Lisa with Flyn
It is hard to put into words how wonderful Renee is. I have ridden with her for almost 15 years, had four horses at Shanderhof and cannot imagine Renee and her family not being part of my family’s life. It is not just her knowledge and love of horses, but how much she cares about her students. Riding with her is like being part of her family. I have always known my horses would be cared for like they are her own and that I will get the most out of every lesson I have. She helped me turn Tall Jack, a green, off the track Thoroughbred, into a wonderful, happy Dressage horse, all while I was new to Dressage myself.
I have moved to New Hampshire, but Shanderhof Farm will always be part of my life. I come back not just to ride, but to visit the lifelong friends I have made over the years.
Sue Green and Amanda
In 1998, I decided to fulfill a childhood dream of mine to own a horse and learn Dressage. I did extensive research because as an adult, the experts say if you are learning a new skill, you should find an expert to teach you. The barn that served that purpose was Shanderhof. 13 years later, I own a wonderful, happy and healthy horse, Amanda. She keeps me happy and healthy too. Nobody knows horses or teaching anyone how to ride like Renee and Meggi Vanderwerken. They are patient, experienced, and they always challenge you to safely meet your goals. They can teach very experienced riders and beginners, no matter how old or young. I would recommend this barn to anyone who wants to ride, and learn how ride correctly. The barn and the Vanderwerkens are a second home and family to me. Coming to Shanderhof was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Lisa McDougall during
her lesson on Griffin
Shanderhof farm changed my way of riding. I had never before felt so in tune and at one with a horse. Renee, Meggi, and David are very professional in dealing with students and clients. The barn has a wonderful atmosphere.
I came to Vermont to absolve a High School year and improve my english. Leaving my family, my friends and my leased horse behind was really hard. So my awesome host-sister took me to Shanderhof Farm to take a lesson. I can't express how excited I was! She had told me so much about this barn. My first lesson on Griffen went ...well...quite well I guess. So I took more lessons...and more...and more. I learned so much. Griffen, Flynn, Milo or Molly, every horse held a challenge for me and made me learn more and more. I had never rode such great horses before. Not even the coldest day of the year kept me from riding. But no lesson would have been so awesome without Renee, my teacher, friend and second host-mother. Her knowledge and empathy made every lesson so special. And not only the lessons, I loved every moment we spent together. Of course I have to mention Meggi as well. I'll never forget her "think wet-noodle"-advice. Renee and Meggi made it possible for me to have my beautiful horse now.
Now back in Germany I miss every single thing about Shanderhof Farm: The barn family, the long barn days, the christmas shows, the lessons, haying, the tack room, and especially Renee and her family. There is no barn like Shanderhof Farm. I miss you guys!!
My oldest daughter started riding lessons with Renee when she was 5 years old and she just turned 18. We were looking for a dependable and knowable riding instructor. We found that, and so much more with Renee.
Over the years my oldest daughter took the school bus to the barn, did barn chores, rode every day and boarded her horse at the barn. Renee accepted her like she was family. She has worked beside her, listened to her, cried with her, and encouraged her to be her best, through all stages in my daughter’s life.
When my second daughter was born, she also was accepted into the open arms of Renee and her barn. My family has always loved horses and riding. While my daughters had their weekly lessons, I would smile and stand and watch them. Until one day when Renee said “why don’t you start riding too?” I wasn't’t sure how I was going to do it, all 3 of us riding, but Renee made it work.
I am not going to be an elite dressage rider. I just love riding and grooming the horses. Renee understands that. I just want to relax and enjoy my time at the barn with the horses and ride. I can be tried; stressed, grouchy and just plain miserable when I get to the barn, but Renee, the horses, and riding erase all that. I fell great when I leave, like a million bucks, and not a care in the world!
Mom and Rider
I had been away from riding for 10 years, convinced I wasn't going t be able to find a way to get back in the saddle. Then in a very unique fashion I met Renee and Meggi. How lucky was I! They brought me back to the joy of riding, encouraging me in the beginning when I hadn't really regained my "riding legs" yet. I wasn't confident at all, but they nursed me along in the kindest fashion. Over the past 11 years my riding has improved dramatically under Renee’s tutelage and the use of their great horses I have achieved a level of riding I never imagined possible!
If you have the chance to come ride at Shanderhof farm you should take it! You'll never look back!
McKenzie with Hooper
I came to Shanderhof after Meggi taught my horse and I at Pony Club camp and having her words really click with me. She made me rethink everything I was doing and has really changed my riding for the better. Meggi knows what she is talking about and when I am struggling to learn a new thing, she comes right up to me and breaks it down into smaller steps or hops onto my horse so I can see it from another perspective.
I enjoy riding with Meggi because she is stern in what she wants but gives a lot of compliments when you successfully overcome a challenge. Meggi always suggest shows to attend and comes to the show to instruct before entering the show arena. She isn't the kind of trainer who teaches just for the money, she teaches because she loves the sport and wants to see her students excel.
I moved my horse up to Shanderhof and ever since the move he has made leaps and bounds in both his dressage and jumping. He absolutely loves life at Shanderhof and the Vanderwerkens treat him like one of their own. A huge perk for riding at Shanderhof is even if your just riding in the arena by yourself and Renee or Meggi see you needing help they will go into the arena to give you some free instruction.
I especially love the different opportunities that Shanderhof offers such as use of the indoor, outdoor, and acres of beautiful trails. Also, having schoolmasters available to learn from has helped my riding so much by being able to feel what I want to have on my own horse. I can't think of anywhere better to be than Shanderhof Farm!