What to Expect With Camilla
As an Instructor
Each horse and rider have their own way of learning and understanding. Camilla tailors her training to each team to bring clarity and to instill confidence.
"Teaching classical dressage while also braking down the information to easy to grasp pieces takes the mystery out of dressage."
Camilla teaches mostly private, some semi-private, to adult amateurs - beginners through FEI. She also travels to the Caribbean and across the U.S. for clinics.
Each Horse's Program
The goal for every horse in Camilla's program, is to bring out the best athlete that they can be. Every aspect of the horse's needs is thoroughly accounted: nutrition, health, environment, shoeing, training and more.
Camilla adapts her approach to training for each individual horse, she listens to them, so they are able to work at a natural rate of progression and perform at their best physically and mentally. When training, Camilla avoids confusing "gray areas" by being clear in her requests so the horse always feels secure and learns that they can do what is being asked. Each horse is handled, cared for and correctly trained with honesty and integrity.
Camilla believes in the untapped potential within every horse.
Camilla is experienced with starting young horses and training them, according to their ability, up through the levels through FEI. Known for training quality amateur horses and great sale prospects, Camilla prepares sale horses sent on consignment.
from clinic riders, students, and owners
"I first experienced a clinic with Camilla Fritze in Trinidad in 2016. With her calm and tactful manner, Camilla gives you just the right amount of information, which was a lovely change from the coaches that tend to be more forceful in their delivery. I enjoy how she was able to get in my head and convey exactly what I needed to hear!
While we were already working on 3rd level movements and Camilla was encouraging about my seat, I was able to accomplish a breakthrough moment in quieting my hands with her amazing influence! I’m so grateful for Camilla’s generosity with her time and her education."
“I’ve been riding and showing for over 60 years, I’ve met lot of horsewomen, and Camilla Fritze is one of the best I’ve seen. I can’t say that there is anyone who can better care for a horse. Camilla is conscientious to the max with a gift for explaining and expressing what she needs you to do.
When you train with Camilla, you can trust that your horse’s care and wellbeing will be meticulously attended. Her professionalism, devotion, and attention to detail mean that She nothing gets by her! With everything she does it is apparent that Camilla LOVES the horses.”
"What can I say about Camilla? I love her. I love her. I love her. Working with Camilla you immediately feel at ease with her cool and calm demeanor. She has a great sense of humor and she’s easy to work with, but with a deep quietness about her. When she teaches, she finds the exact words that just click and provide positive results.
Amazingly, she first began teaching our group in Trinidad and Tobago by filling in for a fully organized clinic that was almost canceled. Camilla saved the day! She is a perfect fit for us - her vast and varied experience works well for our diverse group of horses and riders. She travels all over the island teaching and her professionalism is the same for the last ride of the day as it is for the first. Nothing fazes Camilla Fritze! I remember a particular clinic where it rained non-stop and at the height of dedication, Camilla taught through it all. I love working with her! "
“Camilla Fritze is not just a compassionate trainer, she is an excellent student. Teaching someone who is tuned in, self-aware, and correct in her biomechanics is wonderful! Camilla has a remarkable way of taking her lesson to heart and applying her talents to improve results. Her horse's welfare is foremost and she is always well turned out, reflecting her respect and her professionalism. When it comes to honest horsewomen, Camilla is the real deal.”
“I met Camilla when she was hired to train and manage our barn in California. Camilla not only put our barn in order (she is SO organized, clean, and even knowledgeable about the soil) she also changed my horse’s life!
My 17.3 hand thoroughbred gelding was “war horse” type but with a delicate personality. He could be tricky to train, even hard to ride if the trainer didn’t understand his sensitivities, but not with Camilla. She understood him completely and he thrived in her care. When I rode after her, he felt soft, smooth, and his problems melted away one by one. She even knew how to tactfully get lead changes with him - something that had always been an issue!
I was also able to witness Camilla working with her young horses - she gives them an amazing start! Anyone who gets one of her babies is lucky! Her depth of knowledge is astounding and yet she has an open mind and heart. Camilla Fritze is top of the mark in my book.”
“Even though I had never met Camilla Fritze when I first sent my horses to her, I knew I could trust the very high recommendations from my friends who had worked with her both in California and Florida. The two horses that shipped to her were suffering from an illness and Camilla handled their medical issues perfectly. Her thoroughness, knowledge, and sense of responsibility are really amazing.
Camilla’s inclusive nature, confidence, and transparent communication create an atmosphere where you feel respected. She includes you in the training process and your opinions matter. Camilla’s versatility within disciplines - teaching hunters, jumpers, eventers, and dressage - offers a perspective that I admire. ”
“In a word, Camilla Fritze is INSPIRING. She is a natural teacher and trainer who cares deeply for her students and horses. Not only does she want you to be a confident rider, Camilla also wants the horse to feel his best. She is great at assessing where you are in your abilities, understanding what you need to progress, and clearly conveying what to do to reach your goals. I found her teaching style really helped my confidence.
