29 Wescott Road Enfield, NH 03748  603-632-1011

Testimonials

Olivia loves FCRAFCRA is like a second family to me and so many other riders. It is such a supportive, honest, and comforting environment. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone but also have been well looked after. We often joke that a lesson with Heidi is part therapy session because she cares so much about her riders' well being. She is so talented at what she does. My dad, who has worked in education for years, said Heidi is one of the best teachers he has ever seen. She and Bob instill a work ethic, sense of responsibility and self worth into every student that walks down their aisles. I have met very few other people who match their passion. As I entire my second show season with the farm, I am excited for all the opportunities Heidi has helped to create. From transporting to coaching I know I am in safe and capable hands with both Bob and Heidi. They have an amazing thing happening and its only going to get better!

Olivia

 

First Choice Riding Academy has become a valuable resource for all levels of riders in the Upper Valley. I rejoined your farm to clean up on my dressage before heading to Florida for a working student position and we only had a few short months to make sure I was in tip top shape. I was amazed how much progress I made in every lesson. You have also given me opportunities to ride some great horses and for that I am so thankful.

I have been to many barns and have had many trainers. You are a trainer who wants everyone to succeed, whether it be showing them how to fold a blanket properly, or taking a few minutes out of your already busy schedule to make sure your horses are turned out correctly. You explain in a way that anyone can understand. I look forward to learning from you - you are truly one of a kind.

I have gained so much knowledge from you. When I am home schooling, I think of you when things get difficult and I go back to what we would do in our lessons to try to solve the problem in a positive way. Riding to me was a confidence builder, and I was not a confident person outside of the barn, but on a horse I feel that all changes, and you have helped me with this. I appreciate your positive attitude at shows, and if things are not going as planned you still have a smile on your face working through the problem to make sure that rider has the best possible test. You have created a little piece of heaven at First Choice Riding Academy and many opportunities for success.

Brit Kvinlaug

 

Smoothie at his new homeThank you so much to Heidi and Bob for what I know will be the beginning of a wonderful relationship with Smoothie! I am a timid adult rider, looking for a pony to love and enjoy for low level dressage and trail riding. From the minute I walked into Heidi's barn, I could tell I had made the right decision. She is calm, knowledgeable, and caring. She wanted to make sure that I found the right horse for me, and that she found the best home for Smoothie. It has only been a few weeks but I already know that this is the perfect partner for me. He is sweet, loving, well-trained, and brings me and my family so much joy. I look forward to many years of fun together, and I would confidently recommend First Choice Academy to anyone looking for a horse or pony to purchase!

KK Bochman

 

Bella in her new lifeWe were looking for a "retirement horse"' suitable for Granny and the kids. Horses of different kinds have been part of our family for many years, but this time our search was for quiet, dependable, and still interesting to ride. After contacting Heidi, who focussed immediately on finding the correct horse for our particular needs, she offered Bella as a good choice. We met Bella, a charming teenage Chincoteague Pony who totally belies her "wild" heritage by her lady-like behavior. Heidi's concerned, caring attitude about finding the exactly best fitting horse for the purchaser was evident from the start. While trying the pony out, I felt her analyzing the interaction between horse and rider, not just trying to sell a product. Her awareness of the human as well as the equine side of the equation sold me on Heidi, along with her knowledge of Bella's history, performance and health. Heidi willingly, patiently, and completely answered all the questions we had, and proved very much more of a matchmaker than a salesperson. Loved working with her, and would certainly go back to her.

Bella has now been with us a few months, and is part of the family. Her new life is quieter and more casual, but I fully trust her with my greatest treasures, and there can be no better recommendation than that. Thank you, Heidi!

Susie Feldman, MA

 

We met Heidi in 2005, when we contacted her about a horse she was selling. From our first conversation, we found her to be helpful, knowledgeable, and honest--- she knew her horse well and spent a great deal of time with us trying to determine whether the mare would be a good match for our needs and skills. When we decided that she really wasn't, Heidi was very supportive and encouraged us to keep looking. Since then, we have kept in touch with Heidi, and have looked at other horses she's had for sale; she has also welcomed us to several clinics held at First Choice over the past few years. Heidi's singular focus on making the best match between horse and rider is what sets her apart from other trainers we've encountered. We've appreciated her expertise, candor, and good cheer in every interaction we have had with her-- she cares for people and horses with the same dedication and energy!

Christine G. Price, Ph.D. and family, Concord. MA

 

JoeyI contacted Heidi Hauri-Gill about a young QH named Joey who she had advertised on the internet. I was impressed with her honesty & thoroughness in describing his attributes, personality & experience. When I came to see him, she was professional & understanding of my needs & gave me the time & space I needed to make my decision. I would highly recommend her to anyone who is looking to buy a horse. I am hoping to keep Joey for many years, but if I am ever in the market for another horse, I will definitely contact her first.

Linda, CT

 

First of all I wanted to say THANK YOU for Tristins lesson !! She had such a great time and being able to canter was huge for her! You are the most wonderful instructor around with a focus on safety , fun and comfort for both horse and rider. You also know how to put a parent at ease. You knowledge of horses along with our kind attitude to horse and kid make a wonderful , fun learning time for a child!!

Lori

 

Mollie and BaileyI started riding when I was four and until I came to First Choice, I bounced around to many different trainers. When I came to the barn it felt like home right away. I was immediately given dozens of opportunities that improved my riding every day. I got to do so much and had so much fun doing it. I even got to not only ride, but also win the NEDA Region 8 championships in 2007. The best part about it was that all of my accomplishments and downfalls were with Heidi by my side. There was even one time when I fell off and Heidi caught me! I have been through several horses in my time at FCRA, always learning lots from each of them! Now I have a great little chestnut boy that was a little scruffy and skinny, okay quite a bit scruffy, when I got him. Heidi found him and saw underneath all that and I now have a great 3rd level (and more) horse. This fall I went to college with Bailey and pursued my education (riding and scholastic) there. Next I am taking time off and backpacking for three months but I know that when I come back I will have a place back at the barn for the summer because in the end it’s where I always end up. Thanks for being my rock Heidi!

