By Chelsey Burris
YourDressage is celebrating its One Year Anniversary! With everything from exclusive articles, informational videos, and interactive features, there is always something new to explore. With so much content, it’s easy for some things to get lost in the shuffle. Here are a few articles, videos, and more you may have missed.
One of our most popular articles this year was Riding Is One of the Most Difficult Forms of Artistic Sport, an essay from Walter Zettl, written shortly before his death. But did you know we also published another exclusive Walter essay shortly after that? In The Horse’s Footfalls In All Three Gaits, the dressage master breaks down walk, trot, and canter.
In addition to first person narratives about readers and their dressage journeys, YourDressage is happy to present event coverage. One of our favorites from our first year was Taryn Young’s story on the National Dressage Pony Cup in Height Doesn’t Measure Heart. Ponies and small horses strutted their stuff (and who can resist cute pony pictures?) and readers got to go behind the scenes at how this event came to be so popular.
You can’t think about KWPN Dutch Warmblood breeding without thinking of Sir Sinclair, who has established himself as a sire of national champions. Christine DeHerrera writes about not only his time as a top stallion, but also his early years in A Breeder’s Dream – Sir Sinclair. Make sure you check out the article to see an adorable photo of Sir Sinclair as a foal.
When writer Sara Webb first met her future off-track Thoroughbred, she described him as homely and skinny. However, together they have not only found success in the dressage ring, but have had adventures in everything from foxhunting to hunters. Being unmotivated and downhill, Homer was challenging and took a while to work through the levels. With much patience and a little humor, Sara shares what it took to earn their USDF Bronze Medal together, and what helped her OTTB thrive in The Odyssey of Homer.
We are always looking for new stories! If you have an idea, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!
In addition to original content and exclusive coverage, YourDressage also includes weekly features. Here are a few articles, videos, photos, and more that you may have missed!
Did you know every Monday we share a “top 5” list? These can range from reasons to look forward to a new program, opportunities you may not know about, or show essentials. One particular listicle you may have missed is 5 Tips for Working Students, which gives advice for anyone who may want to take on this important (and hardworking) role at a stable.
Our weekly featured videos cover a wide range of topics, with information from dressage industry experts, clips from events like Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conferences and Sport Horse Prospect Development Forums, and videos from the USDF archives of Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Famers. One video you won’t want to miss if you ride in (or are interested in riding in) a musical freestyle is Tips for Creating a Musical Freestyle. In it, Janet (Dolly) Hannon, chair of the USDF Freestyle Committee, shares her secrets for creating that perfect freestyle that will catch the eye of the judges.
This weekly feature has found quite a bit of popularity so far. These short video snippets give you a quick tip that can help you as a rider, or a horseperson in general. One Tip Tuesday you may have missed is When Things Go Wrong, Ask Yourself These Three Things. This clip, from the 2009 Succeed/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference, features Jan Brink sharing the three things he asks himself when a movement is not working.
Heard Around the Arena and True Tails
On Wednesdays, we share either Heard Around the Arena posts or True Tails. Heard Around the Arena is a gallery of photos, usually from a specific event, show, or shared theme. A fun gallery you may have missed was taken during the 2019 US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®. It features some of the furry friends who accompanied the riders and horses to Lexington, KY for the competition. See the adorable dogs and cuddly cats in Four Legged Friends at Finals. True Tails is even more interactive, with forum topics posted for readers to discuss in the comments. Have you weighed in yet on Who or What Is Your Horse’s Companion?
Word of the Week
You hear certain words often in the dressage world, but do you really know what they mean? And what about other words that sometimes pop up on your test sheet? We delve into a wide range of dressage words each Wednesday with our Word of the Week. For example, did you know that Connection is a prerequisite for throughness, and is a state in which there is no blockage, break, or slack in the circuit that joins horse and rider into a single, harmonious, elastic unit?
Everybody loves taking a trip down memory lane. Each Thursday, we share a blast from the past. These have included profiles on our founding clubs, throwbacks to past shows, and memories from events like the Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention. A special flashback for us was The Dream Comes True, by Jennifer Keeler. It tells the story of the first US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® and what it took to build an event of this magnitude.
Around the Office
It’s fun putting a face with a name. Our weekly Around the Office feature introduces you to USDF Staff, Committee Chairs, Certified Instructors, and more. If you haven’t checked this feature out yet, why not start with Stephan Hienzsch, USDF Executive Director?
Photo of the Week
Photo Fridays! We end each week by sharing a special photo. You may have missed the very first one we ever shared, called Pep Talk. This picture was taken by Cheryl Pelly, and won runner-up honors in the Adult Photography division of the 2016 USDF Arts Contest. Interested in submitting one of your pictures for possible inclusion as our Photo of the Week? E-mail us at YourDressage@gmail.com.
We are all looking forward to year two of YourDressage. We have some exciting new ideas, stories, and videos on the horizon, and we can’t wait for you to join us here for your daily dose of unique dressage content!
What are your favorites from year one? And what would you be interested in reading about this year? Let us know in the comments below!