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Kibler Shamrock Farms
3614 Rocky River Road South, Monroe, NC.
www.kiblershamrockfarms.com

There are 8 stalls in the main barn with 20 stalls around the property in run in shelters. The 8 large pastures and 1 rehab paddock provide ample outdoor time for all the horses at the farm.  Lessons cost $60 for a private one hour lesson and board ranges from $500 pasture board – $750 stall board, Kibler Shamrock also offers several training packages ranging from $400-$750 a month.

A little history about Kibler Shamrock?
Shamrock was started by John and Diane Kibler, and their daughter Stephanie Shepard.  Stephanie attended NCSU with a BS in Animal Science and the farm was built shortly after her graduation.  She is the current barn manager.  Melissa Ingram graduated from Clemson with a BS in Equine Business and currently works as the assistant barn manager.  We also have several weekend helpers and a working student who work alongside one of the more qualified staff.

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Brett Ingram
Bret Ingram is originally from Monroe, NC but spent most of his childhood in Charleston, SC.  He spent 4 years in Germany working with many dressage and event trainers such as Andrew Hoy, Joachim Weiss, and Martin Plewa.  Brett earned his bronze and silver medals as well as his FEI Trainer A certification.  He also had the opportunity to train and show up to the Grand Prix level while in Germany.  Brett returned to Monroe in 2009 and has been teaching and training since.  Brett is happy to work with any level rider; however, most of the students on the farm are young event riders or adult amateur dressage riders.  We attend everything from small schooling shows to rated events and clinics.

Stephanie Shepard
Stephanie Shepard grew up riding saddlebreds at Misty Meadows but switched to hunters during college.  She has two children, Owen, 8, and Lyla, 5. She lives right around the corner from the farm and is able to respond to emergencies after normal working hours.  John has “semi-retired” from daily activities on the farm, but is usually down in the barn making conversation and helping out with the big jobs.  The Kibler’s enjoy meeting new boarders and clients and helping care for their horses.  They are sticklers for cleanliness and regularly maintain their riding arenas.  It is apparent that they truly care about the horses because they feed high quality feed and hay year-round despite the high costs in the winter.  The farm does take 1-2 horses at a time that need specialized care for rehabilitation.

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What makes Monroe an ideal location for your barn and training operation?
Monroe is a great location because we are close enough to Charlotte for boarders to have an easy commute, yet far enough out of town to benefit our horses.  Our farm is very peaceful, constantly has wildlife, and the horses are able to be turned out despite the weather due to the fact we have plenty of land to turn out on.

Fond showing memories?
We always have a great time at shows.  We have a great group of riders who all chip in when it comes to showing, which always makes for a great experience as the trainer.  I think everyone enjoys going to Aiken the most, because they usually get the chance to try swimming their horses for the first time.  That is ALWAYS a memorable experience!

If you could offer one piece of advice to a young rider, what would it be?_PAT9056-w500-h500
If I could tell any young rider just one thing, it would be to work for what you want.  There is no instant gratification in horses, and I think that many young riders have a hard time seeing that.  The only way to get better at riding is to ride, ride, and ride some more.

What are some ideal traits you look for in your dressage horses?
When I look at a young or green horse, I want to see natural, uphill movement that will make it easy for them to do the job.  Of course, confirmation is important as well, or the horse won’t be able to hold up for the job.  It’s also very important for the horse to have an eager attitude with a willingness to work and please.

What makes Kibler horses special?
They are all very spoiled.  Since we have plenty of staff on-site all day, they typically get checked on 5-6 times per day, and usually get more than their fair share of attention.  This includes little things like balmex on white noses in the summer, hosing off if they are sweating in the pasture, replacing the fly masks that inevitably get taken off multiple times each day,  consistent and regular changing of blankets in the winter, and of course the mares demand their hay under the sheds whenever it is raining.

kibler ring-w500-h500What traits do you look for in your riders?
Dedication.  I strongly believe that no matter how green or mislead a rider is when they begin training with me, the progress they will make all depends on how dedicated they are to making it happen.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing a student who truly wants to become a better rider.  These students typically make more sacrifices along the way, but at the end of the day, I find myself willing to make personal sacrifices just to see those students succeed.  As a trainer, it is hard for me to watch talented students slip through the cracks.  Unfortunately this does happen, because ultimately it is up to each student to put forth the dedication it takes to succeed.

What’s the number one thing you think all dressage riders should know how to do?
I believe that all dressage riders, really all riders in general, need to understand how to let go of their personal troubles before getting on a horse.  Horses don’t understand that we’re having a bad day, or holding tension due to a bad ride yesterday.  They only understand how to react to what is being asked of them at that moment, and they deserve a consistent and fair ride every time we get on their backs.  It is human nature to harbor the bad energy we’ve carried home from work, or from the fight we had with our spouse or children, but it is not the horses’ nature.  If we could learn to let go of all that mental tension, I believe we would all have much more enjoyable rides.Cruise full gallop-w500-h500

Any funny stories from owning and operating a barn?
Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about operating the barn by myself.  We have a great team that works together.  We are a “do-it-yourself” kind of barn, which means that when we decided we wanted to build a half-wall around the covered arena, we literally did it ourselves.  Let’s just say this meant a lot of all nighters with cold pizza and Red Bull.  The end project turned out great, but it took three weeks of non-stop work.  Every time one of us comes up with another great idea for an addition, we’re a little more careful to think about what we’re getting into.

Can you talk about any of your horses in more detail?
We don’t have any horses with crazy outgoing personalities, but I think our mares are much more telling than our geldings.  Several of our mares will do all of their carrot stretches (bend left, bend right, stretch between their legs) if you simply stand in front of them and show them a carrot.  We also have a gelding who LOVES to have his tongue scratched.  I’m still not sure how he learned that he enjoys that, but he sticks it out for you to scratch every time you approach his face.