Qualia Dressage LLC

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

Extremely proud to say that Hans is officially a Grand Prix horse! He did his first two tests this weekend, with extreme...
04/22/2024

Extremely proud to say that Hans is officially a Grand Prix horse! He did his first two tests this weekend, with extremely consistent scores of 66.8% and 66.7%, winning his class on Saturday and placing second on Sunday. He did his absolute best for me, and I just love him so much. He definitely earned a few days off, and the giant bag of fancy horse cookies I bought him. 🖤

When you and your friend are 1st and 2nd in the Grand Prix! 🖤💛🖤💛
04/21/2024

When you and your friend are 1st and 2nd in the Grand Prix! 🖤💛🖤💛

04/19/2024

Roundness refers to the arched head, neck and apparent dorsoventrally rounded body posture acquired by the horse in correct dressage training.

It is characterised by self-carriage where the horse has learned to persist in his speed, directional line, and head, neck and body posture without support from the rider.

However, roundness is frequently a forced response where the rider increases tension on the reins until the horse shortens its neck, or uses concurrent rein tension and leg pressures to ‘drive the horse onto the bit’.

Although this is contrary to the tenets of classical and ethical dressage, it provides the illusion of roundness and collection and is known as false collection.

Dressage experts, however, can readily perceive the incorrect outline, where the neck is shortened and the loins are hollow. The result is that the rider’s tight control on the reins to maintain this posture and the incorrect neck and back muscles involved prevent correct development of the topline.

There are significant welfare issues surrounding such training, which manifest in a raft of problems ranging from tension and conflict behaviours to wastage.

In correct training, the horse’s head should be suspended from his withers in self-carriage and the weight in the rider’s hands should be the weight of the reins and a light connection to the lips and tongue of the horse.

Such lightness is the putative goal of Baroque training styles and modern ethical training.

It is imperative that, from the horse’s viewpoint, pain is escapable and controllable, so lightness, of course, is important for the horse at every stage of training, and those methodologies that embrace correct roundness training and constant self-carriage are more correctly aligned with the correct application of learning theory than coercive methods.

📖 'Equitation Science, 2nd Edition', by Uta König von Borstel, Andrew McLean, Paul McGreevy & Janne Winther Christensen.
Visit our website to order the book.

Loving every minute of my time in Florida with my amazing ponies, and learning so much. 🩵
02/11/2024

Loving every minute of my time in Florida with my amazing ponies, and learning so much. 🩵

We head out tomorrow for 5 weeks in Florida, and the treatment wash and salve from  were at the top of the packing list....
01/29/2024

We head out tomorrow for 5 weeks in Florida, and the treatment wash and salve from were at the top of the packing list. Hans has very sensitive skin, and is prone to scratches with his three white socks—Medica Equine is the only thing that has worked to clear his legs up.

Waki is living his best life being “Uncle Squawkles” to the weanlings. 💕
12/17/2023

Waki is living his best life being “Uncle Squawkles” to the weanlings. 💕

She never moved the stars from their courses, but she had good friends, and she rode good horses.
12/14/2023

She never moved the stars from their courses, but she had good friends, and she rode good horses.

Next up, Grace Lotsikas, our newest USDF Silver Medalist!Grace and Waki tried out for NAYC this year in the Junior divis...
11/12/2023

Next up, Grace Lotsikas, our newest USDF Silver Medalist!

Grace and Waki tried out for NAYC this year in the Junior division, and after falling just short of that goal (they were named one of two alternate pairs for the team), Grace focused on a new goal of showing PSG by the end of the year, and entered the PVDA Fall Show. After earning just under 63% in her first PSG yesterday, we decided to fill a scratch in a Fourth Level test today to see if she might be able to get her last Fourth Level score in addition to her last PSG score. They knocked it out of the park, earning a 64% in her Fourth Level class, and riding a beautiful PSG for a 67% and the highest score in the class. They won all of their classes this weekend. But I’m most proud of this comment from her judge today: “Powerful, expressive horse. You really rode him to the best of his ability today.”

It was an emotional weekend for both of us, because this was their last show together, and the last show of Waki’s career. He will be 20 in the spring, although you would never know it, watching him go. Grace has worked hard to build a real partnership with him. He is a powerful, sensitive guy, and can be really intimidating. He is definitely not one you can push around—he will let you know that he does not appreciate it, and he did just that by bucking her off once. 🙈 But she stuck it out, learned how to ride him, and they became a real team.

