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Dressage Today
Develop Power with Hill Work Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel wrote an article about improving collection and self-carriage by venturing outdoors.

PO Box 425
Lisbon, Maryland 21765

PHONE 301-854-6541


Head Trainer and Facility Manager

Felicitas Von Neumann-Cosel
Under the direction of Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel, First Choice Farm has developed into a world-class training facility. Horses and riders of all ages and levels are accepted for short-term training or for long-term sponsorship from all over the United States. In addition, a limited number of full training boarding stalls are available to local riders and their horses. Felicitas also travels throughout the United States teaching clinics. (link)

Felicitas placed first in her native Germany when completing her “Reitlehrer” (federally certified instructor) certification. She also graduated with the highest score ever awarded up to that time following the restructuring and improvement of the program in 1982 by the German government.  Felicitas has also served as a USDF examiner for the Instructor’s Certification Program here in the United States.  She edited Reiner Klimke’s book Ahlerich: The Making of a Dressage Champion, and is a frequent contributor to Dressage Today(link) and Practical Horseman (link) explaining her philosophy on the importance of hill work for developing "propulsive power" and "carrying power." 

Since arriving from Germany in 1984, Felicitas has managed First Choice Farm and trained many horses to Grand Prix level.  As a sample of her achievements in the prestigious Colonel Bengt Ljungquist Memorial competition competing with young horses as well as the more advanced are listed below:
First Level
1991 Raphael & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel
Second Level
2007 Where's Waldo & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel
Third Level
1987 Meistersinger & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel
Fourth Level
1989 Wietske & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel
2004 Roulette & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel
Prix St Georges
1986 Ariel & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel
1990 Wietske & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel
2005 Roulette & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel
1987 Ariel & Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel

Currently Felicitas is competing the young gelding Roulette (1996) at the Gran Prix level.  This combination has been well-placed in Olympic Qualifying competitions as well as World Cup Qualifier competitions.  Much more is expected from Roulette and Felicitas in the coming years.

Felicitas also competes a young Lusitano stallion, Tonico do Top owned by Linda and Joe Denniston of Cedar Rowe Lusitanos.  A second  Lusitano stallion from Cedar Rowe, Jalifa (GS), has trained at First Choice Farm under the tutelage of Felicitas where he was training at Fourth Level and started some FEI work.

Klaus Balkenhol, of the German Dressage team, considers Felicitas "a gifted, top-class horse woman." Robert Dover has said "if we can procure a superior horse for this incredibly gifted rider, we will watch her skyrocket to the top rankings and give our country a boost toward the medal platform in future international competitions."

She is an effective and articulate clinician, whose style is sympathetic to the horse.  Her strength lies in “making the horse more beautiful, and allowing them to express themselves.” She is sympathetic to the horse and each is trained according to his individual needs and temperament following classical dressage principles. Felicitas patiently encourages the horse to stretch into a soft hand, lift his back and carry his own neck “as if peering over the edge of a cliff”.  She bases her work on classical methods as exemplified by the best of the European tradition. Typically participants and auditors alike benefit immensely from the creative and subtle strategies Felicitas shares with them. All leave with a better understanding of how to enhance the flow of their horse's energy from back to front, and front to back again.   The skills of Felicitas as a clinician will soon be available on-line from “”

Along with Gerhard Politz, Michael Poulin, Debbie Bowman and Steffen Peters, she has been a USDF Examiner for the Instructor`s Certification program

In addition to her training and clinic activities Felicitas maintains a vigorous working student program.  Prominent competitors such as Teresa Butta and Brendan Curtis (from the Robert Dover TV reality show) in addition to Marjorie Davis have been trained through this program.

Dressage Working Student Position

From time to time First Choice Farm has openings for a Dressage Working Student. This position affords the serious student the opportunity to work directly under von Neuman-Cosell and learn the classic approach to dressage.