Readers’ Choice – Part One


We are celebrating the 3 Year Anniversary of our publications website,!!  Since our launch in April 2019, we have been thrilled to share stories from the dressage community – your triumphs, your tragedies, your special horses – Your Dressage!

To celebrate our 3 Year Anniversary, we ran a contest on social media and gave away swag bags to our three lucky winners: Suzanne Emily, Ami Aiuto, and @asb_dressage_patrick! 

To enter the contest, our readers selected their favorite stories ever published on YourDressage and let us know why they loved them. We are happy to present Part 1 of our list of readers’ choice stories, as voted by our social media followers and readers! 

Systematic Thinking and Riding with Johann Hinnemann

At the NEDA New England Dressage Association’s Fall Symposium, the renowned German trainer Johann Hinnemann shared his wealth of knowledge. Read some of the takeaways in this reprint from the January/February 2022 issue of USDF Connection magazine.

Terri Hevrin – I enjoyed this article and its emphasis on training.

@kaylie_dressage – “Systematic thinking and riding” was such a cool one!

@our_silly_ponies – Systematic thinking and riding!

Isn’t It Time You Rode a Trakehner?

In March, we celebrated Trakehners as our YourDressage Breed of the Month! To cap off the month, we were thrilled to share this story from Matthew Boyd, the President of the American Trakehner Association (an Adequan®/USDF All Breeds Awards program participating organization), who tells us about the fascinating history of this breed, & why you should consider one for your next competition mount.

Laura Hansen – I loved the ride a Trakehner series!

From Colic Survivors to the National Stage

Colic. A word that instantly fills horse people with dread. In this YourDressage story, a rider in USDF Region 4 shares about the resilience of her incredible Appaloosa mare Piper, who not only survived what was thought to be a fatal bout of colic, but also returned to the top levels of the sport. 

Jessica Lund – Very well written article by a good friend 😉 but really, the breed spot lights have been great 🤩 I love reading the autobiographical stories of members in the Dressage community ❤️ Appy month was probably my favorite month so far. It had so many articles featuring beautiful horses and their equally beautiful stories. If I had to pick one…I might be a little bias… Thank you for letting me share our story! I look forward to Lippizan month.

Alicia Stock – Appy month was probably my favorite month so far. It had so many articles featuring beautiful horses and their equally beautiful stories. If I had to pick one…I might be a little bias… Thank you for letting me share our story! I look forward to Lippizan month.

My George and Me: The Story of a Grand Prix Saddlebred

“My George (I’m really his) has taught me how to become a Grand Prix rider at 62 years young….” In this story, a lifelong American Saddlebred lover writes about her heart horse George, & their adventures through Grand Prix Level together.

Ami Aiuto – I loved the Saddlebred piece the most. Thanks Jody Swimmer!

Gigi Kreibich – I absolutely LOVED the piece on Saddlebreds as amazing sport horses. I was very inspired by hearing a saddlebred made it to the Grand Prix, they are wonderful horses and it’s so nice to see such good representation of them as sport horses!

@saddlebredaddict – I love anything you guys share about American Saddlebreds! Especially the story shared by the pictured @jodyswimmer and George! ❤️

Reflections of a First Year Dressage Competitor

Lori L. always loved horses. Coming from a family who couldn’t afford riding lessons, she started riding in earnest in her 20s. Fast forward 30 years, & she decided to give dressage a try. Read her takeaways from her first year of being a dressage competitor.

Suzanne Emily – One of my favorite articles 🤩🤩

@loriblafave – My favorite is “Reflections of a First Year Dressage Competitor” 😃

Tips for Competitors from Competition Management – Preparing for Show Season

Show season is right around the corner! Make sure you are your horse are ready to compete with these tips from competition management.

