Client comments submited for web site use.
How do I begin? A friend told me about April 3 years ago when I was having trouble finding a saddle to fit my horse. But I
didn't want to travel 2 hours so I kept things in my own hands for a few more failures. When I came to my senses and contacted
April, I not only used her to help me finally find a saddle that would fit my horse but I also sent my horse to her for some
finishing training, to get set in her gait. Well I got way more than I had even hoped out of the whole experience. Not only
has April taught Willow and i about gait but I learned about nutrition and saddle-fitting and so much more. I can't say enough
about April's skills. She was able to get Willow gaiting consistently and for a distance (on a loose rein) in honestly just
a couple days. I think one of my favorite things about her as a trainer is that she listened to me as far as what kind of
riding I do and what my expectations were. Then she did everything in her wheelhouse to help Willow and I get there. She helped
me with saddle, pad,and bit choices. She is incredibly knowledgeable in this subject. She asked me if she could change the
bit that I had been using. And after two choices, Willow just seemed so comfortable. Since I picked Willow up from her training,
April has always been available to help me with any questions that I've had. My only regret in the entire situation is that
I did not contact her when my friend first told me about her. I could have saved myself a ton of time, grief, and not to mention
money! I don't even want to tell you how many saddles I went through. April is the real deal! She is as genuine and knowledgeable
as they come! No gimmicks here just an honest horse woman with immeasurable skills and knowledge!
I found my new horse Jack at April Smith’s farm, she was training him for a client. She helped me along by sharing
her thoughts on the horse, going for rides with me to remind me the best way to keep him gaiting. Helping me find the right
rig for him the right bridle so we could go home as a team. She wants things done right and that’s what you want in
a trainer. I am so happy with Jack, knowing if I have any questions along the way I can feel comfortable in calling on her
expertise. She also was kind enough to help my husband with his horse Tucker, got him all organized and he is now much better.
If you are looking for someone to help you along with horse either from training from scratch or some little glitch you can’t
figure out April is your woman.
I brought my first horse, a way-less-than-perfect 13-year-old TWH named Jack to April.
I was told by his previous owner that he was gaited, but after reading a book on gaited horses I could see that he was pacing
and I learned that was not good. In one weekend, as we could not afford a full month, through April's really fine training
of both me and Jack, we had Jack performing a dog walk and a head shaking flat walk. We could even get a few minutes
of a fast walk. April taught me what to do at home to stretch those few minutes into several. I attribute this
phenomenal progress with April's very methodical, professional and patient manner. This is a woman who knows what
she is doing and she has the rare gift of being both experienced and empathic to those who know much less.
I now have Dude, a beautiful palimino that I learned about through April. Dude is as sweet
as Jack, but with a bigger motor. Dude and I have spent many weekends working with April to improve issues that have
come up. When Dude went through a period of tripping, April suggested and supported some trial and error rather jumping
right into injections. Knowing we had that option in our back pocket, we tried treeless saddles, short toes, joint supplement and
my being less of a passenger and more of a director. I am thrilled that this worked.
It is obvious that I recommend April as a trainer. Her experience and common sense is invaluable
and she has never once made me feel that I can not learn what I need to know. I was a new rider when I first
sought out her help and I had started back at an age that did not include my previous fearlessness. Dude and I
do very well together. I do not want my fearlessness back as my confidence and skills keeps my butt in the saddle.
Thank you April.
Liz Wolf Cippon
You may contact me at Wolf-Cippon@verizon.net.
Thank You April!... from the bottom of my heart for all the hard work you have done over the
last 30 day's to help FarmBoy and myself,... I took my Saddle bred/Percheron cross to April Smith's and she put 30 day's
of training on him, I live near by so I was able to go and watch April train and work with him every day and when she deemed
him ready she started me riding him again,I have had Farmboy for 2 years and we have or had a few problem's until April took
over,...the first was that he would bolt with me,... not anymore!... he was very pushy!...not anymore!...I'm 5'2" and FarmBoy
is 16/1 hands tall... big difference!! When I ask him to lower his head now he does and I can side pass him to a mounting
block to get off,... this is one large Horse and April handled him as if he was the same size as all the rest, she was firm
and kind and talked to me while she worked Farmboy explaining what she was doing and she took very good care of
him while he was there, She is a great trainer and has also become my friend,...I highly recommend April
Smith she is honest, hard working, and cares very much for the horses , again Thank you April! I appreciate all you did
for FarmBoy and myself.
