Next Level Horsemanship welcomes you to become a part of the winning team! If you are serious about learning horsemanship from the ground up and want to pursue a career as a trainer or handler apply for a Next Level Horsemanship Internship today.
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Next Level Horsemanship Interns:
Katrina Pike is from Hollidaysburg, PA and grew up on her grandfather’s farm where she started riding early in life. “My earliest riding memory is when I was three years old and talked my family into adopting my first pony. It was clear early on that horses would be a huge part of my life.” Katrina participated in the 4-H horse program and there discovered her love of working with young or inexperienced horses. During her 4-H experiences she accomplished three top ten, a top five, and two state championships. Since her 4-H days Katrina has worked with several trainers along the way who helped develop her current methodology for training horses. “My primary discipline has always been Western Pleasure, but I have worked Hunt Seat and over jumps. I have shown at both the All American Youth Show, and the Quarter Horse Congress, and have returned to the Youth Show with trainees whom placed in the top ten.” Despite her accomplishments thus far, Katrina was looking for something to help round out her horsemanship experience and give her a perspective on how to develop a solid program for training from start to finish. “A family friend and client of Suzanne’s suggested I look into the Next Level Internship program, and that I attend the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo to see Suzanne in action. Following the expo and some research into Next Level Horsemanship I knew I needed to do what I could to be a part of their team and learn as much as I could. I was very impressed with Suzanne’s willingness to adapt her program to fit individual horse’s needs; as well as the idea of creating a partnership between the rider and the horse that is ever growing and evolving. The Next Level Horsemanship Internship program offered the perfect opportunity to learn from such an accomplished trainer, increase my own skill by working with different disciplines and grow even further as a horsewoman.” We welcome Katrina Pike to the Internship Program this year and look forward to helping her succeed as young trainer in the future.
“Teamwork, determination, and loyalty have always been my greatest values throughout life, whether it was simply helping a friend at 4 am, pushing teammates through workouts, or helping my team win the world championship in ultimate frisbee,” says Marie. Marie Madaras graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2012, and initially dreamed of training marine mammals for the US Navy. Actually, she spent a season as a ski bum in Vail, CO, where the mountains stole her heart. The winters there she spent snowboarding and exploring the back country, while in the summers she worked on different ranches and it was there that she realized she had a passion for horses. In the past 4 years Marie has moved every 6 months in order to see and experience many different things. Recently she moved to Port Matilda, PA to participate in a Next Level Horsemanship Internship after she saw the possibilities for learning so much more there. “Although I have worked/ridden horses on and off for most my life, it was not until recently that I developed a great respect and intrigue of the human-horse relationship. Riding has become more of a partnership than I could have ever imagined. From the little training I have been fortunate enough to do I have found that working with horses is more of a team sport than any other sport I’ve played. I have been fortunate enough to start my education training horses in Colorado over the past year in which I have grown both as a horseman and a person, but I am thrilled to finally be following my dream of training and working with horses full time.” Marie cannot wait to learn anything and everything about all sorts of disciplines, the business of running a training operation, and to really develop her connection with the horses. “I am not sure where the field may take me, but I hope to one day be able to help with equine therapy for veterans and be back in the mountains.” Marie will be participating as part of a team of Next Level Horsemanship interns this summer and we welcome her team spirit to the Program. We’re excited to be a part of her continuing endeavor for learning more about horsemanship!
Sarah started riding when she was eight years old and has been working on farms since she owned her first horse. She had attended several clinics throughout the years and in high school was serious about barrel racing. During her first two years of college, she joined and showed through IHSA on the western team at Slippery Rock university. After transferring to Penn State her junior year she quickly learned there was no western team at that time. “I had developed a love for reining being on the IHSA teams and I wanted to learn more about that type of training. I heard about Suzanne’s internship program from a friend in class and was invited out to volunteer. I was impressed with the spins, stops, and how horse and rider could reach their full potential. I also was amazed at the connection Suzanne and interns had with the mustangs. I wanted to get a better all around training experience, and learn how to train from scratch.” Sarah applied for a Next Level Horsemanship internship position for the summer of 2016 and was accepted into the program. “This summer I hope to gain confidence in not only riding and training but also in myself. I will be starting vet school in August 2016 but I hope to one day participate in the mustang challenge with the information I gain from Next Level Horsemanship during my internship experience.”
