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November/December 2018 Anne Zaharias and her Thoroughbred Makeover Family

A United States Dressage Federation Publication

Welcome to Your Wonderful World of Dressage YourDressage is compiled by the United States Dressage Federation, written by participants from throughout the dressage community. The articles in this publication are submitted by people like you to share and be shared by all. Experience their stories as they navigate through the wonderful world of dressage and become friends with your dressage community. It’s YourDressage, be part of it! If you would like to submit your story see the last page of this publication.

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WHAT TO SEE INSIDE DEPARTMENTS YOUNG & INSPIRED: Expanding Education in Breeding Managment Erin Bell takes us through her experience at the USDF Sport Horse Youth/Young Adult Seminar program. COVERING GROUND: Repeat Bonding at WEG Tari Van Winkle and her daughter, Lillian, had gone to WEG in Kentucky in 2010 and decided to make it another mother-daughter bonding experience in 2018 at the WEG at Tryon. HORSE TALES: Growing Payne Mary Kadar tells her story of finding her horse Royal Payne, and how he grew into her perfect equine partner . HEARD AROUND THE ARENA: US Dressage Finals Competitors at the US Dressage Finals presented by AdquanÂŽ shared their experiences. GMO SPOTLIGHT: Louisville Dressage Society (LDS) Take a look at this group member organization. USDF FLASHBACK: Maj. Gen. Jonathan R. Burton With many equine achievements while serving the military, it is Burton's contributions to the civilian equestrian world that he is most remembered.

COVER STORY The Makeover Family

Anne Zaharias was encourged by a friend to take part in the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project Makeover. She found "Wild Lil' Kitten" and started her journey to The Makeover at the Kentucky Horse Park. November/December 2018 Z YOURDRESSAGE


Expanding Education in Breeding Managment By Erin Bell

a sport horse- the USDF Sport Horse Youth/Young Adult Semiressage is a specific niche nar program will benefit you. I of horsemanship. When we am going to walk you through think of dressage, the picture that the seminar I attended and what comes to mind is the finished I personally took away from it. product of a horse and rider com- I myself am a dressage student, bination executing a harmonious trainer, teacher, and breeder. test. However, there is so much This seminar began Friday more that goes into creating this evening at the beautiful Oak Hill equine dancing partner behind Ranch in Folsom, LA, with a pizthe scenes, before it has even za party and introduction from done its first test. I will even go the owner, Richard Freeman. He as far as to say a horse’s breeding walked us through what a year in and development has everything of life on a breeding farm is like. to do with making or breaking Personally, it was very interesta good dressage horse’s future. ing to hear how he planned his If you are interested in knowing mare’s pregnancies because of the more about what goes into proheat that our southern region has ducing a dressage horse- whether so early on, which I compared it be because you are interested to my previous experience at a in purchasing a prospect, breedseminar at Hill Top Farm, where ing your own, understanding the the breeding season started biomechanics that go into dresmuch later in the year because sage, knowing what conformathey actually have a winter. The tion traits will cause soundness pro to our seasons down here is issues… honestly, anything about the management of the horses is more au naturel. We can keep our horses turned out 24/7, 365 days Richard Freeman, Sue Mandas, and a year. Richard shared with us his Regina Milliken


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passion for his beloved stallion Rambo, and how he has chosen his mare lines. Because of how he selected his foundation mares, all of his offspring have a very clear type and stamp from Rambo. Over 40 years of thought and purpose is evident is his product. From a business standpoint, I could clearly see his “Unique Selling Point�, which is very important for youth and young adults going into this business to understand. He markets his prospects as having the genes that can hold up in the sport, in addition to the formative handling that makes them a good citizen for anyone to train, whether pro or amateur. We all know dressage means training, which is why any horse can benefit from it. But what if you can look at a horse before it is trained and see if it will be easier and sounder to train because of its conformation and movement? That is what an educated eye in Students look on as Sue Mandas inspects a mare and foal

