In 2012, the IEO launched some new initiatives, beginning last winter with a video clinic called, “On the Levels”. This unmounted clinic was so well attended, that we plan to do another like it in 2013. We sponsored a mounted clinic at Harmony Hill Farm with Paula Kierkegaard, which gave our members an opportunity to ride with a well-known dressage judge and clinician. Stakes classes that included money paybacks for the winners were instituted and we were treated to a demonstration of a new discipline being offered by the USEF, called western dressage. We held 5 well-attended schooling shows and finished the year with our annual Year End Awards Banquet, which offered the company of good friends, great food, a wonderful power point photo montage of our members and their horses, as well as beautiful trophies and ribbons. It was a busy and successful year and it all happened because of the efforts of incredible volunteers who donated their time and talents to help the IEO. Extra special thanks go out to retiring IEO secretary Maggie Hawn and board members Margaret Scarff and Kathy Barker for all their help.
Looking forward to 2013, we’re making plans to offer a free, unmounted Horse Management Seminar this winter that will allow our members to explore hands-on learning experiences covering topics like braiding, bandaging, basic lunging skills and rider fitness techniques. We’re starting a fun, new column for our monthly newsletter designed to introduce and profile one member a month as an easy way for us to get to know each other better. Western dressage classes are being included at our schooling shows this year, as are the new USDF Musical Freestyle Test at Training Level and the just introduced USEF Riders Tests, which are designed to highlight the correctness of the rider’s position and aids, while reducing emphasis on the horse’s gaits. More information about these clinics and the new classes will be included in upcoming issues of Close Contact, as well as in the 2013 IEO Omnibus, so stay tuned!
The officers and board members of the IEO look forward to another exciting year in 2013 and hope you plan to join us as we continue to promote dressage and offer the finest dressage schooling shows in south central Pennsylvania!
Susan Moody, IEO President