About Us

At Rudy Horsmanship we produce Happy Atheletes. We uphold true classical horsemanship and dressage principles, achieved through lightness and feel, in our instruction and our training. We teach riders leadership skills and a balanced seat, and we play with our horses while teaching haute ecole movements. Our preferred clients are those who truly care about their horse's health and happiness- I love horse showing, but the horse's well-being comes first.

We teach regular clinics on Horsemanship, Riding in Balance, and Dressage. We are currently producing more learning materials in order to help our clients, near and far.

Danee Rudy

At the ripe age of 7 I knew I wanted to teach people how to ride horses. By 10yo I had my first pony in training, “Osh-Kosh”- my instructor’s new lesson pony who dumped so many kids you would’ve thought he was planting corn. I laughed when he bucked which took me from one of many weekly lessons students to child trainer. Pretty soon every student or boarder who was having problems was saying, “Here, Danee, you get on.” I showed hunters and did okay but was never fabulous at hunters. Somewhere in my early teens I got my first “horse” and started showing in the Children’s Jumpers- and I was good at jumpers! I qualified for The Pennsylvania National Horse Show and placed third 2 years in a row, I won 5th place zone 2 Horse of the Year Award, and had numerous year end awards with the PA Jumper Association. In 1999 I started over with another off-the-track Thoroughbred and placed first or second in 70% of the classics we entered. On very modest horses I made huge accomplishments in show jumping, but I always knew it was temporary- I wanted to ride dressage.

My early natural talent in the saddle abruptly ended as I moved from jumping to trying to develop the horse’s gaits. By this time I was in college and starting a family and spending over a hundred dollars for a dressage lesson was out of the question. Instead of relying on my natural talent in the saddle that I had as a child, I turned to my above average learning ability to absorb ‘dressage information’ wherever I could. Thankfully, with every book that I read, and every clinic I audited, I always kept in mind that my ultimate goal was to teach this stuff. It wasn’t good enough to know how to do it- I wanted to know how to explain it to riders who did not have the natural ability that I started off with. I could devour a 200 page dressage book in 2 days- and remember it! I surrounded myself with pictures of great riders and balanced horses. During insufferable college classes I would “re-read” dressage books in my mind, or mentally pretend I was riding the horse in a video I had watched earlier that week. Little did I know that I had sports psychology down to, well,.. a science!

I am still mainly self-taught. I have had some awesome dressage lessons with great instructors, but I find that when I study on my own and struggle through it and mull over it and live it, it makes me a better instructor. When I am writing, teaching, and riding I am also learning, and I sometimes think I learn more during my student’s lessons then they do (although my students do make great progress!)

I was able to learn shoulder-in, haunches-in, and half-passes without ever having a single lesson on the subject. I wasn't happy until it felt like the books described- inside leg to outside rein where the horse maintains the positions practically on his own. (Lateral work is one of my true specialties as an intructor and trainer.) I continued puttering through the movements until even passage came within my grasp. I understand the dressage student who struggles through each learning stage- I've been there!

Ironically, it is only recently that I have begun competing in dressage. I could blame it on money, or concentrating on Natural Horsemanship, bridle-less riding, and the Mustang Makeovers (I won 6th in the WI Makeover in 2008), but the truth is, not competing was a cop out! In surrounding myself with images of Grand Prix horses I intimidated myself out of showing, but that is an excuse I am busting through! I have multiple clients that are supporting my showing goals and in my first year of showing I already broke into the 70’s. I am showing my mustang, Rave, at second level and we continue our haute école training. I love dressage, but I also feel these movements need to have a purpose, so I also do a lot of trail obstacles and love to play in the cows when I have the opportunity.

Davin Rudy

Davin worked with multiple trainers in the western world, including those who rope, colt start, team pen, and cut. But the man who made the biggest impact on Davin's horsemanship was Raymond Anderson. The stories Davin has told me about this old man are incredible! No one seems to know where Raymond acquired his knowledge, as he wasn't much of a talker, but we have good reason to believe he spent time directly with Tom Dorrance. Raymond was a true master who seemed to be able to ride any discipline and settle any horse within minutes. It is ashamed he passed on his knowledge to so few.

Attention to Detail: Davin often surprises me with his simple yet obvious observations. When I complained about a young gelding twisting his head every time I used my left rein he pointed out the horse stands with his head that way to eat out of his hay rack. Davin knew that my TB mare was antsy not because she was barn sour, but because she had to pee. He can see the inner workings of the herd dynamics at a glance, and seems to know the emotional state of every horse in the barn at every moment. He reads horses like I do books! Davin actually ‘sees’ the car keys on the counter top when my eyes seem to bounce right off of them, and in the barn it isn’t much different.

Simple words: I have such a high standard for teaching that it scared Davin off from giving lessons for a long time, but recently he has found that our clients LOVE his clinics and lessons. At the PA Horse World Expo we had two different people remark that watching him work a young horse in the round pen was just like listening to Buck Brannaman. A friend of ours said it best, “Davin says it in simple words, because those are the only ones he has.” Davin is not afraid to tell someone the truth. If you make your horse crazy, he’ll tell you. But when he offers such criticism he somehow manages to word it like he is giving you a gift- the gift of practical information. And the receiver is almost always grateful!

Davin has a passion for Vaquero tradition and he is currently using that particular type of horsemanship to refine his riding. He is hoping more horse shows pick up Western Dressage, and his extended trot work is far better than mine! But don't expect him to give up Extreme Trail and ranch work. He was a top ten finalist at the 2009 Eastern States Extreme Mustang Makeover in Murfreesboro, TN riding "Soldier." (Read about their story on our mustang page.) Davin works with horseman, Mike Feister, to learn more about cow work and ranch roping. Davin's goal is to ride collected, one-handed, with lightness, on a sharp horse, while roping cows gracefully... but those are my words, not his. Semantics seem to be very important to him these days. In fact, he has rejected the title of "horse trainer" as he aspires to become a true horseman.

Go to the articles page and click "Snobby English Rider and the Ignorant Cowboy" to read about Davin and I first learning to work horses together.

Feedback and testimonials here

Our Family
Welcome to the world Gate Matthew Rudy- November 2, 2013! We did not really plan a third child, but we couldn't be happier with this healthy baby boy. Dustin, our oldest, is now 12 years old and Wyatt is 8. Dustin has become a good reliable farm hand (not by choice, but kids need chores) and Wyatt now has an adorable mini pony named Poptart.

Davin 717-623-3492 Danee 717-623-3409
Near Lebanon/Harrisburg/Lancaster Pennsylvania
81 Huckleberry Rd, Jonestown PA 17038
Riding Instruction, Dressage Training, Natural Horsemanship
Vaquero, Ranch, Haute Ecole

Web Design (c) 2009 Kate Causbie
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