Exciting Changes to Dressage Dreamers Equestrian

Can you believe we’re in 2022 already – I can’t.

With the new year now in full swing, it’s time for me to share a few changes here at Dressage Dreamers Equestrian – don’t worry it’s the good kind!

If you noticed towards the end of last year, I separated my coaching and riding aspect and re branded that under Ingrid Darlington Equestrian – woohoo!

You can come along for the ride on Facebook here and on Instagram here

This has allowed me to streamline all my crazy ideas straight into Dressage Dreamers Equestrian! Yep, I have some wild ideas and you’re about to come along for the ride my friend.

I have soo many beautiful boutique designs, I’ve now created a core range - you can visit these here at the shop.

Which means each month I’m releasing special exclusive designs that will only be available for that month. Recently for January you would have seen some pretty fun workout singlets on your feed.

Keep your eyes peeled for next month’s special exclusive release!

Totally saved the best news till last, in March I will be launching the Dressage Dreamers Essential Wear *insert happy dance* . This is something which has been in the pipeline forever! I honestly cannot wait to share all the details with you soon, how you can be the first to get these in your hot little hands!

Become a VIP for our Essentials Wear today by clicking here

Pssst.... If you haven’t signed up to our regular mail list for all the latest gossip - you can here

Till next time- Ingrid

That Dreaded C Word – Canter

It’s no secret I’m lover of all things Standardbreds. I’ve been fortunate to have grown up surrounded by them. From breeding, training, racing then into their career after racing. Oh and I guess plenty of experience looking after the retired ones too!

The last 12 months or so after completing my EA Coaching, I’ve been helping my fellow Standardbred riders get the best out of their horses.

I come across horses at all different stages of their training, green horses to horses that have plenty of miles under their belts.

One thing I do come across is that dreaded C word.


I wanted to tell you one thing. It’s not impossible.

There is nothing holding you back. Speaking from my own experience, I’ve competed in more open competitions then I ever have within the Standardbred ring. It can be done.


But how?

Great question..


As much as we would like, there is no magic wand, no instant quick fix and certainly no tricks.


So, what is it?


Building blocks in our foundations, tackling and linking our blocks along the way.


We want to be an expert at the basics, our transitions not only in and out but within the gait. Keeping your horse balanced underneath you, not running away through the bridle. Having a genuine connection from the hind legs through your seat and into your hands from the bridle, working over their top line.


You can read a hundred different ways to get your Standardbred cantering, they’re all true someone has tried and tested it.

Don’t forget there are many ways not to get your Standardbred cantering, because we’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked!


My piece of advice to you (besides a few of those hundreds of exercises) is to ask yourself this. How good are your basics, are your building blocks helping you climb your way to success?


You want to be able to have that adjustable trot, being able to make it bigger and smaller.


When we first begin to ask for canter we only want to see a handful of strides, even if they are a four beat. Trust me, they will get more balanced and three beat over time.


9 times out of 10 they want to drop out of canter and run into trot, organise your trot again and reward. Use your voice, give them a pat! Don’t keep driving them in the canter to keep cantering or to find their balance.


Once you have your rhythm back in your trot work, ask again. Little bits at a time. You’ll soon be able to ride the canter like you ride the trot.


Of course, this all sounds simple in theory! But if it is something you’re struggling with or about to embark. Ask yourself, how good are your basic building blocks.

Open Competitions with Standardbreds

There is no reason why you can’t take your Standardbred into an open competition. There is nothing holding you back from pushing yourself and hitting those goals.

For those who have aspirations of competing in an open competition but feel like they’re never going to be able to. Re read the first paragraph again, and probably another 3 times.

Let it sink in.

It all comes down to your training and having a knowledgeable coach who will help you achieve this goal and your willingness to learn and motivation to make it routine.

You need to think about where you’re at with your training right now. How many miles has your horse have being under saddle, 6 weeks, 6 months or even 2 years? Note where you’re at and where you want to be down the track. If your horse has not long been under saddle, that’s great, put your goals down and work towards them.

