In The Beginning

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ruth Hogan-PoulsenTrainer, Competitor, Author, and Musical Freestyle Composer

Ruth developed her solid background in horsemanship as a 4-H and Pony Club member and competed in Regional Finals. As a teen, Ruth evented to the Preliminary Level. She also competed in equitation and participated in the 1984 AHSA Medal Finals. Ruth attended the University of Vermont, earning a B.S. degree in Animal Science and Nutrition in 1988 and a Masters degree in Comparative Nutrition in 1989. She rode for the Intercollegiate Equestrian Team and as Team Captain led UVM to victory at the 1988 Intercollegiate National Show Jumping Championships. Ruth and two teammates then represented the U.S. in Intercollegiate competitions in Europe, finishing second in Holland and first in Germany.

After college, Ruth focused on a career in dressage as a professional rider and instructor. In 1990, she made her first trip to Florida for the winter shows with her own Valentino, a KWPN gelding competing at Fourth Level, and worked as Robert Dover’s barn manager.

When her friend, mentor and coach Jane Savoie was short-listed for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, Ruth traveled with her to Europe as her groom and rode at Herbert Rehbein’s facility. In 1993, Ruth returned to Florida for the show season and to continue training and working at Robert Dover’s barn. She advanced Valentino to Intermediaire I. By the late 1990s, Ruth was training independently and developing her own clientele. Many of those riders are still her clients today. Ruth is known for customizing individual training plans. She is also recognized for her work with difficult horses and was featured in a PBS documentary on the Nature Channel in 2002.

As a competitor, Ruth achieved her first major FEI success with Elizabeth Ritz’s Aristocrat in 1998, ultimately securing a place on the USEF Developing Rider List. Simultaneously Ruth developed her own horse, Mastermind, a Danish Warmblood, and competed the gelding through Grand Prix until he was sold in 2003. Ruth went on to enjoy FEI show ring success with topnotch mounts including Finnegan and American Beauty through 2007. Ruth was thrilled to bring her own Dream Lady down centerline for her FEI debut at Prix St. Georges in 2009 and is aiming the international caliber nine-year-old Hanoverian mare for Grand Prix.

Freestyles Are Her Specialty – “Riding with Soul” Clinics and CDs Launched