Thorsten Kramer is just itching to get his USDF Gold medal. The trainer, instructor, clinician and competitor has already earned his Bronze and Silver medals and is this close to earning the necessary scores to complete the requirements for the Gold medal. But, until he has the horse that can help him reach his goal, he is content to work alongside his wife Rebecca to help others achieve their goals. The pair own Thorsten Kramer Dressage in Barboursville, Virginia, where they provide training, lessons, boarding, clinics, and horse buying and selling assistance to a variety of happy clients. Thorsten brings classical German dressage training to the partnership while Rebecca adds her skills as a veterinarian and jumper rider to the mix.
Thorsten began his dressage career in his native Germany, where he studied under Christoph Hess while apprenticing at Warendorf. After moving to the U.S. in 1989, he worked at a large dressage facility in Southern California, where he coached the Young Rider teams. In 1998, Thorsten relocated to Colorado, returned to school and met his wife Rebecca. He frequently clinics with George Williams and Morten Thomsen.
Rebecca Kramer, DVM, received her veterinarian degree from Colorado State University in 2004 and joined the Keswick Equine Clinic in 2005. In 2013, she purchased the veterinary practice. Rebecca competes her mare, Alice, in the jumpers.
The Kramers attend to ever detail in the training of the horses in their charge while keeping the horse’s comfort, safety and well-being in mind. The work is always correct, consistent and kind.
“To me, it’s a matter of lightness and explaining it to the horse in a way it understands, without having to work harder,” Thorsten said. “We train our horses with lighter aids, not harder aids. I try to work smarter. It’s really being in harmony with the horse.”
He believes that basic training is often overlooked, adding that he specializes in thoroughness, straightness and the correct response from the horse.
“I believe that it is beneficial to the horse, and moreover more akin to the horse’s nature of learning, to teach them NOT with increasing severity, but with more consistency,” he said.
When training a rider, Thorsten employs a solid foundation based on the training scale and commitment to correct progression. Boarders at Thorsten Kramer Dressage have easy access to lessons, and others may trailer in to ride in the indoor or outdoor arenas and the extensive trail system. He will also travel to provide expert one-on-one instruction or clinics. Although he mainly focuses on the areas surrounding his farm including Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland, he is happy to travel and is often in Florida either training or helping clients buy or sell horses. He prides himself on his expertise in helping choose the right horse for the right rider.
“I always make sure to be honest and to ensure the best possible match,” he said.
Be sure to visit here to see Thorsten Kramer DressageDaily's Dressage Professional Listing.