There is nothing holding you back. Speaking from my own experience, I’ve competed in more open competitions then I ever have within the Standardbred ring. It can be done.

The ridden Standardbred classes have gone leaps and bounds over the last few years, it’s lovely to see the amount of horses out competing. The overall presentation of the horses is certainly something to be proud of. Honestly, it’s a huge credit to you for presenting them so beautifully.

It’s lovely to see the determination and also the enjoyment from these riders who are competing in the ridden events. Don’t let your goals stop in the breed ring.

There are some amazing riders out there who are completely kicking goals in open competition, have you seen some of the amazing Standardbreds sand dancing recently? It’s not only great to see but a pleasure to see good training pay off and for the breed to really be seriously competitive with other breeds in the 60×20.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know my view on competing Standardbreds in open competition is there is no chance, you’re not good enough or you will be out of place because you ride a Standardbred. It honestly comes down to good consistent training.

Lesson Diagonal Pair


If I’m speaking honestly, I felt prouder and successful about my own training when I was competing Arnie in open events. The fact he was just as competitive with all the other horses on the draw and no one looked at him as just a ‘Standardbred’ but a dressage horse.

A few little wise things from me to you.

  • A knowledgeable coach to help you work towards your goals.
  • Good training system
  • More importantly be consistent with your training system- stick at it.
  • Good things take time
  • Don’t stop learning

March Training Task

So much support in January with the training task! Amazing to see people getting involved, even if you didn’t share videos, letting me know how you went and asking load of questions.


This month for March – thinking I might do the training tasks bimonthly … because sometimes time escapes me! 🙂


Figure of 8’s


This training task will focus on:
  • the accuracy of each circle
  • the flexion and bend to the new direction.
  • Balance and regularity of the trot. (or canter for challenging yourself)


Things to think about:
  • Having both 20m circles even
  • Riding the outside shoulder on the line
  • The change of rein over x
Benefits of this exercise:
  • Improving suppleness
  • Improve the bend through the body
  • Accuracy
  • Equal bend on both reins

To mix it up during your training, you can make a walk transition at ‘x’ when changing the bend to the new direction.


To make it more challenging, you can do the figure of 8 at a canter. Ensuring you keep the regularity of the canter on the 20m circles while riding the line. You want a balanced transition at ‘x’ and preparation for both the transition down into trot then into canter.


If you have any questions email me! Or pop over into the Team Standardbred group, make sure you share your videos!


Happy Training



January Training Task

Over the Christmas break I had this idea to put together little challenges or tasks for 2021. Something to get us thinking about the different aspects of our training, keep us motivated, help with current issues or just something we haven’t thought about before. It is not something competitive to see who can do something ‘better’!

This month for January I wanted to do a ‘transitions’ task.

Now this training task will focus on:

Transitions within the gait

  • Trot– focusing on the horse to wait and to be able to come back on our aids then to be able to go back into a working trot again.
  • Canter – If you have a few more miles under your belt to be able to play around with the canter more, it’s a great exercise to start to work with.
Things to think about:
  • Keeping balance – not letting them want to pick up the lateral pair. They must keep the diagonal pair.
  • Connection in the bridle- keep a consistent contact and connection with the frame. We don’t want the frame/posture to change only the tempo.
  • Not to bring them back too far and getting stuck.
    • The idea is to keep the balance throughout the exercise being adjustable within the trot or canter work.
  • Finding that area where they might want to break into a pace. When you find that area and build on from it, you’ll know where your limits are.
  • If they are wanting to break into a pace while doing this exercise. Start to troubleshoot.
    • Bring it onto a 20m circle.
    • While in working trot, connecting your inside leg to your outside rein. This is helping to connect the horses inside hind leg to the outside shoulder.
    • Make sure you have a good connection through the reins and into the bridle.
    • Ride a shoulder fore on the circle before starting to play around with the transitions.


