March 2019 - Goldspirit Farm
Written by by Susan Friend LeTourneur
Friday, 01 March 2019 01:44
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eventing

Positive beliefs begat thriving training program now celebrating 20 years & counting.

by Susan Friend LeTourneur

This year my barn, Goldspirit Farm, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.  Twenty years ago, I left my career to live the dream of owning my own horse facility.  The day I closed escrow I walked around my 11 acres of heaven and said, “Wow!” about 1000 times! It was a dream come true.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret: it’s also an on-going nightmare! I say that in humor, but the reality is that over the last 20 years I have mastered not only the art of stable management, I also became a contractor, grader, electrician, plumber, pest controller, landscaper, general all-around handyman, psychologist, time manager and people-person! All this while continuously working to be a better rider and trainer.

At Goldspirit Farm I strive to make every horse and rider happy. My goal is to create a facility that provides safety, joy, and comfort for riders of all ages and levels. I do everything possible to ensure the well-being of the horses and riders. Just walk through the barn and you will see happy and healthy horses.   
My facility is nestled at the base of Angeles National Forest in Sylmar. Breathtaking and relaxing views, as well as miles of trails, are offered by the majestic mountains surrounding Goldspirit Farm.

 

Everything is clean, organized and well-maintained. The site is gated with 24-hour access and security. The 11 acres of the facility can accommodate 26 horses. All stalls, even the in-and-outs, are fully covered and bedded. They are equipped with automatic waterers and fly sprayers.  The horses are fed hay, not cubes, and they have access to three large turnouts. The employees of Goldspirit Farm are knowledgeable horse people who care about the horses’ well-being.

We have a full-size dressage court, a large jumping arena and a gallop track. The jumping arena is adjacent to one of the two cross-country fields, which provide the opportunity to school terrain, banks, water and cross-country jumps as well as stadium fences. The arenas have lights and are kept well-groomed to provide a rewarding experience. It is a science to provide nearly year-round footing and, at Goldspirit Farm, we have it.

Opportunities For All

I love helping riders develop confidence, better techniques and show skills. I have trained numerous riders and enjoy helping people start their equestrian experience right. Many of my students tell me they learn more in one lesson from me than they acquired in many lessons at other facilities.

I was one of the first trainers in the country to obtain certification from the U.S. Eventing Association. We are an approved Pony Club Riding Center and also offer horsemanship classes on Saturday afternoons.

Because not everyone can, or wants, to show, I hold cross-country derbies for my students. Just as is done on cross-country day: they walk the course, warm up and then, 5,4,3,2,1 -- they go! I offer classes from ground poles to Preliminary level. We finish the day with a pot luck barbeque. Where else can you get that much fun?

If you do not have a horse…no worries. At Goldspirit Farm the lesson horses are great, show-quality, and well-schooled. They are available for shows and leasing. Our horses are not your usual “lesson horses.” They receive regular visits from a chiropractor as well as veterinarian check-ups.  All of the lesson horses have show experience in jumpers, dressage, and/or eventing.

I love to educate, so I also write magazine articles. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and gaining new knowledge on topics from barn management, to course design, to improving riding skills, and to horse care and grooming.  

Expert & Compassionate Care

We have been hit by two fires. In both cases, I was on-site and cared for the horses while protecting the property. I wrote articles after both fires to help educate others on the importance of vegetation clearance, creating an evacuation plan, and a back-up shelter-in-place plan, as well as recommendations for making property safe and ready for any emergency. My boarders have told me that in an emergency they wouldn’t want their horses in anyone else’s hands.

In addition to my equine activities I am also passionate about saving dogs and cats. I volunteer at the Castaic Animal Care Center where I foster at-risk cats and kittens. Since 2017, my husband and I have saved over 100 cats and kittens! Last year we founded Golden Years Dog Sanctuary to save senior dogs. We rescue the old, sick, supposedly crippled dogs from the local shelters and give them a last loving life. Check out our website at www.goldenyearsdogsanctuary.com.
Whether your goal is to compete in eventing, dressage or jumpers, or you just want to sit the trot, I would love to help you achieve that goal. I created my life through the power of believing I can. I work hard; I take criticism and feedback. I force myself to stop and enjoy the fruits of my endeavors.

I hope to be an inspiration to other riders, young and old. It is never too late to reach for that start. It is never too late to change your mind. It is never too late to be happy. As far as we know, we only have one shot here: take it. Enjoy every day. If you are unhappy, take the time to reevaluate your life and find what is missing. Then, go for it. No one can stop you, but you.

To learn more about Goldspirit Farm and trainer Susan Friend LeTourneur, visit www.goldspiritfarm.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.