I grew up riding Western throughout high school and college and rode a little English but never had formal training in either even though I spent a lot of time in the show ring. Took a hiatus from riding while I had babies – then my oldest was diagnosed with autism at age 10. Meeting Rupert and learning about his work has given me new purpose and an entirely new lifestyle via Horse Boy of which dressage is a huge part. He is incredibly patient, supportive and best of all fun! Was very impressed with their horses I took the lessons on – he actually lets beginners ride his schoolmasters to feel shoulders in, half pass, piaffe and passage. What a rush! He never made me feel stupid, intimidated or scared. In fact, just the opposite. A safe, fun, comfortable learning environment. I am absolutely addicted and obsessed about learning more.
He also personally trains with the best – the Valenca Riding School from Portugal. And he encourages us to train with them and let’s us watch HIM in training with his mentors. It’s like a European riding school right here in America. Wow!
And the beauty of it all? I am not riding for a judge but I am riding to help others. I take what I learn home and do the in-hand and lunging work with my own horses to create athletic therapy horses. I was given an older Quarter Horse last June who was used hard for cattle roping and lots of back and hock issues. Our vet was recommending steroid injections. After seven months of this consistent in-hand work, this horse has not been lame at all and no injections needed! So my horses are healthier AND I am helping families with autism. There’s nothing more rewarding. Thank you to Rupert and his team for offering SFD and making learning dressage both attainable and fun!