WHAT MAKES ESSEX EQUESTRIAN CENTER THE PLACE YOU WANT TO BE:
Over 35 qualified horses and ponies
Quality instruction for all levels in Hunter, Jumper Dressage & Western Riding
Year-round riding in an Olympic-sized indoor arena
Outdoor riding in the spring, summer and fall
The best staff and instructors in the tri-state area
Private or group lessons 7 days a week for riders 6 years or older
National and local level show team
Competitions and horse shows
Hippotherapy programs for the handicapped
Horses and ponies for sale
|Samantha started her early riding career at age five in northern New Jersey before moving to North Carolina with her family. Understanding how horseback riding affected Samantha in a positive way, her father purchased her first horse. Years of practice and training paid off as Samantha went on to compete on the hunter circuit and in quarter horse shows throughout the state of North Carolina. While competing at various breed shows, Samantha joined the neighborhood 4-H club where she was introduced to Western Pleasure. In a year time, Samantha had won her first all around high point award and her true riding passion begun. She soon was winning all over North Carolina in numerous AQHA events; Hunter, Western Pleasure, Showmanship and Equitation. Samantha began working with top North Carolina trainers while breaking young horses on her family farm.
In 2002 Samantha decided to move back to New Jersey to pursue a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Seton Hall University. While attending classes, she started teaching riding lessons at EEC, shortly becoming Barn Manager in 2004 making her responsible for the daily operations of the barn and all horse leases and sales. Since that time, she has generated a show team of more than 20 riders whom she successfully coaches in local to AA rated horse shows throughout the region.
Samantha believes competing in horse shows not only gives the rider a tangible goal to work towards, but builds a strong self esteem, courage and sense of responsibility which will translate in all aspects of life.
|Tim Leuzarder has been connected with Essex since 1994, first as a student of Ashton Phillips and now as a trainer for the past four years.
Tim graduated from Centenary College in 2005 with degrees in Equine Science and Business Management. While at Centenary, Tim competed with the Centenary Intercollegiate Riding Team for four years and trained with Andrea Wells and Michael Dowling.
He qualified for Zones three of his four years in college. During his sophomore year, he was the National Reserve Champion in the Intermediate Flat Division held in Tennessee. As a senior he won the Open Flat Division at Regionals. He also competed in the ANRC Nationals in Virginia and was awarded sixth place in the Hunter Trials phase and placed ninth overall in the competition which included dressage and stadium jumping.
Tim works with beginner through advanced students in all phases of instruction. He coaches the Essex Show Team and continues to show in Hunters and Jumpers.
|Vanessa has been at Essex for the last 20 years. First as a child riding and showing successfully on the northeast circuit and then for the last 7 years as a trainer with clients that compete at state and national competitions.
Vanessa takes great pride in the accomplishments of her students and prides herself in finding the perfect match for client and horse. Several of those matches have taken top honors on the New Jersey Circuit, capturing year end and series awards.
Vanessa rides and shows competitively herself, thereby enjoying the success of both the horse and the client at the shows.
As a trainer Vanessa enjoys seeing her students go from their first time on a horse to their first three foot course. Many students have the goal of showing, but riding success at all levels is the real goal. For the client to know they are getting the best fundamentals and learning to work with the horse for the ultimate goal of great horsemanship. From the ground up, Vanessa wants to make her client develop a relationship with the horse that translates into a fluid ride. Its the details that count!
||Chris began his riding career at Essex when it was known as Montclair Riding Academy. Riding both English and Western in local and regional horse shows, Chris’ preferred events were in Hunter / Jumpers.
He continued to ride during college as part of Centenary College’s nationally-recognized intercollegiate equestrian team. He earned a BS in Equine Business Management which included classes in riding and instructional methods.
Chris’ teaching philosophy is that great riders begin with a strong foundation in the basics along with a healthy love and respect of their equine partners. Chris works with all levels of riders in both English & Western, and is the Director of the Summer Riding Program.
|Aleks began riding at the age of five in both Poland and Sweden. She continued riding in the states at Montclair Riding Academy today, Essex Equestrian Center. She enjoys coaching beginner and intermediate riders and believes building a solid foundation is key to excelling as a rider. As a full time middle school teacher, Aleks brings her expertise with children to the art of riding instruction, bringing along new riders and helping the more experienced ones advance.
Aleks takes pride in a strong work ethic and loves a challenge. You will find Aleks spending hours in the barn caring for and riding her beloved project mare, Ciao Bella.
|Ashton began riding in the middle of New York City while attending Trinity school on Manhattan's upper west side. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Equine Studies from Virginia Intermont College.
Ashton is the Head Coach of The New York University Equestrian Team who train at EEC. Since he began training the team in the 2006/2007 season, they have won two consecutive Intercollegiate Horse Show Association year end regional high point team championships and one reserve championship. In addition, Ashton is the Head Coach of the Princeton University Equestrian Team. He coached his Princeton team to the same year end championship in a separate region in 2006.
