My name is Laura Schmoll. I have ridden with Carol on and off for the past 15 years. The first year I rode with her, I was the very proud owner of my very first horse. (That was also the year I became a grandmother for the first time.) The first day of clinic that year I’m sure I scared Carol half to death, I’d only ridden my horse a few times prior and almost fell off a few times.
That first summer Carol pointed me in the right direction. I was able to learn to ride (kind of) and fell in love with barrel racing. Over the years I've had my share of ups and downs. Carol has always been very supportive.
For the past few years Carol has been working with me and my horse Sugar. Sugar spent several months in training with Carol. We (Sugar and I) then spent the next few summers attending Carol's clinics. If you have never attended one of Carol's clinics, I suggest you do so. Not only are they very informative, they are tons of fun. Many people attend her clinics year after year.
This past fall Sugar and I began competing in the Novice Horse level of MHBHA. We are off to a great start.
-- All thanks to Carol.
Carol Ellis has been such a good friend and mentor to me and my daughter Sara! She is so very good with Sara, who was 10 years old when they first met just over a year ago. At that time, Sara had just started loping on the barrel pattern. She now runs 3D and 4D times. Carol brings such confidence to Sara while she is learning, and such peace of mind to me that Sara is able to handle situations that come about. She is calm and steady in her teaching, and truly loves working with all ages of kids. Carol expertly prioritizes how much to teach and in what order, simplifying learning for horse and riders, young and old. She is a wonderful clinician.
I love riding with Carol for refresher courses, reining maneuvers, new perspectives, and to just get out of 'ruts'. Most recently, I was struggling with a challenging young mare that was obviously talented - and obviously trying! After complimenting my training with the mare up to that point, she reminded me (often) of what it takes to truly 'season' a horse, and that the mare is still 'just a baby'. My indecision about the mare was beginning to affect my riding/training, and I was not sure how many quirks I really wanted to deal with in this horse. My expectations were getting out of line. After taking the mare to Carol’s clinic, she calmly helped me set goals over a specific timeline. With the experienced advice and help in setting goals and check points along the way, I was able to advance the mare without worrying whether or not I was going to stay with her. When the time was up, if she met the goals, she stayed; if not, she went on down the road. Thankfully, she stayed. Carol trains horses and people.
Carol has given unending support to me in all situations, not just when I am paying for a clinic. I know she is just a phone call away and I greatly respect her wisdom in barrel racing - and in life in general. She stops what she is doing anytime to help Sara and I, and many other people who rely on her expertise and kind words.
Carol is a uniquely caring individual, a very tough competitor, a wonderful Christian lady who will shoot from the hip and let you know what she thinks if you ask. If you have a question for her, you will get an answer. I love having a resource who is such a consistent, all around trainer – a horseman, a reiner, a barre lracer, a competitor who helps anytime, anywhere, and loves sharing in the successes of her friends and students.
Carol what should I say about dear old Carol, without lying I can say that she is the smartest, sweetest, willing, and determined lady that I have ever met. The first time that I met her she was being herself and helping out a friend, hauling her horse to Texas. The horse that I am riding was very worried about a lot of things and bucked my sister off. Then I started to ride him and he did better. Then I started to ride him with Carol and he had tremendous improvements. All that Carol and I had to do was just find a way to calm him down and if he was bad she told me to lope him around the arena until he was listening to me. Carol has helped me in more ways than horses, she has helped bring me closer to God. Before every run I make I can go to Carol and ask her for a prayer to have a safe run. Thanks to all of the help that I got from Carol I have a new fastest run, it is a 17 but, a little more help from Carol I bet I will have a new one in no time. That is just what she has done for me in the past I now cannot wait for the future!!
Throughout my barrel racing career, I have always come to Carol and Gene Ellis for assistance. From the first clinic I attended with an ex rope horse turned barrel horse, at the age of 15, to the recent purchase of a saddle to better fit my current mount who has decided to "fill out", the Ellis's have always been available and accommodating. Carol believes in a basic foundation for all disciplines and all levels of horse and rider. In following her program you will learn how to create a "well-broke horse" that will be able to do anything you ask. No matter who you are or your level of riding, training and competition, Carol will go thru these basics with each student which allows you to refresh or newly discover how to accomplish a better horse and rider team.
Carol trains with a light hand, common sense, patience, safety and care for each horse. She will be up front and honest with what you need to to do as a rider and what is best for your horse. Her knowledge of barrel horses, how they think, how they feel, and how they work is second to none. Combine that with Gene's extensive tack shop on wheels with everything from saddles to supplements, and they are a tough team to beat! I have personally stayed at the Lazy Heart E on numerous occasions, and can tell you that it is both a safe and clean facility where the horses are exceptionally well cared for, and the hospitality is great. I feel lucky to have them both here in the Colorado front-range on a professional level as well as good good friends. I highly recommend Carol and Gene Ellis no matter what your needs are from becoming a better rider or trainer to having Carol train a horse for you herself or just simply finding a good saddle pad that fits your horse, they can help you attain your goal. I have always learned something and continue to learn. Besides, Carol's stories are great too!!!!
