Featured Rider June 2019
AADA Featured Rider
Name: Eric Grimm
Currently living: Irvine, California
Horse’s Name: Remise
Horse Breed: Oldenburg
Riding Age: 1965
What or who inspired you to ride Dressage?
Riding runs in the family. My mother rode saddle seat as a child and then rode hunters, and fox hunted, as an adult. My father also hunted. Both were members of Carroll County Hounds in Maryland until the retired and moved to Florida. I rode hunters and jumpers until I went to college in 1978 and didn’t ride again until I got married in 1986. An FEI dressage Horse came with the marriage. I started riding dressage competitively in 1989 on Remise’s granddam, Sweet Surrender, a 1973 Trakehner mare that we acquired while I was stationed at Ft Sill, OK. I bred my current ride and have done all of the training since we started him as a 3-yr old. Once I retired from the Army in 2011 I have been able to devote more time to riding. My goal for 2019 is to get my 2nd horse, Winston (a 2003 KWPN gelding doing PSG), into the CDI arena this fall.
What is your occupation that allows you to ride?
Retired Colonel, US Army. Now the Director of Operations for Hanford Hotels Inc and Sodaro Wines LLC, two family owned businesses in Orange and Napa Counties.
What have been your successes in the show ring?
First dressage show in 1989; first show on Remise in 2007 at Training Level; getting talked into riding a sales horse in a jumper show after not riding since high school..
What have been you aha moments in training?
When I finally realized my wife was right when she always said “Let go! Reins are the last thing you use!”
What is the most difficult thing and riding dressage?
My horse, Remise. I started him as a stallion and he’s always had an attitude. Now he’s 15 and becoming a dependable and quiet gelding.
Which trainer(s) have you worked who have made the most differences to you and your horse(s)?
Faith Grimm, my wife since 1986; she started me in Dressage and has brought me from training level to FEI, and we are still happily married. I get to spend at week or so with Lilo Fore a few times a year, since she is my wife’s coach. I have also been able to clinic with some of the great instructors here in Southern California.
Your Other Interests?
Cycling and competitive shooting
Do you own other pets?
I grew up with Akitas and I hope to get another one eventually when I move somewhere with more space in the future!
What advice can you give other amateurs based on your experiences?
Have fun! Be patient with both yourself and the horse; one of you learns slower than the other. Watch as many lessons as you can and as many rides at shows as you can. You are liable to see the same riding errors you make. Study your score sheets and know the directives. Lastly, The basics are the foundation for any higher level work and the training pyramid works.
Are you a Dressage Amateur and want to be a featured rider?