I would NEVER start my beginner child here. Cathy is a wonderful trainer, but all of her beginners lack the basic horse skills. FEW shows are attended, you have to sign up for lessons one month at a time, and scheduling is a nightmare. But, overall its a nice barn WONDERFUL and I mean WONDERFUL horses. Best for an intermediate rider
Posted: 3/29/2015 • Link to this review
I am over 50 and have been riding and showing since I was 6 years old. This is the best barn and best trainer I have ever ridden with. The scheduling can seem a little scatterbrained at first, but stick with it, it's worth it. Cathy is great with beginners, especially kids, but she also has some excellent young riders doing well in combined training and hunter shows, as well as a few of us old ladies who ride mostly for recreation. Once you show enough ability, you'll have opportunities for showing, trail riding, fox hunting and so forth. She has excellent horses for all levels, from quiet ponies and "bombproof" old horses for the little ones to a couple of top flight warmbloods and Thoroughbreds for the advanced rider. I highly recommend this barn. And as for the lady who went crazy about Cathy hitting a horse -- for heaven's sake, get real! We're not talking about a sweet little puppy here - a horse is a 1200 pound animal that can really hurt somebody if not properly disciplined. A horse that kicks under saddle must be corrected immediately and strongly, because the next time it kicks it might be "kicking at another horse" as you say, but hit your kid's leg and break it. You should be glad that Cathy is vigilant and protecting the children under her care.
Posted: 1/21/2009 • Link to this review
Sterling is truly an amazing barn. I have been riding there for five years and i have had a wonderful expierience. She is great with children and horses!! She has taken in many abused flightey horses and turned them into succesful show horses, with kindness. I had looked at and tried out many barns before Sterling and they all paled in comparison. She has a great summer camp program with sessions ranging from beginners to advanced and she has horses and ponies for all level of riders. Besides being a great trainer she is also an acomplished rider and took her 8 yr old gelding to compete in and win the southeastern hunter trials in virginia. She is the best trainer i could possibly ask for and has taken me from trotting over cross rails on a quite pony to succesfully competing in amoeba tadpole classes at event shows. She never pushes a rider and lets them advance in their own time instead of forcing them to do something they aren't comfortable with. All in all I'd say Sterling has earned the five stars they recieved take it from someone who rides there and has expierienced the feel of family that Sterling provides.
Posted: 4/08/2008 • Last edited: 8/23/2008 • Link to this review
Cathy Stephenson has no business owning horses much less offering training to children. She may know how to set up a jump, but her horses are badly treated and she doesn't deserve patronage. On Tues., Aug 21, 2007, I watched her teach a couple of classes and actually witnessed her beating a horse - in front of a class of young girls - for kicking at another horse. Any one who know any thing about horsemanship knows the cruelty was unnecessary. This is not a place where you would want your children to learn about riding and horses.
Posted: 8/22/2007 • Last edited: 8/23/2008 • Link to this review