Sea Star Stable was a very distant dream not that long ago…love, dedication and hard work has made dreams come true (and a very wonderful husband and family). We pride our farm in helping others make their horse dreams and goals come true. I want you the reader to know a little about me and how I have gotten here.
I have horses in my blood. I was very fortunate to grow up in a horsey home with very supportive and understanding parents! I have been riding since before I could walk thanks to my Dad who would put me up in front of him as he rode his beloved horse Pete. When I was big enough I would ride Pete around the paddock with no tack as my parents worked around the barn and garden. One day they thought it a good idea to get me some formal lessons after I tried to get Pete to go faster (I was 5 at the time and Pete was an OTTB about 16.2!) I began my formal riding training at the age of 5 with Sue Kenney (now Downer), now a well-known dressage trainer. My pony named Tinkerbell taught me to be humble and my first horse Manny taught me to be tough. At 13, Mom and Dad bought me Jae, then a 6 yr old stallion from the track, who taught me to sit a very big buck and taught me perseverance and patience.
I started managing barns before age 13 under the tutelage of Sara Contois. My teaching career began at age 16 teaching at the GMHA youth camp in Vermont. Around that time, I also began teaching un-mounted and mounted pony club lessons. Pony Club gave me a solid base for my horse knowledge, teaching skills and riding. My goal as a young child was to earn my A, which I achieved before my 21st birthday.
While I persued my Biology degree at Smith College, I had the opportunity to experience hunt seat equitation and “catch riding” (the art of jumping on an unknown horse and riding it in a judged class with no warm-up!). I also ventured into the jumper world for a short time after college with Jae and had the opportunity to work and show in Wellington Florida. After graduation, I returned home and worked managing barns and teaching lessons at various barns on the North Shore. After three years in the horse-world, I decided that in order to have my own barn, I needed to get a “real” job. I went back to school to get my Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Tufts University. I have been teaching high school Biology and Oceanography since 2001. Teaching all levels of high school, from special needs to advanced placement, has given me a wealth of experiences with students who have different learning styles.
I took a few years off from major competions to get my masters and for the first few years of teaching. During that time, I nurtured Fieval through beginner novice at unrecognized and recognized events. Since purchasing Sea Me Smile (aka Pippin) from the racetrack in 2004, I have been actively training and competing both Pippin and Pete King’s Manta Ray. Pippin and Manta have been very successful in the past few years competing at the training and now preliminary levels. Both horses are also schooling third level dressage and Pippin is schooling 3’11" hoping to make a showing in the jumper world. I am not one to quickly turn horses for a profit, instead, my horses are my partners and I find roles for them to fill in my life. Once they have reached their full potential with me, they become lesson horses so they will stay with me and be able to help my students learn.
I believe that it is very important for both my riding and my teaching to continue my own training. I am currently training with Molly Kenney for jumping, her mom Sue Kenney-Downer and Susanne Winslade for dressage. I have been very fortunate to have also ridden with Eric Smiley (twice a year since 2004), Phillip Dutton (attended his week-long clinic at his True Prospect Farm in PA in ’09), Jimmy Wofford, Sally Cousins, David O’Connor, Bruce Mandeville, Adrienne Iorio, Darren Chiacchia, Sharon McClusker, Barend Heilbron, AnneMarie Arets-Heilbron, Danny Anholt, Claude Boulard, Beth Perkins, Leslie Law, Sara Contois, John Williams and Suzanne Payne.
In 2010, I took a leave of absence from teaching high school biology to focus on life here at the farm, another childhood goal realized. This allows me to teach more students throughout the day and to be able to concentrate on training myself, my horses and horses that are here in training.
Major Equestrian Accomplishments:
• “A” graduate of Pentucket Pony Club • Competed successfully up to Preliminary in eventing, 1.20 Meter Jumpers (3'11) and 3rd level dressage • Competed in the Open division while a member of the Smith College Equestrian Team where I earned many regional and zone awards including a trip to the national championship where I placed 11th in the country in Open over fences • Represented the United States in 2 Student Rider Nation Cups in Switzerland and in Ireland.
Please see the results section of the website to view current awards won by Kara and her horses as well as SSS students and boarders.
"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve." -- Mary Kay Ash