Dressage enthusiasts from up and down the West Coast are preparing to gather in Rancho Murieta, CA for the upcoming California Dressage Society Annual Meeting and Symposium, January 20 - 22, 2012, the kickoff event for CDS' 45th anniversary year. On Friday, January 20th, the CDS Executive Board will meet to conduct the business functions of the organization, a meeting which is open to all CDS chapter chairs, members, and guests. A second full day of organizational activities is scheduled for Saturday, January 21st, including annual reports to members; round table discussions about CDS programs; live and silent auctions; veterinary lectures; and an evening dinner, dance, and awards banquet.
With the generous support of The Dressage Foundation, on Sunday, January 22nd CDS will present a live demonstration symposium from 8am to 3pm at the Murieta Equestrian Center, headlined by High Performance dressage rider Shannon Peters. Wife and business partner of famous U.S. Team member Steffen Peters, she is an accomplished Grand Prix competitor in her own right. Most recently, she partnered with Akiko Yamazaki's 15-year old Dutch Warmblood gelding "Odyssey" (by Ferro out of Gerina) to win the Grand Prix Special at this year's Del Mar and Burbank CDIs, as well as qualifying for and competing at the USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone, NJ.
Peters' presentation during the Sunday symposium is titled "Correct Position For Horse and Rider Through the Levels". "A rider's position is so important, but it can be one of the first things we overlook in our daily training," notes Peters. "What we may not realize is the extent to which the rider's position affects the execution of movements by the horse. It's about so much more than just pretty riding - it's effective riding, and preparing our horses to perform their work correctly."
For Peters, dressage means much more than just a riding career - it's a life-long relationship with horses she cares deeply about. "I love my work and the sport, but this is more than a job for me," she explains. "I've learned over the years that competition horses are complex athletes who need more than talent and good training. They need the best care we can provide for their overall well-being; they need to feel safe and secure with their trainers and riders; and they need to feel a connection to really excel. I love my horses, and regardless of results in the show ring, for me that will always mean more than anything else."
The CDS Symposium will also include a presentation by Alfredo Hernandez on "Piaffe and Passage Introduction and Development". Originally from Jerez, Spain, Hernandez has become one of this country's leading experts in developing and schooling piaffe and passage in hand. He currently works with Steffen Peters, as well as having worked with Olympian Hilda Gurney for 20 years and High Performance West Coast competitors Jan Ebeling and Leslie Morse. Also featured in the symposium will be sport horse expert Kevin Reinig of Wilton, CA, who with wife Erika runs their own training and sales program, KEFA Performance Horses, and also manage the famous Lucchetti Ranch breeding program.
For complete information about the upcoming CDS Annual Meeting and Symposium, please visit the CDS website, www.california-dressage.org.