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Barglow Dressage

Barglow Dressage


...About Katy

Katy Barglow is a Grand Prix rider, trainer, and competitor. She holds USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals, as well as the Freestyle Bronze and Gold Bars. She is a USEF “R" Dressage judge working towards her S license, and she is a clinician and National Examiner for the United States Pony Clubs, prepping and testing candidates for the upper level knowledge and dressage specialty ratings.

Katy began riding at the age of 8, and talked her parents into buying her a horse at age 11. Shortly after, she became fascinated by the sport and art of dressage. She competed in hunters and eventing as well as dressage as a child, coming through the levels of Pony Club and ultimately graduating as an HA. Despite her intensive focus on dressage, Katy continued to expand her horse experiences, working with unbroken horses, horse camping, and playing polo in college, which has served her well in her dressage career. Through Pony Club, Katy began teaching others and realized she loved working with students. All through college and graduate school, Katy worked with the local pony clubs as an instructor, examiner, and horse management judge.

At age 16, Katy purchased a then three year old Hanoverian gelding, Le Mans (Leo). Together, Katy and Leo climbed the levels of dressage all the way to Grand Prix. Along the way, they won the CDS-San Diego Chapter FEI championship for 2 years in a row, and the CDS Horse of the Year award at Intermediare 2 as well as the USDF Region 7 Reserve Championship at I2, both in the open division. The following year, they led the nation in the amateur Grand Prix ranks, winning the USDF HOY award with a median score of over 65%. They also pioneered Intermediare and Grand Prix freestyles (including their signature one-handed one-tempis up centerline!) that earned over 70% and made Katy the 2nd youngest person in the country at the time to achieve her Freestyle Gold Bar. Leo carried Katy’s students in the show ring through Grand Prix, to Bronze and Silver medals, and gave many riders the wonderful feel of collection and upper level movements. He is now retired to a life of well-earned luxury in his private barn at Katy’s house!

Katy’s greatest joy is bringing horses and riders up the levels. With young horses, she has won the CDS Futurity, been selected for the Scott Hassler Young Horse Training sessions and as a demo rider for the CDS Ingrid Klimke Clinic, and competed successfully in the FEI young horse classes. She has trained and competed multiple horses through the FEI levels (including 2 to success at Grand Prix, and >8 through Prix St George/Intermediare I), won high point awards all around the state, and won national awards at multiple levels.  Click here for a list of Katy’s major awards and achievements.

As satisfying as training horses is training students. Katy’s students come from all over the bay area (including people who travel from San Jose, Berkeley, Hayward,  and Concord to work with her), and range widely in age and skill level. Katy’s students have competed successfully from training level through Grand Prix, and through Intermediate level eventing. They have been successful at the US Pony Club ratings through the A level, CDS Jr Championships (4th level champion, FEI Jr Reserve Champion, 1st level reserve champion, among others) and CDS Championships and USDF Region 7 finals (including a win in the 5 year old Futurity and the 3rd level Jr Regional Championships) and qualified for and competed at multiple NAJRYCs at both the Jr and YR levels. They have achieved many USDF Bronze and Silver medals, mostly achieved on horses they trained themselves under Katy’s tutelage. More importantly, Katy’s students learn to have secure, independent seats and effective aids that allow them to develop their own horses and experience the joy of the training process.  

Katy graduated from Stanford University with a degree in chemistry and biology in 2002, and promptly moved herself and her horses to San Diego to enter the PhD program at the Scripps Research Institute in chemical biology. There, she met “S” judge and Pan American Games Gold Medalist Donna Richardson, who had long been one of Katy’s heroes for her ability to balance riding internationally with a full-time job as an emergency room doctor. Donna took Katy under her wing, helped her to train Leo to Grand Prix, gave her the opportunity to train and compete on many horses, and later mentored her in the judges training program. Donna comes up for clinics regularly. Donna also introduced Katy to FEI “O” judge Axel Steiner, another riding and judging mentor for Katy. Upon the completion of her PhD, Katy returned to the Bay Area in 2008. She now works with USDF Instructor Certification Faculty Member Rachel Saavedra, who continues to expand Katy’s education and give her more tools for training, teaching, competing, lunging, and work in hand. Katy and her students also clinic with piaffe/passage specialist Alfredo Hernendez and riding master Arthur Kottas.

In her “other life”, Katy is a PhD level biochemist, a VP in the Biotech industry. at a gene therapy startup. Prior, she was a fellow of the American Cancer Society, in biochemistry at UC Berkeley. In May 2013, she had her wonderful son, Ian. She lives with her husband Jon, Ian, a few select retired horses, and a herd of cats on her small farm in Walnut Creek. Her own experiences juggling her career, riding, and family make her particularly sympathetic to adult amateur riders trying to move up the levels in dressage!

Katy’s dual life brings a unique combination of skills to her teaching. Along with her dressage skills, acquired over the past 20 years of training horses from unbroken to Grand Prix, Katy also brings a judge’s eye to her teaching, as well as the pony club focus on the importance of correct position and self-analysis. Additionally, she brings the teaching and communication insight from her life in science. At Stanford Katy was nominated to be the director of the tutoring program for undergraduates, where she oversaw tutor hiring and training across all disciplines, and in grad school and her biotech career Katy has mentored and taught high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, research associates, and PhD Scientists. These experiences have taught her the importance of communication, of adapting to different styles of learning, and of breaking complex techniques and ideas down to their essence. These are all skills she uses in her riding and horse care instruction as well. More recently, lessons learned from being mom (and de facto beginner riding instructor, since Ian became interested in ponies!) to a kindergartner are further helping her patience and communication skills!