Maribeth Dunlap Dressage

Articles & Events


Dressage (n.) The art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance. A way of thinking. A way of living. A journey.

Coddiwomple (v.) To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination.

Welcome to my blog - my dressage coddiwomple - a meandering life journey which has and continues to take me down interesting roads where I have discovered extraordinary trouvailles and whimsical crooked paths.

Although I do not consider myself a writer of any grand quality, I am a bit of a spontaneous gallivanter who enjoys sharing and writing about my experiences and observations.

As a student of the horse, aviation, and life, I also view writing as another way to learn and cement the ideas further into my understanding. Writing allows me to dig deeper into the subject material and gives me more reason to research and explore. I love learning new things and I enjoy sharing what I learn with others.  Writing is also a part of healing for me and I've also shared some personal writings so please be sure to check out my "Personal Musings".  

If you continue to explore my dressage coddiwomple, I hope you will find my writings interesting and of some value. Most importantly, I hope this blog inspires you to explore new places and perhaps embark on your own journey - your very own extraordinary coddiwomple.

Feel free to contact me to leave a comment!  I'd love to hear from you.


view:  full / summary

Farasi Farm May 15th Clinic

Posted on April 25, 2023 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (1)

Farasi Farm Clinic April 10, 2023

Posted on April 8, 2023 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (0)

2023 Competitions

Posted on January 16, 2023 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)


2023 Schooling Shows


January 21, 2023: SWFDA Schooling Show at Hidden Haven Ranch NFtMyers – Judge Charlotte Trentelman “S” & WDAA Recognized


February 12, 2023:   ADA Schooling Show at Triple J - Heather Stalker USDF/USEF R & WDAA R


February 18, 2023:  SWFDA Schooling Show at Hidden Haven Ranch, NFtMyers – Judge Heidi Hauri-Gil (L)


March 18, 2023: SWFDA Schooling Show at Hidden Haven Ranch NFtMyers – Judge Leslie O’Sullivan (L)


March 19, 2023: ADA Schooling Show at Triple J - Michelle Velasco DVM, USEF r, USDF L with distinction

April 1, 2023:  SWFDA Schooling Show – Hidden Haven Ranch NFtMyers – Judge Carol Bulmer (L)


April 30, 2023:  ADA Schooling Show at Triple J – Bill Woods, USEF/USDF R


September 10, 2023: ADA Schooling Show at Triple J –Judge TBD

October 29, 2023: ADA Schooling Show at Triple J – Judy Downer (S & WDAA R)



2023 USDF/USEF Recognized Shows


World Equestrian Center Dressage XIII 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 342761 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

2/23/2023 - 2/24/2023 
Ocala, FL


World Equestrian Center Dressage XIIII 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 340566 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

2/25/2023 - 2/26/2023 
Ocala, FL


World Equestrian Center Dressage I 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 342763 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

3/9/2023 - 3/10/2023 
Ocala, FL


World Equestrian Center Dressage II 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 340523 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

3/11/2023 - 3/12/2023 
Ocala, FL


Welcome Back To White Fences III 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 325705 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, M, Y, P, F, Q, J, AA, NA, PE 

3/17/2023 - 3/19/2023 
Loxahatchee, FL


Florida Dressage Concours I 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 328731 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix 

RC, M, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

4/1/2023 - 4/1/2023 
Venice, FL


Florida Dressage Concours II 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 328732 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix 

RC, M, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

4/2/2023 - 4/2/2023 
Venice, FL


Terra Nova Dressage I 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 342685 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

4/13/2023 - 4/16/2023 
Myakka City, FL


American Dressage Concours I 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 5233 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, M, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

5/13/2023 - 5/13/2023 
Venice, FL


American Dressage Concours II 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 329522 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, M, Y, EQ, F, J, AA, NA, PE 

5/14/2023 - 5/14/2023 
Venice, FL


Fall Dressage Concours I 
Contact/Official Information 
USDF# 328786 
Levels: Intro - Grand Prix

