Instructors


Liza Hillman
Owner, Instructor

While Liza has almost 20 years of experiences with horses, her passion began before she could even ride. After begging for long enough, her mom eventually started her on beginning English lessons at 8 years old. In her first few years of riding she showed both English and Western, and it wasn't long before she had a horse of her own- Flame, a beautiful chestnut Arabian gelding. Liza and Flame showed for many years in Western Pleasure, Hunters, and Dressage, earning many Champions ribbons together, and even tried Gymkhana and barrel racing for a few years. Liza then began taking on more challenges; competing with her Thoroughbred in Jumpers, training in Dressage with more advanced horses, and eventually owning a young Arabian who she broke to ride, and trained herself. Her last focus with horses before full-time teaching was trick riding and stunt riding, which she trained in for almost two years and hopes to get back into eventually, having loved the mental and physical challenge that it offered. While Liza has explored many of the disciplines of riding, and plans on continuing to expand her horizons and bettering herself as a horse-person and teacher, she has found that her greatest achievement so far has been her ability to impart her passion and knowledge onto other aspiring riders. Nothing gives her more joy than seeing a happy horse with his/her happy person!

 As an owner...Liza took on Silver Stirrup almost by accident. When she started working as a head instructor and director of the program that would eventually become Silver Stirrup, she only considered it a part time job. She had no idea this would become a dream career for her. Once taking over the small program that was offered to her, Liza set forth with many ideas for what she wanted this program to become. She created a syllabus and structure unique to most riding programs that she developed from years of experience with many trainers from many fields of riding, along with goals to recreate the atmosphere that she felt shaped some of her greatest childhood memories growing up with horses. She's proud of what Silver Stirrup has become so far, and can't wait to see what it will continue to grow into with many more plans and work still ahead!



Alicia Pettry
Instructor

Alicia had loved horses her whole life, and then finally, at age 10, she was able to attend her first riding class. Although she started out riding Western, she switched to English about a year later and was instantly hooked. She quickly moved on to jumping, and rode consistently until she was 15, when focus on school, work, and eventually college put her on a break from riding. She went to school and worked in Utah until she eventually found her way back to horses at 21. It was then that she found her true passion in riding; Dressage, and met the horse that would become her first horse, CJ, who she still owns and shows to this day! Alicia and CJ become a great team quickly, and won at their very first show together! During that time, Alicia also began to find jobs in the horse world, teaching for lesson programs in Utah as well as teaching for summer camps for several years before moving back to California. All seemed to fall into place when her "wildest dreams" came true and she was able to buy CJ and bring him to California with her! They are still training and showing in Dressage, and Alicia is happy to also have a regular job teaching and sharing her love of horses with others every day.  Her favorite part of being an instructor is being able to see the joy on a student's face when they make a connection with a horse.