Officers and Board Members

2023 Officers and Board Members


Cameron Pedri

Resides in: Astoria, Oregon

Horses: Booker (Shiner’s Gold Freckle) is a coming 9 year old Quarter Horse. We’ve been together three and half years. He is my first Quarter Horse, and if he is typical of the breed, I’m sold! Although we’ve had our challenges, he is a very kind, people-oriented horse who always tries his best for me. One of the first things people notice about Booker is his ‘weird’ dark coloring on the left side of his neck. It is due to a somatic mutation, a harmless color mutation that produces patches of unexpected color. It also produced a beautiful grey streak in his mane. I love his one-of-a-kind markings.

Why I ride Cowboy Dressage: I think Cowboy Dressage (CD) is perfect for Booker and me. We started out together, and have so appreciated all the kind, supportive, wonderful people we’ve met. Since he was green when I got him, and I was still making my way back into horses after 20 years off, I have appreciated the framework and support CD has provided us as we’ve worked to develop our skills and partnership. The tests offer us a way to check-in with how we are progressing, be it at home or at a Gathering. I also love that it isn’t an end unto itself. It seems like everyone does a variety of other things with their Cowboy Dressage horses, like recreational trail, Mountain Trail, cattle work, ranch riding, driving, even barrel racing! CD helps you and your horse to develop confidence, communication, and most importantly, a partnership based on kindness and respect that enables you to be better at whatever you do together.

Other Tidbits: Cowboy Dressage is unique in that it is not only about how to ride your horse, but also how to interact with him, through ‘Soft Feel’, and with others around you with consideration and respect. This attitude is at the very core of CD and its organizations, but isn’t always the standard for many equine sports. I’ve experienced this different attitude at every clinic, gathering and lesson. I’ve had strangers help me get ready because I forgot my ride time, offer to be a ‘buddy horse’ when Booker was nervous, or to call our test, and always there have been words of support and encouragement to each other. I think it is very special. By joining the ORCDA Board I hope to help provide opportunities for existing and new Cowboy Dressage riders to experience this wonderful environment, while they develop skills, partnership with their horses, and have a lot of fun in our beautiful Northwest!

Vice President

Mary Kemhus

Resides in Seaside, OR

Horses: I currently own a black Percheron cross mare, named Licorice, who will be forever sixteen until she isn’t. I’ve had horses since I was thirteen and started riding western using the dressage principles taught by my 4-H leader. I’ve had a mix of breeds including part-Arab, Appaloosa, Tennessee Walker/Morgan, Thoroughbred and Mustang. Each has taught me something unique and enriched my life.

Why I Ride Cowboy Dressage: I’ve been searching all my life for a discipline that embodies the true meaning of dressage which is to help each horse be the best they can be. Not to mold them into an idea of what someone says they should be. I have finally found that in Cowboy Dressage. I love that there is not a specific type or breed of horse but that it embraces the wonderful diversity of equus. I love that Cowboy Dressage horses are encouraged to move freely in their own style in wonderful partnership with their riders. I love the spirit of community and support in the Cowboy Dressage riders I’ve met. This is what riding is all about.

Additional Tidbits:  I enjoy a mix of arena work and trail riding. I like the gentle, kind approach to riding that I find in Cowboy Dressage. In my lifetime with horses some of the things that stand out to me are qualifying to compete at 4-H State Fair several years in a row, riding 120 miles down the Skyline Trail, now part of the Pacific Crest Trail, and miles and miles of beach riding. I joke that I used to ride five miles to start riding, heading out at 8:00 am and returning at 8:00 pm. That’s not in the cards anymore but I’ve found that same peace and joy riding Cowboy Dressage.


Lisa Clapp  

Resides in: Seaside, Oregon

Horses: My little band of horses help keep me whole and renewed. Maceo, a solid paint gelding, is a friend to all. At 23 years, he continues to be the glue that holds the herd together. Though at the bottom of the pecking order, Maceo is always first in line to head down the trail, out to the pasture or into the stall. He serves as the calm and wise one who can still dish out a little dance and prance. Tucker is a 22 year old bay overo paint gelding who has taught me a great deal about patience. He likes to reign over the others, but lacks confidence to lead so will drive the others like a blue healer. The world is a scary place to him, but he has graciously followed me on trail rides, horse camping and given me all his heart in learning Cowboy Dressage. The darling of the group is Fancy, a 5 year old Andalusian mare. She is outgoing and vivacious, confident and curious, silly and funny. After 50 years with horses, I’d only ever dreamed of meeting such a horse. Now she shares her amazing spirit with me daily. She is super excited to learn how to be ridden this spring! 

