What is Long Term Equestrian Development?

LTED in Alberta Canada

Long Term Equestrian Development (LTED) is the equestrian model for maximizing an athlete’s potential at critical stages of cognitive, affective and psycho-motor skill set acquisition.

More simply, it’s providing the right coaching environment to facilitate learning throughout the active lifetime of the athlete. The model is practical, designed to direct programming needs of youthful beginners to seasoned competitors and includes needs of adult amateurs. The LTED or in other sports, the Long Term Athlete Development model is a cornerstone program that has been adopted by most, if not all, sports governing organizations in Canada.

Each demographic in every sport discipline has an optimum time frame for skill acquisition, physical and mental training, and competitive mileage. In equestrian sport, our equine partners are subject to the same considerations as human athletes. All groups of athletes, human and equine benefit from setting and achieving attainable goals within a coach supervised training plan. Using the LTED as a guideline for riding coaches encourages the implementation of sport science as it relates to the equestrian athlete.

The LTED Committee of the Alberta Equestrian Federation initiated, conferred and published a Long Term Equestrian Development booklet in 2016. Committee members began the process to align the the LTED model with services and programs offered through the AEF and Equestrian Canada. As a member of the committee and certified coach, I’m excited to see the possibilities of having a developmental model for coaches, instructors, riders and officials in Alberta.

More information on the LTED in Alberta can be found at http://www.albertaequestrian.com/programs

Long Term Athlete Development
LTED, Riding for the Long Term

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.





CalgaryDressage.com…AEF Hosts Canadian Interprovincials

The Alberta Equestrian Federation will be hosting the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships this year September 13 – 15. The event will be held at Anderson Ranch, just south of Calgary.

The CIEC is a sanctioned Equine Canada competition & a collaborative event between the national and provincial sports organizations.  It aims to develop the next generation of equestrian national and international champions.

This year the competition will be held in Alberta for the first time.

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact Sophie Beaufils at competitions@albertaequestrian.com

For more information about the CIEC you can visit: www.cec?en.ca

Also, below is the link to the CIEC page on the AEF website.


CalgaryDressage.com…Showing in the USA #2

You have established a training base in southern California, your horse has arrived at the destination all is well. Your horse will need a few days to  adjust to the climate and change in hay.

Bathe and clip your horse and find the appropriate sheet/blanket/fly mask combination for the weather in the desert. We feed “Safe Choice”, a Purina product.  It is an American based brand, but was difficult to find locally.  Once the jumpers were competing at Thermal, the brand was brought in.   Don’t assume that you can find the same brands of horse feed here as at home.  Make sure you contact the local feed store to find if they will bring in a supply of any specialty feed you may require.

Ask about all the barn and arena rules.  These may be different than at your home barn. Be polite and respectful and always clean up after yourself and your horse. You are a guest boarder and remember you would like to be welcomed back. Other riders are a great source of information on where to find tack shops, boot repair, veterinary advice, farriers, showing etc.

Personal accomodation becomes a matter of choice.  I have an RV, and as long as there is a place to park near the barn, I am home.  There are condos, hotel resorts (suites) or rental units available locally.

Now that you and your horse have arrived safely and settled in, it’s time to start riding.





Calgary Dressage – Alberta Dressage Show Dates for 2012

Dressage Show Ribbons
2012 Summer Dressage Show Dates for Alberta

Thank you to Beckie Snow for compiling the show dates for the Alberta Dressage Summer Season:

2012 Alberta Recognized & Schooling Show Dates as of March 21, 2012:
May 11, 12 &13th
Gold Show in Red Deer presented by AJ/YR

May 12th
Bronze Show in Red Deer presented by AJ/YR

May 26th and 27th
Gold Show – Amberlea Meadows Dressage Show (Edmonton Area)
Ph: 780-955-7608 Fax: 780-955-7755
Email- showoffice@amberleameadows.com Website www.amberleameadows.com

June 9th and 10th
Gold Show in Claresholm presented by CC/ADA

June 28th to July 1st
CDI*** in Calgary presented by CA/ADA

June 30th
Double W Riding Academy Bronze Summer Classic – Bronze Show
July 20 – 22nd
Gold Show – Amberlea Meadows Summer Dressage Festival (Edmonton Area)
Ph: 780-955-7608 Fax: 780-955-7755
Email- showoffice@amberleameadows.com Website www.amberleameadows.com

Sept 1st and 2nd
Gold Show in Calgary presented by CA/ADA

Sept 13th and 14th Parkland Dressage Festival Provincials in Red Deer presented by PA/ADA

Sept 15th and 16th
Parkland Dressage Festival Regionals in Red Deer presented by PA/ADA


