Nancy Pugh Later’s hard work has earned her much respect. Her success in Grand Prix during the 2006 show season with her mare, Alexis D, earned her praise from some of the best. “I have known Nancy for 10 years, and she has come a long way," said Steffen Peters that year. "She and her mare are an exceptional pair. Nancy is an effective rider and is definitely qualified to ride at the highest level."
That same year, Nancy’s talent as a rider and teacher began to show when she had good results with several young horses she has had in her care. She also coached Jessica Rizzi in the summer of 2006, helping her qualify for the young horse championships. She also had the opportunity to travel to Europe. “Being in Europe helped me to see how they start their young horses and to learn from good trainers how to start the horses with good basics." Nancy clearly enjoys the challenge of working with young horses.
" I am very excited about how the Young Horse classes are growing here in the U.S., and I believe this will be a turning point in American Dressage," she said. “I think the Young horse classes will increase America's knowledge about breeding and bloodlines. It is really exciting to see young horses brought along and then made into grand prix horses. In addition the scoring directly after the ride makes it a lot more spectator friendly, and a learning experience for the audience. This is great for dressage."
The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist says she doesn't have one favorite breed but does appreciate the German bloodlines. "German horses are the best for dressage, and I appreciate the Germans ability to create the movement and temperament that we need to perform our sport."
As a trainer, Nancy says she "enjoys finding out what makes each horse tick and keeping them happy and healthy as well as successful in the arena." Her training approach is to develop a program that keeps horses keen and happy to work and learn. She said she looks into the future and then puts into motion a plan that moves day-to-day toward that goal.
" Dressage can get tedious for the horses and for amateur riders. I try to balance the hard necessary throughness and strength issues with the fun and exciting feelings of success. The sport is about training, so to ignore this very fact, as some people choose to do and not require that the horses are through and forward, I cannot do! However I can help riders to find out what the difference feels like and encourage them to have the same desire as I have to have a horse on my aids as we are performing the exciting movements that dressage has to offer."
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