Training under the lights
Junior riders on their way to our cabin for a Resilience Workshop.
The Barrett Trainers believe...
...harmony between horse and rider is essential.
...in methodical, focused, individualized home training.
...in having fun while developing horse and rider potential.
...to excel, riders need a great basis in both physical and mental skills.
...becoming a champion starts with a skilled trainer who connects with you.
Superb home training equals show success.
Laura Barrett Gurtis working with Anne Gribbons, world-renowned Dressage expert, in our annual Dressage workshop.
All ages workshop with Linda Kohanov, famous author of Tao of Equus.
Jenelle Branom, trainer, working with a walk-trot rider preparing for a local GOHJA competition.
Beyond your expectations...
Barrett Farm is a comprehensive training facility, designed to integrate the highest quality riding skills with overall classical and current horsemanship techniques. We elevate our home training by adding workshop opportunities to grow our riders' and owners' skills.
Our workshops include dressage for jumping horses, sports psychology skills, equine relationship building, and horsemanship studies. We believe all of these components are essential for excellent equestrian development and competition success.
Dr. Nancy Gordon PhD is a highly-skilled sports psychology coach. She works with elite athletes and conducts workshops and private sessions for our riders to develop essential mental fitness for training and competing.
"Emotional intelligence" training with the horses - for rider mindset and enhanced "ground" skills with your horse - is offered by two of our trainers. Both Laura Barrett Gurtis and Jenelle Branom offer private and group equine-facilitated "EI" sessions to our clients for advanced development of rapport and harmony between horse and human.
The trainers have years of tried-and-true expertise and experience. We train the full spectrum - from beginners to national contenders.
LAURA BARRETT GURTIS
Lead Rider and Trainer, USHJA Certified
Literally growing up on Barrett Farm as the daughter of a professional trainer, Laura Barrett Gurtis began riding at age 3 and showing at age 5. Laura brings a lifetime of knowledge, training, and show experience to her current career as a superb rider, trainer, and coach. She has developed and shown client horses in the nation's top rated shows and annually qualifies her students, both adults and juniors, for National Equitation and Hunter Finals. Her students have earned top placings and ribbons at USEF Pony Finals, Pony Medal Finals, THIS Medal Finals, and Ariat Finals.
Living with her husband and two daughters, both riders, Laura resides in Winter Park, Florida, close to Rollins College, where she studied after graduating from Trinity Preparatory School. Her early accomplishments as a junior and young pro rider include showing and collecting ribbons at prestigious events such as Ox Ridge in Connecticut, USET Finals at Gladstone, New Jersey, Pennsylvania National, Washington International, National Pony Finals, and Madison Square Garden.
Specializing in hunters and jumpers and having trained extensively as a junior rider with Margie Goldstein Engle and Geoff Teall, Laura continually expands her own interests and knowledge. She has studied with renowned dressage trainer Anne Gribbons, competing in an occasional dressage competition. Laura apprenticed with Linda Kohanov, celebrated author of Tao of Equus, and integrates Kohanov’s Epona principles of evolving human/equine relationship into her training. Laura says "openness and innovation are needed for top-level training and growth".
Laura has served the local equestrian community as a board member of the Greater Orlando Hunter and Jumper Association and chairperson of the horse show committee. She also course designs and co-manages multiple GOHJA horse shows annually.
Laura is best described as a hands-on trainer who really cares. She is deeply involved in the daily equine management at the farm. She rides several horses a day and thinks of them as equal partners. She explains, ”We appreciate and treat the horses with great respect, learning from them daily, as much as they learn from us– maybe more. I love competition, but I equally love just working with horses and clients. The fact that people from all walks of life can relate to horses in similar ways is an inspiration to me. My goal is for every rider I work with to develop the awareness, fitness, focus, and confidence that riding can instill in all aspects of our lives."
Pro Rider and Trainer, USHJA Certified
Jenelle Branom joined the Barrett trainer team in 2005. Coming to us with valuable years of experience, she has been an integral part of our team since her arrival and contributes greatly to our ongoing success.
