Kristen always had a love of horses as a child and started taking riding lessons at five years old. She quickly became more and more obsessed with horses, always wanting to be around them every single day. She started off riding in the hunter ring and began showing in local shows throughout Western New York. At a young age, Kristen dreamed of one day owning and operating her own riding stable and becoming a professional trainer.
After graduating high school, Kristen set out to earn a Bachelors Degree in Equine Studies and also received a career diploma through Penn Foster Career School for a Veterinary Assistant. She continued to compete regularly and soon enough made the purchase of her first horse Dolly, an off the track thoroughbred mare with whom she successfully competed in hunter/jumpers with for a few years. The thrilling sport of eventing soon became something that intrigued Kristen, especially the dressage aspect of it. Biomechanics of the horse and how this natural science affects their movement, jumping, balance, and different training methods quickly became the focus of Kristens' interest. It's all about connection, balance and sensitivity to the aids as well as the riders attention to asking the horse for transitions at the right moment .
Kristen then purchased her American Warmblood partner Romeo as an untrained 5 year old gelding. She successfully evented with Romeo up through Training level and earned a USEA bronze medal in Novice during his first competition year as a 7 year old. They also received second place in the Lake Erie Classic in 2012 while also competing First Level with consistent scores in the mid 70's. They successfully competed Prix St George in 2015 and Kristen achieved her USDF Silver Medal.
Kristen attended clinics with professional dressage trainer Michelle LaBarre, owner and operater of LaBarre Dressage Training Center located in Beaumont, Pennsylvania, and immediately admired Michelle's ability to identify and correct her riders errors. Michelle's tremendous feel in the saddle and knowledge are what inspired Kristen to move to Pennsylvania to be a working student for her at her training facility, along with the opportunity to observe Michelles' riding and teaching techniques. Top notch individual care and special attention to each horse's needs is first priority. Working students are responsible for the care and well being of each horse, paying close attention to their behavior, eating habits, and physical condition. Each horse receives a thorough grooming massage before and after a work out to warm up and release any tension in their muscles and watch for sore or swollen areas. Horses that are in training with Kristen are treated in this same manner and also have access to an electro-magnetic blanket made by Sports Innovations LLC. This pulsing blanket is hand made in Germany and is used before and/or after a work out to help promote circulatory health in the top line.
A good trainer is your eye on the ground and will help you get the most out of your horse. There is no substitute for a good seat and independent aids which is what Kristen strives to teach all of her students. She helps them improve their position and stability in the saddle which will help correct their horses straightness and balance. Different challenges keep riders interested while they explore that special connection with their horse. Kristen trains in a patient yet effective way, helping each horse reach their maximum potential. There's always a reason behind a training or behavioral problem. Kristen's keen eye and great seat is what enables her to help identify and solve these issues. What makes dressage training so challenging is the need to keep horses excited and willing to give all these things that are asked of them without damaging their character.
Kristen is now back in the Western New York area and purchased Monaco Dressage Training Center LLC in Sanborn in 2015. Monaco Dressage is a premier training facility offering private boarding, full time training and also taking horses on consignment. We also import high quality horses on a regular basis so please check in on a regular basis to see what we have available. If there's something in particular you are looking for don't hesitate to reach out and let us help you find your dream horse!