Benefits of this task:
  • Great exercise when you’re warming up if they are behind your leg
  • Finding more gears within your work
  • Getting the horse to use their hind quarters more
  • Will improve transitions in and out


Share your videos in the Team Standardbred Facebook group or if you don’t want to post in the group send them to me directly!


Any questions please ask away in the Facebook group or contact me directly I’m more than happy to help!


I’ll be popping up my video over the next few days!


Just remember we are all on this training train together 🙂


Let’s wrap up 2020

Like most I’m looking forward to wrapping up 2020 and heading into 2021 bigger and better.


For me, it’s my first real big year with DDE, with my completion of my EA Coaching I headed out into the big wide world right before that thing we’ve all gotten used to hearing about. Covid – sigh, it’s deflating how much I’ve gotten used to hearing and talking about it on a daily basis. It’s been a little harder developing my coaching and tee business this year then I had originally planned!


I’ll be honest so much has changed with the horses and my goals. Literally just crazy looking back now!


Earlier in the year I made a tough decision to sell my young horse Minnie, was so heart breaking for me to come to that decision. But I know deep down in my heart it was the right one to make. She found a wonderful loving home and is even out and about competing this year with some great results with her new rider! Which makes me feel like it really was the best decision.


My plan with Arnie this year was to have a super year out competing as he turned 20 this year, I really wanted to push ourselves and see what we could do and finish his competition career on a total high. Personally, I was imagining champagne and buckets of carrots for the both of us for Christmas this year to celebrate. I guess in a way we still did ‘just because’ 🙂


With this in mind, Arnie winding down and enjoying life and selling my next up and coming horse Minnie. I decided to make a purchase on a horse I honestly didn’t expect to make. A schoolmaster. Aka Mr Bert. I rode him a few times before finalising everything, but after my first ride with him the feeling I got I knew he was my next horse to join the team!


The decision to purchase something that was the next level (or two!) above what I was currently riding was a huge decision. I know every journey we go on with our horses is different, but I don’t think you can really compare purchasing a young horse and going through the beginning baby stages to a horse that’s older that has more miles and education with another rider. Each have their own experiences and challenges.


Learning how to fly and use the control panel is a challenge in itself! I honestly don’t think it’s as easy as getting on and pushing buttons – ok maybe to some, but not me. They say it can take up to 12 months for a horse to really feel like your own, it’s totally true. It’s a learning curve for both the horse and rider, applying the aids slightly different and working together to form a team.


With the new addition added to the stables my goals totally changed. It’s honestly been the most amazing year for me horse wise. Learning how to put movements together, learning how to get that feeling and beginning to control every single foot fall.


12 months ago, I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me that I would be learning how to half pass, flying changes and canter pirouettes. Let alone having my first advance start at a competition – ok, I may have flopped it a bit, but it’s all part of my learning and next time will be an improvement.


What I’m thankful for during 2020


My clients! I’ve enjoyed working with each and every one. Meeting all those lovely horses I teach and their riders who are always wanting to improve. Making and designing all those clothes this year, I haven’t put a number on it but it’s a lot of parcels out the door to the mail man.


Of course, it goes without saying my good health with everything going on in the world at the moment. It’s just mind-blowing thinking how this virus has changed the way we live. I’m not even sure when we can go on an overseas holiday again.


Last and certainly not least.


Creating and being a part of an amazing community. Building a good community is a hard thing to do, it takes time. The DDE community might be small but it’s something I’m proud to be creating. Your support means so much more then you know – every like, every comment, every message, every email opened, every message sent to me all adds up.


What are you proud of this year? What have been your highlights?!


Happy Riding

Ingrid 🙂

Dressage Dreamers Christmas Countdown Guide- Week Three

You’ve made it to week three of my amazing Christmas Countdown Guide!


I know, I know, I feel like I’ve started the whole Christmas thing a little early, but really, I’m probably running a tad late! For us small little businesses each and every order really means a lot, especially that I hand make every order that goes out. I design, cut and press each order as they come in. Nothing leaves my place without being wrapped! It travels from me then with the post man to your place. I take great pride in everything I do, and it means so much to me when I’m able to give a little back to my loyal customers and followers… especially this time of year.


