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Total Horsemanshiptm Testimonials

Bill and Nita

“Thank you for a most AWESOME DAY~~~~. Bill and I had a great time, we talked about the day all the way home. You really packed in a lot of activities and the lunch was very nice. Tommy, Tivo & Chance had fun too. When can we do it again?  he he he...  You're the best and we love working with you.”

~ Bill and Nita, Napa, CA ~

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Dan and Linda

"We met Christa at the Western States Expo in Sacramento in June 2006. As soon as we met Christa we were certain our horse would get the excellent care and training she deserved. Christa is a Certified John Lyons Horse Trainer and she is currently training our horse. The difference in how our horse performs now compared to when we first brought our horse to her, is amazing! Christa is an expert in the training and caring of horses; she's very thorough, patient, caring and honest. Christa is also giving us riding lessons and again, she is very patient, respectful, and the instruction and explanation of what she's teaching is understandable (even for us uncoordinated old fogies!). We are very fortunate to have Christa training our horse and educating us to be responsible horse owners and riders. Thank you, Christa!"

~ Dan and Linda ~

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“Our eight year-old mare, Onyx, was having some attitude issues and had definite missing links in her training.  She was not supple, turned like a tugboat, could not seem to collect herself, and would not maintain an even gait at the trot and lope.  We continued to work with her and had friends who were more experienced than we were ride and work with her.  However, while she made some progress she still had a far way to go before she would be the reliable trail horse we hoped for.  A work injury for Phil and a heart problem for the person we had riding Onyx during Phil's absences resulted in Onyx being worked very little; she gained a tremendous amount of weight, wasn't making progress in her training, and her attitude was beginning to backslide. We began asking about trainers around local horse circles as well as asking our veterinarian and farrier for recommendations. Christa's name came up time and again, and the reports were always glowing.  We knew Christa would be at Cal Expo, so we made a point of stopping by her booth, meeting with her and chatting with her.  We were both very impressed with Christa's professionalism, knowledge, training, dedication, and business sense. She was very personable and we loved her passion for horses.

In January of 2009 we took Onyx to Christa for training.  In no time at all, Onyx was in excellent shape.  She has become supple, can collect herself, turns her body well, and has a desire to please that has been carefully nurtured by Christa.  Onyx now generally maintains a steady gait, though at times we need to use the "tricks" Christa taught us to do so.  We are very pleased with the training our horse has received and continue to be impressed by Christa's professionalism, dedication, integrity, knowledge, and business sense.  We are very lucky to have found her!”

Phil and Adrienne

“But that isn't all....Christa has also trained us so that we can continue to work with Onyx and nurture her into an even better trail horse.  Christa is just as good at training the riders as she is at training the horses. 

Christa holds a study group at a local book store on Tuesday evenings.  She discusses nutrition, conformation, health, and training techniques at each of these sessions.  She is extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of horse health and management and comes to the sessions fully prepared with hand-outs, informal quizzes, and appropriate props.  We find the discussion of the training techniques to be very useful, especially when coupled with the riding training for the horse owner that is part of the horse training package.  She is very good at explaining the maneuver and frequently uses a model horse to illustrate the point.  We then find it easier to understand and perform the maneuver when putting it into practice in the arena. These sessions are suitable for the newest rider to the most experienced; everyone walks away better educated about horses and their care and management.

We highly recommend Christa as a trainer of both horses and riders.”
   ~ Phil and Adrienne Eichenberger ~

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Christa saw Napoleon’s performance potential and his kindness. When my daughter felt he could be a good match for her, Christa patiently offered her lessons. Over time, his character was revealed to us. We’d only known quarter horses and the Lipizzaner traits were new to us. She has great skill in identifying what a horse CAN BE, not just what he is at the time. Now Napoleon is successfully competing in dressage shows with my daughter.

Napoleon and Ellen Bruner winning first place in their class!
Napoleon and Ellen B. winning first place in their class!

One of her greatest skills is winnowing out the “noise” in mis-behavior and focusing of the one key element that will improve handling of the horse. Our quarter horse was in training with Christa for a progressively deteriorating vision loss. He would shy and spook. She fixed him. He had holes in his training that prevented us calming him when he was afraid. After training, we were able to take him to the beach and through mountains without hesitation!”

~ Christie B., Vacaville, CA ~

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"I was fortunate enough to find Christa on the web site, and since our first meeting in October of 2008, I count my blessings for having had and continue to have the pleasure of working with this truly wonderful, talented young lady.

Every conversation I have with Christa I am still amazed at her depth of knowledge. She is calm and confident and when you see her working with a horse, you get to see the depth of her experience.”

Sally Rodriguez

“I purchased my new horse, and even though the previous owner had put 90 days on him, I knew that he had some problems. He was very insecure, had girth issues, saddling issues and would not stand still to get on him. With Christa's expertise, he has been trained to swing his hip over to a mounting block, will stand while I get on, he's great with the girth and saddle, all of his past issues are gone!

