Vicki Rose, owner of Ridgemark Farm LLC, started her career started at the age of 4 with lots of trail riding, horse camping, and showing western horses with her dad. She later became interested in Hunters, Jumpers, and Equitation, riding as a junior with Mary Gatti at Rainbow Canyon Ranch in the Los Angeles area. In 1988, she moved to Santa Cruz to attain a BA in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Starting her professional career at Briarcliff Farm while attending UCSC, she then worked as the Assistant Trainer for Penny Wahler at Loma Alta Farm from 1989 through 1997. After taking a couple of years off to have her two wonderful sons Nick and Theo, she reopened Ridgemark Farm at Home at Last Farm in Aptos. Vicki's students have won numerous state and national year end hunter awards, such as World Champion Hunter Rider Southwest Region, Zone 10/PCHA Champion Children's Hunter, and PCHA/NorCal Champion Junior Hunter. Her students have also won numerous Equitation and Medal Finals, including the Zone 10 Stirrup Cup Finals, the CPHA Horsemanship Finals, and the 2014 CCEA Medal Finals. Vicki herself won the $2,500 Foxfarms Hunter Derby in 2014 at the 'A' rated Almaden Too Horse Show.
Vicki prides herself on her commitment to continuing education within the horse industry, recently completing the USHJA Trainer Certification Program in Reno, Nevada. She regularly attends clinics and seeks counsel from 1988 Olympic Silver medalist Greg Best, 1996 Olympic Course Designer Linda Allen, and multiple time National Champion Hunter/Jumper/Equitation Trainer Jim Hagman from Elvenstar, Inc. Local professionals Dick Widger, Patty Ball, and Macella O'neill are also some of her closest professional mentors.
Over the past 3 years, Vicki has become intrigued by and devoted to the work of Buck Brannaman, and is a regular participant in his Northern California clinics. Buck's philosophy of "Gentle in what you do, firm in how you do it" resonates very much with Vicki's work with horses and also how she aims to live her life. Another favorite 'Buck-ism' of hers is "Making a good horse is just like eating an elephant….you do it one bite at a time"!! She also appreciates that Buck says "You are learning to give your horse the greatest gift of all…..a life of lightness".
In 2013 she began to study with Sport Psychologist Carrie Wicks and completed Dr. Carrie's THE W(I)NNER'S CIRCLE program in 2014. Since then, she has begun to weave the principles of Dr. Carrie's Mindfulness Based Horsemanship into the Ridgemark Farm lessons. Through her work with Buck and Dr. Carrie, Vicki has created a new program that she is very proud of called 'Horse(wo)Manship'. Through round pen exercises, horse observation, journaling, and meditation, Horse(wo)manship participants learn how to be taught life lessons by the horses in their life. In this work, we learn about and work through the challenging themes in our lives that keep us from living a 'life of lightness'. Vicki is very excited about the prospect of her new home at Bonny Doon Equestrian Park as being the perfect venue for hosting clinics and rallies where she can share the knowledge she's gained from all of her wonderful mentors.
Vicki is also the Executive Director of the Central Coast Equestrian Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to Educate, Unite and Inspire horse people on the Central Coast. In her free time she loves to spend time with her family, surf, write, read, and travel! Her favorite place in the world is Jenny's surf break in Sumatra, Indonesia. That is, when she's not on a horse of course!!
Farm is a unique,
high quality hunter/jumper/equitation program in Santa Cruz County.
Trainers Vicki Rose and Laura Hartwick ensure that their students
learn excellence in riding and horsemanship in a community of camaraderie
and support. Their program is a positive, tightly knit group who
work hard to strive for excellence as riders while working towards
competition at 'A' rated horse shows and having fun.
Vicki and Laura's longtime friendship, shared goals, and positive
attitudes set the tone for the quality, professional and personal
barn environment that we all value.
Laura Hartwick, Laura Hartwick Training,
LLC, heads up the lesson program for Ridgemark Farm. She has worked
in the hunter/jumper community in Santa Cruz since 1983, teaching people to ride for over 30 years. A lifelong equestrian, Laura started as a self taught pony kid, moving on to ride with multiple trainers in the Los Angeles
area as a junior. She began her professional career as an Assistant Trainer at Loma Alta
Farm with Penny Wahler from 1984 until the mid 90's when she left the horse world
to obtain her Masters of Fine Art at UC Davis and pursue a career in visual art and graphic
Turns out that Laura missed her horses too much, and she happily returned to her equine career in 2001 to join
longtime friend and colleague Vicki Rose at Ridgemark Farm. She decided that her niche was working with beginners, instead of traveling on the show circuit. Her many years of students of all ages have won many championships at Northern California A and B rated shows, and include many UCSC students from the beginnings of the University's IHSA team.
It's been particularly gratifying to find that Laura has taught multi generations of Santa Cruz County riders. Moms who rode with her in the 1980's with their daughters have returned as grandmothers to watch their grandchildren begin as they did years before.
in starting children and adults alike with the proper foundations
of hunt seat equitation that will stay with them for a lifetime.
It's important to Laura to teach her students not just how to ride well and have a great time doing so, but to also develop a relationship with their horses. The horsemanship lessons in developing relationships with horses that she has learned from Buck Brannaman's teachings are an important base that she incorporates into classical hunt seat riding. She feels that horses not only teach us about horses, but that they teach us about ourselves every single time we walk into a stall. These days, Laura is just as happy to take a quiet trail ride or work on the ground in the roundpen as she is to school a horse in the arena.
Laura not only loves working with children, having run many years of very popular horse camps and her longtime lesson program, but especially enjoys working with women who are either beginning their journey with horses, or who had to leave a beloved horse behind for college, family, or career and are now rediscovering the joy of reconnecting with their old friends.
Laura and her husband Gary are longtime Westside Santa Cruz residents. Laura is also an artist, and national level competitor with her dogs in the sport of dog agility. She is particularly grateful to spend her days with horses and dogs in such a beautiful part of the country, helping to teach others further their relationships with these animals.