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Richard Freeman

biomechanics can do for you. After Richard’s talk, Susan Mandas gave us an introductory presentation on conformation and movement. Being a dressage rider, I like things that help me quantify what is good. So, the three things to grade good gaits on are purity, correctness, and quality- in that order. Purity is the very clear rhythm for the particular gait you are in. Because the goal of dressage is to enhance the horse’s gaits, not change them, you can

Regina Milliken

either enhance what is already bad or already good. Correctness is how they track. This doesn’t affect your dressage score per se, but it will cause soundness issues down the road. Worst of all is a fault that can hurt you or your horse. Keep in mind, we should (and have) bred horses for specific desired tasks. A cart horse has to track in a relatively single track, so as not to interfere with the cart. However, that would not be ideal for a riding horse.

Quality is the wow factor that the horse gives, and impulsion, the elasticity in the horse’s muscles and connective tissue, provides the look of effortlessness of which we dream. You can have a horse with beautiful conformation and balanced angles, but that doesn’t have the movement over his back or posture that is desired. Personally, I think people grade horses in reverse. They look at the wow of the horse but forget how hard it is to train

a horse with incorrect rhythm, and how difficult it will be to keep them sound because of how they deviate in their trajectory of movement. On Saturday, we witnessed an Oldenburg Horse Breeders’ Society GOV inspection given by Holly Simensen. It was a very unique experience for Holly to open up to us on how she sees the potential in a foal. Her expertise was evident from her knowledge of what certain traits and char-

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Dr. Gary Greene addresses the group

acteristics can be overcome, and what is required for greatness. She shared stories with us on how she has seen prospect stallions end up being powerful producers for our sport. The two things I took away from her talk was that sometimes the “cheeky” babies end up being very confident show horses and that the front end of a horse is only as good as the back end that carries it. The way an inspector looks at a horse is based on the history

Mare and stallion

of the bloodlines and individual traits that are being presented, and how these may influence its future success. The way a sport horse judge looks at a horse is based on who and what that horse is that particular day, in that arena, which changes day to day with a young horse. This is why it is important to have a good handler to present the horse. Christine Smith and Regina Milliken shared their tips on how they show the best the horse

has to offer. The biggest point to understand is that how that baby is handled day in and day out makes him well behaved for a breed show or a grand prix horse later on. If the foal learns certain boundaries with humans from the start, they are more relaxed and confident when it comes time to teach them something new. The training doesn’t start under saddle, but way before. Seeing through the outside, and down to the foundation, of

a horse takes a fine-tuned eye. Conformation and how to evaluate horse’s tendencies based on identifying relationships between major joints is what we learned on Sunday, and we got to do it with a lot of live horses. Sue went over how to find the plumb lines on a horse, and how they relate to balance and soundness. We saw multigenerational horses and which traits were passed on, emphasizing just how essential having an exceptional brood mare

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is. We saw horses aging from three months old to seventeen years old, and how certain structures never change. For example, a horse with a low set and long under neck will have a harder time going round, or a horse that has a hard-to-fit back will have saddle discomfort and give the rider resistance. Then, Oak Hill Ranch’s young horse starter gave us a detailed demonstration on how he backs a horse for the first time. They showed us their methods of teaching the basics and how to positively and efficiently introduce new things. The finale was with Dr. Gary Greene, who was very passionate about talking with us. He also gave us the opportunity to observe the process for performing an ultrasound on a mare and the collection of a stallion. He went into detail on the evaluation of semen quality and fresh chilled preservation. My favorite part was how he taught us to evaluate the semen under the Evaluating semen under the microscope

microscope for morphology. I had heard about motility and count before, but learning that the shape of the cells was of high importance for fertility was something I had never known before. It got me thinking, as a breeder, I should be more educated regarding the semen quality that I am purchasing for my mares. All in all, this program was diverse and precise in the management, selection, and production of a sport horse. So, if you want to know what it takes to make an exceptional performance horse, from the very start of its life, this seminar is for you. I feel like I came away with the ability to better evaluate prospects for myself and clients, and to better foresee soundness or training issues for the horses in my program. It has also refined my eye to help better determine how I would teach a horse, based on its breeding and movement. I have become more educated for the selection for my own breeding program. Thank you USDF and Oak Hill Ranch.

