“Cricket Hill is where I want to be!” said Greta’s owner Darrah Cloud, Pine Plains. Already successful in amateur hunters, the pair was ready for a new chapter in their riding partnership. So after arriving, Kira schooled Greta a few weeks to introduce the 9-year-old mare to dressage basics. Then Darrah had a lesson. After warming up, Kira asked “what would you like to work on?” Darrah answered, “Whatever makes Greta feel as nice as this!” So now they are on a dressage path. Darrah’s work as a playwright and professor takes her away for weeks at a time; so in exchange for our keeping Greta fit, some Cricket Hill riders may take lessons from Kira on Greta! This summer, one very lucky working student jumped 4′ for the first time!
Kira comes to us with a wide range of experience teaching, training and managing both dressage and eventing horses and facilities. She is exceptionally well-suited to provide leadership to all our Cricket Hill activities.
Kira developed her skills in FEI level dressage in NJ, NY, FL, Germany. For two years, 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. She moved the entire entity to FL and back to NJ. During this time, she spent a summer in Germany with Todd Flettrich and Hubertus Schmidt.Following that, Kira was Assistant Trainer/Barn Manager for U.S. International FEI trainer Shelly Francis, at her operations in FL and Germany. Shelly has been competing internationally for over 20 years and most recently was on the Silver Medal U.S. team competing at the Nation”™s Cup. Kira schooled horses and taught students through FEI while working with Shelly. Shelly enjoys telling us that Kira was “one of only two assistants I let ride my FEI competition horses.”
Kira brings us a firm foundation in jumping as well as dressage. She started her career in Wisconsin, as Instructor/Stable Manager of the family boarding facility. There she trained and taught about 20 horse-rider pairs for six years. She was asked to take over the local chapter of Pony Club, teaching 9-18 year olds and training horses for Eventing (to Training level) and helping them hone their Dressage education through 2nd Level. Kira has competed in eventing through Preliminary Level and teaches jumping at Cricket Hill from beginning to 4′.
Kira is an inspired instructor. She brings both her enthusiasm and caring for horses and riders to every session, adults and children. Informed by her experience with high level dressage horses, she knows what it takes to make a happy, sound, successful partnership. Her vivid analogies help riders to connect their bodies and minds to their equine partners.
Kira’s 6-year-old gray Percheron/TB mare Phoenix resides at Cricket Hill. Kira lives at 245 Snyder Road with her two dogs, Flick and Demi.