has been a student of classical dressage since the early 1980's.
When she met Jack Brainard in 2006 things took a decidedly western
turn. Brainard, a producer of ten world champions, is famous in
the reining horse world and travels the country yearly to teach
western dressage. When Montie started in dressage, she was fortunate
to work with Pat Smeltzer and her mentor Karl Mikolka. Karl is a
former head rider from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. What
Karl taught her was to ride and cue the horse depending on where
the horse's feet were. When she first spoke with Jack, she realized
that he taught on the same principles and felt right at home. Today,
after numerous clinics with Jack, Montie considers him her mentor.
students from all disciplines at her Carlisle PA facility, where
each student works on his or her specific goals. Her specialty is
teaching the adult rider, and finds her niche market is the returning
rider and the adult just starting to ride. These are the students
who eagerly rejoin the riding community or discover a love for horses
in their adult years. "Quite often my students have an established
career and have raised a family. They have waited to ride and they
now realize this is their time to pursue getting to know about horses
and riding. I like to teach everyone how horses think and react
through ground work and how this translates to success in the saddle
when they ride."
been blessed with great teachers," says Montie. On the classical
dressage side these include clinics with Erik Herbermann, Lendon
Gray, and Karen Ramsing. Western teachers include John Lyons, Richard
Shrake, Lori Beth Morris and Eitan Beth-Halachmy, the founder of
cowboy dressage. Montie's core belief is that dressage is for everyone
and that each horse and rider, regardless of chosen discipline,
can gain from work in dressage. "You want your horse to be
a joyous ride and a sound, athletic lifelong companion."