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Photos by Carole MacDonald and Kevin England
Attendees, Regional Officers and delegates to the 2014 USDF Convention (left)
Please note: Minutes from the Spring and Fall Region 8 Meetings can be seen under the Tab "About Us".
Region 8 Sport Horse updates information is listed on the NEDA site.
Below is the URL address or simply Click :
http://www.neda.org/news/?id=6311
Region 8 News
Greetings and OMG! BRRRR! Blizzard! What will be next?
I have been given an opportunity to take my horse to Florida. It's the first time for me and maybe the only time but I'm spending the time training. I did go to the USDF FEI Trainer's Conference which had Stephan Clarke, a FEI 5* judge, and it was just amazing. In most cases the rider would do a test, Stephan would judge it out loud and then they would work on areas to improve. When the riders returned the next day, it was amazing to see how it had improved. I tried one exercise he suggested on Al and I could see (in the mirrors) and feel what it was doing.
At one of the CDIs here a few weeks ago, I was the show secretary. It certainly was not a huge show but the number of non-members who were doing their renewals online at the show was huge. So here is YOUR reminder to get your memberships done, your Coggins done, download the entry forms and fill out all but the class info. Think about your goals for your riding and discuss them with your trainer, and basically relax as it is only a few weeks before the first shows and clinics are here.
Have you put the date of April 25-26, 2015 on your calendar? It is the adult clinic with Kathy Connelly and Betsy Steiner as the clinicians. It will be held at Dan Mar Ranch in Nunda, NY, and we need riders and auditors to come!
REMEMBER another date….April 11 at 11:30am at the Amherst Brewing Co. will be our spring meeting. I will send skype details closer in. I know the agenda will have sub-committee reports on fund raising, discussion on possible off year adult clinic for the region, and more. This is YOUR region and you will have a huge opportunity to voice your opinion and to participate and get involved. I urge everyone to come.
That is all for now. Stay Warm…give hugs and kisses to our equine friends! AND may the groundhog NOT see his shadow!
See you on the Centerline…
Debra Reinhardt
USDF Region 8 Director

WNEPHA Schooling Shows 2015
These shows have been added to the Event Calendar!!!!!!!

Region 8 News
OK! Mother Nature, this is not funny anymore!!! Groundhog needs to be laid off, or put on furlough or ….??? Our temperatures have been colder than Alaska temperatures for the month of February! That is just not right.
While I am in Florida for the first time for the season (I had enough of winter last year!), I have not forgotten riding where my shoulders are braced up around my ears trying to stay warm, to where I want to feel my toes and fingers so I know if my feet are in the stirrups and if I actual am holding a whip, and to where the horse's spit has not formed icicles on the reins! Enough!!!
So let talk positively, and think about the show season coming!!! As a show manager, I am getting everything ready and competitors, you should too! For those who were not in Florida showing, get your memberships, registrations and Coggins done NOW!!! Look and plan the shows you are thinking about. Make some realistic goals! You have nothing else to do!
Another thing to consider doing when it is just too cold to ride is watching some dressage DVDs. I find by watching someone else riding, I actually get better and my instructor does notice. Invite some friends over for some 'refreshments' to watch with you. You might even be able to have your instructor come to make comments as I am sure they would like to get out of the cold TOO!!!
Nominations are still open for Participating members to be delegates at the 2015 USDF convention. If you are interested or if you want to nominate someone, you need to contact Kevin England, kcengland@cox.net, quickly. As a PM Delegate you must attend the USDF convention next December and Kevin can give you the scoop in more detail of what is expected. I would love to see some new blood coming.
Have you put the date of April 25-26, 2015 on your calendar? It is the adult clinic with Kathy Connelly and Betsy Steiner as the clinicians. It will be held at Dan Mar Ranch in Nunda, NY, and we need riders and auditors to come!
REMEMBER another date….April 11 at 11:30am at the Amherst Brewing Co. will be our spring meeting. I will send Skype details closer in. I know the agenda will have sub-committee reports on fund raising, discussion on possible off year adult clinic for the region, and more. This is YOUR region and you will have a huge opportunity to voice your opinion and to participate and get involved. I urge everyone to come.
That is all for now. Stay Warm…give hugs and kisses to our equine friends!
See you on the Centerline…
Debra Reinhardt
USDF Region 8 Director

Message from Regional Director
March 2015
USDF is sponsoring three Training/First Level Instructor/Trainer Workshops in Connecticut:
 
April 21-22, 2015 (Tues/Wed): a RIDING WORKSHOP at Carbery Field Farm, Lebanon, CT. The workshop faculty: Annie Morris
June 21-22, 2015 (Sun/Mon): a LUNGEING WORKSHOP at Fox Ledge Farm, East Haddam, CT. The workshop faculty: Jane Rodd.
August 22-23, 2015 (Sat/Sun): a TEACHING WORKSHOP at Sperry View Farm, Bethany, CT. The workshop faculty: Bill McMullin.
 
