Training highlights

Leif Aho, head trainer of Paradigm Dressage is a USDF, Gold, Silver & Bronze medalist. He earned his medals on self trained horses, that include his now retired Friesian gelding, Taeke V (Take-uh Vee), that he not only trained to the Grand Prix, but had "erase" and retrain his foundation, which as you may know is much harder than starting with a blank slate. Leif brought Taeke V from schooling some of the 3rd level in 2010, full of tension and explosive power, to the Grand Prix in 2012, qualifying and competing in the Brentina cup in 2012, Where Taeke made his debut in the U25 Grand Prix. Some of Leif and Taekes highlights:  Achieving a 72.25% at 4th level-3 under judge Lilo Fore in Wellington, 4th level open Champion at USDF Region 3 championships in 2011, Receiving high score of the year for FEI TOC at the Global Dressage Festival in Intermidiare-1 scoring a 70.132%,  earning a qualifying score of 66.538% for the Brentina cup, and a 63.615 in Taeke's first ever U25 Grand Prix test at the Brentina Cup Championship in Gladstone, NJ. Taeke was unlike any Friesian we have known, he was (and still is) extremely hot & sensitive, completely opposite of what the Friesian breed is known for. He came with many challenges and Leif wasn't sure if he would ever get quiet, non exploding flying changes, let alone 15 one time tempi's, but with patience, kindness and figuring out what Taeke needed, in just over 2 years he went from a exploding single change to 15, 1 time tempi's being one of his better movements. Leif matches very well with hot horses and handles them with care and sensibility, his calm and cool demeanor help bring middle ground in training allowing for strength in relationship and reaching training goals.

Leif's current horse, Donatucci is a late 2008 Oldenburg gelding sired by Donatelli out of a Contucci mare. Tucci as he is known around the barn is quite the opposite of Taeke, he is quiet, even tempered and needs help getting spiced up. Although naturally talented with exceptional conformation, Tucci doesn't have as much "want to" as Taeke did, so he has worked a lot on building his relationship with him. Leif has owned Tucci since he was 2yrs old and has taken his time training him without injury or being over stressed, as he has long term goals of the 2020 Olympics with Donatucci. Tucci is currently schooling the Prix St. Georges and some of the Grand Prix, offering very nice piaffe and passage and proving that he has the ability for the international ring. Some of Donatucci's highlights: Training Level-3 74.4%, First level test 3 74.853%, Second level test 3 71.829%, 3rd level test 3 with a 70.897%, PSG with a 71%

My Training

Heather Blitz (current), Mary Wanless (current), Shannon Dueck, Luis Wood, Verne Batchelder, Manfred Lewis, Stacy Gormley, Hokan Thorn


The Paradigm Advantage

Paradigm means "one that serves as a pattern or model" and we believe we are the direction that Dressage should be moving back to, putting the horse first, and with that he will put you in first place in the show ring!

Comprehensive Equine Care

We strive for horses to be in a natural environment, eating natural foods, learning in their natural way, striving to find more natural solutions for an unnatural environment. We are excited to be offering sprouted grains to our horses in Spring 2018!


Diverse Training Experiences

We train in many different situations, from the arena, to the trails, to large open fields, in the round pen, at clinics, at the show grounds, and even on the cross ties. Every experience with the horse is an opportunity to teach him something, from basic manners to perfecting the piaffe and everything in-between!

Solutions Overview


it makes sense

Horses are herd animals, they need relationships. Horses need to move! If you want a long successful career, you need a healthy horse!


Classical Solution

A strong foundation for a long successful future! No holes and no bypasses!

What We Offer

Leif's training starts with correct classical dressage. Focussing on a strong solid foundation and what makes dressage, dressage; Rhythm, Suppleness, Contact, Impulsion, Straightness. Starting out right and not rushed for a successful future.

In the core of Leif's training methods is building a Relationship, Trust & Respect. Within those training aspects comes the care of the horse, allowing them to be a horse, to play, have friends, ride in places other than the big sand box, cross training and teaching them in their language.


Classically Infused - Naturally inspired

About Paradigm Dressage