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usdf Connection u s d f. o r g

April 2018

Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation

Lilo Fore: A Trainer’s Trainer The USDF Connection Interview Improve Your Horse with Tools from Dressage Master Johann Hinnemann (p. 16) Eco-Friendly Pest Control for Horses and Barns (p. 44)

Lebanon Junction, KY Permit # 559

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OSPHOS® (clodronate injection) Bisphosphonate For use in horses only. Brief Summary (For Full Prescribing Information, see package insert) CAUTION: Federal (USA) law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. DESCRIPTION: Clodronate disodium is a non-amino, chlorocontaining bisphosphonate. Chemically, clodronate disodium is (dichloromethylene) diphosphonic acid disodium salt and is manufactured from the tetrahydrate form. INDICATION: For the control of clinical signs associated with navicular syndrome in horses. CONTRAINDICATIONS: Horses with hypersensitivity to clodronate disodium should not receive OSPHOS.

controls the clinical signs associated with

NAVICULAR SYNDROME Easily Administered via intramuscular injection

Well Tolerated* in clinical trials

Proven Efficacy* at 6 months post treatment

No Reconstitution Required

Learn more online

WARNINGS: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. HUMAN WARNINGS: Not for human use. Keep this and all drugs out of the reach of children. Consult a physician in case of accidental human exposure. PRECAUTIONS: As a class, bisphosphonates may be associated with gastrointestinal and renal toxicity. Sensitivity to drug associated adverse reactions varies with the individual patient. Renal and gastrointestinal adverse reactions may be associated with plasma concentrations of the drug. Bisphosphonates are excreted by the kidney; therefore, conditions causing renal impairment may increase plasma bisphosphonate concentrations resulting in an increased risk for adverse reactions. Concurrent administration of other potentially nephrotoxic drugs should be approached with caution and renal function should be monitored. Use of bisphosphonates in patients with conditions or diseases affecting renal function is not recommended. Administration of bisphosphonates has been associated with abdominal pain (colic), discomfort, and agitation in horses. Clinical signs usually occur shortly after drug administration and may be associated with alterations in intestinal motility. In horses treated with OSPHOS these clinical signs usually began within 2 hours of treatment. Horses should be monitored for at least 2 hours following administration of OSPHOS. Bisphosphonates affect plasma concentrations of some minerals and electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, immediately post-treatment, with effects lasting up to several hours. Caution should be used when administering bisphosphonates to horses with conditions affecting mineral or electrolyte homeostasis (e.g. hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, hypocalcemia, etc.). The safe use of OSPHOS has not been evaluated in horses less than 4 years of age. The effect of bisphosphonates on the skeleton of growing horses has not been studied; however, bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclast activity which impacts bone turnover and may affect bone growth. Bisphosphonates should not be used in pregnant or lactating mares, or mares intended for breeding. The safe use of OSPHOS has not been evaluated in breeding horses or pregnant or lactating mares. Bisphosphonates are incorporated into the bone matrix, from where they are gradually released over periods of months to years. The extent of bisphosphonate incorporation into adult bone, and hence, the amount available for release back into the systemic circulation, is directly related to the total dose and duration of bisphosphonate use. Bisphosphonates have been shown to cause fetal developmental abnormalities in laboratory animals. The uptake of bisphosphonates into fetal bone may be greater than into maternal bone creating a possible risk for skeletal or other abnormalities in the fetus. Many drugs, including bisphosphonates, may be excreted in milk and may be absorbed by nursing animals. Increased bone fragility has been observed in animals treated with bisphosphonates at high doses or for long periods of time. Bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption and decrease bone turnover which may lead to an inability to repair micro damage within the bone. In humans, atypical femur fractures have been reported in patients on long term bisphosphonate therapy; however, a causal relationship has not been established. ADVERSE REACTIONS: The most common adverse reactions reported in the field study were clinical signs of discomfort or nervousness, colic and/or pawing. Other signs reported were lip licking, yawning, head shaking, injection site swelling, and hives/pruritus.

www.dechra-us.com www.osphos.com

As with all drugs, side effects may occur. In field studies, the most common side effects reported were signs of discomfort or nervousness, colic, and/or pawing. OSPHOS should not be used in pregnant or lactating mares, or mares intended for breeding. Use of OSPHOS in patients with conditions affecting renal function or mineral or electrolyte homeostasis is not recommended. Refer to the prescribing information for complete details or visit www.dechra-us.com or call 866.933.2472.

CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of licensed veterinarian. * Freedom of Information Summary, Original New Animal Drug Application, NADA 141-427, for OSPHOS. April 28, 2014. Dechra Veterinary Products US and the Dechra D logo are registered trademarks of Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC. © 2016 Dechra Ltd.

Distributed by: Dechra Veterinary Products 7015 College Boulevard, Suite 525 Overland Park, KS 66211 866-933-2472 © 2016 Dechra Ltd. OSPHOS is a registered trademark of Dechra Ltd. All rights reserved. NADA 141-427, Approved by FDA


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USDF National Education Initiative ...making education more accessible

The USDF National Education Initiative was created to support new and affordable programs, and to engage members. The following programs are being offered as part of the USDF National Education Initiative.

Adult Amateur Clinic with Bill McMullin

Ride-a-Test with Becky Brown and Barbara Lewis

Symposium with Anne Gribbons

Ride-a-Test with Dolly Hannon

Rocky Mountain Dressage Society April 21-22, 2018 www.rmds.org Oklahoma Dressage Society April 28-29, 2018 www.dressageoklahoma.org

Adult Amateur Clinic with Melissa Creswick California Dressage Society May 4-6, 2018 www.california-dressage.org

Symposium with Betsy Steiner

Dallas Dressage Club June 10, 2018 www.dallasdressage.org

Lower Puget Sound Dressage Club Chapter of Oregon Dressage Society July 7-8, 2018 www.lpsdc.com

All-Levels Clinic with Courtney King-Dye Central New York Dressage and Combined Training Association July 28-29, 2018 www.cnydcta.org

Central Texas Dressage Society May 25-27, 2018 www.ctdsdressage.org

For more information about these and other National Education Initiative opportunities, visit

www.usdf.org

Funding support provided by the USDF National Education Initiative Grant Program.

YOUR CONNECTION TO DRESSAGE EDUCATION • COMPETITION • ACHIEVEMENT


38

44

50

In this Issue

30 38 44 50

A trainer’s trainer

An exclusive interview with Lilo Fore, the newest Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame inductee By Jennifer O. Bryant

baby, get back in the saddle

Postpartum fitness tips for dressage-riding moms By Amber Heintzberger

Working with nature to control nature

4 Inside USDF Feeding the Pipeline By George Williams

6 Ringside Forward-Thinking

By Jennifer O. Bryant

16 clinic A Master’s Toolbox

By Nancy Gorton

26 amateur hour Kasey Cannon and Diesel CF Keep on Truckin’

By Patti Schofler

Eco-friendly pest-control options

28 all-breeds connection Spotlight: American Warmblood Society and Sporthorse Registry

Focus on the sport horse

56 The Tail End Ageless Pursuit

By Kara L. Stewart

Preview of the 2018 USDF Sport Horse Seminar By Stacy Durham

By Dawn Metzger

30

In Every Issue

8 MEMBER CONNECTION 9 Sponsor Spotlight 10 Heads UP 52 Shop @ X 54 USDF Connection Submission Guidelines 54 Usdf OFFICE CONTACt DIRECTORY 55 Advertising Index on our cover Lilo Fore instructs Beatrice “Trixi” Marienau on Stefano 8 at the 2017 Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference. Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

Volume 19, Number 10

USDF Connection

April 2018

3


inside usdf

president@usdf.org

USDF OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE BOARD PRESIDENT

Feeding the Pipeline Junior/Young Rider championships help to produce tomorrow’s dressage pros

VICE PRESIDENT

Lisa Gorretta

18120 Snyder Road, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023 (216) 406-5475 • vicepresident@usdf.org

Margaret Freeman

at NAJYRC even more desirable—which is key to the development of our youth programs. NAJYRC participants who go on to elite senior equestrian careers are better prepared to compete abroad and to represent the US. Even those NAJYRC veterans who do not become high-performance riders are more likely to pursue dressage-related careers. The NAJYRC feeds the sport pipeline as well as the elite-competitor pipeline. Over the last six years, an average of 7.22 percent of USDF youth members have participated in the NAJYRC program through the declaration process. In that same period, we have filled on average just under 70 percent of the Young Rider and just under 80 percent of the Junior dressage-team slots available to the US. (Owing to the increased difficulty of the tests, it is to be expected that YR participation is slightly lower than Junior.) At each level, we have had over 80 percent team participation at least twice in the past six years, an indication that greater participation by the regions is possible and, I believe, should remain a goal. Considering the level of riding, training, and quality of horse required, I believe this is a fairly healthy number. We now have a generation of senior dressage athletes who grew up knowing about the NAYRC and whose trainers were familiar with it, as well. As a result, I believe that for the first time we are seeing a relatively large group of twentysomethings who are better prepared for the international stage than ever before. s

4 April 2018 • USDF Connection

200 Aurora Lane, Tryon, NC 28782 (828) 859-6723 • secretary@usdf.org TREASURER

STEVEN SCHUBERT

79 Jewett Street, Georgetown, MA 01833 (978) 360-6441 • treasurer@usdf.org

REGIONAL DIRECTORS REGION 1 DC, DE, MD, NC, NJ, PA, VA

BETTINA G. LONGAKER

8246 Open Gate Road, Gordonsville, VA 22942 (540) 832-7611 • region1dir@usdf.org REGION 2 IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, WV, WI

KEN LEVY

330 North Mill Creek Road, Noblesville, IN 46062 (317) 773-4532 • region2dir@usdf.org REGION 3 AL, FL, GA, SC, TN

Susan Bender

1024 Grand Prix Drive, Beech Island, SC 29842 (803) 295-2525 • region3dir@usdf.org REGION 4 IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD

Anne Sushko

1942 Clifford Street, Dubuque, IA 52002 (563) 580-0510 • region4dir@usdf.org REGION 5 AZ, CO, E. MT, NM, UT, W. TX, WY

HEATHER PETERSEN

22750 County Road 37, Elbert, CO 80106 (303) 648-3164 • region5dir@usdf.org REGION 6 AK, ID, W. MT, OR, WA

Carolynn bunch

18430 111th Place SE, Snohomish, WA 98290 (360) 577-6201 • region6dir@usdf.org REGION 7 CA, HI, NV

CAROL TICE

31895 Nicolas Road, Temecula, CA 92591 (714) 514-5606 • region7dir@usdf.org REGION 8 CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT

DEBRA REINHARDT

160 Woods Way Drive, Southbury, CT 06488 (203) 264-2148 • region8dir@usdf.org REGION 9 AR, LA, MS, OK, TX

SHERRY GUESS

18216 S. 397th East Avenue, Porter, OK 74454 (918) 640-1204 • region9dir@usdf.org

AT-LARGE DIRECTORS ACTIVITIES COUNCIL

Sue Mandas

9508 Bridlewood Trail, Dayton, OH 45458 (937) 272-9068 •ald-activities@usdf.org ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL

KEVIN BRADBURY

PO Box 248, Dexter, MI 48130 (734) 426-2111 • ald-administrative@usdf.org Technical COUNCIL

SUE MCKEOWN

6 Whitehaven Lane, Worcester, MA 01609 (508) 459-9209 • ald-technical@usdf.org

jennifer bryant

T

421 Park Forest Way, Wellington, FL 33414 (937) 603-9134 • Fax: (740) 362-5539 president@usdf.org

SECRETARY

By George Williams, USDF President here is no doubt that the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) have been a major influence on our youth and on the development of dressage in North America. It is aspirational but still within reach for enough young people to be a real force in motivating them to pursue dressage at a higher level. The NAJYRC is the only FEI continental championships to which nations may send multiple teams in each discipline and division. The system of fielding dressage teams from the nine USDF regions gives athletes from all parts of our country—up to 72 riders under the current format—access to greater educational and competitive opportunities. Our regions take pride in their Junior and Young Rider teams. Many have well-established fund-raising and team-building efforts, and all have designated NAJYRC regional coordinators and chefs d’équipe. The USDF has a fully devoted national committee of regional coordinators whose focus is on preparing young athletes, parents, and coaches for the NAJYRC. The USDF’s NAJYRC system has been in place for more than 30 years and today is a streamlined process that I believe works well for our sport. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we don’t need to keep refining the system and that we don’t occasionally have problems. Over the years, we have seen the natural ebb and flow of slow periods as riders “age out” and new ones come in. Regions have their ups and downs, as well: One that was once unbeatable might now be in a recouping period. To many young equestrians, receiving the “shield”—the US Equestrian jacket patch awarded for representing their country in competition—is the greatest achievement of their riding careers. This makes the goal of competing

GEORGE WILLIAMS


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jbryant@usdf.org

Forward-Thinking

Toward a better tomorrow for our sport and beyond

T

he term “forward-thinking” is a compliment: describing a dressage horse that has an innate desire to go forward. The idea is that the rider doesn’t have to convince such a horse to stay in front of the leg, and so developing impulsion and other dressage building blocks is presumably an easier task. People can be forward-thinking, too—with an eye to the future and a goal of making the world a better place. One who’s done just that for the American dressage community is the 2017 Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame inductee, Lilo Fore, who’s profiled on page 30 of this month’s issue. A native of Germany and a licensed Bereiter, Fore arrived in the US in 1971. The sport of dressage was just getting under way in this country, and Fore settled in California, which was and still is a US dressage hot spot. She became involved with the California Dressage Society, and it was through her association with CDS that she got her training as a dressage judge and also became acquainted with the USDF. Armed with her knowledge of how licensing helps to maintain a high standard of equestrian sport in Europe, Fore became one of our country’s longeststanding supporters of dressage-instructor certification, helping to found the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program. Her broad expertise in all areas of our sport helped to make her a wise and wonderful dressage judge who is respected around the world. Yet despite these accomplishments and her celebrity status, there’s a lot I didn’t know about this dynamic woman, and our interview turned up a few surprises. I hope you enjoy our in-depth profile of a living US dressage legend. Please let me know what you think because we want to do more of these kinds of stories. What other American dressage notables would you like to read about?

Another example of “forward thinking” can be found in our story on environmentally friendly pest control for dressage horses and facilities. Horse and farm owners may wish to keep ticks, flies, and rodents at bay, but broad-spectrum chemical annihilation may not be the best solution. Freelance writer Kara Stewart talks to experts and offers greener approaches in “Working with Nature to Control Nature” on page 44. Finally, in this issue we look forward to a couple of USDF programs that are aimed at making the future brighter for two key segments of the membership: adult amateurs and sport-horse enthusiasts. Beginning this year, AAs get a chance to show their dressage-seatequitation prowess through the new USDF Adult Amateur Regional Finals, which will be held in conjunction with the nine Great American/USDF Regional Dressage Championships. Learn more in “Amateur Hour” on page 26. And the popular and successful USDF Sport Horse Seminar, which teaches breeders, riders, trainers, and buyers about conformation, movement, and what to look for in a dressage horse, returns this August with presenters Kristi Wysocki and Hilda Gurney. For a sneak peek at their plans, turn to page 50. I hope this spring brings you things to look forward to and horses that are nicely forward—in a good way!

