ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY ABIGAIL BOATWRIGHT
“MISS KATE, WHEN I GET OLDER, I never want to get married,” says a
tween girl grooming a trusty lesson horse. “I just want to have, like, 50
horses.” Conversations like these make Kate Evans’ day. The owner of a
non-profit known as Life in Stride Riding Academy, Kate fondly recalls
making the same kinds of statements at that age. Some things change—
Kate is happily married, and she doesn’t quite have 50 horses—but the
horse-crazy mindset behind those proclamations still runs deep.
Kate encourages the girl
and her riding classmates
to finish tacking their
mounts in the wildly
painted turquoise-and-pink barn aisle and guides
them toward the arena for
their lesson. Surrounded
by precocious young girls
with beloved lesson horses
and wearing her favorite
stingray boots, Kate is in
her element, and she turns
to the group with a wide
grin and a silly dance to get
the session started.
Girls attending Life in Stride Academy are surrounded by a fun
and inclusive environment while they learn solid riding principles and life skills.
Riding academy owner Kate Evans uses
her unique style to build young girls’ confidence
and give back to at-risk youth.