As a young rider she spent many years in the 4-H program in northern lower Michigan. As a teenager she began taking dressage lessons. She was fortunate to have been exposed to natural horsemanship as a teenager as well, and her interest in this discipline grew and continues today. She attended college at Lake Erie College where she received a degree in Equine Science Facility Management. While Mandi was there she had the opportunity to ride several different disciplines, with many wonderful instructors. Upon graduation, she moved to Montana and worked on a guest ranch as a wrangler. It was at this ranch where she was able to expand her knowledge and practice of natural horsemanship. After returning to Michigan, she had the opportunity to ride with natural horseman clinicians Buck Brannaman and Bob Blackwell and dressage instructors Maryal Barnett and K.A Von Ziegner. Starting in 2008 she worked with a hunter/jumper barn on the A circuit where she was able to work with several Olympic level trainers and riders.