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Blogger Catherine Haddad Staller

May 1, 2012

Casey And Pentimento: Mental Prep For The First Grand Prix

Dear Rita,

All my life I have believed in excellence. Not in perfection, but in excellence. If you are pursuing perfection, you have already failed, for perfection exists all around us all of the time. Achieving perfection is simply a matter of perception.

Excellence, on the other hand, is something for which we should strive. It’s definitely worth pursuing and is defined both by the moments that bring us to now and by the moments that we can envision in our future.

April 17, 2012

The IDTC Meeting At Newmarket: Degree Of Difficulty

Dear Rita,

Occasionally dressage trainers get together to do something fun and a little less serious than the circles in the sand that fascinate us nearly every day.

If you are so lucky as to be a member of the International Dressage Trainers Club, you have the opportunity to do something fun with your fellow trainers at least once a year during the annual meeting in April. This year’s meeting was held in the famous little town of Newmarket in Great Britain.

March 19, 2012

The Emerald Forest

Dear Rita,

It seems we have some catching up to do. This winter in Germany has been long and dark, more so than any other I have experienced. We’ve had no snow, the days were incredibly short, and gray skies were the norm. Fortunately, the last few weeks have brought the scent of spring and better days to come.

November 16, 2011

The Power Of Light

Dear Rita,

This evening in Vechta the fog is so thick you could eat it with a spoon. I have heard fog described as a cloud that touches the ground. With all this moisture suspended in the air, I wonder if this cloud is formed by the tears we have all shed for Cadillac.

Thank you to everyone who has been so kind to contact me by email or Facebook and to those few of you who actually got through on the phone or came by to see me. I have guarded my privacy this week, but I am also thankful for all the good wishes from friends, family and fans.

November 12, 2011

Goodbye Cadillac

Dear Rita,

In the very first blog that I wrote for The Chronicle of the Horse in February 2010, I invited my readers to join me on my quest for success in the sport of dressage while warning them that, “…this kind of journey can be full of heartbreak, joy, accomplishment and failure.“

November 9, 2011

The 2011 Global Dressage Forum

Dear Rita,

The Global Dressage Forum is an event I have always wanted to attend. Usually I am competing at the Lyon CDI-W in France on the same weekend, but this year due to my delayed return to Germany with Winyamaro, I couldn’t compete in France. So off I went to Hooge Mierde, the Netherlands, and the stable complex of the Bartels family for two days of stimulating debate and discussion. I loved it!

October 31, 2011

Throwback Thursday: American Excellence—George Morris Rides Winyamaro

Dear Rita,

Just before we left the good ole USA for Germany last week, one of the highlights of our American tour took place at the USET. George Morris, U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe, rode Winyamaro! Now, how cool is that?

October 20, 2011

To Insure Or Not To Be Sure

Dear Rita,

My summer/fall journey to the United States is drawing to a close. Anna Pettersson, Winyamaro, Gizmo and I will all fly back to Germany next week and gear up for an intense show season through the end of 2011. The Salzburg CDI****, London CDI-W and Mechelen CDI-W are all on the roster for us.

October 4, 2011

Dressage At Devon: A Look Inside the Scores

Dear Rita,

The CDI-W at Devon has renewed and confirmed my faith in American horse shows!


If you have not had a chance to attend the Saturday night freestyles at Devon, you have to put it on your Bucket List for next year. Dressage becomes a spectator sport in the Dixon Oval. This show has an atmosphere like no other, and that’s coming from yours truly who has shown at the greatest venues in Europe. Go to Devon for top sport!

September 30, 2011

Dressage at Devon: Why Competitors Like A Horse Show

Dear Rita,

Very often in my blogs, especially in videos, you hear me praise a show and tell you that it is one of my favorites. After attending a show a few weeks ago that failed to make it on my “Favored Show” list, I thought it might be interesting to write about what makes a show enjoyable for competitors—besides winning of course.

Three elements make or break a show for me: Footing, Stabling and Organization. I am going to use the Dressage At Devon CDI-W 2011 as a prime example of what to look for in a great horse show.

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