Tami is quick to credit all of the members of her “team” for the success she has enjoyed in the show ring. While she has certainly worked hard to get where she is, she knows she didn’t get there alone. In addition to Betsy Steiner on the east coast and Aaron Wilson in California, she also works periodically with friend, Guenter Seidel and clinics occasionally with passage/piaffe specialist, Alfredo Hernandez, and with seat coach Erica Poseley. She especially credits Poseley for helping her create an elegant and effective seat–something she believes isn’t stressed enough in this country. "In Germany riders spend hours and hours on the lunge developing an effective seat, getting their leg to fall in the perfect position. That doesn't happen in the States, even though the correct seat and position is essential in every aspect of dressage. As a result riders make their horses' jobs so much more difficult."
"In other sports it's common to have a primary coach, but also to work with other trainers on honing specifics of the game. Tennis players have coaches to work with just on their serve. Golfers work with specialists on their short game. In dressage our primary trainer has to cover a lot of bases--the horse and the horse's issues, the rider with every aspect of their riding--they can't step back and focus on just one thing like the seat."
Most of all, Hoag credits Betsy Steiner, not only as a trainer, but also as friend, motivational coach and cheerleader. “Betsy was the only person in the beginning who said ‘Let’s go for it’ and actually thought I might be able to pull it off. Encouragement like that is priceless,” says Hoag.
To Train in Spain Falls Mostly in the Outside Rein!
Last October, Tami Hoag, a self-admitted type-A, workaholic, did the unthinkable---she took a real vacation. Not surprisingly it was not without a purpose. Tami and two friends, Lynn Cardosa and Linda Weiss, went on vacation to Spain to train with three-time Olympian, Juan Matute. Of course there was some gourmet cuisine, fine Spanish wine and a tour or two of a medieval village- to certify the trip as a genuine vacation! Tami set out with the goal of preparing for her first season of international grand prix competition. And Juan was the perfect coach to help her in her quest to combine the necessary brilliance to the precision and accuracy required at this level of competition.