View Full Version : Looking for trainer for trail in NoVA

Oct. 26, 2009, 04:18 PM
I have never posted in this forum before, but I am hoping you can give me some advice. I have a 13 yr old Arab gelding and I am looking for a trainer in Virginia who can help me train him for trail riding. His background is Junior Hunters and he has done some cross country, but not with me. I am only a very limited and timid trail rider. Most of my horse life has been in dressage with some quiet hacking on my old horse. My current horse cannot really pursue dressage any more. He is fairly quiet --- most of the time. And good in company. I now just ride him in the ring and a little bit in the field at our farm. I have some fairly easy local trails and I thought it might be a new challenge for both of us.
But I feel like I need some help. I am looking for someone to either come to my farm in No. Virginia or I could bring my horse there for boarding/training. I am very new to this and would appreciate any advise or suggestions.
Thanks, Ginger

Oct. 26, 2009, 05:29 PM
Dave Yauct, 540-229-4255. I can't say enough about him. He is amazing.. and he is very very concerned that both you and your horse are trained. He won't just take your horse for a month, charge you a big fat fee and hand him back. He's amazing and reasonable!!!

Oct. 26, 2009, 05:51 PM
I would really urge you to purchase Clinton Anderson's "Correcting Problems on the Trail" DVD. This is an awesome DVD that will educate you far more than sending your horse off for trail training. If you need additional help after you work through the exercises on the DVD you can still get help. Good Luck!

Golden Pony
Oct. 26, 2009, 09:13 PM
Second recommendation for Dave Yauch Practical Equine Training.com

Oct. 26, 2009, 09:55 PM
Leslie Gottesman, Miles of Smiles Training in Lovettsville, VA. Her web site is www.milesofsmiles.com

Oct. 26, 2009, 10:07 PM
Has anyone ever worked with Charles & Michele Pellham of Cornerstone Horsemanship? This thread is so timely for me, I need help with my horse too and don't know who to trust.

Oct. 27, 2009, 07:50 AM
I tried to get on the site posted here for Leslie Gottesman, it's not milesofsmiles, this one came ups as a dentist :yes: Try http://www.milesofsmilestraining.com/, best of luck, Lisa

Oct. 27, 2009, 07:56 AM
My suggestion is Judie Ricci of Meadow Springs Training Center, http://www.meadowspringstrainingcenter.com/ a short ways outside of Warrenton, VA. Judie is an experienced endurance rider/trainer and does lots of work with "pleasure" trail horses and riders. She and her assistant trainer both have a background in Natural Horsemanship training and dressage. She is excellent at producing a calm, mellow trail horse and working with nervous riders. A big plus is that her farm is next to Phelps WMA so she has direct access to a good network of trails. Judie has been a speaker several times at the Old Dominion Endurance Rides training seminars/training rides and has been very popular with everyone who attends. I personally know Judie and highly recommend her.

Dave Yauch is also a good clinician, I enjoyed a clinic that I did with him with my young horse.

Bonnie S.

Oct. 27, 2009, 09:39 AM
Jnel, i've worked with charles pellham. PM me if you'd like more info.

Oct. 27, 2009, 02:09 PM
Another recommendation for Leslie Gottesman. She does a great job of making horses trail ready. :yes:

Oct. 27, 2009, 02:35 PM
Ginger --
I can think of no one finer than Katie Davis at Lincoln Equestrian Center in Lincoln, VA. She works with horses at her barn (The trails & facilities are great!) and also travels to barns to work. She comes to my place several times a week (and other neighboring barns as well -- after people have seen what she's done with my two horses) and has accomplished miracles (no exaggeration) with two of my horses and in helping me with my confidence which waned after taking a spill a couple years ago. Personality-wise, Katie has a sense of humor, patience, and actually listens to YOU and modifies how she works with you and your horse according to what your goals are and what's do-able for your horse. She's the first trainer who's been able to stop my 4-year old, Chloe, from rearing. She's the first trainer who got my 7-year old, Honey Bunch, sensatized to traffic. She's the first trainer who was able to get me to venture out alone with Honey Bunch AND out on Honey Bunch on group rides. This woman is unbelievable! Katie is an event rider so she's able to work with horses in all those disciplines. Her email is: Katie Davis [rideondowntoit@hotmail.com]. Be sure to tell her elaine sent you.
If you want to email me privately, that's fine, too.
Good luck!

