Meet our trainers...
Kelly Maddox, Trainer
Kelly started riding at the age of 7, while living in Japan. Kelly’s family moved every 2-3 years, and with every move, the passion for horses followed. As a young rider, Kelly had the opportunity to learn from many well known trainers, including; Gry and Duncan McFarlane, Victor Hugo-Vidal, Mickey Hayden and several others. Kelly has won multiple Medal Finals and while living in Canada, qualified for The Royal Winter Fair (Comparable to going East in the US).Kelly has been in business out of Shiloh West Equestrian Center for over 8 years. In this time, Kelly has developed a successful riding academy, summer camp program and competitive show stable traveling from coast to coast to reach our goals. Kelly feels that the trainer is the leader of a group of riders and horses and that horsemanship and sportsmanship should be taught and demonstrated by example. With this in mind, Kelly has established a fantastic group of riders that are both supportive of each other and very responsible when it comes to the care of their horses.Kelly’s goal as your trainer: ”To teach you how to think for yourself so that you learn to better understand your horse. Furthermore, to set short and long term goals for each rider and horse, individually. Lastly, to have fun doing what we are all so passionate about…riding our horses, whether it is taking lessons or competing on the A-circuit.”
Riding Academy Manager
Erin Garnett’s love for horses began during her first riding lesson at the age of 8. Soon-thereafter Erin became a working student, dedicating herself to learning all of the aspects of horse care, horsemanship, and the hunter/jumper discipline. Erin’s natural talents shined while competing as a junior on the A-circuit in Northern California. She won a multitude of Championships in the Children’s and Junior Hunters and Junior Equitation, earning numerous Year End Awards, and finishing at the top in many Medal Finals. Surrounding trainers started to notice Erin’s special abilities in the saddle at a young age and began asking her to catch ride their horses. Erin would always welcome the opportunity to ride anything that was offered in hopes to keep polishing her skills. By riding all of these different styles of horses she really honed-in on her craft. Throughout the years Erin has expanded her education as she has been trained by some of the most accomplished riders and trainers in the world, including Julie Winkle, Richard Spooner, Joe Fargis, Victor Hugo-Vidal, Nick Karazissis, Richard Keller, and more.
Erin has professionally trained horses and riders for more than 15 years, specializing in hunters, jumpers and equitation. Working as an Assistant Trainer and Head Rider for many top Northern California trainers, Erin has been closely involved in the riding and training of many show horses, developing each horses’ skills to make them more ridable on a daily basis. She has had many top finishes at various levels in the hunter and jumper rings and top ten finishes in local Hunter Derbies. She is also known for her skills in training green horses. Erin’s patient but clear training methods have helped to bring young horses up the ranks and become champions.
Erin has very strong barn management skills too. She has been deeply involved in each horses’ daily care, from their nutrition program, visits with the vet, shoeing, body work, turnouts and much more; she works diligently to help each horse perform comfortably at their best. She also puts much passion into rehabbing horses back to full health.
Erin really shines as a gifted instructor. She derives great joy seeing her students small and large breakthroughs in the saddle. Whether she is working with a child taking their first lesson on a pony or an experienced competitor that is preparing for medal finals, Erin is known to develop confident and well-educated riders and horsewomen. On a daily basis, Erin individualizes her lessons to help students work toward gaining the skills to achieve their riding and horsemanship goals. Erin’s patient, passionate, structured and disciplined teaching style is formulated to help her horses and students learn the “building blocks towards brilliance” in their lessons and in the show ring. Erin’s training style has proved to be successful as her students have had much success over the years winning numerous Circuit Championships and Year End Awards from the Crossrail division to Children’s Hunter winners and all the way up to the 1.20 Jumpers. Erin has also shown great talent in producing strong equitation riders, with many of her students winning multiple equitation Championships and placing in the top three of numerous Northern California Medal Finals.
Erin lives in Sonoma, with her husband Andrew, and daughter Berkelee. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling and photography, when away from the barn.
Tri-Valley Classics Manager
Luciana started riding almost before she could walk. Her passion and love for horses was born in Argentina where her grandparents had farms. She always asked her parents to take her out to the big pastures to see the horses and never wanted to get off a horse once she was on. After moving to Madrid, Spain, Luciana’s parents readily realized that she had a special connection with horses and asked her if she wanted to join the “Poni Club de Somosaguas.” By age nine, Luciana was already competing in the children’s jumper circuit in Spain. Though riding in a pony club in Madrid gave her the opportunity to ride many different horses, she started progressing much faster after moving to Houston where she started leasing horses and creating another type of bond with her rides. After showing in the AA circuit throughout high school, Luciana left for UC Davis where she majored in Animal Science and Management with an equine specialization. There she joined the 3-Day Eventing Team while taking classes such as Equine Nutrition, Equine Business and Equine Exercise Physiology. After graduating in June 2018, she moved to San Ramon to work for Kelly Maddox as assistant trainer where she hopes to spread her love for horses to others. When it comes to horses, she has two mottos, one from the movie The Man from Snowy River and the other from an old trainer in Houston: “You have to work with a horse, not against him” (Jim in The Man from Snowy River) and “When you ride perfectly you are just showing off; when you make mistakes you are learning” (ex-trainer, Spring 2012).