and will trust her to market my horses in my absence without hesitation. Many people call themselves trainers or riding instructors by placing a sign or a ad, but few go the extra mile to make sure that they uphold professional standards by passing professional certifications like Ellen, as well as achieving awards in multiple disciplines (Dressage medals) to show proficiency in multiple sports. Ellen generously gives time and money to support the Pony Club members, and even wears her Pony Club Pin at events like Rolex to show her support for them. I wish Ellen had been available when my own children were younger so they could have taken lessons from her and competed with her as their coach. Best of all Ellen does almost everything while wearing her million dollar smile." - Donna Schell - longterm horse mom.
"I can personally attest to the kind of care Ellen requires for all the horses at her barn. I worked for her part time this past summer and know that my horse is in the best hands possible because she pays attention to all the little things! Not only that, but she has helped me and my green horse come so far in the past year; I couldn't have done any of it without her!" - Janelle F
"I started riding with Ellen in the fall of 2015, after hearing so many amazing things about her barn. After my first lesson with her, I knew that I had found the perfect barn. The first few months taught me so much about this amazing sport as well as my abilities as a rider. I learned so much more just during that short time than I had during all of my previous years of riding combined. Close to the end of that year, I fell in love with one of Ellens OTTB’s, whom I started leasing that January. As I was still relatively new to eventing, Ellen was (and still is) extremely patient with us as we come along. After he needed some time off over the summer, Ellen graciously allowed me to ride and compete on her other school horses. I got the opportunity to work at the barn and ride numerous horses over the summer, which was one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had. The barn is run incredibly well, thanks to the amazing staff. The care of the horses and clients comes before anything else. Coming to RHEC was hands-down the best decision I’ve made in my riding career. I definitely would not be half the rider I am today had I not moved o train with Ellen. I am
"I have been taking lessons with Ellen and boarding my horse at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center, off and on for the past couple of years. This top notch facility has become my winter home away from home. The fully enclosed indoor arena is invaluable in keeping my horse in show condition through the winter months, because I can take lessons and work my horse, regardless of the weather. The rest of the year I keep my horse at home, but I can still haul in for lessons. Even though I am a hunter/jumper rider, and not an eventer, I have learned so much from Ellen and her assistant trainer, Courtney. They have improved my riding skills and helped me to work through training issues with my horse, which has helped to make us more competitive in the show arena. My gelding is not an easy keeper, yet he actually gained weight and kept a beautiful coat while boarded at Rockwall Hills through the harsh winter months. Ellen's assistant trailers are diligent about blanketing, turn-out, cleaning stalls, and feeding. I can't wait to board there again next winter." - Lesa DeLong
"I am writing to let everyone know what a great job these ladies have done with my grandson. I was raised, and I still ride, western. We let my grandson ride a horse that he wasn't ready to ride. It scared him and he didn't want to ride a horse, but he said he would ride a pony. I looked at a lot of places, and Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center had a pony available and offered lessons. I was a little apprehensive about him riding English, but Ellen said if you can ride English, you can ride Western. I still wasn't sold, but I knew getting him on a pony that he would be able to ride would build confidence and would keep him riding and around horses.
The instructors, all three of them, pushed him a little during lessons helping him get out of his comfort zone from time to time and taught him balance and control. I watched him progress over just a couple months and in that time I found him a 19 year old quarter horse, but still didn't let him ride her, as he continued to take lessons at RHEC.This past weekend I was ponying him, leading him off another horse, we were riding around in an arena and something spooked the horses and they jumped and moved sideways. My grandson stay centered in the saddle and kept his composure like he had been through it a million times. I was so impressed and I knew it all went back to what he had been taught by Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center. They really taught and built a foundation of riding for him built on balance, posture, core control, and confidence. Not only am I a believer now in starting children off riding English and at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center; I told them at our last lesson I just might have to swing a leg over English style just to check it out sometime. To be able to build a better relationship with my grandson and to do it around horses is something that is priceless. And thanks to Rockwall Hills and the awesome ladies up there we will be able to continue to do so." - Kyle Houpt
"I had my horse boarded at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center for 2 years, and having spent my entire life around horses and at many different barns I can honestly say this barn run by Ellen and her working students was by far the best barn I have ever had a horse boarded at. Even though I am a western rider/polo player and did not participate in any of the shows or group events my horse and I were still treated with the utmost respect and care. I was able to watch my horse grow and flourish during his time at this barn, the facilities were amazing and very well kept. Their system for caring for the horses is also very organized and never once did I feel my horse lacked anything that he needed, in fact I felt they went above and beyond with providing care and staying on top of his needs. I am going to miss being at this barn so much, and can’t thank them enough for everything that they did!"
