What We Can Do For You

So you are probably asking yourself, how are you different than any other trainer?  How is this going to change my life?

The difference, my horses are motivated to make the right choices.

Horse trainers, dog trainers and even zoo trainers are using this training method to get results.  Their animals are  better at competing, staying focused, enjoying their work and learning super fast.  Why?  All because they are motivated.  How are they motivated?  By rewards.

I want you to start noticing what you do every day.  Think about what you HAVE to do… laundry, work, cleaning the house, errands.  Now think about what you want to do, what you really enjoy… riding, sunshine, dinner with friends, a good cup of coffee.  Which ones do you find yourself gravitating towards?  Which ones make you more fulfilled?

Our horses are no different.  Plus they can learn that their life is rewarding when they make good decisions.  Decisions that you want.

So picture this, it’s a nice warm Saturday.  The sky is beautifully blue with big white fluffy clouds.  You have the windows down as you drive to the barn.  As you pull in your horse notices your car and comes to the gate, allows himself to be caught, quietly walks in the barn and stands perfectly in the cross ties.  You tack up, mount up and head off to the arena.  You feel good, the horse feels good.  You work on some new techniques you learned in the last clinic and your horse follows right along, a willing partner in the dance.  He’s happy to work.  He’s confident.  And you?  You are kind, compassionate and trustworthy.


More like two beings enjoying their time together as a partnership where training is built on trust, compassion and rewards.  Those tools.  The concepts.  That training.  The rewards that will get you closer to Utopia?  That is Reflections From The Saddle.


We need a teacher to show us how to see ourselves- not just with heightened objectivity but also with greater forgiveness. For that job, there is a master: a sage who can teach any willing student the way. That sage is the horse.” -Zen Mind, Zen Horse by Allan J. Hamilton



What I most desire, is for my horses to enjoy working with me.  For us to treat each other with mutual love and respect.  I want a spiritual path with my horses and not just use them for my gain.  I want to connect deeply with each and every one.  Rebecca Douglass



The Teachers/ My Horses

The Beginning

“I’m not sure we can afford a horse” said Mom. “Please” I begged.

See, since I was very young I loved horses. Loved playing with my toy horses, loved horse pictures and loved the animals on the farm. Of course it was the farm life that I grew up on that made me fall in love with horses to begin with. My sister and I grew up on a small farm, 8 acres to be exact but it bordered Patapsco State Park so we always felt like we had a lot more. Our family was of limited means. We weren’t poor, we always had something to eat but most of that food was grown and raised right there on the farm. It was that farm life and my hard-working parents that taught me what it means to have a work ethic. Neither of my parents were college educated but they came from the era that you work and make something of yourself. That they did.

But when you are young you just don’t have the concept of money that helps you foretell the cost and labor involved with owning a horse. Much to my luck, I did in fact get a horse.  Well, eventually.

My mom went on “I just want to make sure you are really serious.  Horses are a lot of money and responsibility”.

So it was agreed, I would find a lease first just to make sure.  Our nearby neighbor and friend of my Mom had a pretty safe Appaloosa that she agreed to lease us. I was thrilled. Arrow and I did lessons, 4-H and small local shows together.  Meanwhile my Mom realized how into horses I really was. So at some point, she caved. Horse shopping began. The problem was finding a horse suitable for me that we could afford.  I clearly remember always being the girl with the inexpensive, untalented horse.

So, while all my professional peers grew up riding school masters, participating in the USDF young riders program and building a solid resume on centerline scores, I was busy with part-time jobs, cleaning stalls and participating in slave labor as a working student.

Fast forward 30 years.  I realize what was my greatest weakness became my greatest strength. All those years of riding horses of limited talent shaped me into the rider I am today. I worked hard. I studied hard. I rode anything. And most importantly I found a way to train those less talented horses. While I have not ridden or trained 100 horses, I have learned immensely through the deep connection I have had with each and every horse that I have owned.

My current string of horses I purchased at a very young age and trained them up through the levels.  I have my Silver and Bronze Medal through USDF and have competed through Grand Prix Dressage.  I’ve had the help of many great coaches throughout my 30 years of riding dressage along with help from wonderful clinicians that regularly visit the area.

Ten years ago, I started using positive reinforcement regularly and it has made a huge difference in my training.  I am still learning and I strive to be the best trainer I can possibly be.  While reward based training is my method, being a compassionate trainer is my goal.  

Besides the life long pursuit of dressage, I also enjoy hacking out, working at liberty, long lining and just spending time with my “ponies”.

I currently have 3 horses that I own and train:

  1. Spring Hollow Raindancer, a 15 year old Morgan gelding now schooling FEI including piaffe and passage.
  2. JC Encantador Rey, a 6 year old Andalusian showing 1st Level and schooling 2nd level.
  3. Kodiak, the 2 year old, is just learning how to be a solid citizen.

Recent Accomplishments

  • 2016 Competed at Intermediare and Grand Prix (earning half of my USDF Gold Medal)
  • 2016 USDF All Breeds IALHA Training Level 3rd Place
  • 2016 USDF Silver Medal
  • 2015 MDA Scholarship Winner
  • 2015 AMHA Reserve Champion 4th Level
  • 2015 PVDA Reserve Champion 4th Level
  • 2014 AMHA Silver Medallion Award
  • 2013 USDF Bronze Medal
  • 2013 Dover Award
  • 2013 AMHA 3rd Place Third Level
  • 2007 USEF Horse of the Year, Morgan/Dressage/Training Level
  • 2007 USEF Horse of the Year, Morgan/Dressage/First Level
  • 2006 MDA Scholarship Winner
  • 2005 USEF Horse of the Year, Morgan/Dressage/Training Level Regional Champion and Fourth Nationally
  • 2005 Mid A Dressage Champion
  • 2004 Old Dominion Reserve Champion Training Level


Recommended Reading Next:

Teaching Horses To Love Learning


Why Reward Based Training Works




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