We occasionally take on training prospects and consignment horses. We always have a great selection of horses and a fabulous group of students, working students and interns. We are not a typical "show barn" or "lesson barn" although we do get out there and have fun with our youngsters and training projects. We affiliate with some of the areas best show barns and work collaboratively with local trainers and stables. These relationships afford us the best of all worlds and provide excellent development opportunities for students. We always have room for hard working students that need an alternative to the traditional show barn. Working with green horses, sale horses and training horse projects offers a wealth of riding and learning experiences.
Denise's background consists of riding and training hunter's, jumper's and equitation horses. During the early years Denise started with ponies and quarter horses at Riverlea Stables, owned and operated by Diane Masters. During her competitive years she showed in the Childrens, Junior and Regular working hunter divisions and AHSA Medal, ASPCA Maclay, and USET equitation classes, competing intercollegiately she qualified for IHSA Nationals at Kenyon College and as an adult she trained with Pamela Graham (hunters and jumpers), Jennifer Nadalin (hunters and jumpers), Eli Scuri (hunters), Judy Grayson (hunters and equitation) and Leslie McDonald (dressage). Denise developed several breeding stallions that pursued successful jumper and eventing careers.
Denise is always interested in continuing her riding and teaching education and has a complimentary background in educational design. Her teaching philosophy involves designing a system based on how riders learn (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic) and has evolved into really helping her students "learn to feel" and to develop problem solving skills that will enable them to ride any kind of horse. Working with many different horses and lots of young and green horses requires solid basics that can then be adapted to each unique horse and rider combination. Denise has a very developed system for working with many different types of horses and riders. Denise believes that teaching her students how to bring out the best in their horses through consistent, thoughtful riding, produces the best results. Her teaching methods can best be described as giving the riders the basic ‘tools’ they need to get the most out of their horse. As horse and rider progress, she equips the rider with more tools, and the knowledge to put those tools to work. She also offers some specialty classes such as "Equine Yoga for Riders", a very relaxing and confidence building class for old and young, horses and riders! Equine "Yoga" builds strength and suppleness as well as dealing with psychological issues in horses and riders. She also offers natural horsemanship and groundwork classes for riders new to horses and riders needing to brush up on basics and fundamentals.
Denise hopes to accomplish great things with each horse and rider, while reminding everyone to enjoy what they are doing.
After all... riding is fun!