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Looking for dressage trainer near Portland, OR

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  • Looking for dressage trainer near Portland, OR

    Hi there,

    This is my first time posting - woo-hoo!

    I don't own a horse, but I'm currently half-lease shopping after my last half-lease horse moved to a different barn.

    I've been looking at some places and who I've liked best so far was Julie Hook in Aurora, OR. Now, I know she's an eventing trainer, so I wanted to pop my head in here at the dressage forum to see if anyone had an opinion about her as a dressage trainer. I took a trial lesson and thought she was a) very posture-centered (depending on what you like that can be good or bad - I found it quite detailed and interesting) b) strict but kind and c) clearly experienced and goal-oriented.

    Has anyone ridden with her for dressage? I've seen another of her students ride and was quite impressed - but then again, I'm more of a low-intermediate / high beginner. I need your expertise! What is your impression?

    Do you have other ideas for barns/trainers?

    I'm looking for kind, able horseperson that can teach me how to do it right Barn with great community, trail access and a galloping track would be a big plus. Plus, I need a horse to half-lease...

    Thanks in advance for your ideas!

  • #2
    I knew a dressage amateur based with Julie & she loved it there.

    Comment


    • #3
      I started riding with Julie last October, and while I don't ride primarily dressage, I enjoy her lessons very much. We do work on leg yielding, shoulder in, etc, but I also jump. I am not at a very advanced dressage level if you cannot tell

      I ride a lesson horse there (although I have my own mare at a different barn ... I know, weird). There are many dressage riders at the barn, and there are often fun schooling shows and get-togethers (very community oriented). As far as I know she does offer leases and half leases - the horse I ride is available.

      What I like most about her is that she is kind, like you said, and her teaching style. I've had my fair share of yellers for trainers and I really dislike that. She also really works with me to understand how to effectively use my aids. I also do not find her lessons boring or too slow/fast.

      There is a galloping track in good weather, along with an outside jump course. I am definitely looking forward to utilizing these things come summer time!

      I am new to Portland, so I do not know many other places, but good luck! and feel free to PM me!
      Last edited by the_rook; Jan. 13, 2012, 03:22 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        LaMissV, you may be able to find a horse to lease by going to http://www.DreamHorse.com. The site is pretty intuitive as well as comprehensive.
        The best thing to do on a golf course is a GALLOP!

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I actually tried out a lovely Canadian warmblood called Lex there, he belongs to a very nice lady called Megan. She is looking for someone to help ride him because she is so busy. He is an eventing horse, so I might get to do some jumping, too - fun!

          All in all, there appears to be no shortage of horses *smile*. Yesterday, I rode three horses in a row (and had a blast)!
          It's just that I've been with trainers I didn't enjoy and that I thought were teaching me wrong things (connection too strong, horse moves the legs well, but doesn't engage the back, "Just sit back", causing me to drive my weight into the horse's back etc.). My last trainer was great and I'm beginning to "get" some things. I'm still just a low intermediate rider, though, so I need help as to who is trustworthy. Does that make sense?

          Thanks!

          V

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          • #6
            If the trainer will let you, or if you can, just go and observe a trainer while she's working with someone else. If you find yourself wondering if you are getting what the trainer is saying, if she seems to be unable to communicate what she wants the student to do, that is a good sign that you don't want her. I don't mean to slam instructors, but it's not easy teaching someone how to ride. You have to have a knack for it. The """staff""" instructor where I ride will never get my business. She tells the student "You KNOW how to do this, what's up with that?". That tells me that the student STILL hasn't gotten what the instructor has been saying. If the student is like me, who can take in and process only one thing at a time, an instructor must be able to accomadate that. For instance, an instructor may say, "start posting when the inside hind leg is up, block his left shoulder, shift your weight and squeeze the reins" I'm still thinking, okay, let me see left...left, oh yeah, that's the side my heart is on."
            This is probably where the instructor's frustration comes in to play. The student.
            Understand how YOU learn, and then hope to find someone who can work her teaching around you.
            THere's been a lot of talk on COTH about Mary Wanless, is she good, is she bad. All I know is her book "For the Good of the Rider" has helped me enormously in that her book tells me what I should be feeling.
            The best thing to do on a golf course is a GALLOP!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              That all makes sense. I'm looking for a specific approach, so riding with the trainer or observing a lesson is a logical thing to do.

              Gonna try out two more barns this week and then make a choice. Keep your fingers crossed. At one barn I'd be riding with a trainer that I already know - she's a very good trainer - but more for advanced people (less posture-centered, more about training the horse, which is also very fun) and on Wednesday I'll be trying out a trainer that I've observed in lessons. She seems very kind and knowledgeable.

              Then I'll have three great trainers to choose from... Ultimately I think I'll go with the horse that I fall in love with... and if there's a tie, then I'll think about the barn and its community.

              Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't know anything personally about JH, but I've seen her around for many years. You could do a lot worse than riding with her! She has an eventing background, but she also takes her students to the big dressage shows in the area and she does well. She has a good program and she would provide you with a good foundation to ride with a lot of dressage instructors. (Many can be hit or miss on their horsemanship foundation.) She seems very professional.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by frisky View Post
                  I don't know anything personally about JH, but I've seen her around for many years. You could do a lot worse than riding with her! She has an eventing background, but she also takes her students to the big dressage shows in the area and she does well. She has a good program and she would provide you with a good foundation to ride with a lot of dressage instructors. (Many can be hit or miss on their horsemanship foundation.) She seems very professional.
                  That's very much the impression I get. I need solid basics and she will be a great resource to get them from.

                  Thanks for this succinct summary. One more horse to see and on Wednesday I'll make a choice. Unless something amazing happens, I'll be at Talisman soon! This is all quite exciting and fun.

                  Verena

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