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Arabian and All-Breed Horse Training - Western, English, Huntseat, Halter


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2012 The Year in Review

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 2:50 PM

2012 - The year in review:

We tried some new things this year and met a lot of fun new people. Part of what makes this business great is helping horses and the other part is helping people. We love doing both and are very blessed to have the opportunities to do so.


This year we enjoyed an incredible record, winning numerous titles in the arena:


• 15 Top 10’s and a Reserve World Champion title (Western Pleasure) at PtHA World Championships

• 2 National Champion High Points and 11 National Champion titles at the North American Gypsy Championships

• 14 Top 5’s, one Reserve Champion and three Champions at the AHA Region V Championship show.


Brittany Husser was promoted to Assistant Trainer and former Assistant Trainer Crystall Petry moved to Texas and opened her own training business “Petry Performance Horses”. Congratulations ladies!


We hosted our first Open House at Cedar Hill and it was a great success! We served over 100 plates of food and guests stayed late into the night, riding in the arena and visiting around the bonfire.


Mike and Crystal represented the Daffodil Arabian Club at AHA National Convention in Denver, Co.. Mike is now part of the Equitation/Showmanship Committee and the Working Western Committee for 2013.


Mike was selected by Region V to be the barn manager for the 2013 Regional Championship Show in Monroe, WA.


Crystal and Brittany both began the process of getting their Judges Cards. Watch for them both in the center of the arena in 2013!


We celebrate the wins of 2012 big and small, both in and out of the arena. At the end of the day we still love what we do, and we appreciate everyone who helped make the year great! We can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring!


Looking forward to a great new year, wishing everyone success in whatever direction you choose, and we will see you at the shows!


Sincerely – The Staff at Cedar Hill Training Center

“Where the Horse Comes First, and Winning Comes Naturally”







Arabian Horse Training in Washington State

Arabian Horses for Sale in Washington State

2012 Show Season 2nd Update (including PtHA Worlds)

Posted on September 23, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Welcome to our news page, if this is your first time to our website, please look around using the directory at the left side of the page.    Here are the current updates - Enjoy!


CONGRATULATIONS! to Brittany Husser on her promotion to Assistant Trainer!  We love Brittany, she is a very hard worker and an invaluable asset to Cedar Hill. We will celebrating her promotion at the Open House this Weekend!


Here are the show updates:




Congratulations! Peanut does it again! 1/2 Arabian Pinto Mare shown by Crystal Hornbuckle-Baker. 2012 Western Pleasure Reserve World Champion


What happens to Thoroughbreds who are not fast enough on the track? At Cedar Hill they become performance horses and win 14 top tens in the World: Congratulations to Mark and Holly Rydman, out of more than 2000 horses registered at the Pinto World Show, Talladega Nights "Tally" (a grandson of Secretariat) was the ONLY Thoroughbred. Way to go!


"COURAGE is being scared to death and saddling up anyway" - John Wayne - On his 15th birthday Gavin Baker entered Open Reigning at the PtHA World Championship. He was the only Youth riding the only 1/2 Arabian. Showing against professionals on seasoned Horses. He fought through his nerves completed his pattern and placed in the top 10! (beating some of the pros) Congratulations Gavin we could not be more proud!



Cedar Hill had a great show at MidSummer Arabian in Monroe, WA with Stacy and Brittany Husser leading the crew. Check the photo Galleries (click tab at left) to see the impressive number of ribbons won by a small crew of just 4 horses in large tough classes! It just goes to show...quantity doesn't always equal quality. Our goal is always to be the best, not necessarily the biggest. Great job to everyone!



THANK YOU to all of our Youth and Amateur competitors, Trainers and supporters for a fantastic Region V show!! If you check the photo galleries you can see a great picture of the little crew that won all that stuff on the wall! 3 Champions, 1 Reserve and 14 top 5's. Great Show!



What an amazing show for Cedar Hill. The wins just kept coming. Numerous classed where Cedar Hill swept the top three spots in large full classes! Everyone did a fantastic job. It was especially great to see Crystal and Stacy showing in the open classes. Really great to see Ozzie and Diva back in the show pen and looking fantastic (So did everyone else and the ribbons prove it!) There are plenty of great pictures in the photo galleries, so check them out!



“Tagline” made his debut with his own breed association and literally won every class he went in! Watch out because now Tag, Crystal and Holly Rydman are heading to the Gypsy National Championships!!



Lots of fun and Congratulations to Kim Warren and “Blaze” for winning the Amateur Breeding Stock High Point! This is a tough category where Kim showed her Purebred Arabian against Stock Type Horses. Great job! Congratulations to all of the Youth and Amateurs that made another great show!


Next for 2012: Cedar Hill Open House, Gypsy Vanner Nationals, and Pacific Rim Arabian Show.



Cedar Hill Training Center

“When the Horse Comes First, Winning Comes Naturally”

Arabian Horse Trainers in Washington State

Arabian Horse Trainers in Washington State

2012 Show Season Update

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Show season is off to a fantastic start at Cedar Hill. Here are the highlights:

Arabian Horse Shows:

The Daffodil Arabian Horse Association Spring Show in Puyallup, Washington, was amazing with more Champions, Reserve Champions and First places than we can tally. (Check the Cedar Hill Facebook fan page for pics)

Congratulations again to Brianna Feller, Krisin and Stacy for the amazing celebration for RJO Korruption+// (Kory) who earned his AHA Legion of Excellence while Brianna earned her AHA Rider of Supreme Honor Award. It was a great presentation and an excellent party! Brianna also had a great show with Kory all weekend!

Monique Hader made her Country Pleasure show debut with EA Miss Debutante (Missy) and did fantastic. It was also great to see Crystal Hornbuckle Baker back in the English Saddle showing (and winning) with Missy. Missy came to us last year as a prospect from Empress Arabians and is proving to be a great Country Pleasure Horse.

