Updated: Feb 18
Welcome to Equine Cents--the blog at Laura G Dressage!
Dressage has the reputation as being a sport for the elite--a reputation that has, frankly, been rightly earned. Training, grooming, and board for your horse with an FEI trainer can run you into the thousands per month, easily. Add on show entry fees, organization memberships, custom riding boots, custom show couture, etc... and most middle class riders have been priced out of the sport. Can you relate? I can!
I may be an FEI rider and trainer now, but I started out as the horse-crazy daughter of middle class parents in Lincoln, Nebraska. The lights were always on and there was always food on the table, but we certainly did not have the resources to "do dressage" at a high level. I rode "backyard" horses and I didn't always have access to quality instruction. My mother and I looked for deals on used show clothes and I often wore "hand me downs" from other girls in my local pony club.
Throughout high school, college, graduate school, and into early adulthood, I always found a way to work in the horse industry to support my "hobby". Riding all types of horses in all types of barns and programs, teaching, grooming, and even cleaning stalls--you name it, I've done it! More than fifteen years later, that hobby has transformed into a full-blown riding, training, and showing career and I could not be more excited for the future!
While I may riding down centerline on "fancy" warmbloods this season, I haven't lost touch of who I am and where I came from. I believe quality dressage training and coaching should be available to everyone, not just those who keep their horse in a full service training barn and only show up for their half hour lesson. I strive to be the trainer I needed when I was growing up.
My goal for this blog is to discuss dressage in depth and provide a resource for those who truly need it. For riders and horse owners who want to learn the skills to be their own trainer and their own advocate for their horses. For the riders like my younger self, who needed guidance but simply didn't always have access to a quality FEI trainer.
Here, we'll talk training techniques. We'll talk about dressage for "non-warmbloods", Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Morgans, Saddlebreds, and other incredibly athletic, yet over-looked, breeds. We'll also talk about showing strategies, horse management without breaking the bank, how to pick your own young dressage prospect, the ins and outs of organization membership, how to find name brand show clothes for a steal, and so much more!
This is also a place for you, whether you're a local or virtual team LGD member, to collaborate. I'd love to hear from you! What strategies have worked for you? What unconventional resources have you found?
Saddle up and follow along for the ride! We're going to have fun!