Kassie Barteau rode down the centerline more than any young rider in the United States and with much success: Three USEF National Championships in a row, Team and Individual Gold Medals at NAYRC, Three USDF Horse of the Year titles and over thirty- five Regional Championships. In 2009 she represented the United States at the Young Rider World Cup. While Kassie has enjoyed enormous support and guidance from her parents, Kim and Yvonne Barteau of KYB Dressage, and has been fortunate to have many hours of instruction from Cathy Morelli, she now welcomes the opportunities ahead of her at Steffen and Shannon Peters Arroyo Del Mar in San Diego, California as a working student. And to help Kassie earn her way as she strikes out on her own professional career the Peters’ have offered to provide Barteau with two stalls, giving her the opportunity to “set up shop” under their guidance and accept clients at their beautiful facility.
In her first season out of the young rider rankings Kassie continued spending most of her time in the saddle and show ring. She qualified two horses for the USEF Open Intermediare Championships and ended up Reserve National Champion aboard Kris Cooper’s Toscano, then placed second in all three legs of the small tour at Dressage at Devon. She was also Reserve National Champion at the USEF Developing Horse 7-9 year old Prix St George Finals at Lamplight Equestrian Center with Ginna Franz’s GP Delano in 2010. Ginna Franz is owner of the world class facility Grand Prix Equestrian in Maple Park, Illinois, which has been the training base for Kassie and KYB Dressage. In spite of all these achievements and career highs, Kassie knows her biggest win was when Steffen and Shannon Peters responded to her inquiry about becoming a working student.
New Beginnings for Kassie
After Barteau worked with Peters in training sessions and clinics she was locked in from day one. “Ever since that first lesson I was in a WOW place. Steffen’s timing, patience and persistent expectations, along with his direction on accountability for my aids and the responses I should get from them, introduced me to a whole new dimension in dressage training and riding.” So after speaking with her family and boyfriend Rob Jarvis, Kassie sent an e-mail to Steffen and Shannon to see if there was an opportunity to be a working student position. Not much longer, Kassie had her answer. She was invited to come for a trial week. Barteau made the cross country trip to Southern California from her chilly Illinois base in March, but it was not the weather she was seeking. “After seeing the amazing care for the horses and attention to detail, paired with their excellent staff- ‘Team Peters’ I was hooked.”
So in early May Kassie and her boyfriend drove her jeep cross country to San Diego, and got down to business. “Each day is better than the one before. I learn something new everyday not only with my riding but with the barn and horse care too. I have lessons with Shannon on a daily basis and am so happy and thankful. She has a great eye and pays so much attention in my lesson. I’ve learned quickly how much my riding can use her sharp eye to help polish my skills. She is a quiet yet assertive coach, making me aware and responsible for my every aid and the effects they have on my horse. I am learning tons and I hope and aspire some day to be the patient, kind, and beautiful rider she is.”
"It has been a pleasure to welcome Kassie to Team Peters.” Shannon reiterated. “She jumped right in with both feet since the moment she arrived, and we look forward to great things from her!" And in a sense, Kassie’s feet are grounded more than ever. “Unlike my young rider years when I was on a horse throughout my work day, here I'm mostly doing the ground work; in a sense learning from the ground up.” Kassie added. “This is something I took for granted for all those years. Now, I really appreciate the hard work it takes to make a top notch equestrian facility run smoothly. While I miss riding and competition, I'm really learning the value of patience and humility-two virtues that will, I'm sure, serve me well in my long-term career pursuits.”
The Peters also understand what it takes to be a professional and survive in the high cost business of dressage management, training and competition. It is not just about talent. For young professionals it needs to be self supporting. Just as Steffen and Shannon offered the opportunity to train at Arroyo Del Mar to David Blake, they have extended an opportunity to Kassie by opening up two stalls for her to invite in a few training projects under their guidance. “Obviously, this is a huge opportunity for me, and the clients who send their horses to me. To have this opportunity as a trainer beginning my career to be able take it to the next level under their guidance is one of the biggest wins of my life! I look forward to every day and these exciting new projects.
Barteau has been in demand as a trainer and clinician, able to share her experiences as a veteran of the US Young Rider program, and therefore be an asset to the growing youth programs. She is an intuitive rider and athlete who has an innate ability to adapt easily to different horses. Now she will be able to add all she is learning daily and is available on occasional weekends to teach clinics.
Kassie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell phone is (407) 766-4206