Patrick Seaton is not one for long-winded explanations of his training philosophy. "I teach horses and riders to be better," says the native Brit. Yet that simple strategy has produced consistently successful results since Patrick began training and competing in California in 2001. Before that, he built a great resume of Grand Prix success in Europe, including a win of the Swiss Indoor Championships that year. He came here originally as a sales partner for British show jumping star Malcolm Pyrah and to campaign horses for the Holsteiner Verband, but quickly segued into running his own Patrick Seaton Stables.
He has developed a long list of top show jumpers and continues to compete at the Grand Prix level himself. Patrick's student clientele ranges in age from six to 60, from pony riders to those giving him a run for his money in the big jumper classes. His students pursue equitation, hunters and/or jumpers. In May, Patrick and his crew returned to Baywood Equestrian Center in Marin County, after four years in Sonoma.
"The emphasis here is on learning and having fun along the way," Patrick explains. At the beginning of each year, he sits down with clients to devise a game plan, both fully understanding that things can and will change. "Everything is customized to each horse and rider," he notes. That goes for day-to-day training and show schedules. Although Patrick is thrilled about the increasing number of high quality competitions in Northern California, he and his students are regular competitors all along the coast: from Southern California to Oregon and to Spruce Meadows in Canada if enough of his horse/rider pairs are at that level.
Patrick encourages all students to compete at some level. "People's mistakes show up in the show ring and it's nice to have something to work toward," he says. He also encourages them to get out of the arena and onto the miles of lovely trails that surround Baywood Equestrian. The veteran show horses in his program don't need a ton of schooling between shows, and he loves to keep their minds and bodies fresh with regular trail treks. It was a no-brainer for Patrick, whose Pony Club upbringing in England had him ranging about on ponies and horses throughout his youth. He knows trail riding can be a little daunting for adults not raised that way, and he's happy to put them on a bombproof steed if needed. "It really contributes to their total horsemanship education," he says. And, it's just plain fun.
Full grooming services are part of the Patrick Seaton Stables program, but youngsters and the young-at-heart are encouraged to learn as much as they can during their time at the barn. Taking bridles apart and putting them back together is a favorite activity for the PSS juniors when
Although Patrick and his staff enjoyed their time in Sonoma, he is happy to be back at Baywood Equestrian. Located in Marin County's Fairfax, just 30 minutes from San Francisco, Baywood features a 260' by 180' outdoor arena and an 80' by 160' covered ring for all-weather riding. Outfitted with all the modern stabling and training amenities, Baywood Equestrian Center is actually one of the oldest ranches in California. Set in a canyon and surrounded in lovely, shady trees, the facility has a proud history that includes rodeos and recreational riding.
Patrick travels to Europe several times a year to shop for horses for his clients and as sales prospects. He is sometimes a little too good at the developing and sales side of his business. "I have several nice horses coming along now, but because they are investment horses I may not be riding them for much longer," he says.
Patrick welcomes inquiries from
prospective students and/or horse buyers.
Visit www.patrickseatonstables.com or call
him at 415-797-0186.