Family ties brought horses and Elvenstar founder Jim Hagman together. Galloping through the hills of Thousand Oaks, Calif., on his family’s ranch stock, Jim would ride behind his father in the two-point position jumping fallen oak trees. Jim’s mother, who had a Virginia horse background, recognized his passion for English riding and by age 10 he was taking lessons at Foxfield, a riding academy in Westlake Village, Calif. His father took him to the hunter-jumper shows, where various trainers offered to work with him. Although he showed throughout his junior years, they always kept the horses at home and Jim was responsible for mucking, feeding as well as grooming and braiding at the shows. This balance of ranch and show experience molded the horseman that built Elvenstar.
After completing college in the 1980s, Jim started Elvenstar from the brush-and cactus-covered ground up. With the help of his siblings and parents, the Hagman family planted and laid irrigation for more than 900 trees. Discovering his talents for masonry, Jim built arenas surrounded by walls made from thousands of rocks found on the property. As the facility took shape, Jim taught lessons with one school horse and one pony.
His vision for Elvenstar was to develop a riding academy offering instruction at all levels from the first-time rider to those who wished to compete in the East Coast medal finals.
“I realized that it wasn’t just about building my name, but about building the Elvenstar brand,” he said.
Now with an established brand and a long list of accomplishments, a solid mix of established clients and new students, a variety of fabulous horses and ponies and a fantastic staff, Elvenstar’s history speaks for itself.
Tuesday – Friday: Open from 8 am to 6 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am to 2pm
With an emphasis on producing confident riders, the Elvenstar teaching style is positive and enthusiastic. Beginning with a solid base in classical horsemanship, the goal is to cultivate riders who grow to learn and respect the extraordinary rewards of an equine relationship.
The teaching system developed at Elvenstar emphasizes the art of communication between the horse and the rider. Our focus on the basics of riding as the building blocks of correct riding skills is renowned. The facility, with all of the bells and whistles of a premier classroom, allows students at all levels the ability to grow and develop their individual equestrian excellence.