Testimonials

Chris Penola

It was almost a decade ago when first I worked on a horse for Cesar. In the time since, I’ve had the privilege to work on many, including horses Cesar has ridden in competition at the highest levels.  The quality of the collection of horses at Performance would be hard to match anywhere, as would be the condition in which they are kept, the precision in which the barn and the training is conducted and the omnipresent  passion and ambition. I shoe horses confident in the fact that they get whatever they need, including veterinary care from the best. The entire time I’ve had work to do at Performance Katie has been there riding, training and coaching. Her successes are easy to document. Jen has been there the whole time too.  Her dedication and attention to detail are evident constantly in the care and management of world class equine athletes. I can’t forget the many talented riders from the US and all over the world who’ve I’ve seen develop under Cesar’s guidance.  I’ve also seen champion young riders, dynamic and dedicated owners and hard working, enthusiastic adult amateurs. All in all a professionally  run show barn filled with great people, great horses and great staff working as a team. Undeniably, that team is Cesar’s creation.

Emma Lesser

Although I only came here with my horse to ride for the summer everyone welcomed me into the Family as if I would stay here forever. I’ve already learned so much and I can feel a great difference in my riding, but I cant wait to learn more.

Thank you Cesar, Katie and the whole Piaffe Performance Team

Martin Sosnoff

“…I always learn a lot when I came here, I’m always looking forward to be with Cesar…”

Quote from the testimonial on the video: https://youtu.be/kd_Ix7fx7gY

Roberto Brasil

“… having the time of my live.”

Rodrigo Fuentes

“… I am improving as a person, and as a rider…”

Ken Simons

“… In Piaffe Performance, It’s not just about the horse or the rider, it’s about your live…”

Wendy Simons

“…I know i will never get hurt, because everyone takes such good care of me…”

Team Video

“… In Piaffe Performance, It’s not just about the horse or the rider, it’s about your live…”

Dominique Cassavetis

I began my career in 2000, at the age of seven, as a Western rider. I entered the world of Dressage in 2005 under the tutelage of Cesar Parra, and started competing in 2007. From this year to 2013, I showed annually at Dressage at Devon, and won numerous times. Throughout the years, I have won many CDI championships, and in 2011, won the gold medal in the North American Championship with my German Warmblood, Charming Princess. I have had the unique opportunity of starting my journey as a student of Cesar’s, and through nine years of study, practice, and commitment to the horses and Performance Farm, have earned a position as a rider/trainer, which I have held since 2007. Performance Farm is my home, and Cesar continues to be a wonderful mentor.

Sally Bailey
Always in our hearts RIP

“…Cesar’s Barn is the best barn in the world…”

Quote from the testimonial on the video: https://youtu.be/kd_Ix7fx7gY

Dr Staller

“… The horses are fantastic and i enjoy taking care of them…”

Quote from the testimonial on the video: https://youtu.be/kd_Ix7fx7gY

Sharon Myers

“… Cesar is so incredible generous, and i had more learning opportunities with him, then i would had in anywhere i could possible go…”

Quote from the testimonial from the video:https://youtu.be/kd_Ix7fx7gY

Mauricio Sanchez

“I have been riding with Cesar for many years now, and i enjoy very much this place, and his instructions”

Quote from the testimonial on the video: https://youtu.be/kd_Ix7fx7gY

Teresa Damiano

When I retired my former horse, I decided I wanted to make a real commitment to becoming a better rider and compete. I knew Katie Reilly from clinics i had taken with her and approached her about finding me a new horse and riding with the Piaffe Performance team. Katie and Dr. Cesar Parra found me a horse that has helped me conquer new challenges and is keeping me on tract for my competitive goals. Every one of the Piaffe Performance team members make me feel that they are there to guide and help me have the best riding experience every single day. It is with great joy that I get in my car to go to the barn!

Eduardo Munoz

The 2012 Florida season was an amazing experience with my new mare. Together, we placed in every single class with high scores from 73% to 76%. These are not results from just good luck or casualty; These are results of a coherent training plan with very clear goals. Not only in the short term, but also long term developed by Cesar Parra for my new hannoverian mare Calidan Sun (6 yrs. Old) and I. The methodic training program that Cesar Parra is using with “Cali” is developing all the potential that my mare has, with an outstanding future ahead.

