International Dressage Trainer Sabine Rijssenbeek From the Netherlands to Tucson, Arizona

Sunday, November 6, 2011
Posted by Lindsay McCall for the USPEA


Dutch trainer Sabine Rijssenbeek
Dutch trainer Sabine Rijssenbeek
Tucson, AZ - Warm winters, kind equestrians and the west coast competitions and clinics are what first attracted trainer Sabine Rijssenbeek to Tucson, Arizona. In 2006 Sabine landed in Phoenix, Arizona to give a clinic at a Dutch breeding facility. Her impressive background as a rider, manager, and trainer in Holland attracted many competitive equestrians to her clinic. Three months later Sabine was asked back for her second clinic where she met a rider looking for a horse from The Netherlands. It would not be long before Sabine landed in the United States with a horse in hand from the Netherlands and a suitcase to stay for three months in Tucson, Arizona. Sabine became popular for her training skills not only in Arizona but all over the United States including California, Texas, and Minnesota.Since graduating with a Masters degree from Deurne University in the Netherlands in 1975, Sabine has worked hard managing and training over 400 horses in Great Britain, Holland, and the United States. Her unique skills in both dressage and show jumping have created exciting professional paths for her including teaching a Para-Equestrian Dressage competitor in FEI events.

"What started as three weeks to help train this horse I brought to Arizona from The Netherlands, turned into a three month stay. I loved Arizona, I was captivated by the equestrians, and I could not resist the horses; Of course I wanted to stay," noted Sabine.

Before Sabine made her first trip to the United States she obtained over 30 years of experience as a rider and trainer of sport horses. Sabine has competed in both dressage and show jumping at the international FEI levels in the Netherlands and throughout Europe. She has trained and managed over 400 horses throughout Holland and Great Britain. Under the tutelage of classical dressage trainers and former Dutch Olympic Team trainers Piet Oothout and Henk van Bergen, Sabine became an expert rider that was short listed for the 1980 Dutch Olympic Dressage Team. An abrupt bout of colic hit her Olympic horse just before the Games causing Sabine to withdraw from the competition.

After the 1980 Olympics, Sabine began to focus more on her career as a professional trainer. As more equestrians met Sabine and trained under her, the number of clientele multiplied with equestrians competing throughout the Netherlands from basic level to Grand Prix. The more equestrians that sought Sabine's classical dressage training, the more horses Sabine was asked to find for her clients. Sabine's extensive knowledge of breeders and horses of Dutch and German bloodlines allows her to excel at seeking and training the correct horse for each client.

"I have always enjoyed being involved with each aspect of our sport including seeking and purchasing a horse for a rider, training a young horse for a new discipline, teaching a rider new skills or fixing bad habits, and even horse rehabilitation," noted Sabine.

Sabine's ability to rehabilitate horses has become known by many equestrians and veterinarians. Sabine commented, "It is common for horses to develop fitness problems caused by improper or over training. I like to work with a veterinarian to create a fitness program that will correct a horse's muscle imbalance. All horses and riders have their own imbalances whether you're a Grand Prix rider, a beginner, or a Para-Equestrian."

Sabine's positive attitude, ability to adapt to all types of horses, and determination to make each rider and horse their best are what drives her each day. Her long list of accomplishments has attracted equestrians from many parts of the United States and multiple disciplines.

Sabine Rijssenbeek coach of Para-Equestrian Eleanor Brimmer at the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian National Championships in Saugerties, NY. (Photo: ©2011 Lindsay Y McCall for the USPEA).
Sabine Rijssenbeek coach of Para-Equestrian Eleanor Brimmer at the 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian National Championships in Saugerties, NY. (Photo: ©2011 Lindsay Y McCall for the USPEA).
In 2011, Eleanor Brimmer, who came from a hunter/jumper background, approached Sabine. Eleanor's desire to ride as an FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage rider may have been new discipline for Sabine but it was just like teaching an able-bodied FEI dressage rider. From the search for the proper horses to weekly training and adjustments Sabine and Eleanor continue their partnership in hopes of qualifying for the 2012 London Paralympics.

Eleanor smiled, "I truly enjoy training under S.R. Dressage. Her ability to communicate what is needed and expected of the horse and me at each moment is very special. Sabine is a dedicated trainer with the most positive attitude. She works hard for every client and every horse and she expects the best out of me. I have enjoyed partnering with Sabine and S.R. Dressage over the last two years as I continue to conquer the art of classical Para-Dressage."

Over the last 30 years Sabine Rijssenbeck has become a world-renowned trainer. Her unique skills and achievements combined with her exemplary attitude have made her irreplaceable. Sabine calls Tucson, Arizona home at S.R. Dressage but travels to California, Texas, Minnesota, and many other states for clinics, horse shows, and other equestrian activities.

For more information about S.R. Dressage or to contact Sabine Rijssenbeek please visit www.SRDressage.com or call (520) 551-4150.