Lessons in Florida?

I’m currently a student in Tallahassee, FL, but will soon be relocating south. I want to go ahead and begin my search for a lesson program!

For now, I just want to see what’s out there – Ocala area, Palm Beach County (Wellington), anywhere in between.

I’ve been riding for a decade, but am new to quality instruction in the ~ english world! I think my main interest lies in the jumpers, but I am also interested in dressage lessons!

What I’m really searching for is the highest quality instructors who are willing to work with relative novices (been there done that with learning-and-unlearning poor instruction in the reining world, etc. would REALLY love to avoid it as much as possible this time around.)

I’m eager to be more involved in the south FL equestrian community and willing to put in the time, energy, and money needed!

Jen Truett she is there for the winter season.



This is where I board (Sunshine Meadows, click on the upper left symbol)

The barn where I board is Equines and Equestrians but there are numerous barns with different trainers there . Always plenty of action, all disciplines are there, jumping, dressage, western ( and racing, 2 tracks), and more. Delray Beach is a half hour drive to Wellington showgrounds.

Not to hijack your thread, but Countrywood is there much dressage (or any dressage barns instructors etc) at Sunshine Meadows? I’ve recently moved to Delray and am trying to find a spot to start riding again (have trained through GP in dressage, evented etc) and haven’t come up with much south of Wellington as far as dressage goes. . . . especially as I’m lacking a horse at the moment.

Head to Loxahatchee. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a dressage barn around there.

Yes, at Sunshine Meadows there are two associated dressage instructors who are based in area year around) , one is named Linda Todenhagen silver medal, a nice trainer who I study with and a man who is training FEI level works with some students and horses here, a European name (sorry but his name escapes me I will find it later or in next day or two and post it. ) I can give you Linda’s phone number by PM if you want it). A number of big name trainers are here for season and coach a few students /horses at Sunshine Meadows but they will be gone in a few weeks .

There are two dressage rings at sunshine meadows, these two trainers are affiliated with a few barns and come on a regular basis, both are affiliated with barn I board at called Equine and Equestrians. Other barns there might allow you to bring your own trainer if they have insurance, every barn there is run by a different person and each has their own policy.

There are no barns that are just dressage, they tend to be run by event bg or by H/J trainers but a few of them also have a number of dressage horses and students boarding in their barns. Then a number of barns are reserved for the Standardbred racers who are in residence for winter months.

I found his name, Holger Bechtloff, website you can find his contact info on Holgerbechtloff.com

There are lots of dressage trainers in the Ocala/Gainesville area. Many good ones and always something going on!

There is a big USDF GMO in Ocala called STRIDE that might be good for you to check out so you can meet people and learn more about instructors in the area, as there are so many. Gainesville’s group is Arredondo Dressage Society.

I live in central Florida, north of Orlando, well south of Ocala. What you need to understand is that prices very significantly between Wellington and the rest of the world. Meaning board, training,housing, everything. The above post re Stride GMO is a good one; Our group, though relatively small is Central Fla Dressage. Some input on your budget would be helpful. There are trainers here 12 months per year in many price ranges; there are trainers who are here only for the winters (a challenge if you are living here) Board is all over the map and so are facility qualities.

My barn (I’m a boarder) is primarily dressage or low-key miscellaneous riders. There are some other barns in the area that are H/J types. I don’t think you see much mixing of dressage and H/J but I could be wrong.
We have an eventer who does her dressage work at home and her jumping elsewhere - trailers out for lessons/schooling.

I highly recommend Avalon Stables (www.avalonstables.net). Dean and Megan are currently in O Brien, but have bought a farm in the Ocala area and are in the process of moving. Megan is an excellent dressage instructor and trainer and is also a judge. Dean is equally excellent with hunters and jumpers. Their horse care is also excellent with lots of turnout. I love the atmosphere at their stable. It is one of friendliness, mutual support, and positiveness. People there seem to work hard to advance themselves and their horses and also enjoy the process. Prices are reasonable.

Apologies I put the incorrect trainer name in my post 7, I fixed it.

OP, I’m also in Tallahassee! Just wanted to say hi. :smiley:

Carry on!

For a short list of names, check
out the clinic coming up sponsored by Arredondo Dressage Society in Gainesville. Many local trainers are donating a lesson. All funds support horse rescue. http://www.arredondodressage.org/hpaf-2016.html

Really like Todd Bryan. He’s located in the Orlando area at least part of the year. Check him out at http://www.bryancenter.net/. He has lesson horses and offers training.

2nd Todd Bryan - he is here full time, located way on east side of Orlando.

OP has not given any sense of what budget might be so hard to tell if this is an option or not. Todd is worth every penny IMO and if OP really wants to learn dressage, he’s both a good teacher and a genuinely nice and honest guy.

My budget is very flexible!

I haven’t taken lessons with Todd in Florida, but when he gives clinics in O H I O, I think what I pay for the clinic is quite reasonable, especially considering it includes travel. Certainly worth giving him a call.

And I second the nice, honest, and good teacher comment! As an added bonus, he is very good with Arabs especially, besides the usual warmblood training.

Another endorsement of Todd Bryan. I ride with him when I’m home in Florida (miss him when I’m up north in the summer for 3-4 months!). Also have a horse in full training with him and Todd has done a great job. He is great for helping improve your seat and overall rider biomechanics. He and his wife are both trainers and have a website …google The Bryan Center Dressage.

At the risk of his schedule getting busier, I also have to advocate for Todd Bryan; however, the horse who usually helps him teach has been taking a break to get back into shape for the job.

In Wellington check out Jessica Rhinelander at http://www.jrhinelander.com/ . She’s there year-round.