Meet the L Graduate – Karen Lee


Karen Lee is a dressage trainer located in western Wisconsin.  She has shown through Grand Prix and has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals, in addition to her Bronze Freestyle Bar. Karen enjoys judging schooling shows and helping people appreciate dressage as much as she does.

How long have you been involved in the sport?

I have been involved in dressage for over 40 years. 

How long have you been a USDF member?

I have been a USDF member for more than 30 years, I have lost track of the exact amount of time.

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

The USDF L Education Program attracted me because it is a systematic approach to dressage. It helped me understand where I fit into the overall sport. I believe riding, training, and showing a horse is a personal journey, and it is important to blend the dressage system with your personal journey.

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

It took me about a year to complete the program. I did go back and retake the A, B, and C sessions over again, as I had initially done the program many years ago.

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 do plan to become a licensed official and have been accepted into the USEF “r” program. The program was delayed because of the pandemic and is scheduled to start in August 2021.

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 judge schooling shows each year. I average four to five per year.

What impact did the program have on your dressage knowledge?

The biggest impact that the L Education Program has had on me was the knowledge that the judges are on your side, and they sincerely want every competitor to do well.

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

The three biggest takeaways from the program were that the program teaches fairness, equity, and it helps L Graduates develop a solid numerical judging scale.

Have you participated in or completed other USDF programs? Describe.

I have attended Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention multiple times and participated in many educational lectures.

Tell us about your horse(s).

I am blessed and fortunate to ride two horses right now. One is an older stallion that has been shown through Prix St. Georges. He is an Andalusian, so is a different kind of mover than some of the warmbloods I have ridden. I also show a mare that is a Friesian warmblood cross that I bred and have trained up through Third Level. I feel lucky to have two horses that are so different to ride and need different things from their rider to progress in their training.  Riding them makes me a better judge of different types of horses.

Phone: (715) 505-3107


Leave a Reply