At Trilogy Saddles, President Debbie Witty hand-selects each Ambassador. These riders represent the very best in equestrian sport, with an emphasis on the welfare of the horse and the epitome of horse/rider partnership that our equipment stands for. We hope you enjoy reading about our Trilogy Ambassadors!
Trilogy Saddles Ambassador
As half of a ‘dynamic duo’ dressage team with husband and Olympian Steffen Peters, champion rider and trainer Shannon Peters says she’d love to represent her country at the Olympics some day. “We’d be the first husband-and-wife dressage members of a U.S. team!” she declares.
That commitment to a dream runs deeply in Shannon’s veins, yet it’s her love and respect for the horse/rider relationship, and her shared passion for the sport with her husband and business partner, that helps her thoroughly enjoy the journey. “Our whole business revolves around teamwork combined with fun, plus respect for our clients, employees, horses, and ourselves,” she says.
Trilogy President Debbie Witty feels Shannon’s dedication and skill are a critical part of the Peters’ business. “The thing about Shannon is that she’s able to dissect the horse and rider like no one I’ve ever seen before. Not only can she get on the horse and create or reproduce the desired response so the rider sees it, she’s able to explain what she did, so that when the rider gets back on they can start to feel it correctly. They see it, hear it, and feel it; that she can do that again and again is a huge benefit,” says Debbie.
She says Shannon has a special talent, and it’s not one you come across every day. “Some people can get on and ride their horse well, but they can’t explain to you what they did. Many professionals get on and ride by feel, or they can get on and can fix something but not be able to tell you how they fixed it,” says Debbie. “Shannon is one of those riders that can describe it to you, step by step by step, and explain something so it starts to become your own. That’s really invaluable.”
The admiration and respect are mutual, since Shannon feels Debbie’s knowledge and experience are second to none. “Debbie and I hold the same value system: Honesty, integrity, hard work, and the horses always come first!” she laughs, pointing out that while Trilogy saddles are top quality, it’s what’s behind them that she’s most proud of. “Debbie has a passion for her company and what it exemplifies, and her commitment to service is extraordinary.”
As for the saddles, Shannon says that because they’re expertly fitted to the horse, they also put the rider in the best possible position; this ‘sweet spot’ position not only helps the rider, by improving the rider’s overall balance she says it also helps the horse. “The center of balance in Debbie’s saddles tend to put the rider in the correct position, no matter the rider’s height, length of leg, or width,” says Shannon. According to her, it’s where a rider’s not falling forward nor back, but sitting balanced on their seat bones, and it’s uncommon for a saddle to provide that assistance. “In my 25 years of riding, I’d never ridden a saddle that did that before.”
Shannon has been with Trilogy Saddles from the beginning, and Debbie says she saw early on her ability to foster qualities of fairness and understanding in her human and equine relationships.
“The first time I met Shannon, she helped me by warming up a client’s horse so I could make adjustments in his saddle,” Debbie recalls. “I’d always struggled with fitting this horse’s longish, low back and high hips, plus the warm-up had always been challenging for him.” Debbie says Shannon started a series of exercises focused on a steady walking rhythm and softening the jaw and poll. “It established relaxation, self-assurance, and willingness in this horse who previously hadn’t been an enthusiastic partner,” she says, pointing out Shannon’s ability to develop confident horses through very clear communication and her methodical approach. “Shannon’s got a horse right now that she’s had to work through not only physical but also psychological resistance. Piece by piece, part by part, she’s dismantled that horse’s thinking and put him back together.”
As for her own motivation to improve, Shannon says it comes through living life with horses. From her days spent riding Arabians at age 10, to her current work at the couple’s 65-horse stable in California, she says she just can’t help smiling when she comes to the barn. “My horses inspire me with their kindness and willingness to please; they come out every day with a wonderful, positive attitude.”