I began riding lessons over thirty years ago. I was at a small barn with an enthusiastic instructor who was very new to horses herself. Because of this, I quickly was able to start training and teaching, because I was "very experienced" after a year of lessons! We would go pick up horses from the local trader and I would get to train them until they could be used in lessons. It was all very seat-of-the-pants, but fun and a great education!
Eventually, someone loaned me some old US Eventing Magazines and I have never looked back. Pony Club came along and I really directed my energies into eventing.
My first really awesome instuctor was Brian Ross. As he has gone on to judge events such as Rolex and Badminton, I have to say I really lucked into a good one! Nanci Lindroth then brought me up through the levels to Intermediate 3 Day. I tell my students that a large percent of everything that comes out of my mouth comes from Nanci, and another huge portion from Cindy Sydnor. Both of these excellent and accomplished horse women are the basis of much of my education.
I have cliniced with Jimmy Wofford quite a few times, as well as Walter Zettl, many years ago before he was as famous as he is now! Walter came to Stonecrop Farm regularly for a year back around 1990 and I rode with him every time. What a great teacher, always thinking about the horses.
More recently, I get down to Denny Emerson when he is in Southern Pines. I might only make it once a year, but I get there!
Bent Jensen came regularly to Stonecrop for quite a few years. Bent is a great dressage rider, with an amazing eye. He can really bring a horse up a level, in just a weekend! I was lucky to ride with him every time he was up.
My best qualifications for teaching, training and running a stable are.... I am a Graduate A, from the United States Pony Club and now, a National Examiner. This gives me a great perspective for bringing along students, both children and adults, through a progression of training.
I have competed through Intermediate 3 Day and Second Level Dressage. I hope to someday concentrate on dressage and do some higher levels. I had a really bad injury in 2000 that might hurry that decision along!
And, I have to give some credit to my really best teachers, my horses.
From Flying Dutchess, my first pony, Bonnie Dundee, my first Eventer and my Intermediate horse, Lorindol, I have had some challenging and wonderful horses to learn with. Lorindol, Shea to his friends, will always be the BEST BOY EVER. I had many "firsts" with him, at every level of eventing and 3 Day that I have accomplished.
He will always be "the one" for me. RIP Shea, May 2, 2006.