Deborah and Amberly Ritchie, a mother and daughter team, want to introduce as many people as possible to the joy of horses! Specializing in new riders, first time owners, and riders just beginning to participate in horse shows, their lesson and training programs provide an excellent way to learn, discover and grow in the wonderful world of horses.
The Safety of our riders is our #1 priority. We love to see our students advance without fear or worry. Riding is a true partnership between student and horse. We strive to help every student achieve the skills and practical horse knowledge needed to ride in unison with their horse. Learning should be fun! Our lessons are geared so that every student can enjoy the satisfaction of achievement in each lesson. Riding is a unique sport in that we are working with an animal that we must patiently communicate with. Riding with kindness, patience and respect for the horse is a must. We love our horses and want them to work without fear or worry, just like our students.
Deborah Ritchie is RockMeadow Equestrian Center's Owner and Trainer. Certified by both the United States Hunter Jumper Association and the American Riding Instructor's Association, Deborah brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her riding programs.
A nearly lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest,with the exception of her early years living in Alaska, Deborah was born with a love and passion for horses. Deborah became the proud owner of her first horse at the age of 11. "Tawney Girl" a Morgan, Arab, Quarter Horse mix was just two years old when Deb's parents purchased her. Having never owned a horse before, Deborah joined a 4-H club and has been a life long student of horses ever since.
A formal education in riding came during her college years while attending the University of Washington. She studied Dressage under Joanna Herringstad, Elizabeth Madlener, Jane Taylor, Klaus Albin and Nancy Benton.
It was after purchasing a Thoroughbred gelding named "Satins Admiral" that she left dressage and entered the Hunter ring competing in the Adult Amateur and Equitation divisions. As a Hunter rider Deborah studied under John Turner, Brad Laird, Bob Woodington, Dina Happy and Meg and Sandy Skafgaard.
She is especially grateful to her mentor, Bob Woodington. He taught her that "there is no magic trick in riding or training. Just the basics, that's what works."
Havana, the little bay that started it all! Deborah's passion for Hunters and Jumpers all began with him.
Amberly Ritchie is our Children's Instructor, Day Camp Director, and School Horse Manager. She has worked with Deborah in the past as her Assistant Trainer and Rider. She recently returned to RockMeadow after taking some years off to start her family. She is the proud Mom of three beautiful children, two boys and one girl.
A horse lover since before she could walk, Amberly has always had a passion and love for horses and wants the very best for them. She provides daily compassionate care to the horses in her charge and does a wonderful job of teaching her students not only the joy of riding but also the great responsibility of caring for the wonderful horses they ride.
Amberly began her earliest riding days on Bainbridge Island and started by riding with just a halter, and bareback on ponies. She started her early riding lessons with her instructor on Bainbridge Island. She trained with Bob Woodington and Sandy Skafgaard for many years at RockMeadow. She worked as Deborah's Assistant Trainer in the 1990's during which time Deborah and Amberly trained a group of 15 riders and coached them at many local competitions including Bainbridge Island, Monroe, the Evergreen Classic, Milner Downs and Thunderbird.
Amberly is a gifted instructor with plenty of patience and empathy. She provides the best combination of safety, fun, learning and discipline to both children and adults
Apolinar Ruiz Perez
Jesse has been a part of RockMeadow for nearly 30 years. An experienced, caring and knowledgeable horseman, he makes certain that all of RockMeadow's horses are well fed, turned out, safe and healthy in clean, deeply bedded stalls. We feel secure knowing that Jesse keeps a sharp eye out for our horses and always tucks them in at night with his final barn check.
Jesse and his staff live onsite and make the farm run 365 days a year by keeping everything well maintained, groomed and in the best condition possible for the horses and our riders. No easy job, Jesse and his staff do amazing work for all of us at RockMeadow!
Jesse's loyal and right hand gal! Frequently seen riding along on the big Kubota tractor with her dad.
Annie will gladly meet you when you visit us! She's our official meet and greet gal.
Inky Cat is our office manager.
He loves paperwork!