Page 1

Renew Your Membership (p. 19) Convention Preview (p. 26) ●

usdf Connection u s d f. o r g

october 2018

Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation

Life Hacks: Dressage Edition (p. 38) Sneak Peek: New USDF Freestyle Tests

Dawn White-O’Connor and Bailarino

Lebanon Junction, KY Permit # 559



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


Trainers Conference January 21-22, 2019 High Meadow Farm • Loxahatchee, FL Featuring

Debbie McDonald,

US Dressage Technical Advisor and the

US Dressage Coaches Debbie McDonald

Christine Traurig

US Dressage Young Horse Coach

George Williams US Dressage Youth Coach

Charlotte Bredahl

US Dressage Assistant Youth Coach

For attendance criteria, registration, curriculum, and travel information, visit


Step onto the National Stage and have the experience of a lifetime.

Nov. 8-11, 2018 • Kentucky Horse Park Entry Closing Date is October 25, 2018 midnight Eastern Time.

Follow the action on

VIP Packages and Hospitality Options are available. Visit usdressagefinals.com for more information.




In this Issue

32 38 42

USA, Canada Share Podium space at 2018 NAYC

4 Inside USDF Looking Back on a Nine-Year Run

Juniors and young riders realize their dream of representing their countries in competition

6 Ringside Confessions of a Tack Junkie

What’s in your tack box?

12 clinic Sequential Schooling of the Dressage Horse

By Natalie DeFee Mendik

22 freestyle connection Introducing the 2019 USDF Freestyle Tests

Life hacks: dressage edition

Meet the candidates

Get to know who’s running for USDF Executive Board office

By Kenneth Levy

By Jennifer O. Bryant

By Hilda Gurney

By Janet L. “Dolly” Hannon

28 historical connection American Dressage Legends: Peter Lert 30 all-breeds connection Breed of the Month: Shire 52 The Tail End In Pursuit of the Perfect Seat

In Every Issue

8 Heads UP 31 Sponsor Spotlight 48 Shop @ X 50 USDF Connection Submission Guidelines 50 Usdf OFFICE CONTACt DIRECTORY 51 Advertising Index

By Mary Robinson


on our cover Dawn White-O’Connor and Bailarino, owned by Four Winds Farm, were the 2018 Markel/USEF Developing Horse Dressage Grand Prix champions. More 2018 US Dressage Festival of Champions results on page 8. Photo by SusanJStickle.com.

Volume 20, Number 5

USDF Connection

October 2018


inside usdf



After serving three terms, Region 2’s director prepares to step down By Kenneth Levy, USDF Region 2 Director


n 2009 I was elected the USDF Region 2 director. With my background as a dressage competitor, group-member organization (GMO) president, USDF L graduate, US Equestrian “r” dressage judge, and USDF-certified instructor, I felt well prepared for my new position. As I started in my first term, there was no shortage of input from my fellow Region 2 members as to how to make the USDF a more reactive and member-friendly organization. It was clear that there was tension among a number of special-interest groups (GMOs, adult amateurs, youth, highperformance riders, and those not interested in competition at all). The requests from each group were very similar: Invest more time, energy, and money in programs directed toward that group; decrease funding and support for programs that the group was not interested in. Most important, do not raise membership fees. After nine years as a regional director, I’d like to share some of the things about the USDF that I have come to appreciate: • The USDF Executive Board, being sensitive to the economy and to member input, has implemented only two dues increases in the past 18 years. Like any organization, the USDF requires funding and is not immune to the cost increases we all must live with. To put things into perspective, the US Consumer Price Index has risen by over 14 percent since 2009. To meet members’ requests and needs, periodic dues increases are necessary. • The USDF has substantially increased its number of educational and awards programs in the past 10 years—while reorganizing and reducing the size of the office staff to improve efficiencies. • A significant focus on programs supporting adult amateurs and GMOs

has been created and implemented. • Major improvements to the USDF website have been implemented based on member input. • The eTRAK online multimedia educational tool was launched. • Financial budgeting, reporting, and transparency are the best since I joined the organization. • The board worked with non-board members across many membership categories to review the 2007 USDF strategic plan and to create the 2017 strategic plan that will guide the organization for the next 10 years. • The board has created a review process for evaluating new and existing programs to determine alignment with the USDF’s strategic goals. Those that do not deliver to their expected level of performance will be eliminated. • Regional directors are dedicated volunteers with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. At the 2018 convention in December, we will elect a new USDF president and treasurer. George Williams has been an outstanding president who has guided the USDF to new heights. I am confident that our new president will take our organization to the next level, and that Steve Schubert’s successor will continue to drive our financial stability. It has been an honor representing Region 2 and the entire USDF organization. I hope that the new Region 2 director—along with the new president, treasurer, and other new directors—receive your support. s

4 October 2018 • USDF Connection

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

Lisa Gorretta

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

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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


Sue Mandas

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


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


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

courtesy of Sue mckeown

Looking Back on a Nine-Year Run


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Confessions of a Tack Junkie Shopping? Meh—except if it’s for my horse


love tack. Always have. I have about a two-hour annual shopping-mall limit, but I will happily while away the hours in my local tack shop or browsing equestrian websites and catalogs. In my non-horse life, I’m not much of an early adopter. My iPhone is not the latest and greatest. My home is not “smart.” When it comes to my horse, however, I’m a sucker for a better mousetrap. A measure of journalistic skepticism serves as a check on my impulse to chase every bright, shiny new object to hit the equine marketplace. Still, I can’t resist at least checking out new products, designs, and innovations that promise to aid my riding or to help my horse feel or perform better. That said, when it came time to select a topic for our annual tack, grooming, and equipment issue, the decision was a no-brainer. What better way to yak about tack than to ask some respected members of the dressage community what items they can’t live without? Freelance writer Natalie DeFee Mendik polled a representative sample, and you’ll find their responses—along with a few clever tips and tricks—in “What’s in Your Tack Box?” on page 38. In my years of shopping for horse stuff, I’ve learned a few things—and not just about finding the best price. Price isn’t everything. Consider customer service, shipping fees, and return policies in buying decisions. I like to support my local bricks-and-mortar equestrian retailers, and there’s no substitute for the ability to see, feel, and try on the goods. Horse-show trade fairs and equine expos can be great opportunities to check out items that might not otherwise be available in your back yard. Read product descriptions carefully, including dimensions, size charts, and care instructions. If I’m contemplating an online purchase, I’ll usually look at the manufacturer’s website in addition

to the retailer’s. Sometimes the manufacturer’s site provides more details, additional photos, or even more size or color options than the retailer chose to carry. Major equestrian retailers offer many of the same items, but not all. Certain outlets may carry brands not found elsewhere, and some products are available only direct from the manufacturer. Brush up your online-searching skills and look around. Read reviews (preferably recent, as items do change over time) and look for trends. One person is bound to hate the product, just as someone else will call it the greatest thing since sliced bread, and a third won’t actually review the product at all but will complain about the shipping or some other tangential issue. But if a substantial portion of reviewers mention that the breeches run small, for example, I’ll take that point to heart. If I find myself patronizing a trusted retailer regularly, I’ll sign up for its email promotions, get on its mailing list, or “like” it on Facebook. Some businesses really do advertise special sales or other incentives via these channels. Don’t forget about the Member Perks discounts available to you as a USDF member, on products and services ranging from dressage equipment to online education to hotels. Learn more at usdf.org/join/MemberPerks. Happy shopping! Drop me a line and let me know what’s in your own tack box: jbryant@usdf.org.

Jennifer O. Bryant, Editor @JenniferOBryant

6 October 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


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


Janine Malone Lisa Gorretta • Elisabeth Williams


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


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


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 7 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.



Heads Up

Your Dressage World This Month


14 Titles Awarded at Dressage Festival of Champions

INTERMEDIAIRE I CHAMPIONS: Heather Blitz and Praestemarkens Quatero

Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Four-Year-Old: Leslie Waterman’s Hanoverian stallion, Sole Mio (by Stanford) won the title on an overall score of 8.57 with rider Emily Miles, Paola, Kansas. The reserve champion was Jagger (by Apache), a KWPN gelding owned and ridden by Rebecca Rigdon, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California (8.32). Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Five-Year-Old: SenSation HW, a Westfalen gelding by Sunday and owned by Carol McPhee, won the title on an overall score of 8.71 under rider Michael Bragdell, Colora, Maryland. Alice Tarjan, Oldwick, New Jersey, rode her Oldenburg mare Fairouz (by Frazoslis) to the reserve championship on 8.54. Markel/USEF Young Horse Dressage Six-Year-Old: Riding his

homebred KWPN gelding, Habanero CWS (by Idocus), Craig Stanley, Madera, California, took the championship title on an overall score of 8.98. Sandeman (by Sir Donnerhall), a Hanoverian gelding owned by Julie Cook, was the reserve champion on 8.67 with rider Angela Jackson, of Henderson, Kentucky. Markel/USEF Developing Horse Dressage Prix St. Georges: Endel Ots, Wellington, Florida, won the title aboard Lucky Strike, an eightyear-old Hanoverian gelding by Lord Laurie and owned by Max Ots, on an overall score of 7.32. Christopher Hickey, Wellington, Florida, was the reserve champion with Straight Horse Zackonik (by Blue Hors Zack), an eight-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Cecelia Stewart. Markel/USEF Developing Horse Dressage Grand Prix: Dawn WhiteO’Connor, Cardiff, California, won the title aboard Bailarino, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Four Winds Farm, on an overall score of 68.635 percent. Riding her own eight-year-old Hanoverian mare, Candescent, Alice Tarjan won the reserve championship on 66.286. USEF Intermediaire I Dressage: Riding her nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Praestemarkens Quatero, Heather Blitz, Wellington, Florida, won the championship with an overall score of 73.336 percent. The reserve champions were Jennifer Baumert, Wellington, Florida, and Betsy Juliano LLC’s 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Handsome (72.794). USEF Grand Prix Dressage: Kastel Denmark’s 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion Kastel’s Nintendo, ridden by Charlotte Jorst, Reno, Nevada, won the title on an overall score of 70.098 percent over reserve champions Nick Wagman, San Diego, and Don John, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Beverly Gepfer (69.073).

8 October 2018 • USDF Connection

SIX-YEAR-OLD CHAMPION: Habanero CWS and breeder/owner/rider Craig Stanley

USEF Children Dressage: Miki Yang, Los Altos Hills, California, won the title on an overall score of 69.020 percent riding Four Winds Farm’s 11-year-old New Forest Pony gelding, Garden’s Sam. The reserve champion was Averi Allen, of Pleasant Hill, Missouri, riding Mary Adams’ nineyear-old Friesian Sporthorse mare, Lady Lilliana (67.633). USEF Pony Rider Dressage: Ellanor Boehning, 12, of San Diego, won the title riding Kabam, a German Riding Pony gelding she co-owns with Ann Boehning, on an overall score of 69.996 percent. The reserve champion was Abby Fodor, 14, of Bloomsbury, New Jersey, riding Slip and Slide, a Quarter Horse/Haflinger cross gelding owned by Marie Fodor (66.307). USEF Junior Dressage: The championship title went to Emma Asher, Greenwood Village, Colorado, riding Traneenggaards Akondo, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by Seeley Equestrian Ventures, on an overall score of 70.944 percent. Melanie Doughty, Cocoa Beach, Florida, was the reserve champion (68.512) aboard the 10-year-old Rheinlander mare Fascinata.



amplight Equestrian Center, Wayne, Illinois, from August 21-26 hosted the 2018 US Dressage Festival of Champions. The allin-one event awarded national-championship titles in 12 divisions plus the two age groups in the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Dressage Seat Equitation Medal Finals.


