Category Archives: Training/Clinics

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Setting boundaries is a hot topic among horse people. I’ve heard the trainers at the barn tell their students that they need to establish firm, fair, consistent boundaries with their horses. It’s absolutely necessary when you’re dealing with an animal who’s five to ten times your size.

We horses like having boundaries. It’s true. One of the first things we herd animals learn from our mothers and herd mates is where we stand in the group. We feel safest knowing where we fit in.

People aren’t so lucky. I’ve noticed that people push on other people a great deal. While watching people at horse shows, I’ve seen husbands berate their wives for spending too much time/money/attention on their horses. I’ve seen trainers growl and snap at their students. I’ve seen parents berate their kids for doing normal kid kinds of things. It makes me sad.

Is there someone in your life who pushes your boundaries? Does it make you sad or mad? Are unreasonable demands being put on you by a spouse/parent/boss? Is someone trying to control you through fear, shame, guilt, or intimidation?

It’s easy for me to tell you to establish boundaries and don’t let anyone cross them. I’m a horse and my fellow horses accept and respect this concept, so it IS easy for us. But the reality is, it’s not so easy for humans to do this with each other. Humans are much more devious in the ways they establish control. Humans are terribly manipulative, often without even realizing it.

I’ve observed that the people who are most effective in maintaining boundaries are the ones who DON’T have the need to be right, or make others agree. The people who don’t try to change what others think, but rather stand firm in their own truth, are the ones who are most effective in all their human relationships. They teach others how to treat them by how they treat themselves. They don’t try to control the people around them, they simply control their own minds. If someone pushes on them, they politely either state their truth or intention with gentle firmness, or they disengage all together.

Arguing doesn’t work very well with people. Your minds are rarely changed by an attack. You can’t kick each other into submission like a horse can, so the most effective humans are the ones who can listen well, consider what they hear with a clear mind, respond if necessary from a place of strength, and still calmly remain in their own truth.

Do you have the ability to agree to disagree with someone close to you? How do you maintain your inner balance when being challenged? If you’re not sure, I suggest that you pay attention to how you establish your boundaries with your horse. Are you able to apply that ability to people too?

When you go to the barn today, notice how you’ve established your place in the “herd.” Your horse may hold the secret to helping you with this issue.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Isabell Werth Master Class & Clinic to Take Place at AGDF on Thursday, February 7

Wellington, FL – January 18, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival is excited to announce the first-ever Master Class and Clinic with dressage sensation Isabell Werth (GER), one of the most decorated equestrians in history and current leader of the FEI Dressage World Ranking List. The clinic will take place on Thursday, February 7, during week five of AGDF at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), located at 13500 South Shore Boulevard Wellington, FL 33414.

Gates will open to the public at 5:00 p.m. and the first clinic session will begin at 5:30 p.m. An autograph signing with Werth will take place prior to the start of the clinic with posters provided. Three clinic sessions are set to be featured, showcasing up to six horse and rider combinations, ranging from Young Horse through Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix levels.

Tickets are required for the event. To purchase tickets, click here or visit www.globaldressagefestival.com. General Admission tickets for the event are priced at $50/ticket, while Covered Seating ticket holders will have upgraded seating and access to a cash bar for $75/ticket. Premier VIP seating, including a buffet dinner and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, are available for $175/ticket. Tickets will be scanned prior to entry into the venue. Ample food and beverage options will be available throughout the grounds for General Admission tickets, as well as for those purchasing Covered Seating tickets. Parking for the event will be free of charge.

Werth remains one of the most decorated equestrians of all time, amassing a tremendous ten medals in her five Olympic Games appearances (1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2016), including six Gold. Currently the number one-ranked Dressage rider in the world, Werth has competed at the top levels of the sport for over four decades and has an extensive list of accomplishments, both Team and Individual, for her home nation of Germany in international competition. Most recently Werth took Team Gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 and was the highest placed individual rider throughout the competition, earning two Gold medals.

“We are honored to host Isabell in what is sure to be a spectacular evening for our dressage community here in Wellington,” said Thomas Baur, Director of Sport for AGDF. “Isabell’s talent and ability to educate are incredibly valuable and we couldn’t be more thrilled to host a clinic opportunity like this at AGDF during our CDI 5* week.”

For riders interested in submitting interest to participate in the clinic, please send your competition history, horse details, and brief description to clinics@equestriansport.com by Wednesday, January 23. A selection committee will review applications and directly contact riders chosen to participate.

There will be a strict no videoing or streaming policy enforced for the entirety of the clinic.

For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

US Equestrian Is Excited to Launch Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certificate Program

Michel Assouline working with Para-Dressage athlete and Coach.

