Willamette Coast Ride hosts Justin and Lindley Leahy are passionate about horses and are passionate about horseback riding. They have both ridden their whole lives and enjoy sharing their love of horses and riding with their guests.
Justin grew up in Ireland on his family’s farm, Aille Cross, riding Connemara Ponies and Irish Sporthorses on the famous Connemara Trail. He has an extensive background in Show Jumping, Foxhunting and Cross Country jumping, as well as trail riding and natural horsemanship. One of Justin’s main duties at Aille Cross was to break one Connemara pony per day for use on the trail!
Justin’s father Willie Leahy instilled in Justin many philosophies and beliefs about horsemanship that Justin draws upon today. For instance, Justin learned at an early age that horses are deeply affected by their environment. As a result Justin developed a profound understanding and appreciation for the effect nature has on a horse as well as its rider. He will tell you that traversing a natural expanse on horseback, or out on the trail, is a very intimate and exhilarating way to experience the natural beauty and geography of the land. His enthusiasm for riding is contagious and inspiring.
Lindley grew up with horses and trail riding in the Southwestern United States. Eventually she started competing successfully in Dressage and Eventing throughout the United States.
Lindley’s Mom purchased a horse from Justin who lived in Ireland at the time. She invited him to compete the horse in the United States and Lindley and Justin met at a horse show! The rest is history.
For the last nine years, Justin and Lindley operated a large equestrian center in the northwest corner of Illinois where they offered guided trail rides for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders.
After doing about four thousand trail rides per year, hundreds of riding lessons, many summer camps, and hosting large equestrian events, they decided to take their vast experience to the Pacific Northwest. In 2013 the Leahy’s purchased Foothills Farm in the beautiful Willamette Valley in Western Oregon where they currently live with their three children and are currently providing English horseback riding tours in the Willamette Valley and Oregon’s coastal regions.