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Team #686 Sandra Hyde and Flo

Team #686: Sandra Hyde and Flo
From: Peabody, Massachusetts
Ages: 75 & 25
Combined Age: 100
Test: Introductory Level Test B
Date: August 13, 2023

As a child, I did not have the opportunity to indulge in my horse addiction. But when I became old enough to earn my own income, I began taking riding lessons, beginning with hunt seat and an introduction to jumping. After getting married I went for a long period without horses in my life due to work and other commitments but knew that wasn’t permanent.  After lots of lessons, both English and Western, I bought my first horse together with a friend. After a bad fall, I purchased a three-quarter Arabian, one-quarter Morgan gelding whom I had for 23 years and rode and showed primarily Saddleseat.  After he passed at the age of 34, I leased or half-leased several different horses in my quest to learn dressage.

A friend and I leased a beautiful Hanoverian mare, and when the lease ended the owner wanted her back. The friend I was leasing with contacted several trainers, when Aspen came into our lives as a 22-year-old Hanoverian/Thoroughbred cross, 17-hand schoolmaster whose owner had too many horses and was looking for an on-farm lease. We each half-leased him for about a year when my friend decided to look for a younger horse. As luck would have it, Aspen’s owner offered him to me. At that point, I called a friend who had recently lost her horse to see if she would be interested in half-leasing him. After one lesson she was hooked, and it became a wonderful partnership. In fact, she completed her Century Club ride a month before me!

I was able to complete my first Century Club ride in September of 2020 on my then 28-year-old horse Aspen, whom I lost this past March 2023. Having turned 75 this year, a fellow boarder, Michael Pasquale, suggested I ride his registered Hanoverian mare, Flo, in a Century Club ride this year, since she had just turned 25 in January. This offer took me totally by surprise. I had never ridden her before, but she had a stellar dressage background at Second Level and was a horse I had always admired from afar. I had reservations about riding her, but Michael didn’t give me time to procrastinate. It was time to submit the entry form for the August show at our barn. He said to take a few lessons on her before the show and “just do it!” 

After just five lessons from my trainer, Lynda Angstadt, she gave me the confidence I needed to go forward. On August 13, 2023, I rode Flo in the Introductory Level Test B and was incredibly pleased with the results. Flo was wonderful and I had one of my best rides ever!

Many thanks to Michael Pasquale for encouraging me to ride his beautiful mare, my husband for his support, my trainer, Lynda Angstadt, and the support and inspiration I received from my fellow boarders. I am so happy to have completed my second Century Club ride, and again thank The Dressage Foundation for this opportunity.