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Success Stories

"I am an adult amateur with previous success riding at the preliminary level.  After that wonderful experience I lost my confidence riding greener, less forgiving horses.

I watched a few of Lellie’s clinics, they looked fun and built upon my background where we worked on the horses footwork.  I decided to join her Ride Better program. 

In Lellie’s program we work on the biomechanics of the rider and horse, how a correct position can influence the horse, and how that knowledge builds confidence, harmony, and partnership with the horse.

While the journey has been challenging, it certainly has been one of the best experiences of my riding lifetime.

With confidence, I am now more capable to appropriately respond to unforeseen expressions of my horses’ joy or uncertainties, own my horses’ feet, and have more fun achieving my goals."
Cindy Gallagher
Aiken, SC
"Such a pleasure to see Lellie train my lovely New Forrest pony mare and give her such quiet confidence in everything she is learning...Dressage, Stadium/XC jumping, trail riding in the woods, trail obstacles, and possibly fox hunting this fall.  Yippee!
I am so excited Lellie is helping me both regain my confidence and become a better educated rider in the coming months. I am thrilled being taught by such an understanding and supportive trainer in a fun and relaxing atmosphere which in turn helps me learn and ride better." 
Grace Vance
Aiken, SC
"Lellie has been the most influential trainer I have ever had. I have been a working student for Lellie since April 2015. In the five years I've been riding with her, she has taken me from Novice to Intermediate on my OTTB, I've qualified for Regional's at Third Level in dressage, and I've gained experience in training young and green horses.


I learn something every lesson, and her motivation to help me and the other students ride better is amazing. Her thorough understanding of the foundation of riding and how to influence the horses really shows when she's teaching. Not only have I learned a tremendous amount on horseback, she has developed my horsemanship. I am forever grateful to what she has taught me and I can't wait for what the future holds!"
Virginia Quarles
Aiken, SC
Where should I start…. The never-ending nuggets of brilliance she has passed on to me. I know this is a testimonial and they are supposed to be glowing reports but I 100% mean that!
I started riding (after a 15 year break) with Lellie at nearly 50, with a bad back and several other limitations. I showed up with a strong desire to learn but not much talent. I was very hung up about it, but not Lellie. She has given me confidence and continues to meet me where I am every time we worked together. She gave me the best advice when I went shopping for my first horse in 15 years. She advised me to “select the one that makes your heart sing.”  When I found him she then said “be sure to spend the next 60 days riding and getting know him.  Be a like little girl with her pony.” Those two pieces of advice have turned out to be gold for me. I can’t thank her enough. She welcomes me and my horse, Marq to Paradise and its clear her heart is full watching us learn more and more while we enjoy Paradise. Honestly, she literally shines and comes alive while teaching and seeing riders at Paradise. I often participate in her Ride Better clinics. My barn mates and our mounts feel like we have walked into a PhD level course level of information and are so grateful for that opportunity. Most importantly we laugh like crazy and chatter like young girls looking forward to what we have dubed as a “Lellie Lesson.”  Lellie Ward and Paradise Farm brings so much joy and I am so happy to have found her and that special place.
Amy Burnette
Charleston, SC
"So, the past month I've been going to Aiken to train with Lellie Ward at least four or five days a week with Spartacus. Her motto is to "ride better". What exactly does that mean to me? It means that you should ride by knowledge; not luck. You should ride well all the time, and never slack off and ride half-hearted. Never blame the horse for not understanding what you asked them to do. Instead, you as the rider should find the solution to the problem and do whatever you have in order to get the job done. I've learned so many things. How to sit on your seat bones correctly, leg yields, driving from the hind end, how to get your horse round with your leg, flying lead changes, how to deal with bucking, rearing, etc. My posture has improved with lots of scoldings from Ms. Lellie haha! I no longer have a chair leg. I'm finding my balance; balance means not pulling. I have so much still to learn and I can't wait to keep getting better! Hopefully you'll see me in my first three phase event soon!"
Sharon Rose
South Carolina
"Lellie is simply a gifted trainer and instructor, no matter what level the horse or the rider. Her breadth of experience covers it all. For the horse, it means clear, concise directions that the horse can understand and be successful with. For the rider, it means skills in language and images that are tailored both to the individual's best way of integrating, and at the level that is appropriate. My horses and I have spent a number of winters with Lellie, and come home far better than we arrived. Lellie doesn't think any question is stupid or beneath her, and can answer them all. She is generous about sharing her wealth of knowledge and really aims to make everyone "ride better". The barn, while not the most glamorous by today's standards, is extremely comfortable and well kept, and the turnouts are top-notch. Antonio has been with her for almost 20 years, and I would trust him with my newborn baby. No stinting on hay, feed and bedding, as is too often the case. And simply astonishing facilities, from the dressage rings to the show jumping ring to the cross-country course. I don't know what else one can reasonably ask for. My horses were happy and better, which is what I care about."
Libby Hutchinson 
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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