Meet the Certified Instructor – Mary Mahler

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Mary Mahler has been actively teaching, training, and competing in the dressage industry for over 30 years.  She is based in Haslet, Texas.  In addition to being a USDF Certified Instructor through Fourth Level, she is also an L Graduate with Distinction, has been accepted into the USEF/USDF “r” Dressage Judge Training Program, and is a USEF “r” Western Dressage judge. She has trained numerous horses of various breeds and types to the upper levels and has earned her USDF Bronze and Silver Medals on personal horses she has trained herself, and is currently working on earning her Gold Medal scores.

How did you get started in dressage?

I got started in dressage in the eventing world.  My horse at the time, a lovely Appaloosa, was always in the top placings after dressage but had confidence issues cross country.  I really loved the horse and decided to focus our training on what he did best.  With the excellent instruction of my trainer, Elaine Gibala, I learned how to train him up through all the FEI work and earned my USDF Bronze and Silver Medals.  From that point on, I was hooked!

Why did you want to get certified?

I wanted to get certified primarily for my own self-satisfaction.  I was very young at the time and had just successfully graduated from the L Education Program with Distinction.  Our local GMO in Indiana was sponsoring a complete workshop and testing program, so it seemed like a natural next step. 

What surprised you the most about the program?

The thing that surprised me the most about the program was the strong emphasis on understanding and being able to convey training theory to students.  I find that still today, many riders are only given the “how” and not the “why” in their lessons.  This makes it very difficult for them to develop effective training plans when schooling horses on their own.

My current horses:

My current horses are an interesting variety to say the least.  Flag (aka Starrs and Stripes) is an 18-year-old Holsteiner/Thoroughbred schooling all the Grand Prix.  I’ve had him for 16 years, and he is definitely my heart horse.  Wrenegade is an 11-year-old Hanoverian schooling Prix St. Georges, and Chromey is my 6-year-old Welsh pony that shows great talent for the FEI. 

Tip:

My tip to other instructors is to never stop learning. You can learn from plenty of different people, whether it is a well-known clinician or other local instructors.Learning and developing my riding, teaching, and training is one of my favorite aspects of being a dressage professional.

Email: maryemahler@att.net

Phone: (817) 439-1254

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