Gideon: The Amazing Super 'Pony'

Apr 08, 2024

I can’t believe we haven’t done one of these on the Super Pony!  He’s such a star in the Academy, and so well known in the show ring, I guess I forget that everyone doesn’t already know everything to know about our Giddy.

I call him a pony, but he’s actually 15.2, so technically not a pony.  But, he kind of is a pony. At times he has that pony-tude thing going on. 

Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon is a 2008 model. He’s a ¾ Connemara/Hanoverian cross. He came to me as a 6-year-old.  A testament to his incredible brain and trainability, he was already getting scores in the mid 60s and even a 70% at 4th level.

I started showing him then and he was just such a blast to train and show.  He is an amazing athlete who really wants to work and truly enjoys it.  He was really fun to show, he just loved it!

It was so fun to ride him down centerline because you really felt he was your partner and together you...

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Denali Goes to His First CDI

Mar 06, 2024

This horse has changed me. I’ve learned SO many things from working with him, and I’m super proud of who I have become and how he has developed over the last couple of years.

If you read my blog post from April of 2022, you’ll know that he’s always been a bit of an anomaly. He’s not laid back really, but he’s a pretty cool customer. When we flew to Germany he was totally fine on the flight; like, eating his hay and just another day. That was interesting.

In Germany, Michael Klimke rode him a bit. He was able to feel what I was experiencing and help me in my daily rides. Denali’s heaviness in my hands and reluctance to really bend right made me think he was a “man’s ride,” something I never really considered before, but it turns out, that’s not true at all. Denali is a super sensitive guy. It’s just in a very different way than most horses.

He’s been really fun to ride with my biomechanics coaches, Suzanne...

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Meet Montana: The Big Brown Couch

Jan 25, 2024

Don’t let his nickname fool you, Montana is a superstar in his own right!

You all know him from so many videos in the Academy - he is the Grand Prix horse who can do it all and happily “does it for the people” when I ask.

He does have a fun story about how he came to me though.

Bred by Oak Hill Ranch, Montana was purchased in utero by Claude and Brenda Duet.  His sire is the famous Danish Warmblood, Rambo.  The Duets were so impressed with Montana, they chose to repeat the breeding and produced a full brother, Dakota.  I was fortunate to be able to campaign both of them. We affectionately called them the Duet Brothers.  

Montana has successfully shown at every level up until his retirement from competition in October of 2020.  He’s been to all of the big shows and venues: Global, Regionals, Nationals, Col. Bengt Lundquist Championships, and the Festival of Champions.  Some of his more notable wins include winning the CBLMs...

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Meet Romeo, My World Class Super Star

Dec 20, 2023

“I knew the first time I sat on him years ago, that he was a world class horse.”

Bred for the job, of course Romeo is ridiculously talented and fancy. He’s got the big gaits and beautiful conformation that make him an eyecatcher to anyone who sees him.

But, what really makes him special is his temperament. He is cool as a cucumber in any situation. He’s got an amateur friendly temperament but can get fired up in his body in a good way that makes him a super fun horse for me to ride.

He’s also very confident and has no trouble expressing his opinion!  He’s very sure of himself and very much in charge of himself.

He likes people a lot, he's a super friendly guy! Just don’t touch him where he doesn’t want to be touched - those ears will tell you what’s acceptable to him or not!

Romeo has actually been in my life for about 9 years now. In the last year, I was able to purchase him and am now honored to call him my own....

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🌟 Meet Beau, the Academy's Shining Star! 🏆

Nov 22, 2023

Without a doubt, Beau is the biggest star of the Academy these days.  And with good reason!

Impeccably bred and a fancy mover, Beau also represents “every horse” as he responds to training questions in ways that feel familiar to most of us who watch him.

We’ve all enjoyed watching Beau be the less than perfect horse, and watching how JJ effortlessly acknowledges his response, redirects and helps him without stress.  The process has been so inspiring for the rest of us mere mortals that we might just get there with our less than perfect horse too!

So who is Beau?

Beau's “real name” is Bento 260 Bacchus.  He is a 9-year-old, 17 hand imported Hanoverian gelding.  His sire is Belissimo M, who is known for passing on great looks, rideability and athleticism to his offspring. On his maternal side, his damsire is Warkant, who was the Hanoverian Stallion of the year in 2002. He also has Trakehener blood with Arogno on the mare side, just to...

