Rochelle’s love of horses began at age 14, when her mom took her and her two brothers to a dude ranch in Colorado. Over the past 16 years, that instantaneous love has developed into an enduring passion and Rochelle has seized every opportunity to work with horses – from volunteering at a therapeutic riding center throughout her time at the College of William and Mary, to sharing her love of riding with guests at various dude ranches as a wrangler, to training a few donkeys and designing better packing methods during her time living in Tanzania as a Peace Corps volunteer, to furthering her horsemanship by learning firsthand from an incredible trainer, to working with BLM mustangs, to starting colts and helping owners form better connections with “troublesome horses,” and most recently, to competing in both the Gaucho and Mongol Derbies (finishing 7th and 4th, respectively).
What drew her to Denali Equine, in addition to pure serendipity, was the prospect of working with horses in an entirely new capacity – rehabilitation – and in a world totally different than anything she had previously experienced – the sport horse world. Getting to work with horses from such a wide variety of disciplines has broadened her equine education and allowed her to expand her horsemanship by combining her skills as a trainer with her intuitive sense of what a particular horse needs, both on a physical and emotional level. This combination, along with the technical and practical knowledge that she has gleaned from Kate, Juli and her co-workers, has helped Rochelle to successfully assist in the rehabilitation of several horses here at Denali Equine. She continues to strive to learn more, refine her skills, and develop new techniques with every horse that she gets to work with.