My relationship with Cesar Parra is more than just Trainer-Client; It is a friendship that we have shared for the last 20 years. Thanks to him, I have had fabulous horses in my life, like Saronno. Even with economical limitations at that time, Cesar helped me to participate in international competitions like centroamerican games in El Salvador (2002) and Bogota (2006), Panamerican games (2003) and Bolvarian games winning many team and individual medals for my country, Colombia. Most recently, in 2008, I was able to buy my horse Flovino; with him, I was able to be a part of the centroamerican games in Puerto Rico, helping the Colombian team win the Gold medal. Now, Flovino is on his way to be a remarkable grand prix horse. I have a lot of hope for him.

Cesar has not only helped me find my horses, he is always very involved in selling them. It was very satisfactory for me when he found the perfect match for my horse, Libertino. It was a pleasant surprise for me when I came back to the USA on year later to find that Libertino and his new owner were training at Cesar’s facility. They look great together!

I have been a witness of Cesar’s generosity, and his knowledge. He not only shares it with his students, but to the entire team of talent. He helps develop future professionals that are going to carry Cesar’s professionalism, dedication, discipline, motivation, and most importantly, respect for the horses.

Kathryn Mills

I have known Cesar and Katie for roughly ten years. I am always impressed with the team work of the farm. And how the evolution of his riding has created such an amazing result. I decided 4years ago to buy a young horse and I knew asking for the help of performance farm would allow me to better my riding and my ability to bring young horses into mature happy athletes. Since then I have had great success in Florida and the east coast, and i couldnt be happier with the care, training, and support I get from everyone at performance farm.

When I retired my former horse, I decided I wanted to make a real commitment to becoming a better rider and compete. I knew Katie Reilly from clinics i had taken with her and approached her about finding me a new horse and riding with the Piaffe Performance team. Katie and Dr. Cesar Parra found me a horse that has helped me conquer new challenges and is keeping me on tract for my competitive goals. Every one of the Piaffe Performance team members make me feel that they are there to guide and help me have the best riding experience every single day. It is with great joy that I get in my car to go to the barn!

Hannah Walker

Thank you so much for giving me the chance to ride such an amazing horse. I
have already gotten attached to this lovely mare and can not wait to see
what is in store for us. Without your help I would never have this
opportunity in front of me.

Thank you again,
Hannah Walker

Linnea Aarflot

I’ve been a guest rider at Piaffe Performance for two month, and I feel very blessed to work with such amazing horses, professional team and in impeccable facilities. I have grown as a rider a well as a person, and the qualitative standards combined with a friendly atmosphere has sharpened my visions for the future. Thank you Cesar!!

Wish I could bring Piaffe Performance with me back to Europe!

Stephen Hayes

Being from the UK, it has always been a dream of mine to come out to the United States and work and train in the dressage industry. And I can truly say Cesar Parra has made my dream a reality at the age of 21, I feel very lucky and privileged to be apart of his very talented and dedicated team. I have previously trained in Barcelona, Spain with Beatrice Ferrer Salat and in the UK with Vicki Thompson-Winfield on barns with very high standards, but being a rider for Cesar and working out here in the U.S is definitely a highlight of my career so far. The facilities and standards of the barn are extremely high, Cesar and the team are always 100% dedicated to their clients and horses, but most of all the training methods and system Cesar uses really works, and it shows in the results and marks at the high profile competitions.So far I have only been here around 2 months and in that short space of time I have learnt so much, one thing which has really stuck out to me is how physically fit and strong the horses are here. As Cesar would say ‘Most talented horses can learn the ‘tricks’, but the horse has to be physically very strong to execute the movements to the fullest potential, a horse what can pull off all the high skilled movements with ease and feel no pain is happy horse and eager and willing to work again the next day’. I am very grateful to Cesar for the opportunity I have here and I would like to continue on this journey and keep learning at Piaffe Performance Farms for many more years to come. Thank You !

