Category Archives: Training/Clinics

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

A new horse came to the barn today. She is very young. I was in the arena with Jane when she arrived. She saw us practicing some upper level movements, and it embarrassed her. She told a friend of mine that she was ashamed that she didn’t know very much, and was afraid to talk to me since I obviously know a great deal.

That surprised me, and made me sad. She is young and hasn’t had much training. Why should she be shy about what she can or can’t do? I’ve been around awhile and have lots of experience. She’s just starting out. I don’t like it that she’s intimidated by me.

I heard Jane tell someone that you don’t have to be an advanced rider to be a really GOOD rider. Just be the best at what you’re doing now! My friends who are working at their training level foundations are just as hard working and dedicated as I am at Grand Prix. I’ve just been at it longer.

If you get a twinge of self-doubt when you meet someone who is more advanced than you, remember: he or she was once were where you are now. There is no reason to be shy or embarrassed. Just do the best that you can do, right where you are at this moment. If you chose to grow and improve, give it your energy and do so. If you’re happy with what you’re doing and don’t want to move to the next level, acknowledge that fact and allow yourself to be satisfied.

I’m going to go ask that young mare if she’d like to play with me today. I’m going to do my best to let her know that she’s okay, just the way she is. If she’s open to it, perhaps I’ll show her something new. And perhaps she has new things to show me as well!

Who at your barn could use your kind support today?

Your friend, Moshi

From Indy:

I’m a water dog! When I’m not in the woods chasing lions and tigers and bears, I’m swimming in the creeks and ponds looking for sharks! I’ve never found any, but that’s okay. I just love to swim! I especially like it when Rhett throws sticks in the pond for me to retrieve. I am a Retriever, after all!

My friend Geoffrey doesn’t like the water as much as I do. It makes his hair so curly that he thinks he looks silly. But I don’t care if Geoffrey looks silly. I love him just the way he is. I don’t tease him about his curly hair because I know it hurts his feelings, and I never want Geoffrey to feel bad. He’s my friend, after all. I would never want to hurt my friend.

Whomever you love, it doesn’t matter what they look like, smell like, whether they are rich or poor, or if they can swim as good as you. You just accept them for who and what they are. You see beyond the outside stuff, and feel them all warm and cozy in your heart.

Can you feel your friends in your heart? Close your eyes and notice. And remember what a gift it is to have friends in your life. Be kind to them. Remember that hurting them also hurts you. Think before you gossip or criticize. You’ll be happier in your own heart when you treat your friendships with trust and respect.

It’s hot today. Let’s get Geoffrey and go swimming! But don’t tease him about his curly hair, okay?

Love, Indy

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

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Moshi: Liz Ritz Photography.

Dressage riders tend to be a very driven group of folks. It’s such a demanding sport, it’s natural that it attracts Type A personalities. It takes a real work ethic to be good at something this challenging, so those who get into the competitive part of the sport tend to overdo much more than underdo. Jane and most of her friends and students work very hard and have a difficult time taking time to just RELAX!

I’m not like that at all. Being a Friesian, it is natural for me to be fairly laid back. Sure, I get excited sometimes, but for the most part being quiet and easy going is natural for me. My gift to Jane is reminding her that someone can be relaxed and go with the flow of life, and still be very successful.

There is a time for work, and there is a time for play. There is a time to be driven and give it all you have, and there is the time for rest and recharging.

If you’re feeling tired or burned out, perhaps it’s time to do something different. Maybe today is the day to go to bed early, and perhaps even sleep in. Or maybe just sitting on the back patio and watching the sun go down while listening to some soothing music is the best thing to help you to recharge.

Remember, if you try to cut down a tree with a dull saw, it will take forever. If you stop and sharpen the saw, you will cut it down in no time. Rest is the same as sharpening your own personal saw. Stop. Take a break. You’ll be better at what you do, and happier doing it, for spending the time to recharge.

I’m going to go rest in the warm sun. Would you like to join me?

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

It was hot today. I’m not nearly as energetic in the heat as I am when it is cold.

So today I slept in. I lounged in the warm sun and let it bake my bones. It felt so good! When it got too hot, I came inside to sleep in my soft bed. It was wonderful.