USEF Young Rider Dressage: With her 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Don Phillippo, Callie Jones, of Henderson, Kentucky, took the title on an overall score of 71.201 percent. Veronica West, Marina del Rey, California, won the reserve championship riding her 19-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Nobleman (70.637). USEF Young Adult “Brentina Cup” Dressage: Codi Harrison, Loxahatchee, Florida, earned an overall score of 72.622 percent to claim the title riding her 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Katholt’s Bossco. Molly Paris, Charlotte, North Carolina, was the reserve champion riding her 16-year-old Danish mare, Countess. USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 13 and Under: Last year’s champion and reserve champion repeated their 2017 placings this year. Camille Molten, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, again was named champion on a score of 91.00 percent riding Wyldwych Bamboozle, an 11-year-old gelding of unknown breeding owned by Deborah Stanitski. The repeat reserve champion was Kasey Denny, Hutto, Texas, who rode Feyock, a 21-year-old Westfalen gelding owned by Amy Denny, to a score of 89.00 percent. USEF Dressage Seat Medal Final 14-18: The champion, on a score of 95.00 percent, was Sophia Schults, St. Joseph, Michigan, riding Samour M, her eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding. The reserve championship went to Maya Miller on Beringer, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Ginny Crawford. Digital Edition Bonus Content

Watch on-demand video footage from the 2018 US Dressage Festival of Champions.

us dressage finals

US Dressage Finals Nomination/Entry Information


completed by midnight Eastern Time October 25.

ach entry must submit a nomination by midnight, 96 hours after the last championship day of the Great American/USDF Regional Championship in which the pair competed. In addition, the entry process must be

US Dressage Finals Travel Grants Available


S Dressage Finals competitors who reside in one of the applicable states (WA, OR, CA, HI, AK, MT, ID, AZ, NV, UT, WY, NM, CO) are eligible to apply for travel grants. A rider may apply for a grant with each eligible horse entered. To be considered for a grant, submit a grant request with the entry by checking the grantrequest box. More program details can be found in the prize list.

financial aid

Technical Delegate Receives Educational Grant


program was named in memoriam. ressage technical delegate “Veronica knew well the challenges Beth Davidson, of Plant City, that many of us face when we are Florida, has received the 2018 apprenticing for our licenses and Veronica Holt Dressage Technical promotions.” Delegate Grant, The Dressage Foundation (dressagefoundation.org) announced in August. Davidson plans to use the $500 grant to apprentice at the 2018 Great American/USDF Region 2 Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, in October, followed by additional competitions in early 2019, in pursuit of obtaining her US Equestrian “R” dressage TD’s license. “I was so very lucky to know Veronica and learn from her at the USDF TD Clinics,” said Davidson of the TD, ON THE JOB: TD and grant recipient Beth Davidson for whom the grant USDF Connection

October 2018


Heads Up

Your Dressage World This Month Youth

usdf Bulletins

What you need to know this month Don’t Miss These Year-End Awards Deadlines October 15, 5:00 p.m. ET: Notify USDF of any score or award-standings corrections October 26: Submit year-end awards photographs to USDF (first place only) November 2: Notify USDF if you plan to receive an award at the 2018 USDF Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet.

IEA Launches Dressage Pilot Program


eginning with its 2018-19 season, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) has added dressage as a membership option.

Regional Championships Competitors: We Want to Hear from You! Don’t forget to complete an electronic evaluation form. A Great American/USDF Regional Championships evaluation will be e-mailed to competitors after each Regional Championship competition.

USDF Apprentice Technical Delegate Clinic • Held in conjunction with the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention • Date: November 28, 2018, 12:00-8:00 p.m. • Instructor: Jean Kraus • Open to all • Required to become a licensed dressage technical delegate • Registration deadline: November 23.

industry trends


Dressage Stands out Again in AHP Equine Industry Survey

f an equine enthusiast in America engages in a horse-related pursuit other than pleasure or trail riding, that pursuit is most likely to be dressage, according to the results of a new industry survey. Of the roughly 9,000 usable responses to the 2018 American Horse Publications (AHP) Equine Industry Survey sponsored by Zoetis, 27 percent indicated that they ride dressage. That figure is topped only by those who say that they pleasure or trail ride (68.6 percent), or whose horses are “idle, retired, or otherwise not working”

(31.3 percent). Respondents were asked to indicate all forms of activity with their horses, so in all likelihood some dressage-riding respondents also enjoy taking their horses out on the trails. For the fourth consecutive survey, respondents indicated that the number-one issue facing the horse industry is that of unwanted horses (37.8 percent). Coming in a close second was the cost of horsekeeping (36.4 percent), followed by two landrelated issues, loss of trails and riding areas (29.5 percent) and competition for open space (27.8 percent).

10 October 2018 • USDF Connection

The IEA has partnered with the Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) to help grow and promote the IEA’s Dressage Pilot Program, IEA dressage administrator Emily David stated in an August press release. The Dressage Pilot Program has been running scrimmages for the past two years in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Indiana, and Ohio. Dressage teams are being organized and shows are being scheduled in Maryland, Virginia, New York, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Texas, and Mississippi, according to the release. “The Intercollegiate Dressage Association is thrilled to be working with IEA to help grow the sport of dressage,” said Averett College’s Ginger Henderson, president of the IDA. “We know how rewarding competing as a team can be for young riders, and having that available for middle- and upper-school dressage riders through IEA is a fantastic new opportunity. We are delighted that many of our IDA schools are choosing to work with local IEA teams to bring more dressage competitions to their IEA regions. As an organization, we look forward to welcoming those dressage enthusiasts to our IDA teams when they reach college.” Learn more at rideiea.org. 

behind the scenes


Michele Hundt, Equine Artist and Equestrian Retailer

ob title: Equine artist (michelehundt. com) and co-owner of Show Chic Dressage, Wellington, Florida (showchicdressage.com) What I do: The [works] for purchase are hanging in the shop. I originally started it because I thought it added another dimension to my shop, and then it just kind of took off from there. How I got started: I’ve always been an artist, and I worked commercially for about 20 years. My husband and I started the shop in 2003. We came to Wellington in 2004. Best thing about my job: You can completely get lost in the moment. Worst thing about my job: I don’t

have any worst. I paint what I want to paint and how I want to paint it. I had lost the passion for quite a while because I had done commercial art for so long. I thought, if I go back to it, I’m going to do only what I want to do. My horses: I quit riding when I started the business, and I knew that I was supposed to start painting again. You can’t do it all. Tip: Don’t buy art to go with the colors in your living room. When you find something that touches you, buy it. Take it home. It will find the place it wants to live.

Where Do You And Your Horse Rank?

—Katherine Walcott

COLORFUL: Hundt with one of her creations

The Near Side

You could receive an award! Don’t Miss These Important Year-end Award Deadlines! • October 15, 2018 • All corrections must be reported to USDF by 5:00 p.m. ET


• October 26, 2018 • Photo submission deadline (first place recipients only) for inclusion in the yearbook issue of USDF Connection • November 2, 2018 • If planning to receive your award at the Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet purchase your banquet ticket online and provide USDF award recipient information Learn more about the year-end award requirements in the USDF Member Guide. Check your scores at USDFScores.com Visit usdf.org/awards/preliminary to find out where you and your horse are ranked.

USDF Connection

October 2018




Training Classic

Sequential Schooling of the Dressage Horse

Second in a series. This month: Basics of aids as communication, leg-yield, and bend. By Hilda Gurney Photographs by Hillair Carthine Bell

Effective Communication: Rein Aids “On the bit” means that horse and rider are communicating effectively. Communication is a logical development, from the simple “go,” “whoa,” and simple turns of our green prospect to the very sophisticated language used by an advanced horseand-rider team. A rider asking for a canter pirouette might “talk” to the

apart. OK. Oops—soften your left jaw! That’s better...Now, forward again, straighten your body, and lengthen your stride back into collected canter... That’s right. Go on!” Even during the first steps of training, communication must be received and expressed by both horse and rider. The rider’s signals must be received and interpreted by the horse and then expressed through the horse’s actions. The horse sends information on what he is doing, what he plans to do, and how attentive he is. The rider’s signals, or aids, must be expressed in a manner that the horse can comprehend. The rider must also be sensitive enough to understand the horse’s signals. Horse and rider communicate through the tactile and kinesthetic senses—touch and movement, rather than the eye-ear-mouth signals humans use among themselves. Effective

tactile and kinesthetic communication is developed slowly, from the simplest beginnings. The gradual growth toward complexity and range of communication is comparable to a baby learning to understand and speak: first words, then phrases, and finally whole sentences and paragraphs. The first three aids taught are as follows: 1. To move forward from leg pressure 2. To slow down from rein pressure 3. To turn by use of leading rein. When the young horse understands these three aids and is able to walk and trot in balance, the canter may be introduced. At first, use a large circle and ask for the canter at a point where the horse tends to fall in rather than out. The rider’s outside leg should be positioned back, while the inside leg remains just behind the girth. Both legs urge the horse into the canter. There is no need to be particular about correct leads in early work, since it is the idea of “canter” that is the primary objective. Once the horse understands this new aid, “canter,” he may be asked for the correct lead. If he gets the wrong lead, bring him back to the trot, work on a large circle, and repeat the canter aids. The canter teaches the horse two new aids: 4. Rider’s leg position can denote gait

The rider’s hands must follow the forward nod of the horse’s head at the walk in order to promote overstep and activity

horse as follows: “All right, shorten your stride and engage your haunches more...Bend more to the left in a shoulder-fore position...Now engage more...OK, swing your forehand—not so fast! Put your hind legs farther Adapted from a series published in Dressage & CT, September 1978-October 1979. Reprinted by permission of the estate of Ivan I. Bezugloff Jr.


Left: The rider should use a more forward seat on the young horse to encourage him to use his back. Right: Most trot work on the young horse should be done rising to encourage him to relax his back.

October 2018 • USDF Connection

5. Rider’s leg position indicates leads. At this early stage of schooling, most horses are not strong enough to tolerate the rider’s use of a deep seat. In general, use a more forward huntseat position and use rising trot. You may now start correcting the young horse when he tosses his head, sets his jaw, or pulls at the bit. Each horse is different; however, scolding him, putting pressure on the reins, and even working the bit in his mouth whenever he resists may help him to understand that he is not to repeal undesirable behavior. Of course, it is too soon to ask for a head position or even more than a floating rein contact. Gradually, the horse should be moving forward more energetically and be able to accept more contact. Whenever the horse does not respond to leg-aid pressure, you may use the touch of the whip as a reinforcement. Prompt reward helps to teach the horse to respond to the lighter leg aids. If the horse does not respond to light aids, he should be corrected immediately and effectively. Corrections can take many forms. They must be effective, not punitive. The rider must analyze the response of each horse in order to create an effective communication program. The horse must be free of fear or tension while he is learning what the rider wants, and rewards must be used to motivate the horse to change to more desirable behavior. Effective rewards include easing the corrective aids as soon as the horse responds properly, vocal approval, a light pat, walking on a loose rein, or changing to another exercise. Corrections serve to limit and suppress undesirable behavior, but only the reward tells the horse what action is desirable. By now, the young horse should know and understand that he is not allowed to lean on or pull against the reins. Remember that effective correction and reward differ not only from horse to horse, but can be different for each horse, according to mood, excitement level, location (home or away), weather, and level of training. [ USDF Connection • October 2018



An active walk on long reins is an effective reward. Reward reinforces desirable behavior.

There are many forms of correction. Some will be effective for one horse but not for another. Most horses respond most effectively to a combination of corrections. The most important part of a rein correction is the reward of the elastic contact. An elastic rein contact follows the horse’s mouth without impeding forward movement. Only a feeling rider whose hands are completely independent of his seat can have an elastic rein contact. A rider who uses the reins in order to keep his seat will not be able to maintain an elastic contact and therefore will not be able to reward the horse effectively for desirable behavior. A snapping contact causes the bit to jerk and is highly undesirable. A fixed contact serves as punishment and restricts the horse’s movement. At the walk, an elastic contact must follow the horse’s head as it nods in time with the free-moving, long strides. It is important that the rider follows the forward movement of the horse’s head, encouraging the horse to reach out in its stride. Following the backward nod often results in a restricted stride and a wrongly-shaped neck. At the trot, the contact is maintained steadily but with feeling. At the canter, the elastic hand follows the slight head nod of the young, unbalanced horse or that of the advanced horse in canter extensions. (On the advanced horse, the more rounded



frame should be maintained on an elastic contact.) As of yet, we have not asked the young prospect for the more rounded frame; we ask only that he accepts and does not resist our light elastic contact or the retarding and turning rein aids. Increasing and decreasing the pressure of the reins is one form of correction. When the horse resists, the rider increases the pressure against the reins until the horse ceases the resistance. The rider immediately rewards the horse by returning to an elastic contact. This form of correction is effective on sensitive horses, but usually should be combined with other corrections on the less-sensitive. Riders must be very aware of the behavior they want to reward. Too often, you see riders rewarding their horses for raising or tossing their heads by lightening or losing the contact. You also see riders give when the horse pulls. Worst of all, you see riders who do not reward at all. Their horses no longer even try to respond to the aids and give up, becoming one-sided and dead-mouthed. Such horses have given up hope of ever communicating with the human vise on their backs. These are the most difficult horses of all to reschool, since they have not been able to learn that communication is indeed possible between horse and rider. It Is better to reward too much rather than too little. Of course, logical reward will most quickly and clearly develop communication with the equine partner. Another form of rein correction is vibration, in which the rider’s fingers vibrate the reins. Vibrations used with a little pressure are effective for softening the jaw at the halt without causing the horse to back up. Vibrations combined with pressure are effective in flexing the poll as well as softening the jaw. Resistance during transitions can often be prevented through use of soft vibrations, which have a relaxing effect on the horse’s jaw. On one-sided horses, stronger vibrations are probably necessary on the hard side in order to keep the horse moving straight.

