Meet Our Staff

The people at Kensington Stables are as friendly as the horses and ponies. Here’s more info on some of the folks you’ll meet around the stable.

Walker

WalkerWalker took up riding in college to lend credence to his imaginary characters in the medieval role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. He and his family acquired the stable in 1993 from the family that had owned it for the previous 100 years. His expertise extends to many areas of horsemanship and includes an in-depth knowledge of Prospect Park and the surrounding area. In addition to his responsibilities as stable owner and manager, he also provides instruction, leads guided rides through the park, and rides his horses in a wide variety of events throughout the tri-state area.

You can email Walker at bhorsetamer@aol.com.

Barbara

Managing Instructor, Saddle Fitter and Events Coordinator

BarbBarbara is originally from Lancaster, PA, and has been with Kensington Stables since 2006. Her original coach and mentor is the late Jill Hassler-Scoop, an original founder along with Bodgie Read to launch the early success of the United States Pony Clubs (USPC) and hosted and developed one of the first Therapeutic Riding Programs in the early 1970s. Jill has written numerous books on the subject of the art of teaching horseback riding and was a national level instructor for the USPC.

Barbara has extensive experience in combined training (eventing) and has competed successfully at the Training level, with some experience riding at Intermediate level. She is a US Pony Club alum from Sunny Hills Pony Club in Hockessin, DE. She studied English saddlemaking with Master Saddlers (UK) George MacEeachran, and Ian and Andrew Hastilow. She began saddlefitting with the introductory course, British Society of Master Saddlers and later an in-depth course from Dr. Joyce Harman, DVM & MRCVS, and Wendy Murdoch, a Centered Riding and Feldenkrais specialist, which are biomechanical studies she combined to create her own “Murdoch Method” for best riding practices.

Barbara teaches riding with this additional knowledge of the influence of saddles on rider and horse performance. Her philosophy is to teach students not just riding skill, but also how to train the horse, the discipline of safety procedures, ground handling and stable management. “I want my students to be able to own and train a horse, not to be dependent on a trainer, boarding staff, or perfect riding conditions.”

Anna

Instructor and Trainer

Anna began riding horses at the age of five. Although she is new to New York and Kensington Stables, she has experience working with horses in the city from her years riding and instructing at Rock Creek Park Horse Center in Washington, D.C. Anna is a recent graduate of Kenyon College, where she majored in English and Modern Languages while competing for the school’s equestrian team in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. She now lives in the Kensington neighborhood and teaches English as a Second Language. Anna’s lessons are geared towards younger riders, particularly those who are new to the sport of horseback riding. She incorporates games, stories, and demonstrations into her instruction to help her students build a strong foundation of skills that will last their whole riding career. Anna also speaks French and Russian, and would like to say добро пожаловать, bienvenue, and welcome to Kensington Stables!

Bill

Trail Guide and Instructor

BillBill has been working at Kensington Stables for over six years. He brings thirty plus years of riding experience to his job as an expert trail guide. With his vast knowledge of horses and horsemanship, he is sure to make any trail ride a very enjoyable experience. Bill’s friendly and patient nature makes him a great instructor for young riders. Bill often takes students for their first trail lesson to learn how to safely and intelligently ride a horse in the field.

Brian

Trail Guide and Instructor

BrianHi, my name is Brian and I have been volunteering at Kensington Stables since 2010. I love coming here because I get to meet interesting people from all over the world and teach them to work with our wonderful horses in beautiful Prospect Park. Teaching lessons and being a guide as well as taking care of our horses is hard work and I love every minute of it! When I’m not at the stable, I work as an engineer. Welcome to our barn and enjoy your ride!

Ryka

Youth Instructor and Summer Pony Riders Program Director

RykaRyka was a former hostler for the New York City Parks Department Mounted Division. She loves working with children and counts several disabled youths among her students at the stable. She has over 30 riders taking lessons from her. (Northeast Equine Journal, vol. 9, no. 12.) Ryka currently manages both the Summer and Saturday indoor programs at Kensington Stables for students age 6 years and up.

 

Samsam

Instructor and Trainer

Samsam joined the Kensington family in 2003. She started riding when she was growing up in Japan. In 1985, she came to the U.S. for studies. She holds a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a M.S. in Computation Finance from Carnegie Mellon. In working with her riders and horses, her approach is thorough and methodical. She works with a general plan, while remaining observant and flexible, adapting to the needs of each rider and situation. Good equitation demands body awareness. This is where dancer and trainer meet. Samsam has a keen eye for movement, position and alignment. By choosing the appropriate exercises and imageries, Samsam helps her riders progress to the next level. At Kensington, Samsam teaches dressage and hunter/jumpers.

Sonia

Instructor and Trainer

Sonia was born in Ukraine, where she started riding at the age of six and gained most of her basic riding skills and introduction to jumping and dressage. She rode at several stables obtaining different experiences, and was taught by dressage master Boris Kovshov. Sonia started teaching children and continued developing her riding skills. She moved to the United States and spent six months under the guidance of Jose Luis Perez Soto, a two-time Olympian. Sonia competed through second level dressage in the New Mexico Dressage Association while doing hunter/jumper and cross-country. In New York, she competed and earned ribbons on an interscholastic hunter/jumper team. She now teaches lessons at Kensington Stables, where she loves to share her experience with riders of all levels and interests.