Category Archives: Media Productions

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(Click on each title to see the full text) Links to articles written by Bill for USDF’s Connection
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Bill says: “Here is a collection of articles I wrote for the USDF over the years. I include them not because I think my words are especially outstanding, but because the ideas expressed by the symposium presenters I was writing about are particularly noteworthy. You can’t go wrong if you ride and train according to these principles and methods.”

Video

Over the years, Bill has created many commercially available, educational videotapes. Some of these may still be obtained through the USDF Office by calling 839-971-2277.

  • Putting Your Horse on the Bit **
  • Leg Yielding **
  • The Official USDF Introduction to Dressage
  • The 1992 National Dressage Symposium; Maj. Anders Lindgren, Eric Lette, 2 volumes.
  • The 1993 National Dressage Symposium; Wolfgang Niggli, Betsy Steiner, 3 volumes.
  • The 1994 National Dressage Symposium; Michael Poulin, Lilo Fore, 3 volumes.
  • The 1995 National Dressage Symposium; Kyra Kyrklund, Anders Lindgren, Eric Lette, 3 volumes.
  • The 1996 National Dressage Symposium; Robert Dover, Jessica Ransehousen, Hilda Gurney, Michael Poulin, 4 volumes.
  • The 1997 National Dressage Symposium; Steffan Peters, Elizabeth McMullen, 3 volumes.
  • The 1998 National Dressage Symposium; Kyra Kyrklund, 3 volumes.
  • The 1999 National Dressage Symposium; Conrad Schumacher, 4 volumes.
  • The 2001 National Dressage Symposium; Isabell Werth, 3 volumes.
  • The 2002 USDF Musical Freestyle Symposium, Jennie Loriston-Clarke, Debbie McDonald, Terri Ciotti-Gallo, 3 volumes.
  • On the Levels, the 1995 AHSA Dressage Tests, 2 volumes.

** produced by Learning Partners, Cohassett, MA


Oh, Golly! Did we forget to mention Bill’s slightly unconventional new book?
If so, that’s our oversight! Check out DRESSAGE Unscrambled on its own page (Um, time to CLICK), then buy it at your local tack shop or on-line at Trafalgar Square Books, (Horseandriderbooks.com).

Conrad Schumacher’s Rider Training Scale from the March 2000 issue

At the 1999 National Symposium Conrad Schumacher assumed that most participants were familiar with the Training Scale for the Horse from the German handbook, Principles of Riding (and featured in the USDF Instructors’ Manual). “But there’s another scale,” he said. “It is hardly ever talked about, and you won’t find it in any books.” It is a progressive scale of development for the rider.

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Conrad Schumacher and Dr Hillary Clayton on The Conformation of the Dressage Horse from the April 2000 issue

At the 1999 National Symposium, Conrad Schumacher outlined his approach in terms of the familiar Training Scale from the German handbook, Principles of Riding, and he made frequent reference to the classical figures of the “old masters.” He said at one point, “We all use the same words. The difference is in what we do.”

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“The 1996 Centennial Olympic USDF National Dressage Symposium” with Hilda Gumey, Jessica Ransehousen, Michael Poulin and Robert Dover published in Dressage Today in the summer of 1996

What better place to go “back to the future” of dressage than Orlando, Florida, home of Universal Studios, Disney, and the 1996 USDF National Dressage Symposium? Imagine all within a stone’s throw: Mickey, Goofy, Shamu, and more than 750 dressage addicts encamped at the Grand Cypress Equestrian Center for two days of exquisite lecture and demonstration. Founded on the spirit of the Violet Hopkins National Instructors’ Seminars and graciously sponsored by Footings Unlimited, the fifth annual Symposium was conducted by four of our past American Olympians.

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“Deep Thoughts” a commentary on the 2001 National Symposium, published in June 2001 issue of Connections

In all my years belonging to the USDF, the organization has always seemed about as radical as a Boy Scout who escorts little old ladies across the street. I actually remember hearing a debate about whether a chambon should be mentioned at the old National Instructors’ Seminar because it was suggested we shouldn’t let on we knew about them. So it seems somehow ironic that the USDF would come to the home of Barry Goldwater and then invite one of the world’s more controversial dressage stars to conduct its National Symposium.

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“Raising (Eyebrows) in Arizona” further thoughts on the 2001 National Symposium, published in regional newsletters in May and June of 2001

I’m looking for a polite way to explain how this April’s USDF National Dressage Symposium was “different.” Having attended every one since the inaugural symposium in 1992 and ten of the eleven National Instructors’ Seminars in the years immediately preceding them, I figure I should be allowed to make comparisons.

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“Leg Yielding”, Published in the USDF Manual for Instructors

DEFINED:

As stated in the AHSA Rules (1992-1993), “Leg yielding is the most basic of all the lateral movements and should be included in the training of the horse before he is ready for collected work.” It supples the horse, making him loose and unconstrained, and it teaches him to obey the sideways (and forward) driving aids. It is also an excellent means of teaching the novice rider to coordinate his aids.

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“My Legs Go Where?”, from Dressage Unscrambled, published by Half Halt Press, 2009

            About thirty years ago, before any of us knew what having a horse “on the aids” was all about, someone first showed me leg yielding. “You just put your inside leg behind the girth,” they said, “and you push the haunches over.” We couldn’t do it very well since the horses were, at best, on passive contact, and we had no concept of “pushing and receiving aids” or the horse being in lateral balance. At the time it didn’t mean all that much to me. We had more important fish to fry – like getting to the cross country course.

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