SL Equine has had the pleasure of working with many owners and horses – and each experience is both unique and rewarding. Listed below are a few extracts from letters of our clients past and present.

Alexandra Kulak:

I have had the pleasure to work with Stephanie for the last year. We own 3 Quarter Horses and she has assisted my husband and I with all 3.

I have received individual and group training from Stephanie. She has greatly helped increase my confidence in the saddle and as a horse owner. She is patient and firm in her instruction, reinforcing basic rules and adding more when the horse and rider are ready. She does not put up with bad behaviour and form from either horse or rider and will correct when necessary.

Stephanie has also helped ‘tune up’ my husbands horses, both Bo and Peppy have spent one on one time with her, learning to chill. We had huge breakthroughs with Bo and are looking forward to using him regularly this summer.

In short, the time and money I have spent employing Stephanie Laversin has been well worth every dime.

Jenifer Scott:

Stephanie has been a part of our family’s lives for the last two years.
We first hired her as a trainer for a crazy horse that we had bought for our daughter. We had previously sent him to a trainer in Tofield and he was sent back to us as dangerous and pushy, “unfit” for a child’s horse and, certainly not trainable. At this point we no longer trusted the horse and knew that we had to get rid of him. In the end we donated the horse, “Tornado” to a local college that teaches horsemanship. Beforehand we sent the horse to Stephanie as a last ditch attempt to get some sort of control over him. After the month with Stephanie, the college took him and renamed him Gentle Ben. They are thrilled with his ground manners and gentle nature and cannot figure out what we were afraid of.

After that time, Stephanie began to coach our young daughters and myself. She was at all times professional and timely. Her descriptive communication was highly effective in relaying pertinent information to all three of us.

I make no hesitation in recommending her as both an adult and child coach, nor do I hesitate in recommending her as an honest, hardworking trainer.

Mark Cleveland:

I am a parent of a child who was enrolled in riding lessons given by Ms. Stephanie Laversin over a period of four years. On numerous occasions I watched Ms. Laversin instruct riding classes with children ranging in ages from about ten to seventeen years of age. As a result, I observed Ms. Laversin’s skills as an instructor on a regular basis. My comments are based on my direct observations.

Ms. Laversin is both demanding and supportive as an instructor. Her “no nonsense” approach provides an effective framework of learning and practicing skills in an environment that is both enjoyable and potentially dangerous.

In carrying out her responsibilities, she provides clear direction to her students and follows up on a continuing basis to ensure the students follow the instructions and advice that is given. As well, she supports the students in their efforts to improve and when she feels they need an extra boost to build their confidence. It is also important that she has a good sense of when to challenge her students and when to step back and let them work on a solution to a particular challenge.

In carrying out her duties Ms. Laversin is clear with her students that they must maintain focus on their work in class, show patience and care for the horses that they are riding, and practice their skills in a manner that is safe for the students and the horses they are riding. She does not tolerate mistreatment of the horses by students and I have seen her reprimand a student who, during a lesson, was treating a horse poorly.

In addition to the work done in the classes themselves Ms. Laversin makes an effort to ensure that all students develop and practice proper care for the horses that they are using. Grooming, reinforcement of good behaviour and other appropriate aspects of stabling are taught to students and reinforced on a regular basis.

In the classes that I observed, Ms Laversin demonstrated a good rapport with her students. They respected her knowledge and skill and worked hard to improve their abilities as a result of the instruction they received.

My daughter benefited greatly from the instruction that she received. Not only did she develop riding skills, but she also developed patience, commitment and responsibility.

Valerie A. Wilson:

I have bred Oldenberg, Canadian Warmblood and CSHA – and Stephanie Laversin started them all! I was very satisfied with the results and am riding one of my homebreds now, a seven year old who retained all the training that Steph put into her and who is a very dependable mount for a 55 yr. old lady rider llike myself. It doesn’t matter what discipline you are preparing your babies for or what type of buyer you hope to attract, I recommend that Stephanie put the rides on and you focus on doing the selling. These mares ranged in temperament from very smart to highly sensitive and showy, and Steph adapted to each of them and followed straightforward gentling and confidence building techniques like line driving, ground work and clear riding signals that resulted in confident and safe riding horses. Contact me if you want more detailed information.

