Testimonials
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A Word or Two About Holly

Below are testimonials from those who train and know Holly.

Holly has been instrumental in my riding development over the past few years. She has worked with me and my horse from the very beginning of our training. What I appreciate most is Holly’s ability to “read” a situation and understand when to push for more, or when to take things slow. Holly is also very patient and teaches with encouragement and positive thinking. Holly also has the ability to sit on any horse with a gentle, quietness about her that instills confidence in each horse she trains.

Tara Astacio


I am writing you to nominate Holly Payne for the Good Sportsmanship Award. I am pleased that an opportunity to share the kindheartedness of an accomplished equestrian such as Holly has come up, as Holly sets the example for busy, driven and talented equestrian professionals everywhere to positively impact those around them. Holly’s kindness is natural and innate; but for those who don’t come by this trait naturally, they would do well to try and emulate the compassion, selflessness and humility that are primary facets of good sportsmanship and Holly’s nature.

Tamara D'Addabbo
Winning letter to the ESDCTA to nominate Holly for 2010 Good Sportsman Award read the full letter



Holly Payne synthesizes a relaxed positive attitude with a concise understanding about how to get your horse through the course successfully, no matter how difficult and makes the process fun and rewarding. She is both great equestrian and trainer, and jumps any height light as a feather. I am always happy when I have a lesson with Holly.

Coleen Fitzgibbon


Holly has provided the Long Valley Trail Association with several cross-country and H/J clinics both at her facility at Clover Valley and at my farm here in Long Valley. The clinics have all been well attended, and the participants have been very complimentary about Holly’s attention to the partnership between the horse and the rider. She has designed exercises that provide a friendly and welcoming experience for the horse and have increased rider confidence for beginning riders as well as the more accomplished competitor. We look forward to having Holly host clinics at Clover Valley in 2011. 

Jean and Kent Haggas
Long Valley Trail Association



My riding goals are simple. I want to be a safe, confident and educated rider. I don't ride for the ribbons, but for the challenge. I enjoy young, green horses. I chose Holly as my instructor because she is a talented professional who has a unique, positive and patient teaching style. She is consistently enthusiastic and our lessons are always challenging. Holly has the ability to see potential in each horse and rider relationship. She communicates her training techniques clearly. Whether working with my Arab cross for endurance or my young TB for eventing and fox hunting, Holly helps me reach my personal goals and enjoy every ride along the way.

Renee Bond


Nina Duran


The best thing about training with Holly is that she is a caring horsewoman who always puts the well being of the horse first. I trust her completely with my horse. I have learned as much from her about horsemanship as I have riding. The partnership with my horse is what I value most. Holly has given us a perfect mix of training him when he needs confidence while keeping the focus of our training on improving the harmony and confidence of my horse and I as a team. She is a very good listener, my training program is tailor-made to me and my horse. Holly is great at turning riding problems into positive learning opportunities. She is skilled at teaching cavaletti and the relationship of all three phases of eventing to each other. I feel like my dressage lessons are vital to improving my jumping and learning to gallop correctly is improving everything about my riding!  I also love competing. I get quite nervous and she always settles me before each phase. Going to shows with Holly brings together all aspects of horsemanship and riding in a safe, supportive and really fun environment. We spent two months with Holly in Aiken last winter and I highly recommend it, even for a week or two!

Kathy Hall


They say one of the best ways to learn is to watch and imitate. This is so true for children but sometimes overlooked by adults. I brought my very young off the track TB mare to Holly for training. In the video you can see and hear the dialogue that shows how important it is to properly ride a young horse. Holly has given both Ria (my horse) and I the confidence to learn together. Building trust is vitaly important with a horse and being a confident rider is key to success. I absolutely place my trust is Holly's ability to bring along Ria and make me a better rider.

Carol Hill


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