Photo by Shelby Suelzle, 2013 USDF Arts Contest entry

Laurel Bullock – Very helpful

Nothing I Wanted and Everything I Needed

“I always say that he was ‘nothing I wanted & everything I needed.’ I wanted a big fancy warmblood, with floating gaits & bloodlines with all the big names. What I got was a noodle with a brain that went too fast for his little toothpick legs to keep up sometimes, but he improved my riding & my horsemanship more than any horse I’ve had before.” In this exclusive, an adult amateur shares about her unexpected partnership with a palomino Saddlebred.

Photo by John Borys Photography 

Erin Kathryn – I’m definitely biased, but having my article on my beloved boy Rohan published after he passed will be something I cherish forever.

The MonarcH

It’s easy to pick a Knabstrupper out of the crowd. This Danish breed is an instant head-turner, featuring beautiful & unique coloring from solid to full leopard spotted coats, & everything in between. We kicked off our coverage of this Breed of the Month with this story, where a rider shares how a “surprise project” Knabstrupper turned into the horse of a lifetime. 

Photo by Pics of You

Carrie Cross – Loved the piece on Knabstruppers.

Get Your Mind Right

It takes many times down centerline for riders to learn to manage their nerves, recover from an error, stay in the moment, & focus. In this YourDressage exclusive, adult amateur Sally O’Dwyer, fresh off her triumph at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, shares some tips for having the right competition mindset.

Nyssa Crane Sheridan – This article. I need to practice everything mentioned in it much more frequently! So many great words of wisdom like “Progress is made in small gains, not big ones.”

Justin Morgan Had a Dressage Horse

Tonya B. discovered dressage because she started breeding foundation Morgan horses. That is probably not a normal sentence, and you were probably expecting a more natural transition such as, “I discovered dressage because I started breeding Andalusians or Hanoverians.” However, as a teen, I fell in love with Morgans, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Life Lessons from Patrick

October celebrated Saddlebreds as our Breed of the Month! In this YourDressage exclusive story, an equestrian shares about switching from saddleseat to dressage, & the life lessons she learned along the way with her horse Patrick.

@asb_dressage_patrick – Being able to write for, and be published by you guys, will always be a highlight from my journey in dressage with P! “Life Lessons From Patrick” 

“What Makes a Good Para-Dressage Horse?”  

Para-dressage runs parallel to “able-bodied” dressage in almost every aspect. When it comes to selecting a horse, is there any difference between the two disciplines? In this reprint from USDF Connection magazine, learn what makes a good para dressage horse.

Natalie 🦓 @_Nataliea – “What makes a great paradressage horse” from a few years ago!

Postcard from Tokyo

Diana De Rosa knows a thing or two about the Olympics – she has covered the Olympic Games nine times! These unprecedented times due to the pandemic have made for some unusual sights in Tokyo, but the competition went on, producing some memorable moments, both on the “field of play” & behind the scenes. Enjoy this visual postcard with a look at some of the unique scenes that didn’t make it into the TV and streaming broadcasts exclusively on YourDressage.

@dressageinthemountains – I really enjoyed reading “Postcard from Tokyo” 😍

Celebrating Draft Horses

Draft power!! Throughout August, we celebrated Draft Horses & Draft Crosses of all breeds.  Dressage riders who choose Drafts as their mounts are eligible for many Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards as there are several Draft organizations on our Participating Organization list. We asked our social media followers to share photos of their gentle giants, and let us know what makes them so special. Check out a full gallery of photos they shared.

@englishmuffin1979 – I loved the article Celebrating Draft Horses!❤️ 

How to (Actually) Learn Your Dressage Test

You might be surprised to learn that a lot of what is passed around as “common sense” for learning tests is actually debunked by research. Using her training as a developmental and educational psychologist, writer Kate S. improved her personal dressage education. In this article, she shares test-learning strategies with research evidence behind them: spaced retrieval practice, dual-coding, and elaboration. She also calls out “old wisdom” you should avoid. 

@dq_prof – “How to (Actually) Learn Your Dressage Test” from Oct ‘19! 🧠

What is your favorite story from YourDressage over the last 3 years?  Let us know in the comments below!


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