“I retired 3 years ago, and we have had our 2 horses, Annie & Kayla for 11 years. My husband and I didn’t have any prior experience owning horses and purchased and shipped them “sight unseen” at 4 years old. They were both “gaited” and tri-colored. Kayla came first, and she is our alpha. She is very gentle, and I took lessons on weekends. Annie is more energetic and less confident. We hopped on and started trail riding and had a great experience! We love the connection we have with the horses and are grateful to be able to keep them on property.
Once retired, one of my top priorities was to spend more time (not just weekends) with our horses and become a better rider and leader. I attended a Cowboy Dressage clinic and realized I had a lot to learn and Annie wasn’t really responding very well. I also wondered if she was gaiting or pacing and was concerned about long term health.
All this led to Vefele and I began taking weekly (and sometimes more) lessons. Vefele has made a profound difference. One thing I noticed was Vefele was very concerned about being “fair” to the horse and helped me notice not enough and too much connection.
Annie was very pacey, so we really worked on trotting and having her listen to my leg aids. We both needed a lot of “retraining”! Vefele was so patient and has a great way of pointing out what is being done right and not right. This has been one of the things I find so helpful about Vefele. I was never made to feel bad about what I was doing wrong! Vefele has many ways to explain and has many different approaches. Vefele always asks if things make sense, and if not, will take the time to make sure it does!
I also like how Vefele breaks down her instruction to what the rider and horse are doing and how it affects both rider and horse. Annie’s balance isn’t great, and my riding wasn’t great! By having me be “quieter” and by making sure I was giving consistent and non-confusing signals (I’m still working on that), Annie is becoming more confident! Now, after months of working on the trot, I am working on canter and noticing leads, etc.
Vefele has taught me so much and I continue to realize how much more there is to learn! I love her way of caring for the horse and rider and helping one to notice how best to communicate!
Annie will now close her eyes in a group lesson with her head down and relaxed. I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!” --Carol
I heard about Vefele through a friend and later met her when I attended the first educational presentation she put on in our area. I was completely blown away with Vefele’s organization, knowledge, philosophy and professionalism. Since then she has put on additional presentations and I always make it a priority to attend!
I had an on and off relationship with riding lessons for about 15 years. The longest I stayed with a trainer was 6 months and only stopped because the trainer told me they’d taught me all they had to offer, but it was only the basics of riding. When I started with Vefele, I learned more within the first month than I had with any of the other trainers. I was learning classical dressage basics, why it was important for my horse and how it was supposed to feel. It opened up a whole new world for me and reignited my love of learning.
I had often found that It was difficult to connect with some of the trainers. I wondered if it was me. Once I started working with Vefele I realized it was them not me; that their philosophy and way of training were just not in line with what worked for me. I whole-heartedly believe in the philosophy Vefele follows which is to listen to the horse, the horse is number one.
My horse is a 22 year old Missouri fox trotter, a gaited horse, which added complexity to the initial goal I presented to Vefele. I wanted to pass a level 3 freestyle assessment, which meant I had to be able to do a variety of riding tasks in all gaits, including simple lead changes without using reins, a goal we achieved in July 2018. Again, I was impressed with how much time and dedication Vefele showed me and my horse, both during our lessons and between them. I recall several times when Vefele would come with research, videos and articles specifically relating to gaited horses which helped both of us set the horse up for success.
Another thing that sets Vefele/Vefele’s Equine Partnerships apart is that Vefele can train at any level, something I’ve seen during group lessons. She holds clients and their horses to an individualized level by meeting them where they are yet knowing when to challenge them or stretch a bit more. Vefele is truly a coach. She works with me to achieve realistic goals, always keeping my horse’s well-being in mind while inspiring and encouraging me!” --Sally
“Yesterday, I had a wonderful ride on Flynn. It seemed like magic. But in truth, it didn’t just happen. We both have come a long way and have developed skill and confidence. I owe it to Vefele’s guidance. She is so knowledgeable and respects the horse and rider. I have learned to be patient. I’m enjoying my horse and the process. I’m excited about our future and what more goals we will achieve working with Vefele!” --Carolyn
“I may not know a lot about dressage, but after just one lesson with Vefele, I was able to get the response I needed from my horse with minimal effort. Vefele truly helped me find a better connection with my mare.” --Renee Murillo, Arabian Horse Owner
"I put my horse in training with Vefele with incredible results! My 14-year-old warmblood has never moved better, and she is light and fun to ride. Her topline developed beautifully, and she seems happier than ever." --Valerie
"I have ridden with Vefele for about 6 months. I have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons. Vefele is very clear with her classical dressage method and never uses severe techniques. My horse is very relaxed and moves out beautifully. I woud highly recommend Vefele for anyone in any discipline." --Sing