REBECCA BURNS | FOUNDER/Director
Rebecca (Becky) Burns was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She has an older sister (by 4 years), a twin brother (younger by 4 minutes) and a younger sister by 4 years. However, 8 is her lucky number. She moved with her family to Gainesville, Florida in 1974 and attended elementary through college. She comes from a long line of creative people (musicians, whale riders, artists, etc.)
Rebecca started riding at the age of six, a birthday gift from her parents that she begged for. She started out as an English rider in a group lesson setting. Upon moving to Gainesville she signed up for Western lessons through the local 4-H program. Her mother would drive her everyday after school to the barn. Shortly after those lessons ended she began riding at Sleepy Hollow Farm in Micanopy Florida, with owner Rusty Ethrington. Master Flash, a cantankerous black Thoroughbred, was her mount. Rebecca considers Rusty to be the first of a handful of important horse mentors. While in middle school, Rebecca was “sponsored” by a wonderful lady from Newberry named Sondra. Sondra embraced Rebecca as her own daughter and gave her access to horses and ponies to ride everyday. She sponsored her through the local Pony Club events and competitions. She was the first to teach Rebecca just about everything she applies today towards horse ownership and responsibility.
When old enough, Rebecca competed in Pony Club events and rallies. She learned about 3-day eventing and loved the cross-country aspect of the games. She also learned “Stadium Jumping”, now referred to as Jumpers (Hunters did not yet exist). Rebecca was not thrilled with Stadium and preferred Dressage, although as a 12 year old found it to be very boring!
However, preparing for the dressage competitions taught her the true value of dressage training, and the benefits in developing competitive horses and riders, and how it should be applied to every other form of riding, whether English or Western. (BTW, Dressage means training in French.)
She stopped riding for almost 19 years while in college and working full time as a graphic designer at a local engineering company. She started her own design agency in 1990, ComQuest Designs, had a baby girl in 1993, bought the first horse she ever actually owned in 1994, a Thoroughbred filly grand sired by the infamous Secretariat. “Sissy” was a weanling (5 months old) at the time of purchase through a small breeding farm in Reddick, Florida.
Rebecca continued to build her design business while raising her daughter and filly. In 1998 she closed the doors to her studio. She maintained her favorite customers and began working out of her house, mothering her daughter and training Sissy. With the help of her trainer at that time, Jan Bowen (now in Fairbanks Alaska), Rebecca is able to say, with confidence, that she did all the groundwork on Sissy by herself. Rebecca was the first, and only person to back, break and ride Sissy for many years. She worked her horse’s everyday, except weekends, when she would take time to enjoy the ocean at Crescent Beach.
Rebecca bought another Thoroughbred, Nickel. Turns out Nick is a great, great grandson to the very famous Man ‘O War. Nick looks like her very first Breyer statue of Man ‘O War that she got for her 6th birthday. “Mom was very hesitant to spend $15 dollars on the statue and was very clear that it would be my only gift…so expensive.” (These statues are now made in china and cost upwards of $75.) The old Man ‘O War stature has oddly found his place always on display in her home even through moves and such.
When Sissy came of riding age, Rebecca started monthly clinics under Wolfgang Scherzer. For six years, every month she rode with him until the clinic was moved. In 2009 Rebecca found a 14-acre farm in Gainesville and decided to open her farm, Thaddledo Farm (“that will do”, thaddle sounds like saddle) to teach riding lessons to beginners and timid riders to help supplement her income. Her farm abuts 200± acres of family land that she incorporates trail ride lessons. Not only do the riders learn how to be safe on the trail, they learn about the environment, with plenty of wild life riding in raw Florida woods.
Also permitted for beach rides, which everyone is excited to take part in. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys spending time at the "beachnest" a home she and her finance are building at Crescent Beach, where they fish, crab and spend balmy days on the water..
DIRECTORS ASSISTANT: Mr. Joe
MEDICAL PERSONNEL: Ms. Allison, RN
FOOD MANAGEMENT: Ms. Cyndi and Ms. Lori (lunch and dinner, cantina at the pavillion) & TBD (hot breakfast at the barn)
ACTIVITIES SUPPORT: Miss Amanda
VOLUNTEERS AND SPECIAL GUESTS • Camp counselors- TBA
In addition we have SPECIAL GUESTS, TRAINERS & EXHIBITIONS scheduled!
