Our first inductee into the USDF Hall of Fame this year is Major Anders Lindgren, in recognition of his seminal training of U.S. Dressage Instructors. Over a ten-year period, almost 1000 participating instructors learned from his systematic, structured approach to teaching dressage at the USDF Violet Hopkins National Seminars. He was an early proponent of the USDF Instructor Certification Program, and his work laid the foundation for this program. Major Lindgren first entered the world of U.S. dressage in 1981 when Colonel Aage Sommer brought him to Violet Hopkins' farm in Michigan for the first USDF National Instructors Seminar. Lindgren was an accomplished rider having won the Swedish National Dressage Championship and ridden on the Swedish Olympic Team in 1972. He also won the Scandinavian Eventing Championship in 1959. Read more
Major Lindgren occupies a unique position in U.S. dressage. He convinced American riders and instructors that we needed a systematic, structured approach to the teaching of dressage. Prior to his participation in the National Instructors Seminars, the curriculum consisted primarily of lectures. Lindgren taught instructors how to create lesson plans, and how to design and use specific exercises for both horse and rider. He was one of the first instructors to use cones to establish a pattern of riding in an arena to teach how a movement should be ridden and how an aid should be given to the horse. The cone technique has been widely adopted.
From 1981 to 1991, Lindgren organized and taught the USDF National Instructors Seminar. He presented well-organized and logical lectures to the participating instructors. Demonstration riders served as students for the instructors whose performance in teaching was critiqued by Lindgren and other participants, thus providing the instructors with concrete analysis of his or her teaching technique, with avenues for improvement.
Major Lindgren organized and taught more than 50 USDF Regional Instructors Workshops that followed the format of the national seminars. Dressage instructors from Alaska to Texas, and from California to Florida received consistent training in how to teach dressage. Dressage clubs including the New England Dressage Association, the Northern Ohio Dressage Association, and the Rocky Mountain Dressage Society sponsored Lindgren's instructor training workshops for their members on a regular basis.
In addition to the instructors seminars, Major Lindgren brought FEI "O" Judge Eric Lette and Swedish Olympic Dressage Team Member Kyra Kyrklund to the U.S. to conduct USDF National Symposia, which were the logical extension of the instructors seminars.
Hundreds of professional and amateur dressage instructors and students have benefited from Lindren's teaching. His students have competed successfully nationally and internationally at the FEI levels, and include Lilo Fore, Alexsandra Howard, and Kyra Kyrklund.
Major Lindgren was an early proponent of instructor certification and urged USDF to establish such a program as the logical outgrowth of the regional workshops. His vision culminated in the establishment of this independent program in 1990, in which more than 1000 people now participate in each year. The profession of dressage instructor was established in the U.S. because of Anders' Lindgren's foresight and persistence in developing a curriculum based on a set of techniques, lectures, exercises, and standards for measuring the ability of a dressage instructor. He has had a widespread and enduring impact on riders, instructors, trainers, and judges who participated in his seminars, clinics, and symposia. His national influence on thousands of dressage riders and instructors is best illustrated by USDF's current teaching programs.
We are honored to induct Major Anders Lindgren into the USDF Hall of Fame.
Samuel J. Barish