Christa gives you the complete package, from training, nutrition, herbal remedies, eastern and western medicine, riding lessons, she will customize a program to meet your needs.

The quality of the feed is superior and fresh and the stalls and paddocks are impeccably clean. She takes no short cuts when it comes to nutrition and care of your horse. The grounds are immaculate, a top notch facility which I would rate as a "5 Star" and very tranquil which I believe is critical to a conducive learning environment for both horse and rider.

I would absolutely recommend Christa to anyone; not only will you come away with a horse with a solid foundation but you the owner will have the tools and knowledge to be the owner that every horse should have.

If you would like to speak with me in person, please contact Christa for my telephone number and I will be more than happy to talk to you.”

~ Sally Rodriguez, Vacaville, CA ~

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"It is with great pleasure that we are writing this letter of recommendation for Christa Petrillo, Total Horsemanship Training.

We purchased an Arabian, gelding in July of 2008 who had behavioral issues. It was important to us that the trainer we worked with be knowledgeable and like Arabians. We found the right person in Christa...

After talking with Christa over the phone we made a plan to rule out health issues by working with our Vet & UC Davis. The good news was that we had a very well bred, well trained horse that was very healthy; the bad news was that he had behavioral issues due to the humans who had owned him. We made a training plan with Christa. We started working with Christa two days a week at her ranch. Our horse quickly improved for Christa and for us at her ranch. However, when he was back at our ranch the behavior returned. We were really struggling with our horse and we weren’t having much fun. We called Christa and she came to the ranch to work with us in our environment. With coaching from Christa I improved the way I handled him, I became more assertive and consistent with him. We finally turned the corner, he isn’t fighting with me, he shows us respect and we are having fun with him. We have reworked his ground manners in the round pen and by doing bridle work and I have improved my skill in handling on the ground.

Bill               Nita

We have also joined Christa’s weekly study group. We are really enjoying the classes. The classes are very informative and we have covered a broad range of information, such as conformation, health and nutrition, trailer loading and unloading techniques, equipment and proper tacking up, advance riding moves and my favorite, behavior modification techniques (for both horse and rider).

We are continuing our training with Christa as there is so much to learn despite the many years we have been horse owners. We are really enjoying learning more advanced riding skills with our new horse and with our older horses. We are having fun, we are meeting other horse owners who are passionate about their horses and we are becoming better equestrians.

We highly recommend Christa, she is very passionate about horses, and she has the experience, she is highly skilled and she is very well trained. Christa has the talent of teaching her students in a humorous and yet very informative manner. She has the ability to teach both the horse and rider in a professional and non threatening manner. She is highly ethical and one of the hardest working individuals we have ever met."

~ Bill & Nita, Napa, California ~

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“In my line of business (I'm a lecturer at UC Davis), I write a lot of letters of recommendation, but this one has got to be one of the best, most fun I've written, and one of the letters I've written most eagerly!

I took my semi-"rescued" paint mare to Christa two years ago, after trying in vain to "bring her back" from benign neglect and a real resistance to the bit, to bending, to any control. Shoni spent two months with Christa, and after that, I had a horse I could ride, love and trust. We finished up by taking Christa's two-day trail clinic, and had a blast.

Christa has some sort of way with horses - you can see it when they look at her - or rather, look TO her. They know she is a safe, fair leader and they trust her. She combines that natural gift with a solid knowledge of the methods, and a fairness as a businesswoman that's hard to find elsewhere. You can trust Christa to be open and honest about your horse and his or her issues, and to do her best to help you be the best owner/rider.

Plain and simple, I would recommend Christa Petrillo as a trainer for any horse and any rider.
Here's to good ridin'.”
~ Beth Post ~

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“Thanks Christa for doing the CPT Study Course. It's an absolute blast! I just love it!

I have met some wonderful new people, and I have also discovered that I am not "alone" with my horse struggles!!!

It is a great cost effective way to learn about training issues, methods of training, health issues, nutrition, veterinary care- both eastern and western. If you can think of it, Christa will cover the topic.

Highly recommended to anyone who loves horses, owns a horse or thinking of buying a horse. You will meet some wonderful people, have fun, and learn so much, all in a cozy relaxed atmosphere.”

~ Sally Rodriguez, Vacaville, CA ~

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Chris S.

“I really believe that Silver and I were meant to be together and Christa made it possible. She has an amazing gift of matching horses with people. Christa got to know me as a person and rider while she did the same thing separately with Silver. When she decided to introduce us, I felt a connection and love that was amazing. I have a new best friend and Silver has a home for life! Thank you, Christa, for your patience, caring and love of horses and people. Silver and I were lucky to find you in our journey to find each other!”

~ Chris S. ~

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Juliet Hansen

“Buying a horse from Christa was the best thing that happened in all of 2008! She helped match me with a beautiful and brilliant young horse who is proving to be a wonderful partner. Christa was honest and open, generous with her time and flexible with payment. All this led to a wonderful purchase that I wouldn't trade for the world!”

~ Juliet Hansen ~

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