I've been riding since I was a child, but because of the high cost associated with owning a horse in Long Island, New York, I jumped around from barn to barn and never owned my own horse. I then took a long break from lessons while I advanced my career. At age 30, I started taking lessons again at a local barn. The horses were quality, well-trained school horses; the barn was clean and friendly; and my teacher was experienced and patient, yet something was missing. Week after week, I went to my 30-minute lesson where I spent 15 minutes warming up on the flat and 15 minutes jumping small fences and courses. I was learning, but it never felt like enough. One afternoon I stumbled upon Gina Arcate's website, http://www.baybreezeestate.com. I spent a long time looking at her gorgeous horses and reading about her training philosophy. I think I was most attracted to the following statements: "I give explicit details and explain to you why you are doing what you are doing, so you are not just a passenger. You will feel a connection and understand how you got it. Then we progress." When I read that, I knew I had to email Gina and see whether she'd agree to take me on as a student. Gina responded to my email immediately, and we scheduled our first lesson for the following week. Gina's lessons are like none I've had before, and I've ridden at a lot of barns with a lot of different types of instructors. Her farm is not a mill with back-to-back lessons; it's a private, beautiful estate in Suffolk County. When I arrived for my first lesson, she was welcoming and unhurried. She took time to tell me about the horse I'd be riding and let me get him from the paddock. After he was tacked, she lunged him in her dressage ring with be by her side. She showed me what she was doing with her body, her eyes and her hands to ask her horse to walk, to stretch, to bend and to trot. She then had me take a turn lunging him. After that, I mounted and the hard work began! Some of the things I've learned so far:
how to relax and feel your horse moving beneath you at the walk and the trot, to allow your body to move naturally with him;
how to use your seat to drive your horse forward, slow your horse down and stop your horse;
how to use your body to turn your horse and help him to turn and bend;
how to half halt and the importance of the half halt to get your horse's attention and prepare for upward and downward transitions;
how to use my aids, natural or otherwise, more effectively to get my horse's attention and to ask for what I want my horse to do;
the importance (and difficulty!) of circling your horse;
how to ride with purpose and to anticipate what my horse is thinking/doing/etc.
There are many differences between Gina and other teachers, but three things really stand out. The first is that she really explains WHY something is important. The second is that Gina really shows you how to do what she's asking: she'll get on your horse and show you what you should be doing or she'll ride along with you to instruct you. Most trainers I've ridden with before only threaten to show you something when you're unable to do what they are asking of you. Finally, Gina asks you to really ride. When she says you won't just be a passenger, she means it. Don't get me wrong: it's really hard work, both mental and physical, but it is so rewarding. Only a few weeks have passed since I first emailed Gina, so I've only ridden with her a handful of times. Even so, I can honestly say that I've never felt so fulfilled riding before. For once, I actually feel as though I am leaning an array of skills that will allow me to be a great horsewoman. While I may not be able to perfectly execute everything she's asking of me, I know what she wants me to do and, more importantly, why she wants me to do it. ~ Holly from Long Island
I have had the pleasure of meeting Gina and eventually buying Kenny from Kentucky from her. Gina is very up front about her horses. She really wants to assure the right fit between horse and rider. Gina is very passionate about all of her horses. After getting Kenny, it was apparent all the great work she really has done with him. Just a really good, all round, well adjusted boy. Anyone who knows about the off track thoroughbreds knows it takes a lot of patience and understanding of these fine horses. Something that Gina truly has. I will forever be grateful for finding Gina and being able to take one of her horses home. Gina has a very nice training area at her home. She has made a training area that is very functionable and quite fun. I would recommend anyone to seek out Gina if your looking for a well rounded horse ... possibly one of your dreams like me !!!
