Sunday, April 3, 2011

Our visit with Shannon Dueck and her superstar mare Ayscha

Team ECOGOLD's Shannon Dueck is not only an accomplished Grand Prix dressage rider, trainer and clinician, but she is also a dear friend. She rides for Canada but lives full time in Florida, so unfortunately, we don't get to see her often enough. :(

Shannon invited us to spend a morning at her training facility in Loxahatchee, while she schooled her fabulous mare Ayscha. The pair were the Canadian Dressage Team's reserve for the 2010 World Equestrian Games and hopeful for the 2012 London Olympics. Shannon now trains with Wolfram Wittig, Isabel Werth's former coach of nine years, and will hopefully, spend some time in Europe this summer to train and compete.

Enjoy our some pics!

First, if you have never been to Loxahatchee, you take a turn and leave the paved roads of Wellington to enter a new world of tropical wonders. Loxahatchee residents want to keep the place as natural and unspoiled as possible. Love it!

But keep your eyes on the road... 'cuz if you fall in the canal, you'll probably get eaten by alligators
the tropical jungle of Colombia? No, it's dressage-land!
You know you've reached Shannon Dueck's barn when...

On to the fabulousness... then, you get greeted by this lovely girl.

And a couple of Jack Russells - here's Daisy

Shannon starts her sessions with a series of stretches, first for the human, then for the horse.

Streeeeeetch (with a carrot)

another carrot
More stretching
Then, she does a bit of this

And a bit of that
la la la...she makes it look so easy

And then, the following week, she went to the World Dressage Masters CDI 5* and did this:

Shannon Dueck and Ayscha - World Dressage Masters Grand Prix

Shannon Dueck and Ayscha - World Dressage Masters Grand Prix Special

As you can see in the videos, she was a bit spooky but Shannon was really proud of Ayscha. She had these comments: " Well, the Special was not our best - I think we could have won it with Ayscha's brilliance, but she was so scared that she spooked in almost every movement as we neared the fences and flowers! I would give her last piaffe a 9 tho! Wonderful mare tried for me, even with her heart pounding."

Shannon Dueck rides in ECOGOLD's Stabilizer Saddle Pad, Ecogold's Memory Foam Triple Protection Half Pad (dressage version - photo on website will be updated tomorrow...) and a helmet. So Shannon is not only fantastic but super smart!!

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