I started riding at the age of 8 and within a year had my parents scrambling to get me lessons twice a week and spending weekends competing at horse shows. By the age of 13 I was helping my trainer break out incoming horses and reconditioning auction horses for re-sale. I rode the worst of the worst while still honing my seat and riding skills. The experience taught me what I wanted in my own horses and by the age of 21 I was breaking and training with an enlightened perspective of my goals when working with horses. My education continues to grow with each new horse I work with and each new professional I come in contact with. A dedicated equine trainer should never stop learning and should never assume they have all the answers.
My passion is working with young and new to you horses across any discipline. I believe there is fundamental similarity in the basics of training in every discipline. A good foundation of balance, bit acceptance, respect for the aids, relaxation and moving through from back to front is the start of every good training program. Horses should also learn to be confident through patient encouragement where failure isn’t punished. A horse has to learn to try and in so doing will develop a sound work ethic and willingness to learn far into adulthood. My passion starts with the first 60 to 90 days and helps set your horse up to be successfully finished by you or your discipline specific trainer. My job starts on the ground and ends when a horse and rider are comfortable and confident with each other to learn successfully together.
My belief is that there should be no ego involved when training so if you are unsure how to move forward when I am done, I will help you find the best options for your next step. I want you and your horse to succeed as a team, whether that means moving on to another professional or me continuing to help you from the sidelines.
“Mothers Don’t Let Your Horses Grow UP Without Cowboys” by Nikki Alvin-Smith.
(Click photo for full length feature article)
MY PASSION AT A GLANCE
Arrow came to me as a 3-year-old restart project after being on lay up for approximately 4 months. The injury happened at another facility during his initial first 30 days. Everyone who knows me knows I have a soft spot for my paints so I couldn’t pass up this beautiful little project.
Arrow has an opinion about everything and enjoys his afternoon strolls in the barn yard more than a vigorous work out in the arena. He loves to learn though and does it quickly, making him a very efficient thinker. His mom loves to trail ride which I think he will love and excel at.
(Click here for Arrow’s 30 day video)
Finn came in as a 3-year-old for a quick 30 day backing but was doing so well under saddle his mom decided to add another month of training. Finn is a grandson to Cassini (my 3rd one!) and most surely got the great looks and athleticism common to that heritage.
Finn loves to learn and loves attention. He had a reputation in the barn for being a charmer. Finn’s owner has plans to hopefully take him in to the jumping arena but before that a solid start in dressage is in Finn’s immediate future.
Candy (An Awesome Angel) was brought in as a 3yo for 90 days and was a resale project for her owner. Candy is a beautiful buckskin with the classic paint horse build. She has a great attitude for learning, loves attention and has an in your pocket personality. She was very straightforward to back and train except for having PSSM1. This required her training and exercise program to be very structured. She also had a special needs diet to help balance her daily training. Candy was sold to her forever home and is currently making her new person very happy; spending her days showing and trail ridding.
If you’d like to know more about PSSM1 please feel free to click the links below. Happy learning!
“Diet Adjustments Provide Relief for PSSM Horses” – http://www.equinews.com/article/diet-adjustments-provide-relief-pssm-horses
“Feeding Type-1 PSSM Horses” – http://www.thehorse.com/articles/39081/feeding-type-1-pssm-horses
“EPSM (PSSM, EPSSM) Diets” – http://www.doctorramey.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/epsmfeed.pdf
Pippy was a very fun training project. Registered as full QH she only stands at 13.3hh at 5 years old. Her owner requested 90 days of training be put on Pippy with the hope that she could be used as the next pony club project for her 9-year-old daughter. Pippy is a sensitive and independent thinking mare as is very typical with the Quarter Horse breed. Once she learned to relax in her training Pippy progressed very fast in her training. She loves praise and had an in your pocket personality. She almost never spoked or shied away from something she didn’t understand and worked hard to learn to trust her riders seat. After her time with me Pippy moved on to continue her education at Renaissance Equestrian Center under the care of trainer Dawn Arnold. There Pippy will work with Dawn to learn to be a team with her 9 year old rider.
