National judge visits Uphill Dressage in Salem Township | TribLIVE.com
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Dan Speicher

It’s not every day that competitors get the chance to train with national judges in their dicipline. For Sara Kamerer of Murrysville, this weekend was an opportunity to get high-quality instruction while learning more about what dressage judges are looking for during a round of competition.

The artistic, Olympic sport showcases trained horses making precision movements in response to barely perceptible signals from their riders. Uphill Dressage in Salem Towship arranged for national judge Debbie Rodriguez of Williamsburg, Va., to give local riders a weekend of instruction.

As a lifelong rider, Kamerer was looking for tips on how to get her horse to move more freely, and how to use small inputs from her hands and legs to get him to make small transitions more smoothly. Rodriguez worked Kamerer and her horse through a series of movements and games meant to help them both find a better sense of balance and movement together.

“He did really well, especially towards the end. He was starting to pick up his head, loosen up his shoulders and push from the back,” said Kamerer, talking about her horse Divorno. “We are finally starting to get to where we want to be.”

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