Who We Are

Dressage is the basis. If there is something off here, there will be something off with the jumping. ~George Morris

Elizabethfirmly believes that learning should never end, and so she started BellaMar to encourage education at every level of the equestrian experience. The utmost goal being that the rider has a balanced effective seat in any discipline, so that they can continue to develop and succeed. She supports this idea by bringing clinicians in weekly, quarterly, and by participating in an annual teacher training. As a balance to the skills and knowledge gained from lessons and training, riders are encouraged to compete as that is another way to test and hone abilities. Elizabeth herself has shown in the hunter/jumper arena, on the hunt field in Ireland, and in the dressage ring arena competing through Prix St. Georges.

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Elizabeth started teaching riding in 1995, teaching kids as young as three years old to ride naughty ponies. She continued teaching through high school as well as in college to supplement her hunter/jumper competitions. After graduating from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, she worked for Sandy Howard at American Sporthorse in Santa Cruz. With Sandy she studied the “Bio-mechanics” of the rider’s seat, specifically in dressage. Since then she has continued her education with Mary Wanless, Joanie Bolton, Yves Savingnon, Tanya Vik, Erica Posely and Alfredo Hernandez.

Elizabeth is excited to have the riding school of her dreams as well as an active training program for horses in need of an education. She has worked with many hunter/ jumpers and eventers; teaching them that there is more than using reins and spurs to get around a course, instead bringing her knowledge of bio-mechanics to create a balanced and connected horse and rider team.

Elizabeth loves the special balance of working with a young horse learning to do its job at the beginning of the day, ending with a student learning to canter for the first time, and then spending the summer with both horse and rider as they test their skills at a competition.

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Catiestarted her professional career with Elizabeth two years ago. Catie's background is in hunter/jumpers and she has had the opportunity to work, ride and clinic with trainers such as Andre DeLeyer, Kelly Maddox, Vicki Rose, Samantha Scanlan, Dick Widger, Mickey Hayden, Peter Weinberg, Greg Best, Joanie Bolton and Mary Wanless.


Catie has been awarded year-end titles as a junior on the east coast and as an amateur in California. She has also placed in, and qualified for, a number of medal finals. Having not grown up with unlimited fancy horses to ride, a lot of Catie's experience comes from working with green horses and any horse she could get on. Since working at BellaMar, Catie has taken her training in hunter/jumpers and expanded it with components of dressage and biomechanics to create a well-balanced seat. She applies this when working with students learning to jump by helping them develop a greater feel in the saddle.

Catie's background complements that of Elizabeth. With Elizabeth's keen eye and passion for teaching, and Catie's eagerness to work with any horse and student, together they create a holistic program in a supportive environment where learning always takes place. Catie currently has a young prospect she hopes to develop into her top jumper. Sponsored by Voltaire saddles, Catie plans to continue to make a name for herself in the hunter/jumper community.


RuthRuth and her husband Dick, have been teaching, training, and showing in the hunter/jumper world for the last 30 years. Together they have enjoyed many successes on the A circuit. Ruth loves to help riders understand more about their horse so that the can continue to progress in their training.

Ruth started riding at age 11, where she found her passion of connecting with horses. Ruth holds a Bachelors degree in Animal Science, which has helped her interact with veterinarians when diagnosing problems.

Now joining us at BellaMar, Ruth fits in nicely with the teaching style of Catie and Liz. With her calm and compassionate teaching style, our students have grown quick to love their Ruth Lessons. We look forward to growing BellaMar with Ruth as an integral member of our team.

BellaMar Training Stables & Riding School 2014 - 151 Casserly Road. Watsonville, CA 95076 (978) 505-1778