The most important lesson about training horses that Courtney learned while in Europe was in regard to young horses. "Over here we tend to ride our younger horses differently from our older horses. In Europe, one of the biggest strengths is that as soon as the babies are broken they go forward to the contact. They always have the hind legs in mind. It's not suddenly you get to Fourth Level and you should start thinking about the hind legs. In the US, we tend to have a different mindset for the FEI levels. Our horses don't have the real forward. They don't have the impulsion as young horses."
But even though she found the European way to be a very systematic approach, she also believes that the US has a good strength in working with the 'not normal' horses, which she appreciates as part of her background. "I'll keep the aspect of 'every horse is different'. I change my system according to the idiosyncrasies of the horse."