Lessons

What attracts you to dressage? 

 

Is it the beauty and harmony, the opportunity to deepen your partnership with your horse, the self-discipline, the structure, and/or the challenge of moving up the levels?   Are you motivated and searching for how to improve, or stuck and looking for a solution?

 

I would love to help you in your quest to become a better rider. .

Some of my riders want to compete, and some just love the exploring a way to be be more in harmony with their horses.  I love to help both kinds of riders. 

 

If you like a challenge and want to keep standards high, competing can be an enjoyable part of your dressage journey . The USDF medals provide clear goalposts for aspiring riders to measure progress.  I have helped many riders with their quest for bronze (achievement of tests at first, second and third level) and silver (fourth and Prix. St Georges) goals.   

Each horse and rider has unique needs, and I can adapt my teaching to help you, thanks to my experiences with a variety of great horsemen and their systems.

 

Did you know it's been proven that a positive and encouraging teaching style gets the best results (for humans and animals!)?  My teaching techniques include a lot of imagery, which can convey a feeling or concept in an easy-to-recognize way.   I will also look for your lynch pins - specific changes that can make a biggest difference.  We will work a lot on position, because correct equitation can bring significant and often instant improvements to your horse's performance and enjoyment of his work.

 

All levels and breeds are welcome!  

Rates:

$65   Private 45 minute lesson with your horse      

$50   Private 45 minute lesson while your horse is in full training

$75    Private 45 minute lesson on Helicon horse

 

Travel is $25 minimum     

My Mentors

 

Jessica Jo Tate, International Rider

Pati Pierucci, USDF Gold Medalist

USDF "L" Learner Judges Program - Completed Education Series, which is amazing and I highly recommend for all riders.  

Sabine Schut Kery - Olympic Silver Medalist

        (as a student and as a rider for her exhibitions)

Lena Wedenmark - Swedish trained international coach. Nearly 20 years study in her clinics which have a heavy emphasis rider biomechanics

Heide Hellwinkel Schnakenberg - Training 10-day intensive in Verden, Germany

Michel and Catherine Henriquet - Classical legends with whom I had to opportunity to visit in France and ride and write about.

Charles DeKunffy - Clinics and reading

 

Lessons with USDF gold medalists Lurena Bell, Trish Wallace, Donna Wright, Sue Shirland and Lisa Kulski Countless clinics including International riders Heather Blitz and Shelly Francis.  Also Bob Orton, young horse trainer and original warmblood importer.

Outside the box learning with Vicki Maeckle, Honey (a sweet Morgan mare whom I developed my sticky seat by riding bareback (and unsupervised) all over the Vermont countryside when I was just nine, and natural horsemanship clinics, particularly John Lyons, via an private intensive clinic, symposiums and reading

Finally, i have an extensive library of dressage books, study on line regularly, and keep a daily dressage journal so that I can remember epiphanies, and understand and convey concepts to my horses and students. 

A Grand Passion

I was born on a horse farm and horse crazy from the get-go. At age 5, I stayed at a horse camp for two months!  My father, Luther Zai, passed away when I was very young, but I inherited his passion for dressage.  He had learned to ride growing up in Switzerland.  I grew up in Vermont, where I explored Huntseat, saddleseat and eventing... but dressage enchanted me! 

The horses have been my greatest loves and my primary teachers.  Especially my mares, who gave me confidence or put me in my place, as they deemed necessary.

Dressage is my second passion and a natural progression for a horse lover.  Dressage provides a complex and rich journey, complete with life lessons, sorrows and joys. The euphoric feeling of being in harmony with a powerful and benevolent horse is simply the best.

I am grateful to the countless of horsemen who have taught and inspired me.  Life is much too short to reinvent dressage! The only shortcut in dressage is to get guidance from a master!

** For more information on my training and showing experience, please visit the training page.