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A Circuit Jumper Trainers Orange County

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  • A Circuit Jumper Trainers Orange County

    I've been riding in San Juan Capistrano my whole life but mostly with county level trainers at Sycamore and Rancho Sierra Vista since that is all my parent's could afford. Now that I am 30, I have the time and money to spend on a new to be competitive on the A circuit. I'm looking to buy a new horse and spend $50-$125k, but plan on waiting until I find a new trainer. I am looking to compete in the amateur jumpers. I'm currently riding my former jumper just around small courses and I will retire him once I get a new horse.

    I've been riding for 20 years, so I looking for a new trainer to really hone my skills. I feel like over the years I've wasted so much money on trainers who really taught me nothing.

    Here is a list I'm considering:
    1) Mickey Hayden
    2) Joie Gatlin
    3) Ginnie Bryant
    4) Natalie Cooper
    5) Ivy Gate Farms - Mary Morrison and Ashton Belcher

    I'm open to other suggestions. I'm looking for a trainer who is good at teaching/coaching, not just riding for themselves. I'm primarily interested in competing in the jumpers. Also, I'm looking for someone that is honest and does not rip off their clients in buying and selling overpriced horses. I've seen it happen too many times.....

    Thank you in advance for your advice!!

  • #2
    For jumpers you can't beat Mickey Hayden and Joie Gatlin. I have not heard anything negative about either of them.


    • #3
      I would like to live vicariously through you, I vote for Joie Gatlin!


      • Original Poster

        Thank you! I have a few friends who train with Mickey and have had nothing but positive things to say. I live in San Juan so Joie is a little closer to me.


        • #5
          I know two people who ride with Mickey and Joie and are very, very happy. I worked with Mary Morrison a few years ago and loved her, but she's definitely more equitation/hunter-focused. She is a great horse person, though.


          • Original Poster

            Haha well for most of my junior career I could only go to shows here and there when my parents could afford it. I always have had these crazy horses no one else could ride. Now that my husband and I have made our own money, I no longer want to ride mediocre horses and take lessons with trainers that are way past their prime. I want to improve my technique and win on the A circuit. I will keep you posted!


            • #7
              Well if you want to show at Blenheim then there's no better place to keep a horse than the Oaks. I ride at Bridgeport and love it. John, Richard and Michelle are a fantastic team.


              • #8
                I strongly recommend Edgar Pagan. He is not only a true horseman but he is an exceptional teacher. His riders produce winning rounds at all the major shows - I think that if you compare the results to some of the others you mention you will find him very favorable statistically.
                You have compiled a strong list good luck !


                • #9
                  Liz Denny would be worth looking at. She came and did a clinic at our barn and I was very impressed with her teaching and insights.
                  The Evil Chem Prof


                  • #10
                    I rode with Mickey as a youth and have nothing but great things to say about him and his program. Others I would look at would be Joie Gatlin, Edgar Pagan, Ginnie Bryant, and if you want to go a bit further north then Tracy Baer and Elvenstar OC are both in Huntington Beach. Before I moved to San Diego I was with Elvenstar OC for two years and really loved it at that barn, I was sad to move but I like to see my horse everyday so a two hour, 100+ mile drive to the barn wasn't going to work.


                    • #11
                      Mickey and Joie are both good choices. Isn't Joe Lifto in that area too? Those three are very good jumper trainers.
                      I can explain it TO you,but I can't understand it FOR you


                      • #12
                        Don't know them personally, but you could check out Carolyn Biava and also Hilary Ridland.


                        • #13
                          I ride with Edgar Pagan and couldn't be happier. We are mostly a barn of working amateur ladies and have a lot of fun! It is a great supportive environment. Edgar found my last horse as a barely broke 5 Year old and brought us up to the high AO jumpers. He also has a ton of connections in Europe to buy top quality like Mark Watrings Sapphire, among others. He is located in Irvine so maybe a further drive if you are in SJC. www.edgarpaganshowjumpers.net
                          My second choice would be joie but unless you plan on spening most weekends on the road i dont know how much face time you get. I've have mixed feelings about Mickey. You can PM if you want more details. For high level jumpers those 3 are my top choices. Oh, I'd maybe look at Liz Denny but I don't love the fairgrounds. And Ginnie Bryant too. I guess we are lucky to have a nice large pool to choose from!


                          • #14
                            I second Liz Denny. She is super nice, but really pushes you to be the best rider you can be.


                            • #15
                              Hillary Ridland, hands down. Excellent training, AMAZING facility, great care. She is honest and fair. I travel 1.5 hours to ride with her even though there are many trainers in my immediate area.


                              • Original Poster

                                I am type A and like to be pushed so that sounds appealing. Does she have any competitive amateur riders? Or mainly juniors?

                                I just hate the facilities at the Fair Grounds.....too much concrete! I just moved to San Juan from Corona Del Mar so it would have been perfect before I moved. Also, how much longer do you think the Fairgrounds will still be around now that the property has been sold?


                                • Original Poster

                                  Do you ride in the jumpers? Is she at Blenheim?


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Doesn't John focus more on the hunters/equitation? I have no desire to show in hunter ring...been there done that!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by caballogurl View Post
                                      I am type A and like to be pushed so that sounds appealing. Does she have any competitive amateur riders? Or mainly juniors?

                                      I just hate the facilities at the Fair Grounds.....too much concrete! I just moved to San Juan from Corona Del Mar so it would have been perfect before I moved. Also, how much longer do you think the Fairgrounds will still be around now that the property has been sold?
                                      Property has not been sold. The State nixed the idea.


                                      • #20
                                        I agree about the fair grounds...way too much concrete! And even though the state nixed the sale of the property the barns still seem to be ever shrinking. With all the other barns to choose from the only way I would go there is if you lived really close by.

                                        Of your list I'd go with Mickey or Ginnie. While Joie is great, it's my understanding that with her you have a required number of shows you must attend and are responsible for some of the show fees even if you don't go. Plus she is gone so much that your face time would be limited unless you are planning on doing the full circuit.

                                        Mickey has a solid program that works well for some people and focuses mainly on jumpers. Ginnie is great trainer and I like her teaching style. And if you are still at syc or rancho then Ginnie would be an easy move I'd also take a look at Bridgeport as I've heard great things about them as well. Another option to try is John Bernie. He has a great group and is a nice guy.

                                        While you are deciding it would be a good idea to go take a few lessons at each of the possible barns to see how you get on with each of them.