Mel Hitchcock grew up in Ohio, and began riding when she was five. In 2004, she bought her first horse, Duke, and started jumping. In 2008, she went to Miracle Mountain Ranch, and added Western to her repertoire. In 2009, she started her journey in Dressage, through a working student position with Michelle LaBarre of LaBarre Dressage Training Center in New York. The discipline clicked with her personality, and she was stuck! Over the next few years, Mel continued training her horse in dressage and teaching many kids about her love for the equine species. In 2013, Mel purchased Piston, a Canadian Warmblood who she fell in love with and she took to Third Level. In the fall of 2014, she became certified in Equine Massage Therapy through Equissage in Virginia. Mel practiced as much as she could before she moved from Ohio to Florida in January 2015. Immediately, she started training with International Grand Prix Trainer, Chrissa Hoffmann of CFH Dressage, and started her Equine Massage Business. Mel worked very seriously with Piston, and she rocked it in Wellington, FL, and received a score of 68% and a blue ribbon at Second Level! In early 2017, she sold him to a girl with Muscular Dystrophy who rode him in the FEI Para Equestrian Competitions for Dressage. Mel then quickly purchased Freya, a five year old Oldenburg mare, from Germany, to further her training in Dressage. In 2019, she got a second certification in Equine Massage through Animal Dynamics in Ocala, FL. Mel has had the pleasure of helping more than 200 horses over the last 5 years through training as well as massage. Her goal with each horse is to meet them wherever they are at and help them perform even better. Mel started 2020 with receiving her Bronze Medal through the USDF with Freya, and is focusing on training and competing to get her Silver Medal within a year! Her hope is that she will continue to grow more each day through patience and persistence while helping horses and their owners to succeed to a greater level. Mel’s hobbies include yoga, swimming at the beach, taking care of kids, and having a connection with each person she meets. Her services can be found at melsequestrianservices.com
Over the years, I have ridden a variety of horses that are crazy, normal, as well as calm ones, but overall I chose to ride with a helmet every single time I ride. One day, I was riding my old horse Piston, and he took off and spun around. I of course fell off promptly and landed on my head and all I could think was that I was so grateful for my decision to always wear a helmet! I would’ve definitely had some kind of brain injury because of the impact, but I was able to get back up and finish my ride. I’ve used many different types of helmets, some that were hot and sweaty or just too heavy or didn’t fit me well. When I moved down to Florida, I was looking for a helmet that would protect my head, be light, airy, fit my tiny head, be attractive, and look professional. TROXEL meets all of those requirements for me, and I am so happy with every single helmet I’ve gotten. I look forward to sharing about helmet safety with every rider whether young or old because I‘ve had too many experiences to know that wearing a helmet is the best decision you can make for your safety!