Diana Mukpo began riding at the age of four in England and it was an immediate passion. She rode throughout her childhood and after moving to the United States as a teenager, she focused on dressage as her primary discipline. It has been both the intellectual and philosophical aspects of riding and training that has fascinated her all her life. “When you train horses, it’s almost like a jigsaw puzzle that you put together. Success requires that you be very smart and have a full and complete education about horses because you have all these pieces and you need to figure out which pieces go where with each horse,” Diana said. It was that drive to gain a complete equestrian education that led Diana to return to Europe after years in America. “I realized at that time that in order to receive a complete education, I would have to spend several years training in Europe.” And, in her early twenties, she was able to realize that dream when she was accepted at Arthur Kottas’ school in Vienna.
Diana trained in Austria with Kottas from early 1977 through 1979. “At that time I’d already been competing at I-I, but when I arrived there I realized it was a completely different standard,” Diana said. “I was started from complete basics. I spent quite a lot of time on the longe line working on seat position.”
During the three years Diana spent in Kottas’ school, she had the opportunity to ride many different horses of all ages and levels. “That was an invaluable experience – to understand how the training system works and also how the correct end product should feel.”
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