Our Trainers

Susan | Owner / Instructor

Susan Blake started her 40 years of experience riding horses at the age of 12. She began lessons as therapy for a broken leg, she sustained while ice-skating. Her riding experience began in Southern California at the Flying J Ranch, where she took lessons from horse trainer Don Kleckner.

At 14 she began training horses with Don. Susan bought her first horse, a yearling named Sugar Buff (Buffy). To pay for Buffy’s expenses Susan began giving lessons and training horses after school. She showed Buffy and did well in open shows in Southern California. Susan had the opportunity to work with a number of trainers and found each of them contributed to her “horse” knowledge. Susan attended college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She studied animal science and worked with horses at the college.

Susan loves to teach children of all ages to be excellent equestrians.

“It’s almost like the horses give the lessons and not me.”

Donica | Instructor (P.A.T.H. Certified)

Horses were a big part of Donica’s childhood, and she wanted to give other children a chance to work with these amazing creatures that mean so much to her. Because of this desire, she started Rolling Hills Riding Academy.  Donica started riding when she was 8 years old and rode western pleasure for 8 years.

She took a hiatus from riding until her oldest daughter, Briana, became interested in horses at the same age Donica started riding. She then studied English riding as her daughter was interested in jumping. This is when she bought Biff, Rolling Hills’ star school horse.

Donica graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business Management and is a certified instructor through PATH, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. (WWW. Pathintl.org). Donica spends most of her time now teaching and running her riding school.

“There is nothing better than a horse and his rider moving as one in perfect harmony.”

Missy | Instructor

Missy started riding and taking lessons at 5 years old through her older sister’s second grade teacher’s summer riding camp. A year later she joined Diamondback Pony Club, where she received her C3 traditional rating in 2004 and is currently working on her C3 dressage, B traditional and HA rating.

Missy has been actively competing in eventing, dressage and hunter/jumpers for over 15 years and was Area X training rider of the year in 2008 in eventing. Missy has been teaching lessons and pony club for 5 years as well as organizing pony club activities and stable management lessons.

Currently she is focusing on dressage and lower level eventing with her 18 year old Irish Thoroughbred Cooper while working on a forensic accounting masters.

“Stop beating yourself up!  You are a work in progress, which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.”

Jennifer | Instructor

Jennifer Nunn has been riding since she was 9 years old. She entered into a Western lesson program in Southern California. She learned to show Western pleasure, halter and trail. She went on to raise and train a young colt from birth. She participated in 4-H Club for horses and sheep. She also gave riding lessons as a teen. She went on to train other horses. Along the way she learned to rope cattle.

She is a wife and mother of two young adults. She also became a Youth Soccer Coach with AYSO for 7 years. Later she became a Boy Scout Leader for 7 years. During her time as a Boy Scout leader she organized two trips over spring breaks to a working cattle ranch in New Mexico. Jennifer is also a Certified Holistic Health coach for companies in the Tucson area. She believes it is important for young people to work with animals. It builds a person’s confidence, self esteem and caring respect for animals.

It is fun too!

“The only rides I regret are the ones I skipped”

“Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.”

Steve Martin

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