Laura DeCesari was born to ride horses. There was never any doubt from a very young age that horses were going to be Laura's life.
Laura’s parents, Mark & Lisa, supported Laura’s passion for horses from the very beginning. From riding lessons across town, enduring the never-ending educational videotapes that Laura watched, to eventually buying Laura her first horse from an ad in the local newspaper, their support for Laura and horses never wavered.
Laura’s first horse, Mickey, was a grey gelding and a rescue. He had no papers, minimal training, and questionable conformation, but Laura loved him anyway and trained him to fourth level. She ran up and down the Tucson washes with Mickey and practiced half passes behind the barn.
Laura’s second horse, Desi, was an un-broke warmblood mare. Laura had her first chance to start a horse from the beginning with Desi, and employed her dad Mark as her assistant. Laura loved the opportunity to start a horse from the very beginning and eventually sold Desi to a forever family with kids and parents who still enjoy Desi to this day as an all-around dressage, jumping, and trail riding partner.
Laura largely credits her early success in the horse industry to the horsemanship and groundwork techniques she learned from attending clinics, watching videos, and taking lessons from her coach and mentor, Eleanor Stine-Masek.
Ellie Stine-Masek, (Large “S” Dressage Judge & USDF Gold Medalist) has been more than just a coach to Laura - she has been a mentor both personally and professionally. Ellie is a coach-of-a-lifetime for Laura and has always taught Laura to put herself in the horse’s shoes and to see everything through the horse’s eyes. With her expertise as a judge and background as an elite trainer and business owner, Ellie continues to teach Laura new skills. She still coaches Laura weekly and makes herself available to Laura’s clients to provide a judge’s point of view and a fresh perspective.
GROWING UP AND THE DECESARI NAME
Horses taught Laura many life lessons from a young age, and horses were there for her when she needed them most. She learned she could always find a better way to communicate, to be fair and consistent to maintain a relationship, and to find a release and “let go” when things were where they needed to be. Ultimately, she discovered that there was no other soul on earth that would be there for her like a horse.
Tragically, when Laura was 14, her father Mark passed away. Laura turned to her horses for strength and stability and found that they always showed up for her. With this in mind, she has held on to her last name and named her barn DeCesari Equestrian in his honor.
EARLY CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Laura’s dressage career started with a bang! Her Junior career in dressage was very successful, placing 5th Individually at the NAJYRC in 2007 on a borrowed horse named Domino B2. Her Young Rider career was just as successful, as Laura received the Team Gold in 2010 on a horse named Cheenook II. This was an especially notable accomplishment, as Laura had trained Cheenook from Training Level to Prix St George and the pair was undefeated at every show up to fourth level!
In 2011 Laura’s talent and hard work was noticed and she was selected to attend the Young Rider Olympic Dream Program funded by the Dressage Foundation. The program allowed Laura to visit international stables and to learn training methodology from Ingrid Klimke, Klaus Martin Rath, Matthias Rath, Hubertus Schmidt, Michael Klimke, Wolfram Wittig, and Klaus Balkenhol.
LAUNCHING DeCESARI EQUESTRIAN
Inspired and encouraged by the Young Rider Olympic Dream Program trip, Laura launched DeCesari Equestrian in 2011. Currently Laura and her team train and manage between 25-28 horses daily and 22 riders. Laura is especially proud to say that over 90% of DeCesari Equestrian clientele who have began with Laura have stayed in the program. Laura has coached her clients to many different awards, high points, and achievements, including bronze medals, silver medals, and a National Championship.