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Classical Dressage Master Walter Zettl’s Teachings Are Immortalized by Premier Equestrian and the USDF

By December 7, 2017September 29th, 2021No Comments

Legendary Dressage Master Walter Zettl pictured with Premier Equestrian President Heidi Zorn riding Pink Panther. (Photo courtesy of Premier Equestrian)

Salt Lake City, UT (December 7 2017) — Legendary classical dressage master Walter Zettl’s teachings are now preserved for future generations of equestrian sports to benefit from, thanks to the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) and Premier Equestrian.

Premier Equestrian, a leader in manufacturing advanced arena footing and equestrian products designed for the welfare of the horse, is proud to announce that the widely successful video series and book that the company produced with Zettl over a decade ago is officially being archived by the USDF (United States Dressage Federation).

When Heidi Zorn, President of Premier Equestrian, first met Walter Zettl in the year 2000 at a USDF convention, she immediately recognized his true devotion to horses and riders’ well-being; a priority that is shared by Premier Equestrian. “I was completely mesmerized by Walter’s gentle, soft-spoken technique that literally transformed the horse before your eyes,” recalled Zorn. “Walter became my new mentor from that moment on. I was able to convince him and his wife Heide to come to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a clinic. It was then that I had the inspiration that this man must be documented. He possessed hundreds of years of Classical Dressage knowledge, and if he wasn’t documented, this information could be lost forever. Walter’s main objective was to share his knowledge with as many people as he could, always carrying the message of keeping the well-being of the horse as the first and most important principal. He truly wanted to make the world a better place for horses and humans.”

Zorn and her business partner and husband, Mark Neihart, developed a plan to make Zettl’s wisdom available to all equestrians. “Mark is an amazing musician, artist, and video producer, when asked with the task to film and produce a video series of Walter’s work he graciously accepted, said Zorn. “For four years, we followed Walter to various destinations across North America and captured him teaching students. Mark’s creative vision led to the wonderful interviews with Walter that seamlessly integrated the riding clips with the narrative.”

The end result was a five-volume video series called A Matter of Trust. The first volume debuted in 2002, and Volume V was released in 2005. “The videos show various breeds of horses, different levels of riders, and a systematic method of advancing horses through the levels,” Zorn explained. “The Matter of Trust series has been a huge success, and has given a wide variety of people and disciplines – even beyond dressage – a chance to embrace Walter’s deep understanding of horse training and classical dressage.”

In the years following the release of Volume I, the video series has generated over $1 million in retail sales and has become an effective way for equestrians everywhere to learn from the revered Walter Zettl.

“I believe that Walter’s work has made the world a better place,” said Zorn. “Knowing that this information will be preserved for many years leaves me with some comfort that horses may always be treated in a kind and humane way. Now Walter’s message of kindness and gentle training techniques that were developed many centuries ago will be preserved, and the horses’ well-being will always be a priority.”

USDF is now archiving the instructional video series A Matter of Trust, as well as the book Ask Walter. “We are very fortunate to have an organization like the USDF in our country to preserve and cultivate the art of dressage,” said Zorn. “On behalf of Walter, Mark, and myself, we are forever grateful that the USDF agreed that these teaching shall be preserved.”

In addition to instructional series like A Matter of Trust, Premier Equestrian creates products that allow horses and riders to perform at their best ability, while keeping safety and the horses’ natural biomechanics forefront in mind. The company offers innovative footing solutions, attractive dressage arenas, revolutionary arena groomers, and a wide variety of barn and rider accessories. For more information about Premier Equestrian and its products, please call 1-800-611-6109 or visit www.PremierEquestrian.com.


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