Bio and Program Information

Vicki Rose 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 and Jumpers, riding as a junior with Mary Gatti and Cindy Cruciotti at Rainbow Canyon Ranch in Southern California. Growing up working class in an expensive sport, Mary and Cindy showed immeasurable kindness and allowed her to work at the barn in exchange for lessons and showing.  She is forever indebted to them for instilling in her an excellent work ethic, teaching her how to ride all types of horses, and mentoring for her the many skills that are required to run a successful and happy barn. 

In 1988 she moved to Northern California to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She worked for Penny Wahler at Loma Alta Farm until 1997, and Penny gave her the opportunity to open Ridgemark Farm LLC during this time.  After taking a couple of years off to raise her two sons Nick and Theo, she reopened Ridgemark at Home at Last Farm in Aptos. Vicki's students 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 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. She regularly attends clinics and seeks counsel from Olympic Silver medalist Greg Best, Olympic Course Designer Linda Allen, National Champion Hunter/Jumper/Equitation Trainer Jim Hagman from Elvenstar, Inc, and esteemed horseman Dick Widger from Waterford Farm.  She is an avid reader of the classic texts on Hunt Seat Equitation and classical horse training.  She has created a lesson curriculum that she uses in her training, and engages her students with weekly horsemanship topics and regular clinics on horse behavior, clipping, mane pulling, vet issues, use of equipment, and proper cleaning of tack and horse.

Over the past 5 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", which fits right in line with a motto she lives by, One Day At A Time.  Patience and perseverance are key with horses and with life.

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 program that she is very proud of called 'Horse(wo)manship'. Through ground work, 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 our most balanced and happy life. Vicki is very excited about sharing these principles with the traditional horse show world and feels truly blessed to be able to work at Portola Farms.

Vicki is also passionate about giving back to the larger community, helping others in need, and being an example to her students about the benefits of mentorship and compassion.  A portion of Ridgemark's proceeds each month will be donated to a local non-profit, and she hopes to engage her clients in relief efforts both locally and abroad.  Vicki teaches that are so very lucky to do this sport, and when we give always get it back in immeasurable way regarding the development of our character and compassion. 

In 2015 she became an Certified Equine Specialist through the EAGALA model.  She works in Santa Cruz doing Equine Assisted Therapy and Equine Assisted Leaning with Dr. Lily Rich, Clinical Psychologist.  This summer they had the wonderful opportunity to lead workshops for children involved with Hospice of Santa Cruz County and Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Services where they led exercises to help the kids navigate and process their grief.  She looks forward to expanding this work into Woodside, and would like her work in the future to include first responders, veterans, and the elderly.  Learn more below: