Year after year, the United States Dressage Federation pursues to educate its supporters and members by hosting annual conventions at the most exotic locations in the United States. The 2001 edition of the convention has occupied the majestic Peabody Hotel in Orlando, FL, from November 28 to December 1, 2001. While visitors can enjoy the delightful 80F Florida weather outside, inside the hotel the air-conditioning is hardly able to cool down people's enthusiasm during the educational panel discussions, mini sessions and board meetings.
The opening session of the 2001 USDF Annual Convention was professionally hosted by engineer Brad Thatcher and Perma-flex footing specialist Jennifer Buchanan. Besides numerous open and closed council and committee meetings, the Wednesday programme featured, as highlight of the first day, the USDF University Educational Mini-Session with Conrad Schumacher as guest speaker.
The German horse master Schumacher lectured on the fundamental importance of having a solid basis in dressage when training both rider and horse. Schumacher emphasized that the training of a dressage horse encaptures 8 specific goals, i.e. to achieve fun, success, soundness, trust, respect, inner tranquility, obedience and a physically strong and clever horse.
Schumacher illustrated his principles of training by showing a 30 minute video of the FN-verlag (German Equestrian Federation). He correctly remarked that the tape was a perfect demonstration of ideal training. Heike Kemmer, Leonie Bramall and Lisa Wilcox were the featured riders and mounted the now winning FEI horses Rohdiamant and Inspekteur. Schumacher went deeper into the matters of the natural crookedness of a horse and the importance of half halts in the process of basic training.
The trade fair in the ball room of the Peabody hotel has approximately 40 booths presenting some of the finest equestrian businesses in the United States. If you are at the Peabody right now or plan to visit the convention this weekend, make sure to check out the lobby where you will see the famous Peabody ducks walking to their indoor fountain for a wash and a drink.
Text by Astrid Appels