Qualia Dressage LLC

Qualia Dressage LLC USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist, offering dressage training and instruction with aim of bringing out the best in every horse and rider.
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Dressage training and instruction with aim of bringing out the best in every horse and rider.

Operating as usual

Why Good Basics Are So Important in Dressage
04/12/2021
Why Good Basics Are So Important in Dressage

Why Good Basics Are So Important in Dressage

Gabriel Armando draws on his personal experience to explain why all dressage riders need a solid foundation of basic skills.

04/12/2021

Hansi’s last Fourth Level Test 3 from this weekend, winning with a 70.69%. Chipping away at having more confidence in the ring. He is such a good boy. 🖤

We had a great weekend at the VADA/NOVA Spring show! First off, congratulations to our newest USDF Bronze medalist, Kath...
04/12/2021

We had a great weekend at the VADA/NOVA Spring show!

First off, congratulations to our newest USDF Bronze medalist, Kathy Curtis! She and her sweet boy Hynder Fan Dijkmaniastate (“Jimi”) had some tension issues on Saturday morning, but came back strong to earn scores of 63.51% and 64.59% at 3-1 for 1st and 5th.

Jessie Ginsburg had a great I-1 with her Vodermus for a win on a 66.17%.

Abby Rowe and Freewill did their first NAYC qualifier and came away with two wins and scores of 66%+ in both the Team and Individual FEI Junior tests.

Lisa Rowe got her feet wet with my Wachenheim for a 60% and 6th place in the PSG—looking forward to more from this great team.

Carol Thomas and Gentle won her 2-3 class with a 65.95%, and was third in her freestyle class with a 64.73%.

My Hans was #enfuego as always. 🔥 We had some mistakes Saturday but came away with a 66.11% and a win at 4-3. Sunday he was more settled and we had a nice go for a 70.69%, another win and Fourth Level High Score.

Our group split into two teams for the GMO Challenge, and ended up second and third.

Thank you VADA/NoVA for a fantastic show! Thanks as well to my sponsor, Custom Saddlery, and my wonderful fitters Cate & Theresa - Maryland Certified Saddle Fitters.

Baby T, Tryon poster boy! Can’t say I blame them, he is very photogenic. 🥰 #dressage #tryoninternationalequestriancenter...
04/07/2021

Baby T, Tryon poster boy! Can’t say I blame them, he is very photogenic. 🥰 #dressage #tryoninternationalequestriancenter #tindernoodle #oldenburgsofinstagram #oldenburghorse

Baby T, Tryon poster boy! Can’t say I blame them, he is very photogenic. 🥰 #dressage #tryoninternationalequestriancenter #tindernoodle #oldenburgsofinstagram #oldenburghorse

04/04/2021

At clinics, rarely do I get to help people with advanced work (even if they think they are ready for it) because usually the basics are “ok”. When you try to build advanced movements out of “ok” basics you end up with trouble in that movement.

Basics are hard, mostly because they can seem ok, but it’s the details that matter.

I was recently chatting with a friend who is an Olympic showjumping coach. He has competed at 3 Olympic Games and has coached his National team at 3 others.

I said to him “ you do lots of clinics around the world, do you ever run into people that can jump say, a metre, but want to jump higher, but in order to jump higher you have to take them back to the start, back to ground rails ?”

“All the time”, he said. “I rarely encounter anyone who wants to jump higher and is ready for it.”

Once you get the basics really good, the “hard” things are actually easy. It sounds completely backwards to most people, but once you get your head around it, the game changes completely.

Qualia Dressage has an opening coming available for a partial or full training horse. Our program focuses on teaching co...
03/31/2021

Qualia Dressage has an opening coming available for a partial or full training horse. Our program focuses on teaching correct equitation and clarity of aids to riders, and developing horses up the levels with thoughtful, systematic training. We have helped students earn USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, and earn placings at regional and national championships. Whether your goals include competitive success or not, we would love to guide you on your journey.

Trainer Siobhan Byrne is a USDF Gold Medalist who has brought multiple horses up the levels to FEI. She endeavors to create thoughtful riders who understand the choice and application of exercises to improve the horse.

We are located at Locks Edge in Poolesville, Maryland. A premier dressage facility, Locks Edge offers extensive turnout, a large, bright indoor with dust-free footing, and numerous other amenities. We have a wonderful, supportive community of passionate dressage riders at all levels.

For more information, visit www.qualiadressage.com and PM or email [email protected].

