Born and raised in Austin, TX, Rachel began riding at the age of 6. Rachel became a professional at the age of 18 and worked as assistant trainer for Glen Johnson at Switch Willow and then for Susan Baginski at Baskin Farm. She returned to Texas in March 2012 when she joined Madrone as a trainer and manager. She has since worked her way to the position of head trainer and now owns Madrone. Rachel has many year end championships at both the regional and national level. She has experience showing hunters at all levels including International Derby Finals and Pre-Green finals. She also shows several jumpers ranging from green horses to seasoned Grand Prix horses. Her excellent experience has helped her develop riders through many championships in all three rings.
Cassandra grew-up in New England and fell in love with horses during her first riding lesson at the age of 5. She rode a variety of horses and disciplines through-out college including hunt seat, dressage, and driving. After several freezing winters in northern Vermont Cassandra decided to head south. She moved to Texas in 2012 where she worked for Lanes End Farm and later Pine Hollow Farm before coming to Madrone in 2017. She has a wide range of experience including: grooming at WEF, managing an in-depth lesson program, organizing sales and "AA" show barns, and running local horse shows. Her teaching starts with good horsemanship and a focus on creating clear communication between horse and rider. Cassandra both supports and challenges clients by identifying their individual goals. Whether it is a local or AA show, her love and genuine enjoyment of the horses and the sport is evident.
MaryJean Lhotan (MJ)
Barn Manager / Trainer
MJ is a native Texan, born in Dallas, TX. As a junior rider MJ lived in Southern California and rode with Hap Hansen and Noelle Roberts with guidance from the Clarke family. She competed at the A and AA level with her barn and for her SEL High School team. MJ attended William Woods university and graduated with a Bachelors in Equine Science. After college MJ worked as a barn manager at Mechlin Farms, one of the top hunter jumper barns in St. Louis. After working as an equine vet assistant for Homestead Veterinary Hospital she was looking to come back to Texas and joined the Madrone family in early 2018.
Debbie started teaching in 1991 at Westbridge Equestrian, where she enjoyed starting new riders, training horses, and bringing both horse and rider to the show ring. After Westbridge closed in 2005 Debbie helped establish Bit by Bit farm. She has worked as both a manager and trainer at several facilities throughout central Texas and currently has a thriving business as a freelance trainer and instructor. Debbie joined the Madrone family as an instructor in 2016. She firmly believes in establishing a strong foundation of basic skills, providing riders the opportunity to challenge themselves, and teaching respect and responsibility for the horse in a fun and safe atmosphere.