Nicolas Torres

I have been riding for as long as I can remember and I have never had as much success or fun as I have had in the past three years riding with Dr. Parra. Cesar Parra was often coming to Colombia to give clinics, which I attended. They were always very educational, and a pleasure to ride in. Three years ago I went to the United States and bought my current horse Silver Label. Since that time I have traveled back and forth to compete in the U.S. under the tutelage of Dr. Parra and I have won a total of 19 international classes. I always look forward to coming to Performance Farm; the team atmosphere is amazing, unlike anywhere I have ever been, everyone is always encouraging and rooting for one another and it is exciting to be a part of.

Julie McKean

“One of the most rewarding aspects of training with Dr. Parra is that his teachings go beyond the dressage arena. Under his instruction I have not only developed a more independent seat, but have gained a deeper understanding of classical training principles, as well as key aspects of horse management. I especially value the upbeat atmosphere, in addition to the great deal of inspiration and support that comes from Dr. Parra and the Performance Farm team”

Jane McKean

There are two important elements to training that I have learned to be true during our 5 years at Performance Farm – patience and commitment to the training method. My daughter’s riding, and Stravinsky’s training, developed by leaps, followed by plateaus – and it was the patience and commitment to Cesar and his training method during the plateaus that made the difference. There is no instant gratification in training either horse or rider – just a long, slow process which is breathtaking to watch unfold!
Our daughter has had fun in the process and has brought several medals home from championships.

Emily Wagner

Having spent two years as a part of the Performance Farm Team, I can only say I would never rewrite this chapter of my life! Dr. Parra is obviously a skilled instructor, trainer and rider; however, his amazing and invaluable skill to teach riders to carry instruction from ride to ride, horse to horse is rare. His teachings carry into the future of all his student’s riding. Not only is Dr. Parra an asset to any rider’s education, but his staff is amazing as well. Each of his riders are fantastic and bring their own strengths to the team. Riding among such talent kept me inspired and motivated each and every day and still does!

Emmy Sobieski (Adwers)

This past weekend, Ali Baba, now 19, helped YET ANOTHER rider earn their USDF Gold Medal. Allison Harding rode her first Grand Prix on Ali Baba for a 63.75%, second place and this score earned Allison her Gold Medal. She had ridden 3 Grand Prix tests before on another horse, so she is still quite green at Grand Prix. I rode a Grand Prix on Ali Baba the day before, to be sure he was going to be good for Allison, and he won his class with a 66%!

This positive experience inspired me to reflect on all that Ali Baba has done for me over the years. I wanted to share my thanks and appreciation as you found him for me and trained me on him. I do not take lessons on him today, rather I just go by what I learned when I was at your barn.

When we went to Germany in search of a Grand Prix schoolmaster, I had never ridden above Prix St. Georges. I remember trying Ali Baba. He was the first horse I tried. I was flailing around attempting various aids and Ali Baba was guessing what I wanted and doing perfect movements. I got off and told you this was the horse I wanted. You told me that we had many more to try. I told you I wanted to reserve this horse. You did that for me, which was great, because someone else tried to buy him the next day, but the sellers stayed true to their word and held him for me. No other horse would do, even after trying so many other fabulous Grand Prix horses, and you arranged a flawless purchase for a great price.

… Three weeks after he came to the US, Ali Baba placed 3rd with me in an Intermediare 1 at the January 2002 Wellington Dressage show, behind you (Cesar) and Michele Gibson! That was him showing me the ropes in my first Intermediare 1. Ali Baba and I went on to win the Region 1 championships at PSG and Intermediare 1 for Adult Amateurs for 2002. He also took me through my first Intermediare 2, my first Grand Prix, my first Grand Prix Special and my first Grand Prix Freestyle…. I went in my first horse show and earned my USDF Gold Medal on Ali Baba in our first two tests. In our first season of Grand Prix, in 2003, he won the Dressage at Devon high score Adult Amateur at Grand Prix, the USDF Adult Amateur National Grand Prix champion, and the Region 1 USDF OPEN Grand Prix Championships. In 2004, he again won the Dressage at Devon high score Adult Amateur at Grand Prix, and also won the Adashi Florida Season Adult Amateur Grand Prix championship for 2004 and 2005, and was 2004 Reserve Champion USDF Adult Amateur National Grand Prix champion behind my other horse PF Robinson, whom you trained and sold me. He won many other awards…

His favorite snack are rice crispy treats, and he still HATES having days off.

