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The Poulin family is one of the most influential modern-day equestrian dynasties, with wife Sharon and daughters, Kate and Gwen, all active participants in the sport of dressage. Michael’s contributions to Dressage are many and continuing. Most people who reach the highest levels in dressage make their mark in one primary facet of the sport – competitor, trainer, instructor, judge. Michael Poulin is all four. He is a member of the Bronze Medal winning United States Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and boasts multiple national and international championships. Michael heads the Poulin School of Dressage at the Dressage Center, Inc. in DeLeon Springs, Florida, where he works with a prominent student roster.

He serves with distinction as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dressage Foundation, and originated the “Advanced Young Rider European Training/Education Program,” which sends four talented young riders to Europe each year for their introduction to the world of International Dressage. Poulin has been a long-time member of the Board of Directors and Dressage Committee of the American Horse Show Association (now known as United States Equestrian Federation). He was instrumental in the founding of the United States Dressage Federation’s Instructor Certification Program. He is a Certified Examiner for this program.

Michael Poulin is a founder of the North American Dressage Trainers Association which stages important annual symposium at the Dressage Center to aid in improving the understanding among all parties involved in the sport – trainers, judges, instructors, riders, owners and organizers. He is a member of the International Dressage Trainers Club. He is also a member of the Classical Dressage Riders Association. Michael travels nationally and internationally as an FEI “I” rated dressage judge and dressage coach.

Michael Poulin’s dressage students and friends say that what they most admire about Michael is his honesty, and that he has the uncanny ability to go directly to the heart of the matter with a horse. In Michael’s words, “The philosophy of classical riding is that the horse understands the rider’s aids with relaxation, not fear, and relates the aids to the physical movement that he’s doing. Classical riding develops the horse physically with mental understanding."

Many of the horses that Michael has trained and competed at Grand Prix have gone on to teach their owners. Here are a few examples : Enshala, Enshappe, Piaffe, Telluric, Watch Me, Lighten Up Jack, Duke of Earl, Zambo, Bombadier, Toscanni, Hifi, Welladay Classic, and Graf George who taught two people.

With over 30 years experience, Sharon Poulin, leads a busy life of daily training, teaching and managing their 30-40 horse stable. She has trained many horses to Grand Prix and successfully competed up thru the levels to Grand Prix with three different stallions, Pyrmont, Boleem and Brilliant. She holds an “S” (Senior) judges license with the U.S. Equestrian Federation, she judges dressage competitions thru Grand Prix level throughout the U.S. With strong emphasis on the correct seat and position, she is enthusiastic in her teaching and encourages her riders to improve their riding skills on the lunge line. She’s the proud mother of four wonderful children.

The two youngest Poulin girls, Katherine and Gwen, are talented riders and trainers, both members of the North American Young Riders Championships Region 3 Gold Medal winning Team for 3 years.
Kate Poulin
Kate Poulin

Katherine Poulin-Neff has been riding with her parents before she could walk. Katherine is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist. She is a two time North American Young Riders Gold Medalist and has been a demonstration rider for National and International tests for USDF Judge’s forums. She is the recipient of the 2000 Dressage Foundation/USDF European Young Rider Scholarship. Katherine holds numerous Regional and National USDF year end awards. Katherine continues her education by participating in forums, symposiums and clinics. Recently Katherine was selected to participate in the first Young Horse Trainers Symposium held at Hilltop Farm. She has trained horses in dressage including Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Quarter Horses, Cleveland Bays, Lusitanos, Andalusians, Lipizzaners and numerous Warmbloods. Katherine has also worked with the following: Natalie Lamping FEI “I” Judge, the late Franz Rochowansky chief rider of the Spanish riding school, Dr. Volker Moritz FEI “O” Judge, Mariette Withages, chairwoman of the FEI Dressage Commission and FEI "O" judge, Jean Bemelmans, FEI trainer and Spanish Dressage Team Coach and Ingrid Klimke, international rider and trainer in dressage as well as 3 day eventing. Katherine has many up and coming horses including Brilliant Too, owned by her mother. Together they have been very successful from training to fourth level. They have captured USDF Horse of the Year awards and two Regional Championships titles. Currently Katherine lives in Newbury, Ohio with her husband and three dogs where she trains horses and teaches dressage lessons. Katherine winters in DeLeon Springs, Florida.

Gwen Poulin has been riding horses every since she can remember. When she was about eleven, she received a 5 year old welsh pony named Robin. Together with Robin, Gwen participated in the very first Junior Dressage Team Championships (1997) and was on the bronze medal team.

They were the highest scoring pony combination. Gwen also earned her United States Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver medals on Robin. In 1999, 2000 and 2001 Gwen was on the Region Three Gold Medal winning team at the North American Young Rider Championships.* In 1999 and 2000 Gwen was the individual Silver Medalist at NAYRC. In 2001, Gwen placed 12th overall with the horse Pik Cachet. Gwen is currently focusing on her own horse, Pyrmont, whom she has raised and is showing successfully at Prix St George. Gwen has successfully shown Don Greco, Paleo, Furst Paldi and her sisters horse Herb Commander. Currently Gwen has several up and coming horses that she is showing like Legal Eagle, Marjan, Brilliant Girl and Pyrmont. She has selected for the 2001 Young Rider European trip sponsored by the Dressage foundation. Gwen was selected to participate in the first Young Horse Trainers Symposium held at Hilltop farm. Gwen has also worked with the following: Natalie Lamping FEI “I” Judge, the late Franz Rochowansky chief rider of the Spanish riding school, Dr. Volker Moritz FEI “O” Judge, Mariette Withages, chairwoman of the FEI Dressage Commission and FEI "O" judge, Jean Bemelmans, FEI trainer and Spanish Dressage Team Coach and Ingrid Klimke, international rider and trainer in dressage as well as 3 day eventing. She hopes to one day represent America in the Olympics and also become an “O” rated dressage judge.

Gwen Poulin and Ingrid
Gwen Poulin and Ingrid
*The North American Young Riders' Championships (NAYRC) is the premier equestrian competition in North America for young riders, age 16-21. It is also designated as an official USA Junior Olympics event.

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