California Dressage Society Adult Amateur Clinic

California Dressage Society Adult Amateur Clinic

“My body position and timing of my aids and requests are so important!” exclaimed Brenda Forsythe, D.V.M. when asked about what she learned from this year’s CDS Adult Amateur Clinic  hosted by SLO CDS.

Brenda further described her recent clinic experience, “Besides getting a great education from the amazing clinician Marisa Festerling, the dinners with the organizer Ellen Corob and farm hosts Kent and Dorreene Gilmore, getting to know the other participants was special. They were all so nice. I feel like we all became a little family for awhile, and I made some lasting friendships.”

I feel like we all became a little family for awhile, and I made some lasting friendships.

What happens at an Adult Amateur Clinic? The first night is a shared dinner with the other participants, the organizer and the farm host, and the clinician. Here the clinician introduces his/herself and then carries on some dismounted instruction and discusses his or her riding philosophies. The next two days are spent doing mounted dressage lessons usually with like pairs riding together. When the riding participant is not “on” he or she learns from the other lessons that take place throughout the weekend. Auditors also come to observe all the lessons and gain valuable insight to bring home to their own situations and horses.

“The CDS Adult Amateur Clinic is one of the answers to that focus.”

Why and how often do these clinics happen? When the majority of the members of a society are Adult Amateur yet so many of the activities of the society are geared towards the professionals there needs to be specific activities targeted to the larger membership to keep the backbone strong. The CDS Adult Amateur Clinic is one of the answers to that focus. SLO CDS has been the host of one of three annual clinics offered by CDS. Ellen Corob has been the organizer of each one SLO CDS has hosted for the past 13 years which have all been held at Golden Hills Farms in Paso Robles, owned by Kent and Dorreene Gilmore.

Brenda, who was a horse-crazy kid riding an untrained pony at 10 years old, started taking English riding lessons and got into jumping at 20 years old. She got involved in this year’s clinic through her participation and membership in SLO CDS. Brenda rode her mare Waverly at the clinic, a 15 year old Belgian Warmblood that Brenda bred and raised herself. Waverly is fairly new to Dressage coming from a Hunter/Jumper career and transitioning to lower-impact Dressage training in recent years.

California Dressage Society Adult Amateur Clinic
Brenda &Waverly on the right
“Marisa was great working with the Amateurs, her youth and energy were engaging”

Brenda was joined by 11 other riding participants and 12 auditors all coming to the Central Coast for the weekend from different CDS chapters including San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Carmel, Gavilan, Santa Cruz, Fresno, Kaweah, Kern River, and Ventura. All who attended learned so much from the clinician, Marisa Festerling of Moorpark, CA. “Marisa was great working with the Amateurs, her youth and energy were engaging as she helped the participants work through issues and improve,” commented Ellen, the seasoned clinic organizer.

Every Adult Amateur Clinic ends with happy participants, a deep respect for the clinician, friendships started, and ideas to work on with horses at home. Always a great weekend of horsing around, indeed!

Main Image:
Linda Killion, Susan Trinity, Donna Fraser On Cola, Marisa Festerling, Katherine Adams, Sabine Therer-barajas, Tamie Ego, Ellen Corob, Edith Lord-wolff, Rebecca Greening-vignieri, Mary Couch, Brenda Forsythe, Chari Petrowski, Dorreene Gilmore W Bailey in front, Diane Nell On Santiago

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