At age 13, a few years after relocating to the United States from her native Australia, Cheryl West unearthed a passion for horseback riding. Since then, she has become accomplished in both the competitive and educational arenas, including snagging a master certification in equestrian instruction, being asked to mold a program for special-needs riders at the American Therapeutic Riding Center, and ghostwriting a memoir for Mister Ed. At West Equestrian Ranch, Cheryl and her team of seasoned instructors bestow their expertise upon pupils during camps and group and private lessons. Both are anchored in the philosophy that building a sturdy seat lays the foundation for adept trotting—the lessons gravitate toward English, Western, jumping, dressage, or trail methods, while summer camps fold similar techniques into days of riding, games, and horse care.
Cheryl and her staff also serve the equine community, rescuing one or two horses each year, rebuilding their strength and confidence, and giving them spots on the ranch's competitive team. Meanwhile, they allow kids free rein of a playground and picnic tables for birthday parties, where the stables' gentlest steed whinnies happily as kids finger-paint him with rainbows or complex mathematical equations.