Katie Straton is a USDF Bronze and Silver Medalist, passionate dressage trainer, coach, and competitor based in Westminster, Md. She is committed to developing each horse and student through classical training principles and prioritizes the happiness and well-being of the horses in her program. Her drive for learning and self improvement are reflected in her enthusiasm for her daily work and love of horses.
Katie grew up in Lexington, Virginia where she was exposed to a rich background of disciplines and training styles. She took her first riding lesson at age 10, although her obsession with horses began much younger. She experienced western riding, side-saddle, jumping, fox hunting, and eventually discovered eventing through her local Pony Club. She went on to work in the horse industry from working student to barn manager to rider positions in the eventing and hunt world until she discovered her true passion, dressage.
Katie began studying with classical dressage master, Charles de Kunffy, and eventually found her way to FEI trainer, Jessica Jo Tate, whom she considers her mentor. She worked for JJ for several years before branching out on her own. Katie also gained valuable experience working for an equine vet practice while building her training clientele and managing her own barn. Her training business is now based at Rockland Stables in Westminster, Maryland.
Katie is currently competing at Grand Prix with her gelding, Theopolis Thisla W. She is an active member and volunteer in the Potomac Valley Dressage Association, and serves as Chairman of the PVDA New Market Chapter. Katie regularly attends or hosts clinics and other educational events in addition to working consistently with her teachers. She has trained with Charles de Kunffy since 2005 and JJ Tate since 2007. She has also worked with clinicians Richard Williams, Dr Ulf Moller, Uwe Steiner, and Olympian Michael Barisone.