Feature Graduate

Lindsay Hayes explains how she decided she wanted to pursue an education at Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre.
Graduated: March 2005
Certificates: Riding Master IV, Equine Massage Therapy
Current Position: Owner, Instructor, Trainer, Clinician, and Equine Massage Therapist at Lindsay Hayes Equestrian Coaching and Training in London, Ontario, Canada

Lindsay Hayes

February 2009 - Lindsay graduated from Meredith Manor in March of 2005 after what she describes as “the most challenging, eye-opening 365 days” of her horse career. Lindsay decided to attend Meredith Manor after careful consideration along with several Universities and Colleges that also offered equine programs. After discussions with her coach, boss, and several other professionals in the horse industry, she decided that the other programs (although prestigious varsity names were attached) just didn’t measure up in the amount of hands-on time with horses and in the saddle.

As a student at Meredith Manor, Lindsay quickly became aware of the thought, research and careful attention to detail that went into the core program. Although heeding seemed to be something she was somewhat familiar with in many different aspects of her life, Lindsay continued to press instructors for the How’s and Why’s of the program. She became interested in comparing the program at Meredith Manor to other widely known trainer’s philosophies and saw a direct correlation. She observed as a scared, timid horse built its confidence in training classes. She was in awe of the “outlaw” horses who had been rejected from other schools and trainers, as they turned into quiet, understanding, sane horses.

Lindsay showing dressage

Being one of the few international students during her time at Meredith Manor, Lindsay ran into very few obstacles. Learning about different cultures within the United States, different accents, different beliefs, and different lifestyles was a highlight of her time there. Friends and peers encouraged Lindsay to learn more about their hometowns and visit nearby states for equine events such as the Rolex 3 Day Event, held in Kentucky and the All American Quarter Horse Congress, just two hours from campus in Columbus, Ohio.

Every day was not rosy at Meredith Manor. Lindsay ran into plateaus in her riding and learning curves. She dealt with personal and health issues. But there was always an underlying feeling of learning this wonderful “way of learning”, that kept her focused.

Lindsay Hayes riding.

Lindsay left Meredith Manor with not only an enormous “toolbox” of skills for her future career, but also a healthy appreciation and understanding of how to turn her passion of working with horses and people into a successful career.

Upon graduation Lindsay had a plan she had devised with the help of one of her instructors. Her ultimate goal was to have her own lesson and training business. Her plan was to get some experience and specialize a bit in one riding discipline, develop her riding skills and perhaps a show career and reputation, before returning to her true passion: coaching. She quickly got a job as an apprentice with a reining trainer who was the leading money earner in Ontario. From there she went on to work as an assistant trainer for a well known breeder of reining horses.

In January of 2007 an opportunity arose for her to manage the lesson and day camp facility she had ridden at as a youngster, through her teenage years. Lindsay jumped in with both feet and boosted the lesson enrolment, increased the day camp attendance and started a leadership, horsemanship and first aid course. Unfortunately, the long term agreement fell through and Lindsay was unsure of how to continue with her career.

Linday with student riding barrels

With encouragement from friends, family, co-workers and peers from the past few years, Lindsay decided to do some training and coaching independently and see where it led. From one horse and one semi-private lesson a week, Lindsay's business grew. After only a few months she was up to full time. Lindsay now has 45 students and her clientele is building by the day. In September of 2008 Lindsay was named the official western coach for the University of Western Ontario Equestrian Team. She has up to 4 horses in for training at any given time, is a judge for local club shows, gives clinics, writes equine-related articles and is just starting her show career. One of Lindsay’s long-time students is now in attendance at Meredith Manor with another student enrolled and eagerly awaiting her turn.

Lindsay reflects fondly on her time at Meredith Manor and uses the skills she developed repeatedly on a daily basis. She enjoys keeping in touch with fellow alumni and seeing what’s in store for her own students, who will also be graduates in the near future.

Visit Lindsay's website at HayesHorsemanship.ca

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I think I am the happiest person ever. I landed my dream job as a lesson barn coordinator in the barn I grew up in! Thanks for everything Meredith Manor! You always have and always will have a huge piece of my heart.
Gia Guidera: 1996 Riding Master Graduate