and body awareness She has a Master’s in equine exercise physiology and is currently working on her PhD in muscle physiology. . She is passionate about anatomy, yoga and horseback riding and hopes that the awareness yoga can bring to our lives will transfer into the saddle. She is excited to be a part of this BACH yoga collaboration and encourages you to come with excitement and curiosity regardless of your previous yoga experience.

More about the studio.

Genesis Yoga Byan is located on the top floor of the old municipal building (old Children’s Museum) at the corner of E 27th Street and S Tabor Avenue in Downtown Bryan, across from Clara B. Mounce Public library.


Map to Genesis Yoga

Equestrian Yoga with BACH!

  • Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Genesis Yoga Bryan 111 E. 27th Street, Bryan, Texas 77803 (See map and location information below.)

Get your om on with BACH as we become more in tune with our bodies in our first Equestrian Yoga class!

We are pleased to offer an all-levels class for anyone interested in how yoga can benefit the rider. Our instructor, Colleen O’Reilly will help us find our breath and connect with our bodies through moving meditation with a distinct focus on the challenges and needs of the modern equestrian.

All ages and skill levels are welcome!

The class will cost $10 per person, and participants will need to provide their own mat or padding. A limited number of spare mats will be available. All participants must sign and submit a liability waiver before class begins.

Meet our instructor, Colleen:
Colleen O’Reilly is a horse lover, dressage rider and yoga enthusiast! During her youth she explored all disciplines of horseback riding (even jousting!) but has found a lifelong love for Dressage. As she got more serious in riding and training, she realized that Yoga was an excellent way to cross train for the physical and mental demands of horseback riding. After a few years of practicing she decided to get certified (200 hour CYT) and delve into sharing with others what she had learned. These “Equestrian Yoga” classes will focus on the components of body and mental wellness required of horseback riders including but not limited to core strength, balance, breath work and body awareness She has a Master’s in equine exercise physiology and is currently working on her PhD in muscle physiology. . She is passionate about anatomy, yoga and horseback riding and hopes that the awareness yoga can bring to our lives will transfer into the saddle. She is excited to be a part of this BACH yoga collaboration and encourages you to come with excitement and curiosity regardless of your previous yoga experience.

More about the studio.

Genesis Yoga Byan is located on the top floor of the old municipal building (old Children’s Museum) at the corner of E 27th Street and S Tabor Avenue in Downtown Bryan, across from Clara B. Mounce Public library.


Map to Genesis Yoga

September 14th Schooling Show Results

Date: 9/14/2019
Location: Topsider Farm, College Station, TX
Judge: Celeste Brown, “L”

Congratulations to all of our riders! We were excited to have Brazos Pony Club attend the show as part of their prep for the upcoming Rio Grande Region Dressage Rally. Good Luck this weekend! Riders received lots of wonderful feedback from our judge Celeste Brown, “L” who was again willing to take extra time in between tests to visit with each rider.

Check out our High Point Award winners, scores, and photo gallery from the show below!


High Point Award Winners

HDS High Point – AA

Rebecca Brake & My Odyssey

First Level Test 3 – 60.833%

HDS High Point – Jr/YR

Kendall Hanover & Renegade

Training Level Test 2 – 66.379%

BACH High Point – Pony Club Sponsored by Swico Auctions

Elizabeth Beazer & Handmade Perfection

Training Level Test 2 – 73.103


Rider First NameRider Last NameDivisionHorseTestPointsPercentage (%)Place
Class 3.1. 2019 Intro A
MaryHirschAARexIntro A111.569.688HC
Class 3.2. 2019 Intro B
LindseyChapmanAABayo GavilonIntro B106.566.5631
MaryHirschAARexIntro B104.565.313HC
Class 4.1. 2019 Training Level Test 1
PamelaStroudAAOdinTraining 1165.563.6541
KendallHanoverJr/YRLegolasTraining 1163.562.8852
ElizabethBeazerJr/YRHandmade PerfectionTraining 1181.069.6151
Class 4.2 2019 Training Level Test 2
PamelaStroudAAOdinTraining 2193.066.5522
JessicaTorbetAAL’AvanceTraining 2200.569.1381
ElizabethBeazerJr/YRHandmade PerfectionTraining 2212.073.1031
KendallHanoverJr/YRRenegadeTraining 2192.566.3792
KendallHanoverJr/YRLegolasTraining 2183.063.1033
Class 4.3 2019 Training Level Test 3
SandyVennemanOpenPPR Coco ChanelTraining 3190.565.6901
JessicaTorbetAAL’AvanceTraining 3201.569.4831
Class 5.3. 2019 First Level Test 3
SandyVennemanOpenPPR Coco ChanelFirst 3237.065.8331
CandyBeck-BrakeAAMy OdysseyFirst 3219.060.8331
Class 6.1 2019 Second Level Test 1
CandyBeck-BrakeAAMy OdysseySecond 1211.057.0271
Class 7.1. 2019 Third Level Test 1
SandyVennemanOpenCarpe DiemThird 1236.063.7841
Class 7.2. 2019 Third Level Test 2
SandyVennemanOpenCarpe DiemThird 2236.062.1051
Class 7.3. 2019 Third Level Test 3
DonnaMeyerOpenAtomicThird 3254.563.6251
Class 12.2 2017 WDAA Basic Level 2
DianeMitchellAAGradyWDAA Basic 2142.561.9571
Class 12.3 2017 WDAA Basic Level 3
DianeMitchellAAGradyWDAA Basic 3131.065.5001

The Masterson Method and the Museum: BACH Special Event on 23 August

By Mary Wicksten

BACH’s special meeting on 23rds August offered us the opportunity to see the Museum of the American G.I. and use their big screen to see “Dressage Movements Revealed”. Thanks to Donna Meyer and On the Bit Farm, we were able to see this very interesting DVD, part of the “Masterson Method” series,  which showed on an “illustrated” horses the action of the bones and muscles as he performed dressage movements: the basic gaits, and then the shoulder-in, half pass, zig zags all the way to the piaffe, passage, and canter piroutte. Most of us expected to see the big muscles along the shoulders and haunches at work but we were surprised to see the action of muscles along the top of the neck. The main “belly” area usually was not involved. After seeing enough videos, at least some of us were able to spot tiny irregularities in the movement of the lovely dressage horse performing the upper level movements, and saw how the very skilled rider could compensate. Good food for thought. If you intend to try to paint your horse, make sure that the paint will wash off and is not toxic to animals (or riders, for that matter).

