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.
Our Mission is to bring people & horses together...
in ways that allow them to bring out the best in each other.
- dummy People learn about themselves and develop positive life skills by partnering with horses to solve puzzles & achieve goals together.
- dummyHorses & Riders learn to connect their hearts, minds, and bodies with gentle, science-based horse training teachniques.
Our Vision is a Culture of Connection.
Connection with ourselves, with others, and our world.
Horses happen to be a very special part of our world, and they have so much wisdom to share with us about relationships, authenticity, and cooperation (among other things).
“Who we are is how we lead.”
~ Brené Brown
...is to improve the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of people and horses by bringing them together for mutual benefit.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Meet Our Board Members
Michael McGee London
Trustee / Chairman
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.
Maria Elizabeth Smith
Trustee / President
I'm a Strategic Intervention Life & leadership Coach, as well as a master horsewoman of 30 years. When I founded Equestrian Arts Foundation in 2004, I knew that people and horses had the ability to help each other learn, heal, and grow in profound ways. My jouney has been to build programs that facilitate this magic and preserve the purity of our mission.
Our horses are not "tools" for human therapy, and they are not recreational equipment for horsemanship. We don't force them to perform or participate, and they are generous and kind because of it. They are thinking, feeling individuals that connect with us willingly and give honest feedback. They go out of their way to communicate, because we listen. This is rare in the horse industry, and I think it's what sets our horses and programs apart.
I've made it my personal mission to improve the quality of life for people and horses by bringing them together to become the best version of themselves. We are here to change the world two heartbeats at a time.
I have combined my background in Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Behavior Change Strategies, and Holistic Health with Strategic Intervention Coaching. I completed my coach training at Robbins-Madanes Training under my teachers Tony Robbins, Cloe Madanes, Mark Peysha, and Magali Peysha.
Each of my sessions combines the best of Equine Assisted Development and Strategic Intervention for a unique, authentic coaching experience designed by you and a special horse.
Trustee / Vice-President
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!</p
Mark R. Smith
Trustee / Advisor
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.