Barbara Long found her love of horses as a child in Kentucky in the 1950’s, where she thought the five gaited Saddlebred was the king of horses, but she didn’t begin her riding career until her family moved to Greensboro, NC. There she took lessons from the mother of a member of the USET jumping team and was heavily influenced by the riding system of Bert De Nemethy. Bert introduced the use of classical principles to American show jumping, a foundation so standard now it’s hard to remember a time when show jumping was largely run and jump. Fascinated by this “new” way of riding that nobody around knew anything about, she spent a year in England at Windmill Hill, where the owner, John Tilke, had been chef d’equip for a member of the British Olympic Dressage Team. There she got a solid, correct foundation for her future dressage work and received the British Horse Society Assistant Instructor Certification. It was in England that she was introduced to the “French” system of dressage. The emphasis on lightness and self carriage meshed with her hunter background and remained the guiding principle of her approach to dressage. She returned to the US to finish college while teaching in the equestrian program at Meredith College in NC.
Since that early start Barbara’s career has been one of education. She has taught at Meredith College and three community colleges. She helped form the Arredondo Dressage Assoc., the San Felasco Hunter Jumper Assoc., a horse council and dressage organization in Wilmington, NC and worked on the board for a proposed Agricultural Center. Now she is bringing that organizational experience as an advisor to the NC affiliate of WDAA. Her students consistently showed the kind of solid basics that allowed them to take average horses and compete successfully at USEF/USDF recognized shows. They won team and individual championships in dressage and combined training and Horse of the Year awards at both state and national level. As a trainer she worked with all breeds while gaining a reputation for starting young dressage horses. Today she lives in western NC where she teaches dressage principles and a solid balanced seat to a new group of riders.
Deep Ford Stables