WoodRidge Farm & Eden Michael
Eden Michael has loved horses as long as she can remember.
As a child, she read as many books and watched as many television shows as she could about horses. Even her toys were inspired by horses.
“I named my bike Ruffian as I raced around the neighborhood all summer long,” laughs Eden Michael.
She begged her parents for riding lessons and finally, they gave in when she was 10 years old. Eden was enrolled at a riding academy with a variety of horse breeds. Her riding instructor by chance taught Eden her first lesson on an American Saddlebred. At that moment, she was hooked!
Eden got her foot in the door at Cryst-a-Kell Farm located in Paducah and worked with Vicky Reed who was working for the farm at the time. Eden met Vicky at a barn in Indiana where Vicky boarded her horse and Eden took lessons.
“Vicky took an interest in me and began to teach me how to properly care for and train a show horse. When she moved to Paducah to take a position at Cryst-a-Kell Farms, I visited Paducah and Vicky during the summers to work around the farm. Once I graduated from high school, it just grew from there.”
When the head trainer from Cryst-a-Kell, which changed under ownership to Penny Lane Farms, left the farm, Eden decided she wanted to stay in Paducah and on her career path as a horse trainer and riding instructor and opened up her own farm in the winter of 2008. Today, the farm is located within the same facility her training career began, the former Cryst-a-Kell Farm and today, WoodRidge Farm.
Eden has experienced many highlights in her career and her favorite memories are when she took horses to show at the World’s Grand Championship Horse Show. It just so happens to also be where Eden’s now husband, Jay, proposed.
“It was on a Friday night at the World’s Championship Horse Show and Cryst-a-Kell had a three gaited pony showing in the championship class. I was so excited to be able to step into the ring for the first time at the World’s Championship Horse Show when I helped hold the pony during the confirmation stage of the class. The pony won third which we were thrilled about and I walked her back to her stall after the class. She was this stunning, frisky, solid black mare who was wearing a beautiful yellow ribbon and nothing could top that experience. Until… Jay dropped down in front of a stall and proposed to me in front of all of the customers.”
The World’s Championship Horse Show is the most elite horse show in the American Saddlebred industry and holds some of Eden’s fondest memories.
Over the course of her career, Eden has had the privilege of riding horses she would never have dreamed of and has met many dear friends along the way. She has a true love for the American Saddlebred’s natural beauty and athletic ability.
“The way a Saddlebred can raise up in the bridle, squat down and perform in a show ring is incredible. And there you are to ride along with them. There’s no experience like it,” says Eden.
Eden admits her drive for her career is fueled by her love of horses.
“The horses drive me to do what I do on a daily basis and getting to share this passion with people who have the same love for the animal as I do is so rewarding,” says Eden.
WoodRidge Farm is located at 4285 Schneidman Rd Paducah, Ky. WoodRidge Farm offers training for American Saddlebreds and riding lessons for children from the age to six years old to adult ages with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.