Meet the Staff
Owner and Head Instructor
Mackenzie learned to ride with Nancy and Twin Oaks from a young age, and returned after college to teach lessons and camps at Twin Oaks. In April 2015, she acquired the business from Nancy and has continued to provide quality lessons and camps and taking excellent care for the Twin Oaks horses.
Mackenzie continually improves upon her riding skills and adds to her equestrian experience by actively competing and training with talented trainers Holly Wilmoth and Paul Ebersole with her horse Moe. Her experience includes:
- 10+ years teaching experience with children, teenagers, and adults
- Currently showing in Eventing at the Preliminary level
- Certification and experience working with children on the autism spectrum
- BS degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University
Mackenzie concentrates on teaching correct equitation and proper horsemanship to all her riders to create a well rounded equestrian education.
Katie became enchanted with horses with her first lesson in Upstate New York at age 5. Much of her early experience was with Pony Club, and she has achieved her C3 rating and competed at Pony Club Championships. She discovered what a joy it is to teach others and build confidence with beginner riders! Katie has competed up to the CCI** level in Eventing and is now bringing up her young off-track Thoroughbred “Strawberry Muffin” as an Eventing prospect. In addition to her equestrian endeavors, Katie is works as a Veterinary Technician for small animals.
Nancy started riding as a pre-teen in Rochester, New York and competed in hunt seat equitation and show jumping through her high school years. Nancy completed two years in the Equestrian Studies program at William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri before transferring and finishing a degree in business management. Nancy started her first riding school in Kingwood, Texas that focused on beginner and intermediate English lessons and camps. This began a 30-year career of training riders in establishing a secure seat and sound fundamentals in safe and enjoyable horsemanship. Her husband’s work transfer in 2000 brought her to Northern Virginia where she founded Twin Oaks Riding Academy. Nancy sold the academy to Mackenzie in 2015 before moving to Texas for another job transfer. Nancy returned to Virginia in 2018 after her husband retired and she has been teaching at Twin Oaks ever since. Nancy is particularly effective at helping riders correct problems in their position and technique and is driven by a love of the sport and a desire to help riders enjoy it also. “Every time I walk into the arena, I am filled with a particular happiness that no other activity can provide”, she says.
Susan began riding at a young age and has been riding and working at Twin Oaks for over 10 years. She is an integral part of our Summer Camp program and serves as the head camp instructor. Susan is also a dog trainer with Sit Means Sit Training!
I am a Pony of the Americas who is abut 22 years old and 13 hands tall. Check out my awesome color pattern, especially on my backside! I have been a lesson horse for a very long time and a great teacher for beginner riders. My talents include finding food, teaching riders to be assertive, and keeping my stall tidy.
I am a Connemara cross, 12 years old, and am really friendly. I like to whinny “hi” to horses when they walk by my stall. I love jumping, and have a lot of fun with my riders! I love my friend Rory.
I’m a dark bay pony that’s about 13 hands tall. I am great with beginners, small kids, and first timers. I’m a little shy, but everyone says I’m so cute!
I’m a Connemara and a great teacher for riders learning to canter and jump. I’m 15.1 hands and have a nice, thick tail. I’m pretty easy going and friendly! When I get bored I paw at the ground to get your attention.
I am a tall bay Thoroughbred with really nice gaits. I am great for learning to trot and canter and I take care of my riders. Let’s be friends! I can be a little grumpy on the ground but I’m very patient for riders who are learning.
I’m a chestnut Morgan/Quarter Horse gelding. I am really friendly and laid back! I’m very social and like to be with my friends. I have smooth gaits and riders feel very comfortable on me, and I love being at Twin Oaks!
I’m also a Connemara, with a white blaze on my face and light eyes. I am super comfortable to ride and a little bit obsessed with my friend Beatrix. I am very sweet and like getting to know new riders!
I am an off-track Thoroughbred who raced until I was 7. Even though I raced a lot, I’m super calm and love my new job! I am ridden by all sorts of riders and like going on trail rides, jumping, and going cross country. I get very excited at feeding time.
I’m a big warmblood and love jumping. Instructor Katie used to be my owner! I am easy going and have nice big gaits. I am good at Eventing and really like cross country. I really like my new job of being a teacher for lesson students!
I’m a 14.2 hand Morgan with a lot of dressage and jumping experience. I have a really cute jump and like to go. I’ll jump just about anything you put in front of me!
I’m new to Twin Oaks and think my new friends here are pretty cool. I’m a black draft cross with big feet and a big head. I’m learning how to be a good lesson horse and think that jumping is pretty fun!