Figuring out what you want sometimes requires that you pay attention to the opposite. It’s called contrast. If I realize I’m too hot lying in the sun, I go inside. I don’t focus on the heat and complain about how hot it is; I simply recognize that I want something different and make it so.

When I go into the house, I let myself feel grateful for how good the nice cool air feels. I don’t leave my attention out in the hot sun. I enjoy what I have NOW.

Do you ever leave your attention on what you don’t want? Does it serve you in any way?

If you don’t like your NOW, change something. If you do like your now, don’t think about what you didn’t like in your past. Be NOW!

(Yawn!) Right now, I want a NAP!

Love, Indy

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

Use Leg Yielding to Help Pick Up the Correct Canter Lead, by Jane Savoie

Somewhere in most horses’ training, usually when they are still green, they have trouble picking up one or both canter leads. If that happens to you, try using leg-yielding to increase the size of a circle to solve this problem.

This exercise works because it increases the flexion and bend, and horses will pick up whatever lead they’re bent and flexed toward. If you’re tracking to the left and your horse keeps picking up the right lead, chances just before the canter depart, he throws himself into right bend and right flexion.

To ask for the leg-yield to increase the circle size, first spiral onto a smaller circle – 10 or 15 meters.

Then to start the leg yield, shift your body weight from your inside seatbone to your outside seatbone if you’re sitting the trot, or from your inside stirrup to your outside stirrup if you’re in posting trot. That difference in your body weight tells him, “go sideways,” as opposed to just staying on the circle.

Also, be sure to look where you’re going as you leg-yield out to increase the size of the circle.

While you’re still go sideways, sit the trot for a stride or two while blending in the aid for the canter by brushing your outside leg back once like a windshield wiper-like action while you’re still going sideways.

Keep your inside leg on the girth to support the bend. If you’ve kept the bend while going sideways, he should pick up the correct lead.

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

Auction Winners Collect on Winning Bid for Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton Clinic

Barbara Borg and Quinn, Nick Skelton, Laura Kraut and Mary K Schaughnessy and Java. Photo by Sue Weakley.

Wellington, FL – March 9, 2017 – Barbara Borg and Mary K. Shaughnessy looked like they were having the time of their lives. They were all smiles as Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut led them through a series of exercises including flat work, ground poles and jumps. But more important, the three equestrians were doing it for a good cause: The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center located in Loxahatchee, Florida.

Kraut and seven-time Olympic athlete Nick Skelton offered up a clinic, including a barn tour and lunch, as a fundraiser for the 30th Annual Vinceremos Benefit Dinner and Auction in February. As the bidding heated up during the live auction, Kraut and Skelton graciously offered TWO clinics and Borg and Shaughnessy were the winning bidders for one day while Angi Holtgers won the other day, netting $40,000 in donations for the two clinics to the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. Vinceremos serves children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities in Palm Beach County through unique equine partnerships and Borg and Shaughnessy are fans of the non-profit.

“Mary K. and I are good friends and we did this three years ago,” Borg said. “We were at the benefit and it was available again and we looked at each other and said, ‘Can we do it again?’ I love Vinceremos and they do so many wonderful things. What better way to contribute to it? I just had a tour of Vinceremos last week, so this was perfect.”

She and her 10-year-old Brandenburg gelding Quinn took the jumps in stride in the South Florida humidity. “It was fabulous and so much fun,” she said.

“It was great,” Shaughnessy echoed. “Working with horses is a benefit for children and adults and this combines everything: caring about people and caring about horses.” She loves that the charity is local, allowing visits and volunteering opportunities. She and Borg used to ride together until they branched off into different disciplines but they have remained friends. Borg is competing in the hunter ring while Shaughnessy concentrates on flatwork and jumping exercises on her Hanoverian, Java.

“I was lucky enough to have been in a clinic with these two a few years ago,” Kraut said, laughing that she counts on them as her faithful buyers who won’t leave her standing on a stage at a charity auction without “purchasing” her. “It was really fun. Both of them are on different horses this time and they’re both wonderful riders. They’ve really got great eyes and they see the distances well. We just tried to work on some of the fine points of strength and concentration.”

In fact, Kraut schooled both riders on getting more energy out of their horses. “One of the hardest things to learn in riding is getting a reaction,” she said. She also had them work on asking for accuracy and establishing straightness. “A very important thing is to feel the horse is straight before you ask him to move laterally. In hunters, a correct straight approach is everything. If your horse is crooked or off balance, you also have a better chance of getting a rub.”

