Our Leadership “Herd”

Linda Wagner
Owner/Founder and Trainer

Over the years I have developed a passion for the study of ‘horsemanship’ and what that means to the horse.

After years of competing in eventing, and time spent as a hunter/jumper and training in dressage, I came to realize that a very important piece of my equine schooling was missing, it all felt too mechanical and I knew I needed to look deeper.

As hard as I tried to memorize the correct body positioning to complete a successful dressage movement, or how to ask a horse for a certain maneuver, it simply wasn’t working for me. I needed to understand more about how to get my mind and body in time with the horse’s feet so that they could get in time with my body and my thoughts. That’s when I finally discovered the teachings of Tom and Bill Dorrance and Ray Hunt.

Over the last decade I have enrolled in a variety of clinics studying the methods of Joe Wolter, Bryan Neubert, Buck Brannaman, Jim Anderson, Peggy Cummings of Connected Riding and Anna Blake. Each of these well know clinicians offer a better understanding of the mind, body and spirit of the horse, and thus helped me begin to understand and learn a deeper sense of the mind and spirit of the horse.

Along with the guidance of my mentors, Dave Williams and Clay Wright, I came to realize that it wasn’t about being the ‘boss’ or ‘dictator’ over the horse. What I was searching for was to be able to look into my horse’s eyes and see no fear. What I craved was a partnership, where trust, and mutual respect would earn me the privilege of becoming their leader.

As a trainer, I love to teach, problem-solve, and help the student, client, and horse learn how to learn. My goal is to help establish better connections with the human and the horse through teaching patience and understanding the needs of both.

Meet the Team

Miriam OrschelTrainer & Youth Program Instructor
Miriam considers herself more than just a practitioner in the art of horsemanship, but an artist and scholar with a lifelong passion for all animals. Her dedication to working with the nature of the horse, not against it, has led to immense respect and honor for each equine she encounters. With over two decades of experience, Miriam incorporates her profound knowledge of horse and rider biomechanics into her work, believing that a solid base and clear communication are integral components for an effective partnership, no matter what discipline it may be in.

Through her vast experience of working with horses, Miriam makes it a priority to continue her studies through books and written works by the old masters such as Nuno Oliveira and Tom Dorrance, as well as focused personal development and consistent continuing mentorship. Her commitment to furthering her education and understanding is a testament to her love for horses, and her unwavering dedication to the art of horsemanship.

Kelly van BaddenInstructor
With over 35 years of riding experience in various disciplines, Kelly has found a balance of consent-based horsemanship and a solid partnership that will extend the connection beyond the arena.

While continuing education in equine and human biomechanics, Kelly enjoys teaching the why and how of better riding, focusing on what is best for the horse’s longevity as well as how to balance the body while balancing the mind of both horse and rider. She enjoys starting riders from the beginning and working with those that have been riding for years but need a better path in partnering up with their horse through groundwork, in-hand work, and in the saddle.

Outside of the teaching arena, Kelly enjoys competing in working equitation, miles of trail rides, continuing education with her mentors in French-based Classical Dressage, and furthering her knowledge in all aspects of the horse.

Maya WilliamsInstructor
Maya believes true horsemanship can be a quiet dance between horse and rider. Allowing the animal to be its true self, and allowing yourself to do the same, creates an environment of trust and respect. To work through and past spots of resistance in the body and mind, and refine the aids enough to be able to whisper to your equine partner is a magical feeling. Her goal is to help facilitate that type of understanding, inquisitive, and patient relationship that we all seek as equestrians.

Maya has been riding and around horses for over 15 years, and has evolved in her own horsemanship during that time. She is constantly learning from the horses, and taking regular lessons to continue her own education. Having the opportunity to share her experience and knowledge, and continue learning alongside students, has been an incredible pleasure for Maya.

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