Dari Leavitt and Slick, Sylvia Leavitt and Cyskho found their stride and proved to be the dynamic duo with very impressive wins in Western Pleasure. Jennifer Freudenstien and Blaze (owned by Kim Warren), Kristin and LJ, Cynniya Maguire and Gator, who did sidesaddle for the first time (and won!), Karmell Dawson and Bugs, And Brittany Lastoka and Kory all had a great show as well. Kennedy Halterman showed for her first time at an Arabian show with Jorgia (a baby) and did great too!

The Cascade Arabian Horse Show in Spanaway Washington was equally impressive for Cedar Hill. It was great to see Christy Borden’s Ruger back in the show pen shown by Lauren and cleaning up in Sport Horse!

Dari Leavitt and Slick won almost everything they entered. Taj owned by Danny Thompsen (shown by Brittany Husser and Jennifer Freudenstien) had his show debut and did great! Katie Evans and Teddy won almost all of their jumping classes!

Next on the Arabian Circuit – Midsummer Classic in Monroe Washington, Then AHA Region V (also in Monroe)

Pinto Horse Shows:

PtHAWW April Show - A great way to start the season! Holly Rydman - High Point Western Breeding Stock. Kennedy Halterman - High Point Utility Type. Kim Fowler Warren - Reserve High Point Western Breeding Stock. Tori White - Reserve High Point English Stock Type. Darian Rydman placed in an open class in her very first time showing ever! Gavin Baker made his reigning debut. Brittany Husser did great the first time being the "show boss". Mary Lund Britton was a fantastic groom. Monique Hader, Cynniya Maguire, and Karin Maguire were great helpers and Doug Britton was an awesome photographer!

Cascade Pinto / Morgan Classic. Another great show for Cedar Hill! Three High Points and Two Reserve High Points. Congratulations to Holly Rydman, Kennedy Halterman, Kim Fowler Warren and Tori White! Also to Jessica Stanfield Cole for pulling unanimous firsts in Western Pleasure! (4 judges). Holly also pulled several unanimous firsts as well! Kim Warren also earned 3rd in the Open Breeding Stock High Point Race – Nice Job! Also, great to see Christy Trost Borden and Lauren back in the show pen with Ruger - watch out for them in the future!

Next on the Pinto Circuit – PtHA World Championship Show in Tulsa Oklahoma, best wishes and safe travels to Crystal, Holly and Gavin on their adventure!

***Just a side note - It is always so much fun to go to a show and watch Cedar Hill, we love the way that everyone supports each other. From help getting ready, to cheering for each other in the stands, the Cedar Hill Peeps stick together – we couldn’t be more proud to have such a great group!

Stay tuned for more updates!


Cedar Hill Training Center

“When the horses come first, Winning comes naturally”


Arabian Horse Trainers in Washington State

Arabian Horse Trainers in Washington State

Tulsa Bound in 2012, Fall Training Special and Parties, Parties, Parties!

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Hi Folks,


At Cedar Hill, we’ve had another fantastic show season in 2011 and we are already preparing for 2012, which promises to be one of the most exciting years we can remember!


We have made a commitment to travel to the PtHA World Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma June 11th-23rd, 2011. If you are interested in competing or traveling with the Cedar Hill crew for a World Champion title, let us know immediately! There is a lot to do for planning and preparation. Currently, we have room for more to make the trip. But DO NOT WAIT, let’s start planning now!


FALL TRAINING SPECIAL - This is a great opportunity, if you book your training now for any date in 2012, your monthly rate of $585/month will be locked in for the special period (90 days). This offer will only be for a limited time and a limited number of horses. Also, our current training rate of $685/month will be going up on January 1st 2012. So, booking now will save you lots of money down the road!


Saturday December 3rd , 5:00pm - CHRISTMAS DECORATING PARTY and STALL DECORATING CONTEST!! -– Join us for a great time of Christmas cheer! We will get the barn officially decorated for the holidays and begin the stall decorating contest (we encourage everyone to be as creative as possible!). Hot Cocoa, Hot Cider, Christmas Carols and More! Time to get your Holiday groove on again!!!


Saturday December 17th , 5:00pm – CEDAR HILL CHRISTMAS PARTY, POTLUCK and GIFT EXCHANGE!! Always a highlight of the year, Fantastic Food!!! & Great fun! Bring a gift ($10-$15 – but handmade are always the most popular!) and something delicious to share – show off your skills in the kitchen (or if you are like us…your lack of skills!).


Saturday, December 31st, 7:00pm-ish – CEDAR HILL NEW YEARS EVE PARTY - Minute-to-Win It games are back!!! Last year team Fireball won the competition, come join in the fun!

Cedar Hill News

Posted on May 26, 2011 at 1:46 AM

The show season is off to a great start – It has been Crazy Busy, but we hope this will help keep everyone caught up:

PtHAWW Let’s Go (Pinto Show)

Miserable weather but an amazing showing by the Cedar Hill Crew:

Tori White and Satin – fantastic Pinto debut for this new team – Looking like real partners at their first breed show! Very solid performances - a great way to start the show season. Look for great things from these two! (new pic of these guys on the website – check it out)

Holly Rydman and Tag – The first and only Breeding Stock Gyspy Vanner at the show! Also – Holly’s first class ever at a breed show. How did she do? She rocked it like a pro! Congratulations! (new pic of them too – check the website!)

Talledegha NightsOwned by Mark and Holly Rydman – Wow! This was Tally’s breed show debut - Shown by Crystall Petry. What can we say? All Around Open Breeding Stock High Point! Nice! Great job by Crystal B. and Crystall P. and congratulations to Mark and Holly!

