Bitten by the horse bug early, Melissa began riding at age 5 while growing up in Virginia. She showed local hunter shows riding school horses and her own horse until her family moved to New Mexico prior to high school. While in high school, Melissa continued her riding education and began riding low level jumpers until she attended Purdue University. At Purdue, she completed bachelors and masters degrees in Animal Science with a focus in Animal Nutrition. During her undergrad, she also joined the newly formed polo team to continue time in the saddle. After college, though, her career took her to Chicago and horses were put on hold. During this time she met Dusty, who had no idea what he was about to get himself into! After a number of years away from horses, Melissa came back to her first love and began riding at Red Coat Farm where she was first introduced to the premier hunter/jumper world. Taking her renewed excitement back to New Mexico, she and Dusty developed 10 acres to maintain their horses Roc Hudson and Doris Day while working full-time careers. A new job opportunity found the two again on the move to update New York where the horses were boarded at area facilities for a couple of years. When the hour-long commute to the barn became too much, the two decided to purchase and open Rock Wall Farm in July 2018. This endeavor is the culmination of the most important aspects of horse care honed over years of experience as horse owner, rider, boarder, competitor, barn manager, barn owner, animal scientist and overall horse advocate.