For as long as Erika can remember, she has been around horses and a myriad of other animals. She grew up in East Tennessee, on a 160 acre farm adjacent to her Grandparents. She was raised to be familiar with the multiple aspects of farming and rural life, but found a real and true passion in riding and horsemanship. The horses on the farm were sometimes difficult to manage, but helped Erika achieve a wonderful seat at a very young age, since most of her riding was done bareback.
Her first job was at a trakhener farm as a stable hand, handling the every day happenings on the farm, as well as exercise riding and breeding management. Over the course of 5 years, Erika was not only promoted to an assistant trainer, but was responsible for taking horses on fox hunts, to shows, and teaching horses to be confident on trail. Her career progressed as an independent horse trainer by buying, re-training, and selling many horses to families of whom loved to ride trail or show, and specifically wanted a finished and polished horse or pony. This is the aspect of horses she is most passionate about, as well as sharing her knowledge of horses with others.
In addition, Erika assists annually as a camp counselor and assistant teacher/photographer to a farm of whose camp she attended as a child in East Tennessee. Erika has a history in horse shows; from 4-H horse judging as a child, assisting in IEA shows with her childhood trainer, riding on behalf of the barns she worked for, working as a barn manager for the founder of FarmVet, and riding on MTSU’s Equestrian Team. Erika became an Assistant Barn Manager at Emory & Henry Equestrian in Virginia, and then moved back to Middle Tennessee to be with her family and continue as an instructor and trainer with Trish Franks and the barn family here!