Q: What are your names and current job titles?
A: (Pace) Lynn Pace, former owner of Dixie Stables.
A: (Jarriel) Caitlin Jarriel, trainer and instructor at Southern Legacy Stables, formerly known as Dixie Stables
Q: What is your role at Southern Legacy Stables?
A: (Pace) Now co-instructor and on-call helper for Southern Legacy Stables.
A: (Jarriel) My mornings are spent working horses. My afternoons and evenings are devoted to teaching riding lessons alongside Lynn Pace. Our goal at the barn is to create an environment where our clients can escape from the stresses of life, relax on horseback and socialize with their best friends — two-legged and four! We have a wide range of students. We have several students that compete across multiple states while some students that only want to ride for exercise.
Q: How long have you known Ann Eaker?
A: (Pace) Ann started lessons at Dixie as a military kid, with Dad, in the service, and Mom, a teacher. She loved being a barn kid, excelled at learning and working with horses, participating in shows. Her supportive parents bought her first horse, “Coley Joe,” and daily work with this “best friend” quickly made her an accomplished rider. Years later, as an advanced student, she was instructing other young riders, including my preteen stepson, Rusty. Once, when he balked at a recommended haircut, he was happily compliant when Ann and friend sat him down with scissors. When her dad retired and became headmaster at a military school in Milledgeville, the whole family, including Ann’s two siblings, spent a month at the stable in my recently vacated mobile home after their home sold a little early.
A: (Jarriel) I have known Ann since I was a little girl. We would ride and show together. Our friendship grew when she returned to the barn as an adult rider. Her horse, Glendale’s Daisy Belle, was put into training with me in the fall of 2014. Ann and Daisy had an incredible show season together in 2015, boasting numerous awards on a local, regional and national level. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to work with Ann and Daisy, and could not be more proud of this team! Ann has excelled at both saddle seat and hunt seat. Ann has set goals, achieved them and kept right on going! There is nothing I enjoy more than watching our show team exceed!
Q: Why do you feel Eaker has achieved success as a rider?
A: (Pace) Horses have so much to teach kids about working for goals, responsibility, teamwork and communication. But for horses to do their job, children have to love the process, to have the desire to become the best partner with a being that doesn’t speak their language, and to work really hard at it. Ann had that.
A: (Jarriel) Ann never gives up. The equestrian athlete needs to put in hard work and persistence. Ann has done exactly that. When she hits a challenge, she rises to the occasion and pushes through it. Ann and Daisy have a special bond, and you can’t miss that bond when they compete in the show ring together.
Q: What makes the horse-riding community so special at Southern Legacy Stables?
A: (Pace) Dixie Stables has always been about family. It’s not a place to spend half an hour sitting on a horse. From the first ride, when a child realizes that this large, beautiful and magical creature takes orders from them, to successes in the show ring, they learn how to accomplish life. Our students, kids and adults are here through both joyful times and heartbreaking events. With people and horses, we learn how life works and learn to handle it. And when you are helping your horse be all it can be, he is really teaching the rider the same thing.
A: (Jarriel) Growing up at Dixie Stables was a “magical” experience for all of us barn kids! I started riding with Lynn at age 13. Lynn teaches horsemanship, not just how to sit and look pretty on a horse. She teaches life lessons. She teaches ethics and morals. She has always been someone we all look up to. She has, undeniably, made some of the best riders in the South. Since she has handed off the business to me, my goal is to continue on her tradition. What makes us so special? Our barn family is truly one of a kind. We celebrate together; we mourn together. We are always there for each other during life’s ups and downs.
Q: How has Ann played a role in the camaraderie at Southern Legacy Stables?
A: (Pace) Ann is a lifelong friend, not just with me, but with the extended horse family. She has been many places, accomplished many things, endured joy and heartache, and will continue to do so, but she has always come home.
A: (Jarriel) Ann has been a part of the barn family here since 1976. She understands what it’s like to be the barn kid that never wants to leave! Ann is a role model for our next generation of riders. They look up to Ann because of everything she has achieved. As Lynn loves to say, “Horses raise great kids.”