Brianna has loved horses and animals her entire life and began riding when she was 7 years old. She started with instruction in English riding and later began to diversify to include the western disciplines. Brianna’s interest in horses soon expanded beyond riding and she became very interested in how to make them better partners with people through training. While still in high school, Brianna volunteered at Cozee Valley Horse Rescue in Huntingdon, PA and worked with the horses there to make them more suitable for adoption. Over the years Brianna attended multiple clinics and seminars to increase her understanding of horse behavior and to improve her skills in horsemanship. In February of 2015, Brianna attended one of Suzanne’s seminars at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo in Harrisburg and became very interested in the Next Level Horsemanship Training Program. After meeting Suzanne and discovering the possibilities for learning through the NLH Internship Program, Brianna applied for an internship position and was accepted several weeks later.
Brianna currently holds a full-time, paid internship position with NLH and we are excited to have her on board! She is extremely dedicated to learning and no stranger to hard work. Brianna is learning new things every day in the areas of horse handling and training, equine behavior, farm management, client relations and program development. “One of my favorite things about this internship is the ability to work with so many different types of horses,” says Brianna, “That’s not something that you can get just anywhere.” Brianna will soon be testing her newfound skills in horsemanship on a wild mustang this summer when she will gentle and train it for an upcoming competitive event and adoption sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation, in August of 2016.
Sarah Dengler is currently a veterinary student at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. She graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Animal Sciences. She was introduced to Suzanne and Next Level Horsemanship during her time at Penn State through a presentation Suzanne gave about her horsemanship company and training business. Sarah had no prior horse experience but she applied for the week-long externship program anyway. “I applied in hopes of gaining more large animal experience and confidence to expand my application for vet school. Never did I think I would fall in love with training horses as fast and whole-heatedly as I did after that unforgettable week in January of 2012”.
Sarah started volunteering at NLH immediately after the externship in order to dig deeper into the methods of training horses. When the position became available, she applied for the internship position with the opportunity to participate in the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge (New Jersey-2012). In just 90 days, she gentled, trained and competed with a wild Mustang to test her new-found skills in horsemanship. “Training my mustang has taught me so much about horsemanship and just what it means to develop Partnership, Performance, and Possibilities in horses.”
“As if the fun and learning could stop there! There was no way I could leave after just dipping my toes into the equine world”. After adopting her mustang, Denali (6yo gelding), she remained an intern through her junior and senior year of college. During the summer of 2013, she gentled her second mustang, Pippy (2yo filly) and placed 10th out of 55 competitors in the In-Hand Trail Pattern of another Mustang Challenge called the “Mustang Million” held in Forth Worth, Tx. “Pippy was a self-assessment of how much more I had learned in the year after my first mustang gentling experience. Pippy taught me a whole new side of Natural Horsemanship from what I had experienced with Denali – they are all so different!”
“The most difficult thing I had to do while at NLH was wave goodbye to the NLH team as I moved forward with my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian in the fall of 2014. I never imagined back on that cold day in January of 2012 that I would find a new passion with horses that will remain with me for the rest of my life.”
Sarah returns to Next Level Horsemanship in Port Matilda, Pa during every holiday and summer break from veterinary school to continue her work with horses there. She remains a valuable part of the NLH Program and currently assists with marketing and program development. During summers at NLH, Sarah holds the position of Assistant Barn Manager and Program Facilitator and is an integral part of the success of the NLH program. Sarah is a remarkable and talented individual and we are delighted to have her on board!
Siobhan Donnelly is a a teacher that has a love for working with both animals and people alike. Siobhan has taught in a variety of settings over the years including the Philadelphia Zoo (as a conservation educator), power plants (as an environmental educator with the PA Resources Council), sports fields (as a lacrosse coach), dance studios (as an Irish Dance teacher), slopes (as a ski instructor), high ropes courses (as a team building instructor with Stone Valley Vertical Adventures), traditional and non-traditional classrooms (as Siobhan continues to work as a 7th and 8th grade teacher with Centre Learning Community Charter School in State College, PA today). “Now I am thrilled to be a student myself as I work within Next Level Horsemanship’s internship program learning under the guidance of Suzanne Myers to become a better rider, trainer, and instructor.”
