Meet the Trainers
Jill has been riding and showing since 1987. Jill started off her hunt seat riding career in CT at the Westbrook Hunt Club under Jane Dow, before a fire there sent her looking for a new barn. She rode at Flight Way Farm under Terry Schreiber for a few years before she ended up with Jill Walter-Robinson and the Guilford Riding School where she instantly got hooked on eventing.
She evented for 9 years, competing at places like Groton House, Senator Bell Farm, Frasier Farm, Mystic Valley Hunt Club, Kent School, Ethel Walker, Stoneleigh Burnham, and GMHA. Jill also crossed over to the western side from time to time as well. It wasn't until college that Jill remember why she loved equitation so much. Carl Catani, of River Wind Farm, refined the eventer in her and had her riding sale horses and boarders, including a couple of stoppers, for 3 years.
During her years at Mount Ida College, she was captain of the very successful equestrian team for 2 1/2 years. Jill was team MVP in 2003 and won the Scholar Athlete award in 2004 and 2005. Jill also taught most of the MIC riding program's lessons from 2003-2005. Close friend Tricia Moss helped Jill find new clients in the area. Jill eventually followed Tricia to Stoneymeade Farm, owned by Joyce Mersereau. They didn't need another trainer, but they had a slot open for a Road Manager. Jill signed on and single handedly managed 12-18 horses and riders at over 30 shows a year for 3 years. Traveling to places like; HITS/Saugerties, Saratoga, Vermont Summer Festival, Fieldstone Farm, Westbrook Hunt Club, The Pines, Old Salem Farm, Grazing Fields Farm, Fairfield Hunt Club, Wellington and to finals at Harrisburg and Syracuse. It was a great experience for Jill, teaching her all the ins and outs of the "A" and "AA" show circuit, while creating business relationships with many top trainers.
On Bonnie, one of our Happy Retirees, then owned by The Guilford Riding School, now owned by Lily Bower.
Jill has been teaching lessons since 1998. Jill doesn't just train riders, she creates horsemen. She has zero tolerance for those who are accustomed to just showing up and getting on. Riders are required to groom their horses before and after each lesson. Her students are encouraged to join 4-H and compete locally. She also takes some students to VHSA and VHJA shows throughout the summer.
Amanda has been involved in the horse world since birth, even sitting on her mother's off-the-track thoroughbred gelding before she could even walk. Amanda officially started taking lessons and showing in early 1990 at the young age of 6. She started off her Hunt Seat/ Equitation career at Coker Farm in Bedford,NY under the instruction of Bonnie Cunniffe and Barbara Lindsay of Wayside Farm LTD. Showing successfully in the Short Stirrup and pony divisions, she got her start in the equestrian show world.
Amanda on "Prince" age 7 Coker Farm in Bedford, N.Y.
Starting at the age of 8, she spent 9 weeks per summer at an equestrian summer program in the Adirondacks. During her 11 summers at Willow Hill Farm, Amanda managed barns of 25+ horses and learned what it REALLY meant to be a horseman. Willow Hill is where she fully experienced the real world of horses, away from a vigrorous show schedule at home. At Willow Hill, under the training of Julie,Tara and Ken Edwards, Amanda discovered the exciting world of dressage and eventing. During her summers she also had the opportunity to start many young horses and learned how to start them correctly and safely.
Amanda spent her summers training to be an eventer at Willow Hill, and would return home to Wayside Farm in the Fall to go back to her Hunter/Equitation show schedule. She continued to show at farms such as Old Salem Farm, Ox-Ridge and Vail Farm until 1998 when she decided that she was born to train young horses and compete in 3 Phases. Amanda left Wayside farm, and moved to River Horse Farm in North Salem, NY with her horses. While at River Horse, Amanda discovered Hunter Pacing and Fox Hunting.
Amanda on "Thistle" 12 yr old Mare
Golden's Bridge Hounds Hunter Pace North Salem, NY 1998
For the next 5 years Amanda competed in such events as Kent School, Stonleigh Burnham, Wilton Pony Club, Frasier Farm, Turtle Hill, Napierville, Hitching Post, 3 Phase Farm, and Windsway Farm. Ironically showing at some of the the same farms, on the same days as Jill Wade, whom she did not know at the time. She also competed heavily in Dressage ,and took home 3rd place in her division at Lendon Gray's Northeast Junior Rider Dressage Championships in 1999.
Amanda and "Thistle" at Wilton Pony Club Event 2000 showing at Training Level
Amanda still spent her summers at Willow Hill training their young horses, and teaching small lessons until 2001 when she became too old for their program. From then on she spent her summers at home schooling her horses and working with client's young horses as well as competing occasionally on the weekends.
Amanda moved up to Vermont with her horses in early 2008, and while looking for a boarding facility for her horses, came across Wishful Thinking. It turned out to be the perfect place for Amanda, as she and Jill shared similar pasts. Amanda now manages the facility along with Jill, and continues to train client's horses as well as her own. Amanda currently has 8 horses on the farm including her retired event horse, her Dressage horse, and her 6 green youngsters.
Amanda schooling her then 11yr old mare "Bella" at Wishful Thinking Farm May 2009
Amanda riding her retired then 22yr old mare, Thistle at the Wishful Thinking Farm March 2009
Amanda in 2012 Schooling her 4yr old over Elementary level for the first time