Rock Creek Park Horse Center
Instructors

photo Alison

Alison relishes the wonderful relationship she has with horses, calling them amazing animals that have the capacity to make her very happy. Colleagues and students find Alison to be helpful, hardworking and detail oriented, which makes her an ideal instructor for beginners and anyone who wants to learn the basics of horseback riding.

Passions: Zoe (her daughter), horses, photography, art, the beach, and her dog and cat.

     
photo Amber

Amber, our General Manager, brings a dynamic and even-keeled approach to her lessons. Known as a fun and compassionate instructor, she believes in building a relationship of trust and collaboration between horse and rider. She enjoys teaching students who are willing to go slow and take the time to get the details right. She teaches Centered Riding and Balance Seat.

Amber recalls that horses did not come into her life; she came into theirs. Her father, a trainer and farrier, and her mother, an accomplished rider, always had horses on the farm. Through her childhood her dad would tell her, “You have to keep the house in sight,” and Amber would ride out as far as possible to a hilltop where, standing up on tip-toes in the stirrups, she could just see the house and keep her promise. She recalls that during middle school she would go riding with her mom every day. Once they got caught out in a snow squall so intense that they couldn’t see their horses’ ears. When the storm finally died down, they were in a snow drift up to the horses shoulders.

Amber has been teaching for over 20 years, holds an M.A. in English and Literature and is a certified riding instructor with the Riding Instructor Association.

Fun Fact: Amber is also passionate about her kids and the ocean.

     
photo Andrea

Andrea started young with ‘horse’ as her very first word.  She works at Rock Creek as both an instructor and a member of the barn staff, and has been teaching here for eight years.  She is passionate about horse’s health and behavior; much of her life revolves around horses 24/7.  She competes in the hunter and jumper ring, and also participates in endurance races. 

Andrea is a dedicated, witty and versatile instructor.  In her own words Andrea believes “Everyone should have fun, and advance to the best of their potential within that boundary.” Andreas teaches with a hunter/jumper style that includes elements of natural horsemanship and dressage.  Her lessons are often balance oriented with a broad focus on improving skills. She teaches her riders to be the best they can for any horse, and any type of horse they might get on, as opposed to focusing solely on the rider or on a specific discipline.   

Fun facts:  Andrea has a great dog, can grain SUPER FAST, loves Batman, and Eye of the Tiger is her self-selected theme song.

     
photo Brittany
     
photo Caitlin
     
photo Caroline
     
photo Casey

     
photo Deysha

Deysha believes that horses give people strength. This philosophy is reflected well by her calm and focused approach to teaching. Her primary goal is always to help the horse move better. Known for her versatile approach, she enjoys teaching students who have the horses’ best interest at heart and like learning the biomechanics of horse and rider.

Deysha began riding in her early twenties when a good friend encouraged her to volunteer at Rock Creek. She was soon thereafter hired on as a barn staff member, later becoming an instructor.  Her teaching style is based in principles of dressage as well as hunter/jumper. She holds a B.S. in Animal Behavior.

Fun Facts: Deysha is also passionate about birds, animal behavior, music, books, dancing and learning Spanish. If her life had a soundtrack, her theme song would be Rebel Yell by Billy Idol.

     
photo Elizabeth
     
photo James

 

James’ goal as an instructor is to pass along his knowledge of horses and horsemanship to all students. Known for his kind, patient and genuine nature, James believes that horseback riding at its core means communication. Being able to talk to an animal through leg, seat, and hand is pretty special. He likes students with a sense of humor, who enjoy horses and are not afraid to try new things. The style of riding he teaches is balance seat dressage. He got introduced to horses through his father who was an exercise rider in Berbice, Guyana. He actually learned to ride there on a donkey as a toddler – an experience that later fostered his love of horses in the United States. He was a member of “City to Saddle” and his dream is to open his own facility to bring riding to everyone. He holds an A.A. and B.A. in Cultural Anthropology.

James has been teaching for sixteen years and has trained with Mike Smith, Tommy Gildea, Avia Nebisky, Cathy Solon, Kate Cadderton, Betty Thorpe, and Trisha de Rosa.

Fun Facts: James is also passionate about cooking, reading, and music. If his life had a soundtrack, his theme song would be Small and Mighty. 

 

     
photo Jen

     
photo Kyra
     
photo Lauren

Lauren is a tactful horseperson who tailors training programs specific to her students’ individual needs. She teaches children and adults at all levels. Her horsemanship draws from two distinct trajectories: competitive and contemplative.

Lauren grew up a plucky rider. Her favorite sport was lower-level Eventing, which combines the fluidity of dressage; the thrill of jumping across country; and the precision of stadium jumping. Her skills were refined when she joined the United States Pony Club, where she was inculcated with the values of Reading and Responsibility as they relate to horsemanship. As she matured, she began to offer younger students riding lessons and unmounted lessons in equine husbandry. She competed in several Pony Club National Championships before graduating at the esteemed “B” National Level Rating. Decades later, she was exposed to an entirely new side of working with horses at the Awakened Heart Sanctuary where she periodically assisted the founder in Equine Meditation and Yoga Retreats.

At Rock Creek Park Horse Center, Lauren teaches traditional mounted lessons and more progressive offerings. For example, she helped premier our Equine Sciences class and she co-facilitated several Yoga on Horseback clinics in coordination with certified yoga instructors.

Fun Fact: Lauren loves trying new sports: she picked up aerial yoga and street hockey as an adult. Accordingly, while she is not new to riding, she can relate to the exciting journey of adult beginner riders as they undertake a new athletic endeavor. She speaks Spanish and Italian.

     
photo Lucy G.
     
photo Lucy P.
     
photo Molly
     
photo Nicky
     
photo Sarah N.

     
photo Tracy