Experience and Understanding

I started riding as a young girl on Long Island. Under the talented eye of my coach, Mary O’Rourke, I competed successfully on my own horses in the junior hunters, jumpers and equitation throughout my teens. As a young adult, Roano, a difficult jumper I purchased helped me learn the benefits of Dressage. He had been over-faced and rushed by his previous owner, so he was anxious and, at times, dangerous. With kindness, patience and several years of retraining, he became a hard-working and capable Dressage horse and taught me more than I would have imagined.

In my mid-twenties, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Von Neindorf Riding School in Karlsruhe, Germany -- one of the oldest and best schools of classical Dressage in the world. I learned quickly that while I had been riding for years, I did not fully understand the complexity of upper level Dressage training nor the nuances of position and precise aids. Riding on horses of the highest caliber at one of the best training schools was both humbling and thrilling and committed me to the life long pursuit of Dressage.

For career reasons, my husband and I moved to New Jersey and, luckily, we lived near Gladstone, New Jersey. As the seat of top American Dressage competition, being near Gladstone gave me the chance to work with several exceptional Gran Prix Dressage riders. Their coaching combined well with what I learned at the Von Neindorf School, and I was very fortunate to meet some amazing people, horses and riders during our years in New Jersey. In the Midwest several other excellent teachers have helped me continue learning and progressing. For the past decade I have applied what I learned over the years to helping junior, adult amateur and professional riders perfect their position and find ways to improve their communication with their horses. My experience enables me to challenge students at the appropriate time in their development with the appropriate level of work so that they develop confidence and mastery of their skills. My students range from teenagers to young adults in their seventies. They are pleasure riders as well as competition riders and working with them and their horses gives me great satisfaction and happiness. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing how I might be able to help you or your children attain their goals. Wishing you happy, healthy and successful rides,

Vanessa Rachmaninoff