Facility Owner / Trainer
I have been around horses my whole life, my mother tells me that I could sit a horse before I could walk. I have been professionally riding now for more than 30 years and have been involved in training both riders and horses for over 25 years. My focus is the progression of horse and rider with safety being the main emphasis.
I specialize in beginner, intermediate and nervous riders and will take as long as needed to reach a goal that we set at the start of our sessions. I want to create safe, confident and effective riders. Whether you want to develop your skills toward competition, learning a new style or skill, or simply improving your riding and your horse, we can work out the most effective program for you. There is no one “right” way to learn, and there is no one “right” speed of progression. I believe in teaching in the most appropriate way for each rider – not a “cookie cutter” approach. The basics cannot be over-learned, and I will take as long as necessary until a rider is comfortable before we move onto something new and/or more demanding.
My own horsey background is quite varied. I have lived my whole life around horses, my mother used to own and breed arabian horses and my first real horse was my Arabian mare Kalimara who was born 2 months after I was. While my Arabian Kali was my first horse, my first riding experience was actually with a sassy Shetland pony Suzie who sure knew how to get me off of her. I learned how to stick on her back like a flea and not be scared of falling to the ground. From there, I went to riding lessons and learned how to ride English flatwork, dressage and show jumping. It was a huge eye opener. I loved English riding and really loved how free I felt in the saddle. I learned a lot there at that barn, and take that knowledge with me everywhere.
When I was in my teens, my family moved to the middle of nowhere near Fresno California named Wonder Valley, it was 1500 acres of open cattle range. I was blessed to have this happen because I was able to meet Jack S, who was an 82 year old cowboy and the owner of Indian Rock Ranch. From there, I learned how to ride line, rope cattle and herd cows. It was then that I got into Barrels and Rodeo. I loved it. Going fast, moving around a pattern was a thrill. There was not anything more fun than I could have done as a teenager. I was able to make it to Nationals Rodeo and saw a whole new world of horses through those lenses. Working for Jack S., I also learned how to train horses and he gave me my first start on starting a young horse.
I learned that I was a fairly decent trainer, who was not only able to start young horses, but also how to break down different skills to riders to enable them learn easier. Jack taught me that there’s always another way to explain something, and that if the student isn’t picking it up, perhaps the trainer needs to try a different approach to make it more easily understood. This has stood me in very good stead over the years.
I have been able to ride several different riding disciplines, both in English and Western riding. I have ridden dressage, show jumping, cross-country jumping and various other flat work styles of English riding. I have also been able to run barrels, pole bending, calf roping, goat tying and various other Western disciplines. I have also done 10 mile and 30 mile endurance courses and just basic fun trails all over the United States. I have ridden a wide variety of horses, literally from Shetlands to Warmbloods, and horses at all levels of training, from “green-broke” youngsters to my own second level dressage horse Rocky.
Although competing was never my main goal, I have ridden a number of horses in competitions over the years and also in breed/type specific showing classes. With my own horse growing up I have gone to National level shows as well as two International level shows both with English riding and Western riding. What I love to see now are my own students competing on their horses or mine. I currently have the pleasure of having a young teenager currently training on my second level dressage horse Rocky and we hope to see them soon making brilliant strides to first place ribbons in their future.