2014 CAMP TRAINERS/CLINICIANS
DRESSAGE - Jeanie Hahn, Grand Prix Trainer and Lunge Lesson Master of River House Hanoverians.
•USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist
•USDF Certified Instructor
Jeanie works with students from beginner through grand prix, and works well with young riders. Her daughter, Nora Batchelder is testimony to that. Nora Earned USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals by the time she turned 21 on horses she trained herself, with the help of her mother, Jeanie and father, Verne Batchelder.
As an active dressage competitor, Jeanie has trained and shown several horses all the way through grand prix.
Jeanie is great at teaching lateral work, pirouettes and flying changes. She transfers to her students, the ability to be patient and persistent in their training with their horses.
She along with her husband Verne, and daughter, Nora, operate River House Hanoverians, originally in NH and now based in Florida. River House has imported over 200 Hanoverians from Germany and produced twice that amount domestically from their own mares and stallions. They have new foal crops each year by their Elite Grand Prix stallions, Bretone and Maronjo, as well as other sires.
HUNTERS/STADIUM JUMPING - Lee Ann Selkowitz of Twin Oaks Stables
Lee Ann has over sixteen years of teaching and training experience, specializing in working with juniors and amateurs.
As a junior herself, she rode with James Benedetto, Nancy Fletcher, and Debbie Leutz, competing successfully in the Hunter, Equitation, and Jumper divisions.
Lee Ann is very exited to be joining the Bridle Paths staff for the 2013 season as the Hunter/Jumper trainer.
She loves to help students progress from the first lesson to first jump to first blue ribbon at a show. She has an extensive background working with green and "problem" horses, including off the track Thoroughbreds and horses that were abused in the past. By using calm, non-confrontational methods Lee Ann has great success with her students, both human and horse.
Lee Ann has over 20 years of riding, showing, training, and teaching experience to pass along. She believes in a calm and practical approach to both teaching and training. Recently Lee Ann trained with Olympic medalists Neal and Elisa Shapiro and focused her efforts on the Jumper division.
Lee Ann is a member of USEF and USHJA.
“Whether your rider’s goal is to win at the top levels or simply to become
a better horseman, I am looking forward to being part of the summer camp team that will help your child achieve their dreams!”
CROSS COUNTY JUMPING -Erika Machtinger of Tangerine Sporthorses
Erika began riding at the age of four. Starting with walk/trot shows she quickly progressed to larger regional competitions and competed in a variety of club competitions in the hunters, jumpers, western and halter classes.
Erika competed at the Pony Club Nationals, as well as many local and regional events and Regional Rally’s. Erika successfully achieved her C-2 rating in as little as two years. During her first season eventing, Erika ended with a win at the Virginia Horse Trials at Training Level in 1997. Erika competed in her first preliminary horse trials with less than a year of eventing experience and has successfully competed with wins through intermediate. Erika locates prospects, trains and competes horses of all ages, breeds and abilities for new and existing clients..
Erika graduated from high school in 2000, a year early, as she was accepted as a working student for Olympian and Eventing Hall of Famer, Bruce Davidson at world class facility, Chesterland. Bruce has been a member of the U.S. Equestrian Team since 1971. He was a member of two Olympic gold medal teams, 1976 and 1984, and earned two Olympic silver team medals in 1972 and 1996. While working with Bruce, Erika learned patience and perseverance while working with Bruce.
Specializing in the eventing instruction to all levels and ages of our riders is a passion for Erika. She loves working with kids, and is in fact a teacher of Entomology (study of insects) at the University of Florida.
Whether you consider yourself a seasoned rider or competitor; or are new to the sport of Cross-County, Erika strives to provide each student and their horse with a strong foundation, along with excellent formal skills to succeed in this riding discipline.
With over 20 years of competitive experience, Erika is creative in accommodating her training program(s) to meet the needs of the individual student and horse. We feel Erika is a perfect fit for our summer camp training team and she looks forward to meeting all the campers and counselors.
Bridle Paths Summer Horse Camp
Mailing: 1720 NW 122 Street
Gainesville, FL 32606
Black Prong Equestrian Center
450 SE County Road 337
Bronson, FL 32621
352-331-1316 (office fax)
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