Jennifer O. Bryant, Editor @JenniferOBryant

6 April 2018 • USDF Connection

usdf Connection The Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Stephan Hienzsch 859/271-7887 • stephh1enz@usdf.org

——— Editorial——— EDITOR

Jennifer O. Bryant 610/344-0116 • jbryant@usdf.org CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS EDITORIAL ADVISORS

Melissa Creswick (CA) Margaret Freeman (NC) Lisa Gorretta (OH) Anne Gribbons (FL) Terry Wilson (CA)

TECHNICAL ADVISORS

Janine Malone Lisa Gorretta • Elisabeth Williams

——— Production ——— SENIOR PUBLICATIONS COORDINATOR

Emily Koenig 859/271-7883 • ekoenig@usdf.org

SENIOR CREATIVE COORDINATOR

Karl Lawrence 859/271-7881 • klawrence@usdf.org

——— Advertising ——— ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVE

Danielle Titland 720/300-2266 • dtitland@usdf.org USDF Connection is published ten times a year by the United States Dressage Federation, 4051 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Phone: 859/971-2277. Fax: 859/971-7722. E-mail: usdressage@usdf.org, Web site: www.usdf.org. USDF members receive USDF Connection as a membership benefit, paid by membership dues. Copyright © 2018 USDF. All rights reserved. Reproduction of articles requires permission from USDF. Other text may be reproduced with credit given to USDF Connection. USDF reserves the right to refuse any advertising or copy that is deemed unsuitable for USDF and its policies. Excluding advertisements, all photos with mounted riders must have safety head gear or USEF-approved competition hat. USDF assumes no responsibility for the claims made in advertisements. Statements of fact and opinion are those of the experts consulted and authors, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the policy of USDF. The publishers reserve the right to reject any advertising deemed unsuitable for USDF, as well as the right to reject or edit any manuscripts received for publication. USDF assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. All materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Questions about your subscription or change in address? Contact USDF Membership Department, 859/971-2277, or usdressage@usdf.org. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: USDF, 4051 IRON WORKS PARKWAY, LEXINGTON, KY 40511. Canadian Agreement No. 1741527. Canada return address: Station A, P.O. Box 54, Windsor, Ontario N9A 6J5.

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member connection

editorial@usdf.org

Pregnancy and Riding I can’t thank you USDF CONNECTION enough for the 2018 STALLION AND BREEDING GUIDE “Baby on Board” article in the December 2017/ January 2018 issue. I found out I was pregnant just a week or so before receiving that issue, and of course the first thing on my mind was, How much longer can I ride? In a world where, as you point out, you can expect to get opinions from “every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the street” during pregnancy, it was so refreshing to get the firsthand perspective of like-minded equestrians. Vanessa Meeks Harwood, MD IS THIS YOUR LAST ISSUE? SEE PAGE 2

U S D F. O R G

DEC EMBER 2017/JANUARY 2018

Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation

A Foal of Your Own? Read Before You Breed

What the Dressage Judge Is Really Thinking (p. 18) Carl Hester Symposium Report (p. 22)

Lebanon Junction, KY Permit # 559

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NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. Postage

Vanessa, congratulations and thank you! Don’t miss our postscript to that article, “Baby, Get Back in the Saddle,” in this month’s issue, with tips on postpartum fitness for dressage-riding moms. USDF Connection welcomes your feedback on magazine content and USDF matters. Send letters to editorial@usdf.org along with your full name, hometown, and state. Letters may be edited for length, clarity, grammar, and style.

coming next month • Annual show issue • The judge’s (varying) viewpoint: Why scores differ in panel judging • Don’t sweat it: Show-ring makeup tips • USDF Sport Horse Prospect Development Forum preview

8 April 2018 • USDF Connection


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Heads Up

Your Dressage World This Month

sport ponies

Canceled Pony Cup Is on Again in New Location

T

he National Dressage Pony Cup (NDPC) Championship Show has been an off-again, on-again affair for 2018. On February 26, organizers announced the cancellation of the 2018 event, citing growing pains. The NDPC show, established in 2007, was attracting enough ponies—117 last year—that founder and president Jenny Carol had been “toss[ing] around the idea of organization our own stand-alone event,” according to the press release. The NDPC show, which had been held in conjunction with a Kentucky Dressage Association dressage competition at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, was unable to reach an agreement with the KDA, and so Carol decided to shelve the

show for a year so she could “do it right, find the perfect venue, and keep it affordable for everyone,” she stated in the release. But on March 8, Carol posted an announcement on the NDPC’s Facebook page reversing her earlier decision: The show is back on for 2018, in a new location: Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. The NDPC Championship Show and Small Horse Championships will be held July 20-21, followed July 22 by the NDPC Pony Only Breed Show, with total prize money of $25,000, according to Carol. The ponies and small horses will share space with a Dressage at Lamplight competition held the same weekend. Learn more at DressagePonyCup.com.

PONY POWER: The German Riding Pony Nikolas, ridden by Lauren Chumley (NJ), was the 2017 National Dressage Pony Cup Third and Fourth Level Open champion

rules

n February US Equestrian, which makes the rules for national-level dressage competition in the US, updated its rules to allow more snaffle-bit designs in USEF-licensed/USDF-recognized dressage competition. The most recently reviewed bits are pictured and listed in a chart called Annex A, Supplement to USEF DR121. The chart indicates whether each bit is permitted as a snaffle or as a bridoon with a double bridle at the various levels in USEF dressage competition and at CDIs (FEI-recognized dressage competitions). US Equestrian updates Annex A periodically and encourages competitors to check it regularly for the latest updates. Digital Edition Bonus Content

View and download US Equestrian’s Annex A containing the latest decisions on tack and equipment for dressage competition.

10 April 2018 • USDF Connection

READ CAREFULLY: Not all bits are permitted in all dressage competition. Examples: The Bombers loose-ring elliptical dressage control snaffle (top) is permitted as a snaffle or as a bridoon at all levels by both US Equestrian and the FEI; but the Bombers flexible mullen-mouth bit (above) is permissible only in certain classes and levels.

JENNIFER M. KEELER/YELLOW HORSE MARKETING; COURTESY OF US EQUESTRIAN

I

Additional Snaffle Bits Permitted in Dressage Competition


financial Aid

Pitts, Schut-Kery Receive Advanced Dressage Prizes

COURTESY OF ALYSSA PITTS; TERRI MILLER

T

he Dressage Foundation, Lincoln, NE, in February awarded two Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prizes for 2018. US high-performance riders Alyssa Pitts, Snohomish, WA, and Sabine Schut-Kery, Thousand Oaks, CA, each received $25,000 to help them achieve their international competition goals. Pitts said she plans to use the funds either to travel to Florida for concentrated training with US Olympian and US national dressage developing coach Debbie McDonald and to compete at CDIs, or to travel to England EYES ON THE PRIZE: Recipient Alyssa Pitts to work with the on Quintessential Hit British superstar Charlotte Dujardin. Her equine partner is her own Quintessential Hit, a 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Quaterback x Sandro Hit) bred by Sherry Smith (GA). Schut-Kery, who also received the Lavell Prize in 2017, is a 2015 US Pan American Games team gold TWO-TIME RECIPIENT: Sabine Schut-Kery medalist. She plans on Sanceo to use the 2018 funds to train with US Olympian and US national dressage young-horse coach Christine Traurig in hopes of making the 2018 US World Equestrian Games team with Sanceo, a 2006 German-bred Hanoverian stallion by San Remo, owned by Alice Womble-Heitman and Dr. Mike Heitman (TX). Carol Lavell, a 1992 US Olympic dressage team bronze medalist, established the fund in 2009. Since that time, the fund has made 12 awards totaling $300,000. Learn more at dressagefoundation.org.

World equestrian games

World Equine Expo Details Announced

V

isitors to the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon (NC) 2018 will have the opportunity to attend the concurrent inaugural World Equine Expo and related events, Tryon Equestrian Partners and International Equestrian Group managing partner and CEO Mark Bellissimo announced in February. Bellissimo intends for the World Equine Expo to be an annual event at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), site of the 2018 WEG. The 2018 expo will be a 13-day affair featuring “a significant trade fair, demonstrations, educational seminars, clinics, panel discussions, an equine art and film festival, and conversations on topics critical to raising awareness and strengthening, innovating, and expanding global equestrianism,” according to the press release. It will also encompass the WEQx Games (“spectator-friendly derivatives of equine competitions”) and the first-ever World Horse Day, September 13, featuring a charity gala. Learn more about the 2018 WEG and the World Equine Expo at tryon2018.com.

The Near Side

USDF Connection

April 2018

11


Heads Up

Your Dressage World This Month

competition aren Pavicic, 46, of Vancouver, BC, who represented Canada at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games riding Don Daiquiri (Don Cardinale x Rubinstein), announced in January that she has changed her “sport nationality” to ride for Croatia. Pavicic is Canadian by birth, but her husband was born in Croatia and obtained dual Croatian-Canadian citizenship several years ago, which made the family eligible for dual citizenship. Croatia did not previously have any Grand Prix-level dressage riders competing internationally. “With interest from the Croatian Equestrian Federation in growing the sport of dressage and having dual citizenship, it is an interesting opportunity for my professional career,” Pavicic said. “I would love to represent Croatia at future international events

and major Games in the future.” Pavicic, who spends winters training in Wellington, FL, said she hopes to spend more time in the future training and competing in Europe. She has served as a demonstration rider for USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conferences in Florida, and she was a demo rider for German superstar Isabell Werth’s master class at the 2017 FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha. Pavicic owns two horses: Totem, a six-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Totilas x Donnerhall) bred in Canada by Patricia Close; and Beaujolais, an eight-year-old German-bred Oldenburg mare (Bordeaux x Londonderry). She also competes a small-tour horse, Fausto, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Fidertanz x Lady’s World) bred in Canada by Rayelle Arbo and owned by Laura Penikett.

Obituary

D

SWITCHING FLAGS: Karen Pavicic, who represented Canada aboard Don Daiquiri at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, will now compete for Croatia

Pavicic was set to make her debut representing Croatia February 21-25 at the CDI Wellington in Florida with Totem and Fausto. —Amber Heintzberger

Biosecurity

Dr. Pearse Lyons

r. Pearse Lyons, the Irish-born entrepreneur and founder of the Alltech animal-nutrition group, died March 8 in Lexington, KY, from complications following heart surgery. He was 73. Lyons got his start in the brewing industry, later founding Alltech in 1980. Headquartered in Lexington and with a European office in Ireland, Alltech now employs more than 5,000 worldwide in the animal-feed, meat, brewing, and distilling sectors. Its diverse product line ranges from nutritional animal-feed supplements to Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and other beers and spirits. Equestrian enthusiasts may best know Alltech for its title sponsorship of the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington and the 2014 WEG in Normandy. Although VISIONARY: Lyons Alltech had already signed on as the 2010 WEG title sponsor to the tune of $10 million, ticket sales and other aspects of those Games were faltering, owing in part to the late-2000s economic downturn. Lyons increased his company’s commitment, which ended up at an estimated $32 million. The sponsorship legacy lives on in the form of the indoor Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.

12 April 2018 • USDF Connection

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AAEP Updates Biosecurity Guidelines

he American Association of Equine Practitioners (aaep.org) has issued updated biosecurity guidelines to help minimize the occurrence and mitigate the spread of potential disease outbreaks. The guidelines include protocols regarding identification of key personnel, important contacts, and reference materials; routine biosecurity measures; and outbreak response. Additional biosecurity information for travel, horse shows, and other situations is available from the Equine Disease Communication Center (equinediseasecc.org). Digital Edition Bonus Content

Download the AAEP’s biosecurity guidelines.

JENNIFER BRYANT; COURTESY OF ALLTECH

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Canadian Pavicic to Ride for Croatia


meet the instructor

Jane Rodd, Pine Plains, NY

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ane Rodd is a British Horse Society instructor, a USDF Instructor/ Trainer Program faculty member, a USDF “L” program graduate, and a USDF-certified instructor/trainer, Training through Fourth Levels. She also holds a PhD in educational psychology.

COURTESY OF JANE RODD; COURTESY OF DANIEL STEWART

WELL SCHOOLED: Rodd on Rendition

How I got started in dressage: I grew up in England competing in gymkhana, jumpers, eventing, and dressage. I wanted to become certified because: On moving to the US, I identified differences between US and European training methods. USDF certification was a way to ensure I was in alignment with my clients’ needs. I discovered that the classical foundation was the same, with more similarities than differences. My horses: My “horse of a lifetime” was a jumper but needed dressage training to become more elastic. Her talent meant we never returned to serious jumping. She helped me earn my USDF silver medal. Training tip: Keep an open mind, and never stop learning. Contact me: roddajinusa@gmail. com or (802) 484-0055. —Jamie Humphries

behind the scenes

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Daniel Stewart, Equestrian Mental Skills-Training Coach

ob title: Owner/operator, Pressure Proof Coaching Academy, Naples, FL (pressureproofacademy.com) What I do: My clinics focus on the mental part of riding. From September to May, three weekends a month, I teach clinics around the country. From Monday to Friday, I’m a stay-home dad. In the summertime, I teach on average in 52 cities in 60 days. How I got started: In 2000, on a whim, I sent the manuscript of my first book, Ride Right with Daniel Stewart: Balance Your Frame and Frame of Mind with an Unmounted Workout and Sport Psychology System, to the US [Equestrian] Team. They responded. After that, it just spread. Best thing about my job: When I arrive at a barn, I know that I’m going to teach them something that they will value, that they will remember, and that they are not really getting from anybody else. Worst thing about my job: I used to say the worst part of my job was that I needed to leave my family to go do what I do. I no longer believe that. My children are becoming more independent, and my wife gets a break

from me. My horses: I have several horses,

IN BALANCE: Stewart

but because I travel so much I no longer compete. Tip: You are every bit the athlete that your horse is. —Katherine Walcott

officials

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The Dressage Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

ormer USDF Region 8 director Fern Feldman, Cheshire, CT; and California-based lawyer Ryan Shumacher have joined The Dressage Foundation’s (NE) board of directors, the nonprofit philanthropic organization announced in January. Feldman is an adult-amateur rider and a USDF gold medalist. She served as USDF Region 8 director for 15 years, is a past vice president of Dressage4Kids, is a Connecticut Dressage Association board member,

and has chaired the Chase Collegiate School’s (CT) Board of Trustees for more than 20 years. (Read more about Feldman in “Still in the Saddle,” March.) Shumacher specializes in estate planning, trust and probate administration, and tax-exempt nonprofit organizations at Rodriguez, Horii, Choi and Cafferata LLP in Los Angeles. He and his wife, Katie, own Grey Hope, an Oldenburg currently competing at Prix St. Georges with Katie.

USDF Connection

April 2018

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Heads Up

Your Dressage World This Month

usdf Bulletins

What you need to know this month Register for the Sport Horse Forum The 2018 USDF Sport Horse Prospect Development Forum will be held October 20-21 at Sonnenberg Farm, Sherwood, OR, with presenters Scott Hassler and Michael Bragdell. The event, which is open to all, focuses on developing a consistent training foundation for sport-horse prospects as they progress from in hand to under saddle and eventually to dressage competition. Contact the USDF office with any questions.

Dressage-Seat Equitation Rider Awards Available Scores earned by adult amateurs, professionals, juniors, and young riders are eligible for USDF Dressage Seat Equitation Rider Awards. Award recipients will receive a certificate and lapel pin and will be recognized on the USDF website. See the USDF Member Guide for complete requirements.

The 2018 USDF Dressage Sport Horse Youth/Young Adult Breeders Seminar, for ages 14 to 27, introduces the various roles and functions at a sport-horse breeding facility. The seminar will be held June 22-24 at Oak Hill Ranch, Folsom, LA. Topics will include mare and stallion management, and the handling and training of young horses. Attendees will have the opportunity to observe an Oldenburg Horse Breeders’ Society NA Division of GOV inspection.

Register for the Sport Horse Seminar Being held in conjunction with the USEF Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Judges Clinic, this year’s USDF Sport Horse Seminar will teach riders, breeders, owners, and trainers how conformation and movement can affect a horse’s competitive success, and how to evaluate dressage prospects. USEF “S” and DSHB “R” judges Kristi Wysocki and Hilda Gurney will lead the seminar, August 5-6 at DG Bar Ranch, Hanford, CA.

The

ENTRY DEADLINE JULY 1 14 April 2018 • USDF Connection

Even if your horse earned scores last year, you still can submit an application for a USDF Horse Performance Certificate. Apply online via the USDF website under the Awards tab. See the USDF Member Guide for complete award requirements.

2018 Regional Championships Announced

Youth Breeders Seminar Registration Open

2018 USDF Arts Contest

Scores Do Not Expire for Horse Performance Certificates

Here are the dates and locations of the 2018 Great American Insurance Group/ USDF Regional Dressage Championships: Region 1: October 11-14 (VA) Region 2: October 11-14 (KY) Region 3: October 12-14 (GA) Region 4: September 6-9 (IA) Region 5: October 5-7 (AZ) Region 6: September 20-23 (WA) Region 7: September 27-30 (CA) Region 8: September 20-23 (NY) Region 9: October 4-7 (TX).

2 Divisions Art and Photography 3 Age Groups 15 and under, 16 to 21, and Adult The grand prize winning entry will be used as the cover art for the USDF Member Guide.

www.usdf.org (awards/other awards) for complete contest rules and entry form


The 2018 USDF Online Stallion Guide is now LIVE! This annual online stallion guide is released by the United States Dressage Federation for the dressage community. The guide is available both through the USDF website and the USDF app.

2018 USDF Online Stallion Guide A Foal of Your Own Dreaming of breeding your mare? Read our primer on the process first.

A Showcase for the Dressage Sport Horse The 2017 USDF Breeders Championship Series Finals Statistics

• Featured Breeding Articles • Breeding Statistics from USDF competitions • Index of Progeny of Advertised Stallions

Achieving the End Goal The 2017 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships Breed Statistics and Information

High Performance The 2017 US Dressage Finals Presented by Adequan® Breed Statistics and Information

Go to www.usdf.org under the publications tab ACHIEVING THE END GOAL

Stallion Index

Donnerwetter Donnerhall

BY BRYNNE BOIAN

*Recorded data is compiled from horse pedigree and breed registry papers contained within the USDF’s membership database. •Horses without pedigree and breed registry papers on file could not be included. •For the purposes of this table and article, Anglo Arabians and Half Arabians are recorded and reflected as two individual breeds.

2018 USDF ONLINE STALLION GUIDE

Papagena Duerkesa

Thatch xx Petroleuse xx Duerkheim Dalietta

Breeder: Adelheid Bruening, Germany Breed Approvals: AHS, ISR/Old NA, GOV, VhW, Rhineland Stud/Booking Fee: $1,500 2-year ($300 booking fee included) or $700/dose frozen, no LFG Semen Availability: Frozen semen available year-round Discounts: Multiple discounts available Contact: Brittany Callahan Hilltop Farm, Inc. 1089 Nesbitt Road, Colora, MD 21917 Phone: 410-658-9898 Fax: 410-658-9228 E-mail: breeding@hilltopfarminc.com Website: www.hilltopfarminc.com

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on Principe has competed at the FEI levels with seven different riders over 10 years and is still going strong. That soundness, adaptability, and heart are truly unique. Don Principe has won multiple USDF Regional Championships, many USDF All-Breeds Awards, and has competed at both the USDF and USEF National Championships. In 2017, he added another accolade when he won the USEF “Brentina Cup” U-25 Grand Prix Championships. His sire Donnerhall was an International Grand Prix star and was on the medal winning German Teams at the World Equestrian Games and European Championships. Donnerhall’s influence on dressage breeding is undeniable. At the 2016 Olympic Games, over 31% of the dressage horses carried Donnerhall blood. Don Principe has sired Elite/Premium Mares, Licensed Stallions, USDF Horse of the Year winners, and US National Champions. He was the USEF Dressage Breeding Sire of the Year in 2013 and 2017, and has sired a Grand Champion of Dressage at Devon. Rideability, work ethic, and an outstanding walk are trademarks that Don Principe is passing along to his offspring. His offspring are smart, show a talent for the collected work, and are easily developed by amateurs or professionals.

2018 USDF ONLINE STALLION GUIDE

This index includes stallions that have a formatted page in this publication. The listing includes progeny of the stallion that have ranked 1-100 in Adequan/USDF Year-End Awards for horses. It also includes horses that have placed in US Dressage Finals, Great American/USDF Regional Championships and Great American/USDF Breeders Championships from 2009-2017. Please be advised that the names of the stallions and progeny listed herein are subject to the information contained within the USDF membership database. Registry names for these horses may vary across different organization and breed registries. Only horses which had breed registry paperwork and pedigree information on file with USDF could be included in this index, and any inconsistencies in registry names or pedigree information may have resulted in omissions. USDF is not responsible for any stallion or progeny omissions due to inconsistencies in horses’ registry names, or a lack of breed registry papers or pedigree information on file. For any inquiries regarding this index please send an e-mail to Cristen Brown, cbrown@usdf.org.

DEVON HEIR

Owner: Marydell Farm

Breed* Number of RC Participants Average Score (%) Range of Scores (%) Westfalen................................................47 .......................................................... 66.213% ............................... 57.868-74.779% Zweibrucker............................................29 .......................................................... 66.168% ................................55.793-73.684% Dutch Warmblood .................................248 .........................................................65.955%............................... 50.750-77.500% Hanoverian ............................................268 ......................................................... 65.731% ................................51.890-76.750% Swedish Warmblood...............................25 ..........................................................65.256%............................... 53.026-76.850% Oldenburg .............................................. 217 .......................................................... 65.146% ................................49.408-78.817% Danish Warmblood.................................44 .......................................................... 65.126% ...............................50.500-75.000% Trakehner ...............................................29 .......................................................... 64.851% ................................ 54.632-75.717% Holsteiner ............................................... 17 ...........................................................64.834%.................................56.563-71.591% Friesian Sporthorse ................................ 19 ........................................................... 64.416% ............................... 48.846-72.850% Andalusian .............................................. 31 ........................................................... 64.401% ................................55.769-73.295% Pura Raza Espanola ................................ 37...........................................................63.847%................................. 57.115-73.817% Friesian ................................................... 51 ........................................................... 63.839%............................... 52.727-72.000% Thoroughbred.........................................20 .......................................................... 63.795% .................................57.073-71.591% Half Arabian ............................................26 ...........................................................63.112% ............................... 49.936-70.783% Morgan ................................................... 19 ...........................................................62.895% ............................... 55.882-71.350% Quarter Horse......................................... 14 ...........................................................62.807% .............................. 56.364-68.676% American Warmblood ............................24 .......................................................... 62.783% ................................ 51.550-70.167% Lusitano ..................................................24 .......................................................... 62.612% ............................... 56.544-66.932% Arabian ................................................... 18 ........................................................... 61.503% ................................49.451-68.300%

Melli Negola

Prince Thatch xx

MARINA LEMAY

TABLE 1 Top 20 Breeds Amongst the 2017 Great American/USDF Regional Championship Participants

Disput Markus

Ninette

Championships. For the purpose of this article, USDF has reviewed the information available in the USDF membership database to analyze and evaluate the participants of the 2017 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships. The following tables illustrate the data in regards to the top breeds, breeders, sires, and damsires, which participated in the 2017 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships. The data reflected includes only horses with certificates of pedigree and/or breed registry papers on file with USDF. HILLTOP FARM, INC.

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he Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships serve as both an end goal and a stepping stone for many USDF competitors. The Great American Insurance Group/ USDF Regional Championship program was designed to promote and recognize the pursuit of excellence by providing a showcase venue for riders within each of the nine USDF regions. In 2017, approximately 2500 horses participated in the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional

INDEX OF PROGENY FOR ADVERTISED STALLIONS

DON PRINCIPE

1999, Hanoverian, 16.2 H, Dark Brown

The 2017 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships Breed Statistics and Information

Horse Name Progeny Year Championship, Award Category, or Breed Orgnization Division Score Rank D’Lorean BR .............................................. 2016 ....Adult Amateur ..................................................................Training Level ..............................................66.478 .......85 2016 ....Performance Horse Registry ..............................................Training Level Adult Amateur ........................66.478 .........2 2016 ....Performance Horse Registry ..............................................Training Level Open .....................................66.478 .........3 2016 ....Performance Horse Registry ..............................................Training Level Vintage Cup Adult Amateur ......66.478 .........1 2016 ....Vintage Cup: Adult Amateur ..............................................Training Level ..............................................66.478 .......20 Dallas Do Right .......................................... 2015 ....Adult Amateur ..................................................................First Level ....................................................72.031 .........3 2015 ....American Hanoverian Society ............................................First Level Adult Amateur .............................72.031 .........3 2015 ....American Hanoverian Society ............................................First Level Open ...........................................72.031 .........7 2015 ....Dressage Horse of the Year ...............................................First Level ....................................................72.031 .......24 Danteheir ................................................... 2013 ....Dressage Horse of the Year ...............................................Training Level ..............................................70.700 .......81 2013 ....KWPN of North America Inc. .............................................Training Level Open .....................................70.700 .......12 2013 ....KWPN of North America Inc. .............................................Training Level Vintage Cup ...........................70.700 .........2 2013 ....Vintage Cup ......................................................................Training Level ..............................................70.700 .........7 2014 ....KWPN of North America Inc. .............................................Second Level Open ......................................64.605 .......14 2014 ....KWPN of North America Inc. .............................................Second Level Vintage Cup ............................64.605 .........1 2014 ....Vintage Cup ......................................................................Second Level ...............................................64.605 .......18 2016 ....KWPN of North America Inc. .............................................Third Level Open ..........................................66.538 .......15 2016 ....KWPN of North America Inc. ..............................................Third Level Vintage Cup Professional ..............66.538 .........2 2016 ....Vintage Cup: Professional ..................................................Third Level ..................................................66.538 .........8 2017 ....Dressage Horse Of The Year ..............................................Fourth Level ................................................67.111 .......32 2017 ....KWPN of North America Inc. .............................................Fourth Level Open ........................................67.111 .........6 2017 ....KWPN of North America Inc. .............................................Fourth Level Vintage Cup: Professional ..........67.111 .........1 2017 ....Vintage Cup ......................................................................Fourth Level: Professional .............................67.111 .........3 2017 ....GAIG/USDF Region 7 Championships ..................................Fourth Level ................................................67.333 .........5 Das Apollo ................................................. 2011 ....Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Horse of the Year ...............Two-Year-Old Colts/Geldings .........................74.250 .......13 2011 ....International Sporthorse Registry / Oldenburg NA ...............Two-Year-Old Colts/Geldings..........................75.300 .........2 Dasha ........................................................ 2015 ....Adult Amateur ..................................................................Training Level ..............................................67.159 .......91 2015 ....Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV ........First Level Adult Amateur .............................65.405 .........5 2015 ....Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV ........First Level Open ...........................................65.405 .......21 2015 ....Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV ........First Level Vintage Cup .................................65.405 .........1 2015 ....Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV ........Training Level Adult Amateur ........................67.159 .........6 2015 ....Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV ........Training Level Open .....................................67.159 .......17 2015 ....Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society NA Division of GOV ........Training Level Vintage Cup ...........................67.159 .........4 2015 ....Vintage Cup ......................................................................First Level ....................................................65.405 .......41 2015 ....Vintage Cup ......................................................................Training Level ..............................................67.159 .......34 2016 ....Adult Amateur ..................................................................Second Level ...............................................67.148 .......25 2016 ....Dressage Horse Of The Year ..............................................Second Level ...............................................67.148 .......73

2018 USDF ONLINE STALLION GUIDE


clinic

editorial@usdf.org

A Master’s Toolbox

Internationally renowned trainer Johann Hinnemann brings his wealth of knowledge to the Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference By Nancy Gorton Photographs by Cheryl Erpelding

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hen the invitation to the 2018 Adequan®/USDF FEILevel Trainers Conference came, my first thought was: I need to attend. My mentor, David Wightman (who was a demonstration rider at the conference), trains with the conference presenter, German master Johann Hinnemann, and has always spoken highly of Hinnemann’s teaching methods. The inevitable second thought— is it worth losing two days’ pay to attend?—crept into my mind, so I queried David. He said yes, loud and clear, and boy, was he right! Those of us lucky enough to attend the conference, held February 6-7 at the Adequan® West Coast Dressage Festival main arena in Del Mar, CA, soaked up as much information as

our brains could possibly process. Hinnemann, who has served as the German national dressage coach and who counts Olympians Ulla Salzgeber and Heike Kemmer among his many internationally successful students, is known worldwide as a rider, trainer, coach, and sport-horse breeder. This was his second time leading a Trainers Conference; his first appearance was in 2016, in Florida (“Precision Movements,” April 2016).

Hinnemann’s Principles For Hinnemann, submission is the capstone of training; suppleness and obedience come first. Piaffe, he said, is the utmost in suppleness and submission. “A supple horse is not necessarily submissive,” Hinnemann said, “but a submissive horse is for sure supple.”

THE MASTER IN ACTION: Conference attendees got a rare treat—the chance to see Hinnemann ride and train. He demonstrated aboard Dark Dynamic, owned by Sarah Runge.

“Work on the exactness of the training every day,” Hinnemann advised. Success is not so much the result of talent as it is the product of meticulous, precise schooling. “That is what produces quality movements.” Hacking is important in Hinnemann’s training regimen. Horses in his stable go for a one-hour hack outside, work for 30 to 45, and later are hacked out again, he said. He defines “hack” as “a marching walk on the buckle.”

Selecting a Dressage Prospect

DEVELOPING EXCELLENCE: Clinician Johann Hinnemann works with demonstration pair David Wightman and Silberpfeil

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April 2018 • USDF Connection

When Hinnemann evaluates a young horse, he first looks for an open and trusting eye. Then he wants to see intelligence and a natural attunement to the rider or handler, which he referred to as “culture.” Growing up on his father’s horse-breeding farm in Germany, the young Hinnemann noticed that the herd would gradually be culled as the youngsters began being handled. Asked what happened to them, the father replied that they


BUILT FOR DRESSAGE: Harvard, owned and ridden by Amelia Newcomb, has the rectangular shape and short cannon bones that Hinnemann favors

“lacked culture.” Young horses that threw their heads around in the crossties, stepped on handlers’ feet, and lacked manners were not kept. A dressage prospect should show good reach with the shoulder and front leg, and an active hind leg: It’s difficult for a trainer to get a slow horse quick, but easy to slow a quick horse down. As Hinnemann put it, “I like my horses in front like a lion and behind like a rabbit.” Regarding conformation, Hinnemann prefers a horse with an “uphill” build and short cannon bones. A slightly longer back (a rectangular shape) is preferable to a short-coupled, “square” build because the ribs of a longer horse are spaced a bit farther apart and consequently such a horse is easier to bend, he said. And easier bending leads to greater suppleness. The demonstration horse Harvard, owned and ridden by Amelia Newcomb, is a good example of the rectangular shape and short cannon bones that Hinnemann favors, he said. USDF Connection • April 2018

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clinic

editorial@usdf.org

SLEEK, SEXY and BEAUTIFULLY BALANCED

Hinnemann uses a unique gauge of a horse’s topline muscling: the thickness of its dock and tail. In his experience, he said, the muscling of the tail is an indicator of the muscling of the back. “If the tail is too thin, then the horse has no back.” Sparse tail hair is also not desirable, he said.

