April 2016 - Lehua Custer Dressage
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 March 2016 01:45
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Los Angeles training barn is graced with accomplishments and aloha.

Lehua Custer was born and raised in Hawaii. Her love and respect for horses and riding began with her first horse: a frisky Appaloosa gelding. She would spend all her free time riding Thunder and galloping bareback through the local town.

Lehua Custer and Winona at Flintridge

In 1997, Lehua left Hawaii to attend college at Pepperdine University in Malibu, where she majored and received her BA in Psychology. For her graduation gift, Lehua’s mother bought her riding lessons with the two-time Olympian Hilda Gurney. After the first lesson, Hilda offered Lehua a job at Keenridge Farms, and she was hooked.

She spent nine-and-a-half years working with Hilda, learning how to saddle-break a horse, train and compete through all the levels … all the way to Grand Prix. She also began training to become a dressage judge. She competed at all levels with many different breeds and presented many horses at the Oldenburg keurings each season.

In 2010, equipped with comprehensive training and experience with Hilda, graduating the USDF “L” judge’s program with distinction and earning her USDF gold medal, she was ready to step out on her own, and Lehua Custer Dressage was established. Lehua is so thankful to still have Hilda’s watchful eye while training her horses.

She is proud to have a string of horses and students participating and winning championships in national and regional shows at all levels.

Some of her more recent accomplishments include:
•    Earning USDF gold, silver and bronze medals
•    Completing the USDF “L” judges program with distinction
•    Serving as a Board member for DASC
•    Serving as a Board member for the CDS LA Chapter
•    Winning USDF High point champion with FJ Ramses / First Level
•    Being selected as a dressage judge at the Special Olympic World Games in LA, 2015
•    Participated in the FEI Young Horse Program with several horses
•    Becoming a USDF certified instructor through 2nd level
•    Being selected as a demo rider for the Young Horse Observation Clinic with Scott Hassler 2014
•    Being selected as a demo rider for the 2015 CDS annual meeting and Symposium
•    Coaching young rider, Bryce Quinto, to a 7th place finish at the USEF National Equitation Finals in 2013

Lehua and clients posing at the Los Angeles CDS Chapter awards banquet.

She can be found riding, showing, training and teaching at her new barn located at the prestigious Los Angeles Equestrian Center located in “B” barn. There are many fabulous amenities available to her clientele. A few of them include endless trails through scenic Griffith Park, the Game Ready system to support their equine athletes, and night security to ensure that horses are safe and healthy 24 hours a day.

Lehua offers full or partial training along with her new assistant Bryce Quinto.

Bryce is a young rider who has earned many championship titles and is a USDF silver and bronze medalist. Bryce is a petite powerhouse and excels with horses as well as ponies.

Lehua’s emphasis is training horses and students up the levels in dressage.

Lehua’s barn is very active at horse shows and they bring their sense of fun along with them. They are very serious in the show ring and also love to celebrate after a wonderful day of showing.

Lehua has successfully taken young horses and trained them to the highest levels. She works with breeders to train and showcase their offspring to gain exposure for sales as well. Her current mount, Winter’s Star, is now competing at intermediate 2 and will be making the jump to Grand Prix this season. Lehua has owned Star since he was 2 years old and was there at his birth. Lehua’s goal is to compete internationally and she is currently working to find her next top young horse to train. She will be seeking to form a syndicate to help support the monumental cost of owning and campaigning such a horse.

For more information, visit www.lehuacuster.com.