- FEI Dressage Rider, Trainer, Instructor and Author
Barbara has ridden all different types of horses. She enjoys taking her time with a horse and doing a thorough job. “I like the sensitive thoroughbred type more than a heavier type. I am a fairly quiet rider, and it takes a lot to get me worked up. I am better at quieting a horse down than pushing him. I push them in the right ways but don’t overstress them.”
She acknowledges that her time in Germany helped her to focus on what she needed to do for each horse to help them focus, especially during competition. “When I am with a horse, it is harmonious. We want power and to impress, but we also want to be fluid and calm. I am able to give horses confidence; horses get along with me well.”
If her horses could talk, they would likely echo the sentiments that Uphoff and Rotko have regarding Barbara’s innate horse sense. “She is always friendly and doesn’t show it if she is in a bad mood (what can happen to everybody), and especially then she doesn’t let her horses feel it, what happens a lot to other riders! She has a very smooth seat and doesn’t disturb the horses in any case,” says Uphoff.
“I enjoy Barb’s ability to observe and detect what each particular horse needs to progress physically and mentally in their training,” states Rotko. “She does not approach problems with shortcuts or quick fixes for temporary results, but strives to make sure that the horses are happy, healthy, and sound and that both her student riders and their horses have realistic and attainable goals.”
Photo: Amy Lynch on Ferrodonis, by Hilary Moore