I started riding at a young age with Debbie Manson-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) and Sue Hughes (MI). 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 participated in the USDF Young Rider Graduate Program in West Palm Beach, FL; a valuable program for aspiring young professionals in the horse industry. Most recently 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, giving me the opportunity to scribe at the inaugural 2013 US Dressage Finals held at the Kentucky Horse Park.
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.