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Olivia LaGoy-Weltz Dressage Clinic


ALR Dressage hosted Olivia LaGoy-Weltz for a clinic September 12-14, 2014 at Massar Stables, Arlington, TN. Olivia is a USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalist, andinternational FEI competitor based in Middleburg, VA and Wellington, FL. Olivia was also the “cover girl” on the September 2014 issue of Dressage Today. Auditors were welcome, as well as riders, at the full-to-capacity clinic.

This spring, Olivia had a very successful season in Wellington, Floridaat the Global Dressage Festival (GDF) of seven intense CDIs over 12 weeks. Competing on her horse Rassing’s Lonoir, she greatly impressed Steffen Peters, America’s No. 1 rider. Olivia and her 10-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding delivered: she was the highest scoring American at Intermediate 1 at the GDF CDIs and second at Intermediate 1 only to Steffen and Rosamunde in the nation this year.

So it is without doubt why ALR Dressage was glad to welcome Olivia to Arlington, and why top riders and dressage trainers from all over the mid-south flocked to Massar to learn from her. “Everyone was super motivated and excited about everything they learned. Her combination of logical biomechanics and learning to become a more productive, effective rider/trainer can't be matched,” said Ally Rogers in praise of Olivia.

Olivia said that in a clinic she likes to work with both riders and their trainers to “look for the next piece” that will help the rider and horse “get over a hump” to improve their performance.  She said that she particularly works well with Ally Rogers, of ALR Dressage. “These clinics are always fun; Ally is always involved,” she said.

Olivia begins with evaluating the rider’s body alignment and the horse’s personality during the warm up. “Lower level riders often cannot tell how the horse may be feeling. It may be different from how they look,” she explained. Problems could be “the basics.” For example, “bad changes are a reason to go back to the basics. We may find that position and biometrics are at odds. If the rider is open to changing, things will improve. The horse has to get with the program as well,” she added. “We all need eyes on the ground and to work with our trainer.” She reevaluates each rider with each of the different horses they may ride. She said that she likes to use techniques to create a “micro feel for the rider” that will get the most rapid changes in their riding. For example, she will request the rider to sit “up to the vertical” and then ask “How does that feel to you?” Then she will use the rider’s own terminology to talk about the rider’s change in feel. She gets feedback so she can talk to the rider in his/her own terms for better clarity in communication. 

Olivia’s next stop: Dressage at Devon, September 23-28. She finished first with Rassing’s Lonoir in Intermediaire I with a score of 71.184%. The pair also upped their game in the Prix St. Georges, scoring 73.772%. She was thrilled to receive a 9 from one judge and 8s from others on her rider score in the Prix St. Georges. On September 28, the pair added a victory in the Intermediaire I Freestyle to their weekend’s collection, scoring 74.3%.

Find more information on Olivia at her website at  and on facebook: LivDressage – Olivia-La-Goy-Weltz.

Saddle Fitting. The week following the dressage clinic, ALR Dressage welcomed Kate Wooten of English Saddle Fit in Tennessee to Massar for two days of saddles fittings, September 17-18. “What a fun, professional lady and fount of information,” commented Rogers. Wooten is a firm believer in the fact that “if your saddle isn’t a good fit for both you and your horse, then you cannot make the most of your training and riding.” Wooten works on all brands of saddles and strives to be “an affordable part of the routine maintenance of your horse.” She supplies new saddles and has quality used saddles for sale on consignment. Find more about Wooten at: www.englishsaddlefit.comor on Facebook English-Saddle-Fit-in-Tennessee.

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