Meet our Staff
We started out as a family operation, and as far we're concerned, we're still a family operation--we've just grown and our last names are different! We are so blessed to have people working for the farm who care about our mission and who complement each other to keep the farm running smoothly in all the various areas. While this is not a complete list of our staff, it will help you get to know some of the ones you see the most!
Our instructors are not only horse professionals, but they are interested in the overall well-being of both our horses and our students, treating both with respect and care. They are interested in helping our riders develop a true love and respect for the horse and horsemanship, understanding the horse's needs while learning leadership skills that apply to both horsemanship and to life.
Tara loved horses as long as she can remember, and was lucky enough to have parents that got her a horse, Bagel, when she was 12. She learned all the basics on that horse, from horsemanship to life, proudly calling herself a "backyard horse girl." In college, she earned her Certified Horsemanship Association certification and taught horsemanship at a summer camp in South Carolina. After college, she managed the stables and horse program at a resort/youth camp in North Georgia for several years.
In 2003, it was a dream come true to return home to the Chastain Farm and begin her own horse farm, Hidden Hills Farm, on the property. Bagel was her first lesson horse.
It brings her great pleasure to share the love of horses with others, helping others learn to feel, ride, and live the rhythm of horses.
You can reach Tara at 423-488-3993 or email her at email@example.com.
Kimberlin was one of Hidden Hills' early students who has returned to share the love of horses with others who come to the farm. When she bought her first horse love, Leona, she began to study eventing, centered riding, and natural horsemanship practices with advanced trainers. Sadly, Leona developed cancer and was laid to rest at Hidden Hills. Kimberlin now continues to hone her skills on Maggie, an amazing Thoroughbred/Percheron cross.
Kimberlin finds the relationship between horse and human is the most important aspect of horsemanship in any riding discipline. She loves groundwork where the relationship often begins and develops most, and loves helping her students find that rewarding relationship as well.
With a degree in Music, Kimberlin loves to sing and performs in local theater productions on the side. She also enjoys softball and hanging out with her Great Dane, Coraline.
THE SCHEDULING GURU/THE "FRONT DESK"
Noelle has been a barn mom since her daughter, Kimberlin, fell in love with horses 13 years ago. While she's only ridden a horse maybe five times in her life, she loves to be around them and has spent many hours mucking stalls, grooming, and cheering on riders at equestrian events.
These days, Noelle answers the phone for Hidden Hills and schedules lessons, trail rides, birthday parties, and helps out with farm events. She gets to spend as much time as she wants to around the horses at the barn without riding, which is perfect for her. She enjoys watching students progress and gets excited when they learn something new.
When Noelle is not working on the farm, she builds props for a local theatre and is the prop master for the Pathfinder International Camporee nighttime program. This means she spends lots of time finding treasures at estate sales and thrift stores. She also makes fabric wedding flower bouquets. Another one of her loves is her pit bull, Diesel. She and her husband are looking forward to his retirement, when they plan to buy a little farm where they can grow hay and flowers and have a horse or two. She's holding out for a Gypsy Vanner.
Growing up with a dressage trainer for a mother, Brenley has been around horses from the day she left the hospital. She has had the privilege of attending clinics and training with multiple Olympic riders in all three English disciplines. While she loves jumpers and enjoys dabbling in eventing, her passion is dressage.
Brenley won consecutive ESDCTA championships between 2015 and 2017, as well as multiple tricolor ribbons on the hunter/jumper show circuit. She has owned horses all her life and currently owns three: two off-the-track thoroughbreds and one thoroughbred cross.
Brenley strives to help every one of her students become the best riders they can be. She aims to accomplish this by teaching her students to use their bodies to effectively and clearly communicate with their horses. She strongly believes that true horsemanship starts on the ground, and that proper euine care is fundamental to a successful horse-and-rider partnership.
INSTRUCTOR/WORK TO RIDE COORDINATOR
Living on a farm since since she was 6, Madison has been caring for and riding horses ever since. She has first-hand experience with the practicality of using horses for farm work, from pulling hay wagons to plowing fields. Because of her upbringing, Madison has fostered a deep passion for horse-care. Not only has she studied under a vet, but she has also worked as a groom for multiple Grand Champions.
