On the outskirts of Magnolia, Texas, between traffic cones and construction signs marking the expansion of suburbia, sits Windy Knoll Farm, owned by “S” Judge Fran Dearing-Kehr. This past weekend Windy Knoll and the Houston Dressage Society hosted the first clinic of the USDF Adult Clinic Series featuring Kathy Connelly and Betsy Steiner. The series titled “Creating a Winning Partnership with Your Horse”, will visit each of the 9 USDF regions over the next two years. If Kathy and Betsy were tired by the end of the weekend you never would have known it. Kathy comments, “Betsy and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the riders and horses- a very inspirational group- thank you for all riding with us. A wonderful and large group of auditors- who were so enthusiastically involved and very interactive with excellent questions. It was a truly joyful time.”
Eight riders and over sixty auditors, a mix of Adult Amateurs, trainers, coaches and a few non-horsey family members, laughed and smiled their way through the weekend. Kathy and Betsy worked as a team to showcase the importance of partnership, communication, and patience.
Some riders admitted to being very nervous, submitting applications only after being convinced by friends or coaches, only to find that they had no reason to be nervous at all. The auditors were supportive of all of the riders, breaking out into applause for each one as they demonstrated their new found harmony.
The clinicians set everyone at ease, offering their expertise alongside praise, admiration and endless smiles. Rider Suzan Saylor summed up the experience nicely, “The team you have with Betsy and Kathy is just unbeatable. They are funny. They bring the love, passion, and joy of dressage to everyone, riders and auditors alike. Their concise and precise advice uplifts the riders and motivates the auditors”.
All 2015 clinics have been scheduled with the 2016 clinics being announced in the coming months. Nunda, NY on April 25-26, Palmyra, NE on May 16-17 and in Fuquay Varina, NC on August 1-2. For more information on the USDF Adult Clinic Series please visit the USDF Website.
Kathy Connelly is a highly respected international dressage rider, trainer, coach,”S” judge, and USDF Honorary Instructor. She represented the United States at the World Cup in Sweden, and was the highest placed Grand Prix rider on the U.S. Bronze Medal Team at the North American Championships. She is known for her amicable personality and non-intimidating training style. Kathy’s success is evident through her work with both U. S. Team riders and amateurs, who have won many titles. She trains amateurs at every level. In addition, she has served as coach at both the World Equestrian Games and the World Cup, and as coach of the Individual Silver Medalist at the Pan American Games, a U.S. Champion at the North American Young Rider Championships, and the United States Silver Medal Young Rider Team in Australia. She is the Vice Chair of the USET High Performance Dressage Committee and has served as a USET Olympic and World Games Selector. She has provided live commentary internationally and nationally, for events such as the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2013 and 2014 US Dressage Finals.
Betsy Steiner is a USDF Honorary Instructor, as well as an international dressage rider, trainer, and coach. Betsy has represented the United States at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990, as well as providing commentary for videos of the 1995 World Cup, the 1996 Olympic Games, and most recently the 2014 World Equestrian Games Trials at Gladstone. Her book A Gymnastic Training System Using the Mind, Body, Spirit Approach has sold over 16,000 copies in the U.S. and U.K., and has been translated into German. She holds the prestigious honor of being the only US author to have her book approved by the German FN. She is also the creator of EQUILATES™ — a sport-specific Pilates-based exercise and body awareness program for the equestrian. Betsy currently trains her own horses and students in Frenchtown, NJ, and Wellington, FL.