Representing his alma mater he has won four IHSA national reserve championships. Ashton has competed at major "A" rated horse shows throughout the east coast ,from Lake Placid to Lexington.
He has taught at EEC for over two decades and offers instruction in Hunter Seat Equitation through the open level.
|Stacey Lima had her first riding experience at the age of 5 riding in the mountains of Colorado. From that moment on her passion for horses shaped the rest of her life. From the age of 9 Stacey worked at barns helping to care for horses. At 14 she spent the summer helping to run Sugarland Farms in Poolesville Maryland, home to international competitors. There she trained in hunter and equitation riding, worked with Thoroughbreds off the race track and groomed for a Polo team.
At 15 Stacey's dream of owning her own horse came true when she bought Sam, a rescue horse off the race track. She retrained him and competed on a show team at Marymount Stables in Upper Marlboro Maryland.
Stacey began teaching at TES Equestrian Center in Los Angeles in 2007. There she also competed in Beginner Adult Hunter earning a Reserve Champion. When Stacey moved back east she began working at Essex Equestrian Center in 2009, teaching, organizing clinics and over seeing the tack shop. Stacey teaches students of all ages from first time riders up to intermediate. If you don't see Stacey in the ring teaching you most likely will find her in the back hanging with the horses she loves!
| Sheila Hunter
|| At the age of 8 Sheila was asked what she wanted to do when she grew up. Sheila knew exactly what she wanted to do...teach horseback riding. Now she is about to celebrate 50 years of teaching at Essex Equestrian Center! Over those 5 decades Sheila has taught many students often from the same family over multi-generations.
When you meet Sheila is kind, easy to talk to and will offer you a wealth of experience. Among her many accomplishments Sheila competed at Madison Square Garden in 1959. In 1961, she won New Jersey's Professional Horseman Association Junior Jumper Champion and she was Reserve Champion in the Junior Jumper Class at Garden State.
Sheila is not only an instructor but she runs her own barn where she cares for 12 horses. Sheila will take a first time rider and give them a better understanding of what they are doing and why they are doing it so that the rider and horse become one!
Andrea completed her early training and British Horse Society qualifications in England and Hong Kong. She has coached students and trained ex-racehorses to 3rd level Dressage, Intermediate 3-Day Eventing and 4'3" Show Jumping. Andrea also ridden, coached and judged at FEI shows in Asia, Australia and England.
Her main focus at EEC is equitation with an emphasis on developing the riders correct position and aids.
Alex comes to the EEC fresh off the East Coast show-jumping circuit. As barn manager, groom, and rider for Frank, Mary, and Laura Chapot’s Chado Farms, Alex started and trained young horses under saddle and over jumps. She also managed the care of over 50 jumpers both at home in New Jersey and away at shows.
Alex began her lifelong love affair with horses at age seven, trail-riding ponies through Valley Forge Park. She then trained at Valley Hill Farm in Malvern, Pa, where she competed in junior equitation and children’s hunters. She transitioned into the jumpers showing one of her favorite horses in the junior jumper division. While in school, Alex captained the Temple University equestrian team. She has been working with young horses since leaving school and has learned from each and every horse she has worked with.
She hopes to now learn from each and every rider. Alex has a simple but powerful philosophy, which she brings to the EEC: Treat your horse with respect, patience, and affection, and in return your horse will prove a willing and able partner. While training both horses and riders, she is confident that with hard work comes success.
Rocking Horse Rehab is a pediatric rehabilitation and family wellness center specializing in equine assisted therapies along with alternative and traditional therapeutic programs. The mission is to enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities and their families by traditional therapeutic programs.
Rocking Horse works out of Essex Equestrian Center but is run separate from the equestrian center. If you would like more information about the center you can follow the link below or call: 973-731-8588.
Web Link: http://www.rockinghorserehab.com/
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 9am - 8pm
Saturday - Sunday 9am - 5pm
Prospect Avenue Directions: Follow Prospect Avenue North approximately one mile to the fifth traffic light (Woodland Avenue). Make a left onto Woodland Avenue. Essex Equestrian Center is located 1½ blocks down on the left hand side.
From the East: Take Route 280 West to Exit 8B, then follow Prospect Avenue directions.
From the West: Take Eisenhower Parkway South to Route 280 East to Exit 8B, then follow Prospect Avenue directions.
From the North: Take Garden State Parkway South to Exit 145, Route 280 West to Exit 8B, then follow Prospect Avenue directions.
From the South: Take Garden State Parkway North to Exit 145, Route 280 West to Exit 8B, then follow Prospect Avenue directions.
Essex Equestrian Center
12-22 Woodland Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052
Phone: (973) 731-4182
Fax: (973) 731-4171
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