Learn The Hey Way – Teaching That Transcends Tradition

Nov 13, 2012 - 3:59 AM

Strideaway Farms, located in beautiful Portola Valley, California, has been in the business of training top equitation, hunter, jumper and dressage riders for over 30 years. Family owned and operated, Strideaway Farms was founded by Nancy Hey, who focuses her program on teaching important life lessons through riding.

As part of their incentive to reach new students, Strideaway Farms announces a special 30 Days of November introductory offer. For the 30 days of November, the farm offers new students four half-hour lessons for the special rate of $60/lesson (20% off the regular rate). The offer only applies to new students and is limited to space available. Students must be at least 4 years old. There are only 18 days remaining for this limited-time offer. Don’t miss out on the chance to try out one of northern California’s top teachers at a bargain price!

Why Strideaway Farms? Quality With A View and Without Pressure

Striving to bring the highest quality of instruction to a wide variety of riders, Strideaway Farms offers riding programs tailored to fit the needs of the youngest beginner riders to the highest show competitors.

Conveniently located at Rancho Viejo in the San Francisco Bay Area, 10 minutes from downtown Palo Alto, Strideaway Farms provides a peaceful, private equestrian experience. The property is quiet, safe, and features a beautiful, well-manicured outdoor arena. The location also offers use of a community-shared covered arena.

“It is very well-run and the horses have better care here than any other barn I have ever been in,” Hey described. “The horses have plenty of bedding, the feeding program is excellent and the stalls are very clean. There is a beautiful sand arena that looks out to the hills, rather idyllic. We are renovating one of the barns and it will soon be equal to any top show barn. The facility is a little jewel, hidden back under I-280, past a big complex with a variety of different trainers. I have been here for two and a half years and I love it.”

“My main focus is to look upon teaching riding as teaching life skills because you have to be dedicated and disciplined and responsible and kind and thorough to be a good rider,” Hey emphasized. “I am hoping that I teach all of the kids who ride with me not only empathy with a horse, but also the ability to make it do the things they want to, and that takes strength, inside and out.”

“I can show at the top rated ‘A’ shows with clients, but that is not the only thing,” Hey pointed out. “I look forward to bringing those clients along from beginner, once-a-week riders to seeing their dreams fulfilled at horse shows or at home. You can have a goal that doesn’t include a horse show, because I want to be able to teach anyone in the community.”

Furthering the goals of Strideaway Farms is new assistant trainer Erin Peterson. A perfect match, Peterson trained with Hey as a little girl from the age of six and is now 22. She graduated with a BA from the University of Oregon, riding with Mike Galloway during the school year and then returning each summer to ride with Hey.

“Erin rides impeccably,” Hey praised. “She is strong with the horses that need her to be strong, but not rough. She is gentle and has a great deal of ability. She has shown successfully on ponies and horses.”

Who is Nancy Hey?

Nancy Hey, Founder of Strideaway Farms, began riding as a child, taking English lessons at the Griffith Park stables. Out of college, she bought her first horse and rode with eventing trainer Mary O’Rourke to learn dressage and jumping. In 1971, Hey and her husband Randy relocated to Northern California and she began to board at the Stanford Red Barn. There she continued her hunter jumper training with Jack Melville, Larry Larson and Lucy Wharton. In 1976, Hey began a more intensive regimen of Dressage training with three-time Olympic rider Sandy Howard, Olympic coach Melle Van Brugen, and Anders Lindgren among others. Nancy has competed in FEI level Prix St. George and Intermediate I.

Hey earned BA degrees in Psychology, Speech and Drama, and a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Redlands. She spent 12 years working as a speech pathologist before she decided to teach riding.

“I had all of the riding skills and certainly the teaching skills, so I put that together,” Hey mused. “I started with one horse and one pony and then over the years, by word of mouth, it grew. I needed to get more ponies and more horses. Before I knew it I had a riding business. That was almost 34 years ago!”

Hey has qualifed students for several medal finals, including her daughter, Polly, who was a Pacific Coast Horse Show Association (PCHA) champion and won the NorCal Hunter Jumper Association Senior Medal, among other titles. Last year, Hey coached Eve Jobs to victory in the Horse and Hound Junior/Amateur Medal. She trains students in equitation, hunters, jumpers and dressage.

Hey is visually impaired, but the impairment does not affect her ability to teach. Plus it gives her a unique aspect for helping any type of rider with their ‘impairments’, temporary or not. “I teach with binoculars, which seems to level the playing field because I have just as many champions as anybody else out there,” she noted.

For more information, please visit www.strideawayfarms.com or call 650.434.2205.

Category: Press Releases

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