I have been dreaming for years of the day I would get to ride a first level test. I have come very close a few times but had some setbacks. Today was the day. We had our normal show morning routine going and all the horses were ready to go. We get to the show and I can already see all the smiling faces warming up the beautiful horses. Not long after that I was getting ready to head into the ring, it was the first attempt at a first level test for Pi and me. All the staff were smiling and wishing me luck as I headed into the ring. Luckily I had just enough time to get one more canter transition in around the ring just before the bell rang and then we were in. As I left the ring I was greeted with “job well done" from everyone and I felt so accomplished after that amazing ride. Everyone at CDCTA was very nice and supportive to all the riders and for me it was very helpful to hear the last good luck from the ring Steward right before entering the ring. The warm support at the CDCTA show made it the perfect place to take our first step up a level.
The Dressage Foundation’s 2016 Carol Lavell Gifted Memorial Fund Scholarships for Adult Amateurs recipient and CDCTA member Karen Norton
Two of CDCTA's longtime members were chosen as Region 8 Scholarship Recipients for 2016. Karen Norton and Linda Lambert.
Named after Carol Lavell's horse "Gifted", the fund was created to "enable the adult amateur rider to set aside time to work with their horse(s) and a trainer of choice. The recipients will be able to spend a week or more just to bond with their horse; to have the time to feed them, graze them, give them a spa bath, or just stand around in the stall with them, and to give the rider and horse concentrated time with a trainer."
"Up to nine $1,000 grants are available each year (one in each USDF Region), plus two additional $1,000 wild card grants (which can be awarded in any Region)."
To read more about the scholarship fund please click here
Excerpt from The Dressage Foundation:
"A year ago, I stumbled upon a posting from the Connecticut Dressage and Combined Training Association (CDCTA) that explained The Dressage Foundation’s Carol Lavell Gifted Memorial Fund Scholarships for Adult Amateurs. I read and reread that post and decided to apply for the scholarship. I was very pleasantly surprised to be chosen as one of two riders from Region 8 for the scholarship. The other rider from Region 8 was Linda Lambert, a long-time friend and competitor. Linda and I first met some 35 years ago competing in hunt seat and jumping classes at the local Tri-State Gymkhana Association. We were very excited to be the only area with two recipients, from the same GMO Affiliate, CDCTA..."
Click here to read all about Karen's experience click here!
The CDCTA never fails at hosting great events! On June 17, our members trucked up to Scarlett Hill in Groton MA for a cross country school with Alison Eastman-Lawler. It was a perfect day for galloping through rolling fields, as horses and riders alike learned a ton about maintaining confidence throughout a course.
Alison started off each group with a little pep talk, explaining how important it is to be the keeper of our own confidence. Each individual was encouraged to ride steady and stay in the moment. As a rider with a green horse, I quickly adapted to her idea of riding each fence as its own, rather than the concept of riding a course as one big question.
The sessions included a brief intro to different parts of a course; we schooled banks and water in addition to logs, coupes and ditches. Each session finished off with a course combining all of the jumps we schooled individually. Once we completed the course, we were to take a nice gallop up a hill lined with trees and fencing. It was absolutely priceless seeing everyone's smiling faces as they walked back down from their run.
I am so excited to have been able to work with Alison and I am looking forward to more cross country clinics in the future! Next on CDCTA calendar are the two schooling shows at Mystic Valley Hunt Club in July and at Westbrook Hunt Club in October. You can keep up with the schedule on cdctaonline.com or follow Connecticut Dressage & Combined Training Association on Facebook.
By: Cally Hencey
More Pictures here
To show or not to show
I go back and forth. To show or not to show. That is the question.
Why do I show when I often will say, when asked, that I don't like showing? I love riding. I love training my horse. I love learning about horses and their care and about my current obsession, Dressage. But I still struggle with showing. I have been stuck at a particular level with my horse trying to break through some training difficulties. Mostly bits and contact and connection. So now that I felt we had made some progress I decided to sign up for the Mother's Day Show with CDCTA at The Westbrook Hunt Club. . A check in if you will, to see if we had really made any "strides" in achieving our goals. I got the horse clean and braided, the tack cleaned and oiled and my show clothes? Well I squeezed into them after what was obviously a winter of too much fun.
Now I remember why I show...... The people. The chance to show off my horse in this community of people who understand me and my obsession. These folks who are also there to show off their beloved horses. This sport where we all work so hard. We put in so much dedication and time. Need I mention the cost?? As always, I watched the weather for this show. I have been part of this particular show since 2013. It has rained the night before or the day of for all five years. I have developed a sense of humor about it at this point. It is a great way to get used to showing in all conditions. The mud and puddles and the windy cool temps. The warm up next to I-95. I get myself up early and get the trailer loaded. l am up, dressed, and ready to show this magnificent creature that I feel so privileged to ride among these people who are my friends and competitors. They have won classes and ribbons and made the best of what started out as a messy day that turned into a beautiful Mother's Day after all! How did Hampton and I do? We decided we made the progress we had hoped and are on to the next show....... with mixed feelings, of course.
Jump Jump Jump
On April 23rd, the CDCTA held a great stadium clinic with Tim Malin. Tim is a USDF medalist who trains and coaches’ successful riders in the hunter/jumper show circuit.
There was beautiful weather which made for a perfect outing before show season. It was a fun day to ride and audit as Tim tailored the sessions to each horse and rider who participated. There were many different types of horses throughout the day, keeping the experiences unique and entertaining. As a rider, it was fun to work with Tim and apply new skills to my riding. I think it was a rewarding day for most riders as something new was accomplished in every lesson.
Spring Valley Farm was a great host to our event and Sigrun did a lovely job putting it all together. CDCTA is always up to something new, and it's worth it to check in on the website to see what's going on!
By Cally Hencey
Clinic and Event Participants.