Heather has been riding at State and National level for well over a decade now, and has mentored many young riders who have come through her Danson Dressage training centre.
Horses have always been in my blood. I was born into a not particularly horsey family and started riding when I was seven. I spent a lot of time bareback when I was learning to ride, and I think that has helped me to have a good feel for horses even now.
There was something about riding horses on the flat that I was drawn to. I always enjoyed the feel a horse gave when it was going nicely. I started riding stallions when I was quite young as well. I had a beautiful stallion named Picasso who I rode as a teenager. We used to event and he would be so far ahead after the dressage that he could have had a stop on the cross country! Picasso was the first horse I trained to Grand Prix – I was 19, and he was a ten-year-old.
For well over a decade I have ridden at State and National level on many horses. I take satisfaction in adhering to the training scale and I have a thorough and long-standing understanding of the systematic training system, which has produced consistent results for me.
Danson Dressage is proud to have been in business now for over 20 years, growing from a small training and breeding stud to a 50-horse operation that includes training, competition, the sale of quality young dressage horses, breeding, and stallion services. It is now a well-known brand throughout Australia. Danson horses have been, and continue to be sold around Australia, as well as countless sales internationally to Thailand, China, and New Zealand.
What was your dream or what were your goals when you first set your sights on the equestrian industry?
My goal was always to train horses to the highest level. I have always had a good feel for a horse’s ability and I have enjoyed being able to explore that ability to achieve the best ride possible.
We believe in the great value of mentors, did you or do you have a mentor that has made a significant impact in your life or career?
I did. Clemens Dierks was pivotal in my development and knowledge. He taught me a system that works successfully to train horses to Grand Prix. I have since been able to alter the system to best suit me, but his instruction and help has enabled me to be where I am today.
What is the best advice you were ever given?
Training can never happen overnight, it takes time and patience and commitment.
What roadblock or roadblocks have you overcome to be where you are today professionally?
I have always trained my horses from the ground up. I didn’t have the money to buy anything ‘ready-made’ so I always produced my own horses. My hard work and talent have enabled me to ride some incredible horses and achieve a great deal of success along the way.
Connect with Heather