Dressage and eventing in the Berkshires
USEF 'r' Dressage Judge
Dragonfly Farm North, in Sandisfield, Massachusetts - April-January. Located in the foothills of Southern Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts is approximately twenty minutes south of Great Barrington, MA and 20 minutes north of Winsted, CT. Situated on 95 acres of open fields and woodland, the farm offers an outdoor dressage arena, show jumping field, schooling cross country fences, and miles of trails and dirt roads for conditioning and pleasure riding. Our barn offers hot & cold water wash stall, heated tack room and 10x12 box stalls.
Dragonfly Farm South, Williston, Florida - January-April. A seven acre, six 12x10 box stall, farm in the middle of some of the most beautiful and abundant horse farms in the country. Minutes from prominent dressage shows, events, horse shows, polo, driving competitions, and racing. All in weather you have always dreamed of for the winter months. True horse heaven!
I started riding in my sixties and soon acquired my own horse, Casper. Casper was not the ideal choice for an older, beginning rider; but I had in essence rescued him from an unhappy life and was not about to give him up. Five years later, I was still a first level rider, my advancement having been impeded by health and behavioral issues on Casper’s part and by a spill and shoulder injury on mine. Periods of progress would be followed by prolonged impasses. It was during one of the impasses a few years ago that I started taking lessons from Katie Rocco. Katie's centered riding technique, her excellent communication skills, positive attitude, and compassion had an immediate impact on my riding. One of Katie's great strengths is her ability to read the horse, which means that the horse is not necessarily blamed for what goes wrong. Instead, Katie identifies the problem as it relates to both the horse and the rider. She corrects the immediate problem; then, more importantly, provides a long term solution to fix it. Her approach helps to overcome my occasional frustration with Casper. When Katie assures me that we will fix a problem, I believe her. Even when I am discouraged after a bad day, I still look forward to the progress I will make in my next lesson with Katie.
Central Vermont Dressage Association has had the fortune of having Katie Rocco as a clinician for our Critique Day and as a judge for our schooling show for the last two consecutive years. As a clinician, Katie has a wonderful gift of working with all types of horse/rider pairs, having every pair leaving the arena with more skills and understanding than when they entered. Time and again ,we have watched Katie assist many rider's achieve the relaxation they need to learn and gain synchronicity with their horse and then challenge them to take a step toward the next level whether it be in their position, an exercise or in overcoming a riding issue. As a judge, Katie has always upheld the values of fairness and integrity while providing constructive criticism to all riding before her. She has always demonstrated the ability to remain kind and constructive while strongly upholding the standards of the sport and the welfare of the horse. Katie in short is an asset to the sport of dressage.
I write these words of reference for Katie Rocco with great confidence and satisfaction. I have known Katie Rocco for several years and during this time, have witnessed a person with the highest ethics and integrity. Even before we met, I knew of Katie’s exceptional reputation as an outstanding rider, instructor and judge. Katie has been involved with horses at every level and aspect of training and management since a small child. Katie has worked with many of the top trainers in the world and blends this experience and knowledge into being a true horseman. She has owned/run large training facilities, bred winners at Devon, and instructed some of our greatest young riders. She openly pursues continued education in her sport and melds her knowledge into a common sense approach that benefits both the horse and the rider. Katie always puts the horse first and with this belief, she has built the respect and admiration fellow horseman.
SHANNON EQUINE IMPORTS & TOURS
In 2017, Katie and Linda started a horseback riding tour company, based in West Ireland. The tours take riders through the Burren, on beach rides, and on cross-country rides.
Shannon Equine Imports has been importing quality Irish Sport Horses since 1988. Katie along with her partners Linda and Patrick Downes, based in County Clare Ireland, carefully choose horses that are athletic, elegant, sensible and sound. Please contact us for horses both here and in Ireland.