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Bonnie Stetson (2017)

I wish to convey a heartfelt thank you to the Dressage Foundation for awarding me a Trip Harting Fund Grant toward the L Program. As a Graduate A Pony Clubber, I felt fortunate to have such a resource available and am honored to have been chosen as a recipient this year.

I have completed Sessions A, B, and C of Part I of the L Program hosted by the Western New York Dressage Association in beautiful East Aurora, New York. The program was very well organized by Rikki Bruckman and Dr. Deb Kondoff with the practical sessions hosted by Steve Nelson and Carol Heckman at their lovely Fox Run Dressage also in East Aurora.

All three sessions were wonderful experiences that were educational and challenging. Each session was taught by a different instructor with an extensive judging, competition and teaching background. This provided us with three different perspectives and sets of personal experiences which enriched the information but still adhered to a standard. Participating in Part I has helped me to become more focused on understanding the structure and interrelationships in the Pyramid of Training. This is not only important for being able to judge clearly and consistently to help riders with their horses but in addition has helped me improve my own teaching and training.

The L Program Part I is carefully structured and helped me form a clear understanding of Training, First and Second Levels, building my confidence in what I am looking for and looking at as a judge. I plan to go on to complete Part II as well. I am grateful for the opportunity the Trip Harting Fund afforded me in attending Part I of the L Program.