I grew up as a typical horse crazy kid just outside of New York City. For my 12 birthday my Grandfather bought me a package of riding lessons and I never looked back since! I have trained and competed in Hunter/Jumpers, Eventing, Western Pleasure, Dressage, Mounted Archery, Medieval Games, Jousting Games through the SCA and training and lunging Equestrian Vaulting Horses.
I graduated with a degree in Equine Science from Centenary College, then graduated from Purdue University as a Veterinary Technician and I have also been a Nurse for the past 20 years with a specialty in clinical education. When I lived in Indiana I owned and operated a small horse boarding and training facility with the main focus on Eventing, 4H and helping kids learn to bond with their ponies.
Since moving to Utah 10 years ago, I ran the Rose Canyon Riders a 4H horse club, showed Dressage and have been a trainer and lunger for the Technique Equestrian Vaulting Club. I recently helped start the Wasatch Peak Vaulting Club and also started the Alpine Mounted Archers, Utah’s first mounted archery club.
I am dedicated to expand the sport of dressage in Utah by bringing in the L Judges Program and USDF Instructor Certification Program and to increase the educational aspect of our GMO! I also am committed to bringing us all together, in a culture of respect as we all have a piece of the big puzzle!
Sydni Nusink has been riding since she was 6 years old. As a child she started with vaulting, while this helped with her balance and coordination while on a moving horse, she wanted to do something that enabled her to spend more personal time with the horse. Sydni found Trisha Kerwin and started to learn how to jump and competed in Eventing through Novice level and enjoyed it but found that her passion clearly was dressage. Once solely dedicated to dressage, success followed, she was able to work one on one with Trisha Kerwin and Sarah and Clayton Martin, all of whom are FEI dressage trainers. At the young age of 15, Sydni became a National Champion at the US Sporthorse National Championship at Training Level Dressage and has since been Reserve National Champion twice at 2nd and 3rd Levels. Her success simply motivated her to learn more and as she transitioned from Young Rider to a Professional, she has never stopped attending clinics, symposiums and taking lessons.
Sydni is a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist. She has participated in USDF Certified Instructor Workshops and is currently enrolled in the “L” Judges Training Program.
Hi, I grew up in a life filled with horses. I was riding before I could walk, my favorite mount as a small girl was an a very challenging Shetland pony whom I rode bareback everywhere, sometimes where I wanted but all too often we ended where he wanted to go. My family had a dude ranch up in Sunlight
Basin near Cody Wyoming where I was a wrangler and was responsible for rounding up 70 head of horses into the corrals every morning, catching and tacking up about 20 all before breakfast. Then I would head out rides every day, doing this as a youth age 9 till 13 years old.
I have a super supportive husband, Ron, and 3 wonderful grown up children. I am enjoying riding, training, and showing my Connemara ponies. (yes, I back to ponies, I guess I never out grew them) My immediate goal is to earn my bronze, then perhaps even more.
When I am not riding I keep myself busy by taking care of my husband’s Chiropractic business and my own business as a Real Estate agent.
I am excited to serve the Utah dressage community as treasurer and look forward to meeting many more of you. We have so many amazing people in the dressage world here in Utah and I am very grateful for the influence they have been in my life.
Director of Membership
I was raised in Connecticut and attended college in Ohio before my husband, Ben and I moved our young family moved to Alpine 12 years ago. I enjoy the beautiful mountains, sunshine and apparently spending a lot of time at horse barns! Horses have taught my daughters the invaluable lessons of patience, hard work, commitment, and confidence and therefore I am happy to support my two young daughters, Brooke and Ellie who joined Utahs dressage community last year. Although I have yet to join them on horseback I’ve learned to never say never.
A native Californian, Jode came to Utah for her graduate studies. She has spent a lot of time as a volunteer and working for non profit organizations and really enjoys organizing and event planning.
Horses have always been a part of Jode’s traditions and tapestry. As a Native American child, she was taught to revere the horse and to always approach the horse with a sense of humility. She knew from a young age that horses would always play an important role as teacher and educator in her life.
She rode her first horse at four years old and fell in love. Although she would not have her own horse, she learned how to work for lessons, training and ride time.
Training back home in Northern California, her background is in Hunter/Jumper. She was always inspired by the 3-day event riders and especially drawn to Dressage. Perhaps it was her study of ballet that brought such a great appreciation for dressage as she knew what she was witnessing was hours and hours of dedication and practice, just as she had done in the dance studio.
Jode also knew that being in a barn was very fulfilling and brought a sense of peace. She had no idea that she was laying the groundwork for her future career.
It is no surprise that she now has dedicated her life to animal assisted therapy and has worked as an equine specialist. Currently finishing her SSW, her future goals include her PhD in Clinical Psychology and Social Work. She hopes to reach children, particularly those in foster care, with the help and magic of horses.
Director of Communications and Newsletter Editor
Stacy Palen has been riding horses and working in barns since she was 10 years old. She began in hunter/jumpers, moved on to eventing and finally arrived in dressage. She and her husband John own a small farm in Ogden, UT, where she supplements her full time job as an astrophysics professor by training horses and riders. Part of her job is writing for a living—a skill set she brings to the position of Communications Director.
Director of Education
Donnette’s passion is in the art of the equine-human relationship. She enjoys captring the journey through many expressions — photography, poetry, film, coaching champions and most of all being a full time student of the horse.
The Impact Of The Horse was born out of her desire to merge a private enterprise, Sage Creek Equestrian, with the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program bringing a new possibility of human partnership for America’s wild mustang herds. Donnette started working with starting colts and working with problem horses under the tutelage of Ben Quinters. Ben introduced Donnette to the world renowned horseman Ray Hunt and thus the desire to understand a willing partnership was born and has been her driving goal now for over 30 years. Donnette is a well educated horseman specializing in Dressage. Her purchase of a Grand Prix German school master catapulted Donnette into developing a deep understanding of quality upper level movements. Donnette’s greatest devotion is her love of witnessing humans succeed in having a beautiful partnership with their horse.
My mother was the horse crazy one and dragged me off to ride at the Lazy Bar Ranch when I was 8. At 12 I was given a horse and by 19, when we got our own property, the emphasis changed to Dressage I was a founding member of the Utah Dressage Society and served on the board for 33 years! I am now the adviser to the board. I have been a show secretary, show manager, and competitor. I am a USEF licensed Technical Delegate and enjoy traveling to shows in other states. I also enjoy working with my students. I attend the USDF Convention every year now that I am retired, usually as a delegate.
801-254-3247 & 801-913-6054
Junior & Young Rider Coordinator
Open Position – If you are interested in this position, please contact the UDS President, Stacey Hornsby