Growing up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Jenelle trained under Chris Wynne and Kelly Lorek. An excellent rider, she is comfortable in both the hunter and jumper show rings, and trained and successfully competed, for years, with her own jumper Wizard.
As our in-residence managing trainer, Jenelle resides onsite with her husband. Her continuous presence and oversight is foundational to the high standards of care and training that characterize Barrett Farm.
Jenelle’s days include alternating between training horses and training riders. She works with riders ranging from complete beginners to advanced competitors of all ages. The horses also cover a spectrum, but she particularly enjoys helping horses in need of confidence and education. “I love it all,” she says, “I love the shows, the riding, teaching students to canter for the first time, I even love the hard work, occasionally mucking stalls and mowing fields, I love every bit of it.”
Serving the local horse industry, Jenelle has led and served on committees for the Greater Orlando Hunter and Jumper Association. She co-manages multiple Barrett Farm horse shows each year, and leads the highly successful Barrett Farm riders at GOHJA shows, marking their success with many championships.
Jenelle sets her own sights on continuous personal and professional growth. In recent years she has done numerous workshops with Anne Gribbons and Geoff Teall. She has studied at Eponaquest with Epona founder Linda Kohanov. Her students benefit from her drive and example "to always be better".
Her style as a trainer is calm and individualized. “A push when it’s appropriate, breathing room when it’s needed," she says. "I knew at 10-years old that I wanted to be a trainer and I told my parents, and they supported me. I knew then that I had a gift with horses... But I’m still discovering and developing more every day."
Trainer, USHJA Certified
Marilyn has been a part of Barrett Farm since her late teens. As an amateur rider, Marilyn trained and competed her talented hunter, Spirits Up, on the GOHJA circuit and nationally “A” rated horse shows throughout Florida. She has served her equestrian community as a past president of GOHJA, officer, and board member and continues to co-manage GOHJA shows.
Before coming to Barrett Farm, Marilyn was accepted to ride and study in Seville, Spain. In addition to her English and Dressage training, she attended university classes in equine studies and stable management. As a Barrett Farm trainer for decades, Marilyn enjoys teaching riders who are new to the sport, and especially riders in search of confidence. Students greatly benefit from Marilyn’s life-long horsemanship and patient guidance.
“I especially enjoy working with beginner riders. There’s nothing better than being part of the joy and excitement of a rider’s “first” time on a horse, trotting, cantering, and jumping. Helping our riders excel and work through challenges to reach their goals is something they benefit from not only as a rider, but as an individual as well. It’s tremendous watching our riders grow in an endeavor they love.”
In addition to training, Marilyn is an integral part of many Barrett Farm projects and events, matching her creativity and talents with her administrative and business experience.
Marilyn has been described as "the epitome of kindness and generous good character. She is always a wonderful presence at the farm.”
JACQUE BARRETT GELLEIN
Founder and Trainer, USHJA Certified
Jacque Barrett Gellein is a life-long equestrian, who began riding and showing in the hunt country of Virginia when she was 7 years old. Later, while earning her B.A. degree in St Louis, Missouri, she taught lessons and schooled horses at a training barn in the city. In 1970, she moved to Florida and founded Barrett Farm in 1971.
In the early years of Barrett Farm, Jacque fox hunted with the Two Rivers Hunt outside of Tampa and showed at nationally rated "A" shows in Florida in the Green Hunter divisions. She was also raising two sons, John and Erich, and a daughter, Laura - all show riders. As her daughter Laura set her sights on becoming a national contender, Jacque curtailed her own showing to concentrate on developing young horses and riders, earning multiple Zone Championships and qualifying horses and riders for National Medal Finals and Hunter divisions at the elite Indoor Circuit. That focus ultimately defined the direction of Barrett Farm and catalyzed the evolution to the farm that thrives today.
Jacque is a dedicated believer in pursuing the basics to mastery. She says mastering the basics is “not easy, but almost always the most straightforward and reliable path to a rider’s goals. So I focus on basics. If a rider is dedicated and skilled enough to master the basics, then all goals are attainable".
"We use every training session, sports psychology and our Epona workshops (equine relationship skills) to expand our skills, mentally and athletically. Both skill sets are necessary to achieve consistent success.”