Horses have been a large part Amy’s life for 20 plus years. As a young girl, she ate, breathed and slept horses 24/7. “I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up from a very early age; there was never really any question that I would be surrounded by horses. I believe that God created us all on purpose and for a purpose” love and passion for horses have always been in Amy. She started riding at the age of 7 on a very stubborn pony. She begged for a more willing horse and milked goats to earn enough money to buy her first horse, Pepper. The rest is history.
Amy got involved with the local 4-H club and started showing at the age of 9. Qualifying for District and State levels created the drive for competition in her, and she couldn’t get enough of it. Her parents couldn’t afford lessons, so she poured over every training book and absorbed every video she could get her hands on. Winning a few titles at the Pennsylvania 4-H state show, Amy was approached by a few mothers in her small community and asked to give their daughters riding lessons. Through this opportunity, a passion for teaching and helping others was discovered. She started volunteering at a local barn and riding every horse they would let her on. Amy also started working for Just a Small Town Ranch and became their head trainer. At age 17 Amy organized her first summer camp for kids in the community who wanted to learn more about horses.
Amy was invited by a family friend to the Devon Horse Show. “I was fascinated with the Show Jumping and knew l wanted to learn more about that sport” she started taking weekly Dressage lessons and acquired her first Warmblood, Corabelle. Amy learned so much from this challenging mare and would say that Corabelle made her the trainer she is today. Amy started entering dressage shows and taking Jumping lessons from Jennifer Strine, an accomplished three-day eventer. “I am forever thankful for Jen’s in-depth instruction and answering my never-ending questions” Amy purchased a grey OTTB (off the track Thoroughbred) and learned a great deal about what it takes to make a jumper. “Those are some of my fondest memories; I loved jumping Halo, it was like we had wings, and He loved to jump.”
Her Education and experience are extensive. Education is a top priority to Amy, and you will always find her advancing her skills. She continues to train under world-class level riders and strongly believes that knowledge and determination are key to mastering your craft. Receiving a degree in business from Dickinson University, she went on to Global Equine Academy where she met Gene and Sandy Miller. “These two have been so good to me, to this day l can call them for advice regarding my training program and life in general.” Amy started making trips to Montana nearly ten years ago, to further her knowledge of the Western Disciplines. “They say barrel racing is addictive, and well l got the bug” Amy has apprenticed under Judy Myllymaki and Megan Lewis for the last eight years. She continues her Education by traveling to Arizona for the winter to ride with top-notch trainers and spend time developing her young horses.
Amy’s first high-level barrel horse was called Perkulator after making a trek to Wyoming to buy him when she was 21. She bought her Pro Rodeo card and started competing in rodeos on the east coast. “I fell in love with the sport of rodeo.” After filling her permit in her first Rodeo, she was hooked. She traveled out to Nebraska to the WPRA Finals and took Reserve Champion. Amy and “Perk” went on to win many state championships and qualify for many world shows. During this time, she had a full-time business training outside horses and giving riding lessons. Amy decided to sell Perk and purchase a property in Central Pennsylvania to grow her training program. Amy calls this property with all its horses and friendly people, Above the Sun Ranch.
Amy married her best friend, and professional bull rider, Joe Stoltzfus. The partnership between these two excellent horse people is a dynamic that solves any training problems. Both Joe and Amy believe in a happy, healthy athlete and focus on a training and nutrition program that enhances each equine athlete to their highest potential. Believing in solid horse care, all horses in training get ample cross-training and “horse time” enjoying Trail rides, jumping, focused flat work and plenty of turnout time. Joe and Amy strive to work with top vets, chiropractors, and farriers in the industry to ensure quality care every day. Their dedication to their horses and clients shows through their success in and out of the arena.
We can’t fail to mention our 2 daughters Avery and Juliana. They enjoy living on a horse Farm and ride every opportunity they get. They both look forward to summers as Camps are lots of fun. We also have to boxers, McCarty and Piper we must not fail to mention, as they draw lots of attention. They are the “official” mascots of Above the Sun Ranch.