April is an excellent trainer for both horse and rider. She has done wonders for both me and my horse, Lady
I couldn’t ride Lady Hawk away from the barn without another horse, she would spin when spooked, on
a trail ride we just followed the horse in front of us, she was always very excited and hyper, and she chomped on her bit.
I felt like I had no control. I was having second thoughts and knew we both needed help.
I spoke with April about training Lady Hawk but April was booked for over nine months. However she suggested
that she could do a weekend training session to evaluate us and see what needed to be done. We (Lady Hawk, me, my husband
Bob and his horse Satin) went to April’s horse farm in the early spring. We were able to stay in our horse trailer on
April started evaluating Lady Hawk and I from the minute Lady Hawk stepped off the trailer. April worked on
Lady Hawk in the round pen on flexing, walking, stopping and standing. Then it was my turn – April started to give me
and Lady Hawk the confidence and skills to work together. The next day we had more training in the round pen then a trail
ride where April gave me more insight on how to handle Lady Hawk. Back at the barn she checked Lady Hawk’s tack and
found that her bit was too narrow for her mouth which was causing the chomping. That weekend was a great start.
We were so pleased that we went back in the fall for another training weekend. April worked on Lady Hawk’s
separation anxiety from Satin and how Bob and I can help each other in our riding. We had more round pen work and another
April was able to schedule Lady Hawk for a month of training in November. Since we live 150 miles away April
sent us weekly email updates on her progress. When we went up for the weekend to bring Lady Hawk home, April worked with both
of us. This is what her training accomplished. Lady Hawk now stands still to saddle and mount, drops her head to accept halter
and bit, moves on command, stops on command, spooks in place, goes out on trail with or without other horses, and knows commands
for her gaits.
With April’s training Lady Hawk and I have come a long way. She gave Lady Hawk the training needed to
become a pleasure to ride and me the confidence to become a good partner with my horse.
I am extremely please with the training both Lady Hawk and I received and highly recommend April. She is knowledgeable
of both horse and rider, confident, pleasant, and easy to work with.
Eric & I wanted to let you know how much we appreciate all the work you have accomplished with our horses.
Pogo was the first horse we bought to you. He was a three year old and a stallion. I could not believe that at the end of
the first week you would be sitting on his back. We were amazed how quickly he learned to become a riding horse. I really
enjoyed going for a trail ride with you and Eric riding Pogo. We were glad that we listened to your recommendation that he
was to good of horse to go to the track. I hope that we will find someone that wants a great laid-back hunter jumper.
Mayflower, a headstrong horse was next one we brought to you. Eric has been continuing to ride her. Dakota
on the other hand, you had your hands full with her. You had her progressing nicely with her training.
You have put us at ease knowing the care you have given to our horses. Being able to come over and watch you
work, has been so valuable. Explaining what you are doing, and learning how to continue working with them when they come home
has helped us become better riders. Keeping us informed of their progress is something we really appreciated.
Once again, I want to thank you so very much for going with Eric to look at a prospective horse for me. Nugget
~ my dream horse, has found his forever home with me!
You are a very down to earth, honest, and a very caring horse trainer. We appreciate and respect you for your
integrity. We would recommend you in a heartbeat! Of course, we do still have more horses on your training waiting list.
We thank you, our FRIEND!
Eric & Cindy Weaver
Zeleny High Farms
I just wanted to write to thank you for taking on my Nellie for training. You can use this letter as a reference if you'd
like. Nellie turned out to be my dream horse. As you know, when she came to me at two years of age, she was scared of her
own shadow. She thought about jumping over her stall wall the first few nights. I watched her and thought to myself "what
have I done?". Then as a three year old she went to you for saddle training. whith your patients and understanding of her
delicate mind, Nellie bloomed! After a short two months of training, she would and still will do anything asked of her. We
have enjoyed many miles together and even camping. I could only imagine what could have happened if I sent her to a different
trainer, who might not have the same talent as you. I highly recommend you to all! I will definitely pass you name to all
my friends who may be in need of some training for their horse. Thanks again!
Newark Valley NY
April Smith has done a wonderful job on my 3 yr old quarter horse gelding, Tysun. I was able to work along with
her with Tysun as he progressed through his training. that was an aspect I really appreciated. It gave me the opportunity
to learn her method of training and to apply the cues she uses under her supervision. That helped me to build a confidence
when working with my young horse. April really gets you as involved with the training process as you want to be. You always
feel welcomed at River Run Ranch.
April concentrates on what you want from your horse. Since I am a "Trail Rider" Tysun recieved a lot of hours experiencing
the big world outside the arena. He learned to handle any "scary situation" with a minimal amount of reaction.
