About Elvenstar


Top view - horse riding academy in Moorpark, CA
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.
His vision for Elvenstar was to develop a riding academy offering instruction at all levels from the first-time rider to those who wished to compete in the East Coast medal finals.
Horse statue - horse riding academy in Moorpark, CA

Competition Awards - horse riding academy in Moorpark, CA
“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 to cultivate riders who grow to learn and respect the extraordinary rewards of an equine relationship.
Awarding ceremony - horse riding academy in Moorpark, CA
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.

Meet the Show Stables Trainers

James Hagman

Founder, Head Coach and Instructor (All Programs)
James Hagman - show stables training in Moorpark, CA
A native resident of Ventura County, James U. Hagman built Elvenstar from the ground up. As founder he not only literally laid the foundation, Jim also initiated and developed each aspect of the business. From choosing fencing to teaching students to creating a lesson program and competitive show stable, Jim's vision of Elvenstar is a reality.

For more than a quarter of a century, Jim's training and coaching excellence has played a role in a long list a successful riders including top placings and wins at the most successful competitions in North America, from Spruce Meadows in Calgary Alberta, Canada to the prestigious ASPCA Maclay National Medal Finals in New York, champion hunters at the competitive indoor shows including Washington International Horse Show, Pennsylvania National Horse Shows and the United States Equestrian Federation National Pony Hunter and Equitation Finals along with numerous wins and championships in the top West Coast USEF Talent Search Finals and WCE Finals.

As an excellent communicator, Jim's systematic teaching emphasizes the art of communication between the horse and the rider. His teaching style is positive and enthusiastic, with an emphasis on building confidence and tact. With an extensive and varied horsemanship background from Western to dressage, Jim has been taught and mentored by some of the world's elite traditional and professional horseman. He has a working relationship with many of the elite coaches and trainers in North America as well as in Europe and Latin America.

Jim has been featured in many national magazines including Practical Horseman and the Chronicle of the Horse amongst others. He is also a part time coach at Stanford University.

Main: 805-529-2800
Fax: (805) 857-5519
Email: jameshagman@elvenstar.com

National Achievements

Hunter Division
  • Grand Champion – Junior Hunter, Washington Intl Horse Show, Washington, D.C. Olivia Esse & Illusion
  • WCHR Emerging Professional Championship, Capital Challenge Horse Show, Washington, D.C. Marla Amormino
  • Champion (2 times) – Junior Hunter Classic, Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Harrisburg, PA
  • Katie Gardner & Amadeus, Olivia Esse & Country Grammar• Champion – Junior Hunter Classic, National Horse Show, New York, NY Elsa Horrigan & Rainland Prince
Equitation Division
  • Reserve National Champion -Eiser/ Pessoa AHSA Hunter Seat Equitation Finals, Harrisburg, PA Katie Gardner
  • Top 12 (6 times) – ASPCA Maclay National Championship, New York City, NY Katie Gardner 4x, Elsa Horrigan,Morgan Taylor
  • Top 10 (3 times) WIHS Equitation Classic, Washington D.C. Katie Gardner, Elsa Horrigan
  • Champion & Reserve Champion – National Children's Medal Final, Capital Challenge Horse Show, MD Shelby Wakeman, Whitney Coleman
  • Champion – Equitation 15 yr old division – Capital Challenge Horse Show, Washington, D.C Katie Gardner
  • Reserve National Champion Stanford Equestrian Team
  • National Champion - IHSA Cacchione Cup Sarah Willeman
Jumper Division
  • Team Silver Medal / Individual Bronze Medal – USEF National Junior Jumper Championship, Harrisburg PA Katie Gardner
  • Team Silver Medal and Individual Bronze MedalNAJYRC Championship Katie Gardner
  • Champion, 16-year-old Equitation, Morgan Geller, Capital Challenge Horse Show, Washington, D.C.
  • Champion, North American Flat Equitation Championships, Morgan Geller, Capital Challenge Horse Show, Washington, D.C.
  • Reserve Champion, North American Junior Equitation Championship, Morgan Geller, Capital Challenge Horse Show, Washington D.C.
  • USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Finals, Harrisburg, PA, Morgan Geller 8th place in 2011, Rachel Thurman 11th place in 2009
  • Qualified for Emerging Athlete Program, National level, Henley Adkins

Industry Involvement

Board of Directors:
California Professional Horsemen's Association (CPHA)
Los Angeles Horse Show Association (LAHSA)
Pacific Coast Horse Association – Equitation Committee (PCHA)
San Fernando Valley Horse Show Association (SFVHSA)
Board of Directors – Past:
Tri-Valley Horse Show Association (TVHSA)
City of Thousand Oaks Equestrian Advisory Panel
United States Equestrian Federation National Equitation Committee (USEF)
Consultant, Stanford University – Collegiate Equestrian Program and Facility Design