I would like to thank you for delivering on all your promises to me. When my horse came to you he had just finished healing from one injury and had sustained another one. To say the least he was in poor physical health. He was 8, he had no ground manners and he was an intimidating bully. He was dangerous, I was afraid of him and so were other trainers. No one wanted to help me with him. I was told to put him down. His feet were in horrific shape and he was lame (I was ignorant). You took your time visiting with him and you decided to help my horse. You gave him the time he needed to do what you do. I was immediately impressed by the first visit a week later to see he had immaculate ground manners and he wasn't terrifying to be around. You fixed his feet, knew how to develop his muscles, you knew how to work and exercise him to strengthen his injured areas and the right supplements to enhance the process. You also turned him into a very respectful mount, not an easy feat, but your knowledge, patience and consistency accomplished it. When I came to visit him, I cried of the pure beauty you created. You had the vision and explained to me it would come but patience was required. When I saw the video of you riding him in the snow I couldn't believe this was the same horse. He looked as good if not better than he had ever been and he looked like he belonged in the show ring with the million dollar horses.
Thank you so much for the time care and love that you gave him. I was always confident that he received the best possible care when he was with you.
I recently had the pleasure of purchasing a horse from Gina. I was looking for an experienced horse to replace my current hunter/jump that is now retired. Gina had a horse listed for sell that I felt was perfect for what I needed. She was very clear on his training and what I should expect from him. I purchased after viewing his video and had him shipped from NY to Texas. What a wonderful experience to find that he was everything she said and more. He came off a four day trip and settled right in with my other horses. The next day we were riding and have not stopped yet. He is the perfect horse for me and I would not hesitate to purchase another horse from her in the future. Thanks Gina for the perfect horse! Tamara from Texas
When I decided to retire my Connemara/TB mare, I began my search for a new horse and found "Barney" online at Bay Breeze Estate. He's the horse of my dreams, a purebred Connemara gelding. He was advertised as a well mannered, bombproof horse. Since I live 4 hours away, I was thrilled he was exactly as advertised. I have a severe handicap and you said he would take care of me and your were correct.
Barney is a lovely horse with great ground manners and very tolerant under saddle. This is very important for me. Though I'm an experienced rider, I am a middle-aged woman with physical challenges. I need a horse who is easy to lead and can tolerate clumsy mounting. That's Barney. He lunges beautifully, is well trained under saddle, and very quiet. You definitely did a great job with him. When I decided he was the right horse, Gina helped arrange transport from Long Island, NY to Southern NJ. Her shipper was a real professional and I will use her again if I need to transport a horse any distance. My experience with Gina Arcate is that she's an honest horse woman, great rider/trainer, and advertises her horses truthfully. A happy buyer and horse owner!, Roni, Southern NJ
"If there is a special horse your looking for and you need a guiding hand let Gina help you she is well experienced in the field of Equine and also a people person who can see the connection between a person and the right horse for you. She is there even after you purchase that special horse for excellent training and just all around help if she can. I'm very happy with the special horse she brought into my life and all the help and guidance she has given me in making my choice the right one for my life is now fulfilled." Fondly, Tamara, Wisconsin
One of the best things I did for my horse was sending him to Gina Arcate for Training and Evaluation. Thank you Gina for all you did for Hudson. Your knowledge and dedication helped make him a more confident and happy horse. You got him very, very fit, figured him out, exposed him to all disciplines and most importunately found his niche. Changing circumstances in my life made it difficult for me to keep him in a consistent working program, which he needed. You gave him that discipline and he flourished under your care. He loved you and learned to be more confident and developed a work ethic. Gina you made the process of training and ultimately selling him to a great rider and home a very good experience. Your honesty and knowledge was refreshing and you kept me updated on his progress and always answered my many questions. I do miss him but I am happy and confident he will do well with his new owner. I have you to thank for this journey working out so well. Gina your honesty and horse knowledge is your trademark and never compromise those traits nor your integrity. I would highly recommend you to anyone who is buying, selling or needs training for a horse. You do what you promise and go far beyond expectations. I wish you well with all your horsey adventures, you are a true horseperson and a great asset to the profession. Kathy, Syracuse, NY