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Repeat Bonding at WEG By Tari Winkle


ttending the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) was an experience of a lifetime for me, in many ways. My daughter, Lillian, and I had planned to go since October 2017. We had gone to the 2010 WEG in Kentucky for her 16th birthday, and thought of this trip as a repeat of great motherdaughter bonding time, doing what we liked to do best - watch the world’s best riders on the world’s best horses. On Monday, September 10, I drove from Tallahassee, FL, to Tryon, NC, into a torrential rain in South Carolina, as hurricane Florence was barreling toward North Carolina. We had tickets for all the dressage, eventing, and show jumping, and I was going to be volunteering for vaulting. Lillian and I were also looking forward to the horsemanship and riding demonstration of Marsha Tari and Lillian

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Hartford-Sapp and Cobra, of Mustang Makeover fame; and of course shopping. We did not intend to miss any part of this event, even if we had to endure a hurricane to do it! Unfortunately, all the demonstrations were cancelled due to a lack of stabling and the impending hurricane, but the Games pressed on. Dressage was first up on Wednesday, September 12; in the newly built U.S. Trust Arena. It was sunny and hot as I took my seat in the covered area for the test ride of Olivia Lagoy-Weltz, in front of seven judges! The arena footing looked fabulous, and it was dragged every eight rides by three very fast and flashy blue tractors. Every ride was set to music that matched the rate and rhythm of each horse’s gates and movements, as if each ride had been individually choreographed. It was a fabulous touch. The Americans that rode Wednesday were Steffen Peters, on Suppenkasper, and Adrienne Lyle, on Salvino, who ended the first day

in 7th with a 73.965% and 4th with a 74.860% respectively, but more rides were to come tomorrow. Thursday, the sun was still shining and we saw the rides of two more Americans, Kasey Perry-Glass and Laura Graves; as well as Isabella Werth of Germany, and Charlotte Dujardin, of Great Britain. Charlotte Dujardin’s horse, Mt. St. John Freestyle, a nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, was the youngest horse in the competition and an amazing creature to watch. The mare actually acted as though she was enjoying the entire ride. The American team finished as Silver medalists, just behind Germany, and just ahead of Great Britain. All four Americans made the top 30 riders to compete Friday for the Individual Grand Prix awards. Friday morning, the individual Grand Prix rides started under cloudy skies and wind, as hurricane Florence slowly made landfall in Asheville, NC. It was like a

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battle of the Titans as the standings came down to the last four riders – Laura Graves (USA), Sönke Rothenberger (GER), Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Isabell Werth (GER). Laura Graves led until the last ride with an 81.717%, followed closely by Charlotte Dujardin with 81.489%, and Sönke Rothenberger with 81.277%. But Isabell Werth, at 49, put the younger riders in their places when she and Bella Rose, a 14-year-old Westphalian mare, scored an 86.245%, receiving many tens on movements from various judges! It was an absolutely beautiful ride to watch! Friday night, following the individual awards, the National Weather Service, onsite at Tryon International Equestrian Center

(TIEC), projected very heavy rain starting on Saturday evening through Sunday. As a result, the Ground Jury, the Technical Delegates, and the Presidents of the Veterinary Commissions for the Disciplines of Eventing, Reining, and Dressage elected to cancel all Sunday events. The officials were able to reschedule the show jumping phase of eventing and the reining individual finals to Monday, but there would be no Dressage Individual Grand Prix Musical Freestyles. Lillian and I were crushed, as the freestyles were our favorite event. So not only were there no riding demonstrations, but no musical freestyles as well. It was a sad end, but still a beautiful week of dressage.

