Online and Live Coaching Programs Available
Online and LiveCoaching Programs Available

Round of Applause

Contact me to schedule lessons or training and learn to connect with your horse in a whole new way!

Qualified Connection Training coach

Qualified Connection Training Coach - finally after over a year of hard work and tons of educational experiences and training, attending the Connection Training Center programs in Spain and so much more, I am thrilled to be the first coach to officially be Qualified by Connection  Training as of May 2018. Many thanks to Shawna Karrasch, Hannah Weston, Rachel Bedingfield and all of my colleagues at Connection  Training for assisting me on this life                                                               changing journey. 


USDF Bronze medal earned in 2017 and recognized in 2018! The recipient really isn't me though, it's the horses that made this happen that deserve the credit. They taught me so much and displayed all of the qualities that make great character including patience, tolerance, expertise and affection.  Many thanks to the village of people helping to make this happen. Most of all, I owe my groom extraordinaire, Chris Deal, for his unfailing hard work, support and tolerance of all that it took to reach this milestone. Special thanks to Diana Hoebrecht, for without her, we would have never embarked upon the horse show journey!

Thrilled to have been chosen!

I am so excited to have been chosen as one of 13 Qualifying Instructors for the Connection Training Certification Program. In addition, I joined the international Connection Training Team founded By Shawna Corrin Karrasch, Hannah Weston and Rachel Beddingfield in April 2017. The positive reinforcment resources available are life changing for people and horses and I can't wait to share them with you!

rider performance award

This award was really earned by Eclipse, the sweet chestnut horse in the picture at the top of the page. (I just happened to be the human recipient.) He came to us a very fearful horse with health issues and he continues to morph into a wonderful companion with the uses of positive reinforcment that started as clicker training. We couldn't be more proud of him and his accomplishments including this one awarded in 2016. Congrats Eclipse!

ARIA Instructor of the Month recognition ARTICLE 

Stewardship Award

Melissa Deal, Nancy Piscopo, and Linda Hoover, left to right

Horse Therapeutic Horse Back Riding Center Many thanks to Nancy Piscopo of Prancing and the United States Refined Horsemanship Association (USRHA) for presenting me with the 2015 Kenneth R. Westcott Stewardship (of the horse) Award. Wendy Smithson of Southern Pines deserves much appreciation for hosting the lovely award luncheon. I am so grateful to be part of a group of people who are dedicated to providing enriching experiences for horses and their people. Their recognition is an honor that I humbly and gratefully accepted on behalf of all of the horses and people that made it possible.


Compassionate Equestrian Recognition

Dr. Allen Schoen and Susan Gordon

Dr. Allen Schoen and Ms. Susan Gordan authors of The Compassionate Equestrian book and founders the Compassionate Equestrian movement recognized Victory Land Dressage (VLD) as one of the very first Compassionate Equestrian barns. Coastal Carolina Compassionate Equestrians started meeting in the fall of 2015. The group meets monthly at a local venue to discuss how to apply and live the principles outlined in Dr. Schoen and Ms. Gordon's book and hosts a presentation or demo at each meeting that focuses on caring for horses and the equine community at large. Melissa also signed the Compassionate Equestrian Pledge in 2015 and the principles are posted in her barn area in hope of inspiring kindness and understanding in word and deed for all who see them. You can access the group via the Coastal Carolina Compassionate Equestrian Face Book page.




Specializing in water/geothermal well and pump installation and repair.

Cape Fear Driling Services Services has awarded sponsorship for the year 2016 -2018 to support the mission of bringing connection, understanding and joy to women and horses. Melissa gratefully accepts this support and plans to use it responsibly to further the mission of Victory Land Dressage and Coastal Carolina Compassionate Equestrians!

Teena Barnett of Dyanetics

Team Building Dynamics is a coaching and consulting firm dedicated to improving the understanding and acceptance of another through the improvement of communication skills of people who work, volunteer, and live together. Victory Land Dressage is thrilled to have Teena and Dyanetics onboard as a sponsor. Teena is not only an excellent coach but she is a rider of reining horses as                                           well!


Teena W Barnett, MBA

Team Building Dynamics LLC

(720) 363-0097

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.

Print | Sitemap
© Victory Land Dressage Refined Riding