A Life with Horses Inspires Giving Back

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ruth Hogan-PoulsenTrainer, Competitor, Author, and Musical Freestyle Composer

“We have a very active 4-H Club at East Hill Farm,” Ruth Hogan-Poulsen says. “My mom has been the 4-H leader for 35 years, so I’m very involved with the kids and their programs.” Ruth helps support the club through donations, providing lessons and participating in fundraisers.

Ruth is also active in the Central Vermont Dressage Association, her local USDF Group Membership Organization.  She often offers discounted rate clinics for the membership, provides lectures at dinners, and donates to the silent auctions. “I try to help my fellow New Englanders and Vermonters get what they need for their education,” Ruth explains.

For a number of years, Ruth has been involved with the Children of the Americas Dressage Invitational (CADI), an annual event held at Bear Spot Farm in Massachusetts. Ruth volunteers as a coach for the four-day competition and makes freestyles for some competitors. “The CADI is a program that was developed to unite kids aged nine to 14 who are dressage riders from the Americas,” Ruth explains. “For the last couple of years there have been 17 kids – 15 of which are from other countries. Two kids are from the U.S.” Ruth and other trainers volunteer their time and bring horses. The riders draw out of a hat for mounts and ride them twice before competing in the Children’s FEI Test and a freestyle. Some riders call on Ruth for help with their freestyle before they arrive. “They send me a pattern and then I make music for them,” she explained. Others arrive with a pattern and music that they’ve made on their horse at home and adapt it to what they’ve drawn for a mount. “They are doing amazing catch riding at that young age!”

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