- Ashley Beyer
"I started riding at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center in April 2016; in fact, Ellen gave me a tour of the barn right before she left for Rolex. I started lessons with Maddy Gilbert in the beginning. After a few months I started taking lessons with Ellen, and now take three to four lessons a week with her. I am always amazed with how patient Ellen is with me and how she always seems to know the perfect time to introduce a new technique. Ellen helped me come up with a great plan; I leased a horse for a few months and was able to go to a few schooling shows on him as well as school cross country. Once I was ready to buy a horse, she helped me look through horses until we found a great fit. I can honestly tell you that we could not have taken parts from ten different horses and put them together to make a better match for me. My horse is an awesome match and teacher for me. Ellen went with me to try the horse, I could have never gotten through the trial with out her! She helped me to calm down and not be nervous and helped me see the great possibilities between me and the new horse. Ellen allowed me to come along to some of the bigger shows in Aiken and Gallway. Not only was it an awesome experience to see Ellen and Obie compete at the advanced level, but for me to compete at bigger shows. Even though Ellen had Obie and advanced competition ahead of her she still found time for lessons and warmed me up for my competition. I can not wait till next season! Since buying my older experienced horse I have purchased a young horse from Ellen. He is in training with her and she will be ridding him in competition. I am very pleased with how he is coming along and can not wait to see him in competition! In the last week Ellen and I went and tried another older horse for me to have a second competition horse. He was awesome and arrives home to us soon. I am so excited for the year ahead. On top of everything else Ellen has hauled me and my horse to all the competitions. The care that my horses receive at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center is second to none." - EW
"There are too many great things to share about RHEC! I was raised showing horses and decided to get back into riding after over 20 years with my 10 year daughter. The trainers and staff Placed us on the best horses for our skill level. My daughter has lacked confidence at times with learning but they have continued to meet her physical and emotional needs every step of the way. This has helped make her a more confident and skilled rider. In June Ellen helped us find the perfect horse for our family. Shortly after we bought him he had a leg infection, the team at RHEC contacted us immediately and provided the best care for our horse helping him heal quickly. We are 100% confident that our horse receives the best care daily from a top notch facility and staff. If you are looking for a knowledgeable, fun, family friendly atmosphere. Then RHEC is the place to be." - Leslie Tanner
so thankful that I get the opportunity to ride with such a helpful and knowledgeable trainer, as well as be a part of an incredible community at RHEC."
- Blake Foley
Ellen is a self-less, hard working, passionate person and trainer. In April of 2014, we both got back in the truck and drove to Lexington, KY for Rolex. This was to be the most exciting weekend of our lives and we had been working our entire lives for this opportunity. All started well that year at Rolex until Obie didn’t pass the first jog because of an old heel grab. Even though Ellen was devastated, she was there to support me every step of the way the rest of the weekend. She held her head high, and was so gracious, and selflessly cheered me on and held my hand through my very first Rolex.
I have been on so many trips with Ellen and her horses over the past 3 years. Ellen is always checking on her horses during travel; walking them, grazing them, and making sure they have the best care they can get.
Ellen has become one of my closest friends over the last several years. I know I can count on her for anything and trust her with everything around me. She is the hardest working person I know, and never complains about the number of hours she works or how tired she may be. I have watched her become a top level rider and a top notch trainer, and I'm proud to call her a friend and fellow competitor." - Julie Norman (fellow 4star competitor)
"I've known Ellen for several years, meeting her first at the Battle of the X's (TB Makeover) in Fort Worth. Her excellent riding skills were evident to me before I knew anything about her. I came away from that venue thinking whoever this was, she was by far one of the best riders I've ever seen and was going to go far places in this sport.
I'm a Thoroughbred racehorse breeder/owner that takes responsibility for the horses that I breed. Although I would love to keep all of them that I own, I can't. I decided to approach Ellen to help market and retrain our off tracks when they were ready for a new career. She agreed to assist me in this task that can be daunting at times.Since we have been doing business, I've come to know Ellen as a hard working, focused and determined individual striving for the best. I feel very confident when placing a horse in her care. I'm hoping to continue working with Ellen for many years to come." - Lora Pitre
"Rockwall Hills is an exceptional board and lesson facility. They pride themselves in creating a laid back, encouraging atmosphere and providing excellent care for their horses and boarder's horses. I am super lucky to have found such a great barn!" - J. C.
