Nancy Prosser, owner of West View Farms, has watched many of her students grow up and move from Short Stirrup classes to Medal classes, and eventually leave the safety of their homes to spread their wings at college or try their hands in the professional world. Some of her students she never hears from again after they leave, but many students return after college to West View Farms and the family they have found there. After all, Nancy says a barn is more than a place to keep horses; it’s a home away from home.
West View Farms recently found a new facility to call home, Bell Canyon Equestrian Center. A full service facility, Bell Canyon is situated in the San Fernando Valley and boasts three sand riding arenas, one enclosed bullpen, a hot walker and a beautiful shaded picnic area. With 24 years of experience under her belt, Nancy knows that a good facility can go a long way in helping create a safe and harmonious working environment; an environment in which her students can set goals and flourish.
“One of the nicest things my clients have ever said about me is that, ‘I instill values in my riders. I teach them that no matter what happens to keep their eyes on the prize.’ I have always believed in setting goals and working toward them through all the trials and tribulations. In life, whether it’s riding or something else, no goal worth reaching is ever achieved with ease. I try and teach my students to work hard, and I will be right there with them, helping them through.”
Nancy has been “right there” with her students as they prepared for and participated in some of the most competitive classes and medal finals in Southern California. Her riders have been winners of the CPHA, PCHA, Rosewood, USEF Pony, LASHA, Jr. LASHA Horsemanship, PHA West 18 & Over, USET West, WCE and TVHSA Jr. medal finals. In addition her clients have been top contenders in the hunter and jumper ring as well as tough to beat in equitation.
No Skipping Steps at West View
Happiness, safety and success all go hand in hand, explains Nancy. “As a trainer the worst thing for me is seeing a horse or rider get injured. Everyone in my program goes through their ABCs. There is no skipping of steps. My students will only jump 3’ after they’re jumping 2’9” competently. Everyone wants tangible rewards, but you don’t get them by rushing—slow and steady is the way to achieve that!’
The slow and steady approach was how Nancy learned to ride and she perfected her step by step approach to training and instructing with years of practice in and out of the saddle. As a junior rider, Nancy rode with Vince Jones at the famous Ox Ridge Hunt Club and with Ronnie Mutch at Nimrod Farms. She began teaching at 16, and spent several years instructing, competing and starting young horses in New York, Kansas and Colorado before moving to Burbank in the early 80s. In Burbank she managed a 50-plus horse riding school, Traditional Equitation School. In 1987 she stepped out on her own and founded West View Farms.
Her collective experiences have taught Nancy that every horse has a purpose. “Every horse has a job, and they let us know what they want to do. Some horses are just looking for a career change and can go on to flourish in a different discipline. I have horses that come to me and don’t want to jump, but have all the skills necessary to be a great dressage horse. Just like moving up in the show ring, it just takes time.”
She prides herself on placing each horse in the environment that is best for them, and Nancy always has a wide selection of sale horses at West View. She works closely with dressage trainer, Maria Dickerson, assistant trainer, Jenna Vandagriff and long time groom, Arturo Huante, who keeps things running smoothly. Jenna was a former assistant of Nancy’s, and she recently returned to West View. Like many of her students and Jenna, Arturo has also been with Nancy for years. Nancy says Arturo keeps her horses happy and healthy and her business would not be whole without him.
“I think the fact that my students come to me as kids and stay with me for years says more about my business than anything else. We have had lot of success because they stay with me. I have been able to play an important role in shaping these kids and I believe it is an important part of my job to instill good work ethics and morals. I’m not just their instructor; my students have become part of my family. I’m a teacher and a friend and a mother hen.”
For more information on West View Farms and Nancy Prosser www.westviewfarmsnprosser.com, call 805-300-0948 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.