Featured Rider January 2019
AADA Featured Rider
I currently live near The Woodlands, Texas, about 40 Miles north of Houston.
My current horse: Corrado M, a 17 year old Andalusian gelding.
He is my favorite horse.
I started riding around age 12, and got my first horse, a quarter horse mare at age 16 (my parents finally gave in to shut me up, I think). I had to sell that horse when I went to college, and didn’t have another until I was in my thirties. I showed and bred Arabians for several years.
I began to ride dressage as a natural evolution of wanting to better understand riding. My Arabian show horse patiently carried me through my first endeavors, and two Arabs that I had bred, followed in his footsteps. I have had a couple of warmbloods but settled finally on my Spanish gentleman.
I am a small animal Veterinarian and owned my clinic for many years, so I was able to schedule my time to allow for riding.
My Arabs and I won two Arabian Reserve National Championships at first and second level and another Top Ten at first level all in 2001. I have won and placed in regional championships and have a number of Andalusian national championships and reserves. Last year, Corrado and I were Région 9 GAIG and Southwest Dressage Champions, and Andalusian National Champions all at Grand Prix amateur (there being no one else entered, sadly). We also won the Houston Dressage Society award for the highest combination of score plus age of rider. Last year in Quillan, France, I won a great big trophy for being the oldest rider in the local horse exposition!
I have had enough light bulb moments to light a football stadium. Most recently I wrote on Facebook that much as the horse’s haunches must get out of the way to make the changes in the zigzag, the rider’s mind must get out of the way in order to be in the moment while riding.
The hardest part of Dressage is not comparing myself to others, and remembering that my journey is my own.
Pati Pierucci is the trainer that helped Corrado and me progress from around fourth level to Grand Prix. I shall be eternally grateful for her patience, knowledge and encouragement. I have had memorable rides with Robert Dover, Carol Grant, Kathy Connolly, Steffen Peters and others. I was privileged to ride in Spain for 4 days with Raphael Soto, and he told me I rode like a queen, and I am not ashamed to say that I occasionally brag about that.
I currently have 2 rescue dogs, and 10 chickens.
I like travel, cooking, gardening, and recently have discovered that I like writing.
I was featured in the USDF magazine ”Connection” in May 2018 and gave some important advice to amateurs but the most important things to remember are to have fun, and enjoy your horse. Your horse is not the means to and end such as awards and recognition, but is the end in himself.
Are you a Dressage Amateur and want to be a featured rider?