May 2020
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From the Pros

Dear Friends,

A quick update regarding ticket sales. We have delayed the start of ticket sales until June 1, to allow more time to plan and deal with the challenges presented by an ever-changing environment.

We are always thinking about the next show - and the ones after that. For over forty years, Dressage at Devon has been a stage for world-class dressage competition and served as the home to the world’s largest open breed show. The show has inspired riders of all ages to ride towards their dreams of one day riding Grand Prix in the Dixon Oval and beyond!

As a non-profit, we operate on a very strict budget. As Dressage at Devon approaches its 50th year, now is the time to think about preserving the tradition for the next generation. Become part of a legacy and Passage into the Future. To donate, please go to our website at and click on the donate button and thank you.

For this issue, we turned to two friends of Dressage at Devon, Anne Gribbons, FEI/USEF Dressage Judge, past technical advisor to the US Dressage team and Dressage at Devon Board member and Lendon Gray, American dressage champion and founder of Dressage4Kids.

They have so much to share - enjoy!

Lori Kaminski
Dressage at Devon
From Anne Gribbons

World-renowned dressage judge and former US Olympic coach Anne Gribbons has had the unique experience of living the trajectory of the dressage evolution in the United States. A native of Sweden, Anne has been active in the US dressage scene since 1972, has trained and shown 16 of her own horses to Grand Prix, and one - Metallic - was on the Olympic bronze-medal winning dressage team in Atlanta.

The following tips were selected from Collective Remarks (Trafalgar Books), and represent just a small fraction of the humor and wisdom contained in her book.

Is Age Important?
"Horses, just like people, mature at their own individual speed, and therefore it is unfair to expect a certain level of performance from a horse at a certain age....Most aging dressage riders are as tenacious as their horses."

The Importance of Exercising-in
"...from the horse's point of view it sure helps his work if his rider is balanced, coordinated, and strong enough to communicate his or her aids clearly....Although we are all asymmetrical, we demand symmetry from our horses, and when we sit crooked and hang on the horse's teeth for balance, his performance will reflect our lack of body control. Since the horse is dependent on our ability to enable him to express his ability , we simply owe it to him to be at our personal best."

The perfect warm-up is a rare animal, and curiously enough, it does not by definition lead to the perfect test.....So, the moral of this story is to try to deliver a customized warm-up for each horse, because it gives you both confidence and a winning edge. However, if the warm-up turns out to be less than wonderful, remember the old saying: Bad rehearsal, good show. It does at times apply to dressage as well. When everything goes wrong in the schooling ring, pray for a miracle, go for it, and let your horse surprise you."

The Fascination of Dressage
Dressage can absorb your thoughts and energy to the point that the world disappears when you mount your horse. He walks forward, and for awhile the world steps aside, while you and your horse are focused on the same kind of journey that has fascinated riders for thousands of years."

From Lendon Gray

It was when Lendon started to specialize in Dressage at age 27 that Seldom Seen, the first of her famous Dressage “ponies,” came into her life. At just 14.2 ½ hands Seldom Seen was a national champion at 3rd and 4th level, Prix St. George’s, Intermediare I and II, and Grand Prix. Although Lendon rode warmbloods for her participation on two Olympic teams (1980, 1988), the World Championships, and the World Cup, her ponies held a special place in her heart.  They proved to the world that bigger isn’t necessarily better.

Her belief in created talent and the power of dedication has inspired many of Lendon’s activities over the years. Determined to give others the opportunity to learn and improve, she has been extremely involved with organizations such as USET, USEF, USDF, US Pony Club, and the rapidly expanding Dressage4Kids (D4K).

Here are just a few of her words of wisdom.

On Memorizing Tests
The subject of memorizing tests... When I was competing I sometimes did as many 15 or more tests in a day, from training level to Grand Prix and I NEVER had a test called. I was able to do that because I started memorizing tests from the very beginning of my career. Riding a test from memory is a skill in itself. When competing you should be thinking about what you are doing, not listening to your caller (who will probably lose his place or be drowned out by the wind). You have to start early, long before your show, memorizing the test.

To improve your horse’s lengthening …
Visualize what you want the movement to look like as if you had a rolling camera going on in your head. For example, to lengthen your horse’s canter stride, imagine how a lion must gather himself on his hind end before he can leap powerfully forward. ( Dressage Today, Se ptember 20, 2019)

Developing Young Riders (Dressage Today, UPDATED:MAY 7, 2019 ORIGINAL:JAN 28, 2015)

1. Try New Things 
2. Don’t Water It Down
3. Create Challenge 
4. Make It Fun

Longe Lessons for All (Chronicle of the Horse, November 7, 2019)

“So often people think of longe lessons as something for beginner riders. That’s not the case at all. Anyone can benefit from good longe-line lessons. Since 1980, I’ve learned more about riding, but I’ve never felt as great on a horse, as far as being able to really sit and be a part of the horse, as I did when I was having longe lessons six days a week.”

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Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors
 For more information on sponsorship, please contact Christine DeHerrera

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