A Fortunate Match

Trainer/Rider David Blake


David and Andrea attended the same high school in Illinois but never dated. After high school, he moved to California, she moved to NYC. They didn’t see or hear of each other for 10 years until her twin sister married his high school best friend in the Bahamas in 2006. They’ve been together ever since. “When we moved to Arroyo Del Mar, we couldn’t afford a groom and board, so Andrea left her life as an Event Planner and picked up a shovel. She’d never been around horses before she met me, she still amazes me today when she handles them.

When Falsterbo arrived at Arroyo, he was excited to say the least. She couldn’t wait to handle him, she said ‘let me do it now while he is his most difficult, that way I will be able to handle him in any situation.’ He is now a puppy dog with her, they have built a great relationship. Andrea has taught me how to relax and remember at the end of the day, I am doing what I love for a living. It’s easy to get tunnel vision while training. She’s a breath of fresh air when she says ‘try something else, that isn’t working.’ She doesn’t ride, so it’s great to have a totally different perspective from the ground. She does all of my marketing and advertising, designed my website, makes my sales video’s and photos, does my books, grooms my horses and looks beautiful doing it all. I’m a lucky man.”

Andrea’s always been an animal lover. “Our license plate growing up was ‘The Zoo 5.’ I know that helped me just jump right in.”

And what were Andrea’s first impressions of the dressage scene? "At the risk of offending people (I hope I don't), I thought it was all kind of crazy. Especially, when I started going to the shows, I just couldn't wrap my head around all the time on money that was being spent for seemingly nothing?! And now I'm 110% a crazy horse lady. I love what I do now, I couldn't imagine going back to another other job!

When I went to Verden with David and Albert, I learned SO much from watching all the rides with David and meeting so many people in the business. I gained tremendous respect for the sport and its athletes, two and four-legged. I really began to understand what was going on and how to speak the language of dressage.

What attracted me most was how humble Dave was. He is a very talented, attractive man but you wouldn't know it by talking to him. He’s also extremely kind and never has an ill word about anyone, ever. That’s rare in this business, I’ve found. There’s a lot of gossip and cattiness that can happen in and around dressage but David stays out of it. He’s taught me a lot about patience and not letting drama seep into our lives and business. He is very level headed that way.”

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