Kim is the Barn Manager of Mill Creek. You can find her in the office from Wednesday through Sunday. She occasionally teaches lessons as well and has Evented through the Preliminary Level.
Michelle Cooley has been riding horses for over 22 years. Her robust career began in the hunter/ jumper world where she won the highly sought after Onondarka Medal. Shortly after that, Michelle became immersed in three-day eventing. She has worked with and for a number of industry leaders including Andrea Pfieffer, Kelly Prather, David Adamo and Debbie Rosen before starting a business of her own. She has attended clinics with world renowned equestrians such as Debbie McDonald and Eric Smiley. In addition, Michelle has had extensive experience working with green horses and OTTBs. Michelle was the head trainer at the Thoroughbred Education Foundation for several years where she found and restarted her current mount, as well as participated in rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming all of the foundation’s OTTBs. She also has a strong dressage background. She has years of extensive dressage training with German Schneider and worked for Leslie Morse. Also, Michelle's mom is a dressage trainer who won the Prix St George USDF Championship. Michelle specializes in teaching people of all ages and enjoys providing them with a safe and educational experience. She has high aspirations for herself and always encourages her students to set achievable goals while growing and having fun.
Vivian specializes in bringing horses and riders up the levels, inspiring confidence and a sense of joyful accomplishment along the way. Whether the student is a youngster excited for her first lesson, or an adult amateur coming back to riding after a long hiatus, Vivian’s engaging and positive teaching style builds a strong foundation for the rider’s journey. Based on her extensive experience in a range of equestrian disciplines, Vivian focuses on teaching sensitive communication with the horse and respectful horsemanship in a fun relaxed atmosphere. She encourages riders to stretch themselves, develop positive mental skills and explore how their effort on the horse is also a vehicle for personal growth. Vivian is eager for everyone to experience how amazing it feels to connect with horses. Vivian’s clear instruction and targeted exercises help the rider discover how even small changes-- a shift in position, a lightening of the hands, a deep breath— have an immediate effect on the horse.
Vivian has taught equitation, jumping and dressage at Mill Creek and elsewhere for over 16 years in all formats: groups, private lessons, day camps and private training. Vivian has been especially successful in helping clients find their first horse and working with them to form a happy partnership.
Vivian’s love of horses began as a child in Illinois, where she grew up riding and showing hunter/jumpers, studying dressage and eventing. Today, she specializes in eventing on the Southern California show circuit, with a strong emphasis on dressage. She enjoys bringing young horses along, and trained her own OTTB chestnut mare who has been showing at Novice level.
Vivian has also worked as a professional actor, loves to travel, and is bilingual English/German.
Jenna began riding at the age of seven and came to Mill Creek in 2000. She started as a working student at the age of 17, teaching and helping out around the barn. Jenna left to attend Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, where she majored in Equine Studies with a concentration in communications print journalism and a minor in political and governmental affairs. To help pay for college she would catch ride sale horses at local shows. After college, she came back to Mill Creek to work full time, but left again to join the Peace Corps in Morocco.
She returned to Mill Creek yet again in 2013 and worked in the office and the school horse area where she took care of all the veterinary needs of the school horses. In 2016, Jenna became a full time riding instructor and trainer at Mill Creek. She also runs our Horses in the Hood summer program and our Pierce College classes.
Jenna says, "I guess I have never been able to leave and keep coming back to Mill Creek!"
Los Angeles native Atalya Boytner began riding when she was six years old at Mill Creek. After making her way through the school's levels, she left at eighteen to be a working student at an OTTB retraining and eventing sales barn in Maryland where she helped train and compete sale horses across the national levels. During that time, she had the opportunity to ride with the likes of Phyllis Dawson, Sharon White, and Sharon Graham White. She then attended college at Bennington College in Vermont where she graduated in 2018 with a BA in Costume Design and History. Throughout her time in school, Atalya was a working student at Reindance Dressage with graduates of the Vienna Spanish School of Riding, with Tess Meyer, a dressage trainer of the Nuno Olivera method, and with Tara Lowary of Rhythm Hollow Stables. There she helped manage the collegiate riding team lessons and shows as captain of the Bennington College IHSA team. Her work with collegiate riding earned her the 2018 USHJA/IHSA Regional Sportsmanship Award. She returned to her childhood stable of Mill Creek in the summer of 2018 as a trainer where she has found tremendous joy and satisfaction teaching students of all levels.
In addition to her teaching, Atalya works as a horse show photographer and has covered venues such as Spruce Meadows, the Winter Equestrian Festival, and the Palm Beach Masters.