Lucia Rittenhouse-Montes’ passion for horses developed as a small child, and she was training ponies (and her own untrained horse) in Missouri by the age of 13. Throughout her adolescence, she earned her knowledge the hard way, working at local barns to learn training and basic horse care. Owning and showing her horse, Midnight, taught her about our continuing obligation as horsemen to address not only our horses’ physical state, but their mental state as well.
In her late teens she worked as a show groom for Colts & Co., a training operation based out of Kansas City. They traveled to horse shows across the country, including Ocala, FL, where she immaculately cared for nine show hunters. While in Kansas City she also worked for Coulter Transport as a professional horse shipper. As a teenager she also lived in Santa Fe, NM, breaking and training reiners and mustangs and teaching riding lessons. An extremely memorable experience in New Mexico involved training a trick pony, owned by one of country music’s legends.
Lucia next moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, to ride for Lindy Townley, one of the West Coast’s most well-known hunter and equitation trainers. Under Lindy’s tutelage, Lucia learned what it takes to be an ethical professional in the equestrian industry.
Turning her focus to grand prix show jumpers, Lucia landed a job with international show jumper Anne Kursinksi, where she managed client horses on the Florida horse show circuit. From there she began working with Olympian Lauren Hough. Lucia was an FEI groom and schooling rider for Lauren’s client horses for approximately 1.5 years. During this time she developed skills related to sports medicine, rehabilitation equipment and techniques to use with horses working in a strenuous environment.
The grand prix horseshow circuit next took Lucia to Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta, where she accepted a job managing FEI horses for Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut. She not only got the chance to manage and school client horses for over a year, but she also met the love of her life, Oswaldo Montes. Together they made the decision to move back to Lucia’s hometown of Bath, Maine where they would work as a team in the equine industry.
For the next eight years, Lucia and Oswaldo trained and sold horses throughout the New England area with Noble Hill Farm. At Noble Hill, their respective skills and knowledge complimented each other perfectly, producing a number of successful horses and riders. They both agree their greatest milestone was the birth of their daughter, Ofelia – “Filly.” From day one they shared their love of horses with Filly, now five, who shows much promise as a rider.
During the next phase in her career, Lucia worked as an instructor and main barn manager for Top of the Line Stables in New Jersey. Here she strengthened her skills in equine rehabilitation and built an extensive client base of avid riders. Once the opportunity as manager and head trainer at Rockleigh Equestrian Centre presented itself, Lucia was eager to begin sharing the knowledge she has gained over the years. Lucia is thrilled to join the Rockleigh family. She is enthusiastic about contributing to an environment that nurtures and respects the individuality of each horse and rider in whatever their endeavor—whether it be joining the show community or simply becoming better horsemen.