Monthly Archives: January 2016

Watching Steffen Peters…Dressage Master Class

One of the advantages of entering the Open show (and not the CDI) at the LA Winter Dressage was that we got to watch Steffen school and ride Rosie and Legolas.

Priceless; absolutely, jaw dropping priceless. The skill, feel and depth of knowledge required to produce the work he does on both horses totally reinforced the commitment to the decision we have made to train here with Team Peters in the past, for today and for the future.

The future for our sport lies in the commitment to this kind of kind, empathetic, very skilled training and riding. There are other trainers and riders riding with these tenants and we should search them out, find them and follow their lead. The future of our sport depends on it. For us, Steffen and Shannon Peters embodies exactly the road we would like to follow for our future and the future for sport of dressage.

Now some moments from the background of the LA Winter Dressage show…Ivars got a new camera and here are some of the shots he took while learning all the buttons (Good thing Aleks is visiting this weekend and can give her dad some of the short cuts on the Nikon!!)

Competitors and good friends. Emma and Lindsey

Competitors and good friends. Emma and Lindsey

Emma and Zidane...good boy Beastie!

Emma and Zidane…good boy Beastie!

Lance and Linds, warming up for the GPS.

Lance and Linds, warming up for the GPS.

Lance and Linds, GPS yesterday.

Lance and Linds, GPS yesterday.

"Do you have peppermints in that camera?!!!!"

“Do you have any peppermints in that camera?!!!!”

Today is raining and we are home at the condo. Yeah! Aleks and Neil and the dogs are visiting from Phoenix. We’ll get a couple of hours to visit before they need to head back this morning.

It’s a fireplace, sports on the tv kinda day…


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Thank you Emma!!!

Emma (Emma Weinert O’Rourke) was in the driver’s seat with the horse trailer to Burbank yesterday. Thank you Emma!!! She had her 2 lovely FEI horses (Velvet and Zindan) and Lance on board. Ivars and I drove in my truck with as much hay as Eddie (Eduardo Garcia, Steffen’s groom and the best groom in the country!!!) could jam into the box. Yeah one ton truck!!!

Emma, unloading in Burbank.

Thank you Emma!!!

The trip north from Del Mar to Burbank was brutal.  It’s about 180 km and takes normally about 2 1/2 hrs. We were on the road for 3 1/2 hours. Lots of stop and go on the freeway and lots of just stop.

Ivars and I first stopped at Pannikin before getting on the freeway (great tea, great coffee and most importantly…great gluten free muffins to take to the show for the weekend!!!). As we could travel in the HOV lane on the I 5, we caught up and passed the Emma, Lindsey and the horses.

Pannikin, yummmm

Pannikin, yummmm

Hay and horses, headed to Burbank...

Hay and horses, headed to Burbank…

Emma Weinert O’Rourke and Lindsey Stroh, two wonderful Grand Prix riders, both Shannon Peters’ students, one Canadian, one Australian, travelling together, hauling their precious Grand Prix horses to a show in California…priceless. Talent, knowledge and horses all in one rig. ❤

So everyone travelled well and settled comfortably into the show grounds.

Lance and Lindsey’s lesson, that afternoon, with Shannon was super.

Today is show day. Lance and Lindsey’s Grand Prix ride time is at 11:56. Emma and Velvet’s are at 11:38.

Off to make a cup of tea (and a gluten free Pannikin muffin!!!) and then head to the show grounds…


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Wednesday, pack day…

The day before leaving for a show is very busy.

Packing for the show is done at the end of the day after all the horses who are staying home are ridden, all the students that are staying home are coached and all the chores needed to be done while we are at the show are taken care of and arranged.

Jayne getting a lesson with Lindsey in the early am. Iris watching...

Jayne getting a lesson with Lindsey in the early am. Iris watching…

Jayne and the lovely Samara with Coach Lindsey and Iris... :)

Jayne and the lovely Samara with Coach Lindsey and Iris… 🙂

Our first lesson was at 7:15 with Shannon. (And we weren’t her first lesson…) It was freezing…nose dripping, fingers unfeeling, toes numbed cold. I didn’t warm up till after noon…

Note the puffy jackets, blankets and hot tea...

Note the puffy jackets and blanket…

Today we pack it all up and head to LA.

Off to Arroyo…it’s another puffy jacket morning…


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Catch up day at Arroyo… :)

What a wonderful day at Arroyo…it is really like coming home; our southern home!

The horses all look amazing. They have been working hard since arriving and it was great to see the progress. A big thank you to Lindsey and Shannon for all their work…thank you!!!

Ivars spent most of the afternoon on his bike…he’s very happy. He will be out on the hills again today. A big “Yeah!” from him!