He is truly, in every way, my horse of a lifetime. I thank you both from the bottom of my heart for finding this horse and for training him and me to be a team together.

Love,
Emmy Sobieski (Adwers)

Jan Williams

I started training with Cesar Parra about 7 years ago, when my horse Conchita was at 3rd level. Cesar was outstanding in developing the full potential for my horse and I for competitive dressage. Now, at Grand Prix, my horse is completely solid and reliable in the arena and competitive in the CDI arena. Cesar deserves a great deal of credit for our success as he pushes the horse and rider out of their comfort zone to create the competitive horse and rider team.
Jan Williams

Janet Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

Deetje Müntinga

At the beginnning of the year 2009 I started my traineeship at Piaffe Performance Farms during the Florida season.
The first days were very stressful and impressive at the same time. The team works perfectly hand in hand, but after a few days I found my place in the team and I felt very cordially received. It was a great experience for me to ride such welltrained horses, so now back in Germany I can use a
lot of things I learned in the US for teaching my own two mares. It was everytime a pleasure to ride with Kevin and Anna and to get some help from them when Cesar was not there.
My impressions of Cesar were that he is a very selfdisciplined and structured man. He has the ability to pull all the strings and I admire what he has reached in his entire life. One of the sentences I will never forget is “It’s not all about riding”, it is all about the things that happen in
the background like an efficient team, good preparation for the shows and and and.
Even when it was a lot of work we had so much fun day by day, especially on the big shows, because with good friends time is passing by so fast.
I am still glad that Cesar gave me the chance to joyn such a great team like
the team of Piaff Performance Farms.

Deetje Müntinga
Germany

Debbie Purvins

I didn’t get a chance to thank you after my ride on Stanley yesterday. You really helped me understand ‘contact’ and hopefully the next time you see us we will be straight and through as well. Stanley and I have steadily been improving under Michele’s watchful eye but we were never able to get him to stretch over the back at the canter until yesterday. I really think that this is instrumental to our progress and I’m very thankful for your help.

Again many thanks, Debbie Purvin

Chimney Hill Clinic

Thank you so very much for another wonderful opportunity to learn (and to laugh) in the company of great horses and friends. I always come away from your clinics having learned so much. We are very fortunate to have you visit Chimney Hill as often as you do.

I had the BEST RIDE EVER today!! Did as you suggested and switched the extra rein to my hand and it worked much better. And I really pushed him forward. So thanks again!

Thank you so much for yet another super clinic. I was not at my best this week and I appreciate your tolerance and understanding! I am looking forward to many more clinics!!

Great article and pictures on Dressage Daily website!

Diana Rey

I have ridden horses in several places of the world including Germany and Holland; after all of that I must said, riding Cesar’s horses is the best. His horses are so well trained, it is really fun.

Diana Rey, Several times medalist in International championships representing Colombia.

Chase Hickok

“In the eight months since coming to Performance Farms, I can honestly say that my life has changed entirely. I have grown immensely as both a rider and human being, and attribute all of it to the education I have received here. From day one, Cesar explained that riding is only 50% of the job – the rest of it is what happens behind the scenes. Although I was at first skeptical, I have to say that he is absolutely right. And what I have seen here behind the scenes is an outstanding team of riders, grooms, clients and working students that have created a fun and motivational, yet professional environment. In this community, all riders are able to flourish, horses receive top of the line care and there is a genuine sense of camaraderie and support. Only four months after beginning my Dressage training, I was placing consistently in the Young Rider divisions, a feat which I contribute wholly to the knowledge, enthusiasm and experience that Dr. Parra brings to his training everyday.”

Jessica Miller

“Since coming to Performance Farm two years ago, I have learned countless lessons, both in and out of the arena. My experiences here have taught me more about horse care, classical training methods and how to work in a team environment. I am forever appreciative of the opportunities Dr. Parra has given me and will cherish this experience forever.”

Kevin Kohmann

“The opportunities and experiences I have had since coming to Performance Farms four years ago have been invaluable to my growth and expansion as a rider. I have been fortunate enough to clinic with world-renowned trainers, shown horses in the upper levels, learned English, and got hands on experience in how to conduct a successful equestrian business. My time here has marked some of the most influential years of my life.”

