Ruth has earned her USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medals as well as her Freestyle Gold Bar and has been named a 4* rider on Centerline Scores. 4* and 5* designations are significantly harder to attain and riders/trainers of these standings should be considered well-rounded, experienced and among the upper level of U.S. dressage talent in the areas of performance and experience.
Ruth has competed both nationally and internationally and was long-listed by the USET. She has received multiple awards at every level from Training to Grand Prix. Many of her students and their horses have risen through the levels from Intro to Grand Prix and won both Regional and Reserve National Championships. Ruth has coached riders and horses who have won top honors in the USDF Year-End, Horse of the Year or All Breed Awards.
Ruth is also the owner of Freestyles from A to C. She has been creating competitive Musical Freestyles for decades. Since 2003, Ruth has been a head coach and choreographer for Team International at the annual Challenge of the Americas quadrille freestyle benefit for breast cancer research.
Ruth, in conjunction with Jane Savoie, created "Program Your Position," a shorthand language that changes the software in your subconscious mind so you can quickly and easily trigger position corrections. For more information, log onto www.programyourposition.com. Ruth is also the creator of "Riding with Soul," CDs designed to help you identify the perfect tempo, define your sense of rhythm and aid in relaxation for your musical freestyle.
Ruth has developed successful teaching, training and competition programs for riders of all levels and needs. Both East Hill Farm and Bespoke Farm offer individualized plans for horse and rider so that they may achieve top physical and mental conditioning.
Customized Training Plans
Ruth is committed to personalizing the training process for each of her horse or human students. Ruth’s customized training plans focus on maintaining normalcy, integrity and individuality for horses and riders, even during peak competition season.
While Poulsen Dressage may be her business, Ruth stresses that it is not a factory to turn out ribbons or awards.
The results of her training philosophy are evident through the longevity of her horses' careers and the loyalty of her long-time clients.
“Each horse and rider deserves - and receives - personal attention," she says. "I am committed to the improvement of each horse and rider team. Of course, we are all pursuing perfection in the show arena, but in my barn we also recognize the importance of emotional and physical health for our horses and riders."
“She’s scrupulous about watching each situation as if she’s never seen it. There’s a vividness and a believability to her training because Ruth rebuilds her understanding of the situation honestly. It’s a very rigorous understanding.” ~ long time client, Candace Platz, DVM
“I don’t know if I’ve ever ridden with anybody that I learn something from every time, but I can honestly say that of Ruth. There’s no BS, but she’s never, ever negative. It’s always in a positive, reinforcing way.” ~ longtime friend and client, Susan Michalek
Poulsen hopes this positive, purposeful enthusiasm is felt by all her students, regardless of their level. Poulsen’s students range from trail riders up to Grand Prix dressage and everything in between. Her versatile training focuses on small, progressive steps with larger goals in mind.
“I like to think about small goals and big goals. . . I don’t like agendas. I think too many people ride with agendas, and they don’t listen to the horse or to themselves. I’m not going to force an agenda on my ride. It never works.” ~ Ruth
Life Beyond Dressage
In 1990, Ruth met Danish rider and trainer Bo Poulsen, and they were married in 1994. Bo Poulsen, a farrier, serves clients throughout New England in the winter and the Mid-Atlantic during the summer. Named for his home in Denmark, “Vibaek Horseshoeing” relocates to Wellington, Florida, for the winter. Ruth and Bo also use his family farm as their homebase during their frequent buying trips to Denmark and Germany.
At the end of each Florida season, Ruth and Bo makes sure to take some time away from the barn. Most years, they relax with a week of fishing and kayaking in the Florida Keys to wind down after the busy season.
While growing up, Ruth Hogan was actively involved with 4H and Pony Club, where she developed a solid background in horsemanship.
In 1988, she earned her undergraduate degree in Animal Science and Nutrition from the University of Vermont, then completed an M.S. in Comparative Nutrition the following year.
In the winter of 1990, Ruth managed Robert Dover's entire barn of about 20 horses. When her friend, mentor and coach Jane Savoie was short-listed to represent the U.S. in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Ruth joined the pair as Jane's personal groom. She returned to Florida for the '93 winter season, where she competed in Intermediaire I on Valentino, while training with and working for Robert Dover.
By the late 1990s, Ruth began training independently and a win in Dressage at Devon's Intermediaire I Freestyle capped a successful season, and earned Ruth a place on the USET Developing Rider List.