Our head trainer Jean Kaplan Thornton earned her USDF Gold Medal in 2002 and is a USEF licensed dressage judge. She has over 30 years of experience working with horses of all types in many different disciplines. She has competed through Grand Prix dressage with her late Lipizzan stallion Comversano II Aloha II who she trained from a four year old. She has also been a top competitor in combined driving with Equivale's late German Warmblood stallion Blue Eyed Dream GJ through Intermediate Level CDEs as well as pleasure driving and has competed with pairs as well as her four in hand. She has had over 3,000 hours of private instruction and has ridden almost as many different horses. Jean can help you train your horse from start to finish in dressage riding, driving and jumping. We also have an excellent team of assistant trainers including Madison Duke, Cheyenne Inabnett and Sierra Inabnett. Our staff including Jordyn Loan will take excellent care of your horse while it resides here at Equivale. Read below for for on the services we offer. Click Here to learn more about Jean and Equivale. Feel free to contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Dressage lessons for all levels of riders on your horse
*Dressage Lessons on our FEI Schoolmasters
*Carriage Driving lesson with your horse/carriage
*Carriage driving lesson with our horse
*Lunge Lessons for your horse
*Lunge Lessons for you
*Clinics at other farms
*Starting horses in harness/carriage driving
*Starting horses undersaddle
*30+ Days Dressage training board
*Competing horses in dressage and combined driving
*Confidence building/de-spooking for horses of all ages.
*Basic handling/halter/trailer loading training for yearlings
Video of a Dressage lesson with Jean Kaplan-Thornton.
We believe in starting our horses slowly so we typically do some work with them as two year olds and the result when we start them undersaddle later as three year old is a calm, willing and trusting young horse with a great foundation that will stay with them throughout their career. The video below of Equivale bred stallion Blue Eyed Ghost at 2 years old ( who was sold to New Zealand) showing our typical training program for a 2 year old horse in harness/carriage driving training.
This video shows one of our three year olds that we started in driving training as a two year old now undersaddle with our assistant trainer.
Judging Horse Shows
Jean is available to judge schooling shows through all levels.
Charity L. Messer Equivale's Assistant Trainer/ Barn Manager Rides and trains many of Equivale's horses including Blue Eyed Dream and has won her USDF Bronze Medal and Musical Freestyle Bronze Bar with Dream. She also brought Dream to win the USDF/AWR All-Breeds First Level Open Champion for the 2008 Season and 3rd Level AWR Champion for 2009. Currently competing at Prix St.George with Dream and has worked at Equivale for over 6 years. She also manages Equivale's website.
Mary Robinson has worked with Jean for many years and bought 4 horses from Equivale. Two are now competition dressage horses. Mary was the USDF/AWR All-Breeds AA Training Level Champion 2008 with her Equivale bred horse Cavan. Pictured above on her Equivale bred Blue Eyed Dream offspring Baron, winning at their first Recognized show as a 3 y.o.
Patty Whipple has worked with Jean for several years and has bought Zebedee (pictured above) an Olympic Ferro gelding bred by Equivale. Patty has scored in the 70's with Zebedee in dressage shows and also does pleasure/trail driving with him.
Nancy Russell has joined the Equivale team in 2008. She helps out with feeding at Equivale and is an important part of our team. She is an eventer and is developing her dressage skills with Jean and her wonderful horse Faraday's Hope ( a former 4 star eventer himself).
Claudia Roth a long time student of Jeans, she bought Equivale's first bred horse Toschevale a Lipizzan/Dutch WB gelding. Claudia also helps with feeding at Equivale among many other things and is a vital part of our Team. She is working at 1st level with Toscheval. (Shown above with Guest Clinician Rodrigo da C. Matos)
Robin Barr is an eventer who has been working to develop her dressage skills with Jean. She has ridden Lacy's Best One to a 3rd place win a the Region 3 Championships at Preliminary Level in 06. She is currently ranked #1 in the USEA Training Division for the Master AA group. The pair were recently awarded 1st Level AA Central Florida Dressage Assocaition Champion.
Dana has worked with Jean for several years and in 08 bought Equivale bred filly Bakara to be her up and coming dressage star. Dana also owns her own boarding /trainig facility DJ's Horse Handling.
Brittany Hammack has been working with Jean for several years now and has been an eventer and is now turning her focus to dressage. She recently purchased Equivale bred mare Malibu (shown above )to be her new dressage horse. Brittany also is an important part of Equivale's team helping with feeding and other projects.
Tammy Zegowitz-Smith has been working with Jean for over a year and purchased her Equivale bred horse Somyre Reign (shown above).
Cheryl Youngman has been taking lessons with Jean for 2 years and in that time has earned her USDF Bronze and Silver Medals and currently competes at Prix St. George.
Laura brought her horse Boone ( pictured above) to Equivale to learn to drive.
Troy Smith takes lesson on our Grand Prix Schoolmaster and is shown above taking him on the 6 mile Bess Wall Obstacle Trail Ride Challenge.
Jean and Charity accepting their awards at the 2010 Central Florida Dressage Association Banquet
Recently SIX of Equivale's horses attended the same dressage competition! Pictured below.
Left to right: Benji, Baron, Buttercup, Somyr Reign, Malibu and Barbados.
Equivale's horses and riders often attend lessons with Guest Clinicians.
Central Florida Dressage Clinic at Equivale with Jean Thornton
Many new horses and riders attended the CFD Clinic
Troy Smith Shown on our Grand Prix Schoolmaster, taking him through the 6 mile Bess Wall Obstacle Trail Ride Challenge April 2010.
Bess Wall Obstacle Training Clinic 2009
Erin Brinkman Clinic 2009 (Hosted by Central Florida Dressage Association)
Blue Eyed Dream and his son Baron attend Clinic together. Erin Brinkman in the center.
December2009 Clinic with Erin Brinkman, Blue Eyed Dream and Charity Messer.
Dominique Barbier Clinic (Hosted by Equivale at Silver Sands Bridle Club)
Dressage Clinic with Dominique Barbier. Riders from all
over Florida took part in a clinic with classical dressage
Dominique Barbier on Sepetmeber 10th - 12th. Domninique
is known for his
cool and calm approach in training horses and riders.
Many riders learned to smile and relax, letting their
positive energy guide them through the movements. Domnique
taught riders to work their horses in-hand and as a results
many of the riders and auditors saw a beautiful transformation
in the horses relaxation and suppleness.
wide variety of horse breeds, ages and levels took part
in the clinic as
well as many different levels of riders and auditors.
Everything from a Lusitano, Arabians, Thoroughbreds, a
cute Morgan, 3 year old Dutch and Swedish Warmbloods,
sport pony, 3 and 7 year old Lipizzan crosses, up to a
Grand Prix Lipizzan Stallion ( our very own Conversano
II Aloha II), and of course we can't forget our own 5
year old German Warmblood Stallion Blue Eyed Dream.
All in all the clinic was a great success! We can't wait
for Dominique to
Equivale Inc. would like to thank all the riders and auditors
who participated in the clinic for making it a wonderful
and fun learning experience for everyone!
Messer and Blue Eyed Dream
working Susan McCoy's Tonus Do Ipe in-hand