After riding for about 15 years, my passion for classical dressage began in 2016, when I saw firsthand how classical riding could transform a horse, by helping it develop balance and self carriage.
After searching for classical teachers, I had the opportunity to audit a clinic taught by one of the riders at the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art, who I would later learn from – Antonio Borba Monteiro. For the first time, I saw someone get on a horse, do what seemed to be nothing more than simple exercises, and see the horse’s movement dramatically improve. The horse began to carry himself beautifully and looked completely different within only about 15 minutes. To me, this was magic – and I decided I had to learn to ride classically.
Since then, I’ve trained with Antonio in his stable in Portugal in 2017, and I’ve trained at Oliveira Stables in Germany starting in 2017. At Oliveira Stables, Manuel Jorge de Oliveira, who was a student of Nuno Oliveira, passes on his knowledge, experience, and the spirit of classical riding.
For me, there is no other form of riding that so beautifully develops and respects the horse and the relationship between horse and rider as in classical dressage.
Through the process of good training, both horse and rider can be elevated to another level of balance, connection, self-discipline, softness, and strength, and progress towards collection, and performing the high school movements.
Before I discovered classical dressage, my background was riding in the hunter, jumper, and equitation disciplines which were most common in the Pacific Northwest in Canada.
I was always looking for ways to improve my riding and work with horses, and felt there had to be more than the riding methods I had been exposed to. This led me to explore several different schools of thought and learn from different trainers. I explored modern dressage, French classical dressage, hackamore and bridle horse work, and natural horsemanship with Monty Roberts.
Now, I ride and train classically at a stable near Zürich, and am passionate about sharing classical riding with those who are dedicated to developing themselves and their horses in balance with classical principles.