Jane and Iris (we miss Merle…she’s popped home for a short stint at work and will be back next week) are very happy to be immersed in the amazing learning experience at Arroyo. Everyday they are watching some of the best dressage riding in the world; they are listening to some of the best dressage coaching in the world (with a great scope of riding levels) and they are riding their horses in the sunshine with Lindsey coaching, all week. Happy, happy girls.

Jane and Iris enjoying the view...early morning rides at Arroyo! Yeah Team Peters!

Jane and Iris enjoying the view…early morning rides at Arroyo! Yeah Team Peters!

Fred and Gezz thoroughly enjoying the view at Arroyo!! :)

Fred and Gezz thoroughly enjoying the view at Arroyo!! 🙂

The view from our condo can see the whales spouting out there as they travel by... :)

The view from our condo balcony…you can see the whales spouting out there as they travel by to Baja… 🙂

So tomorrow is travel day to the show in Burbank….which makes today “pack” day.

Off to my “southern” happy place…


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It’s Horse Show week!!!

From HorsesDaily….

West Coast Olympic Season Gets Underway This Week at California Dreaming Productions’ LA Winter Dressage CDI-W


Yellow Horse Marketing
Steffen Peters, Rosamunde, CDP, California

Steffen Peters (shown here on Rosaminde) will be one of the West Coast Grand Prix riders competing this weekend at California Dreaming Productions’ LA Winter Dressage CDI-W. (Photo: Jennifer M. Keeler)

Burbank, CA – With the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro fast approaching, the West Coast’s top dressage prospects are getting a head start on qualifying for the U.S. Team during this week’sLos Angeles Winter Dressage CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, being held January 28-31 in Burbank, Calif.

“Due to demand from riders for another West Coast CDI in this tremendously important year as well as the need for an additional World Cup qualifying event on this coast, we decided to upgrade this January show to an FEI event,” said Glenda McElroy, co-organizer of California Dreaming Productions with David and Alisa Wilson. “The whole reason we host this series is for the good of the sport, so we’re glad to be able to help competitors achieve their goals and are delighted with the response we’ve received. It’s a great way to start what we anticipate will be a very exciting season here in California.”

Former Olympic teammates Steffen Peters and Guenter Seidel headline the CDI Grand Prix field at LA Winter Dressage as they are both looking for a hopeful return to the U.S. Dressage Team this summer. Peters will compete with his 2015 Pan American Games Gold Medal-winning mount Legolas 92 as well as young phenom Rosamunde, while Seidel will present rising star Zero Gravity to the international ground jury which includes Lilo Fore (5* USA), Cara Whitham (5* CAN), Gabriel Armando (4* ARG), Bo Jenna (4* SWE), and Sandy Hotz (4* USA). Both Peters and Seidel are making their 2016 debuts after competing at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions in Florida in December, and now look forward to kicking off the new show season in their home state of California. “I’ve ridden around the world and there’s no doubt there are some incredible places to show,” said Peters. “But we’ve competed at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center for many years, and there are so many wonderful memories here. It’s a special place and it’s nice to be close to home.”

Thanks to the hard-working staff of the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, a multitude of improvements will welcome competitors back to the facility for the New Year. No matter what kind of weather El Niño brings to the West Coast, CDI competitors will enjoy perfect conditions in the covered Equidome (which was outfitted with brand new GGT footing in November), as well as a completely remodeled horse show office and patio seating areas to enjoy California Dreaming Productions’ renowned hospitality. Series organizers also welcome major show supporters Kastel Denmark, Shapley Horse Products, and Lisa Seger Insurance, as well as an exciting new partnership with SmartPak. The California Dressage Society (CDS) returns as a media partner, and LA Saddlery will once again present “Best Dressed” awards in Burbank.

In addition to being an Olympic Games and Reem Acra/FEI World Cup Dressage Final qualifying competition, the LA Winter Dressage CDI and open show is an official qualifier for a multitude of national awards and championship programs, including the USEF Festival of Champions; the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC); the Markel/USEF National Young & Developing Horse Dressage Championships; the National Dressage Pony Cup (NDPC); USDF year-end awards and regional championships; and California Dressage Society (CDS) Horse of the Year awards and annual championship show.

Don’t miss any of the excitement! To learn more about LA Winter Dressage CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, visit or visit us on Facebook.

Check the California Dreaming website for updates on live streaming.

I’ll be posting photos as soon as we land today!!

Miss my ponies (and people 🙂 )


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They survived the torrents and torrents of rain…

Everyone at Arroyo has survived the rain power of El Nino…yeah. The footing Shannon and Steffen installed in the dressage court made training possible after the deluge. El Nino years in California are wet (we were there for the last one…whew) so it is wise to have a plan..What is needed to train in rainy conditions? Thanks to Team Peters and their well thought out planning, we lost very few days of training and we’re back in the saddle pronto pronto.