Siobhan began working with Next Level Horsemanship as a volunteer in November of 2013. “I love being part of the positive learning environment at Next Level Horsemanship. The staff and the philosophy behind the training techniques of Next Level Horsemanship have drawn in my interest in this particular internship as it meshes with the philosophies I have used in training animals within my past work with the Philadelphia Zoo.” Siobhan hopes to learn to communicate effectively with horses through Next Level Horsemanship’s training techniques and to learn how to become a balanced rider while sharing her own skill sets to benefit Next Level Horsemanship’s programs.
We are excited to have Siobhan as a part of the winning team at Next Level Horsemanship! Siobhan currently assists with the training and handling of horses at NLH, barn management activities and with lessons and other interactions with our clients. She is a fabulous addition to the team!
Liz Kranz has loved horses her whole life, and started riding lessons when she was just four years old. She rode English at a hunter-jumper barn for several years and after relocating to the family’s first farm, Liz got her own horse and started competing in barrel racing. Later she dabbled in many other disciplines including western pleasure, horsemanship, showmanship, halter, trail, and cattle sorting. Most recently, Liz has found a true passion in the sport of reining where she has been training and competing for the past couple of years.
Liz heard of Suzanne primarily through her Mustang Makeover publicity, but actually had the chance to meet her at a reining event in Pennsylvania. Until that point, Liz was not aware of how accomplished their reining program was but after seeing Suzanne’s competitive runs in the show pen, Liz knew immediately that she wanted to be a part of their team and so applied for a Next Level Horsemanship Internship position. Liz was also keenly interested in the other facets of Suzanne’s Training Program, in particular liberty training and other areas of Natural Horsemanship.
In 2014, Liz was invited to join the growing list of interns that had successfully benefited from their experiences at Next Level Horsemanship.
During her internship, Liz continued to progress in reining with her Quarter Horse mare, Starlight whom she was able to have with her. Together, the pair was fortunate to experience all of the possibilities and opportunities Next Level Horsemanship had to offer.
Liz is currently finishing her senior year at The Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Agricultural Sciences with a minor in Equine Sciences. “I’m very excited and feel extremely fortunate to have been accepted for the internship, at Next Level Horsemanship,” said Liz. And we were happy to welcome Liz aboard!
Since her internship, LIz continues to pursue her interest in reining with Starlight and hopes one day to return to eventually compete in an Extreme Mustang Makeover with Suzanne’s help.
Kacie Eicholtz is a gymnastics coach and judge from Georgia who always loved animals, and horses in particular. While growing up, Kacie wasn’t able to be around horses very much until she met her mentor Bonnie Martin in Georgia a few years ago. “I was amazed by the relationship and connection that Bonnie has with her horses and I knew that I had to be a part of it!” Kacie apprenticed with Bonnie for three years and learned the basics of horsemanship. “I learned so much and really enjoyed it, so I decided to continue my journey deeper into horsemanship by moving to Pennsylvania to take part in the Next Level Horsemanship Internship Program.”
We were pleased to invite Kacie to participate in the Internship Program at Next Level Horsemanship. Here, Kacie had the opportunity to expand her knowledge of horse behavior and improve her skills to develop into a true professional equestrian with a broader knowledge of in-depth training that spans multiple disciplines.
In 2014, Kacie participated in the Extreme Mustang Makeover in VA as part of her NLH Internship experience and finished 4th overall. Her success in that challenge is exemplary of how a solid foundation in horsemanship can guide your way to a successful outcome with any horse.
Kacie continues to work with horses back home in Georgia. We wish her the best of luck in all of her equine endeavors!
John Zanella was recently retired as an Army combat veteran with eleven deployments to his credit. Having grown up on ranches he lived with a great appreciation of horses. In his military career he had the great honor of becoming one of the first soldiers in modern times to partner with a horse while in combat training in Ft Carson, Colorado and subsequently deploying to Afghanistan with his equine partner. John also worked as Thurston County, Washington mounted search and rescue and as a therapeutic riding instructor for fellow disabled veterans with Rainier Therapeutic Riding in Yelm, Washington. He his a member of the Back Country Horsemen and enjoys the freedom and versatility of riding in nature. John competed in the Extreme Mountain Trail Challenge taking third in the novice division.
