My area of interest is in teaching riders to maintain and restore soundness, improve gaits, solve jumping problems, and unlock athletic potential of their horses. Building on my foundation as a serious hunter, jumper, and equitation competitor, I continue my education in dressage, biomechanics and athletic rehabilitation, and enjoy working with students who are eager to learn a riding style that does not use force or punishment but rather encourages horses to explore healthy strong body coordination.
My mentor, who taught me lightness and how to sit and think in the saddle, was formally trained in classical dressage at a European military institution in the 1960’s. A protégé of Colonel George Margot, who was notorious for his elegance in the saddle and ability to create top level movement in ordinary horses, he competed successfully in international three-day eventing, grand prix show jumping, puissance, and grand prix dressage. After retiring from competition, he moved behind the scenes and specialized in problem solving, rehabilitation, athletic preparation of jumpers for an Olympic gold medalist. He also put the foundation work on a horse / rider team who transitioned to an Olympic coach and went on to win an individual Olympic silver medal in dressage.
Among the important take-away's from this valuable experience is that the training trajectory of elite athletes can, and should, be applied to all horses. I learned to analyze gait and jumping problems and build strategies to solve problems using classical dressage gymnastics with primary focus on the body coordination for the gymnastic. The key is that strategies, not recipes, are needed to solve problems, and small problems eventually turn into lameness if not addressed early. The strategies are grounded in both the evolving knowledge of horse and rider biomechanics, and in my practical experience with applying the knowledge and arriving at tangible results.
Hunter / Jumper / Equitation competitor - student of Robert Crawford, late 1970’s
Owner / operator of boarding and training facility where I trained horses and instructed and coached adults and children, many of whom were US Pony Club members 2010 - 2018
Continuing Education in Dressage and Biomechanics includes:
- Jane Savoie’s Happy Horse video course and books
- Paul Belasik classical dressage instructional videos and books
- Mary Wanless RWYM video course series
- Elmar Pollmann-Schweckhorst on dressage training for jumpers
- Caroline Resnick’s liberty and behavior courses
- Deb Bennett biomechanics, conformation analysis
- Science of Motion – online course, clinic host and participant 2013 - 2018
- The Open College of Equine Studies – biomechanics level 5 course 2019