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

Uncategorized 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


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


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


“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


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!



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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