Niemi Dressage –The Next Big Step

Elizabeth Niemi, Grand Prix Dressage Rider/Trainer

In the year 2000, Elizabeth Niemi took the biggest step in her career. She decided to branch out on her own to show dressage horses and train for her clients. At Hampton Green Farm, Elizabeth selected a number of personal horses for the owner of Hampton Green Farm and family members. Elizabeth discovered she had a real knack for partnering riders with the appropriate horses. Elizabeth began the early operations of Niemi Dressage. It was a bold move and it led Elizabeth to new heights in her career.

Today Niemi Dressage is a thriving successful business. Elizabeth has a stable of top horses, a handful of “seriously fun” adult amateur riders and some very supportive sponsors. She divides her time between New York and Florida where she and her clients enjoy the very best of both worlds.

In the summer and fall, Niemi Dressage is based at Trevor Davis’s beautiful Cogi Farm in Pawling, New York. She and her clients compete on the NEDA circuit and at the New York and New Jersey shows. In the winter the entire Niemi Dressage team migrates south and bases out of the Kane family’s Diamante Farm in Wellington, Florida. In Florida, ‘Team Niemi’ takes full advantage of the winter dressage shows just minutes from the farm.

Elizabeth maintains a rigorous show schedule for her clients while conducting clinics and showing many of the horses she trains. At Niemi Dressage, she purchases and trains European sport horses for the serious amateur and professional dressage rider competing on the American show circuit.

Elizabeth holds her riders to the highest standards of classical riding to insure their success in the show ring. It may sound like a rigid program, but ask any of her students and they are quick to sing her praises. Elizabeth’s students tell us she is a very compassionate and patient coach. “She wants the best from us,” say student Dawn Bernardo. “But she always encourages us and praises our success. I love riding with her.”

Dawn Bernardo and Welthyn photo by
Dawn Bernardo and Welthyn photo by

Elizabeth is a very thoughtful instructor, but she is also realistic with potential students. She assesses a client’s goals prior to admitting the client into her program and makes sure the client has the commitment and true desire to do the work involved in reaching his or her goals. “It has taken me many years after going out on my own to achieve the success I focused on having,” she admits. “This sport is full of ups and downs and I couldn’t have done it without the strong team of horses and clients I have in my stable.”

Elizabeth wants her students to enjoy the process, step by step. “Immersion in my program is very important,” says Elizabeth. “I like to see my riders improve and I’ll give them the tools to make that possible. Their experience with me must be very rewarding for their horses and for them. I like to see determination in their eyes. It helps if they buy the horses I feel are the best combination for their skill level at the time.”

Elizabeth notes, “Some of my proudest moments in the sport are not my own but rather the success of the clients I’ve had the pleasure of preparing and coaching. In 2007 my students and horses distinguished themselves with championship ribbons both on the regional and national levels. I beam with pride when they put in top rides.”

And last but not least, clients must have the financial means to participate in the sport. Elizabeth firmly believes if you want perfect results you must start with the best horse you can ride. A very successful 2009 season for her stable is proof that her formula for success works.

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