Juanita Rocher:

I am writing this letter in praise of Stephanie Laversin’s coaching and horsemanship qualities. My daughter and I had the pleasure of being some of Stephanie Laversin’s first riding students when she came to teach at North Country Stables. In subsequent months I acquired two horses which I boarded at the stable.

As new riders and horse owners I came to rely on Stephanie’s advice quite a bit with respect to various problems that I encountered with horse ownership. I found that Stephanie was always professional in her manner and endeavoured to provide as safe an environment as possible for the students to learn horsemanship. As accidents happen quite easily around horses, one of Stephanie’s priorities was safety and she taught us accordingly.

I have since moved to Ontario where I continue to ride. Although I have had a few coaches with different backgrounds than Stephanie I would not consider then superior to her with respect to coaching and horsemanship. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn to ride at North Country Stables with Stephanie Laversin for a coach.

Tammy Nelson:

Stephanie is a commited, hard working, knowledgeable trainer who increased the confidence I have in riding my young warmblood gelding. After six weeks of training, I felt that Pilgrim was immensely improved with regard to his manners, movement, and his understanding of transitions, proper carriage, and work ethic.

Tamara Wiszowaty:

Just wanted to let you know that I took Cally to the barn last night and finally rode her. It was very busy as a lesson was going on and they were jumping courses so there was a lot for her to absorb. She did very well though just rushing forward a few time when the horses went by her. We walked and trotted and I was very pleased with her.

We got lots of comments about how nice she is also. She is just as comfy as I thought she would be. Thank you for the good work you did with her.

Excerpts from Koren Beck’s letter:

“Finding the right trainer can be a challenge. My name is Koren Beck and I own a 16.3 hand high draft cross weighing approximately 1400lbs. I met Stephanie around April 1, 2008. She specialised in young troubled horses. I felt I could trust her with Tommy, my troubled draft cross.”

“Stephanie did absolutely amazing with Tommy, we can ride him and do anything with him. She has really changed him. If you give Stephanie your trust and your horse for a couple of months you will definitely see the difference in your horse, and your horse will see you in a better way too.”

Helen Oman:

I hired Stephanie in the Fall of 2009 to work with my horses Shasta, Jazz and Bandit. I had suffered a terrible fall from Shasta who bucked me off and I ended up in a wheel chair recovering. Bandit and Jazz were also giving me trouble even on the ground (prior the accident) and I needed help.

Jazz is a ten year old Tennessee Walker. She had a lot of issues and was a very nervous high strung mare. She weaved even in the pasture. She would pull, bully and spook when being led from the pasture risking knocking me over and injuring me. Stephanie worked with her for a month and through ground work, trust and respect were achieved. She has become calm and respectful. She leads and ties nicely and is a much nicer horse to be around. She is in foal and I am now confident her baby will not learn any bad behaviours from his mom.

Bandit is a Paint gelding purchased as a weanling. He was shown in halter and frustrated his breeder by rearing up and pulling away. When Stephanie started with him he was very rude and pushy with no respect for personal space. He had very strong reactions to pressure. With him as well I was I was at risk of getting hurt. Stephanie established a strong leadership role. After a month’s work he now lunges as well as walking and trotting up in hand beautifully. I look forward to showing him in halter this year.

Shasta is a six year old quarter horse mare that would not allow herself to be caught and she hated being touched. She bucked violently under saddle. Stephanie had her in training for two months and she was “re-started”. Beginning with ground work and round pen work, trust and respect were established. By the end of her training period she was beautifully soft under saddle and on the ground. She was even worked with a cattle flag and proved to be keen and “cowy”. She is easy to catch and lovely to ride.

Thanks to Stephanie I now have three respectful, friendly and SAFE horses that I enjoy spending time with instead of fearing for my safety. I would highly recommend Stephanie to any horse owner for training.

Julie Lemay:

I’ve known Stephanie since 2000, first as a riding instructor, then as a friend and a trainer of my horses. As a breeder, giving my young horses a great start is of utmost importance. Instilling confidence, good manners, and insuring proper development in my warmbloods is very important and essential to developing the best athlete possible.

I knew Stephanie was the right person to start my youngsters and she hasn’t let me down. Stephanie has started five of my horses over the last 5 years and she continues to train for me.

