Instructors & Wranglers

EmmaEmma Billington
Horses have been Emma’s main focus since she was eight years old. Growing up homeschooled on San Juan Island she spent every minute she could at the barn where she took riding lessons. Her lessons included dressage, jumping, vaulting and trail riding, as well as teaching younger kids and cleaning the barn. At age 13 she started taking lessons in Essential Horsemanship from Sus Kellogg. During this time she began learning about hoof care and barefoot trimming. After graduating from Friday Harbor High School, she attended a course in Natural Horsemanship at the Parelli Center in Pagosa Springs Colorado. Since then Emma has spent time working on an Arabian breeding farm, teaching riding lessons, and helping people learn from and understand their own horses. Emma moved to Orcas Island in September 2010 where she continues her study of horsemanship and natural hoof care. She keeps her three horses at Turtlehead Farm.


LizzyLizzy Corliss
When Lizzy was nine years old, she got to take part in her first horse adventure at one of her favorite horse camps, Miracle Ranch. It was a week of learning new things, challenging herself, and getting to know new friends. After that first wild week, she was hooked. She joined the horse 4-H club, the Vashon Island Rock Riders. She convinced her parents she was responsible and serious enough to own a horse right before she turned thirteen. For her birthday she became the owner of Ruby Red Reba, a six year old Quarter Horse mare. Next thing she new, they were competing in 4-H shows. Beyond 4-H, Reba and Lizzy have had the chance to take part in memorial rides, hackamore clinics, and guiding group trail rides. By far, her favorite horse experiences have been those spent sharing these wonderful creatures with others. So, jump in that there saddle friend, lets go have an adventure!


AliceAlice Haefele
Horses have always been an important part of Alice’s life. Although her interest in horses began much earlier, her involvement started at the age of seven when she began volunteering to work around the stables at a Disabled Riding Academy in Santa Barbara, California. At age 10 she moved with her family to the San Juan Islands where she continued to be involved with horses, joining both Pony Club and 4-H. She bought her first horse when she was 12, and since that time has always had one or two horses of her own to care for. Soon after, she began taking regular lessons from Sus Kellogg of Free Horse Farm, and has lived and worked there almost every summer from the time she was a sophomore in high school through her four years at the University of Puget Sound. Since graduating in May 2011, with degrees in both psychology and business, she has continued to pursue horsemanship. Most recently, she has been starting young horses under saddle for Karen Fisher with Dreamer Horse Farm on Lopez Island.


SuzSus Kellogg
Sus brings decades of intensive learning with horses, along with a lifelong study and practice of yoga and ecology, to her approach with horses. A student of the horse, she is devoted to the natural partnership and unity possible between horses and humans. She is the founder of Free Horse Farm and Essential Horsemanship, a natural horsemanship program for horse training and rider instruction. She offers  workshops, camps, individual instruction, colt starting, and training with difficult horses at her farm and elsewhere. Sus works seasonally as a horse trainer for the Spanish Mustang Project in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more about Sus, please visit her website.


Sarah Sarah Mui
Horses have always been a passion in Sarah’s life. She began riding at the age of seven and has been hooked ever since. In California she spent most of her time hidden away on a ranch. She took care of a herd of 12 horses and learned about natural horsemanship.

The heroics of working with children and her interest in natural horsemanship has led her to Orcas Island. Sarah is also very passionate about the environment and works with marine science nonprofits.


CharCharlotte M. Phillips
More than 40 years ago, ten-year-old Charlotte began her life-long passion for animals and community service. From 1961 throughout high school in 1969, Char trained and groomed both dogs and horses though her local Snohomish County 4-H clubs. In 1967 Char attended the Washington State 4-H Conference at WSU and then continued on to college at WSU and CWSC. From 1977-1980 Char was the 4-H Horse Leader for the Ropes & Reins Club on Lopez Island. She taught and mentored more than 100 youth in  horsemanship, record books, public speaking, community service and leadership. In 1978 she was the San Juan county Horse Superintendent and responsible for the 150 youth involved in the county fair horse program. With her move to Vashon Island in 1981, Char was very instrumental in the successful creation of the 43-acre community park, Paradise Ridge, which hosts three equestrian riding arenas and 34 outdoor stalls. From 1982-1999 Char was Horse Leader for the Vashon Rock Riders.


KylaKyla Trujillo
Kyla has a passion for horses and working with youth. A Vashon High School graduate, she is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at Azusa Pacific University. After she graduates in the fall of 2012, she will attend graduate school to work in equine medicine, focusing on physiology.

Kyla has experience working with all kinds of riders, from those who have never ridden to those who were born in the saddle.


JulianeJuliane Wolf-Niekisch
Juliane’s love of horses has brought her to Turtlehead Farm all the way from her home in Hanover, Germany. She started riding horses at age 10, and by age 13 she got her first pony. She now owns a second horse, and has been a riding instructor for over a decade. In the summer of 2008, she worked with disabled adults and gave riding lessons at Domaine Fraser ranch, Quebec, Canada. Also an accomplished musician, Juliane plays the flute in solo, ensemble and orchestra concerts.