Academy Staff

Kira Steines, Silver & Bronze Medalist

Head Trainer/Manager

Kira is currently showing Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I and schooling piaffe, passage, and one-tempi changes. She has horses in training at all levels, building positive horse-rider relationships with both adults and youth.

She has overall responsibility for training, instruction, and horse care at Cricket Hill.

FEI dressage skills developed in FL, NJ, NY, Germany. Kira was Assistant Trainer/Barn Manager for international FEI trainer and U.S. Dressage Team member Shelly Francis at her operations in FL and Germany. Kira schooled horses and taught students through FEI while working with Shelly. Kira continues to work regularly with Shelly at Cricket Hill clinics and recently spent a few weeks in Florida.

Prior to that, she trained regularly with U.S. Olympian Robert Dover in both NJ and FL, responsible for the daily care and maintenance of international dressage horses. During this time, she moved the entity to FL, back to NJ and spent a summer in Germany riding with Todd Flettrich and Hubertus Schmidt.

An inspired instructor. Kira brings both her enthusiasm and caring for horses and riders to every session. Informed by her experience with high level dressage horses, she knows what it takes to make a happy, sound, successful partnership at any level. Her vivid analogies help both adult and youth riders to develop their feel and connect their bodies and minds to their equine partners.

Firm foundation in jumping. Kira has competed in Eventing through Preliminary Level, having started out as a Working Student in that discipline. In 2018, she will be introducing several Academy horses to Eventing at local shows. Kira teaches jumping at Cricket Hill up to 4’.

Kira started her career in Wisconsin, as Instructor/Stable Manager where she trained and taught about 20 horse-rider pairs for six years. She also ran the local chapter of Pony Club, teaching 9-18 year olds and training their horses for Eventing and through 2nd Level Dressage.

Abbey Von Deck

Instructor/Assistant Trainer

Abbey teaches both adults and children, beginners through intermediate. She emphasizes use of the body and softness to achieve effectiveness. Abbey coordinates our Pine Plains Youth Riding Program and Saddle Club, working with Kara Magurno.

Abbey has been riding since she was seven, starting with Centered Riding and expanding to dressage, jumping and some cross-country.

Abbey schools all of the Academy Schoolmasters in Dressage and Jumping and shows Dressage and Eventing, both here at Cricket Hill and away.

Kara Magurno

Instructor/Barn Assistant

Kara has been working with horses for over 20 years, recently managing a small private eventing barn where she was responsible for all aspects of horse care, riding, and facility maintenance.

As a rider, Kara's main discipline is eventing and she has enjoyed competing locally at Fitches Corners and Millbrook. She schools the Academy Schoolmasters, especially in jumping. Kara will be competing at a few Horse Trials this summer, introducing one of our talented young Schoolmasters to Eventing.

Kara teaches adults and youth, beginners through intermediate, emphasizing balance, steadiness, and independence of hands and body. She has special experience with youth, having grown up with horses herself, and having two girls of her own.