Horse Committee, Lynda Bender
Lynda Bender- Born in 1963, I started with horses at the age of six or seven. I started off Western in lessons weekly at the place where I purchased my first horse. My western instructor recommended English hunt seat/jumping lessons with her instructor Joanna Herringstad. (Joanna is and has been a recognized judge on the west coast for 3-day events and dressage for many years now). So I transferred over to that discipline & studied with her for four years. At 13 she said, Quote, “Lynda I think I know the perfect sport for you!”. Eventing! So I transferred over to my next coach Debbie Moore. Now Debbie Dewitt (Still competing at the highest level of Dressage, Debbie has been long listed more than once for our US dressage team). Debbie taught me the basics of dressage and eventing and I was hooked. I was very lucky to have hooked up and call friends with two pillars still of the Pacific Northwest. I started training and teaching others at age 16 starting in Pony Club and moving on to have my own business in Ca, as well as now Olympic-Cascade Equestrian Center, here in WA. Since starting out, I have spent time with some amazing individuals learning more and more along the way. Robin Hahn, Olympian for Canada 1968-1976. Robin is by far one of the best clinicians I have ever met. His masterful teaching methods are positive and helpful to every horse and rider he works with, every time. Larry Brinker, Olympian for Canada. Larry is truly accomplished reaching the highest levels not only in Dressage and Eventing, but working hard now at combined driving. A true horseman, in every sense. Nicholas Holmes-Smith. Olympian for Canada in Eventing. And recently, Bernie Traurig. Just Google him, if you don’t already know that name. These are just a few of the great people which have shaped the horsewoman I am today. I’ve done some fun things along the way with the gifts others have taught me. Eventing through the Intermediate level, riding in a few Grand Prix Jumping events, doing exhibition bull fight shows which included most of the high school moves of dressage and riding in The Royal Lipizzaner show @ the Wild Animal Park east of Escondido, Ca.

 It was in CA, that I was first introduced to Vaulting, when a young woman came to the equestrian center there to manage. She said she taught vaulting and I immediately started utilizing her talents for my younger students to feel comfortable up on as well as jumping off a horse before the regimented lessons of heels down, toes up, & eyes forward. This was in the mid 80’s. I knew then in my twenties, the value of vaulting on horseback. I still start every student that comes to me on the lunge line to teach balance and technique long before allowing them to hold the reins. As a coach/trainer of Combined Training (3-Day) Dressage and Jumper riders and their horses, I feel that lunging is one of my strongest tools in developing a correct seat in riders and strong top lines in horses. Now in my forties, I have come to know the sport through my daughter (Rowan) and her coach Saccha DeAmbrossia of the Above and Beyond Vaulters, here in WA. I knew for my own daughter the pluses starting her at age 5 on horse back vaulting, would have for her. Having competed, coached and trained horses and people for awhile now, I hope to offer the AVA a fresh view,….from a professional horsewoman’s/ mom’s side on such subjects as safety of the vaulting horses within the AVA and a recent interest for me, is to help improve the Horse Scoring System, so it will reward well trained vaulting horses.

I started Zero Gravity Vaulters in October of 2010, here in Snohomish, WA. The insight of now being knee deep into vaulting has broadened my appreciation for well trained horses and fueled me into building/creating a longeur certification program for the AVA.