Dressage4Kids™ Winter Intensive Training Program
The Dressage4Kids™ Winter Intensive Training Program provides an overall educational program for riders under age 26. WIT is not for the casual dressage rider, but for aspiring young riders who are committed to achieving excellence. This program takes determination, drive, and passion. The participants will have a full schedule of learning that includes fitness, theory, tests, riding lessons, field trips, and lectures on many pertinent subjects. It involves three months of pure growth and first-hand experience to open the young rider’s eyes to how they can best reach their full potential as a dressage rider. We encourage riders of all levels. Past participants include Kerrigan Gluch (2013), Nick Hansen (2013), Hannah Irons (2016), Kayla Kadlubek (2016 and 2017), Jori Dupell (2017), Annelise Klepper (2017 and 2018), Marin Roth (2018), Olivia Martz (2022), Maren Elise Fouché-Hanson (2023), Bennett McWhorter (2023), Alexandra Garvey (2022, 2023, and 2024) all of whom have won gold medals at the North American Youth Championships and/or the National Championships.
Two-time Olympian Lendon Gray is the main instructor of the program. Lendon Gray was voted into the USDF Hall of Fame and has been the long-time teacher for international riders 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.
A normal day in the program starts at 7:00 am with basic stable chores. Each rider must take care of his or her own horse as well as help with maintaining the facility where the program is held. After chores, lessons begin. Days vary with private lessons, semi-privates or group lessons. Lendon Gray is the primary instructor, but there will also be guest instructors. While lessons are in progress, riders are encouraged to watch, ask questions, and take notes in a their journals. After lessons, there will be lectures where participants learn from top experts in their respective fields of nutrition, sports psychology, learning skills, fitness, shoeing, etc. Participants will also take field trips to tour international riders’ facilities, audit clinics, visit world-class veterinary/surgical/breeding facilities and experience everything the equestrian world in Wellington has to offer. Topics throughout the program are diverse and cover virtually every aspect of horsemanship. High quality lectures by subject matter experts, hands-on learning, and shared experience totaling decades of leadership in the field are designed to nurture each participant into a knowledgeable and complete professional.
There are opportunities to compete in USEF shows and WIT also holds informal schooling shows with excellent judges at our stable. While these opportunities are available, no one is required to show.
All participants must also maintain a regular fitness program. Guest instructors demonstrate different activities in which riders may participate. Fitness might include yoga, equilates, running, swimming, weight-lifting, general aerobic training, as well as balance and coordination exercises.
Any rider under 26 may apply to take advantage of the unique opportunities the WIT program has to offer. Your dedication, passion, and discipline are what must shine on your application. Participants in the Winter Intensive Training Program are held to the highest standards of character and professionalism.
Contact Lendon Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Ready to get started? If this program seems like a good next step in your journey, please feel encouraged to apply by sending in the application now. You will need to post a short video of you riding online for viewing by the D4K selection committee. Please be sure this video is close up enough to evaluate horse and rider.
Your fee covers the stall, use of paddocks and arena, basic shavings (you may want to buy extra), regular hay, lessons, coaching at shows, etc. You will be responsible for your horse's supplements, grain, special hay, shoeing, vet care, show fees, and extras such as fly spray, shampoo, carrots, etc.
There is time during the day for participants to continue school and/or be tutored. Housing and schooling are to be arranged by the participant. Last year many participants shared housing and those without cars were able to carpool. These details must be worked out by the participants.
Apply today for your chance to participate in this life-changing program!
Apply to the Winter Intensive Training Program
Fill out the application using the fillable form fields below or send it via email to Lendon Gray at email@example.com.
All form fields are required. Incomplete forms will not be processed.
First applications will be considered June 15th. Applications received after June 15th will be considered on a rolling, space-available basis.