Mary Anne Campbell
A life-long rider, Mary Anne Campbell looked for years for the “right niche” in formal riding education. Competition work seemed to create driven riders and miserable horses, yet the idea of serious expertise as a trainer and rider was very compelling. Mary Anne spent many years looking for a way to work with horses that improved both the horse and the rider.
Mary Anne’s formal work in equitation included lessons in all disciplines in college, and later studies in natural horsemanship with Dave Williams, one of Tom Dorrance’s students. She also studied with Portland based combined trainer Keith Schramm. She worked with small children in Portland at Susie Caputo’s marvelous program, “Once Upon a Horse”. Mary Anne found the kind of training she’d always imagined was possible when she began to study dressage with Classical master Craig Stevens here at the National School of Academic Equitation.
And the riding so charmed her and her being charmed so charmed him, that soon Craig and Mary Anne had partnered up in business and in life.
She has for more than a decade taught dressage internationally alongside Craig Stevens through the National School of Academic Equitation, and through their Foundation for the Equestrian Arts. After more than a decade of work at the school, Mary Anne Campbell has become an effective, yet gentle presence as an instructor at NSAE. She has a uniquely forgiving style, and serves as one of the primary teachers for local students as well as working with visiting international clients and teaching clinics both at home and on the road. Mary Anne is Craig’s second in command in training, developing new school horses and working Craig’s horses in training when he’s on clinic tours. Mary Anne has written many articles on equitation for magazines, published her first book with Craig in 2015, and has several more “in the pipeline”.
Mary Anne’s also been a long time barn manager. Her background includes administering a large Portland, Oregon riding academy and managing a farm of A-circuit showjumping stallions as well as running small animal veterinary practices. Her educational background, before she began to work with Craig, began with a degree in fine art from the University of California at Davis. While in college she taught both western and english riding at the UCD Equestrian center. Along with her studies in painting, Mary Anne’s college career focused on anthropology. She enjoys the study of the way we think, and that curiosity about the human mind informs her teaching.
“We don’t become riders because we’re accomplished professional grown-ups,” she says, “We ride because it delights our deep sweet heart, and that heart is constant whether we’re seven or seventy. Too many modern riders are riding to perform for some external judge, and their inner authentic heart is being broken by what they are doing to their horses and themselves. The old classical work returns both the horse AND the rider’s sanity along with balance, curiosity, and brilliance.”