Here are my amazing designs to showcase this week!


Standardbred Nothing Else

I loved making this design, it looks sooo good on as well! I really tired to capture both the racing and the career after racing in this design. This amazing design is available in a polo $59.95 and hoodie which you can add to your cart by clicking here.

Off The Track Queen Singlet

Suns out, guns out! Why not get this cool singlet as part of your summer wear today! Great to purchase for you and your friends! Click here to select your size. $44.95

Helmet Hair Singlet

Perfect reason to wear this singlet when you are announcing to the non-equestrian world about your hair style! Available in both navy and grey.  $29.95

Team Standardbred Polo

Complete the summer look with this polo. Part of the Team Standardbred collection! Click here to add the Team Standardbred polo to your collection $49.95


Week Three goodie- just for you!

Free shipping! No minimum spend, free shipping on all orders from Sunday 15th November to Saturday 21stNovember.


So easy to get your free shipping– select Free Shipping as an option on the check out! How great is that!?


Just remember, I’m still sending all orders Express Post until further notice! So free EXPRESS shipping!


Happy Shopping Dreamers!

Quick view of my daily routine

I’ve had loads of questions about my routine, which also includes my feed. I’ll be honest, it’s something I’m consistently trying to improve and tweak better.

I wanted to do a quick write up about my daily overview with our feed to give you a bit of an insight to my day in the stables, I’m happily admitting to you that I will be doing a blog about our feeding routine soon! Because that sounds like too much fun to do!

The Morning Run

Usually between 6:30-7am all horses who are stabled and paddocked at night are fed hay for breakfast.

The happy horses enjoy their breakfast for about 30 minutes then are turned out to their day paddocks. Those who are paddocked full time are waved goodbye for the day wishing they continue to make the right life choices- ha ha!

While the horses who are stabled are enjoying their morning feed, their stables are cleaned, their rugs are changed to the appropriate weather for the day.

It’s funny, I used to enjoy getting up super early to ride before work, but now I’m finding myself getting into a better routine by turning them out into the paddocks earlier and working in the afternoon.

Probably the most important part of my routine is the cleaning in the morning, having all the stables cleaned, tidying up the feed room, tack room and general stable area. Making sure all the waters are full in the paddocks and stables and any fresh bedding put into the stables if needed. This mentally lets me fly into the afternoon run much better when everything is done in the morning.

I’ll admit it’s something I’m trying to get better at, as some days when I finish work, I don’t really feel like gathering up the energy to ride. But its mind over matter and I get it done!

The Afternoon Run

The afternoon rolls around and it’s time for the afternoon feeds, this is all their hard feeds.

The horses who are paddocked during the day are bought in around 3-3:30pm, this saves them from running around and causing too much trouble in those afternoons hoons. You know the ones that make your heart stop for a second!

At the moment I’m only working one horse, so lucky Bert is groomed, geared up and is worked in the afternoon. It usually takes me around 20-30 minutes before my ride to get him ready, then usually riding around 30-45 minutes pending on what I’m working on that day. Then about 20 minutes after our ride to finish up, untacking, stretching, hosing, oiling feet and other treatments needed.

Bert is then tucked away with his dinner and a hay bag to munch on afterwards. Our stabled horses usually have some hay to munch on at night, this is either left over breakfast (if they were given an extremely large amount that morning) or a small amount given to them. Pending on how the grass is during that time of year also helps on how much they get during the night. We are lucky in terms of grass being in the valley and we can get a little too much feed on the paddocks!

What the dinners are made of

Usually our hard feeds consist of a mixture of lucerne and oaten chaff with a few added feeds and additives.


We feed a lot of Hygain, 99% of the horses are fed TruCare. I absolutely love this feed; all our retired horses look amazing on it!

