Courtney Kozak Owner & ARIA Certified Instructor

I began riding at the age of 4 and quickly fell in love with horses. I started taking hunter riding lessons and spent most of my junior career in the Hunter and Dressage arenas. I bought and trained some green horses and turned them into accomplished hunters. Throughout my riding career I have always cross-trained with eventing and have found that most horses really enjoy being able to escape the rigors of arena work on a cross-country course. Once in high school, I began to compete in the Jumper Ring as well and really fell in love with the technical aspects of show jumping. I love how good dressage work can help you to excel on a show jumping course. I competed and trained show jumpers up through the Mini-Prix level.

Once in college, I realized that my heart was with the horses and I did not feel as passionate about anything else as much as when I was at the barn! I attended Texas A&M University and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Science and a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology & Biostatistics. I felt like a college education was essential and I continued riding through school. I graduated from college in 2000 and knew that I had to find a way to make my passion my career. I was lucky enough to be able to start teaching and training full-time at that point and have been going strong ever since. I firmly believe in continued education and to constantly better my teaching and my riding I am always training with and learning from coaches more experienced than myelf. I have trained and ridden in clinics with top trainers such as Jim Graham, Karen O'Connor, Boyd Martin, Buck Davidson, Todd Minikus, Leslis Law, Paul Kathen, Jennifer Bodtman and Matt Cunningham.

I love what I do and am one of those lucky people that wakes up every day and loves going to work. I received accreditation from the American Riding Instructor’s Association as a Certified Instructor in Hunt Seat, Show Jumping, Dressage, and Stable Management. I believe strongly in the certification program and feel that anyone that is in charge with providing training to people and horses should be held accountable for not only what they know, but their ability to be able to teach it to other people. The state of Texas does not require that riding instructors have any credentials or certification to be able to work, so it is up to the consumer to do their research and seek out individuals that they feel are accomplished and able to teach safely.

I am the owner/trainer/instructor at Cornerstone Sport Horses and I created our facility in order to provide my clients a sanctuary for spending time with their horses. I wanted to be able to offer them quality instruction and training at a top-notch facility that has a laid back, family friendly atmosphere. I believe that all of our riders are important and want each of them to succeed to whatever level they hope to reach. Whatever your goals are with your riding, I can help you reach them.

Taryn Somers

Taryn started riding a quarter horse mare at her grandparent’s house when she was 8 years old. Shortly after, she convinced her parents she wanted to take riding lessons. Together they found Tex-Over Farms, where she took her first real lesson! From then on, she knew her love of horses would become her career. Taryn is ARIA certified in Dressage and Show Jumping. She is also CPR and First Aid certified. You can find her competing in Jumper and Cross Country shows when she’s not teaching or spending time with family.

As an instructor, Taryn says it has been rewarding to watch her students grow and become better riders. While teaching, safety is her biggest objective while enabling students to progress in their riding. Taryn believes that you have to know when it is safe to push the rider and when it is time to back off. She believes that strong basics and horsemanship are the foundations to riding successfully. In 2012, she bought her horse, Bruce. Bruce is an 18hh Selle Francais that Taryn hopes to take her through the levels of Show Jumping and hopefully Combined Training as well.

Instructors

Our teaching philosophy is to provide a positive environment where horse and rider can have a strong relationship together and learn from each other. We strive to teach all our students good horsemanship skills, along with the skills required to be good riders. Cornerstone Instructors believe in giving our riders a strong foundation of balance, rhythm, and use of quiet aids with which to grow in any discipline they choose. Our riders are started slowly, making sure that they understand a skill set before being moved ahead, and are pushed only as quickly as they choose to move up. We do not want any of our students to feel pressured to perform at a higher level when they are not comfortable moving up. Cornerstone instructors believe that Dressage is the basis of all English riding and teach flatwork and jumping lessons with an application to Dressage.