Sometimes when working with horses, hiccups happen! Don't let it limit you or your horse's progress. Central Maryland beginner-intermediate riding instruction, horse training, and equine management. Check out our instagram @happy_hiccups_equestrian and facebook page!
Happy Hiccups Equestrian LLC is a small horse training and riding instruction business based out of FNH Stables in Mount Airy. I am the sole owner/trainer, Maddie E!
A little bit about me: I am a William Woods University graduate, with a Bachelor’s degree in Equestrian Science. In my years at the university, i placed strong emphasis in my studies on excellent equine care and barn management, but also took interest in riding several different disciplines, doing colt starting and retraining work, and spent a year studying horse breeding. I have an avid interest in sports psychology, as well as equine and human physical conditioning.
I have been teaching beginners and intermediate riders and their horses for the past six years, predominantly english in the hunter/jumper discipline, but I have also done work in dressage, natural horsemanship, saddleseat, and western. I focus on a strong foundation and emphasize riders having independent control and problem-solving skills when working with a horse. I also offer training services for horses, and i specialize in horses who are green, young, or are having consistent issues with their foundational skills (such as transitions/speed control, steering, overcoming fear, handling stressors, trailering difficulties, etc). My approach is to take the time required to work with the individual needs of each horse, applying easy-to-follow techniques, horse-sound logic, and plenty of patience. I do not believe that good horses are made in a hurry.
For riders who do not own a horse, I currently have two horses that i am able to teach lessons on at the farm hosting me, but i also welcome riders who own their own horses to trailer in and work with me on overcoming their riding and training obstacles! I am also willing to travel off-site to teach at someone else’s farm or boarding site. As a solo professional, i have my own training/liability insurance.
If you’re interested in any of my services, feel free to reach out to me by email or through facebook messenger. Both are checked daily! Let’s work together to improve you and your horse’s skills!
My favorite thing about teaching is seeing the way both student and horse change over time to become more confident and more relaxed in what they are doing, and then seeing them decide they want to push their limits and try harder/more advanced work. I love seeing students become independent, opinionated, and inquisitive in what they are doing and why. This applies to groundwork and handling just as much as riding!
Happy Hiccup’s (Maddie’s) training program goes well beyond learning horseback riding skills. In every lesson you will get the full 360° Horsemanship experience--learning about horse health, behavior, grooming, tack and care, in addition to learning how horses think and communicate with riders and others. Lessons are very personalized—she works with the student to help identify your goals, past experience (or not), and works through exercises tailored both to the student and the horse. She is both patient and persistent in helping students to build not just skills, but confidence and independence. Highly recommended for a personalized, one-on-one approach to everything involved in working with horses.
Maddie is awesome! She has helped my daughter to not only ride, but to trust in herself and be more confident.
Maddie is kind and patient with both students and horses. You will never hear her belittle or yell at a student. She also believes in teaching the whole of horse care when giving lessons. You will learn to handle, groom and tack up your lesson horse with her. A love of teaching is apparent in everything she does with her students. When training, Maddie uses common sense methods to help horses understand what she is asking. My 6 year old stopped loading and with a few sessions of groundwork and trailer work, he is again loading consistently and better than ever!
I give all of my students the option to come and visit the farm and talk about their goals with me, while freely asking questions and learning about my style of riding and teaching. I want to be a good fit for any potential student! On a new student's first lesson with me, i like to assess what they know and offer feedback and help on anything they are not confident on.
I am a firm believer in my students being self-sufficient in as many ways as possible, so i will assist as needed but encourage students to do things themselves. For beginners and new riders, my lessons include catching, grooming, and tacking up even before the riding begins to ensure the student is safe and efficient. As lessons progress, students typically do these steps completely on their own and i then focus more on their handling and riding progress. The portion of the lesson in the arena is approximately an hour, but beginners and new students will also have time before and after their riding time with me for horse prep and care.
I am a William Woods University graduate with a Bachelor's in Equestrian Science. This degree includes horse training, thorough teaching instruction, equine and facility management, anatomy and conditioning and veterinary technician work. I have ridden with several different AA circuit trainers, attended clinics coached by FEI riders, and studied under an FEI steward. I have spent the last few years teaching and training primarily in the hunter/jumper discipline at a larger facility, from beginner riders to intermediate jumpers. I was the coach of two equitation show teams, and regularly took riders to hunter shows. I have mostly ridden and trained hunter/jumper, but have also worked in saddleseat, natural horsemanship, dressage, driving, and western.
Riders have the option to choose individual lessons or a lesson package, whichever suits their needs! Packages are 10 discounted lessons over 10 weeks - any missed lessons can be made up on another day within that 10-week time frame. There is also a Superpack option for those wishing to ride more than once a week.
Private lesson (each): $65.00
Private lesson (package): $580.00 ($58/lesson for 10 weeks, 1 ride per week)
Private lesson (superpack): $1100.00 ($55/lesson for 10 weeks, 2 rides per week)
Group lesson (Private horse owners ONLY) (each): $45.00
Tiny Tots lesson (each): $45.00
Tiny Tots lesson (package): $410.00 ($41/lesson for 10 weeks, 1 ride per week)
Tiny Tots lesson (superpack): $760.00 ($38/lesson for 10 weeks, 2 rides per week)
Regular lesson riding time is approx. 1 hour, and includes supervision/asssitance with pre-ride prep (typically 30 minutes prior to start of lesson) and after-care as needed. Tiny Tots lesson time is approx. 45 minutes, with all prep and after-care included in the lesson time.
If i am traveling to you, there is a travel fee of $0.50 per mile (from the host barn to you) one way to cover my gas (ex: lesson rider is 10 miles away, travel fee would be $5).
We are only offering private lessons for those using our horses at our facility. Group lessons are currently for private horse owners only.
My University Bachelor's program required us to take several years of teaching techniques classes, which included assisting head instructors in their lessons twice a week, teaching other riders/less-advanced university students on evenings and weekends, and taking theory classes on teaching styles, lesson plans, and rider development. I also pursued studies in human conditioning, first aid/cpr, and sports psychology to further my abilities as an instructor.
My first teaching job was at a horse rescue in Catawissa, MO teaching beginner riders natural horsemanship while also applying my training skills to the rescue horses to increase their chances of finding a forever home.
I have worked with absolute beginners, from ages 5-65, through first level dressage riders, equitation riders in the 2' division, and hunter riders in the 2'6" division. In the past, I have taught privates and groups up to 12 riders at a time.
I have worked with students who enjoy showing on the local circuit, as well as weekend riders who just love horses and want to learn more about them. I have helped riders to grow stronger, more balanced and confident, and given my riders the tools they need to solve problems they face in and out of the saddle. I have worked with riders who are fearful, who are recovering from injury, and who have decided to try different disciplines/riding styles. I am very flexible and able to adapt to the needs of my riders. Rider safety, confidence, and happiness are my priorities!
Recently, I have purchased my second horse to be used in my lesson program, Locksley. I am very excited for his growth and development, and i am looking forward to the joy and experience that he will bring to my students!
Find a trainer that works for you and wants you to succeed! There are lots of riding instructors in the world, and your growth and potential as a rider and horseman/woman hinges on how well you and your trainer are able to communicate and how well your learning style and the trainer's teaching style coincide. Find a trainer that you enjoy working with, and see what a difference it makes to your riding!
What are my long-term goals when it comes to riding?
Do i just ride for fun, do i want to be more involved in the horse's world, and/or do i want to become a serious rider/competitor?
How best do i learn new information? By having it explained it detail, by seeing someone else do it, or by trying to do it myself until i get it?
Am i willing to dedicate time to my fitness and my studies of this sport in order to improve faster?
Am i willing and able to try again and again, even when faced with failures and mistakes?
Am i able to take responsibility for my own progress and growth as a rider and horseman/woman?
Am i good at/comfortable asking questions in the moment, or do i need to write them down or discuss them at a later time? (Questions are ALWAYS welcome!)