Classical Dressage; the principles of training that are true for every horse
Experience Dressage in its true meaning: training ANY horse to become the supple athlete with muscles strong enough to perform all movements.
Beginning lessons with Rianne is the best thing I have done for myself and my horses since moving to Ocala!
My goal is to ride my horses in a way that benefits them physically and mentally, and I wanted to gain a knowledge base of dressage in its truest form. Keep in mind I barely know the basics, and need a map to find letters in an arena! Rianne is truly excited to share her extensive knowledge, and she does it in a low pressure, easy to understand format. Any horse and rider will benefit from her instruction. I love that she is dedicated to her clients of all breeds and backgrounds, whether their ultimate goal is in the competitive arena or a balanced, enjoyable ride on their favorite steed in the backyard!
I base my training and teaching on the well studied and proven methodology of real classical training of the horse. True classical dressage is applicable to EVERY horse, not just the fancy European Warmbloods, but other breeds as well. From Draft cross to Quarter horse, Thoroughbred to Iberian, horses of any breed and any discipline will reap the benefits of classical dressage. I am thrilled to count the riders of these various horse breeds among my students.
Key points for my training and teaching:
- creating the "light horse": establishing true connection, a horse in balance and responsive to the rider,
- addressing the natural crookedness and creating flexibility,
- directing the mobility of the horse, side to side as well as back to front,
- achieving the pinnacle of dressage: collection instead of contraction!
I was born and raised in Europe. My experience in Classical Dressage started at an early age in the form of daily lessons with a strict classically trained retired Cavalry Officer, Mr. Spekschate. I trained and competed several of his young horses under his intense scrutiny. The training involved dressage as well as jumping. That was quite normal in Europe at the time, riding training encompassed both disciplines. Mr. Spekschate possessed a wealth of knowledge in all aspects relating to horses and allowed me to learn from him. Perhaps due to his background, he never shared with me that he was content with the progress in our training. He just expected the best, that much I knew, and my motivation was to try and be the rider he wanted me to be. It was not until after he sadly passed away, that his wife shared with me that he was very happy with my achievements and progression with the horses...
Before and during my academic education in Law in Europe, I trained horses at various Breeding Farms, including a Lippizaner stud farm. I have enjoyed the honor to teach students from Europe, Canada, the US and Asia. Over the years I continued the quest for more knowledge and rode under the coaching of three direct long term pupils of Nuno Oliveira, i.e. Danny Lahaye, Dennis Stickley and Peter van Borst. I rode with Jose Mendez during his tour through the United States and also had the opportunity to train at the academy of Dutch Olympians Imke Schellekens and Tineke Bartels. It became clear to me that my focus should stay concentrated on Dressage as the original Masters had studied and developed. My quest for knowledge intensified even more and after the initial introduction to some of the methods of Philippe Karl during my lessons, I started to study more in depth about his systematic approach to training horses.
The result is that I have been heavily influenced by both the methods of Nuno Oliveira and Philippe Karl in my training and teaching. One thing that is the undisputed truth in dressage (and in our overall life for that matter), is that one can never stop learning. I have been at this for quite some time and there are new revelations coming to me from study and practice on a regular basis. It is a shame however, that the correct principles of Classical Dressage don’t seem to be broadcasted as loudly as the victories of today’s modern dressage. The names of the people who have been lifelong students and practitioners of the correct, true to the horse, principles are quite often completely unfamiliar and unknown to those seeking to learn dressage. Quite the irony.
I have competed extensively in Europe in the 70’s and 80’s. This was a time when the judge would penalize those riders who had their horses in a false bend, instead of the poll being the highest point. An English noseband with a regular buckle was sufficient, as it was not meant to be very tight. The crank noseband did not exist. How dramatically things have changed…
However, I remain hopeful that things will change for the better, as I have seen a slight shift in interest towards Classical Dressage over the past years. I hope you will join me on this journey.
This recommendation for Rianne Ruizendaal is offered regarding my 15 year old Oldenburg gelding. Affectionally known as Harry, the gelding had been medically neglected and very badly treated before I acquired him. He was in severe pain and had become vicious in his behavior. When I picked him up to transport him home, the handlers literally beat him into my trailer while he was rearing and striking and lunging at them. For a year I treated his physical issues, but had slight effect on his mental attitude. I could not enter his pasture without being attacked and he was very difficult to handle. Rianne came to my facility and began ground working with Harry. He quickly accepted her and developed an actual affection for her. In very little time he became easy to handle and eager to work. She totally solved the problem of resistance to mounting in a very short time period. Not only did she change this wonderful gelding into a happy, calm boy...she was instrumental in supporting the relationship between Harry and me. Harry is now affectionate and a pleasure to work and handle. I have the utmost respect for her knowledge and rapport with horses.
Garden Stables, Inc.
Ocala, Florida U.S.A.
I realize that building a productive relationship can only take place when both parties are enjoying "the ride". Lessons are low pressure, but effective, and spiked with humor.
This learning opportunity is supposed to be fun for all involved. A student can participate with their own horse or can get a lesson on a horse matched with their skill level.
With advance notice I am able to plan clinics in other States. Due to travel costs, a minimum of two days is usually planned.
Group lessons (local only):
For local students wanting to achieve a more intensive lesson pattern while reducing the individual cost, joining up with other students for a group lesson may be a solution.
horses become used to going to a different place,
they automatically learn to interact with other horses,
riders learn to concentrate without losing track of their surroundings, preparing them for warm up at shows and correct use of the dressage arena,
whether or not riders have ambitions to show, the group lesson builds camaraderie in a sport that can be a lonely endeavor,
riders can truly enjoy the experience!
Contact me for more information for any of the above options.