Please Note: We do not offer any trail riding. However, for riding lessons and equestrian camp inquiries, please contact Hayden Clark at 949-448-0823.
Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center
The Facility includes:
- 96 stalls (12×12 box stalls & 12 X 24 pipe corrals)
- 3 large lighted sand arenas
- Two sun pens / Round pens
- Covered Eurowalker
- Multiple grooming stalls with hot & cold water wash racks
- Clubhouse with full kitchen
- Opportunities to train with work class trainers and instructors in the Hunter Jumper and Dressage disciplines
- Access to 25 miles of equestrian trails
Equestrian Center Information:
Hours of Operation:
6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Equestrian Center Office:
Equestrian Center EMERGENCIES:
Equestrian Center Manager (949) 371-1595
Equestrian Center Events
Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center takes pride in its Events with functions that foster to riders of every discipline and experience level. For more information about any of our events, or if you have ideas for a new fun and exciting event, please email our Event Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Equestrian Center Manager, Nikki Garcia at email@example.com.
Equestrian Center Trainers, Instructors & Programs
The Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center has world-class trainers who are leaders in their disciplines. These trainers have extensive experience with riders and horses of all levels.
Lessons and training programs are offered in Dressage, Equitation, Hunters, Jumpers and Natural Horsemanship. Please contact any of our trainers for their training rates and more information.
Mickey Hayden has been training top hunter, jumper, and equitation horses and riders since 1979. He has operated out of such prestigious California locations as the Will Rogers Polo and Hunt Club and the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Mickey is now at the Nellie Gail Equestrian Center in Laguna Hills, California where he has been since 1992.
Mickey has produced countless American Horse Show Association (AHSA), Pacific Coast Horse Show Association (PCHSA), and International Equestrian Federation (FEI) champion horses and riders. His students and their horses are inevitably at the top of their respective horsemanship divisions.
Mickey is a captivating instructor who often draws an audience at the barn. Even the most novice spectator can see the progress a student or a horse makes during a training session. Mickey can get to the route of a problem, and solve it.
Mickey is known for his ability to select quality horses both for their physical and mental capabilities. He also has a great way of matching horses and riders for the best performance possible.
Mickey has a strong sense of right and wrong, both with people and horses. He has a reputation within the industry for being very ethical and draws like people to work with him. He runs a very organized, safe, and well-oiled operation along with his dedicated and responsible staff. Over the years, this has earned him the loyalty of his many clients.
Christine is a Young Adult FEI Dressage rider who specializes in teaching and training classical Dressage methods. She has experience working with young horses, as well as riding through the Grand Prix level. She works with kids and adults from the total beginner to the upper-level rider. For riders without horses, we have competitive school horses at all levels!
Christine is a USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medalist and also has earned her Silver Freestyle Bar. She has ridden competitively since age 12. She has had the unique privilege of riding and training with Olympian Steffen Peters, Olympian & USEF Developing Rider Coach, Debbie McDonald among many other talented clinicians. She has also trained for many years with Nellie Gail’s own "S" Judge, Janet Curtis.
Christine has had the opportunity to represent the United States twice with back-to-back Team Gold medals at the North American Young Rider Championships with two different competition partners, one of whom she rides today. She also has a Team Silver medal from the USEF Junior National Championships. Additionally, she has been invited and participated three years in the USEF Festival of Champions at the USEF Headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey in both Young Rider and "Brentina Cup" Championships with two Fourth and an Eighth place nationally.
As a Team Coach, she can offer a fun and successful youth show team experience for riders under the age of 21. This show team competes each season in the Orange County Interscholastic Equestrian League Show Series and, with certain outstanding individuals, aims to qualify for the CDS Junior Dressage Rider Championships, the USDF Regional Dressage Championships and various USEF National championships including Equitation and FEI Junior/Young Rider divisions. The youth team offers all riders a competitive experience at highly discounted rates.
We try to provide a fun and relaxing atmosphere to learn and achieve your goals in! Please feel free to stop by for a visit!
Jess Havey has been a dressage trainer at Nellie Gail since 2015. She trains and competes client’s horses and also provides dressage instruction to clients on their own horses. In November 2018, Jess competed at the Friesian World Cup in Las Vegas with client Angie Waian’s mare Margriet. The pair won 2 Grand Championship and one Reserve Grand Championship titles. In addition to her clients at Nellie Gail, Jess is the dressage trainer at a private dressage stable in Encinitas where she has a number of competition horses and clients in training. Jess is a United States Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver medalist and 3 Star rated rider. She has numerous wins on multiple horses Training level through PSG/I1 with scores in the 70s.