Cyn Maguire and Gator – Say what??? All-Around Reserve High Point in the Breeding Stock Youth Division!! These two have come so far in the past year, it is really impressive!

Sylvia Leavitt and Lacey – THEY DID IT!!!! – After many years of dedication, discipline and devotion – Sylvia and Lacey earned their Amateur Supreme Champion with the Pinto Horse Association of America. This is a lifetime achievement award. This level is earned by only the elite and truly dedicated – Also, it means that Sylvia and Lacy will be honored with a presentation ride and a BIG PARTY at one of the upcoming shows – stay tuned for details on that! (woo-hoo party time!!)

Gavin Baker and Kei Sierra – The high speed stuff! Reserve High Point in the Youth Western Games Division! Way to hang on and good riding!

Daffodil Spring Arabian

This show was a lot of fun! Free wine and cheese tasting on Friday Night, Free margaritas and barbeque Saturday Night:

Congrats to Cyn Maguire and Gator who won enough money in their Championship class to pay for all of the stuff that Karin bought at the silent auction on Saturday Night! (very funny)

We had tons of fun with Sylvia and Darri Leavitt and Cyskho, who had very solid performances. Not to mention the debut of the now infamous Cedar Hill Golf Cart (Thanks Mark and Holly)! It was a great weekend!

Cascade Arabian Youth Benefit:

Monique Hader and Laro – This was their very first Arabian show and they did great! They won their Showmanship Class! Monique has come a long way after a pretty major injury last year – They had a great breed show debut.

Cyn Maguire and Gator – Awesome placing in big classes! AND her big debut in Native Costume!! – How did she do?...She won it! Excellent!

Darri Leavitt and Slick – Darri and Slick’s Arabian debut! They won their class!!! Excellent job!

Sylvia Leavitt and Cyskho – Western and Side Saddle debut for this team and guess what? – they won those classes too!! (I see a trend here…Nice!!!)

Jenn Freudenstein and Daisy – Also their first Arabian Show together. Second and First places – Excellent way to start things out

Cascade Silver Buckle (Pinto Show):

Where to start?

Tori White and Satin – an amazing partnership has formed with these two. They achieved big placings in big classes and it is only their 2rd breed show!! Really making a beautiful picture and winning big too! Future All-Around Champions for sure!

Talledegha Nights – Owned by Mark and Holly Rydman – Crystal Petry showed Tally to win Reserve High Point in the Open Breeding Stock Division!! Tally has become a superstar in a very short period of time. Proof that race track horses can have a career after the track and do amazing things. Major Congratulations once again to Mark and Holly!

Cyn Maguire and Gator – Again??? Another Reserve High Point in the Breeding Stock Youth Division!! Look out for this dynamic duo as things are only getting better and stronger all the time!

Monique Hader and Laro – This was their Pinto Breed show debut. Major improvements from the previous show and a solid job in a variety of classes. Great Work!

Sylvia Leavitt and Lacey – Okay – at a certain point you’re just showin’ off (and we love it)! Sylvia took Lacey into a Side-Saddle class. Lacey has not been ridden side-saddle in about 4 years. After only a five minute warm-up, they took first place from 5 of 6 judges. What???? Great job Sylvia!!

Brooklyn Leavitt and Lacey – The cutest team on the entire planet! First place in Lead-Line!! Congratulations

Holly Rydman and Tag – Second Pinto Show for these two. Added halter to the mix and did great. What’s next for these two? We can’t wait to see.

Other News:

Cedar Hill Gear is Here! Come get your stuff!! Hoodies, Hats and Jackets and they all look great!

Check the website for new pics we are starting to get caught up (we are almost up to Christmas…sad I know). Well we are getting there!

That’s all for now – stay tuned for more upcoming events

Crystal and Mike Baker

Cedar Hill Training Center


Cedar Hill News and Congratulations!

Posted on March 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Hi Folks its time for an update!


For those of you who haven’t met her yet, we would like to introduce the latest addition to the Cedar Hill Team – Crystall Petry. (That’s Crystall with two L’s). That’s right twice as many Crystals for your equine entertainment (and education). You may recognize Crystall, she was a Cedar Hill Youth many years ago, and after some time as an intern she has moved up to Assistant Trainer!



Congratulations to all of the Cedar Hill peeps who showed this weekend at the Daffodil Arabian Spring Schooling Show. The show had good attendance and some of the open classes had 20-25 riders. Everyone at Cedar Hill did a great job getting geared up for the season:


Crystall Petry & Tally (owned by Mark and Holly Rydman) – Show High Point! – wow only his 3rd time in the show pen – congratulations!!

Holly Rydman & Tag – these two were a show favorite, the Judge loved this flashy Gypsy Vanner!

Kennedy Rydman & K.C. – first time together at a show! Amazing work!

Cyn Maquire & Gator – rockin’ the house! – hard to recognize these two compared to last year!

Monique Hader & Laro – steady improvement and some good placings too!

Joy Duval-Igarta & Snickers – nice work!

Lauren & Ruger (owned by Tony and Christy Borden) – lots of placings – great work!

Tori White & Satin – only Satin’s second show – steady and incredible!

Dari Leavitt - & Cyskho – that’s right Cyskho is sound and ready - looking fantastic!!

Sylvia Leavitt & Lacey – what a couple of Hotties! Looking amazing!!

Mikayla Schuster & Encore – numerous first places! An inspiration to everyone and proof that deaf people can do anything and do it well!



Other News


Girls Night – still every Friday night – this is an open arena for the Cedar Hill Ladies. Make sure to check in with people if you are coming. Last week 4 separate groups came and left before the next group arrived.


