I own and manage Horse Bridge Farm, a dressage training facility, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I attended Meredith Manor School of Horsemanship and Salem College, achieving a Riding Master Degree (Versatility Major) and a B.S. in Equestrian Studies (Psychology Minor). I have been training horses, instructing, and competing in dressage for 40 years. I’ve earned a USDF Qualified Rider Award and my USDF Bronze Medal. My students have also earned awards at Dressage4Kids, as well as other recognized shows.
How long have you been involved in the sport?
I have been involved with dressage since 1978, when I was introduced to it at Meredith Manor. Dressage has been the basis for all my training for 40 years.
How long have you been a USDF member?
I have been a member of USDF since the 1980s.
What made you decide to participate in the USDF L Education Program?
I had been judging local shows and Arabian shows for several years and wanted to expand my judging education to dressage. I had competed in dressage for so many years and had the scores and experience. I had audited the program a decade before becoming a candidate myself.
How long did it take to complete the program, start to finish?
It took one year for me to complete the L Education Program.
Do you plan to further your dressage education and to continue to apply what you learned in the program to become a licensed official?
Yes, I have been, and plan to continue furthering my education by auditing the L Education Program and going to other clinics and forums that become available. I would like to become a USEF Licensed “r” or “R”.
Do you serve as a judge for schooling shows in your capacity as an L Graduate? If so, on average, how many per year?
Yes, I have been judging dressage schooling shows for the last 12 years. I have judged for Potomac Valley Dressage Association, the Arabian Horse Association of Delmarva, and many Eventing Horse Trials all over Maryland. I normally judge from five to eight shows per year.
What impact did the program have on your dressage knowledge?
Pretty much everything in the L Education Program added so much to my knowledge. The biomechanics part, taught by Jeff Moore, had a great impact on my teaching and training ability and was invaluable! As a competitor myself, as well as coaching students, the other sections really helped me see what the judges were specifically looking for, and how they derived their scores- basics + criteria. The USDF Pyramid of Training was covered extensively and the criteria for each movement. The education on the quality of the gaits was so important for judging. I also learned a lot from scribing with more experienced judges.
Name three things you took away from the program that you think every rider should know.
The 3 things riders should know from the program are:
Basics from the USDF Pyramid of Training
The biomechanics of how a rider affects the horse
The criteria required in the movements of the tests
Have you participated in or completed other USDF programs? Describe.
Yes, I have received USDF University Certificates for attending various symposiums and clinics, some of which were the Conrad Schumacher symposium and some of Janet Foy’s “Through the Levels” symposiums. Last year, I participated as a rider and auditor in the “New Test Symposium” she taught! I have also participated in some of the USDF Instructor/Trainer Workshops and recently attended a judges’ symposium put on by Eastern States Dressage & Combined Training Association in Gladstone, NJ.
Tell us about your horse(s).
I had a Dutch Warmblood cross named “Rising Eagle” who I trained from a four-year-old up. We competed both schooling and recognized competitions for twelve years up through Fourth Level, achieving the USDF Bronze Medal and earning two scores toward our USDF Silver Medal. We were schooling Prix St. Georges when, tragically, I lost him due to colic. My horse “Art Class” is a Dutch Warmblood crossed with Arabian. He’s a pinto color, like his sire Art Deco. He was born at my farm and I’ve trained him and competed him through Third Level. Presently, I’m training and competing on an Andalusian mare, “Adagia,” a client’s horse.
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