Head Trainer & Instructor
Mackenzie Durbin is a sensitive, well-balanced rider and youth instructor, with a diverse background in horsemanship and early professional experience in communications and public relations. She began her equestrian career in English Pleasure at age 6, laying a foundation of basic riding and horsemanship principles. Primarily active in Hunter/Jumper throughout her childhood, she also spent a couple of years being trained in Western Pleasure before coming to Léttleiki as a student in the Fall of 2014. She now works with horses in training for Icelandic shows and breeding evaluations, as well as helping provide lessons to Léttleiki students.
Mackenzie was also employed at Upside Therapeutic Riding as a horse trainer and therapy assistant, where she worked with Icelandic horses in equine-assisted activities for children with disabilities (hippotherapy). She attended college at Eastern Kentucky University, where she studied Public Relations and Marketing. Her most recent education includes an internship as an administrative assistant at one of the largest non-profits in Kentucky.
For two years Mackenzie was a student and intern under Carrie Lyons Brandt, Hólar University certified instructor and trainer, and Terral Hill, talented rider and young-horse trainer. She continues to train and work with Ellie Pittman, lead trainer at Léttleiki, and Alex Dannenmann, an IPZV Trainer B and FEIF certified International Sport Judge who also received FEIF’s 2017 award for Trainer/Instructor of the Year.
Other notable instructors along Mackenzie’s journey include Hrefna Maria Omarsdottir, an accomplished professional rider and breeder, and Trausti Por Gudmundsson, internationally renowned horse trainer and creator of Tölt in Harmony. As an up-and-coming young instructor, Mackenzie has a bright future with Icelandic horses and is a cheerful and creative asset to the Léttleiki team!