Taylor Dowd - Owner/Head Trainer
Born and raised in Southwest Michigan, Taylor grew up with a deep love for horses. Enrolling in regular lessons at the young age of 6, Taylor has since consistently been continuing her education. She spent years competing, and moving up the ranks as a working student, groom, and rider until 2015 when she established Dowd Equestrian.
Taylor spent two years as Barn Manager and Assistant at KColfer Sporthorses in Harbor Springs, MI, Taylor moved to Central New York in September 2016. Here, she began what became a highly successful lesson and training program at Trillium Stables, Inc in Lafayette, NY. Recognizing the importance of family, Taylor relocated Dowd Equestrian back to Michigan in July 2020.
Finding great pride and pleasure in her teaching and training, Taylor focuses her style toward all around horsemanship. She educates horses and riders on the ground and in the saddle with a strong emphasis on confidence. Her coaching and riding combines the basic flatwork fundamentals with jumping - gymnastics and course work - to create a capable horse and rider combination.
Taylor is an active member of USEF and USHJA, as well as a Certified Trainer through USHJA. She has ridden in clinics including Greg Best, Mellanie Smith-Taylor, George Morris, Julie Winkel, Ronny Reimer, and other great clinicians!
Taylor's goal is to teach teamwork by producing riders that greatly advocate for their horse's comfort and care while also helping horses find fortitude and happiness to willingly perform their job.
Noor Contreras - Assistant Trainer
Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, Noor has always cared about community. After earning her Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Noor decided to continue her studies and enrolled in a graduate program at Michigan State University. Outside of her academic pursuits, Noor is an avid equestrian with over a decade of riding experience. Noor’s other passion is working with children. She has gained extensive teaching experience through volunteering with community organizations, working at summer camps, and tutoring students. When the opportunity arose to combine her love of teaching with her passion for horses, she jumped at it! Noor is excited to be teaching at Dowd Equestrian! She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and experience with her students; helping them to develop their riding skills while fostering personal growth.
Georgia McKay - Beginner Instructor
Georgia grew up in Okemos, MI, and started riding lessons at the age of six. Since then, Georgia has avidly continued her education as a horsewoman and rider, and still takes regular lessons twice a week.
Georgia spent two years at Nottingham Equestrian Center as a senior camp counselor, helping kids find their confidence around horses. Then, she spent four years as a working student at EMB Eventing, learning the ins and outs of running a competition barn and competing regularly on Michigan’s USEA/TEAM circuit. In September of 2022, Georgia moved her horse to Dowd Equestrian and began training under Taylor.
Georgia jumps at any opportunity to learn, and has participated in clinics under Bobby Meyerhoff, Waylon Roberts, Leah Keller, and many others.
Georgia’s goal is for her students to feel confident and safe around (and on) horses, and to create an atmosphere for them to have fun while learning. She believes that learning proper horsemanship and horse care is just as important as learning to ride, and that it’s important to have a strong foundation on the ground as well as in the saddle.