Western Dressage Gaining Ground in Florida

It was a trifecta weekend for Western Dressage and everyone who attended… Won!

WDAFL-Meeting2013aOn Friday, November 15, 2013, the 2 day Ride Well Western Dressage Clinic, presented by Palm Partnership Training at the beautiful Fox Grove Farm in Ocala FL, kicked off this fun and exciting three days.  10 different riders from 6 states, as well as 15 auditors, were inspired by lectures, demonstrations and personal riding instruction from Lynn Palm and her husband Cyril Pittion-Rossillon.

The WDAFL interim board realized that this would be great opportunity to tie into the clinic, so the first annual meeting took place after the end of the clinic, Saturday evening November 16, 2013.  With the interim board being together in person only one time, and with just a phone conference the week before, the meeting was a huge success! Refreshments were provided by the board members who also donated items for a drawing.  We had WDAFL t-shirts made and sold most of them.  With approximately 50 people in attendance, the room was completely energized with excitement for this new discipline – Western Dressage.

WDAFL-Meeting2013Marie-Frances Davis, Vice President, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone.  After introductions were made I gave the president’s report stressing the importance of growing this association, encouraging everyone to share their enthusiasm for this new and exciting sport, and reminding everyone that we are the “grass roots” of this club.  Daryl Leonard, Treasurer, went over the Treasurer’s report and number of current members.  She also conducted the official vote for the board (members only voting), and in addition to the persons already mentioned, Angelyn Trimble (Secretary), Pam Neff, and Dru Travis were approved.  Our website and Facebook pages were discussed and everyone was asked what they would like to see on these social sites.  Many good ideas were generated on this topic.  Three different members spoke about their experiences at the WDAA World Show and Convention just a few weeks before, giving all of us wonderful insight into this first event for WD.  Another member shared her trip to WDAA Train-the- Trainers clinic this past summer in Ohio, generating much interest in this event.

Lively topics were brought up as to what would members like to see in the future, and out of one of these discussions our first committee was created.  The idea of an end-of-the-year high point award was met with such excitement and interest that when we asked who would like to be part of a committee to get this going, several hands shot up in the air!  Shortly after the meeting was adjourned, a group of dynamic women were already at work.

WDAFL-Meeting2013bTowards the end of the meeting the board offered a membership drive incentive: any member that refers 4 new members in the calendar year will receive a free year membership in WDAFL, once again stressing the importance of growing the group so we can offer more to all.  We ended the meeting with the drawing and raffle, which was a fun way to bring the meeting to a close.

Sunday was the schooling show which gave the participants in the WD clinic an opportunity to show what they had learned and, for many, a chance to see Western Dressage in action for the first time.  Karen Abbattista, from Sarasota FL, judged 27 different tests, ridden in all 4 levels.  I had the opportunity to meet and speak with several folks at our WDAFL table about Western Dressage.  Many had heard of it and had an interest in it, but had never seen it in person.  The remarks and comments were all very positive.  Everyone walked away with information and an understanding of what western dressage is all about.

This was a positive and great beginning for this amazing new discipline.  In total we had 21 new members join from the meeting and another 3 joined at the schooling show, so our membership is now at 47 and growing!

A huge thank you to Lynn Palm and her husband Cyril for their hospitality, inspiration and for hosting this event.

Look Up & Think forward

Lynn Shinkle
President, WDAFL

For more information about Western Dressage in Florida and the WDA of Florida Affiliate, visit their Website at http://www.wdafl.org

One Response to “Western Dressage Gaining Ground in Florida