After moving to PA, John wanted to continue to expand his skills with horses and after researching several options, applied to Next Level Horsemanship for an internship position. “I wanted to fulfill my passion for training horses and Next Level Horsemanship had the perfect Program to build my skills and provide opportunities for learning that I might not otherwise have access to.”
We were very pleased to welcome John to join the NLH team of interns. John is an extremely hard working and committed individual and demonstrated the dedication to his passion that makes him an excellent horseman. In 2013 John participated in the Mustang Million event in Fort Worth, TX as part of his NLH Internship experience, where he and other interns of the NLH Program put their training skills to the test in a competition of mustang gentling and versatility challenges.
Since leaving the NLH Internship Program, John started an Equine Therapy Program called Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship (VTH), a non-profit organization formed to assist veterans through the powerful experience of working with and around horses. For more information on VTH, click HERE.
Nate has liked horses for a long time but just started riding in 2010. He apprenticed with a trainer in Northern PA doing primarily barn work, colt starting, and problem solving with horses that lacked the proper foundation training. He later rode with Craig Cameron in four three-day clinics to expand his knowledge and horsemanship skills. “I really liked his horsemanship, but I needed more,” said Nate.
“I happened to be at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo in 2012 and met Suzanne. When I went back to my trainer I began to give serious thought about riding with Suzanne. I had gotten bucked a bunch of times starting horses in the past and I knew there just had to be a better way to training. When I thought about the relationship that Suzanne had with her horses after seeing her with them at the expo, I immediately decided that I wanted to work with her to learn more about her Training Program.”
Nate soon left his position from the ranch and contacted Suzanne about the opportunities within the Next Level Horsemanship Internship Program. He was very interested in learning the NLH Foundations, From the Ground Up. And, he was particularly interested in applying what he learned to the gentling and training of a wild mustang. “When I found out I could participate in a Mustang Makeover as part of my NLH Internship Program I was very excited. I applied immediately and was thrilled to be at Next Level Horsemanship for the summer of 2013! I like her horsemanship and look forward to learning more this summer.”
It was then that Nate competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover in New Jersey with other fellow interns for a chance test his new found training skills. Nate continues to enjoy horses following his internship with NLH and we wish him all the best in he equine endeavors!
Cassie has loved horses for as long as she can remember and has been involved with them for over 20 years. She has a strong passion for teaching and demonstrating to people how to communicate with their horses and enjoys studying and watching how horses interact with each other. ‘I strongly believe that horses have a healing power on the human heart,” says Cassie. This feeling eventually lead Cassie to get her therapeutic riding instructors certificate so that she could help others benefit from equine assisted therapy.
“I am very passionate about mustangs. I have had three in my life and the star in my life now is a mustang mare named Sally. I love telling people about “our story!” I tell people all the time, there is just something very different and special about a mustang. I have not found a better ride yet!” Cassie tamed Sally on her own and has been extremely interested in the mustang breed for a long time. While she had started other horses too, Cassie began to feel as she states, “stuck in the same place in my horsemanship and my riding comfort zone for a long time. Ironically, I was ready to move on to the “Next Level.” I wanted the opportunity to train another mustang, ride some reining horses and learn different approaches to horsemanship.” After seeing Suzanne at the 2010 Equine Affaire in Springfield MA with her mustangs Cassie decided that an internship with Next Level Horsemanship would provide the perfect opportunity for growth and learning that she was looking for. “I really wanted to find some place that already had the knowledge and understanding of how horse’s think. Suzanne demonstrates clear, effective communication with horses and I wanted to learn to do that too.”
Next Level Horsemanship welcomed Cassie into the NLH Internship Program. As part of her training here, Cassie had the opportunity to gentle and train a wild mustang and participate in the New Jersey Extreme Mustang Makeover in 2013 sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Cassie continues to work with horses at home including her new mustang which she adopted following the competition in 2013.