Each workshop will cost $325.00 for a participant. (Auditors: $40/day).
For an application, please go to the Education Calendar at www.usdf.org. Applications are to be filled out and sent with a check to: Fern Feldman, 890 Mountain Rd., Cheshire, CT 06410.
Space is limited; preference may be given to those applying for all three workshops.
 
Any questions: contact Fern Feldman, 203-605-4744, fernf@cox.net; or Vicki Hammers-O'Neil, 203-213-2798, fourtempis@aol.com



Saturday's judges' program will cover music, choreography and judging criteria. Audio and video components are included to compliment the program. Judges completing the course may earn their "Judges Freestyle Designation" upon passing the online USEF examination.
Sunday's program will focus on 'Do It Yourself '  freestyles with a morning lecture and 4-6 rider slots. Work with Terry and Lois on an existing freestyle; focus on specific elements; or start from scratch. USEF Judges, L-grads, current L Program participants and silent auditors are welcome both days.


Klassic Kurs' Terry Ciotti Gallo is the best known name in U.S. freestyle. Her freestyles have been presented in the Olympics, World Equestrian Games, World Dressage Masters, Pan American Games, and NAJYRC, with two World Cup titles. Clients include Steffen Peters (Udon, Grandeur, Floriano, Ravel, Legolas); Debbie McDonald (Beaurivage, Brentina); Guenter Seidel (Graf George, Foltaire, Nikolaus 7, Aragon, U II, CR Wylea); George Williams (Rocher, Marnix); Adrienne Lyle (Wizard, Felix); and Charlotte Bredahl (Monsieur, Komo).

Providing the judge's perspective is FEI 4*/USEF 'S' Judge Lois Yukins. She is Chair of the USDF L Education program and a member of the USDF Judge's Committee, USEF Licensed Officials Committee, the Dressage Committee, and the Test Writing Committee.

Thank you to New England Dressage Association for being the supporting GMO for this event.
If you are interested in participating, auditing or riding please contact The Equestrian Center for more information and prices.

USDF Continuing Education in
Musical Freestyle Judging
with Terry Ciotti Gallo and Lois Yukins
May 30-31, 2015


Region 8 News
YAY! Spring is here! AND….our first shows in Region 8 are open. Are our equine friends ready? Have you prepared yourself? Do you have a current Coggins? Are your memberships all up to date? Do I sound like a show secretary? Sorry but I know how those first shows are. So be proactive and get the paperwork done.
A reminder to Nominated PM Delegates - please send in your acceptance. Deadline is April 15th. As a Participating Member, you are represented by delegates that you vote into that position. Remember that notice you get in June to vote? That would be it!!! These people have agreed to go to the convention on their own money, taking time out of their busy schedule, and vote on issues at the BOG, (Board of Governors meeting), for you. While some GMO, Group Member Organizations, like NEDA, pay or help pay some of these expenses for their delegates, these PM delegates get nothing from the Region. The Fern Feldman PM Fund was set up for this but it has not been funded well. So we are going to start investigating items to sell for Region 8 to raise some funds, like hats, polos, etc… More news to come!
On Saturday, April 11th at 11:30am at the Amherst Brewing Co. we will have our spring meeting. I am going to try to do Skype but I had some problems with my computer lately. If you want to Skype in, please let me know, debra@centerlineevents.com and I will send Skype details. I know the agenda will have sub-committee reports on fund raising, a discussion on a possible off year adult clinic for the region, and more. This is YOUR region and you will have a huge opportunity to voice your opinion and to participate and get involved. I urge everyone to come. 
Have you put the date of April 25-26, 2015 on your calendar? It is the adult clinic with Kathy Connelly and Betsy Steiner as the clinicians. It will be held at Dan Mar Ranch in Nunda, NY. We had 31 applications for riders and only had 8 spots, and when I tell you it was hard to pick, believe me the committee had a hard time. So we will have eight great riders that will cover all the levels, all different breeds, and five adult amateurs and 3 professionals. So you must come and audit. It will be awesome.
On a sad note, Peggy Barisone passed away March 31, 2015. She had some long term illness for the past few years, and she was a huge Region 8 supporter. She would drive HOURS to come and scribe for shows and never take a penny for gas. Instead she would give money to become a sponsor. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that a donation to USDF Region 8 Education Account is to be made in her honor. The money will be used for an educational event in the near future for the region. Please check the website for details.
Our website is becoming more and more important. We have many notices and a lot of information on the site. So please check 1 to 2 times a month. If you want to get Regional notices, please go to contact us on http://www.usdfregion8.com/ and give us your email address. We are also keeping our facebook page updated with posts. So if you have not 'liked' us yet…please do.
See you on the Centerline…
Debra Reinhardt
USDF Region 8 Director

