Kathy started riding at the age of 10 doing pony jumpers, Jr. jumpers
and Hunt Seat Equitation in Brooklyn & Monticello, NY.
At 19 she moved to Sarasota, FL and was introduced to Classical Dressage when she worked for the very well known and respected Dorita Konyot Humphries. Dorita Konyot Humphries is the sister of Alex Konyot who helped to guide Robert Dover in learning dressage, and aunt of Tina Konyot who is on the US Olympic squad competing in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Kathy lived with Dorita for three years with working 8 horses a day and schooling from First Level to Grand Prix movements. She continued training with her for about 20 years until Dorita passed away.
When she was 24, Kathy moved to Jacksonville, FL and helped Jean Brinkman to establish the beginning of Valhalla Farm. Jean's daughter, Shannon, is an accomplished photographer and has provided the USEF with the current photos of the US Equestrian team for the publications for the 2012 Olympics.
Kathy trained the horses, taught lessons and managed Valhalla. Both Jean and Kathy were part of the inception of the Northeast Florida Dressage Association of which she is still an active member.
KDEquine Training was started when she was 26. She did freelancing, training and teaching in the southern Jacksonville area. In 1985, Kathy moved to Gainesville, FL and began the construction of Tallwood Farm where it was her training facility for 18 years. She now has a new facility in Crawfordville, FL near the state capitol, Tallahassee.
Kathy incorporated her Dressage training with her jump training and competed successfully in eventing from Novice to Preliminary. She has worked with all breeds of horses including Andalusians, Arabians and Warmbloods and competes very successfully in recognized dressage shows. She has won numerous awards and championships from many horse shows locally and nationally.
Her stallion, Hurrikhan, was a successful eventing horse and he was such a beautiful red-gold copper chestnut with gold mane and tail. He was a large 16.2 hand horse of Trakhener breeding. He produced wonderful offspring that had the same large bone and solid, fluid movements so good for dressage and jumping.
Kathy's Training and Instruction Techniques and Ability:
Kathy has the ability to become one with a horse and make almost any horse look effortless to ride. She has that natural feel of the horse - her seat just looks like it becomes an extension of the horse. Horses enjoy being ridden by her because she knows when to give them the reward - the give in the reins - just as if she was the horse itself. She knows what is correct from her Classical training and knows how to develop the horse's back and stomach muscles so it is easier for them to do the strenuous movements of dressage. She can take a horse and get a good ride in 20-30 minutes where it make take others an hour to do. This gives her horses' longevity.
Kathy also has the ability to convey to you how to ride even when you aren't able to actually ride. Many times I have had what we jokingly called "kitchen table lessons" when she would stay with me in Jacksonville and would get to me too late for me to ride or it was too hot for me. I remember calling her around 2004 with my 'ah ha' moment and saying to her that I finally got the 'feel' of what she had been instructing me in - that feel of what a real working trot was - not a faster trot, but a trot that has suspension and cadence. I even visualized the lesson that she had given me a year or so earlier when she ws trying to get me to feel what the difference was from a faster trot and a working trot with suspension.
When I felt that, my 45 minutes of what I used to do just for warm-up (and would wear me out) became a 20-40 minute enjoyable ride with much less sweat on my part. This is all I needed to do - my mare did what I wanted her to. One of what I think is her best instructions to me is to ride a 20 meter circle going from working trot to extended trot, or from trot to canter changing every 1/4 of the circle. I now incorporate this in every ride and I get a lovely round and happy horse.
Now that she will not be close to me anymore, we will have to continue our "kitchen table training" via phone calls. I'm sure she will be passing on some new information she will be learning from riding the Luisitano horses.
All of her students in this area should be proud that you have had the chance to ride with a true Classically trained horseperson and make notes of the times that you had your 'ah ha' moments.
Kathy is known throughout the country as the trainer of " Misty's
Twilight ", the direct descendent of "Misty of Chincoteague" of Maurgerite
Henry's famous series of childrens books. Misty's Twilight, the paint
horse seen doing "passage" in the adjacent picture, is a Breyer