Nov 14, 2012

Rosanna Joins Cavalia

After years in the making, I finally decided to run away with the circus.  My background in theatre, television production, and of course horses has made it a rather seamless transition.  

It's a challenge to be working and training horses that others ride and they have to perform the same show night after night.  They know the show inside and out, including the music cues, so I have to learn quickly to keep up and get the best out of them. 

Last night was the premiere in San Diego and it was a hit.  I succeeded at overcoming some little, what my dad would call hiccoughs, that my horse had presented during rehearsal so I was very pleased.  I ride a young, five year-old Spanish purebred so there is a lot to train every day to try and bring him up to speed. 

We'll be here through the holidays and then the plan is to head to Australia.  What a long journey for the horses!  They'll have plenty of quarantine and rest time out in the summer sun before gearing up for the next city.  

I'll be keeping you posted!

Nov 8, 2012

Happy 70th Birthday, Frank!

My dad's birthday was on October 1 and our family decided we would celebrate it in style by going to Portugal to visit his family and then head over to Paris, France to see the 4 Écoles Équestres show.  We invited members of Grelo Farms to join us and were so happy with how many people did!

What an opportunity it was to see the classical dressage academies of Europe ride together:  Vienna, Spain, Portugal, and Saumur.  The event was made even more special with the presentation of a unique book for my father made by our dear friend, Beverly Furer.

Bev commemorated my father's 70th birthday by compiling the photos and stories of members' experiences of studying with him.  Titled All In The Same Pocket, it brings together the memories of so many of those involved in bringing not only their dreams and aspirations to life, but those of my father as well.

Thank you, Bev, for creating this very special gift and thank you to the members of our extended family of Grelo Farms for joining us in Paris to celebrate my dad's birthday.  It was truly an honour and pleasure to spend this time with you!

Aug 26, 2012

Saturday Night Performance with Juan Diaz Sold Out!

We are thrilled to be hosting a clinic with Spanish Olympian Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz this September 14-16.  Tickets for the Saturday night performance are now sold out; no tickets will be available at the door.  Auditing spaces are still available for the clinic during the day. 

For more information contact Darcy Grube at

Aug 7, 2012

Clinic with Olympic Dressage Rider Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz September 14-16, 2012

Grelo Farms welcomes internationally acclaimed Olympic dressage rider Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz to conduct his first clinic in Canada.  Juan competed for Spain at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and placed 10th overall.  He is a Spanish dressage master who rode in the 2008 Beijing Games and had the crowd on its feet cheering at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky during his Grand Prix Freestyle with his P.R.E. stallion, Fuego.  Come and take part in this rare opportunity!

Clinic Times:  8:00am-5:00pm each day with an hour for lunch.
Performance:  Frank Grelo and Juan Diaz perform together with Lusitano stallions at 7:30pm.
Cost:  Auditing $20 per day (all riding slots have been filled)
         Cost for Saturday evening performance $10
Location:  Grelo Farms
                3545 Olde Base Line Rd.
                Caledon ON L7C 2H6

For further information and to book your seat for Saturday's performance, please contact Darcy Grube at

May 29, 2012

Walk Before You Run

As a general rule, starting your session with plenty of walk is a good way to go.  Take a few halts, some simple figures, and then your lateral movements.  When you're used to doing more difficult lateral movements, it's a good idea to incorporate the "simpler" ones as well.  Your horse never loses the need to work all his muscles, stretch, and become more supple.  The more variety you create, the better. 

Typically after the walk work we proceed into a similar routine at the trot and canter.  More figures at the trot are easier because you're going faster with more impulsion (hopefully) and you can benefit from collecting, lengthening, and extending with more ease than the walk.

If you encounter difficulty with an exercise at the trot or canter, take it back a notch either in level of difficulty or gait.  For example, you're having a hard time with your renvers (haunches-out, counter flexion) at the trot.  Perhaps you lack impulsion or your horse becomes heavy on the hands.  Try taking it back to the walk to remind your horse of the exercise and to feel where you may be going wrong.  You could also try it at the posting trot or take it back to a leg-yield and slowly start changing the bend.  This is a much better route than hammering out the exercise with no success.  Remember, even a few good strides is better than many bad ones.

Good luck!

Feb 12, 2012


When I watch others ride during lessons, I often find students do not pay enough attention to executing all the transitions well.  This can be from gait to gait or simply linking one exercise to the next, i.e. transitioning from walk to trot or going through the corner and turning down the centre line.  The moments in-between are crucial to each exercise.

For example, you are going through a corner followed by a half-pass on the diagonal finishing on the opposite corner.  The whole exercise is comprised of turning from the corner, executing the half-pass, straightening and following through the final corner.  If you do not turn properly, your half-pass will not begin properly.  If you do not complete properly, you have begun your final corner improperly.

I find it helpful to think of the beginning, middle, and end of everything I do.  If I'm doing the exercise mentioned in the above example I think:

1.  Complete the corner and turn the horse onto the diagonal.  Once straight...
2.  Position the horse for the half-pass.
3.  Arrive at the track just before the corner, straighten the horse's body until all four legs are centred on the track, and enter the corner.

Remember there's a whole half horse's body behind you where you cannot see so you must feel.  Connect the dots between the movements.  No step should be taken that has not been accounted for.  This will help you have a smoother, more even ride.  

A good refresher is to look at the directive ideas on the national or FEI dressage tests to know what you should be looking for.  These are available on the Equine Canada and FEI websites.