Welcome!

Dressage Darling is dedicated to the concept of using core dressage fundamentals in a variety of disciplines to improve strength and balance in both the horse and rider. These values, combined with foundation principles of natural horsemanship, help to develop strong connections between horse and rider. As of today, the Dressage Darling riding program is currently at full capacity. Please check in for updates and openings🙂

Brooms are for amateurs!

Hello EveHalloweenPotluckFlyerryone,
It’s officially Fall and I can feel it! Halloween is right around the corner and I would like to cordially invite you all to Crystal Spring Equestrian Center’s Halloween Potluck Event🙂

This year KG Dressage is teaming up with Red Horse Stables to provide a fun night of ghoulish games without the spook! We will be hosting a costume contest, bobbing for apples, hunting through a hay stack and feasting on a delicious potluck dinner.

We shall see you on:
Thursday, October 30th @ 6:30PM
at Crystal Springs Equestrian Center
Oregon City, OR

Keep Moving Forward!

As I tell all my students, “keep your eyes up and look at what is ahead of you…”
I have recently been offered an immediate Lead Teaching & Training position at Crystal Springs Equestrian Center close by in Oregon City. I will be graciously & gratefully accepting this wonderful opportunity and transitioning over to the new facility throughout the remainder of this month. My school horses will be arriving no later than the 1st of September. My hope is to use the first week of September to get the horses acclimated and focused at the barn while my younger students get through that first “back to school week”  :)

I would like to thank you all again for your support in transitioning with me the first time! I know this is the right step to advance my equine career. This position will allow me to focus on my training and instruction more than ever before. I am genuinely very honored and excited about what I have to look forward to with this amazing and sudden opportunity. Cheers to this next round!

Thank You!

Thank you everyone for attending my Open House Fun-Day this last Saturday. We had some great sunny weather, a delicious spread, and some very successful team building among the girls! I had so much fun working with all my students and I look forward to hosting more day camps and events this summer. I hope to have an open photo gallery up on here soon with all the photos for you helpful & supportive parents!
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Kiera & I braiding up CalistoSkylar Helping her Little SisterListen Up for the Rules!Kelly helping Abigail with Calisto's HoovesKadi and Skylar Grooming ArmaniKiera Getting Straight to Work

We Are Moving!

This last yImageear has been a fantastic experience working out of Sunny Slope Stables. However, after a lot of thought and financial planning, I have come to the honest conclusion I must move on to expand my program & continue pursing my dream in the equine industry.
I would like to invite you to join me as I relocate to a different facility (close by) in Boring, Or. Lessons will cease at Sunny Slope on May 9th and begin again effectively on May 12th, 2014 (subject to change). I will be providing the same schedule, rates & package options to all my loyal clients! 
Thank you everyone for making this year so wonderfully successful. I am very fortunate to have such a passionate group of students who are wanting to continue on & stick with me🙂

The new barn is still under construction until our opening, tentatively set for May 10th, 2014. Stay tuned for details!

Learning to Feel

Recently, I was able to go on vacation and take part in something called… total relaxation. 
I left my horses in good hands and felt confident that, upon my return, they would be of good nature and ready to get back to work as well. I spent a great deal of time reading- which is rare for me because I am never able to justify sitting in one spot for more than 10 minutes.

I chose to read “Centered Riding” by Sally Swift. I won’t say it changed my life but I WILL say it enhanced everything I believe in as a rider. Swift was on the forefront of discovering the connection of body mechanics between horse & rider- she is a legend in the dressage world, although, I believe her words would be beneficial to any style of proper riding. 

As a visual learner, I sincerely appreciated the pictorials and graphics that coincided with the text. Here are a few goodies to share:
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Mission: Rehab Road

therapyThis is Armani, I named him myself because he didn’t have a name when I got him. He is about 16 hands and gorgeous- that’s all I really know for sure. I purchased Armani for $200 at the Eugene Livestock Auction in Eugene, Oregon. His charming personality, pitiful eyes, and my weakness for grays is what sold me.
At first, I was hesitant on bidding because of his hooves. He has a large crack up his inside left hoof wall that meets his coronet band. It looks ugly, but doesn’t seem to be affecting his movement. With corrective trimmings and proper upkeep, I think this cosmetic mishap can dissipate over time. His weight was average but he was tied up in his stall/cell waiting for the auction to begin… the fact that he was tied was my real “Red Flag”. I untied him and walked him around a bit in his stall. Then asked him to trot a little for me, he was definitely off but it wasn’t clear (in that small of an area) what was hurting- or what was hurting the most.  As the auction began, I clenched my number tight as I waited for him to come out. I thought maybe if I could see him move better in the bidding arena, I would be able to make a more educated and rational decision.  He came out. He came out lame, and I threw my number up anyway.
I unloaded him from the trailer around 8 PM that night and it wasn’t until close to midnight that I left the barn. With the help of my partner and farrier, we discovered at least one abscess on each hoof.  This was good news for me! I can manage abscesses all day long, no problem.
After a 2 week (apprx.) healing period, the work began. He was sore in his hind end- not the giant crack in his front left but his HIND end! I’ve dealt with hock issues and this was certainly not a road I wanted to travel. In effort to rule out my fear of routine hock maintenance and expenses… I called Sarah Orloff of Topline Massage. She came out and worked wonders! It was magical. She worked his knots and stretched him out like no tomorrow. Plus, she gave me a massage and stretching routine to keep him soft and supple. I immediately noticed a difference and continued to see results after following through with my exercises.
I’ve made the decision to continue to take it slow with Armani because he is still a work in progress both muscle-wise and also under saddle. I have no idea of his training prior to being with me, so I am treating him as I would any unstarted horse- with a respectful amount of consistency and caution.
In addition to Armani’s massage and stretching routine, I have also added a joint supplement to his diet; Dynamite’s Free & Easy® along with DynaHoof® to help strengthen and stimulate regrowth in his hooves and Dynamite Plus® to assist in regulating his pH levels.  I hope to keep track of his progress and share his story with you, here on my blog, as he advances in his recovery to become a sound, healthy and happy horse.