“The difference between any horse and an “at risk” horse is often just training. There is a real lack of professional and accredited trainers dedicated to this cause. I want to change that.”
I was born to become a horse trainer, of that fact, I am sure. I have always been most content and at ease around anything equine and since the age of twelve, I knew there would be horses in my life forever.
I grew up in Toronto, Canada without nearly enough access to my passion, and so I read, and by saying the word “read,” I mean every single thing I could get my hands on that had any information from which I might glean another tidbit about horses. Every fictional story or how-to book in both the school and the local library on the subject of horses was eagerly read at least once. All of this information gathering was before the internet and therefore, harder to come by, back in the early seventies.
A trip to my local feed store proved me wrong and changed my life. I found a copy of Alois Podhasky’s complete training of horse and rider in the bargain bin, and I stayed up all that night to finish reading my first real dressage book. I learned that I, in fact, did not, invent dressage. However, dressage would be my next calling and I began studying in earnest both the discipline and the art form, that is dressage.
Busy as I was, I rather selfishly took a position at the Arabian Nights Dinner theater in Orlando, Florida, because I wanted a chance to ride and learn from the horses there. I was part of the show for a little over five years. I met and married my husband, Kim, there, became the principal trainer, a feature performer in the show, and eventually the Director of Entertainment Operations.
Kim and I then decided it was time to let show business take a back seat to our dressage aspirations, and we accepted a position as head trainers for Bob Oury at Indian Hills training Center in Gilberts, Illinois. There, we started training and competing dressage horses in earnest. We had over sixty horses on the farm to break, train, and sell, along with four rather unruly stallions to sort out. During this period, KYB Dressage was born.
Since then, we have imported some fabulous and award-winning show horses for a variety of clients. We have qualified horses and riders for World Championships and World Cups. Dozens of National and Regional titles have been earned by horses and by riders under our guidance.
The books I have written, Ride the Right Horse, The Dressage Horse Manifesto, The Spirit of the Horse and All the Kings Horsemen, are a reflection of what I have learned over these many years studying my equine friends and the people who work with them. I am a horse trainer, first and foremost. I love my life, my family and the horses I get to work with and am blessed to have the people in my life who believe in me.
As a horse crazy child, I would have given anything to have someone extend a hand to help me, and I have never forgotten my roots. I now extend my hand to help young professionals and aspiring riders find their chance to be around horses and to discover for themselves if their life calling is the pursuit of hoof prints in the sand.