Bronwyn Cordiak from Dallas, Texas, Region 9 has already had a lifetime of amazing experiences for a 14-year-old. In August of 2011, Cordiak she won the Dressage Seat Medal Finals – 13 and under at Lamplight. For three years Cordiak has attended summer sessions in Vechta , Germany at the PSVWE, the State Equestrian College of Weser Ems in the Oldenburg Region. The head of the school Mr. Christoph Winkels is now head of the Masters School in Munich as well as the Guest Trainer, Alex Wortmann who organizes the English courses for the different countries that attend. Cordiak received her silver level performance medal in 2011, the youngest student ever to be awarded that distinction. Riding three borrowed horse at the Emerging Dressage Athlete’s program, Cordiak recounted her week, lessons learned and memories which will last a lifetime.
I borrowed three different horses during the EDAP week. The first two days I rode Jardine, such a fun horse to ride, she knows so much, owned by Jayne Springer, one day on Aike, an Arabian gelding who was really beautiful and the final two days on United We Stand aka Majestic owned by Mette Larsen and and Dr. Jenny Susser. Majestic is probably one of the coolest horses I have ever ridden. He has the ‘look of eagles’ my Baba used to tell me about, really an incredible horse, I could just tell when I first sat on him. I think every horse is special in their own way, this horse fit his name.
The lectures were awesome. The trainers were a dream come true for me.
Lendon Gray was amazing and helped a ton. She really helped me to be more affective to the horse quickly and she pointed out small things that I need to work on. There were a few things, small, but bad habits that I really forgot about and she helped me work on them and improve them. Her lectures were fantastic too! She talked about so many inspiring things about the horse, different movements and the aids for them, and even some exercises that would be helpful in daily work. She also talked about communicating with the horse and since we were all riding horses we had never ridden before, her lecture helped me to communicate while I was on the horse and test different things to find out how the horse reacts and how I should ride. She told us stories about her Olympic horse and that most of us ride horses that are not perfect and it is our job to make them shine. This really spoke to me as I feel like I have great horses and want to show them off any way I can. She made me want to go out and ride and ride well.
Arlene White had some very interesting exercises that I really admired. She taught us several exercises to help stretch out the horse using a carrot. She also showed us different places to hold the carrot and you can see where the horse has trouble bending or flexing depending on how the horse tries to get the carrot. She showed us how to see the back of our horse raise by doing the exercises, it was really amazing. I definitely love these exercises because by using the carrot I can find new areas of soreness on my horse and I can decide which exercises will help to improve my horse’s flexibility.
Robert Dover was super fabulous! Favorite quotes, ‘you are a half halt away from perfect’, ‘keep the dance going’, ‘ride your horse as if he were Totilas every day’, ‘always visualize the grandest version of yourself riding’. My favorite exercise is the Rubberband Exercise Robert Dover taught me. It worked great with my horses and they really responded well, I could tell it helped right away. Now, each time I ride I always use the exercise during warm-up. He was always so upbeat and positive and made me feel like I really could ride and get the job of winning done. I like to compete and he made me feel like I would do well. I hope someday to ride one of my horses for him to see how we are doing. I really liked watching him ride his different horses, he rides like how he teaches. All of the different quotes I have written down on my notebook and I am making a big drawing of them to hang on my wall in my room to remind me every day. Mr. Dover was so positive and upbeat and really encouraged us all. He was funny too!
Dr. Jenny Susser
Dr. Jenny Susser, the Sports Psychologist taught me to have a riding personality and my regular personality. Also, to never think of ‘no’ or anything negative when riding and competing. Favorite quote ‘practice makes permanent’. She also taught me to make goals and accomplish them by imaging them happening. Visualize goal, arena, show and ride, my favorite thought. I really appreciate her lecture because it applies to riding and to life!
Arnie Gervasio, the farrier, had great information for us. The different trims of hooves and what they can help do was super interesting to me. By rolling the toe on the hoof you can get a faster break for your horse. Fave quote: ‘Simple is always better’.
Mary Beth Gordon Phd Purina
Purina was really interesting too. I have a 13 year old Oldenburg gelding named Ignacio on Senior feed. After hearing Mary Beth and Andy Syler from Purina talk I know he needs to be on Senior Active because he has years to go with me! I liked hearing about the different ways to feed horses and what to look for.
