Bonnie began riding at the age of 10 learning Hunt Seat and when she turned 18, she started teaching as an assistant instructor in the summer camp at the Farmington Polo Club in Farmington, CT. Also at 18, Bonnie discovered dressage and became a working student at Woodcock Hill. Through the improved confidence dressage gave her, Bonnie started riding horses who were considered to be difficult, this is where she developed an interest in training. Bonnie attended UCONN earning a BS in Pathobiology in 1988. While she was studying at UCONN from 1984-1988, Bonnie was a member of the Equestrian Team in addition she was a member of the Combined Training Team from 1986-1988. As well as studying Pathobiology, Bonnie brought her focus to Equine Studies; her classes included Methods of Equitation Instruction, Light Horse Training and Management as well as many other Equine related courses. Bonnie's education includes earning a BFA in Painting from the University of Connecticut in 1996 where she also spent a semester at the Lorenzo di Medici Art Institute in Florence, Italy. In 2005,  Bonnie become a saddle fitter believing a properly fitting saddle can help your horse do his job more comfortably as well as help the rider maintain a correct position more easily.

Bonnie has taught at many farms in Connecticut including the Ethel Walker School, Five Star Farm in North Carolina, as well as farms in Vermont including the University of Vermont Co-Op Barn, home of the University of Vermont Dressage Team. In 2001, Bonnie obtained ARIA Certification in Huntseat Level III and in Dressage Level III. Then in 2002 Bonnie had the opportunity to ride with Eric Chalumet of the French National Riding School in Saumur, France working on upper level movements such as tempi changes. All of these experiences have allowed Bonnie the opportunity to compete extensively in Equitation, Hunt Seat, low level jumpers, through third level Dressage and Training Level Eventing.


About

Bonnie Timmerman focuses her teaching on a both a bio-mechanical perspective of the horse and thorough understanding of the psychology of horse and rider. Most horses want to do what we ask so when there is resistance it is often because of confusion, fear, physical discomfort. The same issues apply to riders; we often experience fear, a lack of understanding of what we are being asked to do, physical discomfort, difficulty relaxing because of a stressful day, etc. The can result in a rider who makes the horse's job more difficult because of their position or incorrect use of the aids.

Understanding and recognizing these factors can help make riding more enjoyable and productive. The training of a horse should be gradual, taking cues from the horse and rider when it's time to push

Bonnie Timmerman

for more advanced work. When the proper pace is set, the horse develops looseness and learns to release in their back and lift under the rider. Training a horse this way helps maintain the horse's physical and psychological health. Shortcuts tend to produce a false carriage where the legs are active, the neck appears round, but the back is hollow. This may look impressive to some but it takes a toll on the horse's body over time. Bonnie has seen far too many horses that have developed kissing spines and arthritis in the neck and back because of this type of incorrect training.