SOME OF FRANCES' FAVORITE LINKSI have been very fortunate to enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with other equine professionals. This process can bear such fruitful results in terms of the cross-pollenization of teaching and training methods, and bring energy and joy to the long hours this profession demands. Below are some of those wonderful people and their websites.
Western Dressage Association of Colorado (WDACO)
The mission of the Western Dressage Association® of Colorado is to build an equine community that combines the Western traditions of horse and rider with Classical Dressage. In doing this it will provide an educational and competitive environment which is accessible to all Colorado riders and horses. Our mission will be guided by that of the Western Dressage Association® of America which states:
We honor the horse.
Irina Yastrebova of Smoky Lake, Alberta, Canada. A Canadian citizen, Irina grew up near St. Petersburg, Russia, where her parents were track and field coaches. Irina and her husband moved to the US 13 years ago and she became my working student for nearly 3 years before moving to Canada. Now we make it a point to spend time together at least once a year, either at a conference, or riding. A brilliant young teacher, Irina's website is one of the best, most informative around, especially her blogs!
The Elegant Rider
Simone Windeler of Monument, Colorado teaches and trains in the classical tradition at Whispering Winds stables, and gives regular clinics in several locations. Simone is very involved in the nuts and bolts of the Rocky Mountain Dressage Society, and runs many USEF recognized dressage shows with Heather Peterson. We ride together on a regular basis, exchanging coaching, ideas, and the pleasure of riding Andalusians. Originally from Germany, Simone has cultivated a professional relationship with German Classical Trainer Ralf Schmitzer, and brought him into my circle of friends. Thank you, Simone!
Ralf Schmitzer of Sulzberg in the Allgau, Germany has been teaching clinics in Colorado for over 4 years now. Ralf's brand of training emphasizes calm, balance, and systematic lowering of the haunches through progressive exercises. He is a lover of the Friesian horse, but his knowledge extends to all breeds, and his thoughtful, quiet manner has won him many students. When he comes, we make it a point to have one afternoon to “play”, sharing ideas on the advanced movements, including piaffe, passage and levade. Ralf especially enjoys riding Fino! For more info on Ralf's clinic schedule, contact
Kris Garrett of Parker Colorado is one of the most multi-faceted people I know. She is a long time breeder of Andalusian horses, and owner, with husband John, of the superb sire Temerario VII. Her organizational talents are formidable, witness the Equestrian Theater and Performance Association, and her creative and promotional abilities are unsurpassed. Her latest venture, Kris With A Kamera, promotes online video services for any kind of business, and her efforts can be seen on Fino's page-WOW, what a great video!
Cori Fierkins, the lady with the magic fingers, resides near Ellicott, Colorado. A wonderful horsewoman, Cori's abilities to resolve soft tissue problems in horses is most amazing. She is a certified practitioner of the Equine Touch method, and I have seen her restore lame horses to service time after time. I especially enjoy the chance to collaborate with Cori, when we can work with horse and rider together to resolve training and performance issues through the targeting of body imbalances. Want a clinic? Can do!
Mariah Farms, Castle Rock, Colorado, is where I have the privilege of training, teaching and boarding my own horses. Mariah is a full service facility, with a 250' X 80' indoor arena , two large outdoor arenas, stalls with daily turnout and shed row pens with runs. Care is individualized, and hay is of outstanding quality. Mariah prides itself on a horse-and client-friendly atmosphere, and in addition to my own dressage program, offers instruction for beginning students with owner Lisa Lamke. Board prices are among the most reasonable for front range Colorado barns that offer comparable services. Mariah is easily accessible in all weather, right off the I-25 corridor.
Ami MacHugh of Jackass Mountain Ranch in Pasco, Washington breeds exceptionally beautiful and functional Pure Spanish Andalusians on big pastures with the best of care. Amy is a sensitive, exceptionally talented rider and knowledgeable breeder with many championships to her credit, who also happens to run a huge agricultural enterprise with her husband. She likes to say that the horses are her hobby, but there are few breeders with as good an eye and as sound a knowledge of genetics. Why the ranch name? They also keep a few mules as herd guardians! I love Amy's down-to-earth attitude!
The Coussoul Studfarm in the heart of Provence, France has earned a significant reputation in Europe among Iberian breeders for breeding spectacular, huge moving Lusitanos that consistently win French national championships in open dressage. This stud is owned by an American woman, Catherine Vaisse, who is a longtime French resident, and deserves a strong look from anyone looking for an FEI dressage prospect.
www.vaisse.com or Google “Haras du Coussoul, France”
Horses For Life is an online magazine which is full of informative, albeit sometimes controversial, articles challenging commonly held assumptions about training horses, especially for the modern competitive dressage ring. Always an interesting read, worthwhile for inquiring minds.
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