Whitethorn Farm
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Lessons and Training

Rider cantering in dressage arena.

Dressage Training

I train horses using “classical methods". What does this mean? It means that the horse’s natural movement is developed. It is not “tricks” or magic. It is a methodical process of strengthening and working to improve balance and flexibility.

This is a slow process. That is not to say that improvements will not come quickly. They will, but upper level movements depend on the years spent establishing the basics through the use of the training scale: rhythm, regularity, relaxation, contact, straightness, impulsion, and finally collection. One can not skip steps.

All horses flourish with dressage training, however not all horses can be upper level dressage horses. That takes a combination of athleticism and mental discipline.



I work with all levels of riders from beginning to advanced levels. My teaching style is personalized to the unique needs of each rider and horse. I use visual imagery combined with classical techniques to build rider confidence, emphasizing correct position and lightness to the aids.

The goal is to teach the rider to communicate with the horse. This requires that the rider be quiet enough that they can “speak in a soft voice” with their aids and that they can also hear the horse. I teach the rider to “speak” with quiet, assured aids. I also teach the rider to listen. The horse will tell you if he understands or if he is confused. In the end, I teach the rider to hear the horse and the horse will do the teaching.

I have become a much better rider because Janet has taught me that I must be more confident in my own abilities in order to be more relaxed. When you are a confident and relaxed rider you are able to be assertive in your abilities to get what you want.
— MH