Riding with Heart and Soul
Growing up in Virginia Beach, Anna first became interested in riding when she was eight years old. Her birthday present that year was a helmet, paddock boots, and a riding lesson. Anna earned future lessons by mucking stalls, braiding manes and tales, clipping coats, and catch-riding. Small, but fearless, she was sought out by owners, local and circuit trainers for her diligent work ethic and impeccable skills. With the guidance of Chris Wynne of Breckenridge Manor, Pony Hunters became her specialty and for ten years she trained, showed, bred, and sold her own ponies. Winning numerous championships in Pony and Junior Hunters on the local and “A” circuit, Anna’s reputation for producing winners on the VBHSA and VHSA circuits was renowned.
Seeking the next challenge while in college, Anna studied different disciplines and sought out dressage and event trainers. Having the opportunity to live in Germany for a few years, Anna trained with Werner Hartmann a student of Herr Schultheis, where she began to the learn the ropes of dressage and event riding. There she found her partner of fifteen years, Renoir aka “Gus”, a Westphalian Warmblood.
Upon returning from Germany, Anna became a working student for an international level event rider. She and Gus competed through Training Level at horse trials and then began their concentration in dressage by training with Major Jeremy Beale. Anna started working for a sport horse breeding facility where she was responsible for starting young warmbloods, Irish Sport Horses, and Thoroughbreds in preparation for sale and com petition. Some of her equine pupils left the farm and became partners for international level event riders. During this time Anna and Gus qualified for the CBLM Championships at First and Second Level becoming First Level Champions and placing fourth at Second Level.
Anna’s dad then introduced her to Parelli Natural Horsemanship, which fortuitously provided her the opportunity to meet and train with Karen Rohlf, world-renowned clinician in the art of natural dressage. After several trips to Florida Anna fell in love with Karen's teaching techniques and adopted many of the Dressage, Naturally techniques in her training. Gus, now scoring consistenty well at Third Level, also qualified for the CBLM Championships at Third Level. Now at her own training facility Anna uses Gus as a schoolmaster for lower level dressage riders and an all around confidence builder for anyone wanting to learn.
Anna is a graduate of Salisbury State University, holding a B.S. in Physical Education, Athletic Training, and she is a certified athletic trainer with the NATABOC. Her riding experience and educational credentials uniquely qualify her to evaluate the riding biomechanics of both horse and human, suggest techniques to prevent injuries, assess injuries, and develop rehab protocols for you and your horse.