Erika is a USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist who has spent most of her life living around and working with horses. She is passionate about riding, teaching, and training horsemanship and Classical Dressage with more than 17 years of experience. Her goal is to help every rider and horse achieve their maximum potential with a vibrant and dynamic link.
Erika's first horse was a Paint pony stallion named Buddy that she purchased when he was 2 and she was 12 with money that she had already earned from training ponies. She brought Buddy from basic ground manner training through Intermediaire II. Erika and Buddy have put on exhibitions for the Houston Dressage Society (HDS) where Erika rides both bridleless and bareback.
Erika has won numerous HDS and USDF awards as both a Junior/Young Rider and in the Open division, including riding many horses to the top 20 and several into the top 10 in USDF Horse of the Year rankings. She has qualified every year for the US Dressage Finals on several different horses.
Erika was a working student with Lurena Bell for 4 1/2 years. She currently trains primarily with Whit Watkins and has enjoyed clinicing with Charles DeKunffy, Scott Hassler, William Solyntjes, Jan Ebeling and Conrad Schumacher. She also hosts and attends numerous clinics and has attended the annual Young Dressage Horse Trainers Symposium in Maryland and the FEI Trainer Symposium in Florida to continue her advanced dressage education in addition to her constant pursuit of the discipline. Erika has worked extremely hard to achieve her current level of experience and with USEF recognition has placed herself squarely among the best riders and trainers in the United States
Erika offers lessons to students from Intro to FEI level. She is happy to coach riders with modest goals such as improving general horsemanship but also takes great joy in sharing the journey with the more ambitious. From the later category many of Erika's students have qualified for GAIG and SWDC Region 9 Championships and even the prestigious US Dressage Finals. Several of her students have progressed all the way to FEI under Erika's assistance, even earning their Bronze and Silver Medals and Freestyle Bars.
Schedule your lesson with Erika online! Pick a time convenient for you.
School horses available!
"Erika is the most natural person with a horse. She can get a horse to do anything with minimal aids. She is the best trainer I have ever had!" -Mary H
"Erika has the *touch* when it comes to horses. She has trained several of our youngsters and we couldn't be happier. Erika is very talented, calm, kind and disciplined. Horses love and respect her!" -Jan M
"I have known Erika for more than 10 years now, and I can sincerely say that I have never met a more genuine person in my life. She will make any of your dressage dreams come true and take you and your horse anywhere you want to go!" -Ashley B
"I purchased my horse Dominoe from Erika in June (2011). She had him from a yearling and did a fantastic job with him. He is my horse of a lifetime. Thank you Erika! " -Robin C
"Erika is the kind of rider we all wish we could be - balanced, sensitive to our horse's movement, and intuitive about everything horse-related. She is the most positive and patient trainer with whom I've worked. She brings out the best in us and in our horses!" -Mary R
"Erika is a fabulous trainer and coach. She has an amazing ability to read a horse and get the best effort from him. She's patient, consistent and kind, all the traits of a great horsewoman." -Denise W
"Amazing! Erika is a wonderful trainer and coach who truly understands how to coach a wide variety of students, even if that means thinking outside the box. The barn is full of the best group of people that I am proud to call my barn family, nothing but positive encouragement for all students, no matter what level or type of equine they ride." -Sammi Jo S