RC, M, Y, EQ, F, J, AA 

9/2/2023 - 9/2/2023 
Venice, FL


Fall Dressage Concours II          9/3/2023


October 5-8, 2023 

USDF Regional Championships, Region 3

Florida Horse Park, Ocala, FL         


Dressage Clinic with Maribeth Dunlap

Posted on January 16, 2023 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

2023 New Year's Day Jump Pt.2 - The Dragonfly

Posted on January 2, 2023 at 12:25 PM Comments comments (0)

2023 New Year's Day Jump Pt.2 - The Dragonfly

By Maribeth Dunlap

January 2nd, 2023


Happy New Year!  So, the day came and went.  I jumped.  It was amazing, exhilarating, beautiful.  I jumped in Sebastian Florida right along the coastline of the Atlantic.  We climbed to 13,500’ so the free fall was a full 60 seconds.  I wasn’t nervous. I was more concerned about how my body would react with the recent digestive issue.  I wore my Wonder Woman earrings and a gold chain that was my mothers.  I wore the same “Love at First Flight” pink t-shirt that I wore during my first jump in 2016 - my birthday jump with the most amazing person in my world; my kiddo.


Climbing up to altitude, I was in the Caravan with 12 other people.  Two were tandems and the rest solo free fallers.  We all sat on the belly of the plane - all seats except for the pilots - were removed.  We sat straddling each other.  The wind whipped about the plane and the noise of the engines drowned most voices.  My dear friend was in the plane with me - a seasoned free-faller - he sat closer to the exit door.  I was pensive; full of my own thoughts, and the others in the plane worked at bringing out my smile and light-heartedness.  I discovered that when we boarded that plane, we became a community, a family.  We were all there for each other.  They were there for me as I was there for them.  I am so grateful for the smiles, thumbs up, and effort they all took to make the experience fantastic and memorable for all.  A community; a family.  Loving and supportive.  I will be forever grateful for them, my Dragonfly family on that 1st day of a new year in that Caravan.


We were given the 1-minute signal as we reached altitude.  The energy in that plane was palpable.  Then we were given the GO.  The free fallers climbed out of the exit door and 4 of them hung clinging to the edges of the door.  It was beautiful to watch.  It was inspiring.  It was glorious.  Then they left go and were gone.  Then the next set, and the next.  The tandem in front of me inched their way to the door.  I watched as she hung her legs out the door into the sky and then they were gone.  I was next.  We inched our way to the opening.  I hung my legs out of the door.  Pulled my chin up and laid my head back into Tyler’s, my tandem instructor, shoulder, arched my back, and in a count of 3, we rolled forward and out into space.  Flipping and tumbling beautifully into space.  The sensations were amazing.  The wind, its force, the chill of the air, the breathtaking beauty that surrounded me, free-falling, giving myself to the openness, and falling.  Freedom.  Letting go.  Trusting once again.  Oh, how glorious.  


Tyler was amazing.  We did spins in our free-fall.  We had fun with hand gestures.  It was amazing.  Then the chute opened and up we went.  Then we floated back toward Mother Earth.  Oh, how beautiful and breath-taking.  The coastline of the Atlantic before us.  We played with the chute and the wind.  We stalled the chute and danced in the wind.  We spun and played.  It was incredible.  I laughed and yahooed all the way down.  We landed beautifully, Tyler easing my landing as he used his body to protect me.  Protected me.  How lovely.  Logan, my videographer, fell with us and captured the jump to preserve the memory for me.  Such wonderful people who come into my life for a reason.  I’m grateful.


As we landed the adrenaline was pumping through my body.  There are no words that can really capture that feeling.  It was amazing.  Pumped.  I was pumped.  Bewildered.  I was bewildered.  Excited.  I was beyond excited.  Oh, the possibilities that jump represented.  Oh, the possibilities.  They are truly endless.  


