Olson’s Tack Shop is proud to have the area’s most experienced and friendly sales team available to assist our customers. The Olson’s Team is composed of accomplished riders of all disciplines and interests. This talented team of individuals combine to provide Olson’s customers with outstanding customer service experience–fun, friendly, and experienced sales associates with a wealth of knowledge who are devoted to helping you find what you need every time you visit Olson’s Tack Shop!
Olson’s Tack Shop owner, Michael Akers, has been an avid horse-enthusiast since his early childhood. Growing up in Northern Idaho, Mike began riding at a young age. From his early beginnings as a dedicated Pony Club rider to his adult riding career in dressage, Mike has always had a deep devotion to the equestrian sport. Mike joined Olson’s Tack Shop as a sales employee in the mid-1990’s and was quickly promoted to store manager. In 2003, Mike purchased Olson’s Tack Shop from long time owner, Joyce Gilpin. Several years later, in 2006, Mike purchased Bellevue-area tack store Mills Horse and Tack. Olson’s and Mills were merged in 2007, to create the Northwest’s largest English tack store! Outside of Olson’s, Mike enjoys spending time with his partner, Jason, and their three dogs, Oscar, Stewie, and Moe; he also takes time out of his week to ride, enjoying both dressage and jumping with his Oldenburg mare Isabeau.
Mike and his niece, Ryan, riding the star of the Disney movie Secretariat.
Jason Weatherholtz joined the Olson’s Tack Shop team in 2003. His degree in Computer Science helps him manage the computer network at Olson’s as well as many of the accounting responsibilities. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, playing the piano, spending time with friends, and going camping in his vintage Airstream Gladys. Mike and Jason love to spend time with their three dogs and take them to work each day.
Oscar is a fun-loving Weimaraner who joined Mike and Jason’s family in 2011. Oscar loves spending his days at the store and charms everyone with his personality. His sweet character captures everyone’s heart! At home, he loves to run laps around the property and get nice and dirty. Oscar, Moe and Stewie have become fast friends.
Stewie has quickly become one of Olson’s favorite mascots. He can be found napping with Oscar and Moe in the office or working at the horse shows with Mike. He loves making new friends in the store and giving high-fives. He would love to meet you next time you’re in!
Moe is the newest Weimaraner addition to the Olson’s team! He loves people and is always the first to jump up and greet everyone. Moe, Oscar and Stewie quickly became best friends, and when they’re not at the store they can often be found tearing around yard. Stop by the office to meet Moe next time you’re in!
Isabeau is a much awaited member of the Akers-Weatherholts family. She is an 11 year old Oldenburg mare who successfully evented through Intermediate level before finding her way to Mike. She is a fantastic mare with a level head and tons of personality. She spends most of her days grazing in the pasture and being pampered by her people. Welcome to the family Isabeau!
Olson’s Tack Shop was proud to welcome Taryn Briones to our team during the summer of 2010. Taryn’s experience and knowledge of competitive dressage has made her an enormous asset to our customers. Taryn has been participating in competitive dressage in Northwest and National-level competitions since she was a young teenager. Training under the guidance of Jeremy Steinberg, Taryn has campaigned through the levels up to Intermediare-1. Taryn has participated in several National Competitions, including the NAJYRC Championships and USEF National Dressage Championships, where Taryn and Ghita were the National FEI Dressage Reserve Champions!
Diane Lane has been a part of the Olson’s team for more than ten years! Diane came to Olson’s after a lengthy career in retail sales and merchandising for National retailers. As a valued member of Olson’s team, Diane coordinates our sales floor product merchandising as well as providing excellent customer service. She is a classically trained dressage rider and is currently bringing her Dutch-gelding, Wi Degro, through the levels. When she’s not riding her horse, Diane enjoys mountain biking and spending time with her family. Diane’s wealth of experience and passion for horses combine to help her provide outstanding customer service!
