Crystal Farms Equestrian Center – Marshall, MI

Our Staff & Facilities

Our Facilities

Crystal Farms Equestrian Center sits on 258 acres of prime farm land near the historic town of Marshall, Michigan. This scenic farm is home to many wonderful animals and the owners that enjoy them. Our mission is to provide specialized attention to both horse and rider. Crystal Farms and its staff have worked to develop a multi-faceted facility that is respected, competitive and creates an environment in which you and your horse will thrive. Our reward is our valued list of clients who have been with us for years. Their friendship is by far our most meaningful compensation. It is our sincerest hope that our newest acquaintances will likewise share and enjoy this beautiful facility with us for many years to come.

barns*10’ by 12’ box stalls with large silver fans
*4 stall barns with a total of 60 stalls that are cleaned daily
*ventilation fans in each stall barn
*60’ by 200’ indoor area with mirrors, ventilation fans and lights, groomed daily
*observation room with small kitchen, seating and climate control, attached to the indoor area for full viewing pleasure
*restroom facilities in main stall barn with climate control
*tack rooms in every barn
*wash rack area with hot/cold water in main barns
*wifi in main barns and lounge

stalls*5 large turnout pastures for group turnout and 7 smaller areas for individual and rehabilitation turn-out, 3 of which are dry-lots, all with herd management
*97’ by 202’ outdoor arena with sand footing that is groomed daily
*grass hay is grown on site
*24/7 on site care
* 2 blacksmiths to address regular and specialized shoeing
* weekly veterinarian visits from Beadle Lake Large Animal Clinic
* access to chiropractic/acupuncture, massage, dentistry, saddle fitting specialists


Meet the Staff of Crystal Farms Equestrian Center


unnamed-2Mary Carlton

Mary  has been the head trainer and instructor at Crystal Farms for 20 years specializing in Morgan horses. Mary began her practice at home under the instruction of her sister, Chris, and her mother; then at the age of 14 perfected her craft with accomplished instructor Sandy Sessink. A year later she topped the competition at the Grand National and World Championship Horse Show in the AMHA Saddle Seat Gold Medal Finals, the UPHA Challenge Cup and the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship, winning the Saddle Seat Triple Crown. She has taken her experience and hours of hard work, and passed it on to many riders over the years in saddleseat, huntseat on the flat and western disciplines. She has been named Morgan Instructor and Trainer of the Year by many national publications. She has instructed riders and trained horses to over 250 World and Grand National Morgan Titles. Named “Morgan Instructor of the Decade” by Horse World magazine in 2012. She is a proud member of USEF (United States Equestrian Federation), AMHA (American Morgan Horse Association) and UPHA (United Professional Horseman’s Association). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in political science.

unnamedKelly Hill

Kelly has ridden since she could walk and has been training horses for 15 years. Her passion for horses began while competing and working alongside her aunts whom ran a successful Hunter Jumper business before retiring in 2000. Kelly’s interests then shifted to Dressage and Eventing.

Kelly has retrained Thoroughbreds after racing, started green horses in competition and conditioned horses in English and Western disciplines to prepare them for successful show careers. She successfully competed her horse Vinnie through preliminary level eventing before retiring him in 2009.

In 2005, Kelly rode Friesian, Paulus Van De Willem State, to a Grand Champion in dressage suitability at the IFSHA Grand Nationals.

In 2008, she piloted Wolfsfalle to the AEC Reserve Beginner Novice Championship.
In 2012, with her own OTTB, Ben Jammin, Kelly earned Novice Champion Professional Rider from The Eventing Association of Michigan as well as other top placings before selling Ben to a young rider climbing the ranks in Pony Club.

Last year, Kelly had the opportunity to compete a sale horse, Pandora, at Richland Park H.T., bringing home a USEA 3rd place in a Training division. Dora was sold to a young event rider in Iowa.

Kelly trains with accomplished dressage trainer and ‘S’ judge Sarah Michael and has ridden in clinics with several top eventing trainers including Ian Stark, Leslie Law and Bill Hoos, who called her the most talented young rider he had seen in years.

Kelly worked as an Equine Performance Veterinary Assistant at Beadle Lake Veterinary Clinic for over 10 years, spending a few years working for Pfizer Animal Health. She graduated with a biomedical science Bachelors degree in 2007 from Western Michigan University. The vast knowledge Kelly gained through her veterinary work is what drives her passion for conditioning and training the horse and rider for a lifetime of competition. She has a unique ability to recognize training and soundness problems while working tirelessly to solve them.

Kelly’s solid foundation of conditioning from nutrition to riding creates a successful horse and rider partnership.



Meet the Owner of Crystal Farms

Patricia Carlton

Patricia is the owner of Crystal Farms and it is truly a family tradition, since it has been owned and operated by the Carlton family since 1965. What started out as a family hobby soon grew into the booming equestrian facility that it is today. The late Pat Carlton and his eldest daughter, Chris, decided that the Morgan horse was the breed for them. In the late 70s and early 80s Crystal Farms was breeding over a dozen Morgan babies a year and starting to make their mark in the show ring. This family breeding operation soon blossomed into a lesson program and training facility. Crystal Farms turned out its first World Champion in 1992 at the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show. Today, horses and riders under the Crystal Farms banner have earned over 250 World and Grand National Morgan titles.

Patricia has been there every step of this great journey…from helping with the day-to-day operations of this large farm to cheering on the riders and horses at horse shows around the country! She has seen their family hobby grow into a thriving business where horse enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy a wonderful and supportive atmosphere



Book your riding lesson today!
(269) 317-3910