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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Managing Instructor, Saddle Fitter and Events Coordinator
Barbara 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 Theraputic 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 is extensively experienced 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 biomechanics 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.”
Trail Guide and Instructor
Bill 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.
Trail Guide and Instructor
Hi, 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!
Instructor and Trainer
Caroline began riding at age 9 in South Louisiana. Starting in short stirrup in the B circuit shows, she progressed to the 3’6″-3’9″ hunter divisions and competed in hunter derby classes with her horse Roxy. At the age of 16, she began training young horses for competition and teaching lessons. Her focus then shifted to dressage and show jumping. She has trained up to Level III in dressage and competed in 1.30m jumper divisions. Caroline continues to work with various trainers to improve her riding and horsemanship. At Kensington Stables, her lessons focus on effective seat mechanics, refining cues, and balanced movement from both the horse and the rider. She offers lessons for all levels of students in dressage, prix caprilli, and hunter/jumper equitation.
Instructor and Trainer
Lia grew up loving, riding and showing horses on Long Island. In her senior year of high school she completed a year long program of horse care and training through Wilson Tech of Suffolk County. She continued to ride in college and competed successfully in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Lia is currently a middle school science teacher for the New York City Department of Education. She is very happy to be “back in the saddle” and instructing both children and adults of all levels in the art of riding and horsemanship. Lia’s instruction focuses on correct position and quietness of aids (signals to the horse). Her goal is not just to produce riders, but horsewomen/men that are knowledgeable in horsemanship and have both respect and an understanding of horses. Lia currently trains in hunter/jumper equitation with Jackie Bittner of Hidden Lake Farm Riding School, Southold, NY.
Youth Instructor and Summer Pony Riders Program Director
Ryka 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.