I was born in Portland, ME, and I've been obsessed with horses for as long as I can remember. No one else in my immediate family has the bug, so we don't know where it came from, but as soon as I could read I was checking out horse books from the library, and at an early age I convinced my parents I needed lessons. I started at a saddleseat barn in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and I never looked back.
Today I am a freelance riding instructor and horse trainer, based in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, and also teaching in Central Connecticut. I use a combination of Connected Riding, TTeam training, and other techniques to achieve softness and balance. My students ride in many disciplines and at many levels. What they have in common is a desire to develop their horses into healthy, balanced, comfortable partners in riding.
I've been blessed with opportunities to study just about every discipline, including huntseat, combined training, and western pleasure. As a teenager I did Schooling Trials while attending Round Robin Farm Horse Camp in Vermont. After that I spent four years on the Smith College Equestrian Team competing in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. After graduating I taught lessons at the Rock Creek Park Horse Center in Washington, DC for three years, then came back to Massachusetts and taught lessons at Smith College as an adjunct professor and through the community program.
It was during my time at Smith that I was first introduced to Peggy Cummings, and she changed my life forever. She is the creator of Connected Riding, which has its roots in Centered Riding, TTouch/TTeam, and Alexander Technique, among other things. This was the first time the idea was introduced to me that the rider can use bodywork, groundwork, and riding techniques to help the horse release habitual bracing patterns in order to balance better and move more comfortably. I immediately began implementing Connected Riding techniques into my teaching and achieved dramatic results. The horses moved more evenly and freely, and with less resistance and fear.
Through Peggy I met Jillian Kreinbring, the most wonderful horsewoman ever. I spent three months as Jill's working student in 2012, and have sought her guidance frequently since. She helped me (and continues to help me) understand the developmental stages involved in teaching a horse self-carriage and emotional stability. Her knowledge of equine anatomy and biomechanics give her a keen insight into the progress of her horses, and she really helped me develop my eye.
What makes my lessons and training sessions different is not just what I teach, but how I teach it. I have a gift for observation and communication. I can see what's wrong, and I can help you feel it and fix it. I make things easy for both horse and rider to understand. Then I step back and give you and your horse the space to implement the change, without pushing you to get everything right, right now.
Good training takes place one step at a time. Wherever you are on your journey, I can help you achieve your goals. Whether you are interested in one lesson a week or one lesson a year, I am happy to help you take that next step.