Whispering Winds Training Center features
Debbie Lavallee as resident Trainer/Instructor
Debbie started riding horses almost as
soon as she was born. She participated in 4-H and consistently won blue
ribbons at the county fairs. She went on to show in hunter under saddle
classes and over fence classes at local shows with great success without
ever having a lesson. At the age of 28 she took her first dressage
lesson with Judy Baumeister in Oklahoma. Judy had trained in Germany.
Debbie got the dressage bug and wanted also to train in Germany. She
asked her husband to get an assignment to Germany which he did.
Debbie studied dressage in Germany for 4-1/2 years, training in
Landstuhl, Germany with Master Werner Brumme and in Rodenbach, Germany
with Rudolf Brumme. After her first year of study she was hired as an
instructor, which she continued to do for the duration of her stay in
Germany. She also purchased a Hanoverian mare, which she trained from
Training level to Prix St. Georges in four years. She studied for and
passed her German riding license with the highest scores at the testing. While in Germany she also formed a German-American riding club of which
she was president for three years. This club helped to form a strong
bond between the Americans in the Kaiserslautern area and the German
riding clubs of Landstuhl, Siegelbach, Rodenbach, and Zweibruecken. The
club held two horse shows a year in which Germans and Americans competed
and also organized many horse-related trips throughout Germany.
Since coming back to the
States she has gotten actively involved in the dressage community. She
moved to Texas in 1995. In 1996 she began serving on the board of the
Dallas Dressage Club. She held the position of president for two years
and served as a member at large so she could perform her duties at the
regional level as the Large GMO Representative from Region 9 to the
USDF. She served on the USDF GMO Council in this capacity and attends
the annual USDF convention and both yearly Region 9 meetings.
Debbie’s passion is teaching. She feels strongly about starting students
properly and adheres to the principals and teaching methods she learned
while in Germany. She believes that if the rider is correct, the horse
can be correct. She also always asks her students to first look to
themselves if something is not going well, as it is usually the rider
and not the horse at fault. But she also believes riding should be fun
and that dressage riders shouldn’t take themselves too seriously. Life
is too short to not enjoy what you are doing, and every day we get to
sit on the back of a horse is a true blessing.
"Reins and legs can never compensate for an incorrect
placement of the rider's weight."
Kurt Albrecht, Dressage Master