Dressage award ceremony

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Growing Payne By Mary Kadar


ack in January 2017 I was looking for a horse to just hack around and have fun on. My instructor, Jill Allard, mentioned she knew of an Arab that the owner had lost interest in. The horse had been sitting around for about a year and she was unsuccessful in selling him and was giving him away. My first thought was Jill had lost her mind. She knows I’m a timid rider. So how could an Arab, a breed known for their high spirit and alertness, that had not been ridden in over a year be the horse for me? I took to the internet and tracked down the owner’s social media page. A few years ago, Royal Payne had successfully competed in an opportunity class and was advertised for $3,000. The price started dropping until he was free to good home. My first impression was, what is Payne's first show

wrong with this horse. But Jill had seen him and if Jill was recommending him, I figured it was worth a look. I went to see him and found a cute boy about 150 pounds underweight but with a bright and kind eye and serious peppermint addiction. The owner saddled him up and rode first. Payne seemed calm but couldn’t make the transition to canter. When it was my turn, I found a sweet, willing horse but we also couldn’t get the canter. Having seen it on video, I knew it was there, somewhere, right? Although Payne was a little twitchy on the ground, he was quiet under saddle and all I needed was a quiet horse to hack. Payne had found a new home. Once home his personality blossomed as he gained trust in us and his surroundings. I could take him out on a blustery day and hack, just couldn’t take the reins over his head without him panicking, the twitchy problem. A few weeks later I took him over

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to Jill’s for a lesson and found out he knew stuff! We had a fun lesson, just couldn’t canter. Towards March we had an awesome walk/ trot repertoire going so I thought let’s go do a little walk/trot test at the schooling show down the road. At the show grounds, Payne appeared calm and relaxed right up until when he broke free from the trailer and began exploring the show grounds at a full gallop! Eventually we caught him, saddled up and had a fun test in spite of my nerves. I had visions of more fun shows but unfortunately, they would all be walk/trot because we still couldn’t get the canter. He would canter in front and trot in back. But Jill, being the wonderful instructor that she is, didn’t give up on us and eventually we got the canter, and what a wonderful little canter it was! Payne’s personality continued to grow. He is a smart, willing horse with a mischievous sense of humor. When he sees me, Payne lets out a loud, trumpeting neigh

and races me to the barn. He is my perfect partner. With 2018 on the horizon I thought why not take this team on the road. With Jill’s coaching and my husband’s cheering it would be fun! I wasn’t disappointed! I had tried showing back in the late 1980’s and enjoyed it but problems with vertigo put an end to it. My first class I stayed on the horse and in the ring! Mission accomplished! As the year went on we had more and more fun and even managed to qualify for Regional Championships. Look out Conyers, here we come! The peppermints are packed.

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The Makeover Family by Anne Zaharis

Heidi Maloy and Anne Zaharias with Wild Lil' Kitten after RRP dressage

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t was with a bit of apprehension that I decided to participate in the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) Makeover. It was uncharted territory for me, and I wasn’t really sure what I was signing up for. My friend Heidi Maloy, who is an American Vaulting Association (AVA) Bronze and Silver medalist, had been encouraging me in earnest, for nearly a year, to get involved and possibly partner in a project horse to campaign for the Makeover. She finally succeeded and my only stipulation was that I got to pick the horse. As a trainer, my main focus is dressage, so it was only natural that we would be pointing towards that discipline and would also utilize Heidi’s experience as a vaulter to develop a freestyle routine. Now came the difficult task of finding the right horse. I have, Anne riding her Hanoverian mare Wynter at Intermeidate 1

on several occasions, worked with off-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs), though this would be my first that I would work with that was fresh from the track. Priority number one was to find a horse with three rhythmically clean gaits. The trot is typically the easiest gait to improve with training, and Thoroughbreds tend to have a good ground covering canter, so I wanted to pay particular attention to the walk, that it had no lateral tendency and had good undulation through the spine. The time frame we had to develop the horse would be roughly ten months, so I also wanted to find a prospect with a calmer temperament that wouldn’t have extraordinary tension issues to overcome. I am a firm believer in the “it takes as long as it takes” methodology, so it was important to me not to feel in a rush, and a hotter tempered horse might need longer than the

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Kitty when Anne first got her in 2017

time allotted to comfortably be ready by October. My Facebook acquaintance at the time that I’m now proud to call my friend, Ashley Godwin Mariachi, had a quiet, curious, and handsome bay gelding , “Wild Lil’ Kitten” aka “Kitty” (Kittens Joy x Missy Wildcat) that met the eligibility requirements. I liked the rhythm and ease of his gaits, and he seemed quietly confident in his own skin. The only concern I had was his age. He was coming four in 2018, but chronologically not four until the end of May. I

