Heathers love of horses started back before she can remember. Starting regular riding lessons at the age of eight, Heather was brought up doing Huntseat Equitation and Dressage at a local farm in Bucks County, Pa. Heather worked at the farms she rode at as much as she could to pay off lessons and show costs herself. At this early age she often attended clinics by Judge Earlin Haven, where she got a taste early of what upper-level horsemanship was about. She started competing in local and rated shows riding Equitation and Hunters with the assistant trainer under Jill Pasceri. Riding any horse that was offered to her, she started to get a good feel for all different levels and types of horses. At just 16 she wanted to broaden her knowledge of the different facets of the horse world and took a job at Parx Race Track. There she learned a great deal about equine fitness and health from these top athletes she had the privilege of working with. She took every job with enthusiasm that was given to her at the racetrack including hot walking, grooming, exercise riding, and ponying races. By the age of 18 she was teaching beginner lessons, taking young students to shows and breaking horses at a local farm while also showing her first fully self-made Off Track Thoroughbred in the Hunter and Jumper Rings. Her students as well as Heather found a lot of success in her first year teaching with many year end awards being earned. Heather spent her first year at college as a high point rider for her IHSA team before taking an incredible riding internship with Willy Delayer. While working for the legendary horsemen, she assisted him with importing young warmblood horses from Holland(his home country) and breaking, training, showing and selling them all under his instruction. Even after the internship was over, Heather stayed in touch to her Mentor until his unexpected death just a few years ago. After leaving her internship, Heather went on to work as a stable manager and assistant trainer at a dressage barn. She assisted with the breaking of upper level prospects from top US breeders while teaching and coaching in her spare time at small local lesson facility.
After trying a little bit of every position in the industry, Heather decided that training and teaching was where her heart and talents truly lye. After searching she was offered an incredible opportunity for a professional of her age. She accepted a position teaching and riding at Hunter Farms under Andrew Philbrick. She has became a very successful young professional with a lot of success showing and coaching students from local shows all the way to the up to AA Circuit. At the young age of 25, she opened HM Equestrian and began to build her own business with an emphasis on strengthening the bond between the young competitor and sport horse. Heather looks forward to helping you get better connected with your equine partner. She aims to create a willing and confident bond in and out of the show ring. She is motivated to help bring a competitive spark to those who are ready to set the bar a little higher with their showing and at home goal setting.
Richie has been around horses since before he could walk! He grew up on his family's farm right on the edge of Bucks County where his mother trained & breed Morgan Horses in addition to running their boarding facility for several decades. After school & on weekends you could find him in the barn bonding with the horses, helping with chores or assisting in with training In-Hand, lunging, long-lining and Driving. Although he was not much of a competitor himself, he attended many rated shows all over the country with his mother & brother who have won several World Championship. Football had the majority of his attention throughout his school years, untill a devastating injury occurred while playing in college that ended his career and kept him from playing professionally. Richie knew if he couldn't play football anymore he wanted to pursue a life filled with horses. He took a job working alongside of his brother at Waterford Farm in North Jersey untill Heather asked him to help lead the HME team!
Head of Rehabilitation/Dressage Trainer
Lisa Luongo is a rider and trainer with over 30 years of experience specializing in dressage, natural horsemanship and equine therapy and rehabilitation.
Lisa has worked for many top trainers including Olympic dressage rider, Belinda Nairn Wertman, advanced level eventer, Sharon Best, and award winning show jumper and thoroughbred trainer, Daniel Lopez. Lisa is a certified Chris Irwin natural horsemanship trainer, and a certified equine massage therapist and Equine Touch therapist. She combines her skills in dressage, equine therapy and equine behavior to help riders address movement and soundness issues in their horse.
Lisa has worked alongside professional Equine Rehabilitation Therapist Tina Griffiths for several years. With Tina's help, Lisa has rehabbed horses with issues such as EPM, kissing spine and suspensory injuries, to name a few.
Lisa's goal is to help horse and rider become a happy and healthy team, whether their goal is show or pleasure. Lisa is available for lessons, training and equine rehabilitation services through HM Equestrian.
Katie Burke is a lifelong equestrian, with eighteen years of experience spanning the hunter and equitation rings to eventing and dressage. A Bucks County native, Katie grew up training and competing with Vicki Peters of Quiet Victory Farm, with show experience ranging from local 4-H shows to A and AA rated competition. In college, she was proud to represent Marist College and Rochester Institute of Technology in the IHSA show ring. Katie has also previously been involved with the training of young horses and off-track Thoroughbreds, and proudly maintained a reputation in college for being willing to work with the “difficult” horses few others were willing to ride. She has held multiple working student positions at a variety of barns, taking every opportunity to soak up knowledge about equine training, care, and management. Over the summer of 2019, Katie expanded her resumé to include managerial experience, holding the title of Barn Director at an all-girls summer camp. There, she was directly responsible for the care and maintenance of sixteen horses as well as the wellbeing of the campers who came through the barn.
As an instructor, Katie focuses on building confidence in her riders through correct fundamentals, encouragement, and mutual respect between horse and rider. She is passionate about giving others the chance to experience the same joy and wonder as she did the first time she set foot in a barn. Katie strives to equip all her students with the skills they need to be successful at whatever equestrian activity they want to pursue, be that rated competition or pleasure riding, in a fun, educational, and inclusive environment. She has experience teaching students of all ages and ability levels and is excited to be joining the HM Equestrian & Sport Horse team!