I started riding at a young age with Debbie Marquardt, a mentor who I continue to work with today. My foundation is based on the importance of correct basics, proper horsemanship, and avoiding short cuts. My education is diverse, having participated in activities such as 4-H and the University of Michigan Equestrian Team; and having competed in everything from eventing to recognized dressage shows. I have invested time working with trainers from across the country including: Frances O’Reilly (WA), Olympic medalist Michael Poulin (FL), and locally, Roz Kinstler (MI). I earned my USDF Bronze and Silver medals on a horse I purchased as a weanling, started myself, and trained through the levels. In recent years I have shifted my focus to training young horses and developing them into rideable, uncomplicated mounts that are interested in and happy with their jobs.
In 2004 I earned my teaching certification with the Certified Horsemanship Association, an organization with core values that I highly respect and incorporate into my daily routine. In 2008 I was a participant in the USDF Young Rider Graduate Program in West Palm Beach, FL; a valuable program for aspiring young professionals in the horse industry. In 2012 I applied and was selected to participate in the Young Dressage Horse Trainer’s Symposium (YDHTS), an intense trainer’s retreat offered to talented individuals with the ability and commitment to develop young horses up through the FEI levels. The same year I also began the process of obtaining a judge’s certification through the UDSF “L” Program which gave me the opportunity to scribe at the inaugural 2013 US Dressage Finals held at the Kentucky Horse Park. I have since graduated from the L-Program and have continued to scribe each year at the US Dressage Finals as well as at competitions such as the West Coast Dressage Festival in southern California and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. In 2018 I was selected to be a participant in the US Equestrian Federation’s Para-Dressage Pilot Coaching Program at Wheatland Farm in Virginia. The program focused on developing teaching methods and improving communication techniques with riders.
Throughout more than ten years of teaching I have used my dressage foundation to cater to riders of all disciplines, ages, and skill levels. Whether it’s in the show ring earning championships or at home with a personal triumph, my students are continually achieving their goals while developing a harmonious relationship with their horse. As a trainer I have found success in creating solid basics with both young horses and experienced horses by using principles of the training scale; a mixture of ground and under saddle work both inside and outside of the arena help to develop a well-rounded, rideable horse.
I consider myself lucky that I knew my life’s calling from an early age; I never expected that it would become my job but as my Mom always told me “if you have a talent at something it’s your job to share it with others”. Each day I am thankful that I can share my talent with others, whether it is teaching riding lessons, training horses, or competing, I love what I do.