Caspian was a very straight forward training project. His owner wanted 60 days started on him in preparation to take him to Florida for the winter. Caspian is a 3-year-old stallion with only basic in hand work done when he arrived. Caspian has a puppy dog personality that loves attention and praise. He also loves to learn and progressed during each training session. This was also the first time I was able to work with 2 full siblings in back to back training programs. I had Caspian’s full sister, Maggie, in training with me as well. After completing his training Caspian will continue his education at Blumont Stables with his owner and trainer Kristen. He will spend the winter in Wellington, FL learning how to jump either on the hunter circuit or in the show jumping arena.
Maggie had been to 1 professional trainer prior to coming into my program. Her owner advised though, that within weeks of coming home, she had developed the habit of shooting backwards when a rider sat in the saddle. This habit was pretty easily corrected within 2-3 weeks of work. Maggie was a great learner and an awesome mare to work with. She always tried hard and would progress during each lesson. She loved praise and I could always feel her wanting to please. It was a great learning experience though to see and feel the differences in personality, learning ability and movement between her and her brother Caspian. Maggie will also continue her education at Blumont Stables with her owner/trainer Kristen. She will spend the winter in Wellington, FL learning how to jump either on the hunter circuit or in the show jumping arena.
Saphira started her training at 3 years old. Her previous trainer advised her owner that she was too Appaloosa acting for what her owner wanted to do. Within 30 days Saphira was successfully backed and has completed 90 days of professional training. It was an awesome experience to see the smile on her owners face when she rode her baby for the first time. Saphira still has a lot learn though but she is very willing and loves to please. She is very confident and relies on her rider when she is unsure of something. Saphira loves to trail ride and often leads a head of the older more experienced horses. She is currently in a lesson program working with novice students. Her education is ongoing but she is already a remarkably safe and loving horse.
Luna is a 5 year old registered paint. She was started by me at 3 years old is still under training. She has a wonderful personality, a great work ethic and loves to please. Her eyes light up when you walk into the barn. She is incredibly intelligent and hopes to be come a reining horse or a barrel racer. She is calm and not over reactive in new situations and has been trained to trust her rider when she is unsure about something. She has been ridden is several clinics and will hopefully start showing this season (2017). Be on the look out for more pictures and updated information!
Quinlan CF( “Q”), son of Quarterback, was brought into training with me when he was 5 years old. He had had some basic training and backing done by his owner while she had him at college. He went to 2 other trainers after that, who advised his owner that he wasn’t an appropriate mount for her. On the advice of an equine health professional they brought him to a western trainer, me. In 30 days I was able to put his owner on him for the first time in 2 years. At 45 days she cantered Q for the very first time since owning him. His training continued with me and after 90 days his owner had attended 2 clinics and her first training show with her horse. Quinlan was an exciting training project because he learned fast. Each ride was an improvement on the day before. Quinlan’s owner brought in a friend and trusted dressage trainer to watch Quinlan work. She was very impressed at his progress. At his 4th month of training, Q and his owner were invited to school for a year in Florida with an Olympic Dressage rider and trainer Michael Barrisone. It was the perfect ending to my training program with Q.
Goblin started her training with me at 5 years old but had already had previous professional training. She was a very tough training project as she is a foundation bred Quarter with a very independent mind. She gets board very quickly and needs to be constantly challenged. Working around in circles in arenas is certainly not her cup of tee, She is incredibly smart and now is well balanced, sensitive to the aids and very handy. She is currently for sale and I believe she would excel in a working cow horse program.
Stormy was rescued from auction and brought to me for reconditioning. I put 120 days of general training on her to help recondition her body, help her develop a sense of trust and encourage a new work ethic. Stormy was a difficult project but very rewarding. It was very apparent from the start that she had a lot of training in her back ground as skills she had once learned began to surface again. Her time as a broodmare and then being neglected meant training had to go slowly so her confidence and body condition could be built back up. Once her training was finished, Stormy went to work in a lesson program helping beginner and novice riders build their confidence and skill set.
Contact us today for more information!
Finger Lakes Equestrian Center
5275 Parrish Street Extension
Canandaigua NY 14424