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View Full Version : Dressage Trainers in NoVa?



GreyDun
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:00 PM
Hi - I event but am looking to beef up my dressage before spring.... can anyone recommend a good dressage instructor in the Purcellville, Round Hill, Middleburg, Unison area? Willing to travel, but it'd be awesome if someone could come to my barn! Preferably one who won't be going south for the winter... Doesn't have to compete at GP or anything, but someone with a good eye who can help me and my Connemara pony gear up for a season in Training and possibly Prelim eventing. :D Thank you!

Speedy
Dec. 19, 2007, 12:47 PM
I sent you a PM.

dressagediosa
Dec. 19, 2007, 01:34 PM
I'm located in Marshall, about 40 minutes from Middleburg. I don't travel, but my indoor is really fabulous. :) About half of my students are eventers, and I'm really enjoying teaching you guys - you're much braver than us dressage weenies! My websites are below.

I don't know what her schedule looks like, but my dear friend Renee Carter trains freelance. She's based near me, in Orlean. http://carterdressage.com/ is her website.

Carol Ames
Dec. 19, 2007, 02:39 PM
oops srory!:o; I used to do that ,but, frankly, the driving got to be too much; Isn't Donnan Plumb in the area?:confused:Unfortunately, with the traffic in the area; more i spent more time stuck stuck in traffic :o than teaching, no way t to make money doingthat :no:Who is the Candian with a new place r 704 and 15?I'm fairly certain you would have to go there; also for AlisonHead and Linda oliver.There is a woman in Hamilton who, has someone come to her. She should be easy to find she has a dressage :winkgrin:arena i nher "front yard!"

page3girl
Dec. 19, 2007, 08:11 PM
Mary Flood is absolutely wonderful: my husband and I ride with her. She doesn't travel, but she has a nice indoor, and has lots of experience working with eventers (including upper level riders).

There was a recent thread on her and another local instructor if you search for her name.

Her web site is here: http://www.wildfirefarm.com/

Feel free to PM me with any other questions.

Carol Ames
Dec. 19, 2007, 09:48 PM
I sent you a PM

baylady7
Dec. 22, 2007, 07:39 PM
Howdy
Where I board they will take ship ins...I am in Poolesville, which is not too far from Leesburg if you can take the ferry (fine with a 2H trailer, difficult with a big rig). We go to Leesburg to Morven Park for shows frequently. Email me if you like at baylady7@aol and I will give you details. Good luck!!!

Appy trails,
Kathy & Cadet

PiedPiper
Dec. 22, 2007, 10:37 PM
Sara Bilinski is based out of the barn I am at in Purcellville and she does travel to the Leesburg area. I highly recc her and if traveling in, the footing in the indoor is SUPERB! :D

TouchstoneAcres
Dec. 23, 2007, 12:08 PM
I'm 20 miles west of you. I have monthly dressage clinics with Jean Paul Pare and my usual instructor (FEI level) is available more often. See my website--link below.

Tnevent
Dec. 23, 2007, 12:34 PM
I use Susan Gustafson and she is fantastic. I'm eventing at the two-star level, she gets us eventers! She is in Millwood and does travel. She comes to my barn (I'm in Bluemont) to teach me. You'd be welcome to haul over. PM me if you want her contact info

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 24, 2007, 02:29 AM
Sara Bilinski is based out of the barn I am at in Purcellville and she does travel to the Leesburg area. I highly recc her and if traveling in, the footing in the indoor is SUPERB! :D

Ditto. I would recommend going to see Sara and Mary to see if either suits you well; both are excellent but have very different personalities. I would be happy with either one, personally, though.

in_the_zone
Dec. 24, 2007, 11:19 PM
You have lots of options out in that area. Just a few that come to mind...Allison Head, Sara Smallwood (Eventer), and Tiffany Hattler.

