Barbara is an FEI dressage competitor, trainer, and instructor who has brought her 20 years of experience to training and competing horses from USDF Training level through FEI Grand Prix. Earning her USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as well as her USDF Gold and Silver Freestyle Medals, Barb continues to seek out and provide excellent levels of education to horse and rider.
As an active competitor, Barb has studied and competed in Europe under the tutelage of four-time Olympic gold medal winner, Nicole Uphoff-Selke, and is working towards representing her country internationally. While in Germany for 3 years, Barbara trained and competed through Grand Prix while riding as Nicole’s assistant.
Barbara began her FEI career as a young rider, winning a team bronze in the 1985 North American Young Rider’s Championships. She continued this training with Scott Hassler, USEF National Young Horse Dressage Coach. She was the Assistant trainer at Hilltop Farm in Colora, MD from 1990 to 2003. After her return from Germany in 2005, Barbara established her own business, Barbara Strawson, LLC. She is currently managing her own facility, in Clarksburg, MD.
Through her European based training, degree in Psychology from the University of Delaware and her certification in Balimo™, Barbara exceeds the expectations and the varying training needs of both her riders and horses by providing each the necessary tools to achieve their goals.
Barbara's skills and sensitivity allow her to bring out the potential in a variety of horse types and personalities. In addition, her philosophy, that each client is an individual with a unique learning style, results in her ability to help each horse and client to connect to the power of their own potential.
In addition to being an experienced trainer and instructor, Barbara co-authored My Riding Goals Journal and contributed to Equestrian Education. Both books are dedicated to improving personal performance in riding and instruction methods. In addition she has written or been featured in several articles for horse publications such as Dressage Today Magazine.
As well as being an active clinician herself, Barbara hosts International clinician Nicole Uphoff-Selke, George Williams, USDF president, as well as others. Barbara is also dedicated to giving back to the community in such endeavors as co-founder of the PVDA Ride for Life Dancing Horse Challenge, riding in several fundraisers giving freestyle demonstrations and donating her services to silent auctions.