Why I ride Cowboy Dressage:   Cowboy Dressage speaks to my core. Not only does it revere soft feel, condone two way communication, and focus on foundation skills valuable to all horse disciplines, but it is where I feel at home. The camaraderie that the organization values is not just idle talk or fluffy words on a website. It is real. It is ubiquitous at every gathering, lesson and collection of cowboy dressage riders. We are all in it TOGETHER and the support from those you never met is as genuine as from your best friend. There is a spirit of wholeness and kindness that pervades how we treat our horses and each other. An essential hallmark of this genre is relationships. Openness and patience are fundamental to the Cowboy Dressage doctrine. Not only do we strive to practice these values, we celebrate the release of old, rigid paradigms of shame, guilt and force. Beauty is found in seemingly simple consistent rhythms, soft and fluid transitions, and relaxation that forges exquisite grace. Cowboy Dressage embodies harmony of the human and horse spirits. 

Additional Tidbits:  I arrive at the ORCDA board from a variety of experiences. The job which has provided me the greatest skills is teaching. That old adage is so true: a teacher learns more than she ever teaches. I am so grateful to all my high school students and fellow staff for propelling me on a journey of life long discovery. I have also been a 4-H agent, dental lab technician, editor’s assistant and potter. I surround myself with nature in the Coast Range of northwest Oregon where I live with my husband, dog, cats and chickens. And horses. Did I say horses? Yes, horses, horses, horses. 

General Board Members

Renee Fruiht

Resides in Svensen, OR

Why I Ride Cowboy Dressage: I grew up on the back of a horse. Together we explored mountains, lakes, and wildlife. Usually riding bareback with a bosal, my horse and I enjoyed more freedom and strength together than we had independently.

After retiring I came to formal arena training as a means to be a safer, better rider as I aged. I chose Cowboy Dressage because it is respectful of the horse, attracts really fun people and boasts highly skilled teachers. What I unexpectedly discovered in Cowboy Dressage was a whole new world of riding. In this discipline my horse and I enjoyed an empathetic relationship of mutual trust and minimal equipment. In addition we learned the precise timing and subtle cues that let us dance. We learned higher levels of partnership both on the ground and in the saddle. 

We can now spend hours lost in our outdoor arena with great music, mastering the subtle, mutual balance of a cantered diagonal or feather-light haunch turn. Not only has Cowboy Dressage and its fine instructors made us a more competent backcountry team, but it has given my horse and me new joy. Now when we are heading up the trail to an adventure, my horse will often pause at the arena gate, asking if I would like a dance.

Horses: My horse Cruise is a ten-year-old QH gelding. I met him when he was a five-year-old, already trained in Cowboy Dressage. For me he has been a magnificent teacher as well as an eager student. I was delighted to discover that this large QH is as nimble and careful with large logs and narrow mountain trails as he is with technical maneuvers in the arena. We both really enjoy backcountry camping and trails, as well as enchanting dance moves in a Cowboy Dressage arena. 

I also live with a lovely Shagya/Witez Arabian mare. She was my endurance partner and, after years away, she has returned to me for her retirement. She’s not a bit interested in retiring, which is great with me!

Other Tidbits: I have so much appreciation for the years I’ve enjoyed competing in Oregon Cowboy Dressage. The wonderful teams that put on gatherings in Albany, Brasada, and Cle Elum allowed me to learn and play in an environment that was educational, supportive, and fun. I’m happy to have this opportunity to give something back. I hope that I can learn to fill the big shoes our past teams have left behind.

Christine Simpson

Resides in Vancouver, WA

Background: Chris Simpson has 45 years of experience showing western horses, has studied with several well-known horsemen, and is a successful trainer and clinician. She has 2 APHA champions, 10 APHA Superiors in Western Pleasure, Hunter under Saddle, Trail, and 40+ state championships. Chris loves Cowboy Dressage and how it includes all breeds, all levels, youth and even little lead-line riders. She is a certified Richard Shrake’s Resistance Free clinician as well as a Level 3 Cowboy Dressage clinician.