Head Trainer/Instructor, Margaret Mullin-Becker
Margaret Mullin-Becker was fortunate to grow up on her family hunter jumper farm where she grew up showing on the A circuit and fox hunting. She began her show career at age 4 in the pony ring, working her way through the Children’s up through the Junior Hunters. She took her 3’6 junior hunter Double Dynasty to A and AA shows consistently placing in the top ribbons, and was selected to ride in the 3’6 clinic taught by Grand Prix rider Anne Kursinski at the prestigious Equine Affaire in Ohio. As an adult amateur Margaret had the privilege of being a working student for some of the top trainers in the industry and has ridden for George Morris, Bob and Cindy Mcullough, and Andrew Philbrick. Since turning professional in 2005, she has shown and taken her students to top A and AA competitions along the east coast such as the Kentucky Horse Park, WEC, Virginia Horse Center, Ocala, Aiken, and Camden, where they consistently placed in the ribbons and qualified for Medal, Zone, and Pony Finals. In the jumper ring, Margaret has competed up to 1.25 meters and she is currently working her newest horse, a young 18 hand Canadian Warmblood who she has trained from a baby for the jumpers.
Along with her years of experience riding and training, Margaret also brings her knowledge as a Certified Large Animal Vet Tech to MacNairs. She has worked as both a field and surgery technician at Hagyard, one of the leading equine medical institutes in Lexington, Kentucky which cares for some of the top Thoroughbreds in the horse racing industry. This skill set gives Margaret the ability to understand the horse from a total perspective and provides a great resource to her students.
Here are a few words from her clients:
From Rebecca G.:
“We love Margaret! Over the three years that my daughter has been training with her, I’ve seen tremendous improvements in both her riding skills and her confidence. One of the things I appreciate the most about Margaret is her attention to detail and building lessons and exercises to specifically address what both rider and horse need to make progress. She has a special way of connecting with the kids and keeping them focused and having fun at the same time.”
From Callie C.:
I started training with Margaret when I was 13, and had known her long before that. She seamlessly transitioned me into her training program – teaching me important horsemanship skills both in and out of the ring that I keep with me to this day. When it came time for me to make the leap and purchase my first horse, Margaret was patient and knowledgeable in helping my family and me find not only a horse that would suit me at the current stage in my riding, but also a horse that I could grow into and learn with for a very long time. She was able to see the potential in him early on. Fast forward 10 years later to today, I still have that same horse Margaret worked so hard to find for me. He turned out to be a one in a million horse for me and although I no longer compete – he is still sound, rideable and now back in the care of Margaret due to my long-standing trust in her experience, knowledge and approach to this industry.
Trainer/Instructor, Kara Wilcox
Kara Wilcox is born and raised in Raleigh, NC. Kara grew up riding at MacNair’s Country Acres beginning at the age of 5. During her time at MacNair’s she competed at schooling, EHA and rated shows. After high school she attended NC State and obtained a Bachelors Degree in Animal Science. While at NC State, Kara rode on the IHSA Team in the Intermediate and Open divisions, and served as captain for two years. Kara has since gone back to MacNair’s where she currently works as a riding instructor, as well as their IEA Coach and NC State’s IHSA Coach.
Trainer/Instructor, Mattie Johnson
Mattie’s career at MacNair’s started in 1993 as a beginner rider. Her desire to ride and learn more led her to become a working student, which included barn work and riding the horses being trained to fit into the Riding School programs. She also began assisting with group lessons and then completed the MacNair’s Instructor Course. Now, as an instructor at the Riding School, Mattie heads Saddle Up, Earn Your Stirrups and beginner groups. She specializes in Beginner/Elementary riders of all ages where her experience and empathy come into play. She gives her students a solid foundation as safe, secure horsemen.
In the words of one of her lessoners, “Mattie is a wonderful instructor and shows sincere interest and dedication. We adore Mattie.”
Trainer/Instructor, Laura Pendleton
Laura began her riding career at the age of 7 in the hunt seat tradition. Several years later, her family was transferred to Mississippi, where there were no English saddles in the area. Laura began competing in barrel racing and pole bending events on her Standardbred who had raced as a trotter and never cantered before she owned him. Overcoming these obstacles, Laura won classes over seasoned locals on prized Quaterhorses. Laura taught her mounts to jump, swim, race, rear on command, pull sleighs, and march calmly in parades. As an adult, Laura began riding at MacNairs in 1987 and developed an intense interest in dressage. She has won several NCDCTA year end awards from Training Level thorough Intermediare riding 6 different horses. She has placed in the USDF Region 1 Finals several years at different levels and has been awarded numerous high score awards at USEF and USDF recognized shows through the levels. Laura has acquired her bronze and silver medals with USDF and competed at Prix St. Georges with her previous horse, Vico.