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Essie and Maddie Top Ten
Essie and Maddie Trail Class

Equestrian Coaching

Essie & Maddie AQHA World Show
Maddie Jumping
Maddie English Award

Lessons are geared to riders who want to advance their training skills. Lydia has coached riders at the AQHA World show and Quarter Horse Congress.

Lydia Cunningham, owner of Mountaintop Ranch, offers coaching for those riders who are working with their own horses or who have a project horse/pony/mule/stallion that may be offered for sale in the future. (All breeds accepted)

Coaching is for those that need individual attention pertaining to just you and your horse, not in a group setting.

Lydia's coaching is perfect for:

  • Those that do not want it keep their horse at a trainer barn

  • Horses who need re-tuning

  • Green horses or young horses

  • Those preparing to show

  • Those who have ridden English but would like to learn Western or Western trained horse.

Coaching is for both English and Western disciplines.

Meet Your Coach

Lydia has coached over 40 interns from US and Europe, many have gone on to be professional trainers. She accepts riders with a good foundation, one on one, to work out exercises and training techniques that will help you with a horse that has “hit a wall” in their understanding or cooperation to respond to soft aids. Her job as a coach is to help you understand where the problem started, how far it has escalated and what training techniques and training exercises will need to be used to diffuse the problem and let the best of your horse shine through.


The greatest accomplishment of Mountaintop Ranch is training Candy Cody Kisses, AKA Essie. Blind in both eyes since age 4, Essie boasts numerous wins in regional QH shows in Ranch Riding, Ranch Reining, Ranch Trail, a few Hunter under saddle and Equitation wins. Essie was 7th over all at the AQHA world show and 16th overall in Ranch Riding at the QH Congress. Essie is still used to help riders understand various riding techniques. She has never been trained by any other trainers, except those at Mountaintop Ranch. Maddie Stevens showed Essie at all her major competitions coached by Lydia Cunningham.

For Reservations:

Please call or text: (540)405-1154 for information and to schedule a reservation at our barn or yours.



  • $75 per session with your own horse at MTR

  • $100 per session with our trained show horses at MTR

  • $75 per hour of travel (30 minutes and up) and $95 per session for private coaching at your facility for those who would be more comfortable or whose horse would be more comfortable in their usual environment.


All sessions will end with exercises and techniques to work with on your own with your horse.

Essie and Maddie Trail Class
Essie and Maddie Western Class
English Show
Essie and Maddie Trail Class
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