I took the beginner barrel racing clinic at the Lazy Heart E in 2004 when I first started to ride horses. I then went to work for Carol in February of 2005. I learned a lot about the everyday handling of horses and the time and training that goes into barrel racing. I took the advanced clinics in both 2005 and 2006. My horse and I are both very novice, but with the clinics and several private lessons with Carol, we have become a team. Once you have been a student of Carol's, she becomes your mentor, teacher, friend and biggest supporter. Cisco and I don't have much time to pursue barrel racing, but with the training we both got, we can go to a barrel race and do well in it. I'd recommend Carol to anyone who wants to get into barrel racing. She's motivational and highly encouraging, and will always be there to support and help you along the way.
I just wanted to send you a word of thanks letting you know how much I appreciate your help with Niner. We stepped things up a notch down at TNT Colorado Springs and smoothly stopped the clock just 8/10’s of a second off of Kelly Yates' winning 1D time. That put us in the 2D and he was just cruising!!! He ran the barrels so nicely, and he was so automatic, that it seemed easy on him for the first time.
When I purchased Niner I invested a lot of money in him, and it was very frustrating to watch everything come undone with every race I ran him in. I know now that he suffered from a lack of a good solid foundation. When you came up to me at COBRA finals and offered your help, I have to tell you that I was very skeptical. I knew how difficult and insecure of a horse he could be. I should have known Niner would like and trust you when he got in your trailer to go home with you.
Now I have people coming up to me all the time and telling me what a nice horse I have. When I tell them that he is the same horse that I had last winter (aka "The Puke"), they always ask me what I did. I tell them, "I didn't do anything - Carol Ellis did it!"
Carol Ellis has been training my barrel horses for the last 8 years. I continue to send my barrel horses to Carol for the simple reason that, she believes in teaching them basic reining maneuvers before ever showing them the barrel pattern. When my horses leave Carol's training program they not only run barrels competitively, but are also used for team roping.
MOJO, a six year old gelding that I purchased from Carol last year, is turning into the all around horse I have always dreamed of owning. Carol is the type of trainer who believes in training the horse and rider to work together as a team. Not only is Carol an exceptional trainer, but she is a dedicated Christian as well.
De Chapman & "Eek"
Carol Ellis is THE premier barrel racing instructor in our region! Carol converted me from showing (ok, I gave it up when I realized you can win a barrel race on a dirty horse that didn't require 6 hours of primping). Carol is an excellent teacher who truly cares about her students and their horses. Carol taught me to ride with confidence and without gimmicks. She believes in working within each rider and horse's ability level. Carol not only covers what goes on in the arena, but how to prepare yourself and your horse to begin competing. My first clinic with Carol was on a green horse that needed some outside exposure. In all honesty, he was never gonna be a barrel horse. The neat thing about Carol is that the tools she teaches will help you in any riding discipline and focus on good, safe, horsemanship.
Today I am competing on my "western pleasure" horse, Eek. Last summer we started taking girls' money at CPRA rodeos, running 1D times at not only jackpots, but in tough company at regional races. Together we have achieved many honors and won buckles and saddles, but my favorite accomplishment is that I can count the number of barrels we have hit on one hand. That's Carol's good foundation shining through - my mare is consistent and competitive because of the training style that Carol has instilled in me. I count myself lucky to be associated with such an excellent horseman and excellent teacher. Carol is a true friend and I appreciate her straight-forward attitude and great sense of humor.
I just wanted to take this time to thank the training team at the Lazy Heart E. I purchased a hyper paint horse named “Howie” in the summer of 2000 and that is where our journey began. People remembered this not because we were good but, because we usually made a spectacle of ourselves while attempting to run a barrel pattern. Getting into the gate is where it started. I had tried many different ways of getting in the arena to no peaceful avail. When and if I did get in the arena it would take us several minutes to get a forward motion going and by that time we were toast. My horse didn’t trust me and I didn’t trust him.
After many months of trying I decided we needed a change. I decided to attend Carol’s summer barrel clinic in the summer of 2002. That is where the turn for the better came. Together Carol, myself, Terry Kinney and of coarse Howie found a safe and reliable way to get in the arena. Not only that but we began discussing how to fix my pattern once in the gate. At the begning of that summer I was not even placing in Carols Wednesday night jackpot. By the end of the summer I was winning the 3D. I then decided to send Howie to the crew at the Lazy Heart E to see if we could finally achieve some constancy and trust. They did such a great job on me and my horse I can not believe it. They have truly made me fall in love with my horse all over again. My first race after the training I ran at CSU. This was the true test, could we keep it together? I was so shocked my horse and I experienced many things new to us because of Carol and Terry. For the first time before a race I was calm, and so was my horse. We went in the gate nice and controlled and ran the pattern so smoothly. It was so EASY. Finally EASY!!! We ran a faster time than we ever had in that arena. When I exited the arena I was greeted by Carol and Terry and they asked me what I thought. I had one word “Fun.” This is something I hadn’t said in a long time. Not only that but, people actually came up to me asking what I had changed and telling me how good we were instead of saying how out of control and dangerous we were. I was just glowing. What they gave me is priceless and seeing what the future holds is so exciting. I know that because of them my horse and I will be the best we can be. I also gained a whole new support team and great friends. I thank the lord above for bringing these people into my life. They are truly a blessing!!! Thank you all!