The Short Story…..
I am a lifelong horse lover whose love and passion for “all things horsey” have led me down a path of exploration, education and a pursuit of excellence. I have earned my United States Dressage Federation Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals, am a USDF “L” graduate with Distinction and am a USDF Certified Instructor Training through First Level. Having been involved with the USDF Continuing Education Programs throughout my career I plan to continue to test for the more advanced levels. I most recently became involved with the Western Dressage Association of America and am also a Graduate of their Train the Trainers Program and their Advanced Train the Trainer’s Program. I am also pursuing my Judge’s licenses with the USEF and am always attending continuing education programs.
The Long Story…….
I have a wide and varied background with horses and bring years of experience from multiple disciplines to my training program. I began riding at age four and was a competitive Western rider showing in Western Pleasure and Barrel Racing until the age of ten when my family moved to Plymouth, Minnesota. The move led me to Fortuna Farms, home of renowned trainer, founder of Mid-America Dressage and Combined Training Association (MACTA) and founding member of the American Trakehner Associaton(ATA) Max VonBleucher. There I learned in the German Riding school style and began training for three day eventing getting my first horse at age 11 and competing with that horse and a second horse to the Preliminary Division before another move brought me to Hunters and Jumpers and Dressage with Jane Schweiger and Fred Kahn of White Fox Farm in Olathe, Kansas. There I was able to clinic with such great trainers as Laurie Falvo Doyle, Tom Poulin and Chris Kappler.
As a young adult I moved to Boulder, Colorado and was again very fortunate to come under the tutelage of Dressage trainer Sarah Martin of Autumn Hill Farm (now atwww.sarahmartindressage.com in Southern Colorado) and was able to become a professional rider and teacher with her help and the help of Julie Barringer Richers. Through Sarah, I was able to study with Kathy Connelly, Carol Lavell, Axel Steiner, Janet Foy, Hilda Gurney and many other wonderful instructors. Through their wisdom, guidance and experience I was able to form my own business and continued my career with the support of Meg and Chad Bishop at Full Moon Farm in Boulder where I resided, trained and taught a large junior and adult amateur program before moving back to my Kansas roots in 1999. After a brief hiatus, I returned to teaching and training full time out of the small Kansas town of Fort Scott and with a strong partnership with Klarmond Trakehners of Baldwin City, KS and backing from private customer Melinda Waldrop I was able to come to California in 2002 to study with Hilda Gurney and bring several young horses along for sale while working towards my Silver and Gold medal aboard Melinda’s Danish Warmblood iconic gelding Fuji. Working for a time at Signature Farm, Elite Holsteiner Breeding farm, was also a huge education in the breeding realm and introduced me to some of the finest horsemen and women on the West Coast.
After achieving those goals in 2004 I went on to form a partnership with Delta Farms in Camarillo operating a high-end Sport Horse Sales Barn. I then went on to lease, manage and train out of Canada Larga Stables in Ventura, California, an amazing facility that was home to over 8o horses in my care for five years until meeting my husband, Brad Price(www.bradpricehorses.com) in 2010. I now reside in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley and maintain a training, sales, showing, lesson and clinic business catering to clients from many different locales at Price Ranch, Inc.
I continue my education with USDF/USEF/WDAA educational programs, symposiums, forums as well as attending regular riding clinics with masters from Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Germany and other U.S. based trainers and riders. I have twenty five years experience showing in Eventing, H/J and Dressage and more recently have added IFSHA/IALHA rated shows, AHA Shows, and for fun in team penning, team sorting, the reining division, reining cowhorse(on her mule!) and has shown in the breed shows in everything from Dressage Hack to Hunt Seat to Western Pleasure with National Titles as well. She has presented Stallions and Mares to almost every Warmblood Breed Registry including the high scoring stallion and mare for the Holsteiner Verband in 2003/2004, the Champion of Champions at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse in 2009, the Andalusian Stallion Margarito V for Rancho Jalisco of Fontana, California.
I also have developed a strong rehab program for horses who have sustained injuries(of all kinds physical and mental) and enjoy helping them to return to their chosen sport(or just to help them to regain their strength and joy!) In 2006 I had the good fortune to meet Glen and Deni Bator (www.batorinternational.com) and their Friesian gelding, Beake fan de Boppe de Slus who was started in my program as a rehab project as a green 6 year old. Beginning our journey at USDF Intro Level and working our way up he was in the high 60’s and even 70’s up the levels and in 2009 I showed him to the IFSHA Region 10 In-Hand Championship, Hunt Seat Reserve Champion, Western Pleasure Reserve Champion, Dressage Show Hack Reserve Champion. Nationally in 2009 he was the IFSHA Horse of the Year Reserve Champion Hunt Seat Horse, 4th in Dressage Show Hack and 5th in Western Pleasure after many Championship and Reserve Champion titles throughout the show year. He finished 5th for Second Level Dressage Horses after attending only two shows(66 & 67% at 2ndlevel test 3 and 4) and finished 10th overall for Hightpoint all-around pure bred Friesian horses competing in all disciplines in 2009 Nationally. He was also the high point Friesian at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse. He went on to compete at Third Leven and in 2013 he made his 4th level debut and competed through out the season to achieve a 66% median. He is currently schooling PSG and has a very good start on Piaffe/Passage. I also taught him to drive, team sort, trail ride all of which his Amateur Owner can do very happily with him now. His achievements are mentioned here because he has overcome great physical disadvantages from an early injury prior to being owned by the Bator’s. His story is a true testament of his talent and heart and of the incredible team of people I have met and friends I have made because of him: the wisdom I have gained by working with him has forever changed the path of my program.
Moving to the Santa Ynez Valley in 2010 has been a blessing and Nicole has enjoyed competing in Dressage and Ranch Sorting and is excited to now be a part of the growing sports of Western Dressage, Cowboy Dressage and Working Equitation. Welcoming the addition of the young Lusitano stallion, Esbelto CL, who was purchased as a 2 yr old and owned by Terry Chastain, has been an exciting adventure as he became USDF IALHA Horse of the Year at Training Level Open in his first year of competition in 2014 during his 4/5 yr old year with a 70+% medium and scores up to 77%. He has sired three adorable foals, two buckskins and one palomino and will be standing to the public in 2016. In addition to my regular training program Brad and I have hosted dozens of clinics including Pilates for Dressage with Janice Dulak and Sarah Martin, Teaching the Rider to Feel with Sarah Martin, Brad Price Horsemanship and Cattle Working clinics, clinics with Olympian Jan Ebeling, Working Equitation clinics with Portuguese Master Jose Manuel Corrieas Lopes and Sue Watkins, regular Western Dressage and Ranch Trail/Obstacle clinics as well as many holistic, whole horse approach learning clinics with Physiotherapist Gail Williams,PhD and Tom Mayes of Integrated Equine Therapies. My program is committed to building the best horses using the information learned through many years of experience in many different disciplines through many different teachers. It is my hope to share this information with my clients so they too have the tools, support and knowledge to meet their goals.
USDF Bronze, Silver, Gold Medalist
USDF “L” Graduate, with Distinction
USDF Certified Instructor / Trainer
WDAA Train the Trainers Graduate
WDAA Advanced Train the Trainer’s Graduate
Dressage, Training, Lessons, Sales
Training through FEI for horses and their riders
Promoting & Standing Stallions
All Breeds Welcome
Baroque Horse Specialist
Proud Graduate of WDAA
Advanced Graduate of WDAA