Our Trainer and Staff

We are dedicated to helping you attain the goals you set for you and your horse.

JOSIE HOWARD

Owner/Head Trainer


Josie is a passionate Dressage and Event rider. She works with several personal OTTB projects every year, helping them find their true calling.

Training Philosophy
I believe in order to have success with a horse you must work together as partners. Since you can’t teach a horse to speak English, we must speak their language. All horses have different personalities and buttons and all need to be handled differently. By using natural horsemanship techniques we can learn how to use our body language to accomplish this. Horses naturally fear humans; we are predators and they are prey animals. We must teach them that they need not fear us which is accomplished through effective communication with them. Once trust is established between horse and rider, you are able to form a lasting partnership.

As a rider, I will help you gain overall confidence, trust and respect for your horse. We start with the basics of rider position, seat and leg aids, balance, and communication. From there we move on to more advanced study of balance to help riders gain confidence in their seat allowing the horse to move naturally and balanced in their own self carriage.    ~ Josie

Career Highlights
2009-2012 Trained with Erika Treis-Petersen of Great Lakes Equestrian Center in Holland Michigan.  Starting as a working student, learning all the aspects of running a large training and boarding facility, all aspects of horse care and health, and also competing horses young and at the upper levels. During Josie’s time with Erika, she moved up from working student to barn manager and assistant trainer. She was able to start training and teach students of all ages and competing green horses and moving up the levels in competition as well.
2009 Audited Marius Schreiner of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna Clinic
2011 USEA Blue Ribbon Award with Seelie Court
2011 First Level Dressage Champion with Seelie Court
2011 Training Level Dressage Reserve Champion with Seelie Court
2012-2014 Worked at a private barn, training upper level event horse and fox hunters. Took regular lessons with Allison Springer and Lauren Sprieser.
2013 Modeled for Featherlite Trailers Photo Shoot
2013 Audited George Morris Clinic
2014 Multiple Champion & Reserve Champion placings at VQHA Virginia Bred Horse Show
2015 Days End Farm Horse Rescue Trainers Challenge
2015 A Home for Every Horse: Equine Comeback Challenge
2016 Lauren Sprieser Clinic with PJ’s Rocket & Royal Heritage
2016 National Dressage Pony Cup Champion Open Training Level with Shenandoah Sea Lily
2016 USDF Training Level Performance Award
2016 Eventing in Virginia 5th Advanced Green & 6th Beginner Novice Year End Award with Shenandoah Sea Lily
2016 Retired Racehorse Project: Thoroughbred Makeover with Table Top “Kent”
2017 Stephen Bradley Clinic with Shenandoah Sea Lily & Summer Dance
2017 Julio Mendoza Clinic with Shenandoah Sea Lily

 

AUSTIN MIKOLIN

Instructor


A certified riding instructor who loves teaching beginning lessons on her wonderful horse Slate.

Austin Mikolin is a certified riding instructor through the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) for English and Western. She has a BA in Psychology, with a secondary major of Equestrian Studies, from Houghton College in Houghton, NY. Houghton College’s equestrian program provided a solid Dressage foundation that transfers into her teaching for all disciplines. She taught Dressage and Jumping lessons there throughout her college career as a teacher’s assistant, for private lessons, and worked for two summers as an instructor for the Houghton Equestrian Camp.

Austin enjoys attending horse trials, hunter paces, clinics, and Hunter/Jumper or Dressage shows with her equine partner, a 2001 OTTB named Slate. Austin boards her horse with RE Sporthorses and has loved the inclusive, supportive atmosphere!

She currently lives with her husband, and cat, in Harrisonburg, where she works full-time as a Therapeutic Day Treatment Specialist through Crossroads Counseling Center, and part-time as the Assistant Program Director for Cross Keys Equine Therapy in Mt. Crawford, VA.

Austin is excited about the opportunity to offer lessons under RE Sporthorses!

Say Hello to Our Sponsors

 

Thank you to our supporters

Marcus T. Wise, Farrier
Blue Ridge Equine Clinic

How to find us.

616-405-0606

302 Bailey Rd
Fort Defiance, Virginia 24437

Hours: 8am - 8pm

RE Sporthorses, LLC