Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2023

Lisa Wall Believes In The Power Of Hard Work



At the age of 10, Lisa Wall had a job: running the rental string for Christine Baredian’s Equestrotel. She started riding with Baredian’s son, Joe Thorpe, as a 6-year-old, but as money tightened in the Wall household, she needed a creative solution to continue her love of horses. So, she started saddling the rental horses and fastening the bridles in exchange for lessons. 

“I’ve been working since I could walk,” Wall joked. “But that’s what makes a good work ethic these days. 

“My mom actually raised us three kids—I have a brother and a sister—on a schoolteacher salary,” she added. “She tried to keep my sister in art and dance, and my brother in music, and me in riding. In the process of that I got very involved in the riding. I remember when I was in high school, I had a job at a restaurant, and I had to pay for my horse’s board. And I fed and blanketed [for Mickey Haden] to try and pay for my riding lessons.” 

Lisa Wall rode 3P Equine Partners LLC’s Tangled Up In Blue to victory in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Temecula Valley National Horse Show II. Captured Moment Photography Photo

From an early age Wall knew she wanted to become a professional. 

“I used to always tell my mom, ‘I’m going to be a horse trainer. I don’t need school. I’m going to be a horse trainer,’ ” Wall said. “[She’d say,] ‘We need school; we need to know how to run a business.’ I always felt that way. I always worked very, very hard, even as a young kid because we didn’t have a lot financially. So I worked; I groomed; I braided. I did whatever I had to do to make sure that my horse’s bills were paid.” 

Her mother, Robin Wall, also discovered a love of English riding through Lisa. As a child, she’d ridden western with her father, who worked as an immigration officer. And in addition to teaching and raising three kids alone, she worked at the barn in exchange for lessons. 

“We all know schoolteachers don’t make much money, but she tried really, really hard,” said Lisa. “She’s an incredible woman, my mom.” 


Through a connection with a banker Lisa made while cleaning houses, Robin used her retirement money to take out a loan and purchase a barn in Long Beach, California. With Lisa as the trainer, the pair started Ranch Rio Verde Riding Club in the late ’80s. 

“I remember the loan was for $150,000 or something, and there were like five horses on the property,” said Lisa. “And I’m like, ‘Mom, we can do it. We can start a riding school.’ We started, and we ended up getting a couple of pretty good young horses that we brought up to be very successful. We started the riding school, started the summer camp, and just put our heads down. It just started to fill up; it takes a while, but we were off and running.” 

In addition to Rancho Rio Verde’s boarding and lesson program, Lisa established Showbrook as her own show business running out of the same facility and turned it into a successful enterprise, now with horses like Tangled Up In Blue. 

“Piper,” a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Dirado, came to Showbrook at the end of 2017. Piper wasn’t polished, but Lisa saw potential even though the mare’s job would be piloting owner Macy Dimson in the children’s and adult hunter divisions. When Dimson started college, 3P Equine Partners LLC purchased the mare for Lisa. 

“I was speechless when it happened, when they said that they wanted to do this for both me and for her,” said Lisa. “And I still continue to be speechless about it. I stop short of welling up with tears.” 

Their partnership has produced multiple international hunter derby wins including, most recently, at Temecula Valley National Horse Show II (California) on April 28, where they topped the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. 

“She’s very special, and I think she’s a once in a lifetime horse,” Lisa said. “We’re very good friends, and we look out for each other. We always try to give each other our best. It’s been a real blessing in my life for this to happen.” 

Even though decades separate Lisa from her time cleaning houses to pay board to winning derbies with a horse of a lifetime, she continues to teach those lessons of hard work to the next generation. 


“It’s important to instill it into my students, not just the riding,” she said. “They don’t come to the barn and have their horse ready; they tack up their horses. 

“I believe in working students because they learn a work ethic,” she added. “And even the ones that don’t need it, they work off a portion of their bill. They learn how to work, and it keeps them off their phones. The generation that is being raised these days is self-absorbed, and it happens on their phones. I think [working in the barn] helps them in a way to get them ready for the real world.” 

Although Robin died in 2016, Lisa still feels her presence at Showbrook, as she works alongside her own daughter Britney Leger in the barn her mother purchased. 

“I never really looked back and went, ‘Gosh, wow,’ ” Lisa said. “I just, one day at a time, put my head down. ‘Go to work. How am I going to do this to get there?’ That’s what I did without really looking back. Had I looked back, I would have gone, ‘There’s no way.’ It’s quite a story. The way my mom raised me as a worker, I’ve put that into my daughters too. I’m glad for that because [I believe if ] you work hard, and you put your head down, you’ll get to the goal.” 

This article appeared in the May 22-June 5, 2023, issue of The Chronicle of the Horse. You can subscribe and get online access to a digital version and then enjoy a year of The Chronicle of the Horse and our lifestyle publication, Untacked. If you’re just following COTH online, you’re missing so much great unique content. Each print issue of the Chronicle is full of in-depth competition news, fascinating features, probing looks at issues within the sports of hunter/jumper, eventing and dressage, and stunning photography.



Follow us on


Copyright © 2023 The Chronicle of the Horse