I am in the Buffalo area and have had a growing interest in dressage for a couple years now. I would like to take lessons and was wondering if anyone knew of any good instructors in the area. I am willing to travel a little but would like to stay within 2 hrs of the area. I have years of riding experience, but have never really taken formal lessons. I tried once a year or 2 ago with an event trainer and was really disappointed with the lesson horses they used and did not feel I gained anything. The instructor knew her stuff and was very nice though. I would really like someone who specifies in dressage but I am open to any suggestions!!!
You will be hard pressed to find a dressage instructor with lesson horses! Basically, there are none. Here in WNY it is hard to find a good instructor with decent lesson horses, period, regardless of discipline.
Beth Walkowicz, an eventer with an impressive resume and classical dressage training. Beth has a small string (3 horses) but also utilizes some of her boarders’ horses. I suppose her horses are not “fancy” but they are safe, sane and well schooled. I have been riding with Beth for about 18 months and she is fantastic. I’m particularly impressed with her ability to get the best out of any horse, regardless of breed, background, training.
Leanne Haley Brown of GlennLea Farm in Wilson. Though I am not sure how many (if any) school horses Leanne has.
You could try Chestnut Ridge, though I’ve not been out there in ages so have no idea the state of their current lesson program.
You could see if you can catch up with the Barisones. Either Peggy or Susan Barisone Gilson.
I teach and I have lesson horses.
My lesson horses are my current or former personal competition horses (one is retired from me competing him and just does lessons) and they have prior experience at recognized shows.
I am happy to teach the lesson, or lease the horse on a per day basis for you to take lessons with Kathy Wood-Copa, who comes to the barn where the horses live (in Alden).
Susan has a farm in Webster I believe (about 1.5 hours away from Buffalo) but she does offer clinics at Fox Run Farm in East Aurora quite regularly.
Susan is absolutely wonderful and I highly recommend her, but she does not have lesson horses. Occasionally she has a students horse available for a lesson, but not on a regular basis and not if she doesn’t know your riding ability.