Welcome to Allison Acres ~ Galt, CA ~ (209) 224-4304

Why pick me?

Do you want your horse to have emotional control?  To have an understanding of what we want from him?  To feel secure and confident?  To be obedient?  To be a good partner who respects you and who is fun to spend time with?  Do you want him to be in training with someone who demands performance but who gets it not through aggression but through proper husbandry and an appropriate relationship with the horse?  And do you want to learn from somebody who respects and appreciates you?

Then read on...


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(209) 224-4304

Allison Acres
13512 Alta Mesa Rd.
Galt, CA 95632
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Tahoe and I at the Horse Expo 2010 taking second place in the Trainer's Challenge after only 19 training sessions!

I specialize in everything up to swinging the leg over for the first time, and in continuing with horses already broke to ride, creating good hard working partners.  I have successfully prepared well over a hundred horses both for their first ride and for continuing on their path to being safe and well behaved after they are being ridden. My program covers all the important things that a horse needs to know including:

- becoming easy to catch
- discrimination training (when do we want movement and when do we want no movement)
- emotional control
- obstacles (for bravery and to teach them to think before reacting)
- the usual lunging, ground-driving, roundpenning, standing tied, trailering, packing a saddle
- advanced issues like sidepassing in hand, packing tarps and tinsel, dragging logs, carrying flags
- getting the buck out if there is any there - usually there is none when they are properly brought along
- respect (which goes both ways)
- giving to pressure all over including via the bit
- standing still for mounting, accepting weight bareback and saddled
- being ponied
- getting used to living in a variety of accommodations: stalls, pens, group situations

I don't ride anymore since I am in need of a double hip replacement. However, my program is less expensive than the programs of trainers I would recommend, so you can save some money by sending your horse here first for one or two months. I do have a couple of gals here who can continue with the riding if you'd like and if your horse is amenable to it, or I have trainers I can refer you to for that, if your horse remains a bit more challenging or if you want your horse to be in a more specialized place. I LOVE the trainer I use, but frankly, trainers who are able to ride often focus on riding and skip a lot of the more advanced groundwork things that can be accomplished. I create safe family horses and horses who are safe for beginner lessons, and I have found that a huge amount of that training can be done from the ground.

One of the main issues with trainer-ridden horses is that the horses don't get used to things going wrong. With trainers, they are always doing everything well and are never out of position. Here, your horse will learn to drag a tarp with buoys tied to his saddle while people walk around opening and closing umbrellas, and THAT is a pretty different skill from learning how to deal appropriately with a trainer-level rider. :-) And if you ever find yourself hanging sideways off your horse while dangling your jacket alongside him, you're going to wish that is not the first time your horse has experienced something like that, and that he knows what to do when his emotions come up. With trainers, since they are all very good riders, they tend to solve disrespect and overly emotional type issues in the saddle using movement (otherwise known as things getting a little Western...) whereas for folks who are not yet at velcro-butt trainer-level status, it is often more important that the horse actually learns not to require movement to solve his issues. I certainly can't have my beginner lesson horses putting a single hoof out of place when they are giving a ride to a three year old child, and when I used to still ride, any unexpected moves hurt my hips so much - so I've become pretty experienced with de-spooking horses and training them that when their emotions come up, the best course of action is to calmly keep doing whatever they were being asked to do beforehand or to stand still, instead of to require athletic movements to regain their composure.

My program is $250 per month for horses boarded here. This includes 3 sessions per week. You get a free lesson on what your horse is learning once per week if you want it, or if you just want a recap toward the end of your horse's time here then that's fine too.  Or you can pick the more intensive program involving 5 sessions per week - this is $450. This is in addition to board.  If you choose outdoor you'll get a bill for about $25 per month extra for the nights I have your horse stay in a stall for his training (you don't want a horse to not be comfortable in a stall just in case he ever NEEDS to be in a stall...) For more info on boarding here, click here. 

I have also done this program with owners who are good riders but who don't have much experience either with colt starting or with filling foundational gaps that the older horse might have. So if you are already a good rider, there is a good chance we can do most of what needs to be done together, here. Usually I do two months with the owner coming out for the occasional free lesson, and then in the third month we start to incorporate riding in sessions together. At this point I do three sessions per week with you for no additional charge, and additional sessions are $10 each.

You can feel good about your horse being here. I am certified in riding instruction and stable management, and I am very knowledgeable about taking care of horses. I do have references and testimonials. I am also very nice and never ever out to make you feel inferior or silly. I'm basically a fat middle aged woman, and my motto is "If I can do it, then think of all YOU can do!" :-) I always have more to learn, but I am very good with horses. You can read more about me on my website at http://allisonacres.org

I have a training log with text and lots of video online also, of me working with my filly for the Trainer's Challenge, which will give you a good idea of how I do things. You can see it here: http://allisonacres.org/trainerschallenge.html
Email is the best way to reach me, or call 209-224-4304.