Cadets learn the basics of horsemanship including saddling, mounting, walking, trotting, cantering and galloping on the 288-acre stretch of woods and land referred to as "Back Campus." Cadets develop relationships with the horses, riding the same one each day. Our horses are members of the MMA family, and many have worked with more than 50 cadets. 

"I am so absolutely thrilled that MMA offers [the Equestrian program] and that my cadet chose this program! At home he would never have got all these levels of involvement and exposure with horses and it goes throughout the school year." 

— Donna Martin, grandmother of DeKoven Martin '25


Christy Nowlin, Equine Director 

Christy Nowlin has served as the director of MMA’s equestrian program since 2018. An experienced horse handler and instructor, Nowlin has nearly 40 years experience managing horse stables and over 20 years of trail riding experience.

According to Nowlin, the equestrian program has many positive physical benefits for participating cadets, including improved balance, motor coordination, hand-eye coordination and core strength.

“My primary objective is to teach cadets how to build a relationship with the horse they are assigned to work with,” Nowlin said. “That relationship fosters responsibility, self-confidence and self-assurance.”

MMA currently maintains a fleet of ten horses with a mixture of thoroughbreds and fox trotters. The program teaches cadets how to approach, mount and dismount; care for, groom and connect with horses; and several horsemanship techniques, including saddling, mounting, walking, trotting, cantering and galloping.

Christy is married to MMA's Athletic Director Dr. Ryan Nowlin. Together they live on their farm north of Mexico with their three children, horses, and multiple dogs.  In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, gardening and going to horse auctions.


Visit the Missouri State High School Activities Association web site to view a calendar with MMA athletic events. For any past events, click on the date to view results in the sidebar.