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Volume Thirteen - Issue Nine
May 2009
roberto leon - no microwave horses
Article by Ingrid Edisen, Photos by Monica Adams
“There are a lot of
Remington are a breeze. This
wisdom of someone who has He reflected on what
riding. “Everything here seems
disciplines but you need to stick
horses, a liking for them and
show was Remington’s debut
ridden on three continents, he observes in the U.S. and
to be in such a rush. There can
with one method.” Roberto was
a lot of land in Texas,” said
and the animal handled it with
Roberto focuses on doing the noted that even comparing
be no ‘microwave horses,’” he
not in favor of introducing dif-
professional rider and trainer
diplomacy under Roberto’s
right thing by the horse. “I lifestyles shows a marked
said. “You cannot skip parts of
ferent methods to a horse as it
Roberto Leon. Roberto, who
want to teach people how to difference in approaches to
the process. Berthelan de Ne-
can confuse the animal.
hails from Ecuador, notes that
Roberto’s horse-re-
methy said Americans learn to
“I work on rhythm,
Texas alone is three-and-a-half
lated resume is long on both
compete first; then they want to
relaxation, connection, impul-
times larger than his country of
experience and formal educa-
learn how to sit on a horse.”
sion, straightness and self car-
origin. Nowadays he is settled
tion. He speaks three languages
Roberto’s advice is:
riage. If I am given a horse that
with his wife, Rhonda, and two
fluently (Spanish, English and
“Stick to a method. If you want
won’t go forward, I gallop him
young children in the Bastrop
Italian). He earned a diploma
to do classical dressage riding,
in the woods to open his mind.
area. Rhonda, a native Texan,
with honors from the Morven
then go learn from the best how
Often bad habits in a horse come
teaches school while Roberto
Park Equestrian Institute in
to do that. Of course you can
from the lack of experience on
teaches horses and riders.
1989, where he absorbed every-
learn horsemanship from other
the rider’s part,” he said.
I had a chance to sit
thing he could from Tad Coffin
Currently Roberto is
down with him at the Alamo
and Raul de Leon and had the
based at USEF Dressage “R”
Dressage Association’s Spring
opportunity to ride in clinics
judge Bobbie Paulk’s barn in
Dressage Show in San Anto-
with Berthalan de Nemethy.
the Bastrop area. “Working
nio. He had just finished two
His family has been into horses
with Bobbie is helping me
performances on Remington,
for three generations. Roberto
become detailed. I am learning
owned by Bobbie and Clyde
spent a year riding in Italy in the
a lot from her. She has been
Paulk. Remington is an almost
‘90’s, some time riding under
doing classical dressage for
17-hand strongly opinionated
Olympian Peter Leone in the
decades. That type of dressage
warmblood cross, sired by the
East coast in ‘02 and a year in
is very important and must not
famous Swedish dressage stal-
the Dallas area under Olympian
be forgotten.”
lion Gauguin de Lully. Rober-
Mike Huber preparing young
“I want to share my
to makes it look easy--his wiry
Irish Sport horses for sale and
knowledge and experience with
body maintains a strong core.
shows. His philosophy of rid-
ride a horse without a hurry. My riders who are interested in the
The horse has been known
ing education has largely come
focus is teaching riding as an art. I am not in a hurry.”
to bounce around a lot yet
from the Germans as he has
art and not just a way to make Roberto is available
Roberto keeps his composure
sought out classical knowledge
money. Basic dressage is most for lessons, re-schooling, train-
throughout. Roberto also trains
and methods.
important for the future career ing, and clinics. He can be
show jumpers--so to him a few
Now 43, and having
of the horse. With jumpers, I reached at (512) 706-5040 or
“airs about the ground” on
gained the perspective and
emphasize the flat work.”
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