Juan Estrella - Head Trainer / Barn Manager
Juan Estrella has an innate talent for working with horses and riders. Born in Argentina, Juan began riding at 9 years-old alongside his father, a dressage rider and professional trainer. His intuitive understanding of horses, as well as his many years of international experience, guides his work as a trainer and as a teacher, and he’s comfortable offering instruction at every level.
Juan has trained horses for Olympic team riders, as well as for prestigious breeders, and is especially good with young horses new to the sport. But no matter what the technical challenge, Juan is happiest when sharing his vast wealth of knowledge and fostering each rider’s independence. “I love to teach people to connect with their own horses,” he says. “That’s my goal every time I teach.”
Meredith Harding - Trainer / Assistant Barn Manager
Born into a horse-loving family, Merry Harding has been riding ever since she could sit upright, apprenticing with trainer Eddie Horowitz as a working student by age 11, and later working with renowned trainer Don Stewart. She boasts a discernible talent for imparting the foundations of equitation to young riders and cherishes every opportunity to nurture the bond between children and horses. “There is nothing more rewarding than to see a child walk out of a show ring with a smile and give his or her pony a huge hug and a kiss,” says Merry.
When it comes to training horses, Merry brings out the best in every animal, noting how important it is to keep horses active not only in the ring, but on the trails and in the fields. Having served as office manager and head technician at Brookville Animal Hospital for more than 10 years, Merry brings strong organizational skills, as well as a deep understanding of animal health and well being, to Bright Side. “You must protect horses from their weaknesses,” she says, “while working to make their strengths shine.”