At one point, I wasn’t quite ready for another horse but I needed to retire my mare from the jumpers, so I began taking dressage lessons with Camilla. What I expected to be an interim in my riding, turned out to be an exceptional learning experience. He was not what you would call a “good flat horse,” but through her training, Camilla got him moving differently and more comfortably. It was amazing to witness! I adore her!”
Camilla Fritze: Galavant Equestrian Happy clients and horses are hallmarks of Somis dressage program.
Camilla Fritze has the best of all trainer testimonials: happy clients. Based at the privately owned Whitethorne Ranch in Ventura County’s Somis, Fritze operates a small-scale dressage training program that emphasizes quality instruction, training and care for horses and riders.
Whether they are beginners riding her school horse or are pursuing FEI level competition, students at Fritze’s Galavant Equestrian receive highly personalized instruction and training. Fritze accepts and welcomes a limited number of new training clients, but only up to about 15 horses, so that she can continue to offer that level of close attention and care. “Unless they fall upon hard financial times or something like that, most of my clients are extremely loyal and don’t leave,” she notes.
The USDF bronze, silver and gold medalist grew up riding dressage and jumping in her native Sweden, where, “boys played soccer and girls rode horses.” Throughout her youth, “I was always the working student who rode all the young crazy horses,” she recalls. “I have long legs, so they figured I wouldn’t fall off!” Those experiences served her well when she moved to the United States at the age of 22 and found work with several Southern California training barns. These included Elvenstar and Beth Cadwallader’s hunter/jumper programs. Fritze went into business for herself as a dressage trainer 10 years ago.
Success for herself and her students in the show ring has come hand-in-hand with the pleasure of helping riders advance at home. Her clientele includes those who own horses that she competes and amateurs who campaign their own mounts. Another Galavant Equestrian trademark is happy horses. Fritze is a big believer in the value of variety in a horse’s life. In addition to the regulation-sized dressage court, Whitethorne Ranch has a quarter-mile track, two large jumping arenas and a grass jumping field. Fritze incorporates all these settings into her horses’ training and it’s rare that any of her horses work in the same environment two days in a row. Cavaletti and small jumps are frequently part of her dressage horses’ routines and the track is often a great place to work on tempi flying lead changes or other dressage movements. “Jumping is good for strengthening and coordination and for keeping the mind fresh,” she says. “And, just because it’s a track doesn’t mean you have to race on it.”
Horses that have more to their life than one routine are happier.” Fritze learned this lesson many years ago. “I used to work for an old man in Sweden, one of those self-taught, really clever guys. He would always mix things up. He used to send us out on the trail and say, ‘Don’t come back for two hours’.”
Body alignment is an area of focus in Fritze’s work with riders. “If the rider is sitting right, their aids will be correct and the horse can much more easily do what he’s being asked to do,” she notes. “It’s a lot easier for the rider to apply the right aids if they are sitting in balance and do not get in the way of the horse.” Finding this alignment results from a combination of a student’s learning correct body positioning and then actively feeling it. “Once they have that knowledge and feel, people become more confident. They can tell for themselves that their position and aids are correct and consistent. There are no question marks.”
Equestrian-oriented Pilates is a big part of Fritze’s own riding regimen and she advocates it passionately for her students and any rider who wants to get the most from their riding time. Fritze works with Equestrian Pilates® founder Elizabeth Hanson. “It has made a huge difference,” she enthuses. “Everyone’s body is crooked or imbalanced to some degree, even those with great posture.
“If a person is riding the same horse all the time, both rider and horse start compensating for their imbalance. Part of my job as an instructor is to make riders aware of and correct their position, posture and imbalance and that is so much easier to do if people are also actively working on this off the horse. You will get there much quicker.”
Fritze also advocates working with outside coaches. “I am always open to input from other professionals,” Fritze says. “I think it’s a huge mistake for teachers and instructors to not take lessons. Even when you can look in the mirror at yourself, there’s nothing that beats a good person on the ground.”
Galavant Equestrian’s show schedule goes where clients’ desires and ambitions dictate. Based in Somis, Fritze and her students don’t have to travel far to the Cornerstone Events competitions and other shows in Moorpark, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Trips to San Diego and Northern California are booked as appropriate. In addition to
campaigning her clients’ horses, Fritze enjoys the show scene with a project horse that has become Galavant Equestrian’s namesake. A Canadian-bred Swedish Warmblood, Galavant came Fritze’s way
several years ago as a “steal” because he was deemed “unrideable.” After “just letting him be for a long time,” Fritze started his training from scratch. That was in May of 2007 and by that September, he earned high point champion at Training Level at the DASC Championship