Here are just a few things that Gwen’s clients have to say about her passion and dedication to their success in dressage.
I met Gwen in the ER after a horse accident. Boy did I get an ear full about not wearing a helmet. She took such good care of me I tracked her down and asked for lessons. She gave me A lesson before my first event with my new young horse and I won the event. I have had may event wins since then with Gwen as my Coach.
Reserve Champ American Eventing Championships 2009 Novice
Reserve Champ AEC’s 2013 Preliminary
Area 9 Champion Preliminary 2014
Champion AEC’s Preliminary 2014
Thank you Gwen for all you have done for me and Stu!
Gwen has been my trainer and instructor since the mid 1990s. She has (quite literally!) gone the extra mile to locate the best possible horses for me at varying times in my riding career, from Arizona and Texas and even to the Oldenburg auction in Vechta, Germany.
She adapts her training and teaching techniques to each individual horse & rider combination based on their knowledge and experience and constantly updates her own skills through clinics, reading articles and information exchanged with other trainers and judges.I was able to compete at Training Level Eventing and then to earn my USDF Bronze Medal. I hope to compete on my young mare this season and work her through the levels of dressage.
What’s great about training with Gwen Ka’awaloa? Where do I begin! I’ve known Gwen as a trainer for over 10 years, and I also consider her a dear friend. I believe I first met Gwen when I was working my Pro Horse Productions business at a breed inspection at Harmony Sporthorses. She had the knowledge to to breed one of the top young horses in the country! A few weeks later she was judging a schooling show 2-Phase when I was eventing my imported Irish TB. Gwen has such a clear distinct voice and I could hear her as I was trotting around the outside of the arena, “This is going to be good”. Well… IT WASN’T! So after my test she cared enough to tell me she would be happy to work with me a bit after the show was done that day. After 10 minutes of her coaching me, I wanted to be one of her students and learn more! She cares so much about teaching!!!!
Gwen has invested the time and money to earn her USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals and perhaps even more importantly, her very respected USEF judging credentials. When you are investing in your horse show prep, she has the eye to tell you “that’s an 8” and why.. and if the score would be a 6, she can help you make it an 8!
Fast forward a few years and I realize I’m ready to transition out of eventing and really learn dressage. Gwen was my trusted resource that flew out to Florida to join me to test ride the horses I had already ridden and liked in order to help me finalize my decision. I’m sooooo thankful I had her help as I was leaning toward buying a horse that was much more difficult to sit (because of his color- WRONG DECISION!) Gwen explained that one of the first impressions a judge sees as you trot around before the bell rings, is harmony… and if you can’t sit that trot, it starts you at a disadvantage.
Just 3 months after I started my journey with my FEI Schoolmaster, my poor horse needed colic surgery. I called Gwen from Litteton in shock, and she calmly said over the phone “say the word and I’ll cancel my plans for tonight and be there for you”. I was so thankful for her to listen to Dr. Story’s medical information since I was too emotional to take it all in!
That’s who Gwen is… she loves to teach.. she loves her students… she makes the time to continue her education and will share it all with anyone motivated to learn! And she won’t let you give up! During my last season showing, I was not able to ride for 6 weeks due to a broken foot. She helped me know that I was ready before I broke my foot – and I can do it! I was filming clients at RMDS Championships, and competing in 4th Level A/A . I had a lot on my plate, and could not believe that an assistant who had worked with me all season, showed up late and quit at the show. I only needed one more 60% score at PSG to earn my USDF Silver Medal, and I was too exhausted and discouraged and wanted to give up…. Gwen put wind back in my sails, encouraged me to try for that score one more time and I was able to reach my goal!!
Gwen is a super- motivated and passionate person, works incredibly long hours at Parker Adventist Hospital, judges shows across the country and still gives 150% to her students! I know how she helped me and I believe she will give her best to help you reach your training and showing goals!
I have trained with Gwen since 1990. I first came to her 6 months after I suffered a critical head injury at a horse trials with my OTTB mare. She got me back in the ring at that same event one year later and I finished.
Through 26 years and 5 horses she has taught, prodded, pushed, encouraged, berated and sometimes argued with me over how to get the best from my various mounts. She has an amazing ability to adapt her teaching style to each student and knows just how far to push the rider out of their comfort zone to achieve another milestone.
Her experience in breeding, showing and judging sport horses allows her to provide her clients with an educated eye in choosing their next competitive partner and her insight as a judge provides her students with key elements that can make the difference between a 6 and an 8 or higher score.
Most impressively she has a talent for dealing with riders with confidence issues. I have been that rider on many occasions and Gwen has always known the key to keep me focused and moving forward to my next goal.