Patrick Conner

Patrick began working with Vanessa in 1995 at her boarding facility in Leander, Texas, Belle Terre Equestrian Center. It was then that Vanessa recognized a need for ground training for the horses in her care. Through training in ground manners, safe trailer loading skills, lunging, round pen work and basic trust in their handlers, the horses in Patrick's program became better partners for their riders.

In 1996, the two formed Conner Combined Training. Patrick's lifelong experiences with horses have guided their ground training program ever since, and he has had great success with helping both horses and riders create loving, trusting, safe relationships. His methods use the horse's natural instincts to guide the training process. Through trust, kindness, respect, and patience, he can help horse owners with a variety of training challenges, from problems with ground work (such as trailer loading,) to simply solidifying training under saddle through the creation of a stronger relationship between horse and rider.

Patrick grew up in the Austin/Lockhart area, and his family has always owned horses. He has worked in the American Quarter Horse breeding industry in reining and cutting, and it is there that he learned the fundamentals of gaining a horse's trust and cooperation through kindness and patience.

He is also a full-time 911 service EMT Paramedic, and has 15 years of experience in emergency medicine.


About Us

Our riding lesson and training program is based on the principles of classical dressage. We provide dressage training and riding lessons through 2nd Level for all types of horses and riders, as well as jumping training and riding lessons up to the Preliminary Level (or 3' 6".) Our jumping program teaches both show jumping and cross-country jumping.

Our ground training program focuses on natural horsemanship using only kindness, patience, trust, and the horse's natural instincts to teach trailer loading, ground manners, clipping, bathing, lunging, round pen work, proper leading etc. We do not believe in rough handling or "breaking" a horse. We feel a horse and rider must work as partners for the relationship to be positive for both!


Vanessa has enjoyed the friendship of horses for almost 40 years as a rider, competitor, stable-owner, barn manager and instructor. She has been a professional riding instructor and trainer in the Austin area for more than two decades, teaching hundreds of riding students of all ages and levels of experience.

Her teaching philosophy is one of safety and fun in a relaxed, supportive, positive atmosphere where both riders and horses enjoy working together toward any goal, whether it is learning to groom or going to national level shows. Over the years, Vanessa has produced many local and regional champions, but her lesson program is really about having fun while spending time outdoors with horses, her favorite animals. She teaches riders from age 7 to adult and specializes in English riding in the disciplines of dressage, eventing and jumping. Vanessa is available for lessons, off-site dressage and cross-country clinics, horse show coaching, and horse training.

As a certified educator, Vanessa offers middle and high school physical education credit for school-aged riders in the Austin, Leander and Round Rock school districts. She is also a full-time high school English teacher in Round Rock I.S.D. and the proud mother of Kaitlyn Conner, an up-and-coming young equestrian herself!

Vanessa Conner