Mollie Bachner

 

Ceci and Teddy at NEDA Spring Show Ceci and Bear with blue ribbon Our 8 years as boarders and students is a huge testimonial to the high quality riding program that Heidi and Bob have developed at FCRA. My daughter, Cecilia, now age 16, has grown up under Heidi's wing and Bob's sense of humor and work ethic. She spends as much time at the farm as her responsibilities will allow. Over the years, she's experienced a lot of firsts at FCRA: her first lesson, first canter, first horse, first show, first blue ribbon, first riding camp, first clinic with a visiting Olympic level instructor, first gold medal, first paying job-- you get the idea. Heidi has been an unfailing mentor, instructor, coach, and friend through thick and thin. She has also instilled in Cecilia a love of dressage that will never die! FCRA is an outstanding place to learn to ride and show, to find a horse to make your own, and to keep your horse happy and healthy. I recommend it as a place to grow up too. Here are two photos of Cecilia on "Bare Necessity" (Bear) and "Graffitti" (Teddy), both horses which Heidi helped us buy, train and show. They really tell the story!

Dale Shields

 

Nathalie and KodaFirst Choice Riding Academy has been a wonderful place for my family to learn about the care and riding of horses. Heidi and Wendy are caring and supportive instructors with a tremendous amount of experience and practical knowledge. Most importantly, they love and understand children and horses and bring out the best in both. Not only is FCRA a nurturing place to further one's riding skills, it also is tremendous resource if you are thinking of buying a horse of your own. With Heidi's help and guidance, 11-year-old Nathalie has found the horse of her dreams -- Koda -- a bright, young, talented thoroughbred-cross who loves learning as much as Nathalie does! Everyone at the barn is enjoying watching them grow together.

Lisa, Phil, Nathalie and Meredith Ferneau

 

Jess and Bridget with FionaAlmost 2 years ago I found myself drawn to your chestnut mare named Skips Ezy Babe (aka Fiona).  Something deep in my core told me I had to have her.  Why, exactly, I could not explain at that time, but I bought her from you.  Today, it became apparent as I watched Jessica, age 12, give a riding lesson to her sister Bridget, age 9.  This was day 3 of a 3 day horsemanship camp implemented by Jessica.  I watched as Bridget, normally fearful of such a beautiful and powerful animal, walked and steered with and without stirrups, performing leg and upper body stretches as instructed.  She also trotted, rode backwards and went around the world, all with a smile.  This same mare had already helped Jessica gain confidence in herself and tackle a more challenging mare we bought from you, named Trio.  What this mare, and you are teaching me is still indescribable.  I thank you for allowing us to share your farm, your knowledge and your training in The Power of the Horse.  

Sincerely,

Rebecca Darling

 

Lindsey with LindeHeidi - I  Can't believe it has been almost 10 years since I first started riding at First Choice.  WOW has the barn grown in that time!  I can't thank you enough for making it possible to have horses in my life. Your barn has given me SO many amazing experiences.   No matter where my life took me, my first phone call on my way back to NH was always to First Choice, and there was always someone new and exciting to ride, and lots of old friends to play with.  Thank you to both you and Bob for giving me such a wonderful home away from home!!  

Lindsey LeClair

 

Diane and RonnieHi Heidi, The beach was a BLAST! I am so thrilled that I was able to join the party. I truly had the best time. It was a dream for me to be able to ride on the beach - and which horse better to share it with than Ronnie! My thanks to you and Bob for all your efforts to bring us there and for the care with which you both managed everything. We are so very fortunate to benefit from your skill and wisdom and willingness to support such a great outing. I can only imagine all the thought and planning and attention to millions of details that I know nothing of. Thank you so very much.

Diane

 

Kylie and MurrayHeidi, Congratulations on all of the new horses! The ones I have met in the aisles are so sweet! You have such a talent in choosing horses with such great temperaments!   Also, I wanted to thank you for sharing the magic of your farm with Kylie and me. I was thinking about it the other day, and a year has passed since Kylie began her lessons. I have watched my little girl grow up and change in so many ways as a result of being at the barn and around the horses. She is more independent and responsible, and most importantly more confident in herself. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to teach her these things as easily or quickly. Nor, would I know the pleasure of goose bumps appearing on my arms and running down my spine when one of the horses blows into my hair or nuzzles my neck, or the sense of peace from simply grooming Murray. So, thank you for sharing!

Brandy

 

Alicia and KipHeidi,  Thank you so much for the wonderful horses you have brought into our lives.  We have made so many wonderful memories at the barn.  I can't thank you enough for bringing Remmington into my life.  I know you know exactly what he means to me!  We also thank you for letting us have the privilege to ride and have Cutie.  She was such a perfect addition for us.  It amazes me how you can match a student and a horse and how you knew that Cutie was exactly what we needed.  She is very happy at home now enjoying the days with Remmington and thinking that the mini horse is her baby.  We are very happy and excited about our newest addition that you have found for us.  Alicia and Kip are going to have so much fun!  Another great keeper for us!!  Thank you so much for bringing these gifts into our lives and giving us such a great place to spend our days. 

Many thanks from my family to yours,

Beth, Alicia and Corey

 

Andrew and TonkaAndrew and his trusty steed, Tonka, at their first horse show! Thanks for all the great teaching and confidence building.

The Brunelles