Kitty in October 2018

was unsure how much we could expect from him mentally and physically at that age, but decided to give it a go. When he stepped off of the trailer, he just looked around as if to say, “I guess I live here now, it’s all good with me.” I was impressed immediately with his character. He was kind to everyone, every day he was happy to see you and wanted to please. He always carried around a “life is great” attitude that really struck a chord with me. We spent the first few months learning basic yielding to pres-

sure exercises, in hand and under saddle. I wanted to be sure we had a good handle on the four corners of his body and also give him experience to anything and everything we could think of: traffic, dirt bikes, tarps, etc. He was so inquisitive with it all and really enjoyed exploring new things. Throughout the training process, we worked on developing our way through the training scales. It was paramount, in his case, to improve on lateral and longitudinal suppleness in order to unlock his body and teach him

to be adjustable. He was a little bit like riding a surfboard at first, but he was a very quick study. Once he understood a concept, he held onto it really well. Some horses take quite a bit of repetition to firm up an idea, to the point where you can call upon it any time. Kitty was exceptional in his trainability and I’m very pleased with his progress. It is one of the most rewarding things, as a trainer, to be able to compare what came to you versus what leaves you several months later. I love to see them gain confidence

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and watch their physical development improve. Although the prospect of doing a freestyle sort of terrified me, I was (in the end) so appreciative of the challenge and perspective it offered. I am such a dressage geek, and can get so focused on the specifics we work on in the arena, so it was a great lesson to see how diversifying the routine was mentally and physically welcoming to him. Especially at his age, I wanted to be sure he

start testing things out by heading to some schooling shows and a few USDF-recognized competitions. Kitty managed to score from 66-70% at Training Level. It was important for us to get an idea how he would handle the pressure of a show environment, as well as get some feedback from the judges before we headed to Lexington. The week prior to the Makeover, we learned that the dressage field was in excess of 150 horses,

Anne riding "Ellie" a Lusitano mare owned by Debra Goldman.

kept his cheery disposition and remained interested in his work. It is something I now keep more in the front of my mind, in respect to the other horses I have in training. Our freestyle included vaulting singles at the canter, and up to three at the walk, then long lining over a variety of obstacles. He amazed me with his cool acceptance of everything we threw at him. The Makeover was fast approaching, so we decided to

so we had our work cut out for us. Competition would consist of USEF Training Level Test 2, followed by a four minute demonstration ride, with content and choreography of our choosing, in the Rolex Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. He scored a 76% in his dressage test and nailed his demo ride. After two full days of dressage rides, we learned we were sitting in first place! We were so excited, he really handled

the venue well and made a great impression. The top five horses competed in the finale, consisting of a four minute freestyle routine to music. Unfortunately, the addition of a crowd caused a little more tension in Kitty than I had anticipated, and the level of relaxation was not where it could have been, but he still gave a great effort. We ended up second overall, and I couldn’t be more pleased with him. It’s so rewarding, knowing that we were able to give him the tools to be successful in a post-track career. Our freestyle experienced quite a bit of bad luck. The night before competition, as we were practicing the vaulting routine, one of the girls lost her balance and Heidi tried to stabilize her, but we heard a loud “pop”, and it turns out, she had broken her forearm. She was able to splint it and we made some last minute modifications in the routine to work around it. Then, during competition, as we were long lining, our right long line had partially broken off of

the bridle. I didn’t realize it until time was up, but it certainly explained why I suddenly had such a hard time navigating to most of the obstacles. We were extremely disappointed as we really thought he would shine in that discipline. We put in so much time and effort preparing a great routine and we would have been ecstatic had we been able to show him to his capability. I was extremely impressed with the ability and quality of training represented at this year’s Makeover. It was really enjoyable to meet fellow trainers, and feel that the main focus was not on winning so much as it was to support each other and show what our horses can do. It was a nice sense of comradery, as we all came together to utilize our abilities to promote these charismatic horses. As a trainer, I know how difficult it can be to find a prospect capable of meeting requirements to be competitive in your given sport. OTTBs are a viable resource for people looking for

