Lifelong professional horse person & accomplished equestrian in multi-disciplines.
Heading up our Retired/Recycled/Retrained ex-racehorse training program.
Multiple Certifications and accolades, Professional Instructor, Trainer and Rider
Instructor, clinician and horse show judge. Western, Ranch, Young Horses, English, Driving, Trail, Obstacles
Nationally recognized horse show judge and clinician. Western, Cow Horse, Ranch, English, Trail
Whether it's English or Western riding, Heather will happily provide you with the tools you need to achieve your personal goals. She enjoys using her horse training skills to start horses, work with off-the-track Thoroughbreds, in addition to providing quality riding instruction at JL Performance Horses and coaching at events.
Growing up with horses on her family's Orange County farm, Heather was introduced to Barrel Racing at an early age and attended competitions with her mom. As a child starting out, Heather gained a solid foundation in Dressage, Show Jumping and Cross Country (Eventing) as an active member of USPC. Heather found she could combine her 'need for speed' with her masterful riding skills and played mounted games. She has successfully competed at USPC Finals in Kentucky and was a top rider at the Central Park NY Horse Show.
She has been successful in selecting and starting young horses, as well as successfully competing in Thoroughbred make over challenges, including exhibiting one of her new Thoroughbred projects at the 2021 Equine Affaire. Heather is S.A.F.E.R. Horsemanship certified.
In addition to her accomplishments in the saddle, Heather is a top graduate from Morrisville College with her degree in Agricultural Business and Development. She is a USPC and Intercollegiate alumni.
Samantha began her journey into horses taking lessons with Leah Struzzieri. Thirty two years later, Samantha continues to follow her love of horses at JL Performance Horses teaching, training and riding.
Graduate, Equine Science & Business Management
Certified, S.A.F.E.R. Horsemanship
Certified, Harmony Horsemanship Instructor, Level 3
Certified, Instructor / Equine Therapy
Certified, Veterinary Technician
Certified, Dog Trainer
NYS Small Business Owner www.CustomCreationsAndAwards.com
Like most cowboys (and cowgirls), Cowboy Kevin loves a good, hot cup of coffee, especially in the morning when he is with the horses. Cowboy Kevin’s decades of experiences safely handling and working with horses will prove invaluable to you during your time at JL Performance Horses.
He lives by and passes on the tradition of the ‘Cowboy Code’-
· Take pride in your work.
· Always finish what you start.
· Do what has to be done.
· Ride for the brand.
· Talk less and say more.
He genuinely enjoys welcoming everyone to the wonderful world of horses, taking the time to help and encourage everyone with a smile. His relaxed and fun style transcends generations as he teaches and guides children and adults all about horses and ponies sharing helpful tips and techniques deeply rooted in natural horsemanship (and many other topics as well).
Kevin balances time in his architectural office and the barn. He is routinely seen with his 4-pound canine, Chloe, in tow. Cowboy Kevin is the man to see about camp fires and overnight stays. Kevin is S.A.F.E.R. Horsemanship Certified and enjoys teaching clients of all ages.
When he's not judging, Michael Dunn can be found at JL Performance Horses giving riding lessons and riding horses for clients. His cowboy charisma and clear communications will have you feeling confident as you put your foot in the stirrup whether you’re a returning rider, experienced equestrian or a first-timer.
Michael’s attention to detail and equestrian accomplishments make him a highly sought after instructor, showman and respected horse show judge. He is an active member of the American Ranch Horse Association and on the Board of Directors for Eastern Mountain Ranch Horse Association. He is a SUNY Cobleskill alumni gradate and the creator/owner of MDesigns - Silk Wild Rags, Silk Scarves and Silk Ties.
Michael has decades of professional experience in training, riding, coaching and successfully showing Quarter Horses and Appaloosas in Halter, Showmanship, Hunter Under Saddle, Western Pleasure, Trail, Ranch Riding and more. Students finds his 'From the Judge's View' classes exceptionally beneficial to being properly prepared for competition.
A lifelong horseperson, Leah has been a successful competitor, trainer and instructor for more than 40 years. When not riding or teaching, Leah could be found in the veterinary clinics making rounds and assisting. Keeping horses in peak health and comfort top her priority list.
With decades of diversified equine experience, Leah Struzzieri, has been nationally recognized as one of the top Senior Certified Equine Appraisers working for the Nation’s leading horse valuation firm, Sterling Equine Appraisals. She has earned her Lifetime Accredited Affiliation from the American Society of Equine Appraisals which requires her to maintain strict compliance with Federal and State rules and regulations. Leah has been a top pick as an authorized provided by the IRS and FDIC. She has provided legal consult and expert witness testimony for more than twenty years. Leah has more than forty years of equine experience and involvement within the horse industry to bring valuable insight to any team.
Leah took an active role, lending insight and expertise to the NYS Equine Economic Summit and NYS Equine Tourism campaign. It was during this time that Leah made a pivotal life change and began creating, writing and developing what is known today as, PONYSITTERS, offered exclusively at JL Performance Horses.
Today, Leah resides in Union Vale, NY on what was her childhood home. The walls of her home are lined with memories, ribbons and photos of horses and students from the past and present. Many are inscribed with messages of appreciation for her guidance. Ask her anything about anyone of the 100’s of photos and she can instantly tell you when, the location, along with the names of those pictured.
Leah manages the day to day operations of the farm, and remains active at the local, State and National levels within the equine industry, including the farm's Horse Outreach Programs, raising equine awareness and the benefits of the horse/human relationship. She enjoys volunteering her time mentoring aspiring young professionals and the farm's interns.
JL Performance Horses LLC is a NYS Certified Woman Owned Small Business. Leah continues to build on the JL Performance Horses' legacy and remains dedicated to passing on the tradition of excellence through good horsemanship producing quality horses for show & recreational purposes and capable & knowledgeable horsepeople.
She is recognized as a leader, accomplished equestrian & trainer and as a well-respected equine professional. Contact Leah