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No horsing around

William Woods University hosts semi-annual dressage competition

Mason Kramer, 18-year-old William Woods University dressage competitor, rides on his horse Ripley during the Wililam Woods Completely Relaxed Dressage Schooling Show on Saturday. Kramer has been riding since childhood. He placed second and third in his events that day.

Mason Kramer, 18-year-old William Woods University dressage competitor, rides on his horse Ripley during the Wililam Woods Completely Relaxed Dressage Schooling Show on Saturday. Kramer has been riding since childhood. He placed second and third in his events that day. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

Horses will be trotting in the Rowland Applied Riding Arena at William Woods University as an open dressage competition continues from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today. The event is open to the public. The William Woods Completely Relaxed Dressage Schooling Show started Saturday with WWU students along with other riders showcased their dressage skills.

Dressage is a horse competition in which the rider and horse perform specialized footwork and movement in a rectangular arena.

Mason Kramer, a William Woods dressage competitor, said dressage allows riders to see how a horse carries itself. He added that dressage is a “stepping stone” to higher horse disciplines.

“You want to look like you’re doing as little as possible,” Mason Kramer, 18, said.

Kramer competed on Saturday and placed second and third in his events with his horse Ripley. He practices every Monday and Wednesday morning with Karen Pautz, William Woods clinical instructor in dressage, in addition to riding in his spare time. Kramer is pursuing a business degree but would like to maintain riding horses competitively as a hobby throughout his lifetime.

Pautz said the event is an educational tool for her students because it’s an opportunity for industry experience. The students are competing against riders from outside the university. Pautz is able to see where her students are making mistakes and help correct them — another reason William Woods puts on the event, which has taken place twice a year since 2002.

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