Amanda Homan is a 2009 graduate from The Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism. She is a resident of State College, and lives on a beef cattle farm with her husband, dogs and horses. Amanda has always had a passion for all animals and a special interest in their behavior and training. Though she always wanted a horse growing up, she became involved with dogs and their training first.
Amanda bought a German Shepherd Dog and started training professionally in the sport of Schutzhund (a dog sport comprised of tracking, obedience, and protection). Amanda now regularly trains and competes in this sport with her dogs and several other German Shepherd Dogs which she trains for clients.
In pursuit of her dream of having a horse, Amanda purchased one and began riding for pleasure. Since then, her interest in behavior and training of horses intensified and learning more about their care, and training became a major priority in her life. She had spent years learning about dog training, and was fascinated by the similarities yet the differences when it came to training horses.
With each day she wanted to learn more and Amanda soon discovered Suzanne and the Next Level Horsemanship Training Program when her in-laws decided to send their hunter pony there for training. Amanda frequently came to the training lessons in order to learn and subsequently became a serious volunteer so that she could embody more of the training experience.
Since Amanda has had a lifetime of fascination with animal behavior and training and particularly now with horses, Next Level Horsemanship was right up her alley. Amanda believes in professional training and that clear communication is the key to building any relationship.
Amanda interned with Next Level Horsemanship where she learned knowledge and skills in horse training and management that will serve her well in the animal industry. She continues to enjoy her horses more now that she has further developed her skills with the knowledge she gained at NLH and is actively pursuing her professional training career with her dogs in Schutzhund.
Anna Jacob graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a major in Toxicology and minors in French and Global Health, in May of 2012. She always had a passion for horses and horsemanship and was interested in a wide variety of disciplines such as reining, eventing and dressage. Her history as an equestrian included endurance riding throughout the Mid-Atlantic, competing in Hunter/Jumper events, and giving riding lessons to many at various locations.
She began looking for ways to learn more about Natural and Classical Horsemanship – and her search led her to Next Level Horsemanship and Suzanne Myers. She volunteered during her senior year of college and soon applied for an internship position for a more concentrated hands-on experience. “As a volunteer here initially, Anna proved to have the ability to learn the timing, feel and balance necessary to become an exceptional horsewoman,” says Suzanne. “She is a strong rider and has the rare and raw talent needed to be successful as a horse trainer across disciplines.”
Anna interned at Next Level Horsemanship throughout 2012 to gain the experience and knowledge she was looking for as a trainer. During this time she had the opportunity to gentle a wild mustang and compete in the 2012 Extreme Mustang Makeover in New Jersey with other fellow interns. She later adopted her mustang who she named “Zephyr” and she continues his training today.
In late 2012, Anna became the assistant barn manager for NLH until she later enrolled in veterinary school at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA where she currently resides today. Anna and Zephyr remain a pair in Partnership and Performance and they continue to teach each other more about Horsemanship with each ride.
Lauren Ross began working at NLH while a student at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
“I was interested in natural horsemanship methods to improve the relationship and abilities of my horse. I wanted to further improve my skills and learn more about both natural and classical horsemanship, so I became a training apprentice under Suzanne Myers, Founder, NLH.
I dedicated my time to watching and learning the training techniques of Suzanne, eventually I had learned enough to participate in the training program with my own horse. As my training techniques improved, so did the relationship with my horse.”
During her training at NLH, Lauren had the opportunity to compete in various events including the 2009 Extreme Mustang Makeover, Eastern Stampede, in Murfreesboro, TN and the Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover in Fort Worth, TX. She had 100 days to gentle and train a wild mustang in three areas; in-hand, (obstacles and trailer loading), under saddle, and a free-style competition to showcase specialty trick training and riding skills.
Lauren was a top 10 finalist among 100 other national competitors with her mustang, Durango, at the TN event and was a formidable contender in Fort Worth placing 28th overall out of more than 100 entries.
In addition to training horses, Lauren’s experiences at Next Level Horsemanship included instructing others in the NLH Program, assisting with clinics and demonstrations at equine expositions throughout the country, and learning marketing and event management strategies.
After 2 years as a Next Level Horsemanship apprentice Lauren worked as an assistant trainer for NLH for another 2 years and is now beginning her own business as a horse trainer where she will be helping others to have fun and succeed with their horses.
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