Hi! Haven't worked with LJ - just boarded close to him in the past (prior to LAEC). He seems a decent trainer. Try him and see what you think. I've never heard a bad word about him. There's a trainer out in Sunland called Dane Lawrence who is also pretty good. My trainer is up in Santa Clarita and he's fabulous (but I'm a bit biased!). PM me if you need phone numbers
You should definitely check out LJ, he is a excellent trainer! I can't say enough good things about him... He is phenomenal. I rode with him when he was still in Hawaii and within a year he took my horse and I from scoring a 60% at Training Level if we were lucky to being the 1999 USDF National Champion for Training Level, averaging scores in the high 70s. My mare changed completely, she became a dream to ride, and the transition was so quick. It wasn't long before we were schooling 3rd Level, unfortunately she started having trouble with her hocks so I had to stop riding her competitively. He is great, builds a solid foundation, allows you as a rider to work through issues to learn more (he doesn't just hop on and fix the problem) and pushes you just enough to excel. I'm actually seriously considering going to grad school in LA just so I can start riding with him again, he's that good. He trains with Steffen Peters as well.
Thanks for the feed back. I have watched him ride some young horse and he was fablous with them. I watched him taking some lesson with Shannon Peters at a show in LA. He had a lot of feel for the horse. I never saw him get mad or lose his cool. I was at an Arabian show this past weekend and he was great. Most of the other trainers there where all riding from the face back. His horses all did well. I have to say that he was the only rider that rode correct. The scores did reflect that to. I have a lesson set up with him. I am looking forward to it.
Thanks for the help,
I'm so glad you decided to give LJ a try, you won't be sorry! He really is good about riding correct dressage and he trains that way too. Its all about engaging the hind end first, working to throughness and going forward enough before you worry about getting them on the bit. I'm jealous, I wish I was riding with him now, let me know how your lesson goes! Do you have an arab?
How was your lesson with LJ? I rode with LJ when we lived in Hawaii for two years and absolutely loved him. He was my mentor and my friend. My horse and I learned so much from him. He truly has a gift. I hope you enjoy your lessons and continue with him. What I also loved about LJ is he encouraged his students to ride with other clinicians that came to Hawaii. He would also ride with them and then be able to apply what we learned into our lessons to further our education. LJ has such a fabulous gift with horses and teaching the horse and rider to be a team.
Paiffe73 & VeeZee,
He is great! It is all about self carriage keeping the horse supple and light. He is very complimentary in everything I have done so far. Easy to talk to about what is the next step in my horses training. I do have an Arabian but I am working and Oldenburg gelding. It is different to move into a big horse. The movement is much bigger. My horse is very kind and forgiving. We are moving up the levels and need someone to help me on a regular basis. I wish I lived closer to him. His back ground is the thing I like best. He is a very gifted rider that truly cares about the horse and what is best for them. Are you guys riding with him next week. He said he will be home for a clinic? Thanks for the info. It is hard when you want to try someone new.
I'm so glad you had the opportunity to ride and learn with LJ. I wish we could still be riding with him but we are in Virginia now. He is awesome and truly was one of the best instructors I have ever had. We had the best time with him and I cannot say enough good things about everything we learned from him. He is truly a gifted rider and teacher. And he honestly loves and cares about the horses. Even if you don't get to ride that often with him try to whenever you can. He has so much to offer for you and your horse. Best wishes to you and your horses. May you enjoy all the years of fun learning and riding you have together.
I'm so glad your lesson went well! (I knew it would ) He really is such a special trainer, he was always so clear and concise in what he wants, and as you say, definitely has a gift. I'm hoping to make a trip around thanksgiving to see him and his GP horse, Amadeus. Last time I talked to LJ he said I wouldn't recognize Amadeus now, his muscling has changed so much, I remember when they were still doing first level.
My mare is an Oldenburg too, it was definitely a change for me when I got her, I totally know what you're talking about as far as getting used to bigger movement! LJ was really invaluable in molding both of us at that time, I really got a solid foundation, I just wish I could get in the saddle more often nowadays (and ideally ride with him... ), and have a horse I could ride competitively.
I haven't talked to him in a while, I had no idea he was going to be back in Hawaii for clinics so soon, I would love to see him. Thanks for the heads up, I better call him!
Hi, I don't know LJ, but I do know Dane Lawrence (Sunland, CA) and he is a fantastic trainer. Dane uses classical methods to enhance a horse's balance, suppleness and self-carriage. His approach emphasizes lightness, understanding and harmony to help you and your horse build a strong partnership. Dane has a way of teaching that just helps you to "get it". If you are looking for a trainer in the area it would be worth your while to meet him.
I have had the pleasure of watching and working with both Dane and LJ, and I have to tell you that the two do not even belong in the same sentence. LJ is a fantastic trainer who is continually seeking to improve himself as well as his students, (including riding with Steffen Peters and passing on what he learns there) and the results of that can be seen on the scoreboards and in the show ring. If you seek to become a serious dressage rider of any level, LJ is the one to go with. If you are not so concerned with progress and would just like to enjoy lower level dressage and "take it easy", go with Dane. The two are worlds apart in their training approaches.
Hello to all in LJ land. I just wanted to say to all of you that LJ is amazing. I have casually ridden most of my life, and decided to try Dressage in my 40's. LJ has already brought out more in me than I thought possible!! I can only say to those of you looking, or interested, you will find NO greater coach, and trainer than this guy. He and Derrick brought the ALOHA spirit here to La La Land with them, and it has made me ENJOY the ballet of the horse we all know and love as Dressage!!