October 2018 • USDF Connection

Widening the hands tends to lower the horse’s nose, while putting the hands together tends to raise the nose. The feeling rider chooses the hand width that helps the horse to perform in the optimum manner. Widening the hands tends to help steady a horse with an unsteady head. Combining a wide hand with increased vibrations and/or pressure makes the correction more severe. As soon as the horse responds properly to the correction, the hands should be returned to their more normal and together position as part of the reward. Horses that tend to drop their noses too much toward the vertical frequently go better if the rider keeps the hands closer together. Riders must analyze which hand positions and corrections are most effective for their horses. Raising the hands raises the horse’s head, while lowering the hands lowers the head. Lowering the hands below the level of the horse’s mouth can cause the horse to shorten his neck and lose elasticity, so be careful not to lower the hands too much. One-sided horses have to be ridden straight and must not be allowed to bend more toward their soft side. Such horses must be bent evenly, the same amount on both sides. Only by being ridden evenly can their trunk, neck, and back muscles become suppled. On their soft side, such horses frequently like to bend only their necks, allowing the haunches to fly outward. On their hard side, they don’t like to bend anything; this usually means that there are not many problems with too much neck bending on the hard side! Riders must use their aids so that the horse bends correctly, helping the horse to become more supple, which in turn leads to the horse’s moving more evenly. Many riders make the mistake of riding with even aids on a crooked horse. Likewise, riders who inadvertently use uneven aids can cause a fairly even horse to work in an uneven manner. In moments of extreme resistance on a very hard-mouthed horse, sliding the bit through the mouth is a

very effective, very severe correction. Bit-sliding must be done with rein contact, since a slack rein would cause a jerking effect. This strong correction should cease as soon as the horse gives. Continuous bit-sliding results in a hard-mouthed horse that wags his head from side to side like a dog’s tail. A horse that likes to duck his head can be corrected by upward lifts on one or both reins. As soon as the horse responds correctly, the hands must return to a normal position. Too often, riders end up being trained by the horse to hold up his head for him. Through corrections and rewards, the rider modifies the horse’s behavior and establishes a form of communication. The horse becomes more attentive to the rider and begins to understand that the pressures on his body do have meaning. Soon, the horse will develop sophistication in his ability to respond and modify his behavior: He learns how to learn. As communication develops, the horse’s attention becomes more focused on his rider, and he is less distracted by outside stimuli. Of course, rein corrections are only a small part of the communication methods available to the educated rider; however, they are discussed here for reasons of clarity and importance. Illogical use of rein corrections can be totally destructive for the development of both communication and gymnastic ability in the young dressage prospect.

same—never a quicker—tempo. If the response isn’t immediate, apply a light whip tap behind your leg. A common mistake is to use continuous, strong leg pressure rather than to reinforce a light leg aid with the whip. The horse will soon become as accustomed to the strong leg pressure as he did to the light leg. He will become dull while the rider becomes exhausted . . . how much easier to demand response from a light leg with a few whip taps. Immediately reward by easing leg pressure and cease

using the whip. If there is little response to the whip, use it harder. If kicks or bucks are forthcoming, continue to drive with the legs and whip until the horse moves forward. Some riders are afraid to hit the horse because they fear that he might buck. This horse now has the upper hand: He knows that he can do anything he pleases and his rider won’t do anything about it. Such horses need to be put in training while the rider rides other, kinder horses in order to develop seat and confidence. [

Response to the Aids At this point in his training, our dressage prospect has been accustomed to being ridden on a floating contact at the walk, trot, and canter. His walk is long and loose, and we are careful to encourage him to step energetically and to allow free nodding of his head. It is very important that the trot be “stabilized.” Any tendency to lag or hurry must be carefully corrected. Light calf squeezes in rhythm with the rider’s posting should maintain the gait’s activity. If the horse lags, heavier leg aids should be used; again in the USDF Connection • October 2018


clinic Any tendency to hurry should be checked with short rein actions or halfhalts. Holding the horse slower with a constantly pulling hand will cause tension and an unresponsive mouth. If the horse doesn’t slow down when half-halted, quietly but firmly bring him to a full halt. Soon he will learn that he must respond to the half-halt or be halted. Once the horse grows accustomed to the slower tempo, he will be more inclined to stay in it. Tempo is important at this stage of schooling, and the horse that hurries must be taught a slower tempo, while the lagger must be urged forward. Riders should endeavor to keep as even a tempo as possible, choosing the tempos that allow the horse to move the best possible for his ability and training level. Advice from someone on the ground is almost indispensable in order to help the rider analyze how the horse goes best.

Introducing Leg-Yield Yielding from the leg can be introduced from the ground by giving light pokes


Figure 1. An effective pattern to use for introducing leg-yield. The rider turns early, before the corner, and moves the horse back to the long side by asking him to yield to the inside leg.

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October 2018 • USDF Connection

with the handle end of the whip on the horse’s side, just behind the girth. As soon as the horse moves away, reward him with a pat. Repeat this exercise on both sides. If the horse backs up, continue to nudge him with the whip handle until he finally moves sideways. As soon as he moves away from light pokes, yielding from the leg can be introduced under saddle. At first it may be necessary to deviate from standard aids in order to assist the horse in understanding what is wanted. As understanding develops, the rider should gradually accustom him to the standard aids for that movement. When introducing leg-yield, the rider turns the horse just a few feet before the long side of the arena (Fig. 1). Using a tapping inside leg aid, the rider encourages the horse to move forward and sideways back to the track. Relax the aids as soon as the horse is on the rail. If the horse doesn’t understand, the rider may help by moving both hands toward the track. This rein action will lead



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the horse’s shoulder toward the rail. The body of the horse should be kept parallel to the rail, with the poll flexed slightly away from the direction of movement. The haunches shouldn’t lag or lead. Once an understanding of legyielding has been developed, the horse must be schooled to move more off the leg so that the hands do not have to lead the shoulder as much. Continued leading of the shoulders with the hands means that the horse is yielding from the rein rather than the leg. Legyielding is schooled at both walk and trot, and should be introduced at the gait at which the rider feels he has the most control. Horses frequently misunderstand the inside leg and will hurry forward instead of yielding laterally to it. Working on leg-yield at walk, interspersed with halts if necessary, will usually solve this problem. If hurrying occurs at the trot, check the horse, and if there is no response, drop down to the walk and complete the leg-yield

Figure 2. Leg-yield from the right leg. Notice how the outside (left) rein is filled out by the slight bend in the horse’s body. The horse’s poll is flexed slightly to the right, away from the direction of movement.

Figure 3. Leg-yield from the left leg. Notice that the inside (left) rein is off the horse’s neck due to the slight bend in his body.

USDF Connection • October 2018




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October 2018 • USDF Connection

at the walk. After being checked a few times, the horse should realize that he’s to yield to, rather than hurry forward from, the leg. Throwing the shoulder toward the track is another common resistance. If this occurs, the rider shouldn’t allow the horse to move to the track, but rather make him move forward and parallel to the long side of the square until he is stabilized in a straight line and his shoulder aligned again with his neck and body. Leg-yield can then be asked for again. This correction should be repeated each time the horse thrusts his shoulder sideways until he learns to move his body as a complete unit. The rider can increase the sophistication of the aids as the horse develops an understanding of leg-yield. Both hands can stay to the inside of the slight bend in the horse’s body, with the horse filling out the outside rein which is against his neck (see Fig. 2). The inside rein should be off the neck and have a lighter contact than the outside rein (Fig. 3). The inside leg can gradually be moved forward so that the horse bends around it to a greater degree. This increased bending around the inside leg at the girth (with the outside leg behind the girth) helps supple the horse and prepare him for circles, turns, and shoulder-in. Leg-yielding can be introduced in several other patterns once the horse understands the simple pattern discussed above of moving toward the rail (enlarging the square). Shrinking the square is done by changing the bend to the outside on the long side and moving the horse in, away from the track (Fig. 4). Counter-changes in leg-yield can be performed by alternating left and right leg-yielding, straightening the horse between directions. Leg-yield can be used in moving in and out on a circle (Fig. 5). To move in, the horse is counterflexed and yielded away from the rider’s outside leg, gradually spiraling in on the circle. To move outward, the horse is bent around the inside leg and gradually spiraled out.

TIME TO RENEW FOR 2019! Your 2018 membership expires November 30! Renew by 12/31 to receive the 2018 Yearbook. SPECIAL OFFER: Renew your USDF Participating Membership online by December 31, 2018 to receive a $25 electronic gift card from SmartPak! Only members who renew by 6/1/19 are guaranteed a printed copy of the 2019 USDF Member Guide. Figure 4. (A) A more complex pattern. The flexion must be changed after the corner before the horse can be leg-yielded away from the track. (B) Leg-yield on the track facing the rail. Both hind and front legs cross. (C) Leg-yield on the track. The horse’s body is straighter than in shoulder-in.

Leg-yield can also be performed on the rail with the shoulders both in or out. Leg-yield on the rail differs from shoulder-in and counter-shoulder-in by the crossing of the hind legs. In observing all forms of leg-yield, the crossing of the hind legs verifies that the horse is really responding to the rider’s leg aids. Practice leg-yield only for short periods of time, with longer periods spent moving forward in straight lines. Encourage the horse to stretch into the bit at all times. Leg-yield should not be practiced if the horse hollows his back or shortens his neck regularly during the exercise. Instead, the rider should return to the basic schooling of getting the horse to move forward in a stabilized rhythm, stretching into the bit.

Figure 5. (A) Leg-yielding in on a circle. (B) Leg-yielding out on a circle.

Bend Once a horse understands leg-yield, ask him to bend to the inside on all circles and turns. The horse should be bent around the rider’s active inside leg “at the girth” (actually, just behind the girth). Both hands should move slightly toward the inside with the inside rein off the neck, while the neck fills out the outside rein. The inside rein should also have a lighter contact than the outside. Vibrate the inside rein slightly if the horse tends to lean on it. The activity of the horse’s inside hind leg is impaired if the rider hangs on that rein. Proof of the suppling effect of the circle, turn, or leg-yield is the filling out of the outside rein and the lightening of the inside rein. In correct bend around the rider’s inside leg, the horse’s body appears to conform to the arc of the circle. The rider should have slightly more weight in the inside stirrup. Both the rider’s hips

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USDF Connection • October 2018




and shoulders remain parallel to those of the horse. Turning of the rider’s shoulders to align them with those of the horse should be done without dropping the inside shoulder down. Riders must always check that their corners and turns are ridden correctly, with the horse bent throughout its body. Correctly ridden turns have a tremendously beneficial suppling effect on the horse’s body. The four corners of the dressage arena give the rider four opportunities to supple the horse. Lack of bending, with the horse falling on the inside shoulder, is a common fault. This problem can be corrected by moving the shoulder out back in alignment by using the inside leg “at the girth.” In extreme cases, the inside leg may be reinforced by tapping the horse’s shoulder with a whip, or long-legged riders may use the leg

on the shoulder. As soon as the horse responds to the correction and ceases to fall in on his shoulder, reward him by lightening the aids. Be certain never to hold the horse’s shoulder out by crossing the inside rein over toward the withers. Legs must bend the horse; hands can’t.

Legs must bend the horse; hands can’t.

Another common fault on turns and circles is “neck-in.” Too much use of the inside rein will cause the horse to bend his neck more than the rest of his body. Often the pulling in of the neck causes the haunches to swing out on the circle. Less inside rein is often a simple cure. If the haunches still

swing out, more outside leg will also be needed. At first when lateral movements are introduced, it is enough for the horse to respond only to the rider’s active leg. When the horse completely understands moving laterally from the active leg, bending around the rider’s inside leg can be introduced. Placement of the rider’s inside leg “at the girth” (again, just behind the girth) and the outside leg farther back than the inside leg is important. The outside leg controls the haunches’ tendency to swing outward while the horse bends around the inside leg. The outside leg should only be used when needed to control the haunches whenever they tend to swing outward. A too-strong outside leg may cause the horse to go with his haunches in. The inside leg carried too far back may cause the horse’s haunches

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October 2018 • USDF Connection

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to swing outward. Riders must always be aware of where the horse’s haunches are and keep them in proper alignment with the body. A rider must know where his legs are and how they affect his horse. The outside leg braced to the front is a common sight with novice riders. Only a proper leg position used effectively will lead to the horse’s bending evenly throughout his body on curves and moving straight on straight lines. The rider’s weight should be carried slightly more on the stirrup on the inside of the horse’s bend. Corners should be ridden shallowly but correctly bent at this stage of schooling. At the walk, corners can be ridden more deeply than at trot or canter. Even though leg-yield isn’t usually practiced at the canter, our prospect should understand the bending aids enough to bend correctly on turns at the canter.

The bending aids will reinforce the canter-depart aids. As soon as our prospect can canter around the arena without falling into trot, large, correctly-bent circles and trot-canter transitions may be introduced. Canter departs generally are best done on a curve or circle. As soon as the horse understands “canter,” he should be encouraged to depart off the standard aids of “inside leg at the girth/outside leg behind the girth.” Departs are generally better done from a trot with the rider using a rather active outside leg carried fairly far behind the girth. The inside leg reinforces the outside leg. Later on in schooling, the rider’s inside leg should be strengthened to assist in straighter departs as well as to decrease the tendency to mix up canter-depart aids with haunches-in and half-pass. It is important for the

tempi changes to come later that the horse learns to depart off leg aids and not hand aids. s Next month: Half-halts, counter-canter, and lengthenings. When Hilda Gurney wrote this series for Dressage & CT magazine, it had been only two years since she had won a team bronze medal at the 1976 Olympics with her legendary Thoroughbred, Keen. Forty years later, Gurney is still going strong at her Keenridge in Moorpark, CA, where she continues to ride, train, and teach. For her contributions as a dressage professional, competitor, judge, sport-horse breeder, and more, she was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame in 2007. Keen was inducted in 1997.