Excerpts from John Bayly’s letter:

“I had ample time opportunity to watch Stephanie Laversin teaching the riding students and working with the animals. Over the years I was more than satisfied at the progress Katherine made under Stephanie’s direction. Since Katherine also rides at Pioneer Ranch Camp in the Rocky Mountain House area every summer, the year to year progress is noted and commented on by camp personnel. They confirmed to me that we were getting our money’s worth for the training Katherine received from Stepahnie at North Country Stables.”

“Stephanie taught Katherine a lot about the care and handling of horses. She appeared to me to be firm and consistent in her treatment of the animals.”

Caroline Oja:

I am a Canadian Equestrian Federation Lel II Jumper Coach, as well as the owner/ trainer of Stoddart Creek Stables in Invemere, B.C. I met Stephanie in May 2002 in Yellowknife while conducting a clinic as well as testing Stephanie on her coaching skills in preparation for her CEF Level I exam.

I found Stephanie to have a manner and good knowledge of her required skills as a Level I coach. I observed Stephanie to have a good rapport with her students and was very good with the horses.

As an examiner for the CEF rider levels I felt confident in Stephanie challenging the CEF level 1 exam and recommended to the Board of Examiners that she was well prepared. She did an excellent job and achieved her goal to become a Certified Level I Coach.

I would not hesitate to hire Stephanie for my business at Stoddart Creek Stables. She is organized, well groomed, has good communication skills and I would feel totally confident leaving my show horses under her supervision.

Angela Stubber:

History: This horse was said to be a cart horse who did parades and funerals before being broke to ride. A solid trail horse that was also good in an indoor arena, good with other horses and alone. A good safe horse for beginners to learn on.

Pre Purchase Ride: I rode this horse around the owners yard and in a small field, no problems if not a bit lazy. Did have a lot of problems loading him into the horse trailer.

Problems at Home: Very herd bound. Hard to catch outside a small pen. No forward movement in saddle. when pushed would rear and walk backwards. Would not load, broke lead shanks and tie mounts. Scared to death of everything, scared of men, and life.

Evaluation: I had two options for this horse as he was found to be unsafe. Auction or training. I went with training.

One Month Later: He now had forward motion on ground, safer ground manners and hope. Decided to have another month of training to see if he could be the horse I wanted.

One Month Later: He would load into trailer, good walk trot and canter under saddle. Good in the indoor arena as well as the outdoor arena. Good on trails with other horses, still scared of things but was able to cope in a safe manner.

One Month Later: Sold to a family who did trail riding for their experienced youth as his being herd bound was an asset not a disability. The training was money well spent as it helped keep a good horse from auction.

Bridget Wingate:

In October 2008 I purchased a 2.5 year old purebred Connemara mare – Feisty. Nothing had been done with her at all – in fact she didn’t really lead. I had Stephanie come over and assess the pony, and give me some tips on rudimentary ground work. Although I had dealt with many youngsters before, I had not realized the importance of some of the natural horsemanship techniques – such as establishing submission by lowering the pony’s head to the ground. I worked on the moves suggested by Stephanie, so that by February I had “Feisty” walking into my trailer and generally showing some respect.

In February I took the mare to Glory J where Stephanie was training. I was very pleased with the care that she received there, and also impressed that Stephanie never so much as took off Feisty’s rug without telling me. The first month was all ground work – lunging including free-lunging to get her moving more freely. After lunging at the walk, trot and canter in tack were well established, it was time for ground driving. I went a couple of times a week to watch and help.

By the beginning of March the ground work was progressing very well, and it was time to start riding! At the end of several sessions, Stephanie had leaned all her weight over the saddle on either side with no adverse reaction from Feisty. The first day of Stephanie being aboard I walked beside them. During the next couple of weeks things progressed until they were able to canter on either rein. I also had a couple of rides (walk and trot only!) and it was then time for the young mare to come home for a rest.

I was very pleased with the methods that Stephanie used, which were progressive, but un-hurried. I felt she had a very good understanding of the pony’s mind, and altered her approach depending on the temperament. If ever Stephanie was unable to work the pony a day in the week, she made up for it by working a weekend day instead.

Stephanie has promised to come and put some rides on Feisty when we get started again in June. I would certainly use her again when and if I have another young horse to start.