The Be Gritty Team

Our Experience



Be Gritty, LLC is made up of a strong, cohesive team. We have 50 plus years combined experience as professionals within the equine industry. All members share the same passion of being fearless in our pursuit of our horsemanship and leadership goals. We focus on continually growing and educating ourselves to be the best horseman we can be. Our challenge to our clients is to join us in pushing limits every day.  Our mindset is unstoppable. 

Our Approach



Be Gritty Leadership has the ability to do more with less. We take leadership /team building to the next level by using the solid time tested principles of horsemanship and the true core of cowboy culture to bring a fresh approach to real life, real experiences, and real change. We provide a tangible, hands on experience to recognize the need for honesty, the development of a strong work ethic, grit, try, and to create the desire to master the concept of attitude is worth more than talent. The horse will humble and teach you in a way no person can. During the leadership workshop, you and your team will come away with a solid plan to implement these core values into the workplace and, most importantly, become fearless in the pursuit of winning within yourself, to do the best job you can today and improve on it tomorrow. 

Be Gritty Horsemanship recognizes the struggle new and experienced equestrians alike face when developing a successful equine partnership. Even with the advent of online training classes, videos, and tutorials some riders walk away frustrated and stop short of achieving a rewarding experience. A partnership with a horse is sometimes a lifelong dream, seemingly promised so easily via social media and popular culture, but in reality can be difficult and frustrating to achieve. Be Gritty Horsemanship will bridge the gap between desire and rote training modules and customize the path to success based on personal dreams, goals, and expectations.

Why Us?



Our mission is to bridge the gap between leadership and horsemanship by unlocking potential, refining mindset and empowering success for business professionals and equestrians through the use of onsite, hands on workshops and clinics for intensive team experiences, and video coaching for follow up and remote counseling.

Be fearless in the pursuit of true horsemanship and use that understanding to motivate, encourage and inspire potential… the workplace, in the barn and in life. 

As Be Gritty, LLC we strive to become the bridge between solid horsemanship principles and true understanding of our horse and ourselves. 

Team Members

Lois Phelps



B.S. Agriculture Education and Psychology

Va Tech

I can’t remember the very first time I set on a horse but I can remember how much they impacted my childhood. Horses were always my safe place, I chose endless hours in the barn instead of hanging at the mall. Most of my real friends had four legs and soft brown eyes. I was one of the lucky ones that grew up owning a horse and riding miles and miles through the Virginia countryside. I took sporadic riding lessons and showed in various events but my passion quickly became training and learning all I could about horses. 

I followed the conventional path toward adulthood and dutifully attended college at Virginia Tech. I graduated with a B.S. in Agricultural Education with minors in Psychology and Animal Science but still I had no desire to enter the traditional workforce.  Throughout college I continued to train horses and give riding lessons. Months turned into years, and my intense focus on horses never waivered. Marriage happened and conveniently, my husband shared my passion. Horses were our life, me training and he being a farrier. Two kids later, horses and hard work allowed us many opportunities…one being a second home in the great state of Texas, fueling my passion more. 

Along with raising a family, I continued learning all I could about horsemanship, voraciously studying any and all trainers I could. I followed every method by the book. Coaching clients with their riding and showing, my focus quickly became more about creating confident, thoughtful horsemen --- meeting goals and being successful came easily, once clients prioritized themselves and their horsemanship. During these years I had the opportunity to work for one of the leading equine clinicians at the time and with an accomplished, up and coming AQHA World Champion trainer. I slowly began to realize I could learn as much or more from watching others failures and mistakes as I could from their success. I began to read between the lines and suddenly everything made sense. I was finally confident enough in my own ability to step outside the box of accepted horsemanship and try things my way. 

Be Gritty is the brainchild of years of studying, learning and finally understanding what horses can tell you if you just stop and listen. My goal for Be Gritty is to afford others the chance to find their purpose; trade in their insecurities for confidence and their confusion for clarity, all with the help of the horse. 

Lindsay Whitted



Graduate The American School of Equine Dentistry

Virginia Intermont College

Horses have been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the heart of Virginia Horse Country. I spent most of my childhood fox hunting and showing hunters on the East Coast. I was never the kid with the grooms or fancy horses. I was the kid that got to the barn before everyone else to do chores and have horses show ring ready. I loved the hard work then and still do now. The lessons that hard work taught me are invaluable. I always tried to learn and take something away from the many hours I spent at the barn to make me and my horses better. Hard work paid off and opened lots of doors for me. I would often get offered catch rides at horse shows, riding everything from green ponies to finished working hunters. I loved the challenge of catch riding, it taught me to be adjustable as a rider.

