Phoenix Hug 338x450Maria has been training horses and teaching riders for 30 years, and her experiences fall under many horse industry job titles, multiple sport disciplines, and a wide variety of supporting skill sets in the areas of behavior, learning theory, bio-mechanics, and health & wellness.

Although she spent the first half of her career training and teaching with competition in mind, Maria's priorities have changed over the years.  Now, she is more focused on helping horses and riders develop to their fullest potential as individuals and as partners.

Her greatest offering is the ability to accurately assess a horse and rider and then provide a detailed map of the training that will take them forward to their goals. Maria's feel for the intangibles, along with her natural way of thinking in layers and systems, allows her to take a rider's most complex problems and turn them into simple lesson plans that anyone can follow.


Competition is a natural expression of human nature and can be fun and inspiring when put into perspective. However, the pitfall of "winning as a focus" is the decrease in ethics and responsibility to the horse. 

Although that is not her personal focus, Maria is always excited to work with competitive riders and sees it as a chance to support them in being positive role models for others in the show arena.

For more information about Maria's skills and experience, you can view her curriculum vitae HERE.

Honor & Artistry

Maria considers training something that we do in service of horses to improve the quality of their lives mentally, emotionally, and physically.  It's through this 'education in service' that riders find personal fulfillment, a mindset of leadership and problem solving, and considerable skill as a rider by understanding the horse on so many levels.

No one would deny the level of mastery demonstrated by a concert musician, ballerina, or sculptor just because they entered no competitions.  Maria would like to bring back the concept of artistic and academic dressage to give riders an alternative to the sports arena.  After all, this world is made up of thinkers, artists, teachers, healers and technicians, along with the athletes.

Her Training Principles

  • Training should not cause the horse pain nor damage his mind or body.
  • The rider's aids are for communication, and simple requests should never be physically uncomfortable for the horse.
  • Corrections should be as small as possible and tell the horse what is WANTED, not what he did wrong.  
  • Corrections are not for forcing physical results.  They are for shaping the horse's next decisions. His decisions will change his body.
  • A rider's responsibility is to develop themselves so that they have something of quality to offer the horse.  Training the horse doesn't happen until a rider has trained their own mind, body, and emotions.


Maria enjoys guiding riders through training their own horses by giving them the tools and understanding to succeed without the use of forceful methods.  She firmly believes that a rider can "have it all", and that beauty does not have to be sacrificed for performance. All good training is ethical, functional, and beautiful!

We change our world one day, one thought, and one interaction at a time.

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.