About Rachel Markels Webber

I am the resident dressage trainer at The Farm at Sweetwater in Lancaster MA, a specialist in the European art of longe lessons, and a veteran vaulting coach.  My education in classical dressage centers around twenty years of study with Joy Congdon and Kathy Connelly. I have worked with vaulting gold medalists Jen Williams and Eva Breyer in the sport of vaulting.

I continually study educational methods to help my clients learn faster and more effectively.  I use only positive reinforcement methods in my training of horse and rider. 

I invite you to learn more about me through the information below,  and to contact me for further discussion.

My Education: Correct, Classical Dressage

I have worked closely for twenty years with both FEI trainer Joy Congdon and noted international trainer and judge Kathy Connelly. Joy and Kathy employ only correct classical methods, in the tradition of Kathy’s own personal mentor Herbert Reibein.

With Joy and Kathy I’ve learned while mounted, and also through observing hundreds of lessons with trainers and top competitors.  My clients benefit from my ongoing partnership with Joy and Kathy; I continue to work closely with them with my training horses, as well as my own.

I’ve cliniced frequently with Susanne Winslade, developer of the SeatWorks(TM) system. To fine-tune my longing skills, I have worked with top German longe trainers Petra Kirchner and Reiner Heibolt, and international dressage judge J. Ashton (Jeff) Moore.

A Passion for Teaching:
I truly enjoy working with people – not just horses. I am passionate about being a good teacher.  I have participated in all the USDF instructor workshops, and will test at the next opportunity.  I have participated in numerous teaching workshops, including those with Lendon Gray and Lilo Fore, and regularly attend NEDA symposia.

My vaulting education has taken place over the past 25 years.  I have been fortunate enough to study with Stephanie Siemans, and Nancy Stevens-Brown, both past Presidents of the American Vaulting Association (AVA), and vaulting gold medalists Jen Williams and Eva Breyer.

I have served in a number of leadership positions in vaulting, including the AVA Board of Directors (2002-2005) and as the AVA liaison to the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. I chaired the first ever East Coast National Championships at Mt. Holyoke in South Hadley.

Approach: Instilling confidence in horse and rider

The approach I take to all that I do, training horses, riders, and vaulters, can best be described as “instilling confidence.”  I help clients develop their own mastery of the exercise, movement, or test.  Because every student is different, I tailor from a broad range of instruction styles, visualization techniques, and exercises from other disciplines, especially vaulting.

Often the largest hindrance to progress can be a horse or rider’s lack of belief in her- or himself.  Part of my method includes helping my clients to see where and how they are successful, in order to build successively greater self-confidence.

Through a system of positive reinforcement, I hold my clients and their horses to the highest international standards, focusing on goals and results.  The most rewarding moments in my career are those in which a client or horse achieves true independence in a movement or exercise. 


  • USDF Silver and Bronze Medallist
  • USDF L judge program graduate
  • Grand Prix Competitor
  • A.L.M., Harvard University; B.A., Mt Holyoke College
  • USEF Technical Delegate
  • FEI Steward for World Equestrian Games
  • 25 years study with Joy Congdon and Kathy Connelly
  • 2009 NEDA scholarship recipient
  • 25 years success as vaulting coach
  • Certified Ride Right Specialist
  • American Vaulting Association (AVA) Board of Directors (2002-2005)
  • Mentored by Stephanie Siemans, (past President of the AVA), Nancy Stevens-Brown, and vaulting gold medalist Jen Williams
  • AVA liaison to the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association
  • Cliniced with top longe specialists Petra Kirchner and Reiner Heibolt
  • Run City to Saddle vaulting summer program