Garyn took Wes and me on in March of 2015. I was over horsed and very under confident - not a good combo for a middle aged rider. As I told people we would be starting with Garyn, every person mentioned how positive she is.
Garyn started with Wes and in her first rides I was shown gaits I had only hoped for. She treats him with fairness and respect while expecting him to do his job and has great timing in correcting him when he doesn't give his best effort. And she likes him. I think that devotion and love for each horse is one of her huge strengths. She also naturally looks for and finds the horse's innate abilities and uses those to improve the weaknesses. She got Wes at training level (at best) and trained him to a successful Second Level show outing in June of 2016. And the girl can ride. I've seen her ride through antics that would put me back on the stationary 'quarter ponies' that used to be outside stores back in the day.
When I started riding again I told Garyn that her work had truly begun. But, with her training I had several successful outings at First Level in 2015 and Wes won me my first ever blue ribbons. I liked that she challenged my laid-back riding tendencies to help me grow to be a better rider not only for Wes, but myself as well.
Then I was injured and while it was certainly no fault of Wes', all the confidence I had flew out the window. Garyn has been beyond patient and providing both support and reality checks as I work my way back. The most recent thing that resonates is after I said something disparaging about my riding skills she assured me I had the skills, but the confidence was my challenge. Soon, I will better trust those skills she sees and I look forward to meeting Wes at Second Level and with Garyn's help....FEI??? The dream lives and I am grateful to Garyn for that.
-- Nancy Rice
Garyn, Nina and Diego from the 2016 show season.
Emily and Lines 29 riding in a Jessica Wisdom Clinic at Cain Lake
Nancy and Wesley celebrating their first win together!
Malinda and her late mare, Hanna.
Novella and Red celebrating their success at R6 Championships 2016!
I have had the incredible opportunity to ride with Garyn for the past 8 years. Throughout the years Garyn has helped me to define and achieve my goals as a rider, including receipt my USDF Bronze Medal this year. Most recently Garyn was instrumental in helping me find my new partner, Goji, whom we are very excited about! Garyn provides support throughout the entire process of owning, caring for, riding and training your horse and has not only helped me become a better rider but also a better horse person. Garyn has the ability to bring out the best in all different types of horses and riders of all levels and does so with compassion for both. She is a motivating and inspiring rider who can successfully train and compete young horses on up to Grand Prix and who continues to ride and train with a variety of clinicians and brings everything she learns back to her training program. I would not be where I am today as a rider without Garyn's help!
-- Malinda Shelman
I have known Garyn Heidemann for around 12 years now and have been her student all the while. I first met her when I was still quite young and beginning dressage with my then 6 year old thoroughbred gelding Montague, that I had received from the track. Together, Garyn has guided us from Training level all the way to Grand Prix. Her enthusiasm for her sport and her students is unparalleled as well as her devotion to your success.
One of Garyn's more impressive talents is her ability to work with a variety of horses and temperaments and always brings the best out of them. My thoroughbred can be very sensitive and emotional when he's learning something new and Garyn has always been patient and thoughtful when he's feeling confused and unsure. There is no cookie cutter training technique with Garyn- she recognizes that horses are all individuals and must be treated as such.
Through the years I have grown so much as a rider because of Garyn's commitment to my goals. It is hard sometimes to find a trainer that has the best interest of their horses and students at heart, but I got lucky at a young age and through the years I have seen Garyn's horses and students consistently improve.
-- Kelsey Campbell
For the past 4 years I have had the pleasure of working with Garyn as a trainer and instructor. We began working together after my horse had been on a lay off for a minor injury. Initially, I took a couple lessons a week and we brought my horse from first level to third level. From the beginning I found her to be a very enthusiastic, articulate and knowledgeable instructor. As my work obligations began to become more intense I decided to place my horse, Diego, in full training with Garyn and have her compete him over the 2016 season.
Diego is a difficult ride, he can be very sensitive and defensive. Garyn has worked diligently to earn his trust and the pair had a very successful season at fourth level. Garyn is one of the only trainers that I have met who is willing to work with a horse to find an individual training plan that works to achieve the best results based on their conformation, temperament and abilities. Garyn has a special ability to articulate her knowledge with her students. She creates an atmosphere of learning where neither the horse nor the rider are afraid to make mistakes. Her teaching manner is always encouraging and fair to both the horse and rider. With Garyn’s training Diego has already exceeded my expectations for moving up the levels. We are eager to see what next year brings as he develops strength in his work over the winter.
-- Nina Thompson
I was introduced to Garyn in the spring of 2016 and immediately knew that she has that something special. Little did I know she was going to change my way of riding and my excitement for dressage.
Garyn has a way of teaching and riding that is unique. I have gained confidence from her and this comes from her ability to give information in a way that I can use whether she is there or not. My dressage has become so much better and my scores prove that.
My two horses are jumping better and are more disciplined due to the dressage training she has taught me.
She is an incredible rider. She is able to connect with every horse I have seen her ride which is a very unusual talent. She has empathy for all of them and she brings out the best in them whether they have natural talent or not.
I’m proud to call her a friend and I credit her with my success in the show ring. It’s called, Garyn Magic!
-- Lisa Eppley of Acacia Farm
Kelsey and Monty sharing a moment in the cross ties
I started working for Garyn in 2011 as a groom in exchange for lessons on one of her horses. Within a month, I felt like I was part of the Cain Lake family. Each person and each horse are an individual to Garyn, and she will find what works for each one. She is extremely loyal, kind, and patient, and will never give up on you if you are willing to work for it. She has pushed me in the very best of ways, and I have grown so much in both my riding and my horsemanship skills since joining the barn family. Garyn can always find the good in every horse, and is in this line of work because she genuinely loves the horses. She will pinpoint exactly what each horse needs, and will work through everything possible to help a horse (and their rider) find their success. I am privileged to consider Garyn a friend, as well as my coach and trainer. She is the very best sort of person to have in your corner, both in the barn and out.
-- Emily Vander Haak Dieleman
Garyn Heidemann has raised me as a dressage rider for the last nine years. She has taught me invaluable lessons in the saddle, but also in character. Installing dedication, appreciation, sportsmanship, and above all horsemanship. She has the same effect on horses as she does humans—she brings out the best in you. She creates a positive learning atmosphere and provides straightforward correct training to make you and your horse excel and strive for your best.
-- Novella Randall