Literally growing up on Barrett Farm as the daughter of a professional trainer, Laura Barrett Gurtis, who first rode at age 3 and began her show career at age 5, brings a lifetime of knowledge and hands-on experience to her current vocation as rider and trainer at Barrett Farm of Florida, Inc.
Living with her husband and two young daughters (both riders) Laura resides in Winter Park, Florida, close to Rollins College, where she went to school after graduating from Trinity Preparatory School.
Her early accomplishments as a junior and young pro rider include showing and collecting ribbons at prestigious events such as Ox Ridge in Connecticut, USET Finals at Gladstone, New Jersey, Pennsylvania National, Washington International, National Pony Finals, and Madison Square Garden.
She currently rides, trains, and coaches her students at A shows all over
Florida, WEF and HITS, Atlanta, GA and Kentucky. Although she specializes in hunters and jumper, Laura keeps her own interests and knowledge expanding; she has studied with renowned dressage trainer Anne Gribbons, competing in an occasional dressage competition, and recently apprenticed with Linda Kohanov, celebrated author of Tao of Equus, and integrates Kohanov’s Epona principles of evolving human/equine relationship into her training and teaching. Laura says” I think openness and innovation are needed for top-level training and growth”.
Laura adds to her resume and contributes to the local horse community by serving as chairperson of the Greater Orlando Hunter and Jumper horse show committee, leading the annual Benefit horse show project, and also does course design and co- manages for GOHJA horse shows.
Laura is best described as a hands-on trainer, who really cares. She is deeply involved in the daily equine management at the farm. She rides several horses a day, and thinks of them as equal partners. She explains, ”We appreciate and treat the horses with great respect, learning from them daily, as much as they learn from us– maybe more. I love competition, but I equally love just working with the horses and clients. The fact that people from all walks of life can relate to horses in the same way is an inspiration to me. My goal is to help every rider I work with carry the awareness, fitness, focus and confidence that riding instills into all aspects of his or her life.”