Tallahassee Eventing Barn
Iron Star Equestrian
Iron Star Equestrian can be found in the peaceful town of Havana, FL, only a 30 minute drive from Tallahassee. Sarah MacKusick Mills founded Iron Star Equestrian, a Tallahassee Eventing Barn, in 2009 and has climbed her way towards a very successful farm. Some of the highlights of her facility include a booming horseback riding lesson program, a competitive horse show team, and a new venture into breeding high class Trakehner horses.
The property itself is named “Little’s Crossing” after the previous owners, Martha and Sonny Little. Martha was a successful upper level dressage rider and Sunny trained horses. Sarah wanted their legacy to live on by naming the spacious 22 acres after them. The facility was first created in the 90’s and was built specifically for training horses. There are 3 arenas, a sand dressage ring, covered and lighted arena, and a jump grass ring. Also on the property is a round pen, 8 stalls, an air conditioned tack room, and a cross country course with obstacles up to novice height. There are plans to make additions to the property including more stalls, an apartment, and another tack and feed room. Along with the amenities of Little’s Crossing, there is an ample amount of grass turn out for the horses.
If you’re looking for horseback riding lessons at a Tallahassee eventing barn, Iron Star Equestrian is a good fit for you. They have lesson horses fit for all ages, and all skill levels from beginner to novice. Their facility stays busy with a full show schedule. Not only are they the home of the Florida State University Eventing Team, but they also take their other students to local and recognized shows. Sarah is the president of the Deep South Dressage and Combined Training Association (DSDCTA) Northwest Florida Chapter, Iron Star travels to and hosts DSDCTA shows. Iron Star also travels to shows held at Chat Hills, Poplar, Florida Horse Park, Rocking Horse, Jacksonville Equestrian Center, and Atlanta, GA. Other services offered are pasture horse boarding, stall horse boarding, horse training, and horse sales.
Sarah began riding at seven years old in the Atlanta, GA area. She competed as a hunter/jumper for most of her youth, and has since transitioned to riding dressage and teaching eventing. During her youth she competed at many “A” shows in the Atlanta area and continued on to become the IHSA Hunt Seat President at Georgia Southern University. While competing with the IHSA team she qualified for Nationals where she came in fifth place. Iron Star began as a “Craigslist trainer” when Sarah would respond to ads in search of horse training help. A client of hers asked if she would like to open her own barn, to which she eagerly committed to, thus Iron Star Equestrian developed a home. Iron Star quickly outgrew the first property, and eventually called Little’s Crossing her home. Sarah has several USDF recognized placings, as well as year end awards of Grand and Reserve Champion. One of her favorite (and recent) accomplishments is her 2019 Trakehner filly who earned Premium status at the American Trakehner Association (ATA) inspection at Valhalla in Live Oak, Florida.
Iron Star Equestrian has grown to a large program consisting of 25 lesson students with 21 horses on the property. The goals for Iron Star are endless! Sarah believes there are numerous things that contributed to Iron Star’s success. The horses are Sarah’s top priority, she ensures that they all receive the top care. Following the horses are her students. She has high hopes for each student that crosses her path and will do anything to help them reach their goals. Top dressage riders, such as Brian MacMahon and Jodie Kelly, are brought in as often as possible to host clinics for the students to learn. Sarah encourages her students to learn from as many trainers, and horses, as they can because you learn the most by doing. Sarah admits that though she has been a professional for years, her skillset is limited. If a student surpasses what she can teach them, she encourages them to move on to a trainer who can help move them forward. Her kindness and honesty is a big part of her success, everything is transparent with Iron Star Equestrian. However, Iron Star is not only about riding horses, Sarah encourages students to volunteer at home horse shows and Red Hills where she is in charge of dressage. The horse industry can become pretty brutal at times and we are all anxious and sometimes frustrated at horse shows, Sarah believes you have a better appreciation for horse shows (and those working them) if you volunteer. It takes a hard working person to run a horse show and it builds more than just “horse skills”.
There is currently a waiting list at Iron Star Equestrian for boarding, if you’re interested you can contact Sarah Mills at (770)598-6745. You may also contact Sarah for more information about their lessons, training, or sales.
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