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Impulsion May/June 2013

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  • IMPULSIONmay/june 2013 kentucky dressage association

    photos by Bob Tarr/




    Scholarship winner trains

    with Tina Konyot

  • Dear KDA Members,

    Show season is well under way, and I am proud to say our Spring Warm-Up, 27th Annual Dres-sage Show, CDI3*, and CDI* went very well. We had wonderful weather and supportive sponsors, vendors, and ad-vertisers, but our volunteers were the real key to our shows success.

    Each year I am so impressed by the dedication of our staff and vol-unteers. I have been involved with KDA shows for the last six years and it has been a great experience and a real education. Being involved with show management gives a competitor like me a whole new perspective and understanding of dressage shows. Its a process all dressage competitors should experience. Managing a show

    like KDAs takes a mass of volunteers: We had more than 100 (not including board members and the show commit-tee) who worked 264 four-hour shifts during the week of our show. That is over 1,000 hours of work in a week. We have volunteers who arent KDA members come back each year to help us, members who compete and find time to work, and members not show-ing come to help, many driving several hours. All of them work to make KDA shows the best they can be.

    The KDA show committee is well into the planning stages for the 2013 Festival of Champions, which will be held Oct. 9-12 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Holding the FOC for the first time in Lexington will be fun and exciting, and it too will take a mass of volunteers. It isnt too early to sign

    up, and if you would like to volunteer, contact Sandy Kraatz at [email protected] If you want to join the show committee, contact Sheila Woerth at [email protected]

    I truly appreciate all our show vol-unteers and commend them on a job well done last week. Competitors, it is very important always to thank the show volunteers no matter what show you choose because without volunteers we would not be able to compete in the sport we all love so much.


    Michelle MoreheadPresident


    Managing a show like KDAs takes a mass of volunteers, we had over 100 (not including board members and the show committee) that worked 264 four-hour shifts during the week of our show. That is over 1,000 hours of work in a week.

    k e n t u c k y d r e s s a g e a s s o c i at i o n : w w w. k e n t u c k y d r e s s a g e a s s o c i at i o n . o r g


    The Kentucky Dressage Association, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, is a group member organization of the United States Dressage Federation.

    The purpose of the KDA is to promote and strengthen the art and sport of Dressage in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. KDA will provide leadership to its members to assist them in fostering individual and collective

    growth by providing education, publications, competitions, exhibitions, and increasing general public awareness for Dressage.

    Follow us on Twitter @KYDressageAssocThe Impulsion is a publication of the Kentucky Dressage Association since 1977.


    photos by Bob Tarr/ and Bill Kraatz



  • Think, Jackie. Think. I heard this entreaty often during the two unforgettable months I spent training with U.S. Olympian Tina Konyot in Palm City, Fla. Indeed, it became my mantra in the saddle and out as Tina encouraged me to think not only about what I do in the saddle but also how I manage and care for my horse, Win-ston. In the end I took away important lessons about riding and horseman-ship.

    I met Tina, a gifted dressage rider from a legendary equestrian fam-ily, in April 2010 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky. She was in the Bluegrass to compete in the Ken-tucky Cup CDI and to attend the races with her boyfriend, Hall of Fame trainer Roger Attfield. Tina had won the Freestyle the previous evening, and I approached the elegant blond in the Keeneland paddock to introduce myself and offer congratulations. Her horsemanship and obvious love for her stallion Calecto V had made me an instant fan.

    Casually acquainted now, I fol-lowed her triumphs in subsequent seasons and her able representation of the United States at the London

    Olympics. I had no firm plans to head south

    for the 2013 winter season, but my husband encouraged me to consider Florida, where his job takes him early every year. His suggestion made me think of Tina. Gathering my nerve and wondering if she remembered me, I made a hesitant contact late last fall. We talked, I sent a video, and to my great delight she agreed to take me and Winston for training. It seemed

    like serendipity when I won a gener-ous adult amateur scholarship from the Kentucky Dressage Association to help defray some expenses.

