Meet the Team

Whether your goal is to succed in the show ring, in the field, or on the trail, Sidesaddle Success clinics can help your riding dreams come true.

email: info@sidesaddlesuccess.com

Gail DiScipio brings with her many years of experience in the elegant art of riding aside. She was introduced to side-saddle at Porlock Vale Equestrian Center, Somerset, England, where she earned her certificate from the British Horse Society. Gail also worked for Hans Winkler of Germany on the Grand Prix Show Jumping circuit. She has combined this traditional background with her own showing and training experience in the U.S. to develop teaching methods appropriate for the broad spectrum of American sidesaddle interests.
Ms. DiScipio emphasizes the side-saddle's use as an equipment option for the contemporary equestrienne, seeing it as a tool that, when understood and used properly, can enhance a rider's skills and accomplishments. She has worked with more sidesaddle riders than any other instructor in New England, and her students can be found showing, hunting, pacing, participating in the dressage arena and riding aside for pleasure.

In addition to judging, working as a clinician, and instructing at East Hill Riding Academy Ms. DiScipio has been the featured sidesaddle clinician at Equine Affaire New England since 1998. She has been active in NEA Sidesaddle Association since its inception in 1979, and instrumental in setting standards of instruction and safety for the organization that have made it a leader in its field. She is an active member of Nashoba Valley Hunt, in which she has held the position of Hunt Secretary.
Sue Tobin pioneered the position of Sidesaddle Technician, which includes the selection, fitting, and adaptation of sidesaddles for a successful horse and rider team. As an active sidesaddle rider for over 25 years, she is in a unique position to understand the relationship of saddle fit to skill level. She has lent her expertise to clinics throughout the North East and Mid West, as well as to individual riders around the country.

Ms. Tobin has combined a life-long interest in horses with degrees in History of Art and Educational Psychology to become a leading authority on the function and history of sidesaddles. Her articles have been featured in major sidesaddle publications here and in England, and she is also in demand as a speaker at expos and seminars. She has served as a technical advisor to Old Sturbridge Village, as a consultant to the Smithsonian, and provided curatorial assistance to OSV and the International Museum of the Horse at Kentucky Horse Park.

Ms. Tobin is a founding member of NEA Sidesaddle Association, editor of its Newsletter and writes the educational text for its acclaimed website. She is NEA’s representative to the Side-Saddle Association of Britain, and was certified as a Judge/Instructor in 1983.

Her business, Sidesaddle Heaven, located in Thompson, CT, offers sales and repairs in addition to research and consulting services. Sidesaddle Heaven’s museum comprises the country’s largest private collection of saddles, habits and books on sidesadddle riding.

For more information, visit: www.sidesaddleheaven.com
Ray Laviolette, Custom Saddle Maker
Ray Laviolette of Circle R Saddlery, Ontario, Canada is a custom saddle maker well known for the his western astride saddles. A former NRHA judge, Ray also knows first-hand the importance of balance and comfort in relation to performance. He has produced over 2,000 saddles in his life time, and his Circle R mark is prominent in the show ring as well as in the world of reining. His saddle fitting seminars are in demand and he has been the featured presenter in such prestigious settings as the Canadian Royal in Toronto.

Ray began working to develop a well-balanced western sidesaddle that both looks 21st century and rides right. He purchased every available western sidesaddle tree, decided on the modifications required for a quality product, and interviewed tree makers. In November 2001, Ray introduced the new Circle R Sidesaddle at Equine Affaire in MA. Compliments on his work came from non other than Richard Shrake, who had heard about this saddle at the show and came to see for himself!

That first sidesaddle led to the development of a complete line of four styles on two different trees. A sidesaddle that placed the rider straight and in balance was great news in the world of modern sidesaddle riding, and orders were soon coming in from prominent riders.

Ray works directly with the Sidesaddle Success Team at Expos and Clinics as his schedule allows.

For more information on Circle R Sidesaddles, go to www.circlersaddles.com
the country’s only full-service Sidesaddle Clinics

email: sidesaddlsuccess@aol.com


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