I have a passion for learning dressage and it has lead me on many adventures. These experiences have been so valuable I want to share them. This is my personal blog, so my reports may reflect a subjective slant.
What is my background?
I was born with dressage in my blood. My father, Luther Zai, was a passionate horseman who learned to ride dressage in his home country of Switzerland. He died when I was just three, but I grew up in Vermont riding bareback and going to local horse shows. I started focusing on dressage at the tender age of age 12.
I raised my own riding horses using mostly Hanoverian and some TB blood. I trained my first homebred Di Amore to Prix St. Georges, and my second homebred, Frisbee, is now showing 4th level and schooling for PSG. I have had the opportunity to write for Dressage Today, interviewing some of the top riders in the U.S. I have e-scribed for the international judges at Dressage at Devon for several years. I rode for Proud Meadows Friesians, performing exhibitions all over the country, including at Devon. I have also trained Andalusians and currently, a Lusitano.
Curiosity has lead me to ride with many instructors from many different philosophies. For example, I have ridden with Charles DeKunffy from Hungary, Catherine Henriquet in France, Viktor Ugrimov from Russia, Heide Schnakenberg in Germany, and Sabine Schut-Kery from Germany.
Some of my clinic experiences have been unique, amusing, daunting and enlightening with popular clinicians like Shelly Francis, Hannes Mueller, Alfredo Hernandez, Manuel Trigo, Elly Schobel, Scott Hassler, and Christoph Hess. My personal favorite clinicians include JJ Tate, Pati Pierucci and Lurena Bell.
When I am not riding, I am auditing and taking notes like crazy. My desk is crammed with notes taken from my learning adventures. These notes are crying to see the light of day! While I will update this blog with new learning adventures, I will also go back in time and share these notes from past clinics and audits. Look for lots of stuff on Charlotte Dujardin and Steffen Peters.