In December 2011, my family bought our 2008 AQHA gelding, Pete. He was only 3 yrs old at the time, but he has come a long way since then. He is now more responsive and moves more consistently with a nice headset. Also, Pete hardly ever spooks at a show now after traininig with Willie. NOt only has Willie improved Pete's performance, she has also improved my performance as well. when I first came teo Willie's barn I had very little knowledge of showing horses. Now, I believe, I have the tools necessary to be the competitive rider I want to be. Thanks Willie for all that you have done for my family and I!- Jena Stewart, Ohio


In Feb 2012 i took my 15 year old apha mare to Bar W for boarding and training. It is June now and I just wanted to write a few words about my experience to Bar W. When i took my mare (Lily) there she was broke walk, trot, and canter but that was about all. Now, willie has got her moving beautifully in a nice frame, nice headset, she looks really nice. I have also been taking Western pleasure lessons with Lily and I am becoming a more confident and trusting rider which makes Lily and I a better team. I have found Willie Mathews to be very professional but personable and a great sense of humor. I have never felt that I was being judged on my ability as a rider. Willie has also taken it on herself to work on Lily's problem areas such as loading and the wash rack, which I had just accepted and dealt with it, Lily is now loading beautifully and is better with the wash rack. Willies training is geared for the total all around horse. As for the care that lily is given there A+ all around. she looks great, gets plenty of turn out time where some thought and planning goes into to put horses together that coexist peacefully. I don't always get out there as much as i would like, but have peace of mind knowing that she is there. ~Evelyn Smith, Sidney Ohio


Willie has done an amazing job training my three year old, "Pete" and me. The changes in his attitude and ability are just what we needed. Retraining me has possibly been the largest job. It is satisifying to not only be able to ride and show him, but to be able to "tune him up". My inprovement has enabled me to be successful with another horse I show. Shows are more enjoyable and lessons are fun because of the positive attitude and help from everyone at BarW. The facility is great (huge arenas) and the horse care is exactly as I would do. Thanks Willie and Kenny!! Cathy Leutzler, London, Ohio



Willie has done a great job with my mare. Ginger is stopping beautifully and her transitions are amazing! My overall experirence at Bar W has been wonderful. The faciltiy has everything a rider needs. The indoor arena has been great for my first Ohio winter! ~Jamie, Huber Heights, Ohio April, 2011


Willie, Your extensive knowledge regarding horses has helped me tremendously! Not only have you provided me with so many quality learning experiences through lessons, but you have also assisted with finding the right horse for me!!! I am so excited to continue my equine experiences at Bar W and look forward to learning so much more from you! Thank you so much for everything!!!! Urbana, Ohio, 2011


If you’ve ever considered taking horseback riding lessons, please make every attempt to go ahead and begin them! I’ve wanted to most of my life but kept putting it on the back burner. I finally woke up one day and realized I’m over forty years old. . . so I made the decision: it was now or never!

After calling and visiting various riding centers in the area, I chose Bar W Equestrian Center.

So far it’s one of THE most rewarding things I’ve ever done! The horses are such incredible creatures, with their own unique personalities, allowing you to feel relaxed, joyful, frustrated, excited, fearful. . . and most of all exhilarated (all at the same time)!

With Willie as an instructor, there’s never a dull moment, you’re always learning something new, and she pays close attention to the ways and speed in which you learn, giving each student that unique experience.

The fact that she starts teaching from the ground up and doesn’t stop is such a plus; you get the chance to learn the basics and beyond, depending on how much of yourself you choose to invest.

The entire Center is fabulous. . . Willie & Kenny keep the place clean and ready for riding anytime, and the atmosphere is always enjoyable. Thanks guys! I only wish I could spend more time there. . . - - Vicki Stratton, Sidney OH, 2010


I can speak from personal experience as Willie has put 90 days of training on my trail horse (reg Quarter Horse gelding/soon to be 13 years old) which in turn wound up being 90 days of training on me ultimately... We moved to Bar W in March of 2006. I am a full boarder and can't praise Willie and Kenny's meticulous care of my horse or their facility enough. Stormy is a completely different horse than what I started with. (Which was one owner in tears thinking she'd made the biggest mistake of her adult life to the happiest horse owner in Champaign County who trail rode at Carriage Hill, Kiser Lake, Buck Creek and Caesers Creek this past summer. No exaggeration. He was terrible.) My sister recently moved her QH mare and TWH mare to Bar W and my niece and the QH mare are currently in training for the 2009 show year. Willie has been working with Lola for (not quite) three weeks and it is astonishing the progress she has made with her. You really have to see it to believe it. While a horse is in training, the owner receives one "lesson" or training session per week so that they learn as the horse does. I haven't ever paid for lessons with Willie, but I've learned more about horses from her in two years than the previous FORTY years of my life! (Also - while Bar W specializes in training Western Pleasure horses and riders, I have no desire to show my horse whatsoever. BTDT! But I'm willing to bet I have one of the safest, surest trail horses I've ever ridden.... point being - Willie knows her stuff whether it be show ring or trail ride.) ~Cassie Spreher, 2009