Lexington, KY – January 16, 2019 – US Equestrian is excited to launch the Para-Equestrian Dressage Coach Certificate Program, a first of its kind for the industry. This certificate program covers the principles of para-dressage coaching including guided improvement process, coaching philosophy, and sport-specific skill acquisition.  It develops a coach’s ability to prepare athletes from grassroots education to international competitions, along a continuum of progressive certificate levels. With the goal of coach development, the program uses classroom lecture time as well as simulated lessons, where coaches are given information and feedback on their teaching, knowledge, and overall performance.  The certificate program will take 3-6 months to complete, with a fast-track program offered, and involves onsite practicums, self-study, online exams, and final assessments.

Michel Assouline, USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor and Head of Coach Development, is responsible for spearheading this initiative, bringing a decade of curriculum development and Paralympic coaching experience to bear. Michel will be joined by other USEF-approved faculty to approve applications, deliver on-site practicums, and perform final assessments. The 2019 dates for the Para-Dressage Coach Certificate Program are listed below. The link to the full information booklet showing the application process and certification levels can be found here:  https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/para-equestrian/para-equestrian-dressage-programs-forms/usef-para-dressage-coach-certificate-program.

US Equestrian would like to thank the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for providing the Federal Adaptive Sport Grant which has helped to make this coach certificate program possible. This initiative has been conducted in partnership with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship with a goal of increasing awareness and coach education opportunities within Paralympic Equestrian Sports and to aid in the development of a USEF Coach database to support the competition pipeline for para-eligible athletes.

2019 Dates: Para-Dressage Coach Certificate Program

Program Launch Announcement: January 11, 2019, USEF Annual Meeting, Wellington, FL

Fast Track Program: (candidates choose one if they are eligible)
*    Option 1: March 3-4; Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Loxahatchee, FL
*    Option 2: September 7-8; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC

Formal Program: (candidates attend both)
*    Onsite Practicum 1, May 15-16; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC
*    Final Practicum & Assessment, Sept 9-10; Tryon International Equestrian Center, Mill Spring, NC

For more information on dates and eligibility, please contact Laureen Johnson, Director of Para-Equestrian, at USEF, 859-225-7693, lkjohnson@usef.org.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President: Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

You may have noticed that everyone has an opinion.

You may also have noticed that others’ opinions may not be the same as yours.

I overheard Jane talking to a friend whose feelings were hurt by a conflict of opinions. Jane shared something a business associate had told her.

Understand that about 10% of the people in your life will love you no matter what you say or do. Another 10% are going to hate you, or at least not like you, no matter what you do. The other 80% are not going to care about you very much one way or another, and are going to be too focused on their own lives to worry about what you’re up to.

Do you worry about what people think of you? Maybe it’s time to realize that it’s just not that important what other people think. If you like yourself and follow your own heart, that’s really all that matters. Trying to please everyone is not only impossible, it will make you crazy. Let it go!

I’ve decided to quit worrying about whether that new mare at the barn likes me or not. She will or she won’t. I can only be my authentic self and give her the opportunity to decide.

Are you your authentic self when you are around other people? I’ll bet you are. Remember, your horse can tell if you’re being “real” or not… and he or she cares about you no matter what. He’s in the “loves you” 10%.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

US Equestrian Announces Charlotte Bredahl Appointed as U.S. Dressage Development Coach

Photo provided by Charlotte Bredahl: Debbie McDonald (left) and Charlotte Bredahl (right)

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has announced the appointment of Charlotte Bredahl as the U.S. Dressage Development Coach, pending final contract negotiations. Bredahl will take over for the newly appointed U.S. Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe, Debbie McDonald, who previously held the position of Development Coach. The role of the Development Coach is to work hand in hand with the Managing Director of Dressage, the Technical Advisor, and the Dressage Sport Committee to assist with the development of a sustainable system to produce combinations for the Dressage Elite Athlete Pathway.

The collaboration between Bredahl and McDonald has been longstanding through their work in their previous roles over the past four years, and will continue in their newly appointed positions.

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with Charlotte [Bredahl] over the last few years,” said McDonald. “She is an excellent fit for the U.S. Dressage Development Coach position. She has a great eye, and she is not only experienced as an international rider and trainer, but also as a judge. She will lead this program to the next level, and I’m thrilled to have her as my right hand!”

Bredahl’s standing relationship with the athletes, her strong communication skills, and her knowledge and understanding of the sport made her a strong candidate for the position. She will begin her new position as the U.S. Dressage Development Coach immediately.

Her responsibilities will include assisting and advising on setting and tracking targeted key performance indicators for the Development Program and its athletes and their personal trainers, leading and implementing the Developing Program itself, strategic planning and guidance for the athlete/horse combinations, coordinating educational opportunities for the athletes, and more.

