Under the Son Horsemanship was established in the fall of 2011 by CHA Master Instructor Serena Heppes in Saratoga, California. Serena discovered her passion for riding in 2001 while earning her “Horse Lover’s” badge as a Girl Scout. From there, she pursued her interests in riding through lessons and eventually leasing horses. With a strong foundation in Dressage, Serena purchased her first horse in 2007 and began her competitive career. In 2008, her first show season, Serena and her horse Smokum’s Jewel won their first series as a team taking home the All Around Open Division High Point.
After graduating High School in 2009, Serena was accepted into Canyonview Equestrian College where Jewel would soon join her. During the winter break of 2009-2010 the pair made their debut on international television with the Giddy Up Gals riding in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and Equestfest. Throughout their schooling at Canyonview, the two of them worked together in their western, reining, cutting and dressage classes. Some of the activities they accomplished include a dressage freestyle that scored a 77% as well as a bridleless reining freestyle. Serena, as a rider, trained on hunter jumpers as an intern at French Hill Farms. Along with this she also rode novice three day courses through the college. At Canyonview she also studied Herd Health, Management, Equine Anatomy, Conformation and movement which enhances her daily training program.
Upon graduating at the top of her class with a double major in Combined Training and Reining/Cutting, Serena accepted a job as a day camp counselor for the second year in a row. In the fall of 2011, Serena took a break from training and took a job as a barn manager of a string of 60 horses. After managing for a year, she realized that her passion was in teaching and training. At this time Under the Son was established in Saratoga.
In January of 2015, Serena took the brave leap into leasing and running her own facility in Los Gatos, with only three horses moving in. Now, she has eleven horses in her daily care between two facilities located in Los Gatos and Almaden.
Where we are now:
We are currently located in Los Gatos, California and have also founded a riding academy in Almaden. Serena has students in a variety of disciplines ranging from western pleasure, to dressage, to reining and jumping. Many of the horses our clients bring to us initially had behavioral problems, but with Serena’s successful guidance and training they choose to stay and continue their riding careers. With the problem horses we face, Serena goes back to her colt breaking and training techniques she learned from Canyonview to fix the foundation of horses in different riding disciplines.
Feel free to contact us regarding questions about horsemanship, training and what else we have to offer.