CDS Annual meeting speaker and seminar presentation.

A huge thank you to CDS, Melissa Creswick, Tracy Underwood who managed the program, and Michele Vaughn for the use of the fabulous Starr Vaughn Equestrian Center for the Northern Adult Amateur clinic. A terrific way to help and involve the AA's who make up the large majority of dressage riders today.  When I saw that my friend and colleague, Melissa Creswick, was the clinician this year, I REALLY wanted to ride.   
Melissa's logical approach to helping both horse and rider is so very refreshing.  First, negativity is not allowed.  Second, just like we humans horses are individuals too, and if things don't work as well as we want, have a plan and make it better tomorrow.
While not all of us can be gifted riders on gifted horses, we can still improve and have fun, even us "mature” riders with many years of riding experience.  Melissa has an excellent ability to identify the most important issue with either horse or rider, and then be able to correct it.  In observing most of the lessons, it was clear that improving riders with seat and position issues resulted in their horses being happier and going better.
For me and also “senior” partner, my Hanoverian stallion Waterford, the huge "light bulb" moment was Melissa's use of the term "belly wall".  After hearing this in the early lessons, it piqued my interest as it is obviously not a standard dressage term.  However, using the "belly wall" for the half halts and to improve the sitting trot really made a significant difference and was immediately understood.  In my sessions, she wanted to refine my aids to improve Waterford’s response and allow him to show more expression in the movements, and also keep me from pulling his neck to the left (an evil habit). Also, to keep the “discussion” going and not just let him decide what should be done.  Using the "belly wall" aid toward the rein he was heavy on (the right one) was almost magic!  He was strait with his weight even on all four  legs.  I was really gratified that we could do the more difficult work for piaffe, passage and pirouettes by using the belly wall aid.  Now I just need to keep it up and apply it to my other horses!

 

The 2017 California Dressage Society Adult Amatuer Clinic series.

Dressage Sport Horse Conformation and Breeding Presentation at Pacific Sporthorse Sales, Christianne Noelting Dressage Center in Vacaville, Ca.  Evaluating several dressage horses from  babies to older horses and explaining what are desired characteristics to the audience.