“I am so incredibly honored and humbled by this appointment,” stated Bredahl. “For the past four years, I have had the privilege to serve as the U.S. Dressage Assistant Youth Coach and have worked side-by-side with fellow USEF coaches, Debbie McDonald, Christine Traurig, and George Williams, as well as Technical Advisor Robert Dover. I am thrilled to continue to be part of this great team now led by Debbie [McDonald]. I am looking forward to supporting all our talented athletes and their trainers, and can’t wait to jump right in!”

Christine Traurig will continue to serve as the U.S. Dressage Young Horse Coach, while George Williams will continue as the U.S. Dressage Youth Coach.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

“Aha.” I love those moments. Don’t you? When you suddenly GET IT? It’s such a rush when everything comes together and really works for the first time.

How do you create more “Aha Moments”? When Jane is riding me, they come when both sides of my brain kick in, along with the muscle memory of the new movement. And that comes with both intellectual understanding and physical practice. It happens when the left side of my brain, where logic and linear thought resides, meshes with the right side, where emotion and artistry lives, and then shows up in my physical body as the execution of perfect movement. My whole being responds to everything coming together with an exciting and satisfying “Aha.”

Learning to ride well doesn’t take good luck or exceptional talent. As the cowboys say, it just takes wet saddle blankets. In our case, it’s wet dressage pads. I learn something from Jane every time she rides me. And she learns from me too. Sometimes our progress is imperceptible, and sometimes it comes in huge Ahas. But we only have forward progress when we actually put what we’ve intellectually learned into physical practice. And that takes commitment and work.

Have you put what you’ve recently learned into your practice? Have you had some Ahas lately? Remember how it feels and look forward to creating that wonderful sensation again.

Now, get out to the barn. Your horse is waiting for you. Today just may be an “Aha” day!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

George H. Morris Heads to Alabama for Clinic at Blackjack Farms

Birmingham, AL – Sept. 27, 2018 – George H. Morris is pleased to announce that he will soon be traveling to the Southeastern region of the United States where he will host one of his renowned clinics from Oct. 5-7, 2018 at the Gorrie Family’s Blackjack Farms, located in Birmingham, Alabama. After an incredibly rewarding career as a winning rider, chef d’equipe of the United States Show Jumping Team, coach, clinician, judge and author, Morris has shifted his focus on helping to develop the future of the sport by conducting clinics across the globe.

Known as the “founding father” of hunt-seat equitation, Morris emphasizes the need for mastery of correct form and function in the saddle, as well as sound horsemanship and a workmanlike attitude in the barn. Morris’ extraordinary talent in the saddle is matched by his keen eye on the ground which easily identifies and helps fix riders’ errors in order to bring out the best in each and every horse.

The team at Blackjack Farms is thrilled to welcome Morris back to their facility once again to teach the next group of riders, marking his 15th anniversary at the farm. Previous clinicians include Frank Madden, Mike Winter, Jeff Cook, Michael Pace, Kyle Carter and Lainey Wimberly, amongst others.

Morris will instruct participants over the course of three days and instill his teachings to groups of up to eight riders starting on Friday, Oct. 5. There will be three sessions per day beginning with the Intermediate section jumping 3′ from 9-11 a.m., followed by the Advanced Intermediate section jumping 3’6″ from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

A lunch break generously sponsored by Adamson Ford, GHJA, AHJA, Lyda White and Diana Walker will take place in the Rider’s Lounge from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. before the final Advanced session of the day will take place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and see riders jump 4′ in height. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to participate this USHJA Trainer Certification Program (TCP), which features a roundtable discussion on the evening of Friday, Oct. 5.

The cost of the clinic is $1,150.00 which includes gifts from Finish Line horse products, three breakfasts, three lunches, a barbecue dinner on Saturday evening and beverages and light refreshments all three days. The rider participation fee includes one free auditor or attendant per day. Overnight stabling is available for $140.00 for three nights. Checks may be made payable to Blackjack Gardens Equine, LLC and sent to 2420 Burns Lane, Birmingham, AL 35210.

While all riding sessions are limited to eight riders per group to allow for an intimate training session, there is no limit to the number of auditors each day. The cost of auditing per day is $100.00. Pencils and notepads are recommended for all auditors.

Saturday night’s BBQ will be a special evening for all attendees as Blackjack Farm unveils all of the newest renovations it has undergone for 2018. This includes remodeling the entire main barn, all bathrooms, and lounges, as well as paving all of the farm roads. Blackjack Farm also had the footing in all the arenas leveled and reworked in preparation for this year’s event.

Riders and auditors will also have a chance to purchase and get a copy of Morris’ autobiography, Unrelenting: The Real Story: Horses, Bright Lights and My Pursuit of Excellence, signed by the renowned rider and instructor himself on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those who sign up to audit for a 3-day auditor package for $300 will receive a complimentary autographed copy of his book. Books are available for purchase at the clinic on a limited basis for $55.00.