Some of our stabled horses are fed: Hygain Show Torque, Hygain Release and Hygain Balance.


EquiShure – Bert is currently on Equishure for his gut health. It’s probably the one gut health product I’m completely satisfied with. I also use from time to time when needed, B-Quiet, Restore, Hemabuild and preserve.


Most if not all our horses are fed CEN OIL. We’ve had a few horses in the paddocks who have suffered the itch, so we made compulsory that they all get CEN OIL to help avoid any sort of itching! I can say it’s amazing, I can actually have rugs off these horses who have suffered the itch in the past.

I hope you enjoyed having a little read on my insights on my daily routine. Stay tuned for my training and feeding routines, think I’m finally getting the courage to put these into a fun vlog 😉

Dressage Dreamers Countdown Guide- Week Two

Woohoo, welcome to Week 2 of my Christmas Countdown Guide!


Huge thank you to everyone who has jumped in on week 1. There are some amazing tote bags off to you! 🙂


My amazing Christmas Guide for this week include:


Equestrians Easy To Love Singlet

Literally the latest design from DDE HQ! These have been super popular especially with the warmer weather around the corner. These singlets are a great fit and are available in three colours! Click here to add these to your cart. $39.95

Off The Track Queen Polo

Another summer must have, stylish long sleeve polo with the special Off The Track Queen design, suits for both our horse racing friends ;). Print is on the back, sleeve and front. Click here to check out the polos. $64.95


Drink Coffee Tee

Love this design, I wear my tee literally everywhere I go! Available in two colours, will be the best thing you purchase today! Click here to select your size… Psst also available in a matching tote bag! $39.95

Dressage Dreamers Polo

Join the DDE tribe with this comfy grey polo! Print is in black and glitter blue! You know you want one, click here to add to your cart today! $59.95

Week Two Goodie, just for you…

Now for this weeks amazing special! Any orders placed between Sunday 8th – Saturday 14th enter the code: XMAS15 for 15% off your entire order– storewide! How cool is that!?

Don’t forget there is also AfterPay and PayPal as a payment option 🙂


Happy Shopping!

Dressage Dreamers Christmas Countdown Guide- Week One

I say this every year, but I want to be totally organised for Christmas this year. I mean, we don’t really have much of an excuse of being busy with everything going on this year. Crazy.

As it is literally around the corner, especially for us small little businesses 😉

My deadline for Christmas orders will be Monday 30th November, this is to allow processing and most importantly transit time with the postman to your door. I will of course be processing orders beyond this date, but I cannot guarantee these will arrive in time for Christmas.

During this time, I will be showcasing a little Christmas guide showcasing some designs each week with a little something extra! Just for you guys, because you guys have seriously been amazing to be this year!

So here we go…

This week with Dressage Dreamers Equestrian and Design (wow, I hope I don’t get hooked on other talents cause it’s some serious typing to get that out- ha!). I want to showcase these awesome popular designs!

Dressage Life Tee

These amazing tees are available in a black tee with either glitter gold or glitter silver print. Available in all ladies sizes in a v neck style tee. $39.95

Click here to check out the Dressage Life Tees

Dressage Queen Polo

I love this design, the glitter rose gold looks amazing on the black polo! This design has been super popular. Available in all sizes $59.95

Click here to visit the Dressage Queen polos

Team Standardbred Tee

The Team Standardbred tees need no introduction thats for sure! I’m so proud that these have been well received within the Standardbred community. Available in many colours and printed on a v neck black tee. $49.95

Click here to get your next Team Standardbred Tee

#1 Groom Polo

These polos went under a lot of Christmas trees last year! Such a cool polo, so comfy and it’s a polo for anyone to wear! $49.95

Click here to put a #1 Groom Polo under the tree this year

Week one extra goodie!

Now, for the weekly goodie! This week (1st November – 7th November), every order will receive a free tote bag! (valued at $29.95) If you would like a specific design (out of the current designs here) please write down in the order notes. Otherwise I will send a random design to you.

Happy shopping dreamers!