Stillhaven Farms offers quality horse training for a rate of $600 per horse per month. This rate includes board (See Boarding for details). We accept animals of all ages, sizes, and breeds for ground handling, starting under saddle, or finishing work. We train safe trail horses, basic Hunter/Jumpers, and low level Dressage. We also offer training in basic manners and safe handling for young horses that are not yet mature enough to be ridden, and basic driving. As our facilities expand we will also be able to offer more advanced training to driving, eventing, and gaming horses.
Liz Stitzel is the head trainer and she believes in a firm, but gentle approach. Every horse is different and therefore the training of each animal can incorporate different methods. Liz is a firm believer in the principle that a good horse on the ground is a good horse under saddle, therefore her training program incorporates extensive groundwork before the horse is ever mounted. We teach the horse to accept and listen to people first then to accept the saddle and bridle (this is done through ground driving and lunge work), and finally to accept the rider. Each horse progresses at a different rate as they are mentally ready for each new step.
We do not accept horses that are habitual kickers, biters, or strikers (this is different than a young horse that may have displayed one of these behaviors once or twice out of ignorance). Because we have young children on our premises we cannot accept the liability these animals create. A horse with these habits is better served at a facility that solely trains horses and has the facilities to ensure no one is injured by accident. If we receive a horse that turns out to have these habits – we will immediately have the owner return for their animal and refund the training fee less a pro-rated board amount (not more then $160/month) for the number of days we had the animal on our premises.
Our training services are very customizable to our clients needs. Hourly training can also be provided on your site for $35/hour +.50/mile for travel to/from. Please email us at email@example.com if you have questions.
Over the years, Liz has trained a number of horses. Each one has been unique and taught her something special, but some are more memorable:
Sonny is Liz’s personal horse. He has a home for life with her. You can find out more about him on our horses page. Sonny was the first horse Liz broke. He was very easy to work with and eager to please. Even so, it took Liz some time to completely train him since she was learning with him as much as she was teaching him. In many ways, Sonny taught Liz far more than she ever taught him.
Turk is also living with Jim and Liz. He remains to this day as the most difficult horse Liz ever broke. Turk was so frightened and dangerous that it took a long time to gain his trust. Now, Turk is a loving addition to Liz’s personal barn.
Chelsie is a chestnut Arab mare that is also 100% attitude. Her owner brought her to Liz to train as a wild five year old. Liz was on her in a week and continued working with her for about six months. She takes the prize as the boldest horse Liz has broke. When she was just three weeks broke she willingly would jump off three foot creek banks into water she couldn’t see the bottom of. No obstacle ever fazed her. Now she is ridden and shown by a young teenager. She has done well in state fairs with him for several years now.
Noah is a smoky gray gelding that came in with Chelsie. He is the same age, also Arab, but a totally different personality. Noah has serious fear issues and when he arrived he could not even be caught. Liz was on him within a week too, but it took her a lot longer to get him to navigate even simple trail challenges, much less handle crowds. He did come around, though, and was one of Liz’s favorite mounts while she had him in the barn. He is not suitable for novices, even now, but experienced riders have shown him successfully in back country shows, and he does trail rides just fine with intermediate riders.
Destiny arrived in Liz’s barn as a four month old half-Standardbred, half-Arab filly. She was three when Liz broke her. Since Liz had been able to put saddles on her back and work with her as a young horse, Destiny was very easy to break and very calm about the whole process. Within only nine or ten short rides Destiny understood all her basic cues, stopped, walked, and trotted on command. Liz sold Destiny in 2003 when she downsized her barn. Destiny’s new owner is a young teenage girl. Together, they won third place in the fair that year.
Scout is a grey quarter horse gelding out of Sonny Dee Barr bloodlines. He is Liz’s favorite horse she ever broke for another person, and if he’d have been for sale, she’d have bought him! Another trainer had trained Scout and messed him up a bit. Once he got a chance, however, Scout was very straightforward to break and came along quickly. Since then he spent several months as a working ranch horse and was sold to a new home as a nice, mature horse.
Rook is a huge Tennessee walking horse gelding. Liz worked with him for about six months. He was mostly just spooky, and Liz did lots of work getting him used to scary objects and sounds. Liz also worked to teach him to stop, take baths, and have good manners on a lead. He was an enjoyable horse to ride and his owners continue to get on him occasionally.
Diablo is a Seal Bay Quarter Horse gelding. When Liz met him he belonged to a novice horse person, and he was terrified of humans. He was hard to catch, reared all the time, and was generally dangerous to handle. He has had some training somewhere in his life, but he was mostly yahooed, and when ridden he would just try to gallop and prance. Liz had him in training for about a year. You would not even know he was the same horse. He became easy to handle, easy to catch, doesn’t rear, and is a pleasant ride for anyone at the walk and trot.
Majesty is a black Kentucky Mountain Horse mare. Her owner is a beginning rider who bought her as a mount. Liz worked with them about once a month to help smooth out rough spots and answer her owner’s questions. Liz has worked with her a little bit on learning to lunge, turning, strengthening, and desensitizing her to scary objects. She is a wonderful horse that her new owner will be able to enjoy for years to come.
Zema is a palomino halflinger mare. Liz was hired to teach her to be ridden since as a 10 year old she had only ever pulled and been played with from the ground. She had also been a broodmare for a short time. She was a pleasure to work with and learned quickly. Liz liked her so well she told the owners if they ever could not keep her she had a home. A year later Liz got a call and obtained Zema for Stillhaven Farms and the mare has been here ever since.
Wizard is a paint QH/TB gelding. Liz currently has him in training. He is only four and is owned by some people that are new to horses. They and he are learning together and the goal is to eventually get them riding him! He is a smart guy with tons of potential and Liz has high hopes he will turn out to be a nice mount for his eight year old owner.
Lady and Ladybug are two miniature donkeys. After a farrier commented they weren’t good for much, their owner approached Liz to teach them some manners and to pull a cart. Liz works with them once a week or so and when the weather warms up in the spring she hopes to get them hitched pretty quickly. They are a cute pair and Liz’s greatest challenge is not bursting into laughter when they look at her with those BIG ears!