Cathy Holland, the owner/instructor at Holland’s Hope Farm, began her riding career in 1984 at Clover Hill Farm in Williamstown. Her introduction to riding began with Emily Graeser, a well-respected horse woman who believed in starting her students with correct equitation so that they could succeed at whatever discipline they chose to move on to. Emily taught in the method of George Morris, widely considered to be among the best riders in this sport if not the best. Her method of teaching produced beautiful, correct riders who were very capable and secure on horseback. Cathy continues to teach this classic method that emphasizes position and balance.
When Clover Hill closed in 1987, Cathy moved on to Spring Gait in Caanan, NY to train with Sally (Gillespie) Gubitz. Sally exposed her to the show world in a major way, having her do additional training with top instructors in the Northeast and taking her to a different horse show every weekend across New York and New England. Cathy won her first equitation final showing as a 12 year old (WNE-PHA Junior Medal Finals in 1989), the same year she began competing in the prestigious AHSA Medal and ASPCA Maclay. She has qualified for and ridden at dozens of equitation finals, including several years at NEHC and Maclay Regionals in '91 and '92.
Cathy has almost two decades of competing under her belt, and is well-versed in what it takes to prepare for a show and what it takes to be a top competitor. She is also just as happy teaching a five year old how to take her fist steps on a horse – many riders never compete, but ride for the sheer joy of it. Cathy shares in that joy of just being around horses and teaching others how to work with these magnificent animals.
Finally, in 2013, Cathy realized her dream of becoming a professional. She taught at another barn for a year and a half, juggling hours of beginner lessons and coaching the IEA team with caring for her 2 young children. In June of 2015 another dream became reality, and she opened Holland’s Hope Farm. It was a lucky surprise when she was asked to teach at Clover Hill Farm, the place where it all began. We are currently not able to board any more horses at our Savoy location, but there are stalls available at Clover Hill.