Anita Williams & Eagle Eyrie Sporthorses
Enter at A Laughing: For Real
By Danielle Neumann
Anita Williams, owner of Eagle Eyrie Sporthorses, is teaching more classical dressage lessons these days to the thrill of dressage students on the Western Slope. Anita is perhaps best known for showing her award winning stallion Morocco, taking him herself from training level to successful CDI competitions. She has shared knowledge and theories on multiple occasions with many famous equestrians such as Steffen Peters, Nicole Uphoff, and Isabel Werth. Anita is now dispensing that expertise like brain-candy at her mountaintop facility in Eagle, Colorado.
We all know that wonderful trainers don’t necessarily make the best instructors. A gift for verbal explanation is not vital to a horse, but it is to a rider. How many times have we entered the ring with shaking hands and little beads of sweat, intimidated by the impressive resumes, only to find that we not only didn’t relax through the entire lesson but we also didn’t learn much worth retaining? This is hardly the case with Anita, as her enthusiastic students will confirm. I personally have a high level of anxiety when riding with new instructors, and I found that Anita made me laugh more than I ever had in a lesson.
“Back to the basics! Relax your hips, flow with the horse, good – now stop and LAUGH! Really LAUGH! This is supposed to be fun!” She is the first instructor who told me to relax my jaw and release some of that nervous tension in my face. Anita really focuses her energy on staying tuned into her lessons, giving students uninterrupted one-on-one time. She prides herself on paying attention to the tiniest details and providing a solid foundation for any rider.
Anita’s wealth of knowledge never seems to overwhelm her students and clients. She may introduce multiple new theories, but she takes the time to ensure that her explanations are making sense so she isn’t just producing “robot riders” who don’t understand how to apply different concepts to different situations. This proves incredibly beneficial in so many, uncountable ways. Anita seems to approach teaching the same way she approaches training her horses. She takes her students to their highest possible potential by increasing the difficulty of the lessons at the appropriate time, which is a true talent.
Anita’s stable is one with unlimited possibilities for the serious student. Dressage beginners may start off riding a Thoroughbred or general school horse, but as the riding ability increases mounts are available to keep you moving up through the levels, literally from training level to Grand Prix. There truly are no boundaries or roadblocks when it comes to training at Eagle Eyrie, and what is more motivating to a knowledge-thirsty equestrian than that?