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 positive horse-rider relationships with both adults and youth is her specialty. 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 their horses’ throughness, connecting riders’ bodies and minds to their equine partners.
Cricket Hill regularly hosts clinics with Beth Baumert throughout the year as Beth’s approach fits well with Kira’s program. Beth has a keen understanding of the interaction of horse/rider biomechanics, and the ability to add contributions from a great number of trainers.
Firm foundation in jumping. Kira has competed in Eventing through Preliminary Level, having started out as a Working Student in that discipline. She has students in training for eventing and several adults beginning 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 Trainer’s Assistant
“I really love teaching, passing on my knowledge so others can be successful in meeting their goals!” Kristina teaches Dressage to Second Level and Jumping to 3’, as well as pleasure riding, to all ages, all stages. She will be spearheading our Youth Program, under Kira’s guidance, including Camps and Saddle Club.
Kristina rides and schools the Academy horses in between lessons to keep their training and minds refreshed. She also works to advance the skills of those still developing their capabilities, to make them even better Schoolmasters. She will also be helping Kira with boarders’ horses, bolstering Tiffany’s work in these areas.
Through her positive attitude and experience, Kristina is a strong contributor to Cricket Hill’s integrated approach to training, teaching, and horse care. She has her Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Management, with extra certifications in Instruction and Facility Management.
Instructor/Assistant Barn Manager
Nina teaches beginner adults and youth at Cricket Hill, giving fun and safe lessons enjoyed by all! She handles new rider inquiries, manages lesson scheduling and is always available to answer questions.
Prior to coming to Cricket Hill, Nina has instructed both riding and horsemanship at all levels. She has planned and run camps for riders 4-16, and supervised the older students in their roles as assistants for the younger classes. She has organized mounted games and led trail rides.
As Assistant Barn Manager, Nina is an important part of the Cricket Hill team providing excellent care to all the horses here!
Tiffany’s riding assignments include schooling the Academy horses in between lessons to keep their training and minds refreshed as well as exercising boarders’ horses as part of their training programs, all under Kira’s guidance.
Tiff uses lungeing and long lining to great effect for both training and rehabilitation.
She continues to advance her own skills by working with Delilah CH, Cricket Hill’s FEI schoolmaster. Tiffany recently achieved her Bronze Medal with Delilah and was Regional Reserve Champion at Second Level Juniors in 2020. The pair are now working at Fourth Level under Kira’s instruction.
We are so lucky having Ali offer her considerable skills to teach a few lessons on weekends! She is one of Cricket Hill Academy’s Trustees.
Ali teaches all ages, focusing on helping riders find solid support from their legs and quiet, yet following hands. Ali also instructs all levels of Jumping. She rode A-Rated Hunters for 20 years, and was named to the Top 10 in the U.S. as a Junior rider.
After a few years off from riding to have her two girls and build a career in technology, Ali has become a happy convert to Dressage, riding here at Cricket Hill.