Mary Phelps, taught us very important things all riders should know when they reach a higher level. I really liked learning about handling the paparazzi, and what we need to be sure and do during interviews and in making the press friends. I remember to always give thanks to the group or village who created our ride, there are a lot of people to thank! Also, to be interesting, know information about our horse and our ride, and always be positive too. I also learned that whenever we are invited to a conference and we talk about how our ride was and what we think of everything, we should always make sure that every word we say will be heard and possibly used in something important. We should never say anything that we will regret. Also, it is okay to tell what went wrong and what to do different, people want to know and learn from mistakes too. I took a lot of notes and really liked the lecture too.
Dr. Rick Mitchell
Dr. Rick Mitchell, the vet, was really great. He talked about many things that affect the horse and ways to fix different problems. He also talked a lot about colic, and I learned many things to prevent it and things that could even help me with my horses. We have one horse that has colicked many times and what he told us is what we have been doing. He had some good ideas for preventing future colic too. He talked about different injuries, causes, and ways to help too. I also enjoyed listening to the proper care of the sport horse. I learned the main things that are really important when caring for a competitive sport horse.
Kathy Connelly was so much fun, I just loved riding with her! I rode a horse named United We Stand aka Majestic with her and it was really helpful because she happened to know the horse. Majestic was an incredible ride and she made it so much fun and taught me things that really helped me to ride him better. I got to ride several exercises that were very interesting and I even got to do some half steps and tempes on the diagonal, it was so cool! Ms. Connelly also shared test riding tips which I will use. ‘Corners are our friends’ was a quote I remember.
Katherine Bateson Chandler
Katherine Bateson Chandler was really incredible. I got to ride a horse named Jardine with her, luckily for me she also knew the horse very well and had helped train the horse with Robert Dover to Grand Prix. She was so easy to work with and she knew everything to tell me on how to ride Jardine. I loved working on the tempi changes because I do not usually get the chance to work on them often. They were a lot of fun and a great experience. Now, when I start to practice tempi’s regularly, I will know what to expect and I will have a better understanding of counting them and making sure I ride them correctly.
Gary Rockwell was an excellent judge, I was so honored to ride for him. I am glad I got such an experienced and high level judge to watch my ride and to give me tips. I knew right when I had finished my test that I had some good moments and some things I need to work on. He key-pointed every mistake and told me why it was a mistake and how I could have gotten a better score by correcting a few simple things. I learned some new things that I will need to improve and I got a lot of handy tips that I can work on. It was a great experience to have him judge me and I hope that someday I will get to be judged again riding at a higher level!
Allison Brunelli had some really inspiring ideas that I think will be extremely effective in my riding. She taught all of us how to journal and how it can help our riding. She told us that when we journal, it becomes easier for us to recall our rides and what we need to work on. We learned that you can also find better ways of riding certain things and actually using your new ideas instead of ignoring them and forgetting about them. She also told us about a quote, “ Good Journaling allows you to build a neutral network that improves skill; it scaffolds you to a higher level.” I believe that this quote meant that if we journal properly and we are able to remember our rides and how we can makes things better, we will become more successful and be able to reach a higher level of riding and competing.
Courtney King Dye
Courtney King Dye taught me so much too! She was such a wonderful person to work with and I enjoyed her so much. She helped me with some exercises that I had problems with while in the test. She also helped me improve the movements to get a higher score on them. She is such an inspiration and I think it was incredible that she took the time to train with everyone. She is such a role model for me because she is trying to help others avoid the injuries she has suffered by encouraging everyone to wear their helmet whenever they ride, no matter what level. I think she is a role model for every rider today, I know she is mine.
Our trainer for workouts was Bob who had us work hard. The best exercise (and the hardest for me) was probably all of the sprinting, frog jumps, and when we had to do an exercise where we would sit as if we were in a chair but in mid-air. He taught me so many exercises that really were difficult but help build so many muscles up. I loved having the workouts because I really was able to push myself more than I ever have and to keep going. It was not easy, but now I know that I can do certain things I had not known before. I was sore, but really felt the change in my muscles at the end of the week.
I wanted to tell you how honored I am to have been able to attend the clinic with all of the incredible trainers, speakers and other riders. I loved meeting everyone and feel like I made a lot of new friends and learned so much. I am rewriting all the lectures into a different notebook so I can go back and look at my notes over and over. This clinic week made me sure that I want to make horses and competing a part of my life. I am so excited for the show year ahead!