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Anne Gribbons

June 6, 2005

Renewed By Old And New Information

"Don't be afraid to ask us anything," said Linda Zang when she and Hanne Valentin, of Denmark, opened the seminar for USEF-licensed dressage judges in Orlando, Fla., in March. Such a statement could easily render 50 judges mute in an instant. But the way she said it gave us all confidence that is was safe to let it all hang out.

Throughout the forum, the two FEI O-rated judges patiently responded to every one of our questions and added anecdotes from their own experiences in the field.

May 26, 2005

What A Way To Present Dressage--Las Vegas Style!

The lights in the Thomas & Mack sports arena dimmed, and people hurried with their popcorn to get to their seats before Clint Holmes started singing the first notes of the National Anthem. At the end, a roar went up from the audience, tiny fireworks lit the arena, and a light show swept around the walls as the stage was raised into the ceiling.

We were ready for the game to begin. What game? Would you believe Grand Prix dressage?

May 16, 2005

It's Really A Gamble To Predict Who's Going To Win The Dressage Final

The World Cup Final has always been of special interest to me, because I believe strongly that music has the ability to bring out the art in our sport.

Having followed the birth and evolution of the Dressage World Cup, I was so pleased to have the opportunity to judge the finals last year in Dusseldorf (Germany). Although there was a very strong field of competitors then, it looks like this year will be the "hottest" yet, since almost all of the top horses from each country are actually up and running toward Las Vegas.

April 14, 2005

Riding Starts With A Solid Foundation

Watching a new generation of dressage riders come along, I cannot help but notice that in spite of all our efforts to educate, help out and sponsor our up-and-coming riders, the final results are almost entirely dependent on having a firm base on which to build.

March 8, 2005

Of Whips, Music, Pirouettes And Tails

January's U.S. Equestrian Federation convention in Louisville, Ky., was like a big sigh of relief. After the many years of battle between the former U.S.
Equestrian Team and the AHSA/USAEq, the dust has finally settled and the tension is mercifully gone. Once again we can all work together without worrying about "whose side" anybody is on.

The whole ordeal was uncomfortable and maddening for people like me, who had worked across the lines for years and basically liked the people in both camps. So it's great to be back on track.

February 11, 2005

2004--A Year With A Dark Side

For some reason, I'm less content with the past year of American dressage than I've ever been before. And when I try to analyze it, it doesn't make any sense.

February 11, 2005

Between Rounds Dressage: 2004--A Year With A Dark Side

For some reason, I'm less content with the past year of American dressage than I've ever been before. And when I try to analyze it, it doesn't make any sense.

January 10, 2005

Two Books I Recommend For All Riders

Like a lot of people, I have trouble dealing with manuals, operating instructions and "how-to" books. I grind my teeth at just the thought of going through the hand-holding details, only to find that in the end the obvious has now been made obscure.

So, it took a bit of determination to dive into not one, but two, "how-to" books written by my fellow trainers and competitors, only to find that their books will do nothing to cure your insomnia or dull your mind.

November 29, 2004

Championships Are Really A Question Of Standards

When you consider the concept of a championship, is it not a picture of ability, polish and style? Don't you expect confidence, excellence and finesse in the performances, something beyond the everyday, a higher level of accomplishment?

November 13, 2004

You Want To Win More Than Just The Warm-Up

The most interesting spectator position at a dressage show isn't necessarily the competition ring. Both competitors and trainers know that a class can be lost or won in the schooling area, and that what happens in the test is sometimes just a reflection of the events there.

The "test" really starts when you arrive in the schooling area. For each horse I've brought up the levels, the preparation for competition has been a little different, and it can take several shows on a new horse to figure out what formula works for him.

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