Corinna Scheller Fleming is a USDF Certified Instructor at Training-First Level, a USDF Bronze Medalist, and a graduate of the USDF L Education Program with distinction. Corinna, who owns and operates Lost Island Farm in Falls Village, CT, judges dressage schooling shows, as well as offers dressage clinics and has been invited to teach as far away as Costa Rica and Turkey.
How I got started in dressage:
I grew up in Germany and started riding as a child. In Germany, there is no way around dressage when you want to ride, no matter which discipline!
I wanted to get certified because:
Getting certified as a dressage instructor by USDF was the next logical step for me.
What surprised me the most about the certification process or what I learned during the process:
There were no big surprises for me, but I really appreciated immersing myself in the American System, which focused a lot more on horse and rider safety.
Pictured is my Danish Warmblood gelding, Laos V aka Hannes. He is a big, old fashion style horse (compared to the modern light dressage horses) who has taught me an incredible amount about being a tactful rider. The lighter and quicker I am, the lighter and quicker he gets. He is incredibly forgiving of my mistakes by tolerating them, but he will not give an inch if I don’t ask correctly.
My tip riding/training tip for riders:
You cannot ride the papers of a horse. A good horse for what you want to do is a good horse, no matter what the breed or sex. And you can’t ride “the plan,” you can only ride the horse you have at that day and time. If your plan was to work on flying changes but your horse is spooky and tight, you need to work on suppling your horse, and you may or may not get to the flying change that day.