I will never forget the day we met Wendy Brownlee at Tahoe Meadows Equestrian
Center in Truckee, CA. My daughter’s horse had recently died, and she was grieving
deeply and would not snap out of it. I tried everything I could think of to help her
but she was still sad and lethargic four months later. Tareyn had been introduced to
horses at the age of five by her best friend’s mother, Kris, an experienced equestrian
and horse lover. Tareyn spent several summers with her riding and tending to the
horses at Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center. She had a real talent in the saddle right
from the start, and she loved horses. When we drove up to the barn that day, she
breathed deeply and spontaneously said, “I love the smell of horse poop!” A friend
of mine had wisely told me that there was only one way to “snap” her out of her
funk and that was to get her back on a horse. The only problem was it was the dead
of winter in Truckee and the only year round barn was behind the weigh station
on Highway 80. I had heard of the place but had never been there. I knew close to
nothing about horses having taken only a few trail rides on western horses in my
youth, but, desperate to help my daughter, I scheduled a lesson and we went out to
the barn to check it out.

As we approached the barn, Wendy greeted us with a warm smile and a cheery
hello. I liked her immediately. The barn was quiet as she was just getting her
business started. We signed all the paperwork, and Wendy helped Tareyn tack up
and get on. Almost immediately, a smile appeared on Tareyn’s face again. We started
with one lesson a week but it was swiftly apparent that Tareyn wanted more, so we
added another and then another and then one day a very cute and friendly paint
pony appeared in one of the stalls (sneaky Wendy). We both fell instantly in love
with him, and he was an absolute fit for Tareyn. Wendy said he was for sale and
that he was a good price for a well-trained, fancy hunter. When I learned the price I
almost fainted since all the horses we had previously owned had been retired from
the herd, at the end of their lives and cost about $25. Somehow I managed to come
up with the money, and Tareyn had her first pony. His show name was “Call Me
Perfect”. He was, too.

Wendy taught me almost everything I know about horses. All along the way she has
been a patient, loving and kind mentor to both Tareyn and me. There was so much
anxiety for me as the ignorant mother of a young girl passionate about horses and
riding and……jumping! Wendy was always available to guide us whether it was to
help us choose tack, or show clothes or to help us with the special needs of our pony.
She was always accessible and infinitely knowledgeable, and if she didn’t know
something she always knew someone who did.

Seven years have passed, and along the way Wendy helped us sell Ringo and buy
Tareyn’s first horse, Kingas Star, a Holsteiner gelding from the Czech Republic.
Wendy shaped Kingas into an amazing champion and guided us through the ups and
downs of horse ownership. We sold Kingas last year, and Wendy helped us to find

the perfect home for him. Wendy now has our second horse, Othello, a European
warm-blood, in “finishing school”. Her skillful, patient, intuitive and gentle training
has created a magnificent mount.

Wendy is gifted in training young horses and equally gifted in training riders of all
ages. She always seems to know just what the horse and rider need to learn and
when. Though competition is exciting and winning is fun, Wendy it is more about
teaching the horse and rider what they need to know to progress. She seldom
gets angry or raises her voice. If something is going awry, she creatively seeks to
discover the best way to get across what she is trying to teach. Tareyn is now a
beautiful and elegant rider thanks to Wendy’s incredible instruction and keen eye
for detail.

After seeing Tareyn and her riding friends having so much fun in the saddle, I
decided to learn to ride at the age of 48. Unlike Tareyn, however, I had no natural
talent for riding. Somehow, Wendy has been able to teach even me to ride well.
I even jump now, and I swore when I started that I would never jump. Step by
step, Wendy taught me the fundamentals of English riding and shaped me into a
fine equestrian. I figure that if Wendy can teach me to ride, she can teach virtually
anyone. I have since been trained in Equine Experiential Education through E3A
and now do corporate coaching and personal development workshops using ground
activities with horses. I helped start a business with a friend called Equinemity,
and I have Wendy and Tareyn to thank for this unexpected passion in my life. In
addition to this, my son is now learning to ride and is enjoying his time learning
about horses.

Wendy has been an important person in our lives since we met her years ago.
I feel so blessed and grateful for all she has taught us. She is an honest (rare in
the horse business I have come to discover), kind, intuitive, intelligent, loving,
caring, talented, responsible, hard-working, funny, fair, well respected and unique
individual. She takes the time to get to know all of her horses and riders and all
of their idiosyncrasies, strengths and weaknesses, customizing her program to fit
the unique needs of all. I highly recommend Brownlee Equestrian; my experiences
there have enhanced my life and that of my family. A family that rides together stays
together!