There is so much that I can say about my dealings with Gina Arcate, but I think the most important thing that I can say is that Gina is honest. What you read in her website is exactly what you will find when you go to see Gina and her beautiful horses at Bay Breeze Farm! It has been a year since I first called Gina after seeing an add in THE CHRONICLE of the HORSE. During that year Gina made my wonderful new horse Aspen into a safe foxhunter! Aspen is amazing...so sweet and sane, which is just what Gina told me she was. All of the horses that I met at Bay Breeze Farm were so sweet. Gina was so accommodating, not only did she invite me to come out to Long Island and try Aspen in her ring, she also invited me to take Aspen foxhunting. It was so great to be able to try her in the field and really see what she was like, and again, Aspen was exactly what Gina said that she was! I have had Aspen in New Jersey with me for two weeks in the most awful ice conditions... she was not able to be turned out for nine days and she was still as sweet and sane as the first day I tried her. My experience with Gina has been such a positive one, I cannot recommend her enough. It is really hard to find a horse that is just what you were told it was, but thanks to Gina Arcate, I found just that in my new horse Aspen! Grace, Coltsneck, NJ
My lesson with you this past weekend was such a breath of fresh air. Your honest guidance helped me correct my habits and strengthen my confidence. You are just as empowering as your horses, and their stories. Your training technique is unique and this quality of yours most definitely contributes to your horses' well-roundedness. You have such a creative and logical way of delivering instructional guidance and you keep every bit of the hard work exciting and well worth it. You have a special connection to your horses and this shines through more than you probably know. You build confidence in your horses through your patience, compassion, and positive energy. End result is a happy student and a happy horse. I look forward to moving forward with you in the field and in the future. L. Curry Aycock, Birmingham, Alabama / New York, NY
You took the time to answer not only our simple questions but shared with us those things that would help Midnight adjust once he arrived in Oklahoma.
Its hard to believe its been just a month since the day he arrived. He is absolutely a kind, willing, patient, funny, athletic, smart, and wonderful partner. While some may believe these traits may be genetic, you had the wisdom and kindness to build the confidence he needs to adapt and be successful in our new home, in a new discipline, and with our daughter. Without a doubt, you prepared Midnight to take on this new job and you did it well. We have joked that "it was meant to be".... but it has been more than just luck. It started with hours of dedication and love you shared with Midnight. Our Valentine Ranch "family" has also ignited Grace's passion and respect for horses. The joining of Grace and Midnight - they were meant to be! We are excited to see them learn together. We love him, Gina. Thank you for all you have done and for sharing Midnight with our family. Denise, Oklahoma
I am an Ex MFH , former whip, and former Huntsman of the Smithtown Hunt. I know Gina Arcate for many many years. She whipped along side me as 1st whipper-in and while I was huntsman. She has worked with hounds for more years I can remember. She has trained and assisted the Kennelman and myself for years. Hounds were Gina's passion. There is no other person that I would entrust to sell my hunt horse, other than Gina Arcate. She is a horsewoman. She knows the hunt and what it entails to make a good hunt horse. She has been making, training and selling good, sound, athletic, well mannered mounts for years. I would always say to her, "nice looking fella, where'd you get this one?" and she would always reply, "He's for sale"! I cannot even count the horses I have seen her on. Hands down, she is the one to sell any hunt horse, or for that matter any horse, period. She can fine tune and retrain horses and she sells them to the right buyers. She's efficient and will not waste your time or the horses. I trust Gina to get the job done as she has for all these years. Thank you for selling my Hunt Horse. Artie Gerdts, Ex, MFH, of the Smithtown Hunt.
The person I would buy a horse from must love, trust and respect horses. They must also understand what's natural and important to a horse's well being; physically, emotionally and mentally. They must put these principles before the business of making money. Matching the appropriate horse with the appropriate human requires integrity honesty and selflessness. People like this are very rare.
Gina Arcate is one of these rare people. She is a trustworthy, reliable and principled horse professional. She takes the time and commits herself to preparing every horse she sells to become a safe, fun, positive partner for their new human owner. I have worked with Gina and a number of her horses helping her prepare them for there future homes. In every case she has demonstrated her dedication to the natural horsemanship principles of love, understanding, communication and leadership. She practices and believes in this method. She understands that in order to have fun with your horse you must know you're both safe. Gina Arcate trains and sells nice horses. I'm happy to recommend her.
