Dressage It Is

Barbara Strawson - FEI Dressage Rider, Trainer, Instructor and Author

By the time she was 16 or 17, Barbara had an intense passion for dressage. It was Barbara’s first instructor who suggested she pursue dressage more seriously and suggested going to watch some dressage competitions. “I saw the dressage demo at the Washington International Horse Show, and the extended trot had me hooked.”  She soon found her way to Robert Dover who was then at Sugarland Farm in Poolesville, Maryland. Barbara began taking lessons and helping out however she could. She would go help out as a groom at the dressage shows and exhibitions and take any available opportunity for an extra ride. Barbara was soon working there every day after school and on the weekends. It was during this time that it became apparent to Barbara how deep her love of dressage.

Sue Stickle photo of Black Hawke

Rounding out her education where different breeds were concerned, Barbara purchased a four-year-old Arabian after her Connemara died.  Robert gave both Barbara and the Arabian their first dressage lessons, and they went on to be very successful in the 4-H dressage shows.  By the time Barbara left home to be a working student at Five Star Farm with Peter and Mandy Kjellerup, her old appy mare’s baby was ready to learn some dressage. “He was black with a white blanket and was striking. He could really jump as well, and ended up with a Pony Clubber.”

Education First