While making a U.S. team is not on Linda Schultz’s agenda, showing and riding at the Grand Prix level is at the top of her list. She has competed through Prix St. Georges and schooled through Grand Prix, but has yet to compete at the highest level of dressage. “The biggest challenge I have right now is finding that horse that can help me to earn my USDF Gold Medal,” says Linda. “Trying to find FEI horses to stay in the FEI show ring is a huge challenge. I’ve got two new horses coming in, but one is three and the other is five. I’ll get in the show ring with them, but maybe not this year – so it’s one year out of the ring. If you’re not in the show ring, then people forget who you are, so that’s probably the biggest challenge – keeping show horses underneath you.”
Two favorite FEI horses that Linda was able to ride at opportune times in her career were Sage’s Spy Song and Rondo Faelleden. “Sage was 21 years old when Donna Pierucci allowed me to bring him out of retirement for one last trip to Florida,” Linda notes. “He had what I call lumpy gaits. He was hard to sit. I was told , ‘If you learn to sit this horse, you will sit anything that you ever ride again’. He was just amazing. If you did it wrong, he would just keep going. And Rondo was the same way – I got my Silver Medal on him two years ago when he was 21 years old. If you asked correctly, he was awesome and if you didn’t, he’d respond, ‘So what – we’ll just keep going around’.”
Also at the top of Linda’s agenda is pursuing success in the USEF Young Horse division. Recently she bought Dauntless B (Dacaprio x Liandra), a yearling Hanoverian colt from Barb Schmidt of Bridlewood Farm. “We’re leaving him a stallion, if we can. He’s got great breeding. He’s an amazing mover and is really quiet but dynamic,” Linda enthuses. Linda was invited to attend the Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium at Hassler Dressage last year and hopes to attend again this year.
Summing up her equestrian life to date, Linda says the greatest thing horses have done for her is allowed her to meet amazing people. “I would never have met Louise St. Amour or David DeWispelaere if I didn’t ride. There are so many people I’ve met through this business that I would never have met if I had not ridden horses,” she points out. “Also, riding is a sport that you can be successful at a lot of different levels – for instance, you can be very, very successful at this sport, but not be a member of the U.S. Team. In some sports if you don’t make the Olympic team by the time you’re 12, you’re done! So that’s sort of a fun part of all of this. And, of course, the horses – a lot of the horses I’ve met have taught me some big life lessons.”