Meet Brita & Anne
A native of Germany, Brita’s profession for many years was as an interpreter for German, English and French for a number of international companies. She has traveled extensively internationally and lived in London, Paris, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
Always with a horse from the age of four and on, she rode competitively in Germany, competing up to 4th level dressage and eventing to Prelim. While working in France, she got to compete in the show jumping arena.
Brita left Germany in 1995 and first lived in Vermont where she worked for an equine veterinarian for 3 years. It was during this time that she witnessed many horses suffering from severely sore backs due to ill fitting saddles. Horses had behavioral issues and in some cases physical damage from saddles that were to wide, too narrow or just plain didn’t fit. Trying to find a saddle which fit her own horse was a difficult process in itself and that experience ultimately gave her the incentive to become more educated about saddle fitting.
Education and Training
- Certified saddle fitter with The Saddle Guy, Mike Scott, in Camden, SC. This intensive, 6-month program only accepts a few students each year. It included internships, research, saddle repairs, case studies and a big part was also attributed to the equine anatomy.
- Intership with Tarquin Cosack / Owner of Hofsattlerei Cosack custom saddlery for English and Western saddles, Arnsberg, Germany
- Multiple training sessions at Black Country Saddles, Walsall, England
- Advanced saddle fitting training with Eberhard Weiss, Germany, consultant for the international association of integrative veterinary medicine in Germany. Mr Weiss, an FEI dressage instructor, is the co-author of the book ‘Mediz. Sattellehre’ (medical saddle fitting) which he wrote with veterinarian and equine physiotherapist Dr. Robert Stodulka
- Several visits to the Passier saddle factory in Hannover/Germany
- Yearly educational trips to Europe — attending German trade shows and studying with saddle makers in Germany and the UK
- Worked with Passier and the local eventing community in Southern Pines to develop the Carolina monoflap jumping saddle. Various prototypes were tested by many event riders to come up with a comfortable and well fitting saddle for horse and rider.
- Extensive bitting education with Bombers and Sprenger in the US and Germany.
Anne started riding backyard ponies at age 5 in Union, Illinois. Barrel racing was her first pursuit but she yearned for something more and at age 13 she gathered old burn barrels, brush and whatever else she could find and built her own cross country course in a neighbor’s field. Her parents quickly realized her natural talent and eagerness to learn, along with their desire to keep her safe, and put her in dressage and jumping lessons. She loved learning the techniques required to execute the precise movements in dressage, and the thrill of the power and speed involved in jumping such dynamic animals. As her skills developed she competed in local shows frequently winning champion and reserve champion ribbons on a variety of horses.
As a young adult she juggled the demands of studying and her passion for riding. Following her graduation from Columbia College in 1995 with a BA in Art History and Photography she put her equestrian pursuits on hold to work full time in Chicago managing art galleries and selling corporate art. However, her love for horses kept calling her back and in 2001 she left the art world and took a job teaching basic riding and dressage lessons to young children and beginner adults. While working as an assistant trainer in Wisconsin in 2002 she met her mentor Hans Biss, Olympic Dressage Judge and former Director and Head Trainer for the Warendorf school in Germany. She found her true calling in working with Hans; she studied with him for more than five years in the States and in Germany.
In 2008 Anne and her husband relocated to Southern Pines, NC, where she started ADK Dressage, focusing on basic principles, the training scale and rider position. She also started foxhunting and fell in love with eventing, bringing two horses up through the levels and winning the North Carolina Dressage and Combined Training Association’s (NCDCTA) Reserve Champion Horse of the Year award in 2014 with one and Reserve Champion of the War Horse Eventing Series with the other.
Also an avid pilates student she became a certified pilates instructor in 2016, with a focus of working with equestrians on and off the horse helping students to become more balanced with their equine partners. To add to her understanding of how horse, rider and tack work as one to produce a more harmonious team she became a Certified Saddle Fitter (CSF) March 2017.
Anne completed an extensive 3-day bitting seminar with Vivian Schmidt from Sprenger.