Equestrian Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 Non Profit organization governed by a Board of Trustees and managed by dedicated volunteers.


Michael McGee London

Trustee / Chairman

MLMichael 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 indespensible 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.  


Maria Elizabeth Smith

Founder/ Trustee / President

Bridless Jump 450x338Maria has been training horses and teaching for over 27 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 such as La Guérinière, François Baucher, Nuno Oliveira, and Philippe Karl, 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 is genuine, compassionate, and focused.  She 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 teaches people to lead and educate them with respect, focus, communication, and trust.

Equestrian Arts Foundation was founded on the premise that the same skills and character development are required, whether a person hopes to be an effective leader of people or horses.  Leadership training creates good horsemen, and horsemanship training creates good leaders.

For more information about Maria's skills and experience, you can view her curriculum vitae HERE.


Cathryn Young

Trustee / Vice-President

CatnTom 450x300Cathryn has been a dedicated supporter of EAF for many years, offering her expertise in organization, marketing, fundraising, and a genuine care for people and animals.  

Although she is a busy wife, mother of three, sister, aunt, and 'project manager' for her active family, Cat remains involved in improving her community through education and non-profit involvement.  Her super-hero ability to endlessly give of herself and get things done is an inspiration to us all.  

We wish that we had three more of her, but so does everyone else!


Mark R. Smith


MarknJack Ponderosa closeupMark hails from Los Angeles but now lives in Waxhaw, NC, where he and Maria own the scenic little farm that hosts Equestrian Arts Foundation.  

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 Charlotte area businesses.

Join Our Team!

handsEquestrian Arts Foundation is looking for a few dedicated individuals who are interested in being a part of our vision.  If you have time and/or expertise that you would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you!  Contact Us.