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The new 2019 USEF/USDF dressage tests are out now! They are effective for four years beginning December 1, 2018. Click right here to see them.

And here to read Bill’s take on them.


Bill spoke at the December ’18 Deep South Dressage and Combined Training Association Annual Awards Banquet in Fort Walton Beach, FL, recently. His stories are here. (Running time is about half an hour so find a comfortable chair some evening and a glass of wine.)

THE QUESTION OF THIS MONTH IS  RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES! (Send yours to us for an answer) The Newest:

Does it hurt them to have other people get on my horses?

BILL— It can be good or it can be bad pending on a lot of factors, namely what the riders are like and the temperament and level of training of the horse in question. The first thing to resolve is your motivation. Is this to benefit you, the other rider, or the horse?
One of the most memorable rides in my life was in December 1974 when one evening at the Poulins’ I was invited to have a short ride on a Hanoverian mare who had been the reserve horse on the Canadian team at the Munich Olympics. It was all carefully supervised of course, but it did great things for my self esteem as well as giving me a new, very meaningful reference point.
It’s a great gift to be able to bestow on someone if you have a special horse that they can learn from. That said, the most important quality that a rider must possess to be allowed to ride your horse(s) is judgment – knowing what she is capable of and what she should leave alone.

If it’s a question of allowing a person more knowledgeable than yourself to get on your horse, their judgment and your trust in them are still the operant qualities. From my personal viewpoint I feel that anyone who rides with me should–if I deem it useful–be willing to let me on their horse. I think I know enough at this point in my career not to bite off a lump I can’t chew!

I can think of several examples, however, where a rider did not want a particular clinician climbing on their horse to show off in a way that could be detrimental to his ultimate training. That is a difficult circumstance! On the other hand, If the owner knows the horse has some dangerous behavior that hides under the surface and does not want anyone else getting on, that is understandable.
Ruling out such instances, by and large it is not only valuable to get on other people‘s horses but also to see a more advanced rider working yours. Sometimes a new slant on an old problem works wonders.

The other consideration is if your horse is in an especially vulnerable stage of development. At various times “one voice” is all a horse is able to deal with, and more than one is just confusing to him.
The thing to remember is that for good or bad, anytime anyone gets on a horse he/she is training it. Deciphering what sort of experience he’ll have allows you to decide if the only boots that should go in your stirrups are yours.
One last thought–if the reason you want no one else ever on your horse is that you want to do it all yourself, that’s just vanity. Get over it!

ALL THE PAST QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH–NOW 100 OF THEM– AND BILL’S ANSWERS AWAIT IF YOU CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE QOTM ARCHIVES.

 


BILL’s On-Line Store — STORECRAZY — is here to provide you with items that Dover and John Nunn can’t offer. Here’s a quick sample.

CLICK HERE to find many more items you won’t want to live without!

 

From Carlie Evans, a schedule of her 2019 shows:


Liz Hirschland, Bill’s Wyoming friend and student, was recently shocked when this emerged from her open horse trailer one frosty morning!!




[A Note from Bill]

Let me introduce our 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. In his first stint with us, Sidd penned this alternative biographical sketch of me for the Dallas Dressage Club newsletter publicizing a clinic I did for that group:

Bill’s bio courtesy of Sidd Finch

            Bill Woods (not his real name) comes to the Dallas area several times a year. He and his wife, Onyx, are members of the Federal Dressage Witness Protection Program; thus, their true place of residence is unknown. Both train and compete most of the year in central Florida, often in disguise.             Bill has been teaching in Texas since the mid ‘80s, having been brought here by Lisa Brown.They had met in New Hampshire some years before, drawn together by a mutual love of hybrid roses which they tended on summer afternoons at the institution.    

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

MORE HYPE ABOUT THE TROVE OF PAST BLOGS  WHICH AWAIT YOU

If any of the following snippets pique your curiosity, you can find the story archived on this site. It’s DRESSAGE Unscrambled, with a twist—it’s free! More than two dozen dozen (more than 330) posts accessed by this click.



Remember Reiner Klimke and Ahlerich in the victory lap after their gold medal win at the ’84 LA Olympics? All those 76 one tempis in a row?  Well, for old time’s sake, click here for the instant replay!


The Horse Protection Association of Florida needs your help!

HPAF receives no state or federal funding and exists only through donations. The amount of neglected horses and horses whose owners can no longer afford to feed them has exploded recently and your donations make it possible for HPAF to continue the work of protecting and saving horses.

www.hpaf.org

“LINT IS A SHELL’S BEST FRIEND” CLICK HERE TO LEARN WHY


Quote of the Month

“We are all time travelers — just the really dull kind — ones plodding through the 4th dimension one pathetic second at a time.” (Robert Smith on NPR’s Talk of the Nation)

Quote of All Time

“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang onto, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.” Chögyam Trungpa


Click to view an important cultural icon: “Bambi Meets Godzilla”


LIFE GETTING YOU DOWN? THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS CLICK HERE FOR RELIEF OK, GO!


An audio treat for your dining and dancing pleasure? CLICK HERE


FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS — A FANCIFUL VIDEO MONTAGE TO LEONARD COHEN’S “DANCE ME TO THE END OF LOVE.” The tango sequence is from the 1992 film Scent  of a Woman.


For the One Minute Version of everything you need to know about woodsdressage.com – CLICK HERE

HAVE YOU BEEN TO SHOW BILL YET?

 

Chris Hadfield performs Space Oddity from the ISS 


CLICK HERE for a selection from Bill’s Photoshop endeavors
Below: To imprint in your mind. Harmony in the person of Col.  Kurt Albrecht von Ziegner. His mount unknown.


Carl Sagan speaks of The Pale Blue Dot. Please click below and watch this!

It’s another Monday!

If this August’s total eclipse of the sun worked for you (or if you were indoors at the movies), there’s a second showing. The date will be April 8, 2024. Visible in the US on a swath from Texas through parts of the Midwest to Buffalo. I am not going to miss it!

 

TUNY [photo], the French Bulldog , sadly crossed the rainbow bridge in November. Her position as the official Safety Coordinator of this website has been passed along to Alan, the new Frenchie puppy. He has been getting up to speed on the Manual. If as you’re reading, he issues the “Duck and Cover” instruction, please climb under your desk and assume the position until he issues her All Clear announcement.

While Alan [below] may appear to be very youthful for these responsibilities, he has assumed the mantle and hopes to grow old as he carries out his duties.