$10 Flat Shipping from Columbus, Ohio, USA

Official Home of the Hybrid Halter® - Handmade Excellence + Training Innovation

Niki Clarke: A Dressage Virtuoso's Partnership with Horse Education Company

Niki Clarke: A Dressage Virtuoso's Partnership with Horse Education Company

Niki Clarke: A Dressage Virtuoso's Partnership with Horse Education Company


At the intersection of elite dressage and nuanced horsemanship, you’ll find Niki Clarke. Niki's horsemanship and dressage journey is marked by significant achievements, including being a bronze, silver, and gold USDF Dressage medalist. As a recipient of the 2023 Debbie McDonald Grant and a qualified contender in the 2023 National USEF Grand Prix Championship with Sir Amour, her story is one of relentless dedication and passion. In dressage, Niki finds her passion ignited by the precision and the nuanced communication required to create effortless elegance with her horses.


Early Beginnings

Niki's love for horses began in Dillon, Montana, on a cattle ranch. At eight, inspired by her father's suggestion, she embarked on a path that would lead to her becoming a revered figure in the world of dressage. This early exposure to horses planted the seeds for a lifelong pursuit of excellence in the arena.


One Step Forward Each Day

Niki’s approach to her riding practice is anchored in a philosophy of continuous improvement, driven by a deep-seated desire to forge a rewarding connection with her horses. This dedication to training is not just a pursuit of technical excellence - it's rooted in the desire to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship with each horse she trains.


At the heart of Niki's methodology is a focus on refining her riding technique, specifically her aids and timing. This attention to detail ensures that her communication with the horse is clear, subtle, and effective. It's a balancing act where every gesture, every cue, and every response plays a critical role in the interaction between horse and rider. For Niki, the precision of her aids is not merely a tool for directing the horse but a language through which she speaks to them, conveying her intentions in a way that is both respectful and comprehensible to her equine partners.


Niki's pursuit of continuous improvement is a reflection of her understanding that the relationship with a horse is a journey, not a destination. She recognizes that each horse is an individual with unique needs, preferences, and learning styles. This recognition drives her to constantly adapt and refine her approach, tailoring her training to meet the specific requirements of each horse. By doing so, she ensures that the training process is not only effective but also enriching for the horse, improving their confidence and willingness to engage.


In her quest for excellence, Niki also acknowledges the importance of timing in her interactions with her horses. Timing, in the context of horse training, is a critical factor that influences the effectiveness of communication. It's about understanding the precise moment to offer guidance, to reward, or to simply let the horse process and respond. This aspect of her training underscores her commitment to creating an environment where the horses feel understood and appreciated, fostering a sense of trust and cooperation.


Niki is committed to refinement and growth, both for herself and her horses. Her approach exemplifies a deep respect for the intelligence and sensitivity of horses, and her dedication to continuous improvement is a testament to her passion for creating a fulfilling partnership with her horses.


Special Bonds

Niki's relationship with her horses Nugget and Sir Amour embodies the essence of deep connection in horsemanship. Nugget, known for his sensitivity and spirited nature, requires a careful approach from Niki. Their bond is based on trust and positive reinforcement, with Niki's skillful timing playing a crucial role in responding to Nugget's independent character.


“Nugget fascinates me because he is incredibly sensitive, very forward-thinking, independent, and extremely talented. This is an interesting combination and requires a delicate combination of creating trust and confidence,” Niki shared.


Sir Amour, with his gentle and soulful demeanor, shares a bond with Niki that is built on mutual trust and understanding. Niki's work with Sir Amour focuses on helping him express his emotions more openly, contributing significantly to his confidence. This has strengthened their partnership, evident in their daily interactions and the trust Sir Amour places in Niki.


“Sir Amour is the sweetest horse we have in the barn. He looks right into your soul,” Niki said.

A Family Affair 

A significant influence on Niki’s horsemanship has been her husband, Lyn Clarke, an exceptional horseman under the tutelage of Allen Clarke and Dennis Reis. His influence filled a crucial gap in her knowledge, enhancing her understanding of horsemanship. Niki highlights the pivotal role her husband plays in her pursuits. As an accomplished horseman and farrier, he supports her in all aspects of riding and groundwork.


Admiration for Horse Education Company

Nik’s love for the Horse Education Company stems from a shared understanding of horsemanship and the exemplary quality of the products. She values the thoughtful design of the halters, blending leather and rope for comfort and control.


“My favorite thing about the Horse Education Company is Sara’s knowledge of horsemanship and the quality of her products. The halters have the right mix of leather and rope to provide comfort to the horse but also offer that little bit of control when you need it,” Niki said.


Niki’s achievements, grounded in a deep love for horses and a continuous quest for refinement, resonate with the very foundation of the Horse Education Company–a blend of tradition, innovation, and a deep respect for horses.

Previous post

Complete the look

What kind of gear does a bronze, silver, and gold USDF Dressage medalist put on her horses?
Classic Leather Hybrid Halter®

Classic Leather Hybrid Halter®

$172.00
Unit price
per 
Lead Rope

Lead Rope

from $54.00

Unit price
per 
Halter Poll Pad

Halter Poll Pad

$16.00
Unit price
per 
1" Leather Replacement Crown Straps (Poll)

1" Leather Replacement Crown Straps (Poll)

from $26.00

Unit price
per