Cedar Hill Gear – Orders for new jackets, hoodies and hats have been placed. We should have them in a few weeks!


Next – PtHAWW Lets’ Go Show – April 14th-17th followed by Spring Daffodil Arabian Show April 29th- May 1st.


Other Other News:


We want to thank all of our friends and clients. Cedar Hill has been running at full capacity for over a year now. We have an excellent, fun group and we are looking forward to another exciting show season!


Also: We are currently looking for a few more interns and working students. Interviews are going on right now! If you are interested or know anyone who is – refer them to our website under the “Education & Employment” tab.



Crystal and Mike Baker

Cedar Hill Training Center


Cedar Hill Christmas

Posted on November 28, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Hey Folks



The decorating party was alot of fun - thank you so much to everyone who helped out.  Next up is the Christmas Party!!!


Bring your best dish and a gift for the exchange - a festive and fun time will be had by all!!!



It has been a great year and we are looking forward to another great year coming up! Lets celebrate!



WHO?: You and other fun-seeking Holiday Horse People from Cedar Hill

WHAT?: Cedar Hill Training Christmas Party, Potluck and Gift Exchange!

WHEN?: Saturday, December 4th at 5:00pm

WHERE?: 14425 123rd Ave SE, Yelm, WA 98597 - directions under "Contact Information" at

WHY?: To eat great food, share good times and have great fun! and - to get you Holiday Groove on!!!



Details: Potluck - this is the time to show off your stuff - anything homemade, home-grown (legally), or generally considered delicious!

Gift Exchange - Bring a gift generally valued from $15-$25. If you have skills in making things - here's another chance to show off!

The Party will be up at the house, but "The Cave" will be available down at the barn for those who want to play foosball and air-hockey!

Cedar Hill Halloween!!!

Posted on October 6, 2010 at 1:55 PM


What? Cedar Hill Halloween Spook-tacular! Horses, Costumes, Games, Barbeque & Fun

When? Saturday October 30th, 11:00am - 5:00pm

Where? Cedar Hill Training Center -

Why? To determine the fate of the Universe! (and have a bunch of Halloween Fun!)


It's Back! Dress up in costume (you and your horse or just yourself) - fun games, prizes, horseback trick or treating! Theme is Heroes vs. Villains (Good guys vs. Bad Guys). Dress up as your favorite Hero or Villain and prepare to battle against the other side. The fate of the universe is in your hands! Last year we had some classic match-ups (Evil Pirate vs. Rainbow Bright, Darth Maul vs. Sparticus and many more). Unfortunately, last year the world as we know it was plunged into darkness as the Villains emerged victorious. Can the heroes save the day this year?


There will be a free barbeque for lunch and horseback trick or treating for dessert! Come join the fun!! Start time is 11:00 am – Finished by dinner time so everyone can enjoy their regular Halloween festivities as well. Let us know if you are coming so we can plan for the barbeque! See You soon!!


Costume Prizes for: *Mounted *Lead-Line and *On-Foot divisions

Fate of the Universe awarded to: the good guys or the bad guys, as a team

First Place ribbons for all games

Check the web-site for pictures from last year's Spook-tacular!


See You Soon!


Mike and Crystal Baker

Cedar Hill Training Center



Posted on January 19, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Check it Out!


In the column "Stable Thinking" (Page 62) of the brand new February Issue of "Horse Illustrated". Crystal is quoted as a consulting expert in the article.


We have a very good relationship with the columnist - so look for more expert quotes from Crystal in future issues!


Horse Illustrated has the largest distribution of any equine magazine in the U.S. - Congratulations to Cathy Atkinson for becoming a regular columnist - and to Crystal for being a "consulting expert". Way to go girls!


Also - As usual, we are having a blast riding at Cedar Hill - If you have not been around lately, you may not know that Friday night is "Girls-Ride Night". It is just a fun time for the ladies to ride together - If you have got the post-holiday blues - get your buns in the saddle and come join us!!! Also the Ranch Roping Fellowship has continued every other weekend. We have not been putting these on the web-site, so if you are interested - give us a call or email.


Thank You,


Mike and Crystal Baker

Cedar Hill Training Center

"Where the Horse Comes First and Winning Comes Naturally"


Christmas, Ranch Roping & New Year's Party

Posted on December 22, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Hi Folks,


The Christmas Party was great fun and thank you to everyone who brought delicious food and fun gifts for the gift exchange. Sorry, there are really no pictures to share as we completely forgot to break out the camera. But between the food, the gifts, the UFC fights, the "Rock Band" girls, the "Air Soft Battle" boys (outside of course), the air-hockey, two outside camp-fires, and of course the roasting chestnuts, it seemed like everyone had a great time.


These are very exciting times at Cedar Hill. If you are part of the Cedar Hill Nation, you are part of a unique team with a common philosophy on horsemanship that is different from many (most) other barns. We always put the health and welfare of our horses first and we all work to support each other in a wide variety of equine activities, promoting good gentle, but firm, horsemanship. Cedar Hill is one of the few (possibly the only) Stables in this area that is growing and thriving. However, we don't want anyone to feel like they are being left out or left behind. - So, Don't get left behind! - stay connected and be a part of it. Below are two more ways to be connected before the end of the year:



1. Ranch Roping this Saturday, December 19th 10:00am - this is a Christian Outreach and is opened to EVERYONE, horse or no-horse, if you want to learn about traditional cowboy ways and values, and of course roping - join us!


2. Cedar Hill New Year's Eve Party, December 31st - Twister Tournament, The Ultimate "Rock Band" Tournament (with cash-ish prizes), Air Hockey competition, perhaps another Silly-String Showdown and whatever other fun events we can think up. Countdown to the New Year with us.