Kay Altheuser

Regional Show Director, Trainer, Coach
In 2000 Kay joined Jim Hagman and the Elvenstar team. As Head of Elvenstar’s Regional Program, Kay has helped to coach students to victories in the USEF Medal and Maclay finals, Zone 10 Medal Finals, LAHJA and SFHJA Medal Finals, Jr Hunter Finals, and numerous championships from local to national levels. Kay has taken several Elvenstar riders through the the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program since its inception in 2008, coached numerous students to wins in the LAHJA Horsemastership competition, and is very involved with the equestrian community.
Currently she is President of the Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association (LAHJA) and serves on the USHJA Zone 10 Committee.
Kay is a United States Hunter Jumper Association Certified Trainer and holds a national “R” license for judging hunters and equitation with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)


A native of southern California, at the age of 15 Kay began as a working student for Liz and Lew Helms at the Los Angeles Children’s Riding Center. Through Lew Helm’s contacts, her outside influences included Jimmy Williams, Clyde Kennedy, and Gene Lewis. Within a few years she was teaching lessons, riding, competing successfully on the “A” circuit, and for the ensuing ten years was head instructor at Ahead With Horses, a riding program for the disabled.

Kay studied Animal Science and Journalism at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, where she was the captain of the intercollegiate equestrian team as well as manager of the intercollegiate horse shows held on campus.
Kay Altheuser - show stables training in Moorpark, CA
She spent two decades working for many of the top trainers in California including Jane Shaw, Mike Neilsen, Victor Hugo-Vidal, and Mark Mullen, as well as ten years with Rudy Leone at Leone Equestrian in Sacramento. As a part of the Sacramento equestrian community, Kay served as Vice President with the Sacramento Area Hunter Jumper Association (SAHJA) for several years and is also a SAHJA approved judge. Through this extensive experience, over the years Kay learned the intricacies of successful breeding, training and competition programs.

Main: 805-529-2800
Mobile: (805) 857-5456

Javier Abad-Barragan

National Program Trainer, Coach
Javier Abad-Barragan - show stables training in Moorpark, CA
Javier was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. While Javier attended an English-speaking school, he also studied French, spending the Summers studying abroad in Ireland. His love of riding began when he was 10 years old, with his passion for riding and horses growing so much so that when he was 18 years old he decided to pursue a career as a professional rider.

Javier continued his studies as a horse riding trainer when he moved to Germany in 2006, adding German to his language fluency. He worked 5 years as a rider for Paul Schockemoehle (http://www.schockemoehle.com) and 2 years for Heinrich Ramsbrock (http://www.stall-ramsbrock.eu/) before James Hagman recruited him away to move to the United States.

Javier has been an important part of the Elvenstar Team since 2015 and is a current member of USEF and USHJA.


Elvenstar has two facilities serving southern California. The Main facility in Ventura County, and the satellite facility Elvenstar Orange County at the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center in Huntington Beach.

Elvenstar is nestled on 24 acres in the Tierra Rejada greenbelt, adjacent to the communities of Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. Our serene and pristine property features a variety of boarding options including Box Stalls, Malibu Corrals, Pipe Corrals and Pastures. We also offer our clients on-call veterinary, acupuncture, chiropractor and farrier services, included but not limited to inoculations, worming and monthly horse care maintenance. All boarding options include use of:
  • Five Arenas
    [Main Arena 120'x185′ | Stone Arena 165'x170′ | Hunt field 165'x180′ | Red's Ring 105'x150′ | Regulation size Dressage Arena] Brand New International all Weather Footing by GGT in all our arenas! Click HERE to find out more!
  • Lighted Facilities
  • Turnouts
  • Tack Lockers
  • European Hot Walker
  • Wash Racks
  • Open Water Jump
  • Cross Country Bank Jump
  • A second story air-conditioned clubhouse and business office

Our Fully equipped 38 stall-training barn includes:

  • Bedding with pine shavings cleaned daily
  • Automatic waterers
  • Environmentally friendly fly system
  • Rubber-matted and lighted cross-ties
  • Brick paved aisle ways
  • Large private tack locker
  • Full time grooming staff
  • Horses are fed twice daily – a prairie grass mix and an alfalfa blend. Timothy-Orchard hay may be purchased separately, Alternate feed or supplements can be provided at an additional charge.