Where did I learn how to perform with horses?
Being a student in the Isaac Royal Academy of Equestrian Arts is where I learned musical freestyle and developed my performance skills. For 15 years we created an annual show that was very unique and special. Little did I know that I was training for my future career as an equestrian artist and performer. I competed through the upper levels of dressage with the hopes of becoming an Olympic rider someday. But I found that competition brought me no joy, only stress and frustration. When I lost Max and Vanidor back in 2008 I gave up my Olympic goals and almost quit altogether.....but then I found Douwe. He inspired me to follow another path, one that was true to my heart and inspired me to grow and learn again. I feel that training a horse is an artistic, creative venture and performing to music is the best way to showcase that partnership.
What first inspired me to pursue dressage and musical freestyle?
My love for freestyles first began when I watched Robert Dover perform his "One Moment in Time" routine that he rode at the Washington International Horse Show (click here for video). I was 13 years old at the time and continued to watch that video every day for the entire year! When I graduated high school I performed to "One Moment in Time" on the field hockey field with the entire student body watching. I was able to tell Robert Dover in person how much his freestyle inspired me and I hope to pass along that inspiration to other young riders.