I met Barbi Breen-Gurley at a clinic seven years ago, and saw her horse she had been training, and was very impressed with her riding and with her horse. I spoke with her and she gave me a guided imagery tape for improving my riding and I thought that was a very progressive approach to teaching, competing and riding. Over the years I thought of Barbi fondly, and wished I could go to Los Osos to train with her. Finally, I was able to do so.

I brought a four year-old Oldenburg mare named ‘Calalily’, who had been placed in full training with me four weeks prior to my visit with Barbi. As a young horse, she was started badly, however, she is very talented, and I knew I wanted to give this horse a chance at enjoying people. I also knew I needed some help to overcome some of our difficult training problems I was having at home. ‘Cali’ (as we call her at home) had difficulty with acceptance of the bridal, contact, connection and respect for forward aids. Our canter work was particularly challenging—Cali wanted to buck, break to the trot, switch her leads—and all our problems were very evident during my first lesson.

Barbi worked with me in a sensible, encouraging and effective way. She was able to address our problems immediately; making small, yet very important corrections to my elbows, hands, legs and my ability to feel when my efforts resulted in correct, harmonious riding. I am a fairly accomplished professional horse trainer, and a certified riding instructor, and I found it very refreshing to work with a horse trainer and teacher with so many admirable achievements, who has still maintained integrity, honesty, modesty and kind-heartedness. She was exacting, deliberate and helped me correct my position∕alignment issues.

Our third and final lesson, I felt I had a new horse under me, who was happy to work with me—the bucking stopped, the head-tossing stopped, and I am now on the right track with this beautiful, talented mare who got a bad start in life, but who I now feel has a bright future. I left Sea Horse Ranch feeling confident in my training plan with her for our return home, and Barbi renewed my confidence in myself as a talented, effective, committed trainer. Her passion for correct riding and training and her encouraging words were just what I needed. Morro Bay itself is stunning and Barbi’s teaching is great.

Phoenix Carver, client