Our first show is in Burbank in 2 weeks. I just got the confirmation on our entries and they will have two sets of times for the rides…one if it rains and one if it stays dry. What a logistical nightmare for organizers! Basically working out two shows and running the one the weather dictates. We’re very glad they have an alternate plan though!!! 🙂 Wet, soggy footing is a no go for a show without an alternate plan.

Here in Alberta the weather has been wonderful! Bright sunny skies and warm winter weather!!!

So Ivars and I played hookie from work yesterday and headed to the mountains to ski. -3C and sunny…downright almost perfect skiing weather. We thought we’d try and ski at Nakiska. The runs there are big and open and good for practising new techniques. We had a super great time and skied our legs off and then drove home. 🙂  (Other than the race camp kids, we probably were the youngsters there! It has such a lovely open runs it entices many retirees from Calgary. That’s my kinda retire!!!)  Nobody missed us and we had fun! We’ll be doing that again….

Nakiska 1

Last run of the day…


The drive home from Nakiska yesterday

The drive home from Nakiska yesterday.


This never gets old...Alberta...

This never gets old…Alberta…

So today is a busy catch up day… 🙂 off to the stable. ❤


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When it rains in CA this year…it really, really pours…

Footing…one of the many, many reasons we train with Shannon Peters at Arroyo Del Mar….all aspects of dressage training are well thought out, well researched and happy horse focused.

El Nino slammed Arroyo Del Mar this week with rain.

All our equines are back at work at Arroyo…thank you Shannon and Steffen! The new footing is awesome!!  Rain, schmain…we have a show in 3 weeks!!!

The following is a news article released from Premier Equestrian (Arroyo Del Mar footing supplier). (They also supplied the footing at Flying Colours.)


Premier Equestrians Have Dry Haven in Midst of Powerful El Niño


San Diego, California (January 8, 2016)– As a series of storms pummel California this week with one of the strongest El Niño weather systems on record, many equestrians find themselves extremely limited with the excess of flooding in paddocks and riding rings. However, with early preparations to the warnings of the upcoming El Niño year, some wise equestrians have installed an elite arena system that allows them to “walk on water” during this massive storm.

U.S. Olympian Steffen Peters knew that selecting an arena footing system for his California training facility was of utmost importance, especially with the threat of harsh storms and heavy rain. That’s why he chose to train on riding surfaces provided by Premier Equestrian, a leading industry innovator in arena footing. Steffen selected the advanced OTTO Sport arena. Premier Equestrian is the exclusive North American distributor for German based OTTO Sport-und Reiplatz GmbH. Now, even through the record-tying flooding, potential flash floods, and mudslides, Peters’ facility continues to function smoothly with riders and horses out and about training on the Premier Equestrian and OTTO Sport arena system.

“OTTO Sport offers a system of drainage, concussion relief, biomechanics benefits, and longevity,” said Heidi Zorn, President of Premier Equestrian. “The OTTO Sport system is a proven product that has been around for over thirty years. Many arenas are still standing and performing as well as they did the first day the system was installed thirty years ago.” This is why several “Premier Equestrians,” riders like Peters who are people dedicated to the development and preservation of horse sport, have chosen to put the OTTO Sport system under their winning horses’ hooves.

The OTTO system centers on the OTTO Sport Perforated Mat. This arena base mat system provides maximum drainage, concussion mitigation, stability for horse and rider, and a proper and durable separation of footing and substructure. Drainage holes in the mat remove excess water quickly, making the arena useable immediately after persistent rain. Built in reservoirs hold enough water to rehydrate the footing later. These features make the OTTO Sport Perforated Mat System universally suited for any arena or farm in the world, and crucial in times of extreme weather.

Another key factor in Peters’ arena is the revolutionary Premier HT footing, which stands for Hydration Technology. This is a programmable textile footing that can be configured to uptake water at different levels and rates. The HT footing drastically reduces the amount of water needed to maintain an ideal riding surface, and reduces the amount of time spent maintaining the arena. Premier HT will always maintain the appropriate hydration whether it be drought or flood conditions.

Peters and his wife, USDF Gold Medalist Shannon Peters, believe that this advanced arena system and footing are essential, and their arena has truly proven its worth throughout the series of intense El Niño storms. Peters continues to train with Akiko Yamazaki’s Legolas 92 and Rosamunde 20, while the majority of the Californian equestrian population without the arena system is virtually stall bound. Yamazaki, another Premier Equestrian, also planned ahead and installed the OTTO Sport arena system before the storms hit. Peters and Yamazaki were originally introduced to the OTTO Sport arena system at the 2006 Word Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, where the system held up against two weeks of heavy rain.

