Years as a trainer: 14
Services/Discipline Focus: English/
What makes your barn so unique to amateurs? I think it’s the one-on-one attention that each and every amateur and horse gets throughout our training process.
What is your favorite time of the year to be a horse trainer? Definitely, October. It’s the BIG DANCE; it’s what we have worked all year for!
Who is the most important person behind the scenes in your training program? It’s a three-way tie! Oak Haven Farms would not be what it is if it weren’t for the efforts of Lauren Grabski, Amy Belton and Cassie Banks, be it behind the scenes or out in front!
When you were young and dreaming, what did you think your career would be in? I always knew it would be in horses.
Years as a trainer: 6
Services/Discipline Focus: Saddle Seat and Hunter Pleasure
What do you feel the industry could do as a whole to get the middle market back? Our industry has become very focused around young horses with the classes we now offer; classes that as professionals, we love: Futurity, 4-year-old, junior horse and maturity classes. I think as our horses get older, whether they are still doing an amazing job or not, start to lose their value because there are not as many classes for them to show in at a national level. I would love to see us offer classes specifically for aged horses. People could afford a nice horse and still be competitive at a higher level of competition.
What makes your barn so unique to amateurs? I don’t know if it is something that makes us unique, but I feel that we have a very laid back and welcoming vibe. We have an amazing group of clients who all get along and support each other. It makes their hobby more fun when the environment is enjoyable.
What is your favorite horse show to attend and why? I love going to the Scottsdale show. It is wonderfully attended by both our breed and spectators. There is always something going on that is fun to watch with the multiple arenas showing at once. There are also tons of class options to show in so our people definitely feel like they are getting some bang for their buck. It is just a great atmosphere.
What is your favorite time of the year to be
a horse trainer? I love September/October/November. It is an awesome feeling to have worked all year getting ready for U.S. Nationals and then getting to go and see how your hard work has paid off. We work all year in anticipation for that show and work even harder the two and a half weeks we are there. Then, it is nice to come home, take a breather, and get started on the babies for the following year.
When you were young and dreaming, what did you think your career would be in? As I grew up in this business, I always knew I wanted to be a trainer. Even though my parents made me graduate from college first (I’m grateful for that), I loved the horses. It was my passion and what truly made me happy at the end of the day. My dad always told me, “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’m finding that to be very true.