Eric grew up with horses, trailing mustangs and cowboying in Eastern Nevada . In high school, he rose to the top of the Thacher School horse program, where he learned to shoe, pack, train and show a horse. After Thacher he put himself through UC Davis and UC Berkeley, and Graduate Business School starting and training horses.
Eric has trained and shown reiners, reined cow horses and cutters professionally for over twenty five years, but has also trained, shown and won professionally at Dressage. He holds titles as Pacific Coast and West Coast Champion, has won numerous circuit, year end and aged event championships in the National Reined Cow Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association, and American Quarter Horse Association, where he holds lifetime memberships and retains Professional Horseman status.
In addition to the performance horses he has finished, Eric has started hundreds of young horses, and is known for retraining troubled horses in which other trainers have lost confidence.
Two of his past assistants have gone on to become world champions.
Eric has given clinics on reining, working cattle, starting young horses, and horsemanship in the U.S. and Europe . He counts himself particularly privileged to have worked extensively and given clinics with the late Tom Dorrance, and with other mentors such as Hall of Fame trainers, Les Vogt and Ken Wold.
As a trainer and educator, Eric Thomas represents a unique blend of horsemanship ethics, classical dressage education and Stock horse technique, that results in well prepared, thoroughly educated horses and riders. For a glimpse into his thinking, Please see this article on Balance first published in Western Times in March of 2003.
Balance - The Demystifier
JULIE ELIZABETH THOMAS
Julie started in the horse world in England with the British Horse Society. From there she went on to manage two training centers where she also schooled event horses, provided rider/competitor coaching and accrued a 100% student success rate on BHS exams.
In 1984 Julie immigrated to California and began to focus exclusively on Dressage. Throughout those 26 years she has ridden for some of the top breeders of sport horses. Always eager to learn, Julie still hosts and rides regularly with top international trainers from America and Europe. Her affiliations in Europe have also helped her to import many fine FEI level prospects and competitors as appropriate mounts for her clientele.
Through her husband, Eric, Julie met and became friends with Tom Dorrance, as well as various renowned stock horse trainers. From this exposure she has refined a "horse first" but practical perspective on teaching and training that yields confident and broadly competant horses and riders. In short, she brings a classical but compassionate approach to the dressage court. As coach and competitor, Julie is understandably counted among the most professional and effective on the west coast.
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