The first clinic of the USPRE Sports Initiative for Dressage, a new program designed to prepare qualified horses and riders for potential elite competition, was held in San Luis Obispo in early July. For this first of two clinics planned in 2017, US Olympian and USEF staff Charlotte Bredahl instructed 5 riders and horses at the covered arena at Mountain View Sport Horses.
The participants were Catherine Rose Chamberlain (on Receloso XXXV), Cindy Ramirez Smith (on Decoroso HGF), Ariene Rezvani (on Bandalor MQ), Stacey Wakaki Shibata (on Calypso KR) and Tori Gable (on Fierro ARM).
A summary from participant Cindy Ramirez-Smith:
On July 8th and 9th I had the good fortune to be able to participate in the first Sports Initiative for Dressage Clinic, organized by the USPRE Association. The clinic was taught by Olympian Charlotte Bredahl, and was hosted by Jackie Eckhaus’s Mountain View Sport Horses in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California.
It was a varied group of 5 horse and rider combinations, counting myself, ranging from Second Level to Intermediate Level. Charlotte began every warmup with making sure the horses were forward, rhythmic and stretching into contact. Leg yields, serpentines, and shoulder fore at all three gaits helped every horse loosen up and use their whole body. From there the work progressed to the individual needs of each horse and rider combination.
Charlotte has a great eye and a tremendous breadth of experience, and she did a great job of teaching both the riders and the auditors. Charlotte easily answered questions as they arose and gave clear explanations as to the purpose and goal of each exercise. It was really inspiring to see the improvement in every pair from the beginning of the first day to the end of the second day. Charlotte gave every rider a lot of positive feedback and constructive homework.
In addtion to that, on saturday night everybody was invited to meet at a local restaurant for dinner. As is often the case with horse people. we began the weekend as strangers, and left feeling like we had made new friends. I’m looking forward to seeing these new friends in the future!
For more information about the U.S.PRE training projects, visit www.usprea.com