I remember when I first started riding lessons. Like today, I lived and breathed horses. I wanted my own pony so badly I made all kinds of promises to my parents. Eleven years later I am a seasoned dressage show veteran. I look back over those years and I think about all of the learning my parents and I did. There were so many questions, so little guidance. This is not a sport like little league where you sign up and they give you a date, a time, a place and even soo after beginning a position to play. Here in the b eginning you feel very alone in a sea of endless possibilities. My parents bought and sold horses. We had questions about everything and very little idea of how to analyze answers. We were so clueless we bought a saddle before we bought a horse! I can laught now looking back; but those times were frustrating (and expensive) for my parents and me. So I want to help others relieve some of the pains of those lessons. I thought about how to help as many dressage buffs like me as I could of all ages and training levels. I decided upon writing this blog. So today, on its inaugural entry I thought you could get to know me.
My name is Ayden Uhlir. I just finished riding in the junior division this year. It was an amazing year full of roller coaster highs and lows. The dreamlike moments for me were winning the Festival of champions Junior National Championship, the individual gold at NAJYRC and two bronze medals there as well. But my year has been about so much more than winning; it has been about looking to the future. As a high school senior it is the time that most of us contemplate what is coming in the next few short years. As I spend my time looking toward my future it became clear to me that my future is tied to the future of the sport of Dressage in the United States. I want to help it in any way that I can to grow, to develop and to progress. The possibilities are endless. In the immediate future I made some drastic changes in the last three months. I left my home, my friends and my family to move to Kirkland, Washington to train with the USEF National Dressage Youth Coach Jeremy Steinberg and his amazing training partner Shauntel Bryant. In my short time here my perspective of the future and of training has exploded and deepened in so many ways. I have gotten their permission to share this knowledge every week with you on these pages. I will mix my weekly lessons with information on NAJYRC, USDF, USEF and other dressage organizations and support group information. I would love for you to contact me with questions and concerns you may have in your own training or competing. I want this to be a place for everyone to discuss dressage; and in particular for junior and young riders to persue and share all of the issues we have together.
Looking forward to growing together,