I was born in Armidale, N.S.W, Australia where I was an active member of the local Pony Club and the Dressage Club. I chased cattle, show jumped, barrel raced, played polocrosse, evented and had a ball as a horse crazy kid. I started working with the National Dressage Coach and had success at Young Riders Championships and N.S.W. State Championships. During this time I also got my PhD, from the University of New England and Sydney University, in joint lubrication and arthritis.
In 1996 I was taking a year long absence from academia, working my way around the world with horses and kind of never really returned home!
I run my business, Ilse Schwarz Dressage out of Wellington, Florida. The winter hub for horse sports in the Northern Hemisphere. It is an area of excellence for dressage, show-jumping and high-goal polo. A dream-world for horse enthusiasts. It is also the home of many Europeans, for the winter. An unbelievable place to live.
I have been training with Steffen Peters for 6 years. I bring him to Wellington for clinics every month from November through May, and am lucky enough to work with him for two weeks solid every year during the Palm Beach World Dressage Masters. I train using his system which, as far as I have experienced, works for every horse. His priority is the suppleness, throughness and harmony with a focus on the connection and acceptance of the aids. It is clear and succinct and makes total sense without any gimmicks.
I take pride in training my horses from newly backed to Grand Prix. I also am a relatively regular “shopper” in Europe for either young sales horses or trained horses for clients. My business typically has between 8-12 horses in daily training, be that horses in training, students or sales horses. During the winter “season” we typically attend a competition with 2-4 horses almost every weekend.
I currently have horses competing in both the 4yo and 5yo young horse competitions (qualifying for National finals) through green Grand Prix. I have a gelding that I bred, by Contango, that will start Grand Prix in the next month or so, having scored 70s at Intermediare 1, an 8yo mare by Sandro Hit, that I bought as an unbroken 3yo, that just did her first Prix St Georges with a 68%, her goal is the Grand Prix for 2012. She was ranked 4th in the U.S.A as a 6yo.
I have been giving regular clinics throughout Australia since 2006. Several of my regular students had success at both State and National Championships. Megan Bryant, whom I work with in Young, N.S.W., also attended the World Young Rider Finals in Frankfurt in December, we hope she will do it again in 2011. In 2010 I also started clinics around Florida. I have achieved my Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals with USDF.