Kraut was as equally enthusiastic about helping Vinceremos as she was the riders. “It’s an honor to get to do something for such a great cause,” she said. “It’s the least we can do.”

Susan Guinan, Director of Development for Vinceremos, was on hand to watch the clinic. “I’m thrilled that Laura and Nick and so many are willing to support the efforts we make at Vinceremos, because it absolutely does enrich the lives of all those children and all those adults. For these kids and adults, holding the rein translates into holding a spoon or a crayon. It makes a difference in their everyday lives.”

For information about how you can help, call (561) 792-9900 or email Vinceremos at info@vinceremos.org.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I heard one of the horses at our barn say that the grass is always greener at the barn across the road. I’ve heard people say that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but I think the grass here at home is just right. YUMM!

Sometimes people think if they buy a new horse, get a new trainer, order a new saddle, or move to a different barn, that things are going to be “greener,” or better for them. But remember this: changing things on the outside is much easier than changing things on the inside. What if changing things on the inside was the only way to really CHANGE?

If you’re one of those people who thinks the grass is greener somewhere else, I challenge you to stop for a moment and direct your attention to what is going on INSIDE YOU. Because if you move, buy a new horse, change trainers, or get a new piece of tack, you’ll still have YOU in the equation. YOU are the common denominator. Is there anything you’re doing that you need to change first?

Change is inevitable, but growth is optional. Change is rarely easy. But if you really want things to be different, start from the inside. Growing strong from within is the foundation of everything you wish to achieve.

Let’s go work on our canter departs today!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

I am the King of the Forest! Okay, maybe I’m just the King of the Pasture. But it’s fun to pretend. I can imagine all the other animals being in awe of me as I sneak around in the bush, ready to pounce.

When I was a puppy, I wasn’t afraid of anything. I had never been hurt, and everything I needed had always been provided for me. I was fearless as I prowled the thick grass around my home and chased anything that moved.

Then one day a horse stepped on my foot. I don’t think the horse meant to do it, but it HURT! Now when I visit the horses, I’m more careful. I’m not really afraid of them, especially my friend Moshi, but I’m cautious like I never was before I got hurt.

I’ve listened to Jane as she helps people with their fear of riding horses. Often these people are terrific riders who had been hurt by a horse accident and found that they lost their nerve. I know just how they feel.

It takes willingness and dedication to let go of our mental monsters. But the kind of people who seek Jane’s help are the kind who love horses so much that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to move on from the fear. Their love of horses is stronger than their natural desire to avoid anything that might cause them injury or pain.

I’m so glad Jane and Rhett took me back to the barn and helped me overcome my fear of being stepped on. I’d feel very badly if I didn’t get to visit my friend Moshi anymore. My love for Moshi is stronger than my fear of being stepped on. So I was willing to do the work to let go of my fear. And I’m glad I’ve learned how to be safer when I’m around those giant feet!

What are you afraid of? Is it worth the risk to overcome your mental monsters? Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

Meet me at the barn and we’ll see if you need some help with fear! I’ll be the one pouncing on monsters in the grass.

Love, Indy

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

Michel Assouline Conducts Para-Dressage Symposium March 12-14 in Wellington

Michel Assouline (credit www.assoulinedressage.com)

Wellington, FL – February 22, 2017 – Michel Assouline will conduct a Para-Dressage Symposium March 12-14, 2017, following the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, March 9-12. The symposium will take place at the Van Kampen Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Riders will begin working with Assouline on March 12, and will continue to ride over two full days March 13 and 14. The cost of the symposium is $500 for riders and $200 for auditors. The focus of the symposium will be finding the appropriate competitive horse for each athlete’s Grade, working on what the judges are looking for in the new FEI Para-Dressage Tests. Assouline will work in collaboration with the U.S Para-Dressage Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt. For more information on the details of this symposium, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Email: lkjohnson@usef.org .

About Michel Assouline
(credit www.assoulinedressage.com)

Michel is a graduate of the French National Equestrian School, home of the Cadre Noir in Saumur and gained a vast international experience in the USA, France, Germany and the United Kingdom as an international dressage rider and trainer. Michel was long-listed to represent France at the Seoul Olympics and won the French National Championships in 2000.  He has also scored numerous successes at International and National level.

