Equestrian Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 Non Profit organization.

We are a Public Charity governed by a Board of Trustees and managed by dedicated volunteers.

Equestrian Arts Foundation was founded in Dayton, OH by Maria Elizabeth Smith in 2005.  And now, we are excited to call Benson Oaks Farm in Blacklick, OH our new home.


MLMichael McGee London



Michael has been a valuable advisor to many organizations for over 25 years. He holds a B.A. & and M.A. and has studied in the U.S., U.K., and France. He is a former faculty member of Wright State University and has taught in Russia & China, as well as having been a guest lecturer at a variety of colleges and universities. His firm is Michael London Associates. He focuses much of his consulting work in the Native American and the Appalachian communities of Ohio.

Michael has been a Trustee and Chairman of the Board for Equestrian Arts Foundation since its inception in 2006 in Dayton, OH.  His knowledge, leadership, and innate talents surrounding relationships with people and horses have been indispensable throughout the growth of our organization.

In addition to being active on our Board of Trustees, Michael co-facilitates Team Building & Leadership Training events when his schedule permits.  


Bridless Jump 450x338Maria Elizabeth Smith


Maria has been training horses and teaching for over 30 years, and her experiences cover many areas of the horse industry, multiple sport disciplines, and a wide variety of supporting skill sets in the areas of education and wellness.

Her training style is inspired by the works of classical masters, as well as modern day equine behaviorists and scientists.  The dominant theme in all of Maria's work is an emphasis on developing the mind, emotions, and body together with "balance in all things."

On a personal level, Maria believes in being of service to others, the power of knowledge, and putting the best of herself into everything that she does. She has always been an unwavering advocate of the horse, and she teaches people to lead them with respect, compassion, communication, and trust.

Equestrian Arts Foundation was founded on the premise that the same character development and leadership skills are required, whether a person hopes to connect with people or horses.  Leadership training creates good horsemen, and skillful horsemanship creates good leaders.


Cat Bio ImageCathryn Young


Cathryn has been a dedicated supporter of EAF for many years, offering her expertise in marketing, fund-raising, and organization guided by a genuine care for people and animals.  Although her background is in marketing, she has worked closely with her sister, who is a veterinarian, and has a broad practical knowledge of animal care and welfare.

Although she is a busy entrepreneur in the health and nutrition industry and mother of three, Cat remains involved in improving her community through education and non-profit involvement.  With wellness and balance being the focus of her personal life-style and business, she is a natural fit for supporting EAF's mission. 

Her super-hero ability to endlessly give of herself and get things done is an inspiration to us all, and we're lucky to have her!


MarknJack Ponderosa closeupMark R. Smith


Mark hails from Los Angeles but now lives in Columbus, OH with Maria and their two dogs.  He is entirely unsure of the weather here, and he misses the ocean, but the beautiful riding trails and the promise of some decent fly fishing may be enough to win him over.

Mark's profession is in cloud computing and consulting, but horses have been one of his interests since he lead guided trail rides through the mountains in Oregon in his youth.  He is now a dedicated supporter of Maria's work and Equestrian Arts Foundation, but riding the local trails and enjoying nature with his horse, Jack, is still his horse activity of choice.

The Corporate Team Building events are of special interest to Mark, as a long-time member of that demographic.  He understands first hand how powerful horses are as teachers of leadership, goal achievement, and trust in working relationships, and believes there is great benefit in sharing this knowledge with others.  Mark regularly offers his consulting services in continuing to develop the Team Building & Leadership Training program, which will now be serving Columbus area businesses.


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