About Me

My Philosophy

Quick Bits

I have been teaching riding and training for 36 years. I started out in the British Society of Pony Clubs, attaining the “A” level. For a time after this, I competed at Hunter/Jumpers, as an Amateur Owner and then in the A rated Open/Regular classes when I no longer qualified for the Amateur status, and competed in Jumpers up to the 6th level. Unfortunately, I was eventually kicked in the side of the knee by a horse during this time and the ensuing year off from competition was enough for me to realize that I wanted to make more of a difference in young riders’ and young horses’ lives, so I began focusing more on instruction and training and less on competition.

I worked for a few years as a free-lance instructor/trainer, before taking a job as trainer for Three Springs Farm, a Hanoverian breeding/training/lesson barn and AHA inspection site, which at that time was standing the number 1 and the number 5 rated Hanoverian stallion in the U.S. For the next five years, I worked with all aspects of the farm, from breeding the stallions and mares, assisting with births, to working with foals as newborns through starting under saddle and taking them to their first shows. Three Springs Farm was also a racetrack lay up and retraining facility, and I worked with many off-the-track Thoroughbreds, retraining them for new careers, as well as other breeds from the surrounding area, as the facility accepted all breeds for starting under saddle and correcting problems.

After moving on from Three Springs and relocating to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, near historic Staunton, I spent the next nine years working with one of the region’s most well-known veterinarians as the trainer/instructor of his riding and boarding stables. At Cabin Creek Riding Stable, I became involved with a therapeutic riding program (Ride With Pride, Inc.), as well as working with more OTTB’s, since the owner’s daughter was a jockey who often rescued horses at the track that were for sale. Cabin Creek Stable was eventually sold and is now known as Cedar Creek Stables.

During the summer months, I now work as an instructor at my home or travel to clients homes, and as well as instruct at local camps and clinics, judge horse shows around the state;  I take a break during the winter months from these activities.  I currently serve on the Virginia Horse Council Board of Directors, the Middlebrook Horse Show Committee, and am President of Ride With Pride, Inc.

Philosophy
Learning to be an equestrian is like learning a new language. You can learn on your own, but having someone who is fluent in the language teach you is far quicker and can help prevent needless mistakes and misunderstandings. But, even more important than instruction, is spending time with the ones who’s language you are trying to learn. Nothing promotes a better understanding and gives a greater grasp of the nuances of communication more than spending time with horses and constantly using and developing your new communication skills.

Consistency
“Consistency is key to working with horses. To gain their trust and respect, they must know that they can count on you to be the same way, to treat them the same, to discipline the same, to reward the same way every single day. A horse won’t understand that you’ve had a bad day, they only understand consistency.”

More Details

 Equine Experience

February 1976—February 1984
Member of the Dutch Fork Pony Club, a chapter of the British Society of Pony Clubs

  • Received formal riding instruction in Hunt Seat Equitation, Jumping, and Dressage
  • Received formal riding instruction in Three Day Eventing
  • Participated in Fox Hunting and was a member of Dutch Fork Hunt in Pennsylvania
  • Attained Level A and Instructor’s Certification

January 1980—August 1984
Young’s Arabian Farm, Wellsburg, WV

  • Assistant Barn Manager
  • Assistant Trainer

January 1984—November 1988
Self Employed, Lynchburg, VA

  • Traveled to private homes and farms to give riding instruction and train

February 1989—October 1992
Three Springs Farm, Spout Springs, VA

  • Head Instructor/Trainer
  • Broke and trained Hanoverian horses to four foot jumps and training level dressage.
  • Broke and trained various breeds of horse brought to the farm for that purpose.
  • Helped with breeding the farm’s two Elite Hanoverian Stallions
  • Helped farrier with foal’s first trimmings
  • Halter and lead broke foals
  • Became involved with Buckeye Feeds and received instruction in Equine Nutrtion
  • Rode green horses at their first shows
  • Worked with international Show Judge, Judy Westenhoefer
  • Received instruction in dressage from Olympic Alternate, Sharon Bryant

October 1992—–January 1994
Central Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program Lynchburg, VA

  • Co-Founder
  • Executive Instructor/Trainer
  • Board Member

May 1994—-October 2003
Cabin Creek Stables, Staunton, VA

  •  Instructor for the facility’s riding and training program
  • Managed and organized an average of 60 students per week
  • Took students to horse shows
  • Boarded horses for training
  • Took care of a string of 14 lesson horses

March 2003—Present
Ride With Pride, Inc.

  • Volunteer coordinator from 2003 to 2005
  • Various committees
  • Organizer of various events
  • Board of Directors 2013 to present
  • President of Board of directors 2016 to present

March 2005— Present

  • Instructor (Teaching Balance Seat, Hunt Seat, Dressage, Western, Trail Riding Skills)
  • Trainer
  • Travel throughout Augusta County
  • Teach Clinics on Jumping, Equitation, Orienteering, and Groundwork
  • Horse Show Judge

June 2006 —August 2009
Endless Trails Stables, Churchville, VA

  • Instructor for Riding Camps and clinics during the summer

      June 2012 to Present
      Virginia Horse Council Board of Directors

  • Region 8 Regional Director
  • Marketing Co-Chair

 

Other Experience

January 2003— Present
Web and Internet

  • Web design
  • Wrote equine training articles for websites and online magazines
  • Marketing and advertising
  • May 2006—Present Tech Support Guy, Inc., an online computer technical support website
  • Co-Administrator of a Tech Support Guy, a website generating enough traffic to need 7 servers.
  • Manage and deal with over 502,000 members

High School and College

  • Graduated from Brooke High School, Wellsburg, WV, 1983
  • Bachelor of Science in English from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA 1990

References

  • Pat Tripple (540) 337-7453
  • Dr. and Mrs. Cromer (540) 337-7636
  • Mason Kilbourne (540) 886-5759
  • Stacy Thompson (540) 337-7879
  • Margaret Henderson (540) 337-8669
  • More available upon request