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USDF Connection • October 2018


freestyle connection


Introducing the 2019 USDF Freestyle Tests

style. Freestyles are on many riders’ “bucket lists.” Here’s a sneak peek at what’s changing in the 2019 freestyle tests.

User-Friendly Score-Sheet Layout

Let the music play! Here’s what you need to know. By Janet L. “Dolly” Hannon


he USDF Freestyle Committee is pleased to announce that the new 2019 USDF freestyle tests (Training through Fourth Levels) are approved and will be available at the 2018 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention in Salt Lake City, and online this month.

2019 USDF 2nd Level Freestyle Suggested schedule time: 10 minutes per ride





Competitor No.:

With the rising popularity of lower-level freestyles and the chance to qualify to compete at the prestigious US Dressage Finals, the importance of lower-level freestyles is at an all-time high. I frequently hear from competitors that one of their goals in dressage is to perform a free-



Note: Non-compulsory movements must be rewarded or penalized under Choreography and/or Degree of Difficulty. Judges Marks for Artistic Impression may be given in tenths. POSSIBLE POINTS

1. Harmony Between Horse and Rider ©2018 United States Dressage Federation (USDF) and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited by law. Neither USDF nor USEF is responsible for any errors or omissions in the publication or for the use of its copyrighted material in an unauthorized manner.



5 minutes


The new freestyle test sheets are laid out much more like the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) freestyle score sheets in that each movement has its own line, and there is much more room for multiple scores and comments (see the example below). No more tiny boxes for the scribe to try to cram several scores into! Bolded lines between the move-

Scoresheet effective dates: December 1, 2018 - November 30, 2022

No minimum time
















2. Choreography design cohesiveness, use of arena, balance, creativity

3. Degree of Difficulty

Note: Omitted compulsory elements receive a “0”. Judges Marks for Technical Execution must be given in half or full points (no tenths). Trot work must be done sitting. COMPULSORY ELEMENTS & PRELIMINARY MARKS

1. Medium walk (20m continuous) 2. Free walk (20m continuous)





4. Music


suitability, cohesiveness, seamlessness



5. Interpretation music expresses gaits, use of phrasing and dynamics


Further Remarks:

3. Shoulder-in RIGHT in collected trot (12m min)


Total Artistic Impression (150 points possible)

4. Shoulder-in LEFT in collected trot (12m min)


5. Travers RIGHT in collected trot (12m min)


Deductions (overtime penalties) Overtime penalty will incur a deduction of 1 point from total for Artistic Impression

6. Travers LEFT in collected trot (12m min)


7. Medium trot on straight line

8. Simple change of lead RIGHT

9. Simple change of lead LEFT


Final Score (300 points possible)


Percentage (Final score divided by 300) In case of tie: The higher total for Artistic Impression will break the tie.


11. Counter-canter in collected canter LEFT


12. Medium canter on straight line


14. Rhythm, energy and elasticity

Further Remarks:

Final Technical Execution (150 points possible)


10. Counter-canter in collected canter RIGHT

13. Halt with salute on centerline, first and final

Final Artistic Impression (150 points possible)

Signature: Reminders for Freestyle Judges


Time: The USDF Freestyles maximum time limit is 5 minutes. There is no minimum time. No bell is sounded at the end of the time limit. Movements executed after the 5 minutes limit are not scored. One (1) point is deducted from the total for Artistic Impression for exceeding the time limit. DR 129: Under penalty of elimination at the discretion of the Judge at “C”, a rider must enter the arena within 30 seconds of the music starting. Music must cease at the final salute.


Total Technical Execution (150 points possible) Deductions (forbidden movements) Errors (2 points off for each error, not cumulative) Final Technical Execution (150 points possible) Forbidden movements will incur a deduction of 4 points from Total Execution for each forbidden movement, but not for each recurrence of the same movement.

Second Level Forbidden: Any movement or transition found only in tests above the level. Exceptions are listed under Additionally Allowed. Additionally Allowed: Half turn on haunches (no more than 180 degrees), renvers, medium trot and/or canter on a curved line.

DR 129: At the beginning and end of a Freestyle Test a halt with a salute is compulsory. Time begins when the horse moves forward after the competitor’s halt and ends with the final halt and salute. Judging: DR 129: All judges of a freestyle test at any level must judge both artistic and technical parts of the test. DR 129: In case of rider’s music failing before or during a Freestyle Test and in cases where there is no backup system the rider can, with permission of the judge at “C”, leave the arena or start at a later time. There should be minimum interference with the starting times of the other riders and the affected rider should return to complete or restart his/her test during a scheduled break in the competition or at the end of the competition. The rider may decide whether to restart the test from the beginning or to commence from the point where the music failed. Judging must restart at the point of interruption. In any case, the marks already given will not be changed. DR 122: The judge may stop a test and/or allow a competitor to restart a test from the beginning or from any appropriate point in the test if, in his discretion, some unusual circumstance has occurred to interrupt a test. Above the level Movements and Transitions: Movements and transitions “above the level” (found ONLY in a higher level test) receive a deduction of four points from the total for technical execution for each illegal movement or transition, but not for each recurrence of the same movement or transition. Errors: The bell is not rung for errors occurring in USDF Freestyle Tests. Errors occur for failure to salute in the halt or rising at the trot at Second Level and above. Two points will be deducted for each error, however they are not cumulative and will not result in elimination.

Rules and Guidelines for USDF Training through Fourth Level Freestyle can be found on usdf.org. USEF Rule References current as of October 1, 2018. The most up to date USEF rules regarding Freestyles can be found on usef.org.

USER-FRIENDLY DESIGN: New 2019 score sheets are intended to be clearer and easier to use


October 2018 • USDF Connection

ments at each gait will aid scribes in locating movements quickly. Directions of movements that are shown both left and right are also bolded. As a result, walk, trot, and canter movements will be grouped together and will be more clear. These layout changes will make the tests much more scribe- and judge-friendly.

Scoring Changes Collective marks. There are fewer collective marks in the 2019 USDF freestyle tests. On the technical side of the test sheet, there is only one collective mark: for rhythm, energy, and elasticity. This score encompasses the quality of the gaits and the impulsion. (This same score is used in the FEI freestyle score sheets, but it is included in the artistic marks instead of technical.) This change should make it easier for judges to finish scoring freestyle tests and should help them stay on time. Errors. The new score sheets will

also enable the judge to deduct points for errors, which have not appeared in previous test cycles. In a lower-level freestyle, the competitor will incur an error for failing to salute at the entry and final halt, and for posting the trot in freestyles at Second Level and above. The judge cannot blow the whistle or ring the bell when errors occur, so any errors given cannot lead to elimination, but two points per occurrence will be deducted from the total score. Errors are not cumulative. Omissions. If you clearly leave out a required movement, you will receive a mark of zero for the omitted movement, and you will also receive marks of 5.5 for both choreography and degree of difficulty. This puts the handling of omissions in nationallevel freestyles in line with the FEI guidelines. US Equestrian-licensed dressage judges will be instructed in this regard at upcoming forums and continuing-education programs. This rule also applies when a competitor shows an insufficient amount

of a required movement, such as the minimum 20 meters of continuous walk. It could also be applied if a competitor does not show the required 12 meters of shoulder-in, travers, or renvers. So when in doubt, show more than the minimum number of meters of any required movement listed on the freestyle score sheet—say, 20-plus meters of both continuous walks and 15 meters of the lateral movement. It would be a shame to qualify for your Regional Championships only to have your freestyle score lowered significantly because you omitted a required movement. Artistic marks. The artistic marks have not changed. The new tests retain the artistic categories of Harmony, Choreography, Degree of Difficulty, Music, and Interpretation. Although the FEI score sheets combine music and interpretation into one score, the USDF Freestyle Committee feels that the music is such an important part of the freestyle test that it deserves its own score so that it is

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freestyle connection assessed accurately. With a separate music score, the judge can evaluate the suitability of the music for the horse, the way the music is edited, and the cohesiveness of the pieces of music chosen. Does the music form a harmonious composition, or is it a mishmash of styles and genres? The score for interpretation assesses whether the music expresses the horse’s gaits, and whether the rider hits the changes within the music and interprets the various pieces or phrases within the choreography at the correct time. The rider should be in sync with both halts, especially the final halt, as this is the last impression the judge has of your performance.


Required, Allowed, and Forbidden Movements We have tried to clarify in the new freestyle test sheets what elements are “clearly allowed” and forbidden. Basically, you cannot do any movement or transition from a higher level unless it is specifically listed on the test sheet as an additionally allowed movement. See the chart below for a level-by-level listing of allowed and required movements in the new 2019 freestyle tests. Read the score sheets carefully, as any movement or transition that is clearly intentionally performed above the level being shown will receive a four-point deduction. Note: Competitors, be sure to

reference the freestyle score sheets as you plan your choreography. The USDF Member Guide and most GMO omnibuses do not include all of the information needed to create a freestyle, including the lists of required and allowed movements. If the test states that any configuration of an allowed movement is allowed, then you can include a more difficult configuration of that movement. An example from First Level would be a leg-yield zigzag or a more difficult counter-canter pattern than the one from First Level Test 3. However, if a difficult configuration is above your horse’s ability to perform with ease and harmony, don’t include

The 2019 USDF Freestyle Tests: Required and Additionally Allowed Movements Level

Required Movements

● Medium and free walk (20m continuous each) ● 20m circle in working trot L/R ● Serpentine in working trot, with loops no smaller than 15m Training ● 20m circle in working canter L/R ● Stretch forward and downward on a 20m circle ● Halt and salute beginning and end of tests ● Medium and free walk (20m continuous each) ● 10m circle at working trot L/R ● Leg-yield in working trot L/R First ● Lengthen stride in trot on a straight line ● 15m circle in working canter L/R ● Change lead through trot L/R ● Lengthen stride in canter on a straight line ● Halt and salute beginning and end of tests Second


Medium and free walk (20m continuous each) Shoulder-in in collected trot (12m min.) L/R ● Travers in collected trot (12m min.) L/R ● Medium trot on straight line ● Simple change of lead L/R ● Counter-canter in collected canter L/R ● Medium canter on straight line ● Halt and salute beginning and end of tests

Trot-halt-trot Trot-walk-trot ● Trot-canter-trot (20m of trot min.) ● ●

Turn on the forehand (no more than 180 degrees) Lengthen trot and/or canter on a curved line ● Canter serpentine ● Counter-canter ● ●

Half-turn on haunches (no more than 180 degrees) Renvers ● Medium trot and/or canter on a curved line

Medium and extended walk (20m continuous each) Shoulder-in (12m min.) in collected trot L/R ● Trot half-pass in collected trot L/R ● Extended trot on straight line ● Canter half-pass in collected canter L/R ● Flying change of lead L/R ● Extended canter on straight line ● Halt and salute beginning and end of test

Walk half-pirouette (no more than 180 degrees) Half-pass zigzag in trot ● Canter to halt ● Counter-change of hand in canter (only one change of direction) ● Medium trot and/or canter on a curved line ● Flying changes shown in sequence of every 5 strides or more

Required and additionally allowed movements in the new 2019 USDF freestyle tests


Additionally Allowed Movements

October 2018 • USDF Connection

General Guidelines Freestyles take a lot of work and time to put together as well as practice time to make them appear rehearsed and polished. Choose music that suits your horse and show a clear pattern in your choreography that is well executed with harmony, and you will not be disappointed. Be familiar with the score sheets, USDF freestyle rules, guidelines, and definitions, as well as the US Equestrian rules, so that you know what is allowed and expected in national-level freestyle competition.

At the show, be sure to attend the sound check. Make sure that you can hear your music from the judge’s box as well as inside the arena. Please do not ask the sound person to play your music at a very high decibel level. Some competitors think that loud volume adds impact, but it actually does the opposite. When the judge has to yell out the scores to the scribe and the music is distorted, it actually can lower the music score. Keep your backup music CD handy in case of a technical failure. The USDF Freestyle Committee highly recommends that all freestyle enthusiasts attend the USDF L program’s continuing-education program on freestyles, which can be offered by GMOs. See the USDF calendar at usdf.org for availability. This program will help you to understand how freestyles are judged and what judges consider in their evaluations and scores. It is currently being revised and will be updated for the new tests. s

Janet “Dolly” Hannon, of Arvada, CO, is a US Equestrian “S” dressage judge and the chair of the USDF Freestyle Committee. With her mare, Electra, she was the 2016 Great American/USDF Region 5 First Level Freestyle champion. The pair ranked ninth in that year’s Adequan®/USDF Musical Freestyle year-end standings at First Level.

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it, or redo the choreography to make it easier for your horse. Judges frequently see horses that are overfaced by overly ambitious patterns. The result is a lower technical score for the movement plus a lower choreography and degree-of-difficulty score. Oftentimes the simpler patterns that are within your horse’s scope will score more consistently and are rewarded for their clarity.

