"Dressage is the basis. If something is off here, there will be something off with the jumping." ~ George Morris
Trainer Sarah Savin has been working with horses since early childhood. Sarah has worked in the equine industry in Texas, Colorado, Australia, and Oregon. She has experience with off the track thoroughbreds, green horses, and competition horses. She draws on her knowledge of horse development and behavior when training and teaching to bring about the best positive outcome. Similarly, Sarah holds a Master's degree in mental health counseling and is well educated in childhood development as well as techniques for anxious or nervous riders. Her lessons focus on positivity, fun, and goal achievement for both horse and rider.
As a rider, Sarah has a "natural feel" for the horse. She focuses on encouraging the horse and finding its strengths. Sarah is also a student of the sport and of the animal. She regularly seeks published studies on techniques and care tips. She also continues her education of the sport by consulting with colleagues and riding with respected local professionals such as Jeff Cook, Kevin Freeman, and Jeff Campf in lessons or clinics. The learning process is one of Sarah's favorite aspects of the sport.
Sarah started taking lessons and competing in Hunters on her first horse, an OTTB named Winthrop. After Winthrop's retirement, Sarah began competing in 3 Day Eventing and had success during her high school years as an Eventer in Texas. She continued to ride through college and even took a course at the Yorkshire Riding Centre in England to continue to develop her skills, but took time off from competition to focus on school. After college, Sarah moved to Australia where she began her post-graduate education and also taught at a riding school, competed in jumpers, and brought along and sold a promising young horse. She moved to Oregon in 2009 to pursue her Master's degree, and shortly thereafter her family bought the property that is now Savin Hill Farm.
From a client: "When training students, she is always aware of how the horse is moving and seems to be feeling. She is conscious and sure to not over-use her school horses as many places seem to do. She has never been aggressive towards her students or horses. She always thinks about the horse's well-being first. She uses rider aids rather than training devices the vast majority of the time, for the best outcomes for training. Having ridden since she was very young and with very well known trainers, she has a really great feel for horses and riding. SHF is a great team environment for the students and we are all sure to keep a good eye on the horses."