Lesley Eden and Anne Gribbons Train the Young Horse, Let’s Dance

Anne Gribbons and Lesley Eden make a great team for successfully training the young horse Let’s Dance toward the FEI levels through the Young Horse Championship levels.  A six year old gelding by Laurentio, Let’s Dance has been shown, started and ridden by Lesley Eden with Gribbons coaching at her Knoll Dressage farm located in East Orlando and at all the shows.

Lesley Eden and Let's Dance win Third Level Test 3 at the 2013 World Dressage Masters Photo:Lynn Eden Deer
Lesley Eden and Let's Dance win Third Level Test 3 at the 2013 World Dressage Masters Photo:Lynn Eden Deer

Eden said, “I’ve been riding him a little over two years, ever since Anne bought him and brought him over from Germany.  He’s super smart, very talented, really rideable.” Gribbons shared more about her horse’s beginning, “I bought him as a 3 year old.  I was working as the national coach for the States so I had no time to consistently work a young horse. He showed all kinds of potential and luckily I have Lesley, who has been with me since she was fifteen.” Eden was the Young Rider Gold Medalist in 2002.

Gribbons said, “We have worked together with two or three other horses and brought them up to the FEI levels. It’s a wonderful relationship all around. I would like to see how it goes in the 6 yr old Young Horse classes this year.”  During this early season, last week at the 2013 World Dressage Masters, Lesley Eden and Let’s Dance scored a 73.974% in Third Level Test 3, winning the class easily.  Gribbons said, “She already has him in the 3rd and 4th Levels because he is very intelligent, learns fast and you can’t bore him.  He’s not allowed to go in the Prix St George until he is seven, so we hang out here.”

Leslie Eden, riding Lets Dance, a 6 yrs. old gelding working towards the Young Horse Program  Photo:Lynn Eden Deer
Leslie Eden, riding Lets Dance, a 6 yrs. old gelding working towards the Young Horse Program Photo:Lynn Eden Deer

Thirty-Five year old Eden began training with Gribbons at the age of fifteen when she bought a Dutch Warmblood named Picasso as a 4 year old and trained him every winter season at Gribbon’s stable ultimately winning individual and team gold medals at the North American Young Rider Championships. In 2003 she qualified with him for the US Intermediaire 1 Championships at Gladstone. They reached Lesley’s goal of riding Grand Prix and she soon earned her USDF Gold Medal. Eden has been working with Gribbons for almost sixteen years and shares advice with other young riders, “Find a trainer that you get along with, that you believe in their system and stick with it. Trust them that they are going to guide you in the right way.”  Last year with scores in the low to mid 70s at second level, Let’s Dance averaged a score of 8.4 in the FEI 5 year old test leaving them with the highest average score in the country and qualifying them for the Young Horse Dressage National Championships. Gribbons said, “He was leading in the national division for our national championships in the 5 year olds last year. I couldn’t take the horse there because I just got back from the Olympics and I couldn’t face getting in the truck and driving to the finals in the Midwest.” The former USET National Coach, Anne Gribbons is truly one of the world's foremost authorities on the development and training of dressage horses. Anne works so well with riders and horses and can explain so clearly her thoughts from years of experience in such detail.

Leslie Eden, riding Lets Dance, a 6 yrs. old gelding working towards the Young Horse Program  Photo:Lynn Eden Deer
Leslie Eden, riding Lets Dance, a 6 yrs. old gelding working towards the Young Horse Program Photo:Lynn Eden Deer

Anne Gribbons has been overseeing the training and preparation of US riders and horses as they prepared for World Championships, Pan America Games and Olympic Games. She is also one of the United States' four "5*" judges and has been active in U.S. dressage for nearly 40 years. Anne continued, “What we have to do is partner young horses with good riders and train them ourselves, hoping to find a superstar among them. With the exception of Paragon and Pikko del Cerro HU, we have not produced any new Grand Prix horses in the last four years.  That needs to change.  Since I have been preaching this for a long time, I need to take my own advice. Although I hope to take over the ride on Let’s Dance next year, I would like to find another young one for Lesley, so we can keep going.”

Lesley Eden wins the Trilogy Best Seat Award at the World Dressage Masters Photo: SusanJStickle.com
Lesley Eden wins the Trilogy Best Seat Award at the World Dressage Masters Photo: SusanJStickle.com



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