Training and Philosophy

Our philosophy holds that keeping a horse happy serves as the foundation for strong development of natural athletic ability and a good work ethic. We strive to bring your horse to its peak gymnastic development while helping you form the close connections and understanding that result in a true partnership that is effortless and relaxed.

We do this by focusing on the basics of correct position, balance, soft and light aids, the idea that less is better, and your growing knowledge that connection comes when your horse gives. They are the lessons Olav Drehn took from his teacher, Lis Hartel – the famed Danish Olympian who won two silver medals in dressage even though polio left her disabled since the age of 14. She taught that you use balance. The lighter the horse gets, the more you can collect it.

Dressage is a rewarding discipline that demands patience and a long-term view. For that reason we encourage regular training programs of five days on and two days off, with a trainer riding your horse when you cannot. We will, however, consider off-site training assignments on an individual basis.

We believe that environment contributes to connection and that people’s needs vary so we offer both a full-service and training-only options.

Full-Service at Uphill Dressage Center, located in Salt Point, NY offers a first class heated barn and indoor arena with dust-free footing. All grooming, tacking up, cleaning tack and horse care is taken care of by the barn.

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Other services
We provide access to honest, reliable sources in the European market for high-quality dressage horses.

About Olav Drehn
Olav Drehn achieved his Bereiter license in 1969 and has worked as a professional horseman ever since. He studied for eight years with his mentor, Lis Hartel, the two-time silver medalist in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics and Grand Prix World Champion who taught him her approach to the horse built upon balance and feel. He also spent four years studying with Gunnar Andersen, trainer for the Danish Olympic Team for 40 years.

Olav has trained many horses and students to the FEI levels. He won the US Dressage Federation International Championship in 1995 and 1996, and in 1996, his team, Mid-Hudson, took the Fiona Baan trophy for most wins.