our staff

William G. Durden – Owner, Master Trainer & Riding Instructor

Raised in Woodstock, GA, Will is very excited to be able to provide his expertise and knowledge in the place where he calls home.

Will’s interest in horses began at a very young age.  As a child he started riding and showing, and fell in love with the equine sport.  Always in the ribbons at all the local shows around Atlanta, GA, he decided to pursue a professional career in equestrian sports.

After graduating from Sequoya High School in 2000, Will attended Meredith Manor International Equestrian Center, the top equestrian school in the United States.  Will studied dressage and hunter-jumper disciplines and graduated with honors attaining the highest teaching certification and Riding Master VI.  He was hired right out of school to train Hanoverians in Santa Barbara, California. 

Will then returned to the east coast and took a job with Highlife Farms in Orlando, Florida.  He taught at the Grand Cypress Equestrian Center for two years before deciding to leave to pursue his dream of owning his own stable where he could train, show, and teach others the skill of riding and horsemanship that he has enjoyed so much.

To schedule a meeting or lesson/training with Will, please email him at william.g.durden@owlridgeequestrian.com or call 470-328-9800.

 

Dr. Kara O’Connor Yarbrough – Trainer & Riding Instructor

Kara’s passion for horseback riding began at the early age of 6 and her passion for the sport, dedication, hard work and love of horses has brought her where she is today.  During her extensive riding career, Kara has competed as a junior in hunters, jumpers, and equitation in local and A-rated shows earning multiple championships.  She continues to compete as a professional in jumpers, hunters and dressage.

In 1996 she represented Lake Erie College in the I.H.S.A. (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) National champion competitions where she helped her team earn 5th place in the nation. She is a Regional Reserve High Point Champion.

Kara holds a bachelor’s degree in Equine Science from Lake Erie Collage specializing in teaching and training. She received a Doctorate in Chiropractic from Life University. Kara is also Animal Chiropractic Certified by AVCA (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) and holds certifications in Equine Postural Rehabilitation, and Equine Sports Massage. She is presently working on her USHJA Trainer Certification.

Kara has the reputation as an understanding and patient instructor. She provides hands on care for all the horses she works with.  Kara’s ultimate goal is to guide her students towards the confidence, skills and foundation in their riding to help them reach their potential as well as the potential of their horse.  With her ability to motivate and challenge students, Kara has brought many horses and riders through the ranks and produced many competitive horses and riders that are still competing and active in the industry today.

Presently, Kara is the Head Coach for two IEA Equestrian Teams; Lassiter High School Equestrian Team and the Mt Bethel Christian Academy Equestrian Team here at Owl Ridge Equestrian Center.

To schedule a meeting or lesson/training with Kara, please email her at kara.yarbrough@owlridgeequestrian.com or call 678-612-4488.

 

Kathy Darnell – PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning, Therapeutic Program Manager

Kathy is a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning through PATH International. She has been active in the therapeutic horsemanship industry since 2008 at the instructor level as well as serving 4 years as the PATH Intl State Chair for Georgia. Kathy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Piedmont College and a Master’s of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University. She is certified in Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse and is a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia and a National Certified Counselor currently working towards full licensure.

To schedule a meeting or lesson/training with Kathy, please email her at kathy.darnell@owlridgeequestrian.com or call 770-715-9685.