Northern Colorado Horse Training and Sales
Over the last 30 plus years I have worked with various ‘dressage trainers’ across the USA. While working with these trainers I have picked up tidbits of information. It was not until I started training with Nicole did I feel that I truly found a trainer that not only understands the biomechanics of training a dressage horse, but that she also has a ‘feel’ or understanding of how to communicate these movements to my horse in a calm and re-assuring manner while riding him. It is a joy to watch her ride him, he looks happy, balanced and forward the majority of the time. He is still developing the correct muscle tone for self-carriage, but it is like I now have a different horse and he is so much happier about being a ‘dressage horse’. He is still developing his topline, but the last time I had his saddle re-balanced, and my saddle fitter, Suzie Fletcher-Baker, was really pleased at how well his muscle tone felt and the fact that he was now symmetrical across the withers. There used to be a 1/2 inch difference from the left side to the right side. In her words, Nicole and I were doing an excellent job of conditioning him and to keep it up. When I take my lessons with Nicole, I feel as though I can ask her anything and throughout the lesson she takes the time to provide corrections and explanations as to why she is instructing me to modify or change the way I was doing something. Typically, when I follow her instructions, I feel and see a difference right away in how my horse is moving. I finally feel like I can actually move up in the levels over this next year and get out of training level. Other people around the stable also comment on how well he is doing, they see a dramatic change as well. I highly recommend Nicole as a trainer to anyone that has a desire to increase their skills in the art of riding dressage and/or needs someone to train their dressage horse.
I feel so blessed to have become one of her students and a friend; she treats all her students with such kindness, respect, and patience.When I feel like I just am not ever going to ride correctly or get the movement correctly, she keeps me calm and relaxed. She has more faith than I do at times. If it were not for her I would have given up already.
My children adore her; they think she is one of a kind. And for that you can only imagine how wonderful that is. She is an excellent role model as well. I have a very stubborn gelding and she just keeps him going. He was one of the biggest ‘giraffe neck’ horses one would ever see and Nicole got him to enjoy riding into the connection, lengthen his neck and round his back, he is currently schooling all 1 level test 4 movements as a 4 year old. I didn’t ever think he would come around but with her as his trainer he moves gracefully and in harmony.
I got my first pony at age 6, and never moved on from horses soothing my soul. So it was difficult to give them up for almost 20 years as my husband and I built our business and our family. By the time I returned to horses, by balance was completely different, as well as my adventurousness and muscle memory. I must admit also that it is (because this continues even now) very hard to become a 7 year old again and take criticism, correction and try to redevelop a skill then add on to it!Through Nicole and Tomora Training Center, we have built solid riding skills and confidence. There is a lifetime of new skills and movements to master in dressage, and a whole lot of little victories Nicole helped us achieve in every lesson. She has shown me how to eat an elephant- one bite at a time. She is a mom who takes great pride in the development of her little (or older) charges and patiently repeats or re-frames ideas until they become like the operating system of your computer- quietly humming in the background allowing you to work on the new stuff running in the foreground.She uses positive reinforcement both with horses in training ( she helps keep mine going what they are supposed to do until I have the skill set to ask them and get what I want), and with riders. She has a vast arsenal of exercises and word-pictures to help riders get the concept and then the patience as we riders work to make our muscles do what our brain heard ( not to be confused with letting you off with not making progress!). Connecting with a horse is amazing, finding a good trainer is a essential , and finding a trainer like Nicole who can help you get the most out of your limited time with them, is priceless!
I have been training with Nicole for about five months. I have learned more about riding techniques and have progressed in my abilities with my horse more in those few months than I have in my entire riding career through this point. Even though she is incredibly busy every day, she is never too busy to take the time to answer a question or give you guidance. Her insight into horses is truly remarkable. My thoroughbred was an eventer for many years but never seemed to enjoy dressage. I considered selling him as a jumper because he disliked dressage so much. Since I have begun riding with Nicole and have changed how I approach dressage, not only has his dressage improved tremendously, but he also truly enjoys it now. He loves it so much, he is now a full-time dressage horse! He is happier than he has ever been in the several years that I have owned him. Nicole’s approach to teaching is calm, encouraging, and positive accompanied by an impressive knowledge of the horse and rider. It is a pleasure to be one of her students
Two and a half years ago I purchased a twelve year old Andalusian gelding. He is a very willing horse but his breed and conformation issues made it difficult for him to use his body correctly. He had some dressage training and was ridden out in the fields and trails. Nicole started working with him exclusively in the beginning to teach him proper balance, how to stretch…..well, all the things a baby horse would learn when they start dressage training. He has progressed under her training and is learning second level and third level movements. Nicole has ridden him with her own trainer and in shows. Recently he was in a L judge clinic and handled it well. I am always proud of him and what he has learned. In addition to working with my horse, Nicole has been teaching me to overcome years of bad habits and use my seat correctly. We are making progress and the three of us have become a team, getting better day by day. Nicole willingly provides counsel, assists with saddle fit, farrier care, vet care, and grooming (tail wraps, etc). She has been a steady hand with a sometimes hysterical owner lending her grounded guidance and professional judgement. Nicole is a trainer extraordinaire and I consider her a good friend. I appreciate her every single day!
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