Online and Live Coaching Programs Available
Online and LiveCoaching Programs Available

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

 Riding Lessons AND CLINICS IN the BURGAW NC AND Wilmington NC area by certified riding instructor 


Qualified Connection Training Coach, 2018

USDF Bronze Medalist 2017

American Riding Instructor Association Certified, since 1999 in Dressage, Hunt Seat, Western.




M.S., Equine Physiology, 1999 Clemson University, Clemson SC

B.S., Animal Science, 1995 University of North Carolina State, Raleigh NC

Minor, Ag Business Management, 1995  University of North Carolina State, Raleigh NC

Pre-Veterinary Curriculum, 1995 University of North Carolina State, Raleigh NC

Equine Emphasis Curriculum, 1995 University of North Carolina State, Raleigh NC

Connection Training Positive Reinforcement, all courses, 2016

USDF Certification  Clinics through First Level, 2017

Connection Training Qualified Instructor Course 2017-2018




Often, we find that it is we who need the relationship with horses as much or as more than they need us. Sometimes, horses can be our strongest connection to our own soul.  Other times we find that they help us connect with the souls of other like minded people, our tribe, or perhaps I should say our herd?


I am grateful for relationships with horses and the people who love them.  They have taught me far more than I could have ever imagined and enriched this experience we call life beyond my greatest expectations.  So I express my gratitude not only to the those listed below, but also to every horse and person who has shared their journey with me.  For without them, I would have learned little and helped few.


The list below is certainly not all inclusive.  However, each person therein shared their knowledge and experience, and in doing so provided valuable insight.  For this, they have my respect, gratitude and admiration.



  • Cindy Sydnor, Braeburn Farm,  USDF Certified Instructor
  • Eliza Sydnor, Braeburn Farm, USDF Certified Instructor
  • David De Wispeleare, 
  • Dawn Weniger, USDF Gold Medalist
  • Shawna Karrasch
  • Connection Training-The Heart and Science of Positive Horse Training 
  • Jean Luc Cornille, Science or Motion, Le Cadre Noir de Saumur graduate was a working student and took lessons from him 
  • Linda Hoover
  • Robert Mayor, Classical Dressage Master, FN, BHSI 
  • Jessica Ransehousen, former U.S. Dressage Chef d' Equipe 
  • Missy Ransehousen, FEI Rider and Paralympic Coach 
  • Eicke von Veltheim, German Master 
  • Robert & Laura Hall, D. British Horse Society, Fulmer Int.
  • Tom Curtin, Triple T Quality Horsemanship
  • Annette Margot Palasthy, German Bereiter 
  • Klaus and Sabine Halfter, German Master 
  • Harold Chopping, Canadian Equestrian 
  • Dr. Pat Evans, British Horse Society "I" Instructor
  • Dale Barnett, APHA Judge NCSU Equine Program Instructor
  • Teaching Assistant for multiple courses at NC State and Clemson Universities; such as those on forage, husbandry, breeding, foaling, behavior modification and farrier work, etc. 




We appreciate your interest in honoring your horse and thank you for taking the time to visit our site.  I strongly believe that the rider/handler is the person who makes a horse's life worth living, and I am dedicated to making sure that riders have the knowledge and skills they need to provide the quality of life that every horse deserves. Additionally, it is equally important that each of you experiences the trust and affection that is possible in your equine partnerships. Further, it is my privilege to be able to offer relationship building opportunities for women and their horses in low stress learning environments.  My passion for teaching, and riding, and my desire to learn so that I can help others is unquenchable!


If you are like minded in regards to developing yourself and your horse, I encourage you!  Keep seeking.  Keep listening to your horse and to those who produce the results that you seek in a manner that benefits the horse. You can learn how to determine and provide what your horse craves and become the source of his comfort to a degree that you may not have even imagined.


To learn optimally, it is often said that a mentor is the key.  It is my goal to be a mentor for thinking riders, who are keenly aware of their horse's every thought and feeling.  For it is you, dear rider, who must sit on your horse in the end, and you upon whom he depends daily for sound leadership.  So take heart, have faith in your abilities and take your relationship and your riding to new levels this day and every day.  And remember, every moment is an opportunity for victory.



"Honor your horse, live your passion"

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

Schedule your virtual or live intro session with horse behavior expert, Melissa Deal, and experience how to bond more intimately with your horse.


You are warmly invited to Coastal Carolina  Compassionate Equestrian gatherings held monthly in the Wilmington NC / Burgaw NC area. Request to join the FB group or contact Melissa for more info.

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