Dressage (a French term meaning "training") is a path and destination of competitive horse training, with competitions held at all levels from amateur to the Olympics. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, it can smoothly respond to a skilled rider's minimal aids by performing the requested movement while remaining relaxed and appearing effortless. Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet." Although the discipline has its roots in classical Greek horsemanship, mainly through the influence of Xenophon, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit during the Renaissance in Western Europe. The great European riding masters of that period developed a sequential training system that has changed little since then and classical dressage is still considered the basis of trained modern dressage.

Early European aristocrats displayed their horses' training in equestrian pageants, but in modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests," or prescribed series of movements within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to ten - zero being "not executed" and ten being "excellent." A score of nine (or "very good") is considered a particularly high mark, while a competitor achieving all sixes (or 60% overall) should be considering moving on to the next level.

Friday, October 29, 2010


It is with great sadness that I must report the loss of our beloved Latamanda. Although we have only known Latte for a short time, she has meant so much to all of us. For me she has reinvented my faith in the human / horse relationship and for everyone in our stable and family she has been a symbol of honesty and strength. Latamanda's passing will leave a large hole in our heart and in our days.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home Sweet Home

So nice to be back in Florida and settled at home! The summer was great and Mark and Linda Spengler are wonderful hosts, however, there is no place like home!
We arrived last night after a surprisingly trouble free journey. The horses travelled fantastic and even PW was on her best behavior. North Star Equine, the best layover barn in the world, was a welcome rest along the way. Thank you to Robert and Kim for making it so easy for us. We arrived before sundown to our wonderful farm, and it feels so good to be home.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where was everyone?

Thank you to Cutler Farm for bringing Heike Kemmer to Massachusetts over last weekend. Ariel and I totally loved the experience, wish she could stay for a month!
Very dissappointing was the auditor turn out. Where was everyone????? Someone of this caliber comes to Massachusetts, to our back yard, we need to be there watching, even if you cannot ride.
I do realize that there were other events going on over that same weekend, but from what I hear there were not alot of auditors at these events either.
So come on everyone! If we want to get better at our sport we need to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that these facilities bring to us!!!
Heike's clinic will be featured in so you have another chance to see what you missed!! I highly recommend you check it out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Alexis and Evita

Friday Ariel and I are off to Cutler Farm for a clinic with Heike Kemmer. Auditors are welcome, not sure of the cost. We are totally excited about riding with this super trainer. Hope to see you there!


A big day for Pikksie Wish! PW has been getting more and more confident with a rider. We have had one bad day so far...........when she became confused about stopping and going...... however I realize that it was a miscommunication between my handler and myself about where our circle was going and it all seems perfect again!
She is getting more fluent with cantering both directions and.............yesterday we cantered off the lunge line for the first time. Today will be our last ride in the indoor as next week we will move to Florida and then we will be outside everyday. I am very pleased with her progress and her wonderful balance. As a mare every once in a while she has something to say about how things should be done, but her mind is quickly changed when we stay on our path and she is eager to do things right.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cold Already

I cannot believe another summer is gone by so quickly. Next week we will be leaving for Florida. Freestyle Serious Fun was great! Girli was beautiful and although not as brave as some of the other competitors she took the atmosphere in stride and showed off for the crowd. The weather was perfect and I am happy to say that I think the spectators were given a wonderful afternoon of horse entertainment. This is all to benefit the Bear Spot Foundation and their therapy with horses program. All of us who work with horses everyday cannot dispute the harmony they create in our lives and the stories that we hear from Jane's farm about the children and the horses are amazing. Please put next years Freestyle afternoon on your calendar now so you can enjoy the demonstrations and support their cause! For more information about the Bear Spot Foundation go to their website

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bear Spot Farm Fundraiser

Everyone must come to the Fundraiser at Bear Spot Farm in Concord, MA this sunday 12:00. There will be freestyles and some other wonderful demonstrations, all to benefit the Bear Spot foundation!
Come be part of the fun and vote for Alexis and I !!!