There are lots of new faces at Cedar Hill and lots of great new people, It is a very exciting time to be part of the Cedar Hill Family. We really want to encourage everyone to come to each of the social events and be a part of the fun, excitement and growth that we are experiencing. So come join us! If you are not already here, what are you waiting for?


It is time for annual reviews and goal-setting for 2010. If you are planning to show with Cedar Hill in 2010 - we need to hear from you with the following information: What shows do you plan to attend in 2010? What events do wish to compete in? What are your overall goals in horsemanship for 2010 and beyond? We will meet with each client individually to discuss your goals and plan for the upcoming season. Please respond by email as soon as possible.


Also, lesson slots and training openings for 2010 are almost full. If you are not currently booked for training in 2010 or are planning to take lessons and do not currently have a time slot - YOU NEED TO CONTACT US ASAP. We are looking forward to a great 2010!


Posted on September 15, 2009 at 9:59 AM

Hi Everyone,



This is another very exciting weekend! We will be at the Pinto "Poor-Boy Jubilee" Show at the Tacoma Unit. We have a very light crew attending the show, but the Celebration on Saturday night will be fantastic! We would like to invite everyone from the Cedar Hill Nation to attend!!!



We will be honoring the accomplishments of two Cedar Hill competitors:



Katie Mayer will be celebrating her Youth Championship with Krysta. We are very proud of Katie and excited to have her back on "the Hill" (that's Cedar Hill) - great work Katie!!



Now for an announcement that we are exceptionally proud of:



Darri Leavitt and Cyskho will be celebrating their "Legion of Merit"!!! Cyshko is the first breeding stock Pinto to reach this level in 30 years!!!!! He is also only the second breeding stock in the 50 year history of the Pinto Association to reach this level at all!!



Come watch a championship ride that will not soon be forgotten. Hear the story of this amazing partnership between a man and a horse crippled at birth (that's right...crippled at birth). Come and witness what hard work, dedication and always "putting your horse first" can lead to. This will be a very special night for all of us at Cedar Hill and we are honored to host the celebration.



Of course we will fire up the barbeque at 6:30pm as always. We will supply burgers and hot dogs, please bring your favorite side dish to share!!



Saturday Night - This is truly a landmark event, plan to be there!! This will also be the last show of the year at which we will be hosting a big barbeque/cookout. So come join the fun!!!



******PS also look for Gavin Baker featured in an upcoming edition of the "Nisqually Valley News". Mike, Rob and Gavin attended a traditional "Ranch Roping Clinic" last weekend and Gavin was interviewed and photographed a whole bunch! Also, if anyone else is interested in Traditional Ranch Roping - the guys are hooked and we will be roping on the Hill - come join us!





Crystal will be Showing Tada, Meredith Coard's 1/2 Arab for the first time this weekend! Very Exciting!!


Also: Congratulations to Josie Owens for the Sale of her Young Paint "Chaser" and an equal Congratulations to Randy Coard for his purchase of Chaser (an excellent choice).



Chaser is a great young Paint Gelding that we recently started at Cedar Hill. Look for Randy hangin' with the boys in Western Games, on the trails and who knows...ranch roping?



Also: Congratulations to Josie Owens again for the Sale of her Pinto Pony "Ditto". Although Ditto was only in training for a brief time, we are very excited for Josie's successful sale. Two horses in two months....not bad in today's market Josie!!!



Chaser's sale reminds us. We are starting horses again! Mostly because we have been unable to find anyone else who meets our high standards and expectations in this area. We have a fantastic program that has been proven again and again. We will only start two horses at a time (because of the extra demands), so space is limited and we are already partially booked up for the winter - we just keep forgetting to mention this to our established clientele (sorry).



***If you want your horse started correctly and gently, without unnecessary injury, trauma and drama - contact us NOW to book a spot this winter.




Thank You,

Mike and Crystal Baker

Cedar Hill Training Center

"Where the Horse Comes First and Winning Comes Naturally"


Results and Congratulations

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Hello Everyone,


In case you missed the last show here are the results along with other great Cedar Hill Accomplishments (my apologies to anyone that I missed):



Darri Leavitt and Cyskho - High Point - Open Breeding Stock

- Reserve Champion in the Cascade Pinto Saddle Series!

- He missed the saddle by only 10 points!! - I must give congratulations to Darri as the Breeding Stock Division ran full classes all weekend (which is more than most of the other divisions can say). It was not like the old days of Breeding Stock with just a few horses. Very tough competition and competing against great quality stock types as well - great job Darri!



Mike Baker and Desi - Saddle Series Winner! - Open Western Games Division

- It wasn't pretty, but it was fast ( enough). A beautiful gaming saddle by American Saddlery was awarded (see the website for a picture



Sylvia Leavitt and Lacey knocked off more objectives toward their Supreme. Jodie Trueblood pulled Legacy out of retirement and is very close to getting her Supreme as well. Jodie also showed her new prospect Annie. Jennifer Freudenstein and Khachina had a fun time (as usual), and Maddison and Shadey had a couple of great goes in the games. Katie Mayer showed Dakota for the first time in many years - it was really nice to see them in the arena - watch out for those two in the future! Deana and Levi had their very first Showmanship Class and debut on the Pinto circuit - excellent job! Also, Crystal showed Levi for the first time in the Open Hunter type classes, they placed consistently with first and second places...and with only three classes shown, placed 4th in the overall show standings! (what if they had shown in four classes?!!)



Rumble in the Arena! - It was the big talk at the show - Fame (the formerly naughty Saddlebred stallion) decided to test Crystal's resolve (it was inevitable) - results:

Fame - 0

Crystal - undefeated

Amazingly, despite the knock-down, drag-out fight, they pulled a Grand Champion and Two Reserve Champions! Wow! Fame is a really cool black and white stud and should make some outstanding babies. He has actually become one of Crystal's favorites to work with. Keep an eye out for him - he's a good lookin' boy!