After the jump, we said our quick good-byes and I made the long trip across the state of Florida alone.  All the exciting emotions and adrenaline had left my body and I felt satisfied and at peace with myself.  Peace.  There was a new feeling of something inside me; something new.  I’m not sure if I can find the right words to define it.  But there were other feelings inside me; peacefulness, perhaps a bit of melancholy, acceptance, a feeling of being alone but not really alone, incredible strength, power, independence, hopefulness, patience and trust.  


Perhaps the jump helped me to truly arrive at a place God intends for me to be right now; whatever and wherever that is.  God will show me the next steps in His time.


The setting sun before me was like a fire in the sky, full of color.  It was stunning.  As I drove west into the night, I continued to process my jump.  I don’t jump because it is something I feel a passion for.  I don’t jump because I’m looking for a new hobby.  I jump for a reason.  And I believe that my jumps are not complete until I ponder the true reason behind the jump.  Why did I jump?  As I drove into the night I pondered about the “why” behind my jump. 


I drove directly to my sister, Diane’s.  She had prepared our traditional New Year’s Day meal, pork, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, sweet corn and crescent rolls.  I had almost forgotten it was the first day of a New Year.  2023.  


I got there late and fixed myself a plate.  We chatted briefly about my jump, I ate my meal, thanked them, and drove home.  I drove back to my home.  My home: a place I feel at peace and can rest.  My home, even if only temporary: a shelter and a place where I feel safe and secure.  I unpacked, showered, and lay down on my comfortable cozy bed.  I said my prayers and fell fast to sleep.


I woke up the next morning early and lying in my bed I thought again about why I jumped.  Why did I jump this time?  And then quite suddenly the veil was lifted as the truth came.  I jumped because I needed to feel some sort of significance to my life.  All the things I wrote about above - acceptance, patience, trust, gratitude, Letting Go/Letting God, hope, humility, love - are wonderful positive things; things I do feel, believe, and hope for.  But there was one final thing: perhaps the true ‘why’ behind my jump.  I jumped because of the pain I have been running from.  I jumped because of the pain.  I jumped because I needed to feel that I matter somewhere in this world.  I jumped because I needed to feel something.  I jumped because I needed an outward sign that I do matter.  I jumped because I matter to me.  I jumped because I matter to God.


The end of 2021 was the beginning of something new for me; a new relationship that I put all my hope in.  2022 was to be the continuation of that hope.  It was supposed to be a culmination of everything that this person and I had been planning and working toward - a new beginning for both of us, a relationship, a partnership, a union, and something that was to be so wonderful that nothing could break.  We were to begin a life together in a new home.  We made so many wonderful plans.  I believed they would all come true.  But the pressure was too great and it blew us apart, and a hurricane ultimately scattered the remaining pieces.  Then chaos ensued.  


My 60th birthday came and went in 2022.  It was significant purely because of its insignificance.


Still, … why did I jump?


I jumped because I put everything I had in something that didn’t grow.


I jumped because I wanted to make my 60th birthday mean something to me.


I jumped because of the pain.  I jumped despite the pain.  A declaration to myself - that I still matter!  I can persevere and over-come all that life throws at me.  I can and I will, because of the One who matters most.


I jumped because I matter; I matter to the One who matters most.  


I jumped because I have finally given everything over to God.  

2023 New Year's Day Jump Pt.1 - The Dragonfly

Posted on December 31, 2022 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

2023 New Year’s Day Jump Pt.1 - The Dragonfly

By Maribeth Dunlap

December 31, 2022


Here I sit on the morning of the eve of a new year.  I don’t feel well.  The results, perhaps, of the vaccinations I received last Wednesday - a shingles booster and a flu shot.  The arm where I got the flu shot is still swollen, red and sore.  Or another thought - perhaps from a bad burger I ate the day before - ugh.  But I have not felt well since receiving the shots, but I pushed on, riding my horses, working my real estate, and keeping myself distracted with all my busyness that I so often do when I’m avoiding something.  Last night was the worst.  I was up half the night with digestive issues.  My body wanted to expel all its contents and never a pleasant experience.  I’m feeling drained this morning.  And I’m feeling sad as I process through all the emotions from 2022.