He has been an amazing teacher to me, and many of my students, and I’m happy he gets to step down when he’s still a sound and sassy guy. He’ll be staying at Locks Edge and moving on to a very important new job—being “Uncle Squawkles” to the weanlings. 🥰

Waki, you’re one in a million, buddy. 🖤

We have a couple of newly minted USDF medalists to announce. First up, Sierra Stewart, who finished her Bronze medal at ...
11/12/2023

We have a couple of newly minted USDF medalists to announce.

First up, Sierra Stewart, who finished her Bronze medal at the VADA Fall Show in October, winning both classes and scoring up to 67% with her partner Furst of All. Not only was this Sierra’s first time showing Third Level, it was Furstie’s as well. I’m extremely proud of the harmonious tests they put in—you never would have guessed they were both new to this level.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was literally running around the arena with Sierra, with her horse on a lunge line, because she didn’t always have power steering. After retiring her other partner Donnlei and getting Furst, she persevered through some fear issues that anyone who has ever had a young horse can understand.

To say I’m proud of how far these two have come would be an understatement. ❤️

10/15/2023
We had a great weekend at Dressage at Stone Tavern! Jessie Ginsburg and her amazing partner Vodermus earned their Grand ...
09/16/2023

We had a great weekend at Dressage at Stone Tavern!

Jessie Ginsburg and her amazing partner Vodermus earned their Grand Prix Freestyle scores to finish Jessie’s Gold Bar for freestyles, which also earned Jessie the Diamond Achievement Award for riders who have earned all of the USDF medals and bars. So incredibly proud of this special team! ❤️

Sierra Stewart did her first Second Level tests with her super boy Furst of All, earning scores towards her Bronze Medal up to 65%, along with blue and red ribbons. So rewarding to see these two developing such a great partnership.

My wonderful Hans made his I-2 debut with scores of 65, 66, and 68%, in my first show back since having major shoulder surgery yet again in January. He hadn’t shown since August of last year, and I hadn’t shown since October. Very proud of my special boy who is feeling more and more like a Grand Prix horse each week.

Congratulations to Grace Lotsikas on her Reserve Champion finish both days at the MADFest CDIJ with my Wachenheim. This ...
05/27/2023

Congratulations to Grace Lotsikas on her Reserve Champion finish both days at the MADFest CDIJ with my Wachenheim. This was only Grace’s second show at this level, and her first CDI ever. While “Waki” is very experienced at this level, he definitely doesn’t give it away for free! After some nerves in the Team test, Grace rode a great Individual test, finishing second by less than .10. So fun to watch my boy teaching the next generation, and looking amazing at 19. Great job, Grace!

Show season is in full swing! We started the year off at Loch Moy at the end of April, where Cassidy Hageman piloted Chr...
05/27/2023

Show season is in full swing! We started the year off at Loch Moy at the end of April, where Cassidy Hageman piloted Christine Langlois-Poirier’s Sven fan ‘e Goëngamieden to a second and fifth place in large First Level classes. Sven hadn’t shown for a year and a half, but he was a perfect gentleman despite some nerves.

Next up was First Chance at Dressage, By Chance? Cassidy Hageman rode Rhonda VanLowe’s Escritor HGF to a blue ribbon at 2-1 on a 64%.

We hit the PVDA Spring Show at the beginning of May. Christine took the reins on Sven this time, earning a 66% in 1-1 for her first score towards her Bronze Medal and first place!

Cassidy Hageman tactfully rode a nervous Escritor HGF to a first and second place at 2-2, with scores to 62%.

Jessie Ginsburg and Vodermus debuted their GP freestyle, earning second place and just under 65%.

Grace Lotsikas rode my Wachenheim in the FEI Junior tests, scoring up to 64% and earning 3rd and 4th place, with lots of room to go up.

I also got to watch Alex Robertson skillfully pilot my five year old, Hesselhøj Vamilja, in the FEI 5 Year Old test. Alex is riding “Milja” while I continue recovering from my shoulder surgery. She looked amazing, happy and confident. Huge thank you to Alex for doing such a wonderful job with my little pocket rocket! 🚀

05/08/2023

Decided to diversify my business—I am now training cats as well. Inquiries welcome! 🙃🤣

Qualia Dressage has an opening for a partial or full training horse. Our program focuses on teaching correct equitation ...
04/15/2023

Qualia Dressage has an opening for a partial or full training horse. Our program focuses on teaching correct equitation and clarity of aids for riders, and developing horses up the levels with thoughtful, systematic training. We have helped students earn USDF Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals and freestyle bars, and earn placings at regional and national championships such as USDF Finals, USEF Young and Developing Horse Championships, USEF Dressage Seat Medal Finals, and NAYC.

