Friday, January 31, 2014


Let me introduce our new Hunter/Jumper trainer . . . .

Michelle Plonus - Crescent Equines, LLC at Table Mountain Ranch 

Michelle Plonus has accepted the position of Hunter/Jumper trainer for Table Mountain Ranch starting at the end of February. Training at numerous, highly rated facilities across the US, Michelle has over 20 years of professional experience developing horses and students alike.

Preparation for CHJA and “A” rated shows will be Michelle’s main focus. Programs are carefully tailored for each horse and rider to keep them happy and healthy. She also welcomes beginner and casual, recreational riders to develop safe, enjoyable relationships with their horses.


Horses have always been Michelle’s main passion in life.  She began riding at the age of 4 and grew up a block away from one of Illinois’ most prestigious Hunter/Jumper barns. Inevitably, Michelle spent most of her free time assisting trainers and catch riding.


Attending college in New Orleans offered some interesting jobs. She trained parade horses for Mardi Gras and got involved with a leading saddle seat barn, Cascade Stables.  Realizing that the Hunter/Jumper and Eventing world was her true passion, Michelle began assistant training under Molly Allen of Allen Equestrian, later known as the premier Equest Farms.
  • Founded Crescent Moon Equines (CME) - 2000 to present
  •  Magnolia Equestrian Centre  – Developed training/lesson/show/leasing and sales program
  • Student and personal achievements – Showed in Gulf Coast Area local and "A" rated shows
    • Multiple Champion and Reserves in Hopeful, Low, High and Modified Jumpers
    • Multiple Champion placements in Baby Green in Green Hunter divisions
    • Multiple Champion and Reserves in Walk/Trot through Junior and Amateur Owner Hunters and Junior/Amateur Jumpers 
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of New Orleans sparing only the French quarter and a few outlying suburbs. Under catastrophic conditions, Michelle evacuated her horses, those of her clients and Magnolia Equestrian to the safety of Lamar Dixon Event Center, Baton Rouge.

With all communications down for weeks, she cared for those and then went after more. To secure scarce but necessary supplies, she worked with Louisiana State University, rescuing horses roaming the streets New Orleans.

After securing temporary board at a local racehorse training facility, she spent the next 8 months transporting many across the country to be reunited with relocated clients. Careful evaluation of the situation in New Orleans led to the very difficult decision to move. And, so began the journey to her dream state, Colorado.


Once in Colorado, Michelle was offered the position of assistant trainer at Capricorn Farm and Tolland Falls, working under the fabulous Rocky Mountain Riding Academy, operated in conjunction with Meridian Riding Club.
  • Presided as judge at local schooling shows 
  • Helped multiple students qualify for Col. R.L. Robertson, Ruth C. Ayers and Columbine Jr. Medals
  • Client Columbine Jr. Medal Winner 2007
  • Client Short Stirrup and 11 and under Equitation Champion 2007
  • Many client High Point Year End Awards 

Michelle believes continuing education is invaluable, not only for students, but herself as well. As she lessons at higher (Grand Prix) levels, she looks forward to sharing her extensive experience with anyone, youth or adult, interested in improving their riding skills.

Okay, I'm not a H/J rider and not really interested in ever doing H/J, BUT . . . Ashke will need to traverse a 18" jump with me aboard in order to compete in Working Equitation and I would take a few lessons from this woman. Not only that, but her horse Limit is absolutely amazing. I think she is a trainer I can work with and admire. I like her way with horses and I like her energy. A win-win for the barn!!!


  1. She sounds like a terrific human being, a wonderful horse person and a well-rounded trainer! It's going to be a great positive change having her around the barn instead of that other quack trainer that got evicted. Excited to see how it goes when you add lessons with her to the ones you're already taking with Cassandra! :)

  2. Definitely sounds like an upgrade

  3. Small world... I used to ride at Cascade Stables in NOLA when I was a kid! Sounds like a great trainer, how exciting!


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