After a long hiatus, our moribund website arises from the grave. Many thanks to the Chararis for getting us back up and running. Let me also introduce our new Associate Editor, Hayden Finch. “Sidd” worked with us back in the ’80s when Susan and I edited A Tip of the Hat, the New England Dressage Association’s newsletter. Prior to beginning his career in journalism, Sidd scratched his competitive itch with a brief foray into professional baseball. As we update the site, you will detect his destabilizing influence on our product.

                               WHO IS BILL WOODS?

Judging and teaching both at home in Central Florida and all around the country, Bill Woods acknowledges more than forty-five years of experience that can help you better understand and train your horse.

He has been active on the national dressage scene since 1980, his dressage specialty arising from a broad background in balance-seat work, both on the flat and over fences.

Known for his ability to outline sound, classical goals and to communicate effective techniques to riders of all levels, Bill tries to carry on the ideals and principles he learned at the American Dressage Institute and the USDF-sponsored Violet Hopkins National Instructors Seminars and which he, in turn, was tabbed by the Hopkins staff to spread to hundreds of teachers and dozens of groups throughout the US at USDF Regional Instructor Workshops.

Bill is a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist. He has trained and shown many horses from Training Level to FEI and continues to coach students both at the Florida shows and those whom he meets at clinics and then sends off to competitions, ribbons, and medals in their own areas. His students show at every level through Grand Prix.

Over thirty years of dressage judging at recognized shows give Bill a special perspective to help you understand what all judges are looking for and what it takes for you to succeed in the show arena.

From Bill–

As many of you know, Susan, my dear friend for over 44 years and my wife for the past 33, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s/Dementia in 2013. I have been her caregiver since then, but her deteriorating condition has pushed us to place her in an assisted living facility where her needs can be  served more comprehensively than I can manage at home. She will be nearby in Ocala where her friends and I can be with her often.

woods_03I can’t express how grateful I am to many of you for the patience and kindness and love you’ve shown to us.

If there is any upside, it means I will be able to resume the teaching schedule which I had curtailed as well as the clinic and judging invitations I had to forego while all this played out. Of course, I will still be spending lots of time with Susan, but I look forward to being out and about the country and seeing many of you with your horses.

Find out more about Bill and Susan on the tabs to the left.

The tabs will also help you find your way around this site. Take particular note of Bill’s blog: BLAGGO, including the link at the bottom of the Blaggo page which will take you to over 300 archived posts. The QOTM tab connects to nearly one hundred questions sent in by readers seeking advice on all orders of dressage topics. VENI VIDI VIDEO is your gateway to a whole page of dressage videos, both educational and informative. And STORECRAZY is the link to Bill’s on line store.

A few samples of video from Bill:

As the Horse Turns
Bill clears up your questions about turns on the forehand and turns on the haunches with diagrams, explanations, and schooling exercises.

The Ins and Outs of Haunches— with examples and diagrams this new video helps you sort out the differences among all the basic lateral movements from leg yielding to shoulder in to travers, renvers, and half pass. Click here: http://youtu.be/RnMcBn63l0I

A judged USEF Test for the 4 Year Old Horse:
See how these tests are evaluated differently from normal dressage tests. http://youtu.be/EAoF8jpNnJY

Two Fantastic FEI Five Year Old Tests–
Gail Redinger’s Reserve National Championship High Score ride from Lamplight this August. Formancier scored 80.8% in this ride. The judges’ comments follow. http://youtu.be/S7nOviZaMO

Here, a wonderful video of Lucky Strike ridden by Endel Ots at Verden 2015 at the Five Year Old Championships: CLICK THIS (and gasp)

Schooling Grand Prix movements
Gail Redinger and Mitras have appeared in many videos on this site. Here they school GP movements at Bill’s September 2014 clinic prior to their trip to the Region 6 Finals.

A judged Adult Amateur Grand Prix Freestyle:

Eventors– Two “new” archival videos:
1976 Olympic 3 Day from Bromont. Filmed by Bill at the time as a Super8mm movie, recently converted to video with an added voice track. See the US gold medal team and top riders of the 70s from around the world. 37 minutes. Click below: 

1977 Ledyard International Horse Trials. Created as above. With narration, the top US riders plus the Brits. Germans, Canadians, and riders from 3 other countries. 26 minutes. Click below:


Berlin Quadrille featuring Reiner Klimke
This is a reproduction of a VHS tape given to me more than 25 years ago by Gen Jonathan Burton. He thought it was done in Berlin, probably sometime after the ’84 Olympics. The lead rider is Olympic gold medalist Reiner Klimke on Ahlerich. Second in the line, I believe is Gabriella Grillo. General Burton said he thought the riders had barely any rehearsal before the performance, but it is great fun to see these 12 international riders all working together.

Hit the VENI VIDI VIDEO tab for bunches more!