Karen Rohlf with Carlos

Karen Rohlf, creator of Dressage Naturally, is an internationally recognized clinician who is changing the equestrian educational paradigm. Karen is well known for:

  • her student-empowering approach to teaching
  • her ability to connect with a wide range of horses
  • her virtual courses
  • her ability to create a positive community

She believes in getting to the heart of our mental, emotional, and physical partnership with our horses by bringing together the best of the worlds of dressage and partnership-based training.

It’s not about what I can do; it’s about how I can show you what YOU can do...     ~ Karen

Karen’s own in-depth formal dressage training, immersion in natural horsemanship and belief that anything is possible has given her a unique perspective that breathes new life into common dressage training practices. 

karen teach poland 435wKaren Rohlf has the unique ability to show students how to create a vision, build the ingredients, establish the communication and trust their instincts in playing with their horses.

Karen’s goal is to reach students at home, where the real learning and habit-forming is taking place. Her book, Dressage Naturally... Results in Harmony, is popular world-wide and has been translated into German and Polish.

Karen Rohlf began in Pony Club, evented to the Preliminary Level, then worked for and trained in dressage with international trainer and judge, Anne Gribbons, for over two decades. Karen became one of the youngest riders in the US to train her own horse to FEI. She later attended a natural horsemanship clinic and saw great results applying these concepts with her dressage horses. The next years were spent immersing in natural horsemanship. She then took her knowledge and skills and created her unique system she calls Dressage Naturally so she could share it with others.

You can learn more about Karen's journey with horses in this video which covers her background, training and accomplishments:

Karen's Background

  • Trained closely for over 35 years with International dressage Judge, trainer, competitor, coach Anne Gribbons
  • USDF Bronze and Silver Medal
  • Horse of The Year Training Level
  • National Junior Third Level Champion
  • H-A Pony Club Rating
  • Represented USA 4 times in NAYRC. Twice team silver, once individual bronze medalist.
  • At this time was the youngest person in USA to have trained my own horse to FEI Level.
  • Acknowledged by Capt. Andrew DeSzinay for my accomplishments in training my own horse to compete at FEI Level
  • Students of Karen twice represented USA at the NAYRC
  • Passed USDF 'L' dressage judge program 'With Distinction'
  • Accepted into the USEF 'r' dressage judge program
  • Trained numerous students and horses from zero to FEI
  • Known for her ability to work with 'special cases'
  • Karen and students have been Champions and Reserve Champions at Regional Finals in every level
  • Invited to study directly with Pat and Linda Parelli with several horses over several years.
  • Karen's book, Dressage Naturally, is translated into Polish (Galaktyka publishing) and German (Cadmos publishing)
  • A pioneer in virtual education for equestrians

A Note From Karen

Karen Rohlf riding NatillaI’ve been with horses since I was 7 and I have never lost that feeling of being a horse-crazy little girl.

As a long-time professional in the competitive world of dressage, I have witnessed that decisions are often made that don’t always have the horses' and students' best interests in mind. Egos can get inflated, rigid systems paralyze students, and big money can cause bad decisions. That is why I made a conscious choice to create a business model where I truly can put the horse and the student first.

dreamMy passion is to connect you with your horse, and to show you how much you can do.

Your dream is your dream, but I am happy to help you with it, and to share mine with you.

My goal always is to teach students so they won’t need me.

Karen and AtomicI am here to help you progress on your own, or even to help you get the most out of your lessons with your local instructor. When you and your horse are in partnership, nothing can stop you! 

I am fascinated about how to take each horse and access their potential, and I am hyper-vigilant about my responsibility towards each individual horse. My own horses are horses for life.


 I’d love to share some of my core beliefs: 

  • Karen Rohlf riding Ovation"The truth is in the middle". Rarely is there ONE single 'right' way. The key is to find what works for YOU. I believe in the power of experimenting freely in order to find precise results: "Precisions arrives out of the possibilities that play creates".

  • Our thoughts create our reality.  Our horses are reading our intentions, so what we think about, often is what will show up. What we think about, we bring about. Train your brain to create the results you want.

  • Horsemanship, and life, are lessons in lightness. A relaxed and playful mind will be more open to learning. There is no need to take things so seriously. You can get serious results without being so serious. Nuture playfulness and curiosity and everyone will enjoy the journey more!

  • Live in possibility!  The more you are open to possibility, the more chance of improvement there is. There is always something you can change. “Never underestimate the potential for things to improve in ways you cannot yet imagine.”

  • Authenticity is non-negotiable: Clarity in communicating your intention is the key to success! Horses are confused when we send them conflicting messages. The more we learn to trust our instincts and embody our intention (without judgement, doubt, or self-criticism), the more our horses will naturally understand us. This is where the magic happens.