Frequently Asked Questions

What is STRIDE?

We are a volunteer-based dressage club based in the Ocala, Florida area. Our members have an interest in both ridden and driven dressage. STRIDE stands for “Striving Toward Rider and Driver Improvement with Dressage Education”. As of December of 2017, we have 216 members. We are a Group Member Organization under the United States Dressage Federation.

What kind of things does STRIDE do?

Our primary mission is to provide educational opportunities for members, such as schooling shows, clinics, speakers and workshops. Revenue from our five schooling shows per year supports the mission.  Each show offers classes for both riders and drivers. Participants may compete for year end awards. We also have fun at our shows by offering versatility classes:  Trail, Prix Caprilli, Cones, Equitation and a timed class called Dressage by the Letters (DBTL).  Riders and drivers negotiate “gates” at the letters of the dressage ring alphabetically). The September show is a Pink show in honor of Breast Cancer month and there are costume classes for Halloween at the October show.

Do you have meetings?

We meet monthly, generally on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Most of our meetings are in local restaurants like Mimi’s on SR 200 in Ocala, but check the website for specifics. Most people arrive early to enjoy dinner with friends and a business meeting starts at 7 pm. Speakers provide educational opportunities at nearly every meeting.  Meetings may be held at local farms or other venues.  Again, check the website for details. STRIDE typically does not have a meeting in July.


How do I become a member of STRIDE?

Visit our Membership Section on this WEB site.  The STRIDE Membership year begins September 1 and ends August 31.  The show and award year is the calendar year (January 1 through December 31).


What is dressage?

Dating back to 300 B.C., the Greek horseman Xenophon is credited as the father of dressage. He was the first to believe that harmonious and humane treatment of horses was better than harsh methods and his work led to the eventual development of the Spanish Riding School in Austria (and some similar schools of equitation in France and Portugal). Simply translated, dressage means “training” and basic dressage finds utility in nearly every equine discipline, from driving to reining. Dressage at its highest level is an Olympic sport and the musical freestyle competition has been compared to freestyle ice skating. Riders and trainers talk about dressage as a pyramid, where the basic fundamentals of rhythm, regularity and relaxation of the horse are essential for advancement. As one progresses in the sport, the fundamentals are not discarded, but remain an essential component as new skills are added.


What is the format of a dressage competition?

For both ridden and driven dressage the horse and human are evaluated by a judge as a unit by themselves. A standard test is executed by each competitor within a class. All tests are divided into movements, each of which are scored from 0 to 10, where 10 equals excellent (not perfect). Ridden dressage starts with Introductory Level (walk/trot) and continues to Training level, then First, Second, Third and Fourth Levels. After success at Fourth Level, some horses and riders advance to the International or FEI levels of Prix St. George, Intermediate and Grand Prix. Driven dressage also starts at Training Level, and then continues to Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced. Tests may be found at United States Equestrian Federation, Western Dressage Association of America or American Driving Society.  Versatility class tests are typically created by STRIDE for each show, and will be posted on the website. 

How do I enter a competition?

Be sure to have a negative Coggins test within the previous 12 months of the date of the show (not entry date). Complete the entry on this WEB site, or mail the signed entry form, Coggins test, signed liability release and your check to the show secretary before the closing date. Ride times will be posted on the website a few days before the show. 

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to any of our Board Members.

Please support our great Partners by patronizing their businesses.  All Partners of STRIDE have agreed to provide a 10% discount on their in-store products (no discount on feed or hay) and services to STRIDE members!

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Warning: Under Florida law, an equine activity sponsor or equine professional is not liable for any injury to, or the death of,
a participant in equine activities resulting from the inherent risks of equine activities. Fla. Stat. §773.04(2) (1995)
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