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Shelly was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia and started riding when she was about 7 years old.  She trained in hunt seat equitation for many years at Breckenridge Manor under the instruction of Sugi Dewan Smithson and Chris Wynne where she competed in local circuit hunter shows.  Shelly then trained with Sue Niedenthal and Elaine Burgess of Sterling Meadows in Virginia Beach and competed locally. 


In 2014 she and her family decided to trade the beach for the mountains in order to have land for horses.  They relocated to the Fincastle area where they have established a small flock of chickens, mouse hunting cats, a rescue dog, and two entertaining horses.  Shelly started working as a lesson instructor and trail guide with Spring Valley Farm in Moneta.  There she taught her then 8 year old son to ride, evaluated and trained new horses, organized and judged monthly Western Games, and learned to drive wagon teams. 


Shelly met Tracy in the summer of 2017 when she came to Ardmore Equestrian Center for a monthly meeting with the Botetourt County Horseman’s Association.  She very much admired Tracy’s immense knowledge, teaching methods, and ability to challenge and motivate her students to advance in their riding abilities.  Shelly began guiding trail rides and teaching children and adult recreation riders at Ardmore in October 2017.  She loves both Western and English styles of riding and believes that with a good classic equitation foundation students can take their enjoyment of the sport in any direction.  Her philosophy is to always be open to learning new skills to advance your own knowledge and take advantage of every new opportunity that comes your way!

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