NORTHERN ALABAMA


SC Training is has two locations:
Oak Valley Equestrian Center in San Dimas, California in San Gabriel Valley.
Southern Star Stables in Norco, California that serves the community of Riverside.


Here at SC we offer a variety of services, striving to help you perfect the relationship you have with your horse and providing the solid training that your horse needs to excel in their discipline.

  • MEET THE TRAINER

    ABOUT SC

    Shaunna C. is the face behind SC Training Stable and has always had a passion for horses. She has worked her way from working student to assistant trainer and now has a few years under her belt as an independent trainer.

    At the age of 7, Shaunna started competition in Baby Green Hunter C-rated shows and quickly progressed to A-Level shows. Although she started her career competing as a Hunter Jumper, she realized her true passion was in training horse and rider to become the perfect team.

    Shaunna’s training methods are rooted in Natural Horsemanship and she is well versed in different training techniques to ensure that there are multiple options for each horse/rider team that she encounters.

    More than anything, Shaunna likes to maintain a laid back and fun atmosphere – which, in her world, means you work hard and have a lot of fun doing it!

  • OUR SPECIALTIES

    WHAT WE DO

    We offer a variety of services, but a few of the areas we specialize in:

    * Foundation Training & Colt Starting

    * English & Western Pleasure Riding

    * Endurance & Trail Riding

    * Gymkhana

    * Horsemanship (All Around)

    * Private Lessons

  • TRAINING PHILOSOPHY

    WORDS FROM SHAUNNA

    Training a horse isn’t about the illusion of control, it is about understanding and mutual respect between horse and rider.
    My training methods are rooted in Natural Horsemanship and I am a firm believer that no one method can work for every horse; furthermore, it takes the understanding of that particular horse to craft a training program that will end in success.

    My Core Beliefs:

    * I believe that there are times to be aggressive but above all I believe that patience and assertiveness are key to a rewarding experience.

    * Training isn’t just for horses; have an open mind and be willing to learn.

    *Providing a solid foundation for both horse and rider can’t be done overnight. I respect limits, but I will push toward them in order to see forward progress.

    *Keep things light and fun. We should be able to work hard and still enjoy what we are doing.


We offer a variety of services and cater to both horse and rider at the highest level.

If you have any questions, please be sure to contact us to discuss your needs and how we may be able to assist you.

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    F.A.Q.

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    Training

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    Lessons

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    Boarding & Extras


Training tips, tricks, and overall horse-sense that we feel should be more common.

  • BAREBACK RIDING & YOU

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Training

    Comments Off

    First and foremost, it should be noted that I am a huge advocate for bareback riding and feel that it benefits the rider in a great deal of ways.

    Each student that comes to my barn or takes lessons with me is started with bareback riding lessons, even if they are seasoned advanced riders. I view bareback as the basic style of riding that every rider needs to familiarize themselves with.

    I feel so strongly about bareback riding for a few reasons:

    1. It perfects a riders ability to balance. When you have no saddle to compensate for an error in your balance (or coordination for that matter), you have to work on your ability to maintain balance and coordination.
    2. It challenges a rider to maintain correct leg and heel position at all times. As a result, the rider learns to have a lighter leg and does not clutch or grip the horse in a way that is uncomfortable for the horse. Heels down, toes up, ankle flexed!
    3. The lack of a saddle allows the rider to “feel” the horse better in most situations.

    Along with the good comes the bad…

    Excessive bareback riding can lead to poor form and possible discomfort of both horse and rider due to the confirmation of the horse. I also have to mention that riding bareback can increase the risk of injury to a rider in an uncontrolled environment. Take it in moderation and be safe when you do.

    It is my belief that bareback riding has a place in every trainer’s repertoire. It shouldn’t be done in excess, but long enough for a rider to find their center and improve their balance/coordination; once a rider has that, well, you can graduate to a saddle. When my riders get sloppy, saddle comes off and they find areas they need to focus on with the saddle – it is a great training tool and refresher for any level rider.