Michel was voted in 1995 UK Dressage Trainer of the Year, and is a member of the International Dressage Trainers Club. He is also currently on the British Dressage panel of trainers eligible to judge Potential International Dressage Horse classes and officiated several times at the Championships for four, five and six-year-old horses.

In 2005 Michel became the British Para-Equestrian Dressage Team Coach and has led Team GBR riders to win Team Gold medals at the 2005 European Championships, the 2007 World Championships, the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, the 2009 European Championships, the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, the 2011 FEI Europeans, the 2012 London Paralympic Games, the 2013 FEI Europeans, the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, the 2015 FEI Europeans and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. At the Rio Games his athletes came back with a total of four silver and seven gold medals, medaling in all their classes contested.

In March 2009 Michel was awarded the PDTT Coaching Award, and in November 2012 Michel was awarded the UK Sports Coach Medal and inducted in the Coaching Hall of Fame at the UK Coaching Awards ceremony. Later that year at the London Olympia International he received the prestigious British Equestrian Federation Medal of Honour. Team GBR made the following statement at the time: ‘Michel has been the British Paralympic team coach for eight years, during which time the GB team have remained unbeaten at major team championships, amassing 85 medals in total, including the 2012 Paralympic haul of 11.

At the 2016 UK Coaching awards Michel Assouline, along with Carl Hester, Angela Weiss, Lisa Hopkins and Helen Burt, was awarded the Mussabini Medal – a sports award recognizing Coaches of British sports people and teams, and was inducted in the UK Coaching Hall of Fame.  Michel recently successfully completed the inaugural intake of UK Sport’s Elite Coaching Programme.

For more information on the details of this symposium, please contact Laureen Johnson, High Performance Director, Para Equestrian & Vaulting, United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. Email: 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

When I was a baby, I used to love to run around the pasture as fast as I could go, then launch myself in the air, kick out behind, land with a thud, then do a sliding stop into my mom’s side. It was great fun. I would play fight with my friends, rearing up and striking at each other with our little hooves as we shook our heads in mock anger. We were preparing for the day we’d have to fight for our own band of mares, but we were also just having fun.

Of course, being a domesticated fellow, I never had to fight for a band of my own. My “family” became Jane, Rhett, and Indy. I have horse friends too, but I’ve never had to compete for company or food. That’s the nice thing about being cared for by human friends.

But that playful colt is still in there. Sometimes, when I’m turned out, I run as fast as I can and launch myself in the air. It’s not as easy as it was when I was a baby, but it’s still fun. It’s exhilarating.

What fun things have you stopped doing? What could you do, today, that would put a smile on your face or rekindle the enthusiasm you had as a youngster?

I heard Jane say once, “We don’t stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing.”

I hope you’re going to go to the barn today! Your horse wants to PLAY with you!

Love, Moshi

From Indy:

In dog years, I’m a teenager. I’m at the prime of my life. I can run as fast as a car (well, at least a car going down the driveway), I can jump as high as a deer, I can wrestle my friend Geoffrey to the ground in three seconds or less, and I can catch a fast moving ball in mid-air.

I don’t intend to grow up. You know what? I don’t have to! I’ve heard Rhett tell Jane how much he enjoys my child-like enthusiasm in everything we do together. He says I remind him to “play full-out.”

Play isn’t just something for kids. The sense of play is what keeps you going when things get tough. It is the inspiration to keep you from stopping when you’re tired. It’s the difference between quitting and giving everything you’ve got.

It’s easy to change your mental focus from serious to playful – just remind yourself of a time when you had a whole lot of fun doing something you love to do. Remind yourself what that feels like. Own it. Feel it. Let your imagination rekindle that sense of fun and excitement! Then apply it to the thing you’re doing now.

My body may look all grown up, but my enthusiasm for life is very puppy-ish. I don’t intend to ever lose that. And I intend to remind both Rhett and Jane how to maintain that sense of play, no matter how serious the task may be. That’s a very serious job, but I do it with joy and playfulness.

Come on! Grab the ball and let’s go outside! Let’s go PLAY!