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a sport horse prospect. They are excellent athletes and quite versatile. Horses can often times be purchased for under five thousand dollars. While additional training is an added expense for sure, it can be dispersed over time, which can make it a much more comfortable option for riders on a budget. It is important, as it would be with any purchase, to be sure you look for a temperament that fits you as a rider, characteristics that compliment your discipline, and invest in quality training to develop a foundation. As you look for future prospects, I encourage you to keep OTTBs on your radar. The only downside to this journey, for me, is parting ways. I wish my wallet was as big as my heart in this case, but it’s just not possible to keep them all. Though, I would be fibbing if I didn’t say I would love to keep Kitty on and see what we could accomplish next. He has been an absolute joy to work with and I am so happy to be part of the

RRP Makeover family. I hope I have the opportunity to participate again, and encourage anyone interested to get involved with the RRP. There are some great horses out there just waiting to be discovered!

© John Borys Photography

Anne is an accomplished rider who has successfully developed horses of diverse breeds and backgrounds through the levels. Her thoughtful, systematic training approach emphasizes developing horses over time, keeping their individuality in mind while following the training scale. She is a USDF Bronze and Silver medalist earned on self-trained horses and is currently a candidate in the "L" judges program. Anne makes continued education a priority, recently mentored by Lars Petersen, Jos Sevriens and Debbie Hill. Anne Zaharias Dressage is based in Chattanooga TN.

USDF Salutes all of our Championship Competitors!

USDF Breeders Championship Series

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What interesting or fun thing have you heard lately? Send it to us using #aroundthearena

Competitors at the US Dressage Finals presented by AdequanÂŽ shared their experiences.

November/December 2018 Z YOURDRESSAGE


What interesting or fun thing have you heard lately? Send it to us using #aroundthearena

Competitors at the US Dressage Finals presented by AdequanÂŽ shared their experiences.

November/December 2018 Z YOURDRESSAGE


What interesting or fun thing have you heard lately? Send it to us using #aroundthearena

Competitors at the US Dressage Finals presented by AdequanÂŽ shared their experiences.

November/December 2018 Z YOURDRESSAGE


Tell us about your GMO. #GMOSpotlight

Louisville Dressage Society (LDS) Group Member Organizations (GMOs) are the foundation of USDF and integral in bringing dressage and dressage education to the masses. Stay connected with your local dressage community and support dressage at the local level by joining a GMO in your area today!

USDF GMO Established: 2015 Locality: Region 2, Kentucky Website: How many members does your GMO have annually, on average? 55 members Tell us about your GMO. Louisville Dressage Society (LDS), a 501C3, non-profit organization in Louisville, KY, fosters an educational environment and was designed primarily to offer a guiding framework where members can progress with the schooling of themselves and their horses. LDS offers the community a place to learn about dressage and socialize with those that share similar interests. LDS hosts many educational opportunities, including mounted and unmounted clinics, symposiums, and seminars throughout the year. LDS is the only dressage club open to everyone in Louisville, KY (and LDS welcomes anyone outside of Louisville as well!) LDS is most proud of our welcoming, fun, supportive atmosphere while encouraging correct dressage education. LDS thrives on a positive atmosphere and camaraderie among members. Members include professionals, youth, and amateurs that stable together and share tack rooms at shows. We are all there to lift each other up and cheer each other on! LDS values the input of our members. Here are a few things our members had to say about LDS:

