Meet a Mom: Meet Equine Consultant Lindsey Oaks! | Chicago North Shore Moms

Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new Chicago North Shore Moms spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law. This week, we’re shining the spotlight on the lovely brand new mom to six month old Greyson who embodies a unique entrepreneurial spirit specializing as an equine consultant, Lindsey Oaks!

As a dynamic and resourceful entrepreneur, Lindsey has turned her love for horses into a thriving business, earning her accolades and respect in a competitive industry, and she holds a special place in her heart for the Mettawa-based Messenger Hill Farm, an equine center for horse lovers of all levels. With an unwavering dedication to both her clients and her beloved equines, she exemplifies innovation and excellence; her story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the rewards of following one’s passion. Learn more about Lindsey’s journey with entrepreneurship and the intricacies of the equine world along with a few personal and local favs mixed in. Welcome, Lindsey!



Hi Lindsey! Please introduce yourself. Where are you from originally? What city do you live in now? What brought you here?

Hi! I’m Lindsey Oaks, an equestrian coach & consultant from South Georgia originally. Our son, Greyson, was born just this December and at five months old is keeping us on our toes! He’s a very relaxed baby but boy does he have opinions! I can’t wait to introduce him to horses when he’s a little older.

I moved to the Libertyville area to work for Messenger Hill Farm back in 2018 and I LOVE it here!



What are one or two fun facts to know about you?

1. My claim to fame is that I competed at the Olympic level of Three-Day Eventing (a triathlon for horses) on a shoestring budget and grit. Competing at that level was the highlight of my riding career, and yet, did not yield the business results I hoped. I was invited to write about the experience in the book “Overcoming Mediocrity: Empowered Women.” (Read on Amazon)

2. I once was featured in the pilot of a reality television series about women in the racehorse industry. The series didn’t move forward in that form, but it was a learning experience to be on that side of the camera!



What are your favorite places, spaces and eats to frequent? 

During the summer, when all our barn friends are home from competing in Florida, we love to go to Lake Forest (it’s close to the farm) to Hometown Coffee, Food Stuffs, & Everett Farms for lunch and Francesca’s for dinners. For special occasions, we go to Le Colonial (always a treat!)


Your favorite vacation spot…

My partner, Brian, and I love to go to remote places where we can hike and turn our phones off. So far, my favorite place we’ve been is Iceland. We spent several days relaxing and getting pampered at the Blue Lagoon, a resort built around geothermal baths. Then we jumped into an RV and drove up into the mountains for some hiking. Because so much of the terrain was built by volcanoes, it looks like something out of a science fiction movie! While we were there, a volcano actually erupted only a few miles from where we were staying, so close we could see the smoke! If I hadn’t been pregnant at the time, we could have hiked over to see it in person.


What gets you through a tough day?

One thing I love about my Brian is that we both have the same reaction to a tough day. We get into our pajamas early, Doordash some comfort food from Loretta’s in Grayslake near our home, and binge whatever series we’ve been working on. It’s a foolproof system.


Your mantra.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.


Let’s get down to business. You are an equine consultant working for Messenger Hill Farm in Mettawa, IL. First things first, what is an equine consultant?

In my role as a consultant, I:
– Develop road maps for everyday people to meet their goals, whether they are competing as an amateur or an aspiring professional.
– Move into the right barn that suits their lifestyle and needs.
– Assist in planning and logistics around horses. Ex: How riding fits into/helps with college, competition-planning/execution.

Anytime someone needs a creative solution when it comes to horses, we can help!


Tell us about Messenger Hill Farm. When was it established, what types of lessons are offered, camps, etc?

Messenger Hill has been introducing kids (and adults!) to the world of horses for nearly twenty years! We offer introductory riding lessons at our base in Mettawa, IL and high-level competition training all over the country. Our unique program is run by three internationally recognized competitors who have developed international-level competitors from the introductory level. It is truly one of a kind.



This year, for the very first time, we are offering a camp for kids who already ride who want to experience horse showing for the first time. Campers will train for the horse show Tuesday – Friday and travel to a REAL horse show Saturday and Sunday!


Lindsey Oaks and Enchantez at Rolex 3-day on 4.27.2014. Photo credit: Equisport.


As an equine consultant you “help navigate the world of horses without wasting time and money.” Tell us more about this role.

There are so many ways to have horses in your life. There are hobbyists, weekend warriors who compete in between jobs and raising kids, and serious competitors who have lofty goals. No matter your plans with horses, there are SO MANY paths to your version of “success.” You can spend years and many thousands of dollars figuring it out yourself or you can call us! Even if you don’t end up at Messenger Hill Farm, we can help you on the right path for you.


How did you get involved in this line of work?

I started at Messenger Hill Farm as an instructor/performance coach. As our school program grew, I noticed that there were lots of kids sticking around in the program that wanted to move on and have their own horse but the Messenger Hill Competition Team wasn’t really the right fit for them. Since they didn’t know any other way, they got a bit “stuck” in the lesson program. Jodi Vazquez (Messenger Hill’s Owner) and I started consulting with these families to help them into the right programs that worked for their families and helped them reach their goals.



Any advice for families who have been wanting to try horseback riding for the first time?

Start riding at a barn that has a dedicated school program. Many farms will teach riding lessons on “extra” horses that they have hanging around for one reason or another. Messenger Hill has a team of horses and ponies whose only job is to teach people how to ride for the first time.



What’s on the horizon for your line of work?

During the summer, many of the competitors who have been in Florida will come back up north and restructure their programs to adjust for summer goals so we will have lots of new horse and rider combinations getting together. We’ll also have summer camp, so many kids trying out competition for the first time. Fun stuff!


Is there anything else you’d like us to know about Messenger Hill Farm?

Messenger Hill Farm is a one-of-a-kind program that (to my knowledge) doesn’t exist anywhere else in the area. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to ride and learning from world-class instructors in a boutique program is appealing to you, don’t wait. We’d love to have you out! Get started by calling us at 773-203-3135 or send us an email at [email protected]. Visit for more information. 

About our Meet of Mom Sponsor

A very heartfelt thank you to CNSM Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here! Contact Mary directly here: [email protected].



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