"Ellen Doughty-Hume is an exceptional trainer. I brought my 6 year old Hanoverian, Blitz, to RHEC when I first purchased him in September 2016. Ellen transformed Blitz from a green youngster to a balanced and developing future dressage prospect in just 2.5 months. Ellen has a sensitivity and natural instinct when it comes to training horses. My relationship with her, and her relationship with my horse, has been nothing short of professional. I highly recommend Ellen and Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center." - Olivia Upham
"I have known Ellen for 15 + years. I knew her well before she was a Rolex rider, or even a trainer. I have watched her work tirelessly over the years for the success that she has now found. You don't get to her level of riding without being an incredibly good horseperson. I can attest to the fact that she puts any horses in her care first. On the rare (special) occasion I can get a lesson from her, receive her coaching at a show, or have her ride my horse, I jump at the opportunity.
I have also watched Ellen teach hundreds of lessons, and I have never seen a student without a big smile by the end of the hour. Anyone lucky enough to be in Ellen's barn (four legged or two legged) is incredibly fortunate. Ellen is a good friend, a role model, a fabulous horsewoman and a gifted rider and trainer."
- Katherine Zapala
"Ellen rocks as a trainer and instructor. She is very good about building you up as rider and making sure you understand the reasoning behinds things. She gave me great confidence as a rider, and helped me become a more balanced rider. She took me from an unbalanced back yard rider to a rider that is able to canter with no hands and no stirrups confidently. Ellen is a wonderful trainer. I learned so much in such a short amount of time. Many people have told me that you will learn more in 1 lesson with Ellen than you have in months worth of lessons with another trainer, and after 1 lesson, I knew why!" - C.J
"I first met Ellen when my work took me to the DFW area for a two-week project. I’m an adult amateur eventer and have always looked up to Ellen because our beginnings are very similar. I grew up with very supportive parents, but with limited resources and trainers in Arkansas. Ellen has worked her way up to the CCI4* level by pure determination, relentless dedication, practice, & hard work and I hope I can be half as successful as she one day! Ellen has always been a role model of mine - I would make it a point every year to watch her runs at Rolex & always wished to meet her!
When my job took me to Dallas for those two weeks in April 2017, I called Ellen & asked her if she could give me lessons in the evenings while I was there. She and her staff welcomed me with open arms to their facility. In just 6 lessons with Ellen my jumping & flat work improved immensely and I had a new confidence in my riding skills. At the time, I owned a 10-yr. old OTTB that was not going to be successful past Novice. I had expressed to Ellen that I was hoping to purchase a horse to advance with, but could only do that until I found the right retirement home for my
"During the time Ellen was my trainer (from 2009-2012) my pony Madeira and I learned a lot. Ellen took on an unconfident younger rider and a sassy pony, and over time, put more confidence and knowledge in me than I thought was possible, considering how nervous I was and how untrained my pony was. She made riding a joy for me instead of something I feared and that has stuck with me. I would highly recommend Ellen to any rider wanting to learn and be better than they thought was possible." - Rachael Brasovan
"I have had the pleasure of knowing Ellen Doughty Hume for a little over four years. I have hired her to train my horses, worked with her, worked for her, traveled with her, observed her in a wide variety of circumstances, celebrated with her, and occasionally mourned with her.I have admired her tenacity, her infinite patience with horses, her immense talent and even greater work ethic. I have seen her teach young children and adults alike in a way that encourages them and challenges them to improve their riding on a daily basis. I have seen her show the height of sportsmanship and she has always been willing to offer help and advice to anyone that asked. In my presence, which was daily for over a year, Ellen has always shown the best horse husbandry care to all horses entrusted to her care and often gave additional care without charge when owners were unable to. Ellen has a depth of knowledge about horses that many people twice her age don't have and never will. It has been my personal observation that Ellen upholds the highest business practice ethics and I have
"Ellen and her facility are phenomenal! My horse and I have been together for a very long time (his whole life), and I've taken care of my own horses for most of my life. Full care boarding for us was a big step that we took several years ago and I, being a helicopter horse parent with my own ideas of what I deem adequate care, can be hard to please. We have been very fortunate to have found several wonderful barns to call home over the years and Rockwall Hills is no exception.
