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.
By: Cally Hencey
The CDCTA had nothing short of a wonderful day at Windham Hill Farm with Trainer/Judge Holly Whitney at the beginning of April. This clinic was unique and HELPFUL! We spent our afternoon learning how to properly scribe for a judge. Personally, this was an awesome thing to learn, as I avoided the judge’s table when volunteering specifically because I had no idea how!
Holly was an incredible teacher, as she explained her experiences of scribing when applying for her judge’s certification. Right then and there we learned that this is not an easy task to perform! As expected, a scribe’s job is to relay the judge’s verbal criticism to a written critique on our tests. The key to this duty is to be as quick, legible, and accurate as possible… Easier said than done!
We all started out going over some of the tests that would be performed that day: Training Level First Level, and Second Level. Looking over the movements, I was extremely excited to watch these rides. Little did I know that I wouldn’t have a moment to even look away from the test! We all sat in a row at C as Holly judged the ride aloud in the middle of us. As the rider went through the first two or three movements, most of us were thinking we had this job in the bag. We drifted our eyes from paper to rider, back to paper again, jotting down each word that Holly communicated. About halfway through the test, we found ourselves scribbling down instances of words, muttering to each other trying to figure out which box we were at, and finally figured it out when the rider saluted. Holly giggled and reassured us that practice makes perfect! If I was the rider getting the test I just wrote on, I would’ve screamed! By the third or fourth test, we all got the hang of it. Movements came just as quickly as the first time, but we seemed to have found a rhythm which worked.
I know I am not alone when I say that I would have been a mess scribing if it weren’t for this clinic. I look forward to volunteering as a scribe this season as some local shows. Scribing is a fantastic way to learn from many different judges as well as participate in some of the action! It is always fun to sit in the bleachers and watch, but most times its much more fun to be involved in the show. Holly also made a great point when stating that scribes are helpful to the riders, as we are the ones who provide the constructive criticism for them to better themselves and assist in their training. If it weren’t for scribes, how would we know what the judges are thinking when we look at those numbers?
The CDCTA is always planning fun! If you have ideas on clinics/seminars, or would like to get in on the action, visit us at cdctaonline.com or find us on Facebook!
Mystic Valley Hunt Club
October 14, 15, and 16, 2016
by Karen Norton
The 2016 NRADC Team was a product of creative thinking for both the CT Dressage Association and the CT Dressage and Combined Training Association. Each Association had two members that wanted to ride on the team, so it was decided to have a combined team called the CDA/CDCTA Team. The team members were laughing that we should have been called the “Come-Back Kids” because each and every one of us had dealt with human and/or horse related issues during the past year!
Members from the CDA Association included Sherri Pasquale riding Zalani and Nicole Boutot riding Linus. Members of the CDCTA were Emily Wilson Garbo riding Moose on the Loose and Karen Norton riding Mystique! A special thank you to Linda Roche, who organized the team this year, for providing all the team members with a beautiful embroidered pad sporting the CDA/CDCTA Team logo! The team finished in a closely contested 3rd place. 2nd and 3rd place teams were very close and separated by a mere .05.
The 1st place team was ahead by about 1 point! All Teams were awarded two beautiful ribbons corresponding with the finish, one ribbon for the brow band and one ribbon to go around the horse's neck. Of course our ribbons were glorious yellow! In addition, we were awarded a beautiful embroidered wool quarter sheet for placing third.
All CDA/CDCTA Team members chose to do a Musical Freestyle, and all team members pinned individually. Additionally, Emily Wilson Garbo and Moose on the Loose finished in first place in the First Level Musical Freestyle on Sunday. Individually in the NRADC competition, Sherri finished in 3rd place, Emily finished in 4th place, Nicole finished in 9th place, and Karen finished in 10th place. Each individual was awarded an embroidered saddle pad, along with another set of two beautiful ribbons in the color appropriate to the finish. For the victory trot the CDA/CDCTA team each sported a 3rd place ribbon and individual placing ribbon on the brow band and matching ribbons around the horse's neck. We were a very festive and happy team. I highly recommend if you are an Adult Amateur that you consider riding on next year's team!
On October 23rd 2016 CDCTA, and Oak Wood Farm held a clinic with Ann Guptill, generously hosted by CDCTA President Ann Bowie at Horse Power Farm in Canterbury CT. Originally the location for the clinic was at Oak Wood Farm, located in Preston CT, however due to heavy rains that weekend we had to put an emergency plan together. With quick thinking we were able to switch locations to Horse Power Farm, whose lovely ring was in perfect condition.
Our volunteers were awesome, and participants were very flexible and cooperative with the snap location change, and even having their ride times altered. The day was rather brisk and breezy, occasionally we lost a Dressage letter hostage to the wind, and the horses behaved rather well considering the challenges that a windy day represents! Overall it was a great success; we had 8 riders of all different levels, with all different types of horses and ponies. The clinic was titled Prescriptions for Higher Scores, and was designed to focus on common errors the judge sees in the show ring, and provide a solution to improve the movement. Riders had the option to ride a test of their choice, and have Ann Guptill score it for them to take home and continue to work from, or they could just use the time to lesson. Ann gave wonderful instruction to everyone on a wide array of topics. Everyone walked away with new ideas to troubleshoot problems they had been facing. One family quoted, “We got so much out of this! It was a huge help!”.
In addition to riding or auditing with Ann Guptill, two lessons with her were donated to the club by Oak Wood Farm, to be raffled off, and raffled off they were! Congratulations to Suzanne Weed and Ashley McCullough! Although there were a number of challenges we faced at the last minute to get this clinic off the ground, we pulled together as a team and made it happen. In the end the day itself rolled along quite smoothly! Great job everyone! Stay tuned for more exciting opportunities and learning experiences with our great club!
By, Chrissy Capacchione
Clinic and Event Participants.