For Betsy Webb, a childhood infatuation with horses has grown into a career as a premier Saddle Seat riding instructor and the driving force behind the creation of the finest equine facility and largest riding lesson program in the Louisville area.
When the state-of the-art Louisville Equestrian Center opened on South English Station Road in the East End of Louisville in late summer 2009, the occasion marked a milestone in Betsy’s commitment to horsemanship at the highest level. “This facility is built to be horse friendly and welcoming to people,” said Webb. “And since we are located in the center of Louisville Metro’s Floyd’s Fork park system, the natural beauty and pastoral setting surrounding the Louisville Equestrian Center will remain intact for both serious riders and casual horse lovers to enjoy for generations.”
Betsy grew up in the Tennessee mountains in a “non-horse” family. She got started in a YMCA horseback riding program and as one riding lesson turned into two lessons each week and then into serious competitive riding, the girlhood dream ultimately became a lifetime devotion.
Following graduation from William Woods University in Missouri, the first university to offer a four-year degree in Equestrian Science, Betsy embarked on a career dedicated to her passion for horses. Prior to striking out on her own, Betsy spent an impressive decade working for others in the Saddle Seat industry, including positions as Assistant Instructor at Premier Stables and almost 10 years as a full-time Riding Instructor for Walnut Way Farm in Simpsonville, KY. At Walnut Way, Betsy helped increase the weekly lesson program from 14 riders to over 150 riders and assisted with the training and instruction of numerous world and national champions in both American Saddlebreds and Arabians.
Emphasizing safety, cleanliness and fun, Betsy opened Betsy Webb Stables (BWS) in 1999 and systematically built the business into a highly successful program that served horse lovers of all ages and levels of expertise. Under her guidance, BWS would eventually teach almost 300 lessons per week in addition to boarding 75 horses for training, camps, lessons and competition; and it soon earned the reputation as “the place to ride” in the Louisville area. Numerous riders competing under the BWS banner, many of whom started as early as age three working with Betsy, have earned regional and national titles throughout the Saddle Seat world since 2000.
Further demonstrating her dedication of quality, Betsy became certified by the American Riding Instructor’s Association, one of only six certified instructors in Kentucky and the only Level III Certified Instructor in the Commonwealth.
In addition to training and instructing, Betsy is an active guest lecturer, horse show manager, horse show judge and an enthusiastic promoter of the Saddle Seat industry. Betsy continuously promotes horsemanship to youth and grownups. She has organized 4-H programs, including the BWS Barn Buddies Show Team, the award winning Barn Buddies Horse Bowl Team and the recently formed Barn Buddies Drill Team program; provided instructional programs and camps certified by the Girl Scouts of America; instructs courses in basic horsemanship for adults through the Jefferson County Adult & Continuing Education Program; oversees a riding program with the Jefferson County Traditional Middle School’s equine program; consistently provides opportunities for inner city and underprivileged youth to experience the joy of riding horses; has introduced equine theatre to marry horses and the arts; and is supporting the development of an equine science class at one of Jefferson County’s public high schools. “The joy you get from riding cannot be put into words. It has to be experienced,” says Webb.