Rocky and Janna

Dressage Training

Training packages are available for horses stabled at Freedom Ranch near Hastings, MN. Packages may include lessons in addition to training, or be geared towards a specific goal, like show or sale. I also travel to other stables in the greater Twin Cities metro area on a limited basis for clinics, individual sessions, evaluations, and sales consultations.

Learn more about my methods by reading articles I have written about dressage!

I specialize in training horses according to the time-honored traditions of the classical dressage school, as practiced by my trainers and mentors from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. This involves following certain consistent principles that aim to establish clear and harmonious communication between horse and rider, with the long term well-being of the horse as the primary consideration. Classical dressage recognizes that the horse as athlete needs sufficient time to develop the strength, stamina, and mental abilities required by the progressively more difficult exercises of haute école.

An important part of the training process is ascertaining when a horse is ready to be challenged by more difficult exercises and when it has reached the practical limit of its current mental and physical condition. I do not use any unorthodox training equipment or shortcuts, nor do I believe in riding horses behind the vertical to achieve a false "headset." For me, the process of training is the most rewarding aspect of my work. Seeing a horse develop greater sensitivity, balance, relaxation, and expression in its movements is ultimately the goal of any training program.

Showing is available for horses in training, should that be requested. I have successfully competed horses at Training Level through FEI Grand Prix.

Though I prefer to work with horses specializing in dressage, I am happy to accommodate "multi-discipline" horses, as well as horses that may need dressage work as preparation for or intermission from other types of work. I can help correct horses that have developed problems in their dressage schooling, or assist with preparing horses for a specific goal, such as show, sale, or inspection.

Training programs are developed on an individual basis, in consultation with the owner/rider, occasionally with recommendations from a vet, farrier, or chiropractor, and often in conjunction with a lesson program. For many horses, ground training may be advisable in the early stages of a training program, or even for more mature horses that have encountered problems in their development.

If you have further questions or are interested in viewing a lesson or training session, please contact me for my weekly schedule and locations.