Amazing western pleasure instructor/trainer Morgan Hill

I just started lessoning with Rhonda Heiner to learn AQHA western pleasure. This is after several years off and I was an english rider before from hunters and jumpers to saddleseat. She has great school horses and she has happy, well fed, well maintained horses, good instruction without being overbearing. She is awesome to put it plainly. I highly recommend her for beginners up to advanced students. She is active in the AQHA, APHA, NRHA. Friendly and welcoming barn environment. Nice facilities. Anyone looking in Morgan Hill, CA should check her out.

*If you don’t like stock horses or western pleasure no need to bash on this thread. This is for people that are into western pleasure. She also teaches english as well and is involved in cutting too.

Not bashing, but “amazing” and “western pleasure” is nice to see in the same place.:lol:

Seriously, neat that you found a really good trainer, no matter what she teaches.
That your trainer is so good is always a plus, even for western pleasure.:slight_smile:

Let us know how you come along and, yes, some pictures would be oh so nice.:yes:

I will upload a pic or two tonight when I get off work. Amazing as in the horses weren’tacked up in tons of training equipment. They weren’t peanut pushing. They were more forward than the typical nose to the ground shuffle. They looked great! They barn girls were really nice which sets the tone of a barn many a time. God I was such a mean girl at that age! My friends and. Were super into our own little group aka click. I’m embarrassed that I ever behaved like that.

The facilities were nice and very family orientated. They do 4H and breed shows such as AQHA and APHA plus NRHA and NCHA. The cutting trainer is an older gent who really knows his stuff. He is over 60yrs old and still riding and training. They brought the cows down for a cutting lesson which was interesting. As an former English rider I had never seen cutting or even been around cattle. It was fun! I left feeling like I finally found my place. I have been searching for a good western pleasure barn that was family friendly and not full of stuck up snobs. The tone of the barn matters to me as I’m riding to relax and want to feel welcomed upon arrival.

Rhonda also does English, trail, showmanship, and much more. She is into stock horses and that’s what she seems to prefer. I think she likes paints a lot and has done well showing both APHA and AQHA. Western pleasure is something I ENJOY. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but like I said in my first post. No need to bash. I don’t bash speed events, dressage, saddleseat, jumping, etc. Nor do I bash other breeds. I have only owned non stock horse breeds so this is new to me. It has been my dream since I was a teen to get into western pleasure with stock horse breeds. I feel so happy to be living MY DREAM. I hope to eventually lease horse in a year and eventually get a horse of my own again. This time I will buy a AQHA or APHA gelding.

I would love to hear from others on their awesome western pleasure trainers and where they are located. I found my instructor after extensive online research.


Yeah, I’d like to see a video of non-peanut pushing western pleasure horses who move like they experience a bit of pleasure in their work.

I have video taken with my Samsung camera. I need to make stills out of the video. I have stills of me sitting and jogging but they don’t show much. I prefer slow moving pleasure horses. I don’t mind training aids in moderation during training. I don’t like to see every horse rigged up to the gills during everyday work. I don’t like abuse nor participate in it. WP horses are sooooo different from what I’m used to riding.

Basically trained a different way is all. It doesn’t make it bad. I need to get used to the new cues I’m learning. There isn’t one crazy bit on this property. There aren’t any sullen, dead eyed, lame, tortured horses here. This is a family barn. From lil itty bitty girls to older adults. This is a competitive barn. They do well. I feel they are forward moving and a far cry from peanut rollers of the 90’s. You can youtube rhonda heiner and see how forward they are. Of course they can slow down for show but she doesn’t show cripples. No way. I can’t wait to ride with her again! She is that good!

Well, I watched Ready to Love’s video. I know you didn’t ask for opinions, so I won’t share mine.

But you mentioned above…

I don’t mind training aids in moderation during training. I don’t like to see every horse rigged up to the gills during everyday work.

Could you compare and contrast “training aids in moderation” vs. “rigged to the gills”?

I am truly curious how you get a horse to move like that. I just don’t get how it’s done.