Jess grew up in Maine and her first exposure to horses was at an eventing stable when she was 8 years old. Over the next few years she became passionate about dressage and during her teenage years, dressage became the focus of her equestrian training. While pursuing a pre-vet degree from the University of Vermont, Jess continued to dedicate herself to dressage. Following graduation she became the assistant trainer and barn manager to Ellen Miller, summering in Vermont and wintering in Wellington, FL. Jess then went on to work for Nancy Later in Wellington, FL, learning the ins and outs of a sales barn as well as training young horses up through the levels.
In 2009, Jess moved to Langley, B.C where she was the assistant trainer for 3-time Olympian Leslie Reid. With Leslie as a role model for top competition dressage, Jess rapidly developed her skills as a rider, competitor and trainer. 2011 brought a move to Holland for Jess with the opportunity to work for a horse sales barn, riding, training and presenting dressage prospects to potential buyers.
Jess moved to San Diego in 2012 to take a position as assistant trainer to Olympian Sue Blinks. Here she trained and showed Leatherdale Farm’s horses under Sue’s knowledgeable and experienced eye, gaining invaluable experience and continuing to her advance dressage education.
In 2014, Jess started her own riding and training business. She currently trains with Olympian Christine Traurig, and in addition to competing client’s horses, she is very successfully showing her own talented mare, Relevant, at 4th level, with hopes of making it to Grand Prix with her in the future. Jess really enjoys the process and challenge of training all different types, ages, and levels of horses and their riders.
Jan Curtis is an “S” judge who rides, trains and teaches at Nellie Gail Ranch in Laguna Hills, California.
Her riding accomplishments include the USDF bronze, silver and gold medals in dressage. In 1994, her horse, Rosenthal, a Swedish Warmblood, was chosen to participate in the Olympic Festival. Then in the late 1990”s she competed extensively and successfully at Grand Prix on her Russian Warmblood, Classic. Currently, Jan has competed at Grand Prix on her Hannoverian, Whizzkid, who was purchased at the Elite Verden Auction in 2005. Jan has brought him along from a 4-year-old to age 17 where he is now helping other young riders obtain their gold medals. In 2017, Jan’s 8-year-old Hanoverian, Hello Halli was selected for the World Cup in Omaha Nebraska. Halli demonstrated a young horse being trained in the Grand Prix movements. Now sold to Cassie Cherry Nolte, Halli is still at Nellie Gail performing all the Grand Prix and preparing for show.
In addition to riding and teaching at home, Jan judges and clinics extensively. She received certification for young horse judging by attendance at the 2011 Verden Young Horse Championships with International Dressage Officials Club.
She retired in 2004 from her other career at Long Beach City College as a Health Science professor for 38 years. In between judging assignments, she and her husband spend much of their time traveling around the world for their business, Equestrian Endeavors, and for pleasure.
Kim Keenan Stordahl lives in Vista CA and teaches 3-4 times per week at Nellie Gail.
USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist
USEF Team Long listed for 3 years
1988 North American Young Rider Preliminary, Team and Individual Gold Medalist with highest scores held for 10 years.
1989 US Olympic Festival Silver Team Medal
1989 North American Adult Prix St. Georges/Intermediare I Gold Medalist in Canada.
Trained in Holland with Bert Rutten for 1 year and in Germany at Dr. Reiner Klimke’s for 2 years.
Competed at International competitions for the United States at the Grand Prix and Prix St. George level including Aachen.
Holds many USDF Horse of the Year titles at the FEI Levels.
20th in the nation in 1996 Olympic Trials
Brought 3 horses to Grand Prix from 3 years old up.
1990 Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy winner for Sportsmanship across all disciplines.
Teaching all levels of Dressage for 30 years.
Cassie Cherry Nolte
Cassie began her competitive dressage career at the age of 13, riding a retired thoroughbred racehorse named Landseer. After climbing her way up the dressage levels and experiencing a very successful junior and young rider career, Cassie was twice selected for the US Equestrian Team / US Dressage Federation Advance Young Rider Graduate Program for emerging professional dressage riders. She graduated from the University of California at Irvine and has since balanced a successful career in marketing while continuing to ride and train. She has been a Dressage Instructor at the Nellie Gail Ranch Equestrian Center since October 2015 working with her clientele of dressage riders and horses.
Cassie teamed up with her current coach, USEF ‘S’ dressage judge Janet Curtis in 2016, and has called the Nellie Gail Equestrian Center home for her own competition horses ever since. With Jan’s meticulous eye and utilizing the excellent training facilities at the center, Cassie earned her USDF Gold Medal in 2017 and won every Grand Prix competition she entered. In 2018 she acquired her current competition horse Hellohalli and together the pair achieved numerous scores above 70% in the I2 and Developing Grand Prix classes, earning an invitation to compete at the 2019 Festival of Champions. Cassie and Halli made the journey to Chicago and earned a 10th overall placing in the USEF Developing Horse Grand Prix National Championships.