Lessons & Training
Lessons & Training
``To become better, the horse and rider must get out of their comfort zones. I believe in the concept of deliberate practice. Outside of your comfort zone, you will make mistakes. In the process of correcting mistakes is when you learn. If you want people to try, you had better not punish them for mistakes, so I know that I need to be patient, and yet push and encourage. Any instructor needs to know the material cold, or they just add to the seemingly growing confusion of how dressage works. I study all the time. I read, watch videos, do research.``
Twenty minutes south of Harrisburg, and twenty miles north of historic Gettysburg, nestled in country that boasts of legendary trout streams, is Lost Hollow Farm.
Horses of all levels are accepted into training on a limited basis, year-round. Young, unstarted horses are welcome; this is some of the most important work that we do. Horses started incorrectly can be affected their entire lives. All of the horses in training are handled only by FEI level rider/trainers. Because we only train a limited number of horses per year, we can afford to provide whatever individualized attention they may need to thrive.
A successful training program cannot be judged by end results alone. It must also be judged by the ethics that govern it and the health of the horses who participate in it. We would gladly open our medical records to any qualified analysis, but we know they rank as high as anywhere in the world. Since moving to Lost Hollow Farm nine years ago, we have had consistently 15 horses in training at all levels–including FEI Grand Prix-and around 30 overall in our care at any point in time. A synopsis of the last nine years of medical care for these horses show zero suspensory injuries, zero check ligament injuries, zero bowed tendons, three splints, zero laminitis, zero colic surgeries, and zero joint injections of any kind.
Afternoons are devoted to lessons for riders who ship in daily or use one of our schoolmasters, or riders training in one of the intensive short courses. Short courses are designed as intensives on position. Although they are not limited to advanced riders, they are designed for serious amateurs and professionals who ride regularly and have a certain level of fitness. We recommend that all participants be within the normal range of the Body Mass Index. While we want to encourage riders of all levels, this preliminary consideration can help make the experience most positive for participants, horses and staff.
Paul has helped all levels of riders from all around the world for over thirty years. They are a diverse group as members of various national and international equestrian teams, a North American Endurance Champion, Handicapped champions, as well as riders of various levels with no interest in competition.
“As an adult rider who came to the riding world very late in life, knowing very little about horses let alone dressage, Paul has taken me from a training level rider whose position was mostly fetal to a confident rider successfully competing at 4th level. As a result of following his training system, my young horse, who was a non-traditional dressage breed, went from training level to successfully competing and winning at the FEI levels…. No matter what level the rider is or what breed/experience level of the horse, Paul has a way of quickly getting right to the issue and determining what each pair needs to do in order to be more successful, regardless of if they do or don’t compete, want to be better riders, or improve their partnership with their horse …”
Lost Hollow Farm is conveniently located in Central Pennsylvania, within easy driving distance of New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Maryland. See below for directions.