I found Jana when I was struggling with confidence issues while riding. Jana's extensive knowledge of both groundwork and dressage has helped build my relationship with my horse from the bottom up. Her commitment to the well being of the horse as well as the comfort of the rider makes her an ideal teacher for those of us who want to be more than just 'riders'. I also love that Jana continues to learn, both in the saddle and on the ground. She combines dressage, horsemanship and passive leadership into a blend all her own. Jana has been an incredible mentor for me as I have navigated the challenges of my own confidence while also re-training a shut down Western Pleasure horse into a willing, dressage partner. Her quiet confidence and patience has kept both my horse and I consistently moving forward in our training without tension or anxiety.
Mona & Chance
I’ve known Jana for a decade and she is without question someone I would recommend to anyone looking for a sincere and trustworthy horse trainer and instructor.
Jana has a rare combination of patience, consistency and fairness as a horse trainer. When Jana started working with Lakota a number of years ago, he was not an easy, or willing horse to work with. Jana embraced Lakota’s complex personality and gently peeled back his layers of resistance bringing him along at a pace that worked well for his personality.
I particularly admire Jana for being willing to try different approaches with Lakota and to adapt her training methods until she found the key to unlocking his ‘stuck’ parts. She transformed Lakota by figuring out how to communicate with him in a way that allowed him to shine, and that resulted in a horse eager to do what is asked of him. Lakota is now more supple, relaxed, willing and forward.
Rebecka & Lakota
Jana was an integral part of getting Reno, my Morgan buckskin more comfortable with walk, trot and canter. He was pretty fussy with the bit and had the tendency to throw a bit of a tantrum when asked to do something he did not want to do. Jana had a keen sense of what steps were needed to help him feel secure. She also knew exactly when to apply those steps so that Reno could relax and be comfortable with what I was asking him to do. Jana has a very thorough understanding of basic through advanced dressage principles that she uses in conjunction with her natural intuitive abilities. She was able to sense when Reno was on "overload" and needed some time to relax and process what he was learning. Having Jana as a teacher was so reassuring for me because she not only had my best interests at heart, she was also very aware and observant of Reno's state of mind and body. Jana truly considers the partnership between horse and rider which is such a unique gift in the horse world. My work with Jana has helped me to create a great partnership with Reno.
Trish & Reno
After suffering a serious riding accident nearly two years ago, I wanted to return to Dressage lessons this past summer. I had a new, young horse (Maverick), and I had some lingering fear, along with some postural/position issues resulting from my injuries that I needed to work through. Jana has been very patient with me in adjusting my riding position. The changes she has helped me make have significantly reduced the back pain I was experiencing from my time in the saddle, and I’ve noticed better performance from my horse. The work that Jana has done with Maverick has been phenomenal. Her focus is making sure he understands what is being asked, and helping him work through issues that can cause bracing and tension. We don’t move on to the next thing until he’s ready. I appreciate that Jana doesn’t use lots of “gear” in her approach to training. There are no martingales, side reins or draw reins. Instead, there is attention to soft contact and helping him learn to work correctly on his own. All of this is done with kindness and patience and an eye to the long term. I also appreciate that Jana mentors with not just one, but several notable professionals to continue her own education. I think this gives her valuable perspective in different approaches that can work for various horses and riders, so there not a “one size fits all” approach. Jana is happy to take the time that it takes, and I’m grateful for that. I think Maverick is grateful, too. I’ve watched his self-confidence grow, both in the arena and out on the trails. Thanks to Jana’s help, I have been able to overcome my fear, and Maverick and I are building a strong bond based on partnership and trust. Most importantly, we are having fun and enjoying our time together. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Jana to fellow riders who are looking for this type of work.
Therese & Maverick
Jana is a great trainer she has helped me train my horse, Zerena, through a combination of dressage and horsemanship training. She has a lot of knowledge upon what and how a young horse should be trained. She knows how to tie in exercises from the ground that will benefit the horse when the rider is doing exercises in the saddle. Jana not only knows how to train the horse but helps the rider with their riding position with different methods and ways about how to help the rider to relax into the correct seat position. She can tell if it is the rider that is causing the horse's frame to be in a certain way or if there is something that can be done for the horse. She has a range of methods and ideas that can help the horse become a better dressage horse whether it is ground work, stretching the horse to release tension, to help the rider obtain a relaxed position or helping the horse elongate its back through different exercises. Overall, Jana is an exceptionally talented trainer that I would strongly recommend to anyone who wants insight on training a horse in dressage.
Candice and Zerena
"When Jana told me that her philosophy was that "riding should be fun", I knew I had found the right trainer for my mare Murphy and me. I was struggling to regain confidence after a bad fall and to do something other than trail riding. Jana has shown me a tremendous variety of ways to connect with my horses. My Saturday morning lessons with Jana are the high point of my week. She challenges me, inspires me, listens to me and shows me how to be my best self with my horses in order to bring the best out in them. Ever the student as well as the teacher, she is open to learning more herself and brings useful elements to her training through her own efforts to constantly improve her horsemanship. When I first started with Jana, I never imagined that Murphy and I would progress to where we are now, or that I would add another horse to the mix. I count Jana as a friend as well as my trainer, and my goal is to "ride like Jana!". My riding is now beyond fun--it is my bliss, thanks to her!"
I have had the pleasure of working with Jana for the past 4 years during which she has provided extremely valuable expertise and guidance. Specifically, with my horse Topaz, Jana was able to figure out how I could properly ride him despite previous issues with an owner who pulled on the reins (he would get very braced & defensive). Now Topaz and I are able to do all three gaits at an even tempo, without a fight. With Jana's help, his disposition has become soft and willing, and we are able to go on long trail rides. Without her, I strongly doubt we would have made so much improvement. For those reasons I can unreservedly recommend Jana for horse training services.
Anne Marie & Topaz
Having Jana teaching at our barn has been great for me. I have learned techniques for relaxing and loosening my horse (and myself) who can be bracy in an arena. I use these techniques during riding, lunging and vaulting. Plus Jana is always friendly, and easy to work with.
During the seven years that my daughter has worked with Jana, I continue to see her grow in confidence in her handling and knowledge of the horses she rides and in her riding skills. Jana’s sincere love of horses, and her respect and patience with children is truly evident every moment that Anna is with her. I feel very fortunate that we found Jana as an instructor. This safe and nurturing learning environment has resulted in a positive experience that I feel confident will be remembered for the rest of her life.
Margaret & Anna
I thought my half-Arabian, Rocco, and I had a good working relationship while I boarded him and had an arena to work in. Then I moved him home. I thought Rocco would be happy to ride in wide-open pastures. Instead, he got so tense! Numerous times he’d get wound up to where he felt like he was going to explode out from under me, and I found myself dismounting and walking him back to the barn. I didn’t know how to keep him calm and relaxed under saddle.
That’s where Jana stepped in. Starting with groundwork and lots of patience, Jana worked with Rocco until he visibly relaxed, dropping his head and chewing. Each time she worked with him, he reached that relaxed state quicker and quicker. She moved to the saddle, continuing to patiently ask him to give & relax. Soon he was working in the pasture as nicely as he had worked in the arena. Then it was time for me to get back in the saddle. With continued patience, Jana was able to help me help Rocco stay relaxed. When he would start to tense up, she was quick to spot where he was holding tension in his body and give me instruction as to how to help him release that tension.
I now ride Rocco solo in my large pasture, feeling confident that I have the tools and knowledge to help Rocco release tension and stay relaxed. And I haven’t had to dismount and walk him back to the barn yet!
Jennifer & Rocco