March 10-11 – Dressage Schooling Show I
April 14-15 – Dressage Schooling Show II
Contact: Ph: 780-955-7608 Fax: 780-955-7755
Email- showoffice@amberleameadows.com Website www.amberleameadows.com

UPDATE – Double W Riding Academy Dressage Schooling Show series:
* Saturday, April 14th
* Saturday, September 8th
* Saturday, October 6th
Watch www.doublewranches.ca for prize list. Follow on facebook as well! Please note new barn number 403-843-3333 .
Double W Riding Academy

August 10 – 12 – Extreme Stables Annual Summer Extravaganza – Dressage/Hunter/Jumper Schooling Show. Find the prize list in the News at www.extremestables.ca

Calgary Dressage Freestyle Music & Choreography….

Andersons centerline
Freestyles are FUN

Over 450 musical selections and growing.  Kur music and choreography.

Freestyles are FUN:

Fantastic way to dance with your horse….Unanimously appealling…Now available from Calgary Dressage

Contact: Kim Cox through  comments on the Calgary Dressage website.

Check the Freestyle page for a link to Free Calgary Dressage Music

CalgaryDressage.com Dressager’s Log…Kim Cox

Watch my back
Hindsight is 20/20

Roderick is a 12 year old Dutch Warmblood gelding, imported KWPN (Ferro X Dance-O-War XX).  He has awesome presence and potential.  I am truly fortunate that he is my equine partner.

 To achieve our goals, as a team I must target “suppleness”. General suppleness, in the jaw, poll, through the back and in lateral work. 

This means both of us have work to do.  It is not just me working on Roderick. I need to continually ask more from myself as a Dressager, softer aids, ask and allow the horse to respond, don’t nag with the aids, insist when I must, help Roderick stay balanced, and give him the confidence he needs to achieve at the higher levels. 

I wanted to show third level this year, but some elements, like changes and half pass need confirmation before we move up. Dressage friends told  me to go ahead, show at third level and let the changes and half-pass develop over the year.  Experience tells me that this time I won’t rush, and we’ll stick to the plan, confirming  our training to succeed in the long term.

My goal is to ride Roderick to Prix St. George.  When  Roderick is consulted on this decision, he  snorts in agreement.  However, Roderick, like  most horses, doesn’t keep a calendar in his stall, so fails to see the reason for “getting geared up” for the start of the show season.  Let’s say we are a work in progress.

My Plan:

1. Increase my focus on feel and response.

2. Be consistent in asking and my aids.

3. Ask and allow.

4. Take flexion in order to give.

5. Balance my horse before each transition and in circles.

Calgary Dressage MP3 Downloadable Music…Here

Click on this link for Calgary Dressage Freestyle Music…..Freestyles are Fun.

(All music downloads are free, as a service to all  Alberta Area Dressage riders. I hope to  to encourage more Kurs at competitions. )

Nice Halt
Nice Horse, Nice Halt

No more Top Hats Allowed in National Level Tests!

A great Poster
Freestyles Rule

Equine Canada/Dressage Canada have issued a late rule change that as of May 1st, 2011, only competitors above 4th level will be allowed to wear Top Hats in Canadian Competitions.  All others must wear a safety approved helmet with harness when mounted on the show grounds. Failure to comply will cause the rider to be eliminated from the show.

Any Comments?

Here is a copy of the new rule as of March 23rd, 2011:

ARTICLE E 4.0 SAFETY HEADGEAR [effective May 1, 2011]

1. ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear must be worn by all riders

showing Fourth Level and below, regardless of age, when mounted on

the competition grounds at EC Bronze, Silver and Gold competitions.

2. ASTM/SEI or BSI approved headgear must be worn by all noncompeting

riders mounted on horses entered in classes at Fourth Level

or below in EC Bronze, Silver and Gold competitions.

3. All riders of any age while on non-competing horses must wear

protective headgear at all times while mounted on the competition


4. The penalty for contravening 4.0.1 is elimination.

5. Non-competing riders who contravene 4.0.2 and/or 4.0.3 will be

instructed to dismount until wearing an ASTM/SEI or BSI approved


Note: At the tack check which follows the test, the steward may ask the

rider to dismount so that the helmet may be inspected for the ASTM/SEI or

BSI label.

My comment is that I will miss wearing my Top Hat until I can ride in the FEI classes. It’s unfortunate that this elegant piece of our attire will no longer be visible at the higher national levels of our sport.  I acknowlege the inherent risks of riding, but always felt that once you reached third level, you were secure enough in your training to make a personal decision as to the head gear appropriate for your level of showing. Equine Canada (Dressage Canada)’s position is to: ensure our safety and protect against liability.  I thought that is why we signed waivers to compete at  shows.