Team Strawson's Excellent Adventures

Barbara Strawson

BREAKING NEWS: You're awesome and designed for success; live this day accordingly!
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience


News & Updates

In this section, Barbara shares her thoughts and updates about Team Strawson activities.  Please check back often!


Barbara Strawson Receives Inaugural Grant from TDF’s Team Tate Mentorship & Leadership Fund


The Dressage Foundation (TDF) is proud to announce Barbara Strawson of Clarksburg, Maryland, as recipient of the inaugural $5,000 Team Tate Mentorship and Leadership Grant Fund.  The Fund, established by J.J. Tate and family earlier this year, provides financial assistance to dressage professionals to further their business, leadership, and riding skills. 

Barbara has been a dressage professional since 1990, with students and horses ranging from beginner to Grand Prix.  She plans to use the $5,000 grant to train with her mentor, George Williams, to attend the Women’s Leadership Summit in Washington D.C., and to attend the USDF FEI Trainer’s Conference. 

Barbara shared, “It is a blessing to be honored as the first recipient of the Team Tate Mentorship and Leadership Fund grant, especially during these trying times.  Not only will this grant help me improve my business skills, it will also help me during a crucial training time with my horse Heinemann as he is advancing to the FEI Levels.  This grant will also support my goals of inspiring younger trainers and others, especially women, in building their own small businesses.  Additionally, my students always reap the benefits of time spent with my own continuing education.

“The Tate Family’s belief that mentorship and leadership programs can lead to a successful life inspires me to think of a dear late friend who loved the idea of ‘paying it forward.’  She always inspired me to be grateful for my opportunities and think of how I can share with others who need a helping hand.  This grant will be a wonderful way to continue the cycle of receiving, giving, and building into the future.  Thank you to the Tate Family and The Dressage Foundation for this grant.”

The goal of Team Tate Mentorship and Leadership Fund is to provide grants of up to $5,000 for dressage professionals, age 25 and over, to receive business, leadership, or personal coaching education and to work with his/her dressage mentor to improve equestrian skills.  The online application form can be found at under “Grants and Programs” > “Dressage Instructors.”  Applications are due on or before July 15th.

J.J. Tate shared, “I have been very fortunate to have a strong supportive network of trainers, family and clients who have helped me develop as a trainer and as a person. I believe that being successful in our sport requires a lot more than just good riding. My dad, Joe, has always been a huge inspiration to me for self-growth and development, and we would love to share that opportunity with others.  We hope this grant will help people further not only their depth of relationships with their mentors, but also to further their education; whether that be through personal development and growth or better business skills.”  

Additional grant information can be found here..   

Contact Jenny Johnson, TDF’s Executive Director, at (402) 434-8585 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or for more information. 

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Photo by Ryan Sennewald


Catherine Haddad Staller Clinic

Catherine Haddad Staller is an internationally respected dressage rider, trainer, and clinician. She spent over 20 years in Germany riding with some of the very best including Willi Schultheis, Rudolf Zeilinger, and Morten Thomsen before returning to the U.S. to set up a successful training business. She has competed in 2 FEI World Cup Finals and has had numerous top placings in Nations Cups, CDI5*, and other top Grand Prix competitions.  She has earned gold medals from the USDF and the German Federation. 

Catherine is known as a top clinician because of the depth of her knowledge and her ability to communicate training concepts. We’re excited to have this opportunity to host her at Barbara Strawson’s lovely facility, Misty Gleann.

Cost for the clinic is $350 per 45 minute ride. Priority will be given to riders who participate in both sessions.

For more information and a clinic application please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Auditing info will be made available when it is finalized.

Barbara Strawson Introduces Quarantine Clinics,

Barbara Strawson
Quarantine Clinics

First clinic takes place Monday, May 18, at 6 pm. Topic is “Bringing your Horse Back into Work”

These 1 hour Zoom clinics with Grand Prix Dressage rider and trainer Barbara Strawson will help you work on important skills to improve your riding and your horse’s performance in all disciplines

Read more: Barbara Strawson Introduces Quarantine Clinics,

News from Spring 2020

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Barbara was able to spend the month of February training in Florida with George Williams. Barbara travelled to Wellington with her own and Sara Greenberg's Heinemann SBG (Heinrich) and Don Marco, owned by Debbie Olsen. The horses spent the month in dressage boot camp developing movements to move up the levels, but they and their people also enjoyed their time in the warmth and sunshine.  The horses, however, were less than impressed with the local animals including an emu they passed on the way to their lessons or lizards falling out of trees by the ring! Everyone learned a great deal and returned to Misty Gleann refreshed and ready to show.

Unfortunately the 2020 spring show season was halted by the coronavirus quarantine. While barns in Maryland are on lockdown, Barbara is busy keeping all the horses fit and in work so they'll be ready to show when the season resumes.

Preparing for the 2018 show season!


