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Meet The Trainers

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Founder & Head Trainer

Johnny Higgison Bio
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Founder & Head Trainer

Program Director, PATH International Advanced Instructor, and Advanced EAGALA Equine Specialist.

Johnny Higginson is the co-founder and Program Director of Shadow Hills Riding Club. He has over forty years of expertise as an equestrian and arts professional, allowing him the in-depth knowledge to educate and intuitively assist mentally, emotionally, and chemically challenged individuals.

Through the Shadow Hills Riding Club, Johnny has developed a unique therapeutic horsemanship program for people in recovery.  His article, Horses and Recovery, was recently featured in Strides, the official PATH international journal for equine therapy.

He is a PATH Int’l Cert. Advanced Instructor and mentor for therapeutic instructors. A PATH Int’l Cert. Equine Specialist. Cert. EAGALA Equine Specialist. He is a certified chemical dependency counselor.  His accomplishments include AQHA National Title, AQHA World Title, USC Equestrian Team coach, Pacific Coast Champion, VQHA Champion, and the PCQHA Champion.

Currently accepting all students for group and private, horsemanship, therapeutic riding, equine-assisted psychotherapy & horses in training. Supplies school horses if needed.

Chantal Zuniga Bio


Chantal Zuniga began riding horses at the age of 6. She spent her youth competing on the A circuit across the Pacific Northwest from the pony through the junior hunter and jumper divisions under the guidance of trainer Dina Happy. In 2004, Chantal relocated to California and worked for 5 years as an assistant trainer at a Hunter/Jumper barn before starting her own training business, Valley Equestrian Sports, in 2009.

Chantal specializes in Hunter/Jumper training. She offers training packages for clients who own or lease their own horses as well as providing school horses for riders without a horse of their own. Chantal believes in building a strong foundation for riders of all ages and skill levels and maintaining happy and healthy horses through good nutrition. She is a patient teacher and strives to create a safe and fun environment to learn.

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Aleesha Adams is a UKCC level 2 qualified riding coach and horse trainer from the UK.

Whilst in the UK she trained with Sue Edwards for over 5 years who is not only a rider who has competed at Grand Prix level dressage and 4* International level eventing but is a key part of the British Eventing Coaching Development program, alongside others such as Yogi Breisner, the former British Eventing Team chef d’equipe. She also worked for Elementary Dressage National Champion and international dressage rider Rob Waine of Rob Waine Dressage. Aleesha has had a long competition record in both Dressage and Eventing in the UK since she was 8 years old, although her primary focus is now Dressage.

Training with Aleesha is based around the “dressage scales of training” which is fundamental for the physical (skeletal and muscular) development of any horse regardless of their chosen discipline to promote longevity and health of the riding horse.

She also encourages a diverse training approach including trail riding, groundwork, liberty, pole work, and obstacles to create an enthusiastic and willing horse, as well as building a strong and reciprocal relationship with its riding partner.

She specializes in utilizing a natural horsemanship approach to maximize training exercises for horses which directly correlates to achieving the greatest competition performance possible.

Training with Aleesha as a rider is tailored around each individual’s own learning style to maximize the rider's progress. She is a supportive and encouraging trainer who never loses sight of keeping the horse and riders’ enjoyment of their time together at the forefront of all her training. | | (310) 401-4181

Aleesha Adams Bio
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