Greenbriar Riding Academy was founded by Robin Ballantyne, who strongly believes in this quote by Winston Churchill: "The outside of a horse is the best thing for the inside of a man (or woman or child)." Greenbriar's success over the years is largely due to the quality and experience of its skilled instructors, each of whom is certified through recognized instructor programs.
Each instructor also has a deep understanding of horse psychology and an in-depth knowledge of the human anatomy and how it interacts with the movement of the horse. They are trained to assist students in developing the skills necessary to effectively communicate with a horse.
Regardless of the riding discipline a student chooses to explore, Greenbriar makes it a priority to instill a solid foundation of riding basics within them. This is because our instructors know that horseback riding also empowers many personal skills, including responsibility, self-esteem, judgment and self-reliance, allowing them to foster an "I can do it!" attitude.
Robin is a 1990 graduate of Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre in Waverly, West Virginia. While there, she received a Riding Master VI and Advanced Instructor Certification covering dressage, jumping and western riding. Robin has been actively teaching since 1987. In 1993, Robin founded Greenbriar Academy.
Geline is the head instructor and barn manager for Greenbriar Riding Academy. She is a 1996 graduate of Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre in Waverly, West Virginia where she received a Riding Master III and Instructor Certification covering the disciplines of jumping, dressage and western riding. She is also certified with the American Riding Instructor's Association and holds a Level II in Recreational Riding & Dressage.
As a teacher at Greenbriar since 1996, Geline's students and horses respond to her smile and the patience she brings to every class.
Katy Merritt began as a student in 2001 and has completed all the levels of Greenbriar’s Day Camps. The Horse Lover program has helped her the most, making her stronger physically, challenging her mentally, and helping her express her love of horses by caring for them. Her experiences at Greenbriar have helped her overcome her shyness.
Katy graduated from Kirkwood Community College in 2013 with an Associates Degree in Horse Science.
Today, Katy is on staff as our resident horse trainer. Being a trainer is so exciting for Katy because she enjoys the challenges of developing the horses' athletic abilities and the fun of getting to know each horse’s personality. As she trains horses for other people, she encourages them to be a part of the process.
In addition to training horses, Katy is also a riding instructor in our summer camp program and will head up our new show team. She will help students prepare and compete in local dressage shows. We wish her and her students the best.
Not only does she spend most of her day at the barn, she also finds time to take care of her own horses. Katy says it’s a good day when you’ve been around a horse!
Sarah Redling began working at Greenbriar Riding Academy in the summer of 2011. She takes care of the barn and feeding the horses. She is our first line of defense for protecting the health and well being of our horses.
From a young age, Sarah has had a fondness for animals and horses. She began riding at the age of 12 by taking weekly riding lessons with a family friend and bought her first horse at the age of 15. After her family moved to Iowa in 2007, she continued to ride. Upon graduating from high school in 2009, Sarah entered the Horse Science Program at Kirkwood Community College where she received an AA degree in Equine Science.
Most recently she has completed her EMTB and works for an area ambulance service, too!
When Sarah is not at Greenbriar she enjoys reading, sewing and cooking.
Greenbriar offers accessible riding programs for children as young as seven years old to adults, allowing everyone the opportunity to experience the joys of riding, training and caring for horses.
Questions about our curriculum? Get the answers you're looking for by calling our office today.