Calgary Dressage.com – The Princess Principle

Dressage, from the French verb, dressager, “to train” has a reputation for elitism.  After all, the sport is based on highly trained cavalry manouvers shown at court before kings and queens.
Dressage is a tough sportThe “princess principle” embodies the entilted few who have the means to compete a made horse, sometimes observed showing at a level above capacity. These riders as seen with an entourage of support personel rivaled only by minor celebrities and reality T.V. stars.

I stand firm in my conviction that those of us who tirelessly train our own horses in the classical style, manage their health, feed and turnout sacrifice as warriors of our sport. We save enough to buy a young prospect then fight to accumulate funds supporting years of training, boarding and care before we can step into the show ring.

Dressage warriors are their own grooms, personal managers, stable hands, veterinary technicians, tackers and cool out riders. Those with the embedded “princess principle” will never know the sacrifice and joy the rest of us experience.  Warriors are absolutely willing to take on all of these roles and responsibilities. That’s how tough it is to get to Grand Prix. The difference between the warrior and the princess is the personal cost, the self sacrifice and what riders must give up to gain in the years it takes to train a Dressage horse. There is pride in being a warrior rather than a princess.

So not a princess

Great Teams and Systems Build Success

I provide Dressage lessons to clients at Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis,  Alberta. The western lilt of the barn’s name and that our regular clinician is regarded as one of the most renown hunter/jumper equitation coaches in Canada should peak your interest in our program.

We have a team and our team has a system, a program for developing skill sets for horse and rider. We practice correct aids and communication with our horses from Walk/Trot to Grand Prix.

I know this may sound simplistic, but without a basic system of understanding between horse and human, it is difficult to achieve a harmonious progression in Dressage.

I’m fortunate to be able to work with Chris Brand and reinforce the material presented in the bi-monthly clinics. It’s my job to keep the lesson program consistent and clients true to their journey between Chris’s  regular visits to Black Whiskey Ranch.

We are taking new clients in at this time. We work with jump riders to improve their skills over fences too. Call Bev 403-616-5771 for information on boarding your horse at our barn.

 

 

 

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I’m working with riders and horse out of Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis Alberta. Don’t let the western lilt of the barn name fool you, or the fact that the resident clinician is hailed as one of the countries greatest hunter/jumper men and horse trainers. We at Black whiskey, are developing a consistent system of training horses and riders from Walk/trot through training Grand Prix level movements.

Chris Brand gives regular clinics. every two weeks, and I keep the lesson program moving forward with consistency, reinforcing the basics. This builds on the success of the regular clinics with Chris.

If you are looking for a team approach to help you achieve success in Dressage and Jumping, consider our barn, Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis Alberta, 403-616-5771

 

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c.parentNode.insertBefore(cp, c); })(); </script><noscript>Powered by Cincopa <a href=’https://www.cincopa.com//media-platform/html-slideshow’>HTML Slideshow</a> for Business solution.<span>Clinics at Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis AB</span><span>Images of Chris Brand teaching Dressage at Black Whiskey Ranch, with Kimberly Cox Competition Coach Specialist </span><span>Chris Brand Schooling Sonny</span><span>Lateral work for staightness and suppling the horse</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2120</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 5:18:38 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 1531</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Long lining a young horse</span><span>Ground driving a young horse is an essential part of the system</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 1404</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 8:02:28 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 937</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris Brand in the tack</span><span>One of the few true horsemen in our area.</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2233</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 5:56:28 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 2092</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris brand teaches a young rider</span><span>Great skills are progressive and systematic</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2448</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 3:38:11 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 3264</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris Brand works with Bev &amp; Neo</span><span>Adjusting the Rider’s leg position for canter work</span><span>flash</span><span> 32</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 960</span><span>orientation</span><span> 6</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.4</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 3:09:26 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 720</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPad 2</span></noscript>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

<div id=”cp_widget_82438634-35a4-4f0b-a063-5caba61b8b3e”>…</div><script type=”text/javascript”>
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c.parentNode.insertBefore(cp, c); })(); </script><noscript>Powered by Cincopa <a href=’https://www.cincopa.com//media-platform/html-slideshow’>HTML Slideshow</a> for Business solution.<span>Clinics at Black Whiskey Ranch, Priddis AB</span><span>Images of Chris Brand teaching Dressage at Black Whiskey Ranch, with Kimberly Cox Competition Coach Specialist </span><span>Chris Brand Schooling Sonny</span><span>Lateral work for staightness and suppling the horse</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2120</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 5:18:38 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 1531</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Long lining a young horse</span><span>Ground driving a young horse is an essential part of the system</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 1404</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 8:02:28 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 937</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris Brand in the tack</span><span>One of the few true horsemen in our area.</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2233</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 5:56:28 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 2092</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris brand teaches a young rider</span><span>Great skills are progressive and systematic</span><span>flash</span><span> 24</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 2448</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.3</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 3:38:11 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 3264</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPhone 5s</span><span>Chris Brand works with Bev &amp; Neo</span><span>Adjusting the Rider’s leg position for canter work</span><span>flash</span><span> 32</span><span>cameramake</span><span> Apple</span><span>height</span><span> 960</span><span>orientation</span><span> 6</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> 9.3.4</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 8/10/2016 3:09:26 PM</span><span>width</span><span> 720</span><span>cameramodel</span><span> iPad 2</span></noscript>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barn Best Practices

Here are some best practices for building a dressage barn. The list is based on years of boarding and training at different equestrian facilities.

