What is excellence to you? Is it finding a specific purpose for your life? Or perhaps it’s getting over 70 percent on a dressage test? Or maybe it’s as simple as getting the right canter lead every time you ask.
We all have different ideas of excellence. And there’s nothing quite like the amazing feeling of knowing that you did your very best, and it all came together perfectly in that moment.
Excellence doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a decision. It’s hours and hours of practice, coupled with a burning desire to be the best you can be. It’s doing everything you can to learn, improve, and achieve; while not accepting less than your very best. If excellence is your goal, you must give it your all and not settle for anything less.
Wellington, FL (July 6, 2010) – Fifteen-time New York Times bestselling mystery writer and professional Grand Prix dressage rider Tami Hoag has donated Fhilosopher, her 11-year-old Westfalian gelding by Fidermark, to take midterm tests instead of dressage tests at the University of Findlay in Ohio. Hoag describes him as a “wonderful horse with an incredible character and a lot of quality.”
While Fhilosopher will be an asset to the college, Hoag explained he has limitations that will not allow him to be a top FEI horse. Therefore, her loss will be the gain of Findlay students. In fact, instead of the judge’s bell Fhil will start his day to the school bell. Hoag said, “with Fhilosopher the students will learn what it feels like to ride a truly world class mover, and how to maintain a soft consistent contact with the bridle with a horse that sometimes like to play hide-and-seek with the bit! He will make any student who mounts him a better rider with a greater awareness for quality of gaits.”
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 over do much more than under do. 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.
Hi everyone! I hope that the warm weather and the beginning of summer has inspired you to start implementing your new goals for you and your horse. The beginning of a new season is a great time to set some goals and start attaining them one step at a time. I find that writing my goals down as if I have already achieved them helps me stay focused and positive about my day to day progress. It’s easy to over look how much progress you have made in any area when you get drawn in to the day to day routine. Be fair to yourself when you are looking at where you were 6 months ago and where you are now. Sometimes when we have a bad ride or a bad day, our first conclusion is that we are “stuck in a rut”. But if you look back to the challenges you were having 6 months ago, you will find that there have been positive changes! Remember that training is relative! What used to be good enough 6 months ago is maybe not good enough now. So for example, if you worked 6 months ago on putting your horse in front of the driving aids, and you realize that you have to have that lesson again, it may not be because your horse slipped back in his training, it could be that you are in a new place in training and that your expectations are higher than they were 6 months ago.
Allentown, NJ (June 8, 2010) – Cesar Parra and his Piaffe-Performance team debuted their horses in the northeast at the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association’s Memorial Day CDI with great success. It was the team’s first show in New Jersey after returning from the winter season in Florida and collectively they spent much of the show in the winner’s circle.
Cesar Parra dominated the small tour with Lori Washton’s KWPN gelding, Olympia. Parra and Olympia won the Prix St. Georges score of 71.789 and the Intermediaire I with a score of 71.000 percent. The seasoned pair has shown at this level just over a dozen times and has always been over 70%. They are in top form as they head for the USEF/Collecting Gaits Farm Dressage Festival of Champions August 6-15 at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. Parra also notes that Olympia’s consistent performances will be just what it takes to represent the US at next year’s Pan American Games.
Clinics and Demonstrations Are Part of Grounds Pass Ticket Offering
June 4, 2010 – Lexington, Ky. – Lynn Palm will be a featured performer at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, September 25 to October 10 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
Activities provided daily by Lynn Palm include Bridleless Musical Exhibitions with elements of dressage, reining and jumping to showcase the beauty, amazing athleticism and outstanding ability of Rugged Painted Lark, her registered American Paint Horse. In addition, Palm will be a presenter at the Clinicians Corral and the Kids Zone demonstrating dressage principles for all breeds, levels and disciplines. Palm’s demonstrations will be available with a Grounds Pass Ticket, which are now on sale at www.alltechfeigames.com/tickets.
One of the few clinicians available today with a proven competition record, Lynn Palm’s list of accomplishments include being named 2007 AQHA Horsewoman of the Year and AQHA Female Equestrian of the Year, amassing a record four AQHA Superhorse wins and over 34 World and Reserve World Championships. Palm has also written three books and produced over 50 videotapes on training the Western and English rider and horse.