Stacie
Dec. 24, 2007, 11:56 PM
Aude Bauserman teaches in the Leesburg area on Saturdays. 540 743 7434. She was classically trained in Europe and showed her horse through PSG. She teaches up to fourth level. She is very gentle, gives *lots* of information when she teaches and when she rides, the softness of her riding is lovely to watch.

le_dressage
Jul. 17, 2009, 10:37 PM
I take lessons from Aude Bauserman and I am an eventer. She is wonderful. I have gotten more out of her lessons than anyone else. She explains in simply terms and never gets frustrated. I also like the fact that she always has something different in each lesson it is not always the same thing over and over again. I would have to agree with Stacies post. She is very nice to watch ride very effective and realistic.

YogaFriend
Jul. 17, 2009, 11:13 PM
Hilary Moore travels in Northern Virginia quite regularly and has at least a few full training students near you.

She is a USDF instructor and I believe has an eventing background.

Her site is www.mooredressage.com

SBF
Jul. 18, 2009, 08:22 AM
I PM'd you.

Foxhound
Jul. 18, 2009, 09:51 AM
I've worked with Alison Head for over 15 years, and I can't recommend her highly enough. She has trained multiple horses from green all the way to FEI, which is something that not many of the trainers in the area have done. She's very good with eventers, and currently has multiple clients competing at CCIs.
Her web site is www.lgfsporthorses.com

trooper345
Jul. 20, 2009, 08:02 AM
Terry Smith at Riverside Equestrian in Bluemont, like many others she doesn't travel but has a teriffic indoor and beautiful facility.

CapitolDesign
Jul. 20, 2009, 03:09 PM
I noticed that someone mentioned my name and I do travel.

However, if you are looking for more than the 3-4x a week that I can get out to that area, I would also recommend Alison Head.

Alison is a gorgeous rider and has business skills that I look for in a top trainer (she is an organized leader and a very clear communicator).

sid
Jul. 20, 2009, 04:03 PM
Haven't read all the replies, but I would highly recommend Candy Allen, if she still teaches. We've lost touch, but she was taught and trained out of my farm for quite a few years...bringing my horses up the levels, while also teaching students (on my horses) in the classical methods. Very instinctive, educated and skilled.

On top of that, she's particulary good and patient bringing less experienced horses along -- and with riders who may not have a ton of experience in dressage either.

She did a fantastic job with my horses as well as those who took lessons on them.

ytr45
Jul. 20, 2009, 06:15 PM
anyone have current contact info for either Candy Allen or Susan Gustafson? thanks!

Foxhound
Jul. 20, 2009, 08:25 PM
Candy Allen is a USDF Certified Instructor, so you should be able to get her info here:
http://www.usdf.org/about/contact/certified-instructors.asp?TypePass=Instructors&RegionPass=1
She's right at the top of the list.

le_dressage
May. 30, 2010, 01:50 AM
I just wanted to let everyone know that I went to a clinic which was great. The best one I have ever been to and worth EVERY PENNY!!!! I went to a 4 day clinic with Aude Bauserman and Karen Evans. Aude does the Dressage and Karen does the Cross-Country and Stadium. I got more out of the 4 days with them then I had with years from my other trainer. I was actaully able to use what I did on the flat in my jumping and WOW it made a difference. If any of you get a chance to take a clinic with them do it. I was amazed what I got accomplished as my mare can be difficult. I know they are planning on doing an other one this fall and if you want to get moving forward on your training it is the way to go. I am so ready for this summer I can not wait. Anyway thought I would pass it on. These two are hidden gems!!!:D

Alexandra Irish
May. 30, 2010, 07:29 AM
John de Montfort in The Plains. They take trailer-ins or will travel.
www.dressageintheplains.com

le_dressage
Oct. 28, 2010, 02:10 PM
Went to an other clinic with Aude Bauserman and was thrilled. My new horse is a little of a pill and I have taken him to other trainers listed above in other posts and have not gotten very far. She was able to fix and explain the problem and gave me enought stuff to work on for a while. Like most people these days I have tightened my belt on lessons but I can tell you she is worth it because she give TONS of info and stuff to work on. Highly recommend!!!

not again
Oct. 28, 2010, 04:30 PM
Dianna Rankin is head of riding at Madeira School. She is a wonderful teacher and has many years of international dressage success as a competitor.