Oct. 27, 2009, 03:29 PM
Hello Everybody,
Thank you SO much for the wonderful advice and recommendations. I am overwhelmed. I did not know if people did this. When I read through some of the posts in this forum it seems to me that many of you are working through trail issues on your own by getting out there and doing it. I know I need help. My horse is well-trained with a gentle, passive temperment, but he is the biggest, strongest Arab that I have ever ridden. When he spooks he can be pretty powerful. In the ring so far I can deal with that. Outdoors I know that we both need to get more training.
GallopGrape -- I see your posts a lot !! Thanks for extending the help and trainer recommendation.
Ytr45 -- I will definitely get the Clinton Anderson video
twhs -- thanks for sharing some of your miracle stories and the trainer recommendation.
Thank you all for being so generous with your knowledge. I plan to go forward with finding a trainer from your information. Once I am out there riding I will send you our picture. All the best and happy trails,

Oct. 27, 2009, 03:55 PM
I am sort of in gingersnaps boat too - I've sort of just been workign through it as best I can though on the trails.

Does anyone know of someone in the Tidewater, Virginia area that does this sort of training?

Oct. 27, 2009, 06:33 PM
Dave Yaucht will give you a FREE evaluation... my evaluation lasted 4 hours. Free... and you can decide from there. There is no better way than that!

Nov. 4, 2009, 02:47 PM
I just got back from my free assessment with Dave Yauch and he spent about two hours with me and my horse. What a eye opener! We have some holes in our training and what started as a maybe this is a good idea changed to this is something we have to do. My horse is relaxed with me but all Dave did was walk up to him and say "Boo" and my guy was head up eyes rolling back. Not safe, I plan on sending my horse to Dave for a couple of weeks when he has a opening. The other thing I realized is that I can't teach my horse this stuff myself, I'm too big a weeny when he's scared. I did learned some techniques to work on while we wait for a training slot. :)

Jan. 25, 2010, 07:31 PM

I'm in Florida and also looking for a trainer that works with trail horses. It's not a discipline that has many training facilities. Pleasure trainers are everywhere but I haven't found anyone that trains horses for the trails.

I'm working with the Clinton Anderson Groundwork DVD's at the moment but I really don't think I'm making progress.

If anyone has any suggestions for a trainer in central FL, Orlando area, I would love to hear from you.

Jan. 26, 2010, 12:18 AM
I don't have personal experience, but have seen many good comments about Dave Yauch. When I started trail riding my TB show mare, I didn't know of anyone to help me. I used to trail ride when younger and different horse. Add many years, a bad fall from a previous horse requiring hospitalization and I had turned into a big weinie. My TB mare could be quite spooky. I did lots of trail walks with me leading my fully tacked mare. Finally, I got the courage to actually get on her and ride while out on trail. Believe me though, I would jump off at the drop of a hat if she started doing things that made me nervous. I joined an active riding club and started to go on group trail rides(in the slow group). I attended every bombproofing/obstacle clinic I could find in the area. I learned some things that I continued to use on my own. This year I am actually the trail ride coordinator for riding club. Good luck, you can do it...

Jan. 26, 2010, 09:06 AM
His background is Junior Hunters and he has done some cross country, but not with me. I am only a very limited and timid trail rider.

Ginger, maybe I'm not reading this right, but it sounds like you need to take some lessons WITH your horse. If he's done cross country, he's probably going to be alright on the trails -- with a confident rider. Build your ability and confidence and find some experienced trail riders to hack out with. Then relax and enjoy!!!

Where are you located? There might be some wonderful COTHERS close by that could do a trail ride or two with you.

Jan. 26, 2010, 09:35 AM
"Wonderful COTHer " here!
I volunteer!
And I'm quite fun too! Great rideout!

Jan. 28, 2010, 03:30 PM
Here i am !! I had not checked this thread in awhile and wonders of wonders -- some recent posts. Hello wateryglen and CanterQueen !! wateryglen, I see your posts all the time and enjoy them. CanterQueen --- I have lessoned on him in the ring quite a bit. But your advice is certainly good and I know what you mean about more experience will make a stronger, more confident rider. I have had horses for about 16 years so I have ridden for a number of years but still just sort of a middle-aged midling rider.
Since November I have hardly ridden due to weather and holiday commitments. I logged back into this thread today to track down those trainer recommendations and I saw both your posts. I keep my horse in Fairfax County. But I really don't think we are ready to ride out yet. I worked with him last Sat. but he was very strong and spooky due to being kept in on Friday. I did not ride but had a good groundwork session. I have actually trail ridden him in the past ( About 4 times) but at some point our relationship started to slip backwards.
Simbalism -- really good plan with your TB. I actually did this with my old horse and eventually was able to trail ride him so I know this works.
I think a previous poster said that due to a fall etc. they eventually became a big weenie in enforcing the rules with their horse. I feel a little bit that way now that is why I am looking for some professional help. Sorry to go on so long. Just so nice to hear from people. This Trail section is very generous and helpful. :-)

Jan. 30, 2010, 09:33 AM
Hi Ginger.
Finding a trainer is a good thing to do, but don't suggest trying to learn and get comfortable trail riding bu going out alone. Horses are way worse when they don't have a buddy. So see if you can find someone to ride out with, it will get you more confident and you horse won't think it's weird when you go out.

I'm in Fredricksburg if you ever go riding near here!!!