Aside World Magazine
Spring 2021 Issue
Review of Annual Meeting 2021
Article and Photos by: Tammie Conway
If you missed the 2021 Annual Meeting and Virtual Clinic then you missed four great educational presentations and a fantastic time with friends. For our first virtual meeting I thought it went really well despite a couple technical blips which were to be expected with any virtual experience. I thought the platform was easy to navigate (especially if you had already attended the Camp Leaping Horn Side Saddle talk the previous month) and MANY thanks to Jennifer Stevenson and Paws and Rewind for all the help bringing this event to fruition.
We started out getting to know each other with a few questions in the "lounge" area, then Jennifer welcomed everyone to the event and introduced the ISSO board members. The swag store was then opened and Pie thanked Jennifer for all her help with tech support along with her company, Paws and Rewind, for hosting this lovely event which was the first virtual meeting we have had.
Our first presenter was the talented Anne Snipes Moss's doing a wonderful talk on Side Saddle Dressage. She started out reviewing the dressage scoring system and reminding us to Read the Rules!! What and Why is easy, the How is the issue! Next she went over the training pyramid discussing rhythm, suppleness, and contact which are all needed for training level. Then impulsion and straightness which are imperative in 1st level and finally addition of collection which you need for 2nd level and above.
Anne suggested doing your training astride then translate it to side saddle and remember to giggle not growl! Apparently you need a lot of support to become a side saddle dressage queen! She suggest twice a week astride training rides with aside intermingled then bump up to two to three times per week aside before a show. Trail rides and hill work are also great and most importantly, take as many lessons as you can afford and ride with mirrors whenever possible!! Other tips included: do yoga, palates, planks since you need to be fit and don't be worried if you are rough around the edges, above all else, don't give up!
Additional advice was offered about showing and schooling, like you loose 10-20% of your performance in the show ring and you can reset with the Joan Bennet Square. She then went through before and after photo's of several horses throughout training explaining the progression up the levels. Eloise King was mentioned as a brilliant horsewoman who much could be learned from and was the gold standard for Anne. She then went through several riders and discussed lines of the horse and riders reminding us about the "V's" to look for and went through video of musical freestyle and critiqued video of 4th level test. She went through lots of video's including tips, even on pirouette's! It really was a FABULOUS talk! In fact, my sister-in-law who is restarting her riding adventures and who attended this meeting for the first time is now interested in riding dressage! You have a convert Anne!
The second presenter was the amazing Amy Magee discussing side saddle seats and repairs. She was SO informative and offered so much advice on how to care for, condition, and clean your saddle. She included pricing on fixes and common issues as well as going through the anatomy of seats and saddle construction. I really cannot say how much we learned, even those who have worked on saddles for years.
I have always been told to not condition or touch my doeskin but we learned that is NOT always the case. If a seat is dry and feels like paper then you need to do it- you can't ignore doeskin! Seats can get slippery when dry or if not clean so when in bad shape she showed us how to condition and then later clean them. When dry you need to condition then when it is really dirty or has a lot of gunk she showed how to clean. There are several ways to do this but hers involves a bucket of hot water, stack of clean cloths, leather therapy wash, a couple little sponges, and potentially a card (such as credit card or old license).
ALWAYS consult a professional like Amy before taking on this process! Some big take home points from the talk included: don't use a lot of water and only clean after it has been condition- use a wash cloth in tiny circles to take off the dirt, and preconditioning the seat is KEY. If not, the seat can split later on and that can be a really expensive repair if you have to replace it. She sometimes utilizes spray leather therapy on a cloth in specific spots and does a little bit at a time. Work your way around. Once the cloth is dirty keep ringing it out- you want it just damp, to help pull up the conditioner you put on there. It is a really time consuming process so she does it in front of the television over days to weeks. You would only use a card when the seat is really gunky- after putting leather therapy wash on it in via cloth in broad strokes then do 45 degree angle to scrape. She warned to NEVER use a card near the edge or it can rip the seam. I think all disciplines learned a great deal and were offered the opportunity to ask questions. If you did not attend, you really did miss a great talk!