Ellen and her team provide exemplary care for all of the horses at their facility and it shows. They're very involved in the care of each horse and pay great attention to detail, such as covering the hooks on the bucket handles and impressively frequent stall cleanings. One of the things I like best is the excellent level of communication regarding the health of my horse. We have open and regular communication regarding his feeding and hay and pasture antics, which I enjoy discussing with the barn manager probably more frequently than I need to. :) I absolutely know he's in good hands
"I am a 54 year old rider who has learned more from Ellen Doughty Hume in one year boarding at RHEC, than I have in the previous 25 years of riding!! Ellen has the innate ability to identify every nuance in a rider's position, correct it in a way that makes sense, and then make it stick! Though I am no longer actively showing my horse, Ellen always found time to give me her undivided attention during lessons and encouragement through friendship. Cheering her on, and watching her compete at events such as Rolex, is not only exciting, but awe inspiring. I definitely am a better rider as a result of training with Ellen! She is an amazing talent." - KB
AND ride 2-3 of her own horses! She has everything planned out, down to the minute, to try and ensure that each student gets a proper warm-up for each phase of the event. Her coaching is very firm, but always positive. If you have a bad show jumping round, she's there at the end to go over what happened and how you can both fix it for next time.
The care and effort that the staff at RHEC put into making sure every horse is happy, safe and healthy is top notch. Ellen prides herself on keeping a fun, drama-free, family atmosphere at RHEC and she has succeeded. On days when I can, I come early for my lesson to watch other student's lessons or catch Ellen riding one of her many OTTB babies. I learn so much from just listening to her teach or watching her ride! I am so happy to have found RHEC and look forward to many more years!" - Lindsay G.
"I have never been so happy at a facility. Friendly staff, friendly riders, and happy horses. Each and every horse is personally cared for and owners are kept well informed. We love it here!" - Jordan Inman
"Ellen Doughty-Hume is one of the biggest reasons we are happy to have recently moved to Rockwall! My daughter loves every part of the barn. The horses and ponies are very well cared-for, the lesson scheduling is organized with good communication and the kids can learn to ride in a safe environment. Those items are of upmost importance to me. Ellen knows what she is doing and it is obvious! My daughter has learned so much from her—about riding, about caring for horses and about the work involved in running a barn. She is very accommodating to the young riders and that makes such a huge difference in the next generation of equestrians! We couldn’t be happier with Ellen and Pegasus Eventing! She has really offered my daughter a place to work and grow and learn!" - Katie D. (Parent of lesson student)
"Ellen and I have so many amazing memories together - more than I could ever put into words. I first met Ellen in the summer of 2013 when we both made a trip to Montana to compete at Rebecca Farms. I had been stressed about how I was going to afford to get to Montana, and Ellen messaged me before the show offering me a ride. I had seen her around at shows but did not know her well at the time. Needless to say, when you spend 36 plus hours in the truck with someone, you learn a lot about that person. Ellen and I became instant best friends and I saw how passionate she was about her horses on that trip. I also got a glimpse into how hard she works in order to afford to do what she absolutely loves. During our trip to Montana, we realized that we both had our sights set on Rolex 2014. In order to meet the qualifications, she and I had to do a lot of traveling. In October of 2013, we made the trek to Maryland in order to compete at Fair Hill. Ellen had received the traveling grant and graciously offered to take my horse Thomas along for the ride.
"I was a rider from childhood into my early adulthood but I had not ridden for almost 15 years. Being new to Texas, I did not have a lot of knowledge of the English stables in the area. My daughter expressed a desire to learn. With the recommendation of a friend, I signed her up for a summer camp and we both immediately knew Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center was the perfect fit. Ellen and her staff train people of all ages and abilities. I decided to try a lesson and was so nervous about returning to riding. Ellen, her staff and the other riders made me feel welcome and comfortable at a beginning level. We purchased and now board a horse that Ellen and Grace found for us. They both have a keen eye for the right fit if your dream is to own a horse. They helped make a lifelong dream come true for our family. We board our baby there as well and could not be me pleased with the care and attention he receives. I could go on and on, but living in a new place far from our former home, we feel like we finally found home with RHEC!" -Sara Dickerson
"Although I am not an eventer nor even an English rider, my quarter horse and I felt very welcome at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center. The facility is top notch with an enormous indoor arena, acreage of hills to ride, roomy stalls if you want indoor care, or roomy individual runs with shelter if your horse prefers to be outdoors, like mine. My horse was accepted by Ellen after enduring horrible conditions at another facility that nearly cost his life. The staff at RHEC gave him round the clock care for about two weeks straight until he was stable. Other than a few hiccups that were easily remedied by a text or phone call to Ellen, my horse was cared for extremely well and I was notified of any signs that my horse not feeling well right away. We stayed there for about six months until my horse was retired to pasture, living the good life as a companion to my brother's horse. I would not hesitate to use RHEC again. In fact, I'm considering taking some English lessons there; they made it look like so much fun!" - Jean Dickerson
ponies I had ever seen, she was so complimentary because she knew my daughter loved him and he was beautiful in her eyes. I still have the video of my daughter's first time ever jumping, after she had mastered cantering and was able to effectively ride on her own. Again, Ellen knew she was ready. My little girl at 5 years old is going over her first ever cross rail, telling Ellen “I don’t want to jump” at the start, and begging to go again by the end. Hard to believe that less than 4 years later, she’s hopping over 4’ stadium courses and jumping Training XC courses, all while Karen O’Conner scolds Ellen for not pushing her harder! Ellen is always encouraging, but challenging. She knew my daughter could do it, she knew when my daughter was ready to move up, and she has given my daughter a confidence that I’ve never seen in another 9 year old rider. I have literally had dozens of parents approach me over the years and tell me “your daughter is so brave.” They are right. And she’s brave because she’s never had a bad experience with a bad trainer or a bad pony. She has only ridden with Ellen, and Ellen has made sure she is capable, confident, and has mastered each step before moving on to the next. Of course she’s fallen, but she’s always been encouraged to get back on and told “you CAN do it,” so she believed she could, and did. She’s always been mounted appropriately, because Ellen’s helped assess our pony purchases. And she has an indescribable work ethic, because Ellen’s told her, and shown her, what it takes to be successful.
