Meet our Instructors
We teach our students to feel confident and proficient in every aspect of horsemanship. Self-assurance, confidence, and discipline come not only from riding but also the time the students spend working with the horses in the barn outside of lessons. Inevitably, riders (and parents) become part of the close-knit VRA family. Friendships form while students perform chores, assist each other, and bond over horses.
PAIGE WILLIAMS – Instructor & Barn Manager
Paige has been riding since she was six years old and has worked with a variety of trainers in both the hunter/jumper and dressage world. Paige started as a hunter rider at age six and then transitioned to the more exciting stadium jumping world with one of her two horses that was shown successfully in the Midwest. To continue riding throughout college Paige was a part time working student and rode as both a dressage and event rider throughout college while completing her Biology Major from Muskingum University. Paige spent a year as a full time working student at both Valhalla Farms in Wellborn Florida, and Windswept Farms in Leesburg Virginia. With her trainer Sara Spofford she wintered in Wellington Florida at Lars Petersen’s barn with 6 horses including her own at the time. Paige also spent a brief time in the exotic animal world before settling at Vogt Riding Academy and is thrilled to work with Anneliese and all the fantastic students at the Academy.
Paige is the current barn manager and beginner/intermediate instructor. She is a dedicated and attentive teacher with riders of all ages and backgrounds.
Amy Kane- Stanely -
Amy started riding as an adult at Vogt Riding Academy in 1996. After several years of riding in the adult classes, she began helping with the vaulting program on Saturdays. For numerous years she served as the assistant instructor and in the late 1990’s became the main instructor for the class each week. In spite of taking time off to have kids of her own, Amy has stayed involved with vaulting continuously in some fashion. Since 2008, Amy has been the full-time instructor for the program. She has three children, including two daughters who have both been through the vaulting program and are now riding in group lessons. She has successfully taken numerous students through the program who have moved on to compete with Anneliese as young adults, including Sarah Crosier who came back to teach after college! The joy of introducing the young students to the barn and the horses as well as helping them develop into confident riders is very satisfying for Amy and she looks forward to watching many more grow up at Vogt Riding Academy.
MELANIE SOUTHARD – Instructor
Melanie began her riding career at the Vogt Riding Academy in 1966 at the age of 9. Always riding in group lessons, she learned to listen and do, even when the teacher was instructing another student, in order to receive the coveted "Jawohl!" (Yes!) from Mr. Vogt. Mrs. Vogt was a constant inspiration, riding Grand Prix movements such as Piaffe and Passage on her Lipizzan stallion Maestoso, and Melanie quickly realized that horses would be an important part of her entire life. During the 1960's and 70's, the Vogts bred Lipizzans and Thoroughbreds giving Melanie the opportunity to learn how to develop and train horses from foal to full maturity. Melanie showed hunter/jumper and equitation with Anneliese during her high school years, and then went on to pursue her own professional riding career while still working with Anneliese regularly. After competing herself, and as a trainer with students, for several years in Combined Training as well as dressage, Melanie decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a Grand Prix dressage trainer. With her horse Egor, whom she trained and developed from Training Level to Grand Prix, Melanie earned her Bronze, Silver, and Gold USDF medals. In 2002, she became a USDF Certified Dressage Trainer. Throughout all the years since 1966, Melanie has continued to train with Anneliese, and since the 1980s, she has come back to the VRA as a "visiting instructor" several times a year. In 2022, she moved to Atlanta, joining the barn as a year-round instructor, teaching private and group lessons.
Melanie is also a school teacher with over 15 years experience teaching 4th through 8th grades. For the past 7 years, she has been teaching Middle School Math and Algebra and has K-8 certification in New York, Arizona, Florida and Georgia, as well as a national Highly Qualified Math Teacher certification.