Horsemanship lessons, English riding instruction, and hunter/jumper training are available on a limited basis.
La Tuna Stables' resident trainer is Jess Phoenix, a USEF/USHJA/IHSA equestrian with over 30 years of exeperience riding, training, and competing at local, national, and international levels.
Jess has decades of experience riding, training, and showing horses of all types in a variety of English riding disciplines. She competed in the Colorado Hunter Jumper Association show circuit from 1990-2000 in Hunters, Equitation, and Jumpers. In college, she competed in NCAA Equestrian events for Smith College, where she placed in the Top Ten riders in the Region under Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association legend Sue Payne. This experience included competing on unfamiliar horses after a brief warmup, and taught Jess the versatility needed to train a variety of horses. Also during college, she worked as a riding instructor at the famous Camp Robin Hood in New Hampshire where she taught horsemanship, riding fundamentals, and advanced riding and jumping to a cohort of talented students.
Jess began rescuing Thoroughbred racehorses directly from racetracks and the slaughter pipeline in 2002. Since then, she has retrained over 15 ex-racehorses for new careers and happy lives after their race days ended. Jess was selected to represent the United States in the 2012 Mongol Derby, the world’s longest horse race that follows the legendary postal routes created by Genghis Khan.
Jess is skilled in instructing young adults and adults in general horsemanship, flat riding, and jumping. She specializes in working with difficult horses, and is well-versed in classic equitation and showjumping methods. New clients and horses will be thoroughly evaluated via an initial meeting before entering a training agreement to ensure the best possible outcomes for the riders and horses.