Meet the L Graduate – Sandy Hider

(Photo by Megan Stapley)

I have been an instructor and trainer since I graduated from Meredith Manor School of Horsemanship in 1976. I earned my USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals on my previous horse that I broke and trained, Certainly, and my last mare, Heidi K (recently deceased), I also broke and trained through Grand Prix. We participated in The Dressage Foundation’s Two-Tempi challenge, finishing 4th in the nation for our fundraising efforts performing 25 consecutive two-tempi changes! My most consistent instructors over many years have been Michael Barisone and Vera Kessels.

How long have you been a USDF member?

I have been a USDF member since 1975.

What made you decide to participate in the USDF L Education Program?

I decided to participate in the L Education Program to learn more about the judging process and to feel more qualified when I was asked to judge. 

How long did it take to complete the program, start to finish?

It took 2 years to complete. 

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 judge 5-10 schooling shows per year. 

What impact did the program have on your dressage knowledge?

Participating in the L Education Program has helped me in my everyday teaching and training. I am glad to better explain to my students what the scores and comments mean when they compete. The impact the program has had on my everyday life has been amazing. The training scale, biomechanics, methodology etc… All eye opening!

Name three things you took away from the program that you think every rider should know.

A score of 10 does not mean perfect, and excellent is possible to achieve! One low mark does not mean it’s over! Put it behind you and carry on. No one is perfect, including judges. We all can make mistakes. 

Have you participated in or completed other USDF programs? Describe

I have served on the board for our local GMO, Western New York Dressage Association, and numerous show committees. 

Tell us about your horse(s).

I have only owned 4 horses in my life. I am 64. My last mare Certainly, I took all the way, and my recently deceased mare, Heidi K, also achieved Grand Prix level. Training opinionated mares can sometimes be a challenge, but I feel it can really show if you are indeed a trainer who is willing to negotiate with a horse and help them to find joy in their work. 

Phone: (585) 721-5539


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