Due to the high demand of this special opportunity to train with Morris, the selection of all riding positions will be based on skill level, past participation in George Morris clinics and the rider’s previous horse show record. All junior riders selected must have both a trainer signature and parent signature on file. Selected riders must have all releases signed and are required to ride all three days for the duration of the clinic.

Riders and auditors coming from afar may choose to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn, located just five miles from Blackjack Farms. Those interested in booking a reservation may call 205-655-5222 and request the event rate.

For more information about the George Morris Clinics and his 2018 schedule, please visit www.ghmclinics.com.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Some people don’t like gray horses. Some people don’t like chestnut horses. There are even a few that don’t like us shiny black horses. Some like the quiet temperament of a quarter horse over the fiery temperament of an Arabian. Some like the excitement of riding an exuberant Trakehner better than the slower paced energy of the Friesian.

Everyone has an opinion. EVERYONE. Even your dog and your horse. So, if your goal is to please everyone, you’re setting yourself up to be very disappointed. It’s simply not possible. Each of us has a different background, a different set of values, and a different way of looking at the world. We each have our own unique “lens” through which we view and interpret what goes on around us. We all gravitate toward the folks that are more like us than different from us, but even those people you feel the most compatible with will have different perceptions and interpretations of their experiences.

So, what should you do about this? What I do is… nothing. The only work I need to do is internal, on my own acceptance of the fact that everyone is going to see things a bit differently. I generally don’t try to change anyone’s opinion unless they ask. I do my best to just let my friends and family be who they are, and allow myself to be true to who I am. For the most part, I am willing to simply agree to disagree.

Just for today, do yourself a favor and don’t try to convince anyone to see your side of things. Just let it go. Take a deep breath and relax. See what happens.

All is well.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

My back was a bit achy this morning. While I was stretching, it dawned on me that I was not a youngster anymore. That was a bit depressing. For about an hour I moped around, realizing that I was getting older and was going to start going downhill soon. I became grumpy and snapped at Indy when he got close to my legs. I was not very nice to anyone all morning.

Then I realized that I was not following my own advice! I was concentrating on my minor aches and pains, and not thinking about how strong and fit I really am. I know if I give attention to my discomforts, they’re going to get louder and bigger. If I concentrate on how much muscle and stamina I’ve gained this season, then I will continue to “feed” my body with positive thoughts and energy!

When you check in and feel your own body, do you look for where it feels good, or where it feels bad? Most of us tend to look for the bad sensations, as a matter of habit. We search for the aches and the soreness. But, if you can make the effort to change your habits and always look for the BEST feeling in your body, you will change your energy and start feeling better and better! Even if you have a severe physical issue right now, you can help yourself immensely by giving your full attention to the places in your body that feel the BEST.

This afternoon when I was in my turnout, I decided to go for a fast run around the fence line and notice how good and strong my lungs felt as I deeply drew in life-giving oxygen. I snorted and pranced and acknowledged my incredible stamina. I felt young again! I remembered that age is much more about a state of mind that a state of matter.

How old are you in your mind? I don’t want to know how old the calendar says you are, I want to know how young your MIND says you are! I’ve decided I’m about four years old. I think I’ll stay here for a few years more.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Some Tips on Getting Your Horse to Roll Back Perfectly

Practice makes the perfect rollback. Journal photo.

The rollback consists of three separate maneuvers – a stop, a 180-degree turn and a lead departure. The rollback should be one continuous, fluid motion. However, this is easier said than done. National Reining Horse Association $3 million-dollar rider Craig Schmersal describes some of the techniques he uses at home to ensure precise rollbacks.

Getting Started

1. The first thing you need on a horse before teaching the rollback is suppleness. He must be willing to give his face. Using two hands, if I pull his head to the right, I only want him to move his head. I do not want his body to move to the right until I add the left neck rein.

2. The horse needs to know how to yield to leg pressure.

3. The horse has to know how to back up. When I take hold of him and back him up, I don’t want to be pulling him back. I want him to back up on a fairly loose rein.

I want the horse to almost lock in the reverse position in the backup. I then apply the outside rein to see if the horse will step into a turn by himself. If he doesn’t, then I’ll take my direct rein and pull him through a time or two into a good spin and a half or two spins.

I’ll stop, back up and ask him with the neck rein again. I don’t want to crowd my horse too much, especially in the beginning steps of learning the rollback.

I just want him to back up, and when I add the neck rein, to come to me. I don’t want him to pick up his head. I don’t want him to take three more steps backward as soon as he feels the neck rein. When I move my hand, if I’ve done my job properly, the horse goes. He won’t get stuck.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104