Wellington, FL – May 28, 2010 – Dressage rider Todd Flettrich rode in a Steffen Peters clinic at Carol Cohen’s Two Swans Farm recently, continuing to stay at the top of his game in preparation for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Based in Coatesville, PA, and Wellington, FL, Flettrich has had a fantastic season with his mount Otto, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Rambo X Rampal), owned by Cherry Knoll Farm. The pair has earned several top placings throughout the country and is qualified to compete in the Selection Trials for the Games, which will determine who rides on the Team in Lexington, KY, this fall.
Flettrich spent two winters training with Steffen Peters in California earlier in his career, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to get some tips from the renowned rider during this important show season. “I think that Steffen is a super rider and trainer, and I feel that he has so much to offer to the sport,” Flettrich noted. “Steffen commented on similar things that I work on with Hubertus [Schmidt] and Oded [Shimoni], but he doesn’t see us on a regular basis, so his attention was brought right to our problems and he addressed them quickly. I rode Otto the first day in a snaffle and I rode him the next day in a double, and I thought the horse went great. Everything Steffen said was very helpful and I feel like I got so much out of working with him.”
Clinics and Demonstrations Are Part of Grounds Pass Ticket Offering
May 27, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Famed horseman John Lyons will be a featured clinician in the Equine Village during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, September 25 – October 10, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.
Widely considered to be responsible for many changes in the horse industry in the past 30 years, John Lyons has promoted both kind treatment of horses and the safety of horse and rider through hundreds of clinics, expos, symposiums, demonstrations, magazine articles, John Lyons Perfect Horse magazine, radio, and television programs.
Along with his son, Josh, Lyons has developed a certification program known throughout the world. With more than 300 professional certified trainers stationed all over the United States, and in many other countries, their training techniques have affected every horse discipline and throughout every breed.
If your horse’s shoulders are stuck, it’s like having a kink in a water hose. The energy can’t flow from behind, over the back, into your hands where it can then be recycled back to the hind legs.
Here are two shoulder suppling exercises for you to try with your stiff horse.
1. Make a 20-meter box with 4 corners in the walk.
To give you more control of your horse’s shoulders, do the exercise in counter flexion. (That is, you’ll just barely see his outside eye or nostril.)
If you’re going to the left, ask for right counter flexion with your right wrist. Stay in counter flexion during the entire exercise.
At the first corner, bring both hands to the left to swivel your horse’s shoulders around the corner.
Then, soften the contact without letting the reins get loopy.
After the corner, walk straight ahead in counter-flexion.
At the next corner, bring both hands to the left again.
Do this in all four corners.
As your horse’s shoulders become more supple, it’ll get easier to spin his shoulders around the turn without meeting resistance.
You can tell there’s no resistance when the weight in your hands stays the same as you swivel your horse’s shoulders around the corner.
2. Ride down the long side of the ring, and move your horse’s shoulders slightly to the left and right.
Walk down the long side of arena.
Flex your horse at the poll opposite the direction you’ll be moving his shoulders. For example, when riding to the left, ask for a counter flexion to the right by turning your right wrist. Then, take both hands to left to slide your horse’s shoulders over. Move the shoulders over only 1-2 inches.
Now change to correct flexion by turning your left wrist.
Move both arms to the right to pop the shoulders back out to the track.
Smoothly and fluidly move the shoulders back and forth as you work your way down the long side.
Ocala, FL (May 12, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four In Hand Champion, recently shared the secret to his success with students in an Exercise Physiology class in the Equine Studies program at Central Florida Community College (CFCC). The community college is the only two-year institution in Florida that offers an equine program, and Equine Studies is the college’s most popular Associate in Science degree program.
“Chester gave a wonderful talk to my Exercise Physiology students during their last class of the semester,” said Dr. Judy Downer, Associate Professor of Equine Studies. “Chester summarized his training and conditioning program that he is using that will lead him up to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall. It was a great review of the subjects we covered all semester.”