“I love the small town feel, BIG goes, and drama free zone.”- Jeri Matheny “I love the tenacity, welcoming atmosphere, and amazing educational opportunities.” -Megan Carr “I love the positive, rooting for each and every one of us attitude we share! We all want to learn and be better for our beloved horses!” -Cathie Fergus-Watson Does your GMO offer unique classes or activities that cater to youth, adult amateurs, or professionals? If so, please provide a brief description. LDS offers two junior board positions to help encourage the youth in Louisville to enjoy dressage. LDS is a fairly new GMO, but the 2018 LDS Board has created a way to start building scholarship funds to offer in the near future. All of our activities are inclusive to riders of all ages and levels. It is important to make youth, adult amateurs, and professionals all feel welcome, while providing activities that benefit all levels of riders and horses. What type of educational events does your GMO offer? LDS offers multiple riding clinics, with unmounted auditNovember/December 2018 Z YOURDRESSAGE

YOUR CONNECTION TO DRESSAGE ing available, throughout the year with a variety of clinicians. For 2019, LDS will be hosting Kasey Perry-Glass, Jeremy Steinberg, Kimberly Schisler Sosebee, Angela Jackson, and potentially others. In addition to regular riding clinics, we have offered two bitting clinics with USDF Gold Medalist and Australian Team Rider, Kim Gentry. In 2018, LDS hosted a USDF Continuing Education Seminar for “L” graduates / judges. In the past, we have offered “journal club” type activities where youth, amateurs, and professionals can all get together and discuss an educational topic. For instance, a group of members gathered to watch “On the Levels” and had a great open discussion among professionals and amateurs. What type of “fun” events does your GMO offer? LDS members love to have fun! Since there are awards for competitive points out there already, LDS members decided

to have a “Fun” Awards Banquet every year. Awards include “best dressed,” “she goes the distance,” “won the warm up,” “I need the most bubble wrap for my horse,” “most dramatic spook,” etc. We also enjoy having pot luck dinners, especially during clinics. This provides an opportunity for everyone to relax and gather socially. When the weather is nice, LDS enjoys hosting other food and beverage get-togethers, whether it is on the Friday before a clinic or during a show, any excuse works for a good time!

eTRAK Extra

Read an article about the GMO clubs that launched USDF in the November 2013 issue of USDF Connection


© John Borys Photography

© John Borys Photography

Support dressage and connect with your local dressage community by joining a USDF Group Member Organization today!

Visit for a list of GMOs in your area.

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Maj. Gen. Jonathan R. Burton Reprinted from the May 2017 USDF Connection magazine.


Podcast Alert


o through the list of early Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame inductees (online at and you’ll see a large number of names preceded by military titles. That’s because international equestrian competition was a military officer’s sport until the cavalry was mechanized in the 1950s; not until 1956 were civilians permitted to participate in the Olympic equestrian events. And when they did, they relied on the guidance of the experienced Army officers to show them the way. One who played an instrumental role in getting dressage launched in the US—in getting lots of things launched, actually—was Maj. Gen. Jonathan “Jack” Burton. Burton, who got his early equestrian education by galloping racehorses as a boy, joined the cavalry division of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps

(ROTC) while at the Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (now Michigan State University). After graduation in 1942 and commissioning as a second lieutenant, he was posted at Fort Riley, KS, and the US Cavalry School. There he studied weapons administration, riding, shoeing, veterinary procedures, conditioning, mounted drills, maneuvers, tracking, and stable management, among others. During World War II, Burton was stationed on the Mexican border with the cavalry, then sent to the Pacific Theater, this time without horses. After the war, he was assigned to the constabulary in the American zone of Germany, where he rode at the stables of the father of the future noted German dressage trainer Conrad Schum-

Check out podcast 152 for more on Maj. Gen. Jonathan Burton at

Maj. Gen. Johathan R. Burton

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Burton in 2007, the year he was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame

acher. A neighbor and frequent visitor to the Schumacher farm was the legendary German trainer and rider Josef Neckermann, who provided Burton with more exposure to classical dressage. Back in the US, Burton taught advanced horsemanship at Fort Riley. He rode on the US Army Olympic eventing teams in 1948 and 1956. All the while, he ascended the Army ranks, serving at the Pentagon in between tours in Vietnam. He would eventually be promoted to major general, the rank at which he retired, and sent to command the Third Armored Division in Frankfurt, Germany. It is for his contributions to the civilian equestrian world, however, that Burton is most remembered. From 1975 to 1985, he served as executive vice president of the United States Equestrian Team. In 1988, he was chef d’équipe of the US Olympic dressage squad in Seoul, Korea. He held FEI and US Equestrian judges’ licenses, and many dresNovember/December 2018 Z YOURDRESSAGE