Trainer Siobhan Byrne has earned USDF Gold, Silver, Silver Bar, and Bronze medals. She has brought multiple horses up the levels to FEI, and endeavors to create thoughtful riders who understand the choice and application of exercises to improve the horse. She continues to build on her own education through regular work with Jeremy Steinberg and Allison Brock.

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].

Now that she’s had a chance to share the news herself, I want to congratulate my friend and student Jessie Ginsburg on e...
04/15/2023

Now that she’s had a chance to share the news herself, I want to congratulate my friend and student Jessie Ginsburg on earning both the last scores she needed for her USDF Gold Medal, and to be eligible for the USEF “S” dressage judge training program.

This accomplishment is even more impressive because although I helped Jessie finish Vodie to Grand Prix (he was beautifully trained and competed to the small tour level by his previous trainer, Cathy Echternach), I never showed him for her. Jessie did it all herself, and anyone who has done it knows it’s hard no matter what, and extra hard when you and your horse are both green to that level.

Jessie contributes so much to our local dressage scene, putting in numerous hours of volunteer work, and is so supportive of everyone here at Locks Edge—it’s such a joy to see such a great person achieve her goals, and to be a small part of that. Congratulations, Jessie! 🥳

I wanted to give a shout out to the amazing  . I had major shoulder surgery two weeks ago, and this lady has busted her ...
02/15/2023

I wanted to give a shout out to the amazing . I had major shoulder surgery two weeks ago, and this lady has busted her butt riding horses and teaching my clients. It’s a huge weight off of me to be able to step back and take some time to feel better, and know that my horses and people are in good hands. It makes a very stressful situation so much more manageable. Thank you Cassidy, for all that you do for me—I could not do this without you.

Fun memories of flying with Waki at Tryon in 2019. 📸: .malmgren
02/09/2023

Fun memories of flying with Waki at Tryon in 2019.
📸: .malmgren

01/16/2023

Self-carriage lies at the very heart of ethical horse training. It is all about training the horse to continue to offer cued responses without any further signalling from the rider. In other words, to keep doing whatever they’re asked to do until signalled otherwise. Of course, this idea does not make much sense because the question arises as to how long should the horse keep doing what you have trained him/her to do? That is where the rider’s seat and the handler’s steps are involved. The rider’s seat and the handler’s steps are the ‘keep going’ signals to continue ‘persistency’ of responses that was mentioned earlier in this text. Horses stay sound for longer when they are trained to maintain self-carriage because they are finding their own balance without support of the reins and because they are not subject to constant nagging pressures.

Self-carriage means that the horse maintains balance, speed, direction and posture without help from the rider/handler. Therefore, if the rider lets the reins go loose or takes their legs away from the horse for a stride or two, the horse should continue to travel at the same speed, on the same line and with the same head carriage. Although the term ‘self-carriage’ usually refers to the sport of dressage in walk, trot and canter, it also refers to any speed including the gallop and any horse activity.

This is an excerpt from 'Modern Horse Training: Equitation Science Principles & Practice, Volume 1', available on our website: https://esi-education.com/

If you have a horse prone to scratches, like my cute friend with three white socks here, I highly recommend  products . ...
01/11/2023

If you have a horse prone to scratches, like my cute friend with three white socks here, I highly recommend products . Hans has extremely sensitive skin, and is very prone to scratches. Last year, I struggled to keep them in check despite trying everything in my arsenal—keeping legs clipped, chlorhexidine, stints on antibiotics, and other topical treatments—including ones that have usually been successful for me. recommended I try Medica Equine, and the treatment wash and salve did an amazing job of clearing his legs up entirely. If you are struggling with skin issues, check this line of products out.

A little  dreaming for   . 📸:
01/06/2023

A little dreaming for .
📸:

Grateful for the amazing people we have here at the Locks Edge. They got me a set of these beautiful director’s chairs w...
12/23/2022

Grateful for the amazing people we have here at the Locks Edge. They got me a set of these beautiful director’s chairs with my logo on them for Xmas (I guess no one showing with us was impressed with my $10 chairs from Target 😂). I’m so lucky to have an incredible group of kind, generous people here at the farm. ❤️

Waki doing his first I-2 in 2018 for   . Always such a photogenic boy. 🖤 📸: .malmgren
12/15/2022

Waki doing his first I-2 in 2018 for . Always such a photogenic boy. 🖤
📸: .malmgren

Now, for a belated report on the VADA Fall Show/Region 1 Finals in October. Congratulations to Lucy Tidd on a win in the...
11/13/2022

Now, for a belated report on the VADA Fall Show/Region 1 Finals in October.

