Melissa has grown up with horses in her life from a very young age. Her Father introduced her to riding as a toddler and since then, they have become her passion.
Melissa enjoys competing and has done so successfully for many years, she gains a great sense of achievement through producing all her horses herself, from a young age. She has competed in affiliated British Dressage, show jumping, cross country British Eventing and showing.
Melissa attended Usk Equine College where she attained her BHS Stages 1,2 & 3 and her Preliminary Teaching Test (PTT), along with teaching hours she gained her Assistant Instructors Certificate. Melissa has also completed her BHSQ Level 4 in Senior Care & Senior Management.
Melissa is an Accredited Professional Coach, DBS checked, a qualified First Aider and Equestrian Safeguarding Officer.
Melissa has taught on a freelance basis for many years, giving her a greater understanding of people, their needs and their horses needs.
Melissa also qualified as an Equine Sports Massage Therapist, under the world-renowned Mary Bromiley. Following this she further qualified as a Sports Massage Therapist. Being able to treat both horses and riders also has been a great benefit.
Being an empathetic and friendly instructor Melissa has brought the best out of many riders, which prompted her to launch a Riding Establishment, Gelligoediog Riding Stables. The business developed rapidly and outgrew their current establishment which prompted the purchase of a new yard, Smugglers Run, which was rebranded Smugglers Equestrian Centre.
Smugglers is a BHS Approved Livery Yard, Riding Centre, Tack Shop & Event Centre, and is one of the biggest establishments within the South Wales area.
Rowena had her first pony at the tender age of 6 years, a little black Shetland called Blacky. Blacky was a complicated character and liked to take off around the field with Rowena on board and buck her off into the hedge, this did not stop her love for horses.
Her Second pony, Polo loved gymkhana, they both competed at local shows and always came home with a 1st rosette. She then had a 14hh coloured cob called Duke that she competed in Showing, Showjumping and hunter trials with.
Her best horse was Simba a 15.1hh chestnut cob cross who did showjumping and dressage. Rowena and Simba had numerous wins, even after a sad accident and losing his eye they went on to win the Winter League Championships at The David Broomes Event Centre, he was placed first in all his classes over 3 days.
Rowena has had lots of experience riding a variety of different horses both challenging and difficult. She worked 13 years on a showjumping yard which gave her valuable knowledge and training. Rowena has backed and brought on many of her own young horses.
After leaving school Rowena attended Usk College where she achieved several qualifications including an ANC in Equine and Business Studies, BHS Stage 2 and Ride Safe Qualification.
Rowena has a wealth of knowledge with various horses and their disciplines.
She currently works with a Dressage rider, helping both horse and rider progress through the levels for the past eight years. Rowena has enjoyed watching and helping them develop.
Rowena judges the showjumping classes for Islwyn Riding Club and has done so for many years, she has also Judged at The David Broome Event Centre (Cricklands) Show jump days also.
Rowena freelances as well at teaching at Smugglers Riding School, she is an enthusiastic, fun yet sympathetic instructor and finds great reward in helping others problem solve and achieve great results.