    We arrived at her Palm City farm in late January. Training did not get off to a good start. Winston, who is otherwise pretty perfect, was full of himself in the crisp, breezy weather. Spooky, strong in the bridle, and im-pressed by his new surroundings, he tested me the first few days. I, in turn,

    LEARNING To ThINk By Jacqueline Beasley

    Showing a Thoroughbred?The KDA Fall Classic 1 Show has been approved by the Thoroughbred Incentive Program. NEW for 2013 Riders and owners should obtain a T.I.P. number for all horse/rider combinations. T.I.P. number applications are done online at T.I.P. numbers must be provided to the horse show.


    Training with Olympian Tiny Konyot broadens this riders perspective

    Tina Konyot and Calecto V, left, and Jacqueline Beasley with Winston

    Photos by Teresa Duke

  • Many of us in longstanding partnerships have the tendency to keep with the program when things go reasonably well. Tina challenged me to really think about all aspects of horse care.


    reverted to a rank amateur, all my worst habits resurfacing under Tinas all-seeing eye.

    Keep your ass in the saddle, Jackie, Tina intoned as my tendency to become light in the seat intensi-fied those early days. Dont let your hands be so hectic.

    Its no exaggeration to say I checked my ego at the door those first few days.

    Tina encouraged me to try a drop-nosed cavesson on Winston, noting that all the top European riders use this equipment when schooling in the snaffle. The switch produced nice results as Winston quickly became pliable in my hands. About a week in, Winston settled, and we began to make progress.

    Throughout our time together Tina, with her wealth of experience and intuitiveness, made other good suggestions about tack and equipment. For instance, a girth change anchored a saddle that had a tendency to move forward. As she got to know me, she politely questioned why I fed Winston a certain grain or had him shod a par-ticular way. I did not always have the best answer. Many of us in longstand-ing partnerships have the tendency to keep with the program when things go reasonably well. Tina challenged me to really think about all aspects of horse care.

    I ultimately changed Winstons feeding program to better support the athlete he is. Getting input from her longtime veterinarian, I also modified Winstons shoeing. His feet look better already.

    Witnessing close-up the manage-ment and training of an elite athlete such as Calecto constituted an impor-tant part of my training experience. I get up every day because of this horse, Tina would often say. Here are

    some things I observed about their special partnership:

    Tina pays attention to every detail in the care and training of Calecto. Little is left to chance. The training and management arc is tailored to the build up to and participation in compe-tition and to ensuring a happy athlete.

    Tina is instinctively quick to praise her horses. Corrections are equally quick. Her frequent pats and verbal praises made me realize I do not thank Winston nearly enough when he does a good job.

    Tina places great emphasis on walking. Every riding day begins with at least 20 minutes of walking on a loose rein and concludes similarly. Trail riding is an important part of her program, and she rides off the farm once or twice a week.

    Tina believes in making it fun for the horse. You will never see her drill-ing a movement or a sequence over and over. She often will pop Calecto over a small log on the trail or wade into a pond.

    A typical training day began with Tina riding Calecto first. As I strug-gled with various exercises or move-ments, Tina would pointedly demon-strate the proper way to ride a deep and collected canter, for instance, or perform the working pirouette as I watched railside. She showed me the

    way through riding, and the images remain vivid.

    During my riding sessions we worked a lot on basics transitions between and within gaits, more honest connection, and adequate bend. Her philosophy and teaching approach nicely complemented those of my home trainer, Linda Strine, who has helped me for many years. Tina en-couraged me to think about setting up a good walk as I made the down transition and to think as we came through a corner and into half-pass without haunches leading. Tinas use of imagery also helped. For example, she described the horses body posi-tion in a proper leg yield as a half-moon shape. She often encouraged me to think of blending one movement into the next.

    Gradually, my seat deepened, my hands became less hectic, and Tina would be quick to praise me as move-ments and exercises started to flow. not that I didnt get the sharp remind-er to keep my ass in the saddle.

    I also benefite