Board of Directors




President 11/17-Current
Co-Webmaster 01/2017-Current




 Treasurer 12/2016 – Current
Co-Webmaster 01/2017-Current


I have always loved horses and rode my friend’s horse when I was in high school; at least until I was bucked off. That scared me for a while and I didn’t ride again until my late 20’s when my husband and I bought a 2-year-old Percheron. That was a learning experience. Thor was a gentle giant, however he did provide some valuable learning experiences, especially how to handle young horses. This was my first experience with a young horse not “broke to ride.” Several years later we decided it was time for a second horse and we bought an American Saddlebred; another young horse, however he was “green broke.” Wildcat was my first show horse, but unfortunately he died at the age of 5. I didn’t think I would get another horse after he died as it was just too painful. My husband, on the other hand, knew I needed to keep riding and bought me a 3-gaited Saddlebred, Zoraya, a month later. Now the adventure with learning to ride saddleseat began. I showed saddleseat for many years, starting in 1995. I bought my current Saddlebred, Rush, in 2007 and he was yet another young “green broke” horse. We started showing in the Country Pleasure division (both riding and driving) in 2008 and continued until 2015 when Rush began acting up in the classes. He was bored with the same routine and about ¾ of the way through the class decided he was done and went to the center of the ring. It was frustrating for both of us. I tried moving him to the Western Pleasure division but he still wasn’t happy. I had to find another “job” for him as it was obvious he was not happy. I had heard about western dressage through a couple of friends. I took Rush down to Cliff Swanson for a lesson to see what I could do to get Rush happy again. My goal at that point was to just be able to ride and I was not planning on showing again. After that lesson I took Rush home and worked with him for a month before taking him back to Cliff for another lesson. What a difference. Rush was happy, I was happy and riding was fun again. Over the winter I worked with Rush and by April 2016 Cliff thought we could actually try a test at a schooling show. Rush completed the tests at that show without acting up and it was so much fun. We still have a ways to go and we are both much happier.

I have served on the Colorado American Saddlebred Horse Association and Rocky Mountain Horse Show Association boards previously. I am currently a board member of the Northern Colorado Dressage Association chapter of the Rocky Mountain Dressage Association. When Lisa Cheney told me a board position was available for WDACO I decided to run for it. I am excited for this new adventure with Western Dressage.



 Event Coordinator – 10/2016 –  Current
 Board Member at Large –  10/2015 – 10/2016


The life-long fascination with horses got its real start for me in my late twenties, and I came to the world of Western riding in my fifties in order to patrol trails for the Forest Service and have places to tie on gear.

Some anxiety in getting acquainted with a new horse then lead me to find a riding coach, Juilie Lorton, who happened to be one of the Western Dressage trainers.  A whole new world opened for me, and my horses are loving this approach steeped in respect for our relationship and a different way of asking them to move and think.  I continually marvel at how willingly they respond when I ask them effectively and quietly. It is almost magical.

I am working up my courage to show my gelding, as that is not my forte, but I am excited by the challenge.

My goal for participation with the Board is to help promote our Mission and to build interest for Western Dressage in Northern Colorado.








Board Member At Large – 10/2016- Current


I have worked in the electronics and electrical field for the last twenty eight years. Six with the Navy and twenty-two with the State of Colorado. I love the beauty and majesty of our Colorado mountains and have at times skied, hiked or Jeeped through much of them. It is only in the past few years that I have discovered horses. They have become my passion. I purchased my first horse, Digger, a five year old Paint within nine months of my first lesson. For the next two years I did a lot of trail riding in the mountains west of Fort Collins along with a few lessons with Juilie. Digger was the perfect horse for me. Stubborn but not reactive. She made me work hard to get results but kept me safe on the trail even when other horses were losing their cool. She will always be my first.

 I recently purchased my second horse Dusty (Gala E) a six year old Andalusian mare. She is the opposite end of the scale from Digger. Sensitive, quick and reactive. With Digger and Juilie I discovered Dressage training. Recently I’ve become interested in Working Equitation which encompasses both Dressage and Trail skills. With the new horse I hope to sharpen my horsemanship skills with an eye on maybe competing in these venues. Digger and I have also tried our hand at team sorting. This has proven to be a lot of fun and very challenging for both horse and rider. Who knows, you might see an Andalusian in the sorting pen someday too.

I started my horse career with only one expectation, to trail ride. Little did I know how much horses and riding would get into my blood. My expectations are much higher now. I intend to spend my remaining years becoming a much more skilled rider and hope that before my time is up I will be able to call myself a Horseman.

Secretary 11/2017-Current 
Board Member At Large – 04/2017- 10/2017

Cathy Beekman

I grew up in Oklahoma loving horses.  I started out with a Breyer a collection, and evidently got to ride a real horse.  I rode every chance that I had – friends’ horses or rental stables. I rode western ranch type horses and never had a formal lesson, it was just go out to the pasture and get on, sometimes with a saddle, sometimes bareback.

