About the Author
Montie Eagle has been a student of classical dressage since the early 1980’s. When she met Jack Brainard in 2006 things took a decidedly western turn. Brainard, a producer of ten world champions, is famous in the reining horse world and travels the country yearly to teach western dressage. When Montie started in dressage, she was fortunate to work with Pat Smeltzer and her mentor Karl Mikolka. Karl is a former chief rider from the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. What Karl taught her was to ride and cue the horse depending on where the horse’s feet were. When she first spoke with Jack, she realized that he taught on the same principles and felt right at home. Today, after numerous clinics with Jack, Montie considers him her mentor.
Montie teaches students from all disciplines at her Carlisle, PA facility, where each student works on his or her specific goals. Her specialty is teaching the adult rider, and finds her niche market is the returning rider and the adult just starting to ride. These are the students who eagerly rejoin the riding community or discover a love for horses in their adult years. “Quite often my students have an established career and have raised a family. They have waited to ride and they now realize this is their time to pursue getting to know horses and riding. I like to teach everyone how horses think and react through ground work and how this translates to success in the saddle when they ride.”
“I have been blessed with great teachers,” says Montie. On the classical dressage side, these include clinics with Erik Herbermann, Lendon Gray, and Karen Ramsing. Western teachers include John Lyons, Richard Shrake, Lori Beth Morris, and Eitan Beth-Halachmy, the founder of cowboy dressage. Montie’s core belief is that dressage is for everyone and that each horse and rider, regardless of chosen discipline, can gain from work in dressage. “You want your horse to be a joyous ride and a sound, athletic lifelong companion.