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Maria has been training horses and teaching riders for 30 years, and although dressage is her first love, her experiences span a variety of disciplines.  As a life-long learner, she's constantly continuing her education on topics that support her work, such as: behavioral psychology, bio-mechanics, body work, natural hoof care, saddle fit, and nutrition.

Her broad range of knowledge and a keen eye for detail allows Maria to observe a horse and rider, pick up on a multitude of details, and untangle the cause and effect of any issues.  She enjoys the challenge of teaching riders and their horses as a team, so that they both thrive as individuals while they learn to work together.

Maria also draws on her years of practice as a martial artist.  She has developed herself to a high level of physical ability.  She has straightened, balanced, strengthened, and stretched her own body, and she has rehabilitated her own injuries.  When she lays out a training or rehab program for a horse, she is drawing from personal experience on top of the latest sports medicine and science.

Martial Arts practice has also inspired Maria to teach riders about using the power of focus and controlling their inner energy (chi) as a way of giving the horse a lot of information with a small amount of effort. Horses are extremely tuned into focus and energy by nature, and it's a game changer when a rider starts to become aware of them and use them in their communication with their horse.

Maria Talks About Her "Why"

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  • "I want to help people remember what it is to love horses like an awe struck child. stand in front of their horse and feel that there's another thinking, feeling soul behind those eyes and allow that feeling to guide their horsemanship."

  • "I've met too many riders who feel stuck, unfulfilled, or fearful about their riding. They had an idea of what they wanted horsemanship and riding to be like, and their experience is falling short in some way.

    I want to let them know that learning dressage (or any other discipline) is not difficult when you have the right information. It’s no more difficult than riding a bicycle or teaching a dog to sit and stay. I know that there is an overwhelming amount of information out there, and quite honestly much of it is less than helpful. My goal is to guide people toward what they need, so that they can spend more time enjoying their horses and their journey."

  • "I want to provide the kind of education that creates sensitive, technically skilled, beautiful riders in the way that a person might become an accomplished musician, dancer, or athlete.

    Whatever level they achieve, I want them to be proud of the value that it brings to their life, their horse’s life, and to others whom they inspire. This is a very different goal than winning trophies and approval from others. It's not to say that a rider can't have both, but I'm describing the kind of mastery that starts on the inside and shines outward.

    As Maestro Nuno Oliveira said, 'The horse is the best judge of a good rider, not the spectator.' "

Join Our Team!

handsEquestrian Arts Foundation is looking for a few dedicated individuals who are interested in being a part of our vision.  If you have time and/or expertise that you would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you!  Contact Us.