Each of the teachers at Ascot found her way to the barn by a unique path, but all of them were inspired by a love of horses and a passion for teaching. Together, they have guided countless students, both kids and adults, on their individual journeys to explore their own relationship with horses and the art of riding.
Kat began riding at Ascot twenty years ago. She arrived as an adult beginner, but through daily riding and regular lessons in both equitation and dressage, has acquired the experience and knowledge that she now shares with her students.
Kat’s specialty is working with new students. When you first begin riding at the stable, Kat will be the one to introduce you to the Ascot family – horses, instructors, staff, and students. She also helps new students get acclimated to the barn’s rules and rhythms, working one-on-one in her introductory lessons, which include not only riding instruction, but also the basics of care, grooming, and tacking up. Students typically ride with Kat for six to twelve months and then begin working with one of the other instructors in either a private or group lesson format.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Kat is also the barn’s office manager, handling marketing, scheduling, administration, and general coordination. She is also the inspirational and organizational force behind the occasional informal celebrations that bring staff, riders, and their families together at special times of the year.
Sheryl Kenney Libby
Sheryl has been riding since her dad, Jerry, sat her up on his first school horse – a light bay named Tennessee – when Sheryl was only six months old. Even at such a tender age, little Sheryl made it abundantly clear that, once in the saddle, she did not want to get off. After that, Jerry was pretty sure that riding would be an important part of his daughter’s life.
Sheryl rode at Ascot all through school up until she went to college. It wasn’t until after her daughter, Alicia, was born that she decided to make teaching her career; but once she was back, it was clear that she was meant to be at Ascot.
Based on her own equestrian experience, Sheryl helps her young students develop into proficient riders with a strong affinity and affection for the horses. Even after twenty-five years in the ring, Sheryl still feels passionate about her work and is able to find new ways to help her students reach their riding goals and have a lot of fun along the way.
It was forty years ago when Lisa strolled into the yard at Ascot to inquire about lessons in hunt seat. At the time, she was riding at a nearby stable that taught saddle seat, but she was looking for a different kind of experience. As it turned out, Ascot was just the place to provide that experience.
Jerry’s first impression of Lisa was that she was a confident and determined young girl who knew what she wanted. He was right. Lisa took lessons at Ascot for a number of years, becoming one of the top riders (if not the top rider) at the barn. It was no surprise when she decided to pursue a career with horses, and Jerry hired her on the spot.
Apart from a short absence to raise her young family, Lisa has been at Ascot ever since. For the last fifteen years, Lisa has been teaching full-time, specializing in training adults who are interested in learning the finer points of riding. Her calm, constant encouragement and sense of humor help her students overcome challenges so that they can become better riders in every sense of the word.
In addition to her full lesson schedule, Lisa also makes time to run adult evening clinics in the summer months, and cross-country coaching sessions in the spring and fall.
Jen was already a talented rider when she began riding at Ascot. Her meticulous preparation of the horses she rode impressed Jerry right away. This attention to detail was, he learned later, a trait she had developed in her years in pony club, and later as a competitor in the IHSA, and eventually the nationals in Texas.
As Jen’s relationship with the Ascot family grew, Jerry asked if she’d ever considered a career with horses. It took a little time to convince her, but ten years ago Jen finally made the decision to come on board as a full-time instructor. Jen works with many students and has been instrumental in the positive development of a number of young riders who compete on a regular basis.
In addition to her full teaching schedule, Jen works with Jerry on a daily basis, training young horses and ponies, developing them into well-trained mounts for competition and sales in all phases of the equestrian sport. Jen also continues to show the horses trained at Ascot, providing them with valuable experience in the show ring.
All instructors at Ascot are fully licensed according to the Massachusetts Dept. of Agriculture.