Manager & Trainer
Emile Hart-Finstad coached the Maryville College Equestrian Team before becoming a busy full-time mom homeschooling four children. Recently returning to the lesson ring, Emile is available for regular lessons in equitation as well as eventing disciplines.
Emile has ridden most all of her life and was successful in 4H and United States Pony Club activities as a child. As an adult she successfully competed in the North American Young Riders Championships and has been a member of the United States Equestrian Team. Welcoming her once again as an active teacher/trainer, one of her personal mottos is “Good, Better, Best! Never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best!”
Katie Settlage was born and raised outside San Francisco where she began her life-long passion for horses. As a small child she rode and competed in the pony divisions, but by age 11 she was actively retraining ex-racehorses for the Jumper ring. Katie particularly enjoys working with young and green horses, sculpting their talent and helping them find their perfect career. Her other passion is teaching students of all levels, and she strives to instill in her students the qualities not just of good riding, but of good horsemanship. A true horseperson is one who is knowledgeable and involved with all aspects of horse care, and Katie strives to continually study topics such as shoeing, veterinary medicine, lameness, nutrition, equipment, training techniques, and more. Her personal riding philosophy involves a multi-disciplinary approach to English riding, using a strong background in dressage to prepare horses and riders for Hunters, Jumpers, and Eventing. Her teaching philosophy focuses on explaining the “why” of riding, not just the “what”, so that riders can become effective problem solvers. She offers personalized, one-on-one feedback using a mixture of visual and auditory teaching methods to help riders break through plateaus and reach their full potential. Katie’s passion outside of horses has always been for the environment and ecology. She has her M.S. in Wildlife Biology from The University of Tennessee, where she completed her degree in 2005. She and her husband spend their free time exploring country roads, hiking in the mountains, gardening, and playing with their son.
Laura Grumbach Wolfe was born in Kentucky but moved to Tennessee when she was in first grade. She started riding at a public barn and would ride any horse offered. At age ten she joined Pony Club and progressed up the levels and obtained the prestigious “A” rating. Originally she showed in the jumper and equitation rings before moving into eventing. Her passion turned out to be dressage and she has followed that venue for many years competing through 4th level.
Laura has trained with many top riders (most recently James Koford) and has participated in clinics with Hilda Gurney, Reiner Klimke, Lilo Fore, Michael Poulin, and Robert Dover. She loves to work with riders interested in establishing a solid foundation of basics upon which to progress in dressage. She helps riders to move confidently from one level to the next to hone the skill and feel of proper movement and does not simply focus on winning in the show ring. However, the first does often result in the second!
Laura is a graduate with distinction of The USDF “L” Judges program. She currently lives on a small farm with her husband, Richard. She is currently training two young German riding ponies as well as starting a 2 year old Hanoverian filly. She is very involved in the Tennessee Valley Pony Club, the local chapter of the United States Pony Club (USPC). There isn’t much free time left, but what she has is spent working on her farm and enjoying family time.