Vanessa and Merlin
My journey with Merlin has been the adventure of a lifetime. Paula and Jack Curtis made the introduction between Merlin and I with the disclaimer that “Merlin is more of a horse for a trainer than an amateur.” Even though I’ve been riding for 30+years, I was naive to all the work and learning that would come with such a green and talented horse. There have been days I wanted to give up but Jack and Paula were always supportive and encouraging and reminded me to breathe deeply to help Merlin relax. Then one day, it happened, I learned to move Merlin’s feet while riding and he all of a sudden trusted me. Our future is so bright thanks to Jack and Paula. My biggest lesson for those reading this is never underestimate the power of ground work. What you do on the ground is what happens in the saddle. Thank you Jack and Paula.
Lizzy and Pheonix
Growing up, I bounced around barns, taking lessons wherever and whenever I could. However, when I found Woodland Oaks in the fall of 2014, I knew I didn’t want to leave, and it quickly became my second home. Jack and Paula create an incredibly warm environment that allows you to feel comfortable while gaining many skills from the tremendous amount of knowledge they have to impart. Their hard work and dedication show in everything they do, and I would not be the rider I am today without their guidance and support in the last four years. Jack and Paula helped me find an incredible partner in the form of my lease horse, Phoenix, and overcome my nerves both at home and in the show ring. Even though I’m now off at college riding for Notre Dame’s Equestrian Team, Woodland Oaks is always the first place I want to visit whenever I come home, so I can say hi to all the familiar faces, both human and horse, I proudly call my family. I could not think of a better place for anyone with a love for horses to pursue their passions.
Paula and Jack possess that extremely rare combination of proven professional experience and approachability. Each of them is always more than willing to use their knowledge to work with a horse and /or their owner to arrive at the best solution presented by any equine “opportunity “. Woodland Oaks is clearly much more than a boarding stable and much more than any rider could reasonably expect from any facility.
Stacy and Calvin
I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy working with Jack and Paula. Not only have I gained confidence in my riding but my horse has as well. We have grown so much as a team and I have only Jack and Paula to thank for that. From the smallest of holes in our training to getting us ready for competition Jack and Paula have been a huge part of our growth. Every time I have worked with them or have watched them teach I have walked away with “Aha!” moment. There is no one I enjoy working with as much or trust as much as I do Jack and Paula Curtis.
Stacy Schwoerer and Calvin
Katie and Fini
I have been riding with Jack and Paula for just about four years and I continue to be amazed at how much I learn every single lesson. They challenge me to think about my horse and my ride at a much deeper level than any other trainer I’ve ridden with. Our dynamic relationship as trainer(s) and student has helped me to develop a toolbox full of thoughts and exercises that allow me have a successful ride on any horse I get on. As a result of their training, I have become a more thoughtful, confident, and successful rider and teammate while having fun moving up the levels with my horses.
Rachel and Ian
We came to Woodland Oaks over 6 yrs ago, shortly after Jack and Paula purchased the property. I own a horse named Ian who is a sweetheart that my daughter Amber and I ride. I’m always impressed by how clean and organized the entire facility is all the time. And, I love having the variety of areas to ride- the fenced outdoor, large unfenced outdoor, indoor arena, cross country field and many trails. The variety is so good for Ian and myself.
We benefit from the welcoming and inclusive atmosphere Jack and Paula have created. They really cater to my horse’s and my individual needs, as they do with everyone here. Woodland Oaks truly has a family atmosphere and the other boarders are some of the nicest you will find-always someone to help if you need it.
Everyone is important here, and I feel that one of Jack and Paula’s strengths is helping each of us reach our goals, whether big or small, by developing a plan, making adjustments when necessary and being supportive. I love spending time here with Ian and Amber.