Training the Young Horse

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Two coming four-year-olds demonstrated trot-canter and cantertrot transitions. When training a young horse to pick up the canter, Hinnemann told Kathleen Raine on Figaro and Emily Miles on Sole Mio, ask for the upward transition right before reaching the rail when on a circle. Maintain a high standard for both the canter depart and the quality of the canter, even with a youngster. To develop Figaro’s canter, think “uphill and go” in the transition, Hinnemann told Raine. He praised the young gelding’s use of his hocks and admirably short cannon bones. Like many trainers, if he has to choose Hinnemann prizes a good canter over a good trot, explaining that a “second trot”—with increased cadence and impulsion—can often be developed, whereas it is more difficult to improve the canter. In the warm-up phase of the work, Hinnemann wants to see the horse in a “long and low” frame but with closed-up hind legs. When the rider asks the horse to stretch in the canter, either in the warm-up or during the work, Hinnemann wants to see the neck and nose stretch out and down, but not lower than the level of the shoulder. The horse must remain sufficiently balanced longitudinally to keep its hind legs underneath itself, even while stretching. Hinnemann had Raine and Miles ride transitions to create suppleness. This is the basic training for submission, which is paramount. A submissive horse, he explained, lets all of the rider’s aids go “through”: back to front, front to back, left to right, and right to left.

April 2018 • USDF Connection

YOUNG-HORSE TRAINING: “Forward with the nose out” followed by a chance to settle helped to produce better stretching and suppleness in the four-year-old stallion Sole Mio, ridden by Emily Miles

Hinnemann took a different approach with each of the four-yearolds. With Figaro, he started with long and low, then had Raine shorten her reins and work on developing a lengthened trot stride. With Sole Mio, Hinnemann asked Miles to ride more forward with the nose out and then to relax and allow the horse to settle. “Nose out; calm down; nose out; calm down” helped to create better stretching and suppleness, as evidenced by the stallion’s swinging tail. “Take care of not letting the horse get behind the bit or too light in the bridle,” Hinnemann cautioned Miles. “Far too strong in the bridle is also a problem. The nose should come out because of the connection from the hind leg.” A six-year-old horse may be more advanced in its training than a fouryear-old, but it may still be growing and developing. Hinnemann noted that Steffen Peters’ mount, Demetrios, was still a bit high behind. To develop suppleness and engagement, Hinnemann had Peters work the stallion forward and back within shoulder-in positioning. Then he had the Olympian ride half-pass with varying degrees of bend.


Like his countryman Christoph Hess, who conducted the 2012 Trainers Conference, Hinnemann often advocates using the whip on the horse’s shoulder to ask for more energy, instead of on its hindquarters. He had Peters use both approaches with Demetrios: sometimes higher on the horse’s hip, to teach the stallion to “keep his shape” (while remaining undeterred by the fact that the horse occasionally reacted by swishing or tucking his tail); and sometimes on the shoulder, to activate the shoulder and encourage more forward swing. Many riders let their horses “cruise” in the walk, treating the gait as a break. The horse must always be kept stepping actively forward so that in the show ring they won’t think

Johann Hinnemann’s SelfCheck Exercises

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ssess the correctness of your horse’s training by periodically doing these exercises that German master Johann Hinnemann teaches all of his students and horses. Check your horse’s straightness: Ride simple changes on the center line. You should be able to change the flexion for each new canter lead without the horse’s haunches or shoulders falling right or left. Check your horse’s submission: Three movements—walk pirouette, halt on the center line, and rein back—“show how good the training of a horse is.” Check the effectiveness of your half-halts: Are they working? Are they influencing your horse’s entire body, as they should? “The half-halt has to come through or you just kick and kick and nothing happens!”

about dropping their backs in the walk work, Hinnemann said.

Lateral Work: Shoulder-in and Half-Pass According to Hinnemann, shoulder-in rarely needs more bend, as is sometimes commented, because the movement has little bend. A shoulder-in may need more flexion or angle, although overbending of the neck is a common fault. “The most important thing about

the half-pass,” he said, “is where you want to end up. Take care about the neck, then the haunches.” To facilitate greater bend and suppleness in a more advanced horse, Hinnemann had Dawn WhiteO’Connor ride a 10-meter circle in each corner before going into half-pass with the 10-year-old Bailarino. To refresh the energy and reward Bailarino for his efforts, White-O’Connor then rode down a long side in medium trot rising and patted the gelding. [

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USDF Connection • April 2018

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clinic

editorial@usdf.org

Developing Collection in the Canter “To prepare for the canter, take care of the straightness and that the canter starts from behind,” Hinnemann said. With the eight-year-old Developing Prix St. Georges-level Silberpfeil, Hinnemann had David Wightman ride forward-and-back transitions within the gait to develop the pirouette canter and to refine the aids until the gelding was responding mostly to

Wightman’s seat. A series of canterwalk-canter transitions helped to develop submission. Hinnemann finished by having Wightman ride medium canter on the diagonal with a simple change at the end. This exercise, Hinnemann explained, teaches the horse that he knows he has to come back for the corner—which then allows the rider to push more in the downward transition than in the forward, to produce greater impulsion. Brilliant!

held in conjunction with the USEF Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Judges Clinic

DG Bar Ranch • Hanford, CA August 5-6, 2018 with Kristi Wysocki and Hilda Gurney Comprised of both classroom lectures and hands-on evaluations, the seminar will provide valuable insight into four major areas: • Ideal Movement and Conformation • Breeding Stock Selection Considerations

Pirouette Work

• Show Ring Strategies

Collected canter is a prerequisite for canter pirouettes. “Once the horse is sitting well, it is able to push,” Hinnemann said. Pirouettes require that the rider has control over every part of the horse’s body: “The neck must be still, and one must have control of the haunches and the neck with haunches in.” To test this control, Hinnemann had Wightman work on collecting Silberpfeil’s canter on the center line. Hinnemann helped demo rider Lehua Custer achieve a more uphill balance in collected canter aboard F.J. Ramzes. He had Custer alternate between shoulder-in and leg-yield out while keeping the connection to the horse’s mouth lower in order to keep

• Competition Rules and Judging Guidelines For more information about the USEF Dressage Sport Horse Breeding Judges Clinic (August 6-7), contact US Equestrian via Bailey Bianco at bbianco@usef.org

For more information about the seminar, visit

www.usdf.org

USDF Sport Horse Education something for everyone

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To develop Harvard’s canter, Hinnemann had Newcomb work on collecting the canter and then riding it “up and out”: collected canter in shoulder-in position, followed by a halt and then counter-canter in shoulder-out position. The mantra: “Back and go, back and go, quick and active,” with a whip aid at the shoulder in the downward transitions to keep the canter jumping up. Harvard’s canter stride became noticeably more lofty in this exercise, and coming into the halt the horse had to adjust his balance in a forward manner, not backward. Hinnemann had Peters work on keeping Demetrios’s neck up in the collected canter, using the phrase “inner ear up” to remind the rider to ask for collection with the inside leg. Hinnemann then had Peters ride transitions within the gait on a circle, collecting the canter on the rail side. The exercise expanded to: canter halfpass, simple change, forward and back on a circle, forward down the next long side, then half-pass again. With Bailarino, Hinnemann had White-O’Connor ride pirouette canter into haunches-in, then into piaffe, and back to collected canter. He had the rider play with her wrist to help keep the horse supple and “through.”

April 2018 • USDF Connection


CANTER WORK: Think “inner ear up” from the rider’s inside leg to help develop collection, Hinnemann told Steffen Peters on Demetrios

UPHILL BALANCE: F.J. Ramzes, ridden by Lehua Custer

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clinic

editorial@usdf.org

him rounder. Next, Custer cantered down center line, walking before reaching A or C and riding a walk pirouette. Once this pattern was confirmed, the walk was omitted and Custer executed a canter pirouette instead.

Flying Changes Hinnemann does not train flying changes of lead using changes of direction, explaining that doing so tempts the horse to change in front

first. Similarly, he does not like to use ground poles in training flying changes. The poles, he said, can cause the horse not to change from behind and as a result can teach the horse to be late behind in the changes. Instead, Hinnemann uses transitions within the gait as preparation for flying changes. All changes and sequences of changes (tempi changes) should be ridden “collectforward, collect-forward,” he said. His flying-change preparatory

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April 2018 • USDF Connection

exercise incorporates walk-canter, canter-walk, and walk-counter-canter transitions: Establish the collected canter on a circle. Then canter down the long side in shoulder-in position. On the next diagonal, alternate between true canter and counter-canter with simple changes of lead, changing the bend from true bend to counter-bend (“outside-in and inside-out”). Finally, ride counter-canter on a line—Hinnemann variously used the quarter line, the center line, and the diagonal in the conference—establish counter-bend to put the horse slightly off balance, and then ask for a flying change as the horse approaches the rail. After the horse is comfortable and confident executing single flying changes in each direction, trainers gradually introduce tempi changes. Hinnemann had White-O’Connor work on the four-tempis (changes at every fourth stride) by riding eightmeter circles in the corners to collect Bailarino’s canter, supple his topline, and put him more on the rider’s seat. The ultimate execution of tempi changes is one-tempis—a flying change at every stride. When introducing one-tempis, start by asking for just two changes in sequence. “The one-tempis left to right and right to left have to be easy; then it’s no problem” to build up to more ones in sequence, Hinnemann said. And in training, “Walk after a line of tempis to educate them to breathe.” Peters, a native of Germany who grew up near Hinnemann’s farm, made the conference audience chuckle at a story about his time as a working student for the master. Exhilarated after riding his first line of one-tempis, Peters realized he had a lot to learn when Hinnemann said, “Could I see the straight version of that?”

Passage and Piaffe You can have a good Intermediate and Prix St. Georges horse, but it’s not until you tackle the passage and piaffe work that you find out whether you


PIAFFE WORK: Hinnemann assists from the ground as Dawn White-O’Connor helps Bailarino find his balance

have a Grand Prix horse, according to Hinnemann. The required changes in balance make the transitions between piaffe and passage difficult. And the transitions are “not possible with a pulling aid; it is only possible with a pushing aid,” Hinnemann said. To develop Silberpfeil’s trot toward piaffe and passage work, Hinnemann had Wightman ride the horse’s neck more up and out. Then he went to piaffe half-steps, riding transitions forward out of the collection and then back into half-steps. Next came some lateral movements in a working trot to build strength and create more “air time.” Walk-trot-walk transitions while keeping the poll the highest point helped to relax the horse and encourage his back to swing. It can be challenging to bring a big trot back into passage or piaffe, Hinnemann acknowledged. “One has to take care of the balance.” Finding the correct tempos is key in developing a passage and piaffe

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USDF Connection • April 2018

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clinic

editorial@usdf.org

with correct balance. Hinnemann wanted to encourage Breanna to passage with shorter, quicker steps. He had rider Kathleen Raine go from medium trot to passage, followed by quarter-turns to shorten the steps.

The Art and Craft of Competition Attention to detail in the daily training instills in the rider the standard of excellence needed to succeed in dressage competition. When he was a student of the late legendary German rider and trainer Harry Boldt, Hinnemann related, Boldt instructed him to keep a riding journal. After every ride,

ENERGY FOR TEMPO: To shorten and quicken Breanna’s passage steps, Kathleen Raine rode medium trot (shown) before channeling the energy into the passage

Acknowledgments

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April 2018 • USDF Connection

he USDF is grateful to the following for their help and support in making the 2018 FEILevel Trainers Conference a success: Christine Traurig Adequan® West Coast Dressage THE SETTING: Adequan® West Coast Festival Dressage Festival main arena, site of the Scott Hayes conference Kim Dennis Heather Petersen and her staff. And many thanks to the demonstration riders, horses, and owners: Lehua Custer, North Hollywood, CA, on F.J. Ramzes, an eight-year-old KWPN gelding by Juventus, owned by Wendy Sasser Heidi Gaian, Hollister, CA, on Daumling, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding by DeNiro, owned by Johann Hinnemann Emily Miles, Overland Park, KS, on Sole Mio, a four-year-old Rheinlander stallion owned by Leslie Waterman Amelia Newcomb, Simi Valley, CA, on her own Harvard, a six-year-old KWPN gelding by Charmeur Steffen Peters, San Diego, CA, on Demetrios, a six-year-old Rheinlander stallion by Diamond Hit, owned by Taylor Rowsey Kathleen Raine, Murrieta, CA, on Breanna, an 18-year-old Hanoverian mare by Brentano II, co-owned by David Wightman, Jennifer Mason, and the rider; and on Figaro, a four-year-old Westfalen gelding by Fürstenball, co-owned by David Wightman, Marti Foster, and the rider Dawn White-O’Connor, San Diego, CA, on Bailarino, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Breitling W, owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm LLC David Wightman, Murrieta, CA, on Silberpfeil, an eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Silberschmeid, owned by Kathleen Raine.


and the current USDF Region 4 FEI junior/young rider coordinator and chef d’équipe.

Find the Best Approach Hinnemann stressed the importance in training of finding a way to get the horse to work with the rider, without the use of force. “Where pressure starts, intelligence ends,” he said. s

Podcast Alert

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Instructor/trainer Nancy Gorton owns and operates Pine Hill Farm in Kansas City, MO. An FEI-level competitor, she is a USDF bronze and silver medalist

Check out podcast 174 for an excerpt from the 2018 Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference at usdf.podbean.com.

Ride with Täkt AT EASE: Hinnemann can be a taskmaster for the rider, but he’s sympathetic to the horse

Hinnemann would make notes—not just generalities but things like how he prepared the horse for corners and what he did to check its balance and rhythm. This level of precision eventually becomes second nature and helps the rider to produce the most accurate and correct tests possible. Extensive preparation also helps horse and rider feel confident, so that showing does not present a new level of difficulty but rather is a natural extension of the daily work. And confidence fosters relaxation. According to Hinnemann, the art of riding and competing in dressage occurs in the warm-up ring. The key to success, he said, is “whether or not a rider can create a greater degree of inner calm within the horse and themselves during the warm-up.” Some of the top dressage competitors in history are famous for their ability to relax before going in the show ring. One of Hinnemann’s trainers, the late German Olympic gold medalist Dr. Reiner Klimke, was known for napping for 10 to 20 minutes before a test, Hinnemann said.

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amateur hour

editorial@usdf.org

Adult-amateur rider racked up the titles in 2017, starting with the Dover Medal championship By Patti Schofler

K

asey Cannon’s love of learning and new experiences has taken her around the world and through an eclectic list of careers and hobbies: personal chef, certified welder, EMT, motorcycle mechanic, marinebiology and environmental-sciences undergraduate student in Australia, state-champion mountain-bike racer,

USDF Adult Amateur Second Level champion, Adequan®/USDF Second Level Dressage Horse of the Year reserve champion, American Hanoverian Society Second Level Open and AA champion, Great American/USDF Region 7 Second Level AA champion, and California Dressage Society Second Level AA Horse of the Year and SixYear-Old Futurity champion.

