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View Full Version : Trainer suggestions for a young hunter in moorpark/thousand oaks area (SoCal)



two sticks
Jan. 12, 2010, 12:08 AM
I'm looking for suggestions for a trainer for my young hunter. I live in Ventura but am starting a new job in the thousand oaks area (near the 23 fwy). Haven't found much in the ventura area but now that I will be working down south having the horse farther south would be more do-able. Looking for a smaller barn/program. Can't afford the big guns yet (whitethorn, spirit, middle ranch, etc are way out of the price range)! Horse is young and just started under saddle, aiming towards the hunter ring. Thanks!

Little Indian
Jan. 12, 2010, 01:41 AM
Liz McKenzie at Firebrand Farm is supposed to be awesome. I have seen her ride, and I will be having her sit on my 4 year old this summer. She is located at Castlerock in Moorpark.

Sebastian
Jan. 12, 2010, 01:43 AM
I second Liz McKenzie. She's currently working with my mare. I like her a lot!!

PM me if you want more info.
Seb :)

p.s. Little Indian! That's awesome. Let me know when you'll be at the barn!

two sticks
Jan. 12, 2010, 01:47 AM
I second Liz McKenzie. She's currently working with my mare. I like her a lot!!

PM me if you want more info.
Seb :)

p.s. Little Indian! That's awesome. Let me know when you'll be at the barn!

PM sent, thanks!

tallygirl
Jan. 12, 2010, 02:52 AM
i looked into liz mckenzie at castlerock for my horses and with board and training it would be about 1k per month per horse. that is rather expensive if you ask me. i mean not expensive for moorpark/t.o area, but if you are looking for a budget castlerock would not be your first pick. liz is awesome, ive seen her ride too, but not for a budget. haha. fieldstone is really good too with michelle but shes around the same price range. i live in thousand oaks so i will keep a look out for ya on anything i hear thats decently priced. im moving my guys to willow creek in SP with lotte next month. im rather excited about that. theres also peck farms in moorpark, not sure how expensive she is though. or how about CEC? thats a great facility and its about 300 a month.... just a couple thoughts :)

Little Indian
Jan. 12, 2010, 11:26 AM
Liz has multiple price points which is why I like her, you don't have to be in full training or even half. And Castlerock is on the less expensive side as they have so many options to choose from. I never have to worry about going out of town because I know my horse is getting out. (3 days of Turn out is included with board and they are out for 5 or 6 hours at a time). The guys who work there are also great. I'll be moving my second horse there in the hopefully near future.

Go Fish
Jan. 12, 2010, 01:56 PM
i looked into liz mckenzie at castlerock for my horses and with board and training it would be about 1k per month per horse. that is rather expensive if you ask me. i mean not expensive for moorpark/t.o area, but if you are looking for a budget castlerock would not be your first pick. liz is awesome, ive seen her ride too, but not for a budget. haha. fieldstone is really good too with michelle but shes around the same price range. i live in thousand oaks so i will keep a look out for ya on anything i hear thats decently priced. im moving my guys to willow creek in SP with lotte next month. im rather excited about that. theres also peck farms in moorpark, not sure how expensive she is though. or how about CEC? thats a great facility and its about 300 a month.... just a couple thoughts :)

$1K a month in SoCal? That's a bargain, if you ask me.

tallygirl
Jan. 12, 2010, 03:30 PM
ya its cheap for so cal but not when your 25 and starting your life and dont have your parents supporting your riding habit. sorry. we arent multimillionaires at 25. i wish though, thatd be nice.

two sticks
Jan. 12, 2010, 03:49 PM
Liz has multiple price points which is why I like her, you don't have to be in full training or even half. And Castlerock is on the less expensive side as they have so many options to choose from. I never have to worry about going out of town because I know my horse is getting out. (3 days of Turn out is included with board and they are out for 5 or 6 hours at a time). The guys who work there are also great. I'll be moving my second horse there in the hopefully near future.

