Contact me to schedule lessons or training and connect more deeply with your horse!


Riding Lessons and clicker training Wilmington NC

Victory redefined: are you seeking 

  • a trusting affectionate relationship with your horse,
  • relaxing recreational rides,
  • in-hand/liberty training,
  • lower level dressage skills at home or at shows,
  • tricks
  • or obstacles?
  • VLD programs produce happier horses and more skilled, safer riders and handlers.  Many facets of a horse's life, behavior, soundness and response to the environment can be addressed.  Helping horses feel safe and secure in the presence of their person enhances performance in any venue and life itself.  May I ask, what is your definition of winning?

American Riding Instructor Association certified riding instructor, Melissa Deal, provides private and semi-private lessons in the greater Wilmington, North Carolina and Burgaw, North Carolina areas.  Melissa teaches riding lessons and other activities at students' farms and private or public equestrian facilities.  Lessons may apply across disciplines and interests, e.g., dressage, horsemanship, recreational riders, etc.  Melissa recognizes that horses of all types can appreciate and benefit from refined riding,handling, and relationship building and she encourages and highly values rider input and horses feedback.

Melissa is passionate about helping horses and riders enjoy their time together.  Contact us to discuss how you can fulfill your equestrian goals and dreams.  We look forward to speaking with you!

The goal of every lesson is to refine horse and rider communication, making it more clearly understood by both and, therefore, building trust. Communicating with a horse in a way he understands is the basis for all learning.  By participating in constant dialogue, if you will, our relationships with our horses will develop further. Thus, providing us with greater influence over their mind, body and energy flow and deepening the bond between us.  


Under saddle riding lessons, positive reinforcement and in-hand/relationship building lessons are available.  Focus includes enhancing the horse's way of going, mental and emotional comfort, overall enjoyment of both horse and rider, and the rider's understanding of how to develop a close and affectionate relationship.  Lessons are tailored to rider's goals and the horses needs and support can be provided in a variety of ways between sessions.



      Why choose Victory Land and Melissa Deal?


Would you like your horse to be excited to see you, willing to try anything you ask and appear to be affectionate toward you?



The judicious use of positive reinforcement brings joy to our relationships, performances, and time that we spend with our horses in general.  Feel like a kid again as you explore the sheer fun of this type of interaction with your horse!

Want to avoid the confusion and emotional roller coaster that can accompany horse ownership? As a horse owner and a riding student, Melissa understands the special challenges and fears that sometimes accompany owning a horse and receiving instruction and training.  She provides friendly side by side coaching to help you learn to read and understand your horse's behavior, needs and desires so that your horse becomes more predictable to you and more enjoyable.  This way you won't lose sight of the reason that you got into horses in the first place-to experience a connection of the heart.
Money back guarantee: Would you like to minimize the risk of trying out a new instructor or trainer? Your satisfaction is guaranteed in the first (lesson or training) session or you pay nothing, no questions asked. Melissa considers it a privilege to teach and only wants what is best for you and your horse!
Would you like to be your horses primary friend and trainer? Melissa will coach you to be your horses main focus and friend, and she will mentor you on how to become your horses confidant by helping you discover how horses teach humans.  This prevents you from becoming instructor dependent and empowers you to realize that you are fully capable of learning from your horse and supporting your horse in a variety of situations.  Thankfully, horses have a great capacity for mercy and forgiveness, which benefits us all.
Am I good fit? If you love to learn, love your horse, and are willing to do what it takes to reach new levels of happiness and joy in your relationship with your horse on the ground or under saddle, you will find your tribe here.  Welcome!  If it is all about winning a ribbon/award and you don't mind sacrificing your horse's health, happiness and well being to achieve your own agenda, we probably aren't the best fit for you. Everyone is on their own journey and needs to surround themselves with like-minded peeps. So, there are no hard feelings-promise. If that is the case, we wish you well in your endeavors!
Is there something specific that you can do to help me excel in my learning and progress faster? Melissa will assess your preferred learning style and use techniques that appeal to it including portable technology, tactile, visual, and auditory methods of learning. Technology is also used to give you every advantage. Melissa believes that learning should be easy and fun and searches out ways of making it so. Your feed back is super important.  As a mentor, she thrives on assisting   you in overcoming worries and  fears and achieving your dreams!
Do we only help Dressage riders or do we help those who are interested in other activities and disciplines too? Melissa's personal passion is creating and maintaining horse happiness! This applies across all disciplines and breeds. She believes that we are not only stewards of the horse, but that horses are put on the earth to heal our souls and that it is her calling to facilitate this healing through relationship building. Horse happiness and rider appitude are sought using a variety of methods include use of obstacles, clicker training, positive reinforcement, ground work, liberty  and tricks to build confidence, basics and fundamentals under saddle and much more. We do teach lower level dressage and jumping and go to shows, clinics and other events with those who enjoy these and other fun activities. We are always up for learning something new-police horse training and cowboy action shooting are on my bucket list.
Would you like to save time and ease the burden of painful mistakes?

Take advantage of learning from someone who is open minded and willing to experiment to meet each horses and riders needs. Melissa has many years of valuable experience, a Masters in equine physiology, riding instructor certifications, many hours of equine training experience, equine psychology study and a heart for the horse and those who love them.  We warmly invite you to come see the proof of our experience in the faces of happy horses right on our farm or check out our testimonials page.

Do you wonder if your horse's physical discomfort or mental anguish that is causing behavior and/or trainingissues? Explore this with training methods that allow the horse to perform via its own free will and choice and be guided by someone who has successfully treated and/or maintained many physical deficiencies in horses. Melissa understands your struggle with these issues and she will whole heartedly join you in the search for resolution. You know your horse better than anyone and Melissa is convinced that together we can make a difference in the quality of your horses life.  We welcome you to check out llving, breathing examples of these successes at VLD and would be happy to tell you about the couragous lives these horses have led.
Do you feel like you have to read between the lines of what you are being told by those helping you with your horse? Melissa is passionate and bold in revealing the truth to riders and owners as she cares deeply about honoring every being that seeks her counsel.

"Lessons and training are not about good or bad riding, rather lessons are about creating and increasing your awareness as this is the beginning of true connection."

Victory Land Dressage and Refined Riding, Melissa Deal, Wilmington NC/Burgaw NC

Contact Us

Victory Land Dressage 

Burgaw, NC 28425


Email us to schedule your first session with Melissa at your farm or ours and experience how to bond more intimately with your horse (money back guarantee on your first session, if not completely satisfied). We can provide a horse at our facility for some learning experiences) depending on your goals. 


What's New?

The gatherings include meet and greet with tasty treats, heart felt discussions and demos and presentations by equine experts! You are warmly invited to the Coastal Carolina Compassionate Equestrian gatherings that are held the Wed evening of each month at 630 PM. Call or text 910-471-5445, or private message Melissa Deal on fb or request to join the group on fb.
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