A little bit about Tiffany
My name is Tiffany Herzog and although I started riding a little late in the game I’m making up for lost time. I’m originally from a small farming town in California called Brawley. My family and I relocated to OrangeCounty in ’01 or ’02. I graduated from Dana Hills High School in 2007 and decided I needed a little educational vacation.
My parents decided differently so I’m currently attending Saddleback Community College working towards getting into the nursing program. Some day in the future I’m going to be a Pediatric Oncology Nurse. I live five minutes away from the barn, so the majority of my time when I’m not working or at school is spent at the barn with my dream horse Adam. I have a secret love for photography and love doing anything that involves being outside. In 2010 Adam and I participated in our first Dressage show season competing in Training Level.
We ended the season as Junior/Young Rider Training Level Champion.
Here is our interview with Tiffany:
Q: When did you first start riding Dressage?
-I first started riding dressage about a year or a year and a half ago. When I was first starting out in my sophomore year of high schoo, I wanted to run fast and jump big, which is when I went into training with Dana Smith. She taught me there was more to riding a course then just the height of the fence and the speed of the horse which is when I started becoming interested in the dressage world. Once I started listening to lessons and watching people ride I knew it was what I needed to do to become a better rider. It started with just a lesson or two a week just to improve upon myself and my horse till I lost interest in jumping altogether and found my true love…DRESSAGE.
Q: Who are you training with?
-I’m lucky enough that one of my best friends Cassandra Cherry was an accomplished Young Rider and now a professional trainer, that has been very willing to help me with my riding goals. I also take lessons with Brent Hicks once or twice a week. I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for Adam and me.
Q: How do you warm up your horse and why do you think it is important for warm-up?
-I think of a warm up this way…you wouldn’t ask someone to get out of bed and run a marathon right away would you? No, because just like our athletes they need time to wake up and stretch, even more so if your 18.0 hands! So our warm up is very important. We spend at least fifteen minutes on a loose rein when we first walk into the arena. Then for the next fifteen minutes we pick up our reins a little bit and start walking serpentines asking him to engage his hind end more. Then we start trotting in a lower frame to establish a connection.
Q: Who is your biggest influence in your riding?
– My biggest influence would have to be my Mom. She has always been there pushing me towards my goals and supporting me the whole time. With out her I wouldn’t be where I am today. Everything I do, I do for her!
Q: What is a typical day in the training for you and your horse, and what exercises do you work on more
-A typical lesson day would consist of a walk from Rancho Sierra Vista where Adam is to Sycamore Trails where both Cassandra Cherry and Brent Hicks are located. Once there we start our walk warm up till our lesson starts. We work a lot on impulsion and getting Adam quicker off my leg. As well as my accuracy and seat. It really depends on how Adam and I are feeling that day as to what we need to spend more time on than others. Some days it just doesn’t click no matter what we try and I’m grateful for those days because that’s when I learn the most.
Q: What is the most important training tip you can give other riders?
-The most important training tip I could give to any rider is to never give up and be patient. Don’t push and make a big ordeal over any situation. When you or your horse start getting frustrated take a break and come back to it. Always end on a positive note. You must set the horse up to be successful in his work. That is the only way to build your horse’s trust and confidence.
Q: Tell us about your horse’s personality, what he/she likes and doesn’t like!
-I could talk for days about Adam; he’s literally my dream horse. Adam “Admire Me” being his show name is a 13yr old 18.0 hand Hanoverian chestnut gelding originally from the Czech Republic with four almost perfectly matching socks and a splash of white on his face. Around the barn everyone knows him as chubby, all for good reason mind you, he LOVES to eat! He enjoys his bareback halter and lead rope rides almost as much as he enjoys his turn outs. He loves his job and gets pretty grouchy if he has any longer then two days off. He thinks ponies were god’s gift to him and would spend all day with a certain pony named Blue if I let him. He tolerates other people’s attention but gets very angry if I give him nothing but my undivided attention. Oh yeah, his best friend is our hay guy Cam. Who always has some sort of treat for their brief conversation they have once a week.
Q: Who is your favorite rider?
– You’ve got to remember I rode hunter/jumpers for six years, so when I answer that Beeze Madden is my favorite rider. I also admire Debbie MacDonald for her very successful transition from the hunter/jumper world to dressage. I do however love watching Edward Gal and Steffen Peters ride.
Q: Is your goal to be in the Olympics someday?
– I would be honored to one day ride in the Olympics but currently my goal is just focusing on the Brentina Cup.
Q: What is your favorite dressage movement?
– My favorite movements to watch are the Tempi changes and Passage.
Q: Do you like riding to music?
-I really enjoy riding to music. It helps me focus more on what my horse and I are doing as a team. It really makes me pay attention to his rythmn as well.
Q: What can you share with other riders the most important advice of learning Dressage?
-The most important advice I have for anyone learning Dressage is don’t give up. Everything comes together with time so be patient.
Q: What can you tell other junior riders about reaching their goals in dressage?
-When it comes to reaching your goals I would say to surround yourself with positive people. Negativity will get you no where in life. A positive outlook and patience are the greatest tools you could have.
Q: What are your goals with your horse for 2011?
-My plans for the 2011 show season are to come out showing successfully in first level. Seeing as I’m no longer a junior thanks to me turning 22 in September, I’m going to focus working towards getting qualified for the Regional Adult Armature Championship.