My New Teacher

I found my riding teacher and my barn.  An Internet search led me to this interesting place called Lamoreaux Ridge Equestrian Center (, about 15 minutes from our house. The manager of the place, Karin Schmidt is also a riding instructor. I shot Karin an email explaining what I was up to and she invited Jenny and I to visit.  After a brief tour of the place, we got to watch Karin give vaulting lessons. The whole experience was very pleasant and positive and suddenly this whole thing was becoming real. My first lesson is this Thursday, June 16 at 8 am. I told as many people as I could about it so that backing out now would mean a complete loss of face.  Of course, not backing out could mean a complete loss of consciousness.

Here is what I know about Karin.  She was born in Germany and began vaulting at age 7. She became a jockey and raced at every track in Germany. She also raced in the United States and Peru. She exercised horses in Switzerland, England and Canada. Karin holds a German Master Trainer License in training galloping horses (unless something goes terribly wrong on Thursday, she won’t be using this for me). She is a CHA certified instructor whatever that means and a member of the American Association of Riding Schools which sounds pretty good to me. In addition to managing the Lamoreaux Ridge Equestrian Center, Karin is the head coach of the equestrian team at Grandville High School and Hope College and she teaches at the Kent Special Riding Program.

This may be a good time to review my initial criteria for my instructor:

Experienced: check

Well traveled: check

Utterly easy to get along with: so far, so good

Acute sense of the absurd: Karin teaches vaulting, which is essentially gymnastics on a moving horse: check

Exceptionally wise: TBD, but I got a good feeling about it.

Paragon of patience: In the weeks to come, I will be testing this to the absolute limit.

Here is Karin’s website:

So there it is. I am doing this.


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8 thoughts on “My New Teacher

    • We have yet to discuss equipment. I asked her what I should bring, but haven’t heard back yet. A friend at work gave me the chaps and said I should definitely use them. He didn’t say for what, though. They look expensive to me.

  1. Congratulations! Try stretching before and after the ride. Take ibuprofen before the ride. Drink beer after the ride. Do not mix up the order of these last two suggestions!

  2. Bob, glad to hear you found someone. Are you going to take vaulting lessons? Kidding aside she is the perfect choice, lots of experience and trained in Europe. Keep us all posted and I want to see photos.

    • I have to admit, I like the vaulting saddle. Lots to hold on to. But then they expect you to do stuff that I’ve never been able do even on level ground. Yes, there will be photos. I’m not sure of what, though.

  3. Can’t wait to hear how your lesson goes! You keep talking about getting along with the instructor – how about getting along with the horse??!! Are lots of sugar cubes and carrot sticks still allowed? :)

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