Bonnie Timmerman


UVM Dressage Team UMASS Show Spring 2009

Coach Bonnie Timmerman with Brittany Welcome

The Dressage Team

Bonnie Timmerman began coaching the UVM Dressage Team in 2004 and was awarded the prestigious IDA Coach of the Year Award in 2012. Bonnie is also credited with coaching her team in 2007 to earning the IDA National Sportsmanship Award, given to the team that best  represents the ideals of sportsmanship, achievement, and dedication to IDA. 


Over the past ten years the team has grown from ten members to nineteen members limited only by their resources. As a student run club sport of the University of Vermont, they often have to turn away riders at tryouts because their resources don't allow for more than nineteen members. In the early years, the team had to borrow horses by the hour for lessons and these horses did not have a formal education in dressage. Now the team has exclusive use of 4 horses during the academic year for lessons, clinics with Eric Horgan, and practice rides. 


Once a student has become a member of the UVM Dressage Team, they are allocated over 19 hours of private instruction spread out over the school year including clinic time with world renowned instructor Eric Horgan. The program promotes personal growth, good sportsmanship and horsemanship. It takes years of training to become a good rider and there aren't any shortcuts. When shortcuts are used it is often at the physical and psychological expense of the horse.

Over the years the team and many individuals have qualified for the Intercollegiate Dressage Association's (IDA) National Championship. The IDA provides a level playing field because competition horses are assigned through a random draw. In this format riders can achieve success without the expense of owning or leasing a horse. It brings the opportunity to compete in dressage to people who may otherwise not be able to afford horse ownership and the expense of competition.

For more information about the team or donations please visit The UVM Dressage Team Homepage.