Welcome to Grace Owsley Dressage!
United States Dressage Federation Medalist
USDF "L" Graduate (Schooling show judge)
Social Media Influencer
My name is Grace Owsley and I currently live in the Austin, Texas area!
I'm a trainer, coach, judge, an equestrian blogger, an athlete, a mother, a Chrisitian, and a lifelong student of the horse!
I spend a lot of my time as a stay at home mom. My family really is my heart and my soul. Horses are my love and my passion. I am a mother and I am a horse person. I can never separate the two. They both define who I am and I couldn't imagine life without one or the other.
The Long Backstory
(See Services page for info about what I offer professionally)
I am originally from Idaho. I get my love of horses from both sides of my family. My father grew up in Oregon raising and riding Appaloosas, continuing the legacy of horsemanship practiced by his parents, especially my grandmother, who was a natural. My mother was an English rider in her youth and continued to have horses later in life.
When I was 11, I became a working student at a hunter/jumper stable and my parents bought me an inexpensive Appaloosa mare, who was a priceless start to my equestrian obsession. I worked hard, played hard, took lessons, jumped, explored the foothills on my little horse, and eventually became very interested in teaching riding lessons, and also riding and working with off-track Thoroughbreds. I have always been highly interested in the training and understanding of the horse, even at a young age.
In high school, my time with horses was sparing due to sports, music and education. In college I decided that between a full time schedule of classes and a busy part-time job, I still NEEDED to have a horse again. I took myself to the local thoroughbred racetrack and found a huge 5 year old ready to retire from racing. On this horse I discovered dressage, and I was later inspired to search for a horse that would help me learn this newfound discipline. I discovered my heart horse, "Sage", and she taught me years of priceless lessons and helped me earn my bronze medal.
Over many years, I have had the pleasure of riding MANY different horses of different breeds, types, and disciplines. I feel that my experience has been well rounded, with a multi-faceted perspective. My biggest passion has been dressage, and my training methodology is centered around classical dressage basics and fundamentals, no matter what the discipline. I also highly encourage and enjoy cross-training, and I believe horses enjoy this very much as well! I am often found in a jumping saddle, a western saddle or out on the trails doing hills or something else exciting.
After graduating from Boise State University, I tried the 9-5 job routine that most do, but it wasn't for me. I longed for the outdoors and making my own schedule. I mostly wanted to ride instead of be in an office! I broke away from the regular and decided to pursue the life of a professional equestrian. I became a traveling trainer, and built up my own string of lesson and training clients. Since the beginning, my clients have been almost 100% by referral from other happy clients.
I had a few interesting job opportunities that increased my experience. We moved to southern Idaho, where I was an assistant trainer for one of the top Appaloosa trainers in the world, training in English, Western, Hunters and Saddle Seat. I spent a year training horses, teaching lessons, showing, and holding youth clinics. We moved to Cleveland, Ohio where I became a manager and trainer of a very large and affluent hunter/jumper and dressage stable. I learned a lot about stable management, people management, and top notch customer service.
In truth, I have always preferred to run my own business. Grace Owsley Dressage is the realization of that, which has given me the freedom to customize training and coaching according to the needs of my own clients and horses. Over the years it has evolved into many things, covering horse training, lessons, showing, show coaching, sales, blogging, social media partnerships, and my graduation of the extensive USDF "L" Program, teaching me so much and giving me the credentials to judge dressage schooling shows.
Over the last few years I have enjoyed social media blogging and connecting with the international equestrian community, both with equestrians and equestrian-related businesses. I have found a lot of enjoyment in sharing my pictures, videos and posts with thousands of followers both national and international. I get a lot of positive feedback about my training related posts, my product reviews and features, and my equestrian lifestyle subjects. I really enjoy doing it and I really hope you enjoy reading my posts as well!
I currently take a handful of training clients in the Austin, Texas area, but will travel. I prefer to have only a small number of clients and horses so that I can provide individualized attention and flexibility.
I constantly strive to improve my knowledge and skills through written works, trusted media, and especially by riding with my own coaches and with clinicians. I have ridden extensively under Joan Darnell, Whit Watkins, Christine Calao, Martin Arnold, Richard Howard, and I currently clinic with Tara Stegen. I have ridden with many international level clinicians and judges and continue to do so. I often attend continuing education for L program hours and USDF University credit. I have a high interest in athletics and fitness, having grown up doing sports and fitness my entire life. I like to focus on rider position, body awareness and equestrian fitness, and try to utilize these things in my own riding and also encourage it in all my students.
Please check out the other areas of my website so that you can see what I can offer. I have a blog section you should be sure to visit and subscribe to. Also feel free to contact me with any questions you have! I love to get feedback and I love to hear from you! Most importantly, enjoy and respect the horses you get to work with. They are such amazing animals and they deserve so much from us.
I definitely love what I do!
USDF Bronze Medalist
2 Scores Shy of USDF Silver Medal
USDF "L" Graduate
National Dressage Pony Cup National Award Winner at 4th Level
Multiple Awards & Placings at National & Local Shows
Show Experience & Awards in the Following Disciplines:
Hunter Under Saddle