I first met Sarah when we were co-workers at Virginia Tech’s Sporthorse breeding farm. Sarah’s abilities with horses were instantly apparent in how her gentle nature and confident yet quiet authority commanded respect without inducing any fear. What is equally impressive about Sarah is her ability with people, she can colorfully convey a concept without the student feeling overwhelmed or inferior.
When she informed me that she offered dressage instruction, I lept at the opportunity. I am an avid hunter rider and have always felt that basic dressage would improve my communication with my horses, yet I could never find a dressage instructor that did not look down on my chosen discipline. My Hanoverian mare was not yet of age to endure a full dressage lesson and Sarah was more than happy to introduce me to basic dressage concepts while I was aboard my older grade gelding. Her vivid, positive way of communicating and constant encouragement coupled with tactful criticism allowed me to learn and retain so many ideas that I use to this day!
I am so grateful to Sarah and am so disappointed that she lives so far from me. I have taken several clinics with well known dressage trainers since moving to Florida in hopes of building on the basics that Sarah explained. I have been disappointed every time – none have had the ability to make me feel comfortable, maximize my learning and not make my discipline and my horses feel inferior. Sarah’s motto of “Every rider on any horse can do dressage” is one that sticks with me to this day. She is an absolute gem as a trainer and I envy her students that get to ride with her on a regular basis!