Readers’ Choice – Part Two

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We are celebrating the 3 Year Anniversary of our publications website, YourDressage.org!!  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 we have ever published on YourDressage and let us know why they loved them. We are happy to present Part Two of our list of readers’ choice stories, as voted by our social media followers and readers! 

Missed Part One? See what other readers’ favorites were here!

Riding It Out 

For most of the country, trying to ride & train in the winter can be tough. Jennifer M. Keeler shares 11 tips to help you stay motivated during not-so-nice weather.

@mecequestrian_

Saddlebred Month overall

Celebrating Saddlebreds!! October 2021 saw YourDressage honor Saddlebreds & Saddlebred crosses. Dressage riders who choose Saddlebreds as their mounts are eligible for Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards. We asked our social media followers to share photos of these graceful horses, & let us know what makes them so special. Check out a full gallery of photos they shared:

@saddlebreddressage – So grateful for all of the support you’ve given to the American Saddlebred community 👏 So many great ASB dressage stories on YourDressage, a wonderful platform to raise awareness about our beloved breed.

The Little Cart Horse That Could 

From pulling carts in the Amish country of Pennsylvania to the centerline at the US Dressage Finals presented by Adequan®, an adult amateur rider from USDF Region 3 shares the story of Kashmire Knight, the “little cart horse that could”!

@Momo_rocks

Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic Week Targets Talented Youth 

20 up-and-coming young dressage riders earned their place in the sun to soak up a wealth of knowledge at the 2022 Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic Week, held January 6-9 at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival showgrounds in Wellington, Florida. Robert Dover, George Williams, Sabine Schut-Kery, Jan Ebeling, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Guenter Seidel, Charlotte Bredahl, & Gary Rockwell shared their secrets & advice with the young equestrians.

Ride along with the participants as we share highlights & educational takeaways from the 2022 event. 

@carofine_stevenson – I love the quick read section & the Robert Dover recap this year! 🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄

Melissa Lillie Petite – This was a great article and great program!

Lessons from Lead Mares

It’s Trakehner month on YourDressage! We kicked off this Breed of the Month with the GMO Newsletter Award Winning story “Lessons from Lead Mares” which features the writer’s Trakehner mare, Rey. This article was originally published in the North Woods Dressage Association newsletter.

@kaylie_dressage – 

Nailing It! Riding with Success Through the Levels – Part 3

First Level riders – raise your hands! In part 3 of our series, “Nailing It! Riding with Success Through the Levels” we explore First Level and what you need to know to succeed in the showring.

Photo by Jennifer Bryant.

@seritamae – “Nailing it! Riding with success through the levels – Part 3” from may 12th, 2020! Super good read- especially because I’m about to debut in 1st level!!

Billy Taught Me How 

In this YourDressage story, Region 1 competitor Lauren Sprieser shares the love-at-first-ride story of her Trakehner, Bellinger, & how his greatest gift wasn’t just the competition successes they shared, but all of the lessons he taught along the way.

📸 by Amy Dragoo. Note: USDF strongly recommends all riders wear protective headgear when mounted.

@claire.reillyy – I really liked Billy Taught Me How it reminded me of my horse!

Flying Close To The Sun – A Relentless Journey of Disability, Life, and Soul 

“I can absolutely say that the first happy memories I have happened on the back of a plucky pony. For a child who couldn’t stand unaided, there was an indescribable feeling of freedom & joy in being able to make a horse take a step from the sound of your voice.”

USDF is thrilled to have launched our series highlighting para equestrians! In our first story, Holly Lovejoy – Para Equestrian shared about growing up with spastic cerebral palsy, how horses played a vital role in her upbringing, & her relentless pursuit of gold in the future with her golden pony.

Jessica Maria – Love  “Flying Close To The Sun – A Relentless Journey of Disability, Life, and Soul”

The Right Horse Finds Us 

We celebrated Trakehners as our Breed of the Month in March 2022! In this YourDressage exclusive, a rider who was rehabilitating from a broken back shares about the young Trakehner who came into her life at the most unexpected time – and has become her Prince Charming!

Russell’s Landing Dressage   – My story about my comeback from an accident with an amazing horse thanks for the opportunity

Kid Friendly 

Celebrating Saddlebreds!! October on YourDressage honored Saddlebreds & Saddlebred crosses. In the latest story, read about the exploits of Saddlebred cross JAG Kalico Kid, a great ambassador for his breed, from the perspectives of some of the people who know him best.

Megan Gilker Thomas – My favorite is about Kid – the Half Saddlebred! 

Jessica Gilker Ho – JAG Kalico Kid 

Five Ways To Impress A Judge 

Everyone knows that the best way to get a very good score on a movement is to perform that movement very well. But, as we all well know, and have experienced, sometimes that doesn’t work out. Maybe our horse was feeling a bit ‘off’, or there were external distractions, or it was our error in not preparing for the movement – mistakes happen. There are, however, some simple things you can do to impress the judges that will help you earn that extra half point, even on a movement that isn’t quite right.

Jill R. Jackson submission 

Healing with the Help of An American Legend 

After surviving the Las Vegas shooting, Amélie B. had a hard time connecting with people again & struggled with PTSD. Her healing partner came in the form of an American Mustang mare named Kàra. She shares her amazing story of resilience, hope, & trust in our equestrian mental health series.

📸 by Raquel G. Frohlich (RGF Photography)

@eva_fritsch – It’s a recent one but I have a soft spot for Mustangs and the story really resonated with me as the importance of horses for our mental health was reflected in the article! My choice is “Healing with the Help of an American Legend” by Amélie Bellefille

All stories by Elyse Hart 

The second edition of our new equestrian mental health-focused series “Clear Eyes, Sound Mind, Halt, Salute” featured recovering addict Elyse H., who shared her very personal story of fighting her demons & how horses have helped her stay sober. 

@hrlovejoy.paradressage – Everything published by @all_hart_equestrian 🤍🤍🤍

Breed of the Month features

Celebrating Thoroughbreds!! November 2021 on YourDressage, we honored Thoroughbreds & Thoroughbred crosses. Dressage riders who choose Thoroughbreds as their mounts are eligible for Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards. We asked our social media followers to share photos of these athletic & versatile horses, & let us know what makes them so special. Check out a full gallery of photos they shared.

@lmvv63 – My favorite articles are the breed of the month 

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

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