Michael Lyons Horsemanship and Partnership with Heart of Phoenix: The success story of Carolina, made possible because an incredible trainer stepped in to help

In the fall of 2018, Julia and Michael Lyons of Michael Lyons Horsemanship in North Carolina approached us to say they wanted to partner with us to accept a horse in need of rescue, rehab and training through Heart of Phoenix.

We were blown away at the opportunity this presented!

About This Team:

Michael Lyons made the decision to dedicate his life to learning the ways of horsemanship after working and seeing the impact his family made on the equine industry. Following the teachings of his family, as well as his own experiences, Michael is able to pass on proven methods to horses and riders.

Michael resides in North Carolina with his wife, Julia Lyons where they teach clinics, lessons, and train horses. Michael enjoys taking the legacy that  his Father, John Lyons “America’s Most Trusted Horseman” created and providing the knowledge that he can to help riders learn more about how to effectively communicate with their horses.




Julia fell in love with horses at a very young age. She has a background in dressage, a little bit of jumping/eventing and showing in many western events.

She spends her time now teaching clinics alongside Michael, or continuing to grow her equine lesson program.  As well as using her knowledge in bodywork and equine massage to give back to the horses that give so much to us.

She firmly believes that you can utilize good horsemanship for all disciplines of riding and loves being to help riders get the confidence they need to achieve their horsemanship goals!

The mare we ultimately named Carolina came in through an animal control seizure soon after we talked to Julia and Michael.

Carolina went to them as soon as she was stable enough to travel to NC, and they had her for 8 months until she blossomed into this:

What they gave freely to Carolina was priceless!

Julia said, “This has been a great experience. May have gotten a touch attached to this one 😩 Hard not to when you see them bloom so much in such a short period of time.”

The donated care, training, photosessions and exposure to excellent horsemanship and horse people through this experience was tremendous for HOP and the adoptable horses nationwide.

This was the write up once she was ready for adoption:

“Meet Carolina

She is a beautiful 6 year old QH mare. Carolina came to Michael Lyons Horsemanship in January of this year. Through the past several months she has made a HUGE recovery both physically and mentally. Due to her condition upon arrival, the start to her riding training was slow. She currently has a little over 90 days of ridden work.

She has great ground manners, and an overall calm demeanor. She is building confidence in her surroundings and people. Loves attention, stands to be tied, trailer loads, and stands for the farrier.

She is learning to be confident undersaddle. Has 3 nice gaits but still needs work at the lope. She has a nice relaxed lope, but is still working on balancing herself through it and how to use her body well.

She would be best suited for an intermediate rider who can continue to teach her and expose her. She can occasionally get strong undersaddle (typically when she decides she wants to be done and would rather go to her stall 🤣) Though that is getting better and better with each ride.

I do believe this girl is going to continue to progress and will make an INCREDIBLE mount. She already is great, but still new to it all. She has crossed obstacles, gone to an expo with us and done short trails rides. But most of her work has been in the arena teaching body control, softness, and building herself back up 😀 She has a great start to all of this, and is ready for her next rider to finish her out their way! I encourage you to call us if interested in Carolina to make sure that not only is she the right fit for you, but you for her.”

As a result, this beauty was adopted to Tracy in WV, and her person adored her.
This was an amazing experience and Carolina’s story reached the industry in a new way. We hope we can expect even more trainers to decide to be part of this type of experience in the future!
At Heart of Phoenix, we are so thankful for our national partner network of equine professionals, including trainers, farriers, vets, boarding barns and sponsors, as their partnerships help us all create unity for the horse industry. #RIGHTHORSE

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