Lisa Francine Avila grew up on Rancho Yerba Buena, a working cattle ranch in San Jose CA. Only interested In being by her father and grandfathers side as they worked the ranch, her love and passion for horses was cultivated at an early age. As an immigrant, Lisa's Grandfather spent countless hours recollecting stories of breaking and starting young horses in Mexico. Romanticized as his stories may have been, he described having a knack for breaking and riding the particularly difficult horses. Years later Lisa would take a position working for Charles Wilhelm, a trainer who specialized in young & "problem horse." The apple not falling far from the tree!
Lisa would spend 5 years as Charles Wilhelm's apprentice then assistant trainer, learning all aspects of training and breaking horses as well as teaching and running a training barn. As an internationaly known trainer and clinician, Charles would receive some of the most difficult horses in the country. This unique atmosphere provided Lisa with a unique and incomparable education. Learning to build or rebuild in some cases, the horse from the ground up.
Always interested in Eventing and Dressage Lisa began taking weekly lesson with Alexis Helffrich, international Competitor and Coach. Lisa would eventually spend 6 years learning by Alexis' side as his assistant. Here Lisa was finally introduced to the world of Eventing and Dressage. Under the tutelage of such a talented, educated and experienced trainer Lisa was provided with a unique opportunity to blend both experiences together and form her own program for starting horses and bringing them along through competition.