My name is Charlotte Gerstenfeld Urban.
I graduated from Hollins University in 1994 with a BA in Economics/Business and a minor in Biology. After graduation I moved to California.
For the next year I worked for Jim Hagman at Elvenstar Farms and then spent the next five years working for John Bragg at Bridgeport Farms. While working for John, I came to realize that my knowledge of educating show horses was limited. In order to achieve my goals, I needed to travel to Europe where they are known for producing the majority of the world’s top show horses.
I was fortunate enough to begin my training in Switzerland working for a true horseman and horse dealer, Gerhard Etter. After working almost a year for Gerhard as a sales rider, I decided to move to Germany; the country where a majority of Grand-Prix and Olympic horses are produced. I began my journey working at the Zweibrucken Pferdeverband. I continued to work in Germany for another six years for different sales barns and breeders. I spent my years working for Axel Woeckener, Wulf Rulf, some private breeders and Hauke Luther.
In Germany I had many placings in the young horse classes called Springpferde. These classes are 3’6, 3’9 and 4’0 classes (1.10 meters – 1.30 meters). These classes are for horses six years and under and are judged on style and ride ability. I also had success in competing horses in the regular jumper classes where the placings are based on time and faults. I have numerous placings in classes 1 meter 10 to 1 meter 40.
My general philosophy on riding is a simple one – less is more. First of all, riding in itself is not complicated. More often than not it becomes complicated due to the miscommunication between horse and rider. This miscommunication often begins from a lack of education and discipline in the fundamental riding principles. When one understands the mechanics of riding the dance with the horse becomes fluid and quiet. This dance is the beauty of floating down to a 5’9 oxer, flying over it and cantering away with a smile. We as riders should never forget that every time we sit on a horse we are the main contributor to either educating or uneducating the horse.
At the conclusion of September 2009, I decided to return to America and start my own business, Trans-Atlantic show horses. I began selling my horses that I trained in concert with training and instruction of clients. My sales horses and I are currently residing at Middleburg, Virginia, which is located 50 minutes outside of Washington, D.C.
My Personal Goals: To take talented young horses and educated them in a system that the American market can profit from and to teach my students how to improve their showing success by simply following a consistent system that is healthy for the horse’s body and mental happiness. The riding system I have embraced and teach is one, which enables the rider’s understanding of how to mold and control the movements of the horse by his/hers balance and body aids. It’s of importance to me that when anyone purchases a horse from Trans-Atlantic, that they can easily manage the future success of their horses. This is my training philosophy and I feel confident that my clients will be very satisfied for many years to come with their horses.
My grandfather always said, “Better to choose quality over quantity.” I believe in this saying and this is my business acumen. The point of my training system is to enable my clients not only to reach but also to exceed their personal goals. My business ethics insist that I supply both positive and constructive feedback about the horses that clients currently own and/or they are considering for future investments.