USDF Gold Medalist!
(photo © Anya-Maria Photography)
Heather Salden-Kurtz has over 20 years experience working with horses and their people. She is a USDF Certified Instructor/Trainer, USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist, a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold freestyle medalist, and a USEA Gold Medalist. She has been working out of Cross Creek Stables in Cologne, MN since 1997, beginning as an assistant manager and working student before starting her own training business in 2006.
Heather has started many young horses and brought them through the levels of dressage and eventing. She also specializes in "problem" horses, helping them work through their specific issues with a patient and understanding hand. Using classical dressage training, she believes in taking time to develop the trust and harmony between horse and rider, and strives to teach her students to do the same. She has a variety of lesson horses available for lunge seat lessons, dressage, and jumping.
Heather regularly competes at dressage and eventing shows, and has many students who enjoy competing as well. She and her students have won many awards at regional and national championships. Heather has coached numerous students to the FEI levels and USDF medals. But most importantly, they always have fun at the shows! Heather's students range in age from 10-70 years old, and she regularly schedules education days for her students to get together to learn and have fun.
Heather has served on her area's local GMO, CSDEA, for 10 years and has organized many clinics and schooling shows. She was gifted the "Volunteer of the Year" award in 2018 for the CSDEA. Continuing education is important to her, and she strives to bring in fresh new ideas to the area.
For more information on upcoming clinics and events, visit the Calendar.
Assistant trainer: Kjirsten Lee!
Kjirsten is a graduate "B" pony clubber with nearly 20 years of experience in the horse industry. She has worked with young horses and horses coming into work later in life, as well as horses coming back from injuries. Her horses have included off-track Thoroughbreds, Morgans, warmbloods, Quarter Horses, Quarter Horse Appendixes, and Arabians. She has competed successfully in recognized dressage and eventing, as well as at schooling jumper shows. She started teaching with Pony Club and went on to teach lessons as part of running the horse program at Camp Manito-wish YMCA. Kjirsten believes that correct dressage basics improve the connection between horse and rider in any discipline. She currently owns a delightful OTTB gelding named Gobain, who has taken a shine to dressage and eventing. (Below are three photos of Kjirsten in action.)
Heather would also like to introduce her grooms, who are a vital part of her teaching and training activities:
Linda Anderson has been Heather's groom for 4 years. Heather cannot live without her! (Linda is pictured here with her Morgan, Tucker.)
Groom Sandy Messer and her Appaloosa Jiibay.