I have rarely found a more welcoming, warm, humble staff that's willing to work with their clients to have them reach their goals. The partnership between the staff and their clients, they really are passionate about forging that connection between their clients and horses. You feel the passion here that, "we're in this to help you get better, and it makes us happy to see you happy."
The success of this is the ability to train people to be successful. I know my wife being in a lot of programs before this, she would come home and be frustrated by what the trainer was pushing them to do--which was 20 steps ahead of where she was. So in that frustration she would feel defeated, and that takes away the love or enjoyment for riding. Not everyone is looking to compete or show, and the environment at HoofbeatZ USA is, "tell us what you want to do and where you want to go with this and we can help you get there."
[The staff] are very patient and friendly and effective.
Your staff is amazing. They are kind and gentle to the horses. They understand where the horses come from, why they do what they do, they work within that zone that they don't have to whip them or hit them with the lead rope. It's so amazing for me because I watch the horses and their faces, and to see them think and do without fighting...I haven't found that anywhere else.
Rich: Everybody has been spectacular. Elisa: Wonderful. They all have their specialty and are so good at what they do. Rich: I can’t say that I’ve ever run into it because nobody is a wrangler here. Everyone is well involved with the horses, so when you get involved with everybody and the horses it’s a well cohesive group.
Get to know our staff!
Although technically a fish biologist, Jackie has had her hands in the HoofbeatZ franchise since 2012 when it was active in Dubai and Qatar. She received her Bachelor's in Fish, Wildlife, & Conservation Biology at Colorado State University and was a government contract for NOAA for a year out of Norfolk, VA working on commercial fishing vessels at sea. Eileen Verdieck, her aunt, along with her mother Maureen Wyer had introduced her to horses at a young age, since it was a family passion. She has taken multiple roles in developing HoofbeatZ USA, from office management to lead marketing director, and assistant instructor.
Instructor & Training Assistant
Horse crazy from a young age, Merrick began taking riding lessons at 6 years old and has never looked back. Whether it was cutting out photos from horse magazines to put on her bedroom wall, or demanding that her parents drive the long way home so they could pass the horse barns, Merrick’s world revolved around horses. While Merrick is a lover of all horses, her heart has been tied to the Arabian breed since she began showing them at 12 years old. Over the course of her competitive career, Merrick has shown purebred and half-Arabians in Native Costume, Liberty, Country Pleasure, and her favorite, Hunter Pleasure. In 2017 Merrick received her Associates Degree in Equine Science from Scottsdale Community College. Merrick believes that the key to success in the horse world is having a solid, educated foundation. Whether it’s introducing beginners to the magic of riding, or it’s fine-tuning more advanced equestrians, Merrick enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with Hoofbeatz clients. When she’s not at HoofbeatZ, Merrick can be found either trail riding her purebred gelding, Dino, with her dog Penny in tow, or preparing for a show with her half-Arabian mare, Victoria.
Instructor & Training Assistant
Olivia first started riding horses at the age of 4 on a small Morgan horse farm in Upstate New York. She was hooked and convinced her parents to continue funding her horse obsession following a move to Scottsdale, AZ in 2005. She trained and showed with a variety of hunter/jumper/equitation and dressage trainers, including Hoofbeatz’s Alicia Ebel, prior to graduating from high school. Despite earning a varsity slot on the ASU equestrian team and competing for a semester, Olivia opted to play rugby during her college years instead due to scheduling conflicts and classes. Following a long break from riding, Olivia rediscovered her love for horses on a visit to HoofbeatZ in February of 2020. Olivia is a Registered Nurse who holds a BS in Nursing and a BS in Psychology from Arizona State University. She has substantial experience working with young children in educational settings. She’s passionate about watching students’ progress in their confidence around horses and in their understanding of equine behavior and psychology. She loves the uniqueness of the HoofbeatZ program and believes that its teaching model empowers students to be more than just riders, but well-rounded horsemen and horsewomen. Gaining a working knowledge of natural horsemanship and its ability to strengthen partnerships has been the highlight of Olivia’s time at HoofbeatZ USA.
Instructor & Program Support
Instructor & Groom
With 48 consecutive years in the equine industry, Tony has managed several large horse training and breeding facilities. Tony also has over a decade as an independent trainer spanning Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arizona. As an instructor, Tony has taught Youth and Amateur Halter, Western Pleasure, English, Horsemaship and Trail. He has worked extensively with Quarter horses and Paints, and is multi-Paint and multi-Pinto World Champion. Tony has also been an open show and 4-H judge for 20 years, IM and IV qualified, and foaled 540 mares and foals!