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USDF Connection • October 2018


2018 Adequan /USDF Annual Convention ®

EDUCATION PRESENTATIONS & OPPORTUNITIES Join us for discussions on the latest topics and initiatives in the dressage community. Presentations will focus on competition preparation and competitor education. This year’s education presentations and opportunities include:



Handling Emergency Rider Situations with Dr. Chris Winter

USDF Apprentice Technical Delegate Clinic with Jean Kraus (Separate registration required)

Footing Facts and Figures with Heidi Zorn, Premier Equestrian

Judges, L Program, & Freestyle Open Forum

Preparing Your Young Horse for Competition with Christine Traurig Utilizing the Pyramid of Training: A Panel Discussion with Lilo Fore, Lois Yukins, and Marilyn Heath The Effects of Competition on Equine Joints with Dr. Cindy Hatfield

For more details about the education opportunities and presentations, visit


Thank You to Our Corporate Sponsor

Membership Committee & Communications Open Forum USEF/USDF Open Forum: Trending Topics in Sport & USEF Rule Changes US Dressage Finals Open Forum Competition Open Forum with Q&A GMO Roundtable Discussions Youth Education USDF Competition Management Education Session: Social Media Strategies with Holly Hagen (Separate registration required) USEF Athlete Open Forum Educational Video Viewing Area


November 28-December 28-December 11 November Salt Lake Lake City, City, UT UT Salt Join us to learn about the latest developments in the dressage community, influence the direction of dressage in the United States, and celebrate the achievements of those in our sport. Experience dressage elevated in Salt Lake City!

Register online at www.usdf.org/convention or call (859) 271-7871 for assistance. Deadline for the Member Advance Registration Discount is November 23, 2018

Convention Package $195 USDF Member (onsite $235) $215 Non-Member (onsite $260) $90 Youth (21 and under) The convention package includes: Œ All featured education presentations Œ All education opportunities Œ Business meetings ƒ Committee meetings ƒ Regional meetings ƒ Board of Governors (BOG) General Assembly Œ Open forums Œ Welcome Reception

Additional Events ΠSalute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet $100 (onsite $120) ΠUSDF Apprentice Dressage Technical Delegate Clinic (Ticketed event. Must be purchased by November 23, 2018.) $175 ΠUSDF Competition Management Education Session (Ticketed event. Must be purchased by November 23, 2018.) $35

Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet Saturday, December 1, 2018 You are cordially invited to celebrate the accomplishments of USDF’s top competitors. We will commemorate the dedication and support of our volunteers, competitors, and award honorees. Make sure to purchase your tickets through our online registration.

Hotel Reservations To guarantee your room at the discounted USDF rate, make your reservation by November 9, 2018. After that, it is subject to room availability. Visit www.usdf.org/convention to make your reservation.

historical connection

Early Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was a volunteer extraordinaire


very organization has a naysayer—a Gloomy Gus who mournfully pronounces every challenge insurmountable. If the organization is lucky, Gloomy Gus is countered by a thoughtful, pragmatic problem-solver who can be relied on to come up with innovative solutions to thorny issues. In the USDF and in his groupmember organization (GMO), the California Dressage Society (CDS), for many years that strategic thinker was Peter Lert.

A native of Germany who called California home for eight decades, Lert (1921-2012) was one of those dressage supporters whose contributions to the sport far exceeded his name recognition. Although he was a dressage judge, an American Horse Shows Association (now US Equestrian) Dressage Committee member, a USDF L faculty member, and a sporthorse breeder, among others, he didn’t enjoy widespread “marquee value” outside California—although he was respected by those who worked with him on committees, studied with him, or interacted with him during his many years as a fixture at USDF conventions. Lert was venerated in his home state as a charter CDS member who served multiple terms as CDS president, vice president, and board member. In 2003, the second year the honor was bestowed, Lert received the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award. Here’s why.


INNOVATOR: Lert as a Region 7 delegate at the 2002 USDF convention


here dressage in America was concerned, Lert got in on the ground floor. His family emigrated from Germany in 1932, when the boy was just 11. (The move was a rather glamorous one: Lert’s mother, Vicki Baum, was the author of the novel Grand Hotel, and the family came to the Golden State so Baum could work on the film adaptation. The fact that war in Europe was looming provided added incentive.) Lert, the product of famous and well-to-do parents—besides his mother, his father was the conductor Richard Lert—had been introduced to horses and riding in Europe, and he continued his interest in America, beginning at boarding school. He joined the US Army in 1942, during

October 2018 • USDF Connection

World War II, going on to graduate from the US Army Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kansas, and later teaching horsemanship there. Lert was a career military officer, serving in Europe as an intelligence officer and retiring as a colonel. (Horses and dressage were actually not Lert’s primary professional focus. Like many retired military personnel, he went on to a “second act” career. An alumnus of the University of California, he was a farm advisor in Santa Clara County for the university system’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources for 32 years.) Considering the depth of Lert’s involvement in both CDS and USDF, it’s remarkable that this man found the time to do it all. He served CDS in various roles—president, vice president, director, and technical advisor— from 1979 until his death in 2012. On the national level, he was the 19811982 USDF vice president and also served as the USDF Region 7 director from 1986 through 1995. A founding member of the USDF, he attended the annual conventions for nearly three decades, many times bringing his steadying presence and wise observations and suggestions to Board of Governors assemblies as a delegate. Lert played a groundbreaking role in several USDF initiatives. In 1975, he and the late Col. Clarence Edmonds helped to develop a judgetraining program for CDS. The CDS program was a forerunner to the

Honoring American Dressage’s Greats


earn about the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame members, USDF Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, and USDF Member of Distinction honorees at usdf. org/halloffame, where you’ll also find nomination forms and criteria. Nominations are due May 1 of each year.


American Dressage Legends: Peter Lert


USDF L Education Program, on which Lert served as a faculty member for many years, including teaching the very first L program session. As a member of the USDF Historical Committee (now the Historical Recognition Committee), Lert was instrumental in developing the nomination forms and criteria for the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame and the USDF Lifetime Achievement Award. Another Lert first was the creation of the USDF Animal Welfare Committee. Although that committee no longer exists, Lert’s efforts live on through the USDF Statement on Animal Welfare: He wrote the original statement, and the current version appears in every prize list for a US Equestrian-licensed/USDF-recognized dressage competition. The forward-thinking Lert also recognized that the USDF and the sport of dressage would benefit from embracing riders with physical disabilities. He initiated and chaired the USDF Com-

petitive Dressage Riders with Disabilities Committee to serve this branch of the dressage constituency, and he successfully lobbied US Equestrian to take a similar action. Today the sport of para-equestrian dressage, as it is now known, is growing in the US, and the USDF now offers year-end awards for para-dressage riders. At home in Los Gatos, California, Lert was a well-known breeder of Swedish Warmbloods. Two of his stallions, Laylock and Legere, were successful at the FEI levels, with topfive rankings in USDF Horse of the Year standings. In 2001, at the age of 80, Lert rode his 20-year-old homebred Legere to become the fourteenth member of The Dressage Foundation’s Century Club, for horse-rider pairs whose ages equal or exceed 100. Lert’s late wife, Bonnie, was also a rider, and their love of horses and dressage live on in their daughter, Tracey Lert, who is a dressage professional in California. Although jumping was Lert’s first equestrian love, he will be remem-

bered as a pioneering force in the sport of dressage, both in California and on the national level. CDS members loved to remind Lert of the one time his optimism failed him— tributes to him inevitably mentioned the fact that his 1968 charter-member CDS dues payment was accompanied by a note that read, “You’re welcome to my $10—but you’ll never get it off the ground!”—knowing full well that it was Lert’s own efforts that helped get the organization off the ground. All dressage enthusiasts in the US are forever richer for Lert’s many contributions. s

The editor thanks CDS members Connie Davenport and Terry Wilson for providing archival material that served as sources for this article, and USDF Historical Recognition Committee staff liaison Victoria Trout for fact-checking some dates.

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all-breeds connection

Breed of the Month: Shire

Want to get noticed in the dressage arena? Ride one of these gentle giants.


he Shire horse traces back to the “English Great Horse,” which in turn descends from Flemish horses brought to England in the twelfth century. Originally a war horse, the Shire’s role evolved into that of a work horse, used in farming and commercial trade. As mechanization replaced horsepower in the twentieth century, the Shire and other draft-horse breeds could easily have been allowed to die out, but fortunately there has been a

temperament for dressage. For the adult-amateur rider, you get the same horse every time you mount. Shires are smart and remember all their training along the way. The Shire horse is kind, sane, and safe: You can go from an FEI-level test on Saturday to giving a toddler a “pony ride” on Sunday. Shires you might know: Tiffany Goldman, Loveland, Colorado, “fell in love with Shires” when she saw them at a draft-horse show in Virginia. She has owned her 12-year-old gelding,


walk, as well as with how quickly he picked up the exercises.” In 2010, Murphy’s Law (Mill House Murphy – Cole’s Faded Love, Bigfoot’s Rebel Without a Cause), bred by Heinz and Ursina Naef and owned by Marcia Mayeda, Chino Hills, California, became the first purebred Shire to win an Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards championship at Fourth Level. The American Shire Horse Association: With only about 3,000 ASHA-registered Shires in the world, the ASHA strives to preserve and promote this rare breed. The organization hopes that amateur riders looking for a kind, safe, sensible dressage mount will consider the noble and magnificent Shire. All-Breeds awards offered: In 2018, the ASHA offered the top five placings in the adult-amateur, junior/ young rider, and open award categories; and the top three placings in the musical-freestyle award category. How to participate: Owners must be current ASHA members. Learn more: shirehorse.org or (888) 302-6643. s

A Celebration of Breeds

COMMANDING PRESENCE: Tiffany Goldman and her Shire gelding, Shakespeare Jet Invader

revival of interest in these magnificent animals in recent times. No show classes are more popular with spectators than those for the “heavies.” Shires still work the land in some parts of the country, and several brewers use them to pull drays through the city streets. The modern Shire horse can be found in all types of riding, driving, and draft work, including dressage. These mighty yet gentle mounts have the strength, agility, work ethic, and


Shakespeare Jet Invader (Fox Valley Fame – Gentle Giant Holly, Fox Valley Felix), since he was a yearling. The pair has trained in dressage for four years and competed at First Level in 2018. They have qualified for multiple Great American/USDF Region 5 Championships and in 2016 competed at Training Level at the US Dressage Finals. “Jet” “took to [dressage] right away,” says Goldman, “and my trainer was impressed with his canter and his

October 2018 • USDF Connection



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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USA, Canada Share Podium Spac

Juniors and young riders realize their dream of representing their cou Photographs by SusanJStickle.com

TEAM PRIDE: The 2018 NAYC dressage teams gather before the start of competition

32 October 2018 • USDF Connection

pace at 2018 NAYC

untries in competition


or the second year in a row, New York state hosted the dressage and jumping divisions of the annual international continental championships for young riders, juniors, and (in jumping) children. But this year’s competition had a new name and a new host site. Beginning this year, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) rebranded the event the FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), simplifying the previous moniker of FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. The 2018 edition, held August 1-5, ran as the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, presented by Gotham North. With the name change came a new venue. Competition moved from the HITS on the Hudson grounds in Saugerties, NY, about 55 miles southeast to Old Salem Farm, in the Westchester County town of North Salem, NY. As it did last year, Rebecca Farm, Kalispell, MT, hosted the eventing portion of the NAYC, July 18-22. The NAYC is the only FEI championships held annually on this continent. Elite youth riders throughout North America vie to qualify for NAYC teams representing their USDF regions, US Hunter Jumper Association zones, or US Eventing association areas. “NAYC is the culmination of a lot of hard work for our youth riders across the country,” said USDF FEI Junior/ Young Rider Committee chair Roberta Williams. “As a team competition, it fosters sportsmanship at the highest level for these young people within our sport.” A total of 42 riders, ages 14 to 21, represented the United States in the USDF North American Youth Dressage Championships at the NAYC: Region 1 Juniors: Catherine Horrigan/Ultima O.A., Allison Nemeth/Tiko, Lannah Lende Smith/Ducan Region 1 Young Riders:  Kristin Counterman/Three Times, Kayla Kadlubek/Perfect Step, Amanda Perkowski/ Quando Boy, Anna Weniger/Don Derrick Region 2 Juniors: Alexander Dawson/Raven Black, McKayla Hohmann/Coogan, Raegan McCool/FHF Racharee Region 2 Young Riders: Kaylee Christensen/Don Claudio, Callie Jones/Don Philippo, Jacquelynn Mackie/Weltrubin 5, Grace Sacoman/Leonardo Region 3 Juniors:  Isabelle Braden/Dali de la Ferme Rose, Juliette Cain/Mariska, Melanie Doughty/Fascinata, Caroline Garren/Bell Angelo Region 3 Young Riders: Nicole Scarpino/Lambada 224, Sophia Schults/Idolo Americano HGF, Emma Sevriens/ Nido King, Marline Syribeys/Hollywood Region 4 Juniors: Sammie Fritz/Ferra, Marie Elise MaUSDF Connection

