Natalie Mamou (McMahon) of Leap of Faith Equestrian, brings over 20 combined years' experience owning, showing, teaching and training. Natalie grew up in Southern California and began riding and competing at the age of 7. During her time as a junior, she competed on the "AA" Circuit in Hunters, Jumpers, and was heavily involved in the Equitation ring under the guidance of Grand Prix rider Romelia Calderon and trainer Hope Davis.
Natalie continued to ride throughout college, and after graduating from Menlo College with a degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship, she instructed at several barns in Menlo Park ultimately leading her to running a successful lesson program in Los Altos Hills for several years.
After taking a break as a professional trainer for a few years to work as an Executive Assistant at startups in the Bay Area, Natalie has returned to continue her true passion - teaching and sharing her knowledge of horses!
Natalie also continues to compete on her own horses, and enjoys starting and training young horses, as well as matching horses and riders to create positive and successful partnerships.
Natalie believes in building strong basics and fundamentals, which riders can take with them throughout their riding careers no matter where that leads them. She also believes in teaching proper all around horsemanship to create well rounded horsemen/women in and out of the saddle with an emphasis on proper care and treatment for the horses.
Natalie McMahon | Owner and Trainer
Karin Apple | Assistant Trainer
Karin Apple started her love of horses as a young girl and has been riding for 20 years. She took to the sport quickly after watching her older sister ride before she was old enough to start. Karin spent her junior career riding with a variety of trainers on the A circuit, such as John Charlebois, Lyn Irving, Missy Froley, and Craig Clermont.
At age 14 Karin was helping her trainers school and market their green ponies and ride their quirky horses. By age 16 Karin began a working student position at Millennium Farm under the guidance of Jill Hamilton and Nancy Thomas. When Karin turned 18 she was offered an assistant trainer position and began learning the ways of teaching riders of all ages, and a continued education of schooling and training performance horses.
2018 rolled around and Karin got the opportunity to bring along and own a very special mare named Duchess. This mare became her biggest inspiration and reason for wanting to dive deep into horse training and equine welfare. Duchess was a challenge but helped Karin develop a wide range of skills when working with emotionally sensitive horses.
In 2019 Karin began working at Blackhound Equestrian and was under the mentorship of Dezraye Choi. This was an excellent experience working with a variety of horses and clients. Karin got opportunities to work with young horses, high performance hunters and jumpers, and everything in between.
Karin has a deep passion for unlocking a horse's potential and finding a job that they love and thrive in. She believes the horses come first and it is our job to listen to them when they are telling us what they need. Karin is so thrilled to be a part of the Leap of Faith team and can’t wait for what is to come from this partnership!