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David and Shengli taking a victory lap:

 USDF Region 8 2021 Prix St George Champions.

September 24. 2021

David Collins Dressage

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AJ Olympic Screening Trials_edited.jpg


David riding, Aujourd'hui, is pictured here placing 10th in Grand Prix at an Olympic screening trial CDI in Wellington, FL. David acquired Aujourd'hui as a Prix St Georges horse. 7 months later they rode down the centerline in Grand Prix at CDIs in Florida.

David Collins

Certified FEI Trainer by Team USA Bronze-Medal Olympic Coach, Reitmeister Lammers


As a professional dressage instructor in NY and a sought-after national clinician, it's a pleasure to share my extensive education in classical dressage with my students and horses. I teach riders to think and perform independently. I learned my system from great masters in Europe. I rode with many Olympic trainers and Reitmeistern. One of my specialties is training young horses to be a pleasure to ride and to excel in FEI competition through Grand Prix. My methods are based on effective, classical techniques that promote understanding, fairness and happiness in both horse and rider. My students realize that success is a byproduct that is derived from the effective execution of a detailed process. I provide the roadmap for this endeavor. “The best compliment to my teaching is when a student excels beyond my accomplishments."

                There are teachers, trainers, and show-riders: A person who succeeds in one category isn't guaranteed success in the others.

I’m thrilled and honored that my students have placed and/or won every level in regional championships (They were champions from training level through Int II and placed at Grand Prix). They placed at most levels in USDF National Finals and won 3 national championships.  One of my long-term students of nearly 20 years, Fie Studnitz-Andersen, just won 2 national titles at the 2021 USDF National Finals in Lexington, KY on her young horse, Funicorn.  Many of my students started with me at lower levels and became successful professionals and amateur riders at upper levels including Grand Prix.


David Collins had many placings and wins in CDIs and national shows in FL. He also competed successfully in the Northeast and CA including regional, national championships, young horse and developing FEI horse divisions. David finished 10th in an Olympic screening trial at the Wellington CDI where he also won the Int II. David trained this horse to Grand Prix from PSG in 7 months. David was champion at Intermediate II in the USDF Region 8 finals and 3rd at Grand Prix. In 2021 David won the PSG Regional Championships for the second time. Additionally, David broke the 80% barrier in many lower-level classes on young horses.


David completed the advanced instructors Course at Strömsholm under Major Wikni, Swedish Olympic bronze-medal coach. David was sponsored by the riding school to compete in jumping shows in the 1.2, 1.3 meter jumping divisions. He also trained with German Meister, Eicke von Veltheim for many years. Later, “Horses and Dreams” founder, Ulrich Kasselmann, selected David to train in Germany. Through Kasselmann, David was hired as an assistant in Germany to Team USA bronze-medal Olympic Dressage Coach, Reitmeister Lammers. Among many top horses and riders, Lammers trained 5-time Olympian and Olympic bronze medalist, Edith Masters. He also trained top international dressage horse “Romantico” to Grand Prix. Romantico was later ridden by Robert Dover in the Olympics.

Reitmeister Lammers certified David to be thoroughly capable of training horses to all FEI levels. Before turning strictly to dressage, David was also successful in show jumping and was selected to train with the USA Olympic 3-Day Event Team under legendary trainer, Jack le Goff for the 1984 Olympics. (Le Goff trained the individual gold, silver and bronze medalists and team gold medalists for the 1976 Olympics and the individual silver medalist and team gold medalists for the 1984 Olympics). David was also invited to a private tour of the German Olympic training center in Warendorf, Germany by Reitmeister Lutz Merkel, a DOKR (German Olympic Committee for Riding) talent scout and jumping trainer. The trip included a private visit to Lutz’s “neighbor”, the legendary, “Reitmeister George Theodorescu”, to observe top dressage. At that time Reitmeister Theodorescu was coaching Dressage Team USA. Reitmeister Merkel and Theodorescu recommended that David consider an opportunity to relocate to Germany to pursue dressage and jumping.   

Additionally, David trained and sold Bojing, aka Beryll 28, an 8 yrs horse that schooled Grand Prix, to Olympic gold medalist, Hubertus Schmidt. David bought Beryll 28 as a talented 3 yrs prospect. Said Schmidt, “I bought Bojing for many reasons besides his very good training.” Beryll 28 and Hubertus recently placed 4th at the 2021 Aachen Grand Prix.

Collins is also author of “Dressage Masters: Interviews with Four Legendary Trainers.” Out-of-print Dressage Masters became a collector’s item on Amazon and sells for multiples of its cover price.

Academic Education:

David completed the 12th grade at Gymnasium Abendroth Strasse, studying Mathematics and Latin in Cuxhaven, Germany. (He was fluent in German after 3 months. The 12th and 13th grades at that time counted as freshman and junior years at most top universities in the USA. Later, David also learned to speak Swedish and Danish). David applied to UCLA and was accepted into the University of California school of his choice. He attended UCLA as an engineering/physics major. Upon being accepted to the Olympic training school in Strömsholm, Sweden, David postponed his academic studies and career (apart from writing Dressage Masters).

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David on Grand Prix horse, "Aujourd'hiu"

David Collins Dressage: David riding Grand Prix horse, Aujourd'Hui in FL

David Collins Dressage, SHS Stables
Soon at:
Kirby Hill Farm, Pawling, NY

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