Influences and Trainers – Life Changing Turning Points

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A major turning point in Linda Schultz’s riding career was quitting her full time job at LaSalle National Trust and taking a job as a working student for Pati Pierucci in 1989. “Pati definitely influenced me,” Linda emphasizes. “Pati was riding with Robert Dover at the time and I got to see Robert ride and train – it was my first exposure to Wellington. It was a huge learning curve, so that was great.”  Linda was provided the chance to ride top horses including Pati’s Grand Prix schoolmaster Palermo. “Through Pati, I got to ride super talented horses and I met some great people,” Linda recounts.

One of the people she met was FEI trainer David DeWispelaere. Pati introduced the two shortly after Linda arrived at her barn – she gave her new working student a lesson with David as a birthday present. For the lesson, Linda rode a Prix St. Georges Quarter Horse named Sage’s Spy Song owned by Donna Pierucci. Linda eventually became David’s working student in Wellington. “That was another turning point in my career,” Linda notes. She managed David’s full-care training facility of 20 horses and was also his full service groom and riding assistant. “I got to ride a whole barn full of super talented horses. I trained with David for many years. He was a huge influence on me,” Linda affirms. “His move to Germany ended our regular training relationship.”

Pati also introduced Linda to Louise St. Amour, a well-known trainer and judge. “We’ve stayed friends for the last 20 years,” Linda notes. “She’s been a tremendous influence on me.”

Linda also counts trainers Laurie Hedlund and Jayne Ayers as influential in her life. “Jayne and Laurie were the instructors that taught me how to give a lunge lesson – because they both put me on the line,” Linda explains. “Even after I’d ridden and shown quite a lot, Jayne did lunge lesson seat work with me to help me become an even better rider and improve my  feel and  my seat. Laurie and Louise helped me with my teaching skills in general.”

Linda includes meeting the Moskals of Legacy USA as a significant point in her career. They own Rondo Faelleden, the horse she leased to finish her USDF Bronze and earn her Silver Medal. “Meeting the Moskals was definitely another turning point for me,” Linda says. “We’ve had a great relationship. They are great people with a beautiful facility in Burr Ridge, Illinois.”