Also more congrats:


Joy and Snickers: Great Job at the Pierce County Fair they will be representing their age group at State Fair. They cleaned up in the driving categories! Also:

For year end awards, Joy and Snickers earned the Driving Showmanship High Point perpetual trophy.

Joy and Snickers also earned the Driving High Point Overall perpetual trophy. (see pictures at Great work Joy!



Crystal DeRocher and Ziggy qualified for State! Those of you who know Ziggy's background know that this is a HUGE accomplishment - this has been a real labor of love for Crystal - Awesome!



Kathy Atkinson and Gossip Girl cleaned up at a recent benefit show for rescue horses. Good work Kathy! Also, Gossip Girl is a very nice POA rescue who is looking for new home, let us know if you are interested.



We will be spending the next few weeks getting caught up around the farm and getting ready for the September Jubilee show - there will be some more awards and announcements before then so...stay tuned!



Thank You,

Mike and Crystal Baker

Cedar Hill Training Center

"Where the Horse Comes First and Winning Comes Naturally"


Cedar Hill Update - Hold On To Your Hats!

Posted on July 20, 2009 at 3:51 PM



Sorry we haven't put out an update in while, but we've been busier than a woodpecker in a petrified forest! Read on for congratulations, important updates and fun upcoming events:



First and Foremost! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!



Darri Leavitt and Cyskho - AHA Region 5:

CHAMPION - AM Obstacle Trail

RES. CHAMPION - Open Obstacle Trail

TOP 5 - AM Western Pleasure Select (that one deserves an extra "Woo-Hoo!!!" - very competitive class)

Stay tuned as we will soon tell the story of this amazing horse who (believe it or not) was crippled at birth!



We are extremely proud of the following Cedar Hill Clients for earning the highest levels of Lifetime achievement awards with the Pinto Horse Association of America:


Jodie Trueblood and Legacy - Legion of Merit!!

Jennifer Freudenstien and Khachina - Supreme Champion!!

Julie Sampson and Mikkahla - Amateur Champion!!


*** This represents years of hard work and discipline (and good training). Each of these competitors will be honored with a Championship exhibition ride and presentation at the Big Six show this weekend. We are extremely proud of each of them (...and we will party Saturday night!)



Congratulations to Crystal Derocher who has taken Ziggy to the level of winning solid blues and high blues! - For those of you who have been following their journey - it is pretty awesome!



Also big congrats to Joy and Snickers who won the High Point Ribbon at the last show (woo-hoo!) as well as Grand Champion in Showmanship and Grand Champion in Driving Dressage!! - Great job!



WHAT'S UP? CHECK IT OUT AT it's our own new domain and it is finally ready for the public to see. See Upcoming Events, learn about our training philosophy, and about Crystal's background as a trainer. See current photos (even from last weekend's horse camping trip).



This weekend is the Pinto "Big Six" Show at the Tacoma Unit in Spanaway. This is always a fun show and we will, of course, barbecue on Saturday night. Some of you may have seen the Beautiful (but naughty) Black and White Saddlebred Stallion "Fame" at the last Pinto show. After only 45 days with Crystal this guy is looking better, behaving better and going back in the show pen. Come root for the rest of the Cedar Hill Crew as well.



Barbeque will start at 6:30pm on Saturday night - all Cedar Hill Clients are welcomed. We will supply the basics: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & Potatoe Salad (no charge for Cedar Hill peeps) - but we look forward to any extra goodies you would like to bring and share with the rest of the Cedar Hill Nation. Let's party and celebrate some amazing accomplishments! That's a BIG WOOO - HOOOO!!!!!



Next weekend...Camping at the beach (check out that web site!)!! See you soon!!





Cedar Hill Update #12

Posted on June 29, 2009 at 2:40 AM

Hi Folks,
We are back and we had a fantastic trip to Iowa!  For those of you who are not familiar with Jodi Strand, he is a household name on the National Level in the Arabian Western Pleasure world. In 2005, after being nominated eight times, APAHA selected him Male Western Pleasure Trainer of the Year. In the Arabian Horse World's "Totally Tops" awards, he has been on every list but one since the program's inception in 1996.  He and his clients win at the National level consistently, always.
So, basically...he's the BOMB!  Did we learn anything?  You bet!  However, the best thing we took away were the compliments and endorsements that Jodi gave Crystal.  The foundations of Jodi and Crystal's training styles are identical! (this was very exciting to us) Crystal was able to gain some excellent pointers in areas that she really wanted to improve, but after putting Crystal on a wide variety of horses, Jodi was so impressed with her riding that here is a synopsis of what he said:
Crystal is a great rider, but not only that,Crystal has a gift.  She can see and (more importantly) feel movement in horses that many trainers cannot. (Jack Stecker and Lynne Husted have been saying this for years).  She has the talent to be at the highest level in this industry. He compared her several times to Michelle Blackwell (  He said that all Crystal really needs is someone with a National level quality horse to step up and take a chance on her. 
Jodi offered to be a personal reference for Crystal and said he would refer people in our area to her as well. (we never brought this up at all, he completely volunteered his support).  He also encouraged us to promote her aggressively.  When I told him that we had never advertised, I thought he was going to slap me (seriously). We are thrilled to have his support....and stand by for the aggressive promotion and some actual advertising.
We both learned a lot on this trip and we are looking forward to passing on the benefits to you, our Cedar Hill family.  For those of you that have stock type horses in training (Paints and Quarter Horses), don't worry, Crystal was immediately making correlations on how the techniques that she learned would help her stock types too.  Good horsemanship translates easily from breed to breed. 