sage competitors and judges had his 1985 book, How to Ride a Winning Dressage Test, on their bookshelves. It was followed by the 1990 volume The Judge’s Guide to Step by Step Improvement. Burton was also an FEI chief steward and a US Equestrian technical delegate. A strong supporter of dressage and equestrian sport for youth, Burton is one of the founders of the FEI North American Young Riders Championships (now the NAJYRC), at which he also served as FEI chief steward for many years. He served as the inaugural chair of the USDF Advanced Young Rider Council for ten years, from 1988 to 1998. And he is an emeritus board member (and former chair) of The Dressage Foundation. The Roemer Foundation/ USDF Hall of Fame inducted Burton in 2007. With Burton’s multi-discipline contributions, the USDF was far from the only equestrian organization to honor him. The United States Eventing

Association inducted him into its Hall of Fame, and he was named a US Pony Clubs National Legend. Now in his late nineties, Burton is reported to be in failing health. USDF Connection salutes this living American dressage legend by letting Burton do the talking. Besides his books, Burton wrote a column for Dressage & CT magazine in the late 1980s entitled, fittingly, “As I See It.” He discussed the controversies surrounding Olympic dressage judging from 1932 to 1976 and also shared insights about judging. Read on for his thoughts on using the full scale of marks in judging.

As I See It: Using the Full Deck By Jonathan R. Burton Published in Dressage & CT, June 1990

I once was judging dressage finals and was intrigued by the scores given by one of the judges. From Dressage & CT, June 1990. Reprinted by permission of the estate of Ivan I. Bezugloff Jr.

Aboard the appropriately named Air Mail in Aachen, Germany in 1949

If the movement was good, the rider got a six. If it was ordinary, the score was five. If the movement was bad in any way, the score was four. No other scores were used. Unfortunately, there are judges who follow this system. They are a bit insecure in what they are doing and tend to be cautious. I think the very essence of judging is to use the full range of scores avail-

able: zero to ten. I admit I haven’t given too many tens or seen too many other judges with an excessive number of tens, However, they should be used. You can usually see one on a final movement where everything goes well; the horse is straight, is balanced, makes a relaxed transition to a square halt, and stands there immobile, exuding confidence and exuberance and deserving a ten.

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During his 2007 Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame induction ceremony, with then USDF Historical Recognition Committee chair Anne Moss (left) and then USDF president Sam Barish (right)

The same can be said of using nines. You watch all day, and the walks are constrained, irregular, pacing, jigging, inaccurate, and with heads too high; then you see a long, low, regular, striding walk with a 16" overstride, and you can easily give a nine. This score should also be reflected in the General Impressions under

regularity of the gaits. Now for the other end of the spectrum. The horse is supposed to take the canter in the corner at the training level. The rider kicks, pulls, and drives. The horse trots faster and doesn’t take the canter until the start of the circle, which is the next movement. The point of the movement

was to take the canter; the horse didn’t do it at all. He omitted the required movement. Zero. The horse should come to a halt at X. He never really halts but fidgets around, head not still, merely pausing. The horse didn’t really halt. One. The horse is irregular at the walk, showing more pacing than

regular walk The horse jigs at X, crossing the centerline. There is no overstep to speak of. The head is not in a free walk frame. Two. The horse is attempting an extended trot. He starts late, after a shallow corner, and is a bit irregular in the transition, then breaks to the canter at X. Three. I’m sure the scores would be more indicative of merit if judges used all the scores in their deck. Appropriate remarks and comments will help riders correct the difficulties. More experienced judges have a greater tendency to use all the points available than less experienced judges do. It is interesting to note that in Europe, one usually becomes a judge after retiring from competition; you don’t have the problem of current competitors judging current competitors, as we do on this continent. This obvious conflict of interest is most pronounced when competitors are judged by their peers in selection trials.

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© John Borys Photography

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