Bert is a Canadian Paralympic Dressage rider and qualified coach based in the UK. She launched HeartHorse Dressage two years ago after her international clients pushed her to stop being ‘a best kept secret!’ and to open her program to help more riders.
Bert’s life has been horses from the word go! She has trained her own horses to advanced level dressage and to Paralympic level, representing her country at over 20 International competitions including the Rio Paralympics and 2 World Equestrian Games, she is currently a member of the Canadian National Team Program.
Along with huge experience from working with, handling, training and competing many different horses, from diverse backgrounds, from barns in Canada, the UK and Europe, Bert has been fortunate to be able to train extensively with some of the renowned masters of classical dressage. They all stay unflinchingly true to the time-honoured principles of Germanic classical dressage.
Working with the more challenging, nervy or ugly duckling kinds of horses is a particular joy for Bert. She finds nothing more rewarding than nurturing a relationship and training partnership with her ‘waifs and strays’! Bert says “you have to develop a mental, emotional and physical connection with the horse so that they feel safe to step into a sporting partnership.”
WonkyHorse (proper name Fairuza) Bert’s demo horse for this session, is one such horse that has set up a permanent residence in Bert’s heart. She came to Bert as an untouched semi-feral 6 year old and is now competing internationally towards team selection to the Tokyo Paralympics.
Bert is passionate about spreading the philosophy of German classical dressage practiced in the time-tested, horse-friendly way. This method is based on building a balanced, nice to ride, happy equine athlete, able to work comfortably into old age.
Bert has developed a global personalised dressage coaching and mentoring service to riders all over the world. She loves helping other riders discover their own horsemanship/dressage journeys, seeing the fulfillment they get from developing trust, harmony and ultimately competition success, if that’s what they want to do. With the wonder of the internet, she is able to help far more people enjoy training in this beautiful way, connecting with like-minded people thousands of miles away.
The principle that dressage should be healthy and accessible to every rider with every horse is at the heart of everything Bert does. Good dressage is good for horses! Through HeartHorse Dressage, she wants to help other riders find their way through the maze of dressage life.
Watch Bert’s demonstrations ‘Yoga Flow for Dressage’ in Arena 1 and ‘In Front of the Leg: The quest for the self-propelled horse’ in Arena 2