Wolf Ridge Farm

Full-service eventing & dressage training center nestled in the idyllic countryside just 12 miles SW of Iowa City,IA offering boarding, training & lessons

Operating as usual


Soda Pop, the lesson pony extraordinaire, having a romp in the pasture. Kick on Soda! 😆


A beautiful cap on a fabulous day at the farm. Great students, great learning, great fun! I love my job.


You know it's really cold when the horses give YOU treats! 🥰🥶💨💪

Photos from Tamarack Hill Farm's post 01/17/2022

Say it again Denny!

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 01/08/2022

Well, it's not always snowflakes and rainbows....💪🥶🦾🔨🔧but the sunset was awesome!


Well, we've had a few hours of ok weather, except for that east wind...here it comes again....be careful out there this afternoon!

A winter weather advisory will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Freezing drizzle and light rain are expected during this time. Very slippery sidewalks, roads, and bridges are possible.

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 01/07/2022

It's a winter wonderland here! Forget the average temp has been -20 give or take for the last three days... That horrid west wind created some incredible frost flakes on the water tank. Zoom in, they're so cool! Loved the sun dogs and the boys love their new run-ins. Now if we can just get above zero. Stay warm everyone!


Exciting day at WRF! Not one but TWO new run-ins! These transport guys were such pros. Even with fresh snow and some steep hills, they got it done. Thank you Kalona Mini Buildings. The sheds are beautiful.


Merry Christmas!



Photos from Iowa 511 Traveler Information - Statewide's post 12/15/2021

PLEASE STAY SAFE TODAY! All horses will be coming in this afternoon. ALL AFTERNOON AND EVENING LESSONS CANCELLED. We are prepared for power outages, which means no water, and the WILD temperature swings over the next 24 hours. Fingers crossed we don't have tornadoes as the front moves through later tonight. Hold on tight!! Stay informed! Stay safe!


They do this often in the afternoon. In their pecking order.🙂

Timeline photos 11/22/2021


Sadly both Dr Reiner Klimke and Susan Hayes Woods are no longer with us, but this edited interview from 1995 is a pignant reminder that modern dressage started to go wrong over 20 years ago...


Susan: I was watching you as you schooled Biotop in the indoor arena this morning, and it was wonderful. I noticed you were working him in a fat snaffle, and I wondered if you could talk about the importance of working in the snaffle for upper level horses.

Klimke: I ride at home only once a week on the double bridle.

Susan: Do you mean for most of your Grand Prix horses, or for this one especially?

Klimke: All. I want to have them very light in my hand. It is easier when they are really “through”, and they take the bit and take your hands. Then they are not afraid to come out to the double bridle.

Susan: Biotop seems to be very “out” to the bridle–there is not a lot of overflexing.

Klimke: And when he goes in extensions, the neck and frame extend too. And yet there are horses who make their extensions with overflexed necks and they score just as well…

Susan: Can you explain that?

Klimke: Well, when I tell you this, I don’t want to sound jealous, but I live for classical riding. Classical riding means that the horse must go: that is, the energy must come through and the horse reaches forward. But the judges don’t always mark accordingly. I don’t mind; I know what is right. I have been in this sport for nearly 40 years.

Susan: I also saw today that you were doing a lot of work on the basic paces, and simple transitions.

Klimke: Yes. The horse must go forward and he must be happy. If the horse is happy and he trusts you, then you can teach him. If you punish him, that is wrong.

Susan: They never forget. Is there any place for punishment in riding?

Klimke: I hate to punish a horse. It must not be. It can happen to anybody. Sometimes you lose your patience, you try to make the horse a slave. But it is not right. Sometimes you see riders blowing up, even here, with top riders. I say to myself, “Poor horse, I wouldn’t like to be in your stable.”

Susan: Why does it happen? A lot of these riders will teach and talk about riding classically, and mean to do it, but then it is different here. Is it the pressure?

Klimke: I think everybody wants to win. Perhaps they think if they make a horse tired it will be submissive. Sometimes it may work, but if you really look you can see what is wrong. Some judges don’t have a really good eye, and they judge by punishing mistakes, like too many or too few strides in a pirouette, for example.

Susan: Too much counting and not enough…

Klimke: Yes. The principle is: how is the walk, how is the trot, how is the canter, how is the acceptance of the bridle, how does the back work–all of these things. And in addition, the figures. But they deduct too much if a figure is not 100% okay. You see? If you make a pirouette and the horse really uses his hindquarters, and maybe the pirouette is a little big, you should not be given a 5.

Susan: That’s a little extreme.

Klimke: Yes. It can be at least a 6, can also be a 7, when the horse really canters classically. Even if the circle was too large, remember that you must deduct from 10. The judge must be able to see the main achievement of a horse and rider, in a movement.

Susan: This brings up another question, and that is–there are some amazing equine athletes here, and some of them get a lot of points because of that. Where are the places in the Grand Prix test where the talent can’t cover up the problems with the training?

