AHP Newsgroup: 2010 Marks Lynn Palm’s 40th Year of Bridleless Exhibitions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Palm Partnership Training
9445 NW 60th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34482
Lynn Palm sits astride the handsome Rugged Painted Lark, her internationally known gelding who was sired by the two time Super Horse champion Rugged Lark. Palm is dressed in black with sparkling stones, her horse is spotless with a flowing mane and tail. The sounds of Last Dance by Donna Summer fill the packed stadium and the horse begins to dance. Effortlessly, Palm guides the horse through a compilation of dressage, jumping and reining movements. Also the performance includes an emotional song; Hero by Mariah Carey which shows a true partnership between horse and rider all without the use of a bridle. The pair communicates at the highest level, performing as one for the enthusiastic crowd who clap wildly as they soar over jumps and spin on the haunches. Without the aid of reins, Palm must direct her horse with only her seat, legs and a small rope around his neck.
2010 marks Palm’s 40th year as trainer, clinician and professional horseman in the equine industry. She was first in the world to perform this type of routine, and is proud to still be performing during this landmark year of achievement. Palm first began riding bridleless as a way of building a stronger relationship with horses. Palm's credits her mentor, Bobby Steele, who was one of the first women to ride dressage in the United States, with teaching her the skills necessary to ride without a bridle.
"Riding without a bridle was a goal [Steele] set for me. She was one of the greatest trainers on earth and she knew that the horse and rider had to trust each other and communicate through the principles of dressage for it to work," said Palm.
In the early 1960s, Palm began daily riding with [Steele] and after YEARS of hard work, Steele said she was ready to ride without a bridle.
"We spent a lot of time training without reins and learning to ride from the waist down. I was establishing balance from the seat and communicating with my horse through my seat and legs. Then one day, I'll never forget it, [Steele] came to me and said 'I think you’re ready to take off the bridle now.' I was so excited; finally all my hard work was paying off.
As Palm' s skills improved, Steele, who was a once a famous circus performer, encouraged her to perform for crowds at regional equestrian events and 4-H shows with her horse Nic Nac. The shows became popular and the young rider began to make a name for herself in Sarasota, FL.
In 1969 Palm moved away from her family to Ocala, FL where she finished her senior year of high school at the Golden Hills Academy, a private school with a prestigious riding program.
"I only needed two credits to graduate that year, as I was a very good student, so I took the few classes that I needed and then I rode the rest of the day."
Her riding abilities caught the attention of the school's athletic director and the two developed an exhibition in hopes to get jobs from tourist attractions.
"That was my first real job, performing in exhibitions at Frontier Town in upstate New York. We did shows three times per day, seven days a week for eight weeks. I learned a lot that year about keeping horses from getting sour and being consistent as a rider and doing my performance. It was a great summer."
The highlight of the show was when Palm jumped her horse through a revolving ring of fire without a bridle. The act was very successful and Palm continued to put on exhibitions as a way of promoting her horse training business. It wasn't until the mid 1980's that Lynn’s bridleless performances were brought to the national spotlight.
"After Rugged Lark won the AQHA Super Horse for the second time, Carol Harris, the horse’s owner, wanted to do something special for the awards presentation. I told her I could probably do something bridleless. I had played around without his bridle a few times, only to give him fun variety in his training, but I trusted him so much as he did me. I was certain that we could do something special.
Palm constructed the now famous neck rope used on Rugged Lark from a garland of flowers the horse received from one of his world championship wins.
"I rode into the arena and did circles at the canter, galloped, changed leads several times, and did reining spins. The crowd went crazy; it was the most amazing feeling."
The performance became a national sensation and the pair were invited to perform musical exhibitions at major shows around the United States for more than 10 years, including a highlight, the FEI World Cup and the FEI Olympics Games in Atlanta, GA.
Demand for Palm's show was so high that she continued to perform even after Rugged Lark's retirement using his colts; My Royal Lark and Rugged Painted Lark.
"Rugged Lark was such a special horse and people really loved him. I wanted to carry on his memory by continuing to share with horse lovers good ethics of horsemanship and training of a happy horse with his sons and people love them."
Even today, 40 years after Palm's first bridleless ride, the public still demands to see her performances. They are timeless and demonstrate the kind of relationship every rider hopes to have with their horse. While many imitate her, no other clinicians are able to combine three different disciplines, dressage, jumping and reining, into their performances. Palm is an inspiration to riders young and old and has vowed to keep performing as long as people want to learn about better horsemanship.
Palm is now setting her sights toward the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky where she has been invited to perform her exhibitions daily. The World Equestrian Games will mark Lynn to be the first equestrian to perform at the 3 most prestigious equestrian events in the World; FEI World Cup, FEI Olympics, and FEI World Equestrian Games.
"I am so excited for this event as it is the largest equestrian event in the world. We are working to advance even more of our routine and added maneuvers that we've never attempted before. It is going to be a great show and would love to meet you there at my booth in the Equine Village!”
About Lynn Palm
Palm's career highlights include 2007 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horsewoman of the Year, a record four AQHA Superhorse wins, AQHA Female Equestrian of the Year by the Women's Athletic Association, named one of the top United States clinicians by Horse & Rider magazine, over 34 AQHA World and Reserve World Champions, over 50 bridleless dressage exhibitions at events including the National Horse Show, 1989 World Cup and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and World Cup. Palm and Cyril Pittion-Rossillon are co-founders of three horse industry companies: Palm Partnership Training, Women LUV Horses, and Alliance Saddlery USA.
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games: The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Her Royal Highness Princess Haya is the current president of the FEI. The Games are held every four years and this will be the first occurrence in the United States.The Games will be broadcast on NBC Sports, which has marked the largest commitment to network coverage of equestrian sport in U.S. television history. The 2010 Games are expected to have a statewide economic impact of $150 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex, John Deere, Ariat International, Inc and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. For more information on the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, please visit www.alltechfeigames.com