It's always been horses for me. I was even born in the Chinese year of the Fire Horse! As a kid I was horse crazed, taking lessons, competing in hunter/jumpers and working at a local show barn. After college I worked at Water's Gift Farm, a Trakehner sport horse breeding farm in Burtonsville, Maryland, taking care of broodmares and babies, starting young horses and competing in combined training.
In 1993 I met Felicitas Von Neumann- Cosel, Reitlehrer FN, and began to focus more on my dressage education. I trained with Felicitas and managed her training barn, First Choice Farm in Woodbine, Maryland, for several years before starting my own training business in 1999. During that time I had the invaluable opportunity to assist in the training of horses from just starting under saddle to Grand Prix. I benefited immensely from Felicitas' focused teaching, her outstanding work ethic and the amazing experience of riding finely tuned FEI horses.
In 2000 I began training with Eugene Abello. Eugene is a Grand Prix trainer and a one of the most gifted communicators I have ever met. He taught me to truly be present and teach every student regardless of riding level and to help each horse and rider combination work safely within their skill levels while encouraging them to stretch toward their goals. I trained with Eugene in clinics and worked for him and his partner Brian MacMahon. I spent winters at their Sword from the Stone Farm in Wellborn, Florida and worked for them at various national shows around the country throughout the years. In 2008 I took the opportunity to work for them full time and Eugene was generous enough to share his fabulously sensitive Lusitano/ Holsteiner mare, Katmandu with me for the year. Kat taught me more in a year than any human teacher could have taught me in a lifetime and I am eternally grateful for that experience made all the more priceless by her tragic untimely passing in 2009.
I've had the great privilege of attending clinics and taking lessons from renowned horse people such as: Roy Toppings, George Morris, Lilo Fore, Charles DeKunfy, Gunner Ostergaard, Bent Jensen, Hervig Radnetter, Buck Brannamnan, and many other gifted, passionate horse people who have graciously shared their knowledge and experiences with me.
In 2009 I relocated to Pendleton, Oregon. I began studying Tai Chi and movement which has brought a new awareness of body alignment and internal balance. A traumatic physical injury that I feared would end my riding career led me to Z-Health Performance Solutions and a new appreciation for mind body wellness and physical mobility. I am now a Z-Health (R,I,S,T,9S) certified Exercise Therapy Specialist and movement coach as well as having achieved specialty certifications in nutrition and motivational sports coaching. Combining Z-Health performance training with 20+ years of professional horse training and instruction and my skills as an upper level dressage rider is a new challenge. One of my friends calls me " The Dressage Ninja" which makes me laugh hysterically- and laughter is always good!
I also work at Pendleton Veterinary Clinic and have renewed my focus on animal behavior and positive reinforcement training. Recently I completed AHAA accredited certifications in Fear Free animal behavior modification and training.