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Our Trainer

Michelle LaBarre is an internationally competitive dressage trainer that has owned and operated LaBarre Dressage Training Center since 2006.  Voltra Farm has been her home base since 2016.  Voltra Farm is a perfect facility for Michelle to work from.  The 16 stall  barn allows Michelle to keep track of all of the horses in her training progrm.  And the facility itself allows for both healthy and safe  living for horses as well as the opportunity for Michele to train in all weather on excellent footing in a quiet and stress free environment. 

Working with Michelle LaBarre, students can expect to get the benefit of Michelle's own devoted study of dressage.  Of special note, and particular influence, are Michelle's seven months as a working student for Herr Egon von Neindorff.  At the Reitinstitut von Neindorff in Karlsruhe, Germany daily lessons on the longe and lessons on his Lippizan horses taught Michelle a tremendous amount about the classical seat and helped develop her understanding of the biomechanics behind correct riding posture.  This is possibly the chief hallmark of Michelle's teaching and training.  She is well known for her advanced longe lessons and always has a wait list for this rare and most valuable asset to any serious dressage rider's success.

Upon returning from Germany, Michelle met her 15 years mentor, Carel Eijkenaar.  Mr. Eijkenaar, himself a devoted student of Georg Theodorescu, formed Michelle's thinking as a trainer.  He taught her to understand the training scale and to use it with creativity and flexibility.  Michelle brought every type of horse - in conformation, in character, and in breed, into her lessons in order to develop the breadth and depth of knowledge that she uses to approach the horses that come into her program.  This is true whether she is starting a young horse or fine tuning your Grand Prix horse.  Currently, Michelle works with FEI Four Star judge Agnes Majewska and also seeks guidance from Arthur Kottas.

Sending your horse into training with Michelle will mean your horse gets fantastic care and attention.  Michelle is honest with you.  She does the training herself and works towards your expressed goals for you and your horse.  Because of this, each program is tailor made.  Michelle is willing to consider all levels of rider and horse.  Please contact Michelle directly to design a program to reach your goals.

As a coach, Michelle works best with students committed to their development as riders.  She is happy to work with competitive and non competitive riders on any type of horse and in any discipline.  Regardless of your goals.  Michelle will treat you with respect.  She will work tirelessly to help you understand your body, your horse's body and perspective, and help you break through the psychological limitations that haunt all of us in our pursuit of excellence in this sport.  Michelle offers lessons in various forms.

                 •  In house lessons  •  Trailer in lessons  •  Lessons on the Longe  •  Online lessons  •  Off site clinics  •  Show coaching  •

For more information about Michelle and her program, you can visit her website at  To inquire about fitting into her lesson program, please contact Michelle directly at either or via the Voltra Farm Contact Us page.


Ellen Henrie, Student

I just got back from the weekend symposium, Correct Dressage Training – No Short Cuts!, hosted by Whisper Wind Equestrian, featuring Michelle’s trainer, Carel Eijkenaar. The demo riders and horses were students of Carel (he is a “trainer’s trainer” and works mostly with professional riders). The horses were all shapes and sizes, from giant Grand Prix to a diminutive (and very shiny) Connemara stallion. A number of the horses had come from challenging backgrounds. It was great to see how correct, consistent, kind, imaginative training – and lots (as in years) of time and patience – can transform a horse from a hot mess to doing 2-tempis! And interesting to see the philosophy of Carel’s teaching demonstrated by such a wide range of horses and riders – and how it comes to us through our work with Michelle. All the horses looked happy in their work.

Michelle was there with two horses – Ike and Pet – and rode twice each day. Her rides were wonderful to watch. 22-yo Ike wowed everyone with his very elevated and straight changes. Pet survived snow coming off the roof and showed us her giant trot. Both showed us supple and rhythmic lateral work and collection. At the end of Michelle’s second ride, during the Q&A, one auditor asked: “Michelle’s horses were both so light and elevated in front. How does she do that?” To me, the comment was almost more telling than the answer – and a high compliment. The quality of her riding really stood out – strength and lightness, quietness (yes, she actually rode without talking or singing! – but I meant the other kind of quietness), consistency, balance – the things we all strive for.

My horse Rohwin and I have learned so much working with Michelle over the last several years – it’s an adventure that I look forward to continuing! Hope you all feel the same way.