Member Feature – Mary Beth Barnett

Mary Beth and her horse Harvard at Region Championships in Conyers 2019

Our first official member feature is the wonderful Mary Beth Barnett. She is working towards becoming a USDF certified trainer and eventually a qualified L Education Program judge. She also has goals of riding FEI. If you want to reach Mary Beth, you can find her contact information at this link.

Tell us a little about yourself. I am originally from North Little Rock, Arkansas. I started riding horses at 5 years old on a big appaloosa named Junior. My mom likes to remind me that I’ve never been afraid of horses or of falling off even at 5 years old. From there my love for horses only grew and I switched to Dressage at 9 years old with a trainer named Donna Love. She taught me to have quiet hands and correct riding position at an early age. She instilled in me to be a hard worker and that working with horse means being firm, calm, and patient. I was fortunate to be surrounded by strong, confident, and loving horse women and I feel that that has shaped me into the person I am today. I’m paying that forward today by teaching others to have a better connection with their horses.

Tell us about your first horse or pony? My first horse I was lucky enough to get at 9 years old was a 14.2 chestnut Arabian named Augustus McCrae aka Gus. He was a firecracker and dumped be in the warmup arena at Junior Nationals. My trainer Mrs. Donna made me get back on and keep riding so as to to never be afraid, I do remember sobbing as I got back on but I am grateful she made me face my fears.

What do you find valuable about our local horse community? Our horse community is amazing! The values are endless from helping you find a new place to put your horse, to making life long friends that would do anything for you. Moving to GA from LA and not knowing anyone or having any family here was tough, but the horse community accepted me with open arms and are family now.

If you could ride anywhere with any person on any horse, what would your choices be? That is difficult! Ha! I of course would love to ride with Anky Van Grunsven and on a stallion named Caprimond (he is now deceased). He is the grandfather to my horse Harvard.

What is your favorite horse book or movie?

Well my favorite horse tv show is Heartland! I just binged season 12 and 13. It is a horse persons dream.

If you could train with any person (dead or alive), who would it be?

I’d love to go back and spend another summer or a couple with my FEI trainer in Colorado Sarah Martin. She taught me so much when I was her working student and specifically about really feeling the horse when you ride.

If your horse could speak, what would be the first thing you ask them?

Why are you such a picky eater?! lol


We hope you enjoyed learning about this local community member! If you have an idea of a local horse community member that we should feature, please send us an email to athensareahorsecommunity@gmail.com. We also have opportunities to sponsor AAHC if you want to support what we are doing.