About Training at Waredaca
Having a popular and complete riding and competition facility provides us with the right environment to properly train horses and riders. Quite commonly, horse and rider needs may share some issues but not be completely equal. Rather than one or two set Training packages, we choose to work individually with each horse and rider to identify training needs and then develop a program that best meets these needs.
All of our instructors are accomplished and capable. Each contributes their own educational and riding background to offer a diverse choice of styles and teaching techniques to match with prospective students. Steph Kohr is our primary professional trainer and operates her own boarding and training facility at Waredaca.
Our Students Say:
Flying Monkeys are real!
I have appreciated that over the years, as I have had different horses, different challenges, and different goals, I have always been able to rely on coaching that supports my goals and helps me and my horses grow.
With my current horse, who is very talented but can be quite quirky, Steph's patient approach has developed him into a very amateur-friendly jumper. I have seen horses like this end up with holes in their training, or still too much for their owners years later, but I now have an educated, rideable horse who makes better decisions than I do, always a plus for the adult amateur!
My experience with coaching from Gretchen and Steph is that they support the development of a prepared and independent rider. I ride on my own quite a bit and always feel I know where I am and what I am comfortable doing. My favorite demonstration of this, although not recent, is of course the AECs with Piko. Gretchen was judging and so not allowed to coach me in any way. I found myself in SJ warmup, in the top 10 out of over 70 riders. I was the only one without a coach in the warmup ring, but I could hear her voice so clearly in my head, and the homework had been done long before. I knew exactly what I needed to do, and jumped a clear round to move up to 4th and finish on my dressage score.
What a difference!
Laura W. Brown
Assistant Dean of Development
College of Arts and Humanities
The University of Maryland, College Park
The people who ride at Waredaca are truly wonderful!
What makes Waredaca's approach to the rider and the horse special is that the focus and instruction are continuously positive and conducted at the highest level. Waredaca has the facilities that make learning possible. Whether it is access to turnout, stabling, rings (outdoor and indoor), cross country, or fields for trail rides, Waredaca has what you need to get the most out of each ride. (This is especially true if you happen to see an eagle, red wing blackbird, heron or hawk in the field.)
More importantly, the instruction is always excellent. Whether being in a training program with a professional and high level competitor like Steph Kohr or taking a lesson from an Olympian like Stephen Bradley, Olympic coach like Eric Smiley, or USDF Gold Medalist Carolyn del Grosso, Waredaca always offers access to the best right at home. All of the instructors who come to teach stress the importance of a positive experience for both horse and rider. They have the credentials for me to take every ride seriously.
When you leave the farm for clinics or to compete, you know that you have done the proper homework to succeed. You also have the chance to learn at Waredaca when you volunteer at the events. I both learn and am inspired when I am a jump judge and someone like Boyd Martin or Phillip Dutton rides by making a prelim jump look like a cross rail.
I realized that the lesson program was working with two jumps remaining at the Loch Moy starter a few months ago. When I reached the top of the hill and headed for home, I had the confidence that the last few jumps were going to be easy. I knew that many hours of effort and lessons were actually going to produce a clear trip around cross country.
When we found and bought Brando a little over two years ago, I could not trot a circle. I was terrified. Gretchen, Steph, and the many experts who have taught me at Waredaca never cared that I wasn't going to the Kentucky Three Day without a ticket. They only wanted to teach someone who cared about their horse and tried to get better.
I made a mistake by not mentioning one of the other keys to Waredaca earlier. It's the other riders. I've discussed this with my friends in both barns. We all agree that everyone wants everyone else to succeed. We all help each other and we all want the every other horse and rider to be the best. You can see this from the effort and spirit of Liz and the volunteers that she organizes to the genuine concern people have if one person's horse isn't feeling well.
Ron D. Abrams, Vice-President Abrams Travel, Inc
AECs plus a whole lot more for me!
It would be easy to describe the top class facility Waredaca provides - a full cross country course, an indoor rings, wonderful pastures for the horses, good all-weather footing - but what truly makes Waredaca special is about more than riding at a premier venue. It's the sense of family and genuine love and care for the land, the animals, and the people who call Waredaca home. My trainer, Steph, has patiently coached me into the eventing world from the equitation ring and brought me success, increased confidence, and continuous challenge and learning, but equally importantly, has cultivated a barn of clients who thoroughly enjoy each other as friends and support each other as teammates. Gretchen and Robert oversee the farm with a sense of stewardship that is unmatched, and treat everyone who boards here at their home as kin, whether that means hosting a critique of
videoed dressage tests (thank you Gretchen!) or driving a tractor over to pull my car out of the mud at night, in the cold and dark (thank you Robert!). Rob does pretty much everything on the farm as far as I can tell, and yet always has a wave and smile for us (and once loaned me his truck at a horse trial when it was too muddy to drive my Prius across the field to jump judge but too cold and windy to sit outside - anyone sensing a pattern?). Whether you want to compete, push yourself, grow, or just be part of a community of good-hearted people and also have a really, really good time - Waredaca is the place.
Camille (Cami) Pease
For more information:
If you are a serious amateur, teen or adult, looking for private or group instruction, training rides, cross-country lessons or schooling, coaching and/or transportation at eventing or dressage competitions, or boarding in our training program, please email [email protected] and visit stephkequestrian.com
If you are a pre-teen or teen looking for the opportunity to join our US Pony Club Riding Center, please email Katherine Rizzo at [email protected] and visit our Pony Club website.