Marissa has always had a passion for horses. After taking lessons as a child with her father, the two embarked into horse ownership and enjoyed riding the oceanside trails of the California coast. Overtime, Marissa’s passion for horses developed into a fascination with horse training which led her to read all the books she could find on the subject and attend all the training clinics to which she could travel. During this time, she studied the emerging field of natural horsemanship and practiced a mixed methodology which included that of horsemen such as: Tom Dorrance, John Lyons, Buck Brannaman, Pat Parelli, Clinton Anderson, and Chris Cox.
At any opportunity, Marissa trained her horses and those of her friends in order to hone her early skills in natural horsemanship. Eventually, Marissa attended Moorpark College’s program for Exotic Animal Training and Management where she graduated with degrees in animal training and turned her vocational interests toward equine stunt work and the training of equines for studio work while living in southern California. Marissa developed skills in trick riding and vaulting with top professionals, and also learned techniques for training horses at liberty for movie work from industry leaders. To this day, applying and honing her skills in liberty and “trick” horse training is an interest Marissa still pursues while training and instructing at HoofbeatZ USA.
Eventually, Marissa’s interests in horse sports would lead her to compete and train her horses in multiple disciplines which have included barrel racing and other gymkhana events; Extreme Cowboy Racing and finally, her most resounding passion: the sport of Reining. She also had the pleasure of spending some years riding alongside of and learning from professional reining trainers while living in southern California. Marissa has most recently enjoyed applying her longstanding and diverse training skill set to Hoofbeatz USA where she works to add to the innovation and fun that this unique horsemanship program offers to its students.