New equestrian teacher, trainer in Green Creek

Published 12:34 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ed Richardson is now offering riding lessons in Polk County.

Richardson focuses his teaching on beginners and people who are getting back to riding and need to build their balance and confidence.

As a youth, Richardson rode open jumpers and fox hunted with Loudoun Hunt in Leesburg, Va. Hunter trials and point-to-point races were his passion.

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His first formal riding lesson was at the former Italian Cavalry school at Agnano, Italy, where his father, a naval officer, was stationed. This is where he was first introduced to training horses with the use of cavaletti.

As an adult, raising a family in the greater Chicago area, Richardson stayed close to horses as a photographer, and his pictures appeared regularly in the Chronicle of the Horse.

In 1979, Richardson emigrated to California, where he returned to active riding.

Fox hunting was sparse in California. In order to run and jump, he found three-day eventing to his liking.

He got so involved that he and his wife, Susanna, purchased a boarding/training stable that they operated for a few years. They then purchased 60 acres in Winters, Calif., and for 15 years he and Susanna, taught lessons, trained horses and organized horse shows in eventing and hunter/jumper.

Pony clubbers met regularly at the farm where Richardson often was the clinician.

Jane Schwartz and Lilo Fore provided Richardson with most of his dressage training. He participated frequently with many more wonderful instructors.

Richardson said he owes his knowledge and patience in jumping and cross-country to Jimmy Wofford, Olympian and author of Training the Three-Day Event Horse and Rider and Gymnastics, Systematic Training for Jumping Horses.

According to Richardson, Wofford is a master, not only coaching the advanced level but having the patience and techniques he uses with the beginner.

Over the years, Richardson has trained with many other notable instructors: Torrance Watkins, Mike Plumb, Bruce Davidson, Mark Phillips and numerous others.

For more information about lessons, call 828-289-3556.