Dressage4Kids, Inc. is a non-profit organization incorporated for the express purpose of providing educational and competitive opportunities for youth riders and the adults who support them. Dressage4Kids programs include:
- TEAM (Training, Education & Mentoring) Program – for dedicated, determined young dressage riders of all levels, ages 25 and under. The goal of the program is to find, to help to educate, and to develop talented youth to become the international riders and trainers of the future. The program organizes clinics throughout the year in various parts of the US and Canada, and from these clinics participants will be selected for national clinics. The Horsemastership Clinics are a part of D4K’s TEAM Program.
- Scholarships – Thanks to its partners and sponsors, Dressage4Kids has developed a scholarship and professional development program. Some scholarships assist youth and young adult amateur riders to enhance their horsemanship skills and competition experience and to introduce them to career opportunities in the equine industry. Other scholarships provide networking or financial assistance to aspiring and current young professionals to further develop their repertoire of training, coaching, competition, business and stable management skills. Since its inception, Dressage4Kids Inc. has given over $250,000 in scholarship money to help support riders in their pursuit of excellence in dressage education.
- Weekend Equestrian Program – an annual event usually held in January or February for riders of all ages, levels, and disciplines; parents; trainers; and judges. The Weekend Equestrian Program seeks to include everyone from the horse community and to offer horse- and rider-related seminars on many topics such as horse management, horse health, stable management, riding skills and theory, rider fitness, mental toughness, coaching, and marketing your business. The Weekend Equestrian Program attracts over 300 participants every year.
- Winter Intensive Training Program – for aspiring young riders that are committed to be the best they can be. This program takes determination, drive and passion. The goal of the Winter Intensive Training Program is to give opportunities for youth riders to participate in consistent and extensive training not only in riding, but in all areas of horse care, riding and training theory, and competition skills. The Winter Intensive Training Program is conducted annually in Wellington, FL from January – March.
- Youth Dressage Festival – the flagship event of Dressage4Kids, the festival offers individual and team competition for riders from ages 4 through 21. Division championships feature a three-phased competition: a written test, an individual dressage test, and a group equitation ride. The Youth Dressage Festival at HITS-on-the-Hudson Show Grounds in Saugerties, New York is an annual event usually held in July or August. The Youth Dressage Festival Saugerties draws over 1000 people to the show grounds. There are now additional subsidiaries of the original Youth Dressage Festival, including Youth Dressage Festival Midwest and Youth Dressage Festival Atlanta.
- Training4Teaching - intended to help professionals in HOW to teach (as they already know WHAT to teach). The Dressage4Kids Training4Teaching Program is a pilot program being developed by Olympians Lendon Gray and Ali Brock. Gray and Brock will be assisted by invited professionals, dressage instructors, psychologists, etc. to cover such topics as teaching skills; special considerations for teaching non-competitive amateurs and very young riders; ethics and professionalism; teaching vs. coaching; dealing with fear or overconfidence; and more. Training4Teaching will be offered this winter in Wellington, Florida January-March 2020 and at the Weekend Equestrian Program on January 25th, 2020 at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, CT.
- Horse Donation Program - Since its inception, Dressage4Kids has had over 40 horses donated. Each horse is matched with a rider who agrees to keep the horse forever. We have placed a good number of ponies as well. It is incredibly important the each horse or pony is matched with the right rider as the happiness of all is our premier tenet.