Megan Compton is a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist, USDF L Graduate with distinction, trainer, coach, and FEI rider. Through engaging cross-training, Megan’s program is dedicated to producing quality athletes that are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy so they are prepared to excel in a competitive career. Megan Compton has a special interest in starting young horses in their careers – from handling them as weanlings, to the first ride, and all the way through their careers as competitive dressage horses.
How long have you been involved in the sport?
I have been riding dressage specifically for 19 years and have been riding since I was 9 years old.
How long have you been a USDF member?
For nearly 20 years.
What made you decide to participate in the USDF L Education Program?
I love every aspect of the sport of dressage. I recognized that the L Education Program would give me a bit of an inside look at the sport and a deeper education. I feel that a well-rounded education is important for anyone who is a professional in this sport- that includes having the knowledge of the USDF Pyramid of Training, understanding scoring, and being able to decipher exactly what a judge is seeing in your horses to make certain comments and how to apply that to your daily training.
How long did it take to complete the program, start to finish?
I was very fortunate that I was able to do both parts, as they were offered within my region in the same year. I made the L Education Program my priority so that I could complete the scribing and sitting hours in time before the final exam.
Do you plan to further your dressage education and to continue to apply what you learned in the program to become a licensed official?
Continuing on as a licensed official is definitely in my long-term plan.
Do you serve as a judge for schooling shows in your capacity as an L Graduate? If so, on average, how many per year?
I really enjoy judging schooling shows and try to have 3-5 on my calendar every year.
What impact did the program have on your dressage knowledge?
I think just truly understanding that as an L Graduate, you become an even greater guardian of the sport of dressage. The classical art of this sport has no shortcuts. The L Education Program really helped me to be able to dive into how the training should influence test riding and how test riding should influence the training.
Name three things you took away from the program that you think every rider should know.
- Start and stop your movements. Don’t let them overlap each other.
- If you make a mistake, keep it in one movement, and move on. Some things are unsalvageable in the competition arena. Know your horse enough to be able to tell the difference between something you can save, and something that you just need to let go of and specifically train to improve at home.
- Train your non-brilliance movements: the walk, rein-back, turn on haunches, etc. You potentially throw away points, and oftentimes coefficients, by jigging, not having a clear rhythm, or having sticky steps.
Have you participated in or completed other USDF programs? Describe.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 2020 Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference. It was an amazingly inspirational time, and I will definitely be continuing to put it on my calendar every year!
Tell us about your horse(s).
I’m extremely blessed to have a pipeline of horses from my wonderful breeder, Hans Lengers at Indian Land Farm. Revival HVF is a nine-year-old Hanoverian mare who is competing PSG and schooling I1/I2. Redemption HVF is a four-year-old Hanoverian gelding who is just getting started in his career. Razounding HVF is a yearling who is currently growing up with his babysitter, my retired Hanoverian mare, Regenbogen.
Phone: (334) 796-8655
Want to read more from Megan? She recapped the 2020 Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference on YourDressage. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 to read her takeaways.