Tim Hayes, www.hayesisforhorses.com NYC, Long Island, NY
Gina is the closest thing to a horse whisperer I ever hope to know. A natural horsewoman, plus the most committed, resourceful, and honest (that's right) horse person I've ever dealt with. Gina listens to the client, listens to the horse, and keeps both in mind. In 3 months, she transformed my freaked-out mare that my vet said to put down....into an even happier show hunter than she was when I bought her. This horse, who people said was crazy and not sale worthy, which never left the show ring and Gina had her going down the road, on trails, on the beach, over the fences, without a hitch. In and out of the ring, she was calm and contented, and drugs never entered the picture. She was not sound when I brought her to Gina, the vet said to put her down promptly and Gina and I decided to wait. Gina brought her around to pass a full vetting and then Gina sold her for a fair price to a caring show family and a very reputable trainer. I am her devoted fan forever. Thanks, Molly East Hampton, NY
I don't really think I could sum up in just mere words what Gina has done for me. She is a selfless person who is not just a trainer,but a true horsewoman. She is the horse whisperer. They need to make a show about her, so that others can see just how talented she truly is. I am not just grate full to learn how to ride but her absolute wealth of knowledge of horses, their care and training. It is an honor for me to be in her presence and to learn from her . Her horses are exceptional creatures who she has made into the finest they can possibly be. Her horses are safe, smart and she will always be honest with what she is selling to you. Her horses are in a class all their own and it is the highest class out there. Only a fool would not heed her advice, her knowledge, and all she has to teach..Thank you Gina for teaching me so much and I will continue to learn from you as you are the true horsewoman I strive to be. Police Officer, Denise, NYC, NY
Your horse could be in no better hands. Gina has a gift and she executes it in an extraordinary way. I have seen Gina take a rogue horse and completely turn it around into a loving manageable horse. I fox Hunted for the first time in 30 years on a 5 year old that Gina raised and trained and I could not have had a safer mount. If you are looking for some one to help you with your horse, look no further, you have found an honest, dedicated horse trainer who will take your horse beyond your expectations. Sincerely, Merrily Baxter, PA
GINA ARCATE, BAY BREEZE FARM, MANORVILLE, NEW YORK
Randomly browsing the internet I came across a listing from Bay Breeze Farm that caught my eye and what appeared to be the perfect horse for me! In a few short days I had x-rays and ppe exam in hand and took the quantum leap to move forward. Dealing with Gina is dealing with a true professional who knows what she is doing. Gina is straightforward, transparent and honest – a rarity in today’s world. We had numerous obstacles to ship the horse 2600 miles from NY to Alberta, Canada the least of which was weather. Within seven (7) days everything was in order and the horse was on the trailer………..sounds easy on paper but it was challenging. The glue that held everything together was Gina herself – no obstacle was too big and her connections in the horse world served her well. Above and beyond everything was the honest fact Gina cared about the welfare of this horse – a two (2) page “about this horse” directive covered everything from feed, training history, blanketing, routine, characteristics followed by numerous phone calls as to the settling in process!
Everything Gina said about the horse is true – he is exactly what she said (and more) and I can’t thank her enough . From beginning to end it was twelve (12) days – that’s teamwork!
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I have been Gina’s student for about a month, and I can say unequivocally that she is a game changer. As an adult rider with some experience, I was looking for a trainer who would push me to reach my true potential while still fostering the joy of riding. I have found that (and then some!) in Gina. Her expertise and intuition with horses translates seamlessly to her students, and she is head and shoulders above other trainers in her method, approach, and attitude.
Gina’s training style involves a unique mixture of work and play, and no two lessons are alike. Her facility consists of a variety of riding arenas and terrains, which she incorporates in endless ways so that horse and rider are never bored. A lesson may consist of a warm-up in the dressage ring followed by a jumping course in a field and then some natural obstacles in the trees. Each lesson is a new and valuable riding experience that also happens to feel like a fun adventure! She incorporates proven training techniques in dressage and jumping, but is flexible enough to approach target areas in diverse ways to accommodate my learning style—and her friendly, approachable manner guarantees an interactive and enjoyable training session. With Gina, communication is key; she knows exactly which questions to ask to help me form meaningful conclusions about my riding and my relationship with the horse. She is a natural teacher in this sense because she encourages students to think for themselves rather than to simply listen and learn. Gina is also unique in that she takes video of each lesson and sends along clips with a summary of improvements and areas that still need work. I have found her use of media hugely beneficial in tracking my progress, developing a focus for each lesson, and motivating me to become a better rider.
