Trainers / Staff

Melissa Hirt, Owner/Trainer :

white-icaris-ky-nationalsMelissa is a native of suburban Chicago. She moved to Leelanau County in 1995 and leased a farm in nearby Empire to begin developing her equestrian clientele. Melissa completed the construction of her equine dream in 2000 - and Northern Pines Farm was born. Today, Melissa's students are winning numerous top honors at the zone, regional, and national levels through her precise training and remarkable skill of matching riders and horses to create impressive teams. Melissa is a USHJA Certified Level 2 Trainer, and is a US Equestrian Federation, Hunter Jumper Association of Michigan, Illinois Hunter Jumper Association, and ASPCA member. Melissa has a degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Marquette University. She also enjoys raising and training young horses for the show ring and her Dachshunds and Corgi.

Melissa Hirt, Owner/Trainer :

As a young rider, Melissa quickly demonstrated her natural talent and won many Midwest championships in both the hunters and jumpers under the direction of Nancy Whitehead. As a professional, Melissa continues to compete as she travels with her students, showing her own horses in the Grand Prixs. Her busy schedule takes her to the top-rated shows throughout the Midwest and to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida each winter.

Cody Weverstad - Assistant Trainer

codyCody is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science. While in college she represented her school in the IHSA Nationals. Cody went on to work for Heartland Farms in Omaha, Nebraska, where riding, sales, and breeding were her main responsibilities. At Northern Pines, Cody breaks young horses, teaches intermediate and advanced students, sells horses, and continues to show in many "AA" rated shows.

Cody Weverstad

In her junior years of riding, Cody earned several awards in the USEF, USET, and Maclay Medals as well as in rated Hunter and Jumper classes. She continues to show around the midwest and northeast.

Missy Frixen - Assistant Trainer

girl-with-horseMissi started riding at Northern Pines Farm as a small child and showed at many local horse shows. Missi then went on to focus on 4-H where she ranked third at Nationals in the Horse Bowl. After High School, she earned her Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences. Missi has shown in the Jumpers at Horse Shows By The Bay and has assisted in instructing disabled children in riding. Currently, Missi's responsibilities include breaking young horses, conditioning show horses and teaching beginner and intermediate riders. Missi loves introducing eager beginning students to riding!

Missy Frixen

Betsy Bard General Manager

girl-with-horseBetsy is a Michigan native and a graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in Business Administration. She spent most of her career in Broadcast Television sales. Betsy is Northern Pines Farm's General Manager and manages the barn's staff, facility, social media/website, and day to day operations. She's also a passionate show mom to her daughter, who shows her Paint horse in many Michigan shows.