SillyHorse
Oct. 29, 2010, 08:49 AM
I just wanted to let everyone know that I went to a clinic which was great. The best one I have ever been to and worth EVERY PENNY!!!! I went to a 4 day clinic with Aude Bauserman and Karen Evans. Aude does the Dressage and Karen does the Cross-Country and Stadium. I got more out of the 4 days with them then I had with years from my other trainer. I was actaully able to use what I did on the flat in my jumping and WOW it made a difference. If any of you get a chance to take a clinic with them do it. I was amazed what I got accomplished as my mare can be difficult. I know they are planning on doing an other one this fall and if you want to get moving forward on your training it is the way to go. I am so ready for this summer I can not wait. Anyway thought I would pass it on. These two are hidden gems!!!:D
Karen Evans is as good as they get. Maybe better! :yes:

GotSpots
Oct. 29, 2010, 12:14 PM
Grey - also talk to Mara Dean. She's expensive and you'd have to ship in to her, but she's fantastic on the flat and obviously gets eventers. Right near Upperville/Unison area; ping me if you need contact info.

LaLuna
Oct. 29, 2010, 03:57 PM
http://www.willowwayridingstables.com/

I used to work and train there (now only take lessons with her as needed). She is a great trainer and really works with you and the horse from a psychological stand point.

She turned our pasture pet paint into quite the little dressage pony. He scored 62%+ at his first show ever.

fuzzy.pony
Oct. 29, 2010, 09:39 PM
http://www.willowwayridingstables.com/

I used to work and train there (now only take lessons with her as needed). She is a great trainer and really works with you and the horse from a psychological stand point.

There are many whove not had such nice experiences here. I'd steer clear. I'd also google everyone whose names have been suggested here to see who actually has competition experience above low scores at the lower levels before selecting any of them to take lessons from. Some of them are very optomistic in their advertising.

le_dressage
Nov. 2, 2010, 03:03 PM
I have found it is the ones that do not have to advertise that are the true gems. You want to work with them they do not have to go looking for students.

le_dressage
Nov. 2, 2010, 03:07 PM
Karen Evans is as good as they get. Maybe better! :yes:

I would agree Karen is one of those few true horse people left who know what they are doing but I can tell you for her to tie her name with someone else she must think they are good, and I have to say Aude Bauserman was amazing!!! If Karen stands behind her that is enought for me.

DreamStreet
Nov. 4, 2010, 10:55 PM
I'm originally from the Middleburg, VA area. HOLLY WILMOTH at Kingland Farm, is a USDF Silver Medalist and is preparing to compete in Grand Prix. She trains a number of successful junior/young riders, amateurs, professionals and eventers. She's also campaigning successfully at the FEI levels with a horse she developed through the levels.
My Dream Street Stallions stayed at her facility in Lovettsville, VA prior to Dressage at Devon in 2008, when Starlight won 'Grand Champion' there. She runs a terrific program, is great to work with, knowledgeable and genuine. I'd highly recommend contacting her. www.Kinglandfarm.com

Foxhound
Nov. 5, 2010, 09:00 AM
I'd also google everyone whose names have been suggested here to see who actually has competition experience above low scores at the lower levels before selecting any of them to take lessons from. Some of them are very optomistic in their advertising.

