DRESSAGE INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING
Michelle and Arlo (Montreal)
Michelle Merkin moved to Southern Oregon in 2011 after being a full-time instructor/trainer in Portland, Oregon since 1988.
An enthusiastic teacher with a belief in correct basics and good biomechanics, she incorporates her love of dance and her degree in visual art with her desire to help the rider develop feel, mobility and strength.
She works with both advanced and novice adult riders, and those returning to horses after a long absence. All breeds of horses are welcomed. Michelle is dedicated to sharing the beauty of dressage with all riders, whether the student's goals are to reach the upper levels of the sport, or to use dressage to improve their daily riding experience.
Michelle loves mentoring junior riders, has brought many children from first ride to fluid proficiency and national awards. Several of her past junior students are now professional trainers themselves. Michelle also welcomes riders from other disciplines who use dressage for cross‐training.
Michelle's teaching focuses on developing a harmonious diologue betweeen horses and rider. Michelle's goal is to help the student become an independent rider with an ever-expanding "tool chest" of training tools and an understanding of
how to use correct posture and technique to improve their horse. Riders are left with home work for independent learning and problem solving between lessons.
EDUCATION: Michelle's teaching ability reflects both the decades of practical day‐to-day experience gained from working with countless horse and rider combinations, and the extensive Teacher's Training she has completed. She has participated in:
*Thee years of Teacher's Training Workshops with Mary Wanless, author of "TheNatural Rider"
*Three years of week‐long workshops with the late Sally Swift, author of "Centered Riding"
*A year‐long Equestrian Instructor's Training program with Jill Hassler‐Scoop from Hilltop Farm.
Michelle continues her own education by riding with U.S. And international clinicians. Among them Susanne Von Dietze Polack, Miguel Ralao Duarte, Gerd Heuschmann, Sue Sherry, Bettina Drummond, Gerhard Politz, Walter Zettle, Kevin Freeman, Eric Herberman, Mary Wanless, Stephan Keiswetter, and Paul Belasic .
She continues to add to her knowledge by attending USDF educational seminars, frequent participation in clinics, and she is always open to information from other parts of the horse world.
Dave Williams, whose mentor was the late Tom Dorance, has helped Michelle and her students over the last fifteen years. She include what she has learned from him in her teaching. Michelle has hosted clinics with her main mentor, Sue Sherry, for over twenty years in Portland and is now bringing this insightful teacher to the riders of Southern Oregon.
Michelle is also available for basic jumping lessons. She has taught many children and adults to ride correctly and safely from starting over cross rails to negotiating both stadium and cross-country courses (the jumping photo above is one of her students who is now a trainer in California)
or call: 503.703.8462