Dressage Radio Episode 204 – Kristi Wysocki and Gil Merrick Discuss Judging & the “Team Approach”


Lindsay McCall from the US Para-Equestrian Association and Co-Host Para-Dressage rider Susan Treabess speak with Kristi Wysocki and Gil Merrick.  Kristi gives her insight into judging FEI Para-Dressage and Gil talks about building a strong U.S. team from the ground level.  Listen in…

Dressage Radio Episode 204 – Show Notes and Links:


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  • Mary said:

    Just listening to the broadcast with Gil Merrick about building a “team” – it still sounds like when I was on the Sydney 2000 US team. My equestrian education was so far advanced past what my team mates had that I had a very difficult time even relating to our coaches – the coach that was assigned to me wasn’t even a gleam in her daddy’s eye when I was training and showing professionally. I resented being given riding lessons at a sub international level and I was not allowed to say anything to the contrary because I was threatened with being sent home if I in any way disagreed with my coach. I ended up with the highest individual score on the U.S. team at the Grade III level and we rode borrowed horses – on top of that I only had one day with the horse I competed, because on the day of opening ceremonies I ended up having a bad fall from the first horse that had been drawn for me because the coach would not let me school him the way he needed to be schooled in order for me to win. Evidently my 30 years of showing horses didn’t mean a thing to the folks that were coaching.
    This may sound like sour grapes – it is not – it was a wonderful experience, but not one I want to repeat and now I more fully understand why some people will do anything to make a team and why others say once is enough.
    What is needed are well enough educated instructors who are willing to take on disabled riders who have the ambition/talent to do it. Becca Hart and I shared our early U.S. coach, Linda Fritsch – Linda was well qualified and she had very well schooled horses for us to ride and learn on. We are no different than able-bodied riders we just have to get to where we want to go in a different way – and an able bodied instructor cannot tell us how – all they can do is tell us what they want the horse to do and from there we as the disabled rider have to figure out how to make it happen. If the horse is well schooled it works, if not then we have to educate the horse.
    I learned under military/cavalry instructors and love that style of teaching/training. I miss it terribly – I recently watched a George Morris jumper clinic and that was such a breath of fresh air.