    At the end of the day, be smart about the way you ride and always strive to be the best you can be.

  • LIBERTY (FREESTYLE) RIDING

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Opinion

    Comments Off

    The topic of Liberty(Freestyle) Riding has been coming up more frequently in the past few years than ever before and I feel like I should address it in some way.

    For those of you unfamiliar with Liberty(Freestyle) Riding, it is tack-less riding. When I say tack-less, I don’t mean that the rider is bareback with minimal tack, I mean that the rider is bareback without the horse being bridled or haltered, with absolutely no training aide whatsoever.

    A GREAT example: Stacy Westfall Freestyle/Liberty Riding circa 2006

    While I do think that Stacy is beyond an excellent rider and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what she does, I also think that a lot of novice riders want to mimic that riding style without having sufficient knowledge and training about how to do so. For that routine, Stacy trained that horse, specifically aiming for the end result, for 3 years (1-2 hours a day, 5 days a week) in order to be able to get to that partnership level in riding.

    There are people that strong advocate against any type of Liberty Riding and I disagree with their point of view.  In my mind, I feel like this style of riding showcases your ability as a rider, the horse’s responsiveness, and the level of training is amplified. With all of that being said, I do NOT think that it should ever be done outside of an arena or without the intention of showcasing the horse at events due to the safety concerns.

    I hear stories of people, in particular of younger girls, that think it is a spectacular idea to emulate this freestyle riding in their arena or even on the trail. If you want to strive to be a better rider and attain that sort of relationship, I applaud you and encourage you to seek out a trainer that will guide you into being a better rider. If you think that you can Liberty ride simply because you’ve been riding for a few years on the same horse, you’re sorely mistaken.

    I think part of the reason novice riders want to attempt this style of riding is due to the magical Hollywood image the is projected throughout equestrian films (The Black Stallion, Spirit,  etc..). Novice riders are taught that there is some sort of magical bond between horse and rider that ignores all rules of safe riding.  I am not saying that there isn’t a magical bond between horse and rider, because I think there can be a strong bond between the two, but I think you’re fooling yourself if you think that real world situations don’t apply to you.

    Again, if you want to improve yourself as a rider and strengthen the bond you have between you and your horse, DO IT, but do it with the aide of a professional trainer and without  trying to Liberty ride on your own. Being a good equestrian is ensuring that you’re not putting yourself, your horse, or other horses/riders at risk by doing something unsafe (such as loping through the fields without a saddle and bridle because you think it is magical).

    At the end of the day I would love to see more horse and rider teams that have the mutual respect and understanding needed to showcase each other in a Liberty ride, but I would love to see this without amateurs giving this riding style a bad name.

  • STARTING A HORSE: THE WHEN

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Training

    Comments Off

    There are countless opinions on when you should start your horse but I am a firm believer at starting a horse under saddle between the ages of 3 and 4 years-old.  Some would argue that the semantics of what “starting” a horse under saddle is, which is fine, but for my take on it, refer to Starting a Horse: The How.

    Starting a horse on the ground can be done at any time. No amount of touching is going to be too much and no amount of exposure to the scary mud puddle on the ground is going to be too traumatizing for a 1 or 2 year-old.

    So, why do I wait to start horses under saddle until 3-4 years old? Simple – it is better, all around, for their growth and development. If you’re not familiar with Dr. Deb Bennett, I highly suggest you read some of her articles (The Ranger Piece  in 2008 or Timing and Rate of Skeletal Maturation in 2005 are both good places to start) and take a look at how structural damage to the back is easier to produce versus structural damage to the legs.

    Starting a horse under saddle between the ages of 3 and 4 has the added benefit of the horse gaining a more mature approach to his/her training. Before someone pipes up with, “well, my horse had perfect ground manners since he was 1,” you must realize that not every horse has that mindset and the majority of horses DO go through an emotional growth period.

    My Bottom Line: Building a solidly trained horse takes time and you shouldn’t press the issue of training under saddle before the horse is physically ready for it . Lay a solid foundation and you’ll have a horse that is unstoppable.

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