We enjoyed climbing into old military trucks, seeing the suspended helicopter, huge tanks, and a restored World War I tank. There is an enormous variety of printed matter, photos, medals, flags, etc., too much to see in one visit but well worth it. Yes, there was a horse connection–a model horse and rider from World War I, but don’t touch his tail!


We were happy to have Brazos Pony Club members join us for the evening!

Special thanks to The Museum of the American GI for hosting us! Find out more about the museum, their exibits, and their annual Living History Weekend on their website: http://americangimuseum.org/ .

For more information on the video, visit the Masterson Method website here: https://mastersonmethod.com/ .
Or watch this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/zbk_iarbyHA.

Photos provided by Laurine Marlow and Brazos Pony Club.

August 10th Schooling Show Recap

August 10th Schooling Show Recap
By Mary Wicksten

Three Brothers students watching their barnmate.

Hot, hot, hot! That’s what it’s like in Texas in August. Some riders are afraid to trailer too far during the heat, others have left for business or vacation, others just don’t want to show when they are overheated. We had only 15 rides ranging from Third Level to Introductory Test A. But with a small show, there was time for riders to take green or spooky horses into the arena in advance, and also time for our generous judge Celeste Brown “L” to offer comments after the ride. Three Brothers Stable in Bryan brought in a team of junior/young riders whose determination had to equal that of any Olympic qualifier. These folks arrived in a caravan with family and friends to cheer them on. We will be glad to see them again!

Ashlynn and “Wes” attended their first dressage show together.

As always in a schooling show, there were first-time competitors, more experienced riders trying out a higher level for the first time, and riders trying to work with “testy” horses. There was some discussion about time limits for the musical freestyle. In this case, it worked out OK but anyone trying this test should double-check the latest USDF guidelines. (Applause to our gallant rider trying this tough test). 


TimeRider NumberRider First NameRider Last NameDivisionHorseTestPointsPercentage (%)Place
Class 4.1. 2019 Training Level Test 1
11:45114SarahTalcott Jr/YRFive Star FoxyTraining 1175.567.5001
Class 5.1 2019 First Level Test 1
9:24115CynthiaWernerAAUnchained MelodyFirst 1176.560.8621
Class 5.3. 2019 First Level Test 3
11:35125SandyVennemanOpenCharlestonFirst 3240.566.8061
Class 16.1 2019 USDF Freestyle – First Level
11:55125SandyVennemanOpenCharlestonFirst Level202.067.3331
Class 7.1. 2019 Third Level Test 1
9:00117SandyVennemanOpenCarpe DiemThird 1233.062.9731
Class 7.2. 2019 Third Level Test 2
9:12117SandyVennemanOpenCarpe DiemThird 2239.563.0261
Class 3.1. 2019 Intro A
9:45126AshlynnHelmJr/YRPoquito’s RegaloIntro A102.564.0632
9:55120ElizabethStantonJr/YRFlower PowerIntro A107.567.1881
Class 3.2. 2019 Intro B
10:05116KaraDavisAACandy MountainIntro B108.567.8131
10:15120ElizabethStantonJr/YRFlower PowerIntro B109.068.1251
Class 3.3. 2019 Intro C
10:45126AshlynnHelmJr/YRPoquito’s RegaloIntro C135.067.5001
10:25118KenzieNewtonJr/YRJackIntro C118.559.2502
10:35116KaraDavisAACandy MountainIntro C131.065.5001
Class 9.1.1. 2018 USEA Beginner Novice Test A
11:10116KaraDavisAACandy MountainBN A116.064.4441
Class 9.1.2. 2018 USEA Beginner Novice Test B
10:55114SarahTalcott Jr/YRFive Star FoxyBN B136.568.2501

High Point Award – HDS Adult Amateur
Cynthia Werner & Unchained Melody
First Level Test 1 – 60.862%

Movie Night & Social with BACH!

Join us Friday, August 23rd for a fun and educational night as we watch “Dressage Movements Revealed: Biomechanical Concepts and Bodywork Using the Masterson Method” at the Museum of the American G.I.! We will learn how the horse’s skeletal and muscular systems work together and how the Masterson Method can benefit the Dressage athlete.  Non-BACH members welcome!

Admission to the Museum: $4/person.

Special Thanks to Donna Meyer for lending her DVD.

Friday, August 23, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM

Museum of The American GI19124 TX-6 S, College Station, Texas 77845

From the Masterson Method website:

Dressage Movements Revealed provides a valuable, re-viewable and practical resource for the rider, owner or therapist interested in maintaining flexibility, soundness and longevity in the horse participating in any equestrian discipline.

Dressage Movements Revealed DVD For All Disciplines:

  • What goes on in the horse’s body.
  • Recognize “hidden” physical restrictions that limit the horse’s ability to perform.
  • Sport-specific Masterson Method® Techniques that are easy to use to maintain suppleness, flexibility, and rhythm while promoting longevity in the dressage horse.