Maribeth Dunlap Dressage

Maribeth Dunlap

Equestrian Resume




Active and successful Dressage Competitor, Trainer & Instructor with 35+ years experience in Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, 4H/Western & Hunt Seat. Successful Owner/Manager of Equestrian Training Center near Penn State University, Pennsylvania, for 30 years. Real Estate Agent with experience in multiple states. Experienced Executive Director of a non-profit 501 c (3) organization and large event center. Seasoned & Experienced Automotive and Customer Service Sales Professional with 10+ year’s experience. Successful Business Owner/Manager with 35+ year’s experience. 


  • Accomplished in handling and care of horses.

  • Participated as a youth in the local 4H Horse and Pony Club from 9 to 21 years of age.

  • Successfully competed and schooled in the sport of Hunter/Jumpers for 18 years.

  • Successfully competed and schooled in the sport of Dressage for 20+ years.

  • Successfully owned and managed training facility for 30 years.

  • Perpetual student of the horse and train with top trainers and clinicians throughout my life.

  • Successfully coached many individuals riders, and teams to competition success.

  • I have given lectures and demonstrations throughout my career.

  • 2001 American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA) Certification Level II Dressage & Hunt Seat.

  • Successfully and regularly compete throughout the levels of dressage and have achieved many

    successes and currently working towards Silver Medal and Silver Freestyle Bars.

  • Recipient of USDF Bronze Medal.

  • Recipient of USDF Bronze Freestyle Bar.

  • Recipient of USDF Rider Performance Award Second Level.

  • Recipient of USDF Rider Performance Award First Level.

  • Recipient of USDF Rider Performance Award Training Level.

  • Recipient of Adequan/USDF Musical Freestyle Award 2010 First Level Reserve Champion.

  • Recipient of many All-Breeds Awards.

  • USDF # 14450. USEF # 212608


I have been a horsewoman for more than 35 years. I am an accomplished dressage trainer, competitor, instructor, and clinician, with emphasis given to the classical dressage principles. I moved to Florida after selling an equestrian business in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, minutes from the Penn State University main campus. I owned and successfully managed this equestrian facility for 30 years. I am a successful and active dressage trainer and competitor and have gained a reputation for good horsemanship and skillful riding by achieving repeated successes with many different horses. I am a serious and dedicated trainer and rider with high standards.

Coming from a western riding background as a youth, a jumping background through my teens and twenties, and a dressage focus now for 25+ years, I have acquired a wealth of experiences to draw from. I especially enjoy working with young horses and have an extensive background and knowledge in training. My training shows in my horses’ confident, willing attitudes as well as their physical development and performance. Horses trained by me have a high degree of rideability while also being developed to the best of their athletic abilities. In addition to training horses, I have a passion for teaching riders. I work with riders of all ages and with a wide range of skills. I especially enjoy working with teens through adults.

A love for riding began as a small child. I got my first pony at the age of seven when my father traded in a pony, cart, harness, and tack for a used car. I joined the local 4-H Horse and Pony Club at age 9 where I participated in Western Riding events and Games. At the age of 13, I started taking jumping lessons from Jane and Dave Flynn of Eastwood Farms, in Bellefonte, PA. My mother bought me a show hunter and I began competing Hunters. During my first two years in college, I successfully competed on the Pennsylvania State University Equestrian Team. During my twenties, I successfully competed Jumpers and worked regularly with Dave Flynn of Eastwood Farms in Bellefonte, PA, Linda Will of Hunt and Hackaway Farm in Milroy, PA, and I participated regularly in clinics with Chris Kappler who worked for Hunterdon at the time. In my late twenties, I began pursuing dressage and started working with Barbara Horwith of Womelsdorf, PA, with whom I studied all the movements through Grand Prix. From there I began studying with Jill Hassler-Scoop who then encouraged me to become an instructor. She mentored me during my first year of instruction. I worked with Jill for five years until her death. I also worked with Thomas Ritter (8 years), Fred Weber (6 years), and Paul Belasik (8 years). I have enjoyed a long, fulfilling career in the horse business and have owned my own equestrian facility in Bellefonte, PA for thirty years. I continue to train, instruct, clinic, and compete now in Southwest Florida.


