For our lesson program, Elaine emphasizes the correct position of the rider as the essential building block to success in dressage. Without a correct, steady position, focused on the seat, the rider cannot communicate effectively with the horse and will be blocked from achieving true harmony. We believe that the seat as an aid is often neglected in instruction and that is usually where we begin with our students. We often use the lunge as a method for developing the riders’ balance and body awareness as well as illustrating how an effective seat can communicate with the horse all by itself without legs or reins. As with our training programs, we have developed a system that is simple and ultimately effective in developing the riders “feel” and ability to influence the horse clearly. We also acknowledge that the pursuit of dressage is a lifelong pursuit and we all need to be encouraged to keep learning and growing. We are all students in the pursuit of dressage as you never stop learning. We encourage cross training with Pilates and yoga to help achieve the core strength all dressage riders need.
We have developed a system based on German training principles with a strong emphasis on groundwork and horsemanship, that is both simple and effective. Simple does not mean easy but it is very straightforward and uncomplicated which is how horses learn the quickest. We start with basic ground work and manners and go on from there. By keeping things straightforward for the horse, both on the ground and under saddle, our horses’ progress quickly both physically and mentally, while maintaining or improving their movement and soundness. Our training programs are based on suppleness and relaxation which is designed to increase the horses' flexibility, confidence, and soundness, thereby allowing them to achieve their full athletic potential. Horses in our training program consistently remain sound and happy as well as competitive. With horses in training, Elaine stresses the individual needs of each horse, as all horses respond slightly differently. A system is only a good system if it allows for some “outside the box” thinking if something isn’t working. The horses' health and well-being is always the priority in our training programs and the goal for overall training of any horse is always to produce sound, happy, and competitive horses. The proof is in her horses' attitudes as well as on the results page!
We believe that the horses in our care are specialized athletes that need management programs tailored to their special needs. This includes the newest research in equine nutrition, whole foods and whole food supplements, the best in technical farrier work, and a safe, supervised turnout environment. Our feeding programs can be tailored to fit the special needs of each individual horse and the horses at our facility NEVER go without hay unless there is a weight issue. The multiple veterinarians that come to our facility include a Chinese medicine specialist who is also an equine chiropractor and acupuncturist. We encourage boarders to look into alternative therapies for persistent problems that confound traditional medicine. We have learned time and time again, that most training issues are discomfort or pain issues at the core, even if it takes some investigation to find the problem. Our horses are worth it!