Riders show off horsemanship at dressage event

Horse riders and horses alike had the opportunity to strut their stuff during a dressage event at the Calnash Ag Event Centre.

Dressage rider from Ponoka Megan Berg shows off her skills in front of judges Sunday

Dressage rider from Ponoka Megan Berg shows off her skills in front of judges Sunday

Horse riders and horses alike had the opportunity to strut their stuff during a dressage event at the Calnash Ag Event Centre last Saturday, May 2 and 3.

At this weekend’s event, hosted by the Parkland Area Alberta Dressage Association, riders and their horses were judged on movements that showed training and skills were improving.

President Jenni Imeson says dressage is an important part of a rider’s skills. “It is the foundation for any discipline that you’re doing,” she said.

There were actually two events hosted by the association; a Dressage Daze Wildrose event and a Dressage Daze Silver Show. Imeson says a Wildrose event is more of a grassroots show and a Silver Show is recognized nationally.

Whatever the event, the association hopes to see growth and improvements from its members.

“We hope that they bring up the riders to move on to the next level,” explained Imeson.

Ponoka rider Mikyla Schmidt has been training in the discipline since 2010 and for her, dressage helps improve her riding skills, which will help her in other competitions such as eventing. Eventing has three parts: cross country jumping, stadium jumping and dressage.

“It’s one third of your points,” said Schmidt.

Kianna Green, another Ponoka competitor, feels dressage brings out the elegance in horses and everyone is willing to work together. “The people that we work with are really good so that’s always a plus,” said Green.

Her sister, Brooklynn, said she felt the training she has received from Angie Golley, of Extreme Stables west of Ponoka, is starting to come together. She found this last weekend that the hard work was starting to pay off.

Another Ponoka competitor, Hannah Sim said that while dressage may not be her favourite discipline, she knows the better she gets at it, the more it will help her at larger events.

There were several Ponoka riders competing over the weekend. Dressage is defined as the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility and balance, according to Wikipedia.