Erin McElmurry: Delivering Results in a Dressage

Kallie Epperson
Many of our Farm & Ranch loan customers have unique and awe-inspiring stories. We thought you would enjoy hearing about this wonderful one!

Woman in English gear riding horse for dressage.Erin McElmurry is an astounding woman. She runs Every Stride Dressage, LLC, a 33-acre dressage horse training and lesson facility in Michigan. She is also actively involved in competing in dressage as well as being a USDF L-with Distinction Judge. Same as most dedicated horse trainers her sights are always set on the dream of the Olympics one day. You’ll want to keep your eyes peeled as Erin continues to strive to be recognized as a Dressage trainer, competitor, instructor, and PEMF practitioner.
Let’s start with a little background information on the field and the work she does.

What is dressage training?

According to the U.S. Dressage Federation:

“The Olympic sport of dressage is derived from the French term meaning “training” and its purpose is to strengthen and supple the horse while maintaining a calm and attentive demeanor.”

Dressage is a highly artistic endeavor, in addition to being highly controlled movement. You’ll see this style of riding in both exhibition work, as well as competition. “Warm-blooded” horses specifically bred for dressage are typically chosen for training and appear in the Olympics and other international FEI competitions.

Keeping the horses performing

Like any other high-performance athletes, dressage horses can develop injuries. In addition to training dressage horses and teaching dressage riding lessons, Erin treats them (other animals, as well as people) with pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy. This form of non-invasive therapy uses an electromagnetic field to increase circulation and decrease inflammation in joints, muscles, and more – activating healing as well as reducing healing time for her patients.

Erin, can you tell us a bit about your background?

I went to an equestrian college in West Virginia. Unfortunately, the school no longer exists, but I gained ton of my hands-on and in-classroom knowledge as well as being just engulfed (eat, sleep, breath horses sort of atmosphere), which later helped me to be successful in the dressage training, lesson business. After graduating I became a working student in the Netherlands, then upstate New York, and Minnesota. After several years of being a working student, I was a assistant Dressage trainer in California to a FEI level trainer, and then went on to work under a Dressage Olympian in Florida as well riding in many clinics over the years with renowned FEI trainers. I knew I wanted to do dressage training while also mastering the art. Not being born with a silver spoon in my mouth I’ve had to do things the tenacity way and work my way towards training with top trainers. After 10 years of being a working student as well as an assistant trainer and a barn manager I decided to start my own business in 2006 in Michigan.

How did you begin your own dressage farm and training facility from this?

After several years of leasing horse farms to run my business out of, I finally found a wonderful horse farm in 2012 where I was able to do a lease to own. I fell in love with the property I was leasing. I knew this property was for me and felt it was a great location close to both major highways with a beautiful creek size river in the back yard, as well as a lovely indoor arena, outdoor arena, barn, pastures and a nice quant house to live in. I talked with many banks, and no one would give me a chance. Sean, a farmer I know, referred me to Kathy (Daily, Managing Director, Farm & Ranch Loans for First Financial Bank). Kathy was the first person to treat me fairly and take an interest in my capabilities. She had – and has – faith in me. She has always been a fantastic person to have in my corner. Kathy wants me to be successful. She feels like family, not just a banker.

Moving forward

Word of mouth has helped Erin grow her business. By demonstrating her commitment and resulting efforts, people have learned her value. She is always hustling to continue proving herself. Overall, Erin is continuing to strive to meet her dreams and make her mark in the dressage world through hard work, education, experience, and determination. I look forward to seeing what she has in store for the future for herself, her students, and her farm.

 

Many of our Farm & Ranch loan customers have unique and awe-inspiring stories. Many have expressed how thankful they are for the assistance they receive from our loan officers. I am never tired of hearing how our loan officers take time to get to know them. I think that comes from their own business experience, their knowledge – and their heart. We truly believe in each of our customers’ stories.

Are you ready to tell us your story and work with us to build your business? Let’s talk.

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