DRF Isabela

DRF Isabela (Izzy) is a 2015 Connemara/Thoroughbred, bred by Janet Johnson of Dayton Ridge Farm in Richland Center, WI.  I bought her sight unseen, and she arrived at Cold Moon Farm early on a frigid morning the day before a blizzard in March 2017.  She is by the Connemara stallion Skyview’s Triton and out of the Thoroughbred mare Honest Wit.

Izzy and her dam Honest Wit. Photo courtesy of Dayton Ridge Farm and Sue Schamberger Photography

I bought Izzy because while I have worked with horses that were quite green in their development and brought them along, I have never had the chance to own one of my own to produce from the beginning. I love the Connemara breed for their temperament, personality and versatility. I had hoped that the infusion of Thoroughbred would add more size, but Izzy remains a rather petite 14.3-15.0 hands.

Newly arrived in New Hampshire from Wisconsin! She spent a moment to take it all in.

Izzy attended a ground work clinic with Tik Maynard as a 3 year old, was gently backed that summer, then was given the rest of the fall and winter to continue to mature. In the late spring of her 4 year old year, Izzy was restarted under saddle and progressed to walk/trot work and even went on a few hacks. Our goal in her training is to slowly and progressively introduce new challenges in a way that keeps her confidence and success rate as high as possible.

Izzy on her 4th birthday (May 2019)

While the 2020 pandemic nixed our plan to start taking Izzy on short off farm outings, we took advantage of more time at home to further her education both on the ground and under saddle. Izzy is now solidly working walk, trot, canter and over cavaletti. She is becoming braver about hacking off farm, learning from good role models like her turnout buddy, Spring Hollow Marquesa.

Spring Hollow Marquesa and Izzy preparing for a fall hack.

Izzy is a sweet and inquisitive youngster, and I am incredibly excited to have her in the herd.  I am hoping that she will continue to develop into a fun and sensible all rounder who enjoys dressage, jumping and hacking out as much as I do.

Izzy schooling at home Fall 2020

DRF Isabela notable accomplishments


From 2020-2023, I rode 1900 miles on trail with these four mares to complete the Warhorse Endurance Pony Express Challenge. A portion of the ride entry fees were donated to help keep the Pony Express National Museum in St. Joseph, MO, open during the height of the pandemic. From l-r: JEF Anna Rose, Liatris, Spring Hollow Marquesa, DRF Isabela.

North America Online Dressage Championships– First Level Test 1 Open National Champion (64.44%)

Vienna Farm Schooling Dressage Show Open High Point (69.00%)

Izzy and her prizes from the 2023 North American Online Dressage Championships


North America Online Dressage Championships– Training Level Test 2 Open National Champion (68.28%); Training Level Test 3 Open National Champion (66.90%); Overall Open High Point Winner

Relentless 100 Mile Challenge (100 miles of ridden trail)

American Connemara Pony Society (ACPS) Bronze Medal for Dressage Performance

Izzy with her prizes from the North America Online Championships 2022


Dressage Show Online Classic Open Show Training Level Test 2 (71.03%)/1st and Open High Point

Dressage Show Online Classic Open Show Training Level Test 2 (68.10%)/1st

North America Online Dressage Championships– (69.25%) Introductory Level Open National Champion

Dressage Show Online Classic Open Show Introductory Test C (68.00%)/1st


Journey 100 Mile Challenge (20/100 miles of ridden trail, in partnership with my other four mares)

Dressage Show Online Classic Open Show Introductory Test C 64.5%/1st

University of New Hampshire Virtual Dressage Show Introductory Test C 70.0%/Hors Concours

Izzy displays her 2021 North America Online Dressage Championship ribbon (Introductory Level Open Champion).