The most telling testament to Malibu Creek Equestrian Center is the lightspeed responses received to inquiries of its resident trainers regarding their experience at the facility. Of course, the property's trainers, Tommi Clark, Heather Chatham and Kamila Dupont, would not have set up shop at the rechristened boarding and training stable had they not thought it was a good place to base their businesses, but their prompt and emphatic responses speak volumes about the changes manager and owner Philip Atwell has put in place.
But first, you have to talk about the proverbial "location, location, location." Set on 22 acres on Truinfo Canyon Road in Agoura, Malibu Creek Equestrian Center is three miles from the 101, seven miles from Pacific Coast Highway and a thousand miles from city life. "We're in the Santa Monica Mountains!" exclaims Kamila. With the wonders of wildlife at its backdoor, the facility still has every amenity imaginable. A covered 100' by 200' arena with a viewing room is one of the dressage trainer's favorite features. "It's a huge advantage over many other locations," she notes.
A grand prix arena, two private training arenas, trainers' offices, private tack rooms, personal lockers, covered grooming areas, separate wash racks, hillside turn-out pastures, a veterinarian's office and on-site, by-appointment-only physical therapy sessions for horse and/or rider are some of Malibu Creek's many attributes.
The property is familiar to many as Pegasus Equestrian Center. When Philip, a film, TV and commercial director and amateur rider, returned to the helm of the property's management last summer, he renamed the property to reflect its new direction. "We've taken on a totally different approach to how we cater to and care for the horses and trainers at our facility," he reports. Along with upgrades to the footing, landscaping and general upkeep, Philip believes that attracting and acquiring top level trainers is a key component to the mission.
"We want to create a place where our clients feel they and their horses are secure and well taken care of," Philip explains. "So, I sought out trainers with a like-minded philosophy. Trainers who can focus on their training, and whose clientele would appreciate this facility and share in the vision of what we are trying to do."
He believes he found perfect matches in Malibu Creek's current three resident trainers and he welcomes another professional, possibly two. With these trainers, Philip aligned the facility with protocols that emphasize true horsemanship and offer opportunities to riders with serious goals.
Chosenbrook Stables is home base for "a little bit of everything" explains its accomplished young proprietor Tommi Clark. The hunter/jumper training program counts walk/trot kids to the Grand Champion Hunter at the Pennsylvania National Horse show among its charges, with Grand Prix horses and pony jumpers mixed in for good measure. Most of Tommi's clients are competition-oriented, with goals on the A-rated circuit, and all of them share the common denominator of wanting to "achieve goals and have fun at the same time."
Tommi describes the footing in Chosenbrook's private ring as "amazing," her private barn the same way and she "adores" the facility's general sense of peace and calm. "I love that the kids can play and hang out here and we always know that they are safe."
Dressage trainer Kamila Dupont has traveled the world, competed at the highest levels and she is now content to stay put and "share my experience with people who are devoted to realizing long term goals with their riding. If someone is really committed to learning I can teach them all the way to Grand Prix.
"I don't care what level they start at, I put my heart and soul into trying to explain what dressage is to my students."
Like many top dressage trainers, Kamila is a self-described footing fanatic. "It was very important to me that management take the footing as the primary focus of the maintenance of the ranch and Malibu Creek does that. Whenever an issue has come up, I've gone to management and discussed what I thought was wrong and it's been addressed asap."
Heather Chatham's HC Equine offers hunter, jumper and equitation training and sales. She caters to riders of all ages and levels with the common thread being a commitment to success and achievement. "We are dedicated to training all levels of riders and helping accomplish personal or competitive goals," says Heather. Boutique show barn with a warm family feel is the vibe at
She describes Malibu Creek as "a professional, clean, functional facility with excellent footing
"I am so grateful to be at a facility that understands this standard of professionalism," Heather continues. "Everyday I am asked by staff or the owner if everything is up to par for me, my clients and, most importantly, the horses. My clients love it here!"
For more information visit www.malibucreek.net.