charla-with-pattersonsMy daughters Emma and Fiona took lessons with Charla from 2009 to 2011. Charla taught them the foundation of dressage with firstly schooling ponies then on our own pony. Charla was a great instructor, very patient, fun and kind to the girls. They had a great time learning to compete in schooling shows then moving up to recognized dressage shows. They also had fun at the other events such as the Halloween costume pony parties and games. Both of my girls are still riding in dressage and attending shows.

Emma went on to win the 2012 National Dressage Seat Equitation Final, which was a great accomplishment. They look back fondly about their time with Charla and how great her lessons were.

I would recommend Charla to all parents looking for a great dressage trainer for their young children.

— Joanne Patterson

Emma Patterson USEF Finals 2012 Emma at press conference USEF 2012 

Very difficult to put it all in a few sentences, we loved how fun you made it for her!

Tralee-and-Evie-2012My daughter Evie Udstuen, currently a sophomore in high school, began her first official riding lessons in the 3rd grade with Charla Gipson at Hearthstone in the discipline of Dressage. Evie rode for 3 years & participated in schooling shows with Charla as her trainer until she switched to the Hunter discipline which she still rides in today. As a parent, I felt like Evie was in the most capable hands to learn, get to do what she loved and stay safe.

Evie says, “Charla taught me not only the basics of riding in dressage but completely tacking up and all the care of a horse. She made riding fun, is great with kids, very knowledgeable, kind & patient, but at the same time firm to keep me and my lesson horse safe. My instruction time with Charla is one of the reasons I am a more accomplished rider today and I am grateful to her!

— Robin & Evie Udstuen


ribbongirlsWhen I was 10 years old, I came to Mrs. Charla to learn how to ride dressage. Granted, at that age I wasn’t actually sure what dressage was, but she ended up teaching me so much more than just how to ride horses. She instilled in me a deep passion for dressage and horseback, and not just the riding part, but every aspect of it. She taught me what responsibility was, she taught me what it meant to care for something bigger than me, and she helped establish a sense of confidence and love that I had never known before. Throughout my journey as her student, we had high points, like her coaching me to HDS Intro and Training Level Champion of 2010, and we had low points when I suffered a loss of a horse. No matter what though, Mrs. Charla was always there right by my side.

teddyShe was never just my riding instructor, she was also a role model and a very important part of my life when I was growing up and becoming who I am today. Mrs. Charla helped me lay an important foundation to my horseback career and also many parts of my life outside of horseback. Because of her, now I am competing passionately at Third Level and I am looking at making the Young Rider team soon.

Without her I would never be where I am today. Even after all this time, Mrs. Charla remains a very important person in my life and I cannot highly enough recommend her or ever thank her enough for her impact on me.

— Madeline Hausmann


Charla Gipson is the best English Horse Back Riding instructor! She is an expert in the equestrian world, and has tremendous patience. Not only does Charla encompass an exceptional talent for expressing specific techniques to her students on how to actually communicate with the horse, but she also embraces a sincere love for all animals. Charla also takes great safety precautions in keeping her students, and horses protected from harm. She has the exact balance and experience of knowing when to push you to take the next step with the horses when you are doubtful of your own skill or ability level, yet also is the first person to sense lightening in the distance, and demands you back into the barn. Charla’s vast experience gave me confidence in her, resulting in my feeling safe with her as my instructor. She is always careful to place the right student and horse together. She placed me on Mr. Breaux, and he became my best friend.

In addition to learning how to bridle, saddle, graze, groom, shower, feed, ride, clean tack, tidy a stall, prepare for a horse show, and talk to the horses, I learned an immense wealth of all horse related material including barn culture. Charla illuminates genuine passion for the horses in such a way that her vast wisdom, and experience are transferred to her students in a heartfelt manner. The exhilaration of bonding with the horse, and creating a trustworthy relationship in riding which is guided by Charla meticulously, is mirrored precisely with the expansive education of the equestrian culture which she brings to each lesson.

Tower of Power (Breaux) 06Her proficiency as a riding instructor makes up for the ineptness and fears of beginner students. Charla’s instruction style gave me the confidence to go from feeling tactless (pun intended) to having a true bond with my horse in a way which felt elegant and skilled despite being a complete beginner student. Charla’s nature is encouraging and motivating. She takes pride in her horses and students, and with each small accomplishment, her sincere satisfaction of the student’s joy is shared, and it shows. She is so enthusiastic while you are riding, that she makes you feel like you are training for the Olympics, when in fact you are training for a walk/ trot schooling show.Taking riding lessons from Charla became more than an intended hobby, it became one of the highlights of my life. I looked forward to my lessons with Charla and Mr. Breaux, whether it was 100 degrees outside at noon in the Texas summers, or if it was a chillingly, rainy February day. She is such a skilled coach.

It is very apparent that Charla wants her students to share a love for horses as much as she does, because a true dedication, interest, and admiration for spending time with, and caring for the horses incorporates a major part of the lesson. It is this devotion to horses, the sport and culture, and safety, which Charla expresses and drives, inspires, motivates, and entertains in each lesson which I cherish so dearly. Anyone would be lucky to experience a lesson under her tutelage. I recommend Charla as a riding instructor. It will change your life!

— Stephanie T. Horwitz