As I grew up my love of horse never went away, but opportunities to ride were rare. In 2003 when my daughter was 11 we bought an American Saddlebred, Sensation’s June Girl “June Bug”.  We had only planned on using her for pleasure, but at one of the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo we met some people from the Colorado American Saddlebred Horse Association, which is where we met out trainer and got involved in the show world.  Jamie and June Bug started out showing western pleasure and we quickly discovered this was not a discipline that June Bug did well in, so we switched her to hunt seat. Once they started showing hunt seat, they started winning ribbons.  In the meantime, I had started taken lessons on our trainer’s lesson horses and of course, I was still madly in love with them.

Finally, at age 55, I bought my first horse – Read All About It “Cosmo”, a 16’3 hand American Saddlebred.  This horse was the love of my life and I started training to show him in Hunt Seat.  He was originally trained as a 5 gaited so he was very fast and forward. The first-year Jamie and I showed him, Jamie and Cosmos won the Saddle and Bridle Hunt Seat Classic and the Hunt Seat Pleasure Colorado State Championship.  I also won a couple of blue ribbons on him at the same show. Sadly, because this horse was trained so young to be 5 gaited he ended up having severe lameness issues and humanely euthanized him at the age of 8 after riding him for a little over 3 years.  That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and I still struggle with it and I still miss him. However, I discovered very quickly that I didn’t like not having a horse, so I started the search to find another horse.  My trainer had known Cliff Swanson for a very long time, so she gave him a call and we went to see Boomer, Morgan/Saddlebred, after looking at several other horses.  I fell in love with him immediately, but didn’t buy him right away.  I went and looked at a couple of more horses, then went back to see Boomer.  Boomer made my heart sing, so I bought him.  I was glad to get back to my roots of western riding and I really liked the Western Dressage because I like the challenge of learning all the proper gaits and patterns.  I have been training with Cliff now since March 2014.  I was very frustrated when I first started training with Cliff, both because of my lack of ability and Boomer also needed work.  However, when I look back from where we started to where we are today, I am quite amazed and quite proud of our accomplishment.  We still have a long way to go, but I am finally becoming a real horseperson and Boomer is amazing.  I always like to say that when Cliff rides him he looks like a Mercedes and when I ride him he looks like a VW Beetle, but we are catching up.


Past President – 11/2017- Current
President – 10/2014 – 10/2017 
Vice President – 10/2013 – 09/2014



There is something about the connection with a horse that is like no other. Thanks to my parents, specifically my Mother, I’ve been horsey since my ‘inception’ because she was. I have vivid memories of riding lessons when I was a Brownie, Girl Scout and first horse show at age 7 or so. Not everyone is so lucky, but wherever or whenever one starts, this is the group to be a part of to learn. I participated as a youth and adult amateur in Arabian Horse Shows in Regions 6 and 8 and was lucky enough to qualify and show nationally a few times. The horses were the link, but so much of the fun was the social aspect which came along with going to horse shows, club activities and just being around others that had the same interests. I can already see that WDACO will not only give educational opportunities, but the social aspect as well, which has been missing in some organizations. The sense of community is strong.

The Western Dressage Association of Colorado has been a wonderful experience for me. Everyone has been friendly, encouraging and fun, and attending a clinic initially with my 3 year old Arabian filly was perfect timing. She and I are learning softness, submission and a genuine partnership together that will make both of us the best we can be, as well as learning along with auditors, riders and their horses. Western Dressage can and will strengthen other disciplines and be fun along the way. The diversity of all breeds working towards the same standards, each in their own way exemplifies this wonderful organization. I am excited to be part of this organization and provide support in any way necessary. I love this the most, ‘It’s about the journey’!

 Board of Directors – Past


 Officers Board Members

Nancy Miller  01/2011-10/17 (Clinic Coordinator) 10/14-10/16 (Secretary)

Lisa Cheney 11/16-10/17 (Secretary)

Mary Gunn 01/2011-09/2014 (President)            08/2012-12/2016 (Treasurer)                                 02/2014-01/2018 (Webmaster)

Maribeth O’Connor Scaggs 02/2011 – 09/2014 (Secretary)

Sandy Clayton 03/2011 – 08/2012 (Treasurer)



Suzie Fay 02/2011 – 09/2011

Robin Shipman 02/2011 – 08/2012

Barbara Hagen 03/2011 – 10/2011

Christine Sletten – 10/2011 – 10/2015

Sharon Jayne 10/2011 – 9/2016

Janice Olson 10/2011 – 08/2013

Cindi Ryan 10/2011 – 08/2013

Pat VanBuskirk 12/2012 – 02/2014

Tiffany Doverspike 09/2013 – 09/2014

Julie Irwin 10/2013-9/2016

Sherry Snead 10/2014 – 04/2015

Christine Exley 10/2014 – 6/2016

Linda Ames 4/2015 – 9/2016