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Meet Derby - The Horse Who Makes Me Cry

Apr 29, 2022

Meet Derby:  This Horse Makes Me Cry

If I had to go into battle, this would be the horse I would choose to take with me.

He’s the one who is ready to go put it all out there. Anytime. All I have to do is ask.

It wasn’t always this way, though. When he came to me he had some major contact issues. 

He was super short in his neck - and used it against me.  Really hard in his mouth and just…strong.  He was so heavy in the hand that he came to me with sores at the corners of his mouth from his leaning on the bit. He did a lot of stuff with his tongue, too. 

He’s always been energetic and has places to go, but in the early days, he’d happily drag me there along with him.   

But for some reason, that never bothered me.  I just felt connected to this horse.  I knew he could be ‘fixed.’  He had to be re-trained to use his body correctly.  

Not only because of the contact issue, but he...

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Meet Freddy: The Exuberant Boy Genius

Apr 27, 2022

What was that?  I think it touched my foot? Maybe? It could have!!! Anyway, I got us WAY far away from it now!

Meet Freddy, my sweet, lovable hooligan. He once got startled and jumped so high in the air that I sprained my ankle, and I never left the saddle!We found him on a buying trip to Germany while looking for a horse for a client.  He was so green I had to try him on the longe line. But, he was supple and forward, and I just loved him. 


They don’t give the young horses official names here in Germany.  They know them by their bloodlines.  The only way I can remember the different ones I see is to come up with my own names.  Freddy is by For Romance, so I chose to call him Freddy, even before I knew he would be mine.


A cool thing about naming horses in Germany, is that once we bought him, we could name him anything as long as it began with an ‘F.’ Since one of my oldest and dearest friends went in with me to buy him,...

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Meet Felis Apollo: Mr. Emotional

Apr 25, 2022

“You have to buy this horse from me because I can’t afford the number of lessons it will take for me to figure out how to ride him.”

That was the call I got from my friend, Karen Reilly.  She’s an excellent rider and trainer.That’s not something you hear, like ever.  

I first saw him when Karen rode him in a clinic with me and I was like, WHOA! Do you need to lunge him? He looked very up! But she said he was fine, he’s very sensitive but also very sensible. 

He was a giant 4-year-old.  Big and lanky, 17+ hands of bay magnificence!  I mean, he really was striking to look at even then. He has the look of eagles, you know?

Even at 4 years old, I knew he was special. Super fun to ride, like WHEEE! 

But it turns out he is just EXTRA.  

He is a trier. So much that he gets himself worked up and ends up tense.  Tight in his back.  He even squeals when he’s really worked up about something. And...

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Meet Ivar: My Beautiful Basket Case

Apr 23, 2022

OMG, OMG, OMG! This horse! He’s a mess! Legs everywhere, head straight up in the air, back like a hammock, spooky and just plain HOT. Lots of training questions. Completely out of my price range. I’m here to see if he’s good for someone else though. Focus. OMG

Yeah, this guy is not going to be someone’s schoolmaster. He’s amazing. He’s really got some issues. 

I love him.

I can’t stop thinking about him. I don’t need another horse. I mean, I always need another horse, right? But this one. He’s got some baggage. And he’s WAY out of my price range. 

But, man, I just really want to figure him out. I think he could be a superstar.

He is probably one of the best quality horses I’ve ever sat on. And I’ve been lucky enough to have ridden and trained a LOT of horses.  But he is one of the most talented. And one of the most difficult. 

Lord knows I don’t have a budget for this kind of horse....

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Meet Denali - Strong and Spectacular!

Apr 21, 2022


The wall is coming up fast. Denali is not listening to my aids to turn - he’s just following the wall and refusing to actually bend right. What the heck is this? 

I’m a bit shocked! I mean, this horse has been pretty successful at training and first level.  It’s been a while since I’ve had this kind of training problem, and I certainly didn’t expect it from Denali!  

Royally bred by the world-famous Pape Stallion Station, all things dressage should come easy to him, right? 


I mean, he’s a mega talented mover.  He was bred for the job, he has the talent, power and strength to go all the way. There are times that the feeling he gives me makes me dream of the things to come.  

But right now, he doesn’t bend right.  There go my plans for shooting up the levels!  But I’m really not THAT surprised.  Every horse has their issue. 

If you know me,...

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