Amanda Boutet, 32, has been riding and showing horses for over 20 years. A native of Saco, she began riding at farms all over southern Maine at the age of 7. Having been exposed to multiple disciplines at a young age, she directed her focus on training her first horse, an American Saddlebred named Specially Designed aka “Travis”, at the age of 11. Throughout her teens, Amanda and Travis showed the New England circuit with great success in Open and Junior Exhibitor divisions. In 2005 and 2006 she competed in the National Championship for the Saddle and Bridle Hunter-seat Classic where they placed in the top 10.
Her success with Travis and ever growing love of horsemanship prompted her to pursue a career that would fulfill her love of everything Equine. During high school she worked as a volunteer at EQuest (now Carlisle Academy) as a side walker and exercise rider.
Having been accepted to the nations top Equine universities, she chose Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island where she gained her Bachelors of Science in Equine Business Management – Riding and Training. Her four-year Bachelors degree included courses and training in: Equine anatomy, biology, health and wellness, nutrition, strength and conditioning, stable management, and the art of dressage and jumping. During her undergrad she worked as an intern under Peter Axtell, the head trainer at China Pointe Stables in Binghamton, NY where she learned how to ride, drive, and turn-out performance American Saddlebreds for the show ring.
After completing her undergrad studies, Amanda returned home to Maine to continue training her new young prospects and began the search for the perfect spot to build her dream and begin a career as a professional trainer and instructor. In 2014, Amanda purchased an untouched 43 acre parcel in Arundel, Maine that would eventually become the home of Specially Designed Stables LLC.
Since the opening of SDS, Amanda has trained dozens of horses from rescues to accomplished show horses and yearlings to schoolmasters. As the sole trainer and instructor, she has taught hundreds of individuals from all ages and walks of life how to ride horses while sharing her love and responsibility of always putting the horse’s needs first.
SDS is home to 20 equines and various other domesticated creatures including but not limited to: ducks, chickens, guinea hens, cats, rabbits, and her dog and most loyal companion, Belle. Amanda is the only employee of SDS LLC and manages the stable while maintaining a lesson program of <40 students per week and many horses in full training. In spite of the seemingly never-ending work and immense responsibility, the joy it brings to share this special place with so many people through the lesson program, day camps, birthday parties, horse shows, and other events makes it all worth it.