Williams Dressage is located on the picturesque Eastern Shore
of Virginia. Richard and Frances Williams offer unique, customized services
for the serious equestrian.
The Williams' philosophy promotes Classical
Dressage methods. The rider's development and education parallels the education and training of the horse. We encourage training
the horse and rider together, so that riders can benefit fully from the training the horses receive while at Williams
RICHARD WILLIAMS' BIOGRAPHY
Williams began riding in Canada at the age of eleven. He was introduced to Dressage at fifteen, and has since devoted his
life to the promotion of Classical Horsemanship. Mr. Williams is widely-read in equestrian literature and has attended many
lecture series and symposiums on the subject. He has completed judges' forums, instructors' seminars, and other significant
educational events dealing with classical equitation. Since 1983, Mr. Williams has instructed private students in dressage,
and has presented clinics in many different states.
Currently, Mr. Williams continues the work of Xenophon Press founder, Ivan Bezugloff.
Xenophon Press is alive and well bringing historic and new classical equestrian works to print in the English language. This has further
increased the knowledge base Mr. Williams uses in his teaching and training process.
For twenty-six years, Mr. Williams has studied and co-taught
with Charles de Kunffy. In addition to riding skills, he learned the theory of horsemanship and the attitudes and character
development suitable for equestrians. Mr. Williams has co-taught more than thirty comprehensive equestrian courses with Mr.
de Kunffy. He is the only instructor invited to co-teach in-depth riding courses and USDF accredited courses for riding instructors
with Mr. de Kunffy.
In 1980 Mr. Williams
began studying under the watchful eye of Herr Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg at his private stable near Vienna. Kottas is the former
First Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School.
Since 1995, he has
studied regularly in Budapest, Hungary, and the USA with internationally-recognized dressage competitor Gyula Dallos. Mr.
Dallos is best known for competing on the gray Dutch stallion ACTION. Over the past 12 years Mr. Williams has studied for
extended periods of concentrated private instruction with Mr. Dallos. His further experience on all levels of horses under
Mr. Dallos' coaching has given him invaluable knowledge and skills in riding, training and teaching at all levels.
has attended World Championships of Dressage, World Equestrian Games, and the Dressage events at the Olympics. He has been
an accredited member of the press with the privileges of admissions to the warm up and coaching sessions, as well as the opportunity
to meet and converse with top competitors and trainers. Mr. Williams has traveled widely to visit the world's finest training
centers, riding institutions, breeding sales, and auction centers. He has visited the greatest breeding farms and stallion
centers in the world. He has also audited many performances and training sessions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and
Jerez, and visited the Lipizzaner breeding farm at Piber. Mr. Williams' equestrian education has been very selective, including
only the best in contemporary dressage competition, training, schooling and marketing.
Mr. Williams has written and published articles on
the subject of classical equitation. He supplied many of the admired equestrian photographs in Mr. de Kunffy's books. He edited
three of these books, thereby reinforcing the clarity of his equestrian theoretical knowledge. His academic depth regarding
the subject is exceptional. Mr. Williams has taught for many years with great success. Always asked to come back, and to expand
his riding clientele, he works with many successful and dedicated equestrians.Mr. Williams'
strengths are founded in his thorough understanding of the classical riding tradition. He has the skills and courage to apply
these age-old principles in his daily training and schooling work with popularity and success. His instruction is always well-targeted
because of his ability to correctly diagnose the needs of his riders and their horses. His insight and skills in applying
the correct remedies enrich his instruction. He is an exceptionally talented practitioner, who can transmit his knowledge
to others with verve and lucidity. Mr. Williams has successfully trained, campaigned, qualified,
and competed horses at state and national dressage championships. Now based on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Mr. Williams
has many loyal students at all levels that have been studying with him for years. His current focus is to travel to a limited
list of clinic locations where students show commitment to the on-going learning process. He and his spouse Frances train
student and horse combinations at their facility, Williams Dressage at Hillcrest.
