Dressage for Life: Catherine Haddad

Feb 24, 2010 - 7:39 AM
Photo by Michael Heinen

Dear Rita,

When I was first learning to sit the trot, Reiner Klimke was coming off his big win at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Over the following years, he spent a lot of time teaching people in the United States about dressage and its benefits to the health and well being of horses. I was training with Bodo Hangen at the time, and I got to experience firsthand the physical and mental benefits of the training on the horses in his stable.

In fact, one of the first things that attracted me to dressage was watching Bodo ride one of his own horses, a gelding called Trebiano. I was fascinated by the suppleness of his muscles, the attentive and happy expression on his face and the incredible sense of straightness, power and balance he exuded from his entire body.

While I am still learning to sit the trot, I would like to re-open the dialogue about the benefits of good dressage training in my blog. So I’m starting a new series called, “Dressage for Life.” I’d like to do some short interviews with top riders in this sport and maybe a few important people on its fringe—trainers, vets, farriers, physios, etc.

I’m going to take my video camera along to the shows and ask everyone I know to answer the following two questions:

1. What does dressage bring to your life?

2. What does dressage bring to your horse’s life?

Let’s see what kind of answers we get!

Please feel free to weigh in and let me know which people you would like to hear from. I’m only going first to get this thing started…



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