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Dressage Weekend at MDA


By Prairie Night Sky
On a rainy January weekend, Tricia Bratton of West TN Pony Club (WTPC) noted, “Rather than being cooped up with no chance to ride, we (WTPC) had two days of fun and learning with friends in a top-notch facility” during the WTPC's annual “Dressage Weekend” at the Mid-South Dressage Academy (MDA), Hernando, MS.

“Dressage Weekend” was the brainchild of Mary Burrows, whose family has been involved in WTPC for multiple generations. Knowing how important dressage is to the fundamentals of riding, yet understanding that the last thing most young riders want to do is walk their mounts around a ring working on precision movements, she came up with a way to expose the young riders to dressage while making it fun. It is now one of the highlights of the West TN Pony club's annual events calendar.

Club members brought their horses, and practiced horse management skills by being responsible for the care of their horses and stalls during the weekend. On the first day, members had individual lessons with MDA instructors, Anna Spear and Ila Handy. 

After lessons, un-mounted clinics led by upper level Pony Clubbers and parents covered topics such as bandaging, ground manners, natural horsemanship, basics of dressage, how to ace formal inspections, and the ever-popular, fun learning games. The entire weekend was packed with educational material disguised as a slumber party with horses!
The weekend closed with a mock dressage show, where members tested their new skills and had the experience of feeling what it is like to perform a specific test while being judged. Finishing with relaxed fun, members learned basic quadrille moves and how to safely ride in a group.

It was a wonderful weekend for the club members. Pony Club parent Tricia Bratton said, “We are thankful for our Pony Club friendships that we know will last a lifetime!”

Newly elected WTPC District Commissioner Vonna Read is an avid dressage rider and was “proud of every kid out there learning how to ride a dressage test!” For more information on WTPC, email horsey.acct@yahoo.comor call Vonna Read901-861-7604.

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