Klimke: I look only at the way that the horse moves, in all three gaits. He must come from behind, with a swinging back. The head and neck must seek the bit. I hate it if the horse comes behind the vertical and stays there. When the horse is really “through”, you must be able to open and close the frame, and keep him reaching into the bit. And right now, in the judging, in my opinion, this doesn’t count for enough. But sooner or later, good riding will be rewarded. You must not lose your patience, you see. And don’t give up.

https://woodsdressage.com/ for the full interview and about Susan Hayes Woods

Concordia Equestrians.
Register as a Friend or Professional and help us make the world a better place to be a horse www.concordiaequestrians.org

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 11/10/2021

Thank you to the EIDEA for having me as your Keynote Speaker this evening! It was a blast! I sincerely apologize if you missed it, because I forgot to hit record. Forgive me, first time zoomer! 🙃 Thanks to everyone who zoomed in! A few photos from "Olympic Reflections, Then and Now" for your viewing pleasure.


A giant THANK YOU to Jim Masterson, world-renown body work specialist, for bringing his graduate students to the farm for hands on training in his "Masterson Method" bodywork. The horses loved it and we all learned so much! Good luck to all the students in their certification pursuit!

Timeline photos 10/25/2021

Timeline photos

That’s the thing about horses, they are as much about science as they are feeling. How we care for them, how we feed them, how we condition and rehabilitate them. That’s all science. But there’s a side to this that has nothing to do with what you know, but rather what you feel. You can know everything there is to cognitively know about horses and be very ineffective with them. Horses respond to behavior, movement, and timing, and they can read a room. You cannot effectively handle and work with horses and be closed off; they won’t do what you ask or want. And frankly they won’t trust you. And that’s how I think they heal the broken. Because to work with them you need to be emotionally open, even if it’s just in that moment in time. It’s why so many programs for veterans, victims of abuse, first responders, people with genetic syndromes, incarceration rehabilitation programs, are all starting to utilize horses in their therapy programs. Horses are unbiased and nonjudgmental. Sometimes people really need that. Horses are a great metaphor for life, and that’s something you truly only learn working with them. When you win with them it’s a high, and when you lose with them it’s usually devastating. That’s why people love horses. It’s not the riding. It’s the depth of the experience, and the dynamic bond you can form with them. I wish I could teach everyone that. It’s why those who grow up with horses end up being who they are, and the way they are, and love them for a lifetime; or at least the true horse people do. And you’re not going to change my mind that horses don’t make us better people; they make us more compassionate, more empathetic, more kind, more patient, more understanding, more genuine, more confident, more authentic, more ourselves.
Horses teach us about vulnerability, about courage, about loss, about heartbreak, about triumph.
Horses teach us a whole lot about life, and even more about ourselves.
They are the teachers we don’t deserve, but desperately need at certain times in our lives.
Cherish your time with them.
We only get so long.

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 10/20/2021

In case you missed the sunrise .. wow!! And it's always good to look in a different direction. You never know what you may see

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 10/13/2021

Good stormy morning! Let it rain!!

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 09/04/2021

Sweet Anna

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 08/29/2021

Starting early has its perks


Good morning! The view from my office ☺️


Unfortunately, EIDEA elected to cancel the Olympics presentation, due to the rising Covid crisis. While I'm super bummed, the safety of all is paramount. More info on a future date to come!


Good luck to all the Johnson County 4H equestrians at the fair today and tomorrow! It was fun to work with you all! Best of luck and ride well!



Soda Pop diggin' his fan 😁

Let The Games Begin: First Horses Touch Down In Tokyo 07/16/2021

Let The Games Begin: First Horses Touch Down In Tokyo


Let The Games Begin: First Horses Touch Down In Tokyo Thirty-six Olympic dressage horses landed in Japan on Wednesday. It was the first time horses have flown through Haneda, a waterfront airport that serves the greater Tokyo area. “To see these horses arriving at Haneda airport is a truly historic...


Sam and Bling

Stormy days mean indoor turnout...and ...


I absolutely LOVE my job! That is all.


My apologies if you're trying to reach me! The replacement for my destroyed phone is also not working 🤬 Use FB messenger, I will get back to you ASAP! Thanks for your patience!


Getting up early had it's benefits! Good day from WRF!


Good morning from WRF!

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 05/26/2021

Check out our cool visitor this morning. It's huge!

Dallas Jordan Thompson, Clinton, Iowa formerly of Monona, Iowa, May 1, 2021. – Grau Funeral Homes 05/11/2021

Dallas Jordan Thompson, Clinton, Iowa formerly of Monona, Iowa, May 1, 2021. – Grau Funeral Homes

This wonderful young man was the third hire in the first two weeks of opening WRF, and he stayed for four years. What a bright light to walk into the barn and say, "I can learn!" And he did. The horses loved him. The clients loved him. Everyone loved him. We will all miss him dearly. A beautiful shining light taken much too soon.

Dallas Jordan Thompson, Clinton, Iowa formerly of Monona, Iowa, May 1, 2021. – Grau Funeral Homes Dallas Jordan Thompson, Clinton, Iowa formerly of Monona, Iowa, May 1, 2021. Dallas Jordan Thompson, 31, of Clinton, IA, formerly of Monona, IA, died in the early morning hours on May 1, 2021 at his brother’s home near Spook Cave after living with (his words) synovial cancer for over 2 years. Dall...

Photos from Wolf Ridge Farm's post 04/30/2021

Good morning from WRF!



These two brothers need a home! Super sweet and friendly, both love to cuddle. Perfect barn kitties. I'm sure they'd thrive inside too, as they really just want a lap to curl up in. They would like to stay together. Contact me!

Videos (show all)

Sam and Bling
New neighbors... Glad I met them in the truck and not on a horse!



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