How Moon Dog Came to Be
 

 

A Letter From Miss Melissa

Hi Neigh-bors,

Moon Dog Riding School was a lifetime in the making. I grew up in a working class family in the rural west. My family couldn't afford a horse or riding lessons, but the summer before third grade, my family moved right down the road from a little riding school. The owner of the riding school noticed me lingering on the side of the road, watching the students ride horses in group lessons. She offered to trade stall cleaning for a pony ride -- and I was hooked. 

From then on, I traded barn chores for opportunities to ride in lessons. Eventually, I became Head Counselor and Assistant Barn Manager, teaching hundreds of beginners their fundamentals of riding and horsemanship, caring for the horses, riding "problem horses," and continuing my equestrian education through United States Pony Club and 4-H. 

I founded Moon Dog Riding School with the purpose of sharing my lifelong love of horses with others. For thousands of years, most humans lived and worked closely with horses, but that's not necessarily the case for most people in this day and age. I'm dedicated to (okay, some might say "obsessed with") learning, so I'm constantly expanding my 20 years of horse experience and knowledge. Come learn about horses with me!

Sincerely,

Melissa Barcroft

Owner, Chief Instructor
Moon Dog Riding School

Rhowan and Melissa -- last photos in 2013. Photo by Jacob Matilsky.

Rhowan and Melissa -- last photos in 2013. Photo by Jacob Matilsky.

How did Moon Dog Riding School get its name?

 My family couldn't buy me a horse when I was a teenager, so I adopted the closest thing I could find: a 2-year-old Great Pyrenees who I named Luna. She was my constant barn companion and guarded me through many tumultuous years, especially during the difficult years after the passing of my mare, Rhow.  Living far past the usual life expectancy for a dog of her size, Luna stayed with me until I found my path back to horses.

It is in honor of humanity's indescribable connection to animals, their generosity, steadfastness, and honesty that I name the riding school after my moon dog, Luna. 

She passed away April 23, 2018.

Our namesake, the original moon dog, Luna. Photo by Melissa Barcroft.

Our namesake, the original moon dog, Luna. Photo by Melissa Barcroft.