Cottonwood Farm is owned and operated by Rhett and Jill Taylor along side Caroline Taylor Jackson, graduate of St. Andrews University, and her husband Matt Jackson and family.
We are located on 630 acres of quiet, peaceful horseback riding trails in eastern NC between historic New Bern and Greenville, home of the ECU Pirates. Cottonwood Farm offers various diverse equestrian experiences. We have a riding program for all ages and levels and have a full year round calendar. Our instructors are experienced, knowledgeable, and motivated equestrians that are always eager to share their lives with their extended horse-loving family. Hosting the ECU Equestrian Hunter Seat Riding Club, we can introduce the young rider to the world of horse showing at the collegiate level.
We focus on the English/Hunter Seat forward riding system. Cottonwood Farm and Rollover Downs have recently formed a hunter seat show series Stepping Stone Hunter Circuit. We are now ready for our fourth show year and expect more continued and growing success. Visit the Stepping Stone website steppingstonehuntercircuit.com for all of the information you need to join this new family of horse show enthusiasts!
We teach lessons six days a week rain or shine. Our lesson program follows the school calendar from September to June. This is where life long friendships are formed.
ARRGH! The ECU Pirate Equestrians invaded CWF eleven years ago and have maintained their dominating "rein" on our IHSA Region ever since.
Summer camp is always a huge hit with all ages. We teach five weeks of camps in the summer. Reserve your spot early as our camps fill quickly.
Not enough can be said about the CWF herd! They love their jobs and lives and you know it the moment you mount.
Teaming with another local barn to form Stepping Stone has filled a much needed bridge from the schooling show level to the rated shows. Smiles are everywhere!
Having the luxury of miles of trails, open fields, and a cross country jump course, we can host more than your typical equestrian events. Browse the CWF calendar to stay in the loop.
Although we do not offer trail rides to the public, we do welcome horse and riders to ship-in and ride our trails.
Full and pasture boarding are offered at CWF. Call or text for more information and availability.
We have grown and fed our own coastal hay for several years and with the addition of 40 acres, we now offer prime coastal hay for sale.
Caroline Jackson is a 2010 Graduate of St. Andrews University with a BA in Business Management with a speciality in Equine Studies. She is the full-time riding instructor, trainer, and CWF's lesson program coordinator. She is the head coach of the ECU (IHSA) Intercollegiate Hunter Seat Riding Team. She grew up in an equestrian family and started formal hunter seat lessons at age 6 at Turkey Quarter Riding Academy. She successfully competed at rated hunter seat shows as well as Quarter Horse Congress. She furthered her riding career as a member of the SAU "C", "A", and IHSA show teams and represented St. Andrews as an ANRC team member for three years. Her mission as an equestrian professional is to teach riders the forward riding system and to share by example the mystery that horses bring to our lives with good, basic, and natural horsemanship.
Matt Jackson officially joined the CWF family in 2012 when he married Caroline and became a part of the horse world. Matt and Caroline are now managing the day to day operations here at CWF with their two precious assistants Holly and Reade. Matt is a graduate of ECU with a degree in Construction Management, which has proven to be a bonus when living on a farm. He is instrumental in managing the staff, keeping the farm beautiful, and growing top quality coastal hay to feed our large herd and for local sales. Reade, along with Matt is our number one tractor operator and in charge of keeping our riding areas well groomed. Matt is key in continuing to prioritize our goal of giving top quality care and services to our extended CWF family. He is a constant, steady force that is instrumental to the safety and health of all horses and guests on the farm.
Hannah Hardee started riding with us when CWF was first established over eleven years ago and previously rode under Johnnie and Dorothy Wetherington at Turkey Quarter Riding Academy. She has been assisting with lessons and summer camps since 2015. Now a graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelors degree in Agricultural Education with a concentration in Animal Science, Hannah can teach animal science, horticulture, and Ag mechanics in middle and high schools. For now we are fortunate to have her as a full-time instructor and mentor to many eager young equestrians. She teaches lessons in our after school lesson program, private lessons for a more intimate atmosphere, and will be joining the summer camp staff once again as an upper level instructor.
Rachel Hayes came to CWF in 2013 as an ECU team rider where she was an active member for four years and served as Vice-President for two. Rachel was instrumental in leading the ECU Pirate Equestrians to their historic Regional Championship title in 2016 that no other club sports team has ever done in our region. She received her BS degree in Business Administration in 2017 and her MBA in 2019 both from ECU. Rachel currently works in tech sales at ServiceTrade in Raleigh NC. Starting her riding career at the age of 5 in the triangle NC area and currently living in Raleigh, Rachel continues to give into her Pirate heart by being a constant irreplaceable force at CWF horse shows and summer camps. Her love of the ECU Equestrian team and her CWF family keep Rachel ready to make a trip back to CWF on a moments notice.
Kathryn Hall is a 2014 graduate of ECU where she received a BSBA in Management. She began taking lessons at the age of 5 and has since then acquired show and lesson experience in the hunter, jumper, and eventing disciplines. Kathryn rode on and served as president of the ECU Equestrian team for 4 years competing from the novice to open levels, and attended the ANRC National Championships in 2012. When she became ineligible to compete with IHSA during her 5th year of college, which she refers to it as her "victory lap", she was hired by CWF as a riding instructor. After graduation she moved to Raleigh to explore a career utilizing her business degree but has continued to volunteer at Cottonwood as a weekend and interim instructor. Although she lives in Raleigh, she still considers CWF home.
Mike Kryszak or "Mr. Mike" grew up in New England riding and showing in the Western Pleasure and Barrel Racing worlds, occasionally dabbling in the Jumper Ring. He is a graduate of SAU where he earned his PATH certification and showed locally with the Dressage team. He served as assistant horseback riding director at Camp Seafarer until graduation. Mike grew attached to the CWF family where he helped with schooling shows and summer camps. After graduating with a BA in Elementary Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Reading, Mike began his career teaching elementary school while continuing to teach riding lessons, conduct riding clinics, and judge local shows in NC. Although Mr. Mike currently resides in Texas, he still considers CWF his home and returns to teach summer camps as an instructor.