- 1995 - Present Private Intensive Instruction with Gyula
Dallos, Olympic and World Cup competitor; Budapest, Hungary
- September 1994 - Equestrian Course, Reitinstitut Egon Von Neindorff; Karlsruhe, Germany
- 1982 - Present Private Instruction with Arthur Kottas -
Heldenberg, Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School; Vienna, Austria
- 1978 - Present Continuous Instruction on Riding, Teaching and Training with Charles de Kunffy,
International Instructor, Judge, Author and Lecturer; Northern California
- 1977 - 1980 - Private and Quadrille Lessons with Rex Rhodes BHSA; Kelowna, Canada
- 1997 -
Present Co-teaching USDF certified instructors course
- 1989 - Present Popular clinician in California, Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, Georgia, Louisiana, New
Mexico, and Colorado
- 1986 - Present
Instructing local students in California
- Present Co-teaching Equestrian courses with Charles de Kunffy
- 1980 - Present Training and showing horses continuously for clients
- 1973 - Present Riding a wide variety of horses from diverse breeds
- Present Articles for Dressage & CT magazine
- 1990 - 1994 Edited manuscripts for Athletic Development of the Dressage Horse, Ethics and Passions of Dressage,
Training Strategies for Dressage Riders by Charles de Kunffy
- Charles de Kunffy; Palm Springs, California
- Gyula Dallos; Budapest, Hungary
- Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg; Vienna, Austria
Frances Williams began riding at age nine years
old with the Junior Fox Hunts in central New England. After ten years of riding hunters and jumpers, she moved to Colorado where she lived and trained
at Iron Horse Stables, one of the finest quarter horse breeding and training facilities in the western United States.
From highly-regarded cutting horse trainers Robbie John and Cindy Parker,
proteges of Tom Dorrance, she learned the classical art of starting horses for any discipline. Many horses were bred, born,
and started at this top-notch facility. Simultaneously, Dr. Williams continued riding, learned the science of developing a
breeding program while concurrently pursuing medical studies in Denver. She not only backed for the first time countless quarter
horses, appaloosas, and Arabians, but learned from the Parkers (and the cows) the techniques of cutting cattle.
Dr. Williams moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to study dressage with Charles de Kunffy and Richard Williams, during
which time she continued horse-starting, and began a business rehabilitating thoroughbred horses from the racetrack for a
future as sport horses. She showed superior progress in dressage, and, over the next five years of training, was named by
Mr. de Kunffy “most improved rider” in California in this discipline.
for this improvement is centuries old. For hundreds of years, the Spanish Riding School of Vienna has utilized a protocol
for the complete training of the rider. Dr. Williams lunged five days a week on multiple horses for literally the next five
years, without stirrups or reins, performing all the exercises in all the gaits which are to this day performed at the Spanish
Riding School by young trainees. This method was recommended to her by Mr. Williams and Mr. de Kunffy. She took this advice
literally, went to the Spanish Riding School to observe the training directly, and performed the same protocol as her mentors
This is the creation of the "independent seat," so often discussed in articles
and documents about riding. The torso, through a combination of strength and flexibility, learns to work and influence the
horse's back and torso without depending on reins or stirrups for security. After complete mounted security is developed,
the rider then learns “quiet lunging,” where the aids are applied and made increasingly subtle. In this manner
the seat can deliver aids without the “noise” of unnecessary motion or inappropriate rigidity. This method of
teaching imparts torso stability, physical and mental discipline, and rider confidence, and is a cornerstone of Dr. Williams’
current teaching methods.
After studying pathology in San Francisco, she moved to Louisiana to
study primary care medicine, and furthered her studies with Mr. de Kunffy and Mr. Williams, hosting and attending many of
their clinics throughout the South. She also received sabbatical time for study with her two mentors in California, and for
studies in Europe at the Reitinstitut Egon Von Neindorff, Karlsrhue, Germany; and at da escola Pedro Sao Luis in Montargil,
near Lisbon, Portugal. She furthered her studies in the French method with Miguel Pineda in Viseu, Portugal.
After returning to California, Dr. Williams became assistant trainer to Mr. Williams, and after an exciting horse-filled
collaboration (and courtship) they married. Together they have trained and shown horses for clients since 1998. Dr. Williams
has traveled repeatedly and extensively to Austria to ride FEI horses at top barns and most notably to Budapest, for further
training through the FEI levels with Gyulla Dallos, rider for the Hungarian team.
As a medical
fitness and nutritional biochemistry expert, Dr. Williams brings an ever-growing base of biological knowledge to a preexisting
art form which otherwise has progressed very little, if any, over the centuries. With devotion and dedication to the well-being
of every horse, and to maximize the physical capabilities of every rider.
Dr. Williams continues
to pursue her vision and skills as a top trainer, medical doctor, and rider of horses. She strives to develop an attitude
of improvement moment-to-moment, both within herself and for her horses from training level to Grand Prix, focusing on symmetry,
relaxation, clarity, and rhythmic integrity.