Head Instructor, Owner
Carrie has grown up with horses on her family’s farm her whole life and has been competing since the age of four. She has competed successfully in both English and Western events, but now focuses on Hunter/Jumper. Carrie is the owner and head instructor at Pony Palooza Equine Education. She currently has 11 horses and focuses on showing her competition horse, Tex, on the Appaloosa circuit. She is a senior Mechanical Engineering and Financial Math double major in Robert Morris University’s honors program. She is also currently finishing a Master’s degree in Engineering Management. Carrie and Tex were most recently the 2016 CRHA National Champion in Halter Geldings, 2014 Halter Geldings, 2/3YO Walk trot Pleasure, Adult Walk trot Pleasure, and Futurity Grand Champion. The pair was also third in Adult Showmanship at the 2016 CRHA National Show. Carrie focuses on showing Tex, training new lesson horses, and taking the Pony Palooza Show Team to compete. Carrie has been giving lessons for 7 years and loves working with kids and adults of all ages to pass her passion of horseback riding onto others. Carrie focuses now on Pony Palooza as she aims to teach children how to be successful both on and off horses and in the show arena.
Since joining Pony Palooza Equine Education in 2015, Rachael has consistently brought a passion and dedication to everything she does. Rachael has had a love for horses her entire life and at the age of 8, got her first horse. From then on, she showed in a variety of English events including hunter under saddle, equitation, and jumping. While attending Westminster College, Rachael was a member of the hunt seat equestrian team. She served several roles on the team, including President/Captain. Additionally, Rachael successfully competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) and gained a tremendous amount of experience with showing a variety of horses. Rachael's showing experiences taught her to quickly identify a horse's unique qualities and body language, which is something she encourages students' to do at the beginning of each lesson. Rachael has a passion for working with children and is currently an elementary teacher at a local district. Given Rachael's background in both Early Childhood Education and Special Education, she has a clear understanding on how children's learning develops. Through her professional experiences, Rachael brings creative, engaging, and individualized learning experiences to her lessons, structured to help students reach their own personal riding goals. She strives to help children achieve their fullest potential in both riding and in life.