Dressage riders on the West coast had their opportunity to work with USEF Technical Advisor, Anne Gribbons in the first USEF Observation Session held in California in 2011 on April 5 and 6. Steffen and Shannon Peters kindly hosted the session at their Arroyo Del Mar training facility in San Diego, CA. Over two days, Gribbons worked with each combination individually, fine tuning movements with the veteran pairs and introducing new training techniques to the up-and-coming riders. The following combinations were invited to participate: Steffen Peters with Ravel and Weltino's Magic, Shannon Peters with Flor de Selva and Odyssey, Kim McGrath on Winslow, Cyndi Jackson on Strauss, David Blake with Catapult, Mette Rosencrantz with both Finally and Taison, Kathleen Raine on Breanna, Alisa Wilson riding Weltclassiker and Guenter Seidel with both U II and Sundayboy.
Cyndi Jackson traveled from her home base in Glendale, AZ with Nikki Sochi-Flach's Strauss, currently campaigning at the Prix St. Georges level. "I thoroughly enjoyed my sessions with Anne, having both a trainer's perspective combined with the eye of an international judge was extremely helpful," said Jackson. "She gave us some good exercises for getting more air time in my one tempis and in helping me get Strauss' piaffe more on the spot."
The Observation Session followed a weekend of competition at the Festival of the Horse CDI-W where Gribbons was on hand to observe all combinations work through their tests. Shannon Peters and Odyssey had a stellar weekend, taking third in the Grand Prix and winning the Grand Prix Special. The pair then worked with Gribbons on both days of the session.
"It was super helpful to have Anne here both for the show, and the days after, to really go over the tests and improve upon things we needed to make better," said Peters.