Mel helps hundreds of people achieve extraordinary partnerships with their horses – partnerships where horses are open, expressive, exuberant, real friends, willing partners and majestic athletes. Sadly it is actually quite rare to see all these qualities in horses and horse partnerships, but Mel is working hard to change that.

“Learn how to win your horse’s heart, engage their mind, re-ignite their spirit and empower their physical body through connection, understanding, communication and optimal biomechanics. “ - Mel Fleming


Mel's teaching is cutting edge –  She is definitely a leader in this new era of horsemanship. She calls it a Renaissance of Horsemanship - an evolution, a revolution - where horses are being respected, appreciated and understood as conscious and sentient beings, with rights, dignity and where they are treated as equals rather than used as slaves or servants. Mel founded her educational philosophy and her teaching program "Connecting with Horses  & Riding with Synchronicity" back in 2011 before the words connecting and connection with horses ever became fashionable. However, her deep connection with horses actually began many years before that, it just took a long time for the feeling to fully come into consciousness and before she could name it.

Mel began to feel a depth of understanding with horses - knowing them on the "inside" at a very deep, mental, emotional and spiritual level. This is what she calls connection. It's not just about getting your horse's attention as many people demote connection to mean  - it is about  "deeply knowing your horse from the inside out". At first, this very deep level of connection was impossible for Mel to explain, teach or even talk about - it was a feeling, a knowing, so deep, organic and intuitive - seemingly intangible and untouchable.  How could you ever explain or teach such a thing ? But with time and much consideration, she started to find the words and the ways to share this amazing skill of connecting and deeply feeling and understanding the horse. And then, she realised that it wasn't really that complicated at all - it was just about getting people to get out of their head, out of their egoic state, and to stop listening to what they think they should say, feel and do and instead connect to their own heart and soul, feel into their body and listen to and trust, their own intuitive gut feelings and the "inklings" that they have learnt and been trained to not notice any more. Simple .... but not always easy !!!

"We have to connect to our own true and authentic self before we can truly connect  to anyone or anything else." - Mel Fleming

Naturally a teacher, Mel Fleming has a clear concise and encouraging style of teaching and her passion for horsemanship is clearly demonstrated in her training. She has a diverse range of skills with many years of experience in starting horses under saddle, solving behaviour problems with difficult horses, developing competition and performance horses, is a specialist in equine postural training and rehabilitating horses that are broken in body and spirit.

In 1990 she represented Australia at the World Equestrian Games in vaulting (gymnastics on horses), this began her depth of understanding in biomechanics, movement and balance for riders. And don't let the cowboy hat fool you, Mel competed successfully in dressage up to Advanced level and schooled up to Grand Prix. Dressage, done biomechanically correctly and with a happy willing horse is actually her passion.  She competed successfully in show jumping, although not to such a high level and whilst not a competitor in Western events she has also had experience in those disciplines. Mel did TV commercials with horses and exhibitions or performances for entertainment at various big events with a trick horse, trick riding and whip cracking acts - this included several Equitanas and taking her horse into Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast for a big event

Mel began her professional career with horses at age 17 as a trainer and competitor, starting young horses, showing dressage and jumping horses and driving harness horses. She worked, trained and rode with some of the leading dressage trainers in the Australia at the time - Peter and Kim Weston, Glennis Scott-Barrey and Ricky McMillan - all who represented Australia at Olympic level or a similar level of  International World Class competition.  She also did a lot of low level eventing, which she loved - working on a stud where she was starting the young horses and taking them out to their first competitions.  Mel then began travelling internationally to study with many other trainers around the world in various disciplines in both English and Western disciplines - jumping, eventing, dressage, reining, cutting, natural horsemanship and colt starting or young horse starting.  All of the trainers she worked with were at the top of their fields and international representatives of their sport. Mel always sought to  learn from the top.  Dressage and the English disciplines were her passion and forte but dabbling with the western performance gave her a well rounded perspective. Mel spent a couple of seasons starting wild horses on stations in Nth QLD and has also worked with brumbies.  Her experiences with horses are varied and very diverse, giving her very well rounded and multifaceted knowledge and understanding.

Mel became accredited with Equestrian Australia (EA) as an instructor in the early 90’s and then in search of answers for problematic behaviours like bucking, rearing, trailer loading problems or handling challenging stallions, Mel turned to natural horsemanship and studied and worked for twelve years with the Parellis, becoming one of their highest rated instructors and horse trainers around the world. However her horsemanship learning evolved much further above and beyond all of this, especially in the areas of understanding the horse's emotions (realizing just how emotional horses were), their psychology (way more than just prey animal psychology), their spiritual nature (this was huge) and understanding their physical bodies in terms of form, function and biomechanics (wow - how important was truly understanding this !!!). Other mentors and teachers included Ronnie Willis, Carol Brett and Lesley Anne Taylor from Balance International (teachers of Equine Biomechanics and makers of the BALANCE saddles) and Gavin Scofield (Equine Osteopath and teacher of Equine Biomechanics). Mel has also been strongly influenced by positive reinforcement training philosophy. A student of the martial art Aikido and many years of experience with the Feldenkrais Method  (Awareness through Movement) have taught Mel much about energy and fluid, balanced, biomechanically correct movement - all qualities which are deeply embedded in her work with horses and riders. Meditation, energetic healing, intuitive development and learning various bodywork modalities for horses and people have all had great input into her horsemanship and teaching. Today, the horses themselves are her biggest teachers and with such a strong passion for learning, an enquiring mind and a continual striving for excellence in her field, Mel continues to evolve and learn all the time.

Mel is very down to earth, and has developed her own unique approach to horsemanship which she calls “Connecting with Horses & Riding with Synchronicity”. She helps people understand the horse’s mind, emotions, body and spirit. In particular, there is an emphasis on connecting to the spirit and the individual personality of the horse combined with developing balance and optimal biomechanics for horse and rider. Riding with Synchronicity is about riding in absolute synchronicity with the horse, as one, whilst leading and supporting the horse to move with optimal biomechanics and increasing levels of hind quarter engagement (essential for a happy, healthy, sound and athletic riding horse).  The focus is on inspiring the horse to "want" to participate rather than coercing or forcing them into it. The goal is to make the experience of working with people be intrinsically motivating, beneficial and even therapeutic for the horse, at all levels of their mind, body and spirit. Mel is always seeking to bring out the magnificence of the horse and the human and empower their spirits so we have willingness, enthusiasm and exuberance.

Mel believes we have many roles with horses. Some examples are teacher, parent, friend, counselor, personal trainer and physiotherapist. That is a lot to take on. Many horses are carrying a lot of emotional trauma so we often have a big role as a therapist or a counselor for them.  It's a big responsibility. There is a lot to learn, but it starts with awareness, caring and getting ourselves into a calm, centered, grounded state.

This journey of horsemanship is one of introspection, self growth and self development. Developing ourselves on this path in horsemanship is very transformational and empowering for us as well as the horse. To elicit changes in the horse we have to change ourselves.

"Be the change that you want to see in your horse" - Mel Fleming

The goal is safe, calm, confident, willing partnerships and close friendships with horses. First class partnerships or relationships lead us to reaching the highest potential in performance - physical power, athleticism, try and exuberance. I think a lot of people think you can't have both a great relationship and great performance, but Mel believes the highest potential in performance is attained because of a great relationship. Sounds pretty awesome to me. I'm jumping on this ride.

Enjoy the scrapbook of photos below - highlighting some of the memories and experiences that have shaped Mel and her teaching and leading her to what she teaches today.

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