Kids & Youth
My daughter started riding with Robyn as a preteen and is now a happy, healthy teen rider. Thanks to the patience and kindness demonstrated towards the kids and horses, my daughter has looked up to and mimicked these traits at home and in school. People often ask where she got such nice posture and politeness and I tell them “the barn!” Many of her friends ride at other barns but have not developed the skills, posture, and manners that my daughter has learned at Equine Life Solutions. I couldn’t recommend a better place to grow up in.
I just want to thank you for your tremendous patience in teaching Siri riding and horsemanship skills. The work you do with kids both on and off the horses increase their knowledge, courage, and especially confidence. We have watched our daughter progress over the years and your understanding of her unique learning style and teaching her in a way she could grasp has been a huge success in her life.
A great place for your child (and you) to grow
My daughter Jade, age 13, has been riding with Robyn Smith she was 7. Robyn is so positive: she encourages the kids, knows their edges and their strengths, and supports or pushes when they need it. She is a very insightful teacher and understands both horses and children, and cares deeply about both. Be prepared though… you or your child might fall in love with riding bareback! Definitely you will fall in love with the stable and its community, both two- and four-legged.
I am 20 years old and have been riding horses for 12+ years. I have had many different teachers, but my favorite years have been the last five, with Robyn. Her way of riding is eye-opening, and I love being able to know all of the horses’ different personalities and funny quirks. With my past teachers, I never got to know the horses I rode; I just rode, and I was very unbalanced. I can now stay on a horse with ease when he spooks, and keep calm instead of blaming horses for problems that humans cause. My experience with Robyn Smith has been positively spectacular.
I never knew, what I never knew!
I arrived at Robyn’s barn a “very experienced” rider. Or so I thought. At my first lesson I confidently mounted a chestnut mare named Robbin, prepared to show this barn what I could do. If only I could get Robbin to move. Thirteen years of English, Western, gaming, and jumping training and I couldn’t get this lesson horse to walk. When I did get her moving, she kept trotting and stopping for no reason.
My second lesson went differently. Robyn put me on-line, again on Robbin, and this time we started with the basics. These were basics that I didn’t even know were basics! In the dozens of places I had ridden, no one had ever taught me control of my pelvis, my seat bones, or my psoas muscle. The week before, Robbin had been walking, stopping, and trotting because I was unconsciously giving her cues I didn’t know existed. This horse, I realized, was smarter than I was – a revelation I would have many times over the next two years.
Robyn Smith has created a really special barn. Not only have I learned so many things I never knew I never knew, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a really amazing community. Everyone there is so kind, so inclusive, and so in love with horses that I can hardly stand to be away. I’m learning invaluable skills, like humility, patience, trust, and communication that I use all the time in my life away from the barn (the less important half).
When I first met Zara, I was shy, young, and very insecure. She was in the closest paddock to the parking lot and every time I got out of the car she would walk over to the edge of her paddock to say hi. After a few weeks, it became habit to go and say hello every time I got to the barn and goodbye every time I left. I would spend time with her whenever available. The first time I got to ride her it was a complete surprise. Robyn had told me that I was going to ride one of the school horses, Gracie, and after I got her all tacked up, Robyn turned to me and told me to get on. I squeaked out of excitement.
I rode Zara for four months before we discussed a lease to own. August 1st 2011, is when I was officially hers. Afterwards, I really started to work with her. When we first started off, she challenged me but I adored that horse. She really taught me patience. She taught me how to be gentle but firm when dealing with people. It seemed that the longer I stuck by her, the more I showed her how much I cared, the more she began to trust me. It is amazing to see how much progress we’ve made in the short amount of time we’ve been together. She tries so hard and trusts me so much.
We went from her being a nervous pair to being relaxed confident partners. Even now, I cannot tell you what she has shown me, but it has been and still is an amazing journey. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.