It has been an incredible 4 years. My daughter is now on her third pony, and Ellen has safely and successfully taken her from learning to post, to preparing for a move up to Novice on a 6 yr. old pony that, with Ellen’s help, she’s produced herself. Ellen has been there every step of the way. Last summer, the day after we purchased our most recent pony, he got hurt and Ellen generously let my daughter borrow her old pony to finish out the show season. Ellen has let me ride her upper level horses, and has been more than generous in sharing her tack, trailers, truck, anything that we have ever needed. She’s hauled us all over the state of Texas so my daughter could ride and show, and has gone above and beyond for us more times than I could count. Our horses are impeccably cared for, she’s accommodated numerous special requests for my daughter and me, and she’s always made time to make my daughter feel special. After Rolex last year, when all Ellen’s fans had gone home and she had thousands of comments about her incredible save, Ellen spent the evening swinging on the playground swings with my daughter. My 8 year old little girl was just as important to Ellen as everyone else that day; that to me is priceless.And that wasn’t the only time. At so many shows, my daughter helps get Obie ready. All last summer, Ellen allowed her to “work” at the barn and she spent all day helping with chores and riding horses. She brought along a green pony of Ellen’s. One of her jobs was to hack Obie, Ellen’s 4* horse, for an hour every day. I couldn’t tell you another rider anywhere that would let an 8 year old hack their Rolex horse. I feel so incredibly blessed, and grateful, that Ellen has been a part of my life and mostly, my daughter’s life. She has given her opportunities most kids only dream of, and my daughter loves her dearly. I entrust the safety and happiness of my most prized possession with Ellen, and that’s not something I do lightly. With all she has accomplished, she has remained humble, generous, and kind to even her youngest clients. Her barn is full of kids, from all backgrounds and all financial situations, because Ellen makes everyone feel welcome and a part of her barn family. No drama, no stress, just a great group of people who share a love of horses and compassion for each other. I will forever be grateful and indebted to Ellen for all she has done for my daughter and me."
- Angie Mitchell
"I am writing to share my professional experiences with and opinion of Ms. Ellen Doughty-Hume and her equine boarding/training facilities at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center. I hold a certification in animal chiropractic from the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association and am a licensed doctor of chiropractic in the state of Texas. The following are my observations of Ms. Doughty-Hume’s facilities over the years I have been providing services there.
