The USDF Region 2 FEI Jr/YR Clinic held on March 26-27, 2011 proved to be a success, when eight riders from five different states convened at Tempel Farms in Old Mill Creek, IL, to ride with USEF National Youth Coach, Jeremy Steinberg. For the first time in the program's history, USDF and USEF joined forces for the purpose of educating the country's upcoming dressage riders.
Over the past several months USDF and USEF have been working in concert in order to fully develop a youth pipeline. With the naming of the new National Youth Coach, Jeremy Steinberg, it was an obvious choice for USDF when a clinician was needed to step in for a FEI Jr/YR Clinic in Region 2. Steinberg, who recently traveled to the IHS Palm Beach Derby CDI for talent scouting was more than enthusiastic to take on the clinic with only a month's notice.
The eight riders were thrilled to hear they were selected, some traveling at least six hours to the clinic. Each day participants rode in a private session and while not riding, they attentively listened and watched their peers. At the beginning of each session Steinberg quickly noted each combination's unique traits allowing him to customize their training objectives. The importance of being a "thinking rider" was evident throughout the clinic. By firing questions at the riders, Steinberg challenged riders to think quickly. He advised the participants that they shouldn't just ride, but rather become the horse's trainer.
Clinic rider, Victoria Retamoza stated, "I love Jeremy's philosophy in many aspects. He stated that you should always shoot far in your goals. If you are riding a Training Level horse, train it as if you were training it to Grand Prix. I told him that I wanted to make the Region 2 NAJYRC Young Rider Team. Jeremy advised me that I should not just aim at making the team, but to medal."
At lunchtime everyone gathered around for a theory discussion with Jeremy, where he not only offered great advice, but graciously answered questions from both riders and parents.
"What a great program! It is worth its weight in gold from the knowledge my daughter gathered in just two days!" stated Cathy Miller, parent of one of the participants.
At the end of the clinic, riders were sparked with enthusiasm and went home with effective training tools, new friends and inspiration for a successful future.
USEF National Youth Coach, Jeremy Steinberg, was recently added to the roster of official USDF clinicians and will be featured at more Platinum Performance/USDF FEI Jr/YR Clinics in the future. For more information about the USDF FEI Jr/YR Clinic Series or to find specific dates and locations for upcoming clinics (available soon), visit the USDF website or contact the USDF office.