Trainer Lisa Marie Andrews Expands on the Art Form of Dressage

Lisa Marie Andrews and Ellitot. (Photo: Colin Bishop)
Lisa Marie Andrews and Ellitot. (Photo: Colin Bishop)

Lisa Marie Andrews is a fireball of activity. The pixyish professional trainer talks a mile-a-minute and rarely lets one of those minutes go by without a laugh. She was named Most Talkative at her New York high school – hardly a surprise. She trains eventing, jumping, and dressage, working out of Hidden Pearl Farm in Bethel, Pennsylvania. Hidden Pearl is owned and operated by Nick Edmunds, a breeder and trainer of premier Holsteiner horses. She has competed at the FEI level in all three disciplines, but horses are expensive and the self-proclaimed Ramen noodle eater has to pinch pennies and use another talent to help fund her horse addiction. She creates exquisite art. 

“Even though I am a professional, it still costs a ton to compete at that level,” she said. “My goal is to become an international rider. I never, ever had money. I didn’t come from money. I have had to work every single second of my life to be able to be with the horses and I don’t regret any of that.”

“The Anniversary" is a 16 X 20 acrylic. While it was a work in progress, a woman contacted Lisa Marie and said her husband told her she could pick anything she wanted for their 10th anniversary and she wanted a painting by the artist. This was completed for that occasion.
“The Anniversary" is a 16 X 20 acrylic. While it was a work in progress, a woman contacted Lisa Marie and said her husband told her she could pick anything she wanted for their 10th anniversary and she wanted a painting by the artist. This was completed for that occasion.

Andrews creates abstract paintings of horses, often making 5’ by 6’ renderings of her subjects. “I see horses differently,” she said. “I capture the essence of the horse and the spirit of the horse. I love doing the paintings a fraction below riding horses.”She laughs (again!) that she was born sketching horses, but she never took up a brush to paint them until about four years ago. Her art is not realistic but rather stylized versions of what she feels. She paints to music, using mystical pieces as “The lines reflect the song,” she said. “I don’t really paint the horse itself. I’m very abstract. I sort of paint their attitude or their aura. I see their colors. I see the spirit of the horse and that’s what I paint.”

She believes her skill at seeing horses differently also helps her train them. “If I have a horse that is difficult, I have to think outside the box and be a little more creative,” she said. “I feel like if things aren’t easy, I can come up with a solution".

She has sold paintings to Olympic riders and becomes attached to her work, insisting they go to good homes. This past winter, she used the money from the sale of some of her paintings to compete and train with Olympic competitor Michael Barisone for two months during the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida.

Lisa Marie Andrews on Graphite in the FEI Prix St Georges at Lamplight in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Mary Phelps)
Lisa Marie Andrews on Graphite in the FEI Prix St Georges at Lamplight in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Mary Phelps)

She began her career as a hunter, then moved on to the jumper ring, where she also competed in Wellington at the Winter Equestrian Festival. She took up eventing aboard a talented chestnut gelding, Beetle Bailey, rescued from the kill pen as a 5-year-old. They earned a USEA Bronze Medal and the horse won Intermediate MDCTA Horse of the Year in 2008. She once again changed career tracks and earned her USDF Silver Medal on Graphite, a Percheron/Thoroughbred cross she has brought up through the ranks. The gelding is owned by Dr. Suzanne Cassel and Dr. Fayyaz Satterwala. She has scheduled monthly clinics to a loyal following at her former stomping ground, Leamanch Farm, in Solon, Iowa. Since she now lives in Pennsylvania, Andrews is only an hour away from Barisone’s New Jersey home base, so she has more ready access to her trainer.

“You go back to the fact that you have to love what you do,” she said. “You have to laugh about things. There are so many obstacles. There are so many variables you had just better have a positive attitude about it. You know, everyone has their own story. Mine is my passion.”

To see examples of her art, check out her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Marie/353714431474057?fref=ts.




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