Work With Us

If it has to do with learning dressage,

we can help…

Let’s start here (check all that apply). I’m here because:

  • I happen to like my horse and want him to be treated well in his training
  • I want to actually do the training myself and UNDERSTAND how it all works together
  • I know that to progress in my riding, I have to work on myself first
  • I don’t have access to any trainers I would even want to ride with
  • I like to learn more about dressage to support my regular training

If any or all of the above apply, you’re in the right place. 🙂


This is Ritter Dressage

...the collaborative mind-body-spirit project of Thomas and Shana Ritter. We are lifelong dressage trainers who have seen all that is good and bad within dressage. We have worked with thousands of horses and riders and have learned many invaluable lessons along the way. And we want to share these with you.

Get Started Now!    Start with the Books

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Times are a-changing...

And so is how you learn dressage.

We have left behind the traditional paradigm of authority-based teaching to develop a system of collaborating WITH our students in the training of their horses.

We want YOU to be in charge.

We want to support YOUR relationship with YOUR horse. We want YOU to hold the reins (literally and figuratively)! We want you to feel empowered and supported in your dressage education. And we want you to develop the knowledge-base and confidence to trust yourself and your intuition as you take on more and more of the responsibility for training your own horse yourself.

We have developed a system of training the horse based on biomechanics which distills down the truths handed down through the ages but puts it together in a way which makes sense for you, the modern rider, in straight-forward language, providing both the why and how, so that:

  • you understand WHAT you are trying to do
  • you understand WHY you are doing something
  • you understand HOW to achieve it
  • you understand the difference between symptoms and causes - you know which ones to address directly and which ones will go away on their own when you fix deeper issues
  • you understand WHAT tools you can use to address specific issues
  • you understand HOW to select an exercise that will benefit your horse and how to do it
  • you understand HOW to determine if an exercise is effective or not
  • you understand WHAT to do to modify or change an exercise to make it more effective
  • you understand HOW to guide the horse’s understanding through that process so not only does the horse engage in the process, but he even enjoys it and feels respected as a collaborating partner.

Another way

Like you, we don’t like the version of dressage that is most often offered up for public consumption. It is, in many cases, sadly not ethical to the horse.

And, even if it were, it is just not accessible for the average rider, with the average horse, and the average bank account.

Is that what dressage is supposed to be about? Well, for us it wasn’t.




In honesty

What brought you to riding and dressage in the first place? THAT is what should keep you in it now, too.

The way we see it, we can all either sit around and complain that we don’t like what we see going on. Or we can do something about it by creating the CHANGE we wish to see.

Like Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.




Our approach

is simply the framework on which you can work upon to develop your own training with your horse; we don’t override your voice or your input - in fact, it is a valuable part of the process!

We care about YOU and your horse.

We know you care about doing things right. We know you care about doing what is right for your horse.

We care about the path you are on and the way it is impacting you, as a rider and as a HUMAN BEING, and we want you to share in this journey with us.



Your authentic journey

You will NOT become a cookie-cutter of us. And we do not want that, because you are not us.

We became who we have become as a result of this process. And we share this process with you. We share the TRUTHS we learned along the way.

We became (and are continuing to become, because the process is wonderful and it is never finished) the version of ourselves as riders and human beings as a result of introspective work to realign our values with our work. What resulted is a reflection of our OWN vision.

What result YOU get will be a reflection of YOUR own vision. A vision that is bravely and uniquely yours.

Be reassured! Just because your outcome will be like no one else’s that does not mean that you are alone. This is a revolution. You are not the only one going on this path. There are many like you who are questioning the old paradigm and desperately want a better way. There are many like you who are not just sitting on the sidelines complaining about what they don’t like going on, and instead they are putting all of their energy in a positive direction to actually create change by first creating change within themselves. By being the change they wish to see in the world. One person at a time. Together.

Let us guide you

Another way is possible. A way that empowers YOU and honors YOU as the one who “holds the reins” (figuratively and literally!!)

We are merely your guides in this journey, offering you our insight and expertise when and where you want it. The ultimate outcome of the kind of rider and HUMAN you become through the process is totally up to you. It will be your own authentic representation of your truest ideals and values, expressed in your work with your horses and the message you most want to portray in your riding.

You will learn the exercises and techniques we have developed. The very ones we use with our own horses. The ones which, over the years, we have learned are the ESSENTIAL building blocks to help every horse and rider reach their full potential.

You will learn the "WHYs," and "WHATs" but most importantly, you will learn the "HOWs."

You will learn what exercises to do when and where and for what purpose, you will learn how to introduce them, how to perfect them, and how to determine if they are doing what they are supposed to do.

You will learn to think. You will learn to feel. You will learn to be the rider you intended to become in the beginning. You will reconnect the original reason you began riding dressage in the first place with the actual work you are doing with your horse. Right. Now.


Let's do this!

our books, ebooks, and DVD

This is a great place to start:

  • Two books already in print - Dressage Principles based on Biomechanics and Longreining: From the Beginning through the Levade
  • A third book due to be released in early 2017: Training the Flying Changes: A step-by-step guide for any horse or rider
  • The Arena GPS: a series of ebooks providing you with a library of exercises you can access anytime, anywhere.
  • DVD: Ecke Gut, Alles Gut

Visit the Store

online courses

Coming Soon!

Location is no longer an obstacle.

From anywhere in the world, you can enroll in our online coaching courses.  Learn through video instruction, diagrams and graphic illustration, conference calls, and community support. Giving you the nuts and bolts to show in detail exactly what to do, why, when, how to do it, and what to do if things go wrong. Breaking it all down into simple, easy-to-understand instruction.

Online Courses

one-on-one coaching

One-on-one personalized support for you, your horse, and your situation.

  • Help working through a problem or breaking through to the next level.
  • Advice for troubleshooting
  • Support to get your training established
  • Fine polishing your current work
  • Mindset and strategic coaching

Coaching and Clinics