Copyright 2017 Pine Trails Ranch All rights reserved.
Owner of Pine Trails Ranch
Head Trainer & Instructor
In 1990 Michelle and husband Matt started
Pine Trails Ranch. Both had worked in the horse
industry before starting the ranch and wanted a
place where riders could go and enjoy horses
and get a good education without worrying about
what breed of horse they had and if their saddle
was the current fashion. Michelle had been
working with the well respected Morgan horse
trainer Tom Simmons and learned a great deal
from him about working with the horse and
unlocking the horse’s full potential while encouraging the horse to enjoy it’s job. Michelle was impressed with how Tom worked patiently with horses and wanted to also be able to teach riders to also enjoy riding while developing great skills and set out to make Pine Trails Ranch a place where that could happen. Michelle began to study biomechanics and how it can be used to make good riding more attainable for all riders. Michelle also studied equine biomechanics and it's importance for the development of our horses and how it must be understood to protect the soundness and comfort of the horse.
In her thirties, Michelle was hospitalized with a serious auto immune condition that attacked the nerves in her extremities. She had 85% damage and was told to forget about riding by the doctors. She chose to ignore this and found a doctor at UCSF who helped get her treatments designed to allow her to work. Her nerves began to heal and she continued to ride. Michelle was very weak initially and developed a unique perspective that allows her to better understand how hard it is for mature riders to develop their riding muscles and balance. Her strength and riding have improved and with the help of trainer John S. Malbos and Chris Scarlet, Michelle has returned to competitive riding.
Michelle’s Specialties Include:
-Hunters, Jumpers & Classical Dressage
-Injury rehabilitation for horse or rider
-Correcting behavioral issues
-Trained & experienced in saddle fitting
-Breeding & Foaling
-Experienced in developing young horses
for competitive careers using classical training
-Biomechanics for horse and rider
Kathy is our awesome office manager. She helps keep our paperwork from making Michelle crazy.
Meghean enjoys motivating her students to explore riding and develop their communication with the horse. She enjoys helping her students understand how the horse tries to understand what we are asking it to do and how we can learn to better communicate what we want with our leg and hand signals to the horse.
Katie has ridden for many years with Pine Trails Ranch, and after teaching camp for several years and graduation from high school in Davis, is now teaching at Pine Trails Ranch. She is very good with our newer riders, and uses her own experience of dealing with anxiety to help other riders develop confidence in themselves and their horses when riding.
Megan has been riding at Pine Trails for over 20 years. Although Megan is a retired nurse, she spends many of her days helping out at the ranch. Megan teaches several lessons a week and especially enjoys working with adult students, who appreciate her perspective as a fellow adult rider. Megan also enjoys riding her horse, Aurora.
Susannah enjoys working with students learning their basics and finding their confidence.
assistant instructor - Daniel trained in the Middle East for teaching and working with horses. He taught para-olympic riders under a French head trainer, and later moved to Texas and taught riders in Dressage. He is now here at Pine Trails teaching our riders in dressage and jumping.