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Things That Really Matter....

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


Florida passes conservation amendment

Published: Tuesday, November 4, 2014

TALLAHASSEE — Florida voters have passed a measure that designates billions of dollars to conservation efforts over the next 20 years.

The Associated Press declared Amendment 1 passed on Tuesday. With about half the expected votes counted, the amendment had 75 percent "yes" votes to 25 percent no. It needed 60 percent of the vote to pass.

Amendment 1 will draw its funding from an existing real estate tax, and would dedicate 33 percent of it annually to conservation. That would be about a billion a year.

About half of the money will fund Florida Forever, a conservation land purchasing program that saw its budget slashed by 97 percent since 2009 dude to the Great Recession. The money was never restored after the economy rebounded.


The no-shows when it’s water . . .

By Brad Rogers, Editorial Page Editor, Ocala Star-Banner

Published: Saturday, September 27, 2014

     Organizers of the Orange Creek Basin Interagency Working Group were excited about the turnout at their meeting Thursday in northern Marion County. Well over 100 citizens turned out to offer their thoughts and ideas about the how to improve the health of the streams and lakes that make up the basin — Orange, Lochloosa and Newnan’s lakes and Paynes Prairie among them.

     Wayne Magley of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection noted the strong turnout, telling the Star-Banner: “They’re the people who live here. It’s important to get the public’s input. And people have to get involved.”

     Yes, people do need to get involved. As we know all too well here in Marion County, our water supply and springs, rivers and lakes are in trouble. They are diminishing in size and quality before our eyes.

Water is — or should be — THE public policy issue of the 21st century, yet while the room was packed up in Citra Thursday, not one elected official was in attendance. Not a county commissioner, not a state representative or senator, not a member of Congress — not one person who actually makes policy regarding our water supply.

     All we had to do is wait a day to find out why. The Florida Council of 100, arguably the state’s most influential group of business leaders and, of course, campaign donors, came out in opposition to Amendment 1. For those who don’t know, Amendment 1 is a constitutional amendment on the November ballot aimed at establishing a fund — using existing documentary tax proceeds — that would be spent on land and water conservation programs over the next 20 years. It’s about saving our water.

     “Amendment 1 would tie the hands of our elected leaders, blocking them from optimally allocating tax dollars to citizens’ needs and preventing them from meeting those needs as the economy fluctuates,” said Steve Halverson, the chairman of the Council of 100 and CEO of the Haskill Co., one of the nation’s largest construction companies.

Seriously? We need to not set aside more billions of our tax dollars so our lawmakers, who have done everything in their power to rape our landscape and drain our water supply, can continue to do so for their own enrichment. The same elected officials who did not show up Thursday night and claim they’re waiting for scientific evidence that our water supply is in trouble. Put a big development on the agenda, and they’ll be there in droves. Trust me.

     The Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have eliminated virtually all state growth planning and cut more than $1 billion in land and water conservation funding over the past four years, and told us straight-faced that it was in our best interest.
      A “yes” vote for Amendment 1 is a vote to keep at least some of our tax dollars out of the greedy hands of those who are enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of us and our environment. It is a vote for trying to save our dwindling water supply and with it our state from economic and environmental ruin.

NO WATER - NO JOBS ______________________________
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.

          In recent months Susan has for medical reasons had  to reduce her workload in both the equine and environmental areas. She remains actively committed to the philosophies and principles she has espoused in both these fields over the years. As Bill can testify, she remains a force to be reckoned with.


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


Recent Video from Bill:


Schooling Grand Prix movements
Gail Redinger and Mitras have appeared in many videos on this site. Here they school GP movements at Bill's September clinic prior to their trip to the Region 6 Finals. Mitras is, by the way, available for your husband or S. Daddy to purchase for your Christmas present.

A judged USEF Test for the 4 Year Old Horse:
See how these tests are evaluated differently from normal dressage tests.

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: 


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!

Above: The Macy's parade last year, the DRESSAGE Unscrambled float moving down 6th Avenue in New York City.

It's Thanksgiving time! As the tradition dictates, here's the re-link to to Bill's account of a past holiday misadventure. Figuring prominently is Mama Stamberg's fabulous recipe for cranberry relish. NPR's correspondent emeritus, Susan Stamberg, has read the story and responded with her sympathy and support.

29 Let's Call the Whole Thing Off.pdf
152.2 KB

The new 2015 Tests are out and will go into effect on December 1 of this year. Here's how to find them:
Here's Bill take on all the changes and what they might mean to you.

230A Test-ifying.pdf
178.3 KB

Equine-Ed's Cid Kent asks Bill to talk about the horse in his life that has meant the most to him, Adam. Click here to see the exchange on video.




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: 11/18/14


AND NOW . . .

More Opinions, Warranted or Not




Next Month's Question

What do you think, good or bad, of this tendency that I am seeing for riders to be behind the vertical?  See it on magazine covers, at shows I go to, etc...  I've been told "Need to do it for the extended work."  But, well, um, I don't remember seeing it years ago.  And "pros" are doing it at lengthening work?  Is this correct?

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

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 60,000 hits now!

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


Shawn Kuester and Cat on the way to their Silver Medal, achieved with two smashing 64%s at Suncoast Dressage in Tampa the weekend before Thanksgiving.
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