20 years Teaching & Training and 10 years serving Aiken’s Horse Community
Based in Aiken, South Carolina since 2008, Kendra DeKay has spent the past 20 years working as a trainer, clinician, instructor, and in many other facets of the horse industry. A USDF Bronze Medalist (qualifying scores in rated Dressage shows at Third Level), a Level 4 Parelli Natural Horsemanship graduate (the highest rating offered), and an “H” rated graduate of the United States Pony Club (“A” rated unmounted work, “C-3” level riding), and a Certified Member of the Aiken Volunteer Mounted Unit, Kendra combines her knowledge of the Sport Horse world with a dedication to a strong foundation of Natural Horsemanship for all disciplines. She also writes for The Aiken Horse magazine. She lives with her better half Jeremy (JJ) and their two cats, Neville and Minerva. When not “horsing around,” Kendra enjoys creating art, being onstage or in the audience at the Aiken Community Playhouse, singing (she performed with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Columbia Choirs), reading, cooking, and traveling to see her family members who live spread out all over the country!
Borrego is a 16 hh 22 year old Trakehner – Thoroughbred gelding and Kendra’s “right hand man” since February 2008. In August 2008 they moved across the country from Washington state to South Carolina and have had many adventures together, including passing their Level 4 Parelli Auditions in all four “Savvies”… Liberty, Freestyle (bridle-less riding), On Line (ground work performed on a 45′ rope and with driving lines), and Finesse (ridden work with rein contact, similar standards to Dressage). Now Borrego specializes in building confidence in riders and helping Kendra start young horses under saddle. He has a heart of gold and a passion for peppermint candy.
Faustino, barn name “Ernie” is a 15 hh 8 year old registered half Andalusian gelding and Kendra’s partner in crime since September 2017. He is quickly proving himself a game little horse who loves adventures … the more excitement, the better! He gets bored easily as many very smart horses do, so Kendra keeps him busy! His “job” as an all-arounder suits him well, from riding downtown in the Christmas Parade to leading the Beach Retreats, Dressage lessons to Liberty clinics, Obstacle competitions to Cattle Drives, jumping lessons and trail rides. Everything he hasn’t done yet we’re going to try! In October 2018 he became a Certified Mount for the City of Aiken’s new Volunteer Mounted Unit.
Kendra’s horse training philosophy is that riding should be FUN… and that fun with horses starts with a trusting partnership between horse, rider, and “coach.” As a coach, Kendra is here to support your horsemanship and riding goals, whether they be for safety, enjoyment, or excellence in the discipline of your choice. As a horsewoman, her passion is for cross-training horses to be confident, smart, willing athletes and partners. Kendra’s training is a fun and refreshing complement to most “discipline specific” training programs. She has helped
carriage drivers improve their dressage, eventers fix trailer loading problems, polo ponies go forward without tension, and numerous adult amateurs recapture their joy and confidence riding again. Riding should be FUN!
Kendra’s experience reflects her dedication to cross-training! Positions include:
- Certified Member Aiken Volunteer Mounted Unit (with “Ernie”) October 2018
- Earned USDF Bronze Medal (two scores over 60% at Third Level) December 2017
- Qualified 2016 USDF Region 3 Championships First and Second Level Dressage
- Morgan Regional Championships 2016: Sporthorse and Dressage (1st Level) Champions and Reserve Champion (2nd Level Dressage) with ALU Super Dandy
- Head Trainer/Instructor (Avion Equestrian Training, Issaquah, WA 2005 – 2008)
- Riding Instructor (Aiken Horsemanship Academy/Julie Robins Aiken, SC 2009 – 2015, AET 2005 – 2008, MRTC 2000-2004, PMF 2000, Lake Oswego Hunt Club Riding School, Lake Oswego, OR 1998 – 1999)
- Young Horse Development/Colt Starting (AHA 2009 – 2015)
- Parelli Natural Horsemanship Student (Level 4 Graduate 2014, 6 weeks at Colorado ISC 2008)
- Manager, 44 horse Commercial Boarding Stable (Ravenswood Farm, Issaquah, WA 2002 – 2008)
- Sales Prep & Handler Thoroughbred Yearlings (Halvorson Bloodstock, Washington ThoroughbredBreeder’s Association Sale, 2003 – 2007)
- “A” Circuit hunter/jumpers (assistant trainer, Potcreek Meadow Farm/Cara Anthony, Redmond, WA 2000, and Magnolia Ridge Training Center/Kim Stuckens Woodinville, WA 2000 – 2004)
- Dressage (personal study, clinics, and lessons since 1992)
- Eventing (working student, LCH Enterprises/Lynn Coates-Holmes Aiken, SC 2008 – 2009, and 2001 United States Pony Club graduate “A” stable management/teaching, “C-3” riding)
- Carriage Driving (started my personal horse to carriage in 2012 with Shelly Temple/Catalyst Driving Center, and have since completed “pre-driving training” on several horses going on to carriage driving careers)
- Retail Sales, English Tack & Equipment (Gallops Saddlery, Tigard, OR 1999 – 2000)
- Professional Grooming (Dressage – San Sebastian Equestrian Center/Lisa Copeland, Redmond, WA, H/J – PMF, Eventing – LCH)
Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Photos of Kendra & Borrego by Laurie Fix Photography.