GERHARD POLITZ formerly of Stuttgart, Germany, immigrated to southern California in November 1987. Since then he has been teaching and training out of Flintridge Riding Club near Pasadena, Los Angeles, and giving clinics, seminars and workshops in other parts of the United States and Europe.

Gerhard has gone through professional certification programs in two European countries. He is a British Horse Society Instructor (BHSI) as well as a German Master Trainer/Instructor. Although he rode horses as a youngster, it was while attending Prep School in England that he was able to expand his equestrian education, participating in hunting, jumping, eventing and dressage. During this time he developed an excellent command of the English language, thus enhancing his ability to communicate well with his students.

Returning to his native Germany, he improved his teaching and riding skills by learning from the masters. He worked with Egon von Neindorff and General Albert Stecken, and credits Willi Schultheis (coach emeritus of the German Olympic team) with teaching him the art of the upper level movements. Brigadier Kurt Albrecht (former Director of the Spanish Riding School and an "O" FEI judge) was also a teacher and mentor. 

 
Hanovarian gelding by Valentino in piaffe under Gerhard

Hanovarian gelding by Valentino in piaffe under Gerhard

After obtaining the German professional Master Trainer/Instructor (Berufsreitlehrer FN) degree, he established his own training center near Stuttgart and embarked on a career as teacher, trainer and competitor. Gerhard has produced 18 horses from lower levels to Grand Prix. The German National Federation awarded him the “Goldenes Reitabzeichen” (Gold Riding Medal) for wins at FEI level. In 1987, just before moving to California, he won an award for the best-trained novice (9yr old) Grand Prix horse. Gerhard’s students were also successful in the show ring, mostly on horses he trained from green to FEI, and winning individual medals at Regional and National German Championships.

Apart from running a very successful Amateur and Young Rider program at his busy training center (45 horses in full training), there was a succession of six Apprentices (who stayed for a three year course) and a Bereiter whom Gerhard educated and prepared for the German professional exams, many of them winning awards for outstanding results. Gerhard has since taken on a number of working students at Flintridge Riding Club who became successful professionals.

Since moving to California, Gerhard has continued training and competing at all levels through Grand Prix. He was CDS champion at Intermediaire I and II, and in merely two years won the USDF bronze, silver and gold medals.

Just as he did in Germany, he enjoys working with Young Riders. In NAYRC competition his students have won four individual Gold as well as Silver and Bronze medals. In addition they have also won Gold, Silver, and Bronze team medals.

Gerhard has taken a keen interest in USDF Instructor Education and Certification and has been involved with the program since its inception. He was appointed to the panel of Examiners and is available to give seminars and workshops for the program.

Gerhard was also a member of the USDF sub-committee for designing dressage tests, introducing the concepts of "Allowing the horse to chew the reins out of the hands" (Zuegel aus der Hand kauen lassen) and the "Rein Release" (Überstreichen) for the 1995 dressage tests. These concepts are now standard elements of USEF dressage tests.

In 1993 Gerhard was invited to become a member of the International Dressage Trainers Club.

In almost fifty years of studying, training, teaching and competing according to the classical principles and the Pyramid of Training, Gerhard has acquired the depth of knowledge and experience which enables him to bring out the best in both horse and rider.

 
 

Collection of Articles

Articles written by and about Gerhard Politz published in the numerous American periodicals he has written for since his arrival in the US. Politz's work published by USDF for the USDF Manual, Lungeing Manual, and Teaching Manual can be ordered here.

Please note the articles are the intellectual property of their authors and are copyrighted by their respective publishers. The articles are used with permission. Reproduction and/or distribution for public or private use is not permitted.

Note that due to the size of these files viewing them may take some time with slower connections.

2003 - Today

Straightening the Horse
by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection


How Do I Stop My Horse from Swapping Leads Behind?
by Gerhard Politz, Practical Horseman
 

How Do I Stop Teeth Grinding?
by Gerhard Politz, Practical Horseman
 

Use of the Double Bridle
by Gerhard Politz, Dressage Today
 

Preserving the Precious Walk
by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection
 

On the Road to Grand Prix
by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection

2001-2002

Introduction to Counter Canter
by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection

Lessons in Leg-Yielding
by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection

Perfecting the Walk Pirouette
by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection

Gerhard Politz Carries Forward an Educational Legacy
by Staff Writer, Dressage & CT

Can Competitive Dressage be Classical? 
by Col. Christian Carde, intro by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection

In One Arena (A Book Review)
by Reina Abelshauser, Dressage Today

An Exercise of Circles
by Gerhard Politz, Dressage Today

Renvers and Travers Circles
by Gerhard Politz, Dressage Today

Classical Dressage vs. Competitive Dressage
by Gerhard Politz, Chronicle of the Horse

Auxiliary Reins and Gadgets
by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection

 

 

1980s

Dressage is a Process
by Lita Eliscu, Chronicle of the Horse

A Conversation with Sandi Chohany
by Alice Martin, Dressage & CT

Sandi Chohany benefits from Germany
by Mary Daniels, Chronicle of the Horse

1990s - 2000

Food for Thought: Piaffe & Passage
by Gerhard Politz, Dressage & CT

Extensions with a Light Touch 
by Julie Bergman, Chronicle of the Horse

Working with a Reitlehrer
by Lynn Warrender, Dressage & CT
 

FEI Level Symposium (Part 1)
by Rachael Saavedra, Dressage & CT

FEI Level Symposium (Part 2)
by Rachael Saavedra, Dressage & CT
 

Maria Gunter at Flintridge
by Kit Stebbins, Dressage & CT
 

The Three Ps 
by Gerhard Politz, Dressage Magazine
 

Stretching Circle 101
by Gerhard Politz, Dressage & CT
 

The Clinic
by Gerhard Politz, Dressage Today
 

USDF Teaching Manual Excerpt: Lesson Topic - Circles
by Gerhard Politz, USDF Connection

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