It all began with a trip to Marin Tack & Feed to buy my first helmet on my way to Forest Farms Summer Camp in Forest Knolls. Instantaneous love and my first position as a Jr. Wrangler since all I would do was eat and be at the stable with the horses. I had my horsey adventures as a child, and it was clear to me that the only thing I wanted to do in life was work with horses. It could have something to do with my Native American heritage. I am 16% Hidatsa and a member of the MHA Nation in North Dakota.
So, I went to see a trainer at Dickson Ranch and asked her how one would pursue my career dreams. She recommended that I apply to be a working student with Dominque and Debra Barbier and study classical dressage as a foundation for the training of horses before I pursue my love of jumping. I spent two wonderful years with them and in addition to the intensive training I received we had twelve breeding stallions, 30 broodmares……I can’t even count all the babies. It was a great time in my life.
Unfortunately, I could not survive on zero income forever and so I took a position as a barn manager. It was short lived, but I did meet Elizabeth Kilham and John Charlebois. This was the pivotal moment in my life. One day the phone rang, and I was offered the position of Assistant Trainer. At that time, they were the most prominent Hunter/Jumper Barn in Sonoma County and owned ‘Hand in Glove’ who competed at the Grand Prix level and was a highly sought-after breeding stallion. He was ultimately sold to France, the country, for their breeding program. I brought a tall dark Hanoverian with me as a sale horse who was ultimately sold to Duncan McFarlane as his Grand Prix prospect. These were my most formative years, and I learned a tremendous amount from both Lumpy and John.
I have worked as a Trainer, Assistant Trainer, Barn Manager, Rider, and Coach for the following:
- Elizbeth Kilham – Kilham Farm
- John Charlebois – Charlebois Farm
- Macella O’Neill – Diamond Mountain Stables
- John Bragg – Bridgeport Farms
- Sue Curry – Fairwind Farm
- Harleigh Marshall – Concorde Farm
- Laura McEvoy – Rancho Saguaro
- Lisa Dubrow & Cyd Shald – Longview Stable
- Barbara EnDean & Samantha Lanzone – Horizons East
I would like to give a shout out to Dusty Blackwood and Full Circle Farm as well and say thank you to all of my mentors because that is what you are all to me, along with lifelong friendships. Thank you!
Over the years I have had a lot of success with starting horses, showing young horses, training students from their first day in the saddle and making many friends along the way. Riding horses is a way of life. It is a community of like-minded enthusiasts. We have our good days and our bad days but “every dog has their day.” (J. Charlebois) “Your horse is a mirror and reflection of who and what you are on a daily basis.” (D. Barbier) and that connection is deep and unique to you and your horse. It is hard to describe what being with horses does for your spirit and your character and I cannot think of anything to compare it to.
I have attended Marin Country Day School, The Branson School and have an A.S in Accounting from City College of San Francisco and a B.B.A in Finance from Sonoma State University.