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Things That Really Matter....

            "Whatever happens to the water,
                           happens to the people."


Water quality is important to people and wildlife. Last summer, toxic algae in the Indian River Lagoon and elsewhere in Florida resulted in record numbers of dolphin and manatee deaths.
Amendment 1 (the Water and Land Conservation Amendment) will help protect our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters, which is critical to protecting wildlife and our own drinking water supplies.
Voting yes on Amendment 1 in November is the most important vote you will ever take for protecting clean water in Florida, but before then, we have something else we need you to do.

                           NO WATER - NO JOBS


County cutting corners for privileged few in land use process

By Jeri Baldwin

Special to the Star-Banner

Published: Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Marion County Citizens Coalition (MC3) has initiated a lawsuit against the Marion County Board of County Commissioners. The suit resulted from a growing concern about the lack of due process.

Among the violations which Ralf Brookes, the MC3 attorney, has identified are the right to request timely documents, to examine documents, to ask questions and to receive timely answers. MC3 is asking that Marion County strive to take actions to increase meaningful participation enhancing the public voice in government public hearings and proceedings.

Neighborhood property owners have the right to ask for notification of land use changes, the changes those land use amendments will bring, and how homes and property values will be affected.

So-called “tag-along” and last-minute land use requests without proper notice violate procedural due process and have no place in democratic government. Yet, these are becoming increasingly common in Marion County land use proceedings.

Procedures for notice and public records explaining even minute changes must be followed by everyone, without regard for status, position, profession or standing with government entities. Too often it is just the inner circle or those with high-powered lawyers who are provided with email notifications and for whom procedures are shortened, fees are waived and shortcuts are granted.

Tag-along and last-minute land use requests without proper notice should not be allowed. Period. Marion County should have a procedure that is followed by everyone.

Fees for applicant-generated land use changes should be collected and not waived as tag-alongs to county-generated plan amendment updates. We, the taxpayers, should not foot the bill for development that impacts our infrastructure, and not every piece of land should be converted to shopping centers and housing developments. What has happened to our sense of place and farmland preservation?

Further, Marion County taxpayers and residents have the right to provide input and feedback regarding appointed boards. Boards which play a significant role in development decisions — the Land Use Regulation Board, in particular — are currently made up of the regulated, and weighted with developers, their contractors, and companies with which they do business.

We ask that commissioners seek balance on all county business as the constitution mandates. It is time we had a voice.

Jeri Baldwin is a farmer and operates a wildlife refuge in Citra. She is a member of the Marion County Citizens Coalition.


Implicit in Susan's crusades
Read More Here

And, here, a separate link to Susan's
FALDO page!


Re: more mundane matters:



            Judging and teaching both at home in Central Florida and all around the country, Susan and Bill Woods each acknowledge over thirty-five years of experience that can help you better understand and train your horse.

            They have been active on the national dressage scene since 1980, their dressage specialty arising from broad backgrounds in balance-seat work, both on the flat and over fences.

            Both are known for their ability to outline sound, classical goals and to communicate effective techniques to riders of all levels. They carry on the ideals and principles they learned at the American Dressage Institute and the USDF-sponsored Violet Hopkins National Instructors Seminars and which they, in turn, were tabbed to spread to hundreds of teachers and dozens of groups throughout the US at USDF Regional Instructor Workshops.

            Susan and Bill are each USDF Bronze and Silver Medalists. They've each trained and shown many horses from Training Level to FEI, and they continue to coach students both at the Florida shows and those whom they meet at clinics and then send off to competitions, ribbons, and medals in their own areas. Their students show at every level through Grand Prix.

            Over twenty and nearly thirty years respectively of dressage judging give Susan and Bill a special perspective to help you understand what all judges are looking for and what it takes for you to succeed in the show arena.


            Find out more about each of them on the tabs to the left.  


