As a Christian, I try to be a positive role model for my students. I love teaching people of all ages how to ride and care for horses. Safety is a priority for me. I work with students on developing their balance on horses while having fun. I start new students on the lunge line, so they can work on their position without worrying about controlling the horse. I believe that by caring for horses students become hard workers and learn to think of others before themselves. I love watching students create relationships with the horses they ride in lessons.
I grew up loving horses. During my childhood, I tried to convince my parents to let me take riding lessons. I wanted a pony of course; what horse crazy little girl doesn't? It took a while, but finally when I was twelve, they said yes to lessons. They never agreed to the pony part. During my teen years, I started interning in hopes of becoming an instructor one day. I became a working student to pay for my lessons and to learn more about horses. In my senior year of high school, I was offered a paying position feeding the horses, bringing horses in and out from the pastures, and cleaning the barn. Since I was homeschooled, I was able to work a couple of mornings and spend as much time as I could at the barn. Upon graduating high school, I attended Meredith Manor in West Virginia.
Meredith Manor is an equestrian trade school dedicated to preparing students for careers with horses. While there, I rode in dressage, jumping, and western classes. In addition to riding classes, I also had riding theory classes and showing classes in each discipline. I studied riding instruction and horse training. I also studied massage therapy, horse health, breeding, barn management, and farrier. I spent two years and three months training at Meredith Manor. I graduated with my Riding Master VI, Teaching Level I, Training Level I, and Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certifications.
After graduation, I got a job teaching beginner lessons and taking care of horses. I grew my client base over the next year and a half. I found the perfect lesson horse, Midnight Candle aka "Mama" in October 2012. I leased "Mama" and used her for lessons. Then in March I bought her; my very first horse, just like I had always wanted. "Mama" is an amazing horse and kids love her.
On October 19, 2013, I moved my horses to a private facility and started my own lesson program, Joyful Noise Riding Academy. It was a challenging year with ups and downs. I learned a lot about how to run a business. Being on my own was difficult at first. There had always been a teacher or trainer to ask questions but now it was all up to me! But step, by step I figured it out.
Tina, the sweetest quarter horse, joined our team in the summer of 2014. Everyone loves Tina! I couldn't ask for a horse that is more willing to please. She loves to get groomed, hugged, and given treats.
September 2016, I married the man of my dreams and became Mrs Durham. Michael is a great husband. Although he doesn't know a lot about horses yet, he's learning. He helps me with repairs and maintenance at the farm.
I always wanted a big pretty black horse. I finally got one when we purchased Gus in April 2017. Gus is a 17.3 hand Percheron with a goofy personally. He is very friendly and gets jealous if he is ignored. Gus is always itchy and loves a good scratching.