Amy K. Dragoo
" I am happy to say I have only good words to describe my experience with Ellen. I was a working student for her for almost a year and she treated us like one of her own. Ellen is not only a kind and caring person but she knows what she's doing when it comes to horse care and riding. The horses and students were spoiled. My riding improved more in a few months than it did over a few years anywhere else. Her teaching wasn't only helpful and effective, but she genuinely wanted us to improve and have a good time. As far as horse care, I know from all her pony club experience, horse and rider safety was very important. Her job was far from easy and I know she spent long hours at the barn, not only to teach late at night, but I've seen her clean stalls and fill buckets on top of her already busy schedule. I am very lucky to have worked with Ellen and I have learned so much more than I thought possible and I would recommend her to anyone wanting to improve their riding and horsemanship, and win the blue ribbons at shows! "
-Sydney Devenport, Working Student 2015/2016
" I was fortunate enough to work for Ellen Doughty-Hume from January 2016-July 2016. In this short six months I was able to safely take my Wyoming cow pony from Novice to successfully completing our first Preliminary. During my time working for Ellen at Rockwall Hills Equestrian Center, I learned all aspects of the horse industry, from quicker stall cleaning to important riding skills that I now use every day in each ride. Not only did I gain knowledge in the equine industry I also gained valuable life skills, from handling all kinds of clients to teaching kids through adults. Ellen has an incredible way of teaching all people and molding to each persons needs in a way I hope to be able to do! I have now worked at many barns in Michigan, Wyoming, and Texas and have not found a place that takes better care for their personal horses, lesson horses, and boarded horses. The care at RHEC is exceptional and I have yet to be at a barn that has a better system. One of my favorite parts of Pegasus Eventing was the lack of drama tolerated and the atmosphere Ellen creates and works hard to keep at the barn. "
-Madison Gilbert, Working Student 2016
" I came to RHEC in September 2016 to be a working student for Ellen. In 13 years of experience working with multiple trainers, no one has had as much of a positive impact on my riding as Ellen has, in the four months I’ve been here so far! With her I’ve become a softer and more effective rider, and my horse’s rideability is already better than I ever thought it could be. I’ve worked at some top level facilities and can confidently say that the quality of horse care provided at RHEC is second to none. Working here has improved my abilities to take care of both horses and clients. In the future I hope to develop my own training and teaching business, and will definitely be modeling it after Ellen’s program. "
-Mallory Huggins, Working Student 2016/2017
"I have had the privilege of being Ellen Doughty-Hume's working student for the past four months. Under her tutelage, I have not only improved my own horsemanship, but I've gained the upmost respect for Ellen's professionalism and dedication to every horse and human on her property.
Working everyday alongside Ellen I find myself constantly learning and growing. As a member of her staff I can personally attest to all of the horses on property being in excellent care. Whether a four star event horse or a retired school pony, they are ALL guaranteed to be taken care of with very high standards. On one of my first days working with Ellen she told me that there is no difference between her top eventing horses and any of the boarder's horses. Ellen consistently stresses the importance of the highest standards in care for every horse at her barn. A care regiment is developed and maintained with each horse and owner to ensure not only the health and safety of their horse, but also that the owner's standards of care are met on a daily basis. From taping every water bucket on the property to waking up in the middle of the night to any sign of an unexpected storm. Our barn exudes safety. As staff, Ellen instills in us from day one to be role models for everyone around the barn, never skipping a step or doing things the "easy" way.
In my experience it is not often that a world class rider is in the barn working alongside everyone else. Ellen rides several horses a day, always making sure each one is cooled down and groomed properly (and given a cookie). As busy as she is everyday you never fail to see her stop and answer questions or give someone advice. As a student of hers I have never seen an instructor so dedicated to her students. She is always in the ring on time teaching, never sitting down, never with her phone, and always giving her student and their horse her upmost attention and respect. That is why all of her students are so successful and happy.
From day one Ellen has demonstrated not only what it takes to be a professional equestrian, but a dedicated horsewoman who truly works hard and loves her job. For that I am so thankful and excited to be a part of her team. With full confidence I can say that any student, boarder, and horse that come to Ellen's barn will receive the highest standards of respect, attention, and care."- Olivia Wallace, Working Student 2017
TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST WORKING STUDENTS
" When I first saw the working student ad for RHEC, I knew I wanted to work for Ellen because I greatly respected her as a rider. Now, having almost completed my six months working for her, I more importantly respect her as a person and a leader. Ellen is extremely insistent that the safety and care of the horses we tend to, and the students we teach, is put above everything else. Having worked at several barns, I can confidently say that the level of care that the horses receive here is above and beyond, and that's all because Ellen holds such high standards for the sake of the happiness of the horses. She is firm in her expectations of her working students, but is always inviting and easy to talk to if we ever have concerns. I have never seen Ellen be anything but respectful and kind to all of her clients, and she made it known to me that she strives for the barn to be a drama free environment, which it certainly is! Working at RHEC has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life, because Ellen made sure she had a program that gave her working students that opportunity. She also gave me the best gift I could ever ask for, which was making me fall back in love with my horse. When Francis and I came to RHEC, I thought she was on the road to retirement, and now we have successfully completed our first novice horse trials, have jumped several 3'9 oxers, and have training level in our sights! Under her guidance and expert training I have a whole new understanding of the biomechanics of the horse, and have improved my riding immensely. Working for Ellen has been a true joy, seeing the way she handles difficult situations is inspiring because she is never anything but graceful and respectful. If I can one day be half the rider and leader Ellen is, I will consider that a success! "
-Shannon Maverick, Working Student 2016/2017
It takes an incredible work ethic and desire to learn to make it as a working student, but the benefits are immesasurable. At RHEC our working students have the opportunity to ride horses ranging from green prospects to 4* competitors, they see how a successful teaching and training program runs, and learn how to manage a large equine facility. Our students give lessons, handle all aspects of horse care and, yes, muck stalls daily. If you're serious about a career in the horse world, there's not a better facility around to learn the ins and outs. And lessons with Ellen are a pretty nice perk. Our working students are a critical part of our barn and we couldn't do what we do without them! We ask that you sign on for a minimum of 6 months to get the most out of your experience!
Interested in becoming a working student? Contact us to learn how you can be a part of our team!