Just as sound fundamentals are essential to good riding, so is a program of continuing education. As a perpetual student of the horse, I have been fortunate to train with some of the finest instructors in the US and Europe. I draw upon this diverse background of techniques, styles and concepts while working with each horse and rider. I have always felt an obligation to my students to pass along the knowledge gained from this experience and training. My training experience comes from many different instructors and clinicians over the years yet all have maintained the same priority and goal of the correct development of the horse. Trainers that have encouraged and helped me along the way include:


  • Jane and Dave Flynn

  • Linda Will

  • Chris Kappler


  • Paul Belasik

  • Andreas Hausberger

  • Fred Weber

  • Thomas Ritter

  • Jill Hassler-Scoop

  • Cathy Morelli

  • Barbara Horwith

    Other clinicians I have worked with include:

    Yvonne Barteau, Paula Kierkegaard, Gigi Nutter, CarolLavell, Lendon Gray, Martin Keupper, Brenda Belz-Doudican, Debbie Bowman, Loni Pyers, Chris Wadman, and MaryPat Ore.  My strong desire and love for learning, along with my open-mindedness, have been continuing distinguishing traits and one of my many strengths throughout my entire career. I am always seeking new learning opportunities for myself and my students through the USDF and other associations, as well as seeking out other opportunities in other miscellaneous events.



    I grew up with horses in my backyard. My parents gave me my first pony when I seven years old and learned quickly about the responsibilities of caring for horses. I have always managed horses on my own property and eventually grew my passion into a business in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, located 8 miles from Penn State University. I established SkyPark Farm Dressage in 2000 and grew it to a successful yet intimate 14 stall training stable with two barns, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, and multiple pastures and paddocks. I successfully trained, taught lessons, and boarded horses and gained a good reputation for high quality care and service. From this location, I coached and hosted the Penn State Dressage Team, countless clinics, demonstrations, fun shows and many other activities and events. I am knowledgable in all aspects of equine management and care. I am adept at maintaining a property at its highest levels.


I love teaching and have the heart of a teacher. Encouraged and mentored by Jill Hassler-Scoop, I enjoy teaching as much as I enjoy riding and training. I think that teaching is like riding, a journey in which one is always growing and learning. I began my journey as a ski instructor at Vail, Colorado, in the early 1980's and became a dressage instructor at the urgings of Jill Hassler-Scoop in the late 1990's. Jill mentored me in my first year as an instructor and I also went on to get her ARIA certification in 2000 in Level II Dressage and Hunt Seat.

One measure of success comes from my student’s successes. I have coached individuals, intercollegiate teams, United States Pony Club, and 4-H Champions. With an emphasis on the sound basic training principles of traditional horsemanship, I have trained novice riders with green horses to become successful in the show ring. Numerous students have won championships at the local, regional, and national levels. I have coached numerous Quadrille and Drill Teams including coaching the Lion Country Pony Club Quadrille to win the National Championship. I coached the Penn State Dressage Team in their inaugural year.


I have always been surrounded by music. My love of music was inspired by my grandfather, Jacob Fox, who had his own dance band called the Jacob Fox Orchestra, and by my mother who played piano for her father in his dance band. I studied Classical Piano for nine years. I accompanied several choirs and soloists during her earlier years. I also studied Classical Voice Training for two years and have performed in choirs and a few solo performances.

I helped establish the KDCTA Drill Team in 1996 with its first 12 riders. I coached, choreographed and edited the music for the Team for its first several years. I, since then, have choreographed many Pas de Deux and Individual Musical Freestyles for myself and other riders.

