There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”Sir Winston Churchill

You are welcome to join us at Riverland Horse Farm, our education center, for private lessons, day or weekend visits, workshops and courses. Elena offers different learning formats with our own horses or with your horse.

COMING UP NEXT: 18-19 May Ecole de Legerte 2 Day Course! Check out our calendar for all info.
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“Never-ending self improvement by combining different perspectives”

Growing up with a passion
At age of 9 Elena started taking riding lessons. Learning from horse professionals in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the United States gave Elena the chance to explore diverse teaching styles and equestrian traditions. 

From Dressage championships to Natural Horsemanship 
At age of 12 under the guidance of an experienced horse Elena went on to win the Italian National Dressage Championship in the year 2004. Elena continued to compete with her own horse Orianda. It was at this time that because of an injury the question came up: 

“What do you do with a horse if you are not riding?”

What was previously just taking a horse from the stall to the tacking up area, became an art: building a new language to first be safe on the ground, communicate and perform together!

Becoming a trainer and teacher
Through the years Elena has had the opportunity to study with some great athletes, trainers and riders to increase her knowledge and experience. Elena attended clinics with dressage masters such as Walter Zettl, Philippe Karl, dressage naturally founder Karen Rohlf, Thomas Ritter, Manolo Mendez and Italian show jumper Luca Moneta.

“Taking time to learn from the best”

Elena dedicated extensive time to learn from Parelli Natural Horsemanship instructors such as Berni Zambail (Switzerland), Angelika Schneider (Italy), Gigi Pini (Italy). In 2012 Elena completed her teaching education by spending 16 weeks at the Parelli Center in Pagosa Spring, Colorado.

Home base
Now, located at Riverland Horse Farm in Beneden-Leeuwen (Tiel) Elena teaches and trains horses at her own facility.

Always learning
In addition to her passion for horses, Elena also has a passion for science and human psychology. Elena also works as a PhD candidate at Utrecht University and researches how cooperation between different groups in society can be achieved: https://www.uu.nl/staff/EAMBacchini

Our philosophy

“Learn about yourself as you learn about nature”

At Riverland Horse Farm we are passionate about connecting people to nature: and what is closest to nature than the spirit and feel of a horse?!

Our vision: combining the psychology of natural horsemanship and healthy dressage

Through horsemanship exercises we invite our clients to learn about horses, the way they think and how they learn. Our goal is to help you create insights into how to you can manage your own body, mind and emotions to create a harmonious conversation with your horse. This is possible from the ground or in the saddle: through natural horsemanship exercise, dressage work in hand, bridle-less riding or riding exercises with cavalletti.

Our goal is for students to learn about themselves through the system of natural horsemanship and combine this with healthy athletic exercises that combine dressage training and rider biomechanics. When there is harmony, you can build your partnership, improve balance and transform your training into a playful dance with your horse!

NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP: a natural approach to horse training

Elena specialized over the years in teaching natural horsemanship through the Parelli Natural Horsemaship program (as a 2* star instructor). Natural horsemanship teaches expertise and success with horses based on the way horses relate and communicate in their natural world.

Based on respect for and love of horses by understanding horse nature and psychology the natural horsemanship enables anyone at any level to have fun with horses and achieve amazing results naturally.

To know more about the Parelli Program visit http://www.parelli.com/ The ABC of the Parelli: Do you know The Seven Games? We will learn together!

DRESSAGE for the horse and rider

Dressage is training that makes a horse supple, balanced and strong. Learning and practicing dressage movements or patterns raises the body awareness of both horses and riders. But whether you love dressage for it’s qualities as an Olympic discipline, or you enjoy more basic riding but want your horse to have more chances of being injury-free, balanced and healthy:  dressage can be used as a therapeutic practice!

For the rider: focusing on dressage is a careful practice to becoming better at knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your own body. In combination, through the practice of different exercises, the aim is for the rider to also become aware of how the horse’s body is moving. For the horse: dressage is learning to connect to the rider’s suggestions, and become increasingly aware about moving in a healthy way.

Just like physiotherapy, in dressage we want to check that the horse’s body and the rider’s body can move freely, strengthening, lengthening, or flexing to reach a whole range of new movements. The goal of the process is to have horse and rider mindfully develop into a well-balanced combination. The horse becomes an expert at carrying the rider’s weight and the rider an easy weight to carry!


Horsemanship lessons…

Would you like to learn more about yourself?

Horses are a great mirror!


Horsemanship lessons are not only about horse training…

You will learn about how you communicate and your leadership style

You will learn about team work and building a relationship

Our horses

Sheffield (Hubi)
Hubi is a westfalen gelding and he came into my life in 2006. We started our Parelli journey together and learned from each other along the way. We completed together our Parelli Level 4 auditions in 2014. Hubi is great teacher for beginners, kids and more advanced horsemen. He is an all-rounder, safe horse, truly a reliable master! As a left-brain introvert horse he is still to this day the most powerful reminder of using psychology first in every session.



Sunday Spirit
Sunday Spirit is a westfalen gelding and my mare Orianda’s first foal, born in 2010. He is sensitive, well-balanced, and talented mover with a curious, eager nature. Sunday loves to play, especially in liberty and is a great mirror of your energy. If you are looking to feel what true connection between horse and human feels like, Sunday is the best teacher! He is a confident, playful horse, and a good riding horse, but requires a sensitive rider. When you feel confident and ready to be a leader he will jump over the moon for you!


Rubiano Royal is my mare Orianda’s second foal, born in 2011. He is a westafalen gelding and a real human lover! He is the perfect example of a left-brain extrovert horse, outgoing and very playful. He loves to solve puzzles and can sometimes like to show his cheeky character. Rubiano is by nature a leader, and is great in teaching humans to not be direct-lined. With him you will learn to strategize and take the time it takes, until you can make your idea his idea too! Rubiano loves to jump and play with obstacles. He is always ready for a play session!



Orianda was my very first horse, a trakehner mare and she passed away in 2017 at the age of 26. We met when we were both 13 years old and she was my own Dressage super horse! We began our very first steps learning about Parelli in 2005 after she developed some lameness issues and could not be ridden. We had great fun developing a dream-like partnership together! Orianda will always be my inspiration in knowing what a great partnership can feel like between a horse and her human.