Carol J. Goodstein

Year Awarded - 2009

The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association is delighted and pleased to announce their choice for its Hall of Fame Award to longtime resident and horsewoman, Carol Goodstein. Her lifelong passion for all horses started at age 7. In high school, she became more involved with horses at Lowell High School where she was the riding manager for the after school sports program at St. Francis stables.

After marrying Stan, Carol still continued her riding education while helping to raise their 2 children. She showed as an amateur until 1972 when Stan decided to retire from his business and Carol saw the opportunity to pursue her dream of working with horses and teaching riding. They were living in Woodside at that time so it all fell into place. She was able to pursue her dream, share her passion, save some horses and help some children find their way.

In 1984, the Goodsteins purchased Spring Down Equestrian Center located on 12 acres in beautiful Portola Valley. In the same year, she was also named “Horsewoman of the Year” by the San Mateo County Horsemen’s Association.

Spring Down was a dream come true for Carol as she hoped to offer an exceptional, quality riding school for all ages and abilities. The focus was on safety first with learning and fun along the way.

There are many kids that grew up at Spring Down who successfully went on to ride on the A circuit, or had a family of their own who are now back riding at the barn.

Carol has found her calling, bringing her dedication to this sport along with a passionate enthusiasm to become a better person, teacher and mentor. She always encourages her students to give back to charities, offers opportunities for them to work in the Spring Down riding camps where they might bring along another future rider, or offers ideas to them to give back to the sport in other ways. Spring Down has been a safe haven for riders young and not so young, building self-esteem and confidence as well as team work.

Carol’s training philosophy is to ride the way the horse wants to be ridden. She is quick to point out that a good trainer must understand how horses think, make it easy for them to learn what you want to achieve, reward them when they do it right, and properly correct them if they are doing something wrong. Avoid having a battle because you could lose the war. As Carol puts it, “The horses are the teachers – I am simply their interpreter.”

Carol and Stan were also one of many supporters to help finance the restoration of the Folger Stable Project in Wunderlich Park and allocates proceeds from daily lessons directly to support equine organizations such as NCEFT, People Helping Hoses and Front Range Equine Rescue and many others.

Carol has continuously spoken out at town meetings to support maintaining the rural environment of Woodside and Portola Valley. This includes protecting riding trails, establishing open space and the importance of keeping the horse community intact.

Thus, it is with our appreciation and heartfelt thanks for her continuous and vigorous support of our equine partners, as well as her contribution to our equestrian community, that WHOA! is honored to welcome Carol Goodstein as its 2009 recipient of our Hall of Fame Award.

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