France Michaud

I will like to take this opportunity to thank you and your wonderful staff for a great week-end at your training center. It was very inspiring and motivating. I received a warm greating from all of your staff, even the boarders. It was such a joy to watch them train all of the very talented horses at Performance Farms. I was overwhelmed by the tender love and care that every horses received. Your installations are impeccable and I can not describe what it felt to ride such a generous horse in that kind of footing. WOW!

Marie Pettersson & Josh Odrich

Zimmy is all we could have wished for and more, we are in love!!!
Thank you Cesar!

Jackie Taylor

Thank you Dr. Cesar Parra for coming to Red Deer to share your knowledge of dressage with us. I must say I enjoyed your humor very much and it helped me to understand what my instructor has been trying to get across to me for the last six months. FINALLY I understand how to get forward. I went home and tried exactly what you were instructing the students in your clinics to do. I had forward immediately with “leg off”. I have had a hard time keeping my mare going forward in the canter applying the outside rein and today we accomplished this feat with ease. I hope to see you again in Red Deer in the future.

Sharon White

“Cesar gave me the chance of a lifetime that was above and beyond expectation. As a professional event rider I sit on up to ten horses a day but I don’t normally have the opportunity to learn the subtleties of upper level dressage. Cesar gave me that chance and I will never forget it. He was incredibly generous with his time and his passion for horses and love of dressage was infectious. He made the learning fun, his staff was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful, and I learned some valuable tools that I will use the rest of my life. Thanks Cesar!”

Kyle Hickok, father of Chase Hickok

“I first met Cesar two years ago when my daughter, Chase, cliniced with him in North Carolina. After a great experience in the clinic, Chase approached him about possibly purchasing a horse to help her achieve her goal of competing in the FEI Young Riders. Cesar graciously invited her up to his farm in New Jersey, and eventually found the perfect horse for Chase.
Today, two years since Chase started working with Cesar fulltime, she has achieved some remarkable, life-defining milestones. Not only did she achieve her initial goal, to qualify to ride at the North American Young Rider Championships the last two years, this year she went home with a Freestyle Silver and Individual Bronze medals. Additionally, she was invited to ride at the Collecting Gaits National Dressage Championships at Gladstone, NJ, finishing in fourth in the Nation both years.
Cesar, Katie, Kevin, Jen, and the entire team at Piaffe Performance Farms deserve much of the credit for her successes. Their attention to every detail of developing her as a rider was matched by their attention to developing her as a person. Everytime I visit, I am amazed by the professionalism, dedication and genuine kindness of each of the team members. The confidence, maturity, and life lessons Chase has learned from Cesar and this experience will be with her for the rest of her life. From one father to another, it is with a great deal of gratitude and respect that I thank Cesar for his investment in my daughter.

Alexandra Gatzweiler, Germany

My stay at Piaffe Performance Farms as a trainee in the Florida Season 2011/2012 was a great experience for me. I got the opportunity to work as a part of the Piaffe Performance Team and experience the culture of the group.
I am very impressed by the beautiful facilities, the care that every horse receives and the way in which Dr. Parra is constantly on the lookout for new challenges, which he masters with absolute precision and professionalism. At the same time he is fully aware of the importance of a supportive team of experts that works hand in hand in order to reach goals corporately.
During my stay I learned that passion, patience, and positivity are the basic principles for considerable success. Back in Germany I can apply these valuable principles to my everyday training with my own horse.
I am deeply grateful that Dr. Parra gave me the opportunity to gain these experiences!
Thanks a lot, Alexandra Gatzweiler, Germany

Marcel Schoenmakers

I am realy happy to have such good horses like Fedrleicht & Grandioso these are absolut top Horses!
Nice to Ride And have both a super caracter! Thanks a lot!

