care of the horses: an Equine Therapy 502 employee at
therapy, which supplements veterinary care, helps the thoroughbreds
at Saratoga stay healthy
horses are magnificent animals—and athletes. Even the most
casual fan visiting Saratoga Race Course, which attracts among
the finest race horses in the country, can’t help but be impressed
by their beauty, speed and power. But like any high-level
athlete, thoroughbreds are prone to injury, from slight to
serious. So there’s a sophisticated and extensive veterinary
support system to keep the horses healthy.
Equine therapy, a relatively new development in the care of
horses (racing or not), is based on the knowledge acquired
in the treatment of human athletes. It is another way to keep
the four-legged athletes at the Saratoga Race Course in top
G. Dianne Volz, whose Kentucky-based company Equine Therapy
502 is in Saratoga Springs for the season, laughs when asked
if she rents office space at the track or in town.
office is my car,” she says. “I just go to the horses, to
the their stalls, which is their comfort zone, their home
place, where they’re the most happy and relaxed.”
Asked how many clients she has, she laughs again: “Horses
Equine therapy is a kind of umbrella term for a variety of
treatments that range from simple massage and stretching to
the use of diode lights and electronic pulses. If you’ve ever
been to a physical therapist, you may recognize some of them:
therapeutic ultrasound; low- voltage electronic stimulation;
acupressure; cryotherapy (therapeutic use of cold); and other
Asked what most of her work at the race course focuses on,
Volz starts to speak, stops, thinks, and continues: “We do
some work as far as treating injuries, but the best work that
we do is preventing injuries.”
Volz explains, when asked if the basic goal of stress reduction
has physical and emotional benefits for horses, she replies,
like a cross between a physical therapist and an athletic
trainer,” Volz says. “So we work out the tight spots before
they get the compensatory problem.”
you’re hurting, you’re not happy,” she says. “So we go in
their stalls . . . [and] we use machines and stretching exercises,
and give them 45 minutes to an hour of peace in their day.
They go to sleep, and take a deep breath, and wake up and
stretch—so it’s a very relaxing, peaceful time for them.”
Volz speaks in a tone of voice that’s familiar to any animal
lover. And especially people who love horses.
been around horses my whole life,” she says, “and have been
practicing therapy for the last 20 years.”
That is essentially how long equine therapy has been around.
I started,” Volz says, “there wasn’t an education program
available, so I learned through mentoring with different people.
Now we have an education program at Midway College in Midway,
Kentucky. [It’s the] first education program in the United
States for equine therapists.”
A women’s school, Midway College offers a B.S. in Equine Studies
(health and rehabilitation), and B.A. and Associates degrees
in Equine Studies (equine management).
Volz began her journey into equine therapy through a friend.
friend of mine in Lexington, Kentucky—Mimi Porter—is kind
of the pioneer in the field,” Volz says. “She was an athletic
trainer for the University of Kentucky for the men’s basketball
team and traveled with them for 10 years. And decided to apply
it to horses. She had been practicing for several years when
we met up, and so I worked with her.”
On her Web site, Mimi Porter explains the nature of equine
therapy as she defines it: “It is important to understand
that we, as Equine Therapists, provide secondary care to horses.
That means we follow a complete veterinary diagnosis and maintain
open lines of communication with the veterinarian in charge
of the case. The [therapist] and the veterinarian confer on
the rehabilitation plan for the horse to achieve the best
This year’s thoroughbred season, with its mix of spectacular
and lousy weather, is flying by. Asked how much time she spends
here, Dianne Volz explains, “I come up a week before the meet
starts, because I have clients that are already up here. So
I come up and get started before the meet gets started, and
I’m here to the end. . . . and I have a girl that works for
me up here from April to November.”
base for me is Louisville,” Volz adds. “I’m there in the spring
and the fall. And in the winter I’m in South Florida for four
months, and in the summer, I’m here.”
When asked how long she’s been coming to Saratoga Springs,
Volz says, “It’s been 11 years.” And this year? “This season
is absolutely wonderful. This is always my busiest meet of
horses leave the starting gate for the running of the Jim
Dandy at the Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 1. Kensei won the
Section: Inside Saratoga
SARATOGA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (Saratoga State Park,
Saratoga Springs, 587-3330). Sun: Phish.
RACECOURSE (Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, 584-6200).
Music at locations throughout the racecourse beginning at
11 AM daily. Thu: Ray Alexander Jazz Quartet, Reggie’s
Red Hot Feetwarmers. Fri: Colleen Pratt Band, Reggie’s
Red Hot Feetwarmers. Sat: Garland Nelson and Soul Session,
Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers, Upstate Bluegrass.
Sun: John Kribs and Delia, Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers.
Mon: Winchester and Young. Wed: Colleen Pratt Band,
Doc Scanlon Trio.
ON THE ROOF (Rooftop patio, Tang Teaching Museum and Art
Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, 580-8080). Fri:
9 MAPLE AVENUE (9 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs, 583-CLUB).
Fri: Dave Fisk Quartet. Sat: Pete Sweeney Quartet.
ALLEY BAR (Long Alley Road, Saratoga Springs, 587-9766).
Tue: karaoke with Mark the Shark.
TAP ROOM AND TERRACE (38 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs,
584-0130). Thu: Mikki Bakken. Fri: Franklin Micare
Duo (5 PM); Cryin’ Out Loud (9 PM). Sat: Sean
Rowe, Acoustic Circus. Sun: Sirsy. Wed:
Franklin Micare Duo.
APPLE RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE (3246 S. Broadway, Saratoga
Springs, 580-0000). Thu: karaoke with Cary Okie.
RESTAURANT (390 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 587-6262).
Thu, Sun: Al Bruno. Sat: Skidmore Jazz Quartet.
LENA (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022). Thu:
open mic. Fri: Bill Staines. Sat: Laura Vecchione
Trio. Sun: Chris Smither.
SOPHIE (Saratoga Hotel, 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs,
583-3538). Fri, Tue: Cole Broderick. Sun: Cole Broderick
CAFÉ (392 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 583-1106). Thu:
open mic with Nate Solomon. Sat: karaoke.
CLUB HOUSE (30 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 580-0686).
Fri-Sat: DJ Daniel Van D.
(16 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 587-7359). Tue: open mic.
ICEHOUSE (70 Putnam St., Saratoga Springs, 261-1766).
Thu: the Ginger Brothers. Fri: the Remainders.
Sat: Gravity. Wed: Robanic.
THE LOCAL PUB AND TEAHOUSE (142 Grand Ave., Saratoga Springs,
587-7256). Sat: Railbird (1 PM). Sun: Traditional
Irish Players (1 PM).
RISTORANTE (17 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs, 583-6955).
Thu: Latin night.
HOUSE (1 York St., Saratoga Springs, 226-0014). Sat: Brian
CAROLINE STREET (1 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 587-2026).
Thu: Nat Phipps. Fri: Mo Rancourt Trio. Sat:
Joe Finn Duo. Sun: Sam Farkas. Mon: Chris
Carey. Tue: Fit Club. Wed: Masters of Nostalgia.
PARTING GLASS (40-42 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs, 583-1916).
Thu: Irish Celtic session. Mon: Solid Smoke.
CITY TAVERN (19 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 581-3230).
Fri: Lucky Ticket.
(168 Lincoln Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-4030). Thu-Wed: piano
bar with Roger Morris.
(13 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 581-1316). Fri-Sat:
FLIGHTLINE PUB (20 Saratoga Road, Glenville, 399-8401).
Fri, Wed: karaoke with Lenny Thomas. Tue: open mic.
NIGHTCLUB (Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, 342 Jefferson
St., Saratoga Springs, 584-2110). Thu: country dance and karaoke
with Kevin Richards. Fri: Jill Hughes & Body
and Soul. Sat: Downtown Fever.
NIGHT CLUB (30 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 580-0686).
Fri-Sat: DJ Daniel Van D.
HOUSE (86 Henry St., Saratoga Springs, 587-2949). Sat:
Skidmore Jazz (11:30 AM); Forrest Jenkins (3
PM). Sun: Almost Uncommon Jazz (11:30 AM).
WINE BAR (417 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 584-8777). Fri:
Patrick Doyle. Sat: Carl Landa.
Comedy Works Saratoga, Club 388, 388 Broadway, Saratoga
Springs. 8/14-15, 7:30 PM. Al Ducharme and Bernadette
Pauley. $20. 275-6897.
Diamond Dance, Saratoga Music Hall, 474 Broadway at Lake,
Saratoga Springs. 8/15, 7:30: beginning swing dance lesson;
8-11:30 PM: largest monthly swing dance. Music by Sonny and
Perley’s Jive Five. $15. 587-5132.
Saratoga County Arts Center, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.
8/17-8/21; 10 AM: Camp Creativity, a weeklong camp for ages
8 to 14; 1 PM: Imagination Rules, a weeklong camp for ages
5 to 7. Both camps include a range of visual arts and performance
activities. Visit saratoga-arts.org or call 584-4132.
70 Beekman Street Art Gallery, 70 Beekman St., Saratoga
Springs. 542-6688. Nina Hikari & Regis Brodie: Under
His Wing. Through 9/4.
Gallery, 142 Grand Ave., Saratoga Springs. (718) 344-6310.
Off Track. Through 8/31.
Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, 99 S. Broadway, Saratoga
Springs. 584-2225. On Broadway: The Evolution of Dance
on the Broadway Stage. Also, Kenn Duncan. Also,
Ballet Russes Centennial Exhibit. Also, The C.V.
Whitney Hall of Fame. Through Sept. 2009.
County Arts Council, Arts Center Gallery, 320 Broadway,
Saratoga Springs. 584-4132. Views From the Battlefield
. . . Conserving Historic Landscapes. Through 9/26.
Schick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway,
Saratoga Springs. 580-5049. Nathalie Miebach. Through
10/4. Gallery talk 9/28, 6 PM, Davis Auditorium.
Teaching Museum and Gallery, Skidmore College, 815 N.
Broadway, Saratoga Springs. 580-8080. Lives of the Hudson.
Through 3/14/2010. Also, Amazement Park. Through 4/25.
Also, Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History. Through 8/30.
Saratoga Farmers Market, High Rock Park, High Rock Avenue,
Saratoga Springs. Saturdays, 9 AM-1 PM; Wednesdays, 3-6 PM.
daily through Sept. 7, except Tuesdays
267 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-6200.
$3 grandstand, $5 clubhouse; children under 12 free; reserved
seating sold separately. Travers Day $5 grandstand, $10 clubhouse.
$10 per car at the trackside and $5 across the street at the
Oklahoma Training Track. General parking is free.
Nine or 10 races a day; pari-mutuel wagering on every race.
Race Post Time is at 1 PM (except Travers Day, Aug. 29,
when it’s noon.)
Stakes Races The Alabama Stakes (Aug. 22); The Travers
(Aug. 29); The Woodward (Sept. 5).