By CHRISTINE RIVLIN – I can’t say I have one specific thing. There have been so many that have had such an influence on me. But the one thing that sticks out in my head the most is the very beginning of my dressage career. When I was seven, my family and I moved to the peninsula Woodside area from Los Angeles. Before that, I had ridden a horse a few times on vacations and such, but never owned my own horse.
When we moved to Woodside, I randomly ended up at a barn that did dressage and some jumping. I convinced my parents to buy me a horse even though they knew NOTHING about horses. They bought me a $500 chestnut Morgan mare named Sue that dumped me on every occasion she could think of! But the barn I began riding at was Springdown Farm in Portola Valley, and it happened to house some the best dressage riders of the day, and those that didn’t ride and train there came and showed there regularly. To name a few: Lilo Fore (whom I got my real start and stayed with for nine years), Major Anders Lindgren, Gerhard Politz, Dennis Callin, Hilda Gurney, Susan Routson, Gwen Stockebrand, Jason Canton (whom I grew up with) and Elizabeth Ball. So needless to say, I was surrounded from the beginning by some top riders, instructors and horses.
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