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2022 Trip Harting Fund for Pony Club Members and Graduates Grant Recipient: Christine Headley (WA)

3 amazing days of dancing with Lilo!!

I am grateful to The Dressage Foundation for awarding me the Trip Harting Fund for Graduate or Current Pony Club Members.   I was lucky enough to use the grant to participate in a three-day clinic with Lilo Fore!  Lilo is a legend, she needs no introduction. Her passion and dedication to the sport of dressage is evident in her life's story and what she has done for dressage in the US is invaluable.  I love riding with Lilo, she cares so much about correct riding and pushes me to be better! 

The mare that I rode in the clinic can be a challenge with her tension and Lilo talked to me about not thinking about where the horse was and getting stuck in thinking about the past with your training-focus on the future!  She told me to never punish a horse for making a mistake which is such important advice for the sensitive types especially. 

Lilo really reinforced in me over the weekend to ride the balance correctly and be proactive with my aids vs reactive. Lastly, she talked to me at great length about how a good Third Level horse makes a good Prix St. Georges (PSG) horse.  A horse who cannot do Third Level well will not make a good PSG horse. 

The feeling that I got from my mare on the third day- truly swinging through her back in self-carriage with such impulsion- I was smiling from ear to ear and almost moved to tears!  Riding with Lilo for three days really brought my riding and relationship with my mare to the next level. It has been wonderful to take all the knowledge back home and share it with my training horses, clients, and clinic students.  Thank you, TDF!