Welcome to Season Four of the Dressage Today Podcast. In the first episode of 2023, Aviva shares some memories of riding with Elizabeth Madlener who recently passed away. Aviva and Stephanie also discuss the month’s “Ask the L” question, “Are you judged on what happens between the movements? Or is it just the movement itself?” Together they interview Alison O’Dwyer, a successful dressage and eventing trainer and competitor who has made her niche in retraining thoroughbred racehorses.
Alison O’Dwyer is originally from Colorado where she started taking consistent riding lessons at six years old. By the time she graduated high school she had competed in two CCI** events. Taking a gap year after graduation she headed to Kentucky to work for WEG silver medalist, Dorothy (Trapp) Crowell where Alison made huge strides in her horsemanship and riding ability. Under Dorothy’s tutelage Alison was able to compete up to the CCI***L level. In Kentucky she gained an interest in dressage and achieved her USDF Bronze Medal with the help of Reese Koffler-Standfield.
After graduating from the University of Kentucky, Alison went to work for Michael Pollard where she trained on her own horse and groomed professionally for his string of international eventers. Soon after retiring her last upper-level horse, she found her current niche in retraining ex-racehorses for eventing and dressage. Her recent success has been highlighted by the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover where she’s managed to win the dressage competition three times. This year Alison has two more exciting prospects for the competition in 2023. Recently relocating to Wellington Fl, she is eager to take advantage of all the town has to offer.