The indoor arena, in our northern climate, is central to the equestrian community. Years past, show barns boarded a mix of riders of various disciplines. There were few dedicated dressagers and more hunter jumper riders back in the day.

Footing originally was basic. It usually started with a clay base, with local sand, wood chips and perhaps some dust control product added. Watering arenas was part of the maintenance cycle.

The arenas were often insulated and heated as an afterthought, or when it became financially viable to do so. Heat and water created a problem with footing, either exacerbating the dust or causing the clay base to rise. The worst cases of watering and indoor in our climate can cause mold issues and water damage to steel arena supports. Footing continues to evolve into a state of the art all its own.

Now purpose built arenas and barn designs take into account specific disciplines in equestrian sport. Considerable research has gone into the design phase and best practice when implementing an arena build.

Let’s take a look as some other equestrian facility best practice ideas:

  • Room for trailer and big rig turn around & parking
  • Plan for having a safety gate at the facility entrance to contain any “run away”
  • Purchase the correct vehicle and tools for stable management
  • Consider hvac needs and heat conservation methods in arena planning
  • LED lighting throughout and special lighting for farriers and veterinary considerations
  • Safety mirrors and appropriate angle of mirror set for maximum view above kick boards
  • MP3, blutooth, technology in planning music systems
  • Sound systems should be accessible both from the viewing area and from the arena floor
  • Make sure the arena can support a dressage court (20 x 60 metres) with a 5 metre perimeter
  • Have a “drive through” arena and barn isle
  • Plan a dedicated storage area for the dressage ring, cavaletti, and jumps
  • Design a viewing area for spectators that is functional (WiFi), warm (heated), and comfortable
  • Keep sufficiently large  paddocks close to the barn for ease of turnout.
  • Automatic waterers designed for negative temperatures
  • Warmblood size stalls, rubber mats, windows in barn
  • Consider using a method of non slip flooring throughout barn
  • Blanket bars and halter racks in front of every stall
  • Wash racks with hot and cold running water
  • Washer and Dryer for horse laundry
  • Washrooms in barn and viewing area
  • Generous sized tack lockers for clients
  • Organized feed room and feed cart catering to standard and customized feeding protocols
  • Dedicated area for weekly hay storage onsite, with bulk storage planned for a separate hay shed or building
  • Dedicated area for show trunks and extra blanket storage
  • Accessible and copious numbers of brooms, forks and muck buckets to encourage clients to clean up after their horses (make cleanliness user friendly)
  • Empower a dedicated staff capable of the highest level of care

Feel free to add your own ideas for best practice attributes of an equestrian facility. Together we can raise the bar.

 

 

CalgaryDressage.com…2014 resolutions for the New Year

Usually there are many things that come to mind when making New Years resolutions. I am choosing to keep it simple this year.

Stay neutral, open and observant in each ride. That’s my mantra for 2014.

I have gone through stages focusing  on technique, and micro-management.

I must now let my horse do his job.

I can be there for him when he needs me, but I cannot carry him.

I cannot focus on perfection only strive for it.

By staying neutral and observant I can improve my feel.

I’ve noticed a certain impatience to my warm up.

My expectations of how long it should take to get ready to work  have no impact on the horse’s readiness.

Patientce is a virtue…so I will choose to stay open and neutral.

I’ll ride correctly and let the patterns and exercises work for me and my horse. I realize that some things you  can’t hurry.

The virtue is in the comming together of the horse in a good frame on his own. I’v been guilty of “framing” the horse….before he was ready to yield.  I think it now better to ride an extra 15 minutes or so and have the horse come into you.

I also realize that having a talented horse that may give you 20% effort on any day must be asked to perform, demanding his attention leads to resistance. Some horses must be brought into work with more finesse, I will try to be more open to that.

The neutrality means not to judge the horse as lazy or unwilling to give over the back. I think some horses need convincing that the work will be fun and challenging. I believe giving the horse something to look at or something to ride over (cavalletti) may stimulate him and improve his work ethic. I enjoy fun new things and challenges, why not our horses.

Observant means not to overface or  overstimulate…there is a balance of what is fun and what is scary…don’t judge…be observant and creative in problem solving. A good observer can monitor feedback from the horse more effectively. Good riding is working through that infinite feedback loop.

I hope you find my musings interesting.

Happy New Year…from Kimberly Cox and Roderick

Here’s to a great 2014 full of hope, success and growth through CalgaryDressage.com

 

CalgaryDressage.com…The Positive Equestrian’s Pledge

The focus of attending the recent Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Conference held in Calgary November 7th through 9th was the power of maintaining a positive team focus.

Dressage is an individdual sport, but the barn you train at fosters a team.

