"Training at the Reitinstitut von Neindorff in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the International Dressage Academy in Rhede, Germany, as well as other places around Germany and Europe gave me an opportunity to ride well-trained schoolmasters up through the highest levels, giving me a good base of training and instruction that I can pass on to my students and horses here. Nowhere in the United States can you find the number of available highly trained schoolmasters that you can in Europe--for a dressage professional, this is such an important element in your dressage education!" --Mary McGuire Smith
Mary has more than 30 years experience in all aspects of riding, horse training, instruction, stable management, show management, dressage judging, sporthorse appraisal, and marketing/public relations for equestrian interests.
She has been trained by some of the finest horsemen in the world, including Herr Egon von Neindorff, world recognized as a master of the Haute Ecole (the highest level of horse training) in Germany, Hubert Rorher (First Chief Rider at the Spanish Riding School), Coralie Baldrey (international trainer and rider for Portugal, specializing in the Lusitano breed) and the many masters of the Kobilarna Lipica Stud in Slovenia, where the Lipizzan breed and training originated in 1580 A.D., and has the longest continuous history of training the Haute Ecole in the world.
She has attended clinics given by Arthur Kottas-Heldenburg (retired Head Trainer and Instructor of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria, and recognized as one of the world masters of dressage and the Haute Ecole), Harry Boldt (former German Olympic Dressage coach and current Australian Dressage Team coach), Klaus Balkenhol (multiple gold medal Olympic winner in dressage, former German Dressage Olympic Team Coach, and coach of the American Olympic Dressage Team), Ingrid Klimke (daughter of Reiner Klimke), Volker Moritz (Olympic dressage judge), and Christoph Hess (director of the DOKR state stud in Germany), among others.
Mary has numerous wins in local, state and regional competitions in dressage and has many local wins in other disciplines as well, including hunters, western, and gymkhana events.
Her former and current students (both human and equine) have also garnered hundreds of wins in local, state and regional competitions in many divisions, but mainly in dressage.
Mary has also managed private boarding and dressage competition barns, as well as owning her own breeding and training stables for 9 years. Her focus changed from breeding and starting young horses in 1995, and she concentrated on furthering her skills in training a wide variety of horse breeds to the highest levels of dressage.
Each summer from 2001 to 2005 she went to various institutions in Europe for further training in classical dressage, gaining experience in the areas of the FEI (the highest levels of competition), Haute Ecole (airs above the ground), and work in hand.
For the past five years, and currently, she is training in regular clinics that she hosts in North Alabama with dressage master, Henk van Bergen, past Coach of the Dutch Olympic Dressage Team, who won two Olympic Silver Medals during the 1970's and 1980's under his tenure (now retired). He has also coached the British National Young Riders, and has presented the last two USDF FEI Trainer's Symposiums (2009 and 2010).
Mary is the former Director of Equestrian at Windsor Club in Vero Beach, FL (2002-2007) where she managed all aspects of the stables, staff and horses for the members of Windsor, and still enjoys a working relationship with some of the members in several equestian endeavors.