I have been a successful clinician and have also had great success in teaching Musical Freestyle Workshops. I have edited the music and designed the choreography for many Individual Freestyles, Pas de Deuxs, Quadrilles and Drill Teams. Many of which the riders have gone on to win many awards with the freestyles that I developed.


My competitive success began as a youth in the 4-H Horse and Pony Club. I competed in 4-H in the western riding and gaming events. At 13 years old, I began competing Hunters and went on to have many successes as a junior. I rode successfully competed Jumpers in my late twenties. I studied dressage at the end of my twenties and have been a student of dressage ever since. Over the years, I have studied, in great detail, work on the longe, in-hand work, long lining, and dressage movements through the Grand Prix. I have enjoyed many competition successes with various horses and have currently competed through 4th Level.  

I regularly compete with my horses throughout the levels of dressage and I have achieved many successes and multiple championships. All of my accomplishments have been earned on horses that I have trained and developed mostly by myself. I am a USDF Bronze Medalist and USDF Bronze Freestyle Bar, and I am currently working towards my Silver Medal and Silver Freestyle bar.


True to the traditional training principle of calm, supple, straight, strong, and forward, I use a system of training with my horses that one step builds upon the next. I suggest, test, explore and seek cooperation, always reinforcing successful efforts, which build confidence in the horse. I believe that classical training produces a horse that is balanced, athletic, responsive and confident, thus making him more enjoyable to ride and in turn, he enjoys his work.

The satisfaction I experience while training a horse through the levels is difficult to put into words for me. Whether green or advanced, I always focus on the solid basics and correctness of the work. I am a very focused trainer and I seek to let each horse perform to the best of their ability regardless of breeding or conformation. I have worked with many different breeds of horses.


2009 USDF Bronze Medal
2016 USDF Bronze Freestyle Bar
2008 USDF Rider Performance Awards:

  • Training Level

  • First Level

  • Second Level

    2010 Adequan/USDF Musical Freestyle Award on Milano, First Level, Reserve Champion


    2010 NEDA Year-End Award on Milano, Second Level Musical Freestyle, 4th Place
    2010 VADA/Nova Year-End Award on Milano, High Score Musical Freestyle Licensed Shows 2010 VADA/Nova Year-End Award on Milano, First Level Reserve Champion Licensed Shows 2010 Qualified for CBLMs at First & Second Level + Musical Freestyles at both levels on Milano 2010 Qualified for USDF Regional Championships at First Level on Milano
    2009 Mid Atlantic Lipizzan Association State Award, Maestoso II Odetta II, Champion
    2007 Fair Hill Breed Show Reserve Champion Lipizzan, Maestoso II Odetta II
    2007 Fair Hill Breed Show 4yo+ Stallions Open Class Reserve Champion, Maestoso II Odetta II 2006 Dressage At Devon, Champion Lipizzan, Maestoso II Odetta II
    2006 Dressage At Devon, 4 yo & Older Stallions Open, 4th Place, Maestoso II Odetta II
    2006 Mid Atlantic Lipizzan Association Year-End Award on Maestoso II Odetta II, Champion


    2010 IALHA on Milano, Second Level Musical Freestyle, Champion 2010 IALHA on Milano, Second Level, Reserve Champion
    2010 IALHA on Milano, First Level Musical Freestyle, Reserve Champion 2010 IALHA on Milano, First Level, 3rd Place

    2008 Lipizzan Federation of America Horse of the Year Award, First Level, 3rd Place on Maestoso II Odetta II
    2005 Purebred Hanoverian Association Award on Sacre Coeur, Second Level, Champion


Numerous Championships, High Point, High Score, and Year-End Awards at Regional and Local Schooling Shows.


  • United States Equestrian Federation (USEF),

  • United States Dressage Federation (USDF),

  • American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA),

  • Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association (PAQHA),

  • International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA),

  • Alpha Dressage Association,

  • Southwest Florida Dressage Association.