Sharing my experience as I explore Dressage Today OnDemand!
The Dressage Today Ambassador Experience
When I saw Dressage Today OnDemand post an advertisement for a brand ambassador, I was immediately interested. I used to read their magazine all the time!
I applied, sent in a video of me riding Josie, professed my love of classical dressage, and the need for access to education for our sport.
Woohoo! I was selected to be a Dressage Today OnDemand Ambassador! I’m so excited to have access to their online portal of dressage content and to share my experience!
If anything I share looks appealing, please be sure to use my promo code SARAG15 when you sign up!
My Discovery of Dressage
I attended a small all women’s college in southcentral Pennsylvania to major in Equestrian Studies. I was ecstatic to be able to continue my love for horses and earn a degree. Score! One of the required credits each semester was a riding class that met two days per week.
I entered college thinking I was an amazing rider and should at least be placed in the advanced classes. The class levels went as such: Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Specialized. I was quickly brought down a peg or two after my riding exam which consisted of flat work, jumping, and no stirrup work. Although I had been riding since I was 8, I had very little experience jumping, which placed me in the Novice classes.
While my ego was a bit hurt, I picked myself up and tried to figure out jumping. Still to this day, jumping does not bring me joy. Maybe if I had the opportunity to ride well-schooled horses that would safely take me around a course and give me wings, I would have a different opinion of it.
However hard I tried, my body did not want to fold. But, I continued to show up and try my best, even when I fell off.
The Dressage Team
My best friend in college (and still to this day!) was coaching the college dressage team. She encouraged me to join, and seeing the opportunity for another day of riding added to my week, I did.
It was on this team that my love for dressage began. I loved the care and attention that was devoted to the horse’s way of moving. And a big plus: there was no jumping!
During a home intercollegiate show, my teammate and I had to ride the same test on the same horse. The director of Equestrian Studies, also the instructor of the Specialized Dressage Class was there to watch. After I rode my test, she approached me to talk about my ride. We discussed how different the horse went between the two tests/riders and she invited me to her Specialized Dressage class!! What an opportunity to be able to pass over all of those dreaded jumping days and learn more about dressage!
I spent the rest of my college years riding on the dressage team and in those spec dressage classes. I found what made my soul happy,
I am now based in between Louisville & Lexington, KY. A hub for horses! We have many top level clinicians travel to this area. The US Dressage Finals were just held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. I soak up as much dressage as I can.
Josie Sandra TF
During a really tough year, there were some pretty amazing things that happened. In October of 2020, I was able to purchase my dream dressage horse, Josie. I have never owned nice horses. Since my first horse at 15, there was always some level of crazy behind each one. While I learned to have a good seat, it also taught me to ride defensively. After a really bad fall, my husband convinced me to go horse shopping. Risking my life for a horse that was not safe, nor would ever be, was not worth it.
I found Josie through a connection my trainer had with a breeder in Indiana. There just happened to be a 6 year old KWPN mare that was in training in Lexington. She had been a broodmare, proving to be a wonderful mom of two babies and was now starting her riding career.
Josie is truly a dream come true. I still pinch myself that I am able to own something like her. She is gift and I am so grateful for her.
Here we are showing Training Level 1 a few weeks ago! We are gaining confidence in the show ring!
I hope you join me as I blog about my journey of struggles, my training with Josie as we move up through the levels, and share my experience with Dressage Today OnDemand!