Doolittle Dressage

Doolittle Dressage

5.0 (3)
1 hire on Lessons.com
37 years in business

About this pro

I am a USDF Bronze medalist with over 40 years experience. I stress rider position, relaxation and balance with the horse in order to create harmony. 

I never lose sight of the joy of the journey, the highs and lows, the satisfaction when the lightbulb comes on and the horse and rider are in synch. 

I never lose that "first time" feeling when I'm teaching. I vividly remember the first time I sat on a horse. I was 7 years old. I never looked back. I love being able to give others that feeling. 

Read more about this pro


Credentials

Snohomish, WA 98290
Email verified
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3 Reviews

5.0

  • Viktoria

    I’ve been taking lessons with Vivian for a few years now. She’s very flexible and easy to work with. I had ridden as a teen and come back to the sport as an adult. She helped me to overcome some anxiety I’d developed as a result of my long break from riding. She was very patient and encouraging although I’m sure my nerves made me a challenging student. Ultimately, two years on she’s helped to find the perfect horse for me and continues to be a wonderful resource both as a teacher and someone I can come to with any question that pops up with first time horse ownership. With her help I’ve moved past my riding anxieties and we are now preparing for our first show experience. If you want someone who has years of experience, goes out of their way for their students through flexibility, book recommendations and has a vast amount of horse knowledge then she’ll be a great fit for you!

  • C Marks

    Viv is a very good instructor. She's kind, patient and she knows her stuff.

  • Samantha Fairchild

    A fantastic learning experience every time. Focus on mechanics of horse and rider, very supportive and helpful!



FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I will assess their level of experience initially on the lunge line. Even the most experienced riders can benefit from spending time on the lunge. I will then watch them ride the horse in all 3 gaits, unless a first time rider, and we will build from there. I usually choose one or two specific areas to work on that need improvement. 


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Aside from having owned and trained over 35 horses, I've also trained dozens more for other people. I have continued to study with some of the best coaches in the world including, Kathleen Raine, Debbie Fornia-Dewitt, Debbie McDonald, Edgar Hotz, Melle van Bruggen, and many others. 

I have competed through I-1 and schooled 3 horses to Grand Prix. I have my USDF Bronze medal and intend to get my silver and gold medals this season.


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I charge $55 for a private lesson. $45 for a semi-private lesson (2 riders) and $35 for a group lesson. 

I offer a discount of $5 per lesson if you buy 4 or more lessons in advance. 

I discount my private lesson fee if you need a school horse to $50 because there is an additional charge by the stable of $15/ride for use of the horse. 


How did you get started teaching?

I was a student at a large riding academy. As one of the few advanced students, when they owners began teaching lessons for the University of Washington Experimental College, they needed more instructors. I was recruited and loved it more than riding!


What types of students have you worked with?

First time on a horse through FEI competition. I also specialize in fearful riders needing confidence. 


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I am always thrilled when one of my students gets an "aha!" moment and finds that connection with the horse. 


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Find out how long they have been teaching; what credentials they have; are they insured; do they have well-trained and safe school horses; do they have training experience in addition to instructing experience. 


What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

How much experience do I have? Do I have any fear issues? Do I have any physical limitations that would impede learning to ride a horse? 


Lessons offered