Like many Spanish horse enthusiasts, dressage trainers Tracy Lynn and Deborah Polec started out with other breeds. "They sucked me in!" laughs Tracy of the breeds' appeal. Originally a jumper rider, she changed disciplines, too, after studying classical dressage with Portuguese master João Oliviera and his Lusitanos.
Deborah, a dressage judge in Canada and a Grand Prix competitor, moved to the Los Angeles area and has had impressive dressage and breed show success over the past 10 years. Her accomplishments with Pura Raza Españolas and Lusitanos are particularly impressive.
Today, Tracy and Deborah, longtime friends, have teamed up in Provenance Dressage, a training and sales business based at the San Rafael Hunt Club in Glendale.
"We pride ourselves on preserving and mastering the art of classical dressage," Tracy explains. "Through rhythm and relaxation we teach our horses how to perform the difficult movements of upper level dressage without force or harm caused to the horse's physical or mental condition."
They welcome any dressage-suitable breed but specialize in Pura Raza Españolas. Conveniently, they've been doing so just as these horses' popularity in dressage has been steadily rising. Tracy attributes that trend's origin to the success the Spanish dressage team has had with these horses in international competition in the last 20 years or so. "That really opened people's eyes to what this breed can do." That shouldn't surprise anybody, she asserts. "They are the original dressage horse."
Provenance Dressage is the perfect place for riders from any background to experience "how special the Spanish horse makes you feel as a rider." Tracy and Deborah welcome those who have their own horses and they also maintain a string of top quality Spanish horses for lessons, along with other breeds. Their sales program is a good source for horses ready to participate in dressage at various levels, be it competition or purely recreational. "Tricks" suitable for exhibition work and trail riding are also on the agenda for those interested.
Depending on their clients' wishes, Tracy and Deborah compete themselves and take students to shows once or twice a month. Most destinations are open dressage shows, schooling and rated. They are also familiar with the breed show scene and Tracy performs exhibitions with her for-sale steeds regularly. Provenance clients have many venues for having fun, advancing their riding and building rewarding bonds with their horses.
Most of the horses Tracy and Deborah get in for sales are from West Coast PRE breeders. Their show ring successes have made them sought-after trainers for the marketing end of the breeding business. Tracy earned her US Dressage Federation silver medal with Genio MAC, a qualified P.R.E. stallion she's trained herself. At the moment, they are just two scores away from earning their USDF gold medal. An upcoming star is Garrochista, who has been a champion national sporthorse stallion, a designation sponsored by the USDF along with the Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse.
The trainers are very pleased to base Provenance Dressage at the San Rafael Hunt Club. "It's a quiet, private small boarding facility," Tracy explains. "The owner lives on site and takes excellent care of the property and the horses, including 1 a.m. bed checks every night."
In their new partnership, the trainers' main goal is to use show ring success to demonstrate the abilities and appeal of these special Spanish horses. "We want to get a lot of students getting good scores to show everybody what they can do," Tracy concludes. And, all achieved through the classical training methods that are part of the Spanish horses' proud legacy in dressage.
For more information on Provenance Dressage, visit www.provenancedressage.com or call