This sounds good, unfortunately, I emailed Liz, she emailed me back, then I emailed her back and never heard back from her. Emailed her again and still nothing. Is she better by phone? I kinda got the impression through the email that maybe she wasn't interested in a non-full training/showing client. Can you PM me her phone #? Thanks!

Go Fish- I know that So Cal is really expensive, but I just finished school, and with my first job salary I really can't afford to be spending more than 600-700 a month, even that is pushing it. I'm hoping because my horse does well in a pasture type situation or living with other horses I can maybe find a cheaper boarding situation and afford a partial or half training situation. Maybe I'm dreaming! Lol. Ready to be shocked? I currently pay $185 for board (yes including feed!) but there are no good trainers there, which is why I'm looking to move.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far.

sptraining
Jan. 12, 2010, 03:59 PM
Wish you could make it a little deeper into LA - I'd love to work with you! But we're pretty far from Moorpark. :(

It's probably a long shot, but Tammi and Randi at the Meadows of Moorpark (http://meadowsofmoorpark.com/) have been around for ages and probably know a ton of people in the area. They're very approachable and might be able to steer you in a direction.

Don't you know Liz and Sanaa? I bet they could make a good suggestion.

Tex Mex
Jan. 12, 2010, 04:47 PM
Sorry but I have to agree with Go Fish. When you are expecting someone to take care of your horse for you- feed, clean, etc. plus spend their time training it, it's going to be almost impossible to find a trainer that can make that work financially for what you are looking to spend. Just because you aren't a millionaire or don't have parents to pay for you, doesn't mean you should expect that there are people out there that will work for free.

two sticks
Jan. 12, 2010, 07:39 PM
Sorry but I have to agree with Go Fish. When you are expecting someone to take care of your horse for you- feed, clean, etc. plus spend their time training it, it's going to be almost impossible to find a trainer that can make that work financially for what you are looking to spend. Just because you aren't a millionaire or don't have parents to pay for you, doesn't mean you should expect that there are people out there that will work for free.

Ok, I never said I was expecting someone to work free! I am looking for an option within my budget, I am not looking for full training, not looking for someone to do full care for my horse- looking for one or two training rides a week- don't think it is so unreasonable to think you can find one or two rides a week for under $1000!! If I'm paying board and separate training, I'm expecting feeding and cleaning to be handled by the boarding facility, not the trainer. I have had some good suggestions both on the thread and via PM of trainers who may be able to work with me. I really don't know where you got the impression that I want someone to work and care for my horse for free, that is not the case at all. I am not looking for full training or necessarily an A Circuit barn, I know there are a variety of trainers in a variety of situations, including those just starting out, and just thought that MAYBE somewhere out there would be a situation that could work for me. That is why I asked!

two sticks
Jan. 12, 2010, 07:42 PM
Wish you could make it a little deeper into LA - I'd love to work with you! But we're pretty far from Moorpark. :(

It's probably a long shot, but Tammi and Randi at the Meadows of Moorpark (http://meadowsofmoorpark.com/) have been around for ages and probably know a ton of people in the area. They're very approachable and might be able to steer you in a direction.

Don't you know Liz and Sanaa? I bet they could make a good suggestion.


I do know Liz and Sanaa, I rode horses for Sanaa for about a year. I just called her to ask if she has any suggestions. I think most of the people she knows are either too far to drive or too expensive. It may turn out that I'm looking for something that doesn't exist, but I figured I would at least give COTH a try and see if anyone had suggestions I hadn't heard yet. I will try Tammi and Randi, I evented at meadows many years ago. Unfortunately you are too far South for me. Thanks!

sptraining
Jan. 12, 2010, 07:52 PM
You can probably find something - it's just harder to find the smaller barns that are good. They're out there, you just have to do some hunting. :)

Good luck.

Sebastian
Jan. 12, 2010, 08:24 PM
Hey twosticks...I sent you an email. There are options with both Castle Rock (for boarding) and Liz's Firebrand farms. She does NOT demand that people be in full training and I'm sure she'll be happy to come up with a plan that works for you. She has no problem with people who are self sufficient.

