Moving up the levels

Since he was eight months old, Finn, raised by Jo Marley, displays his inquisitive character both in the stall and in a clinic. An experienced dressage rider, Jo mainly trains also but loves to participate in riding clinics, and when the opportunity arose to learn with Janet Foy, an internationally renowned dressage author, judge, and instructor during a two-day mounted symposium, Jo jumped at the chance.

Janet Foy, an FEI five-star judge, has judged major shows in the United States and Canada, including the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions and FEI North American, and judged extensively abroad. Foy is also a much-celebrated author in the dressage world.

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Santa Fe Dressage Association welcomed Foy for a two-day mounted symposium highlighting the core elements of riding dressage through the levels and the technical and artistic aspects of freestyle riding.

Jo reflected on her experience riding with Janet Foy. “Janet is phenomenal. I’d been lurking on YouTube watching her videos, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate. It’s the honor of my lifetime. My next steps for Finn are to get our balance correct to do good flying changes. Ultimately, I’d like to go Grand Prix with him, but the short-term goal is third level this year and solid fourth level next year.

Ilyse Gold rode her nine-year-old Hanoverian, Margarita on the Rocks, aka Mickie. Ilyse and her girl have ridden through the Third Level, but her goals are to ride the upper levels while still being the rider her wonderful horse deserves.

Ilyse, like Jo, called riding with Janet Foy “the honor of my life.” Ilyse learned that Mickie needs to be more forward and collected. “We’ve been going long and low, and now it’s time to start the bodybuilding.”

Additionally, Ilyse and Mickie plan to travel to Littleton, Colorado, later this month for a ten-day intensive Mark Rashid clinic. The clinic, affectionately labeled, Softness Bootcamp, provides both learning and bonding time for horses and humans.

Summer is taking off in a wind gust after a year of uncertainty.

Where do you plan to learn with your horse this summer? What clinics do you plan to attend as a rider or an auditor? As the country begins to wake up, learning opportunities abound for you and your horse. Just remember,

Stay safe. Stay horsey!

Cheers, Anna