Gina has an immeasurable passion for her horses that is inspiring to witness. I feel incredibly lucky that she has directed that passion toward my riding, and I truly believe that she experiences my successes as if they were her own—another measure of a great teacher! She takes considerable pride in her training, and I feel privileged to learn from her. In just one month, Gina has already taken my riding to the next level; I cannot wait to see what the future will bring!
-C, Long Island, October 2015
The Best Testimonial any Foxhunter/Trainer can ever get would be from this man: Epp Wilson, MFH & Huntsman of The Belle Meade Hunt
I have hunted with Belle Meade (whipped in with them on several occasions) I absolutely love the hunt, love the down home country loving people. They are "the Hunt" down South and for a reason. They know how to hunt, they have some great crying hounds and when you hunt with these folks, you know you are really hunting because your heart is in your mouth and your eyes are watering from the speed and you are in another world. Gladly, I say I am now a member of this wonderful hunt!
Gina is a great lady and a fine horsewoman. She was 1st whipper-in & MFH at Smithtown for years.
I got my Chief horse from her 10 years ago and he is still going strong. He is one of my favorite hunt horses. Tough as nails. Bold. Will jump anything. Cross any creek. Good feet – especially for a tb. Rarely loses a shoe even in our tough footing. Loves a good 10 or 12 mile coyote run. I just love him.
Can’t wait to ride Tucker.
Gina’s riding style is much like mine. Leave the good horse alone as long as he is doing the job. She teaches them their job. All I have to do is point and hold on. That’s the kind of horse I like. I am too busy hunting the hounds – choreographing whips and road whips, etc. I don’t have the time or mental energy to be focused on riding the horse when we are running a coyote.
Thanks again to all!
Safe Trip and Happy Hunting!
I have so many, and yet no words to tell you how grateful I am to you for bringing Jack to our family. Here is what I came up with as a testimonial. I am happy to try again if there are things you want to emphasize. I'm sure there are things others would like to know about you that I may not have addressed. I know you wouldn't ask me to say anything I didn't believe and I want to support you because I value your honesty and the amazing way you have with your horses. Hopefully that comes across! I am so happy with Jack. Finding a horse that will be your best friend can be difficult and trying when there are so many people who aren't as interested in finding the right match as they are in moving a horse. Thank you so much for your honesty and kindness through the process. It is clear how much care, respect and love you put into your horses as well as into finding them the right homes. Jack is as kind and wonderful as you told me he was. You said he loves kids, and he does. You said he played hard but knew when to get down to business, and he does. His transition to our home was so easy thanks to your guidance (of both of us!). I look forward to sharing pictures and stories of our fun and adventures! I realize that you do not normally allow a horse to go on a purchase trial, but you offered him to me on a trial basis. You probably realized I might not be willing to drive over 7 hours to look at him and would also need the extra time to get to know him under no pressure. That was amazing. I was more than willing to pay the price to ship him and be able to get to know him at a pace comfortable to both of us. He was EXACTLY as you described him. Very lovable and affectionate. And he did test me a bit as you said he would. But since they were all expected, it wasn't an issue. If not for your desire to find him his perfect home, I probably wouldn't have taken the chance. And then the fact that you put absolutely no pressure on me to make a decision, when I know others were interested in looking at him, was wonderful. I really did feel that I had months if needed to make a decision. But I knew that for all of our sakes I needed to decide, so after two weeks did! During our many conversations and emails and texts, you were blatantly honest with me, and I really appreciate that. Unfortunately, the majority of people in the horse business are not known for their honesty. I am very fortunate that I found you and will be referring you to anyone that is looking for a horse! Please feel free to give my contact information to anyone who would like a reference for you and your horses! D, Virginia