I’m jumping tomorrow and I’m supposed to do a Polar Bear Plunge into the Atlantic tonight.  The Polar Bear Plunge at midnight: a metaphor of the washing away the past year and the Jump on January 1st to jump into a new year with hope for new things to come.  I am so very excited about it but this body of mine doesn’t seem to want to cooperate.  I’ve been wanting to write about my up-coming jump, but the words wouldn’t come.  I tried several times, but I couldn’t string the thoughts together.  This will be the second time I’ve jumped.  I jump for a reason.  It is not a sport that I want to take up or a deep passion that I have.  I jump for a reason.  A reason.


The first time was my Birthday Jump on September 3rd, 2016.  I jumped with my kiddo as our birthdays are 2 days apart.  I wrote twice about that jump and I couldn’t type fast enough as my thoughts formed into words and poured from my brain.  That jump was a metaphor for a stage and transition in my life.  I was going through tremendous change.  That was my Phoenix Jump.


However, this time, this jump means something else to me.  It is, again, a metaphor for a stage of life for me.  But this one is different, as I presume, they all will be should I decide to jump for a third time.  This jump is more about attitude and how I’ve grown and now look at things. 


In almost every part of the world, the Dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. The change that is often referred to has its source in mental and emotional maturity and an understanding of the deeper meaning of life.  This.  This is what this jump is about.  This is my Dragonfly Jump.  I am a dragonfly.  




One of my favorite quotes is “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at, change”.  I’ve grown to be more accepting of things; things I can change, and things I can’t change.  I’ve learned that the only thing I can truly control is me - how I see things, my attitude, my behavior, my reactions and, better put, how I respond to things.  I have choices and options.  I get to choose how I feel about something, who I believe I am, and what kind of person I want to be.  No matter what someone says to me or tries to make me feel about myself or something, I have a choice - whether to believe them or not.  I have a choice - whether to remain in a situation or not, what kind of people I want to surround myself with, and I get to choose what kind of person I want to be.  When I truly accept the truth in myself and in others, then I get to choose my path accordingly.  And this gives me freedom in that no one has control over my mindset, my thoughts, and my well-being, but me.  And this in turn, allows me to be more gentle, forgiving, and compassionate toward myself and those surrounding me.  Authenticity, truth and remaining true to my genuine self are keys to true acceptance.  And from there, the possibilities are endless.


This jump is about acceptance of all that I can and can’t change.  This jump is about knowing that no matter what, no matter what the outcomes are - I will be okay.  I will be okay because there is One that doesn’t change.  There is One who is a constant in my life.  There is One who has never left me.  There is One who is always reliable and someone I can depend on.  This jump is about knowing that God is always here for me and that I am truly never alone.




Something I’ve had to work on.  I’ve had to learn to wait, be still, pause, go with the flow, and allow things to fall into place.  I’ve had to learn to be patient with others and be more accepting of their needs - not just my own.  I tend to be a “fixer” and want to “fix” everything so everyone can go forward and be happy.  I’ve had to learn to allow others to move at their pace and just allow the other person to work through their emotions in the way they need to.  I’ve learned to do this in my career and personal life.


Waking up and not feeling well.  Being patient with my body and allowing it time to feel better with the knowledge that I may have to accept that I may have to forego my jump.  Another lesson, another metaphor, that good things take time to come to fruition and grow slowly with stability.




Trust… this is a biggie for me.  I have learned to trust God for everything.  Even if it doesn’t feel good, look good, or is not exactly what I expected or thought it would be, simply trust that God has my back and has something amazing planned for me.  My mother used to say, “when God closes a door, He leaves another ajar”.  So true.  The end of something is usually the beginning of something new.  I trust that God has my best interests in mind.  He teaches me and allows me to go through tough times and struggles, but all for a reason and a lesson.  He is preparing me for something better and I trust that better times lay ahead.


And on the other side of this jump, there is something better waiting for me.  I don’t yet know what it is, but I trust that it will be there.  God will always be there to guide and uplift me.




