Our Trainers

Kalli Smith

Trainer

Kalli grew up riding horses in San Antonio, Texas, attending her first horse show at the young age of 8. With guidance from various experienced and knowledgeable trainers, including Johnny and Claudia Conn of Twisted Oak Farm, her passion for horses and the hunter/jumper sport inspired her to work through the levels from the Pony Hunters through the Junior Jumpers at a young age.

Upon graduating high school, she attended Texas A&M University and then she pursued a law degree at the University of Texas. All the while, she continued to ride. As a college student on a budget, she inherited different project horses and studied under dressage trainer Michelle Voorhees. At the University of Texas, Kalli rode under Glenn and Phoebe Johnson of Switch Willo Stables before moving to California and working with hunter trainer Tracy Burroughs and jumper trainer Mike Neilson.

In 2005, Kalli begain working with a small group of horses independently and not long after that, accepted the opportunity to become...

Training

Amy Gangstad

Trainer

Amy has been riding since elementary school in the Austin area. After graduating from West Lake High School in 2003, she attended St. Edwards University and graduated with a degree in Spanish and a minor in Environmental Science. What began as horseback riding classes at a lesson barn over 25 years ago evolved into the position of assistant trainer and barn manager at a large Hunter/Jumper barn in Austin. In this role for a over a decade, Amy oversaw the care of nearly 130 horses and taught 50 lessons per week for riders of all levels. In addition to teaching at home, Amy has extensive experience coaching riders of all ages in the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings at shows, and has won many year-end awards as a rider for clients.

Training

To continue her education, Amy has attended clinics with George Morris, Bernie Traurig, and Ragan Roberts. In addition to extensive experience riding and competing in the hunter ring, Amy has also found a soft spot for the ponies and excels at the process of developing a pony from green to kid-safe and showing. With a focus on balance between improving skills and having fun, Amy’s riding and teaching style allows each horse and rider to find his or her potential in their own time. In her lessons, Amy emphasizes positivity and feels that horses and riders perform their best when they feel good about themselves and develop confidence in the ring. Whether coaching a young rider on the lunge line or instructing advanced students at shows, Amy enjoys helping riders understand their horses so they can communicate better and achieve their goals.

Karolina Vieser

Trainer

Karolina, featured above with her daughters, offers deep and long experience in riding, showing and horsemanship.

When she was 8, she went with a friend to a local Welsh Mountain stud to have her first horse lesson on one of the old broodmares, and never looked back. She has continued to ride and develop herself as a horsewoman, rider and hunter/jumper ever since. After high school she took a year off to train and manage a barn in Sweden before attending college. She continued to ride, jump and show throughout her adult life, combining her horse riding with a Marketing Degree, a professional career in Marketing and eCommerce, and raising her two daughters.

Karolina is a passionate student of horsemanship, jumping and riding, and she’s developed her approach with the help some of the most prominent riders and horse trainers in Sweden, including Helena Persson, seven times Swedish champion and the reserve for the 2012 Swedish Olympic Equestrian team and Lars Parmler, a horse trainer of the Swedish national equestrian team, and a student of Nelson Pessoa and George Morris. She boarded her first show jumper at a barn right in the middle in the city of Stockholm and showed successfully in the same jumping arena that hosted the 1912 Olympics.

Training
Training
  • United States Equestrian
  • CTHJA
  • Texas Hunter Jumper Association
  • United States Hunter Jumper Association