 (photo credit: Susan Stickle)

Now that the new year is upon us, it is time to get a jump-start on your preparations for the coming show season. Team Strawson has compiled a list of tips to aid in getting ready to compete in 2018!    

Read more: Preparing for the 2018 show season!

Client Appreciation Gathering at Misty Gleann


 On January 7th Team Strawson hosted a client appreciation gathering to say thanks to all of the loyal Team Strawson members who make this journey possible. We were joined by Pedestal Events, who provided an absolutely lovely spread of food and desserts for our guests, my feed sponsor Janet Geyer of Daily Dose Equine, who co-hosted the event and provided free samples of the popular horse digestive aid GI Thrive to everyone, and Joan Strawson, who shared information about her acupuncture practice Oasis Oriental Medicine with our riders. It was a great afternoon, and we kept warm inside the house despite the bitter cold temperature right outside!

Enjoy these photos from the day. We can't wait for the year ahead!


Read more: Client Appreciation Gathering at Misty Gleann

Baby It's Cold Outside! Nutrition and Training in these Cold Temps


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We are just ending our second week of January and in these past 2 weeks we have been bombarded with some frigid temps…. for Maryland anyway! Someone from a chillier region might think 8 F (with windchills of -13 F) is a balmy day to ride. But for us, when we go from temperatures in the mid 60s to the mid teens in the span of a week…. It's a major shocker!

Read more: Baby It's Cold Outside! Nutrition and Training in these Cold Temps

Team Strawson’s Excellent Adventures of 2017


This was going to start as a blog about the wonderful fall season. But, I realize it is already December, which means 2018 is around the corner, so this post may turn out longer than I expected!

Read more: Team Strawson’s Excellent Adventures of 2017

George Williams Weekend

The weathermen predicted that the weekend of August 5th and 6th would have the best weather of the entire summer. And for once, they were absolutely right!! The weather was perfect for the several fun events that took place at my farm.

 On Saturday and Sunday, George Williams gave his second clinic of 2017 at Misty Gleann. As always, George was inspirational and encouraging to all of the riders. He works you hard, but you hardly notice because he has you and the horse so focused and in tune with each other. In addition, I heard several auditors comment on how refreshing it was that each lesson was totally individual. So often at clinics you see the same exercises for each horse and rider. George treats each horse and rider as individuals and helps them develop what they uniquely need in the moment.

Read more: George Williams Weekend

Heinemann’s Story


On February 26, 2011 a cute, long eared foal was born on Hof Ettwig in Germany. Two years later, Nicole Uphoff-Selke drove down the farm driveway to see if this was the place to bring her horse Riverdance for boarding. The first thing she saw was 2 year old Heinrich, lovingly called Heinrich by his breeders and owners, Insa and Dirk Ettwig. Heinrich Heine is Heinrich's father, so Heinrich stuck as a barn name. But when it was time to register him with the Hanoverian society, they gave him the more sophisticated name of Heinemann.

Heinrich caught Nicole's eye from the beginning. She loved him and visited him every day when she was in the stable. Nicole always thought she would like to have him as her horse, but she had River, the beautiful bay mare, and 2 lovely boys to raise and a wonderful husband, so having Heinrich join their family was just not in the cards.

Read more: Heinemann’s Story

Saying Goodbye to a Dear Friend

Amicelli and Barbara Strawson at their last show in 2016

On January 20, 2017 we said goodbye to our dear friend Amicelli. Amicelli lightened all of our lives and we will miss him dearly. Below is a tribute I wrote to him:

Amicelli piaffed and passaged (or maybe even spooked) his way to greener pastures this past Friday.

This horse had so much heart and gave so much over his life. He represented Canada in the North American junior/ young rider championships when he was 6 years old, he debuted in his first Grand Prix when he was 8. And then In his last Grand Prix this summer at 20 years old he got a 76%, the highest of his career. This was a beautiful dance I will always remember. What an amazing soul!

But most importantly, this horse kept me and those around him smiling. He certainly kept us on our toes - never a dull moment with him. Always showing kindness - often with a little mischievous twinkle in his eye. I have been honored and so blessed to have known him. Knowing him, I have grown in so many ways that I couldn't have even imagined and for that I am truly grateful.

A friend shared these words about Amicelli, and I can't think of a better way to describe him, so I will share them with you ..... "Amicelli had a huge presence. Large in stature, generous in spirit, great athletic talent, kind and yet always his own 'person'."

He will always be "The King", loved and cared for by me, Candido his groom, and countless others whose lives he touched.

Go Ivan!

Barbara Strawson and Ivan at BLM 2016Ivan is in the news!

Ivan, owned by The Stables of Rolling Ridge, and I were one of the featured pairs in The Chronicle of the Horse (Nov 7, 2016 edition) about the BLM championships. He was Intermediare II and Grand Prix Champion at this competition.

Click here to read the entire article (pdf file).

BLM Championships a Huge Success!