Our third presentation was on Ecaramuza Charra presented by the enthusiastic Tokyo Cabral and Marianna Guzman all the way from Mexico! We unfortunately had some internet connection issues that ate into our time but despite that we still got to learn a lot about this interesting aside sport. Tokyo patiently explained definitions of the in's and out's of the sport as well as shared pics of the teams trips abroad, talked about how events and demos run and discussed their cultural exchange program. These ladies are brave! On one trip they went to China and rode horses that had only been broke a
month! The ladies had limited practice then went in and did their thing! We also got to discuss options available on the saddles used, the evolution of the saddle, and we were able to see the artisan work through lots of pictures. We hope to do a virtual event later this year with Tokyo dedicated to this one topic so be on the lookout! Thank you again Tokyo & Marianna!!
Our final presenter was Jacquelynn Holly discussing western saddles. I must admit that I have been a hunter girl my whole life and have contemplated doing western dressage since talking to Anne Moss a couple years ago, but it was always a "if I find a saddle at the right price we may try it" kinda thought. After this talk I am now VERY interested in adding a new saddle to my collection! Jacquelynn is so passionate and free with her knowledge about these saddles that it is infectious. We learned about the pros and cons of the different tree types, anatomy of saddles (if it has western bars it is western no matter what the rigging!), she went through types of saddles and reminded us if it's dryrot it is shot! Really the tree is GOLD- they can do new leather but the tree is what is important. She urged us to not be afraid to buy a saddle if the tree is good & it is your size. Rebuilds can be done and it is really worth it. She discussed vintage through modern brands, appropriate prices of each, what to avoid, and especially which are sought after. She also discussed which brands work well for which body types- both rider and horse. Throughout the entire presentation we got to see photos of beautiful saddles from all ranges of prices. She finished off the presentation reviewing all the different things you can do in your western sidesaddle.
Our first virtual meeting ended with ISSO's Annual Business Meeting and Awards ceremony. We had a lot to get through on the agenda so it was quite a sprint to the finish. The election results were tallied and we were pleased to announce that Pie Truono (formerly a General Board Member) was elected our new President for the next 3 year and Jennifer Stevenson was re-elected to her General Board position (as well as continuing on as Co-Editor of Aside World. Thank you Jen from the bottom of my heart for staying on and helping with all you do for this organization wearing your many hats!)
On that note, Pie has helped tremendously since originally joining the Board and in true Pie fashion, has already hit the ground running helping with many projects since taking the Presidency in March! We are very lucky to have her knowledge and enthusiasm to help guide this organization over the next 3 years (and hopefully more if she will stay!). Speaking of hard work, we would like to take the time to give a BIG "Thank You" to Laureen Bartfield who stepped up last year to finish out Shelly Liggett's presidency - we appreciate all you have done for the organization as well! We know it was hard having to juggle ISSO while also running your other businesses so wish you the best and hope you are getting some riding in!
Pie ended up leaving a General Board member spot vacant along with the corresponding Membership Chair and Points Secretary position to which the Board elected and Marybeth Walker graciously accepted to finish out Pie's tenure. We are so blessed to have her enthusiasm as well as tons of experience that will assist her in these roles. On other news, since the meeting Heidi Opdyke has stepped back from her General Board position due to time constraints and Laureen Bartfield has graciously accepted the Boards vote for her to complete Heidi's tenure. Thank you Heidi for all your time and expertise you have donated over the years. She will stay on to help with Instructor certification.
The biggest surprises we announced were in the awards program with updates to division specifications, points system changes (you are going to like this!), and the decision to include all equines ridden for no additional charges! You spoke and we listened! Check out this link to read specifics and know the in's and out's of year end prizes! We then announced our year end winners through a fabulous Awards Video and ran a Year Book video from photos submitted by members. We concluded by thanking everyone for attending and thanking presenters and board members for their time making this a successful, fun, and enlightening meeting! Until next year or maybe sooner... Be on the lookout!
So to sum it up I think the Virtual Meeting was a great success and although outside of our normal way to gather, it actually provided a lot of members an easy and economical way to attend when they otherwise may not have been able to. For that I am truly grateful and can't wait to "see you soon!"
Video Above Left: 2020 Awards Winners
Video Above Right: 2020 Hat Contest Winners. Thank you again to Park Lady Equestrian Costumes for judging our contest!
Video to Right: ISSO's 2020 Year Book Video
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