I am so very grateful for the life I have lived and for the life I currently live.  I’m grateful for the people and animals who have come in and out of my life.  And I’m grateful for all those who have remained still in my life.  I was talking to someone the other day about gratitude.  I said that I have everything I could ever want in my life with the exception of two things that I’m still working for.  That’s pretty good.  And if those two things don’t come in my life, I’m okay with that because I’m happy for what I have already.  I know I’ll be okay because I already am.


Jumping tomorrow is an outward expression of my gratitude for the life that God has given me.  He has given me so many wonderful opportunities and has brought so many wonderful people and animals in my life.  An attitude of gratitude is positive, and this positivity is a magnet.  It attracts more positivity in my life, bringing more opportunities and wonderful people in my life.  I grow.  I touch lives.  People come and go, in and out of my life, and they touch my life.  These are all opportunities to grow.  It is endless.  It is lovely.


Letting Go and Letting God:


Letting Go!  It is so much easier to just let go of all the fear and worry that often plagues and occupies our minds.  We lose sleep over it.  We lose our health because of it.  It often costs us our relationships.  And it always costs us our joy.


I’ve learned to let go and let God.  I’ve turned it all over to Him.  He’s now in charge.  He always was anyway - I just got in the way.  When I turn things over to God then I can let go of the emotions associated with my circumstances and I, in turn, gain emotional control.  I can be at peace, remain calm through the storms of my life regardless of the chaos surrounding me.  God is a good, good God.  He is greater than all my circumstances.  He is more powerful than my pain.  I am strong because God is stronger than anything that exists because He made all things and from Him all things flow.  


Oh, these wonderful and crooked roads we travel.  Oh, Glorious God.  How magnificent and wonderful life is with Him.


Jumping is an outward expression of letting go and letting God.




The trials and challenges in my life have taught me to persevere.  The storms in my life are temporary and something I walk through with God.  The opportunities that are presented to me are sent by One greater than me and I may achieve it not by shrinking myself and making myself less, but by focusing on serving the world and uplifting those around me.  Because of God, I have the confidence to not conceal or suppress my gifts and talents in order to make others feel more comfortable, but to embrace what makes me - me.  And this in turn provides the focus required to achieve and grow.  Other people’s insecurities and judgements about me are not my problem.  Those things are about them - not me.  Humility, freedom, and focus allows me to redirect my attention from others and back to me.


This jump is about me and the gifts that God has given me.




I’ve learned that I do not need to search for love in others as it lies within me.  God lives inside of me.  That’s all I need.

Breaking Down Dressage - Article in The Gazette

Posted on August 20, 2021 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

MFS Workshop & Dressage Clinic

Posted on May 13, 2021 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

2020 Dressage Competition Calendar

Posted on January 23, 2020 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Jan 11: SWFDA Schooling Show,,  Ft. Myers, FL


Feb 23: ADA Schooling Show at Triple J,, Sarasota, FL

Feb 29 - Mar 1:  SDCTA Spring Break I & II,  Tampa, FL

Mar 22:  ADA Schooling Show at Triple J,, Sarasota, FL

April 4 - 5:  Florida Dressage Concours I & II, FOXLEAFARM.COM, Venice, FL

Apr 11: SWFDA Schooling Show,, Ft. Myers, FL


May 2 - 3:  SDCTA Dressage Among Friends I & II, SDCTA.NET, Tampa, FL


May 23 - 24:  Dressage Under the Oaks II,, Weirsdale, FL


June 6 - 7:  Suncoast Sunburn Classic I & II,, Tampa, FL


June 13 - 14:  Dressage Under the Oaks III,, Weirsdale, FL

July 4 - 5:  White Fences Summer Fun II,, Loxahatchee, FL


August 22 - 23. FoxLea Rated Show, FOXLEAFARM.COM, Venice, FL

Sept 5 - 6:  White Fences Summer Fun III & IV,, Loxahatchee, FL


Sept 12 - 13:  Dressage Under the Oaks IV,, Weirsdale, FL

Sabine Schut-Kery Clinic Nov 16 & 17, 2019

Posted on October 30, 2019 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)