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Why a blog about Canadian dressage? Why not!
Dressage gets little enough exposure in the media as it is, and our hard-working Canadian riders tend to receive even less attention than their American and European counterparts. A big part of this blog will be to report on the news, events, and accomplishments involving Canadian riders, trainers, coaches, owners and officials.
Making a career in this sport isn't easy in Canada. Either you close up your business for four months and ship your horses halfway across the continent to compete in Florida, or you battle ice, snow, power outages, and frozen water buckets, and spend hours standing in a freezing arena trying to explain the outside rein to amateurs like me. Access to top tier coaches and international competition here is limited, extremely so outside of Southern Ontario and BC's lower mainland. Those who persist and succeed in spite of these obstacles deserve a little appreciation!
My own journey (ok, struggle) beyond Training Level will likely provide much blog fodder too. I hope to start a conversation where we can all share the highs and lows that come with pursuing perfection on a 1,500 pound animal that is afraid of puddles.
Along the way I'll talk about products, tack and equipment that I love, particularly those for the plus-sized rider. I'm a tackaholic and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Even if you can't ride good, I believe you can always look good!
But before this blog gets rolling I want to make one thing abundantly clear; I am no dressage expert. No horse or riding expert of any kind. I am a middle-aged, overweight, very rusty re-rider who struggles with First Level. But I am passionate about this sport and through my freelance writing work for various horse publications, I often get to learn from those who really are experts. I will endeavour to be very clear whether I'm sharing my own uninformed opinion, or the sage advice of those who know what they're talking about.
While I may have controversial opinions from time to time about the overall state of the sport and its governing bodies, you won't find any criticism of individual riders or performances here. Few of us are in a position to judge those riding at a level we can only dream of and this community is too small to waste time tearing people down when we should be supporting one another and building our sport up.
So...welcome to Canadian Dressage Addict! Feel free to make suggestions, share news and offer feedback in the comments section any time.