Congratulations to Lucy Tidd on a win in the GP AA championship, and top placing AA in the GP Freestyle.

Grace Lotsikas was 6th in the Jr/YR Second Level championship on my Wachenheim—they had amazing trot work, but unfortunately Waki decided that he needed to spice things up with some piaffe and flying changes in the walk and canter tours. 🤪 Grace did a great job riding tactfully on my (as the judge commented) “talented but spicy boy”!

Sierra Stewart’s Furst of All and I did his first Second Level tests. He got a bit overwhelmed in the coliseum on Thursday, but came back strong Friday and Saturday, with scores of 70 and 71%.

Last but certainly not least, Jessie Ginsburg earned her first Gold Medal score at GP on her Vodermus. Incredibly proud of this team. ❤️

Just another spectacular fall morning in the Lock’s Edge driveway. So lucky to be able to work in this special place. 🍂🍁...
10/30/2022

Just another spectacular fall morning in the Lock’s Edge driveway. So lucky to be able to work in this special place. 🍂🍁

“If you look at any field, whether it’s in business or sports, the best of the best all have one thing in common: they a...
09/19/2022

“If you look at any field, whether it’s in business or sports, the best of the best all have one thing in common: they are students and always learning. If you are a good student you will never truly ‘lose’ a competition. One of two things will happen when that competition is over: either you’ve won or you’ve learned something, and if you’ve learned, you haven’t lost. You need to always have that mindset because success tends not to be a great teacher. Failure is a much better teacher. Accepting and utilizing that is a quality of a good student.” - Ian Millar
📸:

09/12/2022

Little Milja was a rock star for her first field trip! Huge thank you to Cassidy Hageman for giving her such a confidence-building experience—it’s so important for the youngsters. Really excited about this little mare, and can’t wait to get her in the show ring next year.

That face! Sweet Vamilja (Vitalis  x Sir Donnerhall II). 🥰
09/08/2022

That face! Sweet Vamilja (Vitalis x Sir Donnerhall II). 🥰

Playing catch up on some show results! We had a super successful show at Dressage, By Chance? at the end of July. Rhonda...
09/02/2022

Playing catch up on some show results! We had a super successful show at Dressage, By Chance? at the end of July. Rhonda VanLowe’s Escritor HGF was High Score Second Level on Saturday—really proud of this boy for his good effort after being out of the show ring for a year.

Sierra Stewart’s Furst of All was a superstar, winning First Level Test 2 with a career high score for me of 80.286%. 🤯
He was First Level High Score, and Professional High Score of the show.

Huge thank you to Rhonda and Sierra, for allowing me to show their super horses! And thanks Michele and team for a wonderful show, as always.

Photos 📸: InFocus by Bruce

We had an amazing time at Festival of Champions. Qualifying was my stretch goal for this year, and to be honest I didn’t...
08/29/2022

We had an amazing time at Festival of Champions. Qualifying was my stretch goal for this year, and to be honest I didn’t think we would. But we did, and it was such an honor just to be there. I’m so proud of Hans for handling the electric atmosphere so well. It was a wonderful learning experience for both of us. This was our last show for the year—time to focus on finishing the Grand Prix work.

Huge thank you to Ali Brock for coaching, and for the amazing lesson. As always, thank you to my long time coach Jeremy Steinberg (Jeremy Steinberg Dressage) for all your help developing Hans.

Cassidy Hageman was a wonderful groom and travel buddy. Thank you for giving sweet Hansi so much love.

Thank you to everyone who helps keep Hansi feeling good—body workers Rebecca Douglass and Courtney Molino, farrier Kevin Oyarzo, vet Dr. Lewis, and saddle fitters/sponsors Cate & Theresa - Maryland Certified Saddle Fitters and Custom Saddlery.

So many people took the time to call me or send me supportive messages—it made my week, thank you.

Photos by the amazing SusanJStickle.com Equestrian Photography & Design Services

Address

20500 Westerly Road
Poolesville, MD
20837

Opening Hours

Tuesday 8am - 8pm
Wednesday 8am - 8pm
Thursday 8am - 8pm
Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 8pm
Sunday 8am - 7pm

Telephone

(732) 406-9606

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