Mel, I wanted to thank you for all your help with my Morgan mare, Knockout. Too much 'go' and not enough 'whoa' was creating problems that led me to harsh bits and trust issues. Our progress in the last six months since we started our lesson program with you has been unbelievable. I cannot thank you enough. Your help communicating with this mare, improving my ground work, translating the ground work to my under saddle work, and getting me to 'let go' has given me a confident, relaxed trail horse.  I took her to an ACTHA event in Zuni, VA. Knockout was relaxed and confident. I was relaxed, confident and smiling! This transformation is because of your commitment, communication skills, and knowledge of both horse and rider. Thank you again.

Mary Ann Massie & Green Bay Knockout


"I hit two major impasses with two of my warmblood (Oldenburg) mares, and turned to Mel for help. The first problem involved being able to handle a very large, very opinionated foal. Mel's quiet, persistent and calm ground training made it possible for me to safely work with this very large youngster and prepare her for training under saddle at age three. Even more impressively, my main show horse experienced a period of  excessive jitters, spooking, bolting, to the point where I was intimidated and afraid to ride. Mel introduced me to how important it is to work with the horse on the ground. In just a few lessons, Mel taught me the tools and techniques to effectively keep the horse focused on me and not on the 101 distractions around us. My mare and I are now enjoying more success together than ever before and Mel played a huge role making this happy partnership possible.

Elaine Midkiff, owner Oldenburg Warmblood, Montpelier VA


"I met Mel after purchasing my 7 year old Quarter Horse gelding. At the time of  my purchase Bristol had been standing in the field for a year. I had not been riding for about fifteen years, we were a great pair. Needless to say, we both needed help. Mel was recommended  as I was extremely timid and my horse was equally obstinate and intimidating to me. Mel's approach to training is very common sense and even keeled. I grew up with crazy, screaming hunter jumper instructors, so this approach is refreshing. She is extremely knowledgeable and works with you and your horse .

Stephanie Hill, owner Quarter Horse, Richmond VA


"When i hit my 40's, I bought a Tennessee Walking Horse. She was great the first time i rode her, but after a few weeks i discovered some issues. She was uncatchable,  refused to trailer load,  was deathly afraid of being fly sprayed,  and she wouldn't cross water .  A friend referred me to Mel Wilson. My first impression was good.  she wasn't into quick fixes or gadgets. Everything she taught me made sense and worked.  She has done miracles with Penny and I.  My horse now wants to be caught, loads with ease and crosses water, and my relationship with my horse is  much more meaningful.  Mel understands horses and she understands people. She is patient with the horse and human and  will help you tackle any problem and see it through.

Doug Perry, owner Tennessee Walking Horse, Beaverdam VA


Mel is great with both horses and people. I have a 7 year old Arabian, ex race horse. She taught my horse how to be more relaxed and confident and she has taught me how to appreciate her breed, history and abilities. I love that Mel cares about the horse. She doesn't force them, she sets them up to succeed and waits for them to find the answer. If you don't know for sure what your horse needs, let Mel evaluate him/her. I would recommend her to anyone.

Jo Ann Forrest, owner Arabian, Minneapolis, MN







"With some horses you have to get their respect before you will get a response.

With other horses, you will try to get a response, in order to get respect."

                                                                                                                            Tom Dorrance