Marcel Schnoenmarkers was born 11/03/1963 in Loon op Zand (Holland)

I had the great opportunity to study with the two best trainers in the World. My first couple of years I worked with Klaus Balkenhol together after that when I had my own business I worked with Herbert Rehbein, who is no longer with us.
My Career started us a jumping rider I competed successful in Highest classes (S).
After jumping I switched into the Dressage. And I owned a commercial and training stable . I had trained many horses until Grand Prix. The horses at this time went always for sale and I was not able to present my self that often in the shows.
But I look back to many young horses witch I trained until Grand Prix Level.
Because of my very good and successful training of the horses, many went on to different riders who were able to show until the Olympic Games.

I trained many juniors, young riders and Grand Prix riders.

I trained a junior rider to the gold medal at the European masters.

I had success with young riders winning bronze medal individual and many Team medals.

I had trained many Grand Prix riders from different nations to European and World Championships. ( for example World Championships in Rome, European in Windsor.

In Austria I trained lately very successful the young riders, Nikolaus Erdmann, Christopher Erdmann and Sabrina Reinwald.

Nikolaus Erdmann was a very successful junior rider, young – and Grand Prix rider.

Sabrina Reinwald also very successful in juniors and young riders.

Christoph Erdmann successful us junior rider.

Now I’m so lucky to have the greatest opportunity in my carerr. To use all my knowledge which I own after all the year in this business. That I get to ride, to work and to train under the best condition and with Top Horses without having any time pressure.

Horses which I successfully trained:

Chevalier – Olympian with Anne van Olst in Barcelona

Olympic Ferro – started with Coby van Baalen at the Olympics in Sydney 2000 and World Games in Rome 1998

Devereaux – was with Robert Dover 1994 at the World Games in Den Haag in Holland and later with Ireland for the Olympic Games1996 successful

Katryn Mills

I want to take the time to say thank you to Cesar and Katie. The many hours spent searching has paid off! This very special youngster is perfect for me, and I am sure we will have a bright future! I am so excited! Thank you again.

Angela Bordwell

The barn is unbelievable I love everyone and everyone treats Cousteau like he was there own. What I love the most is how I am treated like a teammate and that my riding is not criticized but given useful tips and solid training to advance. If I were a bit more health this would be the perfect environment to thrive in and it is encouraged, to be this way. Thank you for setting the example in a positive way and staying Focused on the joy the sport can bring.

Karen Blank

I am blessed to have a lovely horse like Avi, purchased from Cesar. As his owner, I have enjoyed his rideability, good temperament, and I think he is beautiful! As I continue to hone my skills as an adult amateur, it is wonderful to have him as my horse and the professional expertise of Cesar, Katie and the PPF staff as a resource.

DR. CESAR PARRA: DRESSAGE EXPERT & EDUCATOR

Cesar Parra is one of the most recognized names in dressage. Students travel from all over to receive instruction at Piaffe Performance Farms. They value Dr. Parra’s years of experience in both national and international competitions, his skill at matching horse and rider perfectly, and his ability to teach dressage to all riding levels.

Dr. Parra’s teachings have become so in demand that he frequently travels the country and the world offering clinics to eager riders who hope to learn from his experience. These clinics are always extremely well attended.

Cesar travels everywhere from Virginia to Texas to Indianapolis to Montreal offering lessons and lectures on the finer points of dressage training. These learning intensive clinics give attendees the chance to learn techniques from an experienced rider and coach.

Past program participants have words of praise and gratitude for Cesar Parra about his clinics.
Paul Maguire, President of Can-Am Equine Marketing Inc. says, “On behalf of Can-Am Equine, I would like to thank you for your presentations. I watched your clinics and found them extremely well prepared, educational, and easy to understand. We are glad you found the time to come out here and spread your dressage knowledge. The audience as well as the clinic participants thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Diana Bayer spoke about a clinic Dr. Parra gave in Ottawa, saying, “My daughter Melissa rode in it for only one day, and in that one day she and I both learned so much. It was the most productive clinic we have ever attended. I do hope you come back to this area soon. Something truly clicked for my daughter.”

Participants from a clinic in Montreal wrote in with these words, “After reading the testimonials on your page, it is difficult to add anything more. All was said, all express our feelings, and all is so very true! After the clinic, the horses were flying above the ground, some were piaffing, some passaging, some were pirouetting. The equestrian art you presented seemed so logical, so easy, and so classic. Thank you so much for all you have shared with us.”