About Sandi Forester

Sandi Forester with SpyderSandi Forester, based in a McDonough, GA, has been a horse trainer and riding instructor for over 40 years and has gained respect and admiration as a talented trainer and horsewoman. She has received numerous awards and peer recognition as well as countless qualifications for competitions at the national and regional levels in both dressage and western riding.

A passionate and dedicated horsewoman for most of her life, Sandi began her career working with hunters, and from there moved on to combined training and western riding before focusing on dressage. Although she has had success in many disciplines – both English and western, Sandi’s true passion remains classical dressage.

Sandi has had the privilege to work with and learn from some of the top equestrians in the world, including:

  • • Barbara Frigon (Hunters, Fox Hunting, Show - Enfield, CT)
  • • Melanie Tenney, Woodcock Hill Riding Academy - W. Willington, CT)
  • • Janet Black (Dressage - RI)
  • • Denney Emerson (Combined Training - VT)
  • • Locke Richards (Combined Training - Australia)
  • • David Hunt (Combined Training - England)
  • • Beth Baumert (Dressage - CT)
  • • Pam Goodrich (Dressage - Canada, FL)

Before moving to Georgia in 1994 and opening The Powder Forest, Sandi was trainer and co-owner of a 30-stall training, breeding, and show facility in Connecticut, where she developed many champion horses and students in both western and dressage.

Sandi Forester with McPhersonSandi has worked with many different breeds throughout her career. In the early 1980s she worked to develop dressage in the Arabian industry in New England. By organizing shows, doing demonstrations and lectures, and providing seminars, she was a positive influence in its growth. She has also trained and competed with many other breeds including stock breeds, thoroughbreds, warmbloods, gaited breeds, drafts, and ponies. Working with horses of different types and temperaments has been a valuable part of Sandi’s development as a trainer, reinforcing that there is no single method that will work with all horses, and emphasizing the importance of treating each horse as an individual.

A firm believer that you never stop being a student, Sandi continuously updates her knowledge through the readings of classical masters including Alois Podhajsky, Charles DeKunffy, and Erik Herbermann, and Natural Horsemen such as Mark Rashid.

Showing History & Student Successes

Sandi Forester showingSandi's showing highlights include:

  • • More than two decades of showing in CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, NY, KY, GA, and Canada
  • • Numerous awards in dressage, combined training, and western riding
  • • Many Hi-Point Awards / Region 16 and Region 18 Championship Shows
  • • Qualified three young stallions in Dressage in their first year of competition at a single regional championship
  • • Two of her own horses were Region Champions in dressage, stock and western pleasure; one even becoming champion in dressage and stock horse at the same competition.

Although she no longer shows herself, she enjoys working with students who do. Her students' accomplishments have included championships in dressage, English pleasure, stock horse, stock seat equitation, western pleasure, trail, and gaited pleasure horse championships. Several students have developed their own training/teaching businesses, a testament to Sandi's teaching.

Training Philosphy

Through the study of horses in nature, Sandi believes in the ability to form an intimate, unique and sensitive understanding of the mind, body and soul of the horse. Regardless of market value of a horse, show or pleasure, back yard or fancy barn all horses deserve to be treated with love kindness and respect. Through the use of a combination of natural horsemanship and classical dressage a strong foundation for all disciplines and all breeds will be developed.

Sandi’s focus for the horse: train in a manner that will not only bring out the horses’ full potential but will also allow the horse to be who he is and ultimately enjoy his time with the human partner.

Sandi’s focus for her students: to go beyond your expectations as a rider and horseman with an instruction program tailored to the individuality of your horse and yourself, whether you ride for competition, sport or pleasure using:

  • • Careful guidance and absolute attention to the individual needs of each student and horse.
  • • The study of horses in nature bringing clarity to the understanding of the instincts, behavior and language of the horse, allowing for an honest communication between horse and rider.
  • • Introduce the use of Dressage basics for the correct development of the horses’ natural athletic abilities allowing for his full physical potential and lightness.
  • • Develop skill in each rider awakening feel and confidence
  • • And for all riders to enjoy their time with their horse!

The spirit of the horse and rider will come together in harmony – a beautiful thing! This is my goal.