Who we are

Amanda McCoy

I started Athens Area Horse Community on a whim over a decade ago to connect to the other horse people in the greater Athens area. I was a local horse trainer and farm services provider prior to making AAHC my full time job.

As a trainer my first goal with horses and riders was always to provide the tools for better communication and trust. I love training dressage, but also enjoy trail riding, jumping, and foxhunting.  Educating kids is a high priority for me, and I am fortunate to be involved in Oconee 4-H as the horse team coach.

I work out of my family farm Allison Creek. My mother has been training horses for decades and I was fortunate to learn at her knee. She still trains horses and offers lessons, and Allison Creek provides farm services – working on horse trailers, custom gates, fencing installs and repairs, barn builds, pasture rehab and maintenance. Whatever service you need on your farm, we can help – let us be your farm hand. Allison Creek wants to help keep you and your horses happy, healthy, and safe.

My goal for this page is to encourage growth of the local horse community. I want to inspire people to get out and ride (or just spend time with their horses -whatever your fancy). I’m excited to have Cathy and Sarah on (more on them in later posts!) the team for events and to encourage growth among our youth and under-served areas of the community. I’d love to get some headway on land-conservation (if you are inspired to carry that ball locally HMU! I’m a little too busy unfortunately.) But really, I want the community to grow as it sees fit. Think of AAHC as the fertilizer for the local community. It’s growing great on its own, but a healthy dose of some aged manure can really make it blossom. Feel free to reach out to me with your ideas and suggestions. Or with any questions really. Let’s build the community together!

My herd:
  • Dobby and Winky -the pups
  • Chocky, Freckles, and Calypso – the horses
  • Brett and Amelia – the husband and daughter

Cathy Micali

I joined the AAHC admin team after Amanda bought a saddle pad from me, and we got to talking. An unplanned job change (sorta like an unplanned dismount!) pushed me out of a scientist career and farther into the horse world.

Although I went to UGA, it wasn’t until I came back to Athens for my scientist job in 2018 that I began to get more involved with the horse community here. I was fortunate to meet some lovely people who got me into field hunting, and I have many of them to thank for a lot of the opportunities I have been exploring since June 2020.

My dream has always been to have a career centered on horses, but with my food science background, I had figured it would be an industry career, working for a big name feed or supplement company. Instead, I found myself giving horse nutrition advice and resources to my friends (and anyone willing to listen!). I was already exercising and hunting horses, so I doubled down on that, and started giving myself the time and space to create things I had never had before. I take pride in creating, and I especially love creating functional, beautiful things, so I taught myself how to sew saddle pads and do some leather sewing. Amanda shared her idea of organizing more local events, so, with a lot of help from my mentors, I put together the Athens Area Horse Community Schooling Series which features fun and unique schooling opportunities year round!

After being thrown into a tailspin due to COVID, my long term goals have shifted. I want to improve the lives of all equines I come into contact with, and their humans. We have such a fun, knowledgeable, and vibrant horse community here, and I am grateful to be part of building an even tighter network.

My Herd:
  • Travis – horse
  • Landon and Nova – pups
  • CB and Adrian – cats
  • Nick – partner

Sarah Hernández

My love for horses all started on a small family farm in Alachua, FL. Split Oak Stables was the name of the farm where my grandparents lived, and my aunts gave me the special gift of knowing that a hard day’s work ends with a ride! I was blessed to spend holidays and much of my summer vacation there every year.

As I got older my weeks throughout the years became less and less time spent at the farm, but my love and passion for horses didn’t die! Between school, work and then having kids, I didn’t have the time or money for horses. Luckily, as my kids got older they wanted to attend horse camp, and the flame in my heart was ignited once again. I didn’t want to leave when I dropped them off. I wanted to be the one in the saddle at their lessons. Before I knew it, we were looking for our first horse! I had weekly lessons and attended clinics, but I was always wanting more.

   Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not a reader, but I’ll read about all things equine anytime! I especially love equine nutrition and training. I didn’t want to just do things a certain way because ”that’s the way it’s always been done.” I wanted to learn the correct way and the healthiest way to benefit my horse and to reach our goals.

   I had a thriving dog grooming business, but I was volunteering my time every chance I got to help and learn about horses. My happiness was at the barn! I’m fortunate enough to have a supportive husband that saw the gleam in my eye, even after working long hours in the heat, rain and cold. He said, ”if this is what you love, stop grooming. Because even when you’re scooping poop I somehow see the happiness in your eyes.” I ended my dog grooming business and worked as a barn manager, which allowed me to continue to grow my knowledge in my passion. One door closed, as they say, and a wonderful friend with a great heart opened another, so I can continue growing and learning in our local horse community. I’m thrilled to be a part of this team with Amanda, a strong willed leader who knows dreams do come true, as long as you’re willing to shovel the poop to get to the other side!

My Herd:

  • Chex- the horse
  • Reba, Ducky and Wicket- our dogs
  • Azu and Cometa- our cats
  • Devin and Kole- my boys !
  • Elías- My hubby, my biggest fan and my equine sponsor