2008 Symposium

Archived Story

HH Classical Dressage

Published 3:19pm Wednesday, March 28, 2012

By Ginger Leavitt

HH Classical Dressage emigrated from Fort Worth, Texas to Polk County in June 2011 with its group of Andalusian, Spanish and Lusitano horses ranging in age from young prospects to highly trained school masters.

The equestrian maestro of this school and its horses is Holly Hansen.

Her interaction with horses and people is simple, quiet and graceful. During lessons, Hansen helps students develop tact and finesse while riding.

Hansen applies teaching methods steeped in 1700s French history, sometimes referred to as the golden age of equitation. Her standard of excellence is derived from the courts of French King Louis XV. There at the School of Versailles, positive training techniques became art expressed through outstanding athletic performance from horse and rider.

Learn more about the masters and see Hansen’s horses at www.hhclassicaltraining.com .

Hansen’s training philosophy and teaching practices border on the metaphysical. Rather than describing Hansen as a trainer, teacher or coach; one might call her an advocate for the horse. Her teaching goal is for the rider to “feel oneness” with the horse. Rider relaxation is a primary building block.

With history as her guide, Hansen works with her students to awaken the rider to the horse’s point of view. Instruction focuses on relaxation techniques for the rider to guide the horse’s movement. She takes “nuance” and turns it into “how-to-dos” in the riding arena.

Hansen observes how the horse receives signals sent via the rider’s aids and corrects the rider accordingly “in the moment.” Riding students may choose to learn on a master horse who knows rider nuance. The student can then more confidently apply skills gained with the master horse to their own horse.

Hansen’s passion for classical horsemanship was the impetus for her involvement in the Foundation for Classical Horsemanship. The foundation is dedicated to preserving and passing on, through public education, time-tested principals of horsemanship.

The foundation’s third annual symposium will be held at Hansen’s farm in Columbus on May 20. It will be an afternoon of learning and quiet celebration of the old masters of the art of horsemanship. The symposium will demonstrate how classical horsemanship is much more than riding.

For more information, about the symposium, email Holly Hansen at hhclassical@sbcglobal.net or call 817-320-7581.

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