The Unicorn

FULL POWER: Cannon and Diesel CF in mid-victory gallop at a California show

music-business owner. (She currently co-owns a recording studio and rehearsal space in Oakland, CA.) Now she adds to her list of accomplishments the title of 2017 USDF/Dover Saddlery Adult Amateur Medal National Champion. To say that last year was a winning one for Cannon, 43, and her coming seven-year-old Hanoverian stallion, Diesel CF, is an understatement. Besides topping the list of USDF/Dover Saddlery National Merit Award winners with an average score of 74.797 percent in designated Second Level Test 3 Dover Medal classes, the pair trotted away with the following honors: Adequan®/

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That’s horse lovers’ lingo for the oneof-a-kind horse that’s so special, the chances of finding one are practically nil. But unicorns apparently do exist because Diesel is that rare creature, according to his owner. A native of southern California who now lives in Moorpark, northwest of Los Angeles, Cannon bought the German-bred Diesel (Dressage Royal – Ria Grande, Ritual) in 2016 sight-unseen from an online video. “He was advertised as a gelding but turned out to be a stallion,” Cannon says. “I kept him intact in part because he is a full brother to Damsey FRH, [German Olympian] Helen Langehanenberg’s Grand Prix stallion currently ranked ninth in the world.” Cannon, 43, recalls that when she traveled to Amsterdam to fly home with her new horse, she literally shook when she first laid eyes on the stallion. “He blew me away from day one. His temperament and ridability are outstanding. He’s calm, comfortable, confident, and happy, not stallion-like. He’s a little hotter at shows, which is perfect. Other than that, he’s the same as at home. You put a saddle on, and he’s all business.”

April 2018 • USDF Connection

A Long Time Coming Diesel is Cannon’s second foray into dressage. In 2002, she bought Buon Giorno, a 1996 RPSI gelding by Batido that she showed through Prix St. Georges with trainers Bettina Loy and Nick Wagman. Wagman took over the ride in 2006 and brought Buon Giorno up to Grand Prix. “Unfortunately, life changes meant I had to sell the horse. I was devastated. I kept my top hat, my show boots, and his browband, but I wrote off riding forever.” A decade passed. Cannon realized “I was the happiest I had ever been when I had a horse, and I hadn’t found anything like riding. So, when I was finally able to have a horse again, I jumped back in.” With her new partner, Cannon has made up for lost time. “I can’t emphasize enough what a joy Diesel is to ride. I haven’t had one bad ride on him. He’s so willing and is always trying the find the answer to the questions. He’s super smart and responsive—the perfect dressage horse. And I can’t thank my trainer, Amelia Newcomb, enough. She is fantastic and a big part of our success.” This year, Cannon has her eye on competing Diesel at Third and Fourth Levels, with Grand Prix her long-term goal. She also plans to bring Diesel home to 20 acres she and her boyfriend are developing for avocados and horses. The adult-amateur rider has come a long way from her start in Pony Club on a mare who constantly bucked her off. Based on her love affair with Diesel, it’s not likely there will be any major breaks from riding for many years to come. s Patti Schofler is a freelance equestrian journalist and a publicist for Dark Horse Media living in Petaluma, CA. Editor’s note: The USDF/Dover Saddlery Adult Amateur Medal program has been discontinued. Read on for a look at USDF’s newest competition program for adult amateurs, the USDF Regional Adult Amateur Equitation Program.

TERRIMILLER.COM

Kasey Cannon and Diesel CF Keep on Truckin’


USDF Adult Amateur Regional Finals Debut in 2018 By Brynne Boian

T

he 2018 competition season offers adult-amateur riders an additional opportunity to compete on a regional stage with the new USDF Regional Adult Amateur Equitation Program. This program is designed to recognize AAs competing in equitation and to promote correct seat, position, and use of aids in dressage. A USDF Adult Amateur Equitation Regional Final class will be held at each of the nine Great American/ USDF Regional Championships. There are two ways to qualify to participate: Earn a score of 70 percent or higher in any eligible dressageseat-equitation class (all except walk-trot, held at a US Equestrianlicensed/USDF-recognized dressage

competition) within the qualifying period of the applicable Regional Championship Qualify to compete in any Regional Championship class (excluding freestyle). Qualifying periods follow those of the Regional Championships and therefore vary by region. For 2018, each qualifying period began the day after the closing date of that region’s 2017 championships, and ends on the closing date of that region’s 2018 championships. Riders may compete in only one USDF Adult Amateur Equitation Regional Finals class per calendar year. Ulrike Bschorer, of Sarasota, FL, rode in her first dressage-seatequitation class last October after she heard about the USDF Regional Adult Amateur Equitation program through a friend. Both have since

qualified for a 2018 Regional Final. “It was an amazing experience for me,” says Bschorer. Fellow AA Patricia Toeniskoetter, of Webster Groves, MO, likes the fact that dressage-seat-equitation judges give verbal feedback about competitors’ seat, position, and use of the aids. “I get detailed feedback on improving my seat, helping me achieve my goal of being a better rider,” says Toeniskoetter. Bonus: Her horse, Fresco II, who’s getting longer in the tooth, “benefits from the lower demands required to compete.” Learn more about the USDF Regional Adult Amateur Equitation Program at usdf.org. Send questions to competitions@usdf.org. Brynne Boian is a USDF senior competitions coordinator.

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The Legend in Your Future

photo by John Borys

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USDF Connection • April 2018

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all-breeds connection

Spotlight: American Warmblood Society and Sporthorse Registry This all-American “melting pot” puts the emphasis on performance and soundness

T

he ideal American sport horse is noble and correctly built and is of a modern type: lighter and more athletic, with excellent trainability. The modern sport horse is more capable of superior performance in dressage, eventing, hunters, jumping, and combined driving. The American Warmblood Society and Sporthorse Registry: Founded in 1983, the AWSSR—formerly the American Warmblood Society—is a performance-horse registry. Its unique open studbook allows the registration of a wide range of bloodlines, from traditional European warmbloods to the capable American breeds, to produce the ideal sport-horse type.

The AWSSR is open to all breeds of horses and ponies with pure gaits, including those with unknown or undocumented bloodlines. The AWSSR welcomes Appaloosa sport horses, Saddlebreds, Morgans, Friesians, Arabians, and their crosses, among others. All horses must satisfy a performance requirement. The registry emphasizes utility and the physical attributes necessary to maintain soundness over a long performance career: substantial bone; well-shaped, balanced feet proportionally sized to support the body; and a modern type and a noble appearance to lend quality and aesthetics to athleticism.

editorial@usdf.org

American Warmbloods you might know: The Percheron stallion Cottonwood Flame competed at the Grand Prix level with owner/rider Jennifer Kaiser (IN). Two of his sons also have achieved success in dressage: FHF Cruisewood (pictured), who competed at the FEI levels in 2017; and Collingwood, owned by Michelle Baker, another FEI-level competitor with placings at multiple US Dressage Finals. Fynn*/*/*/*/*/, of unknown heritage, was for many years ranked in the Adequan®/USDF year-end awards and the AWSSR All-Breeds awards standings at Grand Prix with adultamateur rider Candace Platz (ME). All-Breeds awards offered: Top two placings in the open, Adult Amateur, Junior/Young Rider, Vintage Cup, Musical Freestyle, and Dressage Sport Horse Breeding categories. How to participate: The horse must be registered with and declared for the AWSSR, and the owner must be a current AWSSR member. Learn more: awssr.org or (314) 384-5482. s

A Celebration of Breeds

SOLID PERFORMER: Mandalyn Skiles (IN) rides an Intermediate I test on FHF Cruisewood, owned by Dixie Pederson (IN), in 2017

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April 2018 • USDF Connection

JENNIFER KAISER

T

he “All-Breeds Connection” column spotlights a USDF All-Breeds awards program participating organization and the breed it represents. Information and photos are furnished by the registries. The USDF does not endorse or promote any breed or registry over another. The USDF All-Breeds awards program is designed to reward the accomplishments of specific breeds in dressage, with recognition offered at the USDF Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet, and in the annual yearbook issue of USDF Connection. For eligibility requirements and a list of current participating organizations, visit usdf.org / Awards / All-Breeds.


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November 28-December 1 Salt Lake Marriott Downtown at City Creek Salt Lake City, UT


A Trainer’s Trainer From judging the World Equestrian Games to advancing USDF instructor certification, Lilo Fore has done it all. Read our exclusive interview with the newest Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame inductee.

COMFORT ZONE: Lilo Fore (teaching at the 2017 Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference) says she’s happiest and most confident when she’s around horses

30 April 2018 • USDF Connection

JENNIFER BRYANT

By Jennifer O. Bryant


S

ome dressage professionals are big fish in little ponds. Others are little fish in big ponds. Few are so accomplished that they garner respect from every facet of the dressage community, all over the world. Liselotte “Lilo” Fore is one of those few. “People don’t argue with her,” says FEI-level trainer and competitor Christopher Hickey, who co-chaired the USDF Instructor/Trainer Committee with Fore from 2012 to 2017. “Other trainers and judges respect Lilo.” The German-born Fore, 73, cuts a commanding figure: tall, athletically built, with no-nonsense short hair and a lantern jaw that lends an air of sternness to her occasionally salty speech, which retains the rolled r’s and guttural accent of her native country even after almost 50 years in the US. Starting with her Bereiter’s license, Fore has amassed a long list of dressage credentials: Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) 5* judge. US Equestrian “S” judge and “R” dressage sport-horse-breeding judge. USDF certification examiner. Instructor and coach of numerous successful students, and trainer of many horses through the Grand Prix level. Accomplished competitor and former US Equestrian Team shortlisted rider. Dressage-facility owner. Sport-horse breeder. Given her résumé, dressage competitors and other lesser mortals might find Fore intimidating. So it may come as a surprise that she describes herself as an intrinsically shy person (except when she’s around horses), and that even she gets unnerved by a call from USDF president George Williams because she wonders whether she’s done something wrong.

PHELPSPHOTOS.COM; BRUCE LAWRIE

T

he first time Williams alarmed Fore was when he was trying (ultimately successfully) to persuade her to re-up as chair of the Instructor/Trainer Committee, a position she has held for 15 years and counting: from 1997 to 2004, and again since 2012. Fore recalls: “Kathie Robertson [the USDF Education Department manager and I/T Committee liaison] gives me a call and says, ‘George Williams needs to talk to you.’ I went, Uh-oh. What did I do? What did I get myself into this time? Because sometimes my mouth runs away when I feel strongly about something.” Williams called again in the summer of 2017. “I went, Oh shit. Here I go again. And he goes, ‘Everyone on the [USDF] Executive Board decided that you are going to be the next [inductee to the Roemer Foundation/USDF] Hall of Fame.’ I said, Why?”

The Voice of Experience Fore’s name is inextricably linked with USDF instructor/trainer certification, a program that got its start in the 1980s and

PRACTICED EYES: USDF certification examiners Fore and Michael Poulin in an undated photo

DRIVING FORCES: Instructor/Trainer Committee co-chairs Christopher Hickey (left) and Fore at a meeting at the 2012 USDF convention in New Orleans

that is adapted from the German system of educating, testing, and licensing equestrian professionals. She has served as a certification examiner since the first testing in 1990. As Hickey describes it, the German natives—including Fore and fellow examiner Gerhard Politz—who helped launch the program brought valuable experience to the table. “Her being European and coming from that system had tremendous influence in starting that program,” Hickey says of Fore. “Having someone who has lived it” helped to shape “the way we’ve tried to write our manuals, and the way that the workshops are learning [experiences] and the pre-certs [precertification workshops] are mock testings.” Fore’s breadth of expertise and innate leadership skills have served her well as the committee’s chair. “Everybody respected her because she was riding, training, had her own farm, had her own students,” Hickey says. “As a judge, Lilo sees what’s out there in the real world. She sees many aspects of the sport—big shows, small shows, the top international level. She’s strong-minded but also openminded: She listens to what others have to say.” [ USDF Connection

April 2018

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In a chain of events that’s proven a recurrent theme in Fore’s life, the opportunity to help establish instructor certification came about because someone influential recognized her potential. As Fore tells it, she was seated next to then-USDF executive director Carol Alm on an airplane when Alm began quizzing her: “How could we unite the training in this country more so we are all on the same page?” “The only thing I knew was how Europe is doing it, which is having a very good educational system where people go to school and learn how to ride and become professionals, get certification, and having a license to be a teacher,” Fore says. “To me, that is the missing part here: Everyone can hang out a shingle and teach. I said, It would be really nice to have a program where people could go to gain skill, technical knowledge, practical knowledge—where they could learn to train and teach. That’s how certification came about.” Despite the best efforts of Fore and many others, instructor certification in the US remains something of an uphill battle, although Fore is proud of the program’s progress. The first obstacle—that our country doesn’t require equestrian pros to obtain licenses—is arguably the biggest. Access to convenient education is another: “We don’t have riding schools where people can go and stay for a while. They have to travel long distances with their horses. It’s more difficult here.”

E

ven in horse-friendly Germany, it can be a challenge to gain an equestrian education without the support of family. The fourth of five children in a workingclass family in Krefeld, near Düsseldorf, Fore grew up the sole equine enthusiast. Pedaling her bicycle to school, she was first captivated by the sight of horses at a nearby racetrack, then noticed “this little tiny riding school owned by a military rider,” referring to the origin (and the original name) of the sport of eventing. “I guess it’s a girl and a horse and they fall in love,” Fore says. Aged “eight or nine,” she “went in and watched, and asked could I use the broom in the barn, could I help a little

32 April 2018 • USDF Connection

The Down-Under Detour Fore knew that she wanted to work with horses for a living, but after completing the Bereiter program “I realized that I maybe needed something to fall back on.” The German government offered study-abroad programs, and Fore opted for an unlikely one: a two-year business college in Australia. “I thought, I’d better learn how to handle the dollars,” she explains. While in Australia she also took a course in English—the Queen’s English, of course, which she credits for her un-American-like precise diction, although any traces of a British accent are long gone. But “the first thing I did when I moved to Australia was find a riding school.” At the conclusion of the stint in Australia, she says, “I came back here.” By “here” Fore means California, where she has lived since 1971. She has her Down Under excursion to thank for leading her to her adopted country, for it was there that she met and married an expatriate American man. When Fore’s husband landed a job in California, the couple relocated to the Golden State. The marriage didn’t last. “I got back into horses, and he was hoping they were not part of my life. He was hoping to turn me into a house-

TAIT/COURTESY OF LILO FORE

ALWAYS LEARNING: Riding with Col. Aage Sommer in 1980

bit with the tack. Then the guy felt sorry for me, and he put me on one of his school horses. I kind of learned just gradually how to ride there.” All was well until Fore’s parents discovered that their horsecrazy daughter had been neglecting her schoolwork. Horses were subsequently verboten—until Fore was caught ditching school entirely to go to the barn. An agreement was reached: Go to school and you can spend a couple of hours a day with the horses. (“They got smart,” Fore says of her parents.) The arrangement lasted through Gymnasium, or secondary school, during which time Fore began working at a government-run riding school in her hometown. At 18, Fore had had enough of academics and enrolled at the German Riding School at Warendorf, where she obtained her Bereiter’s license. Although Fore’s father owned German Shepherds, his daughter was by far the family’s biggest animal lover—and she confesses to preferring four-legged friends over many of the two-legged variety. “I was not very close to my siblings. I thought maybe I was adopted because I was so different from anyone else. I had nothing in common with them because I was totally a country girl. I loved anything that had four feet, hoofs, fur, feathers. People were just a side product. I have to admit, I wasn’t even that close to my parents, either. I was just a little bit of a different duck, I guess.”


FOUNDATION SIRES: Fore schooling her breeding stallions Lehnsritter (left) and Wenzels As

wife, and it just didn’t work. That’s not me. I had to make a choice: horses or husband. Guess what?”

