Welcome to CBY Equestrian Academy

Private riding instruction and equestrian coaching for the passionate and dedicated horse enthusiast


Whether you are brand new to the world of horses or a long-time enthusiast looking to expand your skills and increase your understanding of these amazing animals, CBY Equestrian Academy wants to help.


You will learn safe and solid fundamentals based on the centuries old principles of Dressage, a system of training designed to bring about effortless harmony between horse and human. Brand new riders are taught the basics of horse handling and care, so you can feel confident that you are getting a complete and comprehensive equestrian education.


We have a graduating system of levels that will eliminate any confusion about where you are in your riding career and where you are going. You and your instructor will always know where you stand and what's next.


For the serious, goal-oriented student of horsemanship we offer equestrian coaching services. These sessions are highly-individualized and targeted to help you maximize every moment in the saddle. We will go in-depth into such topics as horse and rider biomechanics, fitness, motivation, and sports psychology as it applies to riders, and equine behavior.

Coaching is the perfect fit for the ambitious rider with a high level of dedication. You will be given information to study and exercises to perform between sessions. This is a format where you will most definitely get out what you put in.

Let us help make your riding dreams come true!



Dependable and well-trained horses are automatically provided for students to take their riding lessons on, but it is very likely that you will soon find yourself wanting to own your own horse. We understand that this is a big commitment and not a decision to be taken lightly. Your instructor will be there to hold your hand and take all the scary out throughout the entire process.

You have the option of a partial or full lease of one of CBY Equestrian's horses at beautiful Cavallo Farm in Ypsilanti, MI. This is a great way to try out horse ownership before taking the plunge. We also have horses for sale upon occasion. If we don't have the horse you need, we will help you to find the right match!



What is dressage?

Dressage is a discipline, begun in ancient Greece and perfected during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, where you start by learning to communicate with your horse so perfectly that your signals to each other are invisible to anyone watching you. Then you take those signals and create choreographies together. There are more movements to learn than in any other riding discipline and a nearly infinite number of ways to combine them. True mastery of the art of dressage is a life-long pursuit.  My mission is to help riders begin this amazing journey!

~ Cara Barker Yellott


We believe that horses can bring out the best in people. Through horses, we learn patience, responsibility, compassion. Through riding, we become strong, break barriers, learn that we are capable of more than we thought possible.


We learn to relax, unplug, get away from the busy modern world. We have fun. We make friends. What started as a hobby, becomes a lifestyle.


At CBY Equestrian, we want you to experience all this and more in a safe, supportive environment where rider safety and horse welfare rank above all other priorities.


We show in the Great Lakes area and view Dressage competition as a gloriously fun way to test our skills, refine education, showcase what we have learned and experience the incomparable feeling of a victory well earned. At the end of the day though, it always is and always will be about love for the horse.

Always an animal lover, Phil became heavily involved in equines after meeting Cara and helping in the rescue of Fiona, the couple's Shetland Pony.

While Cara runs the horse side of the business, Phil is in charge of the two very famous donkeys that call CBY Equestrian home. The Yellotts' own Romulus, the current Guinness World Record holder for the world's tallest donkey and his nearly identical brother, Remus. No joke, we have the world's biggest... ahem, nevermind.




At its heart, CBY Equestrian is a family business. It is primarily run by Phil and Cara Barker Yellott.

Passionate about horses from a young age, Cara has now been riding and teaching for more than two decades! She has handled horses for movies, Renaissance faires with crowds of 25,000 people, and onstage in a live opera.  She has been interviewed on numerous television shows, in major papers, and even appeared on 20/20!

She believes strongly in lifelong education and frequently attends clinics with top trainers and Olympians. She has many competitive successes under her belt, including training and showing a United States Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year winner!

Cara's impressive resume can be read here, but it's the testimonials of her students that really tell the story.