I started riding after spending two summers in California. My uncle was a California ranger who owned a Mustang named Popeye. I fell in love with horses after meeting him and never looked back. I was so fortunate- My parents purchased an Arabian saddlebred horse for me (very inexpensive but a lot of money for us) With the proviso that I’d work to pay for him. That poor horse did every job a horse could do, barrel race, pole bending, fox hunting, show jumping –  you name it we did it! I credit that horse for me being the rider I am. I’m sure if there is a heaven for horses he’s there!
I was a very successful jumper rider in New York, my specialty was jump offs. I have many fond memories of competing against and even beating Harry deLeyer, the owner and rider of Snowman. Those were great times.
I moved to Maryland from New York in 1990 opening up Preston horse farm. Some students moved down with me which enabled me to develop a successful boarding and training facility while also traveling to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Texas for clinics.

I had the opportunity to purchase horses in Germany. I was a court reporter in New York. A couple of attorney friends and I put some money together and we purchased Hanoverian horses for resale. I ended up keeping Guderian, an elite stallion, and got interested in Dressage at that time.  In order for him to get his license he had to compete in a dressage test. I wanted to present him myself and figured “how hard could dressage be?”

Well, that was in the late 80s and I’ve been riding dressage ever since.

          Rebecca riding the Grand Prix horse, Chesapeake

Years later I wanted to train in Germany. I had ridden in a symposium with Dr. Klimke – a wonderful experience. I was so lucky to have seen him and Ahlerich at Madison Square Garden years prior. I remember him doing 70 , 1 Tempis around the arena and then Piaffing to the entire German national anthem. I was enthralled! When I heard about the Major Lundgren scholarship I applied. I sent Dressage scores, recommendations, and an accompanying letter. I was excepted and went to Dr. Klimke’s facility in Germany, where I trained with him and also Rolf Isselhorst. I rode his son Michaels horses when Michael was traveling and got to spend time riding with Ingrid. I was offered a full-time position but after 9 months I felt it was time to come home. The doctor died shortly there after- I will never forget him.
My fondest memories of my time in Germany with Dr. Klimke:
1. Watching Dr. Klimke go ride every day at lunch on his horse Biotop.
2. Having a panic attack when he told me I was to ride with him during one of his rides. That noon time slot was open only to him. We rode together and I was too mesmerized to ride well!
3. Drinking beer together at his house. His son purchased some sort of beer making machine and we had a wonderful time-sharing stories.
4. Traveling with him to Luhmuhlen to watch Ingrid ride cross country.
5. Eating at a Kartoffelhaus house. I did not know you could make so many delicious dishes with potatoes!
6.Attending the Wiesbaden Dressage competition in front of the pink castle overlooking the Rhine River- nothing more magical!
7. Spending a day going to wine cellars in the Rhineland with friends I met. What a great day!
8. I love all the small towns that have riding clubs. Riding is a huge sport for both males and females. They hold shows and compete against each other. The best part is that jumping is also held at the same facility. Fun!
9. Finally, I was able to go to quite a few horse shows at any time and watch the likes of Isabelle Werth and Anky von Grunsven warm up before their tests.
I am proud to say that I have trained all of my horses up through the Grand Prix level from start to finish. As a young woman I started thoroughbreds for the race track and I continued breaking youngsters until recently. I’ve probably started in excess of 120 babies.
I have been featured in Practical Horseman and Dressage Today. I have had the honor to ride in three USDF ( USDF.ORG ) Dressage symposiums. I have had the great fortune to have ridden with some fantastic trainers to whom I will be forever grateful.

Through the years I have pared down my clinics and now teach more locally out of Wyndham Oaks two days a week and at my own farm. While I still travel once in a while, staying closer to home enabled me to spend a little more time with my husband and keep an eye on my aging mom.

I have trained many students to the FEI level, including Grand Prix, and I look forward to continuing teaching and training well into the future.
     Rebecca on the Grand Prix horse, Gomerant
2 training tips from Rebecca:
1) Always try to release tension in your legs. Gripping legs block the horses flow of energy through its body. But know where your legs are and keep them close to the horse’s sides.
2) Enjoy the journey- don’t be in a rush the journey is the best part!
Thanks Becky for sharing your story at http://horses4yc.com!!! #H4YC