January 2019 - Fair Warning - CDS Health Fair Could Change Your Life
Written by by Nan Meek
Thursday, 27 December 2018 23:22

dressage news & views

“Health for the Horse, Health for the Rider” in Anaheim on January 20.

by Nan Meek

It’s a tradition to begin the New Year with new resolutions: lose weight, work out, move up a level (if you’re a dressage rider) or finally, at last, no excuses, get those flying changes confirmed! Variations on those themes occur annually, don’t they?


At CDS, the California Dressage Society, 2019 begins with a fun and educational health fair that will help any rider reach higher goals in the coming year.


“For the Health of the Horse, For the Health of the Rider” combines panel discussions, renowned guest speakers and shopping in an event that has something for everyone, dressage rider or not. Mark January 20 on your calendar and enjoy learning new information and great tips that can make 2019 a great year for you and your horse.

Its location at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort is set amidst the world-famous Disneyland theme parks, so a family vacay could tempt your household into a weekend at the happiest place on earth while you opt for a day of immersion in all things related to horse and rider health and performance. Win-win!

Dr. Hilary Clayton


Her name is synonymous with research that covers new ground to advance our understanding of how horses move, perform, overcome or succumb to stresses, injuries and everyday riding. Dr. Hilary Clayton BVMS, PhD, DACVSMR, MRCVS is clearly a renaissance woman: a veterinarian, author, clinician and researcher , she is also an active rider who has competed in dressage through Grand Prix and achieved her USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Rider Medals.

What hasn’t she done? This is her first appearance as a CDS presenter, and California riders couldn’t be more fortunate. Her work – and the presentation she will be making at the CDS Health Fair – is relevant to all horses and riding styles.

“Dr. Clayton’s targeted studies in bitting, saddle fit biometrics, kinematics and kinetics, and locomotion have provided valuable insight into the mechanics of equine sports,” CDS describes her work, and that is not overstating her contributions to the science of sport horse health and performance. By advancing the understanding of equine biomechanics, her work has helped countless horses and riders through the years.

Bookworms like me have read her work including Clinical Anatomy of the Horse (written with Peter F. Flood and Diana S. Rosenstein), The Dynamic Horse, and Activate Your Horse’s Core – Unmounted Exercises for Dynamic Mobility, Strength and Balance (written with Narelle C. Stubbs).

If you are interested in training and conditioning sport horses, understanding the biomechanical and physiological basis of equine performance and the interaction between the rider, the tack and the horse, this is your opportunity to learn from the best.

Tom Meyers


Tom Meyers has long been the go-to guy for equine physiotherapy among high-performance horse owners, trainers and riders. He works on some of the brightest equine stars – Ravel, Legolas and Rosamunde come quickly to mind – as well as horses whose owners simply want nothing but the best for them.

As he has remarked, “My program is designed for healthy horses, athletic horses that are competing as jumpers, dressage horses, western, and on the race track.”

Since 1995, when he supported the performance of dressage horses preparing for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, Tom has been at the heart of the U.S. dressage world. He hasn’t missed preparation for the Olympic Games since, and has been part of the team on the ground at four Olympics.

His unique program, developed in the 1990s, combines Respond cold laser treatment and electromagnetic therapy, plus hands-on bodywork based on the late, legendary Jack Meagher’s techniques. Since London 2012, APF Pro has become an essential part of his program, as well.

“I credit a lot of my success to Dr. Mary Brennan. She is a veterinarian and chiropractor who taught me about holistic medicine and TCM, traditional Chinese medicine,” he explains. Combining the best of East and West, holistic and high-tech, Tom has practical wisdom to spare, and it’s yours to share at the CDS Health Fair.

Seana Adamson


Seana Adamson, Ph.D., is a psychologist and dressage trainer who specializes in sport psychology for equestrians, and enjoys working with beginners or anyone who has a passion for learning. You don’t have to be a dressage rider to benefit from her experience and expertise.

In her decades-long career, Seana has won numerous regional and national awards and achieved her USDF Gold Rider Medal, produced several horses to the Grand Prix level and helped her students to wins at the regional and national levels.

Her sports psychology clinics include the mental, physical and emotional components of peak performance, along with practical exercises and ideas that can be incorporated into daily life.

Topics can include processing trauma, fatigue and burnout, or fear and anxiety, among others, and techniques such as relaxation, breath work, imagery and visualization.

Of particular interest to dressage riders, or anyone who has to memorize a test, pattern or course, is Seana’s expertise in test-riding strategies. That’s the subject of her book, Memorize That Dressage Test, a  workbook of sport psychology exercises designed to teach you how to optimize your mental game.

Whether you are interested in building a better partnership with your horse, discovering how to think like an athlete, or just need help with memorizing the new dressage tests, Seana will be at the CDS Health Fair to help you train your brain to be the best it can be.

Mike Tomlinson


This list of luminaries who will headline the CDS Health Fair began with a renaissance woman and it concludes with a renaissance man.

C. Mike Tomlinson, DVM, MBA is known worldwide for his expertise as an FEI veterinarian, but a look at his CV reveals his senior management expertise for multinational companies. Add CEO, CxO, and COO to the other triple-letter combinations behind his name and you’ll see the big picture, which includes current or former stints at Container Services Network, Snap Seals, Horses and Humans Research Foundation, US Para-Equestrian Association, EveryByte, Responde2, Kentucky Equine Research, and United States Equestrian Federation, among others.

With his entrepreneurial and inventor’s hat on, he leads companies, patents inventions and helps companies grow and thrive financially. Wearing his FEI veterinarian hat, he helps high performance equine athletes and the human teams supporting them to navigate the high-stakes health and performance labyrinth of international competition.

Just two examples: At the 2018 World Equestrian Games Dr. Tomlinson was president of the Veterinary Commission I, and he is a Course Director for the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) for whom he teaches the veterinary courses that vets serving as an official for the FEI must complete periodically.

There’s no limit on what can be learned from his experience. From the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles through last autumn’s hurricane of a WEG, he’s been involved at the highest level of equestrian sport. He’s been Chef d’Equipe for the USET Endurance Team, and USET Team Vet for numerous competitions including the WEG.

At the CDS Health Fair on January 20, you and I – and any of our friends and barn mates smart enough to attend this enlightening event – will have the opportunity to learn from the best of the best.

Details, details …

For more information, visit www.california-dressage.org.

A lifelong horse owner, Nan Meek lives on the scenic San Mateo County coast where dressage courts and riding trails overlook the Pacific Ocean. She competed in dressage to the Prix St. Georges level with her late beloved Lipizzan Andy (Maestoso II Athena II-1), and now practices the discipline of dressage with her handsome Spanish warmblood Helio Jerez 2000 and dotes on the newest family member Mischa (Neapolitano Angelica II-1). Yes, dressage is embedded in her DNA.