Cedar Hill Update #11

Posted on May 14, 2009 at 5:57 PM

Hey People!
Who's ready to shake off these cruddy weather blues?  We are!  The weather forecast for this weekend is OUTSTANDING!!!  In case you did not hear our trip to Hawaii was canceled due to Mike's company having "serious concerns" about the swine flue!  WHAT??? REALLY?????....Yes really.
So to say the least, we are ready to have some fun this weekend!!  Seriously!!  This weekend is the Cascade Pinto Silver Buckle Show - lots of belt buckles will be awarded - and we're gonna get some (we hope).  Also, this is a part of a Saddle Series and some of our people will be competing for Saddles to be awarded at the end of the year. So come on out and root for all of your Cedar Hill Com padres (that's "friends/team-mates" for you non Spanish speakers)!! 
Friday night at the Tacoma Unit there will be a potluck sponsored by Cascade Pinto Club.  They will provide BBQ Chicken and soda, you bring the rest.  This should be a good mixer and we encourage everyone competing at the show (or not competing) to show up and socialize (we will). 
SATURDAY NIGHT - CEDAR HILL COOK-OUT AND POTLUCK!!!!! - 6:30pm.  All Cedar Hill peeps (that's "people" for you old folks) - past present and future, are invited!   Bring whatever you want to eat and some yummie stuff to share!  We will have the grill going, the tiki torches lit and the campfire (such as it is) going at dusk.  Come hang out, swap stories and have some fun. All Cedar Hillians are welcome.
SUNDAY - If you want to see something fun and action packed - come for the Western Games division (end of the show).  Mike and Desi will be running and so will Becky and Buck! (they are VERY fast), Maddison and Gavin and who else? Come find out!
We are glad that Jodi and Jennifer (and their crew) made it back from Mexico without getting the swine flu! (good job guys!)  Also Jodi has a smokin' hot new Filly!!! Congrats again.
Christy Borden purchased a new Colt out of Arizona that looks awesome AND there was a beautiful new colt born out of their Stud Ricki (double congrats).
Brittany Grohs won 3rd in Stockseat, Huntseat 5th, Trail 1st, Working Rancher 2nd, Dressage 3rd, Working Pairs with Crystal 5th, IHOR-2nd.  So in District 2 Brit is receiving a gold medals in Trail and Working Pairs, Silver medals in Stockseat and Working Rancher and the bronze medals in Dressage and IHOR.  She is going  to state in Wahset in all these events.  In WAHSET only the top 4  in each event go to state.  You have to average in the top 4 over the 3 distirct meets.  - Go Britt!!!
Mattie and Raz - Recently got a Grand Champion in Western Equitation!  Great job Mattie!
My apologies to anyone that we missed.  We are looking forward to hearing the results from all of our kids that are currently at the State WAHSET meet in Pasco - good luck everyone!!

Cedar Hill Update #10

Posted on April 30, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Attention: If you had not heard
We will be in Hawaii next week, all lessons are postponed and all training will be prorated for the month of May.  The elite Cedar Hill Staff will be taking care of business while we are gone (thanks Mere, Randy, Carmen, Andrew, Becky and Lucas - you guys are awesome!). 
Now the good stuff:  In the News: Last weekend Cedar Hill clients attended four different events at once (hard to keep track of everyone anymore) here are the highlights:
Daffodil Arabian - Although the show was poorly attended our people showed at the highest level and definitely earned the titles they got.
Darri Leavitt and Cyskho scored the magic 68 out of 70 in trail, which was not only the highest trail score of the weekend, it automatically qualified him for Nationals! He also beat a very prominent National Champion Trainer. Nice!!
Christy Borden and Fancy - Reserve Grand Champion in Halter! but that's not all!  Christy couldn't get enough at Daffodil and went to a schooling too!  She cleaned up and beat all horses in all breeds - Way to go!  It seems that Christy is really enjoying her time with Fancy - which helps us make the point, if you are not enjoying and bonding with your horse - what's the point?  This stuff can be lots of fun, even addictive. We love it! Nice job Christy! 
Lucas, Randy and Gavin went for a pretty challenging trail ride up in Elbe.  Luckily the weather was pretty good.
All of the Cedar Hillians who competed at the Equestrian Meet did a great job as did all of our peeps at the 4-H Show!  Good weekend of people getting out there and competing on their horses.
My apologies to anyone who I missed.  Have a great week, we will miss everyone until we return.

Cedar Hill Update #9

Posted on April 10, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Hey Everyone,
Way too many announcements - so here are the top three:
First of all props and Congrats to last weeks competitors.
Darri Leavitt - at his first Arab show took the obstacle trail classes by storm!  He and Cyskho got first place in both of the trail classes on Friday and they got the highest score of the night.  On Saturday Darri and Cyskho won the Open Western Pleasure class as well (even against some trainers!)  Good Job Guys!
Congrats to the kids! - Brittany G., Crystal D.,Austin, Becky, Ashley and Shanell competed in the largest district meet in the state for their equestrian teams.   Everyone reported improvement in their performance and here are a few awards (keep in mind that these are huge classes, anything in the top 10 is excellent): 
Brittany: Working Rancher -1st, Stockseat -2nd, Trail -2nd, Cow sorting with Crystal DeRocher -2nd, Huntseat -3rd, , Dressage -2nd, Working Pairs with Crystal DeRocher -2nd, IHOR -7th.
Crystal D.: Top 10 - Showmanship, Top 10 - Dressage, 2nd - Cow Sorting, 2nd - Working Pairs
Ashley & Shanell - Top 10 in Barrel Racing/Western Games
Austin - Pleased as Punch to finally be beating Becky
Becky - Vows Vengeance on Austin at the next meet.
Second Announcement - this is a big one!
As most of you know Crystal (Baker - our trainer) is continually updating her training.  We are extremely pleased to announce that Crystal will be working closely with Jodi Strand from Strand Arabians as her mentor.  She will be flying to Iowa in June to ride for Jodi and help prepare for the Region VI Arabian show. Jodi is one of the biggest names in the Arabian world and we are thrilled that he agreed to take Crystal on board in this capacity.  Good trainers NEVER stop educating themselves or investing in their career. 
Third Announcement- Cedar Hill Jackets, Vests, Shirts and Hats will be available shortly.  There are two ways you can order:
1 - We will have a standard jacket that you can order (it will be nice)- you just give up the money and the jacket will magically appear (at some point-not at that moment).
2 - Bring you own jacket to be embroidered for about $25-$30. (We encourage individuality - so any type of jacket, vest etc. is okay - as long as Crystal gives it the okay) 
The cutoff date for ordering or bringing your own stuff will be April 20th (after the Pinto show) - so move fast.
Let us know now if you want anything and we will give you the rest of the details.
That is all for now - but there is more on the way including: our website (not yet on any search engines, so don't bother googling us), clinics, fun days, camping, the growing Cedar Hill "Man Clan", Side-saddle support group and more.  Stay tuned.

