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Fitness, Performance and the Female Equestrian

She Flies Without Wings

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Women & Horses by Mary D. Midkiff - horseback riding fitness techniques for women

Women & Horses, knowledge for the female equestrian; female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

Mary D. Midkiff: Background & Resume

""Download or Print the Complete Resume

As the creator and founder of the Women & Horses™ fitness and performance program, Mary D. Midkiff is known as a pioneer in the horse industry. A lifelong horsewoman, Midkiff is a professional instructor, clinician, trainer, and author. She specializes in taking a holistic approach to conditioning and training horses, creating a deep bonding partnership between horse and human, and in providing information, techniques and resources for the female equestrian.

Midkiff is the author of She Flies Without Wings: How Horses Touch A Woman's Soul, released in North America by Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc., in April 2001. "She Flies" was the number one best selling non-fiction book in Lexington and Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, Ohio upon its release in April and May of 2001. It reached number one in Denver, CO and stayed in the top ten list for several months in this regional market. "She Flies" was also released in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Holland and Germany in 2001 and 2002, and China in 2005. Midkiff received the national literary "Willa Award" for memoir/essay from the Women Writing the West organization in October of 2002.

Macmillan published Midkiff's first book entitled Fitness, Performance and The Female Equestrian released in October of 1996. "Fitness" is currently published by John Wiley Publishing and has had a resurgence as a result of the popularity of "She Flies". FPFE remains the definitive source for young and adult female riders.

In her journey to provide horse people with meaningful tools to connect with their horses, Midkiff's Women & Horses™ The InBalance Horse essential oil blend was created by partnering with a professional aroma therapist. It has proven beneficial in providing aromatherapy, natural insecticides, natural perfume, skin softener and massage oil for both the horse and the rider. The horse experiences calming, focusing and tension releasing benefits while the rider can use the oils to calm their nerves and have an enjoyable ride. The InBalance Horse oil blend is potent and is made specifically for horse use only.

Midkiff is the president of Equestrian Resources (EQR), a marketing and planning firm specializing in horse-related sporting, showing and recreational activities. EQR is based in Louisville, KY and is a division of Racing Resource Group, Inc. EQR was created in 1991.

In 1992 she launched the Women & Horses™ (W&H) Fitness and Performance Program. Midkiff has promoted W&H through her appearances on television programs, published articles, and has made presentations and live horse educational demonstrations at conventions and meetings worldwide. She travels extensively conducting clinics.

In November 1995, Midkiff received an award from the American Medical Equestrian Association (AMEA) in recognition of her outstanding service to the horse industry and the AMEA.

In June 1997, the Women & Horses Equestrian Video Library and the W&H Product Line were introduced including the Get Fit To Ride Introduction and Get Fit To Ride Workout videos and the Equestrian Ball and Band™ riding simulation, exercise and teaching device.

In conjunction with the development of W&H, Midkiff partnered with the American Quarter Horse Association to establish and develop a new perpetual award program through the Women's Sports Foundation called the AQHA National Female Equestrian Award to recognize and reward an outstanding female equestrian annually. EQR is a Foundation business member.

Midkiff is an active rider, trainer, clinician and author based in Louisville, KY.

*Detailed career information, radio and television appearances, articles list and further background are included in the Resume attachment.

Further Background

Ms. Midkiff is a native of Lexington, Kentucky and a University of Kentucky graduate with honors in Advertising and Communication. During her lifelong involvement in the horse industry she has interned at The Blood-Horse Magazine; acted as a consultant for a nationally recognized sales and auction company; proffered for a bloodstock agency; assisted in creating and promoting a large Thoroughbred training center; commissioned to evaluate and analyze a resort/ranch hotel riding concession; consulted with the Maryland State Department of Education on developing and managing the Potomac Horse Center; and worked as an administrator for a Standardbred racing and breeding partnership.

Growing up in the heart of Bluegrass country, Midkiff has always had horses in her blood. Her grandfather, Dan B. Midkiff, Sr., was a well known horse industry entrepreneur, training for such notables as Louis B. Mayer and Nelson Bunker Hunt. He was a Thoroughbred race horse trainer, owner and breeder; designer, builder and owner of Thoroughbred farms and training centers throughout central Kentucky; one of the founders and builders of the historic Keeneland Race Course; and first president of the Thoroughbred Club of America.

A Versailles, Kentucky Thoroughbred breeding farm was her home and her playground until she was 9. Her family then moved to Lexington and she continued riding through lessons and working at horse facilities. Her riding skills include saddleseat equitation, hunt seat equitation, dressage and combined training. She also spent many hours on the range helping her father herd cattle when he moved to Texas. She completed the University of Kentucky's equitation program with honors and received her Horsemaster's certification in 1976 from the Maryland State Department of Education and the British Horse Society. Midkiff has instructed and trained horses for the past 30+ years.

From 1986-1991 in Washington, D.C., Midkiff served as the American Horse Council's (AHC) Executive Secretary of Showing, State Horse Councils, and the Animal Welfare Task Force. She traveled around the country on behalf of AHC speaking and promoting the many positive aspects of the horse industry, presenting factual industry data, and informing various groups of legislative and organizational activity. Her articles were published throughout the trade press and she has been quoted as an equestrian expert on many occasions. She acted as liaison to the American Youth Horse Council and received a 1990 National Youth Leadership Award.

She coordinated an annual state horse council educational conference, and AHC's annual convention in Washington, D.C., arranging and implementing for the first time, a sponsorship program to support the many special events and professional programs featured.

Midkiff also represented AHC on the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition, a national group of agriculture-related producers and users concerned about the animal welfare issue and being prepared in times of adversity. In 1990, while attending the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden, she served in an advisory capacity representing the United States before the FEI's committee on Animal Welfare. Midkiff was editor of the "Horse Industry Directory," a comprehensive listing of organizations and companies associated with the industry.

""Download or Print the Complete Resume

female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

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