October 2018


Youth tern/Don Akzentus, Bianca Schmidt/Lou Heart, Katarina Tedlund/Eclipse BR Region 4 Young Riders: Tillie Jones/Apachi, Annika Tedlund/Vade Mecum Interagro, Jenna Upchurch/Westerstorm Region 6 Juniors: Jori Dupell/Fiderprinz 2 Region 7 Juniors: Kennedi Templeton/Cuby Region 7 Young Riders: Christian Simonson/FRH Rassolini, Benjamin Ebeling/Behlinger Region 8 Juniors: Sophia Chavonelle/W Spotlight, Katelyn Mosle/Sir Maestro, Leah Tenney/Adel K, Eliza Windsor/Aspen Region 8 Young Riders: Lara Erdogus-Brady/Stenkaergards Mr. Swing King, Bobbie Kerr/Iggi Pop, Alison Redston/Twelfth Night, Emma Szegvari/Ringmoylan Region 9 Juniors: Elisabeth Martin/Aarakon. s

YR INDIVIDUAL GOLD: Region 2’s Callie Jones and Don Philippo, who also took bronze in the YR Freestyle

Results Young Rider Team Gold: Quebec/Alberta Rakeya Moussa/Davidoff v.h. Trichelhof ..............71.323 Camille Carier Bergeron/Baldacci.........................70.352 Beatrice Boucher/Delfiano...................................68.470 TOTAL................................................................210.145 Silver: Regions 4 & 7 Christian Simonson/FRH Rassolini........................70.000 Annika Tedlund/Vade Mecum Interagro..............67.029 Tillie Jones/Apachi...............................................65.617 Jenna Upchurch/Westerstorm..............................61.558 TOTAL................................................................202.646 Bronze: Region 1 Kayla Kadlubek/Perfect Step................................68.294 Anna Weniger/Don Derrick..................................68.235 Kristin Counterman/Three Times..........................65.558 Amanda Perkowski/Quando Boy..........................58.352 TOTAL................................................................202.087 Young Rider Individual Gold Callie Jones/Don Philippo (Region 2)...................72.206 Silver Beatrice Boucher/Delfiano (Quebec/Alberta)........71.029 Bronze Kayla Kadlubek/Perfect Step (Region 1)...............70.765 Young Rider Freestyle Gold Anna Weniger/Don Derrick (Region 1).................74.225 Silver Beatrice Boucher/Delfiano (Quebec/Alberta)........72.800 Bronze Callie Jones/Don Philippo (Region 2)...................72.775

34 October 2018 • USDF Connection

Junior Team Gold: Region 3 Caroline Garren/Bell Angelo................................68.606 Juliette Cain/Mariska...........................................67.878 Melanie Doughty/Fascinata.................................66.303 Isabelle Braden/Dali de la Ferme Rose..................65.152 TOTAL................................................................202.787 Silver: Region 4 Bianca Schmidt/Lou Heart...................................68.666 Marie Elise Matern/Don Akzentus........................66.272 Sammie Fritz/Ferra...............................................64.424 Katarina Tedlund/Eclipse BR.................................63.000 Bronze: Canada Central Brooke Mancusi/Wellknown................................67.272 Jade Buchanan/Qaro GS......................................65.970 Anna Swackhammer/Wrazzmatazz.....................65.909 Kiara Williams-Brown/Ladybug............................62.030 Junior Individual Gold Caroline Garren/Bell Angelo (Region 3)...............70.147 Silver Bianca Schmidt/Lou Heart (Region 4)..................70.029 Bronze Chase Robertson/Winsome (CAN)........................70.029 Junior Freestyle Gold Chase Robertson/Winsome (CAN)........................73.775 Silver Bianca Schmidt/Lou Heart (Region 4)..................71.905 Bronze Caroline Garren/Bell Angelo (Region 3)...............71.490

YOUNG RIDER TEAM GOLD: A downpour couldn’t dampen the spirits of Team Quebec/Alberta, Canada

JUNIOR TEAM GOLD: USDF Region 3 riders

Excellence and Style


ach year at the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, presented by Gotham North, the dressage young rider with the highest combined average score in the team, individual, and freestyle tests receives a special trophy. The Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy is named for the late US Equestrian Team dressage team leader, who is also honored as a member of the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame. At the 2018 NAYC, the trophy went to Callie Jones, 20, of Henderson, KY. Riding her 10-yearold Hanoverian gelding, Don Philippo (Dancier x Warkant), Jones won the YR Individual gold medal and the YR Freestyle bronze. With a score of 71.823 percent, she was the highest-scoring rider on her Region 2 YR team. Jones also was recognized with the Dressage Style Award.

DUAL AWARDS: Region 2 young rider Callie Jones receives the Fiona Baan “Pursuit of Excellence” Memorial Trophy and the Dressage Style Award from USDF FEI Jr/YR Committee chair Roberta Williams and USDF Education Department manager Kathie Robertson

USDF Connection

October 2018



YR FREESTYLE GOLD: Anna Weniger and Don Derrick, who were also members of the bronze-medal-winning Region 1 YR team

JUNIOR INDIVIDUAL GOLD: Region 3’s Caroline Garren and Bell Angelo, who also won Junior Freestyle bronze and Junior Team gold

Region 4 Chef Martin Kuhn Receives Albers Award


n 2002, Martin Kuhn won Young Rider team gold at the FEI North American Young Rider Championships. In 2018, Kuhn, of New Berlin, IL, was honored for his efforts as chef d’équipe of the Region 4 NAYC dressage teams with the Albers Award perpetual trophy. Named for the late Region 1 chef and youth dressage supporter Patsy Albers, the award recognizes a dressage chef who shows exemplary dedication, enthusiasm, and team spirit. Learn more about Kuhn in USDF Connection’s July/ NOW HE’S COOKING: Region August look at past 4 dressage chef d’équipe Martin NAYC medalists Kuhn receives the Albers Award (“Springboard to the from USDF FEI Jr/YR Committee Open Waters”). chair Roberta Williams

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JUNIOR FREESTYLE GOLD: Canada’s Chase Robertson, who also took the Junior Individual bronze medal aboard Winsome

Junior Team Gold Medalist: Juliette Cain of Region 3 on Mariska

YR Team Gold Medalist: Quebec/Alberta’s Rakeya Moussa on Davidoff v.h. Trichelhof

Region 8 Junior Receives Volunteer Award


Horsepower Trophy: Region 8 YR Emma Szegvari (right) accepts for her 21-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Ringmoylan

Digital Edition Bonus Content Watch dressage young rider Anna Weniger’s gold-medal-winning freestyle aboard Don Derrick at the 2018 Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, presented by Gotham North.

amed for the sponsor and tireless volunteer who directed the NAYC at Tempel Farms in Illinois for many years, the Howard Simpson High Five Trophy is presented by US Equestrian each year to the volunteer who best exemplifies Simpson’s spirit of volunteering. GIMME FIVE: Howard Simpson High The 2018 reFive Trophy recipient Katelyn Mosle cipient, Region 8 (right) with US Equestrian sponsorship Junior competitor director Lauren Carlisle and US Katelyn Mosle, Equestrian membership and events 18, was supposed director Mark Coley to compete at this year’s NAYC but was unable to ride due to last-minute glitches. She attended the event anyway to volunteer and cheer on her team members.

USDF Connection

October 2018


What’s in Your Tack Box? Life hacks: dressage edition

TREASURE CHEST: Tack trunks and tack rooms store the items and products we rely on to care for our horses, ride better, and impress the judges

38 October 2018 • USDF Connection


By Natalie DeFee Mendik


re zip ties the one thing you couldn’t possibly set up at a show without? What about those boot socks that stay in place and dry all day long? From favorite products to quirky ideas, dressage professionals from all walks of the industry share their go-to equipment hacks that could very well make your horse and riding life just a bit easier, too.

Competition-Ready Say goodbye to green slobber in the show ring with Sabine Schut-Kery’s tack-up tip: Rinse the horse’s mouth with water in a large dental syringe just before you put on the bridle. By removing any hay residue in the back of the horse’s mouth, you won’t be forced to wipe away precious foam because it’s green before you head down center line, explains Schut-Kery, of Thousand Oaks, California, who with Sanceo helped Team USA win gold at the 2015 Pan American Games and the 2018 Nations Cup. For keeping those show whites pristine, US Equestrian “S” dressage judge and Grand Prix-level competitor Kari McClain turns to a gift that’s both practical and pretty. “I have a beautiful horse-fabric cover-up skirt a student made years ago that easily goes on and off with Velcro and keeps my breeches gleaming white while looking stylish,” says McClain, who operates Miari Stables, a breeding and training facility in Olympia, Washington. “I get compliments on it at every show.” And at those hot summer competitions, McClain recommends coconut water to rehydrate and keep electrolytes on board, as well as the Cool Medics cooling vest to stay comfortable and avoid overheating. Every dressage competitor dreads the eleventh-hour broken boot zipper at a show. “We usually show when it’s hot in the summer, and our legs swell. I know so many people whose zippers have broken at a show,” says Grand Prix-level rider and FEI-level USDF-certified instructor Reese KofflerStanfield, who owns and operates Maple Crest Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky. Her solution: black electrical tape. (Another dressage life hack worth stealing: To account for any last-minute mishaps, Koffler-Stanfield adds an extra five to ten minutes to her show tacking-up time.) “We do a lot of traveling. What’s important for us is that we’re prepared,” says Amy Ebeling, who together with her husband, Olympian Jan Ebeling, oversees The Acres, the family’s dressage business in Moorpark, California. “One thing we always keep with us is Platinum Performance Bio-Sponge. If a horse has loose stool, we give one tube and generally it’s over.” Also on hand to keep the Ebelings’ horses at their best is

Cavalor Ice Clay poultice. “It makes the legs tight, has great consistency, and doesn’t test [positive]; it’s legal [for administration before and during competitions],” Ebeling says.

Lotions, Potions, and Wipes It’s not just cows that need a little TLC. “I use Bag Balm every day on every horse,” says Ana Gilmour, an FEI-level rider and USDF-certified instructor through Fourth Level from Auburn, California. “I use it around the lips; I like to give the horses a little extra protection—sometimes they get a little dryness on the cheeks. I think if I were a horse, I’d like something around my bit. Of course I use it for my lips, too,” she says with a laugh. Simple baby-care products work great for grown-ups and horses, too. Says Koffler-Stanfield: “I love baby wipes. You can use them for everything, from wiping the horse to cleaning up a spill to wiping your face. Whatever you need, they do the job. They are good to always have in your kit.” Various ointments in the Ebelings’ tack trunk include: Aquaphor for scratches (pastern dermatitis), as well as abrasions and nicks. “It keeps the skin from cracking and bleeding,” says Ebeling. Calmoseptine ointment—which the Ebelings learned about from a client who was a nurse—for girth sores as well as for “saddle sores” on the rider’s part. “It will heal you overnight,” Ebeling says. Effol Mouth Butter before every ride.

DIY’s Finest Knit mitts handmade by a friend have a multi-purpose function in Melissa Creswick’s grooming kit. “A bit bigger than hand-sized, they are small enough to fit in a pocket, but big enough to wipe down a horse,” explains Creswick, a US Equestrian “S” dressage judge and USDF gold medalist from Clovis, California. “The texture picks up dirt while still being soft enough for wiping the horse’s face. Dry mitts can also wipe your boots just before going into the ring.” “[Equestrian equipment] is so expensive,” says US Equestrian “r” dressage judge and USDF silver medalist Robin Birk, who operates Timber Ridge Equestrian Center in Ruffs Dale, Pennsylvania. “When I judge, I hear people say, ‘Well, I don’t have a ring at home.’ At the same time, I see riders, particularly at the lower levels, having trouble riding correct corners. I just made a new dressage ring out of five-gallon buckets from Walmart. It looks great. That’s a ring anybody could afford. Even if you don’t have enough space for a whole ring, set up one end so you can learn how to ride through the corner.” Birk constructed her arena perimeter and letters with USDF Connection

October 2018


white PVC plumbing pipes from Lowe’s, which she fit across the tops of the buckets, having traced the outline of the pipes onto the buckets and cut slots with a jig saw.

Borrowed from Here and There

Editors’ Choices


ou’ve already met USDF Connection editorial advisor Melissa Creswick in this article and learned about some of her favorite “tack hacks.” What’s in other editors’ tack boxes? Editorial advisor and US Equestrian “S” dressage judge Margaret Freeman, of Tryon, North Carolina, can’t live without her Ultimate Hoof Pick. “It is ridiculously expensive compared to other hoof picks,” Freeman says, “and worth every penny because it is so easy to hold and because it can pry out really packed-in dirt and ice.” USDF Connection editor Jennifer Bryant and USDF vice president Lisa Gorretta both are self-described tack junkies who had a hard time narrowing their lists of must-haves. Two items that have made Bryant’s horse life easier this year are Effax Leather Cream Soap and the Roma Stretch Bug Eye Saver with Ears fly mask. Not really a soap, the Effax product is a creamy conditioner that soaks into clean leather and leaves a deep luster and just the right amount of “feel” to give a bit of grip under your seat or in your hand, Bryant says. “My horse is a fly-mask Houdini who destroys or gets out of every other fly mask I’ve tried,” Bryant adds. “My instructor recommended the Roma Stretch Bug Eye Saver with Ears, and I used it successfully all summer. Junior only managed to get it off a handful of times, and even then the mask remained undamaged. It washes well and is economically priced, to boot.”