Since my horse Sonny has been with Willie his attitude has changed tremendeously also his performance has greatly changed.Willie not only helped my horse she gave me riding lessons which helped my confidence. With Willie's help I did my best at fair this year in which I received a 1st place trophy, two 3rd place ribbons, and one 4th place ribbon.Thanks alot Willie you have helped me greatly. -Nikki Phillips, Christiansburg, 2008


Since my horse Baxter has been with Willie I have noticed a tremendous difference in his attitude, he is now more respectful and willing. Not only has his attitude changed, but so has his performance. Willie does a great job at training the horse as well as the rider. It's comforting knowing I can trust her and trust that my horse is being taken care of. Both Willie and Kenny have great personalities and are always fun to be around! Thanks Willie!!! ~Devan Miller Troy, OH 2007 (he has since been sold)


Willie is an amazing trainer! I have seen such a big improvement on Nutmeg in the past two months. Her gaits really have slowed down and she is much more responsive. She listens to me so much better and I actually enjoy riding her now. ~Megan Hausler, Bellefontaine Ohio, 2007


At Bar W Equestrian Center, Willie teaches the beginning foundations of riding as well as the advanced principals of riding, showing, and training. Her students learn that the experience of horseback riding begins with learning how a horse moves their body and the judges insight to what makes that particular animal superior to another. Furthermore, I enjoyed the insight into the judging and training aspect of my learning at Bar W. Willie coached me through each challenge and helped me see the purpose of why and how the rider is able to communicate to the horse through body position, weight, feel, body movement, and timing and how to ask for the desired result. Every lesson has been an immense success! Knowing Willie Matthews is a privilege. She works harder than anyone I've ever met and inspires me with her tenacity, dedication, and her passion for training horses. She shows the utmost professionalism, high attention to detail, dedication, and excitement to teach lessons and train high quality horses. Her training philosophy goes far beyond the horse and extends into helping the rider and horse to be a team and to become the best they can be. She pushes hard, yet always looks for the good and the positive within each person, animal, and situation. I consider myself lucky to have found a trainer with this amount of compassion, honesty, and consideration. After seeing the results of how Willie worked with her show horse and how she works with the horse and rider both individually and as a team, I knew I had found the right match for me and my horse. Willie’s training practices yield exceptional results in a timely manner. I would not hesitate to recommend Willie Matthews and Bar W Equestrian Center to any dedicated hard working equestrian who seeks the right training and to make an investment in their horse! She has gone above and beyond what I have ever experienced before in a trainer. Willie prides herself in working not only to train my horse, but to teach me how to ask for the results that I desire as well. Even as a seasoned rider, I feel that her work with my paint mare has taken us to a whole new level to be able to begin my dream of showing again. Her instruction has further built my confidence that I needed to accomplish that dream. I can not say “Thank you” enough!`Katie Thobe-Maria Stein, Ohio, 2007


I bought a nine year old Quarter horse gelding in January and moved him to Bar W in March, so I have recent experience with another boarding stable. Trust me If you are looking for a trainer, Stormy and I highly recommend Willie Matthews and if you are looking for a place to board your horse, check out Bar W. You won’t be disappointed!

UPDATED Testimonial: I wanted to let you know how happy I am with the progress you've made with Stormy. He is just a different horse - period! I started subscribing to Horse Illustrated and this month's issue Life With Horses column has an article about horses with "a lot of personality" If that isn't Stormy. It is such a good feeling to see Stormy succeeding. You've really worked wonders with him. Sincerely, Cassie Spreher, Christiansburg, Ohio 2006


We came to Bar W with very limited knowledge about horses. Willie took us under her wing and helped us lease a horse that was just right for our family. When it was time for us to purchase a horse, she assisted us in finding that perfect, family friendly horse. Willie is dedicated to her students, boarders and friends and to be any of these three is an honor and privilege. Our entire family has taken many hours of lessons given by Willie and have learned far more than we thought possible in such a short time. Our newly purchased horse has also spent time training at the Bar W facility, And we are very pleased at the results Willie has done a wonderful job not only getting our daughter ready for her first year of showing horses but also our horse. There are very few places we trust to instruct our child and horse, and we are proud that Bar W is one of them. I gotta tell you though... yours is the cleanest I have been to! Thank you Willie! David & Ingrid Snyder, Urbana, Ohio, 2005


"When I started riding horses I didn't have a clue what I was doing. Willie showed me a lot of riding skills that I needed to know to ride a horse. Me and my horse were both beginners. She also trained the horse. I learned how to sit, control my horse, walk, trot and basically everything else I needed to know how to ride a horse. When I finally got the hang of it, I started showing. We always placed high, (at least top 3 it seemed like). By Fair time I was ready, I placed high in all my events. I even placed 2nd in a Trail Class. I won a few 2nd's and a 3rd and 5th. Willie always told me to ride as much as possible and make the horse do what I wanted it to do. It was a great way to learn how to ride. Thanks for Everything! ~Nalan, St. Paris, Ohio. 2005

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