The training collection offered on this website is the most extensive presentation in words and diagrams of this knowledge previously passed on in large part only by “word of mouth”.


Karl Mikolka is featured in an article in the September 16, 2013 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse. Click here to read.

A Message from Karl Mikolka

Welcome to the site of the Thinking Rider!

Whether you are a professional aspiring to International Heights as a competitive rider, instructor, recreational rider or sideline devotee, this site offers an abundance of dressage information from the historical legacy of Classical Dressage to every aspect of schooling the dressage horse and rider from Training Level to Grand Prix.

This site is dedicated to a new generation of riders wishing to becoming better, more educated horse persons who place the well being of their partner, The Horse, as the highest priority.

What you will not find on this site are shortcuts or quick fixes designed to produce images and movements often in conflict with traditional dressage principles of sound athletic training. Instead, you will experience and partake of a comprehensive system influenced by hundreds of years of European training methods as practiced and refined at The Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria.

The true student and advocate of any art or discipline understands that it is the classic that endures and those willing to devote the time and spirit to master the subject are guaranteed joyful discoveries and lasting fulfillment. I invite you to the challenge and exploration of the journey which has been my life’s work.

Finally I want to thank my devoted students Don Paulhus and Barbara Morrow and the team of BMD Design who had the vision for this labor-intensive site and the knowledge of how to create it.

Karl Mikolka