Western Dressage Therapeutic Riding Division Debut at Preston Horse Farm PVDA Show

On April 15th 2018 PVDA hosted a Dressage Schooling Show at Preston Horse Farm (owned by Becky Langwost-Barlow). At this show we (Courageous Hearts Horsemanship) were able to debut an idea, passion, and dream of ours to have a division for riders with special needs and abilities to be able to show in dressage. It has taken a long time to develop a program that would meet the dressage standards, as well as meet the needs of therapeutic riding and horsemanship. We are so excited that PVDA has supported our passion and helped us make this a reality for our riders and their families and hopefully more riders to come!

Who are we? Courageous Hearts Horsemanship is a non-profit therapeutic riding and horsemanship program that operates at Windy Way Horses at 6836 East New Market-Ellwood Road, Hurlock, MD. Our organization utilizes support from our community in order to serve local children and adults with special abilities, needs and gifts, as well as veterans, military, and individuals and families that are battling or have survived cancer. CHH provides equine assisted activities to participants year round through our mission: Making a difference for everyone in need; for body, mind, and spirit through God and horses. Horses help us understand our struggles and give us the emotional and physical support we need to overcome challenges.

Our program at CHH has used the many rewarding aspects of Dressage and incorporated it into our riding program for riders with special needs. The union between therapeutic riding and western or traditional

dressage is a great way to use a highly respected riding discipline to help therapeutic riders achieve their best equitation, while improving their balance, focus, and confidence with achievement at all levels. We have worked very hard at creating “Western Dressage Therapeutic Riding” tests that would use dressage and the needs of therapeutic riding- that supports having the physical need of leaders and side-walkers, as well as the emotional support of a coach to help during the test.

We finally got to debut this idea on April 15th with the help of PVDA. We are giving a huge THANK YOU to PVDA- board of directors and show managers for allowing this opportunity and really making it happen. Thank you to Ulla Parker for her constant assistance and support of our program, and Becky Langwost-Barlow for her support of our program, and allowing us to use her awesome farm for this division. Our riders

were ecstatic over what they accomplished. For some it was another step in overcoming severe anxiety and accomplishing their riding goal, and for others it was overcoming the nerves and other physical restrictions to do their first dressage show ever, but in any case they will never forget the experience and the kindness shown. This was a wonderful experience to show how support the dressage community of the equine industry can be for those who need it. We really look forward to more dressage shows with WESTERN DRESSAGE THERAPEUTIC RIDING.

If you would like to learn more about our programs, or you are interested in supporting CHH through donations or volunteering please visit our website www.courageousheartshorsemanship.com or contact Annie Trice 443-205-3429 courageousheartshorsemanship@gmail.com.

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