COURTESY OF LILO FORE

Right Place, Right Time Although Fore’s immigration to the US wasn’t intended as a strategic career move, the Bereiter had arrived at a time when interest in dressage was burgeoning, and with it the demand for lessons, training, and horses. But at first, she was just a stranger in a strange land, with no job and a hunger for saddle time. At age 26 and still married at the time, Fore again went looking for a riding school. She signed up to take a lesson at a facility in Portola Valley, on the San Francisco Peninsula. Shown a series of smallish stock-horse-type school horses, Fore inquired whether there would be “a chance of riding something a little taller because I’m a tall girl” (she’s 5' 9"). Asked whether she had previous riding experience, she said yes, but “I didn’t tell them I rode horses, what kind of rider I was. I just didn’t even think of that. “I finally talked them into letting me ride this one horse that was only ridden ‘by the instructor.’ It was a Thoroughbred-Appaloosa, nice, sixteen-three kind of horse. I was riding along and got involved, [like a] typical rider. I was waiting for the instructor and saw a person standing on the wall [who] didn’t say much. So I kept going, worked the horse, gymnasticized him; then that person disappeared and another lady appeared, watched; that person disappeared, and then my lesson time was over.” Puzzled at the lack of instruction, Fore cooled out the horse and put him away, then went to the stable office to pay for the session. “They said, Could you come back tomorrow?” she recalls with a laugh. It had been the instructor and the horse’s owner watching her ride, and soon Fore was

offered a full-time job as a riding instructor. Fore says she helped that facility, Spring Down Equestrian Center, to become “one of the first dressage barns in northern California…. I worked with eventers, kids, seven days a week, for years. That’s how I started here in the States.” “In the 1970s I started competing, and I did well,” Fore says. “I made a lot of Horse of the Year awards; I had students who did well.” With dreams of one day owning her own farm, “I saved all the money I could get my hands on.” In 1984, one of the Spring Down barns was sold and Fore moved her business to another facility, which she eventually outgrew. “I had a lot of horses. I started breeding warmbloods, dressage horses. I had a few stallions, and the barn finally kind of got so you could only ride the sires early in the morning, and you couldn’t do this and you couldn’t do that. I finally said, I can’t train horses like this. I looked into my own facility.” In 1989, Fore scraped together a down payment and bought a farm in the Paso Robles area of central California that she called Sporthorse America. It has been the name of her business ever since. Seven years after buying Sporthorse America, Fore sold the farm to a client and invested the proceeds in a bucolic 23-acre property in the heart of California wine country. The new Sporthorse America, in once-rural Santa Rosa (Fore isn’t thrilled at the increase in traffic on the formerly quiet nearby roads) is surrounded on three sides by vineyards (“It’s very pretty. I’m a spoiled girl, I really am”). The farm is currently home to between 25 and 30 horses, all client-owned, although for years she owned as many as five stallions and three mares that were the basis of a thriving sport-horse-breeding business. [ USDF Connection

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“I wanted to breed good dressage horses,” Fore says of her decision to enter that aspect of the industry. With few purpose-bred sport horses in this country, Fore, like most other US-based dressage enthusiasts at the time, started off by importing. She says she didn’t shop for particular warmblood breeds, but Hanoverians and Oldenburgs were what “ended up in my lap.” Fore bought her foundation stallions—Lehnsritter, Wenzels As, and Pik Solo—as coming three-year-olds, and imported them after they completed their stallion testings in Germany. “I started breeding, standing them at stud, raising the babies. I had only about two or three mares of my own; that’s all I could handle. I had a few foals on the ground, maybe two a year, but mostly my sires were standing for outside mares.” Two of her own homebred colts, Protégé and GoldFever, later became licensed stallions and joined the group of sires at Sporthorse America; and for a time Fore also stood Gold Glanz, a client’s stallion that Fore trained through the FEI levels. As her breeding stock aged and were retired, Fore phased out that side of her business, stopping for good “about ten to twelve years ago.” No direct descendants currently reside at Sporthorse America, although “sometimes I still see the grandchildren of my stallions, and that’s kind of fun.”

SUCCESSFUL BREEDER: Fore with a son of her stallion Pik Solo

From Rider to Teacher to Judge

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ALMOST FAMOUS: Fore’s horse General seemed destined for greatness before sustaining a back injury at a clinic

US Olympic dressage selection trials before the irrevocable setback. As had happened before, an opportunity presented itself when someone saw in Fore the aptitude for a different kind of contribution. “In the 1970s, the California Dressage Society had one of the first judges’ programs,” she recalls. Urged to enroll, “I was like, Are you kidding? To me, being a judge means

COURTESY OF LILO FORE

Fore has spent an impressive amount of time in the international dressage spotlight—but primarily in the judge’s booth, not on center line. That wasn’t by design, she says. “I had a few really good horses, but I had a few also [strokes of ] very bad luck,” she says. The first, Dionysus, was “a wonderful horse” with whom Fore was short-listed for the US Equestrian Team in 1976 before he succumbed to equine encephalitis and died over a scant 56 hours. Had Dionysus lived to achieve even greater success, his story would be the stuff of dressage legend. Fore purchased the Thoroughbred gelding as a broken-down three-year-old ex-racehorse for the sum of $1. Rehabbed and trained, he earned Horse of the Year titles at every level before his untimely death. “And then my next horse, General, he also did really well” until an ill-fated clinic with an unnamed trainer who “rode him until I literally had to pull him off the horse.” General was “so badly hurt in his back, he was crippled for a year and a half. And when I brought him back, he was not the same any more.” It was another terrible blow for Fore, who had earned FEI-level Horse of the Year awards with the Hanoverian gelding and—again coming agonizingly close to making an international team—placed fourth at the 1984


JENNIFER BRYANT

THE BEST JUDGING THE BEST: In the judge’s booth (center) at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games judging gold medalists Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro

you have all the education behind it as a rider and trainer. I thought, Jesus Christ, I’m not good enough for this. But they finally talked me into it, and I became a dressage judge in the mid-1970s.” Fore found that she enjoyed judging and stuck with it, all the way through the FEI licensing levels. She has officiated at countless competitions, with such prestigious assignments as the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, the 2015 Pan American Games, and the 2015 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, where she was president of the ground jury. Still, “Riding always is my love and my passion,” she says. “Training horses; then teaching. Judging is kind of the end result.” Another end result was Fore’s promotion to 5* status. Five-star is the FEI’s highest judge ranking, and it cannot be applied for; it is an honor bestowed on 4* judges whom the FEI deems worthy. It is also the ticket to the plummiest assignments, for Olympics, World Equestrian Games, and other major international championships require that judges be five-stars. Fore regards her promotion to 5* at age 67 as one of the great honors of her life because it came about as the result of support from her peers in the international dressage community. “My colleagues were responsible that the five-star came to me because the FEI told them I was too old. I had no idea it was even happening. I had no idea until I saw it on the computer. That was unbelievable.” Fore may not be able to judge CDIs (FEI-recognized dressage competitions) any more—FEI age limits required her to step down at the end of 2016—but she remains an active US Equestrian judge and a respected voice in the sport

worldwide. One recent controversy she doesn’t hold back on is the FEI’s decision to remove all collective marks save for the rider score from its dressage tests, which took effect January 1—a change that she says was strongly opposed by judges, hampers judges’ ability to reward overall correct training, and more. But although she’ll weigh in—forcefully—“when something really hits me wrong,” she stops short of wanting to become one of the decision-makers. “It’s too much politics for me,” she says, explaining why she hasn’t tried to serve on the FEI Dressage Committee or similar groups. Competitors don’t always remember their judges fondly, but not those who have shown under Fore. “Competing with Lilo Fore as your judge was always a constructive and helpful experience,” says Cindy Sydnor, a former “R” dressage judge and USDF certification examiner.

Trial by Fire

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eaded home from the East Coast, Lilo Fore was unaware of the wildfires ravaging northern California last October until her plane landed in San Francisco. Then she turned on her phone and the messages from her farm personnel flooded in: “Fire in Santa Rosa, we’re leaving, horses are being evacuated,” she recalls. “I was like, What?” The 80-mile drive to Sporthorse America was a harrowing one. “I could barely get in to my farm,” she says. Countless roads were closed. “My people kept saying, Try this road, try that road.” By the time Fore made it home, all of the horses had been evacuated safely, and the only person left on the property was her barn manager. The two remained at the farm despite evacuation orders. “We had no phone service, no electricity, no communications of any sort. We just saw the sky, and the fire was going like hell. There was nowhere anywhere in town you could go to charge your phone…. But we had water trucks for the horses, so we just filled water buckets and put them in the house and used them for the toilets. You just had to figure things out.” “Considering how many people lost their homes and farms, I was lucky,” Fore says. Because firefighters worked to keep the flames from reaching the many businesses on Fore’s side of the 101 freeway, her farm was protected and Sporthorse America emerged unscathed. The horses all returned within a week’s time, and the facility ended up housing 20 to 25 equine evacuees from other area barns, Fore estimates.

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“She put her depth of knowledge and thought so well into her comments at the end of the test that you could gain exactly the perspective you needed to improve your horse and yourself. She did this better than any other judge I experienced.” Hickey agrees: “As a judge, she is fair but firm. If you got a good score from Lilo, it meant something.”

Passing the Torch—Sort Of Anyone who believes that Fore is slowing down is mistaken. Her judging schedule remains full. When she’s not teaching at home or attending to USDF Instructor/Trainer Committee business, she’s a sought-after clinician who has headlined such events as the 2017 Adequan®/USDF FEILevel Trainers Conference. Sidelined from riding for a time with a bad hip, Fore is easing back into the saddle after a May 2017 hip replacement. Between her medical issue and her heavy travel schedule, she’s thankful to have Fourth Level USDF-certified instructor/trainer and USEF “r” dressage judge Jaki Hardy at Sporthorse America. Hardy, who operates her own business at the farm but pitches in with Fore’s clients’ horses and assists the barn manager when Fore is away, “climbed the ladder with me through her education.” Fore says she really would like to step down as I/T Committee chair, for good this time, in the next year or two. As she looks to the future, she says she hopes that she will see the younger generation embracing the concept of educating

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and certifying dressage instructors. “I would like to see that the young professionals have to go to something like [USDF’s program] rather than just going through the Young Rider program, and as soon as they have a few tests under their belts they become instructors but they don’t have the basics behind them as teachers,” she says. “These are the people I’d love to make the program more worthwhile toward.” To that end, she’s agreed to give some clinics and seminars for Olympian Lendon Gray’s Dressage4Kids programs this year. “It’s just like going through school. [Doctors and lawyers] have to go to school. They cannot practice unless they have a license. [Dressage] judges cannot judge unless they have a license. But instructors and trainers can teach and train without it. There’s something not quite right there. Somewhere in the next decade or so, maybe the next generation will realize that they need to have a license before you can tell someone what to do.” Fore also hopes to bring younger people in on the faculty and examiner side of the Instructor/Trainer program. She says she’d “love to involve” younger high-performance riders like Olympians Laura Graves and Kasey Perry-Glass “at the top level, as support system.” A timeworn career-advice adage counsels: “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” In Fore’s case, the saying holds true. “I stick with it [the certification program] because I love it,” she says. Having her efforts recognized with the Hall of

PHELPSPHOTOS.COM

SUPPORTERS: Fore (left) clowning around with fellow judges Anne Gribbons and Maryal Barnett in an undated photo


COMBINED EXPERTISE: Conferring with fellow 5* judge Hans-Christian Matthiesen at the 2017 Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference

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Fame honor “sure does make you feel good,” but “I would do that for nothing. I do it because I enjoy it; I do it because it’s necessary and needed.” Of the accolades and her success, she says: “It’s amaz-

ing to me, really. It’s really shocking! I just wanted to ride horses.” s Jennifer Bryant is the editor of USDF Connection.

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Baby, Get Back in the Saddle Postpartum fitness tips for dressage-riding moms By Amber Heintzberger

BABY WEIGHT: A little one helps Mom with her Pilates

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here are two days that a dressage-riding expectant mother eagerly awaits: the day she greets her new baby, and the day she starts riding again. Getting back in the saddle after giving birth presents both mental and physical challenges. Women frequently gain extra weight during pregnancy. The pelvic ligaments, which help keep the core stable in the saddle, relax to allow the baby to move through the birth canal. Pressure caused by the added weight of the unborn baby can affect bladder control. Pregnancy causes a woman’s abdominal muscles to stretch and weaken, or even to separate. If birth is via Caesarean section, the incision must heal and the abdominal muscles must knit back together after being cut. Any of these changes can compromise the dressage rider’s goal of a strong, independent seat, not to mention an overall loss of fitness. Avid dressage riders have an advantage, however, in that they entered pregnancy with a level of fitness and core strength superior to that of many other moms-to-be. A good exercise and nutrition plan can help new moms regain fitness and get back in the saddle to perform just as well postpartum as they did before the baby. In our article “Baby on Board” (December 2017/January 2018), we introduced you to a group of USDF members who discussed their decisions to keep riding (or not) through their pregnancies. This month, we circle back to some of those same women, to find out what they did to regain their postpartum fitness and when they put a foot in the stirrup for the first time after giving birth.

SHUTTERSTOCK

Three Moms’ Stories FEI-level dressage trainer and competitor Silva Martin, 37, rode until she was seven months pregnant with Nox, her son with husband Boyd Martin, the US Olympic eventing competitor. Nox, who was born in September 2015, was delivered via C-section because Silva had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2014 riding accident, and doctors feared that pushing during labor could put unwanted pressure on her brain. The surgery meant that postpartum recovery took longer than it might have otherwise following a vaginal delivery. “I think the first time I felt I was strong again was after we spent the winter training in Aiken, South Carolina, this past year, so it took about a year,” says Martin, who with her husband operates the dressage and eventing training facility Windurra USA, in Cochranville, PA. “Now I feel back to how I was before the baby.” The usually slender and athletic Martin put on a lot of weight during her pregnancy, mainly from being less active, she says. “The good news is, I lost it all pretty quickly after I had Nox.” [ USDF Connection

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FEI-level rider/trainer and USDF L Education Program graduate Hilary Moore Hebert, 36, gave birth to her son, James, around the same time that Martin had Nox. Out of an abundance of caution, Hebert did not ride after her first trimester, and she says getting back in shape was a challenge. Because she grew up riding, she’d never experienced the need to get fit to ride, she says. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I threw my back out numerous times. I felt like I was made out of rubber— like a stretched-out rubber band.” It was a humbling, frustrating experience for the dressage pro, who owns and operates Moore Hebert Dressage in Germantown, MD. “You imagine that somehow you’ve lost your feel and knowledge. You feel like you’re doing sitting trot for the first time. But I still had that feel; I felt what I should be doing, but my body hadn’t caught up. I knew how to do everything, but my body couldn’t do anything. I could no longer ride for forty-five minutes on six or seven horses a day. Everyone who has a newborn remembers how heavy a newborn feels. It’s just coming back from all of that. It’s exhausting.” Adult-amateur rider Sara Hobbs, 30, of Whately, MA, has two children, ages four and six. An equestrian since childhood (she’s an “A” Pony Clubber and a mostly-retired event rider), she rode dressage during her pregnancies, both times hanging up her spurs in the latter half of her third trimester. Compared to her non-riding friends, Hobbs says, her core and hip muscles kept their tone and didn’t “let go” during pregnancy and birth. “After my first pregnancy, my recovery was almost instant,” Hobbs recalls, “but my pregnancies were close together, and with the second one it took a while for the ‘gap’ in my core to close up. I did a lot of yoga and ate a lot of clean protein to rebuild muscle fiber.” Hobbs was back on a horse within a couple of weeks of giving birth. “It’s such a part of my mental state,” she says. “The barn has always been part of my happy place, whether I’m riding or grooming, and my horses are at home, so that makes it easier.”