Although her formal riding training is limited, Madison has spent countless hours in the saddle. She compliments this experience by expanding her knowledge through ongoing study of various disciplines and riding techniques.
Madison has been teaching riding lessons for over three years, and enjoys passing on everything she has learned to her students, from riding horses to farm life.
Kristen has been around horses for most of her life. From trail riding to jumping and dressage, Kristen loves anything horses and has always enjoyed sharing her passion with others, especially little kids.
She started working at Hidden Hills at the age of 10 as a volunteer and Tara hasn't been able to get rid of her since. She threw lots of hay bales and cleaned lots of water tanks as she developed her riding skills, becoming one of Hidden Hills' first Junior Instructors at age 15. She proved her abilities as she involved herself in as much as possible, helping with pony rides, schooling shows, summer camps, and other farm events. Now a regular instructor, she continues to refine her teaching style into a fun and educational experience for her young riders.
Kristen's horse Dublin is a tall, dark and handsome Percheron Thoroughbred who puts up with all the crazy events that she drags him to, like Christmas parades and Easter pageants.
In the rare occasion that Kristen isn't at the farm, which she considers her second home, you will either find her in school or outside on some adventure. She enjoys backpacking, camping, rock climbing, and spending time her with family and friends. She hopes that one day she will accomplish her dream of becoming a large animal veterinarian – maybe caring for the horses at Hidden Hills!
Meaganne has been riding for over 30 years. As a youngster, she enjoyed lessons and showing in huntseat and hunter/jumpers. As she grew, she was a work to ride student, spending every free moment at the farm doing everything from A-Z.
When she was 13, Meaganne got her first horse, a retired throughbred race horse named Jumanji. Her next horse was a sweet bay pony named Sudden Impulse, "Impy". With him she discovered her love of teaching little ones how to ride.
In 2003, she earned her NARHA certification and became an instructor for special needs riders, where she found how incredible horses are for our physical and mental well being. She enjoyed teaching special needs kids for several years until motherhood merited a break.
During her "break", she enjoyed teaching Pilates and spin classes. In 2017, after her 8th child was born, Meaganne began feeling the pull of horses on her heart again, and has joined the Hidden Hills staff.
Jesse has 32 years of experience with horses. Her first horse was an off-the-track thoroughbred (OTTB) named Joy. She's been reschooling them ever since, and currently owns 3 (plus 5 other horses). She has competed doing Hunter/Jumpers and studied dressage. Beyond being a perpetual horse student herself, Jesse has spent 21 years teaching others how to ride and compete. When Jesse isn't teaching, she spends most of her time taking care of her own horses. You could say she's been bit by the horse bug.
Instructor and trainer Christina Mendoza-Green has over 16 years experience riding & training everything from mustangs and Arabians to Warmbloods. She has studied dressage & natural horsemanship training from top local trainers and classical/current masters. She has also managed several local barns and currently trims barefoot performance horses in addition to teaching and training.
Christina has instructed many students, ranging from the physically/mentally handicapped, new riders of all ages, and more advanced riders. She blends practical natural horsemanship and correct biomechanics and bodywork with dressage qualities and exercises to create a harmonious and fun riding experience for her students, helping them become knowledgable and capable riders no matter the discipline or style of riding. She believes the benefits of dressage can be felt and utilized to improve all riding, from competitive western or English events to pleasure and trail riding.
Contact Christina for more information about lessons or barefoot trimming at 423-310-4282 or email.
STAFF OF ALL TRADES
Megan came to Hidden Hills as a college student in need of place to volunteer to ease her study-burdened brain. Having worked for 3 summers as a wrangler at a summer camp and with her Certified Horsemanship Association certificate, she proved herself both willing and able to do anything that was asked of her, from farm work to horse work.
After graduating with her BS in Business Administration, Megan became Hidden Hills' 2018 Summer Camp Director. She now serves the Farm in a variety of ways, from trail guide and website management to hospitality services and farm organization.
Megan loves working with horses because you never can tell what you're going to get from them - a whole lot of sweet or a whole lot of sass. Or a mixture of the two that proves how much like people they can be.