03/29/2021

Basics, basics, basics. Super clinic with Jeremy Steinberg working on all the good stuff: thoroughness, straightness, adjustability. While it may not have been super exciting to anyone watching, the feel I got from Hans (especially in today’s trot work, which unfortunately I have no video of! 😩) gave me chills. Love this special boy so much. 🖤 #handsomehansi #dressage #dressagehorsesofinstagram #dressurpferd #roadtograndprix #kwpnhorse #equestrian

Timeline Photos
03/13/2021

Timeline Photos

// Training Tip Tuesday - Proportional use of aids //

Horses become dull to the aids when riders nag with their legs, reins or seat. As a result, the leg aids don’t mean accelerate anymore, the rein aids don’t mean slow and the rider is working too hard. Horses become dull and cease to respond to the aids because of the lack of release and unrelenting pressure.

If the rider finds themselves nagging with their legs to keep going, try going up a gait every time you feel pressure on the calves.

As a rule of training, it is important for horses to learn that a stronger aid should produce a bigger response. For example, if to ask the horse to walk on from the halt we use, let’s say, a squeeze pressure of 4 out of 10, then to ask the horse to go from halt to trot, the pressure of the squeeze should be more like a pressure of 6 out of 10. Therefore, anything lighter than this can simply mean faster within the gait.

Riders who nag will often be riding with a constant pressure of 4 or more out of 10 just to ask the horse to keep going. This is why re-training the go response by going up a gait every time you have to apply the leg makes a lot of sense. A change of gait is easier for the rider to feel than a sensation of going faster and they will be able to reward the response more clearly.

These exercises produce good results in a very short space of time if transitions are made often. With repetitions, the horse learns to respond to lighter pressure and postural cues, and self-carriage will be achieved.

This is an excerpt of the article series 'Boost Your Dressage Scores', available to purchase here: https://www.esi-education.com/product/boost-your-dressage-scores-article-series-1-14/

Thank you It's a Horse Life Photography for these amazing photos from the show last weekend.
03/01/2021

Thank you It's a Horse Life Photography for these amazing photos from the show last weekend.

Thank you VADA/NOVA, for the beautiful jacket and ribbon for year-end awards! Hans was Third Level Open Champion with an...
02/28/2021

Thank you VADA/NOVA, for the beautiful jacket and ribbon for year-end awards! Hans was Third Level Open Champion with an average of 71.594%.

Congratulations to my students who also won awards: Jessie Ginsburg with Vodermus was Champion Intermediate-1 Adult Amateur, and Carol Thomas with Gentle and First Freda was Champion and Reserve Champion Second Level Amateur, and Reserve Champion and 5th in Musical Freestyle Adult Amateur.

Thank you VADA/NOVA, for the beautiful jacket and ribbon for year-end awards! Hans was Third Level Open Champion with an average of 71.594%.

Congratulations to my students who also won awards: Jessie Ginsburg with Vodermus was Champion Intermediate-1 Adult Amateur, and Carol Thomas with Gentle and First Freda was Champion and Reserve Champion Second Level Amateur, and Reserve Champion and 5th in Musical Freestyle Adult Amateur.

02/21/2021

Super proud of Hans for earning a 68.56 in his first Developing PSG. 🖤 He has only been to three shows in his life and wasn’t started until he was 5. For him be so rideable at a huge venue when it’s 31 degrees out with gusting winds (🥶) makes me proud of our partnership. He just needs a little mileage for me to be able to amp up the power a bit. 🚀

Huge thank you to Jeremy Steinberg for his help and support this week. Thank you as well to Custom Saddlery and Cate & Theresa - Maryland Certified Saddle Fitters—love riding in Custom Saddlery saddles and I’m proud and grateful to be a sponsored rider.

Timeline Photos
02/13/2021

Timeline Photos

Once you know the mechanics you can add as much art as you like. At any rate, in the classical literature, the word art did not mean art as we know it, it meant the mechanistic rule-governed work of the Artisan.

When we start horse training at ESI, we start with these basic responses: Stop, Go & Turn (forelegs and hind legs). All further movements and responses stem from these basic responses, and any problems can be solved by checking for errors in these basic responses, to find where the real problem lies. It really is as simple as that.

If you're interested in science-based learning of horse training mechanics, have a look at our website and explore our range of different courses, tools and books: https://www.esi-education.com/

All four of my beautiful boys enjoying the snow. ❄️🖤 #snowday #handsomehansi #tindernoodle #squawkiwaki #devilmouse #dre...
02/07/2021

All four of my beautiful boys enjoying the snow. ❄️🖤 #snowday #handsomehansi #tindernoodle #squawkiwaki #devilmouse #dressagehorse #dressagehorsesofinstagram #hanoverian #oldenburghorse #kwpnhorse

Incredibly proud of Jessie and her wonderful partner, Vodie. 🎉
01/31/2021

Incredibly proud of Jessie and her wonderful partner, Vodie. 🎉

Jessie Ginsburg and Vodermus -- Reserve Champion, Intermediaire 1 Dressage

What a year! There were lows (not being able to ride for nearly 7 weeks at the start of the COVID lockdowns because, in Maryland, barns were closed to boarders) to highs (winning the AA PSG Reserve Champion at the USDF Region 1 GAIG championship). In between were struggles getting back into the swing of showing, with our first show not being until July. But throughout, I was lucky to have my supportive, keen-eyed trainer, Siobhan Byrne; my great dressage support network of friends at Locks Edge and on Facebook; my sister, Liz, who is becoming a DQ herself; and my husband, Ken, who doesn’t quite get the horse obsession but supports it anyway. Of course, I am incredibly fortunate to have my amazing dressage partner Vodermus, aka Vodie, an 18-year old Dutch collection machine, who teaches me that everything is possible with correct aids.

This year I achieved my goal of obtaining the final scores I need to apply for the R dressage judging program - with the last score of 66.9% coming on my final test of the season in my championship class. For 2021, I plan to compete the I-1 freestyle I am currently developing and hope that by the end of the season I will be moving up to I-2. With Vodie, anything is possible - with correct aids!

I just want to close with a recognition that this all seems so frivolous when I think of those who have suffered and are continuing to experience all kinds of terrible losses due to COVID, as well as the horrifying challenges society has faced all year on other fronts. I feel lucky to have riding as a legal escape from these realities, and to have our dressage organizations that went into uncharted territory this year to allow us to continue competing at the sport we love while keeping us all safe. Hoping 2021 allows a return to normalcy for all of us.

Photo by Pics of You.

01/25/2021

Hans playing with some canter pirouette work this morning. A 7:00am lesson is a little rough in this cold weather, but riding a wonderful horse in the beautiful morning light makes it totally worth it. 🖤#handsomehansi #dressage #dressagetraining #dressurpferd #canterpirouette #roadtograndprix #kwpnhorse #equestrian

01/24/2021

It was freezing cold 🥶 this morning, but Hans was #enfuego ! Every ride on this amazing horse is a gift. 🖤Thank you @jeremy_steinberg for the great lesson and @sas_sport_horses for the video. #dressagehorse #dressagetraining #dressagerider #dressurpferde #kwpnhorse #roadtograndprix #handsomehansi

Amazing sunset for my final ride of the day. #nofilterneeded #sunset #dressagerider #marylanddressage #equestrian
01/03/2021

Amazing sunset for my final ride of the day. #nofilterneeded #sunset #dressagerider #marylanddressage #equestrian

Despite all of the anxiety and uncertainty, there was plenty of good in 2020. I’m grateful for my fantastic group of fri...
01/01/2021

Despite all of the anxiety and uncertainty, there was plenty of good in 2020. I’m grateful for my fantastic group of friends and clients, who were so supportive and understanding of my physical issues this year. Not to mention my friends and colleagues (Rebecca Douglass and Sara Spofford) who took time out of their busy schedules to keep my horses going while I recovered. I am very lucky. Here’s to new dreams, goals, and adventures in 2021. My team has some big ones in mind, and I can’t wait. #dressagetrainer #dressage #equestrian #marylanddressage #newyearsgoals

Sierra and Donnlei bringing the Xmas spirit to their lesson this morning! 🎄🎁 Donnlei is a very good sport. 😂 #dressage #...
12/21/2020

Sierra and Donnlei bringing the Xmas spirit to their lesson this morning! 🎄🎁 Donnlei is a very good sport. 😂 #dressage #dressagehorsesofinstagram #swedishwarmblood #holidayspirit

Waki is so beautiful, he could be an oil painting.  🖤 #squawkiwaki #horsesofinstagram #dressagehorse #dressagehorsesofin...
12/14/2020

Waki is so beautiful, he could be an oil painting. 🖤 #squawkiwaki #horsesofinstagram #dressagehorse #dressagehorsesofinstagram #hanoverian #equestrian #dressurpferde

I’m excited and grateful to be one of the recipients of the Lindgren Instructors Grant from @dressagefoundation. I’ll be...
12/10/2020

I’m excited and grateful to be one of the recipients of the Lindgren Instructors Grant from @dressagefoundation. I’ll be using this grant to do intensive training with @teamtatedressage in April 2021. Huge thank you to The Dressage Foundation for this wonderful opportunity, it is so appreciated. #dressage #dressagetraining #dressagehorse #dressagehorsesofinstagram #equestrian

11/30/2020

Great lessons with Jeremy Steinberg this weekend. Hans was a superstar, as always. 💖 #kwpnhorse #handsomehansi #dressage #dressagehorse #dressagetraining #roadtograndprix

Looking forward to working horses with @jeremy_steinberg again this weekend. I always come away from these clinic weeken...
11/25/2020

Looking forward to working horses with @jeremy_steinberg again this weekend. I always come away from these clinic weekends energized and inspired. #dressage #dressagetraining #dressagehorse #hanoveriansofinstagram #alwayslearning #squawkiwaki

I’m very grateful to have Cate Fiolka and Theresa Keyes on my team. These ladies always take such good care of me and my...
11/18/2020

I’m very grateful to have Cate Fiolka and Theresa Keyes on my team. These ladies always take such good care of me and my clients. 🥰 Thrilled to be an @customsaddlery sponsored rider.

11/16/2020

Hans stepping it up in the long lines with Richard Malmgren @richard.malmgren yesterday. So fun to watch. Thank you Richard! #kwpnhorse #dressage #dressagetraining #longlining #roadtograndprix #handsomehansi

When your doctor tells you you’re “technically healed, but it will probably feel better if you wait a few more weeks”. S...
10/30/2020

When your doctor tells you you’re “technically healed, but it will probably feel better if you wait a few more weeks”. Sorry Dr. West. 😬 Shoulder is sore, but heart is happy. 🖤 #handsomehansi #dressagehorse #dressageridersofinstagram #kwpn #latarjet

My life goals include aging as gracefully as Mouse! He is loving the beautiful fall weather here in Maryland. #devilmous...
10/18/2020

My life goals include aging as gracefully as Mouse! He is loving the beautiful fall weather here in Maryland. #devilmouse #hanoverian #dressagehorse #retiredlife #oldiebutgoodie

So proud of my riders at the USDF Region 1 Championships this weekend. Carol Thomas and Gentle didn’t get the ideal prep...
10/12/2020

So proud of my riders at the USDF Region 1 Championships this weekend.

Carol Thomas and Gentle didn’t get the ideal preparation for this weekend—Gentle popped an ill-timed splint, and wasn’t rideable until just before the show. Despite that, they got better and better as the weekend went on, and ended up 8th in the Second Level Freestyle and 5th in the Second Level AA championship.

Abby Rowe impressed me with her poise and composure when Tigger VIII thought he was about to run cross country as she started her canter work in her First Level Jr/YR championship. 😂 Despite not having the test she wanted, she still finished 8th and rallied to a Reserve Champion finish in the 14-18 Dressage Seat Equitation Semi-Final, qualifying her for the finals at Lamplight once again.

Jessie Ginsburg achieved a major goal this weekend with her Vodermus—she earned her final score requirement for the USEF “R” judge program. The icing on the cake was that it also earned her Reserve Champion in the Prix St. Georges AA class! So much fun to see her achieve this goal she has worked so hard for.

Thank you VADA for doing an amazing job running a huge show in such tough times.

I love everything about this! No one learns effectively when they’re constantly picked at or belittled—horses or people.
09/28/2020

I love everything about this! No one learns effectively when they’re constantly picked at or belittled—horses or people.

I notice something interesting when I teach people, especially women. When I pay attention to improvements and make a big deal of them, many people are often immediately suspicious.
The conversation might go something like this:
Me: “you rode that circle very nicely!”
Student: “well I still didn’t get a good rythm, my right leg is still too tight and my horse didn’t bend well.”
Me: “ok but it still is a really nice improvement”
Student : “well it could be better”

It sometimes seems that our brains are committed to focusing on the negative aspects of our work, that we aren’t allowed to be proud of our improvements. When I ask my students to tell me something they did well, they often look visibly uncomfortable, and if they can come up with something, they add conditions to it. “I got better at x, BUT I still didn’t do y and z.” I tell them often that a successful moment doesn’t need to be described with conditions. You can be aware of what needs improvement without needing to beat yourself over the head with it.

I also think people can get accustomed to the authoritarian type teacher who just hollers your every failure at you, until you accept you are never going to be as good as them. So a teacher who compliments their improvement and draws on their strengths draws suspicion - maybe the teacher doesn’t know anything if they think *I’m* good.

The thing is, I would never in a million years teach a horse the way some people have become used to being taught. Hanging your failures over your head puts too much emphasis on your shortcomings. Yes I can see what your leg is doing, but we’ll get to that. One thing at a time. When you ride with a laundry list of your own faults, you don’t reward yourself, or notice your accomplishments - and you don’t notice the horse’s either. You can’t help it. You think you’re being hard on yourself but you’re hard on the horse too.

You are allowed to be proud of your improvements. In fact, I highly recommend it.

Address

20500 Westerly Rd
Poolesville, MD
20837

Opening Hours

Tuesday 08:00 - 20:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 20:00
Thursday 08:00 - 20:00
Friday 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday 08:00 - 20:00
Sunday 08:00 - 19:00

Telephone

(732) 406-9606

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