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Colorado eventing instructors/trainers?

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  • Colorado eventing instructors/trainers?

    Hi all. I'm a baby eventer but I'm addicted, despite the broken ankle I got at our first two-phase this year. While I do have a competitive streak, I'm realistic that at my age (nearing the half-century mark), Horse and I we will spend our years playing around in the lower levels. Horse is greenish but willing, and loves to jump. I'm eager to learn all I can within our limitations.

    I'm looking for an eventing instructor with low-drama boarding facilities and a good, fun eventing lesson program suitable for an older adult. Would like to find someone who will calmly encourage us to improve (I'm not fond of screamers).

    My working situation allows travel multiple times a week, so I'm looking anywhere along the Front Range (WY to CO Spgs), Steamboat, or I-70-ish corridor through the mountains. Budget is a factor, but finding the right instructor and situation is key.

    Any suggestions would be welcome. Private messages welcome, too. Thank you!

  • #2
    Here are a few previous threads to help get you started
    Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge


    • Original Poster

      Oooooh, thank you so much, Where'sMyWhite!


      • #4
        Does anyone know if Lynn Klisavage is still teaching out in CO? She was one of my Instructors, when I was at LEC. She is one of the best, from whom I have taken, and I have had a lot of Instructors throughout my 60+ years of riding. She was really good with young horses, too.
        When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


        • Original Poster

          That's wonderful, Auburn! I had someone PM me about Lynn and also have high praise for her. Apparently she's at Mile High Horse Ranch in Parker now, and she's definitely on my list to learn more about.


          • #6
            RAyers Could probably help you out with names.
            Rhode Islands are red;
            North Hollands are blue.
            Sorry my thoroughbreds
            Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


            • #7
              OP, where will you be living and what time(s) of day would you be thinking of traveling to/from barn?

              Steamboat, while lovely and one of my favorite places to ski , is not an easy drive from the Denver/Front Range area, especially in winter.
              Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge


              • #8
                Originally posted by CanteringOn View Post
                That's wonderful, Auburn! I had someone PM me about Lynn and also have high praise for her. Apparently she's at Mile High Horse Ranch in Parker now, and she's definitely on my list to learn more about.
                I hope that you can get the opportunity to ride with Lynn. She is amazing and quite funny, too. She has a wonderful smile. Please keep us updated about where you end up?
                When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


                • #9
                  How accomplished of a trainer are you looking for?
                  There is Rochelle Costanza in Parker, one in Firestone named Angelika (I forget her last name), Cayla Stone in Firestone, Becca Caulfield in Longmont, Chiara Poscente travels I think, and Vicki Baker in Wellington I think. They all range in experience.
                  Good luck!


                  • #10
                    You really need to figure out where you are living. Steamboat is a 3.5 hour drive over multiple mountain passes and is 2 hours north of I-70. There is no Steamboat/I-70 corridor.

                    The eventing trainers are either north of Denver or south. Figure at least an hour drive either way if you live in Denver. I live in Larkspur and work in Denver but I get in at 7am so I miss traffic. On bad winter days it is a 2-3 hour drive.

                    Lynn is great for up and comers. Dani Sussman (Aspire Eventing) is also excellent. They are the Parker/Castle Rock area. Viki, up north is wonderful. Other than Rochelle (who is also a friend), I have no other recommendations as I have no experience or interaction with the other trainers mentioned.

                    As a trainer, I suggest you develop a clear list of wants and goals both in riding and life and we can guide you better. Do you want upper level potential? Travel to east or west coasts? Do you want to live central?



                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you, everyone! I really appreciate all your input and I'm excited to be putting together a list of options. To answer some of your questions:

                      I live in the mountains, closer to Steamboat than to the Front Range, but I'm well aware that most of the opportunities for learning (and of course events and shows) are along the Front Range. Denver metro is closer than Fort Collins, but I can go to FC a back way with zero traffic, which has some benefits.

                      I just found out that one of my favorite instructors will be coming to my area for the summer, so if I do move my horse, it might not be until the fall. And then my boy would either stay through spring or simply be there year-round. (Flies drive him CRAZAY — behavioral changes and even hives — so mountain summers may be very useful unless I can get the fly issue conquered. I'm going to be testing the SmartPak supplements this year.)

                      As a side benefit, winter visits to the Front Range would alleviate some of my seasonal depression. Compared to where I live now, there are definite advantages to experiencing the (relative) warmth of the Front Range and a chance to regularly glimpse actual ground not covered by snow. The six months of permasnow blanketing the ground here this past winter was too damn long for me, but my S.O. is a native of the mountains and won't relocate, so it is what it is! Fortunately, my S.O. is supportive of trying this horse-move.

                      Steamboat wouldn't be warmer or less snowy, but it's closer, and that's handy.

                      Depending on lesson times and location, I would either commute on riding days (I'm aware of the usual traffic patterns along I-70 during ski season and in the metro area on weekdays), or rent a room/AirB&B it as needed, occasionally staying with friends. I know this setup sounds crazy to most people, considering the potential distances and time spent in the car, but I'm eager to learn and explore this sport and I have multiple reasons to try this out.

                      As I wrote in the OP, we will never make it to the upper levels due to my advancing age (and our talent constraints, I'm sure, sigh). I'm okay with our limitations, and they don't stop me from wanting to absorb all I can anyway. I want to learn, progress, and have fun. Huge bonus if I can make friends along the way.

                      If I don't try this, I'll just keep wondering if I should. So: Have trailer, will travel.


                      • #12
                        Where do you live, CanteringOn? I lived in Steamboat for years and competed starter through my first advanced living there. I trained with several great people in Steamboat, though they are all either gone (Trixi Marienau for dressage and jumping) or are moving soon (Regina Liberatore -- has a hunter background but great for jumping and sounds perfect for what you want), and Martha Deeds on the Front Range. Particularly at the lower levels, I took advantage of as many weekend clinics as I could down on the Front Range, as opportunities to learn, to school XC, etc.) You also have Laramie accessible to you, and while Christian Eagles has moved, I think there are still some eventing folks up there?
                        I evented just for the Halibut.


                        • Original Poster

                          Good to hear — I'll PM you, NeverTime!


                          • #14
                            Christian is now in Thermopolis, WY.

                            Yes, clinic opportunities are good here. Competition opportunities, not much anymore. This year, in Colorado we have only Spring Gulch (2), the horse park (1) and Abbe Ranch (1). The next closest is Archer in WY.

                            The only killer about the mountains are the passes Fall-Spring. The back way into FC is beautiful but the pass (Camron Pass) is steep and two lane. Of course there is Rabbit Ears. And I am not sure how long it's been since you have been this way but the traffic is pretty bad wherever you go now. Even Ft. Fun is a pain.

                            Nevertime and I were lucky that we were at a time when there weren't so many people here.


                            • #15
                              Another fan of Rochelle Costanza--she was a tremendous help rehabbing my OTTB after EPM treatment twenty years ago. Enjoyed my lessons with her. She's now retired but loved riding with Corky Shaha.