Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News

May/June 2006

Farm of the Month


Hill and Hill Farms

Hill and Hill Farms raises championship riders to show off their award winning horses. “Our kids have always had horses,” Sylvia Hill said. “We live near Billy Caudill and Paul Willis. They got the kids involved with Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses.”

Sylvia and her husband, Geoff, have a 170 acre farm near Mt. Sterling. Geoff also works for Sarah Lee and Sylvia works for the Nurses Registry. Their children are well known on the KMSH show circuit. Makayla, 8, has been showing-and winning-since she was 4. Zachary is 12 and Geoffrey is 16. “The boys like the park and classic classes,” Sylvia said. “They spend a lot of time looking at the show bills and deciding what classes they can show in. Makayla just likes riding anytime, anywhere.” The Hill children are not pampered. “The boys are up every day at 6 to feed,” Sylvia said. “They raise calves on a bottle, train their own horses and start horses for other people. Makayla started Yellow Dokie by herself this spring and she’s already winning ribbons on her. They work hard on our farm before they leave for the show.”

The Hills found horse showing to be a family-better pass time than such sports as baseball. “The Kentucky Mountain Association is very family oriented,” Sylvia said. “It’s like being part of a big family. We have 10 horses that we are showing now.” They are Barlow’s Romeo, Stone’s New York New York, Red Brandy, Caudill’s Brio, Blue Durango, Yellow Dokie, Hill’s Smoking Joe and, their stallion, Whatcha Gonna Do Bad Boy, by Johnson’s Toby. He is standing to outside mares.

The kids show in classes ranging from country trail to park. Sylvia shows mares called Red Brandy and Majestic Mountain Mist. “We are a working cattle ranch, so there are times we have to pull a calf an hour before we leave for a show,” Sylvia said. “Our horses don’t just show. They have to go out and work the cattle, too. These are really versatile horses.”

Sylvia said the KMSH youth offer a wonderful example for the adults of the organization. “You see the kids out playing all together before the classes,” she said. “Then, they go in, show against each other and do their best. But, when they leave the ring, the competition is over and they are all pals. The adults could learn from them.” She said several adults are just as kind. “We’ve been at shows where we’ve forgotten something and someone is always there offering their tack and help,” Sylvia said. “That’s how it should be.” Although Sylvia has enjoyed her own success in the show ring, it’s not her favorite thing about the KMSH shows. “What I really enjoy most is putting the kids on their horses and watching them show,” she said. “It’s a good time for the whole family.”

Hill and Hill Farm

Geoff, Sylvia, Geoffrey, Zachary, and Makayla Hill

Mt. Sterling, KY