Amanda’s love of horses began at her grandparents’ farm in Oregon. Whenever possible, she would stay all day at the barn to spend time with their horses–mostly Arabians who were always happy to give her crazy adventures! Amanda cherished her time riding on mountain trails, country roads, and even in the front yard where her grandfather could watch her from his office window. At ten years old, Amanda began taking English riding lessons with a nearby instructor. Eventually, she acquired her very first horse, an Arabian mare, named Roca. About two years ago, Amanda and Roca entered their very first dressage show, springboarding Amanda into her love of dressage.

Wanting to learn more about her new-found passion, Amanda joined the Oregon Youth Dressage Team where she had opportunities to learn, attend symposiums and ride in clinics. She became an active youth volunteer for various dressage activities and USDF shows in the Pacific Northwest. In order to study dressage more seriously, Amanda moved four hours from home to become a full-time working student for Tom Murray Dressage. There, she was able to continue to develop her skills by riding many dressage horses while also gaining much needed experience with horses and barn management.

Eventually, Amanda was given an opportunity to own her first dressage horse–a three-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding by Royal Prince. Recently, Amanda and her new horse, Kuvier, had their first outing together at a Charlotte Bredahl clinic where Kuvier made an excellent impression. The success of the clinic amplified Amanda’s desire to learn all she could about dressage, so with the news that her current trainer would be relocating, she accepted the incredible opportunity to join the team at Yellow Wood Dressage. Amanda is looking forward to developing her young horse in 2019 and advancing in her dressage knowledge and skills under the guidance of Ashley Madison.


Shawndell has been around horses since she was a baby.  Her mom tells stories of her crawling through the neighbor’s fence in just a diaper to get to the horses!  She started riding at age four, and started out doing jumpers, then moved to western and barrel racing.  Currently, she has a quarter horse named Smudge whom she acquired as a baby.  Smudge was the first horse that Shawndell personally raised and broke.  Together they compete in the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) and plan to compete in rodeos in the future.  Her other horse is an OTTB named Bluffy.  Bluffy wasn’t happy in the racing world so Shawndell trained him to be a jumper after his purchase.  Together they have competed in numerous shows bringing home multiple ribbons and prize money!  On the side, Bluffy tries his “hoof” at barrel racing.  He does fairly well and also competes in the NBHA.  As a kid it was always a dream for Shawndell to compete in the big rated jumper shows and on the other end of the spectrum to qualify for the NFR.  In her own words, Shawndell “loves jumping and chasing can!!”.  She is currently attending college to become a large animal veterinarian.  Shawndell has a strong love and passion for horses!

Yellow Wood would not be Yellow Wood without Shawndell!  From the very beginning of our journey, Shawndell has been a vital part of our team!  She has an exceptional attitude and work ethic and is an incredible horsewoman.  She has the most positive energy an is always willing to jump in and help where needed.  She is a very special young woman who contributes an enormous amount to the team!