Through hard work and determination, Elvenstar came to life over a quarter of a century ago.
Family ties brought horses and Elvenstar founder Jim Hagman together. Galloping through the hills of Thousand Oaks, Calif., on his family’s ranch stock, Hagman would ride behind his father in the two-point position jumping fallen oak trees. Hagman’s mother, who had a Virginia horse background, recognized his passion for English riding and by age 10 he was taking lessons at Foxfield, a riding academy in Westlake Village, Calif. His father took him to the hunter-jumper shows, where various trainers offered to work with him. Although he showed throughout his junior years, they always kept the horses at home and Hagman was responsible for mucking, feeding as well as grooming and braiding at the shows. This balance of ranch and show experience molded the horseman that built Elvenstar.
After completing college in the 1980s, Hagman started Elvenstar from the brush-and cactus-covered ground up. With the help of his siblings and parents, the Hagman family planted and laid irrigation for more than 900 trees. Discovering his talents for masonry, Hagman built arenas surrounded by walls made from thousands of rocks found on the property. As the facility took shape, Hagman taught lessons with one school horse and one pony.
“I realized that it wasn’t just about building my name, but about building the Elvenstar brand,” he said. “Elvenstar is a place for horse people–a recreational equestrian facility. If you had a horse-crazy child, you’d think Elvenstar. So I marketed. I spent a bunch of money, more than I paid myself, on advertising. I featured the summer day camp in local papers and magazines. I spent five years heavily building the brand.”
Now with an established brand and a long list of accomplishments, a solid mix of established clients and new students, a variety of fabulous horses and ponies and a fantastic staff, Elvenstar’s history speaks for itself.
Good horsemanship requires compassion, respect, patience, a sense of responsibility, a desire to learn and a positive attitude – attributes which are important in any walk of life.
With an emphasis on producing confident riders, the Elvenstar teaching style is positive and enthusiastic. Beginning with a solid base in classical horsemanship, the goal is cultivate riders who grow to learn and respect the extraordinary rewards of an equine relationship.
The teaching system developed at Elvenstar emphasizes the art of communication between the horse and the rider. Our focus on the basics of riding as the building blocks of correct riding skills is renowned. The facility, with all of the bells and whistles of a premier classroom, allows students at all levels the ability to grow and develop their individual equestrian excellence.