I would agree with this. There are some very good trainers in NoVA, many of them mentioned here. However, not all of them have actually trained a horse from the lower levels up to FEI (rather than riding some lower-level horses, then purchasing an FEI horse and becoming a "trainer").

red mares
Nov. 23, 2010, 08:48 AM
I'm thinking about riding again come January, but only if I can do something local during the the week. I'm really a saddleseat rider, but my trainer is a good 2 hours away which means Saturday or Sunday only. I tried one day a week before & it just doesn't work. So I'm looking for a lower level dressage trainer(seems like a better fit than H/J) with a lesson horse in Fairfax or PW county. I'm in NE PW county so Louden county is out. Any suggestions?

carolprudm
Nov. 23, 2010, 08:58 AM
Is doswell to far?
http://www.chestnutoak.net/Lessons.html

red mares
Nov. 23, 2010, 09:13 AM
Doswell is a pretty good drive for me, I'd like to stay north of Stafford, Fredricksburg at the worst.

Fairview Horse Center
Nov. 23, 2010, 09:54 AM
So I'm looking for a lower level dressage trainer(seems like a better fit than H/J) with a lesson horse in Fairfax or PW county. I'm in NE PW county

There are some optioins at my barn in Haymarket for taking lessons with Shannon O'Roark. email me if interested fairviewhorsectr@aol.com

trooper345
Dec. 3, 2010, 03:09 PM
Relatively new to the states but already with a very good show record and references, USDF Silver Medal this year;

Wanja Gerlach, Performance Sporthorses, LLC
He is out of Hunt Club Farms in Berryville, VA but will also travel to your barn. He is outstanding with young horses and stallion in particular but excellent all around. Serious show record in Germany and is a licensed dressge judge as well so he has a really good eye. www.huntclubfarms.net for contact info or PM me for other personal references

Lesson13
Dec. 3, 2010, 11:27 PM
I started riding for the first time in June of 2009 as a 40 something adult. All my lessons have been w/Mary Flood at Wildfire Farm in Lovettesville (my name here is Lesson 13 but I think I'm on about Lesson 90 or so now). http://www.wildfirefarm.com

Other riders at the barn have commented out of the blue that my leg position is good and that I look like I've been riding longer than I have. I don't have my own horse so I've been riding her horse and horses owned by her students. At first there were lots of longe line lessons. If your horse won't longe well she has ones that will so you can improve your balance. It is amazing what a difference those longe line lessons make. She won't hesitate to put people on the line who have been riding since childhood if she thinks it will help them.

I have no idea whether my progress is fast or slow but I feel like I'm learning to ride correctly in that I feel the horse responding better and better at most of my lessons and I see myself in the mirror looking more like the "real riders".

I think Mary tries really hard to educate people in ways they will relate to (for me she does skiing metaphors). She is extremely knowledgeable about horses and is very safety and consistency conscious; if there's a rule for something there's always a good reason for doing it and she explains the rationale for everything so you know its not just something she arbitrarily wants you to do but something that's in your or your horse's interest.

Here is a link to a video she did on warmups to accompany a Dressage Today article. The voiceover is her; she is very articulate and gives well reasoned explanations. http://equisearch.com/resources/video/warm_up_with_mary_flood_102010/

If you read the testimonial by the owner on Mary's site you'll see how far the horse has come.http://www.wildfirefarm.com/testimonials.html
I've also been around long enough that I've seen horses and riders in the barn relax and improve; I've also seen some people not listen to her and they don't really seem to improve.


Finally, she seems to have a good sense of when someone needs encouragement or a challenge. I was so overwhelmed the first lesson I took (I thought this would be relaxing-ha!) that I probably never would have gone back had she not emailed me and sensed the overwhelmedness in my reply ("gee I think I'll be back after I take yoga and lift weights for a few months...") She offered me a shorter lesson until I could physically handle more time on the horse.

I know economic times aren't great but I was surprised that someone at her level would encourage a beginner; it has to be tedious working on basic skills and she won Freestyle at Dressage at Devon once upon a time; she probably does not NEED to be dealing with a beginner. And a 40 year old beginner is never going to be a FEI superstar. But I think she really genuinely likes to teach.