Peggy Barisone passed away March 31, 2015. She had some long term illness for the past few years, and she was a huge Region 8 supporter. Residing in Rochester, NY area, she would drive HOURS to come scribe for shows and never take a penny for gas. Instead she would give money to become a sponsor at the various shows. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that a donation to USDF Region 8 Education Account is to be made in her honor. The money will be used for an education event in the near future for the region. Checks needs to be made Payable to the USDF Region 8 and in the memo - Peggy Barisone, Education account. Send to Connie Huy, USDF, 4051 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY  40511

Horse truths across all disciplines
With a goal of engaging the entire spectrum of horse people from all interests and disciplines, I'm going to cut right to the heart of what came out of last weekend's United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Region 8 (New York and New England) Adult Clinic titled Creating A Winning Partnership With Your Horse.  After all, whether you are team penning, barrel racing, foxhunting, eventing, show jumping, carriage driving, doing equitation, trail riding, or any of a number of different options, isn't a real partnership what we all want, even if there is no interest whatsoever in competition?
(Whoa!  There it is again about how working with horses relates to all aspects of life.)
Yeah, I know.  Dressage = formal, fancy, maybe even snooty, way too serious types who are afraid to ride outside a ring for fear of going on less-than-perfect footing or being dumped by their overpriced dumbbloods.
NOT!
Dressage is a French word meaning nothing more than training.
Give the following concepts a try, and I'll get to the details of who, where, and such later on if you still happen to be interested.  And quite frankly, I don't even care if you stop there, as long as you give the following truths put forth by clinicians Kathy Connelly and Betsy Steiner some consideration.
Training
Training is about kindness and clarity to achieve a partnership agreement.  It presents a variety of challenges; what's cool is that there are also numerous options.  For horses we should be both the shepherd and the leader.  Horses are like children: they cannot protect themselves, and they should never have to.
Horses think in concrete terms.  They think everything is their fault, so when things get stressful, their flight instinct kicks in.
Mares tend to be worriers.  They are also generally more opinionated and ticklish, especially in canter transitions.  Voice training can help address this as it gives the horse a chance to respond based on cues separate from the physical ones of the person on their back.
Don't say NO.  Say what you want - walk, whoa, trot.  Don't cluck or whistle to get more.  There are, however, happy reward sounds that are reassuring, such as the purring, trilled "r"s many Europeans favor, or for those who can't sound those, perhaps a cheery, musical "bup".
The thing with mares is that the more you tell them they are wonderful, even when they are not particularly so, the more wonderful they become.
To try something new and get the wrong reaction is not uncommon.  Either the horse doesn't understand, or it is simply unable to do what is asked.  Fix whatever caused the mistake rather than the mistake itself. 
Most things are no one's fault.  Don't push for perfect when you have good enough. 
Sometimes you compromise one thing to get another.
It doesn't matter.  (This phrase was heard often throughout the clinic and reminded me of dear friend Nancy Hall, old-soul and lifelong horsewoman who we lost last year, who often spoke of her shining banner in the sky with those words.)
Allow what you are asking for, even if the response is not what you were hoping for.  The horse is trying and should not be made to regret it.
Forwardness is a state of mind for both the horse and the rider.  Be consistent in always keeping things moving forward, even at a relaxed walk on long reins during a break.  The walk should always be a marching gait - not sluggish.
Training Building Blocks
Three aspects of both horse and rider that must be developed are the mind, body, and spirit in specific order.  The first building block is tempo and rhythm.  For the rider this consists of determining the speed and gait (mind), physical strength (as in body core and fitness), and patience (spirit).  For the horse it amounts to knowing that the rider's leg means go forward (mind), having the physical strength and fitness level, and obedience and work ethic (spirit) to achieve what is asked.
There are six levels, with the topmost being, for the rider, total psychological self-control (mind), total body control, and focus (spirit).  For the horse this equates to total balance (mind), self-carriage (body, and focus (spirit).
Obviously, numerous books are available that go into these concepts in depth.
A wide variety of exercises were shown to address the basic challenges of straightness, attention/focus, physical conditioning, and more.  The most common issue is that virtually everybody and every horse is one-sided to some degree, which means we are crooked and unbalanced.  How can you expect your horse to become balanced and straight if you are not?
The focus of the clinic was provide an educational opportunity for as many people as possible, rather than a select few riders.  Thirty-three riders applied for the eight demonstration rider slots of one-hour individual sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.  Eighty-some auditors intently observed, with many taking notes as the internationally renowned clinicians addressed the riders' and their horses' concerns and needs.
In polling a representative sample of both riders and auditors for their biggest take away from the weekend, the responses were both thoughtful and affirming.
Amateur rider Amelia Alnutt from Pennellville, NY, was one of the demonstration riders who discovered dressage fairly recently, having done western Arab pleasure and in-hand classes for many years.  She was impressed and deeply moved that Connelly and Steiner's approach was so individualized and compassionate.  "They asked what we wanted to work on, rather than deciding what we should be working on."
Barton Patrick trailered her horse 12 hours from Northport, Maine, to participate.  "I never thought I would be chosen because I don't have an international quality horse.  I applied because of the quality of the instructors, and have been more than pleased with the experience."
Auditor Nancy Young came from southeastern Massachusetts near the coast of Rhode Island because "the training and experience of the teachers doesn't get any better…seeing the already beautiful partnerships between these horses and riders enhanced even more."  Young works mostly on her own with her horse, which makes the process slower and harder and is why she appreciates what USDF does to educate and address the needs of grass-roots riders.
The Western New York Dressage Association (WNYDA) organized the weekend, doing an amazing job under the leadership of Deb Borra from Caledonia.  Several wonderful raffle items were given away, and an impressive silent auction was held as well.  Along with great lunch options at reasonable prices, free coffee, tea, and goodies were available throughout both days.  The event was held at Ard Eevin Farm in Nunda, home of "The Amazing Galuski Family", as Borra refers to them.
Both Steiner and Connelly have produced wonderful books, DVDs, and other items of note.
I could easily go on for another thousand words at least with further insights.  If you were fortunate enough to be on hand, there is no doubt you found it worthwhile.  If not, I hope you have found some small kernel of insight or affirmation.  There are more treasures I look forward to sharing, perhaps next week, as I found them inspiring, refreshing, and insightful.  Stay tuned!

