Lexus Arbuckle: Finding Joy in the’ ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

By TPH Blog Editor SARAH WELK BAYNUM

Canadian native Lexus Arbuckle has made a career out of riding and training horses and clients, but it’s the “ah ha” moments, for both riders and horses, that she loves most about her work

But before landing her current job as assistant trainer with Amanda Lyerly, Arbuckle spent years working her way up and made a big move to help further her career.

“As a junior, I mainly focused on the jumper ring and was a working student for Carly Campbell-Cooper in Guelph, ON,” Lexus tells The Plaid Horse.

Arbuckle then became a member of the 2013 North American Young Riders Competition, finishing top 12 individually. After completing her her Bachelors of Marketing Management at the University of Guelph, she gained experience locally before the big move— a relocation from Canada to California to gain experience as an assistant trainer.

At Bridgeport Farms in California, Arbuckle was now responsible for showing and training horses both at home and at the horse shows.

Arbuckle had spent two years learning and gaining experience from John Bragg before going to work for Martien Van Der Hoeven.

Then, an opportunity presented itself that was hard to pass up.

In January of 2023, Arbuckle had an opportunity to move close to home again and work with Amanda Lyerly as her assistant trainer.

Today, Arbuckle rides and competes with all of Lyerly’s client horses, sales horses, and helps train their clients both at home and at the show.

During the horse shows, Arbuckle is responsible for preparing the horses in the mornings before the clients show, and essentially does everything before, and up to, when the clients walk in the ring to ensure their success.

Photo by Winslow Photography

“I love competing the horses as much as I enjoy training the clients and watching them improve. Most recently we were in Tryon, and I was able to compete one of the clients’ horses. We won both classes including the 1.30 m stake division to end up champion! Our clients also have been having a successful first week with lots of wins in the jumpers, equitation, and hunter ring.”

When she’s at home, Arbuckle most enjoys training the horses to be better when they do attend shows, and introducing them to new exercises. She also enjoys teaching her clients how to perfect their techniques at home to improve while showing.

“I love teaching them how they need to place their bodies and what they can do with their aids to better the quality of the jump the horse is giving. I also am a firm believer that proper flat work is crucial to horses success. I like teaching clients how to improve that, and why that crossover is so important when it comes to competing a course,” adds Arbuckle.

But it’s when things really click for her clients that has been one of her favorite parts of the job.

Photo by Winslow Photography

“We’ve had a lot of success in the hunters, derbies, equitation, and jumper ring since my time working for Madison Hills Farm. I love watching the clients finally have that ‘ah ha’ moment where something I say finally clicks and they start to see better results in the ring as a result of learning something I’ve taught them.”

Arbuckle has also had a lot of fun bringing in quality jumpers for resale.

“I love the process of bettering a horse and watching them go on to succeed after you’ve sold or leased them. For me, that process is so fun! It’s nice to feel your hard work and the training the horse had is coming together in the show ring, and then as a result, creating a good sale.”