In my many hours spent at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center I have noticed how much care and concern is taken regarding the health of each individual horse who is living on the premises. I have on many occasions retrieved
"We found Rockwall Hills in early 2016 when my then 12-year-old daughter wanted to transition from therapeutic riding (for cognitive delays) to a more traditional barn. In speaking with Ellen I was pleased to learn they could accommodate our crazy always-changing schedule, and she assured me my daughter would receive individualized instruction at a level that would work for her. The property and working students are so amazing that on my daughter's first day, I made the decision to take lessons there too. My daughter has now moved into riding with a group and is starting to jump. She's learned how to groom and tack a horse, clean up after them, and to be safe on the ground and while riding. I've decided to focus on dressage in my own lessons, and have leaned more in less than a year than I thought possible. Everyone at RHEC is professional, friendly, and knowledgeable, and the horses are amazing. We wouldn't ride anywhere else." - Jamie Rice
"Ellen is a trainer that puts her horses and students before herself. She makes sure, day in and day out, that her clients are happy with her services and on their way to success. Ellen gives her students the correct tools and instruction so their riding experience is maximized. She gives it her all to make sure every horse and rider is safe and well educated and she knows what she's doing and does it very well. She has brought my riding to a whole new level, and every step of the way, I knew my horse and I were in the best hands possible. The barn is clean, well organized, and focuses on the needs of the horses. Ellen's barn is also the most family friendly and drama-free barn I've been to. Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center is definitely a top notch facility that is a huge pleasure to be a part of." - Madeline
"My daughter started riding with Ellen at the ripe old age of five. I have owned horses most of my life, but knew I wasn’t the kind of parent who could effectively teach my daughter. It’s quite difficult to find someone willing to teach a 5 year old, and my first few interviews with trainers were rather disappointing. What a pleasant surprise it was to find Ellen, just twenty minutes from my house, and I was so impressed with my daughter’s first lesson that I immediately knew I had found our trainer.
I’ve worked with several trainers in the thirty years prior to looking for someone to teach my daughter. I knew exactly what I was looking for and Ellen fit the bill. She was direct but understanding, patient but pushed my daughter. I remember being scared to death when she had my daughter canter for the first time, but my daughter was ready and Ellen knew it. When I decided my daughter should have her first pony, Ellen picked up our 28 year old gem for us on the way back from a cross country schooling. Despite the fact that he was arguably one of the ugliest
"Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center is one of the best barns I have been to. The barn family is amazing and the atmosphere at the barn is second to none. Ellen does not tolerate drama or people that cause drama, and has made such a great barn atmosphere as a result. There is no trash talking or boarding barn drama that you get at many barns. On any given weekend or weeks the kids are out of school, you can come out and see all the kids hard at work, learning and helping around the barn. Ellen gives these kids opportunities to ride extra and takes the time to make sure everyone has a solid education. I am so lucky to have found this barn family!" - Lisa
my clients’ horses from their stalls for their treatment, or returned them after; in doing so I have noticed that the stalls are always very tidy with plenty of water (and hay/feed when appropriate) available to each animal. In fact, in my line of work I have witnessed many stalls in many barns all over North Texas; the stalls at Rockwall Hills stand out in my mind as having some of the cleanest and well-cared for stall areas I have seen. Even down to some of the smaller details, like keeping bucket handles taped to cover the metal edges that could potentially catch a lip or other soft horse tissue (not everyone in the horse industry takes this precaution, but it shows an “above and beyond” mentality when the little things like this are done as well). In addition to clean and healthy stalls, there is always good ventilation in the stalls and in the rest of the barn areas. The pasture, paddock, arenas and riding areas are also kept tidy and well cared for with some of the nicer jump rails and standards I’ve seen used at a practice facility.
I typically do my work in the crosstie section of the barn where much of the other animal care occurs, such as tacking up for riding, untacking, dressing wounds, and other regular horse care related activities. Since I spend the majority of my day in this location, I get to witness first hand the care that is taken to ensure the horse is sound and fit before any riding activities occur. It is also where the horses are returned after they have been untacked, bathed, groomed post-ride, and prepped to go back to their stalls/pasture. I notice that the horses that are ridden are cared for properly pre and post ride, and each receives proper cooling down and drying before they are returned to the stall.
I have on more than one occasion seen a horse brought in for riding, when a minor injury is discovered, Ellen is made aware of it, and the horse either receives the proper in-house care for the injury when it’s minor (such as water therapy, cleaning, wrapping, etc), or the veterinarian is called to make further assessments of the animal. I have never witnessed a horse not fit for riding be ridden in my time at her barn--good judgement of the soundness of the horses prior to riding seem to be a standard in that barn. You see, in the horse industry, injuries happen. Ask any horse owner around and they will confirm that even in the safest, best kept stalls and pastures, horse injuries can and do happen. However, the defining factor is what is done in response to those injuries. In my years working within Ms. Doughty-Hume’s facilities, I have never witnessed a horse with an injury that was not immediately addressed by Ellen or her staff. Occasionally--as my work leads me to touch nearly the entire horse from head to hoofs--I will find a swelling or injury on a horse I am working with that leads me to bring it to Ellen’s attention [I do this as a courtesy for all of my clients to ensure they are aware of a potential injury they may not previously have noticed yet]. On every occasion where I have discovered such an injury and brought it to her attention, she demonstrates prior awareness of the cut, scrape, or swelling and is already in the process of providing the correct care to address it. This shows me she is very hands-on with the horses in her barn and keeps herself and her staff responsible for being aware of the injuries that occur and properly addressing them.
