Blake calls US Olympian Steffen Peters the most influential person in his riding career. “He started training Catapult and me in the spring of 2006 to prepare us for the 6 year-old National Championships in Kentucky. He gave us the precision and detail that we had been missing in the past. Steffen was able to simplify the training in a way that made all of our puzzle pieces fit together.” Catapult won the 2006 National Championships 2 months later. “Now, Steffen & Shannon Peters took a chance on me by inviting me to train and work at Arroyo Del Mar. This was an incredible move for my business and my career.”
Blake first moved to California from Illinois in 1997 to train with Tom Valter in Burbank, CA. Valter had seen Blake ride at a clinic he conducted in Illinois. “Tom believed in me enough to take me on a client and opened the door for me to train in Southern California, a life long dream at that point.” For Blake, opportunity and lifestyle intersected in California. “I wanted to be in the area I considered one of the top in the country to get the best education I could.”
From 2000 to 2004, Blake was a working student for Jan Ebeling at The Acres in Moorpark, CA. “Jan taught me the importance of working hard and gave me the opportunity to ride and watch him train many different horses.”
In 2004, he opened David Blake Dressage, Inc. in Thousand Oaks, CA, where he trained horses and riders from training level through the Grand Prix, along with a successful sales business. He has since moved his business down to Arroyo Del Mar.
“I’m a lucky man in so many ways. I ride at one of the most beautiful stables in the country, with two of the most successful people the business. I surf almost everyday after work with another great Olympian Guenter Siedel. I have a wife who gave up a career to move to San Diego with me to start all over. I have worked very hard to get where I am today but I’ve definitely had some luck on my side too.”
[#23604 override="Listening to Horses" title="Listening to Horses"]