California Riding Magazine • October, 2012

Clarissa Czuprynski
A solid foundation and variety make for a happy, successful program.

Calf sorting, trail competition, jumping or a long ride on the beach: whatever Clarissa Czuprynski's clients want to do with their horses, she has the background to help them have more success and fun doing it.

It's all about getting them off to the right start, which, in Clarissa's program, means a solid foundation for any discipline. "That includes ground work and drills that foster trust and respect," she says. And it means identifying and capitalizing what the horse is good at. "When you work with what they are good at it also makes it easier to improve their weaknesses," she explains.

Newly settled in at Deer Springs Equestrian (formerly known as Discovery Valley Equestrian Center) in San Diego County's San Marcos, Clarissa welcomes horses from Futurity prospects to finished champions and riders with a wide variety of goals, both competitive and recreational.

Whatever those goals are, Clarissa takes a step-by-step approach. "I'll never get on a horse unless he's ready," she says. "When I do get on him for the first time and he walks off, I want him to say, 'Oh, I know how to do that!'" Carrying that idea through every level of training, Clarissa and her students wind up with horses that "are willing to work with you and that's exactly what we strive for."

Clarissa gained her own solid foundation with several years working for the trainer Van Heggelund in New Mexico and San Diego.

She set out her own shingle as Prestige Equine just a few months ago and already has a strong clientele of 15 horses with capacity
for plenty more.

Diversity is another tenet of Clarissa's training approach. Most of her young riders compete on the American Quarter Horse Assn's all-around circuit, and all horses and riders are encouraged to become comfortable in a variety of settings. "The more you can expose your horse to, the more broke he'll be," she says. And variety gives horses a fresh mindset that usually makes them game for new challenges and pleasant to be around, whether they are competitors or recreational rides. "I have to say all my horses are happy and very easy to be around."

Along with being comfortable with variety in their horsemanship, Clarissa's students excel in the show ring. This past summer, Kellie Dunn and her 20-year-old mare Eye L Be Good finished sixth out of 72 entries in the AQHA Select World Show for riders over 50. At the Santa Barbara Fall Classic in mid-September, Nicole Folse led Prestige Equine's younger generation in the ribbon round-up, earning circuit champion in Novice Youth Western Riding and placing in the top three in Youth Western Riding. Next on Prestige's agenda is the AQHA's National Novice Championship show this month in Las Vegas.

The majority of Clarissa's clients love competing on the local, regional and sometimes national level at the Quarter Horse, Paint and Snaffle Bit association shows. But showing isn't necessary, Clarissa notes.

Clarissa is grateful to be located at Deer Springs Equestrian Center. "It's amazing," she reports of the recently revamped facility. "There are seven arenas, two round pens, three turn-outs and a covered arena. I am really happy to be here."

For more information on Prestige Equine, visit or call Clarissa at 760-705-7257.