Finally, I would like to address Ms. Doughty-Hume’s professionalism and my opinion of her attitude toward the animals in her care. I’ve always been impressed with Ellen’s depth and breadth of horse knowledge and ability. She is very well educated in the proper ways of caring for a vast number of ailments that occur in horses and has demonstrated this knowledge time and time again in my presence. I have noted the care she takes with each horse before, during and after training rides. Many training facility owners are completely hands-off and require the staff to do all the “unglamorous” duties around the barn like picking up manure, tacking, untacking, bathing, and even stall cleaning while they focus solely on riding the horses. This is not true of Ellen, I have seen her willingly and happily do each and every task mentioned above, and many others not mentioned in the course of a day at the barn. In my experience, I can only conclude that Ellen Doughty-Hume is a caring, animal-loving equine professional who does whatever it takes to ensure the health and safety of her animals and client animals in her care."
-Rebecca McGill, DC, BS, Dipl Ac (AACA), AVCA-certified Owner, Aligned Wellness LLC, DBA The Equine Spine
"I've known Ellen as long as she's been in the horse world. Before pony club, before upper levels, before she was a trainer. She has worked her tail off for what she has and to get where she has. I've let her ride my horses to prep for her A Pony Club rating, I sent her my beloved heart horse to Texas because I knew she could find him a good home. I have always respected her and know her very well. The fact that I have let her ride my horses, taken lessons from her, helped groom for her so I can learn, and sent her my heart horse should speak for itself!!!" - Brett Huard
"Anyone that has been to Ellen's barn or seen her ride, knows what a great horsewoman she is. She has taken dozens of horses off the track, retrained them to event, and sold them, or kept them as her own competition horses. Her record speaks for itself; she rarely has a letter as her ending score or a xc jump fault, and usually ends up in the ribbons. This is not a coincidence this happens horse after horse, it is due to her time, dedication, the team behind her and her tireless work ethic. She comes up with a training plan to make sure every individual horse is successful. She makes it possible for all kids to ride and love horses, regardless of their economic status. This past year, at Rolex, after her cross country round with Obie, Ellen was giving a young dying girl her "Make a Wish" wish, and not only spent time with her, but let her sit on Obie, her four star mount. Ellen is caring, selfless and a pleasure to be around. We couldn't think of a better role model we'd like our kids to grow up around!" - C. T.
"I first met Ellen several years ago when she rode in a clinic with Karen O'Connor, then again when she came to Rolex 2014 - her first time to compete at the four star level. She had a disappointing experience and was unable to compete due to a heel grab, however she did not let it her ruin her weekend and instead, she selflessly supported her friend and fellow rider, Julie Norman, who went on to complete her first four star event with Ellen and her team's support looking on. Not every rider could have done that so easily as Ellen did.
I have had the pleasure of grooming for Ellen the past two years at Rolex Kentucky and Ellen always puts the health of her horse first while creating a fun environment for her grooms and supporters. She listens to the advice of those around her and meticulously plans for her horse's health and comfort. Often times, Ellen would tell her grooms they could return back to camp to rest while she stayed to ice her horse, Obie. She also
"My daughter Sydney is ten years old and has been riding since this past summer. She went to Ellen's summer pony camp and had an ABSOLUTE blast! She met a nice group of kids and caught the "horse fever" for sure. She wanted to come back every single day for lessons!! We talked to Ellen about riding lessons and she worked with our hectic family schedule to make sure that Sydney could come and ride.
She has been taking lessons on Saturdays since then and has really grown as a rider. As an overly protective parent I really appreciate that Sydney has learned how to safely work with horses, on and off. Ellen makes sure that all riders have a great experience with safety in mind. So many trainers don't, and it's really important to always have a helmet on and to make sure that you understand the basics before moving on.
Since Sydney has taken lessons, she has gained confidence that carries over into her school work and at home. She is understanding that it takes hard work and dedication to work towards goals and is also learning a lot about personal responsibility. She wants to get to the barn early so that she has enough time to go and get her horse and groom and tack him up. She is learning that the horses count on their owners for everything and that owning a horse is a lot of work.Ellen and her staff are very knowledgeable about all levels of riding and tailor each lesson to meet the needs of the student. Ellen is relentless in her pursuit of bringing out the best in each person that comes for lessons. She is encouraging and challenging, always in a positive way. I love that my daughter is getting lessons from a true role model. Ellen is a hardworking woman that always makes time for everyone - no matter their age or skill level." - Amy Ritland
and that his health and happiness take top priority with Ellen and her staff, as they do with me. My horse is happy, calm, and fits right in. His approval is all I need to know that we're in a good place.