My Abs Are in There Somewhere: Rebuilding Core Strength Through her nutritional-supplement sales business, Fit2Ride, Hobbs met Katja Kreher, 43, of Oregon House, CA. A native of Berlin and the mother of a grown daughter, Kreher, also a rider, has worked as a personal trainer for nearly ten years.

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“Whatever women do after they give birth in terms of exercise, it should be something they really enjoy,” Kreher advises. “If you only do an exercise five or six times, it’s not really going to do anything. So it needs to be enjoyable, whatever it takes, whether that’s something with a friend, having time to yourself at a gym, or staying at home with your baby and [working out to] a video. Whatever the routine is going to be, it needs to be sustainable and fun; otherwise it’s not going to happen.” Whatever avenue you choose, if you want to get back in the saddle after giving birth, you’re going to need to focus on your core, Kreher says. She points out that “the core is so much more than your abs: It’s your back, it’s your obliques, it’s the whole midsection. It’s really important to stabilize this in a three-dimensional way, not just lying on your back and doing some crunches.” Personal trainer Linda Brown, 47, of Coatesville, PA, herself both a mom and an equestrian, was already working with Boyd and Silva Martin before Silva’s pregnancy. Brown helped the new mom get her body dressage-ready again. Brown’s postpartum fitness prescription included lots of core strengthening—but first, she had Martin do a self-test for a common post-pregnancy condition called diastasis recti, or abdominal separation: “a gap between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle that can result in a rounded, protruding belly,” Brown explains. “To test for diastasis recti, lie on your back, knees bent with feet flat, and slightly lift your head, putting your chin to your chest while keeping your shoulders on the ground. Place your fingers on your navel; the gap shouldn’t be larger than two fingers.” Exercise can help close the separated abdominal muscles. Brown suggests the “abdominal draw”: “Pull in your stomach, and hold the abdominal-muscle contraction and breathe normally for ten seconds. Do this for eight to ten repetitions.” Caution: Some popular core-strengthening exercises, including crunches and planks, are not recommended until the diastasis has healed, as they can actually exacerbate the separation of the muscles, Brown says. Pilates instructor and mother of three Meg Berry teachDigital Edition Bonus Content

Read (or listen to) the NPR “Morning Edition” segment on “Flattening the ‘Mummy Tummy,’” complete with diagrams and exercise photos and instructions.


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SPELL YOUR WAY TO BETTER POSTURE: Counteract upper-body slump with personal trainer Katja Kreher’s moves on an exercise ball. Photo 1 shows the starting position. Tighten your core and straighten your back and arms to form a “Y” shape (photo 2). Extend arms outward to form a “T” (photo 3). Finish by bringing arms to your sides to form an “I” (not shown).

es postpartum and “Mommy and Me” Pilates classes out of her Artful Body studio in South Orange, NJ. The creator of a postpartum workout called Momcore—a combination of Tantra yoga and classical Pilates—she offers some suggestions for regaining strength in the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. “To heal diastasis, you need to work on your core muscles and be instructed as to how to bring those muscles back together, the rectus abdominis in particular. You could do it on a horse if you knew how to do it yourself or had someone instructing you, but in Pilates we always start with the person lying on their back because that takes gravity out of the picture and allows you simply to focus on strengthening your muscles, reactivating them and working on your diastasis. Then we put you upright, as you’d be on a horse, to see if the healing work stuck. You want to be able to heal a diastasis so that it stays not only while you’re lying on the floor, but throughout your daily life and in everything you do. “The key to strengthening the pelvic floor postpartum is to make sure you have a full contraction of the pelvic floor and a full release,” Berry continues. “If you find that contracting is easier for you versus releasing, you want to focus on the sensation of a full contraction—like stopping yourself from going pee midstream—and then a full release. For some women, feeling the contraction is easier, and for some the release is easier. If that’s the case, you want to do the opposite. Key into the feeling, even if it feels like disengagement, and then try for a full contraction, just as you have a full release. Next, Berry says, “You want to take that contraction and release of the pelvic floor and make sure you work with it in different planes of motion and in different relationships to gravity. If you’re on a horse, you could play with contracting and releasing your pelvic floor in different ways. As you’re trotting, say, contract when you rise and release when you

sit; then switch it. It’s not going to address all the different ranges of motion and relationships to gravity that you need in order to restore full functioning to that muscle, but it’s a start.” These instructions may sound a bit complex, but don’t overthink it, Berry advises, as many of the muscle actions are more automatic than conscious. “A lot of people start to tune into their pelvic-floor muscles postpartum and get alarmed at how little they can feel. It’s not so much about feeling as using your imagination. If you’re looking for a sensation when you want to contract your pelvic floor but have none, squeeze your hand into a fist while imagining contracting those muscles. Relax your hand when you want to release. The sensations in your hand will satisfy your mind’s need to feel something.”

Baby, You’re Heavy: Counteracting Upper-Body Slump New moms may delight in holding their little ones, but the resulting round-shouldered posture can be murder on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Strengthening and stretching work is essential, says Kreher. “Many women get neck problems [after giving birth],” Kreher says, “and if you’re large-chested and breastfeeding, it’s important to strengthen the upper body, as well.” Strengthen your shoulders and upper back with Kreher’s “Y’s, T’s, and I’s” exercise series—actually, these moves are great for anyone looking to improve posture, in or out of the saddle. The only piece of equipment you’ll need is an exercise ball, ideally sized such that your legs are at a 90-degree angle, feet flat on the floor, when you sit on it. Start by draping your torso over the ball, face down. With your hands in thumbs-up position, keep your shoulder USDF Connection

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blades drawn together as you straighten your back, keeping your neck in line with your spine, and lift your arms shoulderwidth apart to form a “Y” shape. Next, extend your arms out to the sides, perpendicular to your torso, to form a “T.” Finish by drawing your arms back by your sides, just above the level of your hips and buttocks, to form an “I” shape. Keep your core muscles engaged by thinking of lifting your belly up and in, away from the ball, and “wrapping” your torso muscles to cinch your waist. If these exercises start to feel too easy, try holding one- or two-pound hand weights. “I like using the exercise ball because you can slip your body a little more forward so your chest is not compressed,” says Kreher. “You can also do these exercises on the floor, but most women who are breastfeeding are not going to like that because it’s pushing against their chest.”

Advantage: The Active Equestrian Lifestyle Hobbs finds that fitness is actually easier now that she has kids. The family enjoys hiking together, and “my kids are really active, so I’m really active.” But she’s never been a gym rat. “I’ve never gone to a gym; I’ve always lived in the middle of nowhere or just found ways to do it at home. There are

great workout programs online, and books. There’s definitely a need for a gym if you need weights and stuff, but that’s never been important to me.” Hobbs enjoys yoga, and “I’ve also got a book on Pilates for equestrians that I’ve pulled stuff out of. It was great— and a lot harder than it looks! I grew up as a dancer, so I tend to be drawn more to gentle strength and flexibility.”

The Nutrition Component Kreher reminds new moms that nutrition plays a key role in getting back in shape and staying healthy. “If you are breastfeeding, you need to be careful what you put in your body and make sure you get enough calories,” she says. “But really, the right amount of nutrition— really high-quality foods—is going to be important to give you the energy to exercise and to bounce back faster and have your cells regenerate.” Hobbs agrees: “I was already a huge ‘clean’ eater and have always been nutritionally conscious.” She says she used some of the protein shakes and other products she sells, by a nutrition company called Isagenix; and “I also love cooking in my Instant Pot: I have a batch of raw-milk yogurt going right now, and I do a lot of lentils and rice. I’m also into

Ready to become part of something big? TDF’s Sustaining Partner program allows you to make a difference for the sport you love. Every single month. Become a Sustaining Partner to easily support U.S. dressage— at all levels! Set up an automatic monthly donation, in an amount you choose, to directly support grants and programs that help educate thousands of equestrians each year. www.dressagefoundation.org/make-it-monthly Photo credit: Ayala Pavia

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herbal medicine and do a lot of wildcrafting [harvesting plants found in nature] and that kind of thing.”

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After son James was born, “I was so tired, as every parent is,” says Hebert. “He just constantly needed things. If you think most riders only need six weeks off and everything will be back to normal, that’s where people have a struggle. It always takes longer than planned. Here my son is, two years old, and I’m really just back into the swing of things, meaning the energy I can put into my own competition goals is really just returning.” Patience, time, and listening to your body will help you to achieve your goal of successfully returning to the saddle. And as children grow, staying fit is beneficial for keeping up with them! s

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Working with Nature to Control Nature Eco-friendly pest-control options By Kara L. Stewart

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EEK! He’s cute, but he’s potentially fouling this grain store and spreading disease elsewhere in the barn

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orses and their accoutrements naturally attract a variety of pests. Although we can’t eliminate every stable fly or barn mouse, we can implement horsekeeping strategies and eco-friendly methods that will make our facilities less attractive to the most common pests. From fly control to rodent reduction, these tips from experts and fellow USDF members will help you put out nature’s “no trespassing” signs for the most common pests.

Job One: Cleanliness The first step in pest management is facility cleanliness and sanitation. Without it, all our efforts and other methods will be less effective. Good manure- and mud-management programs reduce breeding grounds for pest insect populations (see “Pests Begone! Best Practices for Horse Farms” on page 46 and “Large-Scale Manure Management” on page 48). Clean, secure feed and tack rooms make your facility less attractive to rodent populations; and mown areas near barns, paddocks, and pastures help keep ticks at bay.

ALAYNE BLICKLE/HORSESFORCLEANWATER.COM, 2018

Next: Address Water, Food, and Shelter Every living creature—those we love and those we don’t especially care for—has the same three needs for survival. “When we design a least-toxic approach to pest management,” explains Horses for Clean Water creator and director Alayne Blickle, “we can leverage the availability of water, food, and shelter to decrease the populations we don’t want and increase the populations we do want.” Blickle implements her program’s environmentally sensitive horsekeeping approach at her Sweet Pepper Ranch in southwestern Idaho. “For example, if we don’t want mice and other rodents in the barn, we store grain in metal containers and pick up spilled feed to reduce the food supply,” she says, “and we keep the floors clean of potential nesting materials to reduce shelter. Then, to increase populations we do want— like beneficial birds, bats, and insects that eat pests—we install bird and bat houses and create appealing habitats with native plants to attract beneficial wildlife.”

Integrated Pest Management: Fly Control and More The multi-pronged strategy of IPM controls insect pests with several components, addressing pest reduction from

WELCOME MAT: To attract beneficial wildlife, offer them safe digs. This nesting box is built for a barn owl, one of several birds of prey that dines on rodents, while bats and other bird species keep flying insects in check.

various angles to reach a more complete solution. Its basic building blocks include: • Sanitation (manure management) • Biological control (natural predators) • Physical or mechanical control (fly masks and traps) • Chemical control (insect repellents and feed-through products). And while IPM was designed to reduce pest insects, the same components can be used to control the presence of rodents and other animal pests.

Control Tips: Flies and Ticks We may lump all flies into one category (under “A” for annoying), but there are several species, and each has its own breeding requirements and life cycle. “Filth flies—house, stable, face, and horn flies—breed in manure and similar moist locations,” says Erika Machtinger, PhD, CWB, assistant professor of entomology at Penn State University’s College of Agriculture Sciences in University Park, PA, and a Certified Wildlife Biologist. She’s also a USDF silver medalist and has competed through the intermediate level in eventing, so as a rider and horse owner she understands the need for effective fly control. “But tabanids—deer and horse flies—breed in water, as do mosquitoes, and each species has different feeding behaviors and territories,” Machtinger continues. “That’s why a single pest-control strategy won’t work as well as a broader approach.” Biological Fly Controls • Parasitoids. When sprinkled on fly-development sites, these tiny, nonstinging, wasp-like creatures eat fly pupae, thereby reducing the number of adult flies. It’s important to start application before fly populations increase and to reapply at regular intervals. • Birds and bats. Bats and many species of birds (including swallows, martins, and swifts) can consume hundreds of flying insects every hour. “To attract these helpful predators, install bird and bat boxes around your property,” says Blickle. Box designs and locations differ for each species, USDF Connection

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BATTLEGROUND: Lush pasture looks bucolic but can harbor pests both annoying and dangerous. These horses sport fly masks, an eco-friendly means of warding off nuisance flies.

Pests Begone! Best Practices for Horse Farms • Pick up manure from stalls and turnout areas regularly, and put it in the manure pile or compost pile. • Design good drainage to direct water away from buildings and paddock areas. • Cover manure piles with black or dark tarps. These increase the internal temperature of the pile, keeping it too toasty for immature flies to develop and preventing females from laying eggs. • Tarps can also help minimize runoff during wet weather, which can cause water-quality issues and create areas of standing water that become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. After rain or snowmelt, look for water accumulation in wheelbarrows, old tires, buckets, and garden areas. Ensure that gutters drain completely. • Change the water in stock tanks and other containers at least every 10 days (the time it takes mosquito larvae to hatch), or add nontoxic mosquito dunk products to control larvae. Keeping troughs shaded retards mosquito development, as well.

46 April 2018 • USDF Connection

“I ride in a covered arena with open sides,” says USDF secretary and USDF Connection editorial advisor Margaret Freeman, of Tryon, NC. “The breeze that comes through the arena cuts the number of flies dramatically as compared to the still air in an indoor arena or a closed-in barn. And the air quality is so much better, as well.” “How troublesome your pest problem can be depends a huge amount on your local conditions,” says Freeman, who is a former editor at the consumer-focused newsletter Horse Journal, which regularly tested fly-control products. “Flies, no-see-ums, mosquitoes, and ticks can be more troublesome in woody or swampy areas.” Her observation further highlights the need to tailor your pest-control program to the micro-climate at your dressage facility. Physical Fly Controls • Fly masks, sheets, and leg boots. Offered by numerous manufacturers in a range of fabric types, styles, and features, these physical barriers literally come between your horse and annoying insects. • Fly traps, tape, and paper. Low-tech but effective, these products use super-sticky glue and sometimes an attractant to lure insects. Correct placement is important because different species congregate in different areas. • Bait traps. Most traps, whether jugs, jars, bags, or other designs, use an attractant/water solution and have a one-way entry. Depending on the design, flies either drown or dehydrate. Single-use bags can be disposed of in the trash when full, and more eco-friendly styles allow more bait to be added during the fly season. Try several kinds to find what works best in your area.

SHUTTERSTOCK

so check with your local Department of Fish and Wildlife, extension office, or bird-watching groups. • Ventilation. Although it’s not a true biological control method, designing facilities to maximize natural ventilation can help thwart nuisance flies.


