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Brighton Stables
Classical Dressage
(for all types of riding)
School of Horsemanship
About our School
The horse's movement starts with a powerful hind quarters that pushes through a well-developed top line into a forward-reaching stride.  The goal of the rider is to enhance the natural beauty of the performing horse for the desired discipline, or simply to enjoy the experience of becoming one with the horse.

In the beginning, the rider learns to sense the horse's rhythm and move with the horse.  In the intermediate stage, the rider learns to communicate with the horse through the aids (reins, legs, seat, focus, and balance).  The more advanced rider learns to ask the horse to round through the back to support the rider, balance the horse "on the bit", and ask for impulsion and collection.

Through the process, horse and rider develop mutual trust and respect and an amazing level of communication that allows them to perform in harmony as a team for that ultimate human-equine experience.

This is what we do at the Brighton Stables Classical Dressage School of Horsemanship.

Carol customizes each lesson with exercises and imagery to help develop skills that are not only essential to enjoy a safe riding experience, but that also are useful in training and schooling the horse for what we ask it to do. 

Carol's teaching program involves a progression of steps to perfect the rider's balance, flexibility, and movement in harmony with the horse, and then moves onto the Classical Dressage aids to develop communication with the horse for the desired discipline.  And then we start the really fun and fancy stuff.

A minimum of one lesson a week requires some reinforcement of prior work.  To maintain steady progress, Carol recommends a lesson twice a week, or at least one lesson with a practice ride in between.

Our students tend to be professionals in a medical field, high tech areas, business management, and education, as well as college students and talented teens.

Carol has a "keen eye for perfection", and helps riders build confidence over fences or perfect an upper level dressage movement.  On occasion, see coaches horse trainers and instructors, but her real joy is working with riders who want to be more involved in training their own horse.

Carol's instruction is not for everyone.  While keeping a positive attitude to build on what the rider does best, her instruction tend to be intense and focused.  This is far more than simply "directing traffic" in the arena to teach the rider to be a good passenger on the rail.

A rider cannot improve who blames the horse for not understanding or takes frustration out on the horse.  This is not acceptable here.  We "listen" to the horse and how it responds.  We must have a sense of compassion for the horse and realize that what we are asking it to do is not natural.  The horse might rather be out grazing with its buddies.  It is our responsibility to communicate to the horse and find exercises to help both the rider and the horse understand.

We believe the horse really wants to please the rider and do what is asked.  We want the horse to enjoy the connection as much as we do.  That's what we look for here.

Carol started riding when she was 10 yrs old at Brighton Stables in Brighton, Michigan.  At 18 yrs old, while a student at the University of Michigan, she worked with her first instructor, a prominent trainer, learning to break and schooling TB hunter-jumpers.

Carol eventually graduated with a Ph. C./A.B.D. in physics from the University of Michigan and joined the Physics faculty at the University of Illinois where she did research in neutron star matter and the Vega pulsar in the Crab Nebulae and also developed computer-based instruction and simulations on the P.L.A.T.O. system (eventually NovaNet).

In Carol's spare time, she rode horses for other people.  Later, she freelanced around the U.S. as an interactive computer graphics analyst with techical applications for colleges and industry.  She "retired" to Raleigh in 1985 with her first horse "Saddi", an Arabian mare "Dolly", and her young colt "Classy".  Carol comments about her retirement to her horse farm:  "I've never worked so hard for so little, or enjoyed it so much."

Lessons are $35 for 1/2 hour, $55/hr, $20 for practice ride.

This is actual one-on-one lesson time on the horse.  It does not include tacking, warming up the horse, and some free ride time after the lesson.

Scheduling:  please call Carol at 919-632-7700.

(Still working on this page -- hoping to add pictures)