The other thing is she's DEFINITELY worth what you pay her. Which I can't say for many other trainers in the area... :yes:

Good luck and let me know if you come by Castle Rock.
Seb :)

Chef Jade
Jan. 12, 2010, 08:31 PM
I responded to your e-mail, but thought I'd reiterate that Cris Chastain in Moorpark is awesome. I don't know if she can meet your budget (and there is nothing wrong with having a budget, so I don't know why people are getting their panties in a wad) but she may be able to work something out. I think her pipe corrals are cheaper, and the care is great with lots of turnout and even overnight turnout is an option. My stallion is there and in 4 months he is jumping little courses with changes. She has even taken him to venture out in Happy Camp.
I think the problem you may find is that a lot of trainers won't want to do partial training on a young horse. They just need so much work... Somedays it might be 15 minutes, and somedays it might be more than an hour, but it needs to be consistent.
Good luck, and if I can think of anyone else I'll let you know.

Tex Mex
Jan. 12, 2010, 08:32 PM
Sorry, got Tally girl and two sticks mixed up. I just meant that a lot of times people don't realize what it costs for a facility to pay stall cleaners and feeding people plus hay and shavings and then if you keep your horse in the pasture and do you expect the trainer to pull it in and clean it and tack it up and will it be body clipped or do they have to deal with a sweaty/hairy horse at the end of the day, otherwise they have to pay a groom to do it, etc. etc. And then people get mad or act like our sport is so elitist and it's "not fair" but there are so many people involved when a horse gets put in to a training program. That's much different than just paying per ride, which should be about the same as a lesson. But I was mostly responding to the comment made by tallygirl.

two sticks
Jan. 12, 2010, 11:12 PM
You can probably find something - it's just harder to find the smaller barns that are good. They're out there, you just have to do some hunting. :)

Good luck.


Thanks! I'm hoping I can find a hidden gem that will work for my situation and it seems like I have had some good suggestions and leads so far!

Chef Jade- I got your email and spoke with Chris today, I think she may still be a little out of reach for my budget, but it seems like she is willing to work with me so it may be an option. I hopefully will be heading out to check her place out in the next few weeks.

Sebastian I got your email (thanks) and left a message for Liz today. Hopefully we will connect soon as it seems like it may be a good option for me.

Tex Mex- I have been working for trainers for the last 4 years so I am fully aware of the work that goes into a horse in training, however I still believe it should be possible to find a situation where I can get one or two rides a week (like a "lite" half training) for less than $1000 a month, really. I'm not looking for the tippy top here. I understand my budget sets some serious limitations but it does seems like people have had good suggestions for me and like my request really isn't that unreasonable...

Thanks to everyone for the help, keep the suggestions coming!

Little Indian
Jan. 12, 2010, 11:25 PM
Sara, Castlerock does have "pasture" board so that will cut down on your expenses. Try calling her. I will talk to her tomorrow to get her number and then get it to you.

two sticks
Jan. 12, 2010, 11:29 PM
Sara, Castlerock does have "pasture" board so that will cut down on your expenses. Try calling her. I will talk to her tomorrow to get her number and then get it to you.

Left a message today, someone already got me her number. Thanks!

tallygirl
Jan. 13, 2010, 12:24 AM
some people do have their panties in a wad apparently. i know what goes into a horse and their training. and like said above it is not a bad thing to have a budget. i have a budget. its fine that you all can spend tens of thousands of dollars on horses a month but others cannot. it doesnt mean we should just give up and not ride. sara, your request is not unreasonable at all. im in the same boat as you :) im still looking for u! and sorry i havent responded to our pms yet. i will get to that asap. lol. let me know if you go look at castlerock. id actually like to go see it as well. just in case ;) its very close to my house so that would actually be awesome.

Sarabeth
Jan. 13, 2010, 10:07 AM
Nobody said it's a bad thing to have a budget. It's just a fact that $1k total per month for board and training with a trainer you like at a decent facility is not going to be easy to find in this area. Be prepared to compromise.

two sticks
Jan. 15, 2010, 03:48 AM
Does anyone have any experience with either Heatherly Davis or Scott Lico? Thanks!