Who Knew?

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By Suzanne Roantree Krauss

Today, I got a really fun envelope from USDF! 

It was stuffed with Rider Performance Certificates with my name on each one. Three certificates and patches saying I had achieved scores of 60+ at Training, First Level, and Second Level! Who knew? 

A few weeks ago, a fellow rider told me she actually looked at her USDF Membership Dashboard (who has time to do that?) She found out she was eligible and could apply for two Rider Performance Certificates and patches… Cool! We all need cheerleaders reminding us we did something truly awesome with our dance partner.  I found out I had awards too! Who Knew?

Oliver 1.0 is the sick, scrappy Thoroughbred foal I hand fed on the day he was born. He was bred royally, but never raced. He grew into a sexy 17h bay who excelled at every form of jumping.  Unfortunately, he made a really bad decision in a trailer, which required extensive surgery.  Dressage is training, and proper training is strength. He needed strength and I did too. A year later, a friend saw me riding 1.0 at Training Level in a rated show, and she challenged me to earn my USDF Bronze Medal on him. We sat at First Level for three years. Last fall, we qualified for the 2022 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships at Second Level. My goal was to earn my Bronze on 1.0 before I turned 60, and that wasn’t SO far away!  

We were 2/3 of the way there! Just two scores of 60+ at Third Level to go!  1.0 and I both got stressed at Third Level. Our first time out at Third Level Test 1, we got a 59.73—so close! (I verified that score from my Dashboard!)  When I first embraced dressage, I took a lesson on a schoolmaster from a USDF Bronze Medalist Instructor.  I remember being so impressed with her credentials. Who knew one day I would almost be a USDF Bronze Medalist? 

1.0’s age, arthritis, and desire to please equaled ulcers.  Injections, massages, and chiro were already part of his life.  It was time for him to take his wealth of knowledge, and teach a passionate rider dressage at the lower levels. The perfect home was just a mile down the street. Who knew?  

My new dance partner is a tall, black, 6-year-old Hanoverian, from Germany. Never shown, but born for dressage (Oliver 2.0 and Oliver 1.0 have the same birthday.)  My trainer encouraged me to get to know 2.0 from the ground up, which turned out to be really good advice. 2.0 and I will dance together at Training Level at his first show on Mother’s Day, which is just a couple of weeks before my 60th birthday. 

Who knew? I just declared myself for the USDF Vintage Cup Awards, for riders 50 and older at all levels. Yeah, I should have done it years ago…I didn’t know.  I didn’t take the time to know. My trainer, who is half my age, says I’m still going to get my Bronze, but this time on Oliver 2.0. Maybe before I’m 65 now?  I’m on board for that!  It’s okay for goals to shift. Who Knew? 

2.0’s registered name is “Fürstenlove.” It means “The First Love.”  When I was four, my mother told me I “had” to stop talking about horses.  I listened for a little while…

I know my mother knew, anything is possible. Take the time to make it happen!

Suzanne Roantree Krauss is an AA rider and is a Radio/TV On Air News Journalist.  Suzanne hosts with Heidi-Hauri Gill/USDF Instructor& L-Judge a Spotify Podcast for beginner dressage riders “HEIDI” Honest Educational Instructional Dressage Information. 

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  1. […] Suzanne Roantree Krauss is an AA rider and is a Radio/TV On Air News Journalist.  Suzanne hosts with Heidi-Hauri Gill/USDF Instructor& L-Judge a Spotify Podcast for beginner dressage riders “HEIDI” Honest Educational Instructional Dressage Information. Read more about what Suzanne found on her USDF Member Dashboard in Who Knew? […]

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