Wellington, FL - ShowChic, a premier dressage fashion boutique, recently hosted international dressage rider Shannon Dueck during the April 10th ShopTalk, where the top rider discussed everything from her beginnings in Pony Club to her time spent in training with Carl Hester. ShowChic holds the monthly Shop Talks to gather together the dressage community during informative social events. Guests also left with great prizes like gift certificates to ShowChic and products from Vita Flex’s line of equestrian supplements.
Dueck, who trains out of her own Dueck Dressage in Loxahatchee, Florida, told the gathered crowd about her days spent in England training her Grand Prix mare, Ayscha, with Hester. She detailed a day at the prestigious rider’s farm, as well as her experience viewing the grounds and arenas for the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London, where she and Ayscha hope to compete for Canada. “Carl’s training system is strongly based on doing what is right by the horse,” said Dueck. “Each ride starts out with fifteen to twenty minutes of stretching and loosening the horse’s back. Then Carl gets on and trains each horse for about twenty-five minutes. After that all of the horses, the babies and the stallions included, go out for a hack in the fields or on the roads. Carl really enjoys training and gives the horses tons of praise and breaks. It really makes a difference in the way they react to him.” Dueck herself focuses on preserving the horse’s natural joy in her training. “Only when a horse is happy in his work and willing to learn can you be truly successful in your riding.”
In addition to her experiences training with Hester, Dueck outlined what she believes to be the keys to success in dressage. Mainly she mentioned the importance of sportsmanship and horsemanship with regard to training, but she also mentioned the importance of gratitude for where she was in her career and setting goals. “You need to have realistic, measurable short term goals in addition to lofty, big dream goals,” said Dueck. “Those short term goals are the small steps that will bring you to the top. Even something as simple as ‘I want to ride more forward today,’ or ‘I want better tempo during this movement’ will push you towards achieving bigger goals. And of course we must remember to be grateful for what we have, that we are able to ride everyday and have horses. I am just as guilty as anyone else in forgetting that horses are truly a blessing.”
Michele Hundt, owner of ShowChic, said she was thrilled to have Dueck as a speaker, and that Dueck’s insight into the highest level of dressage combined with her down-to-earth personality was a unique combination. “I know all of the riders in attendance can relate to Shannon’s quest for success, and will be able to use her experience to improve their own riding,” said Hundt. “Shannon has also written a monthly column in the ShowChic newsletter for the last two years. ShowChic is honored to host such an amazing rider during its April Shop Talk.”
ShowChic is located at 3220 Fairlane Farms Road in Wellington and normally holds Shop Talk during the second Tuesday of each month. The upscale boutique offers the finest in dressage apparel and stocks the following name brands: Arista, Cavallo, Kentucky, Pikeur, Samshield, GPA and Charles Owen. They also offer a beautiful selection of handmade stock ties, stock pins, Carol Ehrlich jewelry and more.
For more information on ShowChic, visit their website at www.showchicdressage.com or call them at 561-319-2121.