Dressage Life on Oahu

Who hasn’t dreamt at least once about riding a horse on a tropical island? From enjoying a trail ride on the beach along the North Shore, to the excitement of a high energy polo match in Waimanalo or the North Shore, to the cheers and hollers at the All American Rodeo! Locally there are also many individual riding disciplines available on Oahu such as Hunter/Jumper, Western Pleasure, and the sport of Dressage. Dressage life is possible on our island in the Pacific!

Photo courtesy of the Aloha State Dressage Society

Oahu’s Dressage Community

Oahu has a small but close-knit community of riders dedicated to the art of Dressage who can also compete at the national level. Holding the community together is the Aloha State Dressage Society (ASDS), a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of Dressage.

Photo courtesy of the Aloha State Dressage Society

Aloha State Dressage Society

Through the Aloha State Dressage Society, members have the opportunity to compete in eight different shows throughout the year. The shows take place from April through September usually starting at 9:00am. Even if you are not riding it’s a great way to spend the afternoon. It’s free, family-friendly, fun!

For the competitors, the shows are sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), and recognized by the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). Members compete at all different levels based on the national standards. The organization flies in at least four different “S” Rated judges from the mainland each year, allowing our local test scores to be ranked nationally. Most often the judges will stay and offer clinics after the shows. We have been lucky to have clinicians such as Lilo Fore (FEI5* Judge), Debbie McDonald (Pan American Games Gold Medalist in both Individual and Team Dressage, World Championship Silver and Bronze Medalist in Team Dressage, and 2004 Athens Olympic Bronze Medalist in Team Dressage), local girl Allison Brock (2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Bronze Medalist in Team Dressage), Charlotte Bredahl (FEI4* Judge, 1992 Barcelona Olympic Bronze Medalist in Team Dressage) and many more.

Additional information about the Aloha State Dressage Society, shows dates, horse boarding facilities, trainers, local resources, etc. can be found on the ASDS website.

Photo courtesy of the Aloha State Dressage Society / Flag ceremony opening one of the eight dressage shows on Oahu

Photo courtesy of the Aloha State Dressage Society / ASDS Junior Young Riders with Olympic Medalist & Clinician Charlotte Bredahl

Me and my horse Regalo after finishing a Dressage test

Alternative to Water Sports

So for those of us who have that “crazy love” for horses, Dressage life on Oahu is a great alternative to the water sports that Hawaii is so famous for!

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Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

March 19, 2018

Awesome information! I often have people who are interested in dressage but want to buy property on the Big Island. It is good to know that you have this level of the discipline on Oahu!

Anna Awana

March 20, 2018

I thought it was wonderful. Thank you so much for putting ASDS on the map!!

Loved it.


Patricia Donegan

March 22, 2018

Nice article, Sara! I guess that dressage might seem like a strange activity for people on “a rock in the middle of the Pacific”, but I’m really glad we have such rich opportunities here.

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