The  group of experts you work wlith to better yourself and your horse is a team, if you are a sponsored rider, you are part of a team, you and your horse are a team.

The relevance of a positive team environment in sport is measurable success. The cost of even one negative team member is so great, it can and will sink even the grandest ship of confidence. This is fact.

If there is one negative person at  your side, subversion occurs.

It doesn’t mean everyone has to walk around with false smilles and be happy happy. Most of us who ride and compete in dressage are in a mature demagraphic and know when we hear negative barn talk, explicitly or inferred about another trainer, coach, rider, horse, farrier…etc.

Be a “fly on the wall” at the barn and take notice of the comments made and heard.  Notice who on your team is positive and who may need a tuning in. The head coach at a facility would be the likely candidate to discuss the negativity with the team member privately.  In most instances the negative person may not even realize the potential impact of the discourse.  If there is a question or conflict at a barn there needs to be a clear path of communication directed at the authority with the power to act on the situation.  That’s not negativity, that’s good business.  It’s the sly comments, or inferred remarks of general negativity that cause teams to fail.  Be mindfull in your speech…by all means “say what you mean and mean what you say” and direct any questions or concerns to the right people.

Be proactive, positive and bring your best to the barn. Your horses and your training deserve it.

Jon Gordon presented a “Positive Team Pledge” during his keynote address to the crowd of elite coaches and administrators.  I have modified its contents to fit equestrian sport:

The Positive Equestrian’s Pledge

I pledge to be a positive leader who sets the example for other equestrians through my positive energy and actions.

I promise to share positive energy and encouragement within equestrian sport

I will not be an energy vampire nor will I sabotage myself and my horse with negativity, complaining and excuses.

When I make a mistake I will own it and seek to improve.

When I’m not riding well I will stay positive and strive to get better.

When I experience self-doubt I will remember a time when I succeeded.

When I feel fear I will choose faith.

When I face adversity I will find strength.

When we experience a defeat I will choose to stay positive andd prepare to achieve another victory.

With hard work, determination and faith, I will never give up and will always help my horse forward towards our vision and goals.

Today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact in our sport.

Jon Gordon is a motivational speaker and has made his success by building winning teams in professional sports.

 

 

CalgaryDressage.com…Roderick August 11, 2013

Roderick West Calgary Dressage Third Level Test 3 64%

Ride more forward into a steady hand. Why does it take so long to get there? I have a compulsive need to fix things as they happen. My coach, Deanna Cullen, has steadfastly resolved to not allow my disfunctionality to “fiddle” with the reins.

Roderick, my long suffering partner, has much to teach me yet.  Bless our horses and our children,  for they are the consumate teacher.

Your in good riding,

Kim

CalgaryDressage.com…..Tools for success in the Dressage Court

CalgaryDressage pictures
Showing in Del Mar

The Digital Horse visual aid for learning dresage tests.

I ‘ve found it is better to learn all my dressage tests by memory.  It goes beyond memory, I learn them “by heart”.  In this way I use my anticipation and sequencing skills to help prepare for the next movement.

If there is soft music in the background of our ride I use it to “dance” to with my horse.  If there is no music I ride with a tune in my head.  When I studied dance at Uot C years ago, no one would talk us through the moves from the curtain, in gymnastics you need to remember your floor routine or you couldn’t sequence your tumbling lines, one portion of the routine flowed and built on the next.

I have been in the trenches of training level and I know nerves can play interference with memory. Have a reader if you must to keep yourself secure. I urge all of my riders to know their tests upside douwn and backwards.  Practice a sequence of 2 or 3 moves at a time untill they flow.  Dance with your horse.

Another way to learn your tests is to draw them out on a dressage court template.  This method suits visusal learners best.  Riders can visualize where the next transition takes place.  You make a dressage map for your test.  Advanced riders can add in half halts or what “feel” they should experience at each transition. Preparation points are critical, for example you can’t wait to get to a letter before asking to start a circle, shoulder in or half pass.

Good luck with this, see you at the shows.

Kim

 

 

 

CalgaryDressage.com…Dressage Code of Conduct

Dressage Code
Patience, Practice, Trust

Dressage Code:

Understand the results you achieve in training are only a step in the process.

Let your horse be the primary source of instant feedback for your purpose and progress.

Focus on joy, celebration and an inner sense of calm purposeful determination.

Know that each result achieved correctly will occur perfectly on purpose.

Prepare to acknowledge what is. Emphasize your appreciation of your horse and what it can do.

Complaints are shared only with someone who can initiate change.

Yours in good riding,

Kim Cox

 

CalgaryDressage.com….Barn Affirmations

Be thankful
As you enter the barn…

Here are personal affirmations I use as I go to train at the barn: I accept myself and my horse for who we are today. I have a warm regard for others at the barn. I am ready, present physically, emotionaly, mentally and spiritually. I will assist others whenever I can, without taking away from their self detrmination.I believe in win/win and give for the love of giving. Abundance is the natural state of the universe. Believe it.  Ask and allow. Grooming is a silent time to focus on and communicate with your horse.This is part of the ritual of preparation for a successful ride.

Yours in good riding,

Kim