Hi, I'm Emily
Three of my hallmark passions are horses, learning, and teaching, and I have been privileged to have worked with some of the world’s best mentors – equine and human - in all three of these areas.
I have loved horses for as long as I can remember.
I was blessed with Theo (whose official name is IC Theo Santana +/) when I was twelve, and navigating that universally dreadful experience that is Junior High School. Theo was my rock through my adolescence, my college years, and beyond. But he was not made of stone; he was grey fur, white mane, striped hooves, liquid black eyes and all heart. He taught me about presence, intimacy and the strength that comes through gentleness. We were two peas in a pod, who easily understood one another and communicated seamlessly. He showed me what was possible between a horse and a human.
My second horse, Sky, has had a very different role in my life. A spectacular athlete and a magnificent example of his species, he has challenged me to my very core and, in so doing so, has developed in me a core strength I never knew was possible. Because of him, I have learned to access my courage, resilience, self-compassion, and I have grown into a confident belief in my worthiness.
Growing up in the Arabian show world, I fell in love with dressage when I was just ten years old and went on to win multiple National Championships in Dressage at the Arabian Horse Youth Nationals with Theo, and placed 9th individually at the North American Young Rider's with the illustrious Ulko.
Throughout my equestrian experiences, I have been fascinated with how
horses and humans connect across the species barrier, and with the subtle
physical nuances that can affect the performance and mindset of both horse and rider.
I have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics which taught me, among many other skills, keen observation without attachment to outcomes, and creative problem solving through the combined use of intuition, logic and healthy skepticism. This formal scientific training has been invaluable in developing a keen acuity for listening to horses and for understanding how the rider's body influences the horse.
My primary mentors in the equine world have been Wendy Murdoch, founder of SureFoot and the Murdoch Method, and Melisa Pearce, developer of the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method®.
Wendy, who developed a revolutionary way of teaching riding based on brain science and the science of movement, has been my biomechanics mentor for over a decade, while Melisa Pearce – a champion horsewoman herself – has mentored me through her rigorous certification program in Equine Gestalt Coaching, which relies on a deep understanding of the myriad ways horses communicate personal messages to us for healing and growth.
My work continues to be further influenced and inspired by Carolyn Resnick, Farah DeJohnette, Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, Brene Brown, don Miguel Ruiz, Joyce Harman, Linda Tellington-Jones and many, many more.
As a life-long learner, consistently furthering my education to better serve myself, my clients, and Equus, teaching has provided a natural opportunity to employ my knowledge and insights to empower others.
I’ve always loved teaching - I began teaching riding lessons as soon as I was old enough to have a license to teach in Massachusetts, aged 16, and volunteered as Assistant Coach of the University of Massachusetts Dressage Team while obtaining my undergraduate degree. My diverse education has given me a strong footing in the quantitative and qualitative understandings of equine behavior, human development, and biomechanical integration, which I draw upon to help my clients become better caretakers of, and partners with, their horses, and to more fully receive the gifts of wisdom that horses offer.
For me, teaching and coaching is fun. There is nothing more rewarding than witnessing the pure joy of someone's Aha! moment, and seeing their horse soften into the connection as a result. I love assisting other riders in their personal growth, and in creating relationships with horses of true alignment, in which the connection feels like magic. These are the kinds of partnerships that make heads turn and give us riders something to truly show.
I invite you to join me in discovering the most profound gifts of living and partnering with horses.
I love assisting other riders in creating relationships with horses of true alignment, in which the connection feels like magic. These are the kinds of partnerships that make heads turn and give us riders something to truly show.
Credentials and Awards
I bring a strong background in equestrian and academic performance to my work, and am committed to using my skills, education and experiences to fully support your personal development journey.
- 2012-2015 Certified in the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method by Melisa Pearce of Touched By A Horse®, Inc.
- 2014 Riding Program Director at Camp Holiday Trails summer camps for children with special medical needs
- 2004-2011 Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics from the University of Virginia
- 2008 Certificate of Completion of The Pain-Free Back and Saddle Fit Clinic with Joyce Harman, D.V.M. and Wendy Murdoch, M.S.
- 2002-2004 M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
- 2001-2003 Assistant Coach of the University of Massachusetts Dressage Team
- 1998-2002 B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
- 1998 Top 12 (9th Place) in the North American Young Rider's Championships riding the FEI Young Rider Level
- 1997 USDF Bronze Medalist
- 1996 National Champion in Second Level Dressage at Arabian Youth Nationals
- 1996 National Champion in First Level Dressage at Arabian Youth Nationals
- 1996 High Point Gelding at Arabian Youth Nationals