Keri Homer, the barn manager for Steffen and Shannon Peters at Arroyo Del Mar, remarked that before the Premier Equestrian and OTTO Sport arena system, they would have had to close the outdoor ring with no telling when it could be reopened in the massive amount of flooding. Homer states, “Today, we are playing in the rain on stable, safe, and consistent footing. Let El Niño in— we are ready!”

Dave Martin of Footings West, who worked with Premier Equestrian to instal the OTTO Sport arena at Peters’ facility Arroyo Del Mar, has been paying close attention to the arena’s maintenance during El Niño. Martin states, “The Arroyo Del Mar arena is the only outdoor arena in all of southern California that is 100% usable even for heavy equipment. The performance of the OTTO Sport arena system is beyond anything I have ever seen in my 35 years of arena construction,” he remarks.

Founded in 1999, Premier Equestrian is the Official Dressage Arena of the United States Equestrian Federation and the United States Dressage Federation. For more information about Premier Equestrian, the visit or call 800-611-6109.

To see more news about this press release visit

I’m off to to Flying Colours to ride on our Premier Footing!!


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From California…rain……..and more rain…….and then rain….

Welcome El Nino…rain in California and California needs rain.

In the video Lindsey sent me the rain is coming down in torrents. That means lots of wash outs, lots of mud and a very crowded covered riding arena at Arroyo.

The Burbank CDI is in three weeks. Hopefully there will be a sunny window on that weekend…welcome El Nino…

El Nino in Alberta is not raining…it’s not raining and for the first week of January, amazingly, it’s not very cold…welcome El Nino! The horses here are all enjoying their sunny, snowy turnout pens. And it sure makes the farm work easier around here!

Off to turn out horses and watch the sun rise…


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Great weekend…north and south…

From California to Sunshine Village Alberta, it was a marvellous, marvellous weekend!!

In California, everyone has moved into their comfortable rentals; condos and box stalls.

The horses have been ridden (Lindsey tells me some of their hind legs still seem to be on the road north somewhere…hopefully they’ll catch up to the fronts this week!!!). Lessons with Shannon start today!! ❤

Peter has put an great amount of time on his bike. (150 kms) Considering the gruelling drive down, he’s obviously re fuelling with 2 wheeled saddle time!

And I’m sure Merle, Jayne and Iris are getting their “sea legs” and found the sound of the waves easy on the ears at night. (Iris is back to ride Luke this week so I’ll get the catch up news!

From Sunshine Village…the wedding was perfect in every way! The bride and groom (Bri and Brandon) did a marvellous job at everything. We were so happy to be there to be part of the love and joy they celebrated all weekend. Congrats to Bri and Brandon and Sweets and Rosenthals.


At the top of the Standish pictures!

Wedding pictures at the top of the Standish Chair!

A family photo at the top of the Strawberry Chair.

A family photo at the top of the Strawberry Chair.

While the babies played in the tup, Amma and Papa skied. This is from the top of the Brewster Chair.

Sunday morning, while the babies played in the tub, Amma and Papa skied. This is from the top of the Brewster Chair.

It was over 25 years ago I did the ski out under the gondola with 2 yr old Greg snow plowing between my legs. Yesterday Ivars and I  joined our grandkids Mack and Cali and son in law Andrew as we skied out to the base from the Village. A most amazingly wonderful fun filled weekend….

Off to the stable and my home ponies…my honies!!!


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Looking forward to 2016!!

Those of you that have been following the blog, you are up to date on the re-think of the Flying Colours Dressage concept.

For new readers, here’s the low down…

This year we have added the opportunity for Flying Colours clients to spend some time in California pursuing their dressage dreams. We have 3 clients and their horses training at Arroyo for the winter with Lindsey.  I will spend most of the winter in Alberta keeping up with the training of our home based riders and horses. I will be in California for all the CDIs (5 this year) and will add lots of details to the blog from the weeks of each competition.

So the blog will look at bit different this winter.

From California, Lindsey will send us updates periodically along with Jayne, Iris and Merle.

So the Alberta section of the blog may periodically look like this…

From the balcony, in our hotel room...sunset

From the balcony, in our hotel room…sunset

Daddy and Meggie and her first skis!

Daddy and Meggie and her first skis!

So hopefully I can reflect, in the blog, our expanded version of Flying Colours Dressage and keep you up to date and fill you in on the details of our journey…so looking to 2016!!!

Off to an early breakfast and out skiing…its wedding day (more on that later!!!)!!!


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