Instructor

Louise jumping Othello Louise showing at a dressage show
Louise schooling Othello over a jump and riding Mountain Jasper at a dressage show.

Louise von Clef has spent her life studying, working, and improving her horsemanship skills. She began riding as a child with the support of her mother and father. By the age of 14 she purchased and supported her first horse. Louise started by riding Western and competed and won at barrel racing and Gymkana shows at an early age. Moving on to the English style of riding as a junior, training with National Amateur Owner Hunter Champion Beverly Huber, and Melvin Dutton. She successfully competed at the A and B rated hunter/jumper shows winning many awards and championships.

After graduating from high school, Louise felt the need to challenge herself as a rider and focused on the highly technical sport of Dressage. She moved to West Chester, Pennsylvania and trained with USET dressage rider Sidley Payne. She opened and started her first boarding and training barn in her 20's starting with a 15 stall barn and then owning and operating the Chadds Ford Equestrian Center for over 20 years which housed over 50 horses. She concentrated on teaching children, juniors and adult amateur riders. She taught at peak season 60 lessons a week and had over 100 children attending the summer and winter camps. Over the years she continued training with Olympic and world level dressage, event and hunter/jumper trainers and coaches. Gunnar Ostergaard-Dutch National Champion and Coach of the USET and Canadian teams, Jane Sleeper-member of the USET eventing team, Bruce Davidson-member of the USET eventing team, trained at George Morris's Hunterdon stable in N.J with Jeff Cook. Rode or cliniced with, Jack Le Goff, Robert Dover, Reiner Klimke, George Morris, The USET Headquaters in New Jersey plus many more. Besides winning and competing with hunters and event horses she competed and won at Dressage at Devon and the Lundquist finals.

At Mountain Meadow Equestrian Center she trains horses and riders for the disciplines of Dressage, eventing, show hunters, equitation, jumpers and pleasure. She has also been coaching riders with their reining, gaited horse and endurance riding skills since moving to east Tennessee. Helping horses and riders with the basic dressage principles of balance, techniques, and discipline.

Louise showing over jumps Louise showing at a hunter show
Louise showing Jazzy in the jumper ring and competing on Max at a hunter show.

Louise has also found enjoyment by riding field hunters since the age of 17. It is a pleasant diversion from the rigors of the show ring for both her and her horses...and an excellent training ground for horse and rider also taking students along. While living in Pennsylvania she hunted with the Cochranville Hunt, Cheshire Hunt, Radnor Hunt and Kimberton Hunt. She has also rode and broke race horses and steeplechase horses for various owners and trainers including top USA and hall of fame trainers Jonathan Sheppard, Burling Cocks, Mrs. Wicks, Donald DeNenno, and some private owners. Louise draws upon this vast and varied experience to bring her students the very best in multidisciplinary instruction.

For years while in Pennsylvania she taught people from all over the world, including England, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, China, Africa, Russia, India and Scotland. She also ran a therapeutic horseback riding program at her farm, Chadds For Equestrian Center. She felt the need to let others have the benefits of riding and being around horses that otherwise could not. Riding is very beneficial for advancing physical development not to mention the enjoyment of being around such great companions.

Today her main focus is on the training and boarding operation at the Mountain Meadow Equestrian Center in Maryville, TN. For student riders it is important to have a knowledgeable, experienced instructor as it is to be mounted on horses that are suitable to their ability. Louise practices what she preaches with both horses and riders, bringing them along step by step with the knowledge they need to understand their horse and develop their skills riding and working with them. She builds an atmosphere of confidence in her pupils by being an accomplished equestrian in many disciplines and a trainer whose riders have gone on to successful careers and have also won many championships and awards.

Her years of experience with so many horses gives her the insight for each individual need of every horse and pony. At Mountain Meadow Equestrian Center, the care of the horses comes first. She spends her day overseeing the care of the horses at the center, training clients' horses, teaching students and going to competitions. She is looking forward to getting into the competitive ring in 2018/2019 with her Friesian dressage horse "Landheer", and her Hanovarian dressage horse "Vedia".

Louise jumping a cross county fence
Louise riding Jazzy in the cross country phase of an event.