GERHARD POLITZ formerly of Stuttgart, Germany, immigrated to southern California in November 1987. Since then he has been teaching and training out of Flintridge Riding Club near Pasadena, Los Angeles, and giving clinics, seminars and workshops in other parts of the United States and Europe.
Gerhard has gone through professional certification programs in two European countries. He is a British Horse Society Instructor (BHSI) as well as a German Master Trainer/Instructor. Although he rode horses as a youngster, it was while attending Prep School in England that he was able to expand his equestrian education, participating in hunting, jumping, eventing and dressage. During this time he developed an excellent command of the English language, thus enhancing his ability to communicate well with his students.
Returning to his native Germany, he improved his teaching and riding skills by learning from the masters. He worked with Egon von Neindorff and General Albert Stecken, and credits Willi Schultheis (coach emeritus of the German Olympic team) with teaching him the art of the upper level movements. Brigadier Kurt Albrecht (former Director of the Spanish Riding School and an "O" FEI judge) was also a teacher and mentor.
After obtaining the German professional Master Trainer/Instructor (Berufsreitlehrer FN) degree, he established his own training center near Stuttgart and embarked on a career as teacher, trainer and competitor. Gerhard has produced 18 horses from lower levels to Grand Prix. The German National Federation awarded him the “Goldenes Reitabzeichen” (Gold Riding Medal) for wins at FEI level. In 1987, just before moving to California, he won an award for the best-trained novice (9yr old) Grand Prix horse. Gerhard’s students were also successful in the show ring, mostly on horses he trained from green to FEI, several of them winning individual medals at Regional and National German Championships.
Apart from running a very successful Amateur and Young Rider program at his busy training center (45 horses in full training), there was a succession of six Apprentices (who stayed for a three year course) and a Bereiter whom Gerhard educated and prepared for the German professional exams, many of them winning awards for outstanding results. Gerhard has since taken on a number of working students at Flintridge Riding Club, quite a few of them becoming successful professionals.
Since moving to California, Gerhard has continued training and competing at all levels through Grand Prix. He was CDS champion at Intermediaire I and II, and in merely two years won the USDF bronze, silver and gold medals.
Just as he did in Germany, he enjoys working with Young Riders. In NAYRC competition his students have won four individual Gold as well as Silver and Bronze medals. In addition they have also won Gold, Silver, and Bronze team medals.
Gerhard has taken a keen interest in USDF Instructor Education and Certification and has been involved with the program since its inception. He was appointed to the panel of Examiners and is available to give seminars and workshops for the program.
Gerhard was also a member of the USDF sub-committee for designing dressage tests, introducing the concepts of "Allowing the horse to chew the reins out of the hands" (Zuegel aus der Hand kauen lassen) and the "Rein Release" (Überstreichen) for the 1995 dressage tests. These concepts are now standard elements of USEF dressage tests.
In 1993 Gerhard was invited to become a member of the International Dressage Trainers Club.
In almost fifty years of studying, training, teaching and competing according to the classical principles and the Pyramid of Training, Gerhard has acquired the depth of knowledge and experience which enables him to bring out the best in both horse and rider.