Megan Stapley 
Megan Stapley Photography
716.997.2019
www.meganstapleyphotography.com
meganstapleyphotography@gmail.com
mjsmits@aol.com


Region 8 News
Do you think Spring is really here??? I sure hope so!
Region 8 came out shining at the USDF Adult Clinic held at Dan Mar Ranch in Nunda, NY. First, we had 31 applications for riders and only had 8 spots, and then WNYDA, with the amazing leader and organizer Deb Borra, gave riders, auditors and clinicians a first class event. The news hit social media and even I, who never goes on Facebook, heard about it! I want to thank Deb Borra, WNTDA, owners of the lovely faculty, and all the volunteers who made it so successful! On behalf of Region 8 THANKYOU!!!! Once again, Region 8 can hold their heads up high due to another great success.
We have another great educational event coming to Pinelands Farm on May 30 & 31, 2015 to kick off summer with two days of Musical Freestyles, featuring Terry Ciotti Gallo of Klassic Kur and FEI 4* judge Lois Yukins. This is a USDF CE Program! Please go to their website, www.pinelandfarms.org/equestrian-center, for more information.
On another topic, we held our spring Region 8 meeting on April 11th. It was a small group but we got a lot done. Minutes will be up on the website shortly. We have a task group looking into holding a Region 8 adult clinic next year which is the off year for the USDF Adult Clinics. If you have any ideas, please get them to me! Our next meeting is September 26 at 11:30am at the Amherst Brewing Company. This is for any member of USDF or anyone interested in Dressage!!! Please come!
Our first shows in Region 8 have occurred and while I think the weather slowed down riders and May shows are now basically closed, there are only 2.5 months left to qualify for the regional championships. Scary!
Please remember the US Dressage Finals is for each Open and Adult Amateur Champion and Reserve Champion at the Regional Championships. They will be invited to Lexington, KY to compete head to head with the other regional champions. Information and Prize list will be up shortly on the USDF site. Remember there is no harm in declaring now for the finals even if you are not qualified yet!
See you on the Centerline…
Debra Reinhardt
USDF Region 8 Director