Bettina was the featured clinician for the New England Dressage Association’s 2010 Spring Symposium.
My NEDA Symposium Experience by Jill Robiadek
I first met Bettina in 2008 I went to watch one of her clinics held at Michigan State at the Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center with my trainer Jakki Baltzer Ross. We were both hooked, I didn’t understand all of what she was saying but I knew I liked what I saw, so I asked Jakki if she would like to ride my Appaloosa gelding Dancer with Bettina (as I was too chicken to do so myself) she said yes and we were able to get into the next clinic at MSU. People laughed at us in the beginning that we would even begin to think we could take Dancer to her. Well in the end the laugh was on them, Bettina loved him from the get go. Jakki & Dancer entered the arena when it was their time & were just posting around warming up waiting for Bettina to tell her what she would like her to do. Bettina says why on earth would you trot around posting on the forehand with a horse with a topline like that. She thought he was a throw-back to the Spanish horse threw the Mustang, she said this horse with a topline like this was built for collection & high school work, this horse will Piaffe in two seconds, two seconds flat. We all know that Bettina is always right when it comes to things like that. That was the beginning of Dancer’s career with Bettina. During that time, he did multiple clinics & traveled to the Connecticut & Florida to work with her. He learned right away to Piaffe & Half Pass then came the introduction of the Double Bridle, Pirouettes & Canter in Place. Bettina thought so much of the Jakki & Dancer team that for the NEDA 2010 Spring Symposium in Massachusetts she had them show the highest level of collection with a demonstration of La Gueriniere Square showcasing Dancer’s specialty, Piaffe & Canter in Place. Now Dancer is 24, he is retired from his dancing with Bettina days my biggest regret was not riding with Bettina myself. I learned so much watching them, then Jakki would teach the lessons to me. Wow did I have a fabulous horse he was one of a kind.
I purchased a young Lipizzan named Fritz in October 2014 not knowing I was in way over my head with a horse like him I asked Bettina for help with Fritz and she agreed to help me, boy did we need her. Fritz has a new trainer her name is Elizabeth David. Jakki had since moved to Florida. I took Fritz myself to Bettina last spring I thought we would be doing work in hand as I couldn’t ride him yet, so I came in with the wild Fritz who’s reacting to the strange arena and all in it. She looks at him and right away tells me all his conformational faults it certainly was not the same grand entrance of Dancer years ago. She taught me to lunge him correctly and explained why her methods for the break in differ so much from the western break in. Last fall Elizabeth could come for 2 rides with Bettina and I still did lunging the other 2 days. This year Fritz & Elizabeth have been to Bettina twice with the first day of this last clinic in July being the best. They did awesome and Bettina agreed. She is always telling Elizabeth that she must get Fritz right for me. She sure knows how to bring out what he was breed for. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for them next and when the time after Elizabeth has gotten him ready for me I will get my chance to ride with her.
I am a firm believer of Bettina & her French Classical training methods and I can’t thank her enough for all she has done for me, my trainers and my horses.