top of page

              Thanks for subscribing!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter


Lessons from the Heart

“Lessons from the Heart”
A shared passion between mother and daughter.

Buffy’s passion for children encouraged her to complete her bachelor’s degree at Simon Fraser University in 1996. She specialized in both Learning Disabilities and Early Childhood Education. She began her career working for the Surrey School Board as a resource room teacher. After moving to Alberta, Buffy continued with her teaching career as a resource room teacher for the Calgary Catholic Board of Education. She was also employed by the Calgary Board of Education until the arrival of her first child. Her priority eventually became raising her three children.


In 2018 a new chapter began unfolding for her family. After purchasing the equestrian facility and building their new home on the acreage, “Mission Acres” was established. Buffy’s passion for learning and teaching, quickly grew to include a love and passion for horses as well. This was also true for her daughter, Ireland.

Ireland was given a unique opportunity in 2018 to learn from a Grand Prix level horse named Wieco. His previous owner, a very talented and accomplished trainer, Verena Sonstenes, from California, who also became a cherished family friend, supported Ireland’s passion for riding and her desire to continue learning. Ireland and Wieco’s relationship continue to grow and is beautifully evident in the saddle and on the ground. Currently Ireland is working with her coach, Janet Adams, as she pursues obtaining her instructors certification with Equestrian Canada.


Buffy and Ireland have both completed their coaching certification with Equine Canada. Ireland has recently completed her English Rider Levels 1-6 with Stable Management and Buffy has recently completed her Western Rider Levels 1-4 with Stable Management, with Equine Canada.

As they both continue enhancing their horsemanship skills, Buffy is fortunate to have the support of Arnulf Koegler, as both a coach and trainer.  Arnulf is a very skilled, knowledgeable and talented horseman who offers his unique, specialized clinics to the Mission Acres community, as well as, to anyone who is interested and committed to enhancing their horsemanship skills and journey. 

Both Buffy and Ireland also continue to be passionate about Glenn Stewart's "Stages" program.  Buffy has completed both Stages 1 & 2 - Partnership and she is currently working on completing her Stage 3, Online and Liberty. Glenn's talent on the ground and in saddle inspires them both to continue learning and enhancing their own personal horsemanship journey. As they have both learned from Glenn, the possibilities between you and your horse are "limitless"!

This shared love for horses, combined with a passion for learning and teaching is the inspiration that brought "Lessons From the Heart" to life by mother and daughter. 

Meet our Newest Coach Michelle Martin

Mission Acres is pleased to offer a unique equine journey for individuals ages 4 and up. The program focuses on safety in an environment that is grounded in respect, encouragement, and fun.


The passion for this program evolved from the desire to equip individuals with knowledge, skill, and most importantly awareness in their horsemanship journey.  At Mission Acres our highest priority is safety “on the ground” and “in saddle”. Our goal is that every time you meet with your “horse”, you will be a little more equipped than the time before!


Participants will learn the “language of the horse” through exercises and care of the horse. This is crucial for staying safe and it is the foundation for building a relationship with the horse.  Throughout the program the participant will gain confidence and their leadership skills will be enhanced as they increase their skill and knowledge. They will also learn the responsibilities involved in caring for a horse.  


Barn etiquette

At Mission Acres our motto is "SPREAD KINDNESS WHEREVER YOU GO".

We strive every day to live in a way that is kind, respectful, and encouraging.

This is the foundation of Mission Acres and is taught in all our programs.


Boundary setting

This enhances the participants safety around the horse and

promotes a healthy relationship between the participant and the horse.


Use of "tools"

 Becoming “handy” with the stick and string, flags, noodles, and other devices that

enhance and support communication with the horse in a respectful and safe manner.


Care of the horse

Grooming and feeding the horses, as well as “lovin” on them! This is an amazing time of connection and enjoyed by both the four legged and two legged critters!”

“Lessons from the Heart” equips the participant with the groundwork skills that promote safety when working with horses. The skills developed by the participant “on the ground” will ALL apply to the work they do “in the saddle”; so, if the participant wants to continue in their horsemanship journey, we have highly skilled trainers to have them realize that dream.

“Lessons from the Heart” is a result of all that we love and is genuinely taught from our hearts. It is truly a unique program, that is tailored to individual needs and taught on a “one to one” basis. We enjoy and welcome all ages from young children to seniors. We combine our unique approach with our love for horses, our passion for learning and teaching on the beautiful property of “Mission Acres”. A place we both feel so fortunate and blessed to call our home!

Meet Michelle Martin

Register Equine Canada Coach

Michelle has been an avid horsewoman for over 40+ years and started her experience with horses through her local Pony Club chapter.  Her younger years were spent riding through Glenmore Park and the Weasel Head valley in Calgary, AB with her fellow equestrians when not competing in show jumping, dressage, three-day eventing, and competitive trail riding.

Michelle continues expanding her horsemanship knowledge through various equestrian educational programs both online and in person with a focus on:

•    anatomy fundamentals of the horse, 
•    equine behaviours and natural instincts, 
•    horse and human relationships through connection, 
•    equine body/energy work, 
•    riding and training horses from a healthy perspective, 
•    correct saddle fitting techniques,
•    barefoot trimming 

Michelle's lessons with her students are structured to align with the philosophy that Horsemanship is the modern approach to horse training which relies on understanding the horse’s natural instincts and behaviours with an emphasis on building a partnership with the horse based on trust, respect, and understanding. It focuses on clear communication and positive reinforcement promoting the horse's physical and emotional wellbeing, encouraging the horse to willingly participate in training and work with their human partner.

Overall, true horsemanship values the horse as a sentient being with their own needs and personality rather than as a tool or object to be controlled.
Michelle is a Registered Coach with Equine Canada and continues to work toward gaining her Licensed “Instructors” certification with Equine Canada by the end 2023 in the Western Levels 1-4. Under the guidance and instruction of her mentor Arnulf Keogler, she continues her horsemanship journey in the western California Vaquero style of riding and horsemanship.

When she is not coaching Michelle operates her own business Horse Care Plus which offers horse sitting, administrative support to small equestrian businesses, and more.

Lessons from the Heart

For more information or to register for the program, please email us at

bottom of page