Debbie's horse Maxfli came from Second Stride in early 2009. They are well on the way to forging a successful show career and are currently competing at the Intermediate Level and are aiming for their first CCI2** in 2014. Debbie is also competing at the Novice level with her young mare, Fancee Schmancee.
Debbie has ridden with many world-renowned trainers including: Buck Davidson, Jan Bynny, Jimmy Wofford, Jim Graham, Alex Gerding, Leslie Law, Mark Combs, Lynn Coates-Holmes, Missy Ransenhousen, Denny Emerson, Phillip Dutton, Lucinda Green, Michelle Gibson, Peter Grey, Jennifer Hollings and Dorothy Crowell.
Eventing Instruction and Training
Dressage Instruction and Training
Debbie centers much of her instruction around the classical German Training Scale which consists of six building blocks. The six steps in order are:
1- Rhythm: It is the result of mental and physical relaxation. When the horse is relaxed, he is able to step into the natural rhythm of the four natural gaits: walk, trot, canter, and the rein-back.
2- Suppleness: A dressage horse is ultimately an athlete, and every athlete requires a certain degree of flexibility. Suppleness is the looseness and flexibility of the horse’s body.
3- Contact: When the horse is accepting the rider’s hands, seat, and legs, it is said that he is offering good contact. Good contact is when the horse accepts and responds to seat and leg aids while maintaining a round outline with a mouth that is relaxed and accepting the bit.
4- Impulsion: Free-flowing energy initiated by the rider, causing the horse’s back to swing, his quarters to engage, and his forelegs to articulate is impulsion. Good impulsion is mirrored through a horse that appears to have an innate desire to go forward with active, lively steps.
5- Straightness: Horses are naturally crooked, so straightening them is the job of the rider/trainer. For example, many horses canter with their quarters slightly in. Crookedness is caused by uneven lateral suppleness, i.e. one side stiffer than the other, and a weaker hind leg. Good training focuses on developing both sides and hind legs of the horse equally, which eventually leads to absolute straightness.
6- Collection: The pinnacle of the Training Pyramid, collection is the ultimate goal for the dressage horse. Collection involves the lowering of the croup, lightness of the forehand, and shorter and higher steps.