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Need Hunter/Jumper trainer in Norcal

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  • #81
    I too recommend Heather Whitney. I've never ridden with her, but I have seen her have some REALLY tough rides and make a ton of progress. I also love the way she treats the horses she rides. I don't know anything about her barn (its in Wilton, CA I think) or if she takes trailer-ins, but I would definitely check her out. I've seen her ride horses that I'm sure are A LOT more difficult than yours and none of her clients ended up selling them, and the horses really improved.

    Good Luck!
    "The highest compliment someone can give you while you're riding is to say, 'Wow! That horse looks happy."
    ~ My Trainer

    Comment


    • #82
      Originally posted by ammy-ville View Post
      Not to push Kim's or anything, I think she may be exactly what the OP wants/needs. Kim does several "B"s a year, she'd go to an "A" and has when she has a client at that level. But Kim is very low key, she doesn't think you need an expensive horse to do well, and she has no qualms training you to ride what YOU have without any pressure to buy anything.
      . . . .

      I will say Kim does NOT advertise anywhere anyhow, before I did her website (and told her about it after the fact!) you would have to find her at a show to figure out how to get ahold of her. Her business is almost 100% word of mouth and people who are happy enough to stay there for life- and yet she's always full and always busy. So that can speak for itself.
      I bought a horse from Kim last year and love, love, love him. He is easy-going, happy, safe, well-trained, and just wonderful. I ditto the word of mouth. I remembered Kim's barn (Rollison Ranch) from when PePo had tried a horse for sale who I also really really liked. The horse we bought wasn't even advertised but the person I emailed with (was that you, ammy-ville?) let me know he might be a fit (he's Mr. PoPo's first horse).

      I got to watch some of her lessons while we were trying Vegas and her students are very well-schooled and also very self-sufficient. They know their stuff and are good, competent, stylish riders. Plus, I would just love to have her arena - it is huge!

      Anyways, I second checking Kim out. I know you said you like where you are, but she has nice paddocks with shelters for the horses, too - it seemed like some of them live out.

      (ammy-ville, please tell Kim that Vegas is doing better than ever and we're so happy and thrilled with him! We call him The Big Red Tomato. He loves his friends at our little farmette and is the big man on campus. We're taking him to Hisken's to go schooling tomorrow - should be fun!)
      My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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      • #83
        MoonPie730 - I know that you really want to keep your mare at the barn where she is now. I can understand how you would feel that way after having gone through a lot of issues at other barns. However, you might really want to consider putting her in full training, even for 3 months, with one of the trainers in our area. If I am recalling this correctly, you said she had been off now for 2 years and you want to restart her, but you can't always have a regular haul-in schedule. How is this going to be successful for you OR your horse, if she can't have a steady, consistent program right when she is being re-started? Would you be able to move back into your barn after 3 months if you wanted? I think that you would have the best chance at success and the best results if you could just do the "whole nine yards", even if only for a short period of time. Everyone who has replied to your thread is doing so out of a desire to help out and hope you succeed. I think there are a lot of fantastic choices here in the greater Sacramento area, someone is surely going to be a good match for you and your horse.

        I ride with Carol Wright, who is wonderful, and there are plenty of other wonderful trainers out there. I will be at Pickwick next weekend, so if you want to come out and check out some of the trainers, I can give you at least one local perspective on the scene ;-) Just ask around for Sharpie's mom at the Melodic Farms barn.

        AMMY-VILLE - it's such a small world - I have a horse who came from Kim Rollinson's barn - do you remember Sharpie? He is the coolest horse I have ever had, and I love him very much. Please tell Kim that he is happy and very much loved (and probably a little too spoiled, although I'm sure he thinks he should have his own way more often).

        Comment


        • #84
          Macella O'Neille is in Calistoga... I remembered wrong.

          Is Martin Ridgeway still around? He used to be in the foothills somewhere.

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          • Original Poster

            #85
            Originally posted by ammy-ville View Post
            It is very hard to find smaller names that are really good at what they do and are going to be around for a while. Most of them are assistants somewhere instead of running their own place. I will say Kim does NOT advertise anywhere anyhow, before I did her website (and told her about it after the fact!) you would have to find her at a show to figure out how to get ahold of
            her. Her business is almost 100% word of mouth and people who are happy enough to stay there for life- and yet she's always full and always busy. So that can speak for itself.

            ALL that said, is Macella O'Neill really in Granite Bay???? Last I saw her she was out in Calistoga?

            anyway, OP, if you do decide to call her, don't tell Kim how much the other barns are charging!!! I don't want her to raise her rates from the dark ages!
            I totally agree, it's super hard to find smaller names that are good. That's why I came to the forum, just to make sure I haven't overlooked anybody. No I definitely won't mention prices! lol. She is so affordable!

            Originally posted by AndNirina View Post
            Just my 2 cents, but I think Gry and Duncan are fantastic... I rode with them quite a while ago, did not have my own horse at the time and still felt as important as their bigger clients. I would highly recommend them and think that they're great horse people.
            Yes I have a call into them. Gry called me back but I had my phone on silent. They seem super busy so if I don't hear back, I'll give them another call.

            Originally posted by TBCrazy View Post
            I too recommend Heather Whitney. I've never ridden with her, but I have seen her have some REALLY tough rides and make a ton of progress. I also love the way she treats the horses she rides. I don't know anything about her barn (its in Wilton, CA I think) or if she takes trailer-ins, but I would definitely check her out. I've seen her ride horses that I'm sure are A LOT more difficult than yours and none of her clients ended up selling them, and the horses really improved.

