Certified Resistance Free (tm)
Shelly and several of her students
At the age of eleven Shelly began riding and showing horses. Originally riding hunters she
spent many years on the hunter and jumper circuit. Her interests then evolved to breeding,
training and showing Quarter Horses on the breed circuit. She successfully competed in a
variety of english and western events winning numerous buckles and awards.
During this time Shelly dedicated herself to in-depth study with world renown horsemen.
Developing an understanding of how the horses mind and body works along with how the rider
can best influence the horse is the solid foundation that her training program is built on.
Shelly believes that learning is a life long journey and continues to study the language of
horses and the art of riding.
1989-current mentoring with Richard Shrake who has been called the ultimate coach by his students. Richards primary purpose in creating the Resistance Free (tm) methods has been to develop a cooperation between horse and rider which results in a way of training and riding that is humane and always has respect for the partnership between horse and rider. Resistance Free(tm) eliminates the horses resistance to learn and frees the riders ability to achieve.
2001-current Mentoring with Peggy Cummings, riding master, creator of connected riding(tm) Peggy's work is giving Shelly an in-depth understanding of how horse and rider work together biomechanically. It empowers her to help horses and riders find the freedom and unity that can only exist when true connection is present. It has led Shelly to understand the importance of the riders position, the value of groundwork for horses and how the two prepare the horse to be able to come through to bring out the natural beauty and movement in horses of all breeds and disciplines.
Comments from some of Shelly's students:
I love Shelly's philosophy, and her teaching techniques for working with horses and the student. She is dedicated to helping the horse move the way they are naturally intended to move through connected ground work. It is this philosophy, her incredible capacity for patience, and her skill as a communicator that has inspired, and motivated me to learn to be a great rider.
My riding lesson is the highlight of my week, I not only have a great instructor, I have met a great friend.
It has been my lifelong dream to own a horse and learn to ride dressage. I had taken lessons as a child, and as an adult, but never for long enough to become really proficient. In October of 2005 I took my first lesson from Shelly Sevigny and realized that my dream was about to come true. Shelly's thorough knowledge and expertise of horses and multiple riding disciplines became immediately apparent. What became even more apparent is her incredible ability to share her love of horses, her knowledge and ability. Taking lessons from Shelly is a highlight of every week for me. I cannot think of anyone I would rather have teach me.
I've been a student with Shelly Sevigny for about 6 years now. I have worked with numerous riding instructors over the years and Shelly is absolutely one of the best. She can tailor her lesson to the ability of both horse and ride. I always feel like she studied harder for my lesson than I did. Her program is not stagnant. Every lesson is a building block. Shelly is constantly improving her own riding and that of her students with clinics and reading. I have recommended her to several people, from novice riders up and personally watched her work with them. No matter what the riders level of compentcy is she can improve them. Safety is high priority for her and young or novice riders are given a good foundation in safety for both the horse and rider.
We own, breed, train and show Arabian horses, not something Shelly has ever done but she was willing to work with us. I didn't come to my first lesson and hear "oh, crazy Arab" but lots of praise and questions about the breed. I understood that I needed to improve my riding to be more competitive and Shelly did too. The answer wasn't just to send the horse off to an Arab trainer, but to understand better myself how to make the horse present well. By improving my seat, legs and hands Shelly has advanced my horses in a very competitive A Arabian level division. Burn out for horse and rider is easy, but Shelly is so positive in her approach and supportive that it makes it stay fun.
I look forward to many more years of instruction from Shelly. She has such enthusiasm for riding it is hard not to get caught up in it yourself!
Julie Poor, Poulsbo, WA
Contact Shelly at
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