Coventry Equestrian Center

January/February Newsletter

Our Background and Philosophy
Coventry FACEBOOK Page
Our Facilities
Upcoming Events
Horses for Sale or Lease
Some of our Successful Students
Dressage Over Fences
Coventry Juniors
(OLDER) In Stride..CEC's Newsletter
Coventry's Newsletter
Recommended Reading
Stretching your Horse - Yoga for Horses
Training Articles
Published Articles - Instruction and Advice
Published Articles: Photo Step-by-Step Guides
Published Articles - Interviews and Clinic Reports
Favorite Quotes
Western Dressage
Our Photo Album
Favorite Links
Clarion Calls Herbs and Herbal Articles
Contact Us

In Stride...


Vol.: 1 Issue 4: Jan/Feb. 2004


Coventry had to advertise for hired help and Shane decided to volunteer for the job!!! He is such a ham, and boy does he do a good job sweeping. Shane, I knew I loved you for a reason! Brianna watches in amazement!


The Classical Dressage Riders Association has accepted Kristin Hermann as an instructor/examiner for this dressage organization. For those of you who do not like to show, you can now have your riding skills tested by taking the Classical Dressager Riders exams. Go to their site to learn more... It is structured similar to Pony Club, where all riders must enter at the lowest level and work their way up. Kristin has been certified to test riders through the equivalent of the USDF's Second Level Test 4. In order to qualify for these tests, a rider must first become a member of the CDRA and also pay for each testing. For more information call 724-222-2171.

The No Spin Quote


“Successful dressage riders, regardless of their system, are able to develop the horse’s top line so it serves as a suspension bridge of musculature from the hindquarters through the back and the base of the neck to the horse’s poll. With the benefit of this bridge, the horse appears to lift his rider up through the withers and the saddle area, and the rider swings with the horse’s back. Some riders – including some who are competing at top levels – don’t understand this bridge, but once a rider has felt it, he never wants to live without it. It is the Holy Grail that the rider searches for in every ride (stride). It is the ideal for which we strive.


This ideal skeletal and muscular structure of the horse channels the power of his hindquarters and allows its energy to travel without restriction through the body to the rider’s hand. When the horse has this bridge of muscles, work is much easier for both horse and rider because the bridge mechanically enables the rider to recycle his horse’s energy with half halts that engage the hindquarters to a position where self-carriage requires less effort.” – Sue Blinks, Dressage Today.


Remember Anita, who won the WPDA Adult Walk Trot Championship? Well, she had surgery and is doing great. Soon Anita will be back in the saddle on Midnight to win Training Level in 2004. That is, she may win, or she may be reserve right behind Cheryl and Babe...Stay tuned to see how they do in 2004!

Creative Complaining (Feel free to gripe - but do it right.) This is advice from the author, Robin M Kowalski, of Complaining, Teasing, and Other Annoying Behaviors. All barn owners and boarders should read this one. As a matter of fact, everyone should read it. Just so you know, at Coventry I try to do everything right so there is no complaining, and we do an okay job. It says in the article, "If it is worth doing, it's worth doing well...". Kowalski's tips for complaining are: Don't make it personal; Do it sparingly; Have an authentic complaint; Have proof; Complain to the right person; Turn the negative into a positive. This FYI is from USA Weekend (see, I read my Sunday paper) Nov. 21-23,2003.

In Training


I am schooling my Thoroughbred in Dressage. Please advise.
You have a very nice horse. The picture is a little blurry but I can still see a lot of good qualities to your riding. What stands out is your good leg position and seat. Your heel could be down a bit to be perfect, but, hey at least you have a decent alignment from your heel, hip, shoulder and ear. It is hard to tell if you are sitting the trot or rising. If you are rising, you are on the wrong diagonal. If you are sitting, you could bring your torso back a bit. By doing this you will also help to lift your horse more toward his haunches and less on his forehand. He is tracking up nicely and shows real nice movement. But, to advance with dressage, you willl need to get him more underneath and uphill. I am sure canter/trot transitions would help to bring this to fruition. Also, by sitting more back with your torso, your hands would lower and the whip would then come to be placed just behind your leg instead of on the horse's flank. It looks as though you are a bit stiff in the shoulders as you are carrying your hands slightly, although you do have a very nice elbow to bit connection. However, to get this mount more underneath you, sit back, let your elbows drop by your hips, allow the whip forward and enjoy the ride. By sitting back you will let this horse come under and up and really express himself. I think you will be surprised at his transformation. Send me another photo in six months.

Here are some tips for the USDF Introductory Level Tests from Practical Horseman, April 2003.
These tests are the stepping stones to the USA Equestrian Training Level Tests. The double and triple points are for the twenty meter circles and the free walk. (Don't squash that walk.)
Good circles show good training, a good free walk shows purity and quality of the gaits.
The rider's position gets a triple coeficient.
Got to have a good position (seat) before you can even considering doing "dressage".

Recipe of the Month

Bran Mash

Several cups of bran or oatmeal

Carrots and apples with raisins

Sunflower seeds

Teaspoon of bee pollen

Linseed meal

Pears and/or bananas

Teaspoon of sea salt

Cup of Clarion Call Herbs

Teaspoon of garlic


Mix with warm water till it has cooked to an oatmeal consistency.

Serve to your horse.


You might be thinking there are a lot of ingredients to this bran mash. There are. The point is, you can be creative! You can use oatmeal instead of bran, you can use grain, you can add carrots or apples, or raisins, or maple syrup and molasses. You would be amazed at what our vegetarian horses will eat. Whether it is a fruit or vegetable mash will not matter to your horse. A warm tasty and steamy meal now and then at the barn is such a treat for your horse. Mix the dry ingredients at home, and bring the hot or warm water in a thermos. Voila! MMMMMMmmmm good!

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