'Stars aligned' for new stable owner

Photos by Brittney Lohmiller/The Herald
Hill Creek Stables owner Morgan Green of Huntingburg cleans out the horse stalls in the barn in Bretzville on Wednesday. Green opened Hill Creek Stables in September of last year and gives riding lessons to 42 students. "My dream was to always have a riding facility," she said. "But I wasn't sure it would happen this early in my life, but the stars kind of aligned." 

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

BRETZVILLE — When Morgan (Cochren) Green of Huntingburg opened Hill Creek Stables in September 2018, everything fell into place.

Green, 29, bought her barn in Bretzville on 550 South in 2016 with plans to turn it into a facility for boarding and riding lessons. Those plans came to fruition much more quickly than Green expected. When she opened, her stables and riding lessons filled almost immediately and have remained full since.

“It just worked out,” Green said. “The stars just aligned.”

For Green, it was a dream come true.

Green grew up in Huntingburg, the daughter of Jeff and Kathy Cochren. Green began riding horses at age 5, and showed horses in 4-H through school. Always supportive, her parents bought her Peanut, her first horse.

Green graduated from Southridge High School in 2008, and she sold Peanut. She didn’t want the horse to sit idly while she attended the University of Southern Indiana with plans to pursue a law degree and eventually open a horse barn like Hill Creek Stables.

“I knew a law career would fund my passion, I just wouldn’t have the time,” Green said.

Green graduated college with a degree in political science in 2012, but rather than going to law school, she returned to Dubois County, and two years later, she bought Peanut back. She took a job as an account manager with Kimball Hospitality, where she worked until November 2018 when she left to make Hill Creek Stables her full-time gig.

Hill Creek Stables owner Morgan Green of Huntingburg lunges her horse, Peanut, in the arena in Bretzville on Wednesday. Green started riding and showing horses when she was 5 years old. Lessons at Hill Creek Stables range from 30 minutes to an hour long. 

Green’s goal with Hill Creek Stables is to build a community of young riders in Dubois County who can travel and show their horses with the same passion Green has. To Green, there’s nothing like bonding with and riding a horse. When she’s on horseback, Green said, the world slips away, and she’s able to relax. It’s hard work to reach that comfort level with a horse, she said, but it’s worth it.

“I really try to understand [the horses] as an animal first and ride them second,” she said. “It’s one of those indescribable things to me.”

Green has five horses of her own: Peanut; Junior, who she bought in 2017; Dee, the horse she bought in 2018 for barrel racing; Dash, a pony she got as a gift for her nephews and for riding lessons with little kids; and Carlos, a donkey she rescued from a neglect situation.

“That’s something I’d like to do more of,” she said, “rescuing neglected animals.”

That’s a dream she’ll need more space for, though.

Currently, Green offers one-on-one riding lessons for ages 5 and up Monday through Saturday, and currently has 42 students with spaces for more. She offers 35-minute lessons for $30 and hourlong lessons for $45. In her lessons, she focuses on teaching her students about horse behavior and safety, in addition to both Western and English riding techniques.

Hill Creek Stables owner Morgan Green of Huntingburg brushes out miniature pony, Dash, in her barn in Bretzville on Wednesday. Green worked for Kimball before opening Hill Creek Stables in September of last year.

She also has a handful of boarders, with daily inquiries for that service. It’s been less than a year since she opened, but she already has plans to expand. She’s looking to hire an assistant trainer and riding instructor, and she plans to build a lounge area in the indoor arena and six more stables.

“It has been very successful,” Green said.

For that, she’s thankful to her family and fiance, Tim Gudorf, who supported her dream from the beginning, and to God, who made it possible.

“I’m pretty strong in my faith,” Green said. “I just feel that this is my calling. I’m very thankful I’ve been able to grow up around horses, learn about them and now share that with others.”

For more information about boarding or lessons, contact Green at 812-309-9798 or hillcreekstablesllc@gmail.com.

Hill Creek Stables owner Morgan Green of Huntingburg cleans out miniature pony Dash's hoof in her barn in Bretzville on Wednesday.
Hill Creek Stables owner Morgan Green of Huntingburg cleans out one of the 10 horse stalls in Bretzville on Wednesday. Green opened Hill Creek Stables in September of last year and gives riding lessons to 42 students. "I absolutely love it," Green said. "It's a lot of work but it's the good kind of work."



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