[QUOTE=Cindyg;7124897]Well, I watched Ready to Love’s video. I know you didn’t ask for opinions, so I won’t share mine.

But you mentioned above…

Could you compare and contrast “training aids in moderation” vs. “rigged to the gills”?

I am truly curious how you get a horse to move like that. I just don’t get how it’s done.[/QUOTE]

That horse shouldn’t pin under any circumstances. While we can argue the training and performance of the western pleasure horse, that horse’s way of going is in direct violation of the rule book for the APHA, AQHA and the NSBA.

That horse isn’t associated with my trainer. She made an inquiry on YouTube about her. That’s all that I know but the horse doesn’t look bad to me. She may need a lil tune up to lift and work off her hind more but she isn’t dead eyed and super super slow. Rhonda’s vids of her riding show much more forward horses than I’m used to. I like them low and slow.

Training-I’m not a western trainer. Just a newbie to this type of riding but I’ve been around it casually for years but I didn’t pay too much attention since I rode english at the time. I believe it’s like any training. Training to go slow requires cues to slow down. Cues to lift and not be so heavy on the front end. Cues to lower the head.

I have been to barns a good 10yrs ago where the horses were not happy and relaxed. Many had severe health issues from stress. I’ve seen lots of wanna be bnt’s brualize horses into travelling in a messed up frame. I like WP. Many other people do too. Many people don’t know much and assume the horses are all tortured. Abuse and bad training/riding happens in types of riding. I feel comfortable. I feel I have finally found what I’m looking for in a barn and trainer. I was hesitant to post anything wp related for fear of being attacked. Many people search COTH for info on potential instructors. I was just giving RH a big thumbs up is all.

Do you mind linking to a video that you think is a good example? Rhonda’s or otherwise.

You’ve not been attacked. You offered some partial information, and I’m asking for more information.

It looks lame behind to me.

So this horse isn’t one of the OP’s pro’s horses, right? Her pro does better with 'em?

It’s easy enough to find videos of her instructor teaching other riders. The horses ARE forward. Even to a dressage person like me. They also almost meet the AQHA standard of level carriage but not quite. The tips of the ears are still below the top of the withers and the faces are behind the vertical. I would prefer to see the poll level with the withers and the nose slightly in front of the vertical but my preferences haven’t been found in the WP ring for 40 years. From her comments she sounds very upbeat and positive, enjoying her horses and students.

I saw the same videos… was that a three beat canter I saw on a WP horse…? That was going forward and looked… pleasurable… to ride? :slight_smile:

I didn’t say I felt attacked. I said I was a little hesitant to post anything about WP for fear of being attacked. I feel this thread has been totally fine with people asking questions and conversing like the adults we are.

That Ready For Love only comes up when you type in Rhonda because she posted on the video. I’m new to the barn so maybe she bought her for a student and put some training on her? I have no idea. There aren’t any vids of her riding or any info of her or her students showing that mare. The mare isn’t horrid in my opinion. I can link some messed up, jacked up WP horses that are forced into frame but anyone can do that. Look up warm up rings at major APHA and AQHA shows and you will see some bad apples, notice I say some.

The vids below are just training rides. You can tell she is kind. The horses are forward but she trains them to slow down. No crazy abusive behind the barn shady stuff going on here. They are going to be super forward at first but she works with them. What a novel concept in this day and age when people want a completely show ready mount in 30 days! I can’t even begin to understand what people are thinking when they get all pissed off because they put a green horse in training and expect it to win at top level competitions in 30 days. Really? If a person just started working out say for a marathon they aren’t going to win the Boston Marathon in 30 days. Both humans and people need time to get used to something and to build up our muscles and whatnot. Here is an old video of a young western pleasure horse who has since done quite well as a stud.

He is a nice looking horse. My fav right now is OHK-One Hot Krymsun. He is a gorgeous mover and I’m lucky to ride a nice mare by him. She is a gorgeous and a cute little mover. I love WP and AQHA/APHA horses.