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AS A TEACHER......Phoebe has a natural eye to recognize the horse-rider connection and translate to the rider the specific aid implementation to accomplish a correct feel. The rider is then encouraged to identify when the horse feels correct so that the daily challenge is to maximize those moments. Phoebe is very experienced with in-hand whip work that helps horses develop more advanced activity of the hind leg and general expression. Phoebe believes that the best teacher also remains a dedicated learner.
AS A RIDER......Phoebe demonstrates a persistent, yet patient nature while improving weaknesses. But in all honesty, she loves to show off a horse’s strength in the competition ring -- no wonder she sought higher education from the judging programs!! Phoebe likes to think out of the box and constantly seeks further education from notable sources to maintain a fresh approach.
HER FAVORITE MOVEMENT: Canter pirouettes, passage, and yes, the canter depart in general -- nothing like an elevated/lifted back.
AS A JUDGE.....Phoebe combines her knowledge as a competitor, her knowledge of the training scale, her knowledge of methodology, and her knowledge of gait purity to produce fair scores and constructive comments. She believes that judges need to be humanized and not fretted over as they should desire to give the rider the benefit of the doubt.
Having been riding since the age of three, Phoebe’s involvement in the equine community is wide spread. Phoebe’s membership in Pony Club at an early age exposed her to numerous aspects of equine management and disciplines: dressage, show jumping, eventing, and, of course, games. Phoebe’s innate talent in dressage was illustrated by her lengthy record of High Score Individual Rider Medals at various National Pony Club Championships. At one such championship, Phoebe and her pony Frankie caught the eye of Judge Linda Zang (they scored an 85+%). That year, at the age of 12, Phoebe and her new horse, were awarded the Fellow Traveler Scholarship: a two week stay at Idlewild to train under the notable Olympian. This experience propelled Phoebe into a life long dedication to continue her dressage education under multiple internationally recognized dressage figures. While under a working student program at Inspo, Belinda Narin began preparing Phoebe for the North American Young Rider Championships: Phoebe and her all-time favorite horse, Lester, did compete at the championships in 1993. But, more importantly, the pair transitioned smoothly into the open/professional FEI classes and successfully competed at Dressage at Devon in 1995.
Phoebe has both an innate ability to recognize raw talent in a horse at a very young age AND a vast knowledge of bloodlines. To name a few, she purchased Windsong FV, Wallstreet Prince and Heirloom as weanlings. She hand picked Whisper EFSH and Londonderry Lad as weanlings and subsequently purchased them as 2yo olds. She purchased Dressed To Kill in-utero! All of these horses have earned USDF HOY Awards and/or USDF All Breeds HOY Awards. In the mid 2000's Phoebe started an interest in Dressage Sport Horse Breed Shows. It is no great surprise, that EVERY horse Phoebe competed qualified for the East Coast Series Finals at Devon Breed Show. In 2012, her foal, Heirloom, was Grand Champion FOAL GAIG/USDF East Coast Series at Devon, the only show he attended!!
Phoebe's interest in young horses naturally led her to the desire and determination to compete in the Markel Young Horse Championships. In the first year that Phoebe ever tried to qualify for this prestigious championships, she made it. She started riding Veronica after only 30 days undersaddle. Veronica bonded quickly with Phoebe and she felt the mare had what it would take. Carefully, Veronica's training was fast tracked and goal oriented. After 3 months undersaddle, the pair made their showing debut in FL, undefeated. After 5 months undersaddle, the pair earned a whopping 8.3 in their first 4YO Qualifying Class. This score subsequently secured their place, among the top 15 horses in the US, to become Markel Finalists!!! Veronica gave her heart to Phoebe and together they were a team. Phoebe understands it takes more then raw talent in a horse; a horse has to want to work with it's rider; a successful team needs to systematically develop. Phoebe may be nationally recognized as a qualified Young Horse Trainer but her ability to choose the right program for a young horse will always remain more important then any show record!! After a lot of third-party discussion and debate, she has specifically chosen not to have Londonderry Lad participate in the US's Young Horse Program. But, do keep a look out for this amazing horse's progress! "Larry" is truly the Horse-Of-A-Lifetime!!!!
Since Lester, Phoebe has trained and competed many dozens of horses at the USDF and FEI levels, earning her the USDF Bronze Medal, USDF Silver Medal and USDF Musical Freestyle Bronze Bar. She has attended the regional CBLM and GAIG/USDF Championships with a long list of mounts. In addition to technical test riding, she has choreographed and successfully competed musical freestyles, pas de deuxs, and quadrilles.
Phoebe’s love of competition naturally led her into a desire to teach lessons. With over 20 years of teaching experience, Phoebe’s instruction always relates to the training scale, biomechanics of the horse and rider, and the correctness that the movements develop from the basics. Her current AA and JR student base ranges from Intro Level to FEI; she has experience working with numerous breeds. Phoebe has coached seven students to earn their USDF Bronze Medal and two students to earn their USDF Silver Medal. Thornridge Manor has been awarded MDA Trainer of the Year for every year that their students have competed.
In addition to riding and teaching, Phoebe began her journey as a judge in 1999, when she completed the L Program with distinction. She received her “r” status in 2006 and plans to further her judging credentials in the future.
Even with little spare time, Phoebe has remained active in the local equine community and has a history of board positions on the Maryland Dressage Association, Long Green Pony Club, and Baltimore County Farm Bureau. Because she contributes her unconditional love of the horse to her pony club upbringing, she is continuously volunteering her efforts to this organization. In 2009 Phoebe became the youngest Board Member in the history of The Long Green Land Trust. In the fall of 2014, she was voted in by her peers as the President of this Land Trust. Maryland land conservation is a huge passion of Phoebe's.
Today and for many future years to come, Phoebe’s life is Thornridge Manor. She single handedly designed every aspect of the barn and grounds. She is first hand involved with all of the daily operations and cherishes the friendships that her farm has inspired. She most certainly believes that Thornridge Manor is a true testament that dreams do come true and that horses were meant to grow from this treasured land.
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