It was a beautiful Thursday morning for the monthly gathering of New Horizons on Thursday, Oct. 10th at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre at 10:00 a.m.
Guest speaker was Allie Schmidt, Horse Trainer for David Carson Farms in Listowel. She spoke on her growing up and how she got involved in dressage shows.
Allies said from the second her feet touched the stirrups she was bitten by the horse bug. In 1998 Allie entered her first horse show with her pony , Painted Peppy Lena at the Canadian National Exhibition. In 1999 her family moved to their farm Vernadee in Campbellville, Ontario. At 4 she road regularly with her pony, Chloe and at age 6 she would tag along to several of her mother’s dressage shows and competed successfully earning reserve champion a few times. She competed in local fall fairs and earned many ribbons. When she was ten she became a member of the Mount Nemo Pony Club continuing to mature as an equestrian, coach and horsewoman. She was able to coach a quadrille team and often was given leadership tasks in mentoring the younger members. For 3 years she had represented and won champion of her division in the Canadian Pony Club National Dressage competition for the Western Ontario Region.
At 12 she moved to a home-bred Hanoverian (warm-blooded) horse that she trained herself and competed in hunter & jumper competitions. In 2010 she was showing at the first level Equine Canada’s Gold dressage circuit and started training and working for Canadian Olympian David Marcus. This was went she began to focus mainly on dressage. She had travelled to Bromont, Quebec to represent Ontario at the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championship.
In 2013 she was awarded the Gerrit’s Foundation Award for Excellence in Education and Pursuit of Olympic Sport. That fall she became assistant-rider at the Acres Dressage Farm in Moorpark, California to further her training under American Olympian, Jan Ebeling. Here she learned to work with many talented horses, ranging from school masters to young horses and everything in between and travelled to Gladstone, New Jersey for the Festival of Champions and then to Belgium and groomed for him travelling to Austria before returning to California.
She returned to Canada to begin her post-secondary education at Wilfred Laurier University, but continued her passion for dressage and competing in many competition. In July representing Ontario at the Kentucky Horse Park she took 8 place.
Allie spoke on the different breeds in Dressage and what make a Clydesdale different from the rest of the breeds. She had also brought a 2 horse shoes and pointed out the difference and why they are different.
During her talk she spoke on how did she get there? How do you prepare for a show? Traditional Clydesdale classes. What riding classes are at the world shows? Why the push for more riding classes? And what does the future look like for Leabra’s Beau Marmotte, the World’s Top Horse.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, Nov. 14th at 10 a.m. at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre at 10 a.m. Admission is $2. Guest speaker will be Gordon Greavette, PHD in Canadian History and International Relations. His topic will be Canada and Peace Keeping – Past, Present and Future. These meeting are open to everyone.