I have already booked my weanling filly for the class of 2007 and have recommended River Run Ranch to several of my friends.
Owego, New York
I am totally pleased with the training my 3 yr. old Rocky Mountain gelding,
Shekinah, recieved through Apirl Smith. I was impressed by the way April handled my horse - she was firm, kind, knowledgeable
and took good care of him while there. I liked the fact that April trained him to the dicipline I would be using him
for - trail riding. Since April did the majority of his training on the trail, he was expposed to crossing creeks, riding
on the road (cars,trucks), four wheelers, riding with other horses, etc. - all the things that were important to me. Also
included in his training was training for me in how to ride my horse the way he was trained, which included all the leg commands,
seat, etc. In just 60 days of training, Shekinah had learned respect, voice commands, stand still when mounted, go away/to
the barn without problems, spook in place, walk off quietly etc. One other thing I really like - I had Shekinah trained late
Spring and now it's the winter months. I don't get to ride him very often, but it doesn't matter if it's a week or a month
in between riding, when I mount up, it's like I rode him "yesterday"....he's still quiet.
If I had another horse to be trained, I wouldn't hesitate to select April
again. I had some unpleasant experiences with other trainers and was extremely happy to find someone who would do what they
said and put the time into my horse required. It's been several months since I had my horse trained and April is only a phone
call away to answer questions or offer help. She's not only a great trainer but has turned out to be a trusted friend.
I highly recommend April Smith. April is an excellent horse trainer! April had my 4 year old quarter horse gelding Impressive
Royal Rock for training September 2001, for 4 weeks. I was very pleased with him when he came home. It was clearly evident
that Rocky had recieved all the training that was promised by April. April is an honest, caring and hard working individual.
When I first contacted April, I asked her many questions about how and what she would actually do with Rocky. April said
she would work him in the round pen, would actually trail ride him (she even rode him with her dogs), would trailer him a
few times, take him on group trail rides, and bathe and clip him. April also told me she woud work with him at least an hour
or more a day. She promised more than any other trainer did.
I told my husband that what April proposed was too good to be true. I have had horses for 44 years. Over those years I
have had horses to many trainers. Of course I would ask all the questions about their training methods and what they would
accomplish with my horse. The "so-called trainers" all assured me my horse would be taken care of and worked as they promised.
Well, it just did not happen that way. Most only rode the horse a few times, some would want to keep the horse longer for
more money, of course.
Of all the trainers I have used April is the only one that actually delivered the wide range of experiences that
she promised. I was invited to ride with her and check on Rocky's progress. Rocky recieved the very best of care at April's.
She truly enjoys working with the horses. April is not rough with the horses she respects them and teaches them. She does
not "break horses". I did not worry about Rocky's well being while in her care. I would thoroughly trust her with any
of my horses.
I would without a doubt have her train another horse for me.
Click here to Email Cheryl Ostrander
April Smith was recommended to us from other horse people, who have known her for a long time. She uses gentle methods
We sent our 3 yr old mare, Lady, to her for cart training, and trail riding. We were allowed to come any time to
watch, and to learn how she was training our horse. We feel owners need training as much as the horses do. April was always
pleased to be able to work with the horse owner, and their horse.
The place was clean, the horses were well cared for, and she kept in touch with the owners. We recieved a call from April
about two weeks into Lady's cart training. She let us know that Lady was doing so well, that it would be a waste of our money
for her to work with her and longer, we could continue working her at home the way she had taught us to. All we had to do
was to re-enforce what April had taught Lady and us. She kept our horse only as long as she felt it was necessary, which
was the two weeks instead of four.
This spring we will send another 3 yr old filly, Angel, to her that April has helped us to get started by coming to our
farm and showing us what to do to make her training to ride and cart easier when the time came. She has also helped to show
us what we need to do with a few yearlings we are raising.
She is honest, trustworthy, a hard worker, and has become a respected friend as well. We recommend her highly.
Click here to Email Heide Curren
I am writing to thank you for the training you did on our horse Rowdy. His attitude is so much better. He still has his
moments of "attitude" but I do as you suggested and am patient, but persistant.
Since his training, we have gone on several trail rides, he is well behaved and is neck reining well.
I want to thank you so much for all you did.
I have known April for many years and can attest to her abilities at horse training. She worked with one of my
horses after my hip replacement surgeries, to be sure he was safe to ride. He is super!!
She also worked with another horse last fall, but due to an injury he inflicted upon himself, he was returned.
She will be working with him and his sister this spring. I have full confidence that they will both be super riding
horses as they will be in the care of a knowledgeable professional.
Click here to e-mail Doris Enderle