While specializing in dressage and eventing, Katie's commitment is to all horse and rider combinations and disciplines by building a positive connection with horse and rider. This means, developing partnerships rather than dictatorships, based within an encouraging and enjoyable teaching environment. The process is based on classical dressage training techniques combined with series of systematic exercises that build the understanding of creating correct balance and harmony. Whatever your goal is with your horse, this process takes the confusion and frustration out of gaining a better connection and feel, without the over-use of aggressive aids that create tension and resistance.
Katie has been riding horses for fifty years, starting with a Shetland pony and moving on to ride in equitation and hunter shows, then joining Pony Club and eventing throughout her teens. She managed several equine facilities during the late 70's and early 80's where she was responsible for the foaling of mares, breaking, training and showing of young horses as well instructing.
In 1983 Katie and her husband Doug bought their first farm in Colebrook, Connecticut. Here they cleared the land and built their farm from scratch. They boarded, trained and gave lessons in dressage and eventing. Katie traveled around the Northeast with students and horses competing at dressage shows and events. In the mid 1980s Katie became more and more involved in dressage and went on to compete through Prix St. Georges and trained and schooled through Grand Prix. Several of Katie's students went on to compete and win at dressage and eventing championships.
Katie, Doug and their daughter moved to Sandisfield, Massachusetts in 1993, to a 95-acre farm they leased and then purchased in 2000. The farm became Dragonfly Farm and offers an outdoor all weather rubber dressage arena, cross country schooling fences, show jumping field and miles of trails and dirt roads for conditioning and pleasure. The farm offers workshops and clinics for both juniors and adults, consisting of a universal teaching system that crosses and breaks down the barriers within the individual disciplines of riding.
In 1993 Katie became a USDF L Graduate with Distinction and this year has been accepted into the USEF "r"judges program. In 2004 she became an USEA ICP Level II Certified instructor (through Preliminary CIC*) with the United States Eventing Association. She teaches, offers clinics and coaching at local dressage shows and events. In 2011 she became a USHJA(United States Hunter, Jumper Association) Certified Trainer.
Katie is currently competing her Dutch Warmblood mare Lakennedy at Fourth level and Prix St. Georges. The pair achieved their USDF Silver Medal in 2012.
Other Information:Katie and Doug, since 1988 have designed and manufactured copper wrapped mailboxes and copper/cedar signs, visit our site at: www.stillriverdesigns.com