Love, Indy

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

Sierra Keasler Accepts Invite for USEF’s Select Athlete’s One-on-One Coaching with Charlotte Bredahl

Sierra Keasler and Lux Stensvang (Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, Florida (February 7, 2016) – The USEF’s Dressage Youth Program targets some of the country’s best up-and-coming dressage talent, helping aspiring Juniors and Young Riders break their glass ceilings and build their skills in the upper echelons of dressage sport. As part of their resolve to connect with and teach America’s future dressage stars on a more regular basis, the USEF implemented the Select Athlete’s One-on-One Coaching Program, which identifies top Juniors and Young Riders to connect with top FEI coaches with the intention of providing support and resources for them to advance in competition. Following a decorated Junior and Young Rider career, Wellington, Florida based dressage rider Sierra Keasler was selected to participate in the prestigious 2017 coaching program with FEI Judge Charlotte Bredahl.

Horse and athlete combinations must meet rigorous criteria to be considered, including average scores of 68% or higher on the USEF Ranking Lists for the 2017 and 2016 Festival of Champions/NAJYRC/U25 Grand Prix or have earned a top 3 placing of 68% or higher in the last 12 months in the Young Rider or Junior Divisions at the Festival of champions and/or CDIs. Keasler, who has been a top placed competitor since 2011, has numerous advanced dressage placings including Reserve Champion in the Brentina Cup, a top 5 finish in the NAJYRC, and scores over 70 in the FEI Grand Prix and U25 Grand Prix. She currently trains with Silke Rembacz in Wellington, Florida, who will be included in the coaching program’s workshops as she and Bredahl work to take Keasler’s career to the next level. As she gears up for another season of intense competition on Florida’s winter dressage circuit, Keasler is thrilled to be able to receive concentrated, in depth instruction from Charlotte Bredahl and Dressage Youth Program.

“Any opportunity to work with the USEF has been an invaluable learning experience and particularly rewarding in terms of my development as a rider,” said Keasler. “I’m so happy that I’ve been selected to receive the One-on-One training, and look forward to the opportunity to ride with Charlotte and utilize the input from a highly regarded coach and judge. I cannot state enough how beneficial these programs are for competitors and am thankful that the USEF has chosen to invest their time and efforts into developing young riders.”

Keasler began her advanced dressage career in 2011 as a successful Junior competitor in the NAJYRC. She placed in the top 5 at Nationals that year, and quickly progressed to the FEI level, earning her USDF Silver Medal after competing Hyperion Farm’s Corcovado at Prix St. Georges. She and Corcovado were also the Fourth Level Young Rider Region 3 Champions in 2014. In 2015 she earned the ride on Lux Stensvang, and in their first outing at Grand Prix scored 72.9%. That same year they successfully competed in the U25 Grand Prix at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and were the Reserve Champions in the 2015 Brentina Cup. In 2016 she again campaigned Lux in the U25 Grand Prix, culminating in a 4th place overall finish at the 2016 US Dressage Finals. After purchasing Lux as her primary competition mount, Keasler began training in 2016 with FEI dressage trainer Silke Rembacz as she prepares for the 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival.

Media contact:
Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC
Holly Johnson
www.equinium.com
holly@equinium.com
954 205 7992

The Warm-Up, by Jane Savoie

Many riders get confused about how to warm up their dressage horses so they can have a productive schooling session. As a rider and trainer, your goal in the warm-up is to take the restrictions away from your horse’s body. Depending on the day, your warm-up could be as short as ten minutes, or it could end up being your entire ride.

Here are 9 tips to help you with your warm-ups:

  1. Since your horse has probably been standing in the stall, spend the first five to ten minutes walking around on a loose rein.
  2. After walking around “on the buckle” for several minutes, pick up a contact with his mouth so you can begin your warm-up.
  3. Focus on the first three ingredients of the Training Scale: rhythm, suppleness, and connection. I always start my work with those first three ingredients on a large circle. Then, if all goes well, I’ll go large around the arena.
  4. Rhythm: As you walk, trot, and canter, check that the rhythm is always regular and that the tempo is neither too fast nor too slow.
  5. Suppleness: Spend as little or as much time as you need to supple and relax your horse both mentally and physically. Work done in tension is a waste of time. When you supple your horse, you’ll relax him physically. Once he’s physically relaxed, he’ll relax mentally.

