Our goal is to teach and promote riding with lightness and to achieve harmony with your equine partner.



Laura Alter


Barn Owner

Laura was raised in the Chicago area and earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Ornithology at Illinois Benedictine College. During her childhood she developed a love for all animals and particularly horses. In high school she worked in a pet store and during college worked at the Brookfield Zoo in the Bird House. After graduation she took a full time position at the zoo where she worked for 5 years and became a senior keeper in charge of the breeding program. While raising her family she bought her first appendix quarterhorse and became interested in dressage. She was then introduced to the Lusitano breed and traveled to Brazil on the first of three trips with French Classical Dressage Master Dominique Barbier and fell in love with the breed. She eventually brought back three Lusitanos from Brazil and trained with Jill McCrae at McCrae Farms and Georgette Rubenstone. After her children graduated from high school she and her husband Dan along with about 50 pets moved to Barrington Hills to their own horse property. She has spent the last year improving the property and building a new stable to board additional horses so she can share her passion with other like minded horse lovers.


Georgette Rubenstone                     



Georgette has always had a keen interest in animal behavior, earning a B.S. in Ethology at University of Wisconsin and working at the Lincoln Park Zoo in their nursery. Since the age of twelve, horses have been an integral part of her life. She's had exposure to several equestrian disciplines before focusing on dressage. Georgette interned for many years with French Classical Dressage trainer Jill McCrae at McCrae Farm. During this time she trained, taught lessons and participated regularly in clinics with Master Dominique Barbier. Monsieur Barbier continues to offer training and guidance during several clinics held each year at Laura's Ark. "I come from a tradition where the emphasis is placed on proper preparation of both horse and rider. The goal being a harmonious dialogue between the pair."