There is no one quite like Maria Katsamanis. She truly is the "teacher" I have been searching for, for 20+ years. For her, its not about getting the horse to do something you want them to do; rather it is about "how can I make you more comfortable and happy" so that the horse naturally offers more. Maria has brought me and my horse back from a place where I was fairly certain that our future was quite dim. We've got a way to go, but we've come so far already! Maria is a clinical psychologist, and a professor at Rutgers, yet she is a full time horse trainer because that is her passion. She is quite simply the best horsewoman I've met.
Thank you so much, Maria for getting Georgie and I ready for our first dressage show. It was a long road of hard work, patience, and kindness that brought Georgie and I closer together with a solid connection and closer relationship. I often hear-"It is all about the journey" and it truly was and continues to be that for us.
"Dr. Katsamanis has dedicated herself to preserving the dignity of the horse. She encourages the humans she works with to put the horse first and to approach it with the question, “What can I do for you?” rather than “What can you do for me?” It has been transformative for me as a person to witness her work. Seeing “problem” horses become peaceful and lame horses restored to health has inspired me to work to become a better human, more open to what’s possible, more connected to what’s happening now, and more at peace with the past."
What a wonderful day at the barn with Maria! She is such a miracle worker and Cappy trusts her completely and gives her whatever she asks. Thanks to her compassionate care, he has transformed from a tense, anxious horse into an elegant, magnificent creature!
Congrats to our trainer, Dr. Katsamanis for winning trainer of the year. That award doesn't even touch her! She is an amazing trainer and I am also proud to call her my friend. She has taught me so much about me and my horse in the little time we have been with her it's amazing. Although Joe and I had our share of ups and downs she made me realize God gave him to me for a reason. We both needed and saved each other. She has taught me to listen to him since he has so much to say and how to communicate better with him. Thanks to her we are one. Today you thanked me for being opened minded and taking a chance. When in reality I should be thanking you. You took a chance on me too.
Had a great Day 1 with Dr. Maria at the clinic held by the ECI group. Her insight is invaluable and her love for all horses is priceless. Day 2 with Dr. Maria. The clinic ended way too soon! The learning curve was tremendous. Learned about connecting with your horse in many different levels, and having gratitude for what they give us. Dr. Maria is a classical dressage rider and her insight into our horses is amazing.
Sue Mazzarella Neidlinger
Maria Katsamanis is phenomenal! Olivia and Hallie had their first dressage lesson this morning, and the hot rod mare I brought in who had pooped all over herself during the trailer ride was not the mare we brought back home. As the lessons progressed, Hallie was undergoing a visible metamorphosis. Incredible! We hope that we can make it for the clinic...but this should be a must!
Training at Maria's is a two-way street: A horse will not only be exceptionally cared for, he will also be recognized and listened to. Maria's horse training is a true partnership. Some write about such connection, others speak (a lot) about it, very few achieve it- she does
She understands people and she understands horses and she helps to create an improved relationship between humans and the horse. She has a wealth of knowledge that she freely shares... by helping the horse she helps the human and then it circles back to benefiting the horse. My own experience with Dr. Maria is with my Premarin foal rescue. The rescue had a lot of issues from early development and is now willing and learning and trying so hard as a result of the time we spend with Maria and the education and philosophy we receive and try to put into practice. It is astounding what Dr. Maria is capable of as she helps both four-legged and two legged. In our case, I would call it miraculous!
Maria’s knowledge and skills have been honed over many years, and her way of being with horses is not a method, a formula, or a quick fix. It can’t be easily marketed and packaged. Yet it calls to people, to riders and horses of all disciplines, from dressage to Western pleasure to jumpers. Maria has dedicated herself not only to the proper training and development of the horses under her care but also to inspiring people to pursue a kinder, deeper, and more empirically grounded way of being with them. Through her writings, clinics, training, and her foundation, she offers the horse industry a way of being that is different, but not new, a way of being that is timeless, but that we keep forgetting and reinventing, a way of being that preserves the dignity of the horse and offers both horse and human an opportunity to reach their fullest potential.
Dr. Maria embodies and teaches the approach that many of us have been aching for with our horses...peace, connection, willingness, cooperation, emotional and physical balance. Riding in her clinics will help you reveal just where to start on this path and take the first few steps. Auditing will open your eyes to the hidden treasure in this approach.
Remembering H when he first arrived. What a difference!!! Dr. Maria I have seen you transform horses over and over again. Congratulations Trainer of the Year Dressage DVHA!
Maria you're amazing!
Alicia Anguera Roca - Barcelona, Spain
If you happen to catch her with her horses and she doesn't know you are around she is always singing to them, and if she trusts you she sings in front of you smile that must be her secret weapon! Reminds me of a Greek muse or something lol It's a privilege to have her in my horses life. She understands them deeply AND she cares about seeing owners connect...not just her. I have yet to meet a professional that is as talented but can break things down (for those who care to listen). My horse was a basket case at another FEI's trainer before I met her. She came recommended and I was hesitant to work with her because she does not formally show. Thank GOD I did not listen to them. Horses transform with her. It's weird...but I've seen them over and over and she takes normal everyday horses to look beautiful She says they are masterpieces. she is right!
The ideal relationship between a horse and a human would be a place where they are both physically and mentally comfortable." I have deep respect and admiration for my friend, Dr. Maria Katsamanis. Her sensitivity to the horse, her compassion and above all, the regard she has for a horse's dignity, are unique and hard to find in the world of horse sport. I usually don't do this but reading as many FB posts as I do, written by people who are unhappy with the care and training of their horses, here is a recommendation for a trainer who will help your horse to a remarkable place in life and help you in developing the kind of relationship you have always dreamed of having with your horse and partner.
Since I started to work my horses under Maria's way something has changed in my relationship and my approach to them, now I know that they are ready to show you and give you full trust when we treat them with kindness and looking always for their comfort and happiness
Mario Calcagno - Barcelona, Spain
The lessons were so far beyond what I knew to be true about [this] subject this weekend. I had an agnorisis, a moment of recognition and truly saw how my balance, sense of calm, and my breathing really effects the horse on a molecular level. The author of "The Alchemy of Lightness", horse trainer, and psychologist Dr. Maria Katsamanis truly enlightened her audience and clinic participants. I learned some in-hand and long lining as well as some exercises under saddle. I am so thankful for the great education this weekend. What a wonderful experience all around
Mary Elena Moran
Deana and Nifty had the honor and priviledge to "work" with legendary horse and rider trainer Dr. Maria Katsamanis this past weekend at Legacy Equestrian Center.
Ellie DeMarco Fleetwood