LOW-TECH BUT EFFECTIVE: Fly-trap bags and other devices remain an easy, “green” way of reducing the insect population

ALAYNE BLICKLE/HORSESFORCLEANWATER.COM, 2018

USDF member Jennifer Cross keeps two horses on a small farm in West Suffield, CT. Because the land borders acres of wetlands, her fly problem was huge. “About ten years ago, we purchased an Epps Biting Fly Trap,” Cross says. “I didn’t really think it would work, but it’s been incredibly effective, and every year we have fewer flies.” Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely about where to locate it, she advises. Chemical Fly Controls • IGR. Insect growth regulators, such feed-through fly-control supplements Solitude or SimpliFly, reduce fly populations by preventing fly larvae from developing exoskeletons, which disrupts the life cycle. These products work best when all horses at a facility receive the supplement. • Nontoxic fly-repellent sprays. Commercial brands contain plant extracts and other “green” ingredients. (Keep in mind, however, that a claim of “natural” does not necessarily mean that a product is safe—or effective.) Local insect populations and other factors can affect results, so try several to find what works best in your area. • Essential-oil sprays. Alesha Desharnais, a USDF member from Billerica, MA, blends top-quality citronella, rosemary, cedarwood, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oils with distilled water and witch hazel. “I spray myself and the horses before I ride or take them out for a lesson. It works well, and it doesn’t cause reactions in chemically sensitive horses.” (One caution: Because essential oils can be toxic to beneficial pollinating insects, Penn State’s Machtinger advises applying only where intended, staying out of the

wind while spraying, and keeping spray away from susceptible habitats.) Ticks—those hated carriers of Lyme disease and other diseases affecting humans, horses, and other species—are a class of pest that most of us would gladly eradicate if we could. Unfortunately, in the US they are everywhere. “American dog ticks, Lone Star ticks, or blacklegged ticks—also known as deer ticks—are species known to use horses as hosts and are found in different parts of the country,” says Machtinger. At equine facilities, “pasture management in critical to reduce tick presence,” Machtinger says. “Keep grass short, remove brush where possible to eliminate habitat, and keep a mowed barrier at least three yards wide between woods and fence lines to discourage tick movement toward pastures.” Biological Tick Controls The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum var. anisopliae is a naturally occurring organism that kills ticks but does not harm beneficial insects. “Commercial products using this fungus have shown to be effective in the Northeast,” Machtinger says. “Use caution when spraying, and follow label instructions for application rates and grazing restrictions. And be aware that some products must be applied by certified pesticide applicators.” Physical Tick Controls Check your horse at least once a day for ticks. If you find one attached, use tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull straight back so the head remains attached. “Place the tick in a plastic bag labeled with the date and USDF Connection

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location, and then put it in the freezer,” says Machtinger. If your horse develops symptoms consistent with Lyme or other tick-borne diseases, having the tick will aid your veterinarian in devising the most effective course of treatment. Chemical Tick Controls • Wipe-on and spray-on products. Those containing the insecticides permethrin or its synthetic cousin, cypermethrin, can provide protection against ticks for many hours. “Apply repellents liberally and frequently, especially after exercise, bathing, or rolling,” Machtinger says. Most compounds break down in UV light, so reapply later in the day. “And make sure to apply repellents according to label rates—a few spritzes generally aren’t enough.” The down side of these products: They’re not very eco-friendly. Permethrin and cypermethrin are toxic to fish, bees, aquatic insects, and some other species, including cats; and skin exposure or ingestion can cause reactions or other side effects. In addition, their broadspectrum nature means that they kill beneficial insects in addition to the unwanted pests. “I strongly discourage folks from using broad-spectrum pyrethroids,” says Machtinger, “and this includes facility-

wide fly-spray systems. There is evidence that flies are developing site-specific resistance to the chemicals used in these systems, and that they expose horses and humans to unnecessary contact and respiratory risks.” • Essential oils. “My horses have been diagnosed with Lyme disease and anaplasmosis [another tick-borne disease], so I had to find something that works in the battle against ticks,” says Jamie Reilley, VMD, a USDF member from southern New Jersey. “During tick season, every day I spray my horses with a mix of twenty drops each of eucalyptus oil and lemongrass oil and four ounces of water,” paying special attention to places where she’s found ticks lurking before. “Now, instead of finding one to three ticks a day, I find a total of three during the summer and fall.” As we mentioned previously, Machtinger suggests using caution and applying carefully to the horse’s body, since overspray of essential oils can be toxic to pollinating insects and can harm vegetation.

Control Tips: Rodents From the smallest field mouse to rabbits, gophers, squirrels, rats, raccoons, and opossums, rodents can wreak havoc at

Large-Scale Manure Management

48 April 2018 • USDF Connection

DUSTYPERIN.COM

B

ecause many pest flies breed in manure, large show grounds and boarding facilities design manure-management programs, and they’re always looking to improve their effectiveness. “The big hunter/jumper shows can bring in nine hundred horses,” says Colorado Horse Park competition manager and COO Marion Maybank. With 28 weeks of competitions a year plus 60 to 100 permanent boarders on the grounds, the Horse Park has to be aggressive about keeping manure under control. THE SCOOP ON LOTS OF POOP: Large farms and show grounds need aggressive “To contend with this volume of mamanure-management systems to keep down fly populations nure, twice a day year-round, all manure is picked up and goes to a pile that’s about four hundred yards from the barns,” Maybank says. The pile is removed weekly during the year; during horse-show season, it’s removed two or three times a week. Frequent manure removal helps to reduce the overall number of flies on the property, but Maybank is always looking for long-range approaches. “We’re exploring a complete solution of doing our own composting. In theory, we should be able to heat the buildings from warmth generated by the composting manure, and there’s a market for selling the nutrient-rich black soil that results from composting,” she says.


the barn. In addition to eating (and contaminating) large quantities of feed, they can destroy equipment and property, and expose people and animals to disease. Start with sanitation controls. It’s worth saying again that keeping the barn clean and orderly goes a long way in discouraging rodents from taking up residence. Well-fitting doors and windows can also help keep rodents out. To make your place less attractive to raccoons and opossums, Blickle suggests putting away dog and cat food at night and not adding bones, fat, or other food scraps to the compost pile. Keep garbage cans in a secure area until the morning of trash pickup. If you have chickens, put them in a safe coop at night with a secure door and roof, she advises. Biological Rodent Controls • Owls, hawks, falcons, and other birds of prey. These beneficial birds can help control a variety of rodents. Attract them by installing nesting boxes made for each species. Check with your local extension office or Department of Fish and Wildlife for designs and location tips. • Barn cats. Never underestimate the contribution of a talented mouser in keeping rodent populations in check, especially mice. Each trainer at the Parker-based Colorado Horse Park is assigned a feed stall, says Marion Maybank, the venue’s competition manager and COO. “The trainers are required to keep all feed, treats, and supplements in metal containers with lids. This way, our barn cats can roam through and monitor the feed stalls for mice, and they do a great job.” Keep your barn cats healthy and protected by neutering or spaying, vaccinating, and providing food and water in a place that’s safe from mice.

DUSTYPERIN.COM

Physical Rodent Controls • Snap traps. Old-school and still effective, these traditional mousetraps work best when placed along walls and rodent pathways. Bait the trap for a few days without setting it so rodents lose their fear of the device. • Electronic battery-powered traps. Offered in different sizes for different species, these humanely electrocute the rodent when it walks inside. Bait the trap for a few days without turning it on, and allow the rodents to enter the trap and eat the food. • Ultrasonic devices. These emit sound frequencies that manufacturers claim repel rodents but are unnoticed by humans, horses, cats, and dogs. Chemical Rodent Controls Common ingredients in repellent products include peppermint oil, ammonia, capsaicin (the ingredient that makes hot peppers hot), and predator urine. Ask your extension office

ON THE JOB: A watchful barn cat is alert for rodent prey. Many farms consider a cat a key component of their pest-control strategy. Some cat-rescue groups work to place less-social or otherwise hard-to-adopt felines as barn cats for free or low cost.

or local pest-control company for recommendations, and remember that “natural” doesn’t always mean safe or effective.

A Balanced Approach to Pest Control To limit the spread of disease and to keep horses and humans comfortable, it’s important to keep pests in check. The trick is to get rid of the bad guys without harming the beneficial insects and wildlife that naturally reduce pests and help to keep our ecosystem in balance. By incorporating some of the eco-friendly strategies in this article, unwanted visitors will find your barn (and your horse) less attractive, while nature’s own pest-control patrol will want to move in. It all adds up to fewer pests and a more healthful environment. s Kara L. Stewart is an award-winning author who has experienced the differences in reducing unwanted pests in the opposing climates of Colorado’s Front Range foothills and now along California’s Central Coast. Her retired Arabian gelding, Eddie, loves his fly mask but isn’t crazy about the sticky fly traps hung in his stall. Digital Edition Bonus Content

Read the article “Use of Pupal Parasitoids as Biological Control Agents of Filth Flies on Equine Facilities,” which explains how to use parasitoids (beneficial parasitic wasps) as part of an effective integrated pest-management system. USDF Connection

April 2018

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STAR OF THE FUTURE? Sport-horse judge and 2018 USDF Sport Horse Seminar co-presenter Kristi Wysocki evaluates a youngster

Focus on the Sport Horse Preview of the 2018 USDF Sport Horse Seminar

o you want to learn more about how to choose and evaluate sport horses for dressage? Then don’t miss the 2018 USDF Sport Horse Seminar, in which two of our sport’s most respected sport-horse judges will discuss conformation, movement, and other important traits. Kristi Wysocki and Hilda Gurney will lead the 2018 seminar, to be held August 5-6 at DG Bar Ranch in Hanford, CA. Register as a participant and you’ll get the opportunity to try your hand at evaluating live horses and to interact with the presenters throughout the course. Or sign up to be a silent auditor and observe the entire event. Some exciting plans are in store for this year’s seminar. Read on for a sneak peek in our Q&A with the presenters.

50 April 2018 • USDF Connection

Q: Who will benefit from attending the USDF Sport Horse Seminar? Kristi Wysocki: Anyone interested in learning more about sport horses. The seminar focuses on teaching the conformation and movement that is desirable in dressage horses and also how some conformation can relate to different issues in movement, soundness, and trainability. This course is a prerequisite for anyone interested in becoming a US Equestrian-licensed dressage sport-horse judge, but past attendees have included dressage judges, trainers, breeders, and owners. The seminar can be an extremely beneficial course to take prior to shopping for a new horse, whether for riding or as breeding stock.

CAROLE MACDONALD

D

By Stacy Durham


Although the focus is on the dressage horse, anyone interested in learning more about equine conformation and movement basics would also find this seminar very valuable. Hilda Gurney: Dressage riders and people interested in how a horse should be conformed and its effects on the gaits and trainability for the higher levels will benefit. Anyone interested in purchasing, judging, or breeding dressage horses will also benefit.

What topics will the seminar cover? KW: Basic conformation, movement, and faults are discussed in detail on day one, both in class and with live horses. Movement will be evaluated both in hand and under saddle. On day two, we’ll introduce the methodology of judging dressage sport horses and breeding stock, both in the classroom and using live horses, but with a focus on live horses. We’ll evaluate the movement of young horses under saddle, and we’ll relate the evaluation of horses in hand to horses under saddle. HG: The seminar will cover correct and less-correct conformation and the effect on a horse’s balance and soundness. The effects on performance of thrust, elasticity, articulation of the joints, use of the horse’s back, and ability to undulate the pelvis will also be demonstrated.

Are there any aspects of this year’s seminar that will make it stand out?

COURTESY OF KRISTI WYSOCKI; TERRIMILLER.COM

HG: The seminar will be located at DG Bar Ranch’s superb facility. DG Bar Ranch is one of America’s top producers of dressage horses, with its well-established breeding program. KW: The expertise of the DG Bar owners and staff will further enhance the seminar, and participants and auditors will have the opportunity to see a lineup of top-quality horses. At the same time, we’ll be sure to look at some horses with faults, whether conformation or movement, to give participants the opportunity to evaluate diverse examples of conformation and movement. For the first time this year, the 2018 USDF Sport Horse Seminar will be held in conjunction with the USEF Dressage Sport Horse Breed Judges Clinic. The second day of the USDF Sport Horse Seminar, which focuses on judging methodology, will be the first day of the USEF Judges Clinic. Interactions between USDF seminar participants and Judges Clinic participants should create interesting and diverse discussions throughout the day as well as a sharing of insights from other experienced sport-horse judges. s

Stacy Durham is a USDF senior education coordinator. For more information and to register to attend the 2018 USDF Sport Horse Seminar, visit usdf.org and look for the seminar link under the Education tab. Send questions to sporthorse@usdf.org.

Meet the Presenters

K

risti Wysocki, of Coupeville, WA, is a US Equestrian-licensed “S” dressage and “R” dressage sport-horse-breeding (DSHB) judge and a Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) 3* dressage and younghorse judge and a 4* para-equestrian dressage judge. She is the chair of the USDF Sport Horse Committee, a USDFcertified instructor/ trainer through Second Level, and a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist. Kristi Wysocki Hilda Gurney, of Moorpark, CA, is a US Equestrian-licensed “S” dressage judge and an “R” DSHB judge. A member of the Roemer Foundation/ USDF Hall of Fame alongside her most famous equine partner, the legendary Thoroughbred Keen, she won team bronze at the 1976 Olympic Games, an individual gold and silver and three team gold medals at the Pan American Games, six US National Grand Prix Hilda Gurney Championship titles, 15 USDF Horse of the Year titles, and a team gold medal at the North American Dressage Championships.

USDF Connection

April 2018

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USDF Connection

April 2018

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Ageless Pursuit

My journey to the USDF gold medal at age 67 By Dawn Metzger

I

n 2013, dressage trainer Pati Pierucci relocated from Virginia to my barn in Texas. She saw my now 16-year-old Andalusian, Corrado M, and said: “You know, you can do Grand Prix with this horse.” I replied: “Prove it!”

of learning known as unconscious incompetence: I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I have to go to the barn each day with a plan. The plan may change, but I think ahead to what I hope to accomplish. Find a trainer who is happy to work with the horse you have. Verify the trainer's credentials. At the end of a lesson, you should be able to say what you worked on, how you did, and what you will do tomorrow. Good trainers are positive. They do not hesitate to tell you when you are screwing up, but they are quick to praise even a small improvement. Mental coaching can be helpful. My coach helps me to stay positive and grounded. Thanks to her, I TANGIBLE REWARDS: The writer and her gold-medal partner, now keep a trainCorrado M, with some of their swag ing journal. After every ride, I write Pati did: Last year, I earned my down three things I liked (some are USDF gold medal—a goal that had pretty small!) and three things I would seemed so impossible, I’d never even like to improve. considered it. I’d like to share some of Another rider’s success does not the key things I learned along the way. diminish you. Comparison is your I had wanted to do all of Corrado’s enemy. One coach put it succinctly: training myself, and consequently I’d “Compare and despair.” failed to make the most of the instrucAt any level in dressage, fitness is tion I’d received. I’d been in the phase important. It took some time for me

56 April 2018 • USDF Connection

editorial@usdf.org

to realize how fit, and how important. An independent seat comes from a core that is strong enough to keep your torso in place without stiffness or support from the reins. As a notso-young person, I loosen up before riding by doing sun salutations and other stretches. I have weights and an exercise ball at home and use them a couple of times a week. After many years of struggling with an arthritic hip, I finally had it replaced last year. If you need to have this done, do not wait. The difference in my riding was immediately noticeable, but I am still dealing with residual crookedness from having protected the bad hip for so long. Horses do not stay awake at night plotting how to make things difficult. Some problems are caused by physical issues or by the rider. My horse went a thousand times better when I got a new saddle. For the most part, he does exactly what I tell him, even if it’s not what I think I am telling him. If there is an issue, look first to yourself. Talk to your horse and praise him while you ride. He needs to know when he has done what you want, or has gotten closer to what you want. Reward any effort on his part to try. Do not give up. It took me three years to earn the Grand Prix scores for my gold medal, but I finally did it! You do not need to be a natural rider. I certainly am not. Nor do you need a certain kind of horse. What you need is the willingness to do the work—and it is a lot of work. You have to make the dream your own, visualize the journey and the reward, pursue it with humility, and have persistence and a love of learning. You will learn loads about riding, but you will also learn about yourself and develop an even deeper relationship with your horse. s

Dawn Metzger, of Montgomery, TX, is a semiretired small-animal veterinarian. She has been riding dressage since the 1990s and previously showed Arabians in breed competition.

COURTESY OF DAWN METZGER

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April 2018 USDF Connection  

United States Dressage Federation Official Publication

April 2018 USDF Connection  

United States Dressage Federation Official Publication

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