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Tasty Treats Sugar cubes have a place in Kathy Simard’s training routine. She explains that while she doesn’t give sugar cubes to young horses in order to avoid developing bad habits, she does find them quite useful for horses farther along in their training, such as when introducing rein back, flying changes, half-steps, or a new sequence. “I don’t just give out treats; the horses have to earn it,” says Simard, a USDF Instructor/Trainer Program faculty member, Fourth Level USDF-certified instructor, and USDF silver medalist from Littleton, Colorado. Stretches are part of daily life for horses at The Acres, notes Amy Ebeling, whose treat of choice for encouraging the horse to reach into the stretch is the Platinum Performance Platinum Bar EQ.

Tack-Store Favorites “I always use DSB boots [Dressage Sport Boots]: They last, the Velcro is secure so they don’t come off, they come in fun colors, and they wash well,” says Dawn White-O’Connor, an international trainer and competitor who got her start as groom and assistant to Steffen and Shannon Peters, including grooming for Steffen Peters at the 2012 London Olympics. “I especially like the shiny patent boots; they wipe off and look great.”


SOFT SHINE: Groom Holly Gorman uses a mitt to give Goerklintgaards Dublet a final polish before the dressage horse inspection at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018

For horses that need a warm-up on the lunge before heading to the show ring, Creswick recommends a D-ring attachment borrowed from the jumping world. Using side reins with snaps on each end and “breastplate dees” attached to the billets, you can lunge and then mount without complicated tack changes. “While lungeing, snap each end of the side reins to the bit and to the billet; the equipment is correct—on the billets, the side reins are in the right place,” Creswick says. “You can then take the lunge line and side reins off in quick order, put them in a bag in the warm-up arena, and be off without ever having to compromise your saddle by loosening the girth; the D-rings don’t show.” A new item in Gilmour’s arsenal is her own hoof tester. “If a horse is looking a little ouchy, it helps if you can narrow it down to figure out if it’s the feet or not. You can then start soaking; this can save you time and money,” she says. “Everyone is happy when it turns out to be just an abscess.”

DIY DRESSAGE ARENA: Dressage judge Robin Birk constructed her dressage arena from PVC plumbing pipes and five-gallon buckets

People who work with horses spend a lot of time on their feet. USDF gold medalist Patience Prine-Carr, of Glynnsong Farm in Castroville, California, counts on her Blundstone boots, which she calls “the most comfortable and durable boots I have ever worn. I walk a lot and am on my feet lungeing, tacking up, grooming, et cetera, so I need something comfortable that lasts.” Prine-Carr’s go-to bit for starting young horses and refreshing older horses is the Herm. Sprenger KK line. She says her horses find the ergonomic mouthpiece comfortable, while the metal alloy encourages salivation.


Sentimental Favorites Some pros’ most valuable possessions are of the keepsake variety. “I have an angel pin my mom gave me; I always wear it on the lapel of my show jacket,” says Koffler-Stanfield. She laughs: “I don’t like to ride faster than my angel can fly, so I bring my angel with me.”

“For the life of me, I can’t think of anything out of the ordinary that I have or use. Everything is very normal. My horse is the only thing I can’t live without!” says international competitor and former US Equestrian national dressage youth coach Jeremy Steinberg, of Del Mar, California. Regardless of which gizmos and brands are your particular favorites, you’ll surely agree: Our horses are the one thing none of us can live without! s

Natalie DeFee Mendik is an award-winning journalist specializing in equine media. Her current favorite equipment hack is keeping a few large blue IKEA shopping bags in her trailer; they’re perfect for corralling and ferrying all the odds and ends that get spread about when on the road. At competitions, she loves Goode Rider show shirts with frilly collars; the technical fabric keeps you cool and the pretty neckline negates the need for a tie and pin. Visit Natalie online at MendikMedia.com. USDF Connection

October 2018


Meet the Candidates t the 2018 Adequan®/USDF National Convention in Salt Lake City in December, the USDF Board of Governors will elect six members of the USDF Executive Board: president; treasurer; and directors of Regions 2, 4, 6, and 8. Three of the six seats are being vacated by board members who are retiring at the end of 2018: current USDF president George Williams, treasurer Steven Schubert, and Region 2 director Kenneth Levy. One candidate has been nominated for each of the officer positions: for president, current USDF vice president Lisa Gorretta; and for treasurer, Lorraine Musselman. Debby Savage is running to fill the Region 2 director’s position. Three incumbent directors (Anne Sushko, Region 4; Carolynn Bunch, Region 6; and Debra Reinhardt, Region 8) are seeking reelection. Additional nominations will be accepted from the floor at the 2018 Board of Governors assembly. Like all organizations, USDF needs committed leadership in order to enjoy continued growth and thoughtful direction. The USDF Executive Board functions as a cohesive team and strives to further the organization’s mission and goals. For the 2018 election cycle, the USDF Nominating Committee asked each candidate to submit a brief biography and to answer a series of questions. The candidates’ responses are below.

Officer Candidates The president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer are officer positions. The candidates for president and treasurer were asked to respond to the following questions: 1. What special professional or technical skills would you bring to the Executive Board to help implement the strategic plan of the organization (e.g., financial, legal, business, management, technology, human resources)? 2. How has your involvement in local, regional, and national USDF activities promoted/enhanced dressage regionally and nationally?

42 October 2018 • USDF Connection

TO BE DETERMINED: The USDF Board of Governors will elect a new president and treasurer as well as directors of the even-numbered regions

3. What specific goals and objectives do you have for USDF? 4. How will you, as an officer, encourage greater member participation and help make USDF the “go to” organization for dressage in the United States?

President Candidate: Lisa Gorretta Responses to questions: 1. I bring 30-plus years’ experience in small-business ownership. I was the founder and president of The Paddock Saddlery from 1986 until I sold the company in 2013. I currently have a consulting firm that works with all types of equine-industry-related businesses, specializing in retail management.



Get to know who’s running for USDF Executive Board office


2. I have been a member of my local USDF group-member organization (GMO) since the early 1970s and a USDF participating member (PM) for about 40 years. I earned my bronze and silver medals as an adult amateur. I have held the positions of GMO president, GMO delegate, PM delegate, and two terms as regional director. I chaired the USDF Regional Championships Committee for seven years plus Activities Council at-large director, and am currently the USDF vice president. I am a US Equestrian “R” technical delegate and a Level 3 FEI steward for dressage. I serve as chair of the organizing committee for our US Dressage Finals. I have served as a USDF appointee to and am co-chair of the US Equestrian Dressage Sport Committee. I represent USDF on the US Equestrian International Disciplines Council and Board of Directors. My involvement and service in governance of these organizations have been guided by one philosophy: Be involved locally and regionally while thinking nationally (and, more recently, internationally) in growing the sport of dressage. 3. I am passionate about education: This has always been and will continue to be my top priority for our membership (according to their goals) and for our instructors, trainers, and licensed officials—for themselves and in recognition of the enormous role they must play in all aspects of our sustainability and growth as an organization and as a sport. 4. I started in equestrian sport and this organization long before the “me generation,” when we were expected to fully “put in” in order to “get out.” Communication about your dressage passion (outside of limited pockets of established interest) tended to be monthly or quarterly! Clearly, times have changed! I learned the majority of what I know about the sport, its structure, and rules of competition through my volunteer involvement in USDF. My journey has taken me from training and competing in Region 2 through to the responsibility for equipment checks for every dressage competitor at the 2016 Olympics. I will work hard to enhance and sustain a cohesive dressage community, from the dressage dabbler to our dedicated youth, amateurs, and working professionals, to our international competitors and coaches. Building such a community takes many hands, minds, and volunteer hours working with our dedicated USDF staff and Executive Board. I accept this challenge to serve, but we cannot be successful without you!

Treasurer Candidate: Lorraine Musselman I have been involved with horses pretty much my whole life. I started at a “hack stable,” working all day in return for a one-hour ride. I moved on to 4-H, riding Western and hunt seat, then added some combined driving and dressage af-

ter college. Dressage became my main focus after I moved to North Carolina in 1991. I co-own Cattolica Farm in Zebulon, North Carolina. We are a private barn with a couple of boarders and hold a few small dressage schooling shows with the purpose of allowing people to experience dressage in a relaxed and supportive environment. I purchased my “dream horse” in 2012. She was bred last year and gave birth to a beautiful filly in mid-June. I am an amateur dressage rider and believe amateurs are the backbone of our sport. I strongly believe that the horse comes first. Responses to questions: 1. My education includes a degree in Equestrian Studies from Findlay College (now University of Findlay), a BS in accounting from Marist College, and an MBA from Northeastern University. I acquired my CPA license in 1992, when I moved to North Carolina. I have been the treasurer for multiple nonprofit organizations, including most recently the North Carolina Dressage & Combined Training Association (NCDCTA). I held the position of vice president of finance for a Metro 1 United Way with a budget of $10 million, in addition to other financial positions for other nonprofits and corporations. I served three years as a PM delegate for Region 1. I have been in business for myself as a CPA, and I owned and operated a small farm where we held NCDCTA-recognized schooling shows. 2. Region 1 PM delegate for three years: attended national convention as delegate. Hold local schooling shows: encourage new membership, new interest in dressage by including nontraditional dressage classes and offering an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and encouraged. Focus on amateurs and juniors by offering high-point and series awards for those divisions. Involvement in NCDCTA as active board member (six years as treasurer). Wrote a few articles for newsletter. 3. To maintain financial stability and growth allowing USDF to continue to provide and expand educational and beneficial opportunities and programs for the membership, especially the adult amateur. 4. As financial officer, my goal would be to help expand the programs that our members are interested in by encouraging financial stability and growth. [ USDF Connection

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The candidates for regional director were asked to respond to the following questions: 1. What special professional or technical skills (e.g., financial, legal, business, management, technology, human resources) would you bring to the Executive Board to help implement the strategic plan of the organization? 2. How has your involvement in local, regional, and national USDF activities promoted and enhanced dressage, both regionally and nationally? 3. What specific goals and objectives do you have for USDF and your region if you should be elected regional director? 4. How will you, as a regional director, encourage greater participation by each member within your region?

Region 2 Director Candidate: Debby Savage Debby Savage’s extensive and varied equestrian background started in Texas at the age of 10 in Western equitation, reining, and barrel racing as a 4-H member. She rode hunters in high school and evented after college. On moving from New York City to New Jersey in the late 1980s, she began specializing in dressage, teaching and pursuing the dressage judge’s track. Debby earned her USDF silver and gold medals and then her US Equestrian “S” dressage judge’s license in 2010. Debby also has an extensive business background in medical-publishing marketing, education, and advertising. She was the Eastern States Dressage and Combined Training Association’s (ESDCTA) 2005 volunteer of the year and the ESDCTA awards chair from 2008 to 2013. She relocated to the Cleveland, Ohio, area in 2014 to join the faculty of Lake Erie College’s School of Equine Studies as a dressage instructor and coach of the Intercollegiate Dressage Association team (which consistently wins the USDF/IDA Quiz Challenge). As a senior dressage judge and competitor, Debby is familiar with the dressage scenes in the US and internationally, including the major activities of the US Equestrian and USDF programs. At this time in her career, she has decided to focus on the development of the dressage community at

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large. The Region 2 director position would be an excellent opportunity to help her achieve that goal and make a contribution to her dressage community and to the future of the sport. Responses to questions: 1. In addition to over 30 years of USDF/GMO membership and earning my “S” dressage judge credentials, I possess a strong business background, handling large sales, marketing, and special projects in the medical-publishing industry. Familiarity with effective business practices and demonstrated ability to work in an executive business environment are essential to working on our Executive Board and with our USDF staff. Our leadership must be involved locally, think regionally, and understand our national issues to ensure the future growth and evolution of the USDF. 2. During my 30 years in New Jersey, I was deeply involved within Region 1 and the ESDCTA. The emphasis was on producing quality shows plus major educational initiatives, such as the ESDCTA Judges’ Trainers’ Competitors’ Annual Forums. As the Region 1 awards chair, the focus was on “contribution to dressage.” These experiences may help foster ideas that might work for Region 2. 3. After four years in Region 2, the GMOs seem to be self-sufficient. The Catherine B. Jacob Schooling Show Year-End Awards are a model for others. The next Region 2 director should continue the development of cohesive identity to help GMOs succeed in bringing high membership retention. This includes growing youth attraction to the sport, satisfying the needs of our adult amateurs, and building a strong professional-growth environment for our dressage professionals. 4. Inspiring participation is achieved by asking for feedback and engaging individuals. This requires an ongoing dialogue with GMO leadership and PM delegates, challenging them to be involved in our regional issues and programs throughout the year.