Last week I finally cantered sitting upright with my butt in the saddle instead of just in two point and I saw myself in the mirror and went "Wow I'm really doing it!" That moment would not have been possible without her wisdom, patience, and persistence.

Shanghai
Dec. 29, 2010, 03:40 AM
I would recommend Wanja Gerlach as well- Very professional and no nonsense but a very capable trainer. PM if you want further details- good luck!

DustInTime04
Dec. 30, 2010, 10:14 PM
Doswell is a pretty good drive for me, I'd like to stay north of Stafford, Fredricksburg at the worst.

I am a former event rider turned dressage and live near Fredericksburg. I haven't read all the posts but I would highly recommend Sallie Spenard. She trains Skye Icke and her entire barn, who are very successful. She was an event rider herself and competed through Grand Prix, producing her own GP horse herself. She is wonderful... so supportive, a great teacher and very effective. I came to her just switching to dressage with a young horse, and in about 2 years she had us going very well schooling 2nd level. If it weren't for her I would not have been 4th at BLMs this year! She is worth your drive, and has a very nice place. PM me if you would like her number. Can't praise her enough!

DustInTime04
Dec. 30, 2010, 10:17 PM
and also, if it would be easier to go to Skyeler's barn in Vienna rather than F'burg I am sure you could trailer there too.

ridealot
Jan. 29, 2011, 10:30 PM
Went to an other clinic with Aude Bauserman and was thrilled. My new horse is a little of a pill and I have taken him to other trainers listed above in other posts and have not gotten very far. She was able to fix and explain the problem and gave me enought stuff to work on for a while. Like most people these days I have tightened my belt on lessons but I can tell you she is worth it because she give TONS of info and stuff to work on. Highly recommend!!!

I also take regular lessons from Aude Bauserman and I think she is wonderful. I was not able to go the the clinic she had as I was out of town but my good friend did and said she had a blast. I think she is often overlooked but she really knows her stuff. Super nice and thinks outside the box and is a great teacher. She is a teacher full time and I think that makes a huge difference in her approach. She really explains and I have never had her get upset or frustrated. She is also a soft and effective rider. I have been taking lessons from her for about a year now and I have to say she has many students that have been with her for years. Normally, I find people stay with one person for a while and then shop around for someone else. I have to say she has the fondation client base which to me says a great deal, plus I think becasue she is a free-lance instructor she is not burned out she does not get herself overwhelmed. One thing I love is I never feel rushed she always has time for me and if we go over in our lesson its not a big deal. I have taken lessons from many of the ones mentioned above and I have to say at times I felt like the clock was ticking and time was up no matter what. A true hidden gem!!!!
P.M. if anyone is looking for her information.

PiedmontSporthorses
Apr. 14, 2011, 09:08 AM
Does anyone have any recommendations on a trainer for helping to start a young FEI prospect correctly and classically? I'd like someone to work as a team with, someone that can ride and give lessons.
My farm is in Gainesville and I'm willing to travel about an hour away for occasional training board and trailer-in lessons.

sar2008
Apr. 14, 2011, 09:11 AM
I love Alison Head. She posts here and is a fabulous instructor. Although I have only hauled into her for one lesson (so far!) she is great and very classical in her methods. Her place, Looking Glass Farm, is in Hamilton.

gailbyrd
Apr. 14, 2011, 09:23 AM
Does anyone have any recommendations on a trainer for helping to start a young FEI prospect correctly and classically? I'd like someone to work as a team with, someone that can ride and give lessons.
My farm is in Gainesville and I'm willing to travel about an hour away for occasional training board and trailer-in lessons.

http://www.weatherleawarmbloods.com/

Tiffany is now at a barn in Lucketts and she does have an indoor. She can get you started correctly.

kimball56
Apr. 17, 2011, 01:10 PM
Donna Gatchell is wonderful. She's in Nokesville.