I own and operate a private Saddlebred Barn in Mechanicsville, VA.
I've Earned over 30 years as a horsewoman, and 25 years as a trainer and instructor. I say Earned because the Art of Horseback riding and Horsemanship is never learned quickly. Horses have an intellect that is complex and we as humans are Lucky to be able to learn, understand and connect with them. They allow us, but only after We Earn their Trust. I do not just teach riding, I also teach and guide each student to learn & earn their trust, respect and how to care for them from grooming to treating wounds, sicknesses, general health, and upkeep.
I teach on excellent safe, sane and sound horses for all levels and disciplines. I am a huge advocate for Saddlebred Rescues having several of them living out their days on my farm. Some are part of my lesson program and others are happily retired and a few are current show horses! I also take much Pride in exposing the general equine community on how not only can a rescue recover, some can excel and be very competitive in any discipline. I personally compete in several disciplines on the upper level.
Here at my farm, my instruction method is to instill basic dressage and a balanced seat as a foundation and develop riders in Saddleseat, Huntseat, Western and Lower to mid-level hunters.
My experience and background are extensive having training, apprenticeships, and teaching from some of the top trainers on the East Coast. My personal training still continues, whereas I take occasional lessons and seek input and guidance from my own trainer.
The Best Lesson I Live By:
*You never stop learning in the wonderful world of Horses*
I love teaching, especially from the very beginning.
I have an abundance of knowledge and a legacy I am carrying on. It touches my soul to watch my riders develop and succeed in this wonderful sport
They do a fantastic job at teaching the kids all about horses. My daughter has learned so much about riding,safety, responsibility and so much more! My daughter loves horses and I love that she is being taught the right way. Thanks to the folks at Steppin’ High Stables. -Chris T.
Rebekah teaches how to be a horseperson, not just a rider. Something that is hard to find in an instructor. Great with beginner riders and up. Always looking out for safety! I would recommend her for anyone looking to have a good, fun, horse riding experience.
The one on one experience that Rebekah gives each rider.
My daughter loves it here.
I take my time and evaluate their current experience, or if new to riding, I introduce them by example. I will have another student ride while I explain on the ground the basic commands and cues. I then show, and assist, the new rider on the horse or pony going over it all again. I always begin with a neck strap or grab strap on the saddle with the horse on a lunge line in a smaller area or round pen.
As the rider progresses I will teach more advanced skills. I do not have a fixed plan for any rider because each rider learns and comprehends things differently. While the foundation is the same I adjust my teaching so it's easy for each rider to understand. My goal is to keep rider confident, safe and help them reach their individual goals.
At the age of 5, I began lessons and enrolled in the local 4H which I continued with until age 16 riding and showing Saddleseat Eq under the professional instruction of Mary Woodward and Leta Corwin of Greenglades Farm in Taunton, MA. The mother-daughter team-taught me the most about life, horsemanship, morality, and most of all self-acceptance and confidence.
At the age of 16, I began an apprenticeship in Dressage and Hunters under professional instructor/trainer Pam Connely of Foxboro, MA. She was my mentor who led me to obtain my Massachusetts Professional Riding Instructor Certification for Saddleseat, Hunt Seat, HJ and Dressage at the young age of 18.
Shortly thereafter I was given the opportunity to be an Assistant Trainer for the well known Saddlebred Breeding Farm, Glengreen Farm owned by Cynthia Green of Walpole, MA. I had also returned to Greenglades to continue with my own saddlebred mare under Leta Corwin's instruction. While under this employment, at the ripe age of 19, I was given another once in a lifetime opportunity to be the barn manager & beginner instructor for olympian, Arlyn DeCicco. I then began to ride Dressage and HJ under the instruction of DeCicci for about a year. During this time my husband enrolled in a trade school in Florida. So my husband and I, along with our infant made the trek to Saint Cloud, Florida for a year. I was able to freelance my training and instruction. Not long after moving to Florida, I accepted another once in a lifetime opportunity to be a Performance Rider for the well known Tourist Attraction, Arabian Knights. This expo taught me many different skills and gave me the opportunity to ride some incredible horses including Lippizaners, Oldenburgs, Belgians, Appaloosas, old blood Arabians, and more. I stayed at Arabian Knights until the year of my husband's education was complete. My family and I then returned to Massachusetts.
