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.”

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!

Caroline

Instructor and Trainer

CarolineCaroline 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 and hunter/jumper equitation.

Katie

Instructor and Trainer

Katie was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, New York. Katie started horseback riding in kindergarten, and now, more than twenty years later, horses are still her first love. Throughout her adolescent and teenage years, Katie trained in hunter/jumper for ten years before transitioning to dressage, while also assisting at a lesson barn, as well as a Thoroughbred breeding facility. After Katie graduated high school, she went to Boston University, where she completed a degree in Journalism and English Literature while interning at a therapeutic horseback riding barn. Katie currently lives in Ditmas Park, where she works as a freelance project manager and teaches lessons at Kensington Stables. She is dedicated to providing robust lessons to all levels of students, with a focus on guiding her students to a comprehensive understanding of how a horse and rider move together as one, through alignment, coordination and mechanics.

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.