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FSU Dressage Team practices in Havana; what that is and why they do it there

The FSU Dressage Team practices at Iron Star Equestrian in Northern Havana.
Posted at 5:47 PM, Oct 18, 2023

HAVANA, Fla. (WTXL) —  

  • The FSU Dressage Team practices in Northern Havana at Iron Star Equestrian.
  • Dressage is a form of horse riding which bends the horse’s body in different ways which develops their muscles in the correct placement.
  • Watch the video to see why Havana is a good place for the team to practice.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT

I’m Ashley Engle, your neighborhood reporter in Havana. I met a woman who is part of the FSU Dressage team. She tells me she looks forward to the 30 minute drive to Havana to practice her passion in a peaceful area.

“I’m very glad we have this opportunity.”

Meet Chloe Bryl, Captain of the FSU Dressage Team and a lover of horses.

“I started riding when I was around five.”

The FSU Dressage Team practices at Iron Star Equestrian in Northern Havana. Chloe loves it because, “every time you step out and drive over here its like a whole new world. It takes your mind off of stress from classes and everything involving being a college student.”

It's a peaceful place to focus on the details away from the noise of campus life.

While walking the stables here, she explained to me what Dressage means.

It means “training” in French. It’s a form of horse riding which bends the horse’s body in different ways which develops their muscles in the correct placement.

“We have to communicate with an animal that does not speak English.”

Sarah Mills is the Coach of the FSU Dressage team. The team uses her barn to practice and train. She told me that she likes to call dressage “horse yoga.”

“We have to learn how to communicate with him in order to get our goal achieved.”

During a competition, the team has to run through a test which show cases walking, trotting and cantering. This also showcases how the team can communicate with their horses.

Although it may look like the horse is doing all the work, they are not. Riders do a lot to build the chemistry with the horse in order for the test to go smoothly.

“A lot of people look at riding and say ‘the horse does all the work the horse does all the work.’ I invite you to try it! It is a lot of work for the riders. Learning where to go, remembering where to go and tuning out the show nerves, balancing the horse plus themselves. Each horse is slightly different and they all have their own personalities.”

Getting to know their personalities better when practicing a unique skill away from the hustle and bustle of campus.

“Yeah. No its definitely nice to be out of Tallahassee. I do prefer it this way rather than closer to Tallahassee.”

In Havana, I’m your neighborhood reporter, Ashley Engle ABC 27.