Team Strawson at the 2016 BLM ChampionshipsThe BLM Championships was the final show of the season. Team Strawson had such a great weekend. It was one of those weekends where everything was perfect and you have to enjoy every minute. I feel so thankful to have such a wonderful team. Candido, Joan and Emily stayed home and took care of everything so the competitors could focus on their show. Students and friends who couldn’t go with us were rooting from afar and so supportive of all of the Team Strawson competitors. And those who went to the show were so supportive and helpful with each other. It really takes a team (a village!) to get into that show ring, and we are all thankful for the whole team.

First of all we had wonderful weather (which hardly ever happens mid-October at the championships). Everyone worked so hard and it paid off in the ring, everyone had a great weekend.

Ivan, owned by The Stables of Rolling Ridge, was a star winning the Intermediare II and Grand Prix Championships. I am so proud of him since we really just started competing in the Grand Prix together later in the summer. The future looks great for him!

Read more: BLM Championships a Huge Success!

Show News: September 2016

Amicelli and Barbara, Sep 2016 (photo by InfocusbyBruce)

How about a 76% score for Amicelli in the Grand Prix Freestyle at Dressage, at By Chance Farm!
Wow, am I so proud of my boy (co-owned with Jennifer Foulon).

It was such a fun ride and the crowd seemed to really enjoy it, as did Amicelli. At 20, going on 21, he just feels better and better. This is the highest score of his Grand Prix Career so far. With this score, he won the Dark Star Sheppards Musical Freestyle Challenge high score award.

Ivan and Barbara at the Region 1 Finals 2016

Ivan, owned by the Stables of Rolling Ridge, was also stellar at this show, winning his two Grand Prix classes!

Ivan continued doing Rolling Ridge proud, just coming off of the Region 1 USDF finals in NC. He won his Grand Prix class on Saturday, was 4th in the Intermediare II on Friday, and on Sunday in the Grand Prix Final took home 6th place. Not too shabby for just our 3rd competition together at Grand Prix.

It’s Official – Daily Dose Equine is now sponsoring Team Strawson!

I am so excited to announce that Team Strawson is being sponsored by Daily Dose Equine LLC. Daily Dose Equine Provides "Healthy food for the same price".

Daily Dose Equine Logo

Daily Dose equine is dedicated to providing high quality and nutritional products. They believe that the best outcome in health, performance and longevity are achieved when your horse or dog is getting the best nutrition. 

And so far this has proven to be true! Fueled by Daily Dose Equine Senior feed, Amicelli took home 76% in the Grand Prix Freestyle Dressage, at By Chance. He looks shiny and feels great. And always a picky eater, he is licking his 'plate' clean.

Please contact Barbara, or Daily Dose Equine, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. if you have any questions.

Bring on the Winter (Well ...)

Motorized outdoor curtains by Shady Lane Curtains LLC

Not really ... I love summer ... but I am much more excited going into the winter now that the Misty Gleann indoor ring has new window curtains.  They are absolutely beautiful.

Installed by Shady Lane Curtains, LLC they are motorized, super quiet and transparent, so they let in a lot of light on those cold, windy, winter days.

It took me a long time to find exactly what I wanted but it was so worth the wait.  When the curtains are rolled up, you don't even realize they are there, so it doesn’t change our beautiful view.  And when we need them, with a push of a button they roll down and poof … no wind! 

So many thanks to those who made it possible! I am so fortunate for the team of people I am a part of. 

News Tidbits

August 2016 - Wow! What a great night we had at the 'Join the Journey' Fundraiser on July 23rd. Read a note from Barbara and see lots of pics of the evening over at Barbara's Facebook page.

June 2016 - Team Strawson proudly announces our Join the Journey Fundraiser, Saturday, July 23, 2016, 5-8pm. Help us raise funds for Barbara's next International Dressage Partner!

December 2015 -Barbara receives a PVDA Scholarship to attend the Mary Wanless teacher training. Thank you to the PVDA!

Summer 2015
Barbara and Amicelli receive their highest Grand Prix score together! At the Dressage by Chance show, they earned a 74% with their Grand Prix Freestyle winning the FEI Musical Freestyle Challenge sponsored by Dark Star Sheppards for having the highest scoring FEI freestyle. They won Musical Freestyle Reserve High Score, sponsored by Jane Gates, for having the second highest freestyle score of the entire show.

Barbara and Ivan received a top score of 75.526% in the Intermediare 1, at the Dressage at Heavenly Waters horse show. They received the high FEI award and also the high score Friesian award.

Barbara and Ivan also won top honors at the Dressage by Chance Show. They won the FEI High Score award, sponsored by South Mountain Equine, by winning their Intermediare 1 test with a 69.079%.

Read more: News Tidbits

Contact Barbara Strawson

Misty Gleann Training Facility

Barbara's training business is based at her facility, Misty Gleann, which is located at 12900 Lewisdale Road, in Clarksburg, MD 20871.  Get directions to Misty Gleann.