Region 4 Director Incumbent: Anne Sushko I retired in 2007 after 37 years as a middle-level educator with the Dubuque Community School District. During that time I co-founded and directed a therapeutic-riding program with an emphasis on serving the needs of behaviorally-challenged youth.

COURTESY OF DEBBY SAVAGE; courtesy of Anne Sushko

Regional Director Candidates

Since retiring, I have been involved in a number of community volunteer opportunities: Meals on Wheels, Regional Humane Society, Dubuque Arboretum, hospital receptionist, and mentor. The majority of my volunteer service has been within the sport of dressage. This includes serving as the Region 4 representative to the GMO Council for six years (four years as chair), Region 4 representative to the Membership Committee (six years including current), PM delegate to four USDF conventions, and Region 4 director since 2016. I also do volunteer work with The Dressage Foundation and serve on the board of directors of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation. I currently am the secretary for dressage shows in Nebraska, Iowa, and Ohio. I hold licenses as a US Equestrian dressage technical delegate and an FEI Level I dressage steward. My husband, Greg, and I celebrated 47 years of marriage this May. Our daughter, Heather, lives in Colorado with her husband, Michael, and our two special granddaughters, Elizabeth and Sarah. We currently have a Cocker Spaniel, Max, and Critter, my Arab cross.

Courtesy of Carolynn bunch

Responses to questions: 1. As a professional educator, I was heavily involved with the development and implementation of strategic plans for my building, the community school district, and the school libraries in the state of Iowa. I was building leader in technology implementation (hardware and software) and instruction and served as a district leader in technology implementation and instruction for both staff and students. I have a strong interest in education and the need for welldeveloped continuing-education opportunities. 2. I believe that my involvement at all levels has promoted dressage at the local, state, regional, and national levels. My technical-delegate, steward, and secretary work allows me to meet people from throughout the United States (and internationally). This increases my awareness of common needs and acquaints me with successful programs from other areas, which I am then able to share and promote. Locally, I have facilitated the USDF instructor/trainer workshops and riding and theory clinics. I am a regional representative for The Dressage Foundation and serve on the board of directors for the Omaha Equestrian Foundation. I serve or have served on the USDF GMO and Membership Committees and volunteer as a judge for the GMO Awards Program. 3. If elected regional director, my goals are to increase participation within GMOs, continue the development and awareness of educational opportunities throughout the region, increase communication between GMOs and Region 4 constituents, and continue the development and awareness of the Region 4 program for grass-roots riders and youth. 4. To encourage participation by each member within the

region, I will continue to be present at regional shows and provide time to meet with people, and I will support the continued development of communication tools within the regional structure. I will also strive to increase the involvement of Region 4 members on USDF and US Equestrian committees and working groups. I will actively support the development of educational opportunities throughout the region.

Region 6 Director Incumbent: Carolynn Bunch Carolynn has been a long-term and active member of Region 6, first showing as a junior in the late 1980s and through the early 2000s as an adult amateur, and working for local equine businesses including the Gift Horse and Photos by Scarlett. She has been a member of both the Oregon Dressage Society (ODS) and Equestrians’ Institute (EI); she performed extensive volunteer duties with EI, including website management and dressage-show award inventory and procurement. Carolynn chaired or co-chaired the EI auction for five years, helping raise funds to keep the events that the organization was known for funded and functional. In 2007, Carolynn started Carolynn Bunch Photography, which has given her the opportunity to be a part of dressage shows in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Iowa, and Lamplight Equestrian Center in Illinois. That same year, she became a GMO delegate at her second USDF convention. She has been to every convention since, either as a GMO or PM delegate, and the last two (soon three) as the current Region 6 director. Through that, she also sat on the USDF Awards Committee. National dressage advocacy notwithstanding, Carolynn is well-versed in and enthusiastic about the backbone of our sport’s support: show management, including the nuts and bolts of scoring, test-running, scribing, scheduling, labeling, gatekeeping, and the many efforts that go into a competition. Responses to questions: 1. I have quite a bit of experience in, knowledge of, and passion for the myriad facets of the horse-show world. Because one of my businesses is based in the industry, that has allowed me insight into the national stage of dressage at the championship level, as well. In addition, I have higher-education-level studies in graphic design, web-page authoring, and animation. As the owner of small businesses, my skill USDF Connection

October 2018


Region 8 Director Incumbent: Debra Reinhardt I have been competing horses since 1981, starting in the hunter world. By 1988 I had completely changed to dressage and bought my first dressage horse. I have continued to compete and have won many year-end awards, including the USDF bronze and silver medals. I am also a licensed US Equestrian “R” technical delegate and a Level 1 FEI steward. Managing dressage shows has been a passion of mine for the past 25 years. I have managed some of the biggest dressage shows, and I started the CDI3* Darien (now the CDI-W Saugerties). I ran the USDF Region 8 Championships for five years at Ox Ridge Hunt Club, and now I’m very involved with the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) Fall Festival. I have also been involved in the US Dressage Finals for six years as the event coordinator and then as the show manager.

46 October 2018 • USDF Connection

My experience with the USDF started in the early 1990s as marketing chair, where I championed the High School Lettering Program and created the Membership Committee. In addition, I have been a member of the TD Council and the Freestyle Committee, and I am a past chair of the FEI Managers Committee and the Competition Management Committee. I have served as the Region 8 director for the past six years. My wonderful husband, Steve, who is the best show secretary (I am a bit prejudiced!), and my incredible son, Robert, make my life complete! See you on the centerline. Responses to questions: 1. While most people with USDF may think of me as a show manager/secretary—I have run my business, Centerline Events, since 1996—I bring much more than competition management. I am an adult-amateur competitor and a licensed “R” TD. In addition, my experience as former associate publisher of Dressage Today allows me to bring my knowledge about publishing to the Executive Board. 2. I have been on the Executive Board for six years and have participated in many committee conference calls and discussions so that I could be more informed in the board meetings and decisions. I was also appointed the event coordinator for the first four years and then show manager for the US Dressage Finals, where I learned more about how the office and USDF in general operate. On a more local level, I still manage Dressage4Kids’ Youth Dressage Festival, run the office at the NEDA Fall Festival (also the Region 8 championships), and created and organized the CT Level 1 Dressage Championships. 3. I would like to help USDF to communicate with its membership through newsletters and other social media. For my region, communication is extremely important. I would continue to hold two regional meetings each year outside of the USDF convention to give members a say on where and what happens within the region. In between these meetings, the use of a website and regional e-mails/ newsletters will be used to continue communication. 4. For the past six years, my goal of getting members involved has been a challenge. For the first time at the 2014 USDF convention, a regional decision of where to hold the 2015 Adult Clinic was made by the GM and PM delegates. This was an important milestone, as it gave the region a way to participate with the regional director and it made members part of the decision-making process. All the PM delegates help get items for the silent auction, which funds their travel expenses to the convention. This process has made the PMs aware that they are being represented at the convention. s


sets in grass-roots advertising, marketing, graphic design and layout, social media, and customer service cross over into the support I lend to dressage shows and organizations. 2. I consistently help raise funds and sponsorships for riders competing in national championships and the regions’ various accounts. I am proud to be the “go to” person for several local riders’ questions regarding qualifying for various levels of achievement, such as Regional Championships and high performance, as well as rules and general USDF policies. When I don’t know the answer, I can get the inquiry resolved by pointing to the right people or resources. 3. As I am running for my second term, I can say that in the last two and a half years I have learned that not all programs and decisions will work for every member. As regional director, my goal is to leave any new programs in a format that will continue without me seamlessly and to try to support long-term programs and ideas as best as I can, as well as to educate the membership on history, rules, and regulations as questions arise. 4. Given the geographic diversity and distances involved, this represents a specific challenge for Region 6. I would make myself available through several channels to listen, solve problems, and encourage and support local riders and owners as they reach for their goals within the sport. No matter what their goal is, that goal matters!

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50 October 2018 • USDF Connection

W W W. U S D F. O R G

MARCH 2010

Official Publication of the United States Dressage Federation


NEW TRAINING SERIES: What Other Disciplines Can Teach Dressage Riders Basics of Freestyle Creation





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Phone: (859) 971-2277, Fax: (859) 971-7722, E-mail: usdressage@usdf.org Accounting....................................................................... (859) 271-7891..................accounting@usdf.org Address and E-mail Updates............................................. (859) 971-2277...................... changes@usdf.org Adult Education Programs ............................................... (859) 971-7317....................education@usdf.org All-Breeds Awards ............................................................ (859) 971-7361..................... allbreeds@usdf.org Applications Submitted at Competitions............................ (859) 271-7880.....................affidavits@usdf.org Breeder Championship Series............................................ (859) 271-7894...................sporthorse@usdf.org Demographics and Statistics............................................. 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(859) 271-7877.. instructorcertification@usdf.org Insurance Certificates for Competitions............................. (859) 271-7886......................compins@usdf.org Junior/Young Rider Clinics................................................. (859) 971-7360.....................jryrclinics@usdf.org L Education and Continuing Education.............................. (859) 971-7039.....................lprogram@usdf.org Licensed Official Education................................................ (859)-271-7877.................loeducation@usdf.org Mailing Lists..................................................................... (859) 971-7038................... mailinglist@usdf.org Musical Freestyle............................................................... (859) 971-7039...........musicalfreestyle@usdf.org NAYC Criteria and Procedures............................................ 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Share Your Story... …or your views on a topic pertaining to dressage or USDF in “The Tail End,” USDF Connection’s member-written “back page.” Share your dressage discoveries, “aha” moments, challenges, and oberservations. Short “guest editorial” essays are also considered. All “Tail End” columns are the opinions of the writers and not necessarily those of the editors or USDF. Submissions accepted by e-mail only. Send submissions, along with your full name, hometown, state and daytime telephone number to jbryant@usdf.org, subject line should read “The Tail End.” Please be prepared to supply a clear color digital photograph of yourself if your piece is accepted. Simultaneous submissions will not be accepted.

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USDF Connection

October 2018


In Pursuit of the Perfect Seat Dressage-seat equitation class proves an unexpected educational boost By Mary Robinson


started showing at First Level at the end of 2017, so I jumped at the opportunity to try a dressageseat equitation class this year. I’m the epitome of an adult amateur, and didn’t even know what dressage was a decade ago, when I started taking

know that any seat or position flaws will impact my ability to perform well at the higher levels, even if my mare and I can compensate for them at Training and First Level. I’m truly interested in having any problem areas identified and had already asked my trainer, Erika-West Danque Nece, to be picky about my position during lessons. It may feel daunting to be in the ring without knowing exactly what you’re going to have to do. I tried to imagine that I was in a lesson, rather than showing. But when I went into the ring for my first dressage-seat equitation class, I didn’t feel nervous the way I normally do when I try something for the first time. Instead, I felt relieved that after doing two other tests that day, I didn’t have to remember a test pattern! I went into the Sitting Pretty: The writer on her mare, CSF Micaela, with ring and began instructor Erika-West Danque Nece following the lessons. Riding with my various body judge’s instructions. Medium walk in parts in the correct position takes both directions—got it. Rising trot; concentration on my part. No sooner no problem. Sitting trot across the do I get one body part wrangled into diagonal? Hmm, I don’t do much sitplace than another ends up askew. I ting trot yet, but I figured my mare, CSF Micaela, was a bit tired from the day’s showing and would do a nice Adapted from a story originally published in little working trot. To my surprise, YourDressage, July 2018.

52 October 2018 • USDF Connection


“Lola” picked up a lovely medium trot, with me bouncing along on her back. I found out later that my trainer had been working on this very thing with Lola during her training rides. We had a good laugh over how much Lola had taken her lessons to heart! Throughout the class, Erika’s voice played in my head: “Check where your knees are every couple of strides” and “Sit up tall in the transition from canter to trot.” I had a smile on my face the entire time because I was enjoying the experience. Aside from our little trotting blip, Lola and I had a good ride and ended up qualifying for the new USDF Adult Amateur Equitation Regional Final, with a score of 71 percent. The judge was straightforward with her comments, but also kind in the way that she spoke to me. I gained some good insights about how I have been presenting myself to the judges, in addition to what I have already been working on to make that picture better. As I haven’t been involved in show management or scribing, I don’t usually get the chance to speak directly to judges. Participating in dressage-seat equitation went a long way toward demystifying the judge’s thought process for me. If you’re an adult amateur who’s on the fence about entering a dressage-seat equitation class, I would encourage you to give it a try because it benefited my dressage education. You get to hear comments directly from the judge. The movements called for in the class align nicely with the purposes of both Training and First Levels. You may even get a bit of a challenge if you are asked to do a movement that you don’t practice often. Now, with that in mind, I’m off to practice my sitting trot! s Mary Robinson lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband of 21 years. She still has her first horse, a Percheron mare, and she dreams of someday earning her USDF gold medal.

Coutesy of mary robinson

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October 2018 USDF Connection  

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United States Dressage Federation Official Publication

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