I attended Virginia Intermont College. After college, I accepted a job helping to groom and exercise Steeplechase horses. I was enthralled with the fast pace of the sport. My knowledge and understanding of horse care and management only solidified during this time. My focus began to change again and I decided to pursue equine dentistry. In 2009 I attended and completed my degree at The American School of Equine Dentistry.

After graduation, while I built my dentistry business, I worked as a assistant trainer at a show/lesson barn. Coaching riders quickly became my main focus and turned into my full time career. There I really discovered my passion for teaching and coaching. I taught riders of all ages and ability levels. I successfully coached interschool and IEA teams. This opened doors for me to work with and ride for several top hunter and jumper trainers.

After years of working for others I finally set out on my own, I was successful but I always felt like something was missing. One day I took a horsemanship lesson on a whim. Horsemanship was the answer, it turns out I was missing many things. I had gotten so caught up in trying to be perfect, trying to be the best, that I had forgotten the basics. I was so afraid of anything less than perfection that I wasn’t allowing myself or my horses to make mistakes. I realized we all have to make mistakes to learn. My whole mindset changed. I realized the importance of setting clear goals and having a plan to achieve them.

It still blows my mind that after all the years and trainers that I worked with not one had me set a real goal outside of what horse shows I wanted to go to, or how high I wanted to jump. I didn’t understand the importance of a growth or at the very least a positive mindset. I think all of these things are crucial elements to success.

Training horses and people is my passion. I know that there are other people out there looking for the missing piece, and I have made it my mission to help them find it. My goal is to bring out the best in horse and rider so that they can be successful together.

Team Members

Kortni McConnell



B.S. Agricultural Economics and Marketing

Tarleton State University

Growing up in Hereford TX, the beef capital of the world, I never had a shortage of work to do or horses to ride. That, in combination with being raised by an incredible horseman and horsewoman, I grew up learning “horsemanship” day in and day out. My parents are multi-generation ranchers, raising Black Angus cattle and training performance horses for the past 30 years. I was incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside them doing this my whole life. 

  By the time I was 9 years old, I was on what most people would consider a “once in a lifetime horse”. George was incredible, strong and fast. With my parents instilling their values, confidence and horsemanship into me from the start, I was able to win on this horse and ride him to his full potential and not hinder him. In my first year of riding George, I was the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association year end Champion Barrel Racer and Rookie of the Year, as well as the Texas Cowboys Rodeo Association year end Champion Barrel Racer and Rookie of the Year. This was the start of my steely determination and focus on rodeo. Throughout Junior High and High School my success continued and I was the Texas High School Rodeo Association, Region 1, champion barrel racer, pole bender, and breakaway roper and qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in the breakaway roping. With all my success in the arena came hours and hours of not only practicing my events, but also disciplining myself to apply all my effort into being the best horsewoman I could be. My family raises and trains performance horses so I have always been on young horses- training, hauling, and seasoning them to sell. This became my focus. 

  To say I was grateful for my upbringing once I got to college would be an understatement. It was always a dream of mine to go to Tarleton State University in Stephenville TX, the Cowboy Capital of the World. In 2015 I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and a minor in Marketing. While in Stephenville, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by the best in the rodeo industry, this alone sharpened my focus and made me strive to step up and become even better. After graduation I began training barrel horses full time and rodeoing professionally. With my solid upbringing, college education, and once in a lifetime opportunities to ride with the best barrel horse trainers in the industry over the years- I have been set up to be unstoppable in my field and to eventually become the horsewoman that I aspire to be. All the “greats” that I have ridden with over the years have emphasized one thing, and that is horsemanship. With that you better have a work ethic and a whole lot of grit because there is nothing easy about it……..but nothing worth having is ever easy.

Clay Jones



B.S. Sciences and Technology

Maryville University

My name is Tyler Clay Jones and I am the program and content administrator for Be Gritty LLC. I have a solid background in technical maintenance, and event planning, so I am well versed in social media managing, website engineering, and content editing. While studying general sciences and technology at Maryville University; I was also employed as an International Student Mentor. Through my mentoring position I have produced many successful events that fostered new friendships, and bridged gaps between our domestic culture, and cultures from all parts of the world. As a team member of Be Gritty LLC I plan to continue to bridge gaps between people through our use of the horse, cowboy culture and personalized workshops. While on my time off of work; I like to dabble in …… Who am I kidding; I don’t have down time with my busy schedule! I am the kind of person who always tends to find work that needs to be done, and I strive to put forth maximum effort into each position I uphold. I have always been a hard working and driven individual, and I intend to use that same determination and focus to create the positive motivational energy of Be Gritty LLC. To see this company become successful and grow, I wholeheartedly embrace the challenge; because I believe in what Be Gritty LLC stands for.