Recent Video from Bill:


A judged Adult Amateur Grand Prix Freestyle:

Eventors-- Two "new" archival videos:
     1976 Olympic 3 Day from Bromont.
Filmed by Bill at the time as a Super8mm movie, recently converted to video with an added voice track. See the US gold medal team and top riders of the 70s from around the world. 37 minutes. Click below:

1977 Ledyard International Horse Trials. Created
as above. With narration, the top US riders plus the Brits. Germans, Canadians, and riders from 3 other countries. 26 minutes. Click below:
The Ins and Outs of Haunches-- with examples and diagrams this new video helps you sort out the differences among all the basic lateral movements from leg yielding to shoulder in to travers, renvers, and half pass. Click here: 

Judged First Level Test 1--
An Adult Amateur riding at a recognized show, 2 sets of comments and scores: Bill's and the actual judge's

Judged Second Level Test 2
(as above):

Judged Third Level Test 2
(as above):

Judged USEA Novice Test A:

At the Dampa, er, Tampa show June 8th-- See a brief video of what it means to rain in Florida in the summer. With all the show arenas under cover, by next morning everything was able to resume on schedule.


Judged Prix St. George test
Compare your marks and observations with Bill's and judge Janet Foy's
"On the Aids?"
A three minute demo by Bill and Gail Redinger that you want your own horse to be able to replicate.

Berlin Quadrille featuring Reiner Klimke

This is a reproduction of a VHS tape given to me more than 25 years ago by Gen Jonathan Burton. He thought it was done in Berlin, probably sometime after the '84 Olympics. The lead rider is Olympic gold medalist Reiner Klimke on Ahlerich. Second in the line, I believe is Gabriella Grillo. General Burton said he thought the riders had barely any rehearsal before the performance, but it is great fun to see these 12 international riders all working together.



NOTE: If you have your choice of web browsers, this site plays much better if you use Mozilla or Safari rather
than Internet Explorer!



                   EQUINE ED

an educational  webchannel created by Cid Kent and available thru FaceBook, YouTube, and Vimeo. Each month Cid and her panel of experts take on a different aspect of horse management or training.
Link to all the programs here:


A summertime feature on Equine Ed is
"A Day in the Life"
A half hour "up close and personal" look
at Bill and all he does.
Find some evening time and a glass of wine
link to it through the Equine-Ed website.

Announced recently: Equine Ed will be offered on the national cable channel RFD-TV. No start date has as yet been set.



If you need a point of view to un-selfconsciously
adopt as your own, or if you'd just like to be annoyed all the time . . . .

atest entry: 7/25/14


AND NOW . . .

More Opinions, Warranted or Not




Should I squeeze, kick, or use the whip?

Next Month's Question

I’ve seen horses in First Level make an extended trot and get scores of 9 and above due to the "brilliance factor" (as I heard one judge call it).  But extended trot isn't in the test, and in freestyles, you get penalized if you do movements above your level. Why not in regular classes too? Heidi, Huntsville, AL

         Stay tuned for Bill's explanation
Meanwhile, keep your questions coming!


Find out what's buried in
Bill's tome!

"If dressage were this funny, more people would be doing it!"

CLICK HERE for details, a sample,
and how to order it


The USDF Connection says:

"Much as I love our sport, there aren't too many dressage tomes I'd consider taking to the beach... DRESSAGE Unscrambled is the rare exception.

"[Bill] also happens to be an astute observer of foibles both human and equine and a writer with a wry sense of humor.

"DRESSAGE Unscrambled distills a lifetime of memorable experiences and 'aha' educational moments into one unassuming paperback...

"Younger dressage enthusiasts will get a glimpse into how our sport has evolved, and those of a certain age will surely chuckle at some memories. And you'll probably learn something along the way, too."




And trace, if you dare,
the treacherous path to

DRESSAGE Unscrambled's


One click  will do it

Don't forget our on-line store

Things to wish you had!       
                             CLICK HERE


YOU are Visitor #

to the new
(reset 12-1-11)
29000 visits from Sept 2009 to December 1st, 2011

That's over 50,000 hits now!

Props to Pete Thosteson (The Younger) at Atomic Lightwave, Susan Petrillo, and Mare Prelovsky for inspiration and assistance with this site.


Below: Jamie Sawyer experiencing the wisdom of Laura Herndon's Grand Prix gem, Kasper.

Below: A mid July visual progress report on the Florida Horse Park's new covered arena

Above: The magnificent Tyler, Jill Barrera's 30 year old gelding
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