Welcome To Barnum Equestrian Center

Welcome to Barnum Equestrian Center at Wesley Woods. We are located about ten minutes southwest of Indianola, Iowa, or 20 minutes south of Des Moines. We offer lessons, trail rides , Horses Helping People and much more.

“The Wesley Woods-Barnum Center Recreational Horse Program is rooted in natural horsemanship and guided by the nationally recognized Certified Horsemanship Association levels and safety program. Come, experience the encouraging atmosphere while you build (CHA) skills in partnership with a horse. Grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. All are welcome. We will work on connections with each other and our equine partners. Horse and human psychology influence the direction of our lessons, progressing naturally through CHA level skills.

We will develop a solid foundation before specialization. Task analysis and goal setting will be used to break down the process of achieving each skill level. Participants will be expected to work through basic ground skills in addition to, and sometimes before, riding. As basic ground skills are established the focus can move to growing riding goals.

Ordinary horses have the natural ability to help build extraordinary lives. It is all about the relationship and the journey we travel together.”

Barnum Center Staff

Barnum Center is guided by a dedicated team of part time staff, instructors and volunteers. You will experience an encouraging atmosphere where all are welcome to explore and grow physically, mentally and spiritually. Come meet the team and learn how horses can change lives.

Laura Hutler
Is the Barn Team Leader. Her passion for life-long learning is driven by thirty years of experience creating engaging outdoor and adventure programs for dynamic populations. She coaches solid natural horsemanship skills and foundations for healthy relationships, in the saddle and on the ground. Laura is a CHA and PATH certified instructor
Ceylon Emir
A Former Nation Guard service member and CHA Certified instructor, has a heart for Veteran Service members and helping all participants to achieve balanced mental and emotional health while growing skills working with horses on the ground and in the saddle.
Nita Chaplin
Brings a lifelong passion for ministry and working with youth and those with special needs. Nita’s former certification with AHSA helps her coach beginning riders to achieve balance in the saddle, in life and along their horsemanship journey.
Kara Smith
Brings a background in law enforcement and heart for children and youth in the foster system. As a CHA Certified instructor she guides her riders in firm and fair relationship building on the ground and in the saddle.
Myah Cecot
A free spirit with a passion for horses. She’s loved horses all her life, but her true equestrian journey didn’t start until she began volunteering at the Wesley Woods, Barnum Equestrian Center in the winter of 2017. Since then she has been developing her horsemanship skills, become a certified equine massage therapist and enjoys teaching others about camp and horses.