Academy Staff

Kira Steines, Silver & Bronze Medalist

Head Trainer/Manager

Kira is currently showing Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I and schooling piaffe, passage, and one-tempi changes. She has horses in training at all levels, building positive horse-rider relationships with both adults and youth.

She has overall responsibility for training, instruction, and horse care at Cricket Hill.

FEI dressage skills developed in FL, NJ, NY, Germany. Kira was Assistant Trainer/Barn Manager for international FEI trainer and U.S. Dressage Team member Shelly Francis at her operations in FL and Germany. Kira schooled horses and taught students through FEI while working with Shelly. Kira continues to work regularly with Shelly at Cricket Hill clinics.

Prior to that, she trained regularly with U.S. Olympian Robert Dover in both NJ and FL, responsible for the daily care and maintenance of international dressage horses. During this time, she moved the entity to FL, back to NJ and spent a summer in Germany riding with Todd Flettrich and Hubertus Schmidt.

An inspired instructor. Kira brings both her enthusiasm and caring for horses and riders to every session. Informed by her experience with high level dressage horses, she knows what it takes to make a happy, sound, successful partnership at any level. Her vivid analogies help both adult and youth riders to develop their feel and connect their bodies and minds to their equine partners.

Firm foundation in jumping. Kira has competed in eventing through Preliminary Level and teaches jumping at Cricket Hill from beginning to 4’. She started her career in Wisconsin, as Instructor/Stable Manager where she trained and taught about 20 horse-rider pairs for six years. She also ran the local chapter of Pony Club, teaching 9-18 year olds and training their horses for Eventing and through 2nd Level Dressage.

Jami Wallace

Director of Academy Programs/Senior Instructor

Jami has a wealth of experience teaching adults and children and has worked with a wide range of breeds and disciplines, including Dressage, Eventing, Hunters, and some Western.

Director of Academy Programs. Jami oversees Cricket Hill's educational programs including clinics, camps, shows, GoldStar and Saddle Club. She spearheads Agricultural Education and our Animal Science Courses for local school children. She provides both in-classroom and on-farm teaching to schools, FFA and 4H chapters. This program is supported by Cricket Hill Academy donors. To learn more:

Senior Instructor. In addition to teaching basic riding and jumping, Jami is certified as a Centered Riding Level III Instructor and Clinician, one of only 33 of the 1200 instructors worldwide. She gives both mini- and weekend clinics at Cricket Hill.

Centered Riding uses balance, body awareness, and imagery to achieve classical principles, while helping improve communications between horse, rider, and instructor. It's a resource for our advanced dressage riding and training program under Kira’s guidance, as well as helping adult pleasure riders achieve greater knowledge, security, and to have more fun with their riding.

Jami is past-President and Trustee of Centered Riding, Inc., has given clinics in many states, and is a regular at Lendon's Weekend Education Program for Dressage4Kids. To read more about Centered Riding at Cricket Hill, click here.  

Lifetime with horses. Jami was a mounted Urban Park Ranger in NYC, has been a 4-H leader, trail association board member, and local Extension Council board member.  

Abbey Von Deck

Instructor/Trainer's Assistant

Abbey teaches both adults and children, beginners through intermediate. She emphasizes use of the body and softness to achieve effectiveness. Abbey has been riding since she was seven, starting with Centered Riding and expanding to dressage, jumping and a little cross-country.

Abbey schools all of the Academy Schoolmasters and will be doing some showing both here at Cricket Hill and away.

Miranda Mitchell

Instructor/Assistant Barn Manager

Miranda specializes in Youth Beginner lessons. She has considerable experience teaching youth, in addition to being a Barn Manager and Trail Guide before coming to Cricket Hill.

Miranda has two Bachelor of Science degrees from Wilson, one in Equine Management and one in Equine Assisted Therapeutics.