Project Description

Our Program

Are you interested in a career devoted to riding or horses? Do you want to learn how top level event riders work and train? Are you a self-motivated individual looking to learn what it takes to: care for high performance horses; teach green horses the confidence and skills for eventing; and groom at top shows? Our program allows for students to train with their own horse in exchange for work at our New York and South Carolina farms.

Working students are required to commit to a six day week, with one day off each week. Working students receive room and board for one horse, and lessons each week, as well as coaching at shows. Working student duties include but are not limited to: stall cleaning, turn in and turnout, grooming, tacking up and untacking, packing for horse shows, grooming at horse shows, cleaning tack, mixing grain, assisting vets, farriers, and massage therapists, and night check. Working students need to be self-starters and have a solid work ethic, as the days are long and the schedule is intense.

If you love horses and thrive in a learning environment, we’d love to meet you! Through our program, many working students transitioned to equine careers.  Read below to see where our previous working students are now!

Current Students

Samantha Colt

Sam has been a working student since the fall of 2016. She relocated from Vermont with a sale horse, and after selling that horse she was granted the ride on James Wildasin’s Callé. She has successfully competed at the Preliminary level with Callé and completed her first CCI1* at Bromont, placing 12hth out of 45. Sam especially enjoys grooming at the big shows for Mikki and Bridgette.

Laine Metz

Laine began working at ABF in April of 2018. Previously, she competed at NAJYRC at the one star level. After completing young riders she sold her horse and bought Fly Boy, a flashy and super Irish sport horse. Laine is currently competing at Training level with the hopes to advance to the two star young riders.

Angela Custer

Angela has been working with Mikki and Bridgette for over a year. She has competed through the Novice level and is hoping to advance Training level in 2019. Angela currently has the ride on ABF Special Feature (Chili). Previously, she was a working student helping to bring along young horses, from their first time under saddle through their first competition.

Past Students

Janelle Phaneuf

Janelle joined our team in 2012 as Mikki’s assistant with a plan to make riding her career. She is a very natural and experienced rider with a tremendous desire to learn and has truly accomplished her early goals.  After working for Aiken Bach Farm for five years, selling and producing two young horses, and successfully riding to the CIC 2* level, she went on to be a four-star international groom for Hannah Sue Burnett. She is in her third year working for Hannah and is now riding and competing horses in Hannah’s barn. She was recently ranked among the top 50 riders in the U.S. for Eventing.

Stacy Taylor

Stacy had the fantastic opportunity to travel south to Aiken, SC with the ABF team as a working student for the winter of 2012, alongside Mark Greene and Hannah Forte. She had recently graduated from Gettysburg College and had just finished the last of her veterinary school applications when Mikki offered her a spot. Stacy credits her time working for ABF in Aiken for her acceptance into the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She has since graduated from vet school, completed an internship with Fairfield Equine and now practices alongside her mother (another ABF team member) at Simmelink Equine Practice, with the goal of starting her own business in Equine Acupuncture and Chiropractic Medicine this next calendar year. Stacy currently lives in Redding, Connecticut with her husband Kranz, her horse Darby and their dog Calista. Stacy still enjoys riding her wonderful “retired” Connemara Darby, with whom she successfully competed through the Preliminary level. Stacy would whole-heartedly recommend the ABF program to anyone interested in eventing or becoming a working student. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of her life.

Mark Greene

Mark cumulatively spent six months working for ABF while in college, an experience that proved to be highly rewarding and formative. Due to Mikki’s compassion and generosity, he considers her to be one of the most influential people in his life. As a working student, Mark had the opportunity to train with Mikki and groom at competitions to the CCI3* level. After his time with ABF, Mark achieved his A Traditional Pony Club certification and attained a doctorate in mechanical engineering. He now works and lives in Virginia with his semi-retired thoroughbred mare and looks forward to finding his next eventing partner.

Hannah Forte

Hannah worked for Mikki from 2010-2012, where Mikki brought her from a Beginner Novice level rider to completing the NAJYRC CCI* in 2012. Hannah spent two winter seasons with ABF in Aiken, and still keeps up with many other ABF students. Hannah went to the University of Kentucky and was an officer on the college eventing team. She now works as Equine Territory Manager for Boehringer Ingelheim, and keeps her three retired horses.