Training and Instruction

Our Trainers and Instructors

Dr. Benyei

Candace Benyei, Ph.D.

Dr. Candace Benyei has bred, raised and trained horses and riders for over 45 years. A Horse Whisperer before it became a popular subject in the literature, she has always used a round pen and spoken "horse" to her charges, including the Farm's foundation stallion Whimsy Brook Rye who was Top Ten in the nation and Horse of the Year in New England for three years running as a hunter. Out of her training in bodywork, Dr. Benyei developed the technique she calls "Aware Riding," a way of observing the movement of horse and rider and then teaching the rider to become aware of his or her own body as well as that of the horse.

Dr. Benyei studied classical ballet for 12 years, is a practicing homeopath, was a research biochemist, and holds Masters degrees in Family Therapy, School Psychology, Theology, and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

A life-time farmer, she has served on the Board of Directors of Fairfield County Farm Bureau for over 26 years, and as its President for six years. She served as a Director of Connecticut Farm Bureau from 2013-2015 and is currently an Alternate Director for Fairfield County. Dr. Benyei is the Farm's US Pony Club Center Administrator.

Tara Benyei, Instructor

Tara Benyei, Instructor/Trainer

Having grown up on the Farm and riding since the age of 2 ½, Tara is unavoidably steeped in the tools of Aware Riding for which Whimsy Brook is well known. She takes a holistic approach in her teaching, meeting the particular needs of each student. She works to help riders – both in and out of the saddle – connect to themselves and their horse.

After equitation and hunter horse-showing as a kid, Tara built on the foundation given to her by her first teacher – her mother – with continued study in Classical Dressage, Centered Riding, and the TRT method. Tara also runs many of the Farm’s Pony Club Horse Management sessions and coaches the team when they attend mounted Pony Club events off site.

In addition to being a teacher and trainer at Whimsy Brook, Tara has a professional background in graphic design, and does all the Farm’s Social Media posts. She is also a self-taught photographer, avid dancer and student of qi gong. When she’s not in the saddle, teaching, or behind a camera, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters – the next generation of Whimsy Brook.