Cedar Hill Update #8

Posted on March 20, 2009 at 8:25 PM
First let me apologize if you are getting this message and you are not a client who is riding with us or has not expressed interest in riding with us.  We are sifting through our email list, but it is not done yet.
We will be have a "state of the hill" meeting next Saturday March 28th, at the house at Cedar Hill Training Center.  The meeting should be lots of fun and we have some very exciting announcements that we can't wait to share.  It will start at 4:00pm and we will provide pizza and soda.
Some of the topics will include:
Upcoming Clinics hosted by Cedar Hill
A Fantastic Opportunity for my (Crystal's) continued equine education.
Cedar Hill Events (trail rides, camping, cattle, play days, broomstick polo, etc.)
Cedar Hill shirts and Jackets
Cedar Hill Web-site
and, of course, the upcoming show season.
We hope to see as many of you there as possible.  Here are the details:
What:  Cedar Hill Meeting
Where: Cedar Hill Training Center (at the house)
            14425 123rd Ave SE
            Yelm, WA 98597
When: Saturday March 28th, 4:00pm (pizza provided)
Why: 'cause it's time

Cedar Hill Update #7

Posted on March 16, 2009 at 8:18 PM

This is going to Cedar Hill Clients and Friends,
We have a few belated congratulations and an few important updates:
First - Congratulations to Deana Rhode for her purchase of "Levi"!  If you have not seen Levi at the barn yet - he is COOL. Levi and Deana will be showing Pinto as an amateur team this year and we are very excited to have them on board.
Second - Congratulations to Sabine and Aly Fintak for the purchase of "Baylee"! Baylee is another fantastic and flashy Paint also VERY COOL.  Aly will be showing Baylee this year in the youth division as and we are very excited for both of them.
Third - Congratulations to Christy Borden for her purchase of "Fox"!  This is the cutest driving Mini you have ever seen!  It even has tennis shoes that it wears - (I am not kidding!)
A big Welcome to Crystal DeRocher and Ziggy!  We are really happy to have them at Cedar Hill and hope you will all welcome them to the family.
This weekend the schooling show was excellent!  Christy Borden's little filly "Fancy" is going to be a force to be reckoned with if you have not seen this filly - she is drop dead gorgeous!.  Congrats to Bailey McLeary for showing Peanut and Zeus, Ali Fintak for showing Baylee, Becky Fintak for showing "Buck".  Congratulations to Deana as Levi also made his first appearance in the ring and was a definite favorite.  Despite the bad weather - everyone learned and grew and we are on our way to a successful show season!
Also - We are planning a Cedar Hill meeting at which we will discuss the following:
  • Upcoming Show Season
  • Cedar Hill Web-site
  • Cedar Hill Jackets/apparel
  • Newsletter
  • Cedar Hill Events (Trail Rides, Cattle Days, Broomstick Polo, Clinics etc.)
  • New Facility - Opened House
Let us know if you have other topics that you want to discuss or are available to help with any of the above.  Also we are searching for a good location for the meeting.

Cedar Hill Update #6

Posted on February 8, 2009 at 9:51 AM

It looks like it is a done deal!  We signed the papers for our new stables/training facility last night and it will close on Monday.  So I am starting out by contact you - Clients past, clients present, clients potential and just good friends.

We are officially opened for business!  We would like to fill our barn with our own clients.  So here is the call:

If you are ready to join (or re-join) a horse training community that takes horsemanship seriously, but does not take themselves too seriously - COME JOIN US!!!  If you know someone who you think would fit in well with the Cedar Hill family - SEND THEM OUR WAY.  We already have boarders and are giving lessons at the new facility - so come join the fun.  We are riding every night.  We are also cattle sorting and trailriding many weekends.  If you are looking to get ready for show season - we will be on our game this year and ready to win the shows as well as win the social events (just kidding).  We have an exciting group of youth riders as well as some great amateurs and we would like our family to grow.  So contact us back by email or just give one of us a call.

Here is what we are offering:

We have a great facility located in Yelm, Washington, built in 2006.  We have a 70x144 enclosed arena. We offer full and self care boarding with pasture turnout service.  Full care board is $325/month and self care is $150.  Shortly, after general clean up, we will also be installing our round pen and trail obstical course.

We offer training for western, english, saddleseat, driving, sidesaddle and numerous other disciplines.  Mike has been cattle sorting and trail riding with clients (for free since he's an amatuer).  We are also green starting horses with our newest partner Lucas Store. In addition, we have lesson horses available for all levels of riders.


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