I’ve loved horses since my earliest memories. It took me 6 years to convince my non-horse parents to find a pony for me to ride. I knew back then (at Milljoy Stables in Cincinnati, OH) I’d never do anything else. I wanted to ride and do it very well. I wanted to understand what each horse needed to be healthy, happy and productive in their discipline.
Over the next 30 years, I rode any horse I could. My childhood BFF and I would climb the neighbors fence and hoist each other up on a grey mare we knew nothing about. She carried us through the woods and tolerated our request to gallop around the field.
I rode jumpers in the beginning. It wasn’t the most correct education, but I learned timing and bravery. My first horse job came at the age of 23 riding at “Arabian Knights Dinner Theater” in Kissimee, Florida. There, I acquired the “get the job done no matter what” mentality.
The next trainer I worked with would turn-out to be one of the most influential to this day, David Carswell of Princeville Ranch, Princeville, Kauai. I learned how to partner with a horse, and earn his respect. David taught me how to create a quiet trail mount that was sensible to new things and responsive to the aids. We moved cows, separated moms and calves, opened and closed gates and checked fence lines. My education in riding the horse forward and straight began.
I wanted more. I wanted to learn theory and how to develop “The Classical Seat” I read about. I left Hawaii, committed to return, In search of deepening my education. I choose Meredith Manor Equestrian Academy. I majored in Jumping & Dressage, but what I learned most was how to ride whatever the horse gives you:
Rearing, bucking, bolting, spinning.
Check, check, check, check.
I returned to my home in Hawaii and started Po’okela Equestrian Services. (that’s ‘high standard’ in Hawaiian) I received my English/jumping level 4 and Western level 3 CHA certification from the CHA director, Julie Goodnight. I bought and sold Canadian imported warmbloods that specialized in Jumping and Dressage. Being on a small island, in the most remote place in the world, meant I hit my professional ceiling quickly.
I chased big trainers and big riders. I didn’t have a horse or money to buy one. But that passion I had as a 6yr old at Milljoy Stables was burning bright.
In an unseen twist of fate, I met a Lipizzaner gelding named “CB” and before I knew it, I was on the road. As a rider for “The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallion Show” I learned how noble and majestic these animals truly are. I practiced and excited the principles of balance, rhythm, geometry and symmetry.
It’s been 3 years since I’ve settled in WNY. I wanted to be in a place where I could develop long term horse/rider relationships. With all the acquired experience, I knew I wanted to surround myself with dedicated professionals that love the horse and find humility in the work.
I am serious about continuing education for myself and my students. I love working with people who love their horse and want to bring out his (or mareski’s) best! We’ll make a plan for you and your horse and set goals. I offer my students tailor made lessons that help them gain confidence, grasp the most information and utilize classical principles. All disciplines are welcomed, But Dressage is my “Thing”. I’ve competed through 4th and schooled all the Grand Prix movements. (I’ve even ridden some Airs-Above-The-Gound) My personal horses and horses in training with me are overseen by the watchful eye of my coach, “I” judge Gabriel Armando.
If I can’t help you, I’ll help you find someone who can!
Amy Lynn Jones