Natural Sporthorse. Terry Church, Dressage. Siri Larssen, Jumpers.

Terry Church

United States.

Terry Church was "classically trained" through the FEI levels in the United States and Germany, and works with horses and riders in every discipline and at all levels of dressage. Although she competed intensively for many years, she came to recognize that, in spite of the lofty ideals written throughout every dressage manual, tension remained the predominant factor in the actual lives of most horses in training for competition in every discipline. In 1990, synchronicity led her to a meeting with the great master horseman Tom Dorrance with whom she spent the next seven years relearning everything she thought she knew about horses, and about herself.

(For more details about her transformational experiences with Dorrance, please read Transition to Harmony and her recent book, Finding Pegasus)

Now her intention is to help riders around the country become aware of the kind of relationship needed to gain full responsiveness and cooperation with their horse while maintaining their horse's ability to enjoy their work, at home or in the competition arena. This is done without force, extra equipment (such as draw-reins) or manipulative devices. Through finding this greater harmony with horses, Terry has found that people experience a much greater sense of purpose and personal fulfillment as well as enabling themselves a far broader understanding of the horse, a greater propensity for patience, the ability to problem-solve and think creatively/independently, and a higher capacity for "feel." All of these abilities are vital components that allow for the true meaning of dressage to be expressed into form.

Terry is currently offering individual lessons and training as well as clinics in horsemanship and dressage, integrating an approach whereby horses are acknowledged for facilitating a process of self-discovery, and for helping the person develop a greater sensitivity to the natural world. By setting this example, she hopes to expose more people, especially those in the competitive arena, to the benefits of having relationships with their animals based on trust, mutual respect and pure good feeling. She is also planning for the development of an equestrian-based experiential learning center, a center designed and constructed implementing principles of regenerative design and sustainable living. Stay tuned!