My Philosophies and Methods
When working with horse and rider I emphasize position and seat. I follow the Classical Dressage philosophies and methods. Riding to help the horses do their job better creates harmony, and sets both horse and rider up for success. The relationship between horse and rider is key. Working as a team, being aware of what the horse is communicating, and how to help the horse succeed is the base of understanding riding. I teach my students how to be empathetic toward the horse, and to interpret the horses’ signals. My passion is Dressage however I have experience in performance western, trail, performance hunt seat, and showmanship.
When I am working with a training horse and we come upon an issue I ask myself, what exercises can I do to help the horse? What can I do as a rider to help my horse succeed? One of my favorite philosophy’s I have adopted from Danish Bereiter Henrik Johansen, founder of Positive Riding states “95% of the time it is rider error”. The horses react to the us, we do not react to the horse. I do not believe in a horse being “Bad”, there is always an underlying issue of misunderstanding, mistrust, or a physical barrier.
I emphasize physical fitness of the rider to increase effectiveness. My workout program consists of yoga, which helps me stay agile and strong especially in the core area. The core muscles are extremely important to helping the horse to achieve maximum collection, and to help use your body, rather than relying heavily on the rein. Rein contact is crucial, however I believe in the philosophy that the reins are for balance, and flexion. Reins are often overused in the dressage world, and my goal is to limit the use, and transfer the habit of heavy contact to the horse’s responsiveness to the seat, and engagement of the haunches.
I listen every day to the horse and what they are telling me that particular day. We work together to learn from each other. No horse is the same, therefore I do not treat, or train two horses the same. I strive to always achieve a light, supple, self-engaging horse.
I teach both horsemanship, and horseback riding. In my lessons we do not just work on the riding aspects, but we cover how to care for a horse, groundwork, horse anatomy, horse health, and horse illnesses and blemishes. We also cover parts of the saddle, bridle, and tack identification. All of my new beginner students begin their education with lunge line lessons with one of my skilled lesson horses. The rider can focus on position, seat, and feeling the horse without the stress of controlling the horse.
I take care in teaching safety for horse and rider. Proper equipment and use is stressed, helmets are required for riders under 18 and highly recommended for all students.
I have shown horses to Second level, and have schooled horses on many upper level movements. My training is based off of the German training scale, mostly classical while utilizing some competitive styles of dressage. I have had fourteen years of riding and dressage experience, in which I have gone through OHSET and 4-H programs, and am currently involved with volunteering. I am enthusiastically competing in dressage. I am up to date on the competitions worldwide in the dressage industry, and have traveled to the Dressage World Cup, and other national shows such as the Del Mar National Dressage show to further educate myself, as well as attending clinics to increase my knowledge. I have ridden with Spanish Riding School Bereiter Herwig Radnetter, Dr. Thomas Ritter, Danish Bereiter Henrik Johansen, and Teri Emrich. I have attended clinics including Sue Blinks, Anne Gribbons, Michael Etherly, Steffen Peters, and Danish Bereiter Henrik Johansen. I have trained with Angie Egberg for seven years, and am currently training under Suzan Davis-Atkinson, BHS Certified FEI instructor with which I have spent the past three years studying the method of long lining, and dressage. I use long lining to increase the horses balance and engagement. Long lining develops the horse’s understanding of what they physically can achieve and how to use their body to be most effective. I find that horses trained with long lining are conditioned beyond most horses that are only ridden.