Michele has always been & always will be a ranch girl. Growing up on a ranch with horses, cattle, siblings and copious amounts of hard work led to the creation of Michele's drive and relentless work ethic. From gluing herself to the foaling monitor and delivering a client's foal at midnight to meticulously inspecting stalls to make sure they are cleaned correctly, Michele takes a hands on approach to the care of all the animals in her keeping.
Horses have always been a staple part of Michele's life with a wide variety of breeds & disciplines including Hunter Jumpers, Cutting, Barrel Racing & Team Roping. The Arabians became a part of Micheles life in 1978 when she was living across the street from Lasma in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her first Arabian was purchased from Lasma and the love of this breed has never stop growing. Rising Hearts Ranch currently is home to over 40 Arabians with a wonderful foal crop coming this year. When asked what Michele's most memorable experience thus far with the Arabian horse she struggled to come up with just one and this industry has been very rewarding. A most recent experience that will always be special in her heart was the 2015 Region 4 show. Her favorite horse Mi Regalo Di Angelo (Reggie) was named the Champion Stallion with Chauncey Flemings at the lead. This was not only Reggie's first show but also the first win that was received by a fully in house team! It was the beginning of many wins for this Dream Team! Another very memorable moment was being named the USEF Breeder of the Year in 2016!
In having a conversation with Michele about the first time she laid eyes on the infamous stallion Bey Shah, her arm hairs stood straight up & her expression turned from one of casual conversation to absolute, 100% enthrallment. This enthrallment carries on to all the other horses that have passed through her life from Arabians to Cutting Horses & more. There is just a love for the individual animal that cannot be measured.
Speaking of animals in her keeping, Michele and Shellbird Inc. have acquired quite the collection of animals. A true animal lover, Michele has a hard time not welcoming new members to her animal family. This family collection includes incredibly affectionate barn cats, chickens, geese, staff members' dogs who are invited to spend their days working on the farm with their owners, the horses and Michele's 3 champion bred Belgian Tervurens.
When time permits, Michele takes joy in capturing the elegancy of nature through photography. This has been an ongoing passion that has developed through the years and continues to provide much joy. However, there never seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish all the goals and projects Michele has in mind and the horses always come first.
My highest aim and goal with Arabian horses is to see the Arabian Horse industry as a whole flourish. If our industry succeeds we all win! We need to be able to not only breed more horses each year, but we need to be able to sell them to loving homes who will enjoy them, show them, ride them and support our industry for many years to come! My goal is to strengthen our industry as a whole so we will all benefit. Our farm has always bred quality horses for every level of owner, from family horses to National Champions, but what we as an industry haven’t done is build a foundation of new owners. If we build a base of new owners we will assure our future success. I want to promote local clubs, new show venues and enjoyment of the Arabian
I truly believe we want only the best for our horses and the Arabian Horse industry. Keeping that in mind, we need to focus on our talents, strengths and specialize rather than dilute our abilities. Each of us has a special talent that we need to focus on to let our industry grow and succeed as a whole. It is better to be the master of one talent than be mediocre in many. As an example, the Trainers need to condition, train and market the Arabian Horse because that is their strong suit, they do that every day. The owners need to show and enjoy their horses in many varied venues while supporting the growth and excitement of the industry. Last, but not least, the breeders need to breed the best horses they can for our diversified