(Originally posted on HorsesDaily)
Cesar Parra (USA) and his team at Piaffe Performance Dressage had great week at the 2020 Adequan Global Dressage Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida. The high intensity show culminated for Parra in the CDI3* Intermediare 1 Freestyle presented by Restylane with with Karen Blank’s Mr. Bumblebee. He rode his long time project to a unanimous and strong victory, scoring 75.535%. With a stable full of promising and accomplished high performance horses, for Piaffe Performance Dressage, this victory was a particularly sweet one.
‘Bee’ Confident and Patient and It Will Come
Owned by Karen Blank, Mr Bumblebee has been thriving in the Piaffe Performance program since his arrival a few years ago as a greener horse.
Cesar explains that it has been he and his team’s creative, soft approach with this sensitive horse that has been the key to his success:
“My experience developing ‘Bee’ has really challenged me to think about how best to give him the confidence he needs to shine in the ring through a soft, encouraging approach. He is naturally more of an introverted horse and needed our help to come out of his shell, so we had to build a great amount of trust with him.
We have all come together as a team to discuss ways to help him become the horse we all believe he can become, which is an internationally competitive Grand Prix horse, so it’s been a fun process. We have used a huge amount of positive reinforcement with him, following the pace that he shows us he is comfortable with to develop him into a horse that now handles high energy atmospheres.”
Always Evolving Parra Continues the Journey
Cesar points out that as most things grow and evolve over time, the same is true of his program and approach with the horses.
“I feel that in the past few years I have realized that I get better results employing a softer, more encouraging approach with the horses in my training system and am so pleased to see that growth being rewarded by the judges. As a team, we are committed to giving each horse that we work with our very best everyday, which includes our patience, compassion and efforts to understand each of their individual needs.
It’s ok if certain horses take longer than others to develop. We remain consistent and praiseworthy of their efforts as they try to get it right, and eventually they do. The horses seem to really be flourishing in this environment while steadily developing in their training progression.”
Olympic Goals in The Headlights
The future is looking bright for Cesar with his fleet of talented horses, each with their own impressive track records “My goal is to represent the US one more time at the Olympics on one of my five up and coming horses and I hope I can realize that dream. We currently have some lovely horses that I am very excited about: Fashion Designer, Don Cesar, Sir Beckmann, Mr. Bumblebee, Jida Selly A and Don Cesar Junior.”
With four of them training at the Grand Prix level and two top young horses coming up, Cesar’s goal seems within sight.