In a nutshell, to supple your horse, bend his neck seven inches to the inside of a neutral position (neutral is when his nose is in line with the crease in the middle of his chest) while you close your leg on the same side.

Do a set of “three supples,” meaning you’ll bend and straighten him three times quickly but smoothly. Then do nothing for seven or eight strides, followed by another set of three supples. (This “suppling” technique is described in detail in Dressage 101, Train with Jane Volume 1, and A Happy Horse Home Study Course.)

  1. Connection: Use the connecting aids to put your horse on the bit. The connecting aids last approximately three seconds. During those three seconds you add, add, add hind legs through your closed outside hand while maintaining flexion at the poll to the inside.

To apply the connecting aids:

  • Close your legs steadily for three seconds as if asking for a lengthening.
  • Close your outside hand in a fist to capture and recycle the energy back to the hind legs.
  • Keep the neck straight by giving three to four little squeezes or vibrations on the inside rein.

In warm-up, I connect my horse and then ride him long and low as seen in the picture; or, if he tends to be heavy on the forehand, I ride in a horizontal balance with his topline more parallel to the ground.

  1. When things fall apart, always go back to the beginning of the training scale. First, reestablish regular rhythm. Then, supple your horse. Finally, ask for connection.
  2. While focusing on rhythm, suppleness and connection, it’s appropriate to ask your horse to do school figures like circles, serpentines, and shallow loops.

The First and Second Level horse can do school figures as well as leg-yields and rubber band exercises like modest lengthenings.

  1. Many riders do a lot of transitions from gait to gait with their dressage horses in the warm-up. Personally, I think your horse needs to be warmed up sufficiently before you can expect him to do good transitions. As a general rule, I save schooling the transitions until the second phase of my work, after the warm-up is complete.

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

Kristi Wysocki Conducts International Para-Dressage Symposium

Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki talks about shoulder in.

Wellington, FL – January 28, 2017 – Following a successful Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, FEI 3* Dressage and FEI 4* Para Dressage Judge Kristi Wysocki conducted an international Para-Dressage Symposium in Collaboration with U.S. Technical Advisor Kai Handt. The symposium ran over three days January 22-24, 2017, and it included demonstration rides of the new tests given by top level Dressage riders. The focus of the symposium was to talk about and work on technical aspects of the FEI tests that were recently released.  Kristi Wysocki was able to give her recent experience judging the new tests at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* and explain to the riders what they should aim for in each Para-Dressage Grade. Kai Handt worked with the riders and spoke to them about horse preparation and expectations in the ring. The format of the symposium included both riding intensive and sit down discussions.

Each FEI Para-Dressage Grade Test was demonstrated by top Dressage athletes those included Shelly Francis, Noel Williams, Rebecca Waite, Roz Kinstler, and Jessica Rhinelandar. During the Grade V test demonstration by Grand Prix rider Noel Williams with horse Caprice, owned by Hampton Meadows Farm, Wysocki spoke about the importance of geometry.

“It’s important to make sure your geometry is perfect,” stated Wysocki. “If you don’t get the geometry correct you get in trouble with balance and gait. If you know a particular movement is difficult for your horse, you can use certain preparations or movements on the geometry to get the best score.”

She also spoke about transitions. “Don’t throw your transition score away. Even if you have trouble in the lengthening, for example, make sure the transition is done well.”

Hope Hand, President of the United States Para-Equestrian Association, was happy with both the CPEDI3* and the participation at the symposium. Hand acknowledged, “I want to thank all those involved with both the CPEDI3* and the symposium. That includes the riders and support staff; Judges President Kristi Wysocki (USA), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Anne Prain (FRA); Show management, Thomas Baur, Monica Fitzgerald; Sponsors Mission Control and Mane Stream, Rowan O’Reilly; Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt; USEF Discipline Director Laureen Johnson; USEF; and USPEA.”

She continued, “Even with low entries, this event jump started the season off with great enthusiasm and hope for a fantastic year heading into The World Equestrian Games. The January show is a good way for our Developing Riders to get their feet wet and they did just that with promising scores that met the first step of WEG qualifications. I am excited to see new horse rider combinations coming up the ranks. I look forward to seeing our riders return in March.”

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida is scheduled for March 9-12, 2017 at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

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.