Philosophy, methods, current influences

It's the rider. Simple, Elegant, Us. Thousands of competent teachers can tell the rider what the horse should be doing differently but few can tell the rider how to tell the horse! My particular talent lies here, with the rider, since it is she who leads the dance. The horse is a beautiful living breathing bio-feedback machine and it is with him that my first loyalty lies - he shows me how the rider feels to him. I return the favor by helping the rider to communicate with clarity.

I strive to keep the work as simple as possible and as detailed as necessary to achieve the rider’s goal of competitive success or personal enrichment. If you can learn to feel your own feet in the ground you can learn to feel his and he will follow you. So after a lifetime spent with horses, the last 25 yrs of dressage study, it has occured to me that dressage is really very simple. Not easy but simple.

Horses and students are individuals and certain matches of temperament and physical attributes make the journey together a bit faster but it is my life work to make the journey rewarding for both. I ride all of my “program students” horses regularly to check my eye with the "feel" of the horse. Custom training programs or school horse lessons available.

My primary current influences: I have been a student of the Alexander Method since 2008 I was first introduced to Alexander's work by Mary Wanless who has been a major influence in my career as a teacher.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

more history

My horses have been completely trained by me and have been very competitive, for the most part.... and for the best part they have taught me a great deal over the last few decades. eg: Huge movers are much harder to ride well and they also break more easily ;->)
My current horse, Marcus has a lovely piaffe, passage and 1/2 pass (see photos posted last winter) sadly he has incurred collateral ligament damage, has had stem cells etc....and then as he was looking pretty ready to start back he damaged muscles during a fall in turnout .......so he is at summer camp (out on 40 acres with 12 other camp buddies eating grass). I hope to get him back as a schoolmaster at end of summer! Marc was ODS futurity winner (combined tr and 1st scores at ODS championships). He has always been explosive , launching several European World Class riders onto his neck: Christine Traurig, Henk Glinn(a great teacher), Barbara Koot. (another great teacher) and so I last showed him several years ago, 3rd level at DW (68%) but he was challenging to show and my love has become teaching and coaching so I didn't spend the time and money to compaign him but used the time to learn from him.
I showed Dani whom I have trained for years off and on for a student -reserve CH 1st L, at the sporthorse arab regionals, in lo 70%s. She has lovely changes and has started on tempis for me.
Prior to Marcus, I had Frederick, also imported as a 3yr. (a Florestan) and he was ODS Training level champion lo 70s before I sold him to California.
Claivoyant was also from Europe, my friend and long time trainer Carol Lavall (Olympian)selected him as 2yr for me on her way home from the Barcelona Olympics. Unfortunately he developed juvenile onset arthritis so I had his hocks fused, trained him up to his capacity and I sold him as a solid 2nd level horse with good flying changes as a schoolmaster at 8yrs old.
Prior to Clair, I had an 18h, Akzent I gelding, Auspicious, who was responsible for my rise from am to pro. I bought him as a 3 yo from my good friend Sandy Howard, with whom I have trained for over 20 years (she was USET team member 1981. "Otto" and were very competitive regionally and always ranked well nationally eg : USDF HOY we were 7th Place at 3rd level and 2nd Pl at 3rd level freestyle. My long time instructor, and very conservative trainer, Dieterich von Hofgarten announced that
'Otto' and I we were "ready for PSG" but sadly, Otto died of a presumed aortic anuerysm rupture. Some would say the "horse of a lifetime", but I believe that with every challenge there is a door which opens. I joined the nascent Califiornia organization APTI, which was dedicated to educating dressage instuctors. I worked with Sandy Howard (Olympian) and Mary Wanless (author) and have been to hundreds of hours of cont. ed watching Balkekhol, Schumacher, etc.....APTI has been replaced now with the more dogmatic USDF program
Before Auspicious I had leased Giselle who was a very tense, very talented but challenging 2nd level mare. I trained and showed her through 4th level winning Oregon CH at both 2nd ,3rd and 4th levels in two years with scores all in the high 60s. I decided to buy young rather than keep leasing her but the gal I sold her to took that little mare to I 1.
Prior to Giselle, I bought a horse off the track, Cadenza, he was successful for me winning the 2nd L ODS championships and as his hocks were not the best after a young career on the track I sold him and he was a good 2nd level schoomaster thoughout his career.

.........which brings me to my current situation: I have a torn labrum in my hip I am trying steroid injections, but these will eventually fail and I will need a hiatus from riding for a few months ...So if you want a ready to go show rider I am not that person right now- If you are interested in learning to ride for your self, I am very good on the ground. Another option: I have a couple of very talented riders who are interested in parital leases and one or both of them might be a fit, depending on your needs.


Thank you for asking about my history. There are trips to Europe to buy for clients, several bronze medal students, and lots of other stuff that I have likely forgotten. My competitive success always seemed easy in comparison to teaching well so I guess that is why I haven't given it much air time on my blog!


may you live with ease ;-)

1 comment:

Roisin said...

Hello,
I came across your site after a google search about riding after a labrum tear. I have been laid up for about 6 months now and am scheduled for surgery at the end of March. Did you end up having repairs done for your tear? And if so, how was your recovery? HOw long until you were back on your lovely horses?
I hope you are well on the mend and have your life back once again.