What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Equine Behavioral Ecologist Mary Ann Simonds joins Sidelines Magazine Web Blogs Writing “Between the Ears” with Focus on Horse-Rider Psychology

July 31, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

One of only a few Equine Behavioral Ecologists globally, Mary Ann Simonds has been educating trainers, veterinarians, and other equestrians for over 35 years.  >From sport horse breeders and Grand Prix riders to veterinarians and Olympians such as Bonaparte and Heike Kemmer, Mary Ann has influenced a number of well-known trainers today.


Growing up showing jumpers in California she earned her degrees in wildlife biology and range management studying the social ecology of wild horses as well as their natural diets at the University of Wyoming. Later (1988) she focused her graduate work on horse-human interaction pioneering the field of interspecies and equestrian psychology as well as leadership development.


“Mary Ann writes about exploring horse-rider psychology in the “Between the Ears” blog on the Sidelines Magazine website (https://sidelinesnews.com/blogs/betweentheears/) and it’s a huge hit with our readers. Having Mary Ann share her knowledge with the Sidelines community is a great benefit – we are pleased to have her as part of our team,” said Jan Westmark-Allan, Sidelines editor.

between the ears


“I am delighted to write for Sidelines as my goal is to Improve equine welfare and rider relationships with their horses by giving people simple ways to assess, train and understand their horse’s behavior as well as their own based on both equine and human psychology and biology”, says Mary Ann. “Just learning how to breath together or that smell is the most important access to the brain can have huge positive changes for horse and rider.”


Check out some of the recent bogs posts such as: Assessing Your Horse’s Temperament,Turning Fear Into Confidence, Body Language or Equestrian Philosophy and let us hear from you or your questions and ideas.


Mary Ann is available for talks and clinics with interested organizations, barns or clubs and she always loves to answer your questions. You can sign up for the blog or ask questions directly to https://sidelinesnews.com/blogs/betweentheears/.


Mary Ann Simonds, MA, coach, author, trainer, inventor, educator, Mary Ann has spent her life trying to help people better understand horses. She developed the Natural Vibration line of magnetic therapy and stress management products for Toklat Originals in 1994 and then later another line for Mystic Horse. She has a produced a number of educational videos (before most people had VCRs), as well as cds, dvds, and books. She founded the Whole Horse Institute and Equines Ltd Horse Marketing and Sales in 1981 and she continues to educate through speaking, clinics, consulting, writing and any other way she can find to transfer the knowledge to improve the lives of horses and humans. Two of her books on Equine Behavior and Stress Management are published in German.  She lives in Wellington, FL most of the year, but her farm is near Portland, OR. She also moderates the linkedin groups of Equine Behavior Professionals and Equestrian Psychology and Coaching.


Mary Ann Is available for clinics, coaching, consultations, lectures or demonstrations.


For more information:  maryann@maryannsimonds.com www.maryannsimonds.com.    360 907-4591


June 21, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Specially Produced Videos of Support From Olympians

Lexington, KY (June 21st)- Equestrians around the globe have been pledging their support to International Helmet Awareness Day 2013, to be held Saturday June 22nd. Charlotte Dujardin, Paul Tapner, Piggy French, Courtney King-Dye, Anne Kursinski, Kitty King, Joseph Murphy, Natalie Blundell, Mary Baniuk Lauritsen, Gavin Makinson, Beatle Payne, and many others, have produced special videos to promote the event. From Tapner’s “Put Your Skid Lid On”, to Makinson’s “Pony Pants” which takes a humorous approach to the importance of hats, the videos are already notching up significant views on the Riders4Helmets YouTube Channel. No matter the approach in their video, all of the riders agree that equestrian safety is paramount.

Retailers in a record 7 countries have signed on this year to offer special discounts on helmets to equestrians on June 22nd only. You can find a participating retailer near you by visiting www.riders4helmets.com/ihad.

“Riders4Helmets will be live streaming “Get Educated” webinars on Saturday June 22nd, in which equestrians will have the opportunity to ask a variety of experts questions. All USA times are Eastern Standard Time. You can sign up for the talks at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/947493618. Space is limited, so be sure to sign up early. In case you miss the live webinars, we will be posting videos of them at Riders4Helmets.com post-event.