I have so many, and yet no words to tell you how grateful I am to you for bringing Jack to our family. Here is what I came up with as a testimonial. I am happy to try again if there are things you want to emphasize. I'm sure there are things others would like to know about you that I may not have addressed. I know you wouldn't ask me to say anything I didn't believe and I want to support you because I value your honesty and the amazing way you have with your horses. Hopefully that comes across! I am so happy with Jack. Finding a horse that will be your best friend can be difficult and trying when there are so many people who aren't as interested in finding the right match as they are in moving a horse. Thank you so much for your honesty and kindness through the process. It is clear how much care, respect and love you put into your horses as well as into finding them the right homes. Jack is as kind and wonderful as you told me he was. You said he loves kids, and he does. You said he played hard but knew when to get down to business, and he does. His transition to our home was so easy thanks to your guidance (of both of us!). I look forward to sharing pictures and stories of our fun and adventures! All my best, Amy, Princeton, NJ
Hi Gina -
Geronimo is doing great! We all love him so much, I can understand how upset you were to see him go! I took him a horse show on Sunday and he was a super star! He looked so handsome all braided and he behaved beautifully, of course. I have also been using him in a program that I run in the spring and fall for handicap children. Children with special needs come out once a week for 4 weeks in the spring and fall and get a chance to ride. Geronimo is so great with the kids! I attached a couple pictures of him with one little boy, Anthony, hugging his leg, another little boy, Jared leading him, and a little girl, Selena, on him. He's enjoying grazing on fresh grass pastures with a couple other geldings that he's now friends with. Thank you again for this wonderful animal! He is truely special. Claire, Syracuse, NY
If you are looking for a horse to purchase I suggest you call Gina! I had talked to many many people selling a horse and when I went to see the horse it was not at all as advertised. After many trips and many rides I found the perfect horse, had all the details worked out and the horse was sold as they say "right out from under me." Feeling like it was time to give up I saw a horse for sale listed by Gina at Baybreeze Farm. I called her and she heard my desperation and told me right away.wait lets talk. Low and behold she was the first person that heard what I was looking for. We together decided her horse I inquired about may not be for me. A few days later she called me and a horse had come up for sale and may meet my needs! What.....she called me! She gave me exact instructions on how to fly in and out. Later we discussed upcoming weather due to cold and rain and her advice was priceless!!! I flew in and she was constantly in contact and met me as scheduled for our ride on this horse. Buying a horse is a huge commitment not to be taken lightly ad Gina listened to my needs and was so professional as well. The horse was a great size for me (she knew this) and the horse met my needs perfectly. With Gina I left with purchasing a wonderful horse and complete knowledge about her training, feeding, care and she even helped me with outfitting the horse to be able to be ready to ride. Almost forgot.....she helped me arrange shipping too. She knows horses and she knows people as well....key is she listens! Gina Rocks! Period! Karen, NC
I've been taking English riding lessons, inconsistently for about 7 months. You know your typical give me your money, 5 min of walking 15 min of trotting, and 5 min of cool down, hurry up and get off. Never having time to learn how to tack up, untack or interact with the animal at all! I don't like to stereotype, but most people who teach lessons are very young, with lack of experience, or older and worn out with NO patience for me or the animal. I found out that school horses are over used and not disciplined, which makes the learning process very hard for the student. Frustrated, but driven by my insane passion for horses, I began searching for colleagues, so I can get hands on experience, and the proper education. I even went into chat rooms (special interests horses), hoping to find some one, who owned a stable, a farm, anything! Needless to say the schools were all very far away, and most people in the chat rooms worked at the stables and farms.
Then one of my friends introduced me to Gina Arcate! What can I say? She is EVERYTHING I've been looking for!!! Her Passion for horses are insane. Her Horses are Amazing! They're so eager to please, so smart, affectionate, and most of all forward, (a term I just learned), which makes the learning process so much easier on me. I've been taking lessons on Joey. He's helping me along with Gina. It's like having 2 teachers! Just watching her, the way she handles him with such love, patience, and intense passion! How could you go wrong? That's all the ingredients for a happy horse who's eager to please, a happy student who's eager to learn, and a patience teacher who's eager to teach! I have only taken four 1 hour lessons with her and have learned more from her and Joey, than I have in the past 7 months! I've learned about tacking, grooming, horses memories, as well as riding skills. She has also video taped me so I can see myself ride, which makes a huge difference over just being told verbally. She takes the time to explain "why" to everything she teaches me. Not to just command with no explanation. What can I say? I feel like I died and went to Heaven! Randy, Oyster Bay, NY, Hampton's Long Isand