How long have you been involved in the sport?
I’ve been riding horses for 27 years and involved in dressage for 22 years.
How long have you been a USDF member?
I believe 2010 was my first membership year.
What made you decide to participate in the USDF L Education program?
My horse was injured at the end of the 2011 season and was not able to return to competition. I missed competing and still wanted to be involved in the sport, so I began to consider the idea of completing the USDF L Education Program. I volunteered to scribe for a candidate at the 2012 D1 session at the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) Spring Show and it sparked my passion for judging. I was able to start Part 1 of the program in 2013.
How long did it take you to complete the program, start to finish?
It took me two years. I started with Part 1 Session A in September of 2013 and graduated Part 2 in September of 2015.
Do you plan to further your dressage education and to continue to apply what you learned in the program to become a licensed official?
I hope to! I’d love to complete both my USEF ‘r’ and ‘R’ at some point. I really enjoy judging so it’s an aspiration of mine. I feel that USDF’s L Education Program has given me a very solid foundation and education in judging to be able to successfully pursue those goals.
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 do serve as a judge for schooling shows. I have been fortunate enough to officiate many schooling shows over the years including the NEDA schooling show. I typically judge about 15 schooling shows per season.
What impact did the program have on your dressage knowledge?
The program has really been instrumental for me in many different ways. Learning the intricacies of the biomechanics of the horse is invaluable. Truly understanding how the horse moves biomechanically allows us, as riders, to comprehend how we influence their bodies. Also, having comprehensive knowledge of how the collectives are scored has really helped me as a competitor, as well. Overall, the knowledge gained from the program has made me a more educated dressage rider.
Name three things that you took away from the program that you think every rider should know?
Biomechanics (this is huge), understanding the purpose of the level/criteria of movements, and interpreting the collective marks.
Tell us about your horse(s).
I presently have three geldings. Junior is a KWPN-NA. He has competed through Intermediate 2, done the CDI Small Tour, and has medaled at the North American Youth Championships (NAYC). He’s a very sweet, sensitive boy who loves to cuddle. Rumbero is a PRE that I imported from Spain in 2013. Unfortunately, he has endured a couple of lengthy injuries over the past couple of years and is currently in the beginning stages of rehab. I hope that he will make a favorable recovery and be able to compete in the 2021 season. He’s very playful and quite spicy. Maxwell is my eldest gelding. He’s been with me for 22 years. He was my childhood horse. He’s retired now and is best friends with Junior and Rumbero – they’re obsessed with him! He’s a little tentative, but very sweet once he warms up to people, and absolutely loves children. I’m very lucky to have such a great group of boys!
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