By Lauren R. Giannini
It isn’t that anyone said it couldn’t be done. It just hadn’t been tried, at least not in public. But dressage trainer Chrissa F. Hoffmann thinks outside the box and the dressage arena.
She isn’t biased about breed and proved it by riding and training an American Saddlebred named Harry Callahan – a gaited horse, for heaven’s sake! — all the way from just started under saddle to Grand Prix in Wellington in 2006, where they scored 65 percent or higher, placing in the top six against some of the best Warmbloods on the Grand Prix circuit. But a gaited horse — the kind that racks?
“A horse is a horse at the end of the day, and dressage is training — if a horse has three good gaits and a good brain and a good work ethic, why not see how far it can go? Training is about developing the horse’s potential,” said Chrissa. ”
I think that me doing that and stepping up out of the box, going all the way to Grand Prix with Harry — well, first of all, it is a bit of a fairy tale, but there’s so much reality and truth behind it — but it’s all about good training with a horse that wants to do it and is nurtured and brought along in the right way. It means that any willing athletic equine can learn dressage.”