Yep, it's official, Alysha is here to stay and we couldn't be happier!!

Alysha initially started training at SGF part time just as a means to be involved because she believed in what we were doing and wanted to be a part of it.  Over time, our program grew, our demand increased and circumstances shifted.  We quickly found ourselves in need of a full time trainer.  We knew Alysha had every quality that we wanted in a trainer and shared the same values in life so we were ecstatic when she accepted the role.  Alysha is one of the good ones in this industry and we're so very lucky to have her, not only from a business perspective, but as a lifetime friend. When we met Alysha we were instantly drawn by her fun and energetic personality while awed by her knowledge and experience in working with horses both as a trainer and a riding instructor.  We realized we knew a lot of the same people both in and out of the horse world and although our paths hadn't crossed sooner, we agreed it was just a matter of time.

In just the past few months that Alysha has stepped up into the role of head trainer, our students have progressed tremendously and we are ready to take on the competition season. With her help, we now have a competitive riding team consisting of 8 riders for the spring season who will represent SGF at various shows and events both locally and out of town. In addition to Team SGF, we have several other students who are training hard and have plans to show this spring/summer with goals to join the team in the fall. Everyone has been thrilled with Alysha's teaching techniques and our student's horses are performing better than they have in years!

Alysha comes to us with 29+ years’ experience in the horse industry. Having grown up on a horse farm, Alysha was just a few months old the first time she was on the back of her mom's horse, shown in this photo with the family cat.

The foundation of Alysha’s training came from her mom, Debbie Myers, who is a well-respected dressage instructor. “Dressage is the foundation to all riding” Alysha says. Alysha has competitively ridden most of her life. She has been teaching riding students of all ages and levels for over 10 years , including students with special needs of both physical and mental disabilities.  She is one of the founding partners of Myers Equestrian and is now adding Head Trainer at Stoned Goat Farm to her already impressive resume.

Alysha currently owns (and rides) 4 horses which are kept at her family's farm in Mohton just outside of Morgantown, PA. She is a wife to husband, Chad, step-mom to 9 year old Paige (who also rides horses) and mother to two little ones, Gavin(3) and Mackenzie(1) who make her family now 4 generations involved in the horse industry.

 Alysha with her family, Chad, Paige, Gavin and Mackenzie

Alysha attended the University of Wyoming where she earned her degree in Animal & Veterinary Science and has been a Veterinarian Technician for over 10 years. She currently works at Elk Creek Veterinary Services and has a ton of experience in equine health. Do you think she has a love for puppies judging by these pictures below?

Alysha at the veterinary hospital

Alysha has ridden a variety of disciplines and has done almost everything when it comes to horseback riding. Her riding career was built on a solid dressage foundation and her involvement includes Hunters, Jumpers, Dressage, Eventing, Derby Cross, Fox Hunting, and she’s even competed in barrel racing at the rodeo!! She has experience with liberty work and driving single, team and pony carts. She has participated in a ton of paper chases, worked with polo horses, and has trail ridden since she was just a little girl. She has attended numerous training clinics led by industry leading instructors over the years and continues to push herself to try new things. There's not much she hasn't done or tried or is still willing to try.

Aside from her own personal riding career, Alysha has taught lots of pony camps, hosted and ran several horse shows and instructed numerous cavaletti & jumping clinics in the area. She is a big advocate for cavaletti training. Alysha has even been a judge at several hunters and jumper shows. “Out of everything, my passion is jumping, but I enjoy anything horse related and absolutely love teaching students” Alysha says.

Some of Alysha's riding days through the years

Alysha’s first big job after graduating college was working for a large equine sale facility. Alysha, along with other staff members would make the long drive out West to purchase large quantities of quality horses at auction and ship them back in large livestock trailers to Pennsylvania with the intentions to train and sell. Alysha would ride as many as 150-200 horses in one single day at the auctions in an effort to find the ‘right ones’ who fit their sale program.  Once back in PA, Alysha’s job was to train those horses to be used for sales or camps. Her training techniques stem from the natural horsemanship ways of training which focus on a more loving and respectful approach. She never uses a forceful hand when working with any of the horses she trains, including her own. “That job was by far one of my favorite experiences in life and it taught me so much” says Barber. You'll see a lot of Alysha's natural horsemanship techniques being taught and used during her riding lessons and training sessions. Alysha believes a horse should be willing to do what the rider asks from proper training, as opposed to the rider forcing their horse with gadgets and whips.

Alysha, practicing natural horsemanship training techniques

Alysha likes to teach true horsemanship, not just how to sit on a horse and look pretty , but how to really ride. “Horses are more like a partner than a vessel and we need to know how to build a solid relationship both on the ground and on the horse's back." This comes from proper training and starting from the ground up without skipping steps in any training or riding lessons. Alysha uses particular training techniques to help both the horse and rider connect.

When it comes to running a fun and successful program, sportsmanship and camaraderie are two of her most important factors which is why she was such a good fit for us. "I believe we are in a sport with a lot of judgement and we need to shift our focus to supporting one another, not placing judgement in what’s already a judging environment". Alysha shares the same values and goals that we have for our farm and riding program, which made partnering with Alysha an easy decision.  We knew she was the right fit for us from day 1.

It is her love of riding and willingness to teach others combined with her strong training background and degree in animal science that makes her a huge asset to our farm. We are thrilled to have not only an incredibly talented and knowledgeable instructor such as Alysha, but we're even happier to have her upbeat and easy-going personality which makes riding with her so fun and enjoyable.

Together, we want to break barriers in the horse industry and focus on having a great time in a POSITIVE environment by leaving all negativity in the dust. All of us at SGF couldn’t be happier to finally have Alysha on board full time!

Alysha and her ponies at a young age.