Upon our return, I dove right back into training and instructing for Roseland Acres Eq in Tiverton, RI. I continued there for two years while I balanced the job of mother, wife and an Emergency Veterinary Technician. At this time, I was back at Greenglades with her Saddlebred colt under the guidance of Leta.
By age 23, as much as I loved the industry, I knew I needed to learn a trade that would be consistent as a now single mother of two daughters. I then made the life-changing decision to obtain my CDL-A. Through all of this, I stayed true to my roots and held on to my love of horses. I kept up with my own horses training, riding and showing. I freelanced as time allowed and continued my personal training under Leta & Pam.
In 2004, I moved to Virginia for a fresh start. I continued with my trucking career and freelance instruction. I met the late Susan and Dale Sloat not long after my move. Being well known Saddlebred breeders and trainers, I jumped at the chance to board my Saddlebred mare with them. As time progressed, the Sloats gave me the chance to work as a part-time assistant. My time with the Sloat's picked up where I left off in Massachusetts. They guided me and taught me many skills, not just as a trainer/instructor but life lessons and were my mentors. After I remarried, I slowly started building my own lesson program at my small stable in Virginia. In 2012, I moved to a larger farm where Steppin' High Stables was born. I started a program for lessons and training horses.
In 2017, my husband and I bought a 10-acre horse farm in Mechanicsville, VA where I continued Steppin' High Stables, which was later renamed Willow Glen Farm in 2019.
I teach, train, have a mobile equestrian attire consignment, run my own independent trucking company and am an advocate for rescue horses. I have combined my skills from all past trainers (especially the late Mary Woodward, her daughter Leta, and the late great Dale and Sue Sloat) and have developed a different, yet successful approach to instruction and training.
- 20-Minute Private "Small Fry" Lesson: $30- (4 - 7 y/o)
- 30-Minute Private Lesson: $35-
- 1-hour Private Lesson: $55-
- 1-hour Semi-Private lesson (2-3 students): $45-
- Travel-In Riding Lesson: $65- *Bring your own horse*
- Travel-Out Riding Lesson: $65- *I come to you! You must have your own horse. If I travel more than a 15-mile radius of the farm, I do charge $.50 for every mile over.*
I have worked with beginners through advanced, children and adults. Many of which have competed successfully under my direction.
I am a loyal supporter of our local show circuits and community.
I do compete on the upper-level breed shows but still enjoy the local shows. My students that compete learn many skills and gain mileage. It's not just about the horses, countless friendships are born.
I also highly encourage my younger students to join our local 4H Club: Varina Rising Stars. They also host several local shows each year.
I recommend meeting, and exploring, several trainers at their facilities before committing to lessons. Go with who you feel most comfortable with, whether it's myself or another trainer.
My farm is an open door policy. If you ever decide to change trainers, there will never be hard feelings. I encourage everyone's personal goals and if needing another trainer will help that growth I always say, "Go for It."
I will also do a group trail ride, or allow the more experienced to hit the trails. Same pricing applies.
*** I have one opening for a PT working /apprenticeship student as well. ***
I would ask to do a a meet and greet, and tour the facility.
Ask about background and experience.
Will a helmet be provided, or do you need to bring your own.
What does the trainer deem appropriate for attire other than breeches or jods and polo shirts or fitted type tops (ie. yoga pants, jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops).
Ask about lesson/training pricing and is there a minimum commitment? Hours of operation, open barn to visit during certain hours? Is there an option to work off a portion of lessons? (Is that is something you are willing/interested in doing?)
For more experienced riders looking to excel, ask about Show Leasing options.