Submitted by Jo Anna W. - Sophie Wayner with Andy (a Hafie)
August is Youth Month on
YourDressage! From stories about remarkable young dressage enthusiasts across the country, to articles about some of the opportunities USDF offers to youth riders, join us all month long as we celebrate equestrians aged 25 and under. They are the future of our sport!
We recently asked our youth social media followers to share photos with their favorite horses, and to let us know why they love the sport of dressage. Here, in Part 1, we proudly present a full gallery of photos they shared.
If you’re a junior, young rider, or young adult equestrian, let us know what you love about dressage and send us a photo at
firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to be featured in an upcoming photo gallery. We will also be looking for stories from youth riders across the US to share all August long.
Submitted by Alanna S. – My favorite thing about dressage is how it is meant for every horse no matter the breed, age, or conformation. Every single horse and rider benefits from dressage! Dressage is just the fundamentals of riding! I took a break from jumping for about 6 months and it has helped my jumping tremendously, you know what they say, jumping is just dressage with obstacles!
Submitted by Audrey – This is me and my favorite horse Fergus. I love dressage because of how technical it is and how much goes into it. There is so much to it but you can make it look so effortless and it’s so rewarding in that way.
Submitted by Josephine S. – My horse is named Just Keep Swimming. Dressage means everything to me – it is the sport that makes me feel alive. It is also one of the things I feel confidence in. I am a USDF Bronze Medalist, the JR/YR rep for the GMO MDA, and I teach lessons to others to try and promote the sport in younger generations.
Submitted by Kayley K. – What I love about Dressage is USDF and all of its programs for its youth riders, including the FEI NAYC, which I have competed in twice now. I also love the sport’s complexity and never ending journey to perfection!
Submitted by Leia B. – My favorite thing about dressage is the partnership you build with your horse and the fact that it’s an on the flat discipline and it helps you improve your riding. In dressage you can just concentrate on your horse and I just find it satisfying. The first photo is Cody, a 17 yo Quarter Horse and the second is Launch, a 12 yo Hanoverian
Submitted by Lucy S. – I am seventeen years old. One of my favorite horses is my chestnut mare, Porsche’s Florencia (barn name is Flo). I just purchased and began riding her in March of 2022, but we have been showing Juniors and Third Level. I think one of my favorite things about dressage is that there is always something to learn. Regardless of your age, years of experience, horse, trainer, or level at which you’re competing at there is always something you could do better.
Submitted by Madelyn – This is my heart horse West River’s Indigo’s Royal Callahan aka Callahan with me, his rider. I’m a junior rider from northern Wisconsin.
Submitted by Makenah F. – This is Pi, he got me to my First Level debut with a broken foot and helped me earn my first two scores for my bronze medal. I love dressage more than any discipline because of the feeling when you and your horse both have a breakthrough in a movement and you have that moment of total connection and oneness with your horse
Submitted by Savannah P. – Dressage is one of my favorite disciplines because of the beauty. Me and my horse Amira (a 15 year old Lippizan mare) just clicked in dressage this year. And few months back I had a lesson where my trainer asked us to let the horse stretch or ask for collection I chose collection. That’s the moment where everything changed – she immediately put her head into frame and it was amazing. Ever since that moment we’ve been working on it and that picture is from a show this year.
Submitted by Rylee P. – I am a Junior young rider. I love that with dressage you can do things that not other sports can do. I love the bond that you create with the horse on and off the ground. It’s a unique sport telling a story with music and movements. Horses get to show off their sets of skills and what they have learned. Dressage has been around and will be around for years to come.
Submitted by Taylor – I’m 22 years old, and this is me and my 13 year old Argentinian Warmblood gelding, Austin. As for what I love about dressage, I would definitely say it’s the fact that the smallest changes I make on my horse’s back make the largest differences. Just shifting my weight one direction or even moving a pinky can influence the entire horse. Sometimes when the challenges that come with just growing up can make me feel out of control or like I can’t make a difference, I know that my rides are something I can always control. It gives me stability. I have also made my closest friends thanks to dressage, and similarly, I know they are friends for life. They are my rocks! Note: USDF strongly recommends all riders wear protective headgear when mounted.