Kira Steines-Mason, Silver & Bronze Medalist
“We take a wholistic approach to training, instruction and horse care,” says Kira. “This helps you develop your young horses to become sound schoolmasters. And we always have our eye on the highest levels, so no matter where you start, every step will help you get there!”
Kira is currently showing Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I and schooling Intermediare II and Grand Prix. She has horses in training at all levels. Building ‘throughness’ and positive horse-rider relationships with both adults and youth are her specialties. 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.
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 their horses’ throughness, connecting riders’ bodies and minds to their equine partners and making progress through the upper levels possible.
Active continuing education. Cricket Hill regularly hosts clinics with Beth Baumert throughout the year as Beth’s approach fits well with Kira’s. Beth has a keen understanding of the both the physical and mental dynamics of the horse/rider partnership, and the experience to add knowledge from a great number of trainers. Cricket Hill also has begun a series of clinics with Rob Waine, longtime student of Carl Hester. Kira also trains regularly with Vera Kessels and Christopher Hickey. Kira reads extensively about dressage, always seeking ways to improve her own teaching and training, and happily shares her extensive library.
Firm foundation in jumping. Kira has competed in Eventing through Preliminary Level, having started out as a Working Student in that discipline. She trains horses and teaches students for eventing as well as hunting. Kira teaches jumping at Cricket Hill up to 4’.
Kira 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.
Instructor and Assistant Trainer
“I am excited to join the Cricket Hill family. I love the culture and positive energy from everyone at the Farm!” Wen concentrates on teaching, riding, and training. She works closely with Kira, incorporating our training and teaching approach, including GoldStar, into her own style and systems.
Wen’s focus will be on the Academy, keeping the Schoolmasters fit, active, and happy. She’ll be teaching all ages, both former clients as well as new riders who have been patiently waiting on our inquiry list. “Teaching is absolutely my favorite thing to do. It gives me so much joy to be able to show others this amazing sport and have them enjoy it the way I do!” Wen teaches a balanced seat suitable for pleasure riding as well as beginning dressage.
Wen began riding about 10 years ago here in the U.S. and quickly found her way to dressage. In 2020-21, based on her U.S. training, Wen had an opportunity to return to China to one of the leading Dressage Academies in Beijing as an instructor and management consultant.
After returning to the U.S., she continued her riding, teaching and barn operations at several different stables, ending that phase this summer as a Counselor at the International Riding Camp in NY teaching teens from all over the world, when she joined Cricket Hill.
Trainer’s Assistant and Instructor
“I’m so happy to be teaching along with the Academy Schoolmasters I know so well!” Erin is currently instructing beginner children. “It’s a privilege to be able to learn on such well-trained, fun partners.”
Erin rides and schools the Academy horses in between lessons to keep their training and minds refreshed, with emphasis on straightness, throughness and connection. She works to advance the skills of those horses still developing their capabilities, to make them even better Schoolmasters. She also assists Kira with Boarders’ horses.
A product of Cricket Hill’s Youth Program, Erin is steeped in our teaching, training, and horse care methodologies. She is now studying for her Bachelor of Science in Equine Management and is a leading rider on her school’s Intercollegiate Dressage Team; this past year, Erin was 6th in the nation in her division. This summer, Erin hopes to complete her USDF Bronze Medal with scores at Third Level.