Kristen (Wheeler) Martell is the owner and head instructor of the Colorado Equestrian Academy.
Kristen has been an avid equestrian since the age of ten. She has been involved in the equine industry through a variety of avenues including horse ownership, as a competitor, as a judge, as a student, and as an employee.
Her experience as a rider and competitor includes competitive trail, the A/AA hunter/jumper circuit, the Arabian Horse show circuit, competitive mounted drill team, and most recently, combined driving. She has worked with nationally and globally renowned trainers and horseman such as Dean and Sheri Lacey of Lacey’s Arabian Ranch, Matt and Lindsay Archer of Shady Lane Farms, and World Cup qualifier and competitor, Mandy Porter. Additionally, she has received professional instruction in various other disciplines from dressage to working cow horse.
Kristen has over twelve years of horseback riding instructor experience teaching English as well as Western lessons, group and private. She also has over ten years experience in guiding trail rides and leading overnight, horseback camping trips. She received her Certified Horsemanship Association certification in 2010, Level 4 out of 4 in both English and Western. She has also had the opportunity to teach at horsemanship clinics internationally in Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands through Colorado State University partnered with the American Quarter Horse Association.
Kristen received her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in 2013 in Equine Science with a minor in Business Administration. Then in 2015, she completed her Masters of Science in Animal Science under the Equine Industry Leadership Program. Throughout her time at CSU, she was involved in teaching various courses, assisting with the Intro in Equine Science, Equine Evaluation, Equine Behavior, and the Equine Capstone course. Additionally, she was heavily involved in the competitive Horse Judging Team, participating as a competitor and eventually coach. Her participation within the program included but was not limited to four National Champion judging teams at the US Arabian Nationals. Her experience with competitive judging has lead her to actively judge 4H and open shows throughout the state of Colorado and officiate 4H and FFA horse judging contests.
Kristen is passionate about sharing her love for horses with others and about helping others grow and achieve their individual goals. This shines through in her dedication to her students and their personal betterment at the Colorado Equestrian Academy.