Biography

Meredith Risk began riding at the age of 7 at Westover Stables in Flamborough, Ontario. After competing through her teens in the hunter/jumper arenas, she was introduced to dressage through eventing, and soon realized that this is where her interests lay. Her first dressage instructor was Grand Prix rider Ute Busse, who she credits with instilling a correct, classical foundation. After completing a bachelor and master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Guelph, Meredith began a Ph.D program in the Social Anthropology department at York University. Her dissertation focused on the changing nature of human and animal relationships in an urban environment. After completing the Ph.D coursework and research, Meredith decided to take an indefinite leave of absence from academic life, to focus on her true passion: teaching and riding.
A certified coach through Equine Canada, Meredith served as the head instructor of Sunnybrook Stables from 1999 to 2010. At Sunnybrook, she had the opportunity to train a variety of horses and humans. In 2003 she began to ride and train a PMU horse (horses which are by-products of the Pregnant Mare Urine industry) called “Q”. Proving that any sound and willing horse can do dressage, Meredith successfully showed Q at the National level up to Intermediare II, and trained him up to the Grand Prix level. Meredith has had many successes showing a variety of horses at the FEI levels, including a Cleveland Bay mare, and a Hackney/Clyde cross! She has been lucky enough to train with many top professionals whom she credits with her success, including Jacqueline Brooks, Cindy and Neal Ishoy, Tom Dvorak and Belinda Trussell. She continues to clinic with international professionals such as Steven Clarke and Lars Peterson and believes that an open approach to learning is essential for success in dressage.

Meredith is particularly knowledgeable and passionate about the training, showing, and marketing for sale of young horses. She works with several top breeders, including Galten farms and Vandenbrink Warmbloods, and generally has a selection of elite and well-trained young horses for sale. Meredith has shown 5 different horses in the FEI young horse classes, and qualified 4 of the 5 for the prestigious FEI young horse competition at Devon.The young horses in Meredith's program enjoy a varied routine that includes hacking, ground work and sometimes jumping. She places special emphasis on carefully producing sane, safe horses, who are happy in their work and fun to ride.

Meredith truly believes that dressage can improve any horse, and works with each horse to achieve its maximum potential. She enjoys not only training horses, but teaching riders how to train their own horses, as she believes that this is the way a true horse/rider partnership is forged. She has a number of students who compete successfully on horses they have developed themselves, with her guidance. Meredith’s students have achieved many championships at schooling and National shows, at levels ranging from training to Prix St. George. Meredith is enthusiastic and positive about training all different breeds and types of horses, and has a wide base of knowledge from which to draw.

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