Ellen has also helped us tremendously in riding and training. I used to show on the breed circuits and it showed in my riding. I recently looked at some professional pictures of breed circuit all-around horses and riders and saw myself and how I used to ride in them. It's been hard, and I will admit that I did not think I needed such an overhaul at first. If it worked for what I'd done before, it would work now, right? But I wasn't riding like my horsey role models (for those that are curious, it's McLain Ward and Charlotte Dujardin). After a few lessons it became apparent that both myself and my horse needed some profession help. After years of seeing to my horse's training myself, it felt very strange to entrust the next step of his training to someone else. As with everything else, having done things myself for so long, I came with ideas and expectations in regards to my horse's training that were not only met by Ellen, but were in fact exceeded.
It's hard to believe that he's been out of bootcamp training for only two months and that I've only been relearning how to ride him in a new style for the same amount of time. I know we struggled for the first lesson or two and for the first couple of weeks. We had to relearn how to communicate with each other for the first time in a decade! But with hard work and tons of encouragement from Ellen, we've started clicking and hitting our stride. I am beyond impressed and pleased with the progress we've made in such a short time. I know we've got some work to do still, but I also know that we would not be where we are today without her support and expertise.That being said, I'm a difficult person to coach. I'm stubborn and don't like to be told I'm not doing something right (because I'm a total perfectionist), but Ellen has a way of communicating and coaching you through your riding that not only gets the job done, but makes you feel like you can do it and that you're capable of becoming the rider that you want to be. I know there were a handful of times where I was internally screaming (mind you, this is usually with things I've done before on numerous occasions but have become quite silly about as I've gotten older), but I knew Ellen wouldn't ask me for something I wasn't capable of. She has restored my confidence in myself, my confidence in my horse, and my horse's confidence in me, which means the world to me." - Jackie Harris
is extremely generous and never hesitates to answer a question or give advice when asked. She is extremely inclusive of those around her and trusts each individual's strengths. She even allowed me to ride Obie back to the barn after her show jumping round at Rolex - a memory I will always cherish.Ellen has given me riding advice, helped me with training my OTTBs, and is an all around great friend. I have been to her farm in TX and was extremely impressed by the work she has done and her future plans for the business. I have worked for top trainers and riders in many different disciplines and I consider Ellen's expertise and ability to be second to none. She will continue to succeed and create horses and riders on a grand scale for many years to come." - Brooke Schafer
guy. About 6 months later, my gelding sold to the perfect laid-back home in Tennessee to do lower level hunters & schooling shows. Ellen sent on trial with me a 4-year old OTTB named Vinny & I immediately fell head over heels for him! I was not wanting to purchase another OTTB since I had soundness issues from the track with my previous horse. That all changed when I took Ellen’s sale horse on trial. Vinny is safe, sane, trainable, and sound and I would trust Ellen every day to find me another prospect. Vinny and I have been scoring consistent dressage tests in the upper 20’s & finished our very first CT event in 2nd! This horse is exceptionally talented & Ellen puts a solid foundation on her OTTBs to ensure them the best future in whatever discipline they do.
Ellen’s horses, personal & boarded (they are treated exactly alike) are taken fabulous care of. Her boarders & students love her and the parents know their child is taught safety and the best horsemanship skills. The proof is in the pudding is an accurate statement to use when describing Ellen & Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center. Work with Ellen & You and your horse will not be disappointed! I consider her a trustworthy trainer and a friend!"
-Arden Leraris, Area V.
"I started riding horses when I was six years old and have never looked back. When I moved to Texas for work, I knew that finding a place to ride was on my list of priorities. I hunted for 6 months until coming across Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center (I was being very picky....). I honestly didn't know who Ellen Doughty-Hume was at the time, but the facilities looked nice, it was close to my house, and she was an eventer. After my first lesson, I was amazed!! I learned more from my first lesson than I had in YEARS worth of lessons with other trainers....no exaggeration. I was hooked. I have now been with Ellen at RHEC for two years, and am still in awe of how much I learn in each lesson! Every week is different, from flat work to grid work to course work. I had the opportunity to lease one of Ellen's upper level horses this past fall to complete my first 2 Training events, and I will never be able to thank her enough for the opportunity. Every new horse Ellen puts me on challenges me in different ways to make me a better rider. I have had the pleasure of going to many shows with Ellen, whether as a competitor or spectator. It always amazes me how she finds time to coach 8+ students