I have been riding for 18 years in the Chicagoland area. I've done WEF, Finals, the whole campaigning on the "A" circuit with two horses deal. After my junior years, I moved to a less show intensive farm and took a break from showing while in college. Last November I moved with a different trainer to start to get back into competitive riding and training. I really appreciate this trainer for what she does with her clients, how well we get along, and for finding me my new horse. However, I know she isn't the trainer who is going to take me into the big jumper rings as she's more geared toward 3'-3'6" Hunter/Eq.
A few months ago, I purchased a 4 year old jumper prospect mare. So far, she has shown a lot of promise that she'll be a very successful horse. She was only 3 months undersaddle when I got her, but she was already doing courses of 3' jumps, banks, liverpools, free jumping up to 4', and has a super mind. I really want to be sure I set her up to be successful so that she can either get me into the Grand Prix ring or be a good investment horse so I may sell her and buy another young one and just continue my work until I get into Grand Prix.
Ideally, I'd like to go professional one day and am going to begin pursuing my USEF judges learners permit this year. I am extremely hardworking and serious about being in the horse world.
I want to be sure I am at a training facility and with a trainer who is going to expand my riding knowledge, give me the tools to one day enter the big jumper Prix, and help me bring along my young one so she reaches her potential.
Do you have any barn recommendations in the Chicagoland area that would fit these requirements? Or, which rider/trainer in the States would you recommend I pursue trying to work with? I won't be making any real moves until everyone is home from Florida, but I wanted to start to get some names in my head so that I may keep an eye on their WEF/Ocala placings to make an informed decision.
Jill Knowles at Hidden Knoll Farm, which is just south of Wisconsin but the (brand new) facility is worth the miles. They're in Wellington right now... she usually has lots of young imports coming up the ranks, and she won't run their legs off for a ribbon, so you may not see them dominating the WEF results, but you'll see all the horses getting a slow & proper start that emphasizes rideability. And the care is meticulous. http://hiddenknollfarm.com/