Heather began riding at the age of 6 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, at Susan Walmer's Foxfield Farm. There, she began showing in the short stirrup and pony divisions. Several years later, Heather moved to Willow Creek Farm, where she began as a working student, taking any opportunity she could to school green horses and ponies under the tutelage of Mary Ann Newswanger, and doing barn chores to help support her horses while showing the local and rated circuits. Living in the heart of horse country, she had the opportunity to clinic with and learn from many different trainers such as Anne Kursinski, George Morris, and Melvin Dutton.
At 18, Heather took the position of Assistant Trainer and Manager of Willow Creek Farm. She taught lessons, continued learning to work with green and young horses, and coached students at shows. During this time, she also continued to purchase and retrain retired racehorses from Penn National Racetrack for new careers in hunters, jumpers, and eventing, while she pursued her Bachelor's degree and received her Equine Massage Therapist certification.
In 2007, Heather was offered a position teaching lessons and running the volunteer program at Hope Springs Equestrian Therapy, in Chester Springs, PA. She helped grow the riding and volunteer program, while teaching at risk youth, as well as children and adults with disabilities until she moved from the area in 2011.
Heather also worked as a combined driving and 4-in-hand coach groom for Paul and Karen Martin's South Ridge Farm, traveling the East Coast to events and shows, gaining knowledge about horsemanship as well as impeccable turnout and presentation while working with top level Welsh Cobs and German Sport Ponies.
In 2012, Heather moved to Washington, D.C. to take a position as Assistant Trainer of the Potomac Horse Center. While there, she helped to coach the show and equitation teams, trained and taught all levels of horses and riders, and helped to organize and run shows held at the facility. She was fortunate to have the opportunity to clinic and lesson with some wonderful trainers during her time there, such as Jimmy Wofford, David O'Connor, Renee Terselic, and Gina Hall.
After relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina, Heather used the teaching skills she had honed over the years to help run a large lesson and show program at a well-known barn in the area. She co-coached the equitation team to multiple individual and team championships throughout the season and taught all levels of riders, as well as coached students at local and rated shows in the area.
Never one to say no to an exciting opportunity, Heather moved to Las Vegas with her husband and 3 dogs in 2016 to join the team at Hunter's Edge where she looks forward to a bright and long term future.
Heather is is First Aid/CPR certified through the American Heart Association and is working on becoming certified through USHJA
Raised in northern Arizona, Amanda has had a lifelong passion for horses. While completing her BS in Exercise Science at ASU, Amanda was fortunate to be introduced to Sherry Templin and Henry Kovacs of Scottsdale where she began as a working student for their highly competitive hunter/jumper/ equitation show barn. From 2007-2011, Amanda worked as an assistant trainer for Sherry Templin Training stables where she provided meticulous horse husbandry and excellent schooling rides on the equine athletes. In 2013, Amanda moved to the east coast for an assistant position at a busy lesson barn in Cazenovia, NY, where she honed her teaching abilities as a patient, detail oriented instructor.
In August 2014, Amanda happily joined the team at Hunters Edge. Amanda also believes in continuously furthering her education by taking lessons and attending clinics herself. Amanda ensures that our horses receive excellent care, and coaches our beginner and intermediate riders to help them reach their individual goals. Amanda is passionate about her program here at Hunter's Edge and loves addressing the individual needs of both equine and human students.
Amanda is a USHJA Certified trainer and is First Aid/CPR certified through the American Heart Association
Denise Finch - Head Trainer
Denise was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA where she started riding with Janet Pearson at the age of four. After the closure of Janet's barn she moved across the road to To & Fro Farms with Mark Mullen and Victor Hugo Vidal. It was there that she received a solid foundation for proper equitation. After Mark's death several years later, Denise moved on with Mark's sister, Janet Mc Donald, and Mark's assistant, Carolyn Biava, who started their own First Field Farm. Denise rode with Carolyn & Janet until she was 20 both on her own horses, and catch riding others. She showed up and down the A circuit as a junior. At the age of 13, Denise began working for FFF as a working student doing various barn chores and helping the riding school program with tack up lessons. At nearly 18, Denise stepped into the role of Assistant Trainer at First Field Farm. She ran a successful riding school, schooled horses, and took students to horse shows. It was with Carolyn and Janet that she learned top horsemanship skills, how to properly school client horses, and how to be a supportive yet constructive instructor.
Upon moving to Vegas in 2004, she started Hunter's Edge and hasn't looked back since. She has coached countless riders to championships at A shows in all three rings. While she doesn't show herself anymore, she really enjoys schooling horses both at home and at horse shows. Denise became a USHJA Certified trainer in 2013, and believes in constantly furthering her education by attending and hosting clinics with top professionals. She also loves helping problem and green horses with her other mentors Buck Brannaman, Tina Cornish along with the support of Jeff Cook, Carol Dean Porter, and Melanie Smith Taylor; she is constantly seeking out how to better serve her horses and clients. Denise was honored to be a demo rider for Buck Brannaman at his Legacy of Legends clinic in 2013.
Denise's passion is bringing out the absolute best in both horse and rider, and watching them succeed in this sport with a solid foundation of horsemanship and equitation, no matter what ring they wish to step into.
Denise is First Aid/CPR certified through the American Heart Association.