            Good Luck!
            I actually brought my mare over to her right after Rudy's. They weren't a good fit at all. My mare got worse. I love Heather as a trainer, I just don't think she was a good match for my horse. My horse was going around much smoother at Leone's with Jill Humphrey. I think my mare needs someone who can be aggressive but not too pushy.

            I agree that she can be amazing with problem horses, she just wasn't a great fit with my mare, nothing against her at all.

            Originally posted by Kato View Post
            MoonPie730 - I know that you really want to keep your mare at the barn where she is now. I can understand how you would feel that way after having gone through a lot of issues at other barns. However, you might really want to consider putting her in full training, even for 3 months, with one of the trainers in our area. If I am recalling this correctly, you said she had been off now for 2 years and you want to restart her, but you can't always have a regular haul-in schedule. How is this going to be successful for you OR your horse, if she can't have a steady, consistent program right when she is being re-started? Would you be able to move back into your barn after 3 months if you wanted? I think that you would have the best chance at success and the best results if you could just do the "whole nine yards", even if only for a short period of time. Everyone who has replied to your thread is doing so out of a desire to help out and hope you succeed. I think there are a lot of fantastic choices here in the greater Sacramento area, someone is surely going to be a good match for you and your horse.

            I ride with Carol Wright, who is wonderful, and there are plenty of other wonderful trainers out there. I will be at Pickwick next weekend, so if you want to come out and check out some of the trainers, I can give you at least one local perspective on the scene ;-) Just ask around for Sharpie's mom at the Melodic Farms barn.
            I agree my mare needs consistency but not repetition. I want to ease her back into it slowly. I don't want her pushed into this, she can be pretty emotional and finding a trainer who has pasture boarding is hard to find. She is completely neurotic in a stall.

            I have plenty of time to devote but there will be some months more hectic than others. For the most part I will probably be able to be very consistent aside from finals and midterms, in which case I will be lucky if I get 8 hours of sleep let alone ride at all.

            You might be totally right, I might end up having to put her into a training program for a couple of months. However, I would really like to try the trailering in idea and see if it works. I have heard great things about carole so if I decide to put my mare into a training program, she will be on the top of my list to call.

            Thanks so much for all of your help.

            Comment


            • #86
              Not to hijack the thread but its AWESOME to hear about Sharpie and Vegas!!! Kim hates selling horses, will tell you all the bad things, but if you manage to convince her to sell you one, they generally are good critters! I loved Sharpie and Vegas. Sharpie's new owner, we've seen you ride him at shows, we know he can be "special" and you kick butt! I am so glad he's with you! I had a mare for sale very similar to him recently that I emailed Carol about, but happily she is in a new home with a nice rider that can bring out the talent in her.

              And yes, Pocket Pony, I am the email connection between Kim and you guys getting Vegas. We still miss him a ton!!!! Everytime we need a big, sound, steady eddy horse to show, or go cross counry, we keep going you shouldn't have sold Vegas! Glad to hear he is still well loved!! We are going to Oregon House in May for a 3 day camp out, I will definitely tell Kim you are happy with him and he's happy and the big red tomato thing... very funny!

              It is a small world! I think riders, trainers and breeders alike do well to form a good word of mouth reputation espically in todays day and age, as you can't escape people knowing who you are via the internet!

              Comment


              • #87
                I agree about word of mouth - very important. A good reputation is very important - especially in this industry!

                To continue the hijak just for a moment, we took Vegas to Hisken's yesterday for schooling and he was a champ. A little "up" because it was the first day they were open for schooling and it was sooo busy with horses and trainers everywhere. I rode him first and he was just great. No problems whatsoever. Did everything I pointed him at and was so steady. So Mr. PoPo got on him and finished with our group schooling through the water and they had a grand time. We're going back next weekend because we had so much fun!

                And talk about steady - our neighbor behind us was doing a HUGE burn pile on Wednesday. I took him out to the crossties which was probably 100' away or so. I wanted to see how he'd react. No problem. He just stood there while I groomed him and played beauty parlor with the crackling flames making noise behind him. Love him! It was actually a good test because we're in a high fire danger area and to see that he was so calm was good for thoughts of evacuation, should we ever have to do that (knock wood!).

                He's a very loved horse - we bought a new trailer for him because he's so big! We're so glad that you told us about him and that Kim sold him to us. He's got a forever home with us.

                Sorry for the hijack. I just had to brag on the Tomato for a minute. Back to your regularly scheduled trainer-shopping!
                My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

                "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

                Comment


                • #88
                  Trainer Suggestions

                  After about 8 years of riding hunter/jumper in the greater Sacramento and Northern California area, I would highly recommend Heather Whitney for the solutions you're seeking. I relocated to her with a warmblood previously trainer by Gry & Duncan and shown at Spruce Meadows before the age of 6 (consider how healthy that is for warmblood hocks...). He was unreal at home - jumped any sort of fence from any distance, originally. As he figured his rider out, he started stopping. At shows, it was war to get him over even a single 2' obstacle. It was ultimately all about his trust in his rider and it took Heather to teach me that. She has the patience of a saint and the understanding and empathy of an angel. I was forced to sell my horse when I left for college, if it weren't for the importance of education, I definitely would still be riding with her today. I actually traveled 2.5 hours from school back to her place each weekend for over a semester in order to train for a particular show on a mare that needed rehab - only stopping when I broke my wrist in a random accident. Macella O'Neill in Calistoga (near Napa and Sonoma) is also highly commendable. She and Heather worked together in order to help me better understand my horse and his history before we could overcome it. I'd strongly suggest either one if you have a problem horse. But, Heather will always be there for you and your horse. If you want more information or a personal reference, please feel free to contact me directly. Good luck!

                  Ashley

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