The full list of “Get Educated” speakers includes:

  • 8am USA/1pm UK – Lisa Lazarus, General Counsel, Federation Equestrian Internationale (FEI) “The FEI Helmet Rule – Your Questions Answered”
  • 9am USA/2pm UK – Roy Burek, Charles Owen “Replacing Your Hat – What You Should Know”
  • 10am USA/3pm UK – Jon Pitts, Fit To Ride “Improving Rider Safety, Performance and Confidence”
  • 11am USA/4pm UK –  Olympian Courtney King-Dye “The Importance of Helmets”
  • Noon USA/5pm UK – Dr Richard Timms, Troxel Helmets “Equestrian Accidents: Facts”
  • 2.30pm USA/7.30 UK – Dr Lola Chambless, Neurosurgeon Vanderbilt University Medical Center “Concussion In Equestrian Sport”

Helmet brands that have committed involvement in International Helmet Awareness Day 2013 are: Aegis (Devon-Aire)Antarès Sellier FranceAussie RiderChampion HatsCharles OwenDublinGatehouseGPAIRHKEP Italia, LAS Helmets (LeslieSutcliffe.biz), One KOvationSamshieldTroxel,  TipperaryUvex and Zilco. Participating helmet brands vary by country.

For more information on the Riders4Helmets campaign, visit www.riders4helmets.com. You can also follow the campaign at www.facebook.com/riders4helmetshttp://twitter.com/riders4helmets and  http://pinterest.com/riders4helmets/.

Riders4Helmets was founded in early 2010 after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye was seriously injured in a riding accident. King Dye, who remained in a coma for a month following her accident, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and is still undergoing rehabilitation.

Whole Food for Horses Community Supporting Healthy Lifestyle for Equestrians and Their Horses

February 25, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

wholefood 2


Gordonsville, VAThere was a time when horses thrived on food alone. There were no preservatives, added sugars or synthetic ingredients. Our soils, crops and planet were all of a richer quality and our choices much simpler. The Whole Food for Horses (WF4H) community is striving to bring back those ideals and help not only educate equestrians in feeding alternatives, but also for better lifestyles for their own take away lessons both in the barn and at home.

Whole Food for Horses is a community of horse people realizing the connection between the quality of their horse’s diet and the quality of its performance and well being. Information is available to everyone on the whole food lifestyle, and care of horses all in one place. Community members include whole food component and supplement company representatives who can offer their expertise and answer a variety of questions. Also available are nutrition consultants to offer answers to specific feeding protocols, and address community questions and concerns. There is also a wide range of equestrians across all disciplines and various countries to talk about their experiences, share sources for feed components and talk everything horses.

One of the main goals of WF4H has always been to help break down the barriers of confusing labels and feeding programs so that individuals can provide better health to themselves and their horses. Many of the concepts that community members learn about are how our food system has drastically changed and the effect it has not only on our horses’ lives, but ours in turn. Drastic changes to a horse’s diet are rarely necessary, in fact, they can be stressful to its body and condition. Adding any amount of whole food to a horse’s diet is beneficial and the community works with each other to share that progress, along with things learned along the way. Many members believe that the more you put into whole foods, the more you get out of it.

The Whole Foods for Horses community has evolved into a place to support other avid horsemen and women in their lifestyle choices supporting a more sustainable planet centered around food. There are discussion forums available to bring new topics to light including sources for various whole foods, environmental concerns, problematic horses, how to get started on the diet and general horse care. There are also blogs available to each person should they want to bring their own education and insight to the community. Various authors write about sustainability, their own experiences with whole foods, gardening and more.

Anyone is welcome to join the Whole Food for Horses community including horse owners, professionals, and writers.  To join, simply click the  “Sign Up” icon via http://www.wholefoodforhorses.com and create your profile. Registration is free and always will be. Should one simply want to browse the site, all articles are accessible. The WF4H community looks forward to connecting with additional equestrians worldwide.

Whole Food for Horses is a community of horse people realizing the connection between the quality of their horse’s diet and the quality of its performance and well being. Please visit http://www.wholefoodforhorses.com or search for ‘Whole Food for Horses’ on Facebook.