After two decades of working in the stock brokerage industry and then becoming a step mom to four kids, Cyd was finally able to fulfill her dream of buying a horse and learning to ride dressage. Although starting late in life, Cyd has embraced the horse world with gusto and even hit the show circuit recently. She is excited to move up the levels with her new dressage prospect. When not riding or working at the store, she also enjoys photography, fine wine, and travel.
Kate Sundquist joined the Olson’s team as the Assistant Store Manager in the spring of 2013. She has been a horse enthusiast for as long as she can remember, starting riding lessons at the age of 8. Kate has taken lessons under multiple trainers, and spent many summers as a child riding at the European Pony School in Santa Rosa, California. Throughout high school Kate spent many hours volunteering for a local Therapeutic Riding program on Whidbey Island, as well as working at a local horse camp. After finishing college Kate was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning her first horse and pursue her goal of Eventing. When not working or spending time at the barn, Kate enjoys spending time with friends and family, snowboarding in the winter, wine tasting, and playing with her cat Dixie.
Lorraine got her start on a lifelong love of horses when she attended the Farrel McWhirter pony camps as a kid. Pretty soon nothing could separate her from her horses, and she joined Pony Club to continue her riding education. Since then, Lorraine has dabbled in every discipline she can including Dressage, Jumpers, Reining, and even some Shire Driving! Her true love, however, is Eventing, and she has the most fun bringing young horses up through the levels. She recently graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Equine Science. When she’s not at the barn, Lorraine enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and cuddling with her cat Martin.
Louise joined Olson’s in 2012 having moved here from Sweden. Louise‘s passion for horses really kicked off when she lived in Mexico and competed on the Junior Show Jumping team. Following a move to England she moved over to Dressage and managed Oldencraig Equestrian Centre and stud for 15 years involving breeding, training horses up the levels as well as being a centre for BHS examinations. With up to 50 horses and 10-15 staff there was never a dull moment! During this time she completed her Bereiter education at Stromsholm, Sweden and competed a variety of horses up to Intermediare classes in both England and Sweden. After England she also had a couple of years in Melbourne where she trained both Dressage and Event riders. Louise enjoys the opportunity Olson’s offers to keep in touch with the local riding scene and meeting new people on a daily basis
Courtney Dale has been riding for over 14 years and has explored many disciplines such as Dressage, Hunter/Jumpers, 3-Day Eventing, Drill Teams, and Parade Performances. After experiencing a variety of these disciplines she found her heart was truly in Dressage. The past 5 years she has been a dedicated dressage rider with the occasional trail ride, cow sorting, and reining horse activities. Courtney has had the good fortune and assistance with many scholarships that have enabled her to train with many great clinicians during her years of riding. She take bits of information from each and every clinician and trainer to make a program that bring success in her riding. She loves sharing her passion and success with others and loves to be supportive with the knowledge she possess. Courtney is also Olson’s resident saddle fitter and enjoys finding the perfect saddle for horse and rider.
Anna has been riding for over 15 years. She started riding at a barn in Washington D.C learning the basics, then moved to Nevada and learned about gaming. Later, she moved to Alabama to show ponies in the Hunter Ring, then to Virginia where she competed at State in Lexington, VA in English Equitation for 4-H. Finally, she came to Washington where she purchased a horse named Bold Inquisitor, a dark bay Thoroughbred who enjoys Eventing. Anna’s activities outside of riding include: skiing in the winter, taking her Dachshund Cali to the dog park, traveling to see friends in different states, and attending school to become a Fire Fighter/Paramedic.
Heather has been riding for over 20 years and has dabbled in it all. She got her start driving draft horses with her dad on their family farm in Redmond. Growing up in 4-H, she was able to try everything from western pleasure to gaming, hunt seat, drill team, and everything in between. She then joined Pony Club where she found her true passion in jumping. After spending a few years eventing, she settled in the hunter/jumper world and hasn’t looked back. Heather loves working towards her goals while developing a strong bond with her horse. Her first love is spending time at the barn, but also enjoys baking, crafts, and spending time with family and friends.