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Pan-American Silver Medalist Gives Texas Young Riders the Rides of Their Lives

Midlothian, TX, June 12, 2003— Texas has been home to World Champion Quarter Horses, reiners and cutters for decades, but the Olympic sport of dressage is still in the growth stage in the Lone Star State. Yet, Myrna Krohn has been working to improve the availability of quality dressage instruction by bringing top clinicians from around the world to her High Ridge Farm (30 miles south of Dallas.) The efforts have been appreciated; riders have been driving more than 1000 miles roundtrip to work with Pan-American Games Silver Medalist and USDF Gold Medalist Dr. Cesar Parra, who teaches as many as four clinics per year at High Ridge.

“Cesar’s very tough; he expects you to ride like you’re going to the Olympics,” said Krohn. “But he’s very enthusiastic and he loves the sport so much. Everyone just loves riding with him.” To help the region’s younger dressage enthusiasts, Krohn recently organized a special clinic just for them. Krohn explained, “We wanted to expose our young riders to someone with Cesar’s credentials and drive. Cesar graciously donated his time and we had a wonderful response.”

Pan-American Games Silver Medalist Dr. Cesar Parra with (left to right) Clair Darnell, Valerie Becker, Michelle Cavanaugh, Kacey McClain, Jacqueline Glazer, Andreanna Stucker and Chelsea Braman

Parra worked with horses and riders from training to fourth level on May 30 and 31 and soon had them smiling with accomplishment. Parra’s approach is very classical and he demonstrated how perfecting the basics allows the movements to just happen. With Andreanna Stucker and her Hanoverian gelding, Parra did a lot of transitions within the trot—very forward then to a collected trot that was almost a walk, but always keeping the engagement of the hind legs. Not only did the quality of the trot improve, but Stucker even got the passage. Krohn recalled, “Andy’s head snapped around to look at her mom and she was grinning from ear to ear.”

Claire Darnell was another young rider that benefited from Parra’s wisdom. At the beginning of the clinic Darnell’s mare was very resistant and would stop and then only go sideways. Instead of asking for Darnell to supple the mare, Parra had her send the mare forward. Parra explained, “You must always have the horse going forward. You cannot channel the energy into movements if you do not have the horse in front of the leg.” Once the mare was forward and began to offer submission Darnell was able to quickly progress and she finished her clinic by doing half pirouettes at the canter.

Auditors and riders alike left the clinic with a better understanding of what it takes to be a successful dressage rider regardless of the level. Krohn said, “The kids got to see that